Thursday, May 26, 2011

salisbury steak...

Ha!  This time yesterday I actually started this blog post...
I'm just now getting back to it.  But, well, you know how that goes.

Whew!  We had some crazy weather last night (actually
it was two nights ago... I wanted to keep this post original)...
Heavy rain, hail, wind and rotation clouds all over the DFW area.
Everything is lovely and sunny today... but for a few hours
last night I was in a state of panic and freaked out mode.
It's pretty darn scary when the warning sirens are going
off, you lose your satellite connection, and your second-born
homegirl is on the phone with you, telling
you that a tornado has been reported right down the street from
your house, and then she starts crying and asking,
"what are y'all going to do?".

I'll tell you what I did...
I broke out in hives, that's what I did... and then I did this...
I ran to my youngest homegirl's bedroom (because that is where
the largest interior closet is located in mi casa) and began clearing it out.
I hung up with second-born homegirl... told youngest homegirl to
call her back on her phone, so I could call oldest homegirl and check on them.
(Did you get all that?)
They live just four miles from me in the direction the rotation was heading.
She was in freak-out mode too, but they were ok.

Meanwhile, JB was cool as a cucumber, as he stepped out onto the
front porch to keep watch, and got his brother (who lives out in an
Eastern suburb) on the phone to get the latest reports.

All the while I was darting from front door, to back door,
to laptop, to tv, to homegirls room... with a toddler on my hip.
Freak-out mode I tell you. 

And before we knew it, it had blown over and all was still again.

And that's when my youngest homegirl began teasing me about
how I went into "psycho hulk mom mode" while clearing out her closet.
She started putting sound effects to my earlier actions...
and before I knew it, I was cracking up.
God bless the teenagers.

So, unfortunately, I only got this one shot of my
ridiculously yummy salisbury steak.

*Salisbury Steak*

2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs... I used seasoned.
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt... I used a big pinch of Kosher.
1 8oz pkg baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can cream of onion soup... the recipe actually
called for French Onion Soup, but I forgot by the time
I got to the grocery and grabbed the wrong one.  But it works great too!
1 can beef consomme

a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs,
egg, Worcestershire Sauce, garlic, pepper and salt.
Form mixture into about 6 patties.
Heat non-stick skillet over medium heat.
Add patties to skillet, in batches if necessary,
and cook for  7 to 8 minutes per side or until browned.
Remove patties from pan and set aside.
Toss your sliced mushrooms into skillet, and saute
for 1 to 2 minutes or until tender.
Add flour and cream onion soup and cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
Stir in consomme.
Return patties to skillet; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer
uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until patties are cooked through and
sauce is thickened.
Serve immediately with your favorite mashed potatoes!

Make it for the people you love tonight.
They will love you forever!


Monday, May 23, 2011

sweet memories...

Isn't it funny how your senses can trigger a flood of memories?

One bite of this amazing pie and I was back in my Grandmommy's kitchen circa 1981.

Growing up in the Midwest town of Muncie, Indiana, being raised by my grandparents.

Life was pretty simple back then.

I was in the 7th grade at Wilson Middle School and my best
friend in the entire world was Alicia.  She and I were inseparable.
We sang Joan Jett's "I Love Rock n' Roll" at the top of our lungs as
we experimented with black eyeliner, and rode our bikes all over town.
Her mom, "Bombie", made THE. BEST. mac n' cheese and had the
tannest, longest legs I had ever seen... Daisy Duke had nothing on Bombie.

Most Friday nights were skating night at Gibsons...
until the Disco opened, then they were dancin' nights.

My Grandaddy was a handsome Sailor man, who after
serving his country, settled down and worked at Warner Gear.
He had a passion for fishing, gardening, country music
and cooking a big Sunday morning breakfast.
My Grandmommy was a beautiful, kind, nurturing, lady
and would give her last dime to anyone in need.
She had a passion for canning and baking.

And even though Grandaddy was the Sailor,
it was my Grandmother who could cuss like one. ;)
I miss that about her.

Every May, when strawberries and rhubarb grew hearty
in his garden, he'd selectively pick and bring them
in for my Grandmommy to make her pie.

She made her entire pie from scratch, crust and all.

My Grandmommy passed away suddenly in the Summer of 1997
and I had failed to get the recipe for her Strawberry
Rhubarb Pie, among many others.
I have regretted it since.

My Grandaddy lived for 10 more years after her.
He finally took his brides hand once again in the late Fall of 2007.

I loved them both dearly and miss them desperately every day.

Every May when I see rhubarb is in season, my heart aches.
Not only for them, but for "their" pie.  And because I never
got her recipe, I always pass up the rhubarb and just try
to remember the taste and smell of it.

This year, I bought some.
I brought it home and searched the web for a recipe.
I found one that I sounded yummy, made it,
(slightly different than she used too), put it in the oven and waited.
About an hour later I pulled it out of the oven, and got excited.
The aroma of this pie brought back memories.

*Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Streusel Topping*

2-3/4 cup sliced fresh rhubarb... about 5-6 medium stalks
2 cups sliced strawberries
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoon cornstarch


1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick), cut into pieces
1 unbaked deep dish pie crust... either store bought
or your favorite recipe

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries,
 sugar and cornstarch.  Mix well.  The mixture should be
thick and syrupy after sitting for several minutes.

While the filling mixture plays nices for a few minutes,
grab a small bowl.  Toss in the flour and brown sugar.
Cut in the butter until it resembles course crumbles.

Pour the filling mixture into your unbaked pie crust
and sprinkle the streusel topping over the entire pie.

Place onto a shallow rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for about 50 minutes... you more than likely will
need to put foil around the edges about half way through baking.
Keep an eye on it!

Cool completely before slicing.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

I truly meant to take more photos as I cut into it...
but I got caught up in the tidal wave of sweet memories with each bite.

In loving memory for Clyde and Margaret...  You'll always be a part of me.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

the 1st & 15th...

No, I'm talking about pay days... although, those are good days.

I'm talking about (yes again) the first and fifteenth days of my 24-Day Challenge.

I know you all are interested in my progress and to see how I look.
I really wanted to avoid posting any more of my "first day" pics,
but I feel that because of some of the non-believers or nay-sayers
out there, it's important that they see my true progress...
aside from me being in a swim suit.  And I wouldn't do that to ya!
For anyone that knows me, when I find something that really
works or that I love I want to share it.

Let me say, I absolutely hate the first two photos here...
not only because of the way I looked, but also for the way I felt.
They were taken on Day 1 while my second born homegirl
and I were out on a long walk.
 It was like 90 degrees here in Dallas
at that very moment and I felt bloated, sluggish, and gross.
But by the end of the walk, I was red-faced, out of breath and sweaty...
but I was feeling pretty darn good.
This is the one I loath the most.
Please forget you ever saw it.
Thank you.

Let's just move...
And here I am yesterday morning in my kitchen on Day 15.
Ahh, much better.  And I was (and still am) feeling pretty darn great too.

Aside from my everyday ordinary activities of keeping house
and chasing after a 2 year old, I've only been on several long walks...
I've had no other form of "real" exercise.

Although, I'm about to hit the gym to try to
lose more and tone up some flab.
I may never be able to get rid of my belly jiggle or bulge
and I'm ok with that... after all, I am a realist.
I've carried five babies in my belly and I'm perfectly
content with forever wearing a tankini!

So, there you are... my results so far on the 24-Day Challenge.
It's been an eye-opening, lifetime change for me.
More importantly than weighing a certain amount or being
a certain dress size, is how I feel.  And I feel 100% better, healthier,
cleaner, and have more energy!
No piece of chocolate, soda or stick of butter has ever done THAT for me!


Monday, May 2, 2011

pure and simple veggie soup...

I'm off The Cleanse!  Whew!
That was a challenge.  But I did it, and I felt (and still feel) GREAT!
Today, I'm on day 4 of the MAX Phase (go here to see my previous
post if you haven't a clue as to what I'm talking about),
and day 14 of the 24-Day Challenge.  I've never felt better!

I ended the 10-Day Cleanse with a loss of: 1-inch in my bust, 3 1/2-inches
in my waist, 2-inches in my hips, and 1-inch in my thighs.
I immediately ran to the mall and bought a new pair of size 8's!
I couldn't contain myself.  If I lose more, I'll just have them taken in.
But in all actuality, I'm ok with a size 8... now, if only I could tone up the flab.  ;)

As promised, here is a (not so good) photo of me on day 1 of The Challenge.

I'll try to remember to get another photo this week.

Also, as promised, here is a run down of a typical
day of eating while on the Cleanse... this was my 3rd day.
I was craving something hot and comforting for dinner, so I came up
with this veggie soup.  It's not so different from any other veggie soup,
I suppose, but to me, that night, it was the BEST THING EVER.  ;)

Day 3
Upon rising I would (and still do) drink a tall glass of chilled water.
Then, I would drink the (yummy... NOT) Fiber drink that comes with the Cleanse.
After about 30-minutes I would have a SPARK drink.  I love this stuff!

Then, it went like this...
A banana.
A glass of ice water.
About 1 cup of Low-Sodium V-8 Juice.  I guess this was my
lunch that day.  Starting on Day 4 I would have a hearty green salad
with half of a tomato and half of an avacado.  I would add about 1/2 a can
of tuna (or some days, grilled salmon) with fresh lemon juice and lots of pepper.
As an afternoon snack, I had a handful of almonds with another SPARK drink.
About an hour and a half later I had a handful of fresh baby carrots.
Ice water.
For dinner I had a 1/2 cup of hot Veggie Soup with the salad I just described above.
More ice water.
And finally, a handfull of red seedless grapes right before bed.
I found the grapes were helpful with night time sweet cravings.

Whew!  Am I glad that Cleanse is over with!

However, this Veggie Soup recipe is one that I will most definitely make again.

~Pure & Simple Veggie Soup~4 small to medium size Yukon Gold Potatoes, chopped
10 to 12 baby carrots, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 giant (49oz) can of Swanson Chicken Broth
1 (14oz) can of Swanson Chicken Stock
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste... I like a LOT!A few dashes of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can green beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium yellow squash, sliced
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper... or more to taste.

Place the chopped potatoes, carrots, celery and onions in a soup pot or dutch oven.
Add the chicken broth, chicken stock, olive oil, Kosher salt, pepper,
garlic powder and seasoned salt.
Place over medium-high heat, stir well and bring to a boil.
Boil for about 30-minutes, or until the potatoes are softened.
Add in the green beans, squash, zucchini and Cayenne Pepper.
Stir until blended.
Simmer over medium-low heat for about 15-minutes more.
Serve with hot fresh French bread, whole wheat bread or over whole wheat spiral pasta.

Make it a great week and enjoy this soup!