Monday, September 15, 2014

life's craziness

Hello all my followers/readers and friends...

I am sorry I have been incognito for awhile but let me give you a little rundown, and you can see what's kept me off here for so long..

I went in for knee replacement surgery, during the last week of june, and that kept me flat on my back for at least 2 weeks.  No fun, let me tell ya, to be honest, in hindsite, had I known there was going to be this much hassle and pain, I would have never had the surgery to begin with.

I just found out today, 9/15, that I will be going back in for a follow up surgery, tomorrow...nothing like last minute planning.  I have been told it is a day procedure, not really surgery but they refer to it as such.  It is supposed to be a procedure that only lasts about 30 minutes, of course, the last time I went in for a day surgery I was put in ICU for a week.  So, we shall see.

About three weeks after having my knee surgery, I ended up back in the hospital.  I was sicker than a dog, and had to be taken in to the er, where I was put thru every imaginable test, including giving up nearly 15 or so vials of blood.  I was told, I now have to deal with gall stones, fibroids in my female parts, and blood clots stemming from my surgery.  I can never get a break...

Had a biopsy done a couple of weeks ago, all tests came out negative for cancer.  Thank God. That is the biggest break I could get.

So as you can see it has been extremely chaotic.

But, I am back, and I will be posting some fantastic recipes and reviews for you.   So this is the first in a long line of posts.  I hope to get some of these posts going today, if not by wednesday...and that is a promise.

If any of my readers out there have any ideas about what they would like to see me post, such as themes, recipe ideas, holiday ideas, etc...bring them on.  Have any of you been looking for a long lost recipe, or recipes from certain restaurants you would like a copycat recipe of, just drop me a line.

Be writing at you very soon!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Review of Imperial Dragon's Coconut Milk

Alright readers, pay attention, I have another great product here for ya...

As you all know, I do a lot of cooking and baking. Well, I decided to do a West Indian dish that called for coconut milk. I haven't bought coconut milk since I left California.  But, looking around Walmart, I found a couple of different brands of coconut milk, but the one that caught my eye was Imperial Dragon's brand.

Imperial Dragon has a very eye catching label, it is the mid range pricing, not too cheap and not over the top expensive.  It is a good sized can (13.5 fluid ounces, to be precise).  So, I picked it up for the dish I was preparing.  Needless to say, I was exceptionally happy that I did pick up this brand of coconut milk...The first thing I noticed, beyond the brightly coloured packaging, was the wonderful natural coconut smell that blossomed from the can.  It smelled like fresh coconuts, not that artificial crap.  Anyway, it had a wonderful consistency, nearly that of coconut cream!  It was thick and luscious, silky.  Perfect for the dish I was making.  When I added it to my recipe, it blended well, and gave my dish a richness that I have not found in using other brands.  The flavour it added was amazing...!!  All I can say is that I can't wait to try other products from this company.  Because after trying just one product, you can imagine I am already sold on this brand!

Go out and grab yourself some of this coconut milk...put it in ice cube trays, freeze it up and use the cubes in smoothies, or in tea for added richness and health benefits.  It also works well if you are baking and want to add regular milk...use this coconut milk instead.  It adds incredible depth of flavour,  it's better for you than milk, and the health benefits are out of this world!

What more can I say?  Stock up and try it for yourself!          

Friday, June 6, 2014

Glee products...Make Your Own Chocolate Kit

I have a very unique product to review for you, from a very interesting company.  Most folks on the west coast and southwest (like me), have never heard of the Glee company or its products.  But let me tell you, this is a company you may want to learn more about...for your own knowledge, purchasing pleasure and a great place to go for gifts.

Are you looking for something to do with your kids now that school is out?  Are you looking at a gift for father's day?  Birthdays coming up?

Here is a unique item called the "Make Your Own Chocolate Kit"....and it is literally just that...it is nothing like going to the store and picking up a chocolate bar and enjoying the flavour, right?  Wouldn't you enjoy that chocolate a little more if you made it yourself, from fresh ingredients, so that you know exactly what goes into making your chocolate?

This kit takes you from the historical beginnings of the xolatl of the Aztecs to the chocolate we know today...

In this kit you get a brief historical tour of how chocolate begins and a very detailed instruction shee,
cocoa butter, confectioners sugar, paper candy liners, starter crystals, cocoa powder, temperature indicator, and whole cacao beans! It's all in there!  The instructions even tell you what mix ins work well with this kit!

This is an incredible kit to make alone or better yet, with your kids.  The simple instructions are easy enough for a child to follow, but mom and dad should always be with them because this does entail using the stove, and/or microwave and can cause burns if a child is not familiar with using this equipment properly.

Just to tell you a little more about this fantastic company...The idea for Verve, the makers of this fantastic kit, came about in 1992, when they visited an economically depressed, chicle producing community in Northern Guatemala.  In case you were wondering, chicle is what gives gum its chewy consistency.  Until their trip, they had never given any thought to what made gum chewy.  Nowadays your big gum companies use synthetic chicle, since it is easier to come by, and quicker and easier to make than using natural products.

The goal of Verve, Inc. was to purchase chicle and support chicle harvesting, since it is a sustainable practice that benefits both rainforest conservation and the local economy in forest regions.  Hence Verve was born and they have had a thriving company ever since.  Their first product was something called the "Make Your Own Chewing Gum kit.

Now to be perfectly honest, everyone is getting tired of being the throwaway society, we are all doing what we can to live "green", we do our best to live sustainably, and are more aware of our "footprints".  What better way to teach kids about such things than buying products from this amazing company!

And if this kit is any indication of how great their other products are, I am going to beat a path to the local store that sells their products (World Market, in my case) or online.  I can't wait to try their whole line of products...and rest assured, I am going to stock up on their products for upcoming holidays, and hand a box of their products over to Santa to put in the kid's stockings at christmas...as long as he puts some in my stocking too!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Back again!

Hello to all my friends, family and readers...

After issues with this site, now worked out again, I am back with loads of recipes and reviews...and maybe even some contests coming up.

I wanted to belatedly wish a happy Easter and Mothers Day to all of you and I sincerely hope you all had beautiful and blessed days...and for those who are missing their friends and relatives, just remember...they are with you always, in everything you do...sometimes I know it is hard to remember that, but I am here to remind you...

I have really been doing lots of cooking and baking lately, trying new things and new recipes.  So I will be blogging on some new recipes, new ingredients, new items in restaurants, etc...I even have a review on a fantastic chocolate making kit that my son and I worked on together.

Jr and Hubby are out of school for the summer.  It is nice to have them home.  Hubby is talking about maybe going back to Cielo Azul as a foster grandparent again this coming school year, and doing more in the way of substituting.  So he will be busy.  Jr has graduated 7th grade, and has been accepted into the k12 academy for next year.  So all his schooling will be done from home, online.  After he has been treated so poorly by the staff of the school, we saw no other way to make the learning process more attractive for our son at the present location and in school...and the only way to do that is take him out of the stressful location, and away from the staff who would rather see him fail.  He seems to be very happy about the news of being accepted.

Jr and the family are becoming a racing family once again. We were going to put him in a quarter midget, but we changed our mind and now he is going to be racing a legends car, we just have to save up the money.  He already has a full racing suit, helmet and safety equipment all ready to go...now just need the wheels lol.

Mom is just mom...nothing changes there, still very frustrating as some of you with alzheimers ridden parents living at home.  It is never easy.  It only gets worse.
                              
As for me, I will be going back into the hospital at the end of the month. Surgery is scheduled for June 24, 5 days before my bday, so i will probably be celebrating my bday in the hospital.  No fun! But it is long overdue.  The doctor is going to be replacing my right knee, and in three months or so after that is done, i will be having my left knee done.  I am not looking forward to it, but it is necessary.

Ok folks, thats all for the update for now, I am going to take a short break, and I will be back with some recipes and reviews....keep tuned in!!

love ya!
                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Here's a review for ya...

As you all probably know, I do all the cooking for the family and I do all the shopping as well...the family comes with me but I pick it all out.  Anyway, I try to make the most healthy, best tasting food for my family for the least amount of money, since we are on a very limited income. 

Where I shop, at Walmart, your products are limited.  If you go in looking for a particular item, you may not find several brands selling the same item.  So, I go to Walmart and buy the big 4lb bag of frozen tilapia...only one company's product is sold at Walmart, and it is distributed by Beaver Street Fisheries, Inc.

I have been buying that brand for years, usually it's a great brand, and offer great product. But, lately, the quality has gone downhill.  I have found bones, scales and fins in the bag, which is rather disgusting.  I buy my fish this way because I rely on it being cleaned, ready to go, no matter what my recipe, I just have to open the individually wrapped fish and then cook it and serve it up.

So, if you are going to buy this kind of fish from this company, be forewarned, check each sealed fish, upon opening, to make sure you arent serving your family (or guests) bones, fins or scales.  The fish is still incredible, but now I will just have to be a lot more careful.

It seems their quality assurance has gone out the window, which is really sad.  I hate seeing such a great product/company letting their quality sink, just to keep up with demand.  Quality should never suffer.

I will be posting some great recipes, using this fish...keep your eyes open for them...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Trivia answer and first of several reviews

Your last trivia question was: Which U.S. President made the first telephone call to the moon?
Does anyone want to hazard a guess? The answer Richard M. Nixon on July 20, 1969.

I know, I know...Still having some issues with blogspot, so it makes it look like I am not being a very responsible poster, but I am keeping on top of them...

Generally, I absolutly love Banquet brands TV dinners.  You get the most bang for your buck, the best flavour, and great ingredients for the most part.  Everyone in my family loves them, on the days that I dont feel up to cooking, etc.  We noticed, lately, that they are venturing into the breakfast bowl area...

The picture on the box looks pretty appetizing, but this new "cheesy Potato Bake with Bacon" really falls flat.  It seems to be a pretty good size bowl, but when you open the box, you, like we were, will be sorely disappointed.  It shows a bowl of chunky potatoes, a good amount of bacon and broccoli in a cheese sauce.  Guess what?  You will soon see that there are about 5 chunks of potatoes, bacon pieces that are so small they are unrecognizeable as bacon, and the same goes for the broccoli, the pieces are so small, that if these pieces weren't green, you would never know they were broccoli!  Plenty of sauce, which was bland and soupy.  Very little flavour, very little seasoning.  To be honest, don't waste your money on this, you need about three of these to make a worthwhile breakfast.  You are better off buying the breakfast pot pies that are also available...sure the picture is not as gourmet looking when it comes to the pot pies, but they taste better, and are more filling!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Better than cinnamon rolls...

Luxe Cinnamon Sugar Biscuits

Get a tube of grands flakey layers biscuits, separate them out onto a cookie sheet, spread a light layer of margarine on the tops of each biscuit, sprinkle the tops liberally with cinnamon sugar. put into a 350 degree oven for 14 minutes. While they are baking take about half a cup of margarine/butter and mix in 1/3 cup brown sugar. take the biscuits out and let them cool for about ten minutes. split each biscuit open and spread liberally with the brown sugar margarine spread...and if you really want to "guild the lily", you can make a topping for these biscuits using 1 cup mexican crema, plain/vanilla greek yogurt or sour cream and mix in 1/4 cup honey...drizzle the biscuits liberally with this topping...fantastic!!

I created this recipe when I really didn't know what I wanted to make for a dessert, one night.  I looked in the fridge, it was at the end of the month so we hadn't gone shopping yet, so there wasn't much to choose from.  So, I had a wild idea, Jr. had been asking for cinnamon rolls, but that is such a time consuming endeavor, I wanted to really cut down on the time and effort...pretty much fix it and forget it!  And so was borne the Luxe Cinnamon Sugar Biscuit recipe...and now my family begs for these, and drools over them every time I mention the idea of making them !!