Meal Plan for September 21 - 27
Honey bourbon glazed pork chops & peaches
Green beans

Honey Mustard Pork Chops
Broccoli w/ cheese sauce

Pepper steak
Sesame fried rice

Cheese Enchilada Casserole

MM Steak Sammies on sourdough bread
Ranch style beans

Cowgirl Chicken Sammies on sourdough bread
Oven taters

Cheese & chicken enchiladas
Mexican rice

One night a week I try to make something new. Tonight was that night. I am stuffed and happy. Let me tell you how it happened. Saturday I bought The Best of Cooking Light: Everyday Favorites while we were browsing Barnes & Noble.While watching the Longhorns beat the Red Raiders I bookmarked way too many recipes with pink post-its.There will be several recipes coming from this book!


I substituted Johnnie Walker Black because I didn't have any bourbon. Close enough for me!


I also don't own a grill pan (or even a grill) so I used a plain jane cast iron skillet. Never forget - Necessity is the mother of invention!


And then I ate it all up! *burp*

I halved the original recipe and made a couple of substitutions. Since I'm not completely sure if I can or cannot post the verbatim recipe, I'll just tell you what I did in my own words.

For the marinade you'll need:
1.5 tablespoons Johnnie Walker Black or other bourbon/whiskey of your choice
2 tablespoons clover honey
1.5 tablespoons lite soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon black pepper (fresh ground if ya got it)

Mix all of that together and add your two 4 ounce pork chops (about 1/2 to 3/4" thick) and one halved and pitted peach; shake it all around to coat everything. Use a little cooking spray on a cast iron skillet and cook the chops and peaches (turning chops only once) until pork is done. If you want you can microwave the remaining marinade (to kill anything icky, after all it did have raw meat in it) and pour over the meat when you serve it up. According to my calculations over at my entire dinner (including the green beans and reserved marinade) was about 375 calories.

So, I know that it's already Wednesday, but I want to share my meal plan for the week. ProjectGirl has an awesome site if you love organization and/or scrapbooking. There I found Free Printable Meal Planners and they are helping so so much. One side for meals and the other for the groceries needed to make them. It's seriously genius. I'd love to post pictures of the upcoming foodstuffs if anyone's interested!

Meal Plan for September 14-20
Spaghetti & garlic cheese drop biscuits (I tweaked this recipe)

Broiled pork chops w/ spice rub
Oven roasted corn-on-the-cob

Soft tacos were on the menu but I had a flatout pizza (bbq sauce, chicken & red onion) and Pookie had Whataburger

Breakfast for Dinner
Smoked sausage and scrambled eggs

Hungry Girl's Exploding Chicken Taquitos with cheese sauce

Pookie Helps Cook!
Meatless Manicotti

Meatloaf, green beans & cornbread

I think that this meal planning thing will help alleviate some of the stress I deal with in trying to make both Pookie and myself happy come dinnertime. In the past I've said that he's picky, but that's really not true. There are tons of things he likes to eat but his favorites are completely different than my favorites. For instance I love chicken, colorful vegetables and noodles. He prefers red meat, rice and starchy vegetables. I like chinese and italian; he prefers mexican and cajun. If we have a plan that serves each of our favorites equally then maybe we won't complain as much.

Sometimes it only takes a post-it to make my day wonderful :)

love note

This has been such a shitty year. I try to find the happy times and “accentuate the positive” but some days it’s nearly impossible. More often I find myself detailing the year’s tragedies. It’s in my nature to throw pity parties for myself, I suppose. When I started this blog, I wanted to detail my cooking adventures and even some of the inevitable failures those adventures would bring. But it doesn’t seem to be working out that way. I’ve used it as a tribute to two amazing friends, Chris & Candy. And I’ve wanted to talk about losing my Daddy but after nearly seven months that wound is still too tender.

In February, the same week we buried Daddy, my doctor (endocrinologist) recommended weight loss surgery. Emotional wreck doesn’t even begin to describe the state I was in even before that conversation. I’ve always struggled with my weight. And by struggled, I mean I ate what I wanted and watched my ass expand whilst complaining about it periodically. Okay, I wasn’t a completely sedentary creature. Marching band in high school, rugby in college and regular workouts in college too but I was never at a healthy weight. I was in better shape sure, but always overweight. After the appointment, I sat in the parking lot and cried. Tears for Dad or for my fat ass, did it really matter which one? Twenty-five is too young for weight loss surgery, right? I kept thinking, “am I really THAT fat?” I knew even then that I didn’t want the surgery but it hurt to have it RECOMMENDED to me.

It took some time before I finally made a conscious / consistent / determined effort to change my habits, my lifestyle. Since the beginning of August, I’ve documented every single thing I’ve eaten. SparkPeople is an amazing resource for weight loss and general health; I use it every day. I’m making, at the moment, a less-than-diligent effort to exercise but that will improve as I get into the swing of this semester. So now I think it’s time for this blog to change too. Do I need a new name? Does “Semi Domestic Goddess” still fit?

I had been planning on a long emotional entry detailing some seriously funny stories about my Daddy but I'm feeling rather greedy with my warm and fuzzy thoughts. He's my Daddy and I don't want to share him too much right now. But, I'm not completely cold-hearted! I'll share the very first picture of Daddy and me:


I Love You Daddy !!! I miss you and your blunt (but wise) advice but most of all I miss your voice telling me you love me too.

I've always enjoyed cooking for my friends and family but now, more than ever, I'm finding comfort in creating yummy foodstuffs. It is a firmly held belief that nothing helps grief more than good food, good company and laughter. That's why when we get news of someone passing the first thing we do is take food to the family and sit with them. It's hard to remember to take pictures of my accomplishments rather than just stuff my face and crawl back on the couch, but I am trying to pull myself (and my friends) out of this deep sadness. Until I can remember to photograph current food, I'll just have to post whatever is backlogged in my camera.

cheeseburger in paradise

Mmm, would ya look at that? Bacon Cheeseburger in Paradise! This is my favorite way to eat ground beef. Ask me tomorrow and I'll probably tell you I prefer it some other way so pay no mind to that. Seasoned ground beef, bacon (from a local meat market, none of that pansy Oscar Mayer stuff here, no sir), cheddar cheese, green onions and just a dab of mustard makes this perfection on a bun. I season my meat (does that sound dirty or am I just a perv?) with black pepper and hickory salt. I've mentioned hickory salt before and Katie asked what it was and where to find it. Personally, I'd like to know where to find it too. Apparently every ding dang company has discontinued it and the closest thing I can find in the grocery store is some disgusting bacon flavored salt, blech! Hickory salt is so delicious I could lick it out of my palm, not that I'd do such a, no way, that would be unseemly!

Something terrible happened in my world this week. Sunday June 7, 2009 two beautiful women were murdered. I don’t know any magic healing words to say to the families struggling to cope with this enormous loss. Those children and parents and brothers, family and friends shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of so much pain.


Chris and I were inseparable for a while; partners in crime getting into trouble for talking too much at work or laughing too loud or being sarcastic smartasses. I can think of many times that our “inappropriate” sense of humor landed us in hot water. Inside jokes, late nights spent laughing and watching stupid movies. Something happened, and I let my pride stand in the way of us staying close. There are so many things I’m sorry I never told her or explained to her. I hope she knew how much I really cared for her and how sorry I am that we drifted apart. Chris Pizza, I don’t know how to say goodbye and I don’t want to…I miss you. PS: Wherever you are now, I'm glad you have those damn ugly sunglasses you love so much...but I still hate them.


Candy was such a warm and genuine person. I know she had to get tired of hearing me complain but she never showed it. She gave me advice and made me feel comforted when the drama at work was driving me crazy. Candy’s laugh was bubbly and contagious. If I heard something funny, I had to share it with her because I knew that no matter how dumb the joke, she’d always laugh…and then call me a dork. I loved sneaking up on her late at night while she was busy working. She’d jump then laugh then scold me. It was a bit of a routine. I miss you Candy Cane. PS: I know this wasn't your favorite picture of yourself, but I took it and I love it.

Cinnamon rolls have been a Saturday morning tradition with Pookie and I for quite a while. Until yesterday, they came exclusively from a cardboard canister. I've been making lots of homemade breadstuffs lately so when I came across this recipe I knew it had to be attempted.

Things went ok until I turned the dough out to knead it. Holy crap was it ever sticky! Apparently I'm not a moron since I followed the directions correctly, it just needed more flour. Wish I would've gotten a picture of my doughboy hands. But had I touched it, I probably would've ruined my camera. (What a way to go; death by cinnamon roll. Just go ahead and put that on my tombstone.) Spreading the filling wasn't a picnic either because the consistency didn't lend itself to spreading but was really good at tearing my dough. Argh! I did finally succeed in rolling the darn thing up...

cinnamon roll dough

After slicing the roll, I cooked them in a muffin tin. I'm surprised that the rolls didn't stick! They made this fun "fwoop" sound when I popped them out.

mmm cinnamon rolls

I cannot have a cinnamon roll without icing; it's criminal! I tried out two different ones. The first was a simple icing from powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. It tasted horribly cornstarch-y to me. So, I tried some sweetened condensed milk thinned with milk. It was better but still not the right consistency. This made me sad. These rolls were delicious, no doubt about it. But next time, I'm going back to the cardboard canister. I can have yumminess within ten minutes and the icing is perfect. Maybe for Christmas morning these will make a comeback.

Sometimes I fixate on a specific ingredient and attempt to make something yummy. My last experiment with artichokes went horribly wrong and I was hesitant to try anything else. That is until I developed a hankerin' for some coconut shrimp. Mmm Joe's Crab Shack....

Ok, snap back to reality. Wipe drool from chin.

I absolutely hate peeling and de-veining shrimp, so I decided to make coconut chicken instead. So I took my boneless skinless chicken tenders and soaked them in a marinade of coconut milk and curry powder. (I let them relax in the fridge for about 6 hours) Then I rolled the strips around in a flour, coconut flake, and cajun seasoning dry batter and pan fried them. *gasp* I know! Fried! What was I thinking?? I was thinking YUM that's what I was thinking. ;) I decided they needed a dipping sauce so I whisked together a bit of orange marmalade, lemon juice, honey and red pepper flakes.

coconut chicken

Plate appearance is not an area in which I excel. Also, I opened a can of corn and heated it up on the stove with some butter, sugar and hickory salt. My side dishes are seriously lacking in imagination. Maybe I should work on that...

root beer float

And no day is complete without dessert! Root Beer Float: classic, simple, delicious. If it's not Blue Bell then it's not real ice cream.

In honor of my last day of final exams (at least for this semester) I want to take a moment and thank Pookie for making this full-time college student thing a reality. Here’s a photo reminder of his adorableness, in case you’ve forgotten:


Yes, I know, I use too much photoshop, but I get carried away. See the laugh lines at his eyes? Some of those are my fault; I love to make him laugh. Those little crinkles get me all weak in the knees.

Um, what was I saying? Oh yeah, thankfulness and stuff. Pookie has given up many of his accustomed luxuries to save money so that I could quit my job and go back to school full-time. We’re not able to buy the newest video games and gadgets like he would like but he hasn’t complained…and that amazes me. I wish that I could find the money to buy him a Kindle. Perhaps I’ll snag a summer job and surprise him with one! But if he’s a good husband and actually reads his wife’s blog, then it wouldn’t be much of a surprise. So maybe I'll just cook a lovely dinner for him :)

For this special day, I think it's wonderful if you can give your Mom all of her favorites. Mom loves yellow roses.

mom's mother's day roses courtesy CFP

Her favorite food is shish kabobs. She's very particular about the seasoning and in what order the ingredients should be on the skewers. Do NOT deviate from: meat, bell pepper (green only for her), bacon, onion.

shish kabobs

See? I promised there would be bacon! Notice that these kabobs are of the extra-crispy variety. If you're going to let your sister cook, then make sure you take her phone away so she doesn't get distracted. Of course, she'll point out that I didn't let the burned parts stop me from eating my fair share. I decided to try out another new dessert recipe today. From PioneerWoman I came across the Apple Dumplings of Doom! Or rather the Apple Dumplings of jiggly thighs and love handles.

apple dumpling

Mom was leary at first, especially seeing Mountain Dew on the list of ingredients, but she's a trooper and I promised her that if Pioneer Woman said it was great, then it most certainly would be. Mom described it as delicious and sinful and I think it's now her new favorite dessert! I accidentally used maple flavoring instead of vanilla extract but I think it made it better.

I believe there was a guarantee of redneck happenings. For your consideration, I present exhibit A:

redneck cookout

I love that there are two propane grills and the fact that CFP's tailgate is borked. We also played horseshoes, which I consider to be a bit redneck but by that time I forgot I was supposed to be taking pictures.

Today we celebrated Mother's Day with my in-laws. I decided to try out a new dessert recipe I saw on Paula Deen's show. Banoffee Recipe Here


(You'll just have to imagine the whipped cream on top. I plopped down a can of "Real Dairy Topping" and let them spray away to their heart's content.)

This really turned out delicious! And incidentally artery-clogging, but it was a special occasion and the bananas totally make it healthy, right? FYI I had to bake the condensed milk for about three hours to get it to darken/caramelize and it still wasn't the same color Paula Deen achieved in ninety minutes. Also, it was way too goopy to be served like a pie even after I chilled it overnight.

To show more thoughtfulness (and to save some $) I channelled my elementary school self and made some mother's day cards. I even made the envelopes!

Grade School Style Cards

I didn't take pictures of the inside, but I assure you the written greeting was beautiful. (C'mon, say it with me: "awww")

You know you're from Texas when for mother's day your Grandma gets this kind of present:

Grandma's New Mower

And you know that you have a hard headed Grandma(in-law) when she won't use a riding mower because it doesn't provide her enough exercise. Grandma would probably be ticked to know that she's on the "world wide web" but since I'm 95% sure she doesn't navigate the interwebs, I feel safe. But please don't tell her!

No family gathering is complete without torturing our nieces and/or nephews. Doesn't she look happy to be today's lucky winner of annoying attention? (that's Pookie doing duty as Captain Annoys-A-Lot)

mother's day 2009

and one more for good measure:

mother's day 2009

Tune in tomorrow for Mother's Day with my side of the family. It's guaranteed to be way more redneck and will probably involve bacon!

When it comes to documenting my culinary creations I'm actually quite terrible. I don't write things down and they're eaten before I can get a proper photo. With this blog I'm trying to change that!

Last night I was once again caught with my pants down when Pookie asked about dinner. (Yes, actually quite literally, I was getting into my comfiest/ugliest lounge pants when he asked) So, being the loving wife I am, I grabbed some random food items, tossed them all around in a Ziploc Glad bag and tossed 'em on a plate.

honey mustard pork chops

Ok, so it really wasn't that simple but definitely doable on short notice. (If you have no problem using your microwave's special defrosting ability)

All I did was combine the following ingredients in a baggie

1 teaspoon dijon mustard (e.g. Grey Poupon)
1 teaspoon regular yellow mustard
1 to 2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
splash of vinegar
Adobo seasoning (you could use something else but I happen to LOVE this stuff)

Then I added my two quickly defrosted pork chops, squished them around (yes, you must "squish" them, absolutely nothing else will do!) and let them sit in the fridge while I prepared my ooey-gooey yummy broccoli with cheese. It came from a bag because: (1) I'm lazy, (2) I was in a hurry, and (3) I'm really lazy.

I then got my skillet sizzling hot with some butter and olive oil and tossed in my chops, thus achieving that deliciously golden layer of yum you can see in that picture. In my household, no meal is complete without a dash (or a half dozen dashes) of cajun seasoning, so of course I shook some of that on the, as of yet, uncooked side. Let it cook for about 4 minutes then turned and cooked for about the same on the other side.

Let me tell you...this was an amazing dinner!