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Showing posts from October, 2015

Quote of The Day

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Mulled Cider

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Make a double batch of this simple drink recipe for cold-weather parties. Level: Moderate  Serves: 8
Ingredients ½ gal. cider 2 stick cinnamon 2 star anises 3 strip orange peel ½ c. rum
Directions In large saucepot, combine cider, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and orange peel. Heat on medium until just bubbling. Cover; remove from heat.
Let stand 1 hour. Reheat on medium. Stir in rum, if desired.
For more recipes visit goodhousekeeping.com

Pork Milanese with Creamy Caper and Lemon Sauce

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Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
Total Time: 25 min Prep: 15 min Cook: 10 min Yield: 6 to 8 servings Level: Easy
Ingredients Creamy Caper and Lemon Sauce: 2/3 cup mascarpone cheese 3 tablespoons mayonnaise 1/4 cup whole milk 1/4 cup capers, drained and chopped 1 lemon, zested 1 tablespoon fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pork Milanese: 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 6 thin-cut pork chops
Directions For the Creamy Caper and Lemon Sauce: Combine the mascarpone and mayonnaise in a medium bowl. Slowly add the milk, stirring as you go, until all the milk is incorporated. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Set aside.
For the Pork Milanese: Combine the flour and the 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a shallow dish and stir together. Crack the eggs in…

Dear Mother-in-Law,

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Knowing that you have never raised a daughter, I can now see and understand what a shock I was to your system when I came into your life! I didn’t know what it was like to raise or interact with a daughter either, until I gave birth to a wonderful little girl almost 14 years ago. So I can share with you what I’ve learned so far when dealing with a daughter; it’s almost always a fragile interaction that needs to be treated with the outmost respect, and as much kindness and empathy as one can muster. Her entire life will be a learning process and it would be great if we guide them and teach them how to be kind to themselves and others. A “handle with care at all times” package, if you will. Because breaking the spirit of a daughter is an unfair crime we commit against them and the future recipients of her broken spirit. A broken woman raises broken children; broken children grow up and help to break others.
Along with the list of important lessons I’ve learned so far, and another big rea…

Cake Eyeballs

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Recipe courtesy of 
Total Time: 2 hr 25 min Prep: 2 hr Cook: 25 min Yield: 24 to 30 servings Level: Easy
Ingredients 1 18 .25-ounce box red velvet or yellow cake mix (plus required ingredients) 1 12 -ounce can frosting (any kind) 12 ounces white chocolate melting disks Assorted gel icing, for decorating
Directions Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions for a 9-by-13-inch cake or two 9-inch cakes. Allow to cool slightly in the pan, then remove to a rack, cover with a dish towel and let cool completely.
Break off sections of the cake and crumble in a large bowl. When finished, you should have a bunch of very fine cake crumbs. Using a rubber spatula, work the frosting into the cake until it is no longer visible. (Even if you use white frosting with red velvet cake, the white will eventually blend in entirely.)
Next, roll the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls (a small ice cream scoop helps with this) and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. This is important: Pop 'em in …

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Sausage-Cheddar Biscuits

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Recipe courtesy of Trisha Yearwood
Total Time: 40 min Prep: 10 min Cook: 30 min Yield: 16 to 18 biscuits Level: Easy
Ingredients 8 ounces fresh pork sausage with sage, casings removed 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, softened 1 cup sour cream 2 cups self-rising flour 5 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar
Directions Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until well-browned, breaking it up into small pieces. Let cool completely, either on the counter or in the freezer.
Mix together the butter and sour cream in a stand mixer. Mix in the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing until fully combined. Add the sausage and cheddar, and mix until well incorporated.
Drop heaping spoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
If you can't find self-rising flour, you can substitute with a mixture of 2 cups all-purpose flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon sa…

Pork Chops with Pear Chutney

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchens for entwine. BestieNote: I cooked the chutney on the stove instead of the microwave. In medium covered sauce pan, cook shallot, vinegar, brown sugar, butter, ginger, curry powder, cinnamon stick, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and red pepper for 3-4 minutes, then add rest of ingredients and lower the heat and simmer until the pears are soft, about 20 to 30 minutes. It adds more time to your recipe cook time but it's another option if you don't want to use the microwave to make the chutney.
Total Time: 30 min Prep: 15 min Cook: 15 min
Ingredients Chutney: 1 shallot, diced 3 tablespoons cider vinegar 2 tablespoons light brown sugar 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 1 -inch piece peeled fresh ginger, cut into coins 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder 1 cinnamon stick Kosher salt Pinch crushed red pepper 3 pears, peeled, cored, and cut in large dice 2 tablespoons dried cranberries 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Chops: 8 thin bone-in pork chops, each about 4 ounces Kosher sal…

Food Network's Countdown #1 Best Pie Crust Ever

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Recipe courtesy of Aaron Sanchez
Total Time: 2 hr 10 min Prep: 10 min Inactive: 1 hr 30 min Cook: 30 min Yield: 1 crust Level: Easy
Ingredients 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces 3 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, chilled, cut into small pieces 4 tablespoons (or more) ice water
Directions Blend the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and shortening; pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle 4 tablespoons ice water over the mixture. Process just until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic. Chill 1 hour. Use the dough with your favorite pie recipe.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 14-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch diameter glass pie dish. Fold the overhang under. Crimp the edges decoratively. Pierce the bottom of the crust all o…

Surrounding Yourself With Those Who Can Stand In Your Truth

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I met a woman a few years back that was confident beyond anyone I had ever met. Our kids were in preschool together and we saw each other at drop-off or pick-up everyday. I wanted to become friends with her so I could figure out what drove her to be so confident, I started searching her out more and making lunch plans with her, she quickly took me up on my lunch offers. I got to see her in action more each time we got together and I loved it! Then one day, we were in the car driving to lunch and I was having a terrible day, I was down and started to tell her what was going on. She stopped me right there and then and said, “you can’t say that. You can’t think those thoughts!” Think those thoughts? They were things and circumstances happening around me and to me that were making me sad and frustrated. As if I hadn’t said anything, she started a new conversation about what a great day she was having. When we sat down for lunch, she said, “I can’t listen to negative or bad things happenin…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Broccoli Cheese Soup

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Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
Total Time: 45 min Prep: 10 min Cook: 35 min Yield: 10 servings Level: Easy
Ingredients 4 heads broccoli, cut into 1-inch florets Olive oil, for drizzling Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter 1 whole onion, diced 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 4 cups whole milk 2 cups half-and-half Pinch nutmeg 3 cups grated cheese (mild Cheddar, sharp Cheddar, Jack, etc.), plus more for garnish, optional 1 cup chicken broth, optional
Directions Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove 2 cups of the broccoli florets, cut in half, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet cut-side down and bake until the florets begin to crisp and turn slightly brown, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on top. Stir to combine and cook until the flour is absorbed and smells lightly toasted, 1 minute or so. Add the milk and half-a…

Dissatisfaction Causes Movement

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Dissatisfaction has always driven me to unimaginable places and circumstances in my life! When I was in college, I worked at an office that was as corporate as you can imagine. Our work areas and building had a funky sterile feel to them and everyone was uptight. My boss would take notice and interest in the amount of times I went to the bathroom, talked on the phone and typed on my computer. If something were not to her liking she would bring it up to my attention, in front of everyone. As a young college kid, I wanted to have co-workers my age but most importantly less uptight.
When I received an unexpected school grant check at the beginning of a semester, I was out of there! I turned in my two-week notice and I was out the door and free! Every last dime was budgeted so I could spend as much time as possible without needing to get a job. Those few months were heavenly! For the first time in a couple of years, I was able to be a fulltime student without the added pressure of a fullti…

Slow-Cooker Turkey Mole Tacos

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine BestieNote: I added 2 1/2 tablespoons of ancho chile powder for more spice. And 1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. 
Total Time: 8 hr 15 min Prep: 15 min Cook: 8 hr Yield: 6 servings Level: Easy
Ingredients 1 15 -ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained 2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for topping 4 scallions, chopped, plus more for topping 2 tablespoons peanut butter 1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder or ground cinnamon 1 skinless, bone-in turkey breast (about 2 1/2 pounds) 18 corn tortillas
Directions Combine the tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, cilantro, scallions, peanut butter, soy sauce, chile powder, cocoa powder and Chinese five-spice powder in a 6-quart slow cooker and stir to combine. Add the turkey and turn to coat. Cover and cook on low, 8 hours…

Friendships That Shape Our Stories

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Brené Brown's Manifestocame to mind while watching an episode of this season’s Real Housewives of Orange County, the episode highlighted the hardship in many of the friendships on the show. Some of the women seemed to believe that they were strong by hiding their vulnerability and it ended up working against them. What resonated with me the most was that some of the women on the show, right or wrong, tried to deny their friends' story…the women felt that one of the cast members was dating a man who was possibly lying about having Cancer. These women were “trying” to protect their friend by exposing the truth behind her boyfriend’s Cancer story, only problem was that some of the women went through great lengths to expose the truth, they crossed boundaries that they felt entitled to, and relentlessly beat up on their friend, wanting her to jump on the band-wagon to expose this man. What so many of us women forget is that when someone is in love and our blinders come on, or it be…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Garlic-Roasted Chicken

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Total Time: 30 min
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 25 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 skin-on, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 heads garlic
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 slices sourdough bread, grilled or toasted
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook, skin-side down, until browned, about 5 minutes.
Separate the heads of garlic into cloves but do not peel. Flip the chicken; add the garlic and rosemary to the skillet and transfer to the oven. Roast until the chicken is cooked through but still moist, 15 to 20 more minutes.
Place the bread on a platter and top each slice with a chicken breast. Add the vinegar to the skillet and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add 3 tablespoons water and si…

20-Minute Shrimp and Grits with Peas and Butter Sauce

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This super-easy twist on a Southern classic can be made in no time. Frozen corn instead of peas works nicely too!

Total Time: 20 min
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 15 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
3/4 cup instant grits
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 1/4 pounds large peeled, deveined shrimp
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 ounces frozen peas (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
4 scallions, sliced

Directions
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium covered saucepan over high heat. Uncover and slowly whisk in the grits, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of the butter and the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. On…

Imagination, Fearlessly Diving Into The Limitless...

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Lack of imagination has been a topic popping up on my social media feed this week. Here’s an excerpt from Elizabeth Gilbert's Facebook post about our lack of imagination; The human imagination is literally a limitless canvas, and you can't even summon up a picture of a future for yourself that might be better than this cycle of endless pain?

You can't even IMAGINE it?

Same thing when you say that you can't imagine your life without cigarettes. Or that you can't imagine how you could ever go through a day without needing a drink. Or that you can't imagine how you could ever leave that degrading job and find something better. Or that you can't imagine not spending Christmas with your family, even though you always leave the event in tears and shame, because they are toxic, cruel people, who never miss a chance to eviscerate you. Or that you can't imagine exploring new pathways to divinity, even though the religion you were raised with has become a mind-pris…

Halloween Party Favor: Mummy Candy Cans

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Article courtesy of hgtv.com

These little mummies are not only cute, they're functional, too. Filled with candy, the upcycled tin cans wrapped in cheesecloth make a great Halloween party favor or surprise for your favorite trick-or-treater.

Materials Needed:
empty tin can in any size you wish
black spray paint
cheesecloth
scissors
googly eyes
craft glue
pliers

Spray-Paint Cans
Clean and dry empty cans. Use pliers to press down any stray pieces of metal around the can's inside rim, then cover the outside of the can with a coat of black spray paint.


Cut, Fold and Wrap Cheesecloth
Cut a 5-foot length of cheesecloth and fold it over two times. Apply hot glue to one end of the cheesecloth's length, then secure it to the tin can's back side. To create the mummy's bottom lip, pull down on the cheesecloth and use a dab of hot glue to hold it in place. Continue wrapping the fabric all the way around the tin can from bottom to top, then back down to the bottom again. Use hot glue to secu…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Microwave Fudge

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine's cookbook: Great Easy Meals
Total Time: 10 min
Prep: 10 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Microwave 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips and a 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk, 5 minutes. Stir vigorously, then add 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Spread in an 8-inch-square pan lined with buttered parchment paper. Refrigerate, then cut into squares.

Photograph by Antonis Achilleos
For more recipes visit foodnetwork.com

Pesto Bean Soup

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Ingredients
5 sliced garlic cloves
pinch of red pepper flakes
olive oil
2 cans drained cannellini beans
1 cup water
3 tablespoons pesto
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped celery 
1/2 cup chopped olives
roasted peppers

Directions
Saute 5 sliced garlic cloves and a pinch of red pepper flakes in a skillet with olive oil. Add 2 cans drained cannellini beans and 1 cup water; simmer until thick, 8 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons pesto and 2 tablespoons grated parmesan.

Add 3 cups chicken broth and 1 cup chopped celery; cook 15 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup each chopped olives and roasted peppers.

Photograph by Con Poulos
For more recipes visit foodnetwork.com