Friday, June 19, 2015

French Silk Pie (Something Cold for those HOT days!)

Summer has come in with the fun, no school and of course the 90 degree weather. I swore that my dog was melting a few days ago. Needless to say I have her some ice water and she was okay.

Well what about us humans, sometimes pools and ice water just doesn't do it for us! Everyone LOVES chocolate (unless you are allergic and then I am terribly sorry for your loss on a small piece of Heaven!) Well for a perfect party dish or simply just to have on those cold summer days. Have no fear French Silk Pie is here!!! 

Here is what you will need! 

1 sheet refrigerated roll out pie crust
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
Whipped cream and chocolate curls, (Optional but always wanted!)

Cut pastry sheet in half. Repackage and refrigerate one half for another use. On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining half into an 8-in. circle. Transfer to a 7-in. pie plate; flute edges.
  1. Line shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450° for 4 minutes. Remove foil; bake 2 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and eggs until well blended. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 160° and coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat. Stir in chocolate and vanilla until smooth. Cool to lukewarm (90°), stirring occasionally.
  3. In a small bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add cooled chocolate mixture; beat on high speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  4. In another large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture.
  5. Pour into crust. Chill for at least 6 hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate curls if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
This Sweet Treat will serve about four people but will most likely be gone in about an hour if your on your own! So there you have it! Something sweet, something cold and something that the whole family will LOVE!

Now lets go ha e some fun in the sun! (Ice tea Optional!)

Victory Garden Season!

Hey Yall! Wow it has been awhile since i have written anything on here. Well it is summer and what does that mean?
1) Sitting by the pool
2) Drinking a alcoholic fruity drink (If you are old enough, anyone under 21 stick to the Virgin drinks)
3) Partying
4) Making your Victory Garden.
5) Finding that one cute guy to take you to that awesome country concert you have always wanted to go to.

Wait...what was number four? Yes I said it. A Victory garden.

You don't know what that is? Shame. Well let me tell you in a brief description. A Victory Garden is a garden like your ordinary flower garden. Instead of daisies, sun flowers and pansies, there are tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce, cabbage, potatoes, strawberries and my favorite rhubarb! Man my mom makes the best Strawberry Rhubarb Jam! Anyways... the official definition is "A vegetable garden, especially a home garden, planted to increase food production during a war." If you think about it the USA is in a war so it would be a legit Victory Garden. Where did it all start though? You can thank your Great Grandmother, or Grandmother.

In World War Two when we were being pulled from both sides of the world fighting, women were at home taking care of the children, working in the factories and plowing the lands. Women at home had books that would be used to buy certain foods, such as 2 lbs of sugar, a cut of meat canned foods any thing that you see in the grocery store today was rationed. I guess that was how we had gotten "Food Stamps" That we have today! Well to grow more produce they made "Victory Gardens." Government propaganda (Or really convincing fliers) said that it was patriotic to have a victory garden. They also said to can all of your foods so they were preserved. To save during the winter months. Smart Moms!

Woman did A LOT back on the home front when the boys were fighting! So how do you make one?
Simple! get plants from your local store or green house (Luckily I have a friend who works at my local store and will bring me home plants!) get yourself some nice dirt, and plant! It is seriously that simple. Since I live in an apartment I have mine in little pots works about the same, but much easier to move if I need too.

"So what Veggies can I plant?" 
I plant tomatoes. potatoes, zucchini, lettuce, cabbage, rhubarb, green beans cucumbers, cilantro, mint, dill, squash. really its anything and EVERYTHING! Just make sure your soil has the correct vitamins for the plants ( Potatoes need to have an acidic soil while, Tomatoes need more of an Alkaline soil). always look up which plants need different PH levels.

"When can I start?"
Right after reading this! If you have potatoes you can plant them in the ground right now! Just cut them in half and stick it in the ground! Make sure you remember where it is though so you can water it! Make a hill to protect the plant when it sprouts.

"I live in the city there isn't much room on my balcony, is there a more space saving way to make my 'Victory garden?"
Glad you asked! Yes there is! You can make a Pallet Shelf. A quick little DIY project The example I have has pictures in it but you can put the plants in and it has a place for the water to drain out!
to find out how to make it, Click this Link

After a day of gardening, I think its time to kick back, relax, and listen to some 40's songs with our sweet tea!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Kindness goes a long way.

Today, I have learned there are some really great people in the world.

Today I was talking to my friend (Lets call him....Garrett for privacy sake). He works as a barista in Starbucks, conveniently this is also in my workplace. Garrett hadn't known that I had lost my sweet dog Missy and I have known him since my sophomore year of High school. So he is a really great friend to me. Of course I have the "I'm sorry" and I just say "I'll power through it."

Well a woman had overheard the conversation and asked why she wasn't cremated. I said I had to pay bills before I could bring Missy to her resting place.

I start working and my fourth customer comes and she hands me what looks like a brown envelope, however I see the "STARBUCKS" on the outside of it in shiny gold foil.

Thanks to my store Policy, I had to decline her three times before I took it. My co-worker said "We will just act like you refused three times. The woman left telling me to have a better week and that the card made my week a little better.

Honestly, it did It made me feel so much better. What most people don't realize is that if you are still in the store you can get a refill on a tea or a drip coffee. Well I drink a lot. I am constantly talking all of the time and my throat gets dry and hurts. Granted I could get water for free, but honestly, I need something that will also calm my headaches, and give me that "Southern Comfort" I am looking for.

It made me happy, it was unexpected and honestly that card will last me two three weeks. It really warmed my heart because she wasn't seeing me as an employee of a grocery store, she was seeing me as a person who really needed a pick me up, who needed to see a little light in a, currently, dark world.

Honestly it did make my day and it really made my week. If I could find that woman again I would give her a hug and say thank you all over again. Her kindness gave me a little bit of light in a dark whirlwind of pain and hurt. Now I am not saying to give everyone in a really bad mood $15. No I think the whole world would be broke. Just do something nice for them, wait a little longer, give them a smile. flowers are nice if you can afford them. If you live at home with them, do some chores around the house, clean. I know that they will appreciate it.

So remember, kindness does go along way. It could help someone in dark times. Or make them even happier than they were before.

So lets Kick back and Relax, and drink some sweet tea.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ice Cream Bread?

YES! You are not seeing things the Title actually says ICE CREAM BREAD! For people who have never heard of it, it is mind blowing, to people who have known, WHY HAVE YOU NOT TOLD US! It is every dieters WORST nightmare, thank god for us, we are not on a diet, or we are going to stop very soon...or we could just start tomorrow! Each slice of bread holds 150 calories. Not bad.

So here is what you are going to need.

1 cup ice cream (Any of your choice) Softened
3/4 of a cup of self rising flour
(a substitute for self rising flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4th teaspoon salt
All all purpose flour to measure 3/4th cup.)

1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 Loaf pan

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, ice cream and sugar together until the flour and sugar are mixed in completely. Transfer over to your mixture into your loaf pan (Spray it first with Cooking Spray, it will be easier to pull out of the pan.)

Pop into the Oven for 25-30 minuets or until a toothpick is clean when you stab the loaf (Feeling regret is optional). Pull out and let cool.

Cut yourself a piece of heaven then Kick back and enjoy with some sweet tea.

Money Problems SUCK!

We have all been in a very tricky situation with money, like it or not. We can't seem to pay a bill or we hold off on the one we have until next month. If you don't have enough money, you realize what I am talking about!

I am the caretaker in my home. My mom can't work because she is disabled and my little sister is too young to get a job. With my Moms Disability, I am the one who has to pay most if not all of the bills. after she pays the rent. It is hard to be the only one working. What sucks even more is that I am a 20 year old, by now I should have been out on my own in my own apartment. Heck I know an 18 year old who lives with a room mate!

No matter what I love my Mom, and I forever will. My mom isn't the problem though. Even though I save money throughout the month and get paid every week, I still can't pay the bills. I make above Federal Minimum Wage at 8.23 an hour, but if you look around where I live you can see that a house is 300,000 dollars, and that is for a two bedroom home that would need a lot of work. My apartment is expensive and I am on the lower end in a place where you pick yourself up.

When you are taking care of three people including yourself, and have to pay for everything, it is tough. Especially when you work 40 hours a week and have no social life.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that we should raise Minimum wage, I just think that my store that makes over 1.2 million dollars A WEEK should raise their pay. But because of some Money grabbing big wigs in corporate that will never happen unless someone speaks up to them and frankly, I am a bit out of my league on that. I don't have a college degree in business, but i would make sure that my employees (No matter what rank they are in the company) has the means to pay their bills and maybe get something nice once in awhile or has some emergency cash on the side (I don't and that is really bad!)

So if any "Big Wigs" or CEO's see this, this is how someone in your stores feel. We work our butts off to stress at home if we can buy Groceries or if we can pay our electric bill. While you have it nice and easy making millions by the second, people are working so hard they could collapse at any moment.

SO, let's kick back and try to relax with our sweet tea.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Losing a Loved One

Losing a loved one is hard. It doesn't matter who it is, a family member, a friend, or in my case my little Maltese Missy.

Let me tell you a little bit about her. Missy was born in 2003. She was rescued by my mother from a coworker who would have made her into an outside dog (She was clearly not cut out for that). I was 8 at this time and had always wanted a pet that would stay. Now my Mother was in the middle of her first divorce to my Father and Missy really helped me through everything, I even held her as I cried.

Skip ahead to 2010. I knew that there was something very wrong with my Grandpa just how he was acting and talking wasn't right. When we moved in with my Grandma and Grandpa after my mom decided that she was leaving my Stepdad, we noticed my dogs (China and Missy) sitting next to him all of the time. Missy would sit in his lap or on the arm of the chair while China sat at his feet. On October 19th 2010 I lost my grandfather to cancer of an unknown origin.

Missy was there when I cried, when I found myself really depressed and lonely, my whole world had just been turned upside down. Later that year, I had gone through something traumatic and she was there for me. She saw me graduate Elementary, Middle and High school.

She was a sassy little dog, when she laid down on the couch and watched TV with us, she would curl into a ball or lay straight but crossed her front paws. Watching her walk was just funny, again with the Sass. She would shake her hips back and fourth not caring about the world. She had her bad sides though. She didn't like lightning and thunder, she would shake so badly that she would overheat and would hyperventilate pretty much. She also didn't like little kids. hated them and wanted to tear them to shreds. It was funny and a bit concerning at times.

At night when we all went to bed we would go into our rooms and at one time she slept with me in my room along with China. Missy would sleep next to my head and China by my feet. It made me feel safe and secure. She stopped when we had moved to our current apartment. It was her being in my Moms room that comforted her.

Then one day, she wasn't herself. She wasn't eating, her gums and tongue were white and she couldn't walk. I told my mom that we had to go to the vet that night after I picked up my paycheck. She wasn't my dog on that car trip. She wasn't excited to see out the window, she couldn't even hold her head up to look out the window. Her eyes were big, but I could see, she wasn't there, she had given up.

When we get to the Emergency Vet she was warm in her green blanket that was on my bed. It was hard to give her over to the nurse. My heart broke. After about three hours of trying to get financials figured out. We decided that we would euthanize her that night. On January 15, 2015, she passed away in my mothers arms.

Losing her is hard for me. She had been there for me for more than half of my 20 year old life. I have had to try and change habits i have had for years (Like grabbing two treats instead of one, Trying not to call China, Missy by accident or just wanting to look for her when I know she is gone.) I had hope that she would get better, she didn't. I was hoping that I would be able to take her home, watch a movie, and have her play around with my other dog. I cried for the next three days. I am still hurting today, but there are no more tears to cry. There are only hopes that she is with my Grandpa running around on a big green lawn with some of my past dogs that I have owned.

It doesn't matter if it is a human, or an animal, they are part of your family and it is hard either way. You have lost apart of yourself when they died.

Now as we kick back and relax with our sweet tea, lets reflect upon what I have said here today.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Southern Sweet Ice Tea

You may have noticed my sign off is "Lets grab our sweet tea, Kick back and relax" Or something very similar. Well now you can know how I make my Southern Sweet Ice Tea.

Here is what you will need:
1 big pot (with lid)
1 wooden spoon
12-13 cups of water
3-4 cups of sugar
5-6 tea bags (Any kind is okay)
Baking Soda
Mint or lemon (optional)

First start to get the water boiling in the pot this shouldn't take to long to do. While you are waiting, tie all of the tea bags together. This will make sure you don't lose any in the bottom of the pot after steeping.

When the pot is boiling put the tea bags in and boil for 5 minuets, turn it down to a simmer or off. Add the sugar according to your tastes. Put a lid on the pot careful it will be hot (It will retain the heat for awhile!) Wait for an hour or two. It isn't going anywhere.

When it has cooled down enough to where you can drink (still hot though) take out the teabags (WARNING: THESE WILL BE HOT). One the tea bags are disposed put about a teaspoon of baking soda in and stir. This will make sure that the bitterness is out of the tea.

Now you can wait and put the lid on it until it cools down to luke warm,(What I do) or you can grab a glass of Ice and ladle some southern gold. Add a lemon or a sprig of mint (Optional) and WHALAH! You have Your Southern Sweet Ice Tea!

Now you have no reason to not grab a glass of sweet tea, kick back and relax

Don't be Scammed!

As a Service Desk Clerk, I am to go to a class every year for titled "Anti Money Laundering." Believe it or not, it wasn't that boring of a meeting, it was actually fun. Some of it was just review from my training, but something really concerned me. Scams.

There are all different kinds of scams, some most people can see coming. Others though not so much.With Facebook a big part of our lives, we don't really realize how much of ourselves we put on there. If you looked at my profile you would see my picture, my birth date, Where I was born, where I live now where I work and what college I go to. That is all without even scrolling down or clicking on a new tab. Just imagine what you could get on me if you spent a little time trying to get my information. It is scary.

So here is a scenario for you.

You get a call from a man saying that your family member is in Jail and that they are too embarrassed to tell you. You obviously want them out of jail (Unless you are my mother and would just let me sit there and think about what I have done.) You ask them where to send the money and they give you the name, the state and the amount of bail money which goes into the thousands. You quickly find a Western Union or Money Gram supporting business (i.e. Walmart, Kroger, Trader Joes, Costco). You send the money. You think everything will be okay.

Later that night you call your family member. Turns out that they were NEVER even in jail they had the flu and stayed home all day long in there bed.

Congrats you are now a victim of a scam.

Here is another scenario for you.

You receive a letter in the mail after you have come back from a foreign country. You open it to see that you have won a Lottery Prize in that country. However there is a catch, you have to send them money to get your winnings. You call the number on the letter and they tell you how much you need to send, they don't want you to go to a Money Transfer Service and they want a "Green Dot Money Pack" and for you to send them that instead. You agree and send them it. Weeks go on, and yet no prize.

Congrats you have been scammed. You are out the money and the 49 cents that you had to pay for the stamp.

So remember if anything seems suspicious call your family member, if it is a lottery rip the paper up, if you are contacted by the "Police" of "Hospital staff" do some digging around. DO NOT JUST ASSUME EVERYTHING YOU ARE BEING TOLD IS TRUE!!!

Alright So as we think about this, let's just grab a sweet tea, sit back and relax.

Think Before You Do Something

I work at a grocery store. I know what you are thinking. Why on earth would she start off with that? Well the fact is, I do. I work at the service desk of a grocery store. No it isn't Walmart. It isn't the greatest job, heck I thought it was just going to be a pit stop in my life. What really gets on our nerves in my position is that, there will only be one person at the desk for thirty minuets to an hour.

This was the case today. I was all alone and we have a toll road. You get a sticker, fill out some information, and TAH-DAH you are on your way once we have faxed the application to the company (Cool for the customers, bad news for the employees who have to use the ancient fax machine that won't send most of the time).

Just as I was helping the customer get the fax and making sure it sent, a random woman comes up and is livid. She says to me "Can you get someone else back here? These people have been sitting here for the past ten minuets." It was not that long that they were waiting there. It took maybe five minuets to explain the application to the customer and getting it sent. They were there for no more than three minuets. I looked around, obviously I was the only person working and my customer had many questions about the application. I wasn't just going to say "Sorry sir you are on your own from here" and help the other customers. I would be pretty mad if someone did that to me.

It being my luck, my co worker had just gone to lunch to abide by state law and my bosses were busy with bagging and making sure that other people had breaks, and lunches. I calmly say "I can try, I am all alone until my co worker comes back." She didn't like my answer. Now it would have taken almost three minuets to get the fax through and I can hear the old DSL sound when your mom wanted to use the phone but you were on the computer using the internet (90's Kids you know what I am talking about).

I finally get one of my bosses to help me (Which is rare with the rush we had), the random woman who had yelled at me, hadn't even needed help. No she bolted once my boss was there. Honestly, I didn't need her attitude. Since I had just put my dog, that I had for half of my life, down no more than five days ago. It was already hard to come to work, I didn't need a person yelling at me because I was being courteous to another customer.

So just remember the next time you get impatient in a line at a grocery store, some of us are having a really bad week and we are human too, we can only move so fast and believe it or not, we have emotions, we have a soul. Also remember the kindergarten "Golden Rule" Treat People how you want to be treated. So if you don't want to be yelled at because I finally snapped after all of the stress, don't yell at me (No I didn't yell at the woman, I haven't snapped yet.)

Alright while all of us think back on this lets all just grab a sweet tea, and sit back and relax.