Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Carolina Red BBQ Sauce

I love vinegary barbecue sauce. I found a recipe online and I changed it up a bit. I must warn you: this is not for everyone. In fact, Carter and I were the only ones who ate it.

It was so good (to me) that after I ate it, I felt a few dots of perspiration forming under my eyes above my cheekbones. That has never happened to me before. But it has been consistent each time I partake of this sour sauce.

This is coming from a girl who drinks dill pickle juice and used to drown her potato chips in ketchup and vinegar when she was younger. (I won't exactly divulge how recent these two events have taken place. We'll just say I was "younger." Maybe by just a day or maybe a decade ...)

So, without further ado ...

Carolina Red BBQ Sauce

1 cup apple cider vinegar*
1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper

To vinegar add spices. Whisk until dissolved. Add ketchup and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until use. I ate this with pot roast, pork chops and mac 'n cheese. And, in a week's time, it's almost gone. I bet it's excellent on potato chips, too.

*I added a little balsamic vinegar (maybe 1/4 cup or less) to equal one cup just because I had a little left in the bottle that I needed to use.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Newest Shade

Years ago, I was all about lip color. One of my favorites was Clinique Buff. Then I stopped working to become a stay-at-home mom. It felt silly to me to wear lipstick and then smother my newborn baby's head with kisses. So, when the lipstick ran out, I didn't buy more. (I bought something else, but it's been too many years to recall what it was.)

I always need something on my lips. Anything, actually. Except I can't tolerate smells very well. (Thank you, two-and-a-half years of all-day morning sickness. You've changed my life forever.)

A few years ago I started a relationship with Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer. I tried a few colors, but they were far too dark for my pale complexion (not to mention I'm still a kissing-smothering mom), so I gave those to my Guatemalan sister-in-law. I used Champagne (pale pink) and Radiance (clear) mostly because they weren't overbearing. And I can live with the smell. In fact, I love the smell. And the tingling lips.

Last week I decided I needed a little color. I've been looking drained (and not just because I have been) and I have a televised council meeting approaching and I thought I could use a little "pop." So, in a quick trip to the store, I found the shade Peony. I just now realized it was a new shade. I probably wouldn't have bought it a month ago because I wasn't "there" yet. In my opinion, Peony reminds me of Clinique Buff. And it's cheaper. And smells better. And I can still smother kiss my children's faces.

Now I use my Champagne and Radiance for running.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Grilled Ranch Bread

I just needed to share this excellent recipe. I first made this when I was pregnant with Taylor, fourteen years ago. (Yikes!) It was so good that Joe's best friend's wife (who was also pregnant) and I sat down and ate it all. Every few years I remember about this recipe and yesterday was one of those days. I served it with broccoli-cheese soup and used a Trader Joe's baguette.

Grilled Ranch Bread
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (1 ounce) packet dry ranch dressing mix (i.e., Hidden Valley Ranch)
2 loaves French bread or Italian bread, cut in half lengthwise

Cream the butter with the dressing mix; spread evenly on the bread halves. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until golden and the butter begins to seep and bubble. Serve hot. Or eat the next morning as your breakfast. (Assuming there is any left. I hit the breakfast jackpot this morning.)

I did not follow the above recipe exactly. And looking at the proportions I only used one loaf of bread, about 3/4 of a stick of butter, and dumped the dry mix from the canister (thank you, wholesale club, for a large canister). I didn't measure. Mine was extra ranchy. Just how I like it. (I also put it in the oven at 400 degrees for 7-9 minutes, instead of under the broiler. I was making this from memory, and well ... what can I say.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reusable Swiffer WetJet Cloths

I promised myself that, when I bought a box of Swiffer WetJet refills at the wholesale club, it would be the last box I bought. Something had to be done. Now, to be honest, part of the reason was to help the environment, but the other part was because I was tired of running out of those darn things.

I took some towels, folded them in half cut them into 5" widths. (The towel was just about 25" or so from side to side when flat.) Then I cut two 5" pieces of elastic and serged it all together. Two layers of toweling and two elastic strips. That's it. (The finished piece was approximately 4.75" x 12.")

Within minutes I had a stack of eight.

Slide them on and mop away.

You will have a clean floor and have saved one more thing from ending up in the landfill.

Now, if I can just do something about the cleaning liquid ... Something environmentally-friendly, economical, and won't cause further pain to my arthritic back.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Fresh mozzarella pearls, chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar,
and a sprinkling of sea salt. (Missing fresh basil.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mason - Today

11:55 a.m.

1:14 p.m.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Can't. Stop. Eating.

these* and these (my annual homemade Easter goodies). Someone save me.

*I added almost 7 oz of sweetened condensed milk this year. They are a little more moist, but they are trickier to stick together. I've been making them for 7-8 years.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Happy Easter to *Me*

I treated myself to a new pendant. It arrived with today's mail ...

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter to all ...

and to all a good night.