Friday, June 23, 2017

IT'S FUN FRIDAY STUFF & NATIONAL TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY

It's all about food, fun and books in this Friday post. Let's jump on this tasty train to get the weekend started!

SEXY STRAWBERRY & KIWI SALAD
3 Kiwis, peeled and sliced
1 Quart Fresh Strawberries topped and halved
4 Large Basil Leaves, chopped
4 Fresh Mint Leaves, chopped
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
Pinch of Salt
4 Ounces Goat Cheese
4 Tablespoons Balsamic Glaze


Place the kiwis, berries, basil and mint into a large mixing bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over fruit and sprinkle with salt, tossing gently.  Crumble goat cheese over the fruit, and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Drizzle balsamic glaze over the salad just before serving.  Should serve 4.



IRANIAN GRILLED EGGPLANT WITH POMEGRANATE SEEDS
TASTE OF PERSIA - Naomi Duguid
2 Cups Mashed Peeled Grilled Eggplant (from 1 pound eggplants)
1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint
1 1/4 Teaspoons Salt
1/2 Cup Chopped Shallots or sweet onion
2 Cups Pomegranate Seeds (In a container, or use 1 Large Pomegranate)


Place the eggplant in a bowl, add the dried mint, salt and shallots or onion, then stir well to mix.  Add the pomegranate seeds and fold them in.  Let stand for at least 30 minutes so the flavors all come together.

Just before serving, add a little more dried mint and salt, then stir in thoroughly.


PERKY PICNIC PENNE PASTA SALAD
1 Box of Penne Pasta, cooked al dente
1 Orange Bell Pepper, finely chopped
3 Green Onions, Sliced
1/2 Cup Sliced Green Olives with pimientos
1/4 Cup Fresh Dill
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Olive Juice
2 Teaspoons Sugar
1 Cup Mayo
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon White Pepper

Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.  Place pasta in a large mixing bowl and add bell pepper, green onions, olives, and dill.  Toss the ingredients then set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine lemon juice, olive juice and sugar.  Whisk until all the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in mayo, salt and pepper. (Add cayenne pepper for more heat)

Pour dressing over pasta and toss until ingredients are evenly coated.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Yummy!


IT'S ALL ABOUT THE ROMANCE
Any Day Now - Robyn Carr
You can't go wrong with a hunk who just happens to have an adorable puppy.


Home At Last - Lily Everett
A bar owner gets unexpected help from the woman he broke up when the townspeople try to teach him a lesson that hurts his pocket.


REAL LIFE STUFF
Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud - Anne Helen Petersen
Come on and admit it.  Don't you want to read this book just because the title is so over the top?
Check out essays from Lena Dunham, Caitlyn Jenner and more, that deal with society's take on opinionated women.


PICNIC LOVE
Do you remember how we went on picnics with potato salad, lemonade and sandwiches? Times have really changed because the sky's the limit on what we can do with food choices now.


1.  Choose a movie you've been dying to see, then invite your bestie over.  Won't she be surprised to see a tablecloth on the floor filled with fried chicken, pasta salad, berries a bottle of Prosecco and no bugs?


2.  Do you want to plan a picnic for your family?  Why not choose a theme where all the food is from Greece, France or Spain, along with the decorations to go with it?  This works well in your own backyard, a public park or church grounds.  Everyone will be talking about your event planning expertise for days.


TIPS
According to a recent study, slowly drinking from 1-6 cups of water may help with that horrible headache that's beginning to creep up to ruin your day.


YIKES!
I'm afraid of any bug, so when the news started talking more about tick infestation a few weeks ago, I did some research. Ticks don't only spread Lyme disease.  In fact, different species don't mind sharing various diseases.  To find out which ticks are likely to be in your area, and what they can spread, visit cdc.gov/ticks.


HONEY
Honey has an indefinite shelf life in your cupboard UNLESS it's unprocessed or opened.  Even then, it doesn't actually go bad, but crystallizes.


TMI - lol
Uh...the Amazon Fire Stick, which sells for about $39.99 on Amazon and Target, sure does a heck of alot more than advertised.  A friend told me that he and his nephew looked on YouTube last night, and that Fire Stick now has a ton of porn loaded for FREE. Ok, I'm officially shocked!  If you've been watching this blog, you know I'm obsessed with finding freebies, but I'll take a hard pass on this deal. (lol)



CRAB EXTRAVAGANZA
Despite being born in Maryland, I'm no fan of crabs, but lots of people are, so this time of year is a real treat.  Speaking of MD, if you're headed out for a quick trip, or want to vacation there, these restaurants are a great place to get your crab on.


Waterman's Crab House has steamed crabs that are literally overflowing with garlic butter and LIVE music to entertain you and your friends.


The Red Roost boasts The Red Roost Plus Pot which includes steamed crab, garden salad, steamed shrimp, fried chicken, steamed clams, mussels, corn on the cob, and fries.  A mighty meal that includes all this will set you back close to $90.  
But they have a lot on their menu, just in case you're not that hungry.


If you can get your boss to agree, hang out with your dog at work today, and make sure you are pretty in pink.




Sunday, June 18, 2017

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY & CRAZY HOUSES

It's interesting that according to www.history.com, Father's Day originated in Washington State on June 19, 1910.  President Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday however, in 1972 on the same day  Mother's Day became official.

Fathers are important, but when it comes to getting all the cool swag that mothers get, they are at the low end of the totem pole.  In most instances, someone still has to actually pay for their meals in a restaurant.  The only FREE (without having to purchase something else) items I found were a small yogurt at TCBY and a slice of pecan pie at Shoney's.



I was the first born, so my given name is actually a version of my father's name. Ironically, he only called me by my real name when I got into trouble. (lol)

My dad used to buy all the neighborhood kids ice cream when the Good Humor truck came around, and he always told these really funny stories.  He also liked to do the Mashed Potato which was super embarrassing. I talked about this in another blog. When I got older, it amazed me that everywhere we went, people seemed to know who he was, and he didn't need a gps to find his way across the state.  He just sort of "knew" how to get places, and I couldn't figure it out. Once, I needed to visit an area I was unfamiliar with and got lost about 3 times.  When I got back home, my dad told me, "You're one of the most intelligent people I know.  Next time, take a deep breath, calm down and get to where you need to be without all that nuttiness."  Words to live by. (lol) Sadly, he passed on, but he's always remembered.



What about you?  Is there something really neat that makes you smile when you think about your father?  Will you do anything special today to celebrate?


A really good movie to watch today?  Father of the Bride.


WOULD YOU LIVE HERE?
I have to be honest.  Some of these houses look really neat, and I would totally live there!


















DO YOU HAVE A PET PEEVE?
Some things really irritate people, and mine is anyone who will lie on someone else because they don't have the guts to admit their own wrongs.  If you cheated, stole something from the store or anything else that may be sheisty, just admit it. You look absolutely ridiculous by continuing the lie. If it's on tape, on video, or someone saw you, just tell the dang truth! Why show your weakness by throwing someone under the bus because you can't admit what you've done? 


Some people call these people narcissists, and once they're found out, go on the attack in an attempt to ruin the character of someone else, hoping to protect their own wrongs. This is a very real psychological condition, but most will never seek help because they have no conscious about what they do. People get really angry with me, because I say these people just don't have balls. (lol)

  
My other pet peeve?  Abuse.  Be it verbal or physical, that's another sign of weakness, control and manipulation.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

FUN STUFF & SOME CRAZY LAWS


GET MORE REST
A recent study of over 60,000 women found that those who slept less than 5 hours versus a full 7 hours, are more likely to gain weight.  I thought that was a myth, but over the years have found this to be true.   No more night time snacking for me!


BOOKS TO READ
Do you love a contemporary story filled with love, hope and inspiration?  Check out www.loveinspiredNews.com.

Into fast paced Sci-Fi Adventure? -  Be prepared to binge with The 5th Wave, The Infinite Sea & The Last Star


SAVINGS
If you're leaving for vacation, you can save a ton of money by actually turning off your circuit breaker at your business or residence.  You'll truly be amazed by the difference it makes to your electricity bill.

Been going crazy with online purchases? Make it more difficult to spend by removing your credit card info off that site you love.  


READING SLUMP?
We keep staring at our TBR pile, and going  through it, but nothing seems to grab our attention. It really seems to happen even more when the weather gets warmer. You just don't feel like reading any of those dang books.

Some people just take a break for a while, and eventually something grabs our attention.  If you've been reading one genre for a really long time, maybe it's time to switch it up a little with something new, to get that excitement back.  That's what I've been doing for the past year or so, and it's been working pretty well.


WHAT'S WORTH WATCHING  
Orphan Black - BBC America:  10am - Intriguing
So You Think You Can Dance - Fox: 8pm    Fun, fun, fun!
THE Great British Baking Show - PBS: 9pm  Amazing
Playing House - USA: 11pm - This show will have you laughing so hard.
Marvel's The Defenders - Netflix - Get your superhero on.




CITRUSY WHITE SANGRIA MARGARITA Clinton Kelly from The Chew
1 Bottle Dry White Wine of your choice
1 1/2 Cup White Tequila
1 Cup Triple Sec
1 Cup Orange Juice
1/2 Cup Fresh Lime juice
2 Limes, thinly sliced
1 Lemon, thinly sliced
1 Orange, thinly sliced
1 Bunch Cilantro, washed, dried, trimmed and tied.

In a large pitcher, stir together the wine, tequila, triple sec, juices and citrus.  Add cilantro, then cover, and refrigerate until cold, or overnight.


To serve, remove, then discard the cilantro.  Serve on the rocks and it should make 7 servings.

If you prefer not to drink alcohol, use 1 Bottle Sparkling Apple Cider and 2 Cups White Grape Juice instead.

Are you an expert at making burgers?  If so, enter below for your chance to win $25,000!
SUTTER HOME BUILD A BETTER BURGER® RECIPE CONTEST
DEADLINE
July 31, 2017
DESCRIPTION
Create and enter a burger recipe, expressed in 600 words or less. A "burger" is defined as a grilled patty formed of ground meat or other ground foods, and served on a bread product or alternative wrappings such as lettuce. It may include condiments and toppings, all in or on the bread product/alternative wrapping. No side dishes or garnishes are allowed. Size your recipe to make 6 burgers, or either 12 or 18 sliders. Recipes must be able to be completely prepared in 60 minutes or less.
You must choose one of the sponsor's wines as a pairing for your burger. Cooking tips and photos are optional. Previous non-winning entries to this contest may be updated and resubmitted.
Entries will be divided into 5 regions. Four semi-finalists per region will participate in a regional cook-off. The winner in each region will participate in the final cook-off.
ELIGIBILITY
Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and DC who are age 21 or older. Previous finalists and winners are not eligible to participate.
Any person who holds directly (or is employed by a holder of) an alcohol beverage license or permit issued by a federal, state, county or local agency, and all family members of such person, are not eligible to enter.
PRIZES
20 Semi-Finalist Prizes (4/region): 2 professional baseball game tickets in Regional Semi-Finalist Cook-Off city and one $200 pre-paid debit card for required burger ingredients. Semi-Finalists living within 300 miles of the Cook-Off city will receive a $200 pre-paid debit card for transportation costs; those living more than 300 miles from the Cook-Off city will receive airfare for 2 to the Cook-Off city and 1 night hotel accommodations (ARV $1,000).
5 National Finalist Prizes (1/region): Trip October 4-6, 2017 for finalist and guest to attend the Finalist Cook-off. Includes 2 nights hotel accommodations in St. Helena, CA; airfare to a Bay Area Airport (SMF, SFO or OAK); entry to a welcome reception and dinner on Wednesday, October 4, 2017; breakfast daily, reimbursement of rental car for duration of 2 night stay in St. Helena, CA; ground transportation to and from all sponsored activities; and one $200 pre-paid debit card to be used for dinner on Thursday, October 5, 2017 (ARV $3,500).
Grand Prize: $25,000 cash.
DETAILS


www.contestcook.com

CRAZY LAWS IN OREGON
Ice Cream may not be eaten on Sunday.

It's illegal to whisper "dirty things" in your lover's ear during sex.

CRAZY LAWS IN NEW YORK
The penalty for jumping off a building is death.

A person may not walk around on Sunday with an ice cream cone is his/her pocket.

Slippers may not be worn after 10pm.

Women may go topless in public, as long as it's not being used as a business.

www.dumblaws.com




Friday, June 9, 2017

IT'S FUN FACTS FRIDAY!


If there was a way I could try all the new restaurants around the country without gaining weight, I would be a happy camper. Meanwhile, a girl just has to dream.

Zagat rated a few of the top new restaurants to check out while you're on vacation/staycation this summer, but there are 2 that really caught my attention.

ADVENTURES IN FOOD
DALLAS TEXAS 
Prohibition Chicken 
Come on now, with a name like that, it makes me want to run to catch the first flight to Dallas.  As the name suggests, they specialize in fried and smoked chicken AND prohibition era drinks. Doesn't that sound naughty?  Come hungry, because they serve their meals Family Style, so you may have to waddle out once you're done.  Call ahead if you like to:  214-222-3302

NEW YORK CITY, NY
Nur
Wanna experience the exotic food of the Middle East without a passport?  Check out treats that are plentiful enough to share, then sit back and relax.  Call ahead to: 212-505-3420



If you've been reading this blog, you've probably noticed my obsession with Columbo, played by Peter Falk.  Ok, he's not real, but his detective work is the  most brilliant in the world. If he starts to leave your house after asking some questions, then comes back and says, "Just One More Thing", you may as well get your affairs in order because you're going to straight to jail without collecting $200!(lol)  


Did you know the very first episode called Murder by the Book in 1971 was directed by a now very famous celebrity.  If you guessed Steven Spielberg, you go to the head of the class.  Did you also know that the perpetually tanned George Hamilton played a murderer twice in the series?


SUN TIPS
As a kid, I had the brilliant idea to tan really quickly by using baby oil, so you already know I was fried in no time.  I had to peel my skin off like a pink shrimp, and boy was it painful!  But you can be much smarter than I was back then by grabbing an ice tray from a yard sale, or The Dollar Store, filling it with 100% Aloe Gel, and freezing it.  Use those cubes to instantly soothe your sunburn.  


WATERMELON RUM PUNCH
By the way, you already know that watermelon is comprised of about 92% water, but it does have nutrients, including the antioxidant lycopene.  If you want to choose the best one from the pile, it should feel heavy and have a yellow spot where it ripened in the sun.  Enjoy this super simple recipe!

INGREDIENTS
8 Cups Seedless Watermelon Chunks, plus wedges for garnish
2 Limes to use as Garnish if you like
1 Cup Light Rum of your choice
1 Cup Fresh Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Lime Juice
1 Bottle Ginger Beer



DIRECTIONS
1.  In a blender, puree the watermelon until smooth, then pour through a fine mesh strainer into a large pitcher.  Stir in the rum, orange juice and lime juice, then keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

2.  To serve, add the ginger beer, then serve on the rocks with watermelon wedges.  This works for about  servings and is about 145 calories.  If kids are at your party, replace the rum with limeade or lemonade and it will taste just as flavorful.


BRAGG'S ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
A few weeks ago while walking the aisle in Wal-Mart, a manager checked to make sure there was enough Bragg's organic Apple Cider Vinegar on the shelf.  He told me that people asked for it all the time, and they frequently ran out.  I thought he was just trying to get me to purchase a bottle, but I did some research to get the skinny.  The price ranges from $3.2 to $6.8 per bottle in various locations, and here's what it includes according to Bragg's website.

Certified Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is unfiltered, unheated, unpasteurized and 5% acidity. Contains the amazing Mother of Vinegar which occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules.Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar also is made from delicious, healthy, organically grown apples. 

What does it do exactly?  Helps you lose weight, can be used as a clarifying rinse to balance the scalp's pH level and really deep clean hair, and helps with digestion, insomnia, lowering blood sugar and heartburn.  Uh...and you're gonna go to the bathroom whether you want to or not. (lol) Look at reviews and other websites, and people rave about this product. Wow - Sign me up!



FURNITURE DECLUTTER
Now that summer is coming, are you thinking about making some decorative changes at home, or to clean out some clutter and earn some extra vacation cash?  Do you want elegant vintage, or modern contemporary and Craigslist makes you nervous? Dare to be different and try one of the sites listed below.



Chairish - Find your treasure trove from any era, or sell the things you can live without.
Krrb  - Vintage, handmade goodies and more.  Sell or buy?  That is the question.
Lushpad - Do you have lots of modern designs that someone will love?  This marketplace is just for you!


BEAUTY BOXES
Everyone is jumping on the beauty box wagon, and there are lots of new ones available for you to check out.


Square Hue – $21 a month for 3 polishes, $16 a month for 2 polishes.
 Allure Beauty Box – $15 a month

Play! by Sephora – $10 a month


DONALD DUCK DAY
In case you didn't know, June 9 is Donald Duck Day which celebrates his cartoon debut in 1934.

FIRST CHRISTMAS STAMP
Did you know that the very first Christmas stamp produced in the United States was produced in 1962 and cost just $ 4 cents? The US Post Office was super nervous about releasing this stamp because of the controversy over church versus state.  Despite that, 350 million stamps were printed and that wasn't enough!  By the end of 1962, the total printed increased to 1 billion.  If you happen to have one of these laying around in the drawer,  it's not worth much.  You may be paid a whopping $ .35 cents for your trouble.



Dare to fall in love again with Meg Donahue's Every Wild Heart.