Monday, April 30, 2012

Honey Mustard Chicken w/ a Curry Kick

Hey All. I have a simple, quick and tasty recipe to share today. I used this sauce on bbq'd chicken last night. But you could chop up your chicken and bake it with the sauce. It's great over rice with cooked carrots or peas on the side.

 This makes enough sauce to coat 6 chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts. Play around with the ingredients and adjust them to you and your family's taste. This could easily be doubled or tripled, depending on how much sauce you'd like. {A little side note - if you mix in some mayonnaise, this makes a very good dressing for chicken salad too.}

My favorite dijon type mustard - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Mmm! My mom sends it to me from California. I used garam masala instead of plan curry, I prefer the flavor. 

 I served the chicken with baked potatoes and corn on the cob. The corn was soo good! Kind of surprising, as it was the first we've had this year.

As I mentioned before, it is very good baked with diced chicken. That's the way I usually cook it, but it was nice out and I decided to bbq instead. Give this recipe a try and let me know how you liked it. 

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lamp Makeover

Hi There. Yep, I'm back. This is my second post today. If you missed my earlier post, please feel free to check it out here. It's just a little story about me and the Mr. Not only is this my second post today, but it's also my 100th post!!

This one's about a little makeover I recently did on a lamp that I hated! Unfortunately I have no before picture to show you. I was having issues with my camera and couldn't take one. But yay for me, I got a new camera the other day and am pleased to be sharing the after pictures. Those are the best ones to share anyway. Right? I'll give you a visual of what the lamp looked like before, to help you see how far its come. I think it was supposed to be done in a shabby chic style, but it did not deliver! It was dirty white, over dirty gold. It was sanded a bit so you could see some of the gold. My description makes it sound better looking than it actually was. Wanna see the after. It's definitely a statement piece in the living room now!

Isn't she pretty?? I love the color! 

I started with two coats of Krylon primer. Then did about four coats of Krylon Blue Ocean Breeze. And finished her off with a few coats of Krylon Clear Gloss. I'm not overly please with the gloss paint and may end up spraying on a couple more coasts. I'd like her to be really glossy! And after she was all finished I noticed some rough patches. I guess I should have sanded her down a bit before I started painting. Oh well, live and learn. Not everything has to be perfect, right? Here's a few more pics for your viewing pleasure.  =) 

So what do you think? Nice? The lamp shade I found at GW last year for $4. I wish there would have been more than one. I really like the linen look to it, especially when the lamp is on. Since I painted her, the pattern on the body is much more noticeable. Before you couldn't really tell there was one. Now it kind of looks like feathers or leaves. Love it! Overall I'm happy with how it turned out. Not too bad for my first spray painted lamp. I would definitely do it again. And the color, I'm gaga for the color!! It's the new accent color in my living room. I order some super cute zig zag patterned cushions cover from Avon and they should arrive next week. They have the same blue/aqua color on them. Don't worry, I'll share some pics once I get them.

Well, I'm off. Got to get out and enjoy the rest of the day. What are you up to this weekend? 

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The Story of Me & Mr. CC

Happy Saturday! This may be just another Saturday to you, but to me it's an anniversary of sorts. Today, April 28th, marks my 12th year living in Calgary. (I'm in Alberta, Canada for those of you that are unsure where Calgary is.) As I got to thinking more about this day, I realized I've never shared with you the story of how I met Mr. CC, and ended up moving from Las Vegas to Canada way back in 2000. I don't think I've ever told you much about me. So, with a dozen Canadian winters under my belt, I thought now would be a great time for an "about me" type of post. What do you think? Yes? Alright then. Grab a cup of tea or coffee and get comfortable, this may take a little while.  ; )

It all started back in January of 2000. I was living in Las Vegas with my, now ex, then husband. (I'm originally from Chico, Ca.) We were unhappily married and our marriage was definitely on the rocks. Shortly before the new year I had given him an ultimatum to change a few things or I was done. At the same time Mr. CC was living in Calgary and was in a very similar relationship, except he had a 18 month old daughter, Miss E. One night in mid-January I was chatting in an AOL chat room (remember AOL?) . I would like to make it very clear that I was in a regular chat room. It wasn't a room for singles or people looking to "hook up". It was just a normal chat room where men and women from all over the world could chat. Keep in mind this was back when the internet was still pretty new, and I thought it was soo cool that I could talk to people in England, Japan, where ever. Cool! Anyway, back to my story. So I was chatting with some people in a Montreal chat room. Someone asked me where I lived and I wrote, "Las Vegas". After I wrote that some guy responded, "I love Vegas!". Well that guy turned out to be Mr. CC!

We chatted with some other people for a while and then ended up PMing each other. (PM = private messaging) He seemed like a nice guy and we had a lot in common. We ended up chatting a few times that week. Every time we did, neither of us mentioned being married. We would talk about our spouses, but referred to them as our ex's. This went on for a couple weeks and I started to have real feelings for him and felt bad that I was lying about not being married. One night while we were chatting I told him I had something to tell him, and he said he had something he needed to tell me too. Well, I'm sure you can guess what we had to tell each other. We came clean and told one another that we were married. Mr. CC also told me that he had a daughter. Telling each other the truth actually brought us closer!

After that night we started talking on the phone every couple of days. It was kinda crazy how strong our feelings for each other were. Around this time we had only known each other for about two months and we were deeply in love. Since things between us were moving soo fast, we thought it would be best if we met in person. You know, to make sure we weren't romanticizing our relationship. - I should mention that by this point Mr. CC and his ex had filed for legal separation. And I had told my husband I wanted a divorce and was moving out. - So in mid-March Mr. CC flew down to Vegas for five days. It was like we'd always been together, we just clicked. Although I will admit that being around him the first hour was very weird. When you've only talked to someone on the phone and seen a couple pictures of them, it's a very strange feeling to actually be sitting next to them. There was a point when I told him to just talk and not look at me! hahaha The five days flew by and before we knew it he was on a plane back to Calgary.

That's when things went lightening fast. He found a place for us to live and moved out. I started packing, bought a one-way ticket and put in my notice at work. I also filed for divorce. I'm sure most of you know how quickly you can get a divorce in Las Vegas. The morning of April 28th, 2000 I boarded a plane and was on my way to Calgary. I had never even been to Canada. To be honest, I had never even thought about visiting Canada. And now here I was, on my way to live with a guy I'd only known in person for 5 days! What was I thinking?? hahaha Well obviously this story has a happy ending. We've been together ever since and added a daughter to our little family. We finally made our love "legal" on August 8, 2009.

 Yep, I'm a crier. I was crying all through the ceremony. I still have the ugly red cry face in this pic. But hey, my hair looks great.  ; )

Our little family! I can't believe how little the girls were.  : (  They grow up soo fast! Miss E will be 14 this summer and Miss A is 6.

Life over the past 12 years has been pretty good. We're still crazy about each other. I'm a stay at home mom. Our girls are awesome! I love his family. And things with Miss J, his ex, have turned out great. We're actually friends. She even attended my bridal shower. Yes ladies, it is possible! There is hope. =)

So there it is. It's all out there now. I know it's not the best love story. I know the timing on our meeting couldn't have been worse. But it's our story, for better or worse. Please be kind with your comments! I wasn't sure if I should post this or not. It's a little scary to put soo much of me out there. I just felt like it was time to share more of myself with you. Reading personal stories about other bloggers is always something I enjoy. It makes me feel like - hey, they're just like me! My hope is that some of you can relate to my story. I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for reading!  : )

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Dinner Club & Tres Leches Cake

Hey All! Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was pretty good. This past Saturday night was my Dinner Club dinner. I don't think I've mentioned my Dinner Club before, so I thought I'd tell you about it. Once every six weeks or so me a and a small group of friends get together for dinner. No kids, no hubbies or boyfriends, just a group of women doing what we do best - eating, drinking and lots and lots of talking.

Now the dinner part does have a little bit of structure to it. The hostess picks the theme of the night. This last one was South American. Some dinner themes in the past have been Italian, French, East Indian and one that was favorite comfort foods. Mmm!! Anyway, the hostess cooks the main dish and then the rest of us choose to make an appetizer, side dish or dessert. And of course a few of us bring wine or something equally as tasty to drink. It's always soo much fun! Great food and great conversation, can't beat that!

Once I heard our theme this time was going to be South American, I knew the dessert I wanted to make, Tres Leches Cake. OMG, ladies. It was soo good! OK, now I'm getting ahead of myself. heehee Of course I jumped on Pinterest to find a recipe, and the one that had a lot of pins was from Ree's blog, The Pioneer Woman. After reading review after review of people raving, I knew I had found the one. Would you like me to share it with you? OK, since you asked soo sweetly.

{image: The Pioneer Woman}
 Tres Leches Cake

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  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 5 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar, Divided
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
  • Maraschino Cherries, Optional
  • 1 pint Heavy Cream, For Whipping
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
Preparation Instructions

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.
- Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
- Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
- Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool.
- Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.
- Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. To ice the cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.
- Spread over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with whole or chopped maraschino cherries. Cut into squares and serve.

My notes:

* After 30 minutes I checked the cake and it was done.
* I poked the holes in while the cake was still warm. I think it helped it cool quicker. I also poked some extra holes in it before I poured on the milk. 
* I added vanilla to my whipped cream and used powdered sugar instead of regular.
* I did not add any maraschino cherries. I don't like them and never even thought about the fact that the  other ladies might. Oops! Sorry Janet.  =)
* It was very tasty the next day with a little cinnamon sprinkled on top. Mmm. 
* And lastly, I kept the one cup of leftover milk mixture. I poured it in a jar and threw it in the fridge thinking it'd be good for tea. Oh boy was I right. I made a chocolate chai tea and added some - yummy!

OK, now for my review of the cake. WOW!!! It might have been the best cake I've ever eaten. You would think it'd be soggy, but it wasn't at all. All the ladies loved it. And Mr. CC, Miss E and Miss A all loved it too. The Mr. actually asked me tonight if I was making it again tomorrow. He doesn't even really like cake, so that's telling you something. And yes, I will definitely be making it again. Next time though I'm going to bake the cake in two round pans and layer it. I may even add a layer of dulce de leche in the middle with the whipped cream. How's that sound? My suggestion is to make this cake asap. You will not regret it. Hey Cinco De Mayo is coming up. That would be the perfect excuse.  =)

{A last pic because it looks soo tasty.}

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