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

 

I’m Not A Bad Cook: Cooking Challenge Day 1

Hey Guys!

So for the next couple of weeks (really until November), I will be taking over this blog site for Mom as she is off busy being awesome. Now since I have never blogged before, I was not sure where to start. So I decided the simplest solution was to challenge myself on something and write about it here. (mind blowing, right? totally original.) Up First: cooking challenge.

Now I want to clear the air here and say, I am not a “Bad” cook. So no thinking that I can’t mix and measure with the best of them. I just don’t cook. I never held more than a mere where-is-the-milk-for-my-cereal interest, until I struck out on my own (with husband in tow) and discovered the true dire necessity of knowing how to cook. Because being able to prepare deliciously nutritious meals on a nightly bases is like Survival Level needed. ‘Cause let’s be honest here, Fast-food…looks good on no one’s thighs.

Hence, when my husband and I moved in with my parents for the year, I put myself into what I refer to as, “Housewife Training.” I being Murphy’s Law (if it could happen, it’s going to happen to me, sort of thing) look to my mother the Queen of Keeping-it-Together for guidance in these matters and she has proved to be the wisest of all councils.

Now as I make this transition from catastrophe to composed, the rest of the family has been faced with a challenge themselves. For instance, due to my inexperience in the culinary arts, I tend to use way too many dishes and utensils and so the workload for the clean-up crew has definitely doubled! Therefore, I want to take this moment to say a really big, “I Love You!” to my family for understanding that my GPA has no bearing what so ever on my level of common sense. But I Digress.

For this week, I am cooking from a cookbook that Mom and I found at Target called Skinny Taste by Gina Homolka. She is a blogger at SkinnyTaste.com. I am going to be honest here and say that I have never been to her blog site, but the pictures in her book were absolutely mouthwatering and she had all my favorites there (made healthy!). So I knew we had to try it out.

The first meal I made was the Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Pesto Mayo (p.95 in the cookbook).

sandwich 1

Not the most ambitious recipe, but the sandwich came together perfectly (Yum!) and was a good start for a novice. The recipe went just as the name implies: grill the veggies, toast the bread, make the fancy mayo, slap it together and “Pesto!” (see what I did there–punny) you’re a sandwich prodigy.

For my husband, who has yet to be convinced that “Veggies alone, a meal do make,” I made a ham, tomato, pesto mayo, and provolone melt, which seemed to be edible, seeing as there was none left when he left.

Along with our sandwich, we toasted some sparkling caramel apple juice (Delicious!) in honor of the first Autumn chill. Which is when my world traveling parents informed me that the correct way to toast, as they do in Europe, is to simply raise your glass to each other, rather than clinking the two glasses together.  To which I smartly replied, “Well, I’m American.”

And on that note, I loudly and proudly clink my glass to you in honor of a first post and a first meal completed.

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

A Fairy in the Sunshine

Hey!

The other morning, Delta and I were out on her daily walkabout when a beautiful yellow leaf  shining in the sun caught my eye.  Suspended by a spider’s single thread, the leaf hung perfectly still and I was so captivated by its glorious color I wanted to take a picture.  You should’ve seen me trying to contain all 34 pounds of puppy pulling on the leash and trying to take a steady shot with my phone in the other hand.

fairy shotWhen I downloaded the image, I received a surprise.  Oh sure, the leaf might be overexposed but I do believe I see a fairy sitting atop that bright yellow leaf.  What do you think?  Do you see a fairy?

“And as the seasons come and go, here’s something you might like to know. There are fairies everywhere: under bushes, in the air, playing games just like you play, singing through their busy day. So listen, touch, and look around — in the air and on the ground. And if you watch all nature’s things, you might just see a fairy’s wing.” ~Author Unknown

Blessings,

Mimi

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”  Ephesians 3:20 NIV Bible

A Moment of Insanity and Blogging 101

Hey!

What was I thinking?!  I’d been feeling overly stressed while writing this bible study that has a deadline looming for publication and I must’ve had a moment of mid-life crisis insanity and thought I’d add more craziness to the mix.  I registered for a Blogging 101 course.  I clicked the button before I gave it thought.  Anybody else do things of this nature?  I’m like a binge stresser  — creating one big moment of meltdown.

My daughter promised me she would actually take this course for me after I woke up from said insanity and realized what I had done to myself.  Then, I see the topic for the first post and realize that she can’t ghost write a post about myself.

summer rose

I’ve been doing this “blogging thing” for a few years.  I’ve changed my name a couple of times, my address a few times, and then, last year, I bit the bullet and bought my own domain and set up my site on WordPress.  I really still feel computer illiterate and frankly, I’m hoping to learn more about navigating around WordPress. 

I feel like an older fish in this blog pond.  Many of the bloggers I read are quite a bit younger than me and most of my real life friends are just learning to navigate Facebook.  I would love to interact and meet bloggers closer to my age with the same interests. That being said, I’ve found most of the bloggers that I’ve interacted with online to be kind and generous.

I use blogging as a creative outlet and a writing practice.  Over the years, I’ve discovered I enjoy blogging about different aspects of my life.  I think the posts my readership has enjoyed the most {BIG THANK YOU to my faithful followers!} are when I review books, talk about my family, my house renovation, trips, faith, or some type of “my favorites” list.

blogging Collage

One of my blogging goals for this year was to post consistently and frequently.  I’ve done pretty good for most of the year.  The summer, I slowed down the frequencies of my posts because, well, … it was summer!  I’ve also tried to find my “voice” in writing.  I joined a writers group for a few months and I’ve tried to experiment more with my writing styles and also push myself to be more open and vulnerable in my posts.

Welcome y’all to the State of Hospitality!

Blessings,

Mimi

“I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me”  Romans 15:15 NIV Bible