Friday, March 7, 2014

Happy ONE-year anniversary to my ninja and her hubby

One year ago today, my dear D1 (aka Delaina, aka my ninja) married the man of her dreams. It's crazy how quickly time can go by! And so, to celebrate, I'm reposting the little diddy I wrote for my darling BFF of 26 years last year on her wedding day. 

Here's to a 100 more anniversaries, my love. Love you both to the moon and back. 

All my love, 
D2 (aka Danielle, aka her ninja)


Marriage Material. 

Marry someone funny.

Marry someone who thinks you’re funny, even when you’re not. Someone whose head throws backwards when you are really on a roll. 

Marry someone that likes the same shit you do, but also hates the same shit you do. The kind of guy that will catch your eye and telepathically tell you that you’ll be talking about that later, and laughing until someone pees. Which will likely be you, since you’ve had babies and tears run down your leg on a daily basis. 

Marry someone who loves your chortle.

Marry someone who has seen you ugly cry... like the kind that has snot running down your face, and kisses those tears away. Marry someone who lies and tells you that everything will be okay, even if he’s not sure – but dammit will he do everything he can to make it true. 

Marry someone who is like you, but is also just different enough that you learn from each other.

Marry someone who will sit through boring shit with you. Who will jump at the opportunity to run to Target with you for socks because it means more time with you. But, also understands when you need a morning at Starbucks with your iPod all by yourself.

Marry someone who will pour your drinks for you, and the drinks of your visitors. But also the guy that gets drunk at 11am on Bloody Mary’s with your friends and says, “Woman, get me another!”. 

Marry a guy who’s a good friend to you, but won’t replace your girlfriends. You’re not always going to agree on what’s on your DVR – that’s what PJ days with your other friends are for. Make sure he’s a damn good friend. The kind that will get excited when your nails have grown out long enough for a French manicure, that it's double coupon day at the grocery store, or that you saw Meryl Streep crossing the street in NYC during your business trip and why that is a BIG deal. 

Marry a person who you’d marry anywhere, at any time. Marry the man that could give you the biggest diamond your heart could want, but got down on one knee with a twisty tie in the woods because the time was just right. 

Marry someone brave. But not asshole type of bravery. Don’t marry a guy who wants to kick the ass of the man who stares at you for too long.

Marry someone you can take anywhere, around anyone. Marry someone who appreciates the art of an amazing high five among strangers.

Marry someone who gets you your favorite cake for your birthday.

Marry someone who supports you; and I don’t mean with his wallet, 401K, annual bonus, or stock options. I mean, the one that beams with pride at each of your accomplishments – even if it’s just getting all the kids ready in the morning without killing them. Marry someone, who, when he talks about you; can’t help but to beam with pride that you’re his wife. 

Marry the man that your parents like and that has parents that you like. If this is not possible, an ability to tolerate is also okay. 

Marry someone who won’t get mad when the Thanksgiving turkey won’t cook right after 8 hours and that will be okay with leaving all the dishes until the next day because neither of you can face them.

Marry someone patient.

Marry the man that loves you a lot, and lets you be you. Incredibly, wonderfully, ridiculously, out-of-her-mind you. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What a crock - recipes for busy bitches

Who the hell has time these days? None of us, amiright? We’re all working like busy bees (home or in the office), driving around, running errands, and picking up children to deposit them at various locations for all of their 347 activities.  We try to look presentable, making 127 cupcakes the night before an event at our kids’ schools; making sure to shower, helping with homework,  bathtime, storytime, bedtime, and sneak a little midnight delight with our significant other before waking early the next morning early enough to clean the kitchen, get a load of laundry going, sew that button back on someone’s coat, take the dog out, feed the cat, and advocate for world peace. Shit, it’s exhausting just being alive.

So when faced with such a jam-packed day, when 6:30pm rolls around and those kids that demand you feed them every day want something awesome that momma made – hell, sometimes you just have to stick some nuggets and fries in the oven and call it a damn day.

I’m here to help today, my friends. I’m not quite as good as D1 when it comes to meal planning (that bitch does it for like a month at a time and has an inventory of all the food in her house and how to make a meal for 6 out of what she’s got). I do my meal planning and prep each Sunday.

There are some weeks where I just know that I won’t be able to start something fresh every night when I get home at 6:30. So instead, I make up 5 large bags of recipes to throw in the ole crock pot every morning before I leave for work. Supermom to the rescue!

For all of you working and busy moms and dads out there, hope this helps. Ps – if you have 7 kids, you may want to double all these recipes. Recipes listed here are for a fam of 4, with a potential for some leftovers.

Meals for 5 days – all in the crock pot
             Easy Peesy non-Japaneesy Beef Stew
      Creamy and Steamy Ranch Chicken
      Pulled Pork Root Beer Sandwiches
      Salsa and Merengue Chicken
      Let’s have a Fiesta Chicken Soup

Here are the basic global instructions for each recipe listed below. Buy some gallon-size ziplock bags and for each meal listed here – throw all that shit in one of the aforementioned ziplock bags. In the morning, pick one out of the fridge, empty it into your crock pot and set it on low for 8-10 hours. Vi-ola… that’s it.

Easy Peesy non-Japaneesy Beef Stew

Shit you’re gonna need:
·         A bag of baby carrots
·         2 lbs of beef stew meat (I get mine at Costco b/c it’s awesome and cheaper)
·         Some salt (a few shakes will do)
·         Garlic powder (few shakes of this too)
·         6 potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes – or how ever big you like your potatoes, your call.
·         Can of diced tomatoes
·         Can of peas
·         Can of corn
·         2 packages of dry onion soup mix
·         Like a cup or 2 of beef broth, eyeball that ish.
 Stick all this shit in a bag. Stick all the shit in the crock pot in the morning. Eat shit when you get home.

Creamy and Steamy Ranch Chicken

Shit you’re gonna need:
·         3-4 chicken breasts (fat and slime cut off)
·         A block of cream cheese
·         1 envelope of dry ranch dressing
·         1 can of chicken broth
·         Garlic powder, paprika, parsley flakes, and oregano (a few shakes of each will do)
Stick all this shit in a bag. Stick all the shit in the crock pot in the morning. Eat shit when you get home over some mashed potatoes or rice (I had mine over instant mashed potatoes).

Pulled Pork and Root Beer Sandwiches

Now, I won’t lie and pretend this is an original recipe that I just dreamed of, I actually posted this recipe a few years ago here: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork and Root Beer Sandwiches. You can go and read my HIGH-larious post, or just follow the instructions below. It’s one of my absolute faves, so it had to be included here.

Shit you’re gonna need:
·         2-4 lbs of pork butt (labeled shoulder)
·         1 can of root beer (stay with me here)
·         ½- ¾ of a bottle of Sweet baby Ray’s BBQ sauce
·         Lawry's Seasoning Salt or Montreal Steak Seasoning 

This one takes a little more effort than just throwing it in a bag on Sunday and throwing it in the crock pot on Wednesday – but it’s not hard. I actually suggest not putting this one in a bag, and allowing yourself an extra 6 minutes one morning to put this directly in the crock pot.

Make sure you don’t cut any fat off of the pork butt and poke some holes it in so that it sucks up all the awesomeness while cooking. Sprinkle both sides of the pork with your seasoning of choice. Stick that puppy in the crock pot and pour the root beer over it. Let it cook allllllllll day while you’re gone. When you get home after beating traffic and running little Johnny to tee-ball practice, pull the pork out and shred it up on a plate. Don’t touch those leftover juices just yet. Place the shredded pork back into the crock pot with those juices and cook on high for another 30 minutes. Drain said juices out, put the pork BACK in and then smother in Sweet Baby Rays sauce – mix it up. Open up a roll and stick that pork in the middle. The time I made this, I had it with a side of baked beans. Good shit, my friends. Good shit.

Salsa and Merengue Chicken

This is probably my favorite crock pot recipe because it is so fucking easy. I make this a few times a month and use the chicken mixture in many different ways. Sometimes over rice. Sometimes in a taco shell with lettuce and sour cream. Sometimes rolled up in a large tortilla and pressed in my Panini for a few minutes. Sometimes directly into a bowl and then directly into my piehole. Go crazy kids, this shit is versatile.

Shit you’re gonna need: 
·         4 chicken breasts
·         1 jar of salsa
·         1 package of dry ranch dressing
·         1 can of corn, drained
·         1 can of black beans, drained
·         Cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper (a few shakes of each will do)
   o   OR: you can throw a packet of taco seasoning instead.
·         ½ a cup of chicken broth or water
Stick all this shit in a bag. Stick all the shit in the crock pot in the morning. Eat shit when you get home by way of one of my suggestions above.

Let’s have a Fiesta Chicken Soup

It’s wintertime where I live, so this fits into my climate for something to eat this time of year. If you live in Florida and you still have under-boob sweat in January… maybe making soup doesn’t sound like such a good idea. Up to you.

Shit you’re gonna need:
  • 1 can of enchilada sauce
  • 1 can of chopped green chiles
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Small bag of frozen corn
  • Cumin and chili powder, salt, oregano – a few shakes of each… you guys know this by now.
  • An onion, chopped however you like.
  • Fresh minced garlic – like a Tbsp or so, or a clove if you actually buy them that way. I buy the little jar
  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • 1 large container chicken broth – you know the one that comes with a spout?
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • (optional) chopped fresh cilantro, if you fancy
  • Tortilla chips or strips

Stick all this shit in a bag, EXCEPT for the lime juice, the fresh cilantro, and tortilla chips/strips. Stick all the shit in the crock pot in the morning. When you get home, turn it off and add the lime juice and fresh cilantro to the pot. Serve in bowls, top with tortilla chips/strips.

So there you have it, folks. 5 meals to stick in your crock pot each day of the week to make life a little easier for you. It takes maybe an hour or so to prepare all of this on a Sunday, and the payoff is that you’re not spending each evening slaving away at your stove. Use that extra time wisely. Set all your clocks forward an hour and send those munchkins to bed early. Then make sure to serve dessert in the bedroom. Heeeeeeeeeeeeey!

Ps – if you make of these, post some pics for us! We want to see your bags lined in the fridge, or a picture of your rootbeer pork sandwiches. Dooo it!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bandwagon Pumpkin Cupcakes

Craving something sweet?  Just pour a bowl of cereal.  Am I right?  I'm right.  BUT, I didn't have cereal.  Totally pissed.  BUT I remembered all these recipes on pinterest where people use just a box of cake mix and just a can of pumpkin, and then BLAMMO...cupcakes.  That's cool.  I'll take the bait.  And since I was a hankerin' for something sweet, I figured this was the easiest way to spike my sugar levels.

Shit you're gonna need:
A box of yellow cake mix (As you can see, I used a betty crocker gluten free cake mix but all the recipes I've seen used the regular cake mix.  Mine worked great, so you're in the clear no matter what you use.)
1 can of 15 oz. pumpkin (Not gonna lie, I have seven cans of this shit in my pantry.  Why?  No fucking clue.  I guess when I see it, I get reminded of the canned pumpkin shortage of 2007 and I freak out and start hoarding.  Need canned pumpkin?  Come see me.)
2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice (I'm really glad I added this extra step.  But if you have a spice cake mix, you wouldn't need to add the extra spice.)

(Printable recipe at the end)

Shit you're gonna do:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin (this recipe makes 12 cupcakes, but if you use a regular cake mix, it might make more) and spray the baking cups with a little kitchen ky.  It helps the liner not stick to the cupcake.  Even though we all want more fiber in our diet, adding cupcake liner isn't the way to go.

Sidebar:   If you use gluten free cake mix, THIS is how much comes in the package.  It's weird.  It's deceiving but for some reason, it all works out.  Kind of like hitting 3 keggers before curfew and being sober enough to make it back to your dorm before 1am.  Oh, college memories.

So, here it is.  That's it.  The mix, the pumpkin, and the spice.

Sidebar 2:  I have a stand mixer.  Don't get me wrong, I love it.  I do.  BUT, just like me, that thing has a big ass and it gets in the way.  I don't like it on my countertop which means it never gets used.  I'm cool with that.  The hand mixer is totally fine with me.  Easy to clean and it fits in a drawer.  Just like a cat I had in college.  I'm kidding.  It wasn't easy to clean.

Pour in your muffin tins and bake according to the package directions.  I had to bake mine for 10 minutes, flatten them with a spatula, and then turn the pan 180 degrees and bake for 10 minutes more.

These turned our reeeeeeeeally dense.  Not airy and fluffy.  But it's exactly what I wanted.

Regular 'ol generic cream cheese frosting.  I just put it in a ziploc bag, snipped off the tip, and swirled it around on the top of the cupcake.  And yes, I licked the spoon.  And the inside of the ziploc bag.  And the inside of the container.

Into pie hole in 5...4...3...2...(gulp!)

Here's the printable recipe...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Carnitas. The white girl way. With a crock pot.

People who know me pretty well know my love for Latin food.  Every time my friends want to head out for lunch or a girl’s night dinner, my first suggestion is ALWAYS Tijuana Flats.  I end up eating a shit ton of it and busting a gut about ten minutes after devouring it and I swear I’ll never eat again.   Right.  So, I attempt to make as many Latin dishes as I can and just wait for the Hubster to say “Okay.  Let’s chill on the enchiladas.  Seven times a month is enough.”  I disagree.

Well, we haven’t had carnitas in a while, and since the pork loin roast was on sale, I figured, why the hell not.  And this small amount of meat makes enough for us to have a full meal with the six of us and leftovers the next night.  Winning!

Shit you’re gonna need:
3 to 4 pounds of pork loin roast (my package was from Smithfield and actually said “Carnitas” on it.)
1 can of petite diced tomatoes (But, if you feel that you don’t have enough spice in your life because you’re not married to a redhead like my husband is, you can add those diced tomatoes with the green chiles in them.  I think everyone pretty much refers to those as Rotel.  Generic or not – it’s Rotel.  Just like Q-tips.  It’s really a cotton swab but we all call them q-tips.  I truly believe the tomatoes (chiles or not) adds more flavor.  Just like dropping a piece of Toblerone into your hot chocolate.  Yum!)
½ tablespoon of cumin (I swear I read that with a dirty mind. Every time.)
½ tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 large pinch of onion powder

Shit you’re gonna do:
Spray down your crock pot with a little kitchen ky (non stick cooking spray) so that clean up is a bizzillion times easier.  I’ve never had luck with those disposable plastic bags.  They actually creep me out – all that melted plastic; it just doesn’t seem right.  But then again, neither does drinking an entire bottle of wine by yourself, but you don’t see me stopping that now do you?

Put your meat in the crock pot.   Mine happened to be 4-5 pieces which I appreciate because I fully believe in cutting up the meat before putting it in the crock pot.  Cooks faster and it’s easier to shred when it’s done.  So, if yours is one big hunky hunk of meat, go ahead and cut that bad boy up.  You can also trim some of the fat if you’d like.  I don’t; I just take out the fatty pieces after it cooks – I love me some fatty flavor.

Once the meat is in, dump in your tomatoes, all the seasonings, and cook on either low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.  (sorry the picture below is the best I could get from the crock pot. I really believe there is absolutely no way to get a picture of cooked food in the crock pot without being staged.  This, my friends, is not staged.)

When it’s done, shred it up with two forks, which shouldn’t be too hard to do; it should really just fall apart on you.  You’ll notice it’s a little juicy from the tomatoes, so, I drain the meat with a slotted spoon when serving.  But if you like a lot more juice, go for it.  I won’t judge.

I happened to put mine on top of homemade arepas which I proudly say, I learned to make from Danielle (D2.)  She can make a mean ass arepa…be jealous.  Let’s hope she posts how she makes them here soon.  No pressure or anything, D2. 

Here's the printable recipe for you...