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Eating With Caution: When Pinterest Lets You Down & You Have to Rebuild Your Trust In Internet Recipes

A few years ago, I was searching Pinterest for supper ideas. We’ve all been there. You’ve got a fridge full of tofu, broccoli, and mustard and you’re just not sure where to start.  You may or may not have to involve the crock pot and if you’re lucky,  you might just find a recipe you’d like to try.

The reality though, is that you’ll start off looking at three recipes, which lead you to a cute skirt (which you just had to pin, in case you find a similar one at Target), then a makeup tutorial on how to flawlessly apply liquid eyeliner using a coffee stir and finally, a video on how to stencil terra cotta pots with old lipstick.  The next thing you know, it’s 9 p.m. and the kids have eaten an entire box of granola bars and half a bag of chips and you missed your one opportunity to sneak tofu into a meal.

Or something like that.  Don’t judge.

Anyway,

A few years ago, something similar happened to me, only I did find a recipe that interested me. It was pizza! Made in a crockpot!  Bonus for me was that it was carb free.

THIS IS WHERE I SHOULD’VE WALKED AWAY.

I should have slammed my computer shut and said, “Hey y’all! We’re having pancakes for supper!”

But I didn’t.

Instead, I jotted down the recipe and went to town.  As of this moment, the only thing I can recall was the layering of spinach, cheese, and tomato sauce. I’m not sure why the recipe said this was pizza because clearly, it was more of a lasagna. I let it simmer and stew in the crockpot for a few hours.

It smelled great!

My son was excited to eat food that I prepared and I even invited my Mom over to share!

I WAS WINNING AT LIFE YOU GUYS!

And then, we ate the crock pot pizza. Or as my son and I refer to it: CROCKPOT PIZZA OF DEATH.

It was so gross, I could barely choke down more than a few bites. My son was the same way. My Mom, on the other hand, thought it was delicious. She finished her plate and earned a gold star.  Later that night, I woke up feeling extremely ill. My son must have felt the same because I heard him in the bathroom while I was up running to the bathroom. DAMN YOU PINTEREST RECIPES!

We’ve all been there though. We’ve made those recipes knowing damn well it was going to taste like shit, yet we held onto this small glimmering hope that everything would be ok. That maybe that extra grease forming on top will just disappear. Maybe adding that much cheese isn’t such a bad thing (it probably is a bad thing, fyi). Maybe the dog will eat it.

Or maybe… you should stop looking for recipes on the internet genius.

However, I have noticed a small change to recipes listed on the website: there is an option where people who have made a recipe to leave a review! THANK YOU TINY GOLDEN BABY JESUS IN THE MANGER! I’ve used this new feature to my advantage. When I see keywords like: “Gross” or “Like chewing on a salt lick” I just X out of that shit real quick.

Yesterday I was in search again for another recipe. I had a pound of turkey meat sitting in the fridge and quite frankly, turkey meat is unchartered territory for me. There was this website I used to rely on that you could plug in everything you had in your fridge and it would spit out a recipe for you- but I think it closed up shop, which is why I’ve been playing Russian roulette with Pinterest these past few years.

I typed in turkey meat and closed my eyes for a second.

I also promised myself that I would not cook anything in the crock pot, nor would I shape any type of meat into a muffin tin to look like a heart. What I did see though, was a tasty looking photo of meatballs.  I’m into meatballs, but not meatloaf, yet I love hamburgers. Don’t ask me man, it’s just how I am.

Anyway,

This picture had a website attached and eleven people had tried it. ELEVEN! That sounds like some good statistics to me. All the reviews were positive and everyone was in agreement that they would be:

A. “Making these again for sure! So good! So much yum!”

and

B. “Doubling the batch to freeze half. Great to take for lunch!”

See? POSITIVE.

So with that, I set out to make Thai Curry meatballs.

Now hold up, hold up- don’t start backing away. Thai food is phenomenal! And in a meatball form? Dude. Stop.  I was a little skeptical when it called for fish sauce, but I had some sitting in the cabinet that I wanted to use up, so hey! Let’s do this!

The recipe itself was super easy: whisk all ingredients, add meat, bake 20 min. Although, I was a little grossed out mashing the ingredients into the turkey meat. I have just recently started eating meat again and turkey meat is so… pasty? Clammy? I don’t know. It definitely doesn’t clump the same as hamburger meat, that’s for sure. But I soldiered on and was able to make the meatballs!

When my husband and son walked in the door, they asked if I was cooking fish for supper. “Nope, meatballs.”  My son looked me dead in my eyes and said, “This isn’t going to be another Crockpot Pizza of Death, is it?” I could see the genuine concern washing over his face. We will never forget that horrific evening where our bowels screamed and we begged for mercy. NEVER.

“Ehhhh… I don’t think so. But I’ll tell ya what, I’ll eat one first and if it sucks, we’ll go eat tacos or something.”

Do you know, that there wasn’t a single Thai Curry meatball left? NOT A ONE PEOPLE! They were so delicious! Spicy, sweet and tangy. I added sesame seeds to the top as they cooked, so there was an added visual aspect and no one seemed to notice that I subbed crushed pork rinds in lieu of breadcrumbs.

I didn’t take any photos to share with you, but I did manage to save the recipe! My son has requested these again and in a double batch so he can hoard them all to himself.

Let me know if you decide to make it and what you thought. Don’t be skeered. You got this man.

Thai Curry Meatballs:

  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste (I used green b/c I was out of Panang).
  • 1½ teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 450g/ 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs (I used about a cup of crushed pork rinds b/c I’m on that low carb train again)
Instructions
  1. In the bottom of a medium bowl, stir together the curry paste, brown sugar, fish sauce and egg until curry is evenly mixed.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  3. Roll into 1.5 tablespoon balls and freeze or bake at 375°F for 20 minute

 

 

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Full Moon Blessings

Feeling extra dreamy and
creative today.

Perfume on my wrists smells
extra spicy
my hair feels
extra soft
eyelids fluttering
slow
tiny butterflies
pausing on hostas
The full moon,
that’s why

art, blue, and hands image

Posted in Cooking, Home

Award Winning Indeed

A few months ago, I started watching this series on Netflix called Shetland. A Scottish crime drama show based on the Shetland Islands. I devoured every episode and once I’d finished, was in a show hole. What would be next? What would I do with my evenings now, laundry? HA.

It took some research, as well as conversations with my buddy Dave (who also watched Shetlands) and discovered a British crime show called Father Brown. The episodes are inspired by the stories of GK Chesterton.  Basically, Father Brown is the local priest who has an uncanny knack for figuring out murders in their town before the inspector does.

The first few episodes I wasn’t entirely involved, but eventually, the programming grew on me. Especially the fashion (mid 50s era) and the quaintness of the town. Of course, Father Brown, played by Mark Williams (aka: Ron Weasley’s Dad) captured my heart.  I noticed in the first season, his trusty side kick, parish secretary Mrs. McCarthy, often had her “award winning scones” on hand.  No one could resist them and I found myself pausing the television to get a closer look.

Those scones did look divine.

It became my mission to track down a recipe and recreate them. The only problem was, the only type of scone I’ve ever really eaten were the giant American variety with frosting and/or filled with chocolate chips. Mrs. McCarthy’s scones look like American biscuits. And there was another road block: clotted cream (or Devonshire cream, should you choose). Clotted cream is thick cream made by indirectly heating full-cream cow’s milk using steam or a water bath and then leaving it in shallow pans to cool slowly.  From there, the “cream” rises to the top (I can’t type that line without saying it like Macho Man Randy Savage) and that’s what you put on the scones, along with the fresh strawberries.

I’m not even sure where you can get fresh full cream cow’s milk. I mean, I could probably get my hands on some of it back home in Tennessee, but here in Atlanta, I don’t have the same connections.  So I put the scone dream on the back burner until one evening, I decided to simply Google it.

And you know what? There it was. Someone on the internet was feeling me. They understood the quirky addiction to Father Brown and the obsession with making those damn scones.  After reading the recipe (which you can find HERE), I realized that the recipe wasn’t as difficult as I had originally thought.

For those of you who know me, you know that I’m not the greatest baker. My cookie skills are more along the lines of buying the prepackaged version at the grocery and baking them at home. My husband is the ultimate cookie baker, that’s for sure.  Making homemade crusts for pies is lost on me, which of course, is why Pillsbury makes them for us.  I remember when my husband and I were dating, I invited him over for dinner. Earlier that day, I tried to make a pie, which tasted like shit. I quickly ran out to the grocery and bought a Boston Creme Pie pie, which also tasted like shit. We still have a good laugh over it and any time we’re in the grocery and I see one, I’ll say, “Hey, you want me to pick this up for dessert?”

Yesterday morning I decided to make the scones. I woke up, did started some laundry and thought, “It’s time. I gotta know if these scones are any good.” I know that everyone cooks and bakes differently, but for me, I prefer to have all ingredients in front of me with the measurements already in place. It’s just easier for my brain to work that way and I’m sure there’s a fancy culinary school name for doing that- I’m just too lazy to look it up.

So I set off on my quest to make Mrs. McCarthy’s award winning strawberry scones.

The dough itself was simple to make and as the recipe states, more along the lines of an Irish scone- as Mrs. McCarthy is Irish, not English. I was able to make the dough in my food processor and it rolled out beautifully. I used a small glass to cut the dough, because we don’t own any cookie cutters.  I baked them at 425 for 11 minutes and they were absolutely perfect.

The next step was making fresh whipped cream.  The recipe calls for clotted cream, but I didn’t feel like warming up a gallon of milk in a 13×9 for 12 hrs to scrape what could be a disaster off the top.  Maybe in the upcoming months, I’ll brave this task and report back on how delicious it is.

By eleven a.m., I was putting together my first scone. I used a bit of my mother in laws homemade strawberry preserves on the bottom, sliced up a strawberry, topped with whipped cream and then topped with a scone.

I took a moment to admire my handiwork and then promptly ate it.  I took the time to appreciate how it all tasted. The light sweetness of the whipped cream, the tartness of the strawberries and the thick scones.  It was, by far, the most delicious breakfast I’d had in awhile.  Heh.

So without further ado, I give you the award winning strawberry scones! Let me know if you decide to make them or if you have your own favorite scone recipe! I’d love to try it!

Image may contain: food

 

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It’s not gray hair honey, it’s a silver lining.

Next weekend one of my dearest girlfriends is getting married. Seeing that I’ll be standing next to her rooting on this joyous occasion, I thought it would be in my best interest to get my feet cleaned up.  To be fairly honest, it’s been a hot minute since those little toes were pampered and I’m pretty sure I could cut glass with the calluses and hangnails. Gross, I know, but this is real talk here.

I grabbed my coffee and headed over to the local nail salon, where I’d been several times before. As I sat down in the chair, the nail tech and I started chatting. She always remembers me and asks why my Mom doesn’t come in with me anymore (she moved back up north) and then she asked me how old my son was now.

“He’s sixteen…” and before I could ask her the same she responded, “What? Sixteen? Your face looks so young, but your gray hair makes you look old. I’m so confused.”

As my brain scrambled to process this backhanded compliment, she then tried to save face: “I know you’re not old, but… the hair. It just makes you look older.”

Thank lady, I get it.  You can stop talking now.

The gray hair runs deep in my family. My Mema was gray early on and my Dads hair was about the same as mine when I graduated high school (twenty years ago, holy shit). While one uncle is salt & pepper, the other has stark white hair. It’s a family trait that creeps up in your early thirties and from there, it’s Hello Mrs. Claus! I can clearly remember wondering when my time would come or if it would be my little brother who would get the gray first.

Guess whose hair is still just as dark as it was when they were nine? Not mine.

About five years ago I noticed the gray starting to creep in. Little strands at my temples, then at the nape of my neck. My other brother, who is also my hair stylist, would often tell me to just leave it be, but I wasn’t ready. I would fight this fight to the bitter end. My dark hair meant that I was still young. That I wasn’t growing older.  That I wouldn’t be weirder than I already am.

Then, around two years ago, I started to notice that when I dyed my hair, the gray would just force its way back into my hairline within a matter of weeks.  Those weeks got shorter and shorter and before I knew it, after a fresh cut and color, the gray would be back within two weeks. I texted my brother, half crying, half hoping for a miracle. “Just leave it. It’s awesome.”   And so, with a deep breath, I accepted my fate.

I can’t remember the last time I had color on my hair and as of today, I’m probably 50% silver.  My husband loves it. He says the gray makes me stand out, matches my personality.  God love him, he’s the absolute best!

Just yesterday, I was feeling awesome about my hair too. I had taken the time to style it in a 1940s fashion with soft curls on one side, a victory roll on the other.  Check it out (complete with non serious face):

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and closeup

And then today, I get the backhanded compliment about it making me look older (fyi: today I have my hair up, which shows more of the gray vs yesterday when it was only half up).

As I sat in that chair looking at myself in the mirror, I wondered if I should make an emergency hair appointment. Should I just buy boxed color? A wig? Does this gray make me look older than my 38 and a half years?  As women, I think there is this stigma that we have to continue to look younger than what we truly are. It’s a heart breaking fight for some of us. There are creams, masks, lasers, peels, surgery and, of course, hair color.  And for some women, that’s okay. That’s their choice to fight the hands of time. If that’s what makes them feel good, then hey- feel good! Ain’t no shame in that game!

The longer I sat there though, the more I thought about how growing older is a privilege that many individuals don’t get to experience.
Each laugh line is a gift.
Each wrinkle tells a tale.
Each gray strand tells me that I’m awesome.

To shoo away the cloud that had formed over my head, I grabbed my phone and pulled up Pinterest, but not before I was sidetracked by some crazy recipe making homemade Oreos (who the hell has time for that?). I started to look at boards dedicated to gray hair: dyed gray, natural gray, long gray, how to hide the gray, help it along, how to style it, how to love it. On and on and on.

All these women embracing what is natural. All the others are paying hundreds of dollars to achieve what I’m getting for free. I decided right there in that chair that I would continue to love my gray hair.

That I’d let it continue to shimmer and shine.

Hell, maybe I’ll let it grow as long as Crystal Gayle’s hair.

Wait. Maybe not that long.

The only thing I’m not sure of is why so many women with gray hair wear so much topaz jewelry.  Is that a requirement? Because if it is, I have some serious catching up to do.