Dear Mr. Keurig,
I think you are wonderful. I think you were put on this earth just for me. You patiently wait for me each morning, with blue lights in your eyes, wondering when I will emerge from the dark abyss of my room.
You never back talk. And never tell me my butt looks fat.
The moment my eyes open, I look forward to walking down the dark hallway each morning with your blue lights guiding my way.
I wonder if it will be a Wild Blueberry, French Vanilla, or good ol’ Donut House kind of day.
And then I must decide between English Almond Toffee, White Chocolate Mocha, or Vanilla Caramel…the choices are endless.
My favorite green and white polka Irish mug waits each morning to be filled with pure joy. She is faithful to you, Mr. Keurig, because I rescued her from a Home Goods “After St. Paddy’s” discount shelf for 50 cents. She was distraught…and you have given her a wonderful home on your silver shelf.
I remember the days of $6 cups of coffee. I cringe at the thought of ever cheating on you with a fancy coffeehouse latte. I give those gift cards away because their coffee doesn’t compare to yours.
I appreciate you. I love you.
And I have clearly gone off the deep end. Please send help.
My family took a little road trip this past weekend.
I had business in Corpus Christi on Saturday and took the whole gang with me.
We packed up…made Bucee’s our first stop for Coke’s, Funyuns, and Twizzlers…all the things you would only eat on a 3 hour car ride.
And off we went.
We visited the USS Lexington and I took this:
It was overwhelming being on a vessel where so many people had lived…worked…protected and died for our country.
My daughter was scared at first but then she was in awe of the history on board.
And Little Man only cared about the “BIG OLE AIRPLANES MOM!”
Then I had my presentation to take care of while my husband and children rested at the hotel.
Afterwards, we went to the Texas State Aquarium.
It was so much fun and this is my most favorite memory of 2011, thus far:
My family. My precious children. My amazing husband.
My hope for this year is to take more ‘little road trips’ to spend time together, play Skip-Bo, watch movies and eat Funyuns and Twizzlers.
All four of us slept in the king bed at the hotel that Friday night.
It might have been one of the best night sleeps I have ever had.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. Psalms 136:1
Have you ever been curious if it’s possible to overdose on coconuts?
I can prove it’s not!
When vacationing in Mexico I drank a whole lot of this. Fresh coconut juice straight from the coconut!
While hanging out on the beach, a man would walk by selling these yummy treats.
Coconut paletas (popsicles) made from fresh fruit and juices.
As you can see, it was stuffed with real natural fresh coconut!
I also drank a few of these (Pina Coladas). Just a “few”. hehe!
I discovered my new favorite bread. Coconut bread!
And my new favorite honey. Miel de Coco. Honey from Coconuts! Never heard of such a thing but it was delicious. Great honey with just a small hint of coconut flavor.
And wow. Coconut water in a bottle. Tastes like it came straight from the coconut.
Good thing I adore coconut because it was everywhere. Coconut heaven!
There is a misconception that Mexican food isn’t healthy. Not the case. Most of it is organic, fresh and good for you. Believe me…I lived in interior Mexico for a year and never once did I come across a burrito or enchilada.
Mexicans have low fat healthy foods like this.
Grilled fish and rice loaded with vegetables.
Lots of Mariscos (Seafood)! Like this fish soup.
And they eat lots of fruit and unlimited amounts of natural freshly squeezed fruit juices.
Fresh Papaya Juice.
Even their deserts are healthy. Here is another paleta made from real pineapple and chili. Interesting combination! And tasty.
What did we drink when we weren’t drinking freshly squeezed juice? Well, my husband had a lot of these. Yoli. A soft drink similar to ginger ale.
And I had a “few” of these.
There are a lot of ways to make micheladas and this one is a michelada cubana. Most micheladas are what could be considered a beer margarita or beer Bloody Mary. Beer with lots of lime and salt and sometimes hot sauce or tomato sauce. Sounds disgusting but after you have one, it will never be possible to drink a “regular” beer again. They should be called Beer Bliss.
A michelada cubana is a michelada with extra surprises: Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce (steak sauce) and Salsa Maggi. Salsa Maggi is a dark liquid seasoning that is reminiscent of soy sauce yet doesn’t contain soy.
For breakfast we had a lot of these – cappuccinos con canela. Cappuccinos with cinnamon. We are not big cinnamon fans but these were delicious!!!
Molletes are typical for breakfast. Bread toasted with beans and cheese. I like these for breakfast or snacks during the day.
Since we were in Mexico on Jan 6th, we were able to experience rosca de reyes. Rosca de reyes is a cake traditionally eaten on January 6, during the celebration of the holiday Día de Reyes (Kings’ Day), which commemorates the arrival of the three wise men. The tradition of placing a baby Jesus, hidden inside the cake is very old. The person who finds the baby is blessed.
My mother-in-law found the baby in our cake with her first slice. Maybe that means she is blessed and lucky!
I’ve fired frozen chicken nuggets.
Never again will this family purchase pre-made chicken nuggets.
Now, I am not telling anyone to follow my lead…but I will give you a recipe I made up several months ago after baking some frozen nuggets for my children.
I took a bite out of one…and spit it back out.
It tasted like soap.
So I thought…maybe the soap taste came from my baking sheet. Maybe…
So I tossed that batch…washed the baking sheet again…and baked some more.
And again…took a bite…the nuggets tasted like soap. Gross. Disgusting.
I threw the entire bag of nuggets away.
The next week, I bought another bag of nuggets from a different grocery store.
And not to bore you with the details…but the new nuggets tasted like SOAP too!!
Gross me out with a pitchfork.
I started thinking to myself:
Self, you really cook pretty well for your family. You nursed both your children to ensure they started off on the right foot nutritionally. You made both of your children’s baby food from scratch to avoid jarred, processed foods. Your children eat lots of fruits and vegetables without an ounce of a battle.
And yet, you buy processed who-knows-what’s-in-them chicken nuggets? I don’t think so.
Give this recipe a try…both of my children LOVE the nuggets. Sweet P helps make them and Little Man enjoys eating them…at home and at school.
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (I use free-range chicken breasts)
Panko bread crumbs – start with 1 cup depending on how many you make
Parmesan Cheese – start with 1/4 cup
Dash of Salt/Dash of Pepper
Cut chicken breasts into bite size chucks. I don’t have pictures of the chicken…let’s face it, looking at raw chicken is not pretty.
Mix Panko bread crumbs, cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Dip the chicken into milk or egg, then dip into the bread crumb mixture…pressing to coat evenly.
Place on baking sheet and bake at 350.
I tried 3 different ways to bake and freeze the nuggets.
First, freezing before baking. Second, baking then freezing. Third, cooking in skillet with olive oil.
I prefer baking them first for 15 minutes, then freezing.
Then, when the kids want nuggets or I am making Little Man’s school lunch, I bake them at 350 for 15 minutes to heat them through.
They are golden…and crunchy…and delicious.
Eat ‘em yum!
I am on vacation in Ixtapa, which is a beach and port in Mexico. It is beautiful and 85 degrees year round. Ixtapa is still is decked out in holiday decorations including these Christmas cactus “trees”. I have never seen anything like this before and it’s such a good idea! Eco friendly and green.
No purchase of a tree is necessary. And even if a cactus is purchased, it can be kept forever afterwards! I am going to do this next year to one of our palm trees or cactus at home in California!
Some of the ornaments were made from bird seed.
This is an evening picture. It didn’t show up well but the cactus trees were beautiful at night when they were lit up with Christmas lights!
Hello from Mexico!
Why am I on a Mexican beach? And why am I still celebrating Christmas in January?
Like Carrie, we started a more “meaningful” Christmas.
According to this article, most couples without children spend a whopping $1,500 on Christmas. I can’t even imagine how much it costs families that have children. I feel so bad that I probably cost my parents an arm and leg when I was a child!
We spent nowhere near that figure and here’s why…since my husband and I don’t have children, instead of exchanging gifts to each other, we save now our money and do two things 1) Donate to a family in need and 2) Save our money for a family holiday vacation.
And this year was one of our best holidays ever!
We had the best feeling at Christmas time knowing the joy that was bought to the family in need we adopted. Those less fortunate were able to have a Christmas they deserved for their four children.
Even though we didn’t have Christmas presents this year we didn’t miss them one bit. Our Christmas was still cheery and beautiful. Not only did we have a amazing Christmas together but now we have a family vacation in Ixtapa!
Amy Butler is well known for her fabrics. I’ll tell you a little secret — she also makes amazing wall paper.
This midnight fountain is unreal – so girly and glam!
Amy trips to India and Indonesia inspired this design. Creates a dramatic effect in a room.
To check out midnight fountain or Amy’s other prints, check out her website here.
It may be winter time but that doesn’t mean you can’t break out the grill and have a healthy meal.
We love grilled fish but trying to master the art of grilling it hasn’t been so easy. The fish falls through the rails! The other option is wrapping in tin foil but its not possible to see how things are cooking and the fish misses out on all that yummy smokey taste.
And then along came the wood plank!
Now grilling fish is a synch and unbelievably tasty!
1) The surprising thing is that the fish doesn’t stick to the wood.
2) One ingredient = fish. The flavor is so intense, we never once have used seasoning. Any fish you like will work great. My husband loves cooking salmon on the plank. My favorite is sea bass because the white meat absorbs the smokey flavor more.
OK, let’s start!
You need three tools: a grill, wood plank and a water bottle.
We buy wood planks from Whole Foods. They come two to a pack for $1. They have a lot of different types including mesquite, red oak, maple and hickory. But any wood plank will do. If you have one left over from a home project…even better!
First soak wood plank in water, at least one hour before cooking. Since wood floats, put something on top to keep it immersed.
Preheat grill to 375 degrees.
Put soaked wood plank on the grill with cover closed for 3 minutes.
Flip your wood plank over and place fish on top (which is the side that was just heated)
Smoke fish with cover closed until done.
Watch every other minute to make sure plank does not catch on fire.
Cooking times vary depending on the type of fish and grill used. Cooking times are also a little longer than normal because the wood creates a barrier between the fish and heat.
The water bottle probably won’t be used but it necessary in case of emergencies. If for any reason you plank catches fires, you can easy and quickly spray it out.
That’s it. The pictures don’t show the flavor but it is amazing.
Once you grill fish with a wood plank you will never want it cooked any other way. The meats is super moist with rich natural smokey flavor. This is also supposed to work great with other meats and vegetables – we will have to try that next!
I have chevron stripes on my mind. My kitchen was painted the first week of December…I do not know why I decide to throw in major room transformations in the midst of the holiday season…but I did.
And it’s done.
I love the color…Woodsmoke.
But the walls are bare. And the kitchen needs a little pick-me-up.
I’ve daydreamed about chevron stripes in my house for several months…and here is a little inspiration to get your creative juices flowing too…
Table runner, maybe?
Love the pillow…and the I heart NY artwork…
Adorable chair…perfect for Sweet P’s room re-do…
Place mat…or bath rug?
I love this cosmetic bag…
And…this vase speaks for itself.
What do you think? I could sprinkle a few chevron stripes around my house, could you?
I bought myself a present the other day. I love it so much, of course I wanted to shout it from the roof tops.
You’ve seen the info-mercials…and I was skeptical at first.
But then I went to mop my kitchen floors and had a flash of what could be lurking on my old mop.
So I did a little research…found my Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off coupon…drove through the horrendous rain…and bought my new best friend:
I love that is uses no chemicals. I love that the heat and steam naturally clean your floors. I love that it removed paint splatters on my kitchen floor.
The cloths are completely washable so I am not spending alot of money on additional cleaning supplies.
It is light. It stores easily in my laundry room.
And I must confess…the mop cloth was black after steaming my kitchen floors. I have used the Shark every day (because I am weird) and now there is hardly any dirt on the cloth.
Makes. Me. Giddy.
Mix this Shark with my love for Method products…its a match made in cleaning heaven.
(Shark has no idea who I am. I just love it so much and I think you will too!)
Now that we just cleaned our chimney, I have fireplaces on my mind.
My dream is to convert our fireplace from this:
(It’s not bad but a little dated. And the red bricks don’t really match the color scheme of the room)
into a minimalist modern masterpiece with glass rocks like this:
But that requires expensive masonry work and converting our fireplace from old school firewood and match to an expensive gas conversion. Gas conversion requires a plumber and mucho dinero. Can’t do that anytime in the near future so for now, I’m considering doing something like Brittish blogger, Dottie Angel did here:
We have the brick and it would look so much better painted crisp and white.
It’s not possible to stuff the fireplace with logs right now. I want to actually use the fireplace during the winter. But it will look nice to do something like this after winter is long gone.