Monday, July 30, 2012

Recipe: Rummy Gummies

They look harmless, don't they? These bears, for adults only, pack a punch. I discovered them quite by accident and they're now a favorite around here.

Here's how to make them:

1 cup gummy bears
Alcohol of your choice (Rum of all varieties works well)

Find a small closeable glass container. Pour in gummy bears.

Add alcohol until the liquid touches the bottom of the top layer of bears.

Close container and put in the refrigerator until alcohol has absorbed (or mostly absorbed - they're ready before the liquid disappears.

* I've found that the "ready" mark for the bears will vary depending on the type you use. The bears I bought at GFS took just a couple hours, while the ones I bought at Walmart took a day. Plan on 24 hours. They might be ready early, but they don't go bad.

** Don't be tempted to make a large batch unless you're having a party. A little goes a long way.

In other news, today starts my quest for the perfect buttercream recipe. I'll be making entry number one this morning. Perhaps, I'll hit it on try one and I won't need to make more. I have something very specific in mind -- an imitation of what I consider to be the best buttercream in the world, the Arnie's Bakery buttercream, but as the recipe is a secret and unavailable to the public, my quest begins...


Monday, February 13, 2012

Self Love

This week is Valentine's Day when we celebrate love, but today I feel drawn to talk about a love we often forget about. Loving ourselves.

One of the most detrimental things you can do is fall for self-hatred. And I know so many people who dislike themselves. This can manifest in so many ways: obsessiveness about changing themselves, negative talk about themselves, destructive behavior, avoiding themselves (constant busyness, never taking the time to think or be alone with themselves, etc.). The list can go on forever. There are so many things we can loathe ourselves and so many of us are really good at it.

I've been there. Does this sound familiar? Avoiding the scale, hating every picture taken of myself, cringing at the mirror, self depreciating to beat others to the punch, etc.

Insufficient self-love is interconnected with low self esteem. Having a lack of love for yourself directly leads to a low self esteem. Then it becomes a reciprocal relationship. You can't love yourself because you feel you're unworthy.

It's time to break the cycle.

It's not going to just happen. You have to make a conscious decision to love yourself. I had to make a conscious decision. I've been through the cycle of self-loathing and disgust so many times. It's an easy pattern to fall into. But let me remind you of something the bible says, the Golden Rule: Love your neighbor as yourself.

We are told to love others. We are told to love others as we love ourselves. But if we hate ourselves... Well, you can see where that leads. It leads to a world of hatred. It leads to a world of failed potential.

You can't reach your potential if you hate yourself. You have to believe you have value. You have to believe you are worthy of the challenge you're undertaking. You have to believe you're good enough to take care of yourself.

So I challenge myself and everybody to make the decision to love themselves (or continue loving themselves today!

1. Forgive yourself for past failures.
2. Make a list of the things you love about yourself.
3. Make a list of your dreams.
4. Resolve to stop criticizing yourself. Don't be so hard on yourself.
5. Look after your body.
6. Take time for yourself (read alone, do something kind for yourself, get a manicure, etc.)

Imagine your potential and remember you are important. You are worthy of success, attention and love.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Copycat Steak and Shake Chili

I'm not gonna lie. One of my favorite foods is Steak and Shake chili. I found a copycat recipe and made it last Thursday. To say it was a hit would be an understatement. So here it is, with my tweaks:

Copycat Steak and Shake Chili

3 lb extra lean ground beef
1 tsp. salt
2 - 10 oz. cans Campbell's French Onion soup
2 tsp. chili powder
4 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. pepper
2 - 21 oz. cans chili beans
2 - 6 oz. cans tomato paste
1 - 15 oz. tomato sauce
4 tsp. baking cocoa
20 oz. Coca-Cola

Put onion soup through blender for 1 minute.
Brown ground beef and drain. Crumble/chop beef so it's in small pieces.
Transfer to large pot. Add salt and soup. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add chili powder, cumin, pepper, beans, tomato paste and tomato sauce.
Heat for for 30 minutes, stirring often.
Stir in cocoa and cola. Heat for 5 more minutes and serve.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Extraordinarily Awesome Meat Sauce

Last night, I made the best meat sauce to use in my Eggplant Lasagna, and I can guarantee I'll be using it in other pasta dishes too. Here it is:

2 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
2 medium to large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 green peppers, seeded and chopped
16 oz sliced mushrooms (at my house we chop them up to make them "invisible" to my youngest child)
2 TBL Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp fennel powder (or 1 tsp fennel seed - powder is preferred)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 cup Marsala cooking wine
3 Roma tomatoes chopped
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce

Brown meat with onions and garlic. Drain (don't rinse if that's your thing).
Add pepper and mushrooms and cook 5 minutes.
Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, seasonings and wine. Simmer 15 minutes.