Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bart Forbes

Happy 2012!

As you can gather from my absence, joining and promoting the 90 Day challenge has become almost a full time existence! What an amazing adventure!

While seeing what positive thinking and action can do for so many people, I could not put off any longer sharing with you a wonderful, wonderful man. We were fortunate enough to meet Bart Forbes, , through his incredible daughter. What we quickly learned about Mr Forbes is that while warm, humble, and simply fantastic in his everyday life, he is a world renowned artist!!! What?!? In our very own backyard even.

We decided that the best gift my hubby and I could give each other was a painting of our boys by Mr Forbes. Not only did he deliver, the piece he created captures the very essence of our sons and thus, our hearts. YOU MUST CONTACT HIM! With Fathers Day, Mothers Day, and there's always Holiday Season 2012 to never be too ready for, it will be the gift of a lifetime.

Inquire with Mr Forbes about a custom painting for your family; while you have the honor of working with a world renowned artist who happens to also be local (double bonus), the piece he creates will forever be in your home and hearts, just as Mr Forbes is in both of ours.

Bart Forbes

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas in a Cup

It's the most wonderful (and expensive) time of year!!! You are very lucky you aren't hearing me sing right now. My children wish they were you.

So, no matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year, we all are giving gifts! I literally could wrap and listen to Christmas music for days people, days. Some of my shopping is very specific but there is always the exception. For the parties/events/people on your calendar/shopping list who require a more general gift, here is one I gave today at a PTA Board Holiday Luncheon.

Christmas in a Cup

- 4 (or 2 if on a strict budget) holiday old fashioned (size not necessarily style) glasses - I found AWESOME glasses at Marshalls for $2.99 a piece

- Bottle of Prosecco/Champagne

- Bottle of Cranberry Pomegranate Juice

- Bag of Fresh Cranberries.

- Christmas card/card stock with instructions as follows:

Christmas in a Cup

Place bag of cranberries in freezer.

Mix two parts Prosecco with one part juice.

Cover bottom of glasses with frozen cranberries.

Pour, toast, enjoy!

As you can see, nothing fancy, just a little different from the standard candle/lotion/I-don't-know-you-well-enough-to-pick-something-out gift. I have to put this in the Honey section because of Marshalls and all of their fabulousness but it really is just a little fun for your creative housewife mind! Cheers!

On the 90 Day Challenge front, 5 days in, 3 pounds gone. This is over a weekend with a hubby birthday and a good amount of vino! Check it out...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Jump Start

You know me by now. At least a little if not way TOO much. I like to check things off of my list, I like to work hard, and I am a perfectionist. With faults. Many. You also know I spend most of my time in the low-carb world. Always working, trying, losing, gaining, to be the best version of myself. Whatever that may mean.

As of today, I am embarking on what I know will be a great adventure to propel me towards old goals, new goals, and wonderful wonderful things! Half way to the infamous "goal weight" I was introduced to a Challenge I am now sharing with you. Consider it my ultimate accountability tool. You! My fabulous (and very lean) husband is also doing the Challenge with different goals, but committed to it none the less.

My plan is to share it by writing to you. In all of your fabulousness, you now get to read the daily doings of this adventure. I will continue to cook, clean, scrutinize customer service, and improve my wifely-self but all while going forward with gusto on my 90 Day Challenge. Thanks for being my accountability, even though you didn't know you agreed to it.

I will also update the site:

Cheers friends and supporters, rest assured wine will be included on this journey!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Grandma's Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving is next week. Just so you know. We all have our favorites and family traditions. This is one that I grew up with and always has a spot on our holiday table. It's basically a dessert parading around as a "vegetable side".

Grandma's Sweet Potatoes

  • 6-8 sweet potatoes peeled & cut into quarters

  • Whole Milk

  • Butter

  • Sugar

  • Mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil sweet potatoes until done - test by piercing with a fork. Mash to desired consistency with milk, butter, and sugar to taste. Spread into a greased 9x13 pan. Top with marshmallows. Bake for 20 minutes or until marshmallows are a golden brown.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rugs to Riches

Referrals are the best. Ever. Especially when they surpass your already lofty expectations!

We are in the middle of a complete remodel (I'm talkin serious time commitment people) and while the upstairs is "this" close to completion, we won't start the main floor until post-holiday spending, I mean celebrating concludes. So.... long story short, I needed two rooms with carpets to be cleaned because I just couldn't take it any longer. And, the carpet replacement is way down the line since I picked the couture carpet (which doesn't make an ounce of sense since my own clothes come from Target).

Enter the fabulous neighbor, TC, and her fabulous carpet man!!! Ray Waits is the owner of Rugs to Riches. Back in Colorado, we lived and died by our carpet man, Mark (owner of White Stallion Carpet Cleaning) who while never on time, was the nicest, most affordable, and amazing carpet man. TC swore that Ray was the same so after seeing his work first hand at her place, I gave him a shout. Good thing for this a-type (and for him really), I knew he wouldn't be on time or call back right away. But I stuck with it! And boy did it pay off. He is nice as can be and such a hard worker. Our IVORY (clearly the previous owners didn't have children or kept them locked in the shed) carpet in our family room and master bedroom looks F-AMAZING. He removed one mystery stain and another not-so-mysterious stain wherein my two year old poured my coffee on the carpet. You get the point.

If you live in DFW, want your carpet to look fab for the holidays, and don't have millions in the bank (even if you do), CALL RAY.

Ray Waits

Rugs to Riches


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sweet Potato Pie

Brief but important. I grew up in Colorado. I live in Texas. There is an uncanny resemblance between Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pie. I don't know why. Recent weeks have drawn me away from writing but even this short note to you brings a smile to my face. I like this recipe because it came out perfect (bake time altered) and didn't require pre-baking the pie shell. Which I LOATHE doing because I don't own pie weights but hope Santa will bring them this year. Thank you for a wonderfully simple and delicious recipe which my six year old had two helpings of. Happy Fall!

Sweet Potato Pie

  • 1 (1 pound) sweet potato

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust - See Cherry Pie recipe

Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.
Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean (*It took WAY longer for my oven, like 80-85 minutes and I had to throw the trusty ol' pie collar on to protect my crust). Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lasagna - Testosterone Style

Mad Hungry; Feeding Men & Boys
Lucinda Scala Quinn
*Modified slightly.

  • 1lb lasagna noodles (I use the oven ready kind EVERY time so I am skipping the steps to boil, drain, etc that is in the original recipe)

  • 5 links sweet Italian sausage, or a mixture of hot and sweet, pierced with a fork

  • 1 large egg

  • 1lb ricotta (prefer the whole milk ricotta)

  • 3/4c freshly grated parmesan (recipe says you can use pecorino romano but we prefer parm)

  • 5 cups fave tomato sauce(I use my Mom's sauce recipe which I make on the weekend, cook with throughout the week, and freeze the extra. Lasagna will be best with a thick sauce.)

  • 1lb fresh mozarella, cut into 1/3 inch thick slices

  • olive oil for drizzling

*Again, I am skipping instructions if you don't use oven ready lasagna and love to boil your own noodles, you're on your own.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Fry the sausage links over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Then cut links into disks and to continue to fry until crispy over low heat, about 20 minutes (I only cooked mine for a total of 20 and it was great). Drain off fat.

In medium bowl combine egg, ricotta, and 1/2c parmesan.

TO ASSEMBLE (make yourself a little station assembly line for easy assembly and clean up), grease bottom of glass 9x13 pan. Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of dish, overlap one third of noodles atop the sauce to cover the pan bottom. Spread all the sausage over the noodles and spoon over another cup of sauce. Lay down second third of noodles and dollop all of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles. Flatten with spoon to make an even layer. Top with remaining noodles to completely cover the cheese. Pour over 2 cups sauce to cover. Evenly lay all mozarella slices on top. Sprinkle remaining parm and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake uncovered for 60 minutes or until the lasagna is bubbling all over and lightly golden (original recipe said 40 minutes but no way was that what was happening in my oven). LET REST for 15 minutes before slicing. This was the first time in my lasagna making life I waited and it set up and came out so PERFECTLY! The patience paid off, thanks Lucinda! You can serve with extra cheese and sauce if desired.

I called it Lasagna-Testosterone Style because it came out so hearty and wonderful. All the boys at the table gobbled it up, young and young-ish. May have found my new go to lasagna recipe. If you make your sauce ahead, this is a snap to assemble in the morning or during nap time, then bake that evening. Heavenly smells abound and tummies will be growling! Ciao bella!