Saturday, August 6, 2011


There are so many projects going on in our house. Since they are so large, they seem never-ending. I have acyually taken to breaking them up an hour to two hours at a time so I am not working on the same project 24 hours a day for 4 days straight. It's coming along.

One thing that is coming along is the Lakeland house. The tile installation begun yesterday with two rooms started. The bathroom is 2/3 completed. Waiting for vanity and custom shelving to be made, painting, installing fixtures, and toilet. The lawn has been sprayed and ready to be removed for new sod. It is coming together semi-smoothly.

I found an amazing website that not only helps you plan your meals but allows you to store your favorite recipes from all the online recipes collections. It is great. Hadn't found any kinks yet.

The past week's meals were non-existent due to traveling back and forth to the Lakeland house but I am planning next week menu right now.
Another nifty feature of Plan to Eat is your friends can follow your menu and culinary adventures, haha!

Time to work on my project.
Tchau (Goodbye in Brazilian Portuguese!)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer Cleaning

Wow, what a productive day! Even though I slept in more than I wanted to, I still managed to accomplish more than I expected today.

 For some reason, I was having sharp stomach pain last night. So, of course, I jump on the computer to self-diagnose myself. Well, apparently, there were a gazillion ailments I could be having! So, off to bed, lying there, in panic mode wondering if I ever going to wake again (I watch too much Dr. G). Beep, beep, beep, yep, that is the sound of Roberto's alarm at 2:30am and I am still awake with my arms crossed across my chest. I listen to him get ready for work, make his coffee and toast, wouldn't you have died, if I said I got up and made breakfast for him at 3am, hahaha. Somewhere, in there I fell asleep.

I slept through the alarms (2) that went off at 8am and woke up to little man talking to his stuffed animals, around 9:30. Ah! So, I promised him I would make a big homemade breakfast and we chose Chunky Monkey Pancakes.

Made from pig pancake pan from Urban Outfitters! Thanks JJJ!

Cheeky Monkey Pancakes
I am calling these pancakes Cheeky Monkey Pancakes in honor of Jake's aunt, whose nick name is strangely "Cheeky Monkey". The original recipe was called Chunky Monkey had nuts. I was out of nuts! And since Cheeky Monkey has no nuts, this was appropriately changed to Cheeky Monkey!

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large banana, diced
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • cooking spray


  1. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set bowl aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the skim milk, melted butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, being careful not to over mix the batter. Gently fold in the banana and chocolate chips.               
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side

So, I cleaned the house. For some of you reading, thinking to yourself, "Yeah, I do that everyday". I do not! I am too busy with "work", cooking dinner, Jake time, and working again, in that order! Roberto is the cleaner and he is awesome. Does a better job than some of the ones I paid to clean the house. I pay him other ways ;), like I took him out for frozen yogurt tonight, lol! Anyways, with the renovations going on in the Lakeland house, he has been over there working and meeting with the contractors. Leaving a lot of housework to pile up. I really just want call someone to come in but I had to do it. Plus, I tend to clean the house before the housekeeper comes, so why bother.

Roberto came home and had bought some mega-sized laundry detergent. While he was putting it away, he knocked over a mega-sized Downy bottle. And somebody did not close it after they used it last (oops!). There was Downy everywhere, even on Roberto. He just sighed and said "Great, now I have to clean this mess!". But delirious clean freak I was today took over and said "No, I will get it." On the bright side, my house smells April Fresh!
The Delirious Clean Freak

 After cleaning all day, I was not about to cook. So, we went to Lakeside Village and had dinner at B.D. Mongolian Grill. Followed by dessert at Yogurt Mountain inside Book-A-Million. Jake and I both picked out books. He picked Dora (of course) and I chose The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond which is from one of my favorite blogs, The Pioneer Woman. There is just something about her that is just so down to earth. She has a new show on Food Network. Good for her!

Time to sign off but not without little man pics!

 Nite Nite!

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Favorite "Start my Day" Recipes

Today, KellysKornerBlog it is Show-Us-Your-Life: Favorite Breakfast Recipes and of course, I have several. For anyone who comes to visit me knows, I love preparing breakfast
 So enjoy them as I have!

Pecan French Toast

4 eggs

  • 2/3 cup orange juice

  • 1/3 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup white sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 (1 pound) loaf Italian bread, cut into 1 inch slices

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest

  • Directions

    1. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, orange juice, milk, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla extract. Place bread slices in a tightly spaced single layer in the bottom of a flat dish or baking pan. Pour milk mixture over bread, cover and refrigerate overnight, turning once.
    2. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    3. Coat a jelly roll pan, or rimmed baking sheet, evenly with the melted butter. Arrange soaked bread slices in a single layer on pan. Sprinkle evenly with orange peel and pecans.
    4. Bake in preheated oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Check slices during last 10 minutes of baking time to avoid burning


    • 3 cups self-rising flour
    • 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
    • 3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 1 1/2 cups dried wild blueberries (about 10 ounces)
    • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon peel or regular lemon peel
    Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk self-rising flour and 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl. Using fingertips, rub in chilled butter until pieces are size of small peas. Add dried wild blueberries and toss to coat. Mix 1 cup buttermilk and finely grated lemon peel in glass measuring cup. Pour buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients and stir until dough begins to form (some of flour will not be incorporated). Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and gather together. Knead dough briefly, about 5 turns. Divide dough in half. Form each dough half into ball and flatten into 1-inch-thick disk. Cut each disk into 6 wedges.
    Transfer scones to prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Brush tops with remaining 1 tablespoon buttermilk and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until scones are golden brown on top and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.


    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon white sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 ripe bananas, mashed


    1. Combine flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vegetable oil and bananas.
    2. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy.
    3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot

    2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast

  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/3 cup shortening

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying

  • 1/3 cup butter

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 4 tablespoons hot water or as needed

  • Directions

    1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.
    3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.
    4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.
    5. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.


    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    What a circus of a party!

    Well, I have been busy the last few weeks. Busy with all sorts of things, mainly planning Jake's 2nd birthday party. And of course, for those who know me, I don't skimp on parties. So here are some pics from the Big Event! There are a lot of pics so be patient!

    It was a huge success. Although it was blazing, everyone had a blast! As usual, I was still prepping when everyone starting arriving. So many things did not even get a chance to be put out! No one noticed!

    We are now finally preparing to move into the Lakeland house. We have a couple more contractors coming on Monday with some bids and hopefully, on Tuesday, we will schedule a start date. I was dragging my feet forever but two weeks ago, we received a call from the preschool which we had been on a waiting list (forever). They now had an opening! Since this is right near the other house, I am more motivated then ever.

    Hate to end things on a sad note but I have to. Late Thursday night, I loss a childhood friend. We were more recently friends on Facebook. I followed her life on FB, reading about her recent anniversary as she posted her wedding picture (as she does every year), reading about her upcoming vacation which was last week, then following how she was having difficulty breathing and had to see the doctor,  being admitted to the hospital where lost her life due to a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung). She was only 39 years old and the mother of two young children. The morning she died, she was still posting on FB, updating everyone. Reminds how precious life is and how quickly it can slip away. So, please, cherish every moment you have!

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    My Tilapia Tragedy

    Today was a trying day all around. I started sleeping through the alarm for an hour. Then, I was so irritable at work. I mean literally every little thing just got under my skin. After a while, I decided I needed a break, so I called Roberto at work and told him to meet me at Five Guys, yum! Well, that cheered me up a bit.
    Then, it is off to pick up the light of my life. Apparently, is wasn't his day and what a crankpot he was, bleck! So, I picked up some Tilapia and found a scrumptious sounding recipe. I made rice pilaf since I am cutting carbs I don't care for rice so I won't be tempted to eat it. Broccoli was is now Jake's new fave food. "Daddy More Bockli Peaz!" All was going well, except my fish sauteeing skills are not the greatest. I tried to save the delectable fish but it too late.

    The below video pretty much sums up what happened to the fish. Sorta!

    Here is the recipe, it was as scrumptious as it sounded!

    (I am including the mashed potato recipe, I did not make them)

    Sorry, picture to come, computer having issues!

    Thyme mashed potatoes
    • 3 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered
    • 4 1/2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
    • 6 tablespoons (or more) warm whipping cream
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme

    Balsamic butter sauce
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 garlic clove, minced

    • 2 cups sugar snap peas, strings removed

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 6 4- to 5-ounce tilapia fillets

    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


    For thyme mashed potatoes:
    Boil potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain; return to pot. Add butter, 6 tablespoons cream, and thyme; mash. Season with salt and pepper. Do ahead Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring often and adding more cream by tablespoonfuls if dry.
    For balsamic butter sauce:
    Simmer vinegar and garlic in small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to thick syrup, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
    Cook snap peas in boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain. Return to same pan; set aside.
    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in each of 2 large skillets over high heat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Sauté fish until golden, about 2 minutes per side.
    Rewarm balsamic syrup over medium-low heat. Whisk in 1/2 cup butter 1 piece at a time. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to peas; stir over medium heat until warmed. Season with salt and pepper.
    Divide potatoes, tilapia, and peas among plates; drizzle with sauce.


    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Fun in the water

    So, I kinda had the day off and so did Roberto and since we just purchased Sea World Annual Passes, we decided to take Jake to Aquatica. The weather was perfect, a little overcast. Jake had to wear a life jacket so he was able to move around more freely. This park was better for him since it had a cove for little guys his age with 2 1/2 ft of water which was perfect.


    When we got home, I threw some steaks on the grill and we ourselves a nice surf n turf. We added snow crab legs.

    Here was tonight dinner. A bold dish perfect to serve for company.


    • 4 14- to 16-ounce New York strip steaks (each about 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick)
    • 3 tablespoons black peppercorns, cracked with mallet
    • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter
    • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1 pound portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
    print a shopping list for this recipe


    Sprinkle steaks with cracked peppercorns and coarse salt. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
    Melt 1/2 cup butter in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and vinegar. Stir in mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt. Remove from heat.
    Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill steaks until cooked to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to plates. Top each steak with 1/2 tablespoon butter. Tent with foil to keep warm. Grill mushrooms until soft and beginning to release juices, about 3 minutes per side. Divide mushrooms among steaks and serve.

    Night all!