Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Quick and Easy Spicy Scotch Eggs

Hello October! Not all things fall revolve around pumpkin pie spiced everything. Shocking, I know, but true. Fall flavors to me, are savory flavors. Chili powder. Smoked paprika. Garlic. Yum.  These are a few of the flavors in one of my favorite things to eat. Scotch eggs. Recently, to celebrate the return of Doctor Who, The Aussie and I ate out at a local British pub. I was so happy to see Scotch eggs on the menu. Ever since, I've been thinking about them. What better time to make these than at the start of a paleo challenge?

Spicy Scotch Eggs (serves 4)

4 hard boiled eggs, peeled
1 pound pork sausage
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T parsley flakes
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 375. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Mix the sausage and spices together until well combined.

Take a large spoonful of the mixture and start to wrap it around a peeled hard boiled egg, like so.

Completely cover the egg with the mixture, smoothing it down to make sure there are no gaps. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes until the sausage is lightly browned and cooked through.

The eggs can be eaten hot, cold, and anywhere in between. I got a little piggy here because I was so hungry (they smelled amazing while I was cooking) and took two. My dipping sauce was a simple paleo mayo-mustard. I was full after having 1 1/2. These are perfect for any meal. 


Friday, June 20, 2014

Axis Of Ineptitude - Celebrity Crush

In true inept fashion, I have barely posted this month. In good faith, however, I cannot, simply cannot let today's prompt pass without posting. CELEBRITY CRUSH. Oh, yes. I will try not to think about how much younger these fine gentlemen are than me. And yes, I am happily married. As a wise woman once told me, "just because you've already ordered, doesn't mean you can't look at the menu."


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I don't care how old I am, I'm still going to

How appropriate that today's prompt falls on my birthday. One of my favorite birthday traditions from when I worked in NYC was to head to Central Park on my birthday and ride the carousel. This picture was taken the last time I was in New York. My mom, my sister and I all met up, did fun things, and while it wasn't on my birthday, it was close enough to it to count. I miss that carousel.
So, I don't care how old I am, I'm still going to ride on carousels.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Avocado Salad Fit For Fitbloggin!

I am so excited to be heading to Fitbloggin again this year. Fitbloggin is the class reunion/family reunion full of all of your favorite people. Some of whom you've actually met in person. One of the amazing sponsors this year is the California Avocado Commission. They are holding the California Avocado Cutting-Edge Culinary Recipe Contest for people attending Fitbloggin this year, and I couldn't be any more excited. If you've read my blog, you know that I love to cook with fresh ingredients, and you can't get much fresher than California avocados.

Since it's rapidly approaching meltdown stage in Texas, I wanted to make something fresh and cool, yet full of flavor. Summer on a plate.

Avocado and Mango Salad with Chicken and Grilled Pineapple (serves 2)

Main Ingredients:
1/2 pineapple
1 mango
1 California avocado
2 cooked chicken breasts

1/4 red onion, finely diced
2 T light olive oil
1 T white wine vinegar
1 t honey
1/4 t cayenne
1 T lime juice
2 T cilantro, finely chopped (you can use basil or Thai basil if you don't care for cilantro)

sliced salad topper almonds
red onion

To Do:

Peel and core your pineapple. Cut in to wedges approximately 1/2 thick. Heat up a grill pan over medium high heat and grill the wedges for 5 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool while you finish putting the salad together. (If you're like me and already have the bbq grill up and running, grilling the pineapple outside would be awesome!)

While the pineapple is cooling, peel and core your mango and cut in to bite sized pieces.  Next, take your cooked chicken breasts and cut in to half inch cubes.  Lastly, halve your avocado, remove the pit, and slice in to cubes. The easiest way to do this is to cut in half, lengthwise and split apart. Take the side that has the pit and tap the pit with the blade of your knife. Slowly twist and pull out the pit. Next, you take a small knife and cut the meat of the avocado in a grid pattern all the way to the skin, without cutting through. Then you simply use a spoon to remove the cubes. (Here's a hint: You can do something similar to the mango by slicing the mango "cheeks" off of the sides of the mango, and score in the same manner, using a knife to remove the mango cubes.)

For the dressing, finely chop both your red onion and the cilantro. Reserve a little of each to garnish the salad. Place the red onion and cilantro in a medium sized bowl, big enough to mix the salad. Add the olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, cayenne and lime juice. Mix well with a fork to combine.

Now that your pineapple is cooled, cut the fruit into 1/2 inch chunks. Add the chicken, mango, and pineapple to the dressing in the bowl and gently mix to coat.

Spoon your salad in to a nice serving bowl or on to a bed of lettuce leaves. Garnish with sliced almonds, cilantro and red onion.


Update: Today I added diced cucumber to the leftovers. I loved the crunch it added.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Come Play In May - Inside My Purse

It's hard to believe that it's just about the end of the month. I've blogged just about every day of May. Pretty much a record, for me. So, today's prompt is what's in my purse. Apparently, I am a hoarder of eye drops.

The contents: one wallet, one checkbook, 31 Gifts wristlet with a lanyard from Home Depot so I can wear it around my neck, garage door opener, glasses case with cleaning cloth, keys, nail clippers, lip gloss, one tube of lip balm, one EOS lip sphere, loose change, pocket knife with black canvas cover (pink camo. My husband *gets* me), two lottery tickets, my shopper card to Quilt Country, a packet of Taco Bell fire sauce, receipts, Bear's new rabies tag still in envelope, one cortaid dabber, hand cream, a bottle of Zyrtec, two pens, a Larabar, mini flashlight from Walgreens that I got at the last 5k I did, a puffy mint and an empty puffy mint wrapper, and last but not least, FIVE bottles of eye drops.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Come Play In May - Book Report

It's no surprise to anyone that I read. A lot. I have books in my sewing room/library. I have books in the living room. I have books on bookshelves in my office. I have books on the window sill next to my night table. Lots and lots of books. It's heredity. What I don't have, is sophisticated taste in books. I read sci-fi/fantasy books, I read YA supernatural books, I read gardening and homesteading books, I read the kind of trash you can download for free on your kindle, and one of my favorite genres, I read romance novels.

I was a latecomer to the world of regency romances. Sure, I knew friends that read them, but they didn't appeal to me. And then I read my first Barbara Cartland book. The next thing I knew, I was prowling through the paperback book exchange in Guilford, looking for inexpensive copies of her books. And let me tell you, she wrote plenty of books for me to prowl for. Then I moved on to the harder stuff: Kathleen Woodiwiss, Jude Devereaux, Johanna Lindsey, Shirley Busbee. I was hooked. And this was all before anyone actually knew Fabio had a name.  But, alas, I had to move on again. That's the sad part about reading everything someone's written. You have to find new things to read. Eventually, I stumbled upon Stephanie Laurens. The book above is the latest of hers that I've read. While I did enjoy it, I didn't enjoy it as much as her earlier books. If you are a fan of Regency romances, I highly recommend the Cynster novels.

In Devil's Bride, the first of the Cynster novels, we meet Honoria Anstruther-Wetherby, a finishing governess of aristocratic birth who wants to live a life of adventure, and Sylvester "Devil" Cynster, the Duke of St. Ives. Honoria, in an attempt to help a dying young man, finds herself trapped in a compromising position with the young man's dark and mysterious cousin, the Duke. Forced by a terrible storm to spend the night in a woodcutter's cottage, Devil decides that he wants to make the headstrong young woman his Duchess. Together, they embark on an adventure of solving Devil's young cousin's murder, all the while the Duke attempts to ensnare his Duchess.