Monday, September 12, 2016

Fall Ham

I know that everyone thinks of ham as a springtime meal, but what's better than a ham in the fall? Of course here in Las Vegas, we have nothing close to fall weather yet, so I combined some summertime sides for our first meal. The other great thing about a ham is that it can be used for so many other meals, making it an economical choice. Having the protein already prepared also makes weeknight meal planning quick and easy.

I chose a bone-in ham so that we would be able to have ham hocks and beans for one of our meals, and for our first meal served the sliced home with a variation on German potato salad and deviled eggs.

For the second meal, I cubed the ham and made scalloped potatoes and ham for the family and

scalloped cauliflower and ham for me.

Not the most appealing in pictures, but this easy deviled ham is just ham pureed with a cube of cream cheese and some seasoning. It makes an excellent lunch as a sandwich or with low-carb crackers.

Of course, the family needed something sweet, so I baked them a quick white cake with buttercream frosting. Making the cake in a layer pan went along with the homey vibe of our meals this week.

And finally, that succulent ham hock and beans cooked in the crockpot all day. I splurged and ate it too even though I did regret the high carb count the next day. But so, so good.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Plan with Me July 11, 2016

I recently posted my first plan with me video on YouTube. Stay tuned as I work on camera angles and lighting.

Kate Spade Rose Gold planner

Friday, May 6, 2016

We All Scream for Ice Cream

We are definitely an ice cream family. My husband tells tales of eating entire half gallons by himself at one sitting. I was going through old pictures one day and couldn't believe how many of our family photos were taken eating ice cream (or a shake). While we are going to miss having a place like Carmela's right down the street, we can always order something like Steve's Ice Cream 
(dry ice makes all things possible!) or make our own with all the options and price rangers for makers and starters that are available these days.

Williams Sonoma Ice Cream Starter

Breville Ice Cream Compressor

Cuisinart Electric Ice Cream Maker

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

Who am I kidding. I'm sure we'll find plenty of alternatives for our ice cream consumption in Vegas. There's even a Serendipity for frozen hot chocolate.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Writing Space

We have a very oddly configured bedroom, so I've been trying different ways to place the furniture to make all of the space usable.  I'd really like to be able to fit a comfortable chair or two into the space, but nothing seems right. So I decided to try moving one of the desks into the room to create a small writing space. Still looking for inspiration, but here are some of my favorites so far.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Chocolate - Need I Say More?

Never satisfied with a simple Hershey's Special Dark or a Snickers bar, one day while I was gliding through the sweets aisle in the grocery (because don't you just glide through the store when you are doing your shopping?), the packaging on the Chuao Chocolatier bars caught my eye.  I'm not sure whether it was the bacon on the Maple Bacon bar or the marshmallow on the Ravishing Rocky Road, but I think I stood there for at least a minute just looking at the pictures.  Then I bought one of all of them, announcing, "We will do a taste test.  What a wonderful way to finally do a blog post again."  Justification 101. are the results.

Ravishing Rocky Road - I do not like nuts in chocolate.  I know that you either are in one camp or another on this one, and I'm clearly in the no nuts camp, and so is everyone else in the family.  I had no expectations for this one, so we tried it first.  Another strike against it, milk chocolate as most of us are the darker the better in our chocolate tastes.  This has caramelized almonds, so it was a step up from just plain nuts.  The marshmallow bits are really good though.

Pop Corn Pop - A had had this before she admitted when we opened it.  In reading the description on the bar, I took it literally that the pop was the popcorn, but no, there are Pop Rocks mixed in the bar.  It's a flavor combination of corn chips, fruity Pop Rocks, milk chocolate, and salty puffed rice that sounds completely gross but is actually quite appealing.  Especially good if you like salty sweet, this one is a little more sweet because of the fruity flavor.

Potato Chip - I had tasted this one before and remember being disappointed with it at the time.  All of the Chuao bars are rather thin, and when I had this the first time, I only had one thin square and remember thinking it was rather unsubstantial for a chocolate bar.  Maybe it was being able to have a second square, but this time I quite liked the salty, crunchy milk chocolate.  At this point though, I was still searching for The ONE.

Honeycomb - Finally dark chocolate, and I had high expectations for this one because honeycomb has been my favorite candy since I was a kid.  The honeycomb pieces are so fine that you get the flavor but none of the hard chewiness that I love so much about chunks of honeycomb.  I think I expected too much from this one.

Maple Bacon - This bar had a great flavor, but to me at least, the bacon was not crisp but rather soggy.  Maybe it was just the piece I had.  The bar has a salty, sweet maple flavor that everyone liked.

Our favorite is not pictured and our grocery store doesn't carry it.  About two days after doing the taste test, I was in CostPlus and saw that they carry the bars too, but there they have the Orange-A-Go-Go bar.  It is a dark chocolate bar, which besides the Honeycomb bar, is severely limited in Chuao's options, so I picked it up.  This was by far everyone's favorite.  The orange is little pieces of candied orange suspended in the dark chocolate.  Maybe it's because it's the simplest flavor combination or it is just the old-faithful combination of orange and chocolate, or maybe it's just because it was a dark bar in a sea of milk, but we all loved this one.  On our next trip to CostPlus, they didn't carry them anymore, making us wonder if it's been discontinued.  It's probably a good thing because this bar could be dangerous.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Office Supplies

A few weeks ago, I lamented the fact that I had not been taking full advantage of my time, and I vowed to get out my agenda and start scheduling my tasks to get things accomplished.  I pulled out my beautiful Whitney English Day Designer and started pulling myself together.

The very first thing I worked on was finally actually creating an editorial calendar for the blogs.  My biggest accomplishment for getting this together was actually taking the time to think about the tasks for each type of blog post.  I had to say to myself, "Plan each post like a small project.  What are the dependencies and milestones?"  I know, Project Manager nerd I am.

I am a huge list maker, and although the Whitney English planner has one column for appointments and one for To-Dos each day, it actually didn't have bough lines for me to break down all of my tasks for three blogs, a YouTube channel, our real estate to-dos, A's schedule, and my normal household stuff, not to mention keeping my recent upsurge in interviews and recruiter calls (yay) organized.  I decided to keep the Whitney English just for blog and YouTube  and to try to find something that I could use for jobs, A, and life in general.  A quick trip to Staples came up with this Daily/Monthly planner, which is working out great.

The rest is just fun stuff I've pulled together to keep me organized and on track with my planning but to have it be fun and cute at the same time.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Date Night

Maybe I'm just getting old, but more and more often lately my favorite date night with my husband is one where we stay in, open a bottle of wine with some cheese, and watch whatever we have been DVRing  Some of our favorites are Elementary, Sherlock (notice a trend there), Person of Interest, and Game of Thrones.