Monday, September 29, 2014

Menu Plan

We didn't really follow a menu plan last week...and we ended up going out to eat more than we would have liked.  Ugh...>rolling eyes<...when will I ever learn...

Diva has started piano lessons again.  It has taken all summer to find a teacher for her so we are so pleased to have finally found one.  So far, so good.

Winnie the pound puppy is settling in nicely although she is still a little skittish around Engineer.  I wish we knew her back story so as to avoid any negative triggers.  She has become more and more comfortable here at home and continues to be a very sweet and gentle dog.

As I am typing, I can see the farmer across the street harvesting peanuts.  That is not something I would have seen while living at The Little Pink House.  Even though we are in a city of 65,000, I live across the street from a working cotton/peanut plantation and pass another one on the way to Diva's school.  It's kind of neat-o.

My niece's birthday party was this past weekend and we trundled over to Marshall to celebrate with friends and family after attending Diva's 2nd cross country meet.  

We had lunch with friends one day and supper with friends two nights and Engineer went to a beer tasting at the local homebrew store.

The biggest news is that Engineer has entered himself in the first annual Great Raft Brewery Homebrewhaha homebrew competition.  He's pretty excited about it.  The judging isn't until November 1 and anyone over 21 can come along and try the brews.  For Engineer's submission, let's just say that he stuck to his Texan roots in the flavor profile of his brew.

I knitted my first baby hat using a loom.  Where has that been all my life!  It makes projects ten times faster.  Love that thing!

Our neighbor came over today with a plate full of cookies (new favorite neighbor) because she has started her own cookie business.  I told her that we will happily taste test her recipes as I fancy myself a bit of a cookie connoisseur.

We have overnight guests coming the next three weekends in a row so the motivation has been ramped up to maximum levels on getting the guest room and back patio sorted...I wonder what guests will have to come over before my closet gets sorted?...

This is what we will be eating this week.  It has a very international flair:

Sunday - Leftovers
Monday - Salmon Stir Fry
Tuesday - Chicken Xacutti
Wednesday - Lasagna, Garlic Bread, & Salad
Thursday - Thai Green Curry
Friday - Dinner w/Friends
Saturday - Dinner w/Friends

This is part of MPM.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Madly in Love

I told Engineer that as I was walking Truffles (our Yorkie x Westie) I came to the realization that I identified with terriers.

His response:

"Of course you do!
They are cute, ornery, stubborn, and low to the ground."

1-4-3 EM for speaking truth.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Macaroni Salad

It's time for tailgate par-tays!

If you are needing a quick & easy dish to take and share to a pre-game gathering, give this little gem a try.  It makes a ton!

You know I love old recipes and vintage cookbooks because I feel like they are social commentary - a piece of history, well this recipe actually is part of our family's history.

This week's vintage recipe redo from my Maw-maw was written on my cousin Cassie's high school commencement program.

I like that there are a few vegetables mixed in with the pasta and the habanero Tabasco sauce gives this salad a surprise kick.

My peeps are not huge fans of mayo, pickle relish, or pasta salad in general yet this recipe got two thumbs up all around.

Macaroni Salad

1 8oz. pkg. Macaroni
2 Scallions, chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1 large Carrot, grated
2 Tbs. Sweet Pickle Relish
1/2 tsp. Mustard Powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. Habanero Tabasco Sauce
Salt to taste

Cook macaroni according to pkg. directions.  Drain.
While pasta is cooking, chop veggies & mix together all other ingredients.
Add pasta & veggies to sauce and stir.
Chill and serve.

This is part of FPT.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Keurig 2.0 Review


I received the new Keurig 2.0 brewing system from Influenster in exchange for my honest review.   All opinions and deep rooted love of all things coffee are my own.

Sometimes life is just so delicious.  Like when you get an email asking if you want to try out a new coffeemaker.  Ffff, do I want to try out a new way to brew coffee?!  Uh, yeah, doy!

I had no real experience with Keurig previously so this was a whole new ball game in coffee making for me.

The brand spankin' new Keurig 2.0 comes with a thermal 4 cup carafe and is able to brew directly into it as well as into a single mug.

This machine is perfect for one off cuppas in the afternoon of tea or decaf; but, for my coffee guzzling family in the morning, the 4 cup carafe doesn't even fill the travel mugs.

Speaking of that carafe, it is a really neat feature and is great for weekend coffee drinking on the porch, which keeps the coffee surprisingly hot for a long time.

The 2.0 is easy to use and very stylish...especially as it sits alongside my plainer than plain trusty percolator.

We found that the accompanying user manual did not give all instructions necessary, like how to install and use the water filter.  Luckily there was a video on the Keurig website that took us step by step through the process.

I am a little disappointed not being able to use refillable cups in order to brew our own favorite locally roasted coffee blends. This new machine only allows for official K-Cup 2.0 cups and refuses to brew anything else.

I do like that I am able to choose the size of the cup that I will be filling (10 oz. - every. time.) and that I can get straight hot water extremely fast. Love that feature.

This brewing system is perfect for light coffee drinkers and folks who like having one off hot drinks throughout the day. I would think this is a great solution for elderly people or folks like me who often forget to turn off the coffee pot, since it is only on when you need it.

The Keurig 2.0 makes really good coffee in comparison to a traditional percolator but is less useful when entertaining guests since you can only brew 4 cups maximum at a time.

Overall I like the machine and my husband and I love Green Mountain Coffee so those K-Cups that were included in the box were much appreciated.

We will be relegating the 2.0 System to our guest room so that when we have overnight company, they can make themselves hot drinks without leaving the comfort of their room.

Now my biggest problem in the afternoon is:  should I brew a single cup or a carafe of decaf?

Nacho Bake & Giveaway

Fall is here which means school is in full swing, football season is revving up, and cooler weather is around the corner.

What that means for my cooking is more root vegetables, spicier flavors, heavier food, more soups and stews, and most definitely more slow-cooked meals

Thursdays are cooking/baking days here at Beloved Bayou.  I try to get a jump on breakfasts and suppers, especially during the school year, because it's inevitable that I will be running late, or there will be extra practices, or meetings that put the squeeze on our mealtimes.  But, if I have something ready to go in the freezer, then life is good.

Lentil Soup

Lately I have been preparing food like the Lentil Soup (pictured above) Rustic Italian Chicken, and Nacho Bake (recipe below.)  What do those dishes have in common you ask?  Well, aside from being rather tasty, they were all made with Red Gold tomatoes.

Tinned tomatoes are an absolute staple in our house.  Nearly every time I go to the grocery store, I pick up a couple more cans just so that I can stay ahead of demand,  And on Thursdays?  Fugheddabowdit...  I can go through half a dozen tins before noon.

I've written previously about using good tomatoes in your recipes.  It truly makes a big difference...which is why I may have a whole section of my pantry dedicated to Red Gold tomatoes.

Red Gold Tomatoes wants to help you make life a little easier by sharing slow-cooker recipes as well as giving you the opportunity to win one of two branded Crock-Pots with their "Red Gold 2-a-day Crock-Pot Give-a-way!"  Isn't that kind of them?

All you have to do to enter is go to the Red Gold Facebook page from September 17-October 8 and fill out the form.  That's it.

But wait - there's more!  The kind folks at Red Gold have also given my readers the opportunity to receive a fetching Red Gold apron by entering via the Rafflecopter below.  I will contact the winner via email so please make sure to use a current email address attached to the entry.  The winner will have three days to respond to the email before a new name is drawn.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh, and here's that recipe I promised for Nacho Bake.  It's a fantastically easy, hearty, and quick meal for a weeknight supper. is a super way to use up the broken tortilla chips at the bottom of the bag.

Nacho Bake

1 can Black (or Kidney) Beans, rinsed & drained
1 can Chili
1/2c. Salsa (the chunkier, the better)
1 can Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes w/Green Chilies
1-2 c. Tortilla Chips, crushed
1c. Cheese, shredded

Dump the first four ingredients into a casserole dish.
Mix until combined.
Sprinkle over crushed chips and bake uncovered at 350F for about 20 minutes.
Sprinkle cheese over the top and put back in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve with Mexican rice and a salad and dinner is served!

This is part of FPT & WFMW.

I was sent samples to facilitate my recipes and promotion.  All opinions and tinned tomato obsession are my own.
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