Five really fun summer cocktail hacks

summer drinks

I was sent this really cool little video that has some fun summer tips to keep adults and kids cooler and smiling thru this summer season. Hope you enjoy.

http://www.food.com/video/5-cool-summer-cocktail-hacks-44?nl=FCW_062315_sidebarCTA&bid=4612322&c32=7779ef00c62a215b0b7a3b2920b23c2319aa7a76

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “You, the Sandwich.”

I’m a foodie,love ALMOST everything,just some more than others. If a restaurant were to name something after me it would be “The Daily Special”, everyday would be something different from what ever is fresh in the kitchen. For example today I look around my kitchen and found this

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Avocados,tomatoes,crab,pesto,mozzarella cheese and fresh basil, just need some nice sourdough and they would have “The Daily Special” Meme the Panini. Tomorrow would be what ever is fresh and ready to move out of the kitchen. Ciao!

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/you-the-sandwich/”>You, the Sandwich</a>

The Daily Special

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Gorgeous and her new collar

Meet our rescue dog Gorgeous


We got her last December and she moved right into our home and hearts. She is a terrier mix and loves every human being and critter on this planet.

With such a great name she deserved a collar to match. I purchased this collar at Walmart for around $5.00, dug through my craft closet of a jar I have of misc. flowers, mostly from Hobby Lobby and some that I made from an old sheet,anyway they are all fabric so can be gently washed.

I hot glued them to the collar and sprayed with Scotch Guard brand spray to protect them a little longer from dirt. She barked and pawed at me while I made it because she was so excited.


  

  

Miss Gorgeous knows now how even more Gorgeous she is,if I could have only captured the moment on Kodak when I put the collar on her and told her how pretty she was 😊

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Yuma 2015

Been doing this motorcycle run since 2001 with great friends. This year was no exception                                                                                 See you all next year Yuma 2016

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Ham & Egg Cups :)

These little guys make me happy . Easy to make,taste great,low calories,last for a few days,easy to take to work, shall I continue?

Baked Egg Cups

12 Eggs

12 thin slices of deli ham (round)

1/2 Cup of your favorite cheese (I used Parmesan)

1/2 Cup diced green onion

Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400.  Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.  Lay a piece of ham in each hole creating a little ham cup.  Crack one egg into each hole and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake the eggs for about 12 minutes…until the white is firm and the yolk is still nice and runny.

Carefully remove each egg from the muffin tin and top with grated cheese and green onion.

Add ins I want to try, put in before adding egg: fresh spinach, avocado or cooked aspargus. Its good to get some greens going in with your breakfast for health benefits.

Sunshine Breakfast

Sunshine Breakfast

Only 100 calories per egg. Cant beat that, and I wrap them up in a Ziploc bag and take to work and share cause they are still good cold.

Hope you enjoy!

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Southern Gumbo Ya’ll

It was Mardi Gras a few weeks ago in New Orleans, so time to cook up some Gumbo. We flew there last week for a construction convention and our mouths have been watering all week thinking about the food we were gonna enjoy. Thought I outta make us up a batch and get us ready. This is a very easy recipe just a little time consuming. A little lighter recipe then some, the secret is to get a really dark chocolate colored roux, a process you learn over time. If you get your roux to dark to fast it will burn and ruin your whole batch. So go slow and watch it like a hawk!
First I prepare myself. Get your song station on the right tunes. This is what I use “Songza” and here is a link to the playlist I listened to. Good ol Southern music got me in the mood. Get yourself something cool to drink cause you cant leave once you get started.

http://songza.com/listen/southern-fishing-songza/

This is the basic recipe I use, but added my notes of what I did a little different.

Seafood, Sausage & Chicken Gumbo

Seasoning Mix
1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt,paprika,thyme leaves,garlic powder,ground black pepper,dry mustard and sugar
3/4 teaspoons each of ground cumin,white pepper and onion powder

GUMBO
2 Tablespoons veggie oil
4 chicken thighs(skin on and bone in)
8 cups water or chicken stock ( 2 large boxes of chicken broth does it)
8 ozs Andouille sausage
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chopped white onion
1 1/2 cups chopped red or green pepper( I used both)
1 cup chopped celery (I was out so added celery salt,next time will add fresh in)
1/2 cup chopped parsley (I didn’t have fresh,so I used some dried)
1 lb each of crab meat and shrimp (crab meat was too expensive today so I used 2 lbs of shrimp)
1. Combine ingredients for seasoning mix:

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2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven. Add chicken . Sauté until browned on both sides. Remove chicken to a large saucepan, reserve drippings in the Dutch oven. add your 8 cups of broth or water ( I prefer broth) over chicken cover and let simmer for 1 hour. Drain,reserving stock, bone chicken and reserve meat.

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3. Add sausage to reserved drippings and sauté until browned. Remove sausage, reserve drippings in Dutch oven
Before you start the next step you gotta do a few things because when you start the roux you CANNOT do anything else for about the next 10 minutes. So use the restroom, tie up the children,let the dog out and turn off the phone. Ok carry on.

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4. This is the pan I browned the chicken and sausage in. Add enough oil to drippings to equal about 1/2 cup. Heat and add flour 1/4 cup at a time, stirring until smooth. Cook roux, stirring (whisking) constantly until browned and a deep caramel color 5-7 minutes on a medium flame( I think I could of cooked this roux a little longer and darken it up some but I started getting worried and stopped here and it was still very good. Add onions and peppers and celery,parsley and 2 Tablespoons of seasoning mix. This will be a thick clump of veggies but that’s good.(You will have enough seasoning mix for your next batch of Gumbo). Whisk your clump well and cook 10 minutes.

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5. Add reserved stock about 1 cup at a time and whisk well with each addition and cook 20 more minutes. Add chicken, sausage and seafood and cook another 10 minutes.

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Cook low and slow for another hour or so, make a batch of white rice to ladel the Gumbo over and your set. They say Gumbo is personal, so you can add your favorite ingredients from different sausages, okra,oysters, chicken breasts,thighs or legs or all! Spice it up or down what ever your heat level is. Im thinking next time to make up a batch of Hush Puppies to go along side.

If its your first time of making Gumbo read up on it on the Internet and get tips and ideas for your first batch. One thing I know is true, if you make up a pot of Gumbo you have friends.

Thanks to my Mother-In-Law Shirley Buxton for inspiring me and feeding me this dish. I fell  in love with it and what it represents.

“Laissez les bons temps rouler”

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Meatless Monday- Stuffed sweet potato

I have started a new thing in our house, it’s Meatless Monday. Not to say I don’t eat meat that DAY, but just not for dinner. I find also by picking something meatless it’s tends to run into something healthy. Last Monday I chose these stuffed sweet potatoes. They were easy very tasty and I can speak for both of us on saying we were full, satisfied and went to bed with lighter feeling belly, which is always a good thing!
I chose this theme for Monday cause everyone knows Tuesday Is ALWAYS for Tacos. Hope this inspires you to pick that one day to do something good and different.I swear after you do it once it tends to set in as a tradition .

This is the recipe I used but traded the Kale with Spinach

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Beans and Greens
Serves 4
4 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (4-inch) sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) cooked and drained white beans
6 cups kale, trimmed and sliced into ribbons
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Scrub the sweet potatoes and prick them in a few places with a fork. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until soft all the way through, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Start the beans and greens about 15 to 20 minutes before the sweet potatoes are done.

In a wide, deep saucepan with a cover, heat the olive oil over low-moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary sprig, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kale, cover the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the kale is soft. Remove the rosemary sprig, stir in the lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, slice each sweet potato lengthwise and push on the ends to open up the middle. Spoon the beans and greens into the center.

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Next week: Meatless Monday- Stuffed Poblano Peppers

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Candied Jalopenos

Love, love, love Jalopenos. On just about ANYTHING. My daughter In-law Lindsi discovered this little guys while living in Texas. We could never find them out here so I found a recipe to make our own. Very easy and yummy. Its sweet and spicy delivered in every bite.

INGREDIENTS
3 pounds fresh, firm, jalapeno peppers, washed
2 cups cider vinegar
6 cups white granulated sugar
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon celery seed
3 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Notes: I usually leave the cayenne pepper out because they are hot enough with out it and I like my stuff pretty hot anyway. I have made it with and without the turmeric and good both ways, so if you dont have it no worries
INSTRUCTIONS
Wearing gloves,(do not touch your eyes, nose or other body parts while doing this procedure,you will be sorry) remove the stems from all of the jalapeno peppers. Slice off the stem and toss out.
Slice the peppers into uniform 1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.
In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pepper slices and simmer for exactly 5 minutes from the time you drop them in.This may have to be adjusted depending on how big your jalopenos are and their thickness. After making a few batches you will get your own method down. Do not let the cooking process go any longer or they will get soggy.Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean, sterile canning jars to within ¼ inch of the upper rim of the jar. Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.
Pour the juice into a big measuring cup for easy pouring of the juice over the jalapeno slices. Insert a cooking chopstick to the bottom of the jar several times to release any trapped pockets of air. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and place on a clean lid to finger-tip tightness.
♥ Save all the juice if you have any left because it can be used in so many ways. Drizzle on potatoe salad,Quesidillas,tacos etc…Brush on any grilled meats to add the extra something. If you want to can your Jalopenos follow directions below. I never do because they last a long time on there own and they are gone before they ever go bad around here.
Place jars in a canner, cover with water by 2-inches. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. When it reaches a full rolling boil, set the timer for 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints. When timer goes off, use canning tongs to transfer the jars to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. When fully cooled, wipe them with a clean, damp washcloth then label.
Allow to rest in frig. for at least two weeks, but preferably a month before eating.
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I look for the biggest plumpest Jalopenos

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Had a whole jar of juice left over for the secret sauces we will make

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The liquid that makes it all wonderfulIMG_0026-0

The easiest way to get the sticky hot juice over the Jalopenos is with the measuring cupIMG_0024-0My girlfriend Martha chops hers up and puts on top of cream cheese and drizzle’s the juice and serves with crackers. Brilliant :) Mine go on just about everything. Fish taco’s next week!

 

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Hearts Galore its Valentine Decor

My valentine decor is up. Was going to leave my house quiet for a little while longer but couldn’t stand it . If you look under my “Free Printables” page, there are a couple blogs with free Valentine printables that are really cute. Enjoy and inspire!IMG_0426

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Girlie Gifts

This weekend we are going camping with some good friends. Can’t wait cause we have so much fun, even when we are just sitting doing nothing. I love to make little gifts to take to my friends cause it makes me happy and I hoping they love it also.

Its so much fun to get a little gift all wrapped up cute. Honestly it can be the smallest little token of almost anything but if wrapped up cute, wa la a gift to share with my friends.2015/01/img_0380.jpg

One of the girls is going to unload her Orange and Grapefruit tree’s of all that gorgeous fruit. I’m bringing my juicer and out in the middle of the desert under the beautiful blue skies we will juice all that beautiful fruit and make fresh girly drinks for us and whoever joins the campsite. So I thought this will be fun to make special glasses for that juice and small snacks to go with it. 2015/01/img_0382.jpg

I wrapped some treats from Trader Joe’s in a little bag, gotta have a little ribbon. Made vinyl hearts to stick on the plastic cups for name labels. These cups will hold that fresh juice we were talking about. They can write their names on the chalk board heart labels, (got to be able to find yours) and enjoy their cups and treats.

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Putting it in the heart plastic bag completes the gift. Makes it all special. Us girl’s like it that way. I think they will enjoy it and we will have fun with it.

As you know “Girls just wanna have fun” hope this inspires you to wrap up something cute and fun for your kids, family and friends.

I wont post this until after the camping so they will be surprised.

P.S. I’m so excited to give it to them.

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