Monday, February 28, 2011

It is with great sadness

That I announce the passing of Vern Squared today February 28, 2011.
He lived a very long and happy life (for a fish).  He will be sorely missed.
We had a short memorial service here at work (where he lives), and he was buried at sea.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hairy Situation

My friend J did a fishtail braid for me today.  Love it!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

So sorry to be mailing it in..

Har-har... But here is Squeak to keep you company!

Still having horrible headaches and now my doctors are fighting over my treatment... Seriously??? WTF?

Cookie fortune


Nothing else really needs to be said, does it?


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

If you know me well, you know that my favorite holiday of the year is my birthday. I try to milk it all month too. Oh and it's important that you know that Valentines day is NOT the same as my birthday, and you bes not make that mistake ;-)

Anyway, my husband has this gift thing DOWN! He got me this gorgeous necklace for my birthday today, plus two awesome birthday cards. I love him so much.

Love's Embrace Birthday Necklace
I got over 45 birthday wishes on Facebook, and both my sisters, my mom, one of my aunts, MY COUSIN, MY BROTHER and GRAMMIE called me today.

I learned a few little juicy tidbits of information... Grammie (who is 84 BTW) is dating a guy named Lou, they have a set date every Thursday night - because that's the only night that she's available.  They generally go to the Moose Lodge to play games and they eat dinner there or sometimes they go out.  That's pretty cool!  He lives in the same park as Grammie.  I'm so happy for her.  I firmly believe that the best thing that she could have done after Grampy died was to move to the place she is now.  She's got a complete and full social life, and all of us around if she needs us.

The other juicy tidbit I learned today is that someone in high school had a crush on me... How CRAZY is that???  I'm seriously shocked, and flattered!  This is how it went down:

High School Guy (HSG): Charlene do you remember me from highschool?

Me: Hi HSG! I remember your name and your face, but I can't remember a lot of specifics :) But I don't remember a lot of specifics from High School... I think it's my mind protecting me ! Heehee! How have you been? Is there anything that I should remember that I don't? How come we aren't friends yet? What have you been up to?

HSG:  I was quiet and shy in highschool but had a huge crush on you . I got expelled senior year for stealing Rival School's mascot with SR lol I used to hang with JD, CJ, MS etc

Me (Truly shocked): Wow! I had no idea you had a crush on me!!!!! How come you never said anything to me? That's funny about stealing the mascot! I don't recognize J, C or M's names. I'm much better with faces though. I guess I'm going to have to dig out the yearbooks... (although I have no idea where they are!)

...and on it went from there.  He's married with three kids, and I'm married obviously.  We live thousands of miles apart.  But wow... what an ego boost.  What a crazy feeling.  I never ever thought guys in HS gave me a second look (I never dated HS guys, always guys I met at the beach or at clubs - outside my HS - usually hispanic HA!).  It was great to connect with him and hopefully we'll keep in touch.  What a strange world we live in these days.

Hope you all enjoy my birthday month as much as I am.  OH, and don't  worry... I still have to tell you about the Drag Queen Show I was surprised with last Friday night from my husband and sisters for my birthday.  Crazy fun!

Stay tuned!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Caribbean Broccoli Chicken Salad

Y'all this was a Publix recipe that I made for dinner tonight and it was stupendous!!
I will post a link to the recipe in a bit.

Here is the recipe.  Try it,  you won't be sorry!!!

Caribbean Broccoli Chicken Salad


3–4 Deli chicken tenders (.75 lb)
1 mango
Juice of 1 lime
1 head Bibb (or iceberg) lettuce
3 tablespoons mango chutney
2 tablespoons peach preserves
3 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 (12-oz) bag broccoli slaw
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds


•Cut chicken tenders into thin slices.
•Peel and dice mango (1 1/2 cups).
•Squeeze lime for juice (1 tablespoon).
•Remove lettuce core; separate individual leaves.


1.Prepare dressing in medium bowl by whisking chutney, preserves, and lime juice until smooth. Stir in yogurt and mayonnaise until blended.

2.Add slaw, chicken, mango, and raisins; toss to coat.

3.Arrange lettuce leaves on serving plates and top with salad; sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Serve.

CALORIES (per 1/4 recipe) 470kcal; FAT 14g; CHOL 60mg; SODIUM 700mg; CARB 61g; FIBER 6g; PROTEIN 27g; VIT A 90%; VIT C 150%; CALC 10%; IRON 10%

Golden Fruit Bread

2 naan or flat breads (regular or whole grain)
1/4 cup peach preserves, divided
1/4 cup golden raisins, divided
Cooking spray


1.Preheat large nonstick sauté pan on medium 2–3 minutes. Place 2 tablespoons peach preserves and 2 tablespoons raisins on one-half of each bread; fold over.

2.Coat bread with cooking spray and place in pan; cover and cook 2–3 minutes each side or until golden. Let stand 3–5 minutes to cool. Cut in half and serve.

CALORIES (per 1/4 recipe) 250kcal; FAT 3.5g; CHOL 0mg; SODIUM 290mg; CARB 51g; FIBER 4g; PROTEIN 6g; VIT A 0%; VIT C 0%; CALC 2%; IRON 10%


My bebeh

Watching us get ready for work this morning.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mmmmm breakfast

Banana pecan pancakes with bacon!

What did you have?

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Artisian Bread in Five minutes a day

I have to admit.  I'm a pretty dismal bread baker.  Before Grampy died, he took me through his whole process, which you can see here .  I'm glad I did that for so many reasons, not the least of which is that he died less than four months after I did that.  Between pictures and video, it is memories of some of the most special times we spent together in the kitchen and talking about all things food related.  I love him and miss him so much, and I really can't even look through the pictures without bawling, much less watch the videos.  But if you can, I encourage you to.  He was an amazing man.  By the by, after he died, my Grammie gave me almost all of his bread baking equipment.  I'll always treasure it.

When I heard about this recipe for making bread in five minutes a day,and no kneading was involved, I was totally all in.  For some reason, I just can't figure out the kneading!  If you watch the videos and look at the pictures, you can CLEARLY tell which bread grampy had his hands on, and which bread I had mine on.  I know I should practice, because in this case, truly practice does make perfect, but I haven't found the patience for it yet.  I will someday, and thankfully, I'll have Grampy by my side showing me how he kneaded the bread with perfection.

The recipe for Artisian Bread in Five minutes a day, is dead simple. 

3 cups lukewarm water

1 1⁄2 tbsp granulated yeast (1 1⁄2 packets)
1 1⁄2 tbsp coarse kosher or sea salt
6 1⁄2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour
Cornmeal for pizza peel
I like to add just a pinch of sugar.

The beauty is in the method.  If you want the details and haven't been able to dig it up on line, send me a message or leave me a comment and I'll see what I can do, or better yet, go buy the book!  You won't be sorry!  You get the recipe and method for the main loaf, and TONS of variations!!  People, this is so easy a caveman could do it!  REALLY! 
Here are some pictures from our most recent endeavor!

Dough in container immediately after mixing.

Dough in container after three hour rise at room temp.

Risen dough after 3 hours at room temp, about tripled.  We refrigerated it at this point.

All I had to do here was make it into a smooth silky ball by tucking the ends under... Meh...

I slashed the top for a scalloped effect in the finished product... ha

Yes, well you see,  it looks beautiful anyway!

The taste... Oh Ma Gah!  It was fantastic! 
Now this isn't squishy wonder bread guys, this bread has some tooth to it.  I loved it shmeared with butter right out of the oven, or rubbed with garlic and butter with some spaghetti.  It has a hint of sour dough flavor to it, because it sat for a few days before we baked it.  There's more in the fridge.  Can't wait to make the next loaf.  You know, it will only take five minutes to pop it in the oven, and fresh bread in 30 mins.  Do you remember what the house smells like when you bake fresh bread?  Do you?  Aww you should go make some now!