Tuesday, March 20, 2012

McDonalds Shamrock Shake (review)


shamrock shake

Lately I've heard a lot of buzz about the limited time Mc Donald's "shamrock shake." Let me tell you I usually don't buy into dumb promotions like this (I've never even had a mc rib) but I heard a lot of good feedback so I made it my mission to try one. Why would it be bad?

I called up my local Mc Donald's and I asked if they still carried the shake due to St. Patrick's Day being over. Once they confirmed that they indeed carried said minty beverage I raced over there as fast as I could....the next day. I'm kind of glad I did.

So the husband and I caught an "In n Out" burger before driving a few feet to the adjacent Mc Donald's. When the drive thru guy showed us our shakes the presentation was decent. It was basically a plain vanilla shake with some mint flavored syrup topped with whipped cream and a red maraschino cherry. We handed him $4 and some odd cents for two small shakes and he handed them to us....

I took the first sip, and got a straw full of whipped cream. Yuck. Ok, lets give it a second try. Then I got a straw full of mint sugar syrup which was at the bottom of the cup. BARF. It was like some terrible, minty, store brand, cough syrup! Ok, maybe the shake without the syrup will taste better (it was the plain vanilla at the top). Twas, simply mediocre at best. Finally I thought, OK what if it just needs to be stired?! Nope. Nope. Nope! It was still just terrible. I wish I had just bought four chocolate sundaes instead. But I just HAD to try the talked about "shamrock shake." It makes perfect sense why Mc Donalds still had the promotional St. Patricks Day beverage three days after it was over.

Lesson learned. Maybe Mc Donald's just sucks at mint shakes? Maybe if I made a homemade version it would taste better? Sounds like an experiment waiting to happen...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Broccoli and Cheddah Soup

  broco ched soup

Many moons ago I worked at a small popular sandwich shop and one of the most cherished items on the menu was the broccoli and cheddar soup. I never really gave this soup much thought until recently I decided that I DO love this cheesy concoction. Before I start, let me give you my disclaimer. If you are looking for a light and health soup, do not make this one. This soup is rich, creamy and loaded with TONS of delicious calories :)

If you want healthy, go eat a piece of celery.

So gather up:

  • 1/2 an onion finely chopped
  • 2/3 stick of butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 finely chopped broccoli
  • 8 oz grated mild cheddar

Make a roux by sauteing your onions with the butter then adding the flour and cooking for about 2-3 min. Stir constantly. Add all your liquids, spices and whisk to dissolve the flour bits. Cook until sauce is thickened, whisking often. 

Zap your veggies in the microwave for about 5 min or until soft (cover your microwave dish with a plate to keep the steam in).

Gradually whisk in cheese until your soup is smooth, then stir in your veggies.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Simple Flat Iron Pouch

One day browsing at World Market something pretty caught my eye. A stunning place mat that was calling my name. I didn't know what I would use it for but I knew I had to get it. Two passes through my sewing machine later a tutorial was born...


Start with your choice of place mat...


Then fold about 1/3 of the mat and pin to secure...


Zigzag along the pinned edge...


Should look like this...


Put your flat iron ...


Finally, admire what you did in a matter of minutes.


Now YOU give a try!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cindy's Bolognese

 Yummy pasta alert!

The first time I tried this was at my brother's house and I thought it was SO good. I asked him where he got the recipe and he said he got it from one of his coworkers who are mostly Italians. He gave me the gist of how you make it then I made it for myself. Because this takes some time to make, I tend to make a large pot. I will use half right away and then freeze the other half for future use. It is up to you if you want to double the recipe or not. I suggest you do because this stuff goes fast! I made it for a friend's birthday dinner and got rave reviews and now I pass it on to you! :)


To make Cindy's Bolognese you will need:

3 strips of bacon thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and minced
2 celery stalks minced
1/2 large onion minced
1 pound LEAN ground beef (no more than 10% fat)
1/2 can tomato paste
1-18oz can stewed tomatoes
garlic salt, pepper, sugar to taste (you will use a lot of them)
1 pound penne rigate (or your choice of pasta)
Water to boil the pasta with

The first thing you are going to do is cook your bacon to render some of it's fat. You need this fat to cook your veggies, and to make it taste awesome. You see those brown bits = FLAVOR!

 bacon cook

Add your minced carrots, celery, and onions. Stir, and cook until the carrots are soft.

add veggies

While your veggies are going open your can of tomatoes and pulse them in a blender to break them up. Don't blend too long because you want texture in your sauce. 


After a few min your veggies will be ready. Do not under cook the carrots. If you do they will be hard and noticeable in your sauce. Make sure they are thoroughly cooked :)

veggies ready

Next add your ground beef and use your spoon to break it up. 

add meat

 Cook it until brown and juices from the meat have evaporated. See this? Not ready.

cook meat

Then add your can tomato, and tomato paste. 
Now would be a good time to cook your pasta...just sayin'

with sauce

Simmer until some of the moisture has evaporated and the sauce has thickened.
Remember to season as you go...


Serve over pasta and top with some cheese!


Let me know how it worked out !


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lazy Saturday

Today I woke up unmentionably late today and ran a few errands. Then I bought some adorable half pint mason jars. Now I have to decide what to do with them. An ice cube tray to freeze liquids (extra whipping cream, extra egg yolks from making macarons...that kind of thing). Also, a few sewing supplies. Now I'm hanging out with my cat Niko. It is about time we give him a bath. Yes, we bathe him...well, my husband does. Just to show I'm not lying here he is at one of his scheduled baths. Yes, he doesn't like it but we can't have fleas in the house. He is an indoor cat after all.

We love Niko <3