Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Being Re-Victimized...

I have wanted to blog, but it seems as if the thieves who broke into my home in August are still gunning for my ass in an effort to steal my identity and my good credit.

As I told the detective handling my case, it is as if every piece of mail, call or anything remotely dealing with the break in, feels like a re-victimization each and every time. Each and every time.

With one of my credit cards I have the credit report and monitoring and when I received a letter stating there had been inquiries, my mind went into a tailspin. Never mind that the letter was dated the same day I was contacted about the applications, it still felt like I was getting hit all over again. Then the letters denying the applications started arriving. Another moment of panic set in. I contacted a bank they were trying to open an account with and after being transferred and waiting what seemed like a lifetime, they informed me they were indeed using my address to garner the credit. I immediately lost it. I called the detective frantically and several times until he called me. I needed to know if they were going to hit my house again, because Jesus, I couldn’t handle that again because my well-being and frame of mind are fragile right now. He reassured me, that isn’t how thieves work and they had to use my address because it is what my credit is associated with and what they usually do is have a different shipping address for information and they think the only correspondence is only through email. He apologized for me being victimized yet again. He wanted to send a car out to take my statement and get the information they would need for snagging the culprits, but I told him let’s wait until the next week. Again, I wasn’t able to eat, concentrate or feel secure in my home all weekend.

I cannot describe this feeling of anger, regret and insecurity I feel right now. I do what I need to do every day, but a sense of panic sets in when I go home and there is mail in my mailbox or an unknown call on my cell phone. I hate feeling like this. I feel like a wimp, who actually carries a gun that I have a permit to carry. And yes, I do know how to use it. I am not John Adams' niece for nothing. But this fear is damaging. Trust is nonexistent. Anyone who walks down my street is suspect.

Up until September 13, I was feeling a bit secure about my home with the new deterrents in place. However, when my neighbor came over on September 12th and told me she had gotten burglarized as well, I was surprised and angry. They hit her for far more than they got me for. I was angry that this retired school administrator has to walk around with a damn gun too, because folks do not respect other’s property. I was mad. Then I got two calls on the 13th about folks applying for credit in my name. On Sept. 13th I froze my credit. Now even I can’t get credit in my name. So imagine my surprise that a major bank calling me on the 14th about me supposedly opening an account in my name. I spent 30 minutes proving who the hell I was and the fact I didn’t open an account with them. After they froze the account, and I got off the phone with them I set in my car crying. This shit had gotten out of hand. Then my sister called me and said she had a fraud alert on her debit/credit card that caused her anxiety I realized no one is safe from folks stealing from you. And if R…y gets into office this shit will get worse.

I am not myself right now. The thieves took more than just a few things from me, they took my security and one can’t get that back overnight. I went to the police station to do the supplemental report for identity thief and to get a copy of my police report. I was nervous about doing it, but I prayed on it and it took about 15 minutes and Officer Washington understood what I was feeling. I just want these motherfuckers to leave me the hell along. I don’t bother anyone and I mind my own business, but this shit right here? Is doing too much. When I gave her all my information I walked out of the police station with my head held higher because I was taking one step at a time in regaining my life back. This situation has changed my life and not for the best. Imagine being creative in hiding your personals and important documents. I shred shit that I shouldn’t shred due to my fear. I can’t live like this forever. I am better than the folks who took from me, but I will be damn if they take my good name with them that is not for them to take. Slowly but surely, I will be taking back my life and living to the fullest.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Creative Cooking...Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Polynesian Sauce

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

I felt guilty.  Seriously, I did.  I haven't posted anything in a week and I felt like such a slacker.  Really, I have just been so tired that cooking anything just seems to take too much energy.  I have to be careful when I take too many days off in a row, I become lazy.  I was telling The Guy I wanted some chicken and I wanted some fried chicken.  I was craving some.  This happens when you don't eat fried chicken often and when you want it you have to have it.  So as a compromise, I decided to do chicken nuggets and make my own dipping sauce.  And since I didn't have a cooking post in the que...this is what I came up with. 

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

2 boneless chicken breasts or 1 to 2 lb package of tenderloins cut into nuggets


½ cup of Buttermilk

1 large egg

Seasoning for chicken

2 tbsp of Tony’s or seasoning salt

1 tsp of black pepper

1 tsp of Cayenne pepper

1 tsp of Accent

Flour seasoning

2 tbsp of Tony’s or seasoning salt or just plain salt

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 tsp of baking powder

1 tbsp of powdered sugar

1 tsp of black pepper

1 tsp of paprika

1 tsp of Cayenne pepper

Canola oil
Brining in Buttermilk and egg mixture.  You can see the seasoning of the chicken as well.

First cut up your chicken and season with the seasoning for your chicken. Then in a bowl pour in your buttermilk and whisk in your egg, once incorporated add your chicken and cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes. I am sure you can brine it for a bit longer, but I haven’t tested to see how long one should brine it.

In a pan or a bag, which I used, mix in your flour with the seasoning. Yes, that is powder sugar used in the flour mixture. You can adjust seasoning according to your taste buds. Look, I eyeball my seasoning. And you may think the Tony’s is a lot but really it isn’t going to be too salty unless your over season your chicken prior to brining.
Nice crust forming.

In a cast iron skillet or deep fryer, heat up your oil. After your chicken has brined in the buttermilk mixture, take it out of the bowl and allow a good portion of the liquid to drain off before putting the chicken pieces into the flour mixture. When your oil is ready, cook your nuggets in batches. Depending on the size of your chicken pieces will determine how long they will cook. Do not overcook and do not have your oil too high because you will burn the nuggets and no one likes burnt chicken. Once you have turned them and they have turned golden brown drain on paper towels.
Golden brown and drained.
Serve with your own Polynesian sauce.

Polynesian sauce with pieces of the crushed pineapples.
Polynesian Dipping Sauce (This is a variation of what I saw on multiple sites.)

1 cup of pineapple juice from a can of crushed pineapple reserve the crushed pineapples to add later

¼ cup of honey

3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of sugar

½ tsp of garlic powder

1 tsp of ground ginger

1 tbsp of ketchup

Looks yummy, right?

Over medium heat in a saucepan heat up ½ of your pineapple juice, which I drained from a can of crushed pineapples I had on hand with your honey. Add in your Worcestershire sauce, salt, sugar, garlic powder, ground ginger and ketchup and let simmer for a bit. After the flavors have married for about 5 minutes make a slurry with the remaining pineapple juice and a tbsp of cornstarch and slowly add to the mixture and allow it to thicken under a low heat. When thicken add some of the crushed pineapples to your liking and serve with your nuggets.
Brining gives you juicy chicken...
Up close view.
Let me know how you like it if try it.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Creative Cooking...Triple Chocolate Espresso Bean Cookies

Triple Chocolate Espresso Bean Cookies

Okay, I think at one point in my life I was addicted to my Café Mocha. Seriously, I had to have my coffee every morning, then my coffee shop closed it was such a sad day for me. Then I purchased an Espresso machine and made my own coffee. However, I found I didn’t want to make coffee in the morning and I was so engrossed in my gardening I just didn’t have the time in the morning to make the coffee and water my plants. So I stopped cold turkey with my coffee. Probably wasn’t my best idea because I noticed my metabolism slowed down and although I wasn’t eating any differently, I was gaining a few pounds then I just hit a plateau. Anyway, I have lost them added pounds, and still trying to lose more pounds and that is another blog post. Back to the cookies, so in my mind why not make a cookie with espresso in it. Then I was like, ooh it would be so great if I could find a recipe with chocolate covered espresso beans in it. And I did. I saw quite a few recipes, but too many of them were a bit too involved for my laziness. My search finally came to an end when I went to the Foodblogga site and found a recipe that her family loved and they had to hide the cookies because over half the cookies disappeared as they were cooling. Right there told me these cookies were going to be a hit. Believe it or not, finding the espresso beans wasn’t so hard to find here. FYI, the other reason I chose this recipe is because it uses whole wheat flour and you know I still have about 4 pounds of that to use. LOL!

Ingredients: From Foodblogga

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons espresso powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups white sugar

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chocolate covered espresso beans

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Dry ingredients ready to be mixed together.  See the espresso powder?

Dry ingredients all mixed together.

Combine your dry ingredients of flours, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa in a large bowl.
Wet ingredients as well as dry ingredients

In my mixer I creamed my butter and sugar. I added my eggs one at a time and my vanilla and beat until it was smooth. Then on the stir, I slowly added in batched my dry ingredients until everything was well incorporated. Your dough will be dark brown and at this point stir in your chocolate chips and espresso beans. I did this part by hand with a wooden spoon.
A good close up of the dough as well as the chocolate chips and chocolate covered espresso beans

I placed the dough on my cookie sheet with my cookie scoop about 2 inches apart and baked for about 15 minutes or until they were firm around the edges. The recipe calls for 9 to 10 minutes, but you have to adjust the time based on your oven. Then I let them cool on a rack.
All on the cookie sheet spaced apart
The recipe says it makes about 36 cookies but I was able to make 52 out of this, which is probably due to the size of my cookie scoop.
Fresh out of the oven

Verdict: Being addicted to coffee ain’t a bad thing. And eating cookies that blend the flavor of chocolate and coffee together is amazing. And when you bit into a chocolate covered espresso beans, your taste buds dance and sing. Amazing. The cookies were crunchy around the edges, but soft in the middle. As Foodblogga says, neither the chocolate nor coffee over powers the flavor it is a nice delicate blend. I will definitely be making these again probably around the holidays. Yummy!

Close up of the cookies
Inside view.  Sorry picture didn't come out as clear as I wanted it to be.
Just so you knew I really did eat one.  Like there was ever a doubt!

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!!!!

Yes, my birthday shoes.  Shoes always make me happy!

They are silver and gold, but they appear purple, and purple is my favorite color.

It’s my birthday. I am so thankful to see another year. With a year of highs and lows, I can say I appreciate it all because I learned from each high and each low. The shoes are the birthday present I gave to myself. I sent a picture to The Guy and he was so gracious to say they were nice, but he likes my legs better. (Girlish giggle!) Yes, sometimes I actually giggle.

No big plans for my day. I am actually at work, but Thursday is my Friday and when I leave here on Thursday I will not return until next Tuesday. What happens during this weekend, I can only guess. I just know I am going to celebrate my birthday in peace, joy and love.

Oh, and of course I have to give you the obligatory picture. Seriously, I really do make 43 look damn good and yes, I know I am vain. Enjoy your week!

Seriously, everyone can't look youthful after 40, but I do.  Yeah, I am vain.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

My President makes me proud to be an American...Seriously Romney & Ryan ain't about that life. I witnessed a convention filled with diversity, that is America!

Creative Cooking...Fried Plantains

Fried Plantains (See the sea salt and cinnamon sugar)

As I mentioned in the previous Creative Cooking segment, I also purchased two plantains to eat with my dinner. As I scoured the Internet for recipes, I found all them pretty much were simple and they were simple to cook. So why was I so intimidated by these things?


2 plantains

½ cup of vegetable oil

Cinnamon sugar

Sea salt

Diagonal and equal thickness

Frying, but not too many at one time.

Turned over after a few minutes

You can cut your plantains in several different ways, but I cut mine on a diagonal with an equal thickness, which is how I am used to eating them from my local Jamaican restaurant. Heating up my oil for frying, I placed my cut slices in the hot oil, not over filling because you don’t want the oil’s temperature to drop. I turned them over after about 2 or 3 minutes and finished for another few minutes. Depending on the desired color will determine how long you cook them up. After draining them on paper towel, I seasoned with a little sea salt and cinnamon sugar. Yummy! This was quick, simple and easy. And I didn’t make my house hot either.

Voila!~Yummy goodness

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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.