Wednesday, May 9, 2012

So Kool or Not Kool? Restaurant Style Salsa

So Kool or Not Kool?  Kool, but spicy
Picky Eater's Opinion?  TOOOO Spicy
Will it make the Future Chef's Menu?  Yes.. as an appetizer

I will preface this by saying... I love a dish that you can throw in one pan, keep adding things and then press one button and it is done.  Also, I liked this recipe because it gave me an opportunity to play with my new food processor (which I L.O.V.E.)

Chopping Cilantro- we didn't measure this exactly, but it was close

Adding the jalapenos

Getting ready to mix it all up

The end result
This is definitely a Superbowl snack as it made a huge amount.  We put it in the refrigerator to snack on as we went... but 5 days later, it was DEFINITELY fermented.  In addition, we cut up the whole jalapeno and added it and it was way too spicy (especially for the little two).  We did add an entire additional can of tomatoes to dilute the spiciness and it helped, but the next time we make this (and we will make it again), we will either use a Serrano pepper (thanks to Jennifer at Redheads Plus One) or significantly less jalapeno pepper.  In addition, we will also half the recipe (maybe quarter the recipe).  This is definitely restaurant style salsa.  :)

So Kool or Not Kool? Chicken Parmesean

So Kool or Not Kool?  SOOOOOO  Kool
Picky Eater's Opinion?  This is the best one of these we have ever made
Will it make the future chef's menu?  Most likely
JMS preparing the chicken

Melt Butter
Add oil
David cooked the chicken after it had been breaded.

Adding some seasoning to the oil after cooking the chicken

More Tomatoes

Chicken Parm over Angel Hair
My husband loves chicken parmesean, but we haven't really had much luck cooking any of our own.  This was the recipe that we picked, and by we... I mean he.  Anyway, it turned out really good, and had some leftovers.  If I had any complaints, it was a longer prep time.  But... remember, for me... my favorite dinner is one that takes about 6 seconds to make.   All in all, we will make this again.

#54 Paint Jimmy's Room

Jimmy's room is the one bedroom that hasn't had a makeover since we moved in.  His room was a light yellow and he wanted a change.  He wanted bright red, but that was NOT happening.  We decided to go with a light green with an accent wall that is dark olive green. 
Wall with some drywall speckling to repair holes

This shows the difference in the yellow and light green
Color between the accent wall and the other wall

Love the color of the dark wall
We are really pleased with how well this came out.  I LOVE the dark color wall but I felt like it was too dark for the entire room.  This is the first time I have ever painted with an accent wall, but I am really pleased with how well it came out. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Softball Reunion

If any of you know me well, you know how much softball has been a part of my life.  I played all four years in high school and in college.  Then I coached for 6 years.  I was extremely fortunate in high school to have three amazing mentors, one of whom was my dad (that one goes without saying), one was Jack Key (known to my two year old as Santa Clause) and the other was Coach Kent Chambers.  He was one of those coaches that I could go to with any issues that a teenager has... parents, school, boys, and girl drama.  Over the years, he became not only a coach, but a mentor and a very dear friend.  I am so thankful for the opportunities that his coaching provided for our softball team during my tenure at Bob Jones High School and I was also fortunate to come back and be his assistant coach my first two years out of college.  He and his current staff arranged a reunion of all former players last weekend.  It was so great to see so many old, yet dear friends... not only girls that were teammates in high school, but also many that I had the opportunity to coach.  Thank you, Coach Chambers, for again arranging something that touched my heart so deeply.  Softball will always hold such a special place in my heart with the friendships and memories that I formed. 
Introducing former coaches
 You can see how much my boys loved it... well, at least the rolling in the grass part :)
Previous and current players
Alumni Cake
They are the best!!!!
Dad :)
Kelly...  She was my first basemen... LOVE her...
More Dad :)
After the alumni game... we don't move as well as we once did
I DEFINITELY Don't run as well as I once did.

#61 Implement Menu Planning Regularly

As I think about why I hate to cook, I realize it is not so much about the cooking as it is trying to throw something together in the midst of craziness.  I have done meal planning before, but usually only 2 - 3 days out.  So, I thought I would try this and see how much I like it and how it works out for our family.  That is not to say that we didn't stray from what the plan was, but we stuck pretty close to it.  Every Sunday night, I made the menu for the entire week.  I actually did it for an extra week b/c one week, we were at my moms and I didn't think it would be fair to count that week. It is amazing to me how much peace of mind I felt from doing this... it totally made my days and weeks easier and I didn't run into the issue of "Ahhhh... I forgot to let the meat thaw from the freezer."  I will definitely continue this. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

#66 Go Two Months without Soda

I am a huge water drinker, so I don't drink a lot of soda anyway.  However, when we stop to "grab" something to eat, I would typically share some of my husband's soda with him.  We NEVER have it in the house and I don't allow my kids to have any, so I thought I should see if I could kick the habit for quite some time... if not altogether.  We also never order it at sit down restaurants because I don't want to pay the mark up price.  We will get it at fast food restaurants because we often get the combo.  However, based on this chart, on where we get our added sugar, I figured sooner was better than later. 

It wasn't that hard to do without and I haven't had large quantities of soda, but I will likely leave it out of my diet, with the exception of a root beer float every so often :) 

So Kool or Not Kool? Pistachio Cake

So Kool or Not Kool?  Kool, but not my favorite
Picky Eater's Opinion?  Kool
Will it make the Future Chef's Menu?  Either Way... take it or leave it

Those of you that know me well know how much I LOVE chocolate and how much I L.O.V.E. dessert, but overall you may not know that I am not a huge fan of cake.  I don't know if it is a texture thing or what, but overall, it is at the bottom of the dessert train, so to speak.  That being said, I did like how easy it was to make this dessert.  Below, all of the ingredients are pictured. 
Nice, because all of these items are staples for me except the white food cake and the pistachio pudding.

Both of my two little boys helped me get this ready... LPS poured in the pudding and HAS poured in the cake mix.  Then they took turns, pouring in the liquid and adding the eggs.  I enjoy cooking with my boys and hope that they learn to enjoy cooking.  I have not really liked cooking up until I started this journey and this has really changed my outlook on cooking.  It doesn't hurt that my husband's palette is changing and he is significantly more willing to try new foods and now start complaining about them right away.  He even just discovered that he now likes guacamole... who knew?

My precious little helpers!!!

I love how this looked in the bowl... awesome green color!!!

I don't use the bundt pan often, so this was a nice change!!!

Inside of the cake
This is a nice flavor cake and it is very moist (a huge requirement for the cakes that I do eat).  It didn't need a frosting, although she suggested a ganache but I also think a simple glazing would be nice.  I  didn't think there was a super strong pistachio taste... but that's just me.  We'd make this again.