Thursday, November 29, 2012


Please join me on my new adventure.The new blog is all about my compulsive obsession with cute useful things.
It's not hoarding...I'm gonna need these someday!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I love my potatoes!!

Any variety of toppings make the perfect meal. After many years of eating any potato that was on sale, my natural doctor suggested going to only red ones because the starch content is much lower which equals fewer carbs overall and more fiber than russet potatoes. Whether mashed, baked or roasted, people often consider potatoes as comfort food.

 A red-skinned potato is low in calories and brimming with a host of vitamins and minerals that contribute to your health.One medium potato supplies you with 1.21 mg of iron, which is important for healthy red blood cells. The same potato will also provide you with 48 mg of magnesium,a small amount of zinc, 47 mcg of folate, 17 IU of vitamin A and 4.8 mcg of vitamin K.

 Red potatoes  have a phenolic content which rivals that of broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts, and includes flavonoids which fight  cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and certain cancers.They also contain high levels of vitamin C, folic acid, quercetin and kukoamines. Did you know the red potato contains five times the level of antioxidants compared with the russet potato?  They also contain higher levels of protein.

*Potatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator, as their starch content will turn to sugar giving them an undesirable taste.

1 large baked potato
1 (15 ounce) can  chili with beans
1/2 cup Fritos chili cheese corn chips (crushed into large pieces, this is done easiest while still in the bag)
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 -2 tablespoon light sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onions


Cut potato into 2 inch chunks and steam until just done, not mushy,
Top with chili mixture on plate, and sprinkle with cheese.
Microwave on high for 2 minutes until cheese is melted,
Sprinkle with Fritos and chopped onions.
Add a dollop of sour cream, and ENJOY!!!


The change of seasons is an exciting time for all cooks. With Wisconsin's cold weather among us, it's time for more hearty meals. I especially enjoy this one in winter .
These pinwheels make a great hot entree and can  be served atop a bed of rice for a satisfying meal. The provolone adds great texture and flavor without taking away from the beef.Stronger cheeses can be substituted depending on your particular taste preferences.

 2 lbs ½ inch sliced London broil
 (ask your butcher to slice for you)
1 ½ lbs. thinly sliced provolone
6 oz. washed organic spinach leaves
1 cup  red wine 
12 oz. can of Cola soda
2 tbsp. Worcestershire  sauce
4 oz. olive oil
4 oz. Beef Bouillon
1 clove fresh garlic

2 tbsp. of meat tenderizer


Add Cola, olive oil,red wine, clove of fresh garlic. Worcestershire  sauce,and bouillon to sauce pot set on low heat. Allow to simmer for 45 minutes until reduced to half.
Let marinade to cool  to room temperature.

Rub  meat with tenderizer.

Tenderize meat a few times on each side , then cut into 2x6 inch strips. Place strips in zip-top bag.

Pour marinade into zip lock bag over meat.

Marinate in refrigerator for 4 - 6 hours.

Remove meat from refrigerator and allow to come room temperature.

Place strips flat on working surface, then top with cheese and spinach. Roll meat and use a skewer to hold pinwheel together. Continue until all meat has been skewered.

Cook on grill at 400°F until meat reaches desired temperature and doneness. Also works well in an oven heated to 450°F and wrapped in aluminum foil.

Serve over rice or with grilled/baked potatoes and salad.

Friday, November 23, 2012


I know many people like to freeze meat, but nothing in my mind, compares to it being canned. It flavors (marinades)  it over time and protects it in case of power outages. Then you will have many quick meals!
Now, I can just open a jar of turkey and have turkey salad, turkey and dumplings, turkey soup, or turkey casserole in just a few minutes.

  • My 23 pound bird made 15 pints. I always brine my bird the night before in 1 cup Kosher salt in 1 gallon water. This is optional, but does really plump it up with enhanced flavor.

Ever had beer can chicken? You gotta try it with turkey!!!!

I like the Hot pack-method you can  roast, grill or bake meat until about two-thirds done.

  1. Set your grill to medium/high.
  2. Add some hickory chips for flavor (optional)
  3. Place the bird on the grill breast side up. 
  4. Punch some holes in the side of a can of beer, or other beverage, slide it in the bird sideways . The beer can inside keeps the  breast meat incredibly moist and juicy. 
  5. Cook for 75-90, checking occasionally for any flare ups.

*I like to put the white meat in first on the bottom of each jar, with some dark meat on top.This keeps the dryer white meat nice and moist.

  • I sterilize  my jars and get my lids and rings together.
  • I deboned and skinned the turkey
  • Simmer bones, giblets and seasoning in a pot of hot water with 2 T.  vinegar
  • Packed the turkey into the jars
  • Pack the turkey down 
  • fill jars with broth leaving 1 inch headspace
  • take air pockets out by sliding a knife around outside 
  • Wipe the rims of jars with clean cloth.
  • Seal the jars with lids and rings
  • Be sure you tighten rings so they are finger tight.

                       Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


To sum this recipe up in one word would be....

ADDICTIVE!! husband and I can easily consume them in one sitting~BEWARE !!!

Rosemary is a side kick to that other kitchen spice; garlic. These crisps are incredible dreamy with the addition of garlic and black pepper to the discs of dough just before they bake. And the cayenne gives them their kick! 

The crisp golden  texture pairs the nutty flavor of the brown butter brought through by the baked Parmesan. There’s just a little creaminess too, from the cream cheese. The sharper your Parm is the more flavor your crisps will be, don't skimp on this ingredient .
You can roll the mixture in some plastic wrap if you don't have parchment paper, just put a pile on the plastic and close the wrap so none will escape, then shape it into a log - don't be afraid so smush the mixture together, it needs to hold together well in the fridge. When you slice it don't use a serrated knife and don't saw the log, just slice straight down, some pieces may crumble but if you pack the mixture together well before you refrigerate it will be just fine.

1 1/2 cups Asiago or Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown butter*
2 pkg/ cream cheese softened
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp.salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground mustard

Brown Butter..

In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat until butter foams and turns golden brown with a nutty aroma. About  to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
 In a large  bowl, beat cheeses, butters,with a hand mixer on medium until smooth. In a separate bowl, toss together flour, rosemary, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture, mixing until the dough comes together. Shape the dough into 6 logs about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches diameter, wrap with  parchment paper or plastic wrap  twisting at ends and refrigerate for at least 2 hours*
. *NOTE: I froze these for about an hour and sliced them very easily.
2 Preheat oven to 300F. Slice the log into 1/4-inch rounds and place rounds 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake on the middle rack of oven until crisps are lightly golden around the edges, about 20 to 22 minutes. Cool completely. Store at room temperature in a sealed container for up to a week.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Tonight I went to see the new Twilight movie with my BFF. After we went across the street to Pier 1 imports. I have to say I haven't been there in a couple years. It's not that I don't love their stuff, I'm just not a buyer at those prices !
Well... lo and behold I came across these beautiful leopard poinsettias for $8.95 each!!!Ouch....

After thinking for a while , I remembered I had some white silk poinsettias from last Christmas upstairs in a box.Why couldn't I paint some myself? Guess what I spent the rest of the day doing....yep that's right , LOTS OF POINSETTIAS GONE WILD!!
First I spray painted them with a cheap gold metallic paint.

Then I painted black dots all over them with acrylic paint and a brush...

 Then with brown acrylic paint I painted a smaller dot over the black dots..That's it! easy, and I saved myself at least a hundred dollars by doing them myself!, and I have to say I like mine much better..just sayin'...

Here they are done up in wreaths hanging on every window of my house. At night I used flood lights for up~lighting and I don't Mean to toot my own horn but these ROCK!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Spaghetti Carbonara

1    Pound Spaghetti
3    Tablespoons Olive Oil
1    Onion, chopped
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
16  Slices Applewood Bacon, diced
1    Clove minced Garlic
1/4 Cup White Wine (optional)
4    Eggs
1    Pinch Black Pepper
3    Cups Grated Fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti pasta until al dente. Drain well. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook chopped bacon until slightly crisp; remove and drain onto paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat; add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and heat in reused large skillet. Add chopped onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent but not browned. Add minced garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add wine if desired; cook one more minute.
  3. Return cooked bacon to pan; add cooked and drained spaghetti. Toss to coat and heat through, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together. Add beaten eggs with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano ,and  pour that mixture onto the spaghetti once the spaghetti has cooled slightly (so that it's still hot, but so that the eggs don't cook and the cheese melts seamlessly into the eggs and pasta) tossing constantly with tongs or large fork while adding the  heavy cream . Add pepper and nutmeg . 
  4. Serve immediately with chopped parsley sprinkled on top, and extra Parmesan cheese at table.

Smooth Carbonara sauce is  unbelievably creamy!...The final product is full of flavour leaving my guests wanting seconds . I f you choose to use wine it will  add some interesting dimension. Also tips on reheating in microwave - if it's on a high setting, it will cook the egg and the pasta will solidify. I reheat mine on medium heat so the sauce stays creamy.

Adding cream, peas, mushrooms, grape tomatoes. etc., or omitting things are great with this recipe, because cooking should constantly evolve, depending on the cook. Please continue to let your personal tastes be your guide!

Overall, this is a dish full of flavor in a really rich, winter-night sort of way.With garden salad or steamed broccoli  and garlic bread as a side, you can't lose!

Monday, November 12, 2012


Being a lover/maker of handmade soaps for the bath. I also love the convenience of body wash when I shower. Since I have so many schweebles of soap left from bad cuts, ends, and just general  dried up small pieces of unused soap (and I hate to waste anything) ....

I've been making liquid soap/ bodywash out of it. Keep in mind you can use any soap for this recipe, but steer away from moisturizing bars , they tend to stay watery.The reason that Dove or other beauty bars do not work as well is because the primary ingredient is one of two synthetic surfactants (detergents). They are not natural soap and this would cause a lot problems for you. The Yardley works so well because it is made of natural soap with some moisturizers and oils, which makes this an easier product to make into liquid soap. As far as thickening any thin batches of natural soap try to use pickling salt. Typically soaps can be thickend with sodium chloride, not table salt because of the iodine content. I personally add a preservative to this recipe because of the large water content. Anything with a lot of water could grow mold, yeast, or bacteria. A natural preservative is Agrisept L ,and it can be purchased online or at any health food store.

1 chopped up bar of  homemade soap or Yardley brand
9 cups tea or water

3 T.Salt
1 cup water

*essential oil for fragrance (opional)
*food coloring for color(optional)
*1/3 cup olive oil for more moisture(optional)
*1 drop Agrisept L for bacteria(optional)

Place 1 cup water and 3 tablespoons water in microwave for 3 minutes to dissolve salt. Set aside.

Place whole bar of soap  into an ziplock baggie and smash it with a rolling pin.

Simmer grated/chopped soap and 9 cups tea/water in a large pot until completely dissolved.

 Remove from heat when soap has melted. Let cool overnight. Add  1/2 the water salt solution. Mix with a hand mixer on high for three minutes, adding salt solution gradually as needed for thickness. 

Add your optional ingredients at this time and mix in thoroughly.

Things to try if your soap is too thin:

- Try whipping it with a hand  or stick mixer.
- Add more grated soap and reheat.
- Add a bit of xanthan gum to thicken
- Or, just use it in a foaming soap dispenser!

Things to try if your soap is too thick / or “snot like”:

- Mix it with a hand/ stick mixer
- Add more water and reheat
- Add 3 cups of lukewarm water to full recipe and mix with hand mixer