Friday, May 31, 2013

Heaven Tastes Like Maple Syrup

...or at least I imagine it does...

And I'm not talking Mrs. Butterworth.
I'm talking REAL maple syrup.
Tapped from the source. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Eastward Bound

I never really have been one for doing things over Memorial Day weekend - other than being happy to have a three day weekend. Last year I went to Gearhart with the BFF to celebrate her birthday, I think that was the first time I really remember doing "something" for Memorial Day weekend.

This year, with how hectic life has been and crazy work has made me, I figured I deserved a weekend away. So this past weekend my mother and I packed up her car and headed to Eastern Oregon to explore pioneer cemeteries and old ghost towns (ghost as in deserted not as in haunted) together!  

Specifically we were headed east following the Columbia River and headed to Pendleton, OR (perhaps you have heard of the Pendleton Round-Up Rodeo or Pendleton Wool?). We figured where we had been up and down the Oregon coast before, why not head a different direction and see parts of Oregon we hadn't before. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spicy Honey Chicken

Hooray! It's "Oh, How Pinteresting" Wednesday over at The Vintage Apple! This week I have a recipe that I not only found on Pinterest recently but also made last night for dinner! So instead of showing you things I wish I had time to make, or craft or whatever...I thought I'd share with you something I have recently made. 

Originally pinned from here but apparently the full recipe is located here. Since I didn't have all the ingredients I improvised some, which is the kind of cook I am but sometimes with a new dish I like to follow the directions precisely...not this time. Okay so here is my version of:

Spicy Honey Chicken

6 bone/skinless chicken thighs
Olive Oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 C honey
2 TB apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat a large cast iron skillet on stove top. Combine garlic, chili, salt, cumin and pepper into a bowl - set aside
2. Drizzle olive oil (lightly) over chicken thighs. Sprinkle seasonings over both sides of thighs and rub into meat.
3. Place chicken in hot pan (do not need oil in the pan since chicken was rubbed with olive oil) - you  should hear it sizzle! Cook chicken approx 3-5 minutes per side.
4. While chicken is cooking, heat 1/2 C of honey in the microwave. Remove and add vinegar mix well. Drizzle honey/vinegar mixture over cooking chicken. (Allow it to come to a boil in the cast iron to thicken again and become a nice glaze).
5. Serve once chicken is cooked thoroughly and with a nice crisp (watch your heat once you add the honey glaze because it will go from brown to black quickly)

Friday, May 24, 2013

10 Whisk Tips

I found an old Rachel Ray magazine at a local arts & crafts store the other day. In it was "10 Whip-Smart Ways You Can Use a Whisk" from Duff Goldman. Some of these I've done for years; others are great and I never would have thought of them.

I thought I'd share them on this Foodie Friday:

Do you have any tricks or tips for using whisks?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Moroccan Delights

This past weekend my cousin and niece came down from Washington for the weekend and to have dinner with us on Saturday evening. I love having people over for dinner - it gives me a chance to try out new recipes on folks. Especially since cooking for six is easier than cooking for two (aunt, cousin, niece, sister, mom and I had dinner opposed to just mom and I).

There is a Moroccan restaurant in town that we've been to a few times that is just delicious. As I tend to be quite the Martha Stewart in the kitchen it usually only takes easting something once or twice to understand the flavor profile well enough. Then just give me a (close enough) recipe and bingo-bango...

I made an amazing Moroccan dinner for the family - Slow cooked chicken with apricots and a bastilla.

salad, couscous, apricot chicken, and chicken bastilla

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Palmolive SoftTouch Review

I recently joined Influenster when I started trying to brand myself more and wanted more opportunities to put myself out there. It didn't take long before I was sent an email about qualifying for my first VoxBox (samples of products to tweet, FB, blog about). 

I had to laugh however when I found out my first product sample was Palmolive dish soap! Part of what VoxBoxes you qualify for is based on what surveys and tasks you do. I (naturally) have filled out ones on fashion, travel, food and drinks....not sure how or why I was signed up for dishwashing soap! Haha

Monday, May 20, 2013

"Slut" Slamming

Sunday evening I tweeted:

Why is it that women who enjoy sex, enjoy being sexual and can embrace who they are get labeled as "sluts"? When are we going to stand united as women and not put up with postings like these:

A few years ago, during April (which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month) I did a post called "I am a Slut". It was highlighting a news article around stereotypes and slut shamming (this was also around the time that "Slut Walks" started sprouting around America). While that post was originally about the callings of sexual assault survivors "sluts" and saying that women are to blame for assaults based on what they wear...the idea still rings true. In today's society if I enjoy or have sex than I must be a slut.

We End Violence has an amazing clip on their website (starting about the 2:15 mark) that addresses the fact that "slut" is such a common word when we discuss women who have sex. Jeff Bucholtz works with the audience to break down and find out exactly what is a "slut"

 Now I'm not necessarily a poster child for being sexually provocative, or for having more sexual partners than I can count on both hands, but I am a woman who enjoys physical intimacy (goes to bars occasionally, wears "provocative clothing" etc). I am a woman who enjoys sex. And I am also not a woman who will shame others for being open about their sexuality.
I have since "unliked" the pages that promoted "slut" calling and sexuality shamming posts.
And will continue to do so.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Beyond Baby Fever.

I ask you to bear with me through this post. As I type this I'm not even sure if I'll be posting it. I try to keep posts real but still upbeat. My life is far from ideal or perfect but still life is good enough I figure keep things happy....sometimes though there are things I'm feeling I'm not sure where else to express them.
Lately I've been dealing with some emotional turmoil and struggles I'm not sure where else to go. Yes, I have friends I can turn to (and I'm sure some are reading this now - if I post it - and going to contact me afterwards) but I feel more like I'm "over reacting" or just complaining....having a personal issue no one would understand. At least not completely.

What I'm talking about isn't as simple as having "baby fever" but more of a personal struggle to tell myself it's okay that I'm 30, not married and no where close to having a family of own.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Foodie Friday

Happy Friday Foodies. Today's Foodie Friday is actually taking place over at a Frugal Foodie Mama where I am guest blogging. I'd been following her blog via Facebook and Twitter long enough and figured it was time to start joining in the fun. So I sponsored her for the month of May and as part of the deal I get to do a guest blog. Since she has so many yummy recipes over on her page I figured I needed to share one of my own.

The recipe you can go find are for these Oreo Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes.

 photo PicMonkeyCollage_zps6174aec8.jpg
 Thanks Carrie.for letting me take over Frugal Foodie Mama today and the rest of you....go check her out!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Missing My Makeup

I admit it. I'm a makeup every day kind of girl. I feel run down and naked with out it. So on days like today, when my allergies are so bad they force me to wipe off my makeup so I don't look like a drunken whore, I don't feel completely "on". It's like not having my morning cup of coffee. I just can't seem to get going. Although here it is a quarter to four o'clock and I still don't feel complete.

So to offset this feeling I thought I'd show some "my style" makeup that I've recently pinned on Pinterest. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

10 Rules of Successful Aging

My mother found this in a magazine earlier this month. These 10 rules were written by Martha Stewart for her aging mother.  It says "Genes account for only about 25 percent of your health and longevity; the rest is influenced by where and how you live. These are two factors that you can control, starting now. The following rules for healthy living will help you achieve optical health."

We now have this list on our refrigerator because it's never too early (or too late) to start taking care of yourself.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Flowers

Happy Mother's Day!

This morning I woke up early, slipped outside and, despite the morning mist, planted annuals in the half barrel outside my mother's window. Now when she looks outside instead of a giant empty barrel she'll see petunias, African marigolds and dianthus.

I love getting a variety of colors when planting annuals.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Super Savor Award!

No this isn't a real award. 
I gave it to myself. 

But I SOOOO deserve it for saving $63.51 when shopping for clothes. 
That's right you heard me! I saved myself (almost) 50% in the end.

I love - they have adorable vintage inspired clothes but usually they are out of my price range. So last December when they contacted me to do a review on one of their products I jumped at the chance.

Martha Stewart vs Toll House

Normally I use Martha Stewart's soft and chewy recipe but I wasn't up for digging around and looking for my recipe last time I made a batch, so I decided to go with the Nestle Toll House recipe on the back of the chocolate chips.

You would think it really wouldn't matter.
Chocolate chip cookies are chocolate chip cookies right?
The white stuff you see is sea salt. My family LOVES
the added sprinkle of salt as the cookies come out of
the oven to give a sweet-salty taste.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sightings, Spa and Sushi

This past Tuesday I was able to take a momentary step out of reality and for a while be in complete relaxation with a spa day. 

My sister K and I spotted a house used in Grimm, had our brows waxed, facials and then mani-pedis before a dinner of sushi and teriyaki. We then wandered over to the dollar tree where we picked up a few things for the Passion Party I'm hosting (she's recently become a consultant) in June. 

It was nice to walk away from the chaos of 'real life' and not have to worry about anything about myself. 

Not have to worry about hurting someone's feelings by being too honest, not have to pick up pieces of crumbling hearts, not have to be strong or the rock for anyone. 

It was nice to be allowed to melt. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Becoming a Portlander Part2

In part of the merging of old blogs with this new(er) one, I'm coming across a few old posts I had forgotten about. Like this one about becoming a Portlander. - it was an article from the Willamette Week about how to know when you've become a true "Portlander". 

Looking back, two years since I first posted it, I will admit I have done things I never thought I I thought it'd be fun to revist the list. I will admit, relooking at this...I can understand why a show like "Portlandia" was created.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Foodie Proof

Last year I came across this list via a facebook app and did a blog about how many of these "true Foodie" foods I had eaten. At the time I had tried 63 or the 100.....let's see where I am a year later? After all one of my 30 during 30 is to try as many new foods as possible.

Added since January 2012
Still haven't tried
Already tried as of January 2012

Friday, May 3, 2013

Now on Bloglovin and New Posts

Follow on BloglovinThank you to Carrie at The Frugal Foodie Mama for pointing out my Bloglovin' link didn't go to this blog (actually it went to a VERY old blog....whoops) But that is now fixed so now you can Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Also, years back, one of my first blogs was the Epicurean Enthusiast - where I only posted recipes, restaurant reviews, news articles I found on food culture, etc. However, over time my "life blog" (as I call it) took more and more of my time and I stopped posting to the Epicurean. 

But because food is such a big part of my life and I share recipes pretty regularly with you (my lovely readers) - I've imported all the blog posts from Epicurean Enthusiast to this blog! So now you have almost an additional 200 posts to catch up on. ;) 

ENJOY and have a beautiful weekend everyone. 

Espresso Mousse

I don't know about you but I'm a sucker for a good fluffy mousse and I love java (I'm sitting with a Mocha Frappacino with a shot of Hazelnut right now actually) so when I saw this recipe for an Espresso Mousse on iCookbook* I knew I had to share it with my fellow foodies.
I'm hoping to make it for a stamp making party coming soon at my cousins - something I know all of us will enjoy.
Since I can't figure out a way to link to the original recipe I'm going to just give you all the information here:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pinspirational Post

It's Wednesday! ...wait right? It is Wednesday isn't it? Hold on. I need to look at a calendar......

Okay *phew* I was seriously worried there for a moment that I was going to be writing my Wednesday "How Pinteresting" post and have it be Tuesday.... It's been a long week can you tell? 

Anyway. Today is May 1st so happy May Day and Beltane to everyone. How is it already May is what I want to know. May means five family birthdays and honoring six mother's a week from Saturday at our family May Celebration. (Because we have so many family that need to be celebrated in May we just lump them all into one day to make life easier for all).

As with past years, I'm responsible for the "cake" (we always do potluck so no one is responsible for feeding 14+ people). Last year I made a chocolate cake with fresh strawberry filling (because that's what my baby sister asked for...and by baby I mean she turned 21). 

This year I'm just going solo in planning. However, my cousin did show me a "chocolate lasagna" (oreo cookie crust, chocolate pudding and CoolWhip) that she thought looked good and I think I might do an elevated version.