Friday, June 30, 2017

TIPS, THOUGHTS & TREATS

Would you eat a burger that costs $777?  I'm a die hard fan of cheeseburgers, but even I would have a rough time shelling out that kind of dough for my favorite treat.  If you're in the mood to splurge though, head to Le Burger Brasserie in the City of Sin.  But what in the world makes it so dang pricey? I saw how this was made on The Food NetworkDecadent Kobe Beef, along with luscious Maine Lobster, 100 year aged balsamic vinegar, creamy French Brie, crispy Pancetta and caramelized onions are the ingredients.  If that's not enough, they throw in a bottle of Rose Dom Perignon Champagne to get you wasted, so you don't notice you're paying that much.


Here's a perfect reason to visit friends and family in Chicago this September. If you already live there, you've got it made!  (waving at Kelly M) Get ready to enjoy the Chicago Gourmet in Millennium Park from September 22 - 24, 2017.  Get your foodie love on with famous chefs, special tastings, super seminars and plenty of cold cocktails to whet your whistle. Tickets start at $185.00. http://www.chicagogourmet.org

CREAMY TROPICAL-BERRY SMOOTHIE - David Venable
Yes, I'm still on a berry tip to round out June and cool things off.  Once again, this is a super simple recipe that works well for breakfast, or even get-togethers.  Save time and money by preparing these right at home.


INGREDIENTS
2 Oranges, peeled and sectioned
2 Bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
1 Mango, pitted, peeled and cut into chunks
2 Containers of Raspberries
1 Container of Blueberries
1 Can of Coconut Water
1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Cup Ice Cubes

DIRECTIONS
Place all ingredients in the blender, in batches if needed, then cover and puree until completely blended and smooth.  Pour into decorative glasses for guests, or colorful paper cups for kids, and serve.

SUMMER READS

What She Ate by Laura Shapiro - takes a peek at food served or eaten by famous women like Eleanor Roosevelt.  Sadly, she wasn't popular for her food because it was pretty horrible! (lol)  Books like these are so fun because they offer up facts that aren't well known.

No One But You by Brenda Novak is a love story from one of my fave authors about Sadie who ends up taking a job working on a farm with Dawson, recently on trial for murder.  Is he guilty? You'll have to read the book to find out.




SHOCKING!
Something is very, very wrong when we hear a news flash about a 25 year old woman entering into a relationship with an 11 year old kid.  Even worse, this woman gave birth in 2014 to a now 3 year old child.


Marissa Mowry was arrested for having sex with a minor from the time he was 11, until the age of 14.  She was picked up at her job as a food vendor in Busch Gardens in Tampa Florida this past Tuesday, June 28 on multiple sexual assault charges.


Do you like pancakes that you don't have to prepare on your own? If so, celebrate IHOP's 59th anniversary on July 18 with a short buttermilk stack for $.59 between the hours of 7am and 7pm.  No cleanup, and no mess.  Just yummy goodness!


Coupon Goodies 
This week I managed to snag the following stuff using coupons:
Hefty Ziploc Bags (various sizes) $.32 each
Turkey Hill Haymaker Tea - FREE
Lipton Tea Bags $ .49 each
Silk Razors - FREE
Clairol Hair Dye (various colors)- $ .31 each
Whole Blend Garnier Shampoo (various scents)  $ .50 each


FREEBIES IN THE MAIL
Salonpas Pain Patch
Starbucks Tasting Flight - Dark Roast
Starbucks Tasting Flight - Light Roast
Bon Appetit Magazine Subscription
Sundown Naturals B12 Gummy Vitamins - taste just like candy



DOVE
This product offers the best way to clean AND moisturize, even for sensitive skin.  In the supermarket or places like Walmart, it will cost at least $3.00.  If you have a Dollar General in your neck of the woods you can get a two bar package for just $1.00, so you can stock up easily.  I also think the message they send about women's bodies is pretty cool.






Monday, June 26, 2017

CHEATING IS PART OF DOMESTIC ABUSE



Nothing like getting sick in the heat of the summer, but I'm back with a re-write of one of my most controversial posts.  

Thanks Anna Cade from www.herdingcats-burningsoup.com and Sandra Cox at http://sandracox.blogspot.com !

In addition to getting yucky feedback from strangers when it comes to topics of abuse, friends and family avidly debate with me about my views. Uh...ok.



Did you know that cheating is also considered domestic abuse? This is because psychologists believe the pattern of abusers and cheaters can be very similar. Both groups try to justify their behavior, deny their actions, or otherwise refuse to take responsibility. The betraying partner may originally feel some short-term remorse, but really shows no concern about their partner’s feelings, therefore minimizing the behavior. Also, those who refuse to admit to the cheating, telling friends when they are questioned about their partner being delusional or crazy literally makes the situation worse.  This causes feelings of hurt, loss of self-esteem, and emotional trauma to the victim.If you review my other post - Gaslighting, this provides additional information about these specific abusive tactics and how to recognize them.



If this is happening in your world, it is NOT your fault and you are NOT alone!  I visited a Blog months ago that has become my new best friend, and it's called: www.chumplady.com . In a word - WOW! This site has its pulse on cheating and everything associated with it.  In addition, her readers are REAL people sharing pain, anger, feelings of remorse and even a few smiles.  If you feel as if you're all alone, and that no one feels your pain, visit her site when you can.Words of Wisdom - her blog is busy and there are a ton of comments, but you WILL get support.


Sadly, abuse runs rampant in today's society. Many have grown to accept verbal degradation or cheating by minimizing it, laughing about it or pretending it doesn't exist. In addition, seeing someone with a black eye or a broken arm/leg may cause someone to whisper, but nothing is ever really done about it. Living with someone who gradually changes into a person you no longer know is tragic. While cheating displays no blatant visible signs, the emotional degradation  is mindblowing. Neighbors talk, and family tries to shield you from what's really going on behind your back. Domestic abuse in any form is very real, demeaning, harmful and potentially dangerous to  you or someone you love. Please don't ignore it.


I've heard all kinds of reasons of why people ignore monogamy while married, but no excuse is valid to me. I have zero tolerance for cheating.  I read a lot and watch a ton of movies, but if either hints at a situation where someone who is married is cheating, that movie is turned off, and the book gets tossed aside.  I see it as a total betrayal to the marital vows, and lose all respect for that person.  These rigid beliefs can sometimes cause problems, and I've lost friends.  These are people I can no longer trust to be honest.





That being said, despite the anger, or embarrassment, or hurt, it may not be that easy to leave, and this is what people on the outside may not understand. on the surface, we get really frustrated with our friend's situation. Some may want to work things out, others pack up and leave immediately, and a few kick their spouse out.  Whatever your decision - it's yours to make. 

We can offer words of encouragement and be there when needed.  This includes lifting a person up and not judging.Sometimes a person doesn't want advice, and only wants you to listen. Be that good friend.  Support is key.






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.