Monday, November 24, 2014

Obligatory Thankful Post - 2014 Edition

Well folks, since my Obligatory Thankful Post from last year was such a hit (one of my most viewed posts to date), I thought I'd make it annual tradition here on the blog. That way I can over share my heaps [dude, yes, HEAPS] of boundless gratitude about anything and everything from the past year that I am truly thankful for. Like it or not.

Now then, where to start...oh yes. Let's start with Outlander, shall we? 

I don't know how I managed it, but I had never heard of Outlander--neither the book series nor the TV series based on said books that debuted this year--until my online friend, Tracy posted about it on FB. She mentioned having read the series and was excited about the upcoming TV show. Once she gave me the basic plot, it sounded right up my alley so I did some investigating ( i.e. Googling ) on my own. And I'm just amazed that I somehow overlooked an incredibly popular book series that I really should have read long, long ago. Even my mom would have loved it, and had I known about it I'd have bought her the entire series!  I'm currently reading book 3 (Voyager) myself and I'm loving the books so far. And as for the TV series, Outlander?

Outlander Jaime Knee Porn

Yeah, I kinda sort really totally love it! Scottish actor Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser is just the sort of red-haired eye candy that I love. If I could travel to Scotland and Craigh na Dun, with even the slightest chance of touching mystical stones and traveling back in time to 18th century Scotland and meeting that guy, I'd surely want do it. But hey, I'm married, and I am 'no a hoor' [<-- inside Outlander joke right there]. But yeah, totally thankful for finding out about Outlander. Thanks, Tracy! If you haven't read the books or watched the series, I can highly recommend them both. 

I'm also thankful for a year with my Keurig coffee machine. Holla! Because everyone deserves a fresh cup of coffee, every single time. I'd love it more if the K-Cups were recyclable. I mean, come on, Keurig, it's almost 2015. Get it together. But since I recycle everything else that I can, and since I always use cloth bags at the grocery store, I think I'm entitled to a wee bit of latitude on the plastic K-Cups usage. Coffee, with a side of guilt anyone?!

Thor Likes Coffee

I'm very thankful to have a car with Remote Start again. This may seem like something trivial if you live in a warmer climate. But here in Ohio, it gets mighty cold in the winter. And having to run out and start a car when it's 10 below is not exactly my idea of fun. The older I get it's even less fun. Remote start means I no longer have to become a human Popsicle in order to start my car, and that, as Martha would say, is a very good thing.

Anna Frozen Dress Gif

And hey, I'm also thankful for The Monkees. Because really, I don't think The Monkees get enough thanks.

The Monkees

Finally, since I want to keep this is a holiday week after all...I'll just take this moment to say that I'm very thankful for my Memories. I've had some wonderful Thanksgivings over the years. I spend a lot of them missing my family since we all live far apart from each other. But I do think fondly of the wonderful Turkey Days I did get to spend with them. And this one in particular comes to mind...and the meal we had was just one of the best of my childhood. It was circa 1976 (or 77).

My mom made this incredible spread all by herself. She went all out and worked so hard to make an amazing meal for the family. She even used the good China! The meal had all our usuals, plus a few extras.
  1. Turkey and Dressing (Mom seldom stuffed the bird itself; she liked it separate, as do I).
  2. Mashed Potatoes (lump-free) and a gravy so good you could have drank it from the bowl.
  3. Yams, of course. You gotta have Yams.
  4. Fried Chicken??? Dang. How'd that get there?!
  5. Apple Salad. An old family recipe that I still love at holiday time. Notice the classic Tupperware it's being served in here. I wish I had that bowl. I would totally put my Apple Salad in it.
  6. Braided homemade bread. That was a thing of beauty! And there wasn't much left when we were done with dinner. 
  7.  A Veggie Tray. Seems silly to have that when everything else fills you up. But it's always good.
  8. And for dessert? Pie and English Trifle. Mom's Trifle was the best. I still like to make it at Christmas time. Sometimes for Turkey Day too, if the mood strikes.
Memories mean everything. Especially as the memories of my family grow to be all I have left. I am thankful for them though, and will cherish them always.

On that note, I hope you enjoyed my Obligatory Thankful Post for 2014. And I also hope that you and your family have a truly wonderful day of family, feast, and fun that you'll not soon forget. 

And don't forget to pack some Tums, just in case you eat a bit too much.

Gobble, gobble.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Perfect Pork Roast 30 Years in the Making

Pork Roast.

I have tried for years to make a good Pork Roast.

Literally, three decades, people.


Yes, really.

And somehow, after years of struggle, torment, and failure after pork roasted failure, I finally managed to achieve a perfect Pork Roast. You just don't even know how I felt in that moment. I was like...

Hallelujah gif

So after achieving this level of personal culinary greatness, I felt it only appropriate that I share the recipe with you, so that you, too, can grab the spice-rubbed and pork roasted gold, should you feel so inclined. And I know you want to see it, right? So here it is. Prepare yourself to bask in the shadow of greatness.

Spice Rubbed Pork Roast Recipe

The best part is, it was super easy to make. I like easy. Easy is good. I know you can relate. So lets get to the ingredients you'll need.

1 Three pound Pork Shoulder Roast
2 TBSP Kosher Salt
2 TBSP Granulated Garlic
1 TBSP Pepper
1 TBSP Onion Powder
1 TBSP Dried Oregano

  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • Combine all your spices in a bowl.
  • Rub the spices all over every piggy inch of your pork roast.
  • Place roast on a rack in your desired baking dish. I used a square ceramic dish. 
  • Bake uncovered for 3 hours or until done.
  • Let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Now all oven temps seem to vary, so your roast might take a little more or less time. But three hours worked for me.

And how do I know just how amazingly good this pork roast was? 

Because the Hubs. 

He usually wants ketchup on my pork roast--because it's never been the greatest. And you know how men are about ketchup, right?

Fancy Sauce

But not this time. No-sir-eeeee. This time it was so tender and juicy and flavorful, he had no need for the red stuff that disguises all other flavors, aka ketchup. And that, my friends, is called a win.

So I hope you'll try this recipe and I hope you'll love it as much as the Hubs and I did. 

Go ahead. Get your pig on.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tom Hiddleston

Is anyone else Hiddlestoned? You know, part of the Tom Hiddleston fangirl army?!

Tom Hiddleston Army

Maybe it's because I have a thing for gingers (the Hubs is a ginger, after all, and my favorite one). Maybe it's because he's British. Maybe it's just because he's increeeeddddiiiibbbbblllllyyyy sexy. And sweet. And smart. I mean, what's not to love?

He loves Shakespeare. 
His fave TV show is Fawlty Towers. 
He can play a mean game of table tennis. 
He loves to read.
And he knows how to dance.

Anyhoots, I'm crushing on Hiddles lately. And I'm not ashamed.

Tom Hiddleston Meme

I even created a board for Hiddles on Pinterest. Because, you know...

Fan Girls

So feel free to give me a shout out if you're in the Hiddlestoners Army too. Us fangirls gotta stick together.

Mulligan Stew

Let's talk Mulligan Stew for a moment, shall we?

But first, let me clarify. When I say Mulligan Stew, I do not mean the 1977 TV show of the same name.

Mulligan's Stew
Although I do have a faint memory of watching that TV show on occasion as a child [yes, I am THAT old], it's not really what I want to talk about.

Nor do I mean Mulligan Stew, the Irish-Celtic band.

Mulligan Stew Band

Not that there's anything wrong at all with that band or their music. In fact, if you're fond of traditional Irish music, I highly recommend them! They're on the o'Facebook and such, so go check them out, lads and lassies.

What I want to talk about, since it is Tasty Tuesday after all, is Mulligan Stew...the recipe. 

Yes of Course Loki

Yes, friends, Mulligan Stew. And if you go and Google that right this very minute, you will likely find many different recipes for Mulligan Stew. But there's no need for Google today at all, because I'm going to share with you MY own personal family recipe. And not only is it yummy, it's super easy to make, and only requires 4...count them...4 ingredients!

This Gonna Be Good

This recipe is a slightly altered version of my Mom's recipe. I add corn to mine, which she didn't do. But I like it with corn, so that's just how I roll. And this is the obligatory food photo.

Mulligan Stew

So let me break it all down into the details and such.

1 Large Can Pork and Beaqns (I believe it was 53oz)
2 Cans Diced Tomatoes (any brand you like, approx 15oz each)
1 16oz Bag of Frozen Corn (I use generic, because I'm just cheap frugal like that)
1 Pound of Ground Beef OR Ground Turkey (I use turkey--trust me, you can't tell the difference)
1 Pair of Pants. Er, oops. My bad.

No Need For Pants

1.  In a Dutch oven or other large pot, brown your ground meat.
2. After the meat is browned, add your pork and beans, diced tomatoes, and corn. Stir to combine.
3. Cook on medium for 5 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer on low for another 5-10 minutes, or until heated through.
4. Blow on it. Wait a bit for it to cool. Don't rush it, people. Then eat and enjoy!

Waiting Reaction Gif

This recipe is brought to you by my huge fangirl crush on Tom Hiddleston. Why?

Because Tom Hiddleston

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Best Things I Learned While I was 47

Psst. Hey, you.
Yes, YOU.

Do you know what tomorrow is?

It's My Birthday

And I was rather inspired by reading a birthday blog post recently by The Militant Baker blogger, so I decided that this year, in honor of my 48th birthday, I'd try to follow suit and list all the best things I learned while I was 47. I mean really, we all learn stuff on a fairly regular basis if you think about it. And birthdays are a great time to reflect on all that semi-awesome and painstakingly acquired new knowledge, don't you think?

 A lot can happen in a year. And even though I never really feel any different on my birthday than I do any other day of the year, it's still a special sort of day. Kind of. So I guess my gift to myself--and to all of you, no doubt--is some shared moments and milestones from the past 365 days.

So, in no particular order, here's what I've learned...

  • I love Outlander almost as much as I love The Vampire Diaries. And, dude, that's a LOT.
  • Hot dogs taste best with just mustard. Just. Mustard.
  • I'm an invisible loser on Twitter, and that's OK.
  • One phone call can change your whole perspective on people, and life in general.
  • Painting is my favorite escape.
  • Sometimes a song can say everything you can't put into words.
  • My instincts are usually dead right.
  • I don't like "hard apple ale." I hate it, in fact.
  • I do like Moscato. A lot.
  • Sex with the Hubs, like a good wine, improves with age. Yowza! (Apologies to my daughter--for the embarrassment--if she's reading this.)
  • Losing weight is never going to be easy for me, but I have to keep trying.
  • I can still write a fairly good poem.
  • Being an Executrix is hard F'n work. 2 years of it was more than enough.
  • I'm growing tired of Pizza. I know. The horror.
  • Naps are highly underrated.
  • I'd rather sit at home with the Hubs on a Saturday night, watching a movie, than almost anything else in the world.
  • Life isn't perfect, but it isn't supposed to be. 
  • Menopause isn't for sissies. 
  • Unwanted facial hair is the bane of my existence. 
  • Pitch Perfect is still just as funny at the 11th viewing as it is at the 1st. A-ca believe it.
  • A healthy infatuation with Ian Somerhalder isn't the worst thing in the world I could have. 
  • I can control my bitchy-ness. Sometimes.
  • iPhones that get updated and then won't sync across devices are a crime against humanity.
  • Fat girls should seriously think twice before attempting to hike down to Old Man's Cave in Hocking Hills, Ohio. Getting down is easy. Getting up is a totally different story. I give myself points for the attempt--and making it 2/3 of the way down before I realized I'd probably drop dead if I went any further.
  • Husbands who appreciate fat girls' hiking attempts are the best husbands in the world.
  • My daughter's smile brings me complete happiness.
  • My grandkids proved that my heart can hold more love than I ever thought possible.
  • Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime make my TV worth having.
  • It's OK to read 50 Shades of Grey. Even a few times.
  • My value is not determined by my weight.
  • It's OK to cry.
  • I may never finish all the books on my Goodreads To Read list. And I can live with that.
See there? That's quite a bit of learnin' happening in the past year. I could have kept going (rambling is one of my super powers after all), but hey, it's my birthday weekend. That's right. We don't limit birthdays to a single day in this house. It's a whole weekend or nothing! And it's party time.

I'm ready to party

[And of course by "party," I mean dinner at Red Lobster, a little shopping, then maybe a movie at home with the Hubs.] 

Party on.