Monday, March 26, 2012

Gather Around the Table

I am super excited to release, announce, make available...whatever you want to call it MY COOKBOOK!!!!! Woo-hoo! It will be available on Amazon in about a week and at 1000 other outlets in 6 to 8 weeks. In the meantime you can order your copy for just $9.99 (yes I am shamelessly advertising right now) at:
I promise it is super yummy and fun to read.


Whatcha waiting for?

Go get your copy and get cookin' today! :-)

Friday, March 23, 2012

PW's Iced Coffee With a Slight Twist (And Pump)

I like LOVE coffee. In fact I really <3 <3 <3 *Coffee*<3 <3 <3 Even better than just regular coffee is ICED COFFEE. Living in the southwest it gets very HOT and nothing is better than a cold drink to help combat the heat. I recently purchased the new Pioneer Woman's cookbook (PW stands for Pioneer Woman in case you were wondering) and in it is a recipe for iced coffee (she also has it listed on her website). I immediately made a B line to my local market to pick up everything to make it. I ran into two dilemmas. First, I could not find cheese cloth (used to strain the the grinds). Secondly, I did not have big enough containers nor the storage space to make as much as the recipe makes. Not a big deal about the second reason -- just half the recipe. Well, after some modifications I figured it out! I also changed the recipe slightly because I like me some Cowboy strong coffee and hers is much more creamier and silky. Mine is more of a "WOW! Now that is some strong Coffee." This is how I make it. Oh, and before you ask "Why not just brew it and then add some ice?" Basically, by cold brewing iced coffee it does not hurt your stomach. I have always ended up with a sore tummy after I brew coffee and put it on ice. Apparently I am not the only one that has that problem. It is really hard on your stomach lining. This coffee taste better and does not cause you any discomfort.

I used the Pampered Chef large pitcher that holds a gallon of liquid. I like it because you can pump it (so to speak) and make sure you get all the coffee grinds soaked in water. First, I empty one pound of coffee grinds in the pitcher and add water until it is full. I then pump it to make sure the grinds are thoroughly soaked. Let it sit for 24 hours on the counter. Any less time makes for weaker coffee.
 Next, you are going to strain it. I could not find cheese cloth to do this step so I just used my coffee maker and poured it right through. It strained it just fine (I mean that was what it was made to do, right?).
I have to empty out the basket after each pour because it is icky. Just make sure you empty the grinds in the trash and not your garbage disposal because it will end up causing problems with your pipes. I learned that the hard way.
 See, it strains it perfectly :-)
 Naturally, all that coffee will not fit in one pot. After each full pot of strained coffee I pour it in another container to just hold it. Oh, and yes those are PW cookbooks behind my pitcher.
 As the last portion of coffee is straining I wash the Pampered Chef pitcher because I am going to use it to store my coffee. The reason is because of the pump feature on it. See, I add about 1/3 can of sweet and condensed milk to the coffee.
 Now, add the coffee and pump away to mix it thoroughly. Every time I want iced coffee I can just pump to get it all mixed up again. Easy peasy :-)

 The finished coffee. This should last us three or four days and there are two of us that drink it. Not only do I like this better than my " Venti Iced Cafe Americano with Sugar Free Vanilla Extra Ice Light Water Upside down" from Starbucks it is also way more economical.
 My coffee. Totally love the Mason jar as a cup. In fact, I am going to replace all my cups with Mason Jars! Cute, cheap, and functional. I mean I can slap an lid on it and shake for a perfectly shaken beverage :-)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Purple Potty

This is going to be a strange blog entry. I mean it is gonna make you scratch your head and wonder why on earth I would talk about something like this, but I am just like that -- random and strange. Hence, sometimes my blog entries will reflect that.
Before I go any further I would just like to give you a little background on why this topic excites me. A few weeks back we were at a dog show in which my kids' were competing. I had to go to the bathroom so I ventured over to the restroom. You can imagine my shock and brief panic when I walked into the women's restroom and there were no doors on the stalls. Now, I have been in plenty of nasty bathrooms in my lifetime. Heck a few years back I was in a bathroom and got some hobo's pee all over my pants. It was disgusting, but at least I had a door. Never in my public bathroom use have I not had a door on a stall until that bathroom run.
SO, fast forward to last week when once again I found myself at a dog show and needing to take a tinkle. I ask my fellow show goers where the nearest restroom was. They all directed me to the outhouse/port a potty.
Oh no.....again? Last time I had my Coach purse with me and did not know what to do with it in the doorless stall....this time I had a different, but nice purse. Where was I suppose to set it in a stinky port a potty? I then thought "at least I have a door." I then ventrued off to find the toliets.

I was so happy when I walked in and saw this:
 Yes, that is fully stocked toilet paper in a silver container. And that is my naked leg that the TP is resting on....took the picture as I tinkled....I really had to go. Hey, don't judge me. I have had three children. Two of which were over 10 pounds and if I don't go when I have to go I WILL drizzle.

You can imagine my complete and total delight when I turned around and saw an area designed for my Starbucks coffee cup....okay maybe not my Starbucks cup, but a cup holder none the less! Oh joy!
 There even was a fully stocked area to cleanse my hands complete with soap, paper towels, garbage can, and a foot pumped water faucet. Oh to be able to pee in comfort and wash my hands is pure bliss!
 What is this? A mirror too?!?!?! A lot of restrooms in public parks do not have a mirror, but this purple slice of portable bathroom heaven did. I was able to fluff my hair (love that big curls are coming back in. I mean take a look at the hair, cute right?) and apply my lipstick.

I was tickled when I saw the full instant hand sanitizer right there in the port a potty. I was able to give a quick squirt before sitting down to pee...and during the process of urination...and of course right after I went. I am kind of a clean freak and having pee of my own or anyone else on me grosses me out. In fact, I just threw up in my mouth at the thought of it.

Finally, let's not just take a moment of silence and appreciate the best part.....their beautiful wonderful royal color -- PURPLE.
I don't recall ever having so much fun and appreciation for a bathroom before, much less a port a potty. Take a moment today and relish in the simple (and sometimes disgusting) things in your life that make it easier. Oh, and every time you have a door on a stall be thankful.....oh and a place to set your Coach purse in a thankful. In all things be thankful. Even in the bathroom -- be thankful.