Thursday, January 26, 2012
I must be on to something, it was not long ago that I was telling you to be wary of the perceived sales that are out there. Granted I was primarily focused on KOHL's but the latest announcement by J.C.Penney's is right on point with what I was trying to say. A store offers it's merchandise pricing as it is taken out of the back room and put on shelves at a premium. Manufacturer's suggested price is more like "I wish someone would pay this price" . It is a pipe dream number and never even close to what people actually pay. When a store offers sales over and over they are really just bringing the price down to what they were expecting you to pay in the first place. J.C. Penney's is now taking off the veil.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I am always in a rush it seems. After all of the running around and getting kids on the bus, house picked up and then off to my regular work, I never seem to have time to eat right. When I had lost all the weight by cutting out the fat from my diet I had looked up what was the best meal choices while on the road. I had figured out that an Egg and Cheese bagel from Dunkin Donuts was ok for my meal intake. I thought that it had to be incredibly fast to make because they were always fresh and hot and ready to go from the time that I placed my order to the time I approached the window. I figured out how to make it fast, at home and for less $.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
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My 14 year old honors student came home yesterday and asked me to critique a paper she was writing about her take and understanding of the poem "Richard Cory". As soon as I heard the name I knew what she was writing about although I did not know the official piece that was apparently written in the late 1800's. The one that I grew up with was tailored to fit within the 1960's but the theme is exactly the same with the same ultimate ending.
Monday, January 23, 2012
We all love to snack. I love snacking even more when I am trying to diet. One of the things that I like to snack on is popcorn. Its hard to find a great balance of lower fat options with taste considerations in popcorn. I used to pop it in a paper bag using the microwave but there was little flavor after that. I had tried using "I can't believe its not butter" spray but that required a lot of spray to lighten up the dry popcorn. Finally I found a way of popping it that gave it both flavor and was at least a little more healthy than the other alternatives.
Here is my secret....
I pop it in a pan on the stove and use a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of the pan. I lightly coat the bottom of the pan with the oil and then add a single layer of corn kernels to the oil. Put a lid on the pot with a little breathing room on the edge of the pot to let the steam escape. Shake and allow the kernels to fall to the bottom of the pan as you pop. As soon as you hear the popping slow down, remove from heat. Add salt to taste. I take my salt and put it in the silver bullet pulverizer to make it very fine so I use less of it. Trust me, its a great alternative to butter giving it great flavor. If you are really brave, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the oil or after with the salt. It provides a kick worth snacking on! Happy Snacking!
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
I am a HUGE classic Mickey Mouse fan. This one made me giggle. I just wanted to share!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I sing- I actually sing rather well. I grew up as a soloist, sang in a few years of High School All State chorus. I've sung for weddings and funerals. I was the female lead in a benefit musical and even had an audition for a show on Broadway. But I didn't go because I knew that even with all my experience and with all of the training I had, I was not good enough.
Now on to American Idol. I cannot for the life of me wonder what some of these kids are thinking.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Tonight I came home from work to the smell of Old Bay and Shrimp. My heart skipped a beat because I knew what joy I was about to have for dinner. If you have heard of it, you are nodding your head in agreement, thinking of all the things you could eat it with and drooling. There is something about that combination of celery salt, paprika, pepper and "spices" as the bottle notes that makes everything taste like the Chesapeake Bay area and all the goodness that comes from there. It's not quite Cajun. Its not really a seasoned salt either but a seasoning that goes with everything. Its great on popcorn, steak, seafood and potato chips. Add it to a fried batter for a great fried chicken. My sister even puts it in her scrambled eggs. You can mix it into sour cream for a veggie dip or add shredded cheese to the same dip with a can of crab meat and bake for a hot pretzel dip. It is the be all, end all of seasonings. But back to my dinner, I will share with you my recipe-
One pound of peel your own shrimp, One can of beer (only if you like to steam things that way) 1/4 cup of Old Bay Seasoning.
Steam the shrimp using the beer as your steam (or water if you don't have beer)
When shrimp is pink all over, put in a bowl and toss with the Old Bay.
Peel and Eat. Yes your fingers will get very dirty but all of the seasoning that you have on your fingers will get on the shrimp. This is intentional. You are supposed to do that.
*Note!! Be sure NOT to wipe your eyes with dirty hands- TRUST ME ON THIS!!! NOT FUN!*
So there you have it- Maryland Steamed Shrimp...... it doesn't get any easier, even a caveman can do it. ;) Enjoy.
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Monday, January 16, 2012
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Sunday, January 15, 2012
I'll give you 3 guesses what's on the stove for dinner.
Simon and Garfunkel Soup-
Everyone that knows me, knows that I can't bake. It's not that I don't have an oven or that I don't have recipes. What I don't have is patience to measure things. Everyone also knows that I make AMAZING SOUP! Well here you have it- the secret to most of my prized soups. I call it the S&G spice collection.
No matter what kind of soup I make I tend to add the same spices to it. Turkey soup? S&G. Vegetable soup? S&G. Potato Leek soup? S&G. In fact I have also used it in Pea Soup, Chowder and Beef Stew. Now you are curious aren't you what the mysterious ingredients are for the S&G Spice collection right? I know some of you have to have caught on by now and are already humming a bar or two of Scarborough Faire. Parsley-Sage-Rosemary and Thyme.
Ok, so I also add garlic, salt, black pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Sometimes I add sugar or bay leaves if its a tomato base soup. Ill add celery seed if Im out of celery, onion powder when we are out of onions and we all love Old Bay when looking for that extra kick. But for the most part my soup stock always contains the S&G Spice collection. I don't even have to measure it because if I accidently put too much of anything in I can add water. It never comes out wrong and I can just throw them all in while boiling a carcass for broth. It never fails and it always works. Well except for Chili- I don't put them in Chili.... That would be rather disgusting. Trust me- it works!
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Now being a very avid consumer of flavored (or non-flavored) seltzer water, I was very excited to see if this system truly works and if the syrups offered truly lived up to all that it was implying. I had already understood the concept because my first job ever was working at a soda fountain ice cream shop called "Friendly's". I used to travel from shop to shop covering for other stores and a few of them still had the old fashioned pumps where you squirted three shots of syrup into the bottom of the cup and then added the seltzer to make the soda. But I also knew that sometimes if the mixture was wrong, then so was taste. I knew that depending on when the CO2 was installed that the amount bubbles would also be affected giving you either flat,medium or sinus killing carbination. I know that you know what I mean when I say sinus killing.... although my kids would refer to that as AWESOME! Another thing that interested me was that I tend to be very careful when it comes to using reusable bottles for my beverages. I have a collection of different sizes and styles for any kind of liquid so I was already looking for ways to avoid bringing bottles back to the store. Yes, it is true. I would love to be the mom that is all green and having pure intent for the environment which of course I do in many ways but the truth in my bottle hoarding is that I hate bringing them back to the store. Half the time I'm at the wrong store and the other half of the time its just too time consuming. The big bag of bottles sits in my closet and takes up room. I would love a carbonated product that does not require returnables! All of these thoughts were in my head as I awaited for the box to arrive.
A friend once gave me a book called "The Secret". Its about the power of will and being able to control your destiny and daily happenings by willing them and putting it out there. I enjoyed the book but what I seem to use it for the most is my shopping trips. Don't laugh at me.... it works. When pulling into a parking lot I will look at the sky and say," Ok universe, how about a decent parking spot" and 9 times out of 10 I find one. Even during the biggest shopping seasons I will find one. Ok, so you think its silly but to me its a fun tradition and now my 14 year old daughter is in on the gig. I have also applied this trick to my joy of thrift shopping.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
I have lots of friends and family that swear by shopping at Kohl's. They wait until they get that coveted 30% off ticket in the mail and then run down to the store to buy their great sales and come home feeling accomplished because not only did they get 30% off of the 50% off items but they also walked away with $10 in Kohl's cash. Now Im not perfect as I have also run down there to get something with my 30% off tag but when I get home I always have a feeling of buyers remorse because they realize that the sweater they would not have paid the $95 for the sweater that they just got for $20 in the first place. How is paying $20 for that same sweater that you would have bought in the first place a bargain?