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Showing posts from February, 2017

Standing Tall...No Matter Who Agrees

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It’s not a woman’s job to get smaller & smaller until she disappears so the world can be more comfortable. –Glennon Doyle Melton

A good friend was a little thrown off by an email response she received from a close friend of hers. My friend was canceling on her friends’ party because her son had a last minute event to attend. Her friend responded that she was fine with her not showing up because she didn’t feel like entertaining anyway. Confused by the response, she asked me what my opinion was about it. Did she feel like entertaining other people but not her? I told her that her friend seemed to be having a tough day and that maybe her not showing up to the party was disappointing to her. Then, my friend came up with a million justifications on why she had to cancel. I stopped her and reminded her that some women, myself included, tend to feel guilty when we disappoint others and I could see that she was feeling guilty for having other plans come up. At that moment, the quote abo…

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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Parker's Split Pea Soup

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Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Total: 1 hr 40 min
Active: 10 min
Yield: 5 to 6 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups medium-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
1 cup medium-diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled (3 small)
1 pound dried split green peas
8 cups chicken stock or water

Directions
In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, 1/2 pound of split peas, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

For more recipes visit foodn…

Full Circle...

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When I met my husband, I was smitten with his personality, charm, and kind heart. Throughout our marriage we’ve had stages where I’ve lost sight of the man I first fell in love with, and during those stages, he’s had such a wonderful way of gently reminding me and nudging me toward love, instead of indifference. He’s loved me through the toughest days of insecurities and growing pains that maturity brings -- his patience and love is utterly humbling.
In the moments of humility, my entire being moves toward love and respect, and I see the man I first met, almost twenty-years ago. Those moments honestly make me squeal with happiness and make me look forward to spending time with him. As our children have gotten older, I’ve noticed that those humbling reminders of how much I love this man are stronger and kinder. The space between being busy raising kids and settling into the woman I’m meant to be has shortened, leaving me time to fill it with reflection and gratitude for having such a gr…

Corned-Beef-and-Cabbage Pizza

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Recipe courtesy of Penguin Pizza
From: Food Network Magazine

Total: 3 hr 15 min
Active: 35 min
Yield: 2 medium (14-inch) pies
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
For the dough:
2 teaspoons sugar
1 package active dry yeast
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the bowl
3 cups all-purpose flour, or 2 3/4 cups plus 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon fine salt

For the toppings:
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
3 cups sliced green cabbage
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon pickling spices, tied securely in cheesecloth
1 large potato, peeled and thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
6 ounces sliced corned beef

Directions
Make the dough: Whisk 1 cup warm water (105 degrees) with the sugar in a bowl; scatter the yeast over the top and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the olive oil.

Whisk the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the cent…

Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy

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Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
Total: 1 hr
Active: 25 min
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Chicken Fried Steak:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 pounds cube steak (tenderized round steak that's been extra tenderized)
Kosher salt
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter

Gravy:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 to 4 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Mashed potatoes, for serving

Directions
For the steak: Begin with setting up an assembly line of dishes. Mix the milk with the eggs in one; the flour mixed with the seasoned salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, paprika and cayenne in another; and the meat in a third. Then have one clean plate at the end to receive the breaded meat.

Work with one piece of meat at a time. Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and black pepper, then place it in the flour mixture. Turn to coat. Place the …

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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Gina's Spicy Corn Chowder

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Recipe courtesy of Gina Neely and Pat Neely
Total: 1 hr
Active: 15 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
4 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
1 medium Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small jalapeno, chopped seeds and ribs removed
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
2 large red potatoes, well scrubbed and small diced
1 cup heavy cream
16 ounces frozen corn
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf

Directions
In a small saucepan over medium heat, saute the bacon until crisp and browned and the fat is rendered. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel and reserve. There should be about 4 tablespoons of bacon grease in pan.

Add the onions and red pepper to pan. Saute until tender and translucent, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the jalapeno and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the flour until thoroughly combined. Cook the flour un…

Pan Fried Pork Chops

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Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
Total: 25 min
Active: 25 min
Yield: 8 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 teaspoon seasoned salt, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
8 pork breakfast chops
1 cup all-purpose flour
Cayenne pepper
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
Smashed new potatoes, for serving

Directions
Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops.

Combine the flour and some cayenne, salt and black pepper. Dredge each side of the pork chops in the flour mixture, and then set aside on a plate.

Heat the canola oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the butter. When the butter is melted and the butter/oil mixture is hot, cook 3 pork chops at a time, 2 to 3 minutes on the first side. Flip and cook until the chops are golden brown on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes (make sure no pink juices remain). Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining pork chops.

Delicious and simple! Serve with smashed new potatoes.

For more recipes visit foodnetwork.com


We're 4 Today!!

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Life Is Full of Pleasure: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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What a mental retreat could mean…

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I love Mammoth Lakes in California! It feels like home to me, which made sense once I really sat down to think about it. I grew up in the Sierras, thousands of miles away, and Mammoth is part of the Eastern Sierra -- its beautiful lush mountains, lakes, and rivers are similar to what I grew up seeing. Lately, my desire to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and the high emotions running high in our country have affected me so much, I feel exhausted all the time. My desire for nature and a peace of mind have taken me down memory lane and I find myself looking at pictures of Mammoth. Then, my friend shared an article that made me realize that my craving for brain restoration and peace of mind makes lots of sense. When I come home after visiting Mammoth – I’m much happier and I always feel revitalized! I have a clearer sense of who I am and I’m not fatigued. So, here’s what Florence Williams from National Geographic wrote in that article my friend shared with me:
When you he…

Chocolate Mousse with Puff Pastry Hearts

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 4 hr 50 min
Active: 15 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large eggs, separated, plus 1 beaten egg for brushing
6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of a 17-ounce box), thawed
Whipped cream, for topping

Directions
Combine the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until just melted, about 6 minutes; remove from the heat and whisk until smooth and shiny.

Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water. Combine 2 egg yolks, 6 tablespoons sugar, the cognac, vanilla and 2 tablespoons hot water in a separate heatproof bowl. Beat with a mixer until thick and pale yellow, about 7 minutes. Place the bowl over the pan of simmering water and continue beating until warm and tripled in volume, about 8 more min…

Chocolate Cassis Cake

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Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Total: 2 hr 35 min
Active: 40 min
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
For the cake:
Baking spray with flour, such as Baker's Joy
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
6 tablespoons creme de cassis liqueur
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the glaze:
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 to 3 tablespoons creme de cassis liqueur
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To serve:
2 (1/2 pint) boxes fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup creme de cassis liqueur

Directions
For the cake, Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round springform pan with baking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray it again with baking spray.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a heat-pro…

Life Is Full Of Pleasure: Cyndi's Top 3

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Chocolate Mini-Loaves

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 1 hr 30 min
Active: 15 min
Yield: 8 Mini-Loaves
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Cooking spray
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously spray the inside of a mini-loaf baking pan with the cooking spray and set aside.

Put the butter, coffee, cocoa and milk in a small microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until the butter melts, about 3 minutes. Whisk to combine.

Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, chile powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in…

Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Hot Crab Dip

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total Time: 25 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 5 min
Yield: 8 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), room temperature
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon crab boil spices, (recommended: Old Bay)
1 garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
12 ounces fresh crab meat, picked over for bits of shell and patted dry
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Whole-wheat crackers for serving, optional

Directions
Stir together the cream cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, crab boil spice, and garlic in a medium saucepan until smooth; season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Heat the cream cheese mixture over medium-low heat until warm, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold in the crab, scallions, parsley and lemon juice and warm until heated through, about 1 minute more. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per 1/4 cup serv…

Making Time to Heal

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I recently had a cold and cough that wouldn’t go away. My foggy brain lasted so long that I started to feel a little blue. Once I was out of the foggy stage, I was talking to a friend who had just gotten a cold and I said to her, “our body slows down so we can heal. Stop making it seem like it’s a bad thing to pause to heal.” Ummm...Why was I giving advice that I don’t follow? Days after our conversation, I decided to pep up my eyebrows by having a procedure called, microblading, which uses permanent ink to create the illusion of thicker hair on my eyebrows. My skin was punctured to inject color ink into my brow line, and once done with the procedure, my skin needed time to heal and needed lots of care to ensure the permanent ink sticks. On the first day of recovery, I said, “I wish I could skip this part.” So, I wanted to be healed but not go through the healing process? How in the hell does that make sense? I stopped to think about it for a minute – when I’ve had to recover from an…

Chocolate Pudding

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total Time: 35 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 15 min
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
For the Pudding:
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups whole milk
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Cinnamon Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions
Make the pudding: Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl.
Combine the milk, chocolate and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the chocolate melts. Gradually pour the hot chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour back into the saucepan and stir until thick, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, then divide among 6 to 8 dessert cups or dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the cinnamon cream: Whip the cream with the sugar in a bowl until it just holds s…