Thursday, March 29, 2012

For Clarinda and those who want to follow me on Pinterest...

Follow Me on Pinterest

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Creative Cooking...Thai Lemon Shrimp
My version of the Thai Lemon Shrimp

If you follow me on Pinterest, you know I will add recipes to my board, in fact that was probably one of the first things I pinned. This particular recipe caught my eye because of its picture, which was absolutely beautiful. (Wish I could take a more beautiful food shot.)  And when I clicked on the picture, I realized it was from one of the food bloggers who I occasionally check out because he is constantly cooking unique and ingenious dishes. Plus, this was one of the few dishes I knew I could make and wasn’t too complicated. And it seemed light enough for a quick date night dish. Head on over to and check out Kevin’s recipes and approached to dishes.

This recipe is from Closet Cooking the only change I made was I used light coconut milk and added a ½ teaspoon more of Srirachi chili sauce for the full recipe follow the link:

Mixing the marinate with the raw shrimp.

To my hot pan the shrimp and the 1/4 cup of lite coconut milk

Adding my chopped cilantro after the shrimp was done.  This part goes quick.  Do not overcook your shrimp.

Finished dish w/brown rice and extra cilantro for garnish!

Verdict:  When I tell you that your tastebuds will be thanking you, I am not playing.  The flavors compliment each other and it is the perfect combination of sweet, sour, hot and refreshing.  I served mine with brown rice with peas, carrots and onions added to make it seem like fried rice.  The sauce is slap your mama delicious.  I sent pictures of the dish out and everyone wanted to try it.  It is eye appeal and palate appealing.  It is light enough and easy enough to fix during the week with heating up your house or taking too much time.  From start to finish it probably took me 25 minutes.  The longest part of my prep was zesting the lemon and lime and squeezing the lemon for fresh lemon juice, which wasn't that long either.  Pinterest is making my life great and my culinary recipes are widening.  So if you love shrimp and want something light, but tasty with a touch of heat make this dish.  I dare you to!

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Welcome to Spring, which feels like Summer Randoms...

I know you have seen the commercials for Cuties as they extol the fact they are for children because they are sweet and they are easy to peel with their little hands. Whatever. I eat these joints all the time. I dare my young cousins to mess with my Cuties…they probably won’t anyway because I have yet to see them eat a piece of fruit.

One of the municipal court judges I worked with back in my domestic violence victim’s advocate days passed away this week. RIP – Judge Knight.

Um, I still haven’t quite found my lost hour of sleep. I have yet to become acclimated. I am just so tired, but try going to bed before 11 or 12 midnight, ain’t gonna happen.

I tried out two new dishes this week. Go me!

I really hope my yard guy gets to my yard this week and no later than Saturday morning, because I have finally found an inexpensive raised bed for my veggies and I can use my containers for flowers.

You know summer is going to feel like the bowels of Hell, right?
My attempt at watermarking.  Oh, to show my eye is still red too.

My eye is almost back to normal or as normal as can be. Yeah, it is still red and I am still too afraid to sneeze, but at least it is no longer sore. Now if I can lose the security of my eye shield…

I sent my sister and brother a nice reminder to have a great day. What you may ask? A picture of moi…
My brother's response: "My Big Sister."  My sister's response:  "Oh!  That looks much better!" The Guy's response:  "Sexy"  Enough said.!

Oh and here is the freshly unrolled flexi rod set. Nope the curls weren’t tight at all. But it is holding up well. Probably need to have my hair a bit more wet.
Freshly unrolled.  Back to the Soft Spike curlers...

El Debarge has been arrested again. I am not sure the allure of drugs will ever dissipate for this family. Oh, the charges have been dropped, but still…You want them to succeed, but the drugs seem to have a mighty hold on them Debarges.

I just wish the young folks in my neighborhood would start respecting the elders of the neighborhood. Playing the loud bass thumping music as they are riding down the street is so unnecessary. They do not realize it, but we don’t care about the thumping, we like peace. They aren’t getting the full effect of the music because they are in their vehicles. But with a noise ordinance as tough as ours, you would think the police would put a stop to it. Really, I just want them to respect the elders of the neighborhood. Their ignorance shouldn’t be heard and seen.

Wednesday was Octavia Spencer day in the capital city. You knew she was from here? No, I didn’t go to school with her. But I know some folks who did.

I need to do some Spring cleaning. 1st up is the laundry room area. I need to dispose of all the things no one will ever use to make a sufficient storage space for other usable things. I will try to tackle it this next month. I am working a lot this month so I took off this Saturday to rest and hopefully garden and the next Saturday is book club.

I keep telling folks FB is the devil and with potential employers asking for passwords, um things just got crucial. Seriously, though if you can’t see my page w/o my password, we have a problem because I ain’t giving it to a potential employer. FB can be used as a tool to research potential employees, but asking for a password, is going too far. Lucky for me, I don’t post much on FB and I can’t help what my Friends posts, because they have the right to express themselves as they deem fit.

I really didn’t want to turn on my AC, but 80 and above temperatures make it necessary. Man, I loved my reasonable electric bill.

I find the most intriguing things on Pinterest. Really I do. Are you on Pinterest? If not, what are you waiting for?

Be thankful for your health insurance, because some folks have none.

I guess I need to take the weekend to refresh myself on our book this month, Daddy by Default by Pat Tucker. I am also going to try to enjoy the weather and a day off, because this has been a long month.

Does anyone have an easy method to watermark their pictures?

Justice for Trayvon Martin. Remember the key word here is justice. That is all.

Just so you can smile too:  My 3rd cousin, who I have been contemplating adding to my retirement plan, you know the one, where one of my family members retires me.

Carson, baby! 
Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cupcakes by Tish...

Cupcakes by Tish are easily my one guilty pleasure. My kids on my second job keep asking when I am going to bake them something and my answer is no time soon. Why? Because I am enjoying taste testing the cupcakes that come from the kitchen of Cupcakes by Tish. I have been meaning to post all the differing cupcakes on the blog, but with the eye surgery and everything else, it just seemed impossible to do separate posts on them so I am putting them all together.

Cupcakes by Tish are made by the owner very early in the morning from all the press I have read. She puts a lot of love into her cupcakes and let me tell you can taste the difference. The cupcakes are fresh, tasty and worth every dime. I have a few that are just my absolute favorites, but I have tried several different flavors and they are all very tasty and good, but I seem to have a palate that just loves the richness of a few of her flavors.

The very first cupcakes I tried were the Chocolate Pomegranate and Chocolate Chunk Mochaccino.
OMG! Were the words out of my mouth regarding these cupcakes. Very rich and flavorful. The pomegranate cream cheese icing on the Chocolate Pomegranate Cupcake just had my eyes rolling to the back of my head. Amazing. The chocolate cake was rich and moist and the bit of tart in the pomegranate cream cheese frosting is a great combination for the chocolate. The Chocolate Chunk Mochaccino gives you a hint of coffee, but it has a rich chocolate taste that is neither too sweet or too bitter, just right. However, if I had to choose one from the first tasting, I choose the Chocolate Pomegranate. And when it is on the menu for the day, you will find me at the counter on my lunch break. I must have this one.

Chocolate Pomegranate - When in season she uses the pomegranate seeds.
Chocolate Chunk Mochaccino
And inside view...

Sweetnin and Red Velvet

Key Lime

The Sweetnin and the Red Velvet were the next ones I tried.  The Sweetnin is named after Tish's grandmother and it is a triple chocolate cupcake with a red wine infused chocolate icing.  Think on that for a sec...It is amazing.  Quite rich, but one of the few chocolate icing on chocolate cake flavors I will eat and enjoy.  In the middle of the cupcake is some chocolate ganache.  Shut up!  Her Red Velvet is also wonderful and is on the menu everyday and I know why.  I have attempted to make red velvet cupcakes twice and after the last attempt I gave up, because I could never make them as light and moist, but extremely flavorful as Tish does.  Loves them.  Her Key Lime cupcake also took me by surprise.  The bottom of the cupcake has the graham cracker crust and the cake was yummy with a great cream cheese lime icing.  This one makes the menu quite a bit, because it is just that good.
Rasberry Lemonade 
Cinnamon Roll
Inside the Cinnamon Roll
Peanut Butter Cup
Inside the Peanut Butter Cup
The Rasberry Lemonade was quite interesting because the icing was light and the cake was also very light and it conjured of the flavors of rasberry lemonade.  It also is one of those cupcakes that isn't overly sweet.  I tried the Cinnamon Roll just to try something new and I was pleasantly surprised.  It had the cinnamon roll taste and that nice bit of cinnamon in the actual cake made for a quite tasty cupcake.  One of my absolute favorites is the Peanut Butter Cup, which I kept asking for while I was recovering from my eye surgery.  My cousin went twice trying to catch it, but neither day was PB cupcake day.  Actually, it seems to appear often on the menu now.  I love it.  The icing is the most luscious peanut butter tasting icing I have had the pleasure of enjoying, the chocolate cake is moist and rich.  I have found that most of Tish's chocolate cupcakes are moist and tasty.  Not once have a had any of her chocolate cake that was dry or heavy.  Anyway, back to the PB Cupcake, lovely, rich and just plain yummy.  And let's not forget the little peanut butter cup on the top.  Icing on the cake!
Cookies and Cream
Inside the Cookies and Cream
Strawberry and Champagne
Inside the Strawberries and Champagne

If you love Cookies & Cream, you will definitely enjoy this cupcake flavor.  Rich icing with a moist cake center with a nice cookie pieces through out.  And finally, this is also one of my absolute flavors, Strawberry & Champagne.  OMG!  From my very first taste I knew I was going to be addicted to this flavor.  Moist strawberry cake, with bits of strawberry within it and a strawberry buttercream icing infused with Champagne.  Shut your mouth!  Absolutely amazing!  I just love this cupcake and when it is on the menu I am at Cupcakes by Tish.  Seriously, I wait for them.  I waited 30 minutes today for them.  This is a serious flavor addiction.  Oh, you can tell I love this one.

If you live in Montgomery, head on over to 1940 Mulberry Street and Like them on Facebook.  Everyday they list their flavors on FB so you know what you want to savor and enjoy.  The workers are customer service oriented and always smiling and nice when I am there.  I have told my book club members and everyone to check them out.  I have a few more flavors to try and of course you know I will definitely tell you about them.  These cupcakes are flavorful and exotic and worth every dime!

**Disclaimer to the right, but just so you know I didn't receive any compensation or free cupcakes for this blog.  The opinions are my own and I purchased my own cupcakes.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Creative Cooking...Hot & Sweet Drumsticks

I decided to cook a meal Sunday. I am not hyped about cooking anything right now. All I want to do is rest and cooking isn’t synonymous with resting. Plus, there isn’t much I am craving or have an itching to taste so that plays a role in me actually cooking. This weekend I made a new chicken dish and hoped it would come out right or I would have wasted money on chicken legs and apricot preserves.

My new obsession of Pinterest tipped me in the direction of the Pioneer Woman. I have seen her show on the Food Network and I read about her on another blogger’s site. However, I was pleasantly surprised by her different recipes and reading her stories before and during the recipes is hilarious. She has a marvelous sense of humor. Anyway, I tried to decide between two different recipes but ended up choosing the easier of the two. Well, the one that didn’t require me to buy too many ingredients. Ya’ll know I am lazy.

So from Pioneer Woman to Tasty Kitchen here are the ingredients for the Hot and Sweet Drumsticks.

Hot and Sweet Drumsticks Ingredients:

1 cup Apricot Preserves

½ cup of Ketchup

¼ cup of Soy Sauce

2 teaspoons of minced garlic

2 teaspoons of Hot Pepper Sauce (El Yucateco – Habenero Hot sauce)

3 pounds of Drumsticks
Combined ingredients simmering.  It smelled great as well.

You know I changed up a few things in the recipe right? I used light soy sauce, because that is what I had on hand and plus, it is what I prefer. Yes, I actually minced my own garlic since I have a whole one in my refrigerator and I used 6 very large drumsticks, which I seasoned with low sodium seasoning salt and black pepper.
These suckers were large.  One is a serving.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a sauce pan, combine your preserves, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Cook and stir over medium low heat until preserves are melted. Arrange your drumsticks in a baking pan; I lined mine with nonstick foil. Pour sauce over your chicken legs and turn to coat. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes or until done. Spoon sauce over the legs while baking.
Almost done, just got to keep spooning the sauce of them.

Yumm-o! In the infamous words of Rachael Ray. This was quick and easy to prep. I have made similar sauces before and the one thing I detest more than anything is a piece of meat with this wonderful sauce on it but the chicken is lost because it wasn’t seasoned properly. I also followed the suggestion of the Pioneer Woman and added to my taste my hot sauce. The kind I use is quite hot, but I added the right amount so you got the sweetness and got hit with the heat on the end. As with using dark meat, you will get unless you really mess things up a juicy, tender and flavorful piece of meat. I paired mine drumstick with loaded mash potatoes and lemon pepper steamed fresh broccoli. I enjoyed every mouthful. And I am sure you will enjoy it as well.

Hot and Sweet Drumstick w/loaded mashed potatioes and lemon pepper steamed broccoli

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Friday, March 09, 2012

Daylights Savings Time Randoms...

I am losing an hour of sleep. This is going to be so problematic on Monday, when I really feel it.

Right now, I could use a nap, but that isn’t going to happen.

One of my workers on my part-time job asked for more hours a few weeks ago. I looked at her and said not until I get some positive reports from the other managers, and when I asked them at our weekly meeting the answer was you haven’t improved. She was very appreciative and said thank you. I know she called me a byotch, but hey I had been gone for two weeks and prior to that I didn’t schedule her when I worked. I need peace in my life and she doesn’t bring that to me.

I return to working out this week. Go me! 4 days of working out! I was so excited to get back to our little gym at work and was looking forward to the treadmill. Um, why were both treadmills out of order? Man, I haven’t been in the gym in a month and the equipment was broken. Then no one even reported they were out of order. Geez, they must not be serious about their workout.

I need to wash my hair like nobody’s business. It has been well over a month since I washed it and 3 weeks since I retightened. My head is a fool right now. I am trying to figure out how I can fit in a wash and 12 hour dry session into my weekend. I so dread this process. Somebody help me!

The weather here has been crazy. One day it is cold and two days later it is 70 degrees. It is a wonder there aren’t more sick folks. The guy gets a cold every time the weather changes. Bless his heart.

The guy came to my job recently to eat and wait on his son to get off work and he didn’t want to drive all the way back home. The kids had a field day. “Ms. Cashana, I knew that was your boyfriend because you lit up and ya’ll were smiling so hard at each other.” Yeah.

Transitioning back to work after being off two weeks wasn’t too difficult, but I had to realize a few things. One, I couldn’t go back full days the first week back because my depth perception was off and it tended to give me a headache when I did too much computer work. Two, I struggled with not having control over this situation. Last week I went in for a follow up appointment and was going to work after. Well, they dilated both my eyes instead of just the left one. So I go to work after putting the shades they have given me over my eyeglasses. I go in to do my timesheet and complete my leave slips first well, I was only there 10 minutes because it was quite obvious I wasn’t going to be able to see shyte. I was just distraught over the whole situation. I went home and had a good cry and a nap.

Let’s go back to Tuesday of last week. I was on my 2nd job and sneezed. Sneezing is normal and everyone does it. However, when you have eye surgery you need to control how you sneeze. I had no chance to control the sneeze and when I sneezed, Lawd have mercy! I saw stars and stripes and possibly the light because the pain was excruciating. My head began hurting directly over my left eye and my eye was immediately sore. I did make sure I hadn’t gone back to having shadows, which I hadn’t. When I tell you when I went to my f/u appt. I told them what happen they wanted to insure I hadn’t done anything to re-injure the eye and I hadn’t but I was going to be sore. With this buckle on my eyeball, I think I sneezed so hard I bruised my socket and hit a nerve. Because my eye settled down on that Thursday, but Friday my eye was in ridiculous pain. If the wind blew across my eye, that bad boy hurt. It hurt until Saturday afternoon. It stopped I believe because I slept all day and did nothing but sleep and kept the eye covered. The next time I had to sneeze, I coughed instead.

I have finally slowed down on the entire picture taking of my eye. The retina is completely reattached and I have no restrictions except lying on my back. I go back next month to get new prescriptions for my contacts and glasses. Yep, luckily I only got new contacts in January and was holding on to my eyeglass prescription.

My sister was so mad about her cell phone bill this week she let the phone get cut off. Why? Because my niece and my brother had piled on extra fees and didn’t know where the extra costs came from. She said they were both looking sip silly. Her words. I was like I don’t know if I could just not have my cell phone. At midnight when the phone went off, I would have been like I don’t know what time it is even though I have a clock radio by the bed. I would have probably started rocking in the bed and pacing the floor trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with my phone. The picture I conjured up wasn’t pretty. Luckily, she only let them suffer a few hours.

My sister said this and I love it, “You can’t be stupid all your damn life.” Amen.

Pinterest is all that and more.

Is Snooki really headline news? I have yet to watch the show because it looks ridiculous.

Speaking of reality shows, can we petition somebody to end this mess? It has gotten so no scripted programs are being done and all the shows resort to sensualistic behavior for ratings. Frankly, I am tired of seeing grown women fighting. Luckily, I just don’t watch. But you can’t help but to notice as you channel search.

I am looking forward to Dallas this summer, but I am worried that it won’t live up to the hype and I will be disappointed. I grew up watching Dallas. We shall see.

I lower my head in shame because you know how many episodes of Law & Order: SVU I have seen this season? None. I don’t know what happen but on Wednesday I can’t be compelled to stop watching the old episodes of Law & Order to catch SVU, plus with Stabler gone, I don’t know.

No baking still, but I do plan to make these Hot and Sweet chicken legs for dinner Sunday. Got the idea from guess what? Pinterest. So I will have a new cooking item next week.

Did I mention I am going to have problems on Monday due to the change of time? I will be cranky for a week, I just know it. Until then, have a great weekend!

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Friday, March 02, 2012

Creative Cooking…Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya

Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras had me thinking about making either Shrimp Creole or Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya. After looking at the ingredients for both recipes, I decided the Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya would work for me. Plus, I haven’t been cooking much lately, because of the eye thing so this was my first new dish to try after surgery.

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya as adapted from


4 cups of cooked brown rice

1 cup of onion

1 cup of bell pepper

1 cup of celery

4 cloves of minced garlic

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon of sugar

Tony’s Chachere’s, black pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

1 pound of peeled and deveined medium shrimp

1 pound of sausage (I used smoked)

1 cup of green onions

1 stick of butter

2 ½ cups of water

½ teaspoon of cornstarch

While I was preparing my jambalaya I cooked my brown rice. The original recipe calls for white, but for a more healthy version, yeah right, I used brown rice. In a large pot, melt your butter and then add your celery, bell pepper, garlic and onion and sauté until onions are wilted. Add your tomato paste and continue to stir on low heat. Add the 2 cups of water, because I am using sausage, which isn’t in the original recipe and sugar. Season to taste with Tony’s, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes. Add your sausage 10 minutes into the cooking time. Continue to stir. Add shrimp and cooked until shrimp is pink and cooked through. Doesn’t take too long. Dissolve cornstarch with the remaining water and add to mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Finally add your cooked rice mixing well. Garnish with green onions. Done!
Onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic sauteeing in butter.
Tomato paste and tomatoes added.
Simmering along...
Adding the shrimp
Letting the shrimp cook and flavors marry!


Great!  This was an easy and quick dish to make and didn’t tire me out too much. I liked that the ingredients were simple. In the original recipe they used parsley and mixed the green onions in the end, but I do not like the taste of parsley, what? I really don’t and I figured the onions would taste better as a garnish. I keep Tony’s in my house. It is a staple. This dish was amazing. The flavors were so aromatic and worked so well with this dish. It was tasty and filling. I was quite proud of myself. It even tastes better after a day of soaking up the spices. Try it, you will love it! Next year I may try CreoleinDC’s gumbo recipe.

Hope you try it and enjoy it as well!

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Disclosure: Just so we are all clear any opinions or thoughts made on this blog or site are my own. Comments and statements from third parties may or may not be the opinion of Cashana Musings. I do not get paid to write book reviews or reviews of products or services. All reviews are based solely off my opinion as Cashana of Cashana's Musings. While I may receive review copies of books and even products or services they in no way influence my writing. All items that were received by me for review are disclosed as such. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Currently, we do not do advertisements.