Jimmy & Links

I am hitting a really tough streak; and none of it I saw coming; but do we ever? On May 4th I had to put my dog Jimmy down; I’ve had him for 7 years. The day before we traveled up North a bit to a local Petco to get his annual vaccinations; but when the doctor listened to his breathing she said “I am afraid if I administer these shot, he will go into cardiac arrest.” I remember that feeling of “punch in the gut,” honestly though I knew his time was becoming limited but sometimes the confirmation of something makes it harder. He is the second dog that I had that died from Congestive Heart Failure; but he was my first “adult dog” and boy did I love him. He could do no wrong in my eyes. Jimmy was the sweetest dog in the world…if he liked you, but to my sister she called him little lucifer; he wasn’t too fond of her for some reason. He waited for me to get home if I was out late, always ready to cuddle, always the first one in line for treats and he loved his sweaters. He was just my little man.

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Homemade Vanilla Maple Syrup

This quarantine has me reaching back into cooking days like something fierce; it brings back the very fond memories of when I attend Le Cordon Bleu in Pittsburgh. It no longer exists, the school closed in 2012; I was the last graduating class in 2011. Quite honestly it is probably one of the happiest seasons of my life, I was young…had tons of ambition…and completely in love with my school. My goal was to live in Washington, Dc and be the presidents pastry chef; that was seriously my goal. Didn’t happen obviously, and I am completely fine with it.

Anyways, I commuted to the city everyday, I was on a bus at 6:30 in the morning and some days I didn’t return home until almost 8pm. This was right after I completely dropped out of college to attend cooking school; that was a very bittersweet day, but I believe it took me to where I needed to be in life. I had some of the best teachers that I could ever ask for, probably some of the best teachers in all my years of schooling. This is where I got my opportunity to move down South and work at one of the top golf resorts in the US; an experience that I will never forget.

But here I am almost ten years later and I am no longer working in the field; it wasn’t for losing the passion…well… in a different way. I absolutely hated resort life..it’s not doable being a single mom. The hours are way to unpredictable, my typical shift was 4am to sometimes 7pm; it’s a tough field. More than what I ever expected it to be.

However, I felt that the only reason why I was brought into the direction of of this was to meet Sophia’s father and bring her into the world…without quitting college..and entering cooking school; who knows if I would have had Sophia. And also to make food for you fine folks and share it….

SOOOOOO….without procrastinating any longer

I MADE HOMEMADE SYRUP! HOW COOL.

Curious….do you say syrup as seeerup? (PLEASE SAY NO…PLEASE SAY NO…)

OR

SIRUP?

Seeerup makes me cringe….like the sound of someone crunching on ice…or for most people of the world it’s nails down a chalk board. Either way…it’s a whole potato…patato situation that I avoid like the plague. My brother on the other hand says SEEEERUP….I definitely think just to get until my skin…or the way he calls me Sarris…ugh..that’s just horrible.

Joanna Gaines Maple Syrup from her Magnolia Table Volume 2

Ingredients:

1 cup of granulated sugar

1 cup of water

2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract

2 tsp. of our maple extract.

**I trippled the recipe**

  1. Bring your sugar and water to a boil
  2. Add your extracts
  3. Allow mixture to simmer for 20 minutes- stir it
  • Refrigerate up to two weeks.

My grandma used to make homemade syrup and I remember her telling me how easy it is to make, but I don’t have her recipe anymore. So Joanna Gaines recipe I think is very similar to hers; and tastes quite like it as well.

Anyways this is going to go perfect with my famous french toast as Sophia calls it; that’s a recipe for another day.

Sesame Chicken Noodles

“How you feeling…hot..hot..hot…”….”how you feeling…hot…hot..hot…”- sung by Merrymen that had me singing. Meeee oooooh my…THIS! This right here had my taste buds singing….Chrissy Teigen you did it to me once again, I mean your cookbook brings by cooking to a completely different of level of hot and fun. I am finding myself cooking outside of my comfort zone; using ingredients that I never take a second glance at the grocery store. For instance Tahini; I thought it was something that went into those fun beachy drinks….but I couldn’t have been anymore wrong; then I couldn’t find it at the grocery…that was fun; but I ended up buying a big bottle of Tahini…and Sriracha, because why not, anything worth doing is worth doing right.

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Stovetop S’mores

This takes me back to about seventeen years ago when I was around fourteen years old; especially during the summer vacation. My family are not campers by any means; my mom basically requires a Hilton in the middle of the woods, so it’s strange to admit that my first real s’more wasn’t until I was about eighteen; at a bon fire.

Most summer days I spent with my friend Teresa at her pool; I attempted to lay out but bordem would kick in real fast and we would end up swimming for hours. By evening we were back at my house and we always did the same thing…scary movie night and stovetop s’mores. Teresa always called sitting in the middle …my brother was on one side of her and I was on the other….always. Even to this day I think she would still require that certain seating arrangement…and of course the s’mores.

Tonight was the first time I’ve had these s’mores since I was about fifteen; quite honestly speaking I wasn’t too sure if I would still like them. Sometimes I think my taste buds never matured past the age of five, because I love cereal as much as the next kid; probably one of my favorite things to eat.

So I am just going to jump right into how to make this: it isn’t for the faint hearted…it’s soooooo sweet.

Ingredients:

1/2 stick butter

1/2 to 3/4 back of Chocolate Chips

1/2 regular size box of Golden Graham cereal

1/2 bag of Marshmellos

How to make them:

  1. Melt the butter on the stove- keep stirring
  2. Add your chocolate- keep stirring
  3. Add your marshmallows- stir…it will turn into a rather gooey-sticky mess….then
  4. Add the cereal- you need to use your muscles….this part is tough…stir everything together. If it’s to hard to stir melt a little more butter in the microwave. It will help.
  5. And enjoy.

Sophia has been asking for a movie night for the past couple of days; so I exchanged my scary movie night to watch “How to Train your Dragon,” and introduce Sophia to the s’mores. I definitely could not eat it the way I used to as a teen; it’s so rich that you’ll crave something salty. I am definitely more of a popcorn girl these days….

Anyways I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far!

Dandelion Wishes & Links

I read a quote this week about Dandelion flowers “some will look at these flowers as a weed; and others will look at them as wishes.” At almost 32 years old I will still blow on these flowers and make a wish; it’s just who I am. The past week has been really hard; everything hit at once..last week my one tooth decided it wanted to flair up, so I made a call to my endodontist and he immediately slapped me on antibiotics and steroids. If you’re anything like me that combination is deadly, it makes me so moody and very sensitive; I cried watching The Office. Then while on a run I twisted my ankle chasing after Whiskey, that was chasing after a rabbit at the park, because me yelling her name wasn’t good enough..so lets twist our ankle and step in someone elses dog shit. If that wasn’t enough for one day, I walked around with a hole in my pants in a very unpleasant area, then dropped my berries at the grocery store parking lot. And I’m sorry to say, none of those things was the icing on cake for last week, it just continued to snowball and get worse.

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Angela’s No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

“Bomb..bomb…bomb….bomb..bomb..bomb……” the airport scene from Meet the Parents probably my favorite scene besides “I have nipples Greg can you milk me?” completely ran through my mind while making these No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars. Wait, not the nipples quote but the “bomb..bomb..bomb…” it was that good. I believe I died and went straight to heaven making these bars. They were soo easy to make, it can turn a non-baker…cooker…non kitchen person into a tastebud goddess…or god; and make you melt a thousand times over and over again.

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Friday Fives

It’s FRRRIIIIIIIDAAAAY (in the Feeny call voice…please tell me you know what I am talking about…Boy Meets World) ! We made it, another week, but my weeks are such a blur; I am desperate for normalcy as I suspect most people are at this point. But here we are, so lets just make the best of it.

It’s another Chrissy Teigen recipe I am throwing your way! Another good one….another one that made me say “yumm…” I believe is quite possibly the best and most easiest recipe I have made this week. But my god it was good….I want to share it with the world…come over and I will give you some! I share.

When I was making it I was quite apprehensive to as if I was actually going to like it…it had all the right ingredients, but Apple Cider Vinegar..ehh…I drink it, but I don’t drink it warmed up. It made the entire house stink; Sophia said “mom I need some fresh air…this is rank.”

Surprisingly three hour later, that stench that lingered in the air for hours turned itself into probably the best salad I have ever had.

Here is the recipe! You won’t be disappointed.

Now onto more links for Friday Fives:

I recently bought this nighty from Target about a week ago, I have yet to wear it; but it’s soft and so comfy. Definitely summer friendly.

This bralette in Lilac, is beautiful..so soft. No itchy lace here.

This shirt I recently bought because I am in dire need of shirts, it’s lightweight and kind of perfect.

My favorite summer sandal. I wear my birks almost everyday in the summer; you’ll hardly ever catch me in flip-flips. I don’t find them to be very comfortable. The Birkenstock sandals mold to your foot once they are broken in; which makes them the best, I’ve had mine for two years and never looked back.

Hope you have a great and safe weekend!

Blueberry Thrill Muffins

“I found my thrill on blueberry hill….on blueberry hill when I found you….” originally sung by Fats Domino but more importantly sung by me in the kitchen anytime I bake something that contains blueberries. It brings back memories of being down in West Virginia as child at my grandparents house. I would immediately rummage through their vinyls and play a few select records every visit; Blueberry Hill was among the few selected.

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My Running Journey

I embarked on this journey of running about a year ago when my friend Janeen lived close by. We used to meet up the road at a local park and run a few miles; at the time I was so new to it that I used to think to myself “I can’t believe people do this for fun.” Nonetheless when we were done, the runners high would hit and I would feel great. At the time we didn’t really have any goals; until I texted her one late night and told her to sign up for the Great Pumpkin Run 5K. We had time to train, but nothing could have ever prepared us for that day; honestly speaking we had no clue what was coming our way.

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Our Hawaii Trip

Our Hawaii Trip

SAMSUNG CSC

I am unsure if you remember me mentioning back in April of this year that my family and I went to Hawaii for two weeks (the Big Island)…well I never did an official post on our trip. I really wanted too, but when I uploaded my photos from our trip I had a total of 1200 photos.

Needless to say I was overwhelmed.

This past weekend between going to the mall with my mom while she Black Friday shopped and being in a induced comatose Turkey state, I browsed 1200 photo…and came up with select few…

Okay…okay…more than a few photos to share with you.

Get ready for an overload of photos!!!! 

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