Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's Party Season!!!!

As many of you know, I LOVE a good party! Oh do I love a great party: great people, a little booze, good food, and old school music…can’t go wrong! I am currently planning two corporate events for October and November, along with birthday celebrations for B and E for October; but I am also planning one final party in December for myself. That’s right I am planning my own birthday party!

Full disclosure, I have never had a birthday party. I have had some memorable birthdays mind you but an all out party…nope. This party will be one of my weekly gifts to myself…cause y’all know I celebrate all month!

I’m thinking a game night party: card tables set up in the formal living, a spades table, dominoes, karaoke, Wii/PS3 games, Scrabble, etc. A buffet spread of gumbo, various seasoned chicken wings, fresh fruits and vegetables, cupcakes, good wine and liquor, old school music, roaring fire and a gang of people I like and love…..GREAT TIMES right!? I mean the house will be Christmas dressed, everyone will be in the holiday spirit and my people are truly fun to be around…TRULY. You can’t help but have an awesome time when we are in the building.

The ONLY reason this would not happen is if that darn bathroom remodel is not complete…still waiting on the insurance company and the adjusters to get it together. However, I’m going to plan anyway; guest list, I have a great idea for invitations, etc. I can’t even tell y’all how excited I am!

*Party over here*

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Friday Five - Stuff I've Purchased

With some warm maple syrup!!!! Child please! These were so good.

Patti Patti! Haven't tried this yet.

Find this stat! I can't even describe how awesomely scrumptious this tea tastes.
I actually received this free with a meal deal. Will plank some salmon directly
These cheese slices are really good with a sweet bread or even a croissant to offset the spice from the horseradish.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beginning To Look...

A lot like Christmas…

OK. Not really. I mean we are still in summer wear around this piece.

However, in the midst of everything I have going on I am thinking about Christmas: the color scheme I want to use, gift wrapping, gifts to purchase, mantle display, Oh I get to buy NEW trees this year!!!!

Um, don’t judge me OK? No Seriously….Stop it! LOLOL

I LOVE Christmas. Every year I have to talk myself out of putting my trees up November 1st Thanksgiving evening. #TrueStory.

This year I will have two big trees and fewer smaller ones on display. The main tree in the formal living I want it to look more traditional, similar to this:

The one in the family room more whimsical, like this:

I also know my kid is going to want her usual one in her room but she hasn’t decided on colors.

I also want to make some of these:

And this:

All my gift wrapping will be done in Kraft paper. I am teaching myself how to tie fancy bows (there are a ton of web tutorials); I am upping my craft supply purchases in preparation; I have ordered a set of alphabet stamps all so I can become one with my inner crafting self and do stuff like this:

About my mantle though? I have no idea what I want to do. I just know it will have to "coordinate"

I’m not going to even ask have y’all been thinking about Christmas because, save for one or two other people, no one has this Christmas decorating sickness but me. *smh*

All pictures from various www.Pinterest.com Boards...I'm addicted. If you want an invite leave a comment!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Now Churning: Chocolate Toffee Walnut

You need this in your life!

Chocolate ice cream, toffee pieces and toasted walnuts, mixed in and on top! Mercy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Extract

 I've been writing this vanilla extract post since I purchased the vanilla bean pods!  Had I known how incredibly easy it was to make my own vanilla extract I would have been caking this stuff for years!

It's a wrap! I will never ever, ever, in the history of ever purchase store vanilla extract. I mean it is SO FREAKING easy to make a better quality at home! Vanilla Beans, Vodka, 6 weeks. Yeah. That's it.

The flavor and smell and richness is far superior to anything I have purchased and let me tell you I have bought some expensive vanilla extracts in my time.

There are no additives in the homemade version, just likka and vanilla bean pods! The REALLY awesome thing about making vanilla extract at home besides cost and flavor is that you can continue to top the vodka off for a near endless vanilla extract stash!

I used Tahitian beans for this batch but I will be experimenting with other varieties and with Bourbon in addition to the vodka. Most vanilla extract recipes use vodka as it has a "clean" flavor.

Week 1

Week 2

What you need:
  • 1 Liter Vodka
  • 1 dozen vanilla bean pods (I purchased mine from Bean.illa.com)
  • At least 6 weeks

What to do:
  • Pour off about 1/2 cup of the vodka (By "pour off" I mean make a drink, take a couple of shots...by all means DO NOT waste good likka!! LOL)
  • Run a sharp knife up each vanilla pod careful not to cut through the pod and keeping the ends intact
  • Place all the pods in the vodka, close and give it a good shake
  • Store the vodka in a cool, dark, dry place
  • Give the extract a good shake once a week until set
  • When your extract gets low simply fill with more vodka, shake and store

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Orange Glazed Salmon

So I already have an orange salmon recipe and it is delicious. However, since I am on this cook new stuff kick and I Stan for Cuis.ine At Ho.me, I tried this one.

It was just soooooooo good and worth the one or two extra steps it took to cook it. The fact that it was just as easy as my go to orange salmon is just a plus!

I used regular old orange marmalade (I found one that had orange peels in it....so good) as I didn't find, nor search that hard, for Seville orange marmalade as the original recipe called for. I also added an additional teaspoon of brown sugar because the my Cajun mix would have been too spicy for Babe's tastes. I also added the juice of an entire lime and about a tablespoon more of the marmalade because I wanted more sauce to drizzle over salad greens.

Orange Glazed Salmon
Adapted from Cuisine at Home

What You Need:
  • 2 Tbs Cajun spice
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 4 boneless, skinless salmon fillets (6oz. each)
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs orange marmalade Juice of one lime

What To Do:
  • Combine Cajun spice and sugar in a small bowl
  • Rub the spice mixture over all surfaces of fillets
  • Saute fillets in oil in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat for 3-4 min per side. Carefully remove salmon to a plate
  • Place marmalade and lime in the skillet until melted. Swirl to prevent burning
  • Carefully place salmon back into the pan and spoon glaze all over fish.
  • The salmon is done when it begins to flake when tested with a fork.