Resolutions

WOW! I feel horrible about getting caught up in life & neglecting my blog.  Sorry.

Truth is I have started several post & they are still hanging in limbo waiting to be finished. Life just has caught me off track & been a tad busier.

I was spoiled rotten by Santa & my family & am extremely excited to test out my new gadgets in my kitchen very soon.  Alas I am staying with family for a few more days to enjoy as much time as I can with them.

Tonight my sister is hosting a New Years Eve party for a few close friends.

Rushing off to get supplies & fireworks!

Should be an entertaining night, even if she doesn’t even own a martini glass! (Had to buy one for myself to drink out of – so another new thing for me.)  Also looks like I will be trying fried pickles tonight for the 1st time, not sure how I feel about those not being a pickle fan to begin with.  Seems fried is the thing at this party, don’t worry – I’m bringing champagne & sparkles galore!

 

Hoping everyone has a fantastic end to 2010 & we all find 2011 to be better than we ever could hope for!

 

 

 

Longing

Somethings just remind us of certain holidays.

What would easter be without Cadbury creme eggs?  Halloween without candy corn?

For me christmas meant several food related things.  We always had apples, tangerines & M&Ms in our stockings.  Pumpkin & pecan pies for dessert & at some point from Thanksgiving to December 31st we made Sausage Cheese Balls.

They are just one of those simple recipes that are too easy to make & make enough to share.  Always seem to be a hit (with the exception of the vegan crowd).

I can’t confirm for sure, but I am pretty certain my mom found the recipe on the back of a Bisquik box.  Its super simple.  Biquik, shredded cheddar & sausage. I believe its 2 cups of baking mix, 2 cups of shredded cheddar & one roll or pound of sausage.

You just mush it all up & once completely mixed together, you make small balls which then bake.

My sister & I would help mom roll the balls.  So many stories would be share with our hands covered in the mixture rolling away.

Its been a couple of years since I have made this, but this year I thought it would be perfect to make & bring to the office.

Alas I am missing a vital piece to this puzzle…. SAUSAGE!

In an effort to be healthier, I started switching out the bisquik for the heart healthy version & the pork got switched to turkey.  Nothing is the same as cheddar.

Sadly I have been searching all over town for a TURKEY sausage.  No luck.

I know they make them.  I have used them in the past & even find some online!

What’s a gal to do?

Its so frustrating to see all these rows of sausage at the store & NONE turkey… or anything other than pork.  With as many varied taste as there are & allergies, it is insane that there are not more options available.

 

Wish You Were Here

Is it me or does the time go faster as it gets closer to something big?

The phrase slow as christmas no longer works for me. Time is flying! I feel like there is barely the same hours this week as there are in a normal week.

I made fettuccine alfredo from a jar on Monday & have yet to make anything else.  Single gals have loads of leftovers sometimes!  Also feel like I have barely spent anytime at home. With less daylight, more sleep & rushing around to shop, errands for work & a loooong vet appointment, I need more hours in a day!

Sadly I left the fridge door open a crack last night.  It was enough to where when I checked the food this morning everything was luke warm.  Even more sad, when I went through it to throw out anything that could have gone bad, it all fit into one grocery bag! Mostly cheese & coffee creamer.  No I have evidently not been cooking lately.

Thankfully I have a work party/dinner tonight so I get a free meal!

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Wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the 1st give away (of what I hope to be many).

Also Thanks again to everyone who reads this blog.

(Just in case you are interested – the Thank You pictured is from Beach House Living on Etsy! http://www.etsy.com/shop/BeachHouseLiving?ref=pr_shop)

29 Gifts & one for you…

Remember when I mentioned the 29 Gifts Challenge, where you take 29 days & give something at least once per day – be it a gift or a smile?

Well I have completed the challenge.

Surprise to me, I never skipped a day or had to start over!

What I hadn’t planned on was that the 29th day would fall on THE DAY of the attack last year.  The very thing that openned me up to finding the 29 Gifts.  It was the sad state I found myself in that made me need to reach out & find the good in people & life.  The helplessness I felt afterward that made me feel I needed to prove I could make a difference – for the good. 

I have to invite you again to commit to your own 29 days of giving if you haven’t already.  If you need inspiration there is a TON of it over on the 29 Gifts site.  Also feel free to read about my adventure.

While that is a true gift to yourself, that isn’t the only gift being given here.  I am celebrating & sharing the joy with you!

I am opening up a contest.  To win an iTunes gift card for $15.  That is a whole lot of music to cook to! Or maybe a book to listen to you are just too busy to read. You get to decide since its YOURS!

You have three ways to enter!

1- Post below as a comment your favorite act of kindness that you have experienced.  Can be something you did, had happen to you or witnessed.

2- Second entry, post a spice blend or seasoning mix you adore.  What rocks your plate?  Something you cook with or add on after the fact.  Just tell me what it is.

3- On Twitter post this post “Share your favorite spices & win an iTunes Gift Card at http://tasteofmoongoddess.wordpress.com. Ali is looking to spice up her life! @AliMoonGoddess”.  While you are there, feel free to follow me on Twitter!

You have until midnight (eastern time) Friday, December 17 to enter.

Winner will be chosen at random.

GOOD LUCK!

Can’t wait to see the ideas!

 

Spice it Up

A few post back I shared my discovery of a spice blend with pepper & lime.

LOVED Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Lime Pepper & its still finding ways to make regular meals better than regular. Seriously the stuff it can do to a simple chicken breast is magic.

Years ago I learned Lawery’s Seasoning Salt was for more than Chex Mix.  It was pretty amazing on french fries.

Steak seasoning has rocked my world in so many ways.

I still giggle thinking about a Kendra episode where she goes on & on about the Slap Yo Mama seasoning! It was a joke for a while.  Still have yet to try it.

Just makes me wonder what else is out there?

What other seasonings can I try to spice up my life with…

Coffee Confession

Ok confession time.

I was over 30 before I actually drank my first cup of coffee.  (waiting for the sound of shock &  the “WHAT? WHY?”s……done?)  I know late bloomer.

Get this – one of my jobs for a few months was to PURCHASED coffee for a local health food cooperative!  I had the stocking, ordering & all that down, but relied on feedback from others & deals from brokers to decide which ones to stock.  For shame I know!

I watched my parents drink it daily & my grandmother (one of my favorite people ever) was known to drink 2 pots some days! It was she who introduced me to the coffee shops & the chocolate covered espresso beans that got me thru many, many late nights in college!  I loved the smell, but not the taste of the drink.

I tried a few sips now & then over the years growing up but I always came to the same conclusion – tasted like dirty water to me.  Even with the added creamers & sweeteners.

TIL I DISCOVERED ESPRESSO!  & a good cup of cuban coffee.

Seems I wasn’t someone who didn’t like coffee, I was someone who didn’t enjoy weak coffee!

Unfortunately I also discovered that it like the chocolate covered beans would keep me up all night! Had to limit my consumption to before noon or else I would be up all night (& this was prior to my current insomnia issues!).

I purchased some good coffee, a grinder & a french press & I was in business!

Also learned the bliss that is a pumpkin spice latte!

Never will I make up the years lost without that delicious seasonal treat.

The one problem I had was I am NOT a morning person enough to make coffee with the french press every morning.  Also it makes more than I can take with me to work.

Sure I could stop & get some on the way to work, but who can afford that everyday? Also I bring Baxter to work with me & I’m not a fan of leaving dogs in cars.

Don’t even get me started on the coffee at work.  Seems to be the same bland, weak stuff my parents go for.  No thanks. I will save the calories & just have a sweet tea from a drive thru on the way.

So most days I just forgo coffee & save it for weekends & special days.

A while back it seems everyone got these single serving coffee machines.  I had a blast watching some friends compare the different flavors.  Still since I seem to be very picky with my blends, didn’t really interest me in spending that kind of money – & valuable kitchen counter space – on something that would again make bland weak coffee.

Today while hunting for gifts I discovered something that peaked my interest in the single serving machines again…. the reusable cup!

You add in your own coffee.  So I could add my strong stuff!  Still wonder if it would end up being strong enough or if would be able to double the suggested amounts.  But I am definitely curious.

Anyone have any experience with these?

Oh & my favorite coffee so far?  Fresh ground Deadman’s Reach by RavenBrew. Its incredible!

If Only…

Sometimes you just should drop what you are doing & get groceries.

Yet sometimes, you just don’t wanna!

Tonight was that night for me.  Long day at work after a night of frustration & the last thing I wanted to do was grab take out or go shopping.  I just wanted to cook something comforting & eat.

A quick scan of the pantry lead me to think tacos… but not tacos.

So I made Taco Lasagna!  Yeah I have never tried it or heard of it either.

Basically I used what I had.

Starting with browning some ground turkey.  Then I added some taco seasoning, a can of black beans & a can of corn.

Also added in some leftover rice from chinese take out.

I crushed up some broken taco shells & made a layer of them in a dish.

Next I layered on the turkey, rice, bean & corn mixture. Topped that with a layer of shredded cheddar. I repeated the crushed tacos, meat mix & added some salsa I found then the cheese…repeat til you reach the top.  Make sure the cheese is the last layer on top.

Heated in a 350 degree oven to blend everything & allow the cheese to melt.

All on all not bad…

BUT I just kept thinking of what could make it better!

I find myself doing that a lot lately.  I will be eating something & think of what I could add to really make it great.

For instance to me this would benefit with a chopped up serano or jalapeno pepper, some garlic, lime & a bit of cilantro.

Could be great with other cheese.  Maybe some white queso instead of the cheddar. Perhaps a layer of refried beans instead of adding the black beans into the mix. Spinach added to the ground mix?

So many possibilities.

Just keeps me thinking of what could be.