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Crab Pasta Salad

September 8, 2010

Yesterday was the first day of the last session of our cooking class for this year.  Were you able to follow that.  I was asked AND said yes to teaching this class so I had to come up with a menu.

First was my mom’s Homemade Chicken & Noodles.  Those are always a hit. I cooked the chicken and made the broth a while ago and had it in my freezer just for this event.  All the class needed to do was make the noodles which was fun.  They said they really enjoyed them even though some said the noodles could have cooked a little longer. THAT REALLY WASN’T MY FAULT.  I said to cook the noodles for 30 minutes adding the chicken after 20 minutes.  It wasn’t me that kept insisting they were done after 10 minutes.  I think they were getting dumpling type noodles confused with pasta noodles.  NOT THE SAME THING!  This looks a little more like soup to me but I think it’s because more broth was take out of the pot than noodles.  When we ladled up and put it on our plates we got way less broth and more noodles per serving (the way it’s suppose to be).  I guess trying to make a good presentation can sometimes take away from what the dish is suppose to look like.  I should have taken a picture of the noodles in the pot to give you an idea of what they’re suppose to really look like.  Maybe I’ll do that next time I make them…..

The next item on the menu was Snicker Salad.  There was a mishap in getting small box of regular pudding and 1 small box of instant.  If you remember from my previous post, instant pudding doesn’t quite work well but thanks to the hard work and dedication of the class they were able to save the day by adding some milk.

When the class was over there was 1 small dish of Chicken & Noodles left and no Snicker Salad.

The third and last item on the list was a Crab/Pasta salad that I love.  This is so easy to make and it’s really good for a spring/summer lunch.  I still remember the first time I had it I was at a friends and we were eating outside.  Perfect setting for this dish and it was complemented with Frozen Daiquiri’s.  I realize summer is almost over but it’s really a good dish to serve anytime.  For your enjoyment I’ll share the recipe with you.  Mine isn’t usually displayed with the growth of greens in the center, I guess that was done for presentation.  I’m more of a “mix it in a bowl put it on the table and everyone dig in” type of cook.

Crab Pasta Salad

1 pound rotini noodles, cooked and cooled.   (you can get the different colored noodles)
1 package imitation crab meat
Green and/or red pepper
Celery or Celery Seed

1 cup mayonaise
1 cup sour cream
2-3 tablespoons cocktail sauce

Taste dressing and add more cocktail sauce if desired.  If dressing is too thick add a little milk to thin it out.

After the noodles are cool mix with the other ingredients.  Add dressing and mix well.

Serve chilled

Number Of Servings:  Depends on how hungry everyone is


Another Time

August 21, 2010

I love writing and would love to be a best selling author when I grow up.   Well, I belong to a great online community, eLiving Media and there’s a writers forum on there.  This week we got a challenge to write a story based off of a photo.  I don’t know why I wrote the story I did but once I looked at the photo and started typing the words just kept coming.  Hope you enjoy it.

She’d been walking for hours with no destination in mind.  She wasn’t sure what she was going to do without him.  He’d taken care of her and made all of the decisions and now she was alone.   Alone with her thoughts, alone with her demons and alone in her new life.

Megan didn’t mean for things to turn out this way, after all she did love him, didn’t she?  She wasn’t sure anymore.  They’d had a fight and it wasn’t unlike the hundred or so before but something about this one made her snap.  She couldn’t take the way he controlled and suffocated her.  All she wanted was to be able to breathe, to be able to move but now that she could she didn’t now how. She’d forgotten how to live and think for herself.

She couldn’t go back.  Not after what she’d done.  She didn’t mean to do it but he was getting too rough and when he grabbed her she knew she had to do what she could to make him stop so she grabbed the first thing she saw.  The knife wasn’t that sharp but it still went through him.  When he fell to the floor she knew what she had done and that she had to get away.  Was he still alive?  Was he missing her?  These were questions she didn’t want the answers to.  She had to keep walking, she had to get away.

As the sun began to set Megan knew it was time to stop.  But where was she, nothing looked familiar and she was beginning to get cold.  When she’d ran out it was early morning and she didn’t think past that moment but now she had to stop. She had to think, what was she going to do?  Where was she going to go?  She only knew one life, the one with him.   She suddenly knew what she had to do as she turned around and started walking, retracing her steps.  Back to him, back to the life she was comfortable with.  She had to go back.  What if he didn’t want her?  What if he wasn’t waiting for her?  It didn’t matter, she had to go back.  Back to the man she loved, back to the only life she knew.

It was morning when Megan returned home.  She was afraid to go inside, afraid he’d be there and afraid he’d be upset with her.  But she knew she had to get it over with and take the punishment he felt she deserved.  Slowly she opened the door and stepped inside.  Everything was as she’d left it.  The table was set for breakfast but something was different, he wasn’t there.  Where did he go?  When would he be home?  Was he coming home?  Did she kill him?  She needed answers but was afraid of the answers.  She had to think. That’s when she heard him.  He was coming in the door and she knew she’d have all the answers soon.  Slowly he came toward her and had a grin on his face.  He wasn’t mad, he wasn’t upset.  Or was he. It was hard to tell with him.   He could turn in an instant and she never knew what would set him off.  Megan didn’t say a word as he slowly walked to her and lowered his head to her ear.   I’m sorry he whispered.  Megan had heard that many times before but this time she believed him.  She wanted to believe him, again.

How to Keep the Kids Shoes Looking Good

August 20, 2010

Today I have a guest post from the shoe experts KIWI.  With school starting and new shoes being bought you want to be able to keep those shoes looking great for more than the first day.  Below are some great tips and ideas.

Take a Shine to These Back-to-School Shoe Saving Ideas. Celebrity Ballroom Dancer Cheryl Burke Reveals How to Send Your Children Back to School in Style

As children are preparing to return to school this fall, this season’s television celebrity dancing stars are also heading back to the studio dance floors.  I know I perform better when I look my best, so it’s no secret that children perform better in school when they look and feel their very best too. One way parents can help children put their best foot forward this fall – and to make the most of year’s clothing budget – is to make sure their shoes stay clean and new, and protected from the harsh elements – rain, snow, sleet, etc. Caring for your child’s shoes takes only a few minutes for long-lasting protection and savings that can last through the school year.

As a professional dancer, I always make sure my shoes are in tip-top shape – both on the dance floor and in my everyday life. Just because my shoes may look tired from last season – doesn’t mean I break the bank to replace them. There are simple, wallet-friendly steps I take to extend the life of my shoes – while ensuring they still look good. The best part is, they are easy and can be applied to almost any shoe so moms can follow my tips to keep their kids’ shoes in star condition this fall.

  • Save the Suede. If your child’s winter shoe of choice is the popular suede boot, it’s important to protect that investment and make sure they are ready for the upcoming cold weather. KIWI Shoe Care has a line of protectors that work to create an invisible shield over shoes allowing them to weather the storm and stay protected against water and stains throughout the winter months. These are great products and I use them on all of my suede boots to keep them in good shape. It even works for backpacks and other types of bags.
  • Keep Sneakers White. Keeping sneakers clean is always tough – even if you just wear them to run or go to the gym, like me. We all know how dirty children’s sneakers can get from playing outdoors and how frustrating it can be when they look ruined – especially if they are brand new. KIWI Fast Acting Cleaner will keep your child’s sneakers in tip-top shape. It will quickly and effectively remove grass stains from sneakers to keep them clean and presentable – and can be used on multi-materials in all colors.
  • Change the Laces. Old, dirty laces can make a shoe appear to be in worse condition than it actually is. Changing sneaker laces every once in a while helps to keep your child’s shoes looking fresh and new. Tie shoes with strong, abrasion resistant laces so that your child’s shoes survive more than just one season. Or, to bring new life to your child’s shoes swap out the white laces for a brighter color. I know I always loved fun, colorful laces when I was in school!
  • Shine it Up. Just like parents, kids need to keep their shoes looking shiny and new, especially when there is a special function at school like a concert or dance. With KIWI Express Shine™ Sponges and wipes, kids can easily and completely shine their shoes no matter how much – or how little – time they have. Plus, moms can keep wipes in their purse and car for last minute messes.

For additional tips on protecting and caring for your best shoes or for information on the KIWI products I use to keep my shoes in star condition, visit

The Domestic Goddess of the 21st Century

August 19, 2010

I finally realized I’m going about this Domestic Goddess thing the wrong way.  I’m trying to be the Goddess of the 60’s. You know the ones that were roll models for all women out there.  Betty Anderson (Father Knows Best), June Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver), Donna  Stone (The Donna Reed Show), Harriet Nelson (The Adventures of Ozzie and Harried) even Laura Petrie (The Dick Van Dyke Show)  Those are the ones who were always in the kitchen waiting for the kids to come home from school with a plate of homemade cookies and a nice glass of cold milk.  The ones who had a hot home cooked meal on the table when their husbands got home.  They cleaned the house in heels and pearls and if you did happen to see them outside the kitchen they usually had an apron tied around their waist or a dish towel in their hands.  After dinner the kids would go up to their rooms and do their homework and their husbands would retire to the living room or den to relax and read the newspaper while the wives cleared the table and did the dishes. Yes the kitchen was their home office.

Later in the 70’s we had Carol Brady.  She had the Alice to help around the house be Carol was right beside Alice cooking dinner for the family and when the kids came home from school she was either in the family room sewing or waiting in the kitchen with cookies and milk.

Well, I just realized that things have changed and I have to stop striving for something that doesn’t exist and aim toward the Domestic Goddess of the 21st century.  That woman knows where the best take-out places are, she has a Rumba to do the vacuuming for her and a dishwasher to tackle the dishes after dinner when they don’t eat on paper plates.  Hot warm cookies, yes she can make those as long as she’s got those slice and bake cookies from the refrigerated section.  I really think I can attain that goal faster.

Yes, today’s Domestic Goddess has come into the 21st century with technology blazing and I’m going to get on that bandwagon.  I’m going to utilize my GPS a little more to find dinner, ask for a dishwasher and tie a feather duster to the dog’s tail.   Now I’ll have more time to act like the true  Goddess that’s inside of me. The one who can sleep until 10, lounge on the couch reading a book or watching Dr. Phil and occasionally eat Bon Bon’s.

As a matter of fact, I’ll start training now.   Don, peel me another grape.

Oh Yeah, this I could get use to.

How To Look Like a Domestic Goddess

July 19, 2010

In my mind part of being a Domestic Goddess is always looking your best.  OK.  Maybe my huge Tee’s, shorts and bare feet around the house don’t cut it but I’m comfortable and I do clean up nicely.  I’m talking about the hair and nails.  You’ve got to have that look that being able to cook like Paula Deen, as crafty as Martha Stewart and keep a house as spotless as Danny Tanner is effortless.

I usually miss the mark on all counts.  I’m crafty to a limit.  I can have a clean house but the last time I really tried I broke three bones in my foot.  My cooking is improving though and just today I made homemade applesauce.  (I won’t tell you about the first time I made applesauce and forgot about it. I left for a few hours and when I came home my house smelled great but all the apples had boiled away and the pan was spotless.  Hot but spotless).  I just can’t usually do it all without looking like it’s a real effort.  My hairs always a mess.  I mean why bother styling it when it only gets wet and messy from sweating.  My nails? No use getting a manicure since they’re always breaking and splitting.  Oh, I can have long beautiful nails, on one finger at a time.

BUT a friend of mine told me she’s been taking Biotin and it’s really helped her hair and nails. They grow super fast.  Now, I’d tried Biotin once before because I heard it was good at taming a cowlick.  Yes, I’ve got one right in the middle of my forehead.   It didn’t work but I did only take it for a couple of weeks.  I was informed it may take up to 3 months before I notice anything.

I started taking Biotin about a month ago and I can tell you, my nails are really growing and they’re not splitting as they usually do.  I had 10 of the most gorgeous fingernails I’ve ever had (without spending money on gel tips). Now I’ve got 9.  Biotin may keep my nails from splitting and cracking but it doesn’t protect them from a knife.  Yes, I was peeling and slicing potatoes the other day and I sliced a fingernail off.

Now you’re asking if the Biotin is working on my hair.  I think it needs a bit more time for me to give you a progress report on that.

I Was Home

June 24, 2010

Last week a friend of mine from Chicago messaged me on Facebook to expect a package this week and not ask any questions.  Imagine my surprise when we went to leave for cooking class on Tuesday and there was a big box by the front door.  The outside of the box said “Taste of Chicago” and “Lou Malnati’s” which is a pizza place in Chicago with deep dish pizza.  Inside the box was 1 deep dish sausage pizza and the best popcorn in the world.  Garrett’s popcorn in my favorite combination, Caramel and Cheese.

For those who aren’t familiar with Garrett’s popcorn you’ve been missing out.  Garrett’s has a few locations in downtown Chicago and they make their popcorn fresh and have the best flavors and coatings imaginable.  When you go to Garrett’s to buy popcorn there’s usually a line which sometimes goes out the door and you get the popcorn nice and warm.  The cheese is not a powdered cheese but an actual coating that will leave your fingers orange but you don’t care.  (The Colonel isn’t the only one that makes  food  finger lickin’ good)  The caramel melts in your mouth with a fresh buttery/caramel flavor.  If you want to witness the best thing this side of heaven, eat Garrett’s popcorn.

When I contacted my friend to thank her for the wonderful surprise she just said she wanted me to eat and say “I’m Home”  Well, for a little while on Tuesday night I was home.

If you want to experience the wonderful taste of Garrett’s Popcorn you can order it online at Garrett’s Popcorn

For other great Chicago favorites including:

  • Lou Malnati’s Pizza
  • Portilo’s Beef & Dogs
  • Carson’s Ribs
  • Eli’s Cheesecakes
  • Vienna Beef & Hot Dogs (Chicago Style)
  • Hackney’s Burgers
  • Long Grove Chocolates
  • Manny’s Delicatessen
  • Wildfire Steaks
  • Deerfields Bakery
  • Carol’s Cookies
  • Kay’s Chocolates

You can go to Lou Malnati’s Taste of Chicago

Housework Is Hazzardous To Your Health

June 15, 2010

I’ve come to the conclusion that housework is a dangerous job especially for someone who’s mother use to say they should have named her Grace because of all the accident’s.

As mom use to say, I was the only person she knew that would fall going upstairs.  I was standing on a chair at work to write on the dry erase board (OK I’m vertically challenged).  When I went to step down from the chair it toppled over with me under it.  Everyone wanted me to do it again the next night for entertainment.  I slammed my own hand in the car door breaking my finger.  But the best was the time I wanted to see what happened in a light socket when you turned it on that made the bulb light.  Did something in there move to make contact with the bulb or what?  So what did I do, I stuck my finger in the socket and turned the switch ignoring the fact that it was still plugged in.  All I have to say is the myth is NOT true, your hair won’t stand on end and you won’t be knocked to the floor.  My finger started tingling and that’s when I realized what I was doing was a NOT a good idea.  After that we were the only house in the neighborhood with electricity during a power outage.

Well, to get to the housework is dangerous story.  A little over a week ago I was vacuuming.  That in itself is dangerous, I mean you can hurt your arm, suck a small dog into the vacuum, just about anything could happen but this happened when the vacuum was turned off.  I went to step over the cord when the top of my left foot caught on the carpet and bent the toes and foot under as I went crashing into the wall.  The pain was terrible and I thought I’d broken a toe.  Yes, I’d broken most of my toes in the past so I know what that feels like.  When the pain got worse over the next few days I went to my doc.  An x-ray and exam later he said he thought I broke my foot.   A bone scan and a week later I went to see a bone doc.  Another x-ray and he tells me I broke not one, not two but three bones in my foot.

They have a note in the exam room that was a reminder to ask the nurse for your school or work excuse.  I asked the doc if I could get an excuse from housework and he was so sweet he said he’d also write one for breakfast in bed.