Friday, April 27, 2012

Thank God It Is Friday Randoms....

My first batch of roses.

Thank goodness it is Friday. This was a short week for me at work, but the last two weeks have been quite trying. Having to give the government your hard earned money and then being able to divert a MAJOR catastrophe with my hot water heater, I figured I needed to do two things. Get a husband or get another job and frankly neither of these solutions sit well with my soul.

However, I must be thankful because things could have truly been different and sometimes even in the dark you have to recognize the blessings and light. So I am grateful to Him for His favor.
Indi and Talia crossing the finish line
Shonna and the texting.
I don't look too bad after such a horrendous walk!

Last Saturday the book club participated in the annual Joy to life 3k walk. WORST ROUTE EVER! Ugh! I can do 3 miles on the treadmill with it program for hills and not feel horrible, but the route this year made absolutely no sense. A man had to have mapped. We were going up and down multiple hills and around and around in circles. Seriously. Really. I stated I wasn’t doing the walk next year I would volunteer unless they make some significant changes in the route because it made absolutely no sense!

After the walk I treated myself to Waffle house and a nice hot bath. And then a nice long nap.

The Guy had to miss the Panama City Beach Jazzfest this year because his job scheduled a training the same weekend. He was not happy about it. However, Saturday morning as I was contemplating how downtown Montgomery was going to torture me, he sends me a text he is headed to PCB for the jazzfest and it only costs $30 to change the ticket. I wanted to be mad about it and frankly I was a little ticked, because we were suppose to go together, but I knew he really wanted to go. Well, he ended up stuck in Atlanta. No one wants to be stuck in Atlanta, been there and hated it! Lucky, the world tilted on its axis and he made it to PCB, none the worse for wear. He still shouldn’t have gone without me.

My sister spent a few hours with her father’s family this past weekend. Seems folks look good for their age, look old for their age, have gained weight and can’t hold their liquor. My brother didn’t attend he is still adjusting to life. The pictures look great.

Love this from Pinterest: “You are my friend. When you laugh, I laugh. When you cry, I cry. When you jump off a bridge, I get in my boat and rescue your crazy ass.”
Happy Birthday Carson!

Happy Belated Birthday to Carson! This baby came way too early, but he has surprised and astonished everyone from doctors to family. I didn’t worry about him surviving, because I knew my aunt was watching over the situation and everything in God’s will be okay. He is the happiest baby around. And I cannot wait to take him to the club. Yes, the baby who is always camera ready is a year old.
Raised garden.  Looking good!
Container gardening.  Coming along...

My garden is coming along. Although I am sure tired of folks calling me old for gardening or scratching their heads in wonder thinking I would not put my hands in dirt. I maybe girly, but I ain’t that prissy!

This weekend is our annual business meeting for the book club and we celebrate 13 years together. Hard to believe, but it is one of my most valued accomplishments. Thank you ladies!

Who is Anonymous who commented on my Tish Cupcake posts? Come out of lurkville. Just kidding, only if you want to.

Anyway, I plan to enjoy my weekend with the meeting, a date and relaxation. You have a wonderful weekend as well!

Me Easter Sunday.  I don't remember if I posted this picture or not, but I love it!
As many tears as I have cried these past two weeks I can always manage a smile and a Thank you Lord!  Taken today!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Creative Cooking…Moo Goo Gai Pan

As you are aware or can tell from the recipes I post, I am really a lover of Asian dishes. Mainly, if they are easy to prepare and don’t cost an arm and a leg for the ingredients. I don’t know about you, but as one of my book club members says, “I am at the gas station making life decisions.” I am seriously watching my money with gas inching towards $4 a gallon. And that is another whole story. The government is messing with my vacation plans. Ugh! On to my dish, I love the flavor of Moo Goo Gai Pan, because I really do love mushrooms and what is not to like with chicken and mushrooms. So being thrifty I was able to garner 8 chicken breasts for $4 and some change. Go me! Of course I only needed three for this dish, so freezer the rest go. I scoured the Internet for a simple recipe and of course I pinned it on Pinterest and the rest is history. This recipe is adapted from Blog


3 large chicken breasts cut into chunks

1/3 cup of oil

3 slices of ginger

2 cloves of minced garlic

1 ½ cups of chicken broth

2 tablespoons of cornstarch

1 container of sliced mushrooms

Frozen stir fry mix

Seasoning to taste (sea salt)

Crushed red pepper

Rice to serve

After you have cut your chicken breasts into chunks season with whatever seasoning your choose, heat your oil on medium heat and add your garlic and ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds or a little more just do not overcook it. Add your chicken and cook and stir for approximately 4 minutes.
Chicken added to garlic, ginger and oil.
Chicken broth w/cornstarch added to chicken

In a separate bowl, mix chicken broth and cornstarch together and then add to your chicken and finally add all your vegetables. Continue to cook and simmer for 15 minutes covered and add red pepper if you like a bit of heat.
Frozen stir fry mix and baby portbello mushrooms.

Looks yummy!

Serve over cooked rice. You can add soy sauce, but I like it just the way it is.
Saucer of goodness...

Verdict: This dish probably took me 30 minutes from prep to cook. It was simple especially when you can add the stir fry mix to simplify things. The chicken was tender and tasty, while the veggies complimented the dish and the mushrooms adding the best part for me. If you are going to make this dish, I think it is sad if you don’t have the mushrooms because the mushrooms are the essential part of the dish the vegetables help to Amerianize the dish. It is flavorful, filling and quite tasty. In the original recipe no season is added, since I used a low sodium chicken broth I added sea salt to taste.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Creative Cooking...Peanut Butter Cup Truffles

The one candy bar which I love dearly, but rarely partake is Reese’s peanut butter cups. So while I was on Pinterest, I noticed the exorbitant amount of pins for these peanut butter truffles. After a few days of fantasying about making them I decided to try them out. I learn a couple things about myself from doing this and I will expound on it at the end of this post.

I got the recipe from Six Sisters Stuff, which has an array of interesting recipes to indulge in when you feel the need to cook up something. The ingredients were simple and I had most of the items already on hand.

Peanut Butter Cup Truffles from

2 sticks of butter

1 lb of powdered sugar

1 cup of peanut butter (used an all natural kind)

Graham cracker crumbs (yeah, I cheated and got them already in the box. A whole box of graham crackers costs $4.89, ridiculous!)

Dipping chocolate
Butter, grahram cracker crumbs, peanut butter and powdered sugar mixed together

Basically I followed the directions from the site. I mixed my butter, sugar, peanut butter and graham crackers together. Then I rolled into balls, but I wasn’t consistent in size. I’ll explain later. I placed them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Once all rolled, I placed them in the freezer for about 45 minutes. After this time, I melted my semi-sweet chocolate chips and readied my peanut butter balls for dipping. This is when shyte took a wrong turn. It took me 2 hours to get all the balls covered because…I will explain later. I had to keep putting the peanut butter balls back in the freezer and reheating my chocolate, so not good before they were as covered as I felt like doing. Yeah, I was over these Peanut Butter Truffles, way over them. Once they were all finished and set up, I placed them in an air tight container and kept them in the freezer.

All rolled up!  No there isn't a picture of them covered in chocolate before being put back in the freezer.  Chocolate was everywhere!

Verdict: Very tasty. If you crave peanut butter cups, this will satisfy such a need. I can pretty much promise you I will not be making these again. I learned my patience isn’t longer than a gnat and my OCD tendencies really can get the best of me. This was the messiest dish I have ever made. Rolling the peanut balls wasn’t a problem, really that part was almost cathartic, but trying to make the balls uniform, my patience cannot take that. However, I must have made a grave mistake in using the semi-sweet chocolate chips, which I had on hand. I think I should have used the milk chocolate because of the melting point. Rolling the pb balls in the chocolate sent me over the edge! I deplore things on my hands. No really, the chocolate on my hands was doing too much and I was truly upset while making these pb balls. The more I washed my hands, seems like the more the chocolate would be attracted to my hands. It took 2 hours because I would have to stop every few minutes to wash my hands. This was just too ridiculous for words and my patience had already run out. I even tried skewing the balls, but they would start to crumble, which means I needed to add some butter or something. And rolling them around in the stiff chocolate just got on my nerves. I will say they were delicious and the kids like them. However, I will not be making anything sweet any time soon. My patience can’t handle it.

Best picture I could come up with, because I was so over these!

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

She must be HONGRY!

I drive my sister crazy when I respond totally opposite of her when it comes to her kids. Yesterday, was a day I really needed a belly laugh and thanks to my middle niece aka retirement plan, I laughed and laughed to my sister’s despair.

Seemingly, my niece ate 3 day old chicken yesterday afternoon. Now, I know that doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but in this case it was chicken she had a in a baggy that had been in the car since Saturday. Yeah, think on that. Let me give a you a few things to visualize as well, the weather in Virginia Beach was hot as in a steamy 80 something degrees. My sister was driving and she smelled something that didn’t smell quite right and she glanced in her review mirror because she knew there wasn’t any food in the car and what she saw caught her eye and almost caused her to have an accident. My 8 year old niece had grease smeared across her face from one side to the other. She asked her what was she eating and she realized it was the chicken from Saturday she went off and the poor child was crying.
Me crying laughing as I am typing this post!

I asked my sister was she hungry, because what would make her eat chicken that has been sitting in a hot car edible? She couldn’t answer, but she said she couldn’t have been hungry because she had ice cream from aftercare. I keep telling my sister my niece needs to eat, poor child is starving. My poor sister can’t find the humor in it because she figured Hunny Bunny will be sick all night and start foaming at the mouth and any other dramatic thing she can think of. I can’t stop laughing…and neither can LaLa!

Lala, laughing it out!

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cupcakes by Tish...New Flavors

*See disclaimer. No compensation at all. My own opinions.

Strawberry Kiwi, Smores, Cherry Limeade


Graham cracker and Chocolate square (Her.shey's)
Inside view of the Smores

I do not understand why I have not tried this particular flavor. Maybe it is the adult in me that feels like Smores are for children or my regretful days as a Girl Scout and the one time we made Smores and that was all I really appreciated it from my one year experience as a GS. Who knows? On this particular occasion I of course checked their FB page and was delighted see their Hello Kitty cupcakes and cake, but they were also introducing fans to their Spring flavors, and since March 20 is the first day of Spring, how apropos.

The Smores cupcake is a chocolate cake with a graham cracker bottom and the chocolate cake is topped with a chocolate ganache and a marshmallow icing. When I tell you I was licking my fingers, I ain’t even shame.

Cherry Limeade Cupcake
Cherry Limeade, very pretty presentation.

Inside view, pound cake density

This cupcake peak my interest because I may not like not one food item on Son.ic’s menu, but I love their Cherry Limeade, which I haven’t had in years. This was a white cake with the consistency of a pound cake with it density. The cake portion has little pockets throughout of a lime flavor especially near the top of the cupcake. The icing is a cherry butter cream flavor, but I detected an almond flavor in the icing. Let me say, that I once had a wedding shower cake that ruined me from the taste of almond flavoring, really. The baker used entirely too much almond flavor and it made the cake inedible for me. So I sit on the edge of liking this and fretting about the almond flavor. I figure the almond flavor brings out the cherry taste in the icing and although it is not over powering, I still could detect. Bless my taste buds, because that wedding shower cake is like a nightmare I refuse to forget. I loved the pound cake density of the cake portion and I liked the cherry butter cream icing, but I didn’t love it. I may try it again just to be sure my tastes are off.

Strawberry Kiwi Cupcake

 I have already told you how much I love the strawberry cake portion of the Strawberry & Champagne cupcakes. Now imagine the same strawberry cupcake with the same bits of strawberries in the cake and then imagine a butter cream frosting with bits of kiwi and the kiwi seeds. Mouthwatering! This is a very good flavor mixture. I was quite surprised to actually see bits of kiwi within the frosting. I figured she would use a flavor and put a slice of kiwi on top, but on no she did it up. It was quite tasty and I can’t wait to try it again. I also got to finally taste fondant. I watch all the cake baking shows and many use fondant and modeling chocolate to design the details and figures on the cakes. Tish used fondant with purple sugar to make a butterfly to sit atop the cupcake. It not only tasted yummy, but it made for a visually appealing display.

You know purple is my favorite color?  See the kiwi seeds?

See the bits of kiwi in the icing?


Friday, April 06, 2012

Good Friday Randoms...

So what am I doing for Easter this year? It looks like I will be sitting at home watching DVDs and noshing on crab legs, with my hair still in soft spike rollers.

My family had decided the first of the week to either cook or dine out. By Wednesday it was dine out, by Friday it was either eat with cousin’s SIL or me and my cousin eating out by ourselves. I immediately nixed my invite to SIL, because seriously, I am not a big fan. It goes back to when I was 14 years old and she lied on me. As a teenager, you know how hard it is to dispel a lie told by an adult and I was basically crushed that the family believed her and basically called me a liar. I have never forgotten it. I have no hatred in my heart; just don’t trust an adult who will lie on a child for auspicious reasons. Since there isn’t a restaurant in Montgomery I want to dine in, I think dinner out, is out. LOL!

My co-worker on my 2nd job suggested I cook a dinner for The Guy. I nixed that idea too, because his son is in a basketball tournament this weekend, out of town. She said I should go as well. Not. I am not trying to meet the ex-wife and since it is her child…You get the picture. Plus, I am working part of the weekend.
Dilated pupil from 4/5/12...This tortures my sister!

I was finally released from the retina specialist yesterday. I am completely reattached and my vision is back. Of course, I am extremely near-sighted in my left eye and I have to get new glasses and contacts on Monday. My doctor who smiled for the second time and shook my hands said I did very well with the surgery, because for many patients they never return to 20/20 vision after such a situation. I knew how blessed I was from the very beginning. The nurse and I were talking after he left and I said I am not sure you were in here at the very first appointment and he told me I was having surgery the very next day and how I cried and cried as he explained the procedure. She said, “Oh, I remember because we talked about it later.” Great to be remembered for my dramatics. Seriously, I am truly blessed to have my full vision back. I knew there was a possibility I would not regain the vision I was losing after the surgery and I was preparing to compensate for the loss, but God always knows. Probably why I have finished about 4 books in the last month or so. What? I am not taking my vision for granted.

Anyone want to tackle my taxes with me this weekend? Didn’t think so.
Raised garden w/nails.

Container garden.

Getting healthy.

See things are growing...

More growth!
 I finally set up my raised garden and planted flowers and a few herbs in pots. Go me! My rose bushes looked a bit anorexic, but with some tender loving care look quite healthy. My sister asked me the other day was I rushing home every day to take care of my garden. And if I am? It is so cathartic. So what did I plant? Grape tomato plants, basil, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, green onions, cilantro, marigolds, sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos and portulaca. I was ambitious this year. We shall see how thing go. Don’t laugh at my raised gardens with the nails sticking out; I need to get them screwed in with an electric drill. Yeah, that probably won’t happen.
My Pinterest, watering bottle!
I am back on the treadmill at work, well on the down low. They have an old/new to us treadmill, which is much bigger than our old one. I am trying to get ready for the Joy to Walk in April, because I do not want to suffer the pains, aches and raw skin that I had when I did it a few years ago. Plus, I am definitely in better shape than I was back then.
Blue light for Autism month ...and cat eyes!

I had my blue light on this week in support of Autism month. Um, my neighbors were probably shook with the lights thinking it was the police, but hey it was cool. Except when I went to take the picture and a damn cat was luxuriating in the blue light. Unlike other bloggers, cats do not scare me, but I despise them with a passion, sorry cat lovers. I always think they lick food when you aren’t looking if they are indoors.

Another Pinterest idea put to work. Yeah, I really did this. Which reminds me, I haven’t been on a day or two. Anyone tried polyvore? Yeah, found it on Pinterest and have made a couple of outfits from it.

We had a good book club meeting last Saturday, although the book was a great read for some members, it really gave us some great talking points. My final words were, “Be careful who you procreate with.”

Did you watch Scandal last night?  It was worth the hype.  "I am a gladiator in a suit."  I am in love with scripted television!

I hope those of you who have this Good Friday off are enjoying it. A thought from one of the attorney’s here, “What is so good about Good Friday? If Jesus hadn’t died for us on that day, it could have been you.”

Have a blessed Easter!

And I leave you with the babies in the family...
Lala, looking like her mother and looking like why you got that thing in my face!
Carson, always camera ready!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Creative Cooking...Mongolian Beef

With the cubed steak

I have said it before on this blog I am a lover of Asian dishes.  I seem to have a flair for them and as long as the list of ingredients isn't long or their difficult to obtain, I like making them.  The ones I choose are usually simple and easy to prepare.  So I decided for lunch the following week I would make Mongolian Beef and decided to google up some possible recipes, but I realized real quick some of the recipes were just too complicated or required too much prep time.  So I went back to my trusty food blog of Crepes of Wrath and found a quick and easy recipe.  By the way, Crepes of Wrath got the recipe from Pink Bites.


1 lb of flank steak or cube steak sliced thinly crosswise
1/4 cup of cornstarch
3 teaspoons of canola oil
1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
Green onions
1/2 yellow onion sliced thinly

In an effort of disclosure, I made this dish twice.  Both versions were made with the same ingredients except I used cubed steak the first time and thin sandwich beef the second time.  Now both tasted the same, but the visual was quite different.  The cube steak gave the appearance of cube steak in gravy, well that is what my sister said.  She was like, "that looks like gravy."  I chalk that up to the way I sliced the cubed steak, which left a lot of crumbly pieces of meat the pan and in the sauce as I was cooking it.  Yeah, she almost hurt my feelings, but hell it tasted too good for me to care.

1.  First you slice up your beef and make sure it is completely dry before adding your cornstarch.  Nope, didn't measure the cornstarch just used a enough to coast the meat, but I did put in a strainer to shake off the excess.

2.  To make your sauce heat half your canola oil in the pan, no I do not have a wok, but if anyone wants to make me a happy camper...Anyway over medium heat add your minced garlic and ginger.  I actually purchased a small piece of ginger root to mince.  Then immediately add your soy sauce, water, brown sugar and pepper flakes.  Um, I added a little more than 1/2 teaspoon of pepper flakes.  I like heat.  Cook sauce for about 2 minutes and then transfer to a bowl. Be careful, it is hot.  Don't ask how I know. 

3.  Put your slice beef in the pan with the rest of your canola oil and cook while stirring until the meat is all brown, doesn't take too long.  Pour your sauce back into the pan and let it cook along with the meat.

4.  I cooked mine until the sauce was thicken.  I used the green onions to garnish my dish instead of putting them throughout the dish.  Why you make ask?  Because I cut half a small yellow onion and added to my sauce a minute or two before I was ready to take it off the stove. 

5.  I cooked my brown rice ahead of time and then added early peas, onions and grated carrots to it.  You can add soy sauce or other items including butter and seasoning, but I rarely add much more than veggies when I am using a flavorful Asian dish.
With the slice sandwich steak

Verdict:  Amazing flavor, taste.  The aroma waifing throughout my house was intoxicating.  The meat was nice and tender and the dish had the right amount of heat for my taste buds.  However, this recipe only makes for 2 servings and since I needed to eat this all week for lunch, hence me making it a second time.  Next time, I will double the ingredients.  So go ahead I know you want to try it and make this dish and head over to Crepes of Wrath and Pink Bites for other delicious dishes to try.

Labels: ,

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.