Nov 18, 2012 - File Icon Cake, Dessert, Pie/Cobbler   Comment Icon Comments Off on Pumpkin Cheesecake And An Early Pre-Thanksgiving Day Celebration

Pumpkin Cheesecake And An Early Pre-Thanksgiving Day Celebration

Pumpkin Cheesecake Slice

Here’s the one thing that sucks about living so far from my family: Holidays.

We moved roughly 6 years ago to the Pacific Northwest, away from everything we knew, family, friends, and memories. We really haven’t regretted the decision, except of course in times of trouble or holidays. We haven’t always been able to make it home for holidays or birthdays, mostly we see them at Christmas, so it was nice that our friends were kind enough to invite us to their early Pre-Thanksgiving Day celebration.

Read more »

Oct 21, 2012 - File Icon Soup   Comment Icon Comments Off on Lovely And Purple: Beet Soup

Lovely And Purple: Beet Soup

Pretty Beet Soup

I’d never had beets until my sister came to visit earlier in the year. She was making us Turkey Asian Meatballs with a side of steamed beets. It sounds like a slightly wonky meal but it was actually quite delicious.

Raw Beets

The beets are nice and earthy tasting, my sister said they reminded her of fresh corn. I could kind of see her point but at the same time its completely different. Its earthy but not sweet like corn.

The only time I had ever had beets before my sister came to visit was pickled beets on salad, I always found eating them amusing since it turned my salad purple.

Read more »

Sep 22, 2012 - File Icon Main Dishes, Poultry   Comment Icon Comments Off on Slow Cooker Fajita Chicken

Slow Cooker Fajita Chicken

Delicious Tacos

I have decided that the slow cooker is not only a great kitchen appliance, it is also an excellent way to terrorize your husband. Especially if he works from home like mine does most of the time.

I had a wild hankering for fajitas the other day and decided I should find a recipe for the slow cooker. I got everything ready early in the morning before I went to work and had my husband put it on the slow cooker in the afternoon. By the time he left for his meeting in the afternoon he was salivating over the smells this chicken was giving off.

This chicken is to die for.

To. Die. For.

And its easy!
Read more »

Jun 2, 2012 - File Icon Candy, Dessert, Snacks   Comment Icon Comments Off on The Return…Of Almonds

The Return…Of Almonds

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

It’s been a long and tough road this last year or so. Between work and personal stresses I just had to take a break from posting. That’s not to say that I haven’t been in the kitchen, I never stopped cooking and taking pictures, they just never made it into a post.

Then the other day I got a phone call from my husband during my lunch break. Evidently Grandma and her beauty shop friends were discussing my lack of posting on here and they were not to happy about it either. Grandma then took it upon herself to fax my husband several recipes to try and get my creative juices flowing.

That was quite a happy moment to have during the “fun” of my work day.

Thanks Grandma. It’s much appreciated. You guys rock.

Roughly a year ago the husband and I moved. I hate moving. It’s probably the biggest life disruptions ever. What I also hated was moving from a very large kitchen to a smaller one. I ended up losing more than 10 cabinets!

Somehow during all that stress my body just started craving chocolate! I normally don’t have chocolate cravings, so in an effort to try and feed that stress craving and keep my health up during an annoying move I decided to come up with a more nutritional way to feed the need. Plus I needed something simple. Most of my stuff was either still in boxes or completely lost in the void that is moving.

Raw Whole Almonds

Read more »

Nov 26, 2010 - File Icon Rants/Ramblings   Comment Icon Comments Off on Leave Of Absence

Leave Of Absence

I’m sure everyone has noticed that I have fallen off the planet again.

With everything going on in life, its been one of the roughest years I can remember.

So with that said, I’m taking an official leave of absence from writing until the first of the year.

This doesn’t mean I haven’t stopped making and creating, but rather need a break from committing myself to anything.

I will be back after the first to show all that I’ve been working on.

Until then, be safe and enjoy yourselves.

Sep 26, 2010 - File Icon Rants/Ramblings, Tea   Comment Icon Comments Off on New Teas, Caffeine, And Rant

New Teas, Caffeine, And Rant

I need a vacation.

I know it almost feels like I’ve taken a vacation from writing but it’s more along the lines that I just haven’t had the energy to. I’ve spent all my time and energy concentrating on work, training people, working overtime, and working with the Husband at a Retro Gaming Expo. (I shudder to think of all the pictures/video of me running around the net right now)

(And no I’m not sharing links)

I haven’t spent much time with cooking lately, but there really hasn’t been any time/energy for it. I really miss my kitchen!

The only thing I’ve had time to do is drink tea. I know it somewhat seems lame, but sometimes that might be the only thing that gets me through the day.

I’ve started drinking caffeine again and I’m rather on the fence about whether or not I like drinking it. I really notice the effects of it, and some of them really aren’t all that great. Minor headaches, jitters, inability to sleep at night… Why is it we like drinking this stuff? I haven’t figured that part out yet.

After these past few weeks of really needing to have that extra kick in the pants, I started looking into caffeine and what types of tea have less. Tea seems a bit on the complex side…but maybe that’s why I like it.

Caffeine levels in tea vary in the way that they are processed and creating the “type” of tea. So here are the different levels of caffeine that I’ve found that each type of tea contains (roughly):

White Tea – 10mg
Green Tea – 20mg
Oolong Tea – 30mg
Black Tea – 40mg

I’ve never had Oolong, and my experience with white and green has been very minimal, but I do like black tea. I can’t stand it straight up but flavored I can handle. Green is not my favorite, too leafy. And white…I think I might have had it once? I can’t really remember.

So I took the plunge and decided to continue on in my effort of trying new things. I ordered a bunch of tea online!

I ordered from Adagio Tea, and they came very quickly (awesome). I ordered an Oolong sampler pack as well as some herbals and a white.

I really am slightly in love with the tins and the labels. I love the tiny tins, they make storing the tea very easy, especially since they stack very well. I also love that the basic instructions of the water temperature and how long to steep are right on the tin. Hopefully I won’t mess it up!

So here’s what I got:
Oolong (Almond, Peach, Vanilla, Grapefruit)
White (Peach)
Herbal (Berry Blast, Sour Apple)

I’m kind of iffy on the grapefruit Oolong, that just sounds a little odd, but it seems to have gotten pretty good reviews online so I’ll give it a shot.

The other great thing about sample sized tins? Only $2 each! That’s a pretty good deal on loose leaf tea. Adagio also have a frequent cups program so that you can earn points that turn into free money for tea. You also can earn the points by reviewing teas and sending gift cards to other people. I’m all about the free stuff.

I’m rather excited to try these new ones out soon and reporting back on what I got.

Sep 13, 2010 - File Icon Breakfast, Main Dishes   Comment Icon Comments Off on Cinnamon Oat Pancakes

Cinnamon Oat Pancakes

Alright, early mornings are high on the “life sucks” list. I’ve been making due and actually got back in the kitchen for once. And even know I have to get up at the un-crack of dawn (my alarm goes off at 3:20am, ick) you still have to eat. So I’ve been trying to figure out easy and quick ways to have breakfast in the morning that still tastes good. Something I can make while still half asleep.

These pancakes really hit the mark on the tasty factor, plus they are high in fiber for sure! I don’t think they are really high in protein and I know they aren’t low fat, but they aren’t too bad for you.

I can’t eat wheat germ or a lot of nuts or seeds, I seem to have a skin “allergy” that makes me break out if I have any of those. But from what I can tell, I seem to have with no problem is oats. So now everything I eat has oats in it. I especially love the granola in the mornings but I’ve been getting a little burned out by it. Read more »

Sep 9, 2010 - File Icon Tea, Tea   Comment Icon Comments Off on Tea Review – Tazo’s Passion Tea

Tea Review – Tazo’s Passion Tea

It’s been a long week.

Well, technically it’s a short week since Monday was a holiday (no work, yay!) but I feel really run down at the moment. (This seems to be quite a theme for me.)

I’m training a coworker to take over my old job since the other person I trained for my job has now been promoted to manager. Now training itself isn’t quite so bad, but it’s the hours that are killing me. I was very excited to get off of this schedule at first since it is so early (I have to be there, 40 mins away, by 5am).

I really didn’t miss being woken up by my alarm clock and looking over at the time to see it flashing 3am at me. I had to start drinking caffeine again this week to try and keep myself going on this schedule, while trying to do my job so I’m not leaving my dear coworker hanging and yet train someone on a job I haven’t technically been in for over 6 months.

The lack of traffic coming home is a nice consolation prize for how I’m feeling right now.

So I decided to self medicate… No not in that way, but with a hot cup of tea and a mellow song to try and take myself to another place all together. My favorite tea of all time is Tazo’s Passion. I love the taste and how it can just relax me every time I drink it.

I decided to start doing reviews of the teas I drink. Maybe I can convince someone else to find the enjoyment in drinking tea, or help someone else find a tea they might also like. I love tea so much, and I just want to share my loves with you guys.
Read more »

Sep 6, 2010 - File Icon Rants/Ramblings   Comment Icon Comments Off on The Caffeine Dilemma

The Caffeine Dilemma

Its been a long couple of weeks. I’ve been working a lot, took a trip that caused us to be in the car for literally 30 hours, and really haven’t had a whole lot of inspiration to start cooking. I think my kitchen is starting to feel a little neglected.

And now work is changing my schedule yet again, hopefully only temporary, so that means some really early morning. Like having to be at work at 5am to train someone early.

This is not something I like and really doesn’t put me in a good mood.

Plus getting up that early in the morning to be able to get to work and still be able to function means changing what time I get to sleep. Sleep has always been an issue for me but has gotten better once I stopped drinking caffeine and eating a lot of sugar. It also helped that my schedule was finally regulated at a consistent and not too terrible time.

But now that my schedule is changing yet again, I need to figure out how to cope with the early schedule. I know I can survive if I started drinking soda again, but that doesn’t make me feel so great. Plus it gives me heartburn. It really isn’t so great to have that happen while trying to concentrate at work.

I’ve also thought that maybe the caffeine is what has triggered the migraines that I used to suffer from. I would get terrible cluster migraines as well as regular migraines that would last days. But now I’m not sure if that really is the case. I’ve drank some soda and had a Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks recently without having any problems.

So I’ve been considering starting to drink caffeinated tea again instead of just herbal, at least just in the morning with this stupid schedule change.

I worry though, that the headaches will return and give me problems again. I’ve been doing so good over the past year without the crippling pain that I’m almost afraid to start drinking them again.

Sometimes I just don’t know what to do to help me get through the day and not give me pain.

I’m trying to move forward and not backward, dagnabit!