I Declare a ‘Do Over’!

I declare a DO-OVER today!!!

In an effort to begin eating a healthier diet… I made the decision to begin my day with a hearty bowl of Steel Cut Oats. I read many recipes last night, some lamented about the long cooking time and others suggested par-cooking the night before so your morning wouldn’t be spent stirring oats for half an hour over a hot stove. Well… time was on my side this morning, so I decided to go the old fashioned route.

It really wasn’t so bad. There wasn’t much stirring… just simmering for 30 minutes and occasionally giving the contents a twirl. Once finished I topped the oats with a touch of brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I considered adding blueberries… but changed my mind.

Digging my spoon in, the smell was AWESOME! The oats were cooked to perfection… not mushy and yet not hard either. The Italians would call the texture Al Dente… ‘to the tooth’. However… I soon learned I wasn’t crazy about the taste of steel cut oats. I like oatmeal… but trust me when I tell you they are not the same. Fail #1.

Steel Oats

Next up… I cranked the music up LOUD (hearing loss is an annoying health issue) and began to clean and organize the kitchen while dancing to the beat of some oldies (but goodies). Clipping my hip on the corner of the table made me see stars. OK… I’ll admit it… I’m getting a little too old to be dancing around without my glasses on! Fail #2

I needed to bake something healthy, but sweet to have on hand when the craving after dinner hit. I’ve been choosing fruit lately… but I realized my mouth wanted something to ‘crunch’. Finding a recipe using things I had in the pantry was a bonus! Score! Being a new recipe from PINTEREST I followed the directions precisely.

My baking skills are a bit above average. I’ve been sticking my head in a gas oven to light it since I was about 8 years olds (and my husband wouldn’t let our kids use the microwave at age 13!). I can tell when something is finished baking by the aroma in the air. Really! I’m not kidding! But I set the timer any way… and without paying attention… my mouth watering snack BURNED… to a crisp!! Ick! Fail #3

Burned snack

And the burning of food continues! Trying my hand at coconut rice… I poured the coconut water into the rice cooker, added water to reach the appropriate level, dumped in the rinsed rice, gave it a stir and clicked the lid down… hitting the power button at the same time. The steam shooting out the top 15 minutes later was heavenly!! The cooker beeped when it was finished, like it has done for the past 4 years. I popped the lid and fluffed the rice with a fork… but wait… what was all this brown ick I was stirring up from the bottom? Oh… the rice burnt. *sigh*… Fail #4

Burned Coconut Rice

I’m guessing it’s time to turn the volume down on the music, and to step away from the kitchen appliances! It’s only NOON!!!

I awoke this morning with the memory of a disturbing dream… so crawling back into bed and pulling the covers over my head doesn’t seem like an enticing way to ignore today. Since it’s impossible to have a ‘do over’, I’ll just put a smile on my face, Keep Calm and Carry On!

Here’s hoping you are all having a wonderful Tuesday!!!

 

 

 

 

Under Construction!

Under

*****  Both myself AND my blog are under construction.

It all began innocently enough at the hair salon last week. Every 3 months or so I drive an hour to my favorite hair dresser for a little touch up in the highlighting department and a fresh cut. As soon as I wiggle comfortably in the chair with my wet head… she raises the scissors and asks, “Sooooo… what are we doing today?”

I don’t know why she asks. She likes my hair long and although she might snip a little different angle around my face at times, she still leaves it long… at least an inch past my shoulders. TODAY however, was different. “How about shorter this time?” I squeaked. I don’t know what came over me. When I woke this morning the thought of cutting my hair any differently never entered my mind.

Catching a glimpse of her in the mirror, standing behind me with an uncertain look on her face I meekly continued, “I have a picture with me.” Pulling my iPhone out of my purse I quickly opened one of my Pinterest boards and thrust a picture of a woman with a chin length shaggy cut out for her to see. I pinned that photo over a year ago… I surprised myself that I could bring it up so quickly.

My hair dresser looked at the photo, looked at me, looked back at the photo, then back at me again. “Yes! Yes! (screamed like she was having an orgasm) Yes, this will look great on you. Let’s do it!” And with that… the butterflies in my stomach who so far had only been quietly flitting around inside began furiously flying around as the first cut of 8 inches of hair hit the floor.

EEEEK! What have I done??? I closed my eyes preferring not to watch. “It’s only hair,” I reminded myself. “It can always grow back”.

At that moment I realized how much trust and faith I put in my hairdresser. She has been cutting and styling my hair for over 20 years. She has never let me walk out of her salon looking bad. Not once. Never. And I was sure today wouldn’t be any different. But I still couldn’t watch.

Smelling the spritz of hairspray I knew she was finished. Twirling my chair around she thrust a mirror into my hands and ordered me to look. I loved it!!! So did she!!! Phew!

Boosted by the confidence of a new hair style… I decided it’s time to break out of my rut altogether. For the past few months I have been thinking my website and blog need a little re-vamping. Well… there’s no time like the present. So without further slacking… I’m off to make that happen!!! I’ll be back cuter and more fun loving in a week or so. Hang in there… I promise you it will be worth the wait.

 

Ridiculously Easy Amazingly Yummy Rice Pudding

My warehouse shopping trip last week included buying a gallon of milk. What was I thinking??? I’m only one person, and I don’t drink milk by itself… not even with cookies. I decided I had better think of something to make with it before it soured.

Still on my kitchen table waiting to find a ‘home’ somewhere in my tiny bungalow was an oversized bag of rice. Hmmmm… milk, rice… RICE PUDDING!!! Perfect!

Two years ago I tried to make rice pudding the traditional way. It took F-O-R-E-V-E-R with hours of standing and stirring at the stove. The end result was undercooked rice in a thin milky sauce flavored with cinnamon. NOT what I was hoping for. So I was a little hesitant to try again. Not one to shy away from a challenge… I hit the Internet and searched the world wide web and found the BEST recipe… using… a crock pot!!

No more standing tirelessly at the stove. No undercooked rice. Just set it and forget it!

Ridiculously Easy Rice Pudding

Ridiculously Easy Rice Pudding

Are you ready for the recipe???

3/4 cups long grain rice (I used Jasmine)… rinsed

3 cups milk (I used 2%)

3/4 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Cardamom

Pinch of Salt

*I threw in a Cinnamon stick for good luck

Toss it all in the crock pot, cook on high for 1 1/2 hours. Open lid and stir, remove Cinnamon stick, unplug, close lid and let sit to thicken… about 15 minutes.

Serve warm for instant gratification… or chill in the refrigerator to eat for breakfast the next day. Sprinkle with more cinnamon or top with whipped cream. YUM!!!

How ridiculously easy is that???

You can thank me later.

*Tip: Drop sugar down to 1/2 cup without much difference to taste

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