Monday, February 23, 2015

A Delicious Pizza and Fabulous Music

Gimme Some Oven, love the name, has a delicious Shrimp Fra Diavolo Pizza recipe that I made for dinner last night. I used frozen shrimp from Trader Joe's and instead of grape tomatoes used half a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes. Did not have the basil, but regardless, this was an amazing meal. I highly recommend you crank it out for your friends and family.

I have always appreciate classical music and the sound of the violin in particular. A friend sent me the following video and I have to say, I was blown away.To hear such an exquisite instrument in an arrangement of actual dance(club) music? Superb. A round of applause to the very talented Damien Escobar.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

From the Ice Cold State Known as New Jersey

It is snowing once again. Lord help me I have never hated a winter like I have this one. The ice and wind chills continue to make it impossible to stay outside for long stretches of time. There have been moments where I feel like I am experiencing that Twilight Zone episode where the woman is sweltering and all sorts of conveniences people are used to like water, juice, air conditioning, food are disappearing due to the fact the earth is moving closer to the sun. Folks becomes crazed, looking for ways to stay cool and moving up to Canada.

Here is the episode: The Midnight Sun 1961

The truth is revealed at the end when we see the young lady moaning with fever and her neighbor and doctor are there. The earth is actually moving away from the sun so the planet is freezing and people are heading south.  Yeah, THAT is exactly how I see our current weather situation going right about now. The Funk Soul Brother.


For dinner last night I made the delicious shrimp, kale and cannellini bean casserole recipe from The Perfect Pantry. I omitted the wine because I did not have it and added more garlic. Such a filling, healthy meal.

And because I am cabin fevered out, here are some videos I enjoy and hope you do to.

Pearl Bailey and Dinah Shore. Classy Ladies right here.

This 3 year old's fighting stance and adorable English accent makes me want to squeee so loud dogs would howl.

This video on Happy Place made me miss my cats something fierce. The first one of the Alabama kitty is my fave.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Not Much Going On Here

It snowed a few inches more overnight and there is a light snow now. Pretty, but what I wouldn't give for 82 and humid right about now.

As class parent in my son's school, I got to collect some money and purchase gift cards for our yearly fundraising auction. We did most of the purchasing on Saturday, but I still need to get a few more. With this delightful weather, I haven't been eager to run out with kid in tow, but the cabin fever has hit me as well so I am attempt to do some "shopping" in the next few days.

It is amazing to me how fundraising starts in the preschools. Where I live, there is no Universal Pre-K.  If you want your child to go to preschool you have to pay for it and some of the schools, like the local Montessori, can be a touch pricey. We joined a Co-op. The program is great and my son who when he started in September was talking, but not a ton, can now have full blown conversations with me or himself in the car. His interest in art was peaked and sings the washing hands song all the time. I am happy to raise funds for the school, but man, we do it A LOT. We are not the only ones though. All the preschools, which are private, have annual fundraisers or if they are real expensive places, it is called a 'gala'. Sort of amazing.

In some ways I wish my child's preschool went to kindergarten because I believe in children playing more than testing. That's right. Testing begins in kindergarten. I find the whole thing appalling to be honest. There is so much that can be discussed on that topic, but I am not feeling that ranty. Well, I am, but it is more cabin fever based. :)

Right now, I want to pretend I live in Dana Point, California. I am wearing capris, a t-shirt and am walking on the beach with my family and I actually have the nerve to say, "Whew, it's hot."


Monday, February 9, 2015

Shredded Kale Salad

Another day another ice storm and more school closings. This winter has been particularly unpleasant and I really cannot wait for spring. It was 39 degrees yesterday and I actually opened a few windows to get some fresh air in the house. Come on 40's!!! Hell, I will have short sleeves on by then. Haha

Our local Shop Rite has had very good prices on kale and fennel. I love the fennel because it is 2 for $5 so I buy the biggest ones they have. While both vegetables are good roasted or sauteed, I really like to make a kale and fennel salad, but last night we tried a different salad recipe from Oh She Glows and man was it really, really good. With it we had the basic best salmon loaf, I used the fronds from the fennel in place of the dill, and I highly recommend the combo.

I used just one large head of kale and added four cloves of garlic instead of two for the dressing. I will say if you are using more kale, make extra dressing for the side. It is that tasty.
She does have a recipe for pecan Parmesan, for all the vegans out there, but when I tried making it last night, it came out more like a pecan butter, This was alright by us because it was very good on our toast this morning. :) We used straight up vegetarian parmesan in its place with the cranberries and we threw some almonds in as well. I cannot say enough about how good this salad is so give it a go if you can.

The Best Shredded Kale Salad

If you are getting battered by today's ice and snow, stay safe and warm!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Water Softener Salt a Cheap Alternative to Rock Salt

Who freakin' knew? Not us apparently. My hubby ran to Lowe's the other night and they were out of salt. One of the employees suggested water softener salt and the hubby was skeptical, but the employee pointed out that their customers swore by it. So he bought a bag.

Yes, it works. It works very well and it is $5 a bag and pet safe. There are detractors though saying ti can destroy concrete, so here is a link to that for your own information on Cargill's page. It is way down, 23rd question to be exact. Still, if you run out of rock salt and your store has run out of rock salt, water softener salt is a pretty nice back up plan until you can get hold of pet safe rock salt again.

The More you Know.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Cabin Fever

Today has a nice wind chill, snow drifts and a coming night temperature of 1 degree. I am officially done with winter weather.

And to think it is only February 5. Ugh.

I have gotten creative with the chalkboard in the playroom because we have no chalk. That's right. I am boasting about taping paper up onto a chalkboard. God I need to get out. In the sun. In a t-shirt.

Since we are housebound more often than not lately, I ordered myself a book from the library. After some searching I chose An Appetite for Violets. Takes place in the UK and heads on over to Italy. Our main protagonist is Biddy Leigh, an under cook at Mawton Hall and my oh my, what intrigues are occurring. Lady Carina, the new very young mistress to a very old man, Sir Gregory, is quite the princess and conniver. It will be interesting to see where we are headed as she is travelling sans hubby, he has ensconced himself at his estate in Ireland and is currently very ill. Biddy has become an unwilling favorite of the Lady who has insisted on continuing on to Italy regardless that her husband is at death's door. What I especially like are the old recipes from 1700's listed at the beginning of each chapter and how they are mentioned or use within the chapter.

In health related news, my neck and shoulder on the left side have been quite irritating. Usually it is a nice twinge of pain or just a solid tightness that is becoming limiting, My shoulders are usually up to my ears anyway, poor posture really does a number on one's body doesn't it? I am using a different pillow and stretching and I have once again begun working out for about 10-20 minutes a day. I would love to join a gym, but the expense seems unreasonable at the moment so back to YouTube I go. Here is to hoping I get back some flexibility!

Today we had a nice sized donation picked up. I love to get rid of things in the hopes that someone else can find use for them. A changing table, old clothes, dishes, DVDs. Goodbye and go make someone else happy!!

Mexican Hot Chocolate is my absolute favorite thing to drink in winter, besides hot chai tea latte. I buy the chai latte in concentrate and make my own at home. For the $4 to $5 it costs to buy the concentrate, I get about 8 servings. All of that for the cost of one Starbucks Chai. Rock on. I have yet to attempt Mexican Hot Chocolate, but the following recipe from Oui Chef Network looks easy enough for me to give it a shot.

Mexican Hot Chocolate