Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Homemade Irish Cream

Prior to St. Patty's day a co-worker and I were conversing about several Irish recipes - mainly Corned Beef and Cabbage. He had told me that a dear friend of his always made sure to have him for over for dinner and some good ol' homemade irish cream. Me, being me, was shocked that someone would actually go out of there way to make Irish Cream. I actually thought - really - you can make Irish Cream. But the more I thought about it, I realized that was a really stupid comment. You can virtually make anything you want if you want to take the time to do so. So the next day at work, I got my very own bottle of homemade Irish Cream from this little ol' gal and it was devine - absolutely devine. It was the best Irish Cream I've ever had. I really enjoy a good bottle of Irish Cream but I don't treat myself to it very often because the good stuff can be quite pricey. However - I was lucky enough to get the recipe to share with all of you. I'm not sure I'll ever buy Irish Cream again.

Irish Cream
makes 1 quart

1/2 cup White Rum
3/4 cup Whiskey (any kind)
2 cups Half and Half
1 small can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons Chocolate Syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put in a blender and blend away. Store in a quart jar and use at your leisure. Make sure to keep it refrigerated.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I've decided I'm a blogging adict. I think I need some sort of support group for all the blogs that I find it necessary to read on a daily basis. Sometimes I find it necessary to read them more than once a day. I apparently have some sort of fear that I'm going to miss out on something. It's not like it would matter if I missed a post and caught it the day after - but I'm absolutely obsessed with blogging. Not so much my own blog - as I'm still learning and it's still all foreign to me. But just the humor I find in some; the recipes, cooking and baking ideas I find in others, and just the pure joy of reading what others have to say or suggest or their opinions or what not. Maybe it's just the nosiness in me that finds them so fascinating. I've gotten a lot of ideas from all the things I enjoy doing. I've gotten great recipes, interior decorating ideas, gardening help and when I'm down I can find some laughter in some I read. Look at my blog list and see if you can find some great stuff too. I would hate for you to miss out and besides, you may have to join the support group with me too -- that is once I find one.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gardening with Seeds

So I've decided to try my hand at gardening. It's not like I don't have enough on my plate as it is so why not. We bought a new house last August that has a large yard with very nicely developed landscaping. I've always been one to enjoy fresh veggies, so I thought it would be good to start a Vegetable Garden. I've been itching for nice weather too - so I thought I'd try my hand at planting seeds in hopes that spring would get here soon. So, I've been reading up on what I'm supposed to do and what not to do and I have found the book "You Grow Girl by Gayla Trail" to be a huge hit. She has so many ideas from starting your garden by seed, to your soil problems, to bug problems, to nifty ideas on container gardening and using herbs for teas, soaps and so much more. Even though I have a large yard, I've been thinking about integrating my garden in the existing flower beds I have. I have many and the soil seems to be very well established. Besides - we have clay issues where I live and that can be disastrous to work with. Also, I think it would be neat way to garden. I may find out differently later but I think I'm going to give it try --- assuming my seed plantings are successful, we will soon find out.

Here's what I bought to get started:

**Special soil to get your seeds started

**A miniature, disposal greenhouse with the peat pots

**Seeds -- lots of seeds (tomatoes, peppers, basil, cilantro, carrots, cucumbers, squash and more)

**Marker Sticks to mark what was planted (please note you can use Popsicle sticks, cut up yogurt containers, just about anything that will not absorb water and ruin your labels)

So if you are itching for that nice spring air and warm weather. Grab your little helper and get started on your garden. It'll at least make you feel like spring is around the corner. Then I'll let you know in about a month or so if ours was a success or if they simply drown due to my over watering or froze to lack of heat.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Run Run Run....

Okay so I've written and re-written and re-written this post over and over.. I could go so many directions when it comes to the subject of Running and Track. V (my husband) is all about track. He eats, sleeps and breathes track - thus my daughter and I are consumed with track. Not necessarily by choice but almost of out necessity. He's the Varsity Head Coach of our local girls Tiger Team. Needless to say I constantly get times thrown out at me or heights and lengths - all of which I'm not sure if they are good or bad. I just nod, most of the time, and say "Yes Honey I heard you the 1st time you told me." I get name after name said to me - and mind you most are nicknames like Chuck, Boneyard, Barney, Pebbles.. and the list goes on and on. So with all of this coming at me full force these days - I try to keep up but it's kind of maddening and exciting all at the same time. I never was in the track realm. My brother ran for a couple of years in high school and that's about all I was exposed to growing up. But now being with V for over 8 years and married almost 6 years, I'm now finding I really enjoy track. I enjoy the atmosphere that surrounds me at meets, the excitement of seeing the girls' hard work pay off and the adrenline rush you get from that neck and neck race coming to the finish line. V has been very fortunate to have some outstanding athletes come through his program. He's very humble at what he does and prefers to give the credit to his athletes for the programs huge success. Without them and their hard work the program would not be what it is today.

Saturday there was a meet - the Galesburg Indoor Invite to be exact. It was a good meet, a large meet and a successful meet for our Tiger Girls that ran and jumped and threw that day. However, it was the first time my, soon to be, 2 year old daughter got to get the full effect of an indoor meet. I've taken her to meets since she was an infant but now that she's almost 2 - she truly got a feel for what track is all about. It's not just about the events taking place, it's about the full experience of the crowd, and the starting gun and everything around you. I'm very thankful my mother decided to go with me to experience a first for my daughter. It was a hoot watching her reactions as the day continued. She started out with realizing that the blowing of the whistle meant that the gun was going to be shortly behind it. Well, as you can imagine, a gun going off in a building for a 2 year old, who has no idea what is going on, is not pleasant. She would jump into my arms every time that whistle started to blow. Then V comes around to explain to her why the gun is going off - then you can see the wheels turning and the excitement of it all setting in as she realizes that means they are going to run and RUN FAST. So she went from being terrified to a pure state of excitement where she could hardly contain herself. It was hysterical and a hoot watching this all evolve. Everytime that gun would go off - she would jump and scream with all her might - RUN RUN RUN!!!! Until they crossed the finish line and then she'd clap. Then it would start all over with the next race.

We didn't stay for the entire meet as it started at 10am and didn't get over until 6pm or so. That's a long day and not one I wanted to quite expose her to yet. I'm going to save that for the State Meet in Charleston come May. However - I'm glad we went. I don't remember watching more than just her that day. Which is sad but that's what happens sometimes when you are at a track meet. Like I said - the atmosphere, the gun, the screaming and yelling - it all sucks you in and you may end up watching the meet itself or the people around you. For me - it was my daughter that day - this is the beautiful face I got to enjoy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thirty One Gifts..

I'm part of the whole Direct Selling Network. As my part-time job or, maybe, you can call it a hobby - I'm an independent advisor for Lia Sophia Jewelry. As a result - I get involved in hosting parties for a lot of other direct selling companies such as Gold Canyon Candles, Tastefully Simple, Party Lite, Creative Memories and this new one I discovered - Thirty One Gifts. What is it you ask?? Well as you can see from above it's bags and totes and all sorts of things. I have no direct relationship with this company but they have some really amazing stuff. I hosted a party recently and got a ton of stuff for very cheap. They have everything from Art Aprons, to purses, to organizational totes. They even have a separate baby/kid and teen line of merchandise. I like to think I'm organized and I love anything that can help me become more organized. This company was a great hit with me. The items are made from quality materials that I feel will stand up to some abuse. I need that - especially now with my, soon to be 2 year old, running around, playing with them, putting them on her head and doing who knows what with the items. But they have some great fabrics to choose from and you can even get them personalized at a very reasonable rate. So go ahead and check out their website and see if there is a consultant near you.

Corned Beef Hash

So St. Patty's day has come and gone. It felt like it was around for well over a week or so. Tons of festivities over the weekend, lots of beer drinking and your typical Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinners being eaten. I guess you could say I'm your stereotypical Irish woman. I come from the McCoy and McWilliams families. I have the red hair and enjoy a good stout beer from time to time. But in my life - I don't ever recall having corned beef and cabbage. I vaguely remember my mom trying to make the dish that supposedly every Irish family should have on St Patty's Day. However, if my memory recalls correctly - it was horrendous. Now, my mom, is an awesome cook and how could you mess something up that is supposed to be so simple. So, because I'm Irish and because I love to cook new things - I decided to try my own hand at Corned Beef and -- well Corned Beef Hash. I love cabbage but I wasn't so sure about boiled cabbage. To top it off, my husband is -- well lets say -- not a BIG connoisseur of vegetables. I new if I made the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage I would be the only one eating it and eating it for an entire week. So then my brain starts working and I think - what about Corned Beef Hash. He's not crazy about onions but he loves a good crispy potato and meat - usually any type of meat. He's definitely a meat and potato man. So here's my take on Corned Beef Hash. This was my first attempt at even cooking Corned Beef and honestly, it was quite delightful. So here's a recipe for you to enjoy! Good Day!

Corned Beef Hash
1 to 2 cups cooked corned beef chopped
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cups diced potatoes

Put some oil in a sautee pan. Add your potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook them until they are crisp and tender. Add your onions and sautee until lightly soft. Then add your cooked corned beef and warm it all through.

To cook the corned beef - I did mine in the crock pot with 1 can of beer, 2 cans (just fill up the beer can) of water or until it fully covers the meat. Add the spice packet that comes with the corned beef and cook on low for 8 hours. You can also do this in a roasting pan or dutch oven pan and bake at 350 for several hours. Package directions should give you a time frame.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's a Start..

So here I am thinking - "I can do this blogging thing - what's one more thing to add to my plate -- why not - lets try it out." I did, I have and I'm trying it again. Back in 2007 - 2008 , I made it to week 17 in my pregnancy and stopped blogging. Why? I'm not sure. Out of sight out of mind I guess. The craziness of being pregnant and trying to plan so that I would have all my ducks in a row for when little "V" would arrive. Oh was I only mistaken to know that one is never fully prepared for that event but I tried and I think I did pretty well. But as my "V" life continues to take its little twists and turns - I find myself gathering more and more to do. I find I get easily bored and continously need change in my life. My husband and daughter both help to keep my life exciting and ever so changing. I then wonder why I'm exhausted by 830pm every night as I now reflect that I work full time, sell Lia Sophia Jewelry, chase my 1 1/2 year old daughter all over, take her to Kindermusik class, keep up with my husband's track team and then try to find time for the stuff that enjoy doing such as cooking, baking, working out, playing with my daughter, entertaining friends and much more. I hope for this to be that little spot where I can share tidbits into my life - whether that be new recipes I've tried from the good ol' Tasty Kitchen site or glimpses of my ever fastly growing daugther or the excitment and joy of my husband's successful track teams, to our entertaining evenings we oh so like to have. So here we go - it's a beginning and I hope for this to thrive and continue. So here's to a second shot of this blogging thing.