Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Meatloaf beatloaf I...love meatloaf

Similar to when he said, "Daddy's gonna kill Ralphie," Randy was wrong about meatloaf. Meatloaf may be my number one favorite comfort food. I love it out of the oven and I love it cold.

My basic meatloaf recipe is very simple, but some Sundays call for the big mama meatloaf and that was this Sunday. When I want to be a fatty, I use the Pioneer Woman's meatloaf recipe as a guide. This leaves a lot of leftovers, so if you are not feeding a crowd or interested in leftovers, you should halve this recipe.
2 lb ground beef
6 slices white bread (I used whole grain white, you can use what you have)
1 cup milk (I used 1/4 cup fat free half & half and 3/4 cup 1%)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon regular salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice
1/4 heaping cup parmesan cheese
ground black pepper to your liking
1/2 cup minced flat leaf parsley
4 whole eggs, beaten
10 slices regular bacon (don't use thick cut)
1 cup ketchup
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Sriracha (squirt or to your taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Put your bread slices in a large mixing bowl and pour the milk over them. Allow to soak for a few minutes. I use this time to deal with the parsley and gather the rest of my ingredients. I also get out my broiler pan, line the bottom with foil, and spray the top with nonstick spray. I set this next to my mixing bowl. Using the broiler pan allows the fat to drip through.
When you're ready, add parsley, ground beef, cheese, spices, and lastly eggs to the mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, and sriracha and mix well. Set aside. 
Wash your hands, dirty friend. You're mixing this meat mix beeotch by hand until well combined. Place it on the broiler pan and form into a loaf. 
Top it with bacon slices, tucking them under on the sides and overlapping them just a little.  Pour a third of the sauce over the top and spread it with a spoon. 
Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top and spread. Bake for another 15 minutes. 
We serve our meatloaf with mashed potatoes, corn and green beans.

And now for Haikuesday:

Meatloaf sings to me.

Paradise by the dashboard...

Lighten up, it's meat.

Do you love monograms as much as I do? My friend has started a new business and I am the lucky recipient of a glass to test. Do you want one? Go like My Fab Glass on facebook and tell them Steph sent you. They will pick a winner on Friday at midnight and you'll have your own awesome monogrammed glass. 

Other than that...suck it, Tuesday.

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Linking up with Blissfully Miller and Let's Get Bananas for

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

36 Life Realizations from my 36 Years, Part II

Did you miss Part 1 last week?

1. Life is not fair. Get over it.

2. Everyone has a past. It's not a factor unless you allow it to be.

3. Guilt is a self-indulgent, useless emotion. Your time and energy would be better spent getting your head out of your ass and preparing to be a better person for the next time.

4. What other people think about you is none of your business.

5. Some people are not worth fighting for or with.

6. Time heals.

7. Excuses are for assholes. Don't make them.

8. If you see something you love at Marshalls/Homegoods, you need to buy it. Marshalls Law declares that it will not be there when you go back. 

9. Forgiveness benefits you, not them. Holding on to hate and hurt is not the way to live.

10. If you can't laugh at yourself, chances are people do not enjoy hanging out with you.

11. Anyone who judges people on how much or how little they drink is a tool.

12. No one is invincible.

13. Marriage is work and it can be hard. The issues you have before you get married are the issues you'll have after. Be prepared for something other than wine and roses.

14. Your ability to sleep deep and long is compromised as you get older. Enjoy it while it's still good.

15. Take pictures with real cameras, you'll be so glad you have those memories to look at when you get older.

16. There is an art to learning from your mistakes. Everything you do, right or wrong, shapes you. Work with the clay.

17. You are not entitled to anything you don't work for - the world doesn't owe you a thing.

18. The most important thing in your life is not your job, what you own, or what you earn - it's who you have sitting in your circle.

What did I miss?

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Linking up with
Because Shanna Said So - Random Wednesday

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Oops I did it again banana chocolate chip muffins

Saturday morning I was faced with four spotty bananas. I couldn't find my banana bread recipe, so I called on The Dalai Momma because she is The Baking Queen. I secured her new recipe and decided to make muffins instead of bread because I do what I want.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins:

1/2 cup butter- melted
1 cup sugar
4 smashed medium bananas
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs at room temp
1.5 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbs mayo
Mini chocolate chips (optional)
Brown sugar mixed with cinnamon for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with liners - I got 23 muffins out of this recipe.

Melt the butter in the microwave. Add bananas and smoosh them with a fork. Add vanilla and two eggs. Mix well with a fork. Add dry ingredients, mix with fork until just mixed. Add mayo and mix well.

I added about 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips and stirred again. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Top with a dab of brown sugar cinnamon mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes up clean. Viola. You now have
And now for Haikuesday:

Britney Spears hates you.
"You" being Tuesday, of course.
She likes bananas. 

Come back and see me tomorrow for the second group of 18 of 36 Life Realizations.

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Linking up with Blissfully Miller and Let's Get Bananas for

Friday, October 18, 2013

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart - KahlilGibran

Since I can't show you a photo of the light in my heart without the aid of machines, I will share my five favorite beauty things instead. Have you ever known a physical beauty who is so ugly in their soul that they appear off in an ugly way on the exterior? Me too. Don't ever let that be you. Trust that there is a light in my heart that I cultivate daily, and be sure you're cultivating yours as well.

My five favorite beauty products:
1. MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in Light Plus
2. I like to call #2 Filene's Basement because this shit is at rock bottom prices. L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes - this is the poor lady's Lancome Definicils. There's legitimately no difference. Trust me. I used to shell out the bucks for the Lancome version. There is also no difference between this $2 elf eyelash curler and my now defunct $20 Shu Uemura eyelash curler. What's in a name? In the case of these items, a lot of wasted money, that's what.
3. Urban Decay eyeshadow primer potion - no other primer comes close to the staying power of this one.
4. I made the nice lady at Sephora try every MFing concealer in the store under my eyes to match my doesn't appear yellow but is undertone, and I ended up with Yves St. Laurent Anti-Cernes. I can get you the color if you want it but concealer is personal.
5. Lipstick is also personal, says my BFF Raymond at the MAC counter at Macy's Center City. However I strongly suggest you try MAC Twig for your every day lip color. It looks perfect on everyone I force it on.

In the interest of full disclosure, Monday through Wednesday I'm lucky to swipe mascara on before leaving the house. I apply my lipstick on the train. By Thursday I've usually gotten the ass about me to put some eyeliner and eyeshadow on. If I go out on the weekend I might even use face makeup. I am not a full makeup face girl. When I do wear more, these are some of my favorites:
1. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
2. Clinique Quickliner for Eyes
3. Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow in peach beige
4. Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturizer and Benefit High Beam. The Laura is expensive but doesn't break me out like every other blasted thing. The Benefit was in a gift bag and it's awesome.

Do you use any of these? What are your top five must have beauty products?

Kiss kiss hug hug.

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Linking up with The Sowell Life - The Friday Five
Follow the Ruels and The Diary of a Real Housewife for Friday Favorites

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

36 Life Realizations from my 36 Years - Part I

Realizations I've come to along the way, part 1. 

1. The definition of success is not the same for everyone. Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how big or small.

2. If a relationship has to be a secret, that relationship is fucked up in some way.

3. You are responsible for your own happiness. No one else. 

4.  Just because you can talk on the phone everywhere doesn't mean you should. People do not want to hear your one sided cell phone conversations on public transportation or in a restaurant or anywhere else, no matter how hilarious you believe you and your friend to be.

5. Clowns are bad fucking news. Avoid them. No good ever came from a clown. 

6. The things you spend 99% of your time worrying about will never happen. When something bad does happen, it's usually something it never occurred to you to worry about.

7. You see what people let you see - just because someone's life looks perfect doesn't mean it is. We all have our struggles - we're not required to put them on display, and we shouldn't if we can help it. Deal with your shit in private and be cognizant that others may appear fine but are doing the same.

8. It's infinitely more fun to be yourself than to conform to be cool.

9. You are not winning powerball. Get to work.

10. Someone will always be better than you at something, someone will always be worse than you at something. Someone will always have more than you and someone will always have less. Comparison is the thief of joy. Stop doing it. 

11. There is no trick to diet and exercise: eat real food 97% of the time, everything in moderation, and move your ass. 

12. All dating rules, advice, and games suck. Don't play them and always go with your gut. 

13. You are your own best encouragement, your own competition and your own worst nightmare: your choice. 

14. Ladies, you will get your period the one time you don't have a tampon. You will find yourself immediately saying to a friend/coworker/stranger I can't believe this, I always have a tampon.

15. Every problem you have is your responsibility to solve regardless of who caused it. Blame doesn't solve a fucking thing, it just wastes time. 

16. You are your most important relationship. If you don't take care of yourself, you aren't any good to anyone else. 

17. Miracles happen. You have to be open to them.

18. If you drop your expectations of other people and situations, you will have much less disappointment and much more joy.

Next Wednesday: part II. You're on the edge of your seat, aren't you pal?

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Linking up with
Because Shanna Said So - Random Wednesday

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Deconstructed Chicken Parm

Put your chef hats on, bitches! It's time to cook things.

I like chicken parm, but it's not my favorite unless I'm eating it during brunch at Palo on a Disney Cruise Ship. You have never tasted better chicken parm, not even from your Nonna. I promise you.

I never make it at home because I don't feel like pounding chicken boobs until they're thin and then egg washing them and coating them etc etc. Pounding chicken boobs will surely lead a host of perverts to this blog in a google search. Sorry perverts, but this is a recipe. Go elsewhere for your chicken porn or animal cruelty interests.

I saw Chicken Parm Casserole on pinterest so I decided to give it a shot as a quick weeknight meal - and it is quick and easy, with few ingredients all of which I had on hand. That's a winner for me. See the original recipe here.
3 chicken boobs, cut into bite sized pieces
Salt & Pepper
Garlic salt
Garlic powder
Dried Oregano
Dried Basil
2.5 cups pasta sauce
1.5-2 cups mozzarella cheese - divided
Parmesan cheese (to taste)
3/4+ of a 5 oz bag of garlic croutons

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 13x9 dish with cooking spray.

Chop chicken into bite sized pieces. In a bowl, season with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and garlic powder - just a light misting of all of them. Toss to coat. Lay chicken in a single layer at the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with oregano and basil.

Spread sauce over the top.

Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella cheese evenly over the sauce layer. Give the ol' parmesan a few shakes to your taste.

Put croutons in a gallon ziploc bag and roll over them with a rolling pin. Be sure to leave some big chunks intact. Sprinkle them on top of the cheese layer. If you want more croutons, add more. You're the boss!

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese on top - again, use another 1/2 cup if you want because (say it with me) you're the boss!

Bake for 40 minutes and let stand for five minutes before serving.
I served it with whole wheat pasta and a big ol' salad, and it was really exceptional for a Monday. No morsel was left behind.

In closing, Haikuesday:

Tuesday surely sucks.
Worse than rat finks for mobsters.
Mangia, mangia, pal.

Come back and see me tomorrow for 18 of the 36 Life Realizations I'll be sharing with you.

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Linking up with Blissfully Miller and Let's Get Bananas for

Friday, October 11, 2013

Three Items of Importance From the desk of an organizational dork

Every season, I reevaluate my organizational systems. Making sure something is being used or stored as efficiently as possible pleases me greatly because I am an organizational dork. I would love to be a professional organizer.

This fall, my jewelry storage, makeup storage, and scarf storage all went through transformations. While I'll only be discussing three items, this is classified as a Friday Five because I have included an artistic rendering that is embarrassing and equals two bonus points.

Scarves. Last fall I put them all on shower hooks on two hangers like pinterest told me to do. All winter I fought with those asshole scarves in the closet - weighing down one side of the hanger, dragging on the floor. Our house is plagued by small, shitty closets and this scarf situation was not helping. A month in I knew this shit was not working storage wise, plus I wasn't matching them to my outfits because they were in the coat closet and I get dressed upstairs. I moved them into a bin I got for $7.99 at Marshalls. Boom. Dunzo.
Makeup. Last year I put my makeup into a silverware organizer. It was cheap and it worked well, but it sat in a cabinet in my dresser and I was never wearing it.
In hopes of getting more use out of it, I moved it to the top of my dresser in this freaking awesome Muji five drawer storage that I originally saw on the Green Fashionista blog. I hemmed and hawed about ordering this for eternity mostly due to the price ($35 with shipping) and fear that my stuff wouldn't fit - well it's well worth the price and I have room to spare. I freaking love this thing.
1 - My whole setup. Eyelash curler does not fit in the Muji so it sits on top.
2 - Drawer one: face makeup and concealer
3 - Drawer two: eyeliners and lipliners
4 - Drawer three: eye shadows
5 - Drawer four: mascaras and tools
6 - Drawer five: blushes and bronzers
7 - Lip stuff that's not in my purse goes into this jar.

Jewelry. I haven't really made major inroads in jewelry organization before. Now I'm cooking with gas, baby. And since I was a bad blogger and did not photograph my before shot, I will show you my former storage in a shamefully awful drawing. Enjoy.
Current jewelry storage in a series of photos:
1 - I got this at a craft show. I love it.
2 - Do you recognize this? It's my former makeup organizer. REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE, BITCHES. Since I took this picture, it's been spray painted black and I'm using small s-hooks, one for each necklace.
3 - I love my bracelets. I typically wear a few at a time. Most are from Debbie Rae Designs, of course. This bracelet holder is awesome and was only $9.79. Since they're on display and not in boxes, I am wearing them more.

These trays are le bomb. They stack, they don't shit out like the plastic storage trays, and they protect against tarnishing. The two small ones are here for $10.99 each, the long one for earrings is here for $14.97.
The trays of jewelry sit behind closed doors with my beloved label maker:
And anything that's worth a lot is in a safe, so sorry, thieves. You can read my blog but you can't get my thangs.

What are your recent organizational victories? What are your organizational trouble spots? What might you like to see me cover in a future organizational dork blog post?

Thanks for stopping by. I'm off to see about a weekend. I suggest you do the same.

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Linking up with
The Diary of a Real Housewife for Friday Favorites

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Soup Series: Italian Wedding Soup

If you've read this blog for more than five minutes, you know I cook a lot yet I rarely post recipes. Why? Because I don't measure a lot of the time, and I'm always adding or subtracting or substituting, and I always want to tell people what they could do differently which gets really long. Bottom line, I'm loosey goosey. I wasn't always that way - it only comes from loving to cook, doing it often, and learning the rhythm of food. Now I like to have recipes to start with, but I tweak everything a little to make it more fun.

However, people often ask for the recipe of something I made. And people want measurements, goddamnit. I'm approximating so I can share some recipes on Tuesdays because Tuesdays suck so I will feed you recipes to make you feel better.

This week's soup is Italian wedding. Full ingredient list and instructions after the photos. Let's begin with a haiku for Haikuesday:
A haiku for soup?
Slurp me up, lovin' spoonful.
Good to the last drop, mofo.
I know you don't often hear this, but this soup is a situation where you want your balls to be small. Your meatballs that is. Hey ohhhhhh.
You can use any small pasta for this soup. I chose ditalini. Why? Because in the song Brass in Pocket I always thought the line I've been driving, Detroit leaning was I've been driving, ditalini. That's why.
I went crazy on the spinach, so I strained some out and got myself a nice little spinach side dish. Popeye, call me.
Now for the real shit.

1 small onion, half chopped and half grated
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
10 cups chicken stock
2 cups veggie broth
1 10 oz bag frozen spinach (I initially added 1/4 of another bag, it was like Spinach Town in there)
1/2 box ditalini
kosher salt

1 lb ground turkey
1 egg
1/4-1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1.5 tbs dried parsley
the grated half of the onion
three shakes of garlic powder (do you like this measurement? Lame)
one shake of celery salt


Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a stock pan or dutch oven. Add the carrots and cook about 5 minutes, then add the chopped onion and saute another three minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

While the stock is working, make your meatballs. You want to mix everything together by hand, adding bread crumbs by feel. You want them to stick together but not be too wet or too dry. Start with a quarter cup and add more if you need to.

Complete and set aside, and when the stock is at a boil, drop them in one by one close to the pot. Let those go on medium heat for 20 minutes. Resist the urge to stir.

Add the spinach. Hit it with a few pinches of kosher salt, and wait until it returns to a boil (the frozen spinach will cool it down). Once it returns to a boil, add your small pasta.

Let it boil to package directions for firm pasta.

My soup usually soaks up the broth, and I end up adding more at the end. It always tastes fine. I added an additional four cups of broth.

This makes a lot and it freezes well so don't be afraid to freeze half.

Do you guys read Not Entirely Perfect? You should because it's awesome. You should start today because you can enter to win a free planner. Get your shit in order for free!
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Linking up with Blissfully Miller and Let's Get Bananas for

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