Friday, October 29, 2010

Food Friday

Ok, not technically a food, but Drink Friday just didn't have the same ring to it!

Today I am celebrating TEA!  I am getting reacquainted with my obsession for this tasty beverage.  I was part of a tea swap on PaperBackSwap that introduced me to several new teas.  This is an awesome idea!  People from all over get out with a buddy and send each other teas!  The next month, you get a new buddy and some more tea!  Yum!  I found some of my favorite tea this way!  :-)

Then I just recently got in on a great deal from Jasmere.  They were selling vouchers for SerendipiTea.  I got a $40 voucher for only $17!  Now that's a deal!  Jasmere is a website that scours the web for little known businesses and offers vouchers or product for 24 hours...the more people that partake, the less you have to pay!  Great way to get word of mouth going, huh?  Anyway, I just received my order and I got some absolutely delightful teas!  I also got a teapot.  I am a sucker for a good chia tea, so along with that, I got blueberry, mango, chocolate, and smoky teas!

There are some great tea quotes out there as well:
Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings!~Author Unknown
Tea is instant wisdom - just add water!  ~Astrid Alauda
You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.  ~C.S. Lewis
There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.  ~Bernard-Paul Heroux
A women is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, October 22, 2010

Food Friday!

Here's today's recipe.  Soup is awesome when it starts turning colder.  We hadn't had this for a while and I pulled it out...saw many happy smiles!  I don't do much to change this recipe...use black beans instead of red, add the sour cream to the bowl instead of pot, and add a splash of Frank's hot sauce.  This is super yummy and fast!

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound process cheese (eg. Velveeta),
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes,
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and
green chilies, undrained
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Frank's hot sauce to taste
1 cup sour cream
crumbled Tortilla chips for added texture
1.In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the cheese, salsa, beans, tomatoes, chili powder and Frank's. Cook for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream.  Add Tortilla chips on top of bowls.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Food Friday (on Saturday)

I am not a fish eater...not normally anyway.  But my husband and my son like it, so I look for different recipes that may help me eat it.  Here's the latest.  I tried it on both tilapia and salmon...I think we all liked it better on the tilapia.  The fishiness of the salmon was a little too much for the crust.  So, here's the recipe for this week! Again, I made changes to the original recipe.

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs (I used Stovetop)     
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup Dijon style mustard
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon dried italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 pounds tilapia fillets
1.Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
2.In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dill, dried italian seasoning, pepper, garlic powder and salt. Mix well and set aside.
3.Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


"Life gets in the way of blogging." My very favorite person says.

I couldn't agree more!  This week has been BUSY!!  And today isn't much better, so this will have to work for a post today!  :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meaning-full Monday

I have the best husband ever!!  He loves me so much.  It astounds me some times, it really does.

My birthday is coming up in less than a month.  But so isn't my son's...his 10th this year.  He was born on my birthday, so his always takes center stage...I wouldn't have it any other way.  But that leaves my day up for grabs.  Yesterday just wasn't a very good day for me...nothing specific, just felt like sitting down and crying.  So, I started bugging Rich to tell me what he was getting me for my birthday...we do it every year...and we were having fun with it.  I am a "read the last page of the book" kind of girl!

He went and got my present for me!  A whole month early!!  It's awesome!

My camcorder died a couple months ago, so I had been eying the Flip for a while now.  I don't have to anymore!!  :-)  One small problem though...neither one of us looked at system requirements for the computer.  It doesn't playback smoothly because of the processor.  :-(  He said that I would be getting a computer for Christmas!  LOL!  Not so sure about that one...this one works just fine for everything else.  I may just have to steal his lappie for videos!

This was taken with my new Flip!  (Grabbed a snapshot from the video!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Food Friday

This is delicious! Mmmmm....  I am not one to use the Food Network to get recipes from, but that's where this one came from after seeing the show, Mexican Made Easy with Marcela Valladolid.  I just happened upon it one day, which is why I didn't get to see the whole cake being done.  But I got the most important part...the finish!!  Oh, it looked delightful!  Piqued my interest intensely!  My husband has a wicked sweet tooth (but is picky about it), so I am always on the lookout for wonderful recipes such as this.

I did next to nothing to change this recipe, I don't feel comfortable enough as a baker to do so, but I wouldn't want to with this one!  The only change was I used splenda in the cake and I didn't have and couldn't find cajeta.  I picked up a caramel ice cream syrup, but found that it wasn't thick, as all!  So, the next time I make it, and there will be a next time, I will be looking for cajeta or a thick sauce.  But, SO GOOD!!  We tried it warm and again after refrigeration...I like it warm the best.  You just have to give this a try if you like desserts at all!



  • 12-cup capacity Bundt pan
  • Softened butter, to coat pan
  • 1/4 cup cajeta or thick caramel sauce

For the cake:

  • 10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar (I used splenda)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

For the flan:

  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For garnish:

  • 1/4 cup cajeta or thick caramel sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans


Put an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Coat a Bundt pan with a little butter, then coat the bottom with 1/4 cup cajeta and put it in a large roasting pan. (The roasting pan will serve as a water bath during baking.)
For the cake: Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa in a medium bowl. Beat 1/3 of the flour mixture, and 1/2 of the buttermilk into the egg mixture. Repeat, ending with the flour mixture. Blend until well incorporated.
For the flan: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla. Blend on high for 30 seconds.
Scoop the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and spreading evenly. Slowly pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. Cover with foil and add about 1-inch of hot water to the roasting pan.
Carefully slide the pan into the oven, and bake 1 hour, until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean. When cake is done, remove from the water bath and cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour.
Invert a large, rimmed serving platter over the Bundt pan, grasp tightly together, giggle a little and flip over. Remove the pan and scrape any remaining cajeta from the pan onto the cake, garnish with chopped pecans and serve!
Cook's Notes: The batters may appear to mix when you pour them into the pan, but they completely separate while baking, with the flan ending up on the bottom when it's inverted. I like eating it warm, but traditionally, it is chilled 24 hours before serving.
Flan is a rich, creamy, cooked egg custard. It is often flavored with vanilla and baked in a water bath to retain its delicacy.
Cajeta is a thick and creamy spread or paste made with caramelized sugar and milk. It is used as a dessert on its own or as a topping. Also known as "dulce de leche," it is sold in many supermarkets, Latin specialty markets or online. It can be substituted with a thick caramel sauce.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

All rolled into one!

This weekend was crazy and it rolled right into my week!  Agh!  So, dear readership, you get a post with everything all rolled into one!  You should have gotten Meaning-Full Monday, TAG Tuesday, and Wesley Wednesday already, so here it is!  :-)

Thank you God for keeping Rich safe!  He was in an accident on Friday afternoon.  It was totally the other guy's fault too.  Thankfully, the occupants of the other vehicle didn't appear to be hurt either.  Rich had a pretty sore weekend though.  I don't think he realized how bad a sudden stop like that would hurt!  Fun fact: airbags deploy at 186 mph.  Typically, the decision to deploy an airbag in a frontal crash is made within 15 to 30 milliseconds after the onset of the crash, and the airbags are fully inflated within approximately 60-80 milliseconds after the first moment of vehicle contact.

It looks like the insurance company is going to total our little car, so we are looking into our options at this time.  God has always and will always provide!!

Nicholas is doing well.  He's having fun with learning the violin, he's excited because they are actually playing some music now!  :-)  He was pretty bored with the exercises that they were having to do.

 He is totally in love with the TAG program.  From the sounds of it, he's feeling very different in class and right at home during TAG.  I guess there are other kids calling him a nerd and such.  *Sigh*  Why do kids have to be so mean??  He's doing really well with it though, "They don't understand that it just means that I'm so smart."  Love that kid!

Wesley is being a little super star!  He's totally got 1-7 now!  We were only working on 1, 3, and 5, but Sharon tried 1-10 and he knew 1-7!  I about fell out of my chair!  Shapes are much like that as well.  He has circle, square, heart, star, octagon (!).  He still needs just a little reminder for triangle and he calls a rectangle a door...well, it does look like it!  But he has finally mastered blue and yellow, so we added red and he already knew it!  We are hearing more and more functional speech!  Yeah!  We are pretty proud of him!

All that being said, behavior is going downhill...hopefully not for long, it makes me tired.  Mornings are being fairly rough.  I am having to fight him to get him dressed, into and out of the car and onto the bus.  By the time I get all that done at 8 in the morning, I am ready to go back to bed!  This morning, I didn't buckle him into his seat to go meet the bus (it's down the driveway), when I got out (and left the car running) he locked all the doors and wouldn't unlock it or get out.  I only had one set of keys and it was raining.  Beautiful start to my morning!  He didn't like it one bit when his bus drove off without him though, so he unlocked the door and got out after it!  We jumped back in the car (after I buckled him in!) and chased the bus down. Got to stand in the rain and talk to another mom for a while though!  It was great to see her.  Hi Cheri!  :-)

Alright ladies and gents, I am going to call it a day here.  I know these were brief, but I think I got you all caught up.  Until next time!  :-)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Saturday Evening Blog Post

 I know, it's only Saturday morning...but that's the name of this post from Elizabeth Ester.  A fantastic idea where you can share one post from the precious month.  I am really new at this and still finding new things...I have a great guide to help me along though, thanks Alise! (I stole this from her!)  :-)

So, take a look at her blog and share a post!  Click HERE to get there!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Food Friday

Today I want to tell you about some of my favorite recipes that we had for dinner this week.  I start with a recipe from and tweak to my family's liking.

The first is something that my family has decided would be good every single week.

Asian Tuna Patties (tweaked to my family's specifications)

2 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained and
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup Panko
3 green onions, minced (optional)
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced or
garlic powder to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.In a large bowl, mix tuna, egg, bread crumbs, green onions, and garlic. Blend soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, sesame oil, and pepper into the mixture. Form the mixture into about 6 patties approximately 1 inch thick. 
2.Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Fry each patty about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

These are fairly straightforward, I don't use the onions most of the time simply because I don't usually have them.  I use garlic powder at times too, if I don't have fresh garlic.  I use Panko bread crumbs simply because I like them better.  The sesame oil is what really makes this!  It's a very intense nutty oil that bring lots of flavor to the party!

And this is what I made with them.  Rich had 3 helpings!  :-)

(Chicken) Spaghetti Salad (again, tweaked and explained)
3 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken breast (optional)
1/3 cup lightly fried cabbage
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic or garlic powder to taste
1.Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. Combine the spaghetti, chicken, cabbage and carrot. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, oils, sugar and garlic.
Bring to a boil; remove from the heat. Drizzle over spaghetti mixture and toss to coat.

This recipe calls to add chicken, but I was making a side dish, so I didn't.  It also calls for fresh minced ginger, but I didn't have that or powdered ginger, so the next time I make it, I hope to try it.

We are always trying new things here at Chez Chaffins so I would love to receive some new recipes from my readers!