Sunday, December 30, 2012

Why hello there, 2013!

Well, I searched my entire blog and I can't find my post for my 2012 resolutions. I guess that means I didn't make any. I usually do so.... anyway. I wouldn't say it was a bad year. Gary and I started the Paleo diet change mid July and I've lost 52 pounds so far. I had to bring my walking (exercise) to a halt due to girl problems but I plan on picking it up ASAP.
My goals for 2013 are pretty simple.
1. Finish losing the weight I started out to lose. This shouldn't be incredibly hard. It was pretty much falling off when I was walking and my girl problems should be over by mid-February.
2. Be a better pen pal. I've been slacking BIG TIME this year and I'd like to apologize to my pen pals. My goal is to get back on track. I'm going for at least 1 letter, per pen pal, a month. Feel free to nag me if you haven't received yours. :)
3. Be a better blogger. I really do try and keep this updated. I get lazy and that's my only reason. I'm on a mission to find new recipes so hopefully they turn out well and I can share them!
4. I'm going to TRY and read 2 books a month (minimum). I'm a pretty fast reader but I get distracted easily and forget to pick up the kindle or a book. So yeah, I know, I set my goal low but it's a start.

Hopefully, in 52 weeks, I can update the blog again and report that I successfully stuck to my resolutions!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Blackberry Pork Tenderloin

Hey, I bet you'll never guess where I found this recipe! Oh.. punchfork you say? OK FINE... actually my mom found it on punchfork and pointed it out to me. :D
You're not getting a pretty picture this time because 1. the stock image looked gross and 2. my own dish looked even worse! Seriously, if you were going by looks alone you'd never touch it. Purple pork with a purple sauce? LOL
OK, just trust me when I tell you that it's delicious AND it's a crockpot recipe so even better!!

The first thing I did when preparing to make this was go wine shopping. Most of you are cheering at this point, but I'm not a huge fan of wine so I took my wino friend, Melia, with me. :D
I should point out that I do like a nice glass of moscato but I was shopping for a Merlot and I hate red wine.

So let's get started!!
You're going to need:
1 (2lb) pork tenderloin (I used 1 lb)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 Tbs dried rubbed sage
1 Tbs crushed rosemary (I skipped this. We're not a fan)
1 (16oz) jar seedless blackberry jam
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbs dry red wine (I used a Merlot)

For the sauce you'll also need:
1/2 cup of the above red wine
2 Tbs honey
1 cup fresh blackberries
(I would double the sauce if you're making a 2 lb tenderloin)

Start by seasoning the tenderloin. Cover all sides in the salt, pepper, sage and rosemary.
Put the tenderloin in the crockpot.
Pour the blackberry jam, 1/4 cup of honey and 2 Tbs of the red wine over the pork.

Cook on Low until very tender. I did 6 hours but that's because Gary was running late from work. It was probably ready 30 to 45 minutes before. It wasn't dried out though. :)

For the sauce, grab a small saucepan. Pour 1/2 cup of the red wine, 2 Tbs of honey into the pan. Add in the fresh blackberries.
Bring to a boil over medium-low heat and simmer until the sauce reduces a little and the berries begin to burst. It took about 20 minutes for me.

Slice the tenderloin on to plates and spoon the sauce over the slices! :)

If you're a slob like me, I'd suggest using an apron. You're using red wine and making a blackberry sauce... so yeah.. everything stains. I **always** cook with an apron!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sizzling Shrimp with Garlic

On December 23rd, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute things for Christmas dinner. I didn't wanna go the day before Christmas because I knew it would be a madhouse. I also picked up a few things to make meals right before and right after because again, I don't like madhouses. One of the things that I grabbed was a pound of shrimp. Then I went googling for a new shrimp recipe because I wanted to try cooking something new.
I'm going to post this recipe as I found it then tell you the changes I made along the way.
Gary gave it 5 stars. I, personally, don't eat shrimp. It's nasty. It tastes nasty and has a horrible texture. It did smell good though!

I found this recipe on Punchfork is my new favoritest place to find fun, new recipes. It's where I found the dill, garlic, lemon salmon that I posted yesterday, and this one, and a few more I'll be trying.

While this recipe IS Paleo we did cheat and use some delicious french bread. I ate it with my gluten free pasta/marinara and he used it with the pan juices this dish creates.

You're going to need:

4 to 5 Tbs. olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 to 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 Tbs. dry sherry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Start by heating up the olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan. I didn't have lemons for juice on hand so I used a lemon infused olive oil. Once the oil is warm add in the garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika. Saute for about a minute ... until it's fragrant.

Turn up the heat to high and add in the shrimp, lemon juice and the sherry. Stir well and saute until the shrimps are cooked. They'll turn pink and opaque... it takes 3 to 4 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the parsley.

He liked it so much that instead of saving half for lunch the next (like he normally does), he ate the entire pound of shrimp.

OMG Something Crafty???

I was pretty sure that I posted this last Christmas but I can't find it anywhere.
Every once in a while I get a crafty itch. I can't claim this idea as my own, in fact the image I use for the cover of this project isn't even mine. I have no freaking idea where I found this project. I wasn't on pinterest then so I know it wasn't there... anyway, I'm rambling.

So, if you're like me, you don't like to throw out all of those pretty Christmas cards that people sent you. I found this brilliant idea to package them up together by year.

You're going to need your stack of Christmas cards, a hole punch and some metal rings for binding. You can find them at any craft store.

It's pretty self-explanatory. You'll punch holes in the cover, in each card and use the rings to keep everything together. :)

It should look like this when you're finished.

I didn't make that cover graphic and if you don't want to make your own you can just use this one! It looks and works best if you print in full page format on a sturdy cardstock. :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Salmon With Garlic, Lemon and Dill

I pulled this recipe (and picture) from Well, I actually found it on but it led me to THAT website and anyway.... like you care, right?

So, I was looking for a new way to cook a piece of salmon that we bought right before Christmas. Our "go-to" way is delicious but I need change. Gary, on the other hand, could eat the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over again for months on end. (Melia is the same way too!)

This one had the prettiest picture ... ok well it was the recipe that called for the least amount of ingredients AND had the prettiest picture. ;)

You're going to need:
1 lb salmon fillet
2 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Fresh dill, to taste
Lemon slices

First, preheat the oven to 450 F (232.2 C).

Line a baking sheet with tin foil then coat it with cooking spray. I forgot the cooking spray and thought "Hmmmm there's enough oil/butter on the top - it should ooze under and be ok, right?" WRONG. USE cooking spray, we lost our skin and that's the best part!

Put the fish, skin side down, on the baking sheet. I combined the melted butter, olive oil and garlic in a bowl then used my fingers to spread all over the fish. I put a bunch of salt and pepper on it too.

Then I grabbed my herb scissors and I was really excited to use them because I rarely get to. BE CAREFUL! These bad boys are sharp... I cut myself. :(
I used the scissors to snip a bunch of dill all over the fish.

I sliced a lemon into decent slices and layered them on top of the dill.

NOW, the recipe calls for you to cook for 10 minutes. I don't know if they like it rare or had a thin salmon or what but I had to cook it for almost 18 minutes and that did NOT overcook it. It was perfect. So, in a nutshell... cook at 450 F (232.2 C) until it's cooked the way you like it.

I served it with roasted broccoli and it's Gary approved. Delicious!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Glossy Box - December

GlossyBox showed up today and I have to admit I'm pretty happy with it. I'm not sure if it was nicer than usual because it was a Christmas box or if it's always this nice. I'll probably end up giving most of the products to Melia. They're nice, but better suited towards her.
~ ECRU - acacia protein oil
~ Pleats Please - perfume sample (smells nice, just not my favorite notes)
~ Bath and Shower oil - madurai jasmine and mogra scented.
~ White Tea epsom salts
~ Oscar Bland - Dry Styling Heat Protect Spray
~ Zoya - "Storm"... beautiful sparkly black
~ A jewelmint sample which was a pretty gold toned necklace with pretty jewels/pearls (fake).

Anyway, that's that!
It's the last day of Gary's Christmas vacation so we went to see The Hobbit. It was FABULOUS! Now, it's time to cook a delicious salmon dinner and I'll post the recipe if it's as good as it looks. ;)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Beauty Boxes Overload!

I'm not going to spend my post bitching about how horrible google is and how they say my google drive is full even though there are maybe 15 spreadsheets/documents in it and that's it. I'm supposed to hear back from them in "1 to 2 business days"... yeah right. Anyway, for the time being, images are being hosted at Photobucket. They haven't ever given me a problem in years.
So, as you can see I've gone red. I don't mean auburn, or strawberry or Nicole Kidman... I MEAN RED... primary red, "you can't buy this in a box at Walgreens" red. I love it. It's fun and funky and well... yeah.

You might have noticed that I have not posted any of my monthly beauty box posts in a while. I've been busy and distracted and well... lazy?

That being said, here are a few of the ones I have received since November.

I'm starting with BeautyBox 5 in November. This box is the reason that I cancelled BeautyBox 5. I'm not even linking to them because it sucked so bad.
Some random crap in a net baggie but what stood out the most was the CETAPHIL lotion.... REALLY???? For the cost of this entire box, I could have gone to Walgreens and bought a giant bottle of this crappy lotion. CUHANCELLED!

Now, here is BeautyBox 5 for December. Yup, you read that right. They sent me another box after I cancelled. I went back and checked and I did indeed cancel, removed my card, hadn't been charged but they sent me another box anyway. This means I can't really complain about this box HOWEVER, had they sent me this box in November I would not have cancelled. You see that little brush there? I've been meaning to buy another one JUST LIKE THAT ONE for months now and I never think about it until I am using it in the morning and then by the time I get around to it, I have forgotten but they sent me one so YAY! A nice brush, a full sized pretty eyeshadow powder and some other random stuff that I will use. Maybe I'll sign back up again. We'll see if they send me another free box in January. :D

Now, here comes Ipsy for December! Y'all know I loooooooooove Ipsy (formally known as MyGlam).

A whole slew of products I'm going to use:
Sweet eyeliner pencil, eyebrow gel, GORGEOUS lip gloss, nail polish and Meet Matt eyeshadow in a great color! I love theBalm products!!!
I was also VERY happy with November's bag but I've used most of the products and the bag they came in is being used in my shiny new purse. :D

Now, here's a new one for the month of December.
It's Beauty Bar - Sample Society. Sounds all hoity-toity and they have that right. The samples they sent me were pretty high end compared to other sample boxes. I'll probably use most of this but Murad, Philosophy and the Vapour Organic lipgloss in a gorgeous color stick out the most!

I also signed up for Glossy Box. They ship out mid-month so I'm still waiting for my December box to get here. I'm guessing it will be Monday and I'll update when I get it. I did some sneak peeking around the website to get a hint of what comes in this month's box. We'll see how pleased when I get it. It seems sorta "meh" but you never know!

This concludes 2 months of beauty boxes crammed into one post.