Saturday, October 22, 2011

Be Someone's Brownie

Alright, I know it's been a while since you've heard from me.  Things have been going like a whirlwind lately.  My first cruise came and went with a bang!  I was fortunate enough to meet one of the chef's on Princess Cruise's 'Star Princess', and I have an autographed cookbook as well.  Let me tell you, there is a recipe for a strawberry soup that looks AMAZING. 

After the cruise, God blessed me with a job where the things I do directly benefit people, and it's such a Godly place to work. 

Now, the biggest thing that's happened is I was blessed to be asked to lead a workshop for the Live, Love, Laugh ladies retreat this past weekend at Bell Shoals Church.  When I was approached (silly me), I figured there would only be about 25-30 ladies in my class.  DUH!!!  It's a cooking class...who doesn't love food you don't have to cook, dishes you aren't washing, and lots of yummy samples?!? 

Turns out, there were around 150 ladies in there.  I thought I was going to...well...I had no thought.  My mind went completely blank when I walked in and faced all those ladies.  Thanks to some wonderful words of wisdom from my sister and another S.I.C. (Sister In Christ), I got through it. 

We had samples of Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup and Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies.  I also demonstrated Apple Stuffed Pork Chops, Glazed Carrots and an Apple-Pear Tart.  I also did a Salmon Packet with Spinach.

I think I have the bug...the workshop bug.  Even though I didn't sleep the night before, and drove everyone within earshot of my voice absolutely crazy, I LOVED IT!!!  I'm already thinking about next year.  So, who can I sign up?  (he he)

God did some amazing things that weekend.  Can you imagine 500-600 ladies in one place, at one time...and did not hear a single grumble, complaint, or whine?!?  Now that's a God thing.  :)

Seriously, it made me think about my first night serving at I Am Hope cafe; the little 4-5 year old girl that didn't know what a brownie was.  That was me before I knew Jesus.  So I'm sending you away with this thought:

Go be some one's brownie!!!

Happy Eating!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

When life throws a curveball....PUNT!!!!

     Ok, ok...before  you get all excited...I know you don't 'punt' in baseball.  The proper term would be 'bunt'.  Admit it though, made you stop and think for a second, then smile.    

Well, my curve ball came in the form of an earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  First, stop and pray for that country and it's people.  They are an AMAZING group of people.

     Since that has happened, we had to cancel our vacation to the Kyoto region in Japan for next week.  Thankfully, God has been with us this whole time.  Originally, Jesse and I were going to be there at the time the earthquake hit, but we moved it because the of the cherry blossom festival for that region.  Then, 10 days before we were to leave it happened. 

     In the meantime, we have been blessed to get all of our monies paid in hotel fees, airport taxes and rail passes refunded.  We even got ALL of our sky miles back for the plane tickets.  That being said, we have changed our vacation plans.

     We are now going on a cruise through the southern Caribbean for 11 days/10 nights.  I'm thinking maybe I should forewarn some of my clients I might want to try some new recipes out on them.  Nah, I'll subject my family to those first...wouldn't want to give my clients a wrong impression.  (hehe)

     Be looking forward to some fantastic pictures of beautiful places and food!  Can't wait to see what God has in store for us next.

     So, until I get back...happy eating!!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I love food!!!

     I   LOVE   FOOD!!!!!!!   Sorry, had to get that off my chest. ;)  It is an absolutely beautiful day.  Blue skies, lovely breeze, and I have the house opened up so I can feel the air and hear the sounds of spring.  You know what I'm talking about; the way the palm fronds sound when the breeze hits them, the birds, the kids playing outside and dogs barking in the back round somewhere in the neighborhood.

     I know, I know.  You are asking "Just what does this have to do with food"?  Nothing really, just wanted to put that in here.  (hehe)  See, I have taken over my husband's home office.  It's in the front of the house, with a big bay window and two smaller ones facing the street.  I'm surrounded by cookbooks and notes all over my desk, the two small dogs in the chairs and the big one on the floor by me, my never-ending coffee cup, and I love it!!!  God has really blessed my life!!! 

     I'm planning a menu for a couple of my clients, and the more I'm doing, the more I just want to put everything aside and go in the kitchen and start cooking.  Too bad no one is here to eat.  I have the best time cooking when people are in the house and sitting at the bar talking to me while I cook.  If I can teach them something, even better.  In case you are wondering, some of the items on the menu are: onion-stuffed beef kefta, grilled pork tenderloin with shallot sauce, a cucumber and tomato riata and a dark chocolate mousse.  Sounds YUMMY, right !?! 

     Now, as some of you know, I will be leaving in just over a month to go to JAPAN!!!!  I suppose it would be wrong to take pictures of all the food I'm going to eat; maybe I'll just photograph some of the really pretty dishes.  That said, it is my goal to see how many new dishes I can come home and re-create.  Look out family...this means you will have to try them; so unless some of the chef's are willing to just hand over their recipes, this could be disastrous.  LOL  Now, the food picture is what you actually see outside a lot of the restaurants over there.  They are plastic renditions (which is great for those of us that cannot remember our Japanese).  Worse case, you take the waiter/waitress to the front and point to what you want.  Yes, I did this when my family lived over there.   So instead of feeling embarrassed, I just look at it like I'm entertaining them.

     Now, on to the more mundane things in life.  I have to rearrange some things in the kitchen to put away my groceries from last night.   Happy eating everyone!!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Yay for mess-ups!!!

     Yes, I said it.  Yay for mess-ups!  That's been the theme over the last week or so, at least when it comes to my cooking.  I have couple new dishes that resulted from something going wrong with my original planned meal. 

     Now, to see if I can duplicate that without making the prior mistakes will be my challenge.  Wonder if I should start writing these things down as I go (say the voices in my head), but that would just be the grown-up, responsible thing to do.  Just ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you I am about as far from that person as you can get. ;)  That's alright though, it makes living with me an adventure. 

     Hmmmm..debating about fessing up to the botched cooking...ah, what the heck.  You see, my daughter was grilling a piece of chicken on the Foreman (after I told her the marinade she was using would be fine since it was fat-free).  Needless to say, it wasn't as 'fine' as I said.  Forgot about the fat-free part, and her chicken burned the outside and left the inside raw.  So what's a good mom to do?  She gives her a piece with a little 'fat' added back into the marinade to start over, leaving me trying to figure how to salvage the other.  Thus, a new chicken with creamy tomato sauce was born.

     Now, there was nothing quite so dramatic as that for the new meatball recipe.  Only the fact that I cannot seem to read a recipe correctly, and didn't get everything I needed before I left the house.  Either way, a little change up of ingredients and viola....a new meatball recipe.  Seemed to go over pretty well.  I think Jesse like it too!  (which is good since I don't really care for it, but that's the way it is with many things I make). 

So here's a toast *clink* to more cooking mishaps.  ;)


Monday, January 31, 2011

Expanding my horizons

Well, I survived my first big cooking foray this weekend.  I made stuffed shells for approximately 220 people.  I had so much fun doing that (I can say that now that it's done).  Had the 80's music rocking, the dogs drooling (yes, they got some treats while I was cooking), and was wall to wall pasta, sauce and cheese...but it was FANTASTIC!

     I had one of the best non-verbal compliments I could have though.  I watched teenagers go back for seconds, even some of the girls.  You see, it was Revolve weekend at Bay Life Church.  That's where kids from middle and high school go to host homes and grow closer to God and each other.  They have all sorts of activities planned throughout the weekend like flag football, road ralley's, and other things at the church.  They eat lunch and dinner at the church, then go back to the host homes at night for their life group times.  So, as for the non-verbal communication, it was either a compliment, or they were just really hungry.  LOL

     Now, on to a more somber note of the weekend. I know this is a food blog, but I need to get this out there.  I met a couple of really terrific ladies tonight.   Let me start at the beginning...Mom has been telling me about a couple of homeless ladies she met, and tonight my mission was to go with a friend to pick up a bicycle and bring it to the church for one of the ladies.  Well, when we got to the church, Mom was there with all 3 eating some pizza and pound cake (left from this morning's church service-I make something for our 'Corner' every week-where new people to our church get to come and meet the pastor and others every week).  Anyhow, we were all just sitting around talking while they were eating, and I wanted so much to 'fix it' for them, and I can't. One of the ladies actually apologized to me for being homeless and not being able to take a shower.  I have never had that happen before.  At that point, we made sure she knew there was nothing for her to be sorry for.

     After worship service tonight, I was going to take them back to one of the ladies home for the night and I gave them the few things I had thrown in a bag for them.  It was like someone had given them a bag of gold.  It was only a few non-perishables and some handy-wipes.  Let me just say that my view on life and things took a sharp 180.  So, on the way to Bennie's we stopped to get some dog food (their dogs had not eaten that day), and we picked up a couple raw hides..every dog needs a little something extra.  It was breaking my heart that they were so much more worried about the dogs than themselves at that point. 

     I don't know if it's the mom in me or what, but even though these ladies are older than I am, I just wanted to hug them and tell them it was going to be alright.  Now I know I cannot do that, but I can't stop thinking about what I can do.  Looks like it's time to put some of the contacts from all my years in the medical field to good use. 

     So, to everyone that reads this post, please stop and say a prayer for these ladies...and all those that for whatever reason or circumstance have no home.  It may not seem like much, but let me tell you, the power of prayer is awesome!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bread's done!

Here's how the bread turned out:

p.s.  My house smells wonderful now.  :)

Just because you have a business called Polarbear's doesn't mean we have to live in an igloo.

     Good morning to you to, hon.  hehe  That was the statement I was told this morning as I came back inside with the dogs.  My wonderful husband (and I do mean wonderful..he's AWESOME!) closing all the windows and doors in the house.  Ok, just because it was 62 in my house this morning does not mean we live in an igloo.  Close, but not quite (lol).

     On that note, I was talking with dad (my father-in-law), and was telling him maybe it was a good thing Jesse closed up the house since I was making bread today.  Before I could say anything, he piped up with "Well, you can always bring the dough next door to our house to rise".  LOL, Now you see where Jesse gets it from.

     I have to admit, that thought did cross my mind.  As for the bread I'm baking is a Sun dried Tomato Braid.  The upside of a new business, I have to practice alot.  The downside, someone has to taste everything I'm making.  Wonder if I can find anyone to be my taste testers and give me honest feedback?  (yes my friends, that is my short-lived attempt at sarcasm).

     As for my business, I had my first client on Thursday, and I had the honor of being able to make lunch for my EY family while I was cooking for my client.  Now that's fun!  I love being in a kitchen cooking while there are lots of people around talking, laughing and generally having a good time (as long as they stay out of the

     From the feedback I've gotten, I think things went well.  I do have to say, one of the dishes I made (Habanero and Spinach Stuffed Chicken) came out better than I have EVER made it at home.  Jesse even told my client he was tempted to come to their house for dinner.  I take that as a huge compliment. 

     I'm blessed to have my first client be someone I know, so I can be sure I will get honest feedback.  It also allows me to use them to work out the kinks in my service.  I was able to make a list of things I needed that I did not bring, notes to make the flow a little smoother; things like that.  So THANK YOU to my client (they know who they are).  I hope you enjoyed eating it as much as I loved cooking for you.  :)

     I'll let you know how the bread turns out!  Happy eating!