From Disaster to Delicious

Hello!

If you’re just joining in, my mom usually blogs on this site but I’m guest posting for her for a few weeks.  I’ve been chronicling my adventures in perfecting my art of cooking.  You can find the first post of my challenge here, if you’d like to start at the beginning.

Since the last crock pot recipe went so well, I decided to try my hand at more slow cooker recipes. I just can’t help myself.  They are just far too convenient.

I ventured out and tried a different cookbook this time, Fix-it and Forget-It Cookbook: Feasting with your Slow Cooker by Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good. It’s a cookbook that my mom found at a second-hand store. The recipe I used was for a southwest soup.

The recipe was…strange. The soup could only best be described as a kind of salsa soup with potatoes…weird, right??

So in order to salvage it, mom came to the rescue. She’s pure genius.  Thank you, Supermom!  I’m incredibly blessed to have you as my guide.

We cooked some ground meat in fajita seasoning and added it to the soup along with a can of rinsed dark red kidney beans. (The problem with the recipe before was the soup was only potatoes and crushed tomatoes. — Just too thin. ) Then, we added some sour cream, avocado, and shredded cheddar cheese on the top.  The soup turned out to be one of the best taco soups I have ever had!

IMG_1916

Until next time,

Catie

Friday Finds #5

Hey!

I’m dropping in for a quick Friday Finds post.  I know I’ve been scarce on the blog lately  but my darling daughter, Catie, has done an awesome job filling in for me.  Soon, I’ll divulge what I’ve been doing.  Click on the pics below for more details of each find.

In case you missed the beginning of Catie’s Cooking Challenge, we had grilled vegetable sandwiches with homemade pesto mayo.  Delicious!

sandwich 1With the holidays coming and cards to be addressed, Jones Design Company comes to the rescue with “How to Create Fake Calligraphy.” Looks do-able!

If calligraphy is too much for you, Wordmark.it is wonderful.  You can compare what you want to say in all of your fonts at one time in order to choose the right one.   — Genius!  Thanks, Just a Girl for sharing!

I could look at these winning photos from the National Geographic Photo Contest all day.

undefined
Winning photo by Marko Korosec

 

Last, but certainly not least, 10 Old School Southern Rules to make those of you from the South smile in remembrance and the rest of you think we’re crazy!     https://i0.wp.com/d3j6r9fi0pmzp0.cloudfront.net/style/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/FI_Southern-Rules.jpgBlessings,

Mimi

“I’ve known all along from the evidence of your words that you meant them to last forever.”  Psalm 119:152  The Message

The Battle of Meal Planning

Hello!

It’s Catie, blogging for my mom!

This will be my third week now of cooking meals every night (or most nights) and I’m gong to be blunt here and say, it’s hard! Who knew being a grown up would  require so much work?!!

I equate this work much to how I imagine it’s like to prepare for battle.  First, you must plan your strategy (the week’s menu). It must be detailed enough that you know exactly what you are going to do, but flexible enough to accommodate the dietary preferences of your allies (the family members).  You know … don’t schedule a week of meaty meals when someone is going vegetarian. Keep thy allies happy! (or you will find yourself washing your own dishes..)

Next, you have to check the supplies and decide what must be bought. This step is by FAR the most crucial. Just as you wouldn’t want to go to battle without a sword (this is more of a medieval battle than a modern one), you  don’t want to find yourself elbow deep in marinating meat searching for that supposed bottle of thyme (Can we say Salmonella hands….Ew!)

Once you know what supplies you need, you must be cunning and quick in the grocery store! Dodging the slow or aisle hogging shoppers and quickly choosing the products needed, all while remaining on budget and on point.

Finally, you arrive home, and the battle begins!

Kinda Dramatic….I know.

Anyways, the results of my little battles have been very yummy!  For instance, a couple of days ago, I made this delicious Columbian Steak with Aji Picante sauce from the cookbook SkinnyTaste by Gina Homolka. Gasp! A non-Mexican food meal you ask? Yup…and it was good!

IMG_1423

Mmm mmm!

Until next time,

Catie

The Laws of Physics: Cooking Challenge 2

Hello!

To recap: I am, Catie, blogging in the place of my Mom this month as she completes some of her own projects. I am currently attempting a cooking challenge to help bolster my repertoire of recipes and learn some basic cooking skills. I am using the cookbook, Skinny Taste by Gina Homolka. Day one was a successfully delicious Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Pesto Mayo.

One of my all time favorite Date Night places to go eat is the Bonefish Grill in Madison,MS. And without fail, though I may browse the menu FOR-EV-ER, I will always inevitably order the Bang Bang Shrimp.  Now that my husband and I are both in school, such Date Nights happen less frequently, but my love for this dish does not waiver.  So when I saw in my trusty cookbook, Skinny Taste, a knockoff for this very beloved meal, I knew what I must cook! Also, since this meal is particularly spicy, (hence the name “Bang Bang!”)  I thought a dessert of Watermelon Lime Granita would be just the ending we would need.

Unfortunately, there are no pictures of this delicious meal. (Yep, it was That good.)

But here is the picture from her blogsite, Skinnytaste.com and I promise, cross my heart, mine looked the exact same (cough, cough).

skinny-bang-bang-shrimp

The Bang Bang Shrimp was quick to whip together. Mix up the sauce, (mayo, hot sauce, and sweet chilli sauce) coat the shrimp in corn starch (not corn syrup–I had an almost whoopsy with that one!), cook the shrimp, mix the sauce with the shrimp, and then layer over a bowl of shredded iceberg lettuce, and red cabbage.

I’m feeling like a pro….

Until the Watermelon Lime Granita ….

Now this dessert takes 5 hours prep time. No biggie, no sweat, I got this! I blended those fruits up, I poured them into a pan, popped them into the freezer and walked away. Well, I have a suggestion to make for all the novices out there like me: if your freezer is not empty, don’t pour your blended fruit juice into a pan and then, place it into the freezer like she instructs. Instead, cover that pan with a lid, before all laws of physics break loose. I came back 2 hours later, opened the freezer and before I had opened the door an inch, WHOOSH! Watermelon-Lime-Slushy everywhere! It was all over me, all over the floor, all over the walls, every nook and cranny was coated in that pink sticky stuff! Needless to say, I became my own clean up crew for this little incident.  All that was able to be salvaged of my cooling dessert was about 1 cup full left in the pan.  My mom and I can attest to the fact that it was very tasty, but I’m not sure it outweighed the mess. (yes, I’m still a tad frosty about it! ) However, lesson learned: Items in freezer will shift when liquids are involved!

Until next time,

Catie

 

Friday Finds #4

Hey!

I have some fun finds for you today.  Just click on the picture to visit the sites.  Happy Friday!

This peach walnut dump cake looks yummy and easy from Mostly Homemade Mom. The other recipes look really good too!

These pumpkin designs are cool from Alisa Burke.

Halloween and Fall graphics from The Graphic Fairy and don’t you love that they’re free?!

50 Fantastic Halloween and Fall Graphics  //  The Graphics FairyAwesome and inexpensive Halloween crafts from Better Homes and Gardens — I think this wreath looks really easy to make.

Sophisticated Swarm Wreath

I think this idea from My Soulful Home is really clever.

Pumpkins from Scrubbing pads a repurpose http://mysoulfulhome.comBlessings,

Mimi

“Then I was the craftsman at his side.  I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,”  Proverbs 8:30  NIV Bible

Bonus Room Update and Move In Day

Hey!

Last week was a blur filled with packing up our daughter’s apartment and finishing the flooring in the bonus room upstairs.  My husband was literally installing the last of the baseboards in the room as Catie, Devin, and I arrived with all of their things from the apartment this past weekend.

This remodel began because their initial plans fell through and they needed a place to stay for a short period of time.  Although unexpected, we’re glad that we had a space for them.

A reminder of the room when we bought the house in 1997.

upstairs 2

And a reminder of where we started with this renovation — turquoise walls and pink floors and no real closet.  If you’d like more details on this remodel, click here.

catie room 2

And how the room looked moments prior to their arrival with all of their stuff.

upstairs room

This picture of the closet doors shows a truer color of the flooring.  We went with a bamboo flooring that we found at Lumber Liquidators.  I like the sustainable quality to using bamboo and I think the flooring is pretty.  Plus, bamboo is much cheaper than hardwood and since bamboo thrives in a damp environment, the product is also water resistant.

upstairs room 2

And the room 3 hours later —  I’m so glad that Jack took the above two pictures so I could share the finished room before all of the boxes and furniture were brought in.

move in

Catie and Devin love animals.  So, we also have a few additional pets living at our house.    I’ve forbidden her to add to the mix while they’re here.  They can visit the local animal shelter but NO TOTING the pets home!

Zara, my ‘grand sugar flyer’.  She doesn’t appear in the open often.  Not my favorite.  She loves blueberries and mangoes to eat.

zara

Opie, my ‘grandbunny’.  Opie is a Velveteen rabbit and is very, very soft.  I like him — might be because he is quiet.   He loves spinach, carrots, bananas, apples, and blueberries.

opie

Bella, my ‘grandcat’.  She is a Maine Coon mix.  This breed gets quite large and she is still growing.  Currently, she weighs 12 pounds, likes to perch, play in water, and chirps like a bird instead of meows.

bella

Catie and Devin have fish too.  Thank goodness, she doesn’t like birds or reptiles!

This week has been filled with unpacking and letting our bodies recover from the move and the work on the room.  The bathroom still needs work and the railing at the stairs needs to be finished but for now, Catie and Devin have a space to call their own.
Blessings,

Mimi

“He brought me out into a spacious place”  Psalm 18:19a  NIV Bible

Messes and Mishaps

Hey!

Renovating makes a mess everywhere.  Its not only about the drywall dust, the sawdust, the nails dropped everywhere, or the paint splatters on parts that shouldn’t get them or even, the dust being tracked down the stairs and into the rest of the house.  Most of that can be vac’d up.  The bulk of the chaos is all over the house in the form of boxes, bags and stacks from one end of the house to the other because the contents of this 400 square foot room had to be removed and go somewhere else.  Constant rearranging is required to get the one item you need behind the huge stack in front.  Here’s a view of our garage.  I parked my car in here a month ago.

garage pic 2

Our daughter keeps bringing boxes home as she unloads her apartment to move in with us.  Boxes are everywhere.  My patience… well… its hanging in there too.  I see the end in sight. This time the renovation won’t be calculated in years or months.  This time is different.  We will be done in weeks and we only have a week and a half left on our deadline schedule.  If you missed out on the beginnings of this renovation and you’re curious about it, click here.

The room is taking shape.  Most of the plywood underlayment has gone down and hopefully, the rest will go down this week and the flooring can be installed.

upstairs pic 1

Honey Do says DIY is stress reducing.

upstairs pic 2

I’ve learned over the years through our various renovations to always be prepared for it to cost more and take longer than expected. Mishaps happen.

Case in point: My husband dropped the edge of a sheet of plywood on his baby toe.  Doctor said he has multiple fractures in the tip of his toe.  Ouch!  He wouldn’t let me take a picture to show.  He said he has man toes.

Then, as he was nailing the subfloor tighter, he accidentally shot a nail through the wiring.  The power went out downstairs to our living room.  We had to call the electrician to come and fix it.   Between the electrician and my husband, they managed to drill five holes into the subfloor.  I’m sure a joke is in there somewhere about how many it takes.  While the electrician was working, he, also, accidentally cut a wire.  I didn’t have to pay for that one.

upstairs pic 3

upstairs pic 4

When the wire had a nail shot through it, the spark was so hot it left scorch marks.  Fortunately, we knew quickly that the power was out so the problem was noticed immediately.  If it had been a less used area, we might not have discovered the issue and moved ahead with the flooring and had a potential fire waiting to happen.

upstairs pic 5

On a general note, we have an excellent site manager.  She is dutiful to cautiously and carefully inspect the room and its progress every day.  She is a hard task master.

upstairs pic 6

I’m hoping after this weekend, I can dazzle you with flooring and a functioning bathroom.  I sure hope the toilet doesn’t get a crack in it.

Blessings,

Mimi

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,”  Colossians 1:10,11  NIV Bible