Sunday, December 22, 2013

Toffee

Had a cookie exchange at work.  While I was waiting for the dough for my actual cookie to cool in the fridge, I thought I would whip up some toffee.  I made this once before and it was so good.  This is where it came from. 

What you'll need.  Not pictured is the water or vanilla.
 

Put all but vanilla in saucepan.  OP uses a cast iron skillet.


Look to the OP for the explanation of what to look for to know when the candy is done.  This recipe doesn't use a thermometer.

 
I got distracted and let this batch go a few minutes too long. 



See the butter separating?  I think that's the result of cooking too long.  Don't worry though, if this happens just take some paper towels and soak up the oil


Spread the chips over the warm toffee.  If for whatever reason the candy cools too much to melt the chocolate, just stick in a 300 degree oven for a minute or so.


Spread out chocolate.


Sprinkle whatever nuts you want into melted chocolate or use no nuts at all.  Mix nuts into candy before cooling then do chocolate.  You can do whatever you want.  I think whatever nuts I use next time I'm going to toast first.


I stuck it all into the fridge for about 10 minutes then took it out and broke into pieces.  This recipe is SO easy to do and you probably already have most if not all of the ingredients on hand.  Note that the OP says to make sure you use AA grade butter or better.  I never knew there were grades of butter!

Enjoy!



Monday, December 9, 2013

Pork Lo Mein

Hi!

Been a while.  A few months I believe.  Don't know what to say except I've had a lot going on. Personal issues, work issues, family issues and in between that sick with various stomach and sinus problems.  I've been in a bad place for a while and as a result, I've gained almost all 20 pounds I lost over the past year.

I haven't been cooking because frankly, I've been doing nothing but stuffing my face with fast food and beer. 

I'm slowly getting back in the swing of things because I hope to be going on my first cruise this spring.  I haven't told my mom I gained all the weight back and I don't plan too.

So here we go with a recipe for pork lo mein full of veggies!


Tried something new here.  When I have take-out chinese I always noticed the noodles are brown.  This is a pot of water with soy sauce and sesame oil.

This is what I used for noodles.  Use whatever you like.

This is what the noodles looked like after boiling to al dente.  I tasted them and they did have a slight taste of soy sauce but not over powering.

The rest of the ingredients.  The meat is pork, use whatever you like. 

I don't like to bite into even the smallest bit of ginger so what I do is put my sesame oil in and slowly "fry" the ginger.  I let this go at low heat for 10 -15 minutes to get the flavor of the ginger.

When you're done with the ginger, stir fry your pork until no longer pink in the same oil.

When meat is done, add veggies according to how done/crisp you want then to be.

When veggies are done, add meat and pasta and mix everything together to combine and cook for another few minutes.

After combined and everything is heated through, take everything out with a slotted spoon.  The juice that is left will be your sauce.  At this point I added a few more squirts of soy sauce, a good handfull of brown sugar, a few squirts of Siracha and thes some cornstarch to thicken it up.

Pour in sauce and mix to combine.

Enjoy.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Tiger Swallow

 
 
My butterfly bush attracts all kinds of little moths and butterflies.  I went out one evening and got a treat.  A Tiger Swallow.  This is a female according to the pics on Wiki.  She was very tolerant to my presence.
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 


 I hated that she had little tears in her wings but I guess they manage.  Maybe a bird tried to get a hold of her or maybe she crash landed in a rough bush.  Either way she was beautiful and welcomed in my garden.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pasta Salad with Poached Shrimp and Lemon-Dill Dressing

 
I was just flipping through Pinterest and saw this pretty pasta salad.  I love shrimp and had all the ingredients on hand so I figured this would be nice for lunch.  I got the recipe here.  
 
It was ok.  For me very lemony.  I think what my mistake was was that I used bottled lemon juice instead of fresh.  I also only had dried dill, not fresh. 
 
I think I might like to try this again and follow the recipe exactly. 
 

The dressing mixed up.


My skrimps.


Skrimps in the dressing.



Finished product.

After thinking about it, I think one thing that kind of turned me off of it was just the fact that when I think "pasta salad" I think mayo based.  The pasta in the dish was really dry to me and I'm thinking a little mayo would make it better.  I'm also thinking same salad but without the pasta.  Maybe some more veggies like green peppers and carrots.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Foaming Hand Soap

 
I love foaming hand soap.  I usually get it when they go on sale.  I learned though that it's not the soap that makes the foam but the pump in the bottle.  Once you have the bottle, you can make it cheap as dirt.
 

Get some hand soap.  This bottle was about 3$

 
This is the pump.
 


 
Fill your bottle about 1/3 of your soap.


 And fill the rest with water.

 

And there you have it.


Foamy hand soap!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hummingbirds

 
I've been learning to use my camera (that I've owned for a year now).  I've been using the hummingbirds to practice.  
 

This one's not so great, a little blurry.


This one's blurry too, but I like it. 


This one is nice and clear.  She was checking me out.

 

I like this one too.


This one isn't the greatest, but I like how it shows the iridescence on her back.


This is one of my favorites.  Close and clear.  I like how you can see the individual feathers on her head.



Another in flight.
 


Finally, a picture of one of the males.  They rarely show let alone give me the chance to snap a good picture.

 
 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Conjuring


No Spoilers





I have a love/hate relationship with scary movies. I love them because it gets the adrenaline pumping and I love seeing other people's reactions to the scary parts.  I hate them because nothing scares me.  The boo moments, as I call them, don't make me jump.  The creepy parts aren't that creepy and blood and gore really doesn't do much for me.

The only horror movies that even do anything for me are the Japanese originals of some movies you may have seen the American remakes.  Two good examples are The Ring and The Grudge.  If you do your research, there's a bunch more.  There are also some that have not (that I know of) been remade.  Yes, you have to read subtitles but you get used to it very quickly.

Anyway, I digress.  I went to see this movie today with some friends.  The first 20 minutes are a little slow, but it was the usual set up for things to come.  I don't jump, I don't scream, I don't cuss, I don't put my hands over my eyes.  I jumped, I screamed, I cussed, I put my eyes over my eyes - twice.

If you like scary movies but are usually disappointed by most, GO SEE THIS MOVIE!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Flag Cake

 
I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th.  I was off but had to go in on the 5th.  Not a huge deal since we weren't busy and it was a chance to catch up on some stuff.
 
Anyway, I saw this cake on Pinterest and when I saw it I knew I just had to try and bring in for the skeleton crew that worked the 5th.  I even had doubters when I showed them I was going to make it.  Well, the cake itself was really easy.  It's a little time consuming just because of all the steps.  You can see the recipe here.  I think for the first time attempting this, I did good.  I have to admit, all the components are store bought but there's some additions that are unique.  At least to me. 
 
So here's how it turned out.  Everyone said it was really tasty.  Not too shabby!
 
 



Sunday, June 30, 2013

Baked Bacon

 
 
I hate making bacon.  It splatters when you pan fry it and it never really gets crispy when you nuke it.  Enter baking.  Now the only down side to this is the length of time it takes which is usually about 20-30 minutes.  So if you're making it to eat at the moment, not you best method.  I make a batch for the week so I'm usually doing and cooking other things at the same time anyway.
 
Start with a rack on a foil lined baking sheet.  Trust me on the foil part.
 
 
Place the bacon as close as possible but don't overlap.

 

 I bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  I also like this method because the bacon stays flat which is perfect for a BLT.


 Now you have nice crispy bacon for all your bacon needs.
 

See all that grease in the pan?  If you're so inclined, you can drain it off and save it for whatever you do with bacon grease.  If you're like me and sadly trying to avoid tasty, bad for you things, stick the whole pan in the fridge and roll up and toss the foil after the grease has hardened.  Just make sure you crumple the foil kind of like a little package so if the grease melts you wont have a mess in the trash bag.
 
 
So there you have it, baked bacon!