Friday, August 30, 2013

Depression Derailment...Ding Ding Ding!!!

Today has been challenging.

I believe that living with depression can sometimes make a person wonder if there could be more to the Bi-Polar disorder for example. My moods can swing so far from one extreme to the next that it can make my head hurt. I'm not Bi-Polar...there's much more to it than mood swings...but there are moments when I ask myself, "Is this really just clinical depression?" The answer is yes...yes it is...stupid illness!

Confession. I've been out of my medication for a while. Don't tell my mama! I don't know how many times I've stressed the importance of staying on one's do I find myself screwing up so many times? I really aggravate myself sometimes. So here I go again emphasizing a point that I myself slip up on time to time...don't run out of your medication! I've got a doctor's appointment soon, so I'll get back on track. I simply got derailed when I started a new job and all my appointments got messed up because of schedule conflicts.

There's a good point! Sometimes we get derailed. The important part for us all to remember is that we can't stay off the tracks too long...the longer we bump, skid, stumble, and bruise ourselves, the harder it is to find that smoother ride again. That's what I'm doing...trying to get back on the tracks! Don't stay derailed too long, dear ones...hugs and love, lovelies!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Deliciously Easy Pecan Brittle From The Microwave!

Hello, friends! My grandma use to make a few different candies, and peanut brittle was an easy enough one for me to learn! It's all done in the candy thermometers involved! Whoo hoo! She and I had to make little adjustments every time until we absolutely perfected it...after we had the measurements, order of ingredients, and times all figured out, it was super easy! One day we thought we'd try making pecan brittle instead...this one required a lot of tweaking until we got it just right, but it was worth it! I just realized all of my sentences thus far have ended in exclamation marks...I'm obviously very excited!!! Well anywho! There are some important things I must prepare you for before I show you the step by step process of this recipe!

First! Every microwave is different...duh...we all know that. But! It's also important to know that depending on what bowl you use to nuke this stuff in will determine time adjustments as well. At grandma's we always used a glass Pyrex bowl...I don't have a glass Pyrex bowl. I have Corning Ware dishes, and the difference was enough to warrant changes by only seconds...and yes...seconds matter in this recipe! But don't stress! Even if it gets a little under cooked or a little over cooked, it'll still be tasty. You'll find out rather quickly what cooking time makes the best tasting brittle for you.

Second! Make sure you use an oven mitt...the bowl will get super hot. And make sure you have two spoons and a dish to set them spoon to help get as much of the gooey sticky stuff off of the other spoon and into the mix...and a dish to prevent the gooey sticky stuff from getting on your counter top.

You will need:
1 cup pecans
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup white syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
butter and non-stick spray for the pan (The original recipe just called for butter, but grandma and I learned that using both made it tons easier to get the brittle off the pan after it cooled.)

Butter and spray the heck outta your pan!

Combine the sugar and the syrup...

Add the salt and stir it all up. It'll be a gooey sticky mess. Pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes and 15 seconds. Take it'll be bubbling just a little bit...

Add the pecans and stir it all up...pop it back in the microwave for another 3 minutes and 15 seconds.

This time it'll really be bubbling...a bubbling super hot gooey mess! The next few steps happen quickly...I'll explain first and then show you the photos! You'll add the'll sizzle and smell delicious. Don't stir yet! Next, add the baking soda and start stirring!!! It's going to get all foamy and glorious...stir stir stir it really well and then quickly pour on to the baking sheet...use the spoon to spread it out as much as you can spread it. Here's what those steps look like:

As you can see...the photo of what happens when you add the baking soda is quite blurry...I was in a hurry :) This isn't really a recipe you can take your time photographing during certain steps such as this one. Oh well! Y'all get what's goin' on right? I hope!

Spread it all out as much you can before it starts sticking to the spoon more than spreading out. Then you let it cool...about 30 minutes or so. You'll know it has cooled completely because it'll break apart easily...I use a butter knife to separate it from the pan and then my hands to break it into smaller pieces. The following photos are from my little Canon Elph...the previous ones were done with my DSLR, but the battery died on the last shot...and I can't find the charger!!! While the brittle cooled, I looked everywhere in my tiny apartment...I have no idea where it is :(

You'll want to store the brittle in an air tight container. The bottoms will be a little buttery, but it only adds to the deliciousness :) Oh! Just a little might be disturbing...but don't worry, y'all will be okay. One time I was breaking up the brittle, and I don't know if it was extra hard because it was overcooked or what, but somehow I cut myself with the brittle and bled on some pieces. Wounded by candy...I tell ya what...not a proud moment! Don't worry...I noticed rather quickly and was able to save the majority of the batch of brittle. Ah...good times.

Now in case you're curious...if you'd rather make peanut brittle, you'll need a cup of raw peanuts. You'll mix those in at the beginning for the first microwave round...and it'll go for 3 and a half minutes both times...stirring between rounds.

I hope y'all will give this recipe a try. And I hope I did a good job explaining the recipe...this is really the first time I've tried a step by step instructional deal like this. Enjoy and hugs and love, my lovelies!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Brown Sugar...How Come Ya Taste So Good?!

Just like I knew you would!!! Haha! Does anyone else remember the commercial with the ant singing? I'm not even sure what the commercial was for...maybe a soda? Well anywho, I always sing those little lines anytime I cook with brown sugar :) Ah...brown sugar...yum.

Anyway! I don't have anything else to say about brown sugar at this time...I just wanted to grab your attention! Tomorrow I'm going to (hopefully) whip up some pecan brittle and maybe those "skinny chunky monkey cookies" everybody keeps "liking" on facebook. I'll take pictures along the way and share with you all of course. The brittle recipe is actually one that my grandma has had for as long as I can remember...I'm not sure who gave it to her. But it's awesome...all done in the microwave!

It's only been a few years since I really developed any kind of affection for cooking, but it's been a fun journey! I believe maybe one of my proudest accomplishments is making gravy from grandma tried time and time again to teach me, but I was always intimated by the lack of exact measurements. I'm cool with eye balling measurements now...I'm not sure if I'm good at it, but so far, everything I've cooked has been edible :)

I feel like I'm rambling. That happens. Anywho! I have 3 aprons that were all especially altered for me...a "kiss the cook" one stitched by Betty (church family and person who wed Tom and me); a "mrs. carrell" one by one of my besties, Nicole; and a pink frilly one with "amy" stitched on it by my other bestie, Michelle :) I love all three! I'll have to make sure I get some photos of me rockin' the "housewife in an apron in the kitchen" look to go along with my show and tell of recipes on here.

I do have a half pic of the one Michelle made for me, and that is how I shall wrap this up. It's a few months old, but please ignore the bags under my eyes (that I can't seem to get rid of) and my messy hair. Stay tuned for recipes cooked and confirmed by me! Hugs and love, my lovelies!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Beach Party

Today was sleepy. In addition to the "word of the day," I will also share just a little update on my continuous fight with depression. I still believe fatigue is the contributing factor...the main one that is! My struggle with my weight has also been bringing me down. You know how people will say that they don't gain weight...that they're just small? That always kind of makes me mad because I'm supposed to be small too...I didn't gain weight either...I had a rock star metabolism...and then I got sick and everything changed. Anyway! I'm just trying to say that my self confidence is stunted right now, and my insecurities make my journey through depression more difficult. But I'm trying to do something about right, exercise, and keep active. Oh and in case anyone is of that stuff I listed has ever helped with fatigue. I great right? At least I have to stay on my toes with the lovely assortment of challenges I face day to day. So there's my little update. Again I must emphasize to all those who suffer with clinical depression to keep pushing yourself to a place of healing...don't ever give up the fight!

Moving on!

Yesterday my husband and I joined our friends at a beach party given by our marine friend's command. It was a wonderful good time!!! I've only had a few moments this season where I truly felt like it was summer, and last night was definitely one of those moments! We ate good food, drank cold beer, listened to music, threw a football, splashed in the waves, and enjoyed each others company on the shore with a gorgeous sunset for a backdrop! It was so relaxing and invigorating at the same time! I hope that we have more beach visits before the rapidly approaching end of this summer! And I hope y'all enjoy the picture overload that's about to happen :) My husband made the comment, "You took a lot of pictures of the sky." I explained, "Honey, I had to get all the stages of the sunset!" He just laughed and shook his head...there are just some things he'll never understand...oh well! Soak up the summer, dear ones, and I'll write again soon...hugs and love, my lovelies!

p.s. All of these photos are straight out of the camera except I cropped one. I may or may not go back and do some editing :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Quiet Nights

Today was tolerable.

There are things going on with my husband's ship that I shouldn't discuss for all the Internet to read...loose lips sink ships you know. By the way, it really annoys me when people mix up loose and lose in writing. But anywho! So yeah, the hubs has been gone since early this morning and still isn't back at almost 10PM now! poor love!

However, when I have our place all to myself, I truly do relish some simple things that aren't really doable when Tom is home. Right now, the TV is off; candles are lit; incense is burning; and Enya is relaxing. No TV, or video games, or loud computer noises...bliss :) Tom would simply fall asleep if he were here!

So although I prefer my beloved to be home by this least I can relax and do my hippie zen thing before our home is once again filled with my husband's loud presence! Oh but I do love him so! :)

Goodnight y'all...hugs and love, my lovelies!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Detox Water...Or so it's called...

Today was a seven and a half.

I read this recipe for "detox water" in an old Women's World magazine...I think that's what the magazine is called...pretty sure. Anywho! It's yummy and delicious! The pitcher is sitting in my fridge overnight, and I can't wait to drink it up tomorrow! You're supposed to drink a pitcher a day...but I wonder if you can use the ingredients again? I've done that before...but I wasn't sure if that was okay. Maybe someone can make a suggestion on this matter. Here are some photos I took just because fruits and veggies and herbs are so lovely. And yes...I did arrange some irrelevant items to add to the overall appearance of the photo...well I had to make it pretty! Haha!

Grab a large cucumber, 10 to 20 mint leaves, and "citrus to taste" - I use one large orange and one large lemon.

Chop it all up and then arrange it all prettily for a picture.

Throw them all into the pitcher. I added each component in layers with the mint weighed down so it wouldn't float to the top and potentially get poured into the glass and inevitably end up in my teeth.

Add 2 quarts of water and voila! The original recipe did not say whether or not to let it sit, but other recipes suggest allowing the water to sit overnight and really get infused with all the good stuff. So I put some cling wrap over the top and it sits in my Frigidaire! Can't wait to drink it tomorrow! Good night, and hugs and love, my lovelies!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Another Birthday Coming Soon

Today is ok.

I realized, after the fact, that my last post was my 50th entry. I feel like I should have written something more...I don't know...ummm...monumental maybe? Hmmm oh well...maybe I'll be more on the ball with my 100th entry...but I should start writing more or it'll be FOREVER before I  get there!

And I DO want to write more! I want to write every day and really try to reach a bigger audience, but I just don't make the time for it like I should. I talked about my new job in my last post, and that is still going well. But I feel like the approximately 30 hours a week I work there plus the constant housewife job wear me out more than the average person. It's not fair! We don't even have kids for cryin' out loud! So I guess with that being said, we can all observe that the vitamin D isn't making a difference with the fatigue just yet...but I knew it would take a while. Still couldn't help but hope for a miraculous change I guess! Anywho! I'm still hopeful.

What I really wanted to write about was my upcoming's a little less than 2 months away. When I wrote about the end of my 20s here, I stated some goals for myself to complete before my 30th...a new me for a new decade. Well...I failed. If I weren't in such a good mood now, I'd probably be more weepy and dark and twisty yay for all of us who get tired of hearing about my depression all the time haha! Moving on!

So! Instead of making expectations for myself that I'll stress and worry over...I shall treat this 31st as the 10 year anniversary of my 21st...which means it'll be a party...a celebration of a new stage of life...a chance to quit talkin' 'bout all the stuff I need to do and just freakin' do it! I'm not sure if that even makes sense to y'all, but it make sense (kinda) to me, and that's what's important I suppose.

Here's my wishlist for my birthday. Presents make everything better...even getting older :) I share this because two of the images you see represent what I REALLY want!

 The Dove represents the quiet peace during the heat of battle. The Tree of Love represents those who grow and stand tall together through adversity.

Additions to the tattoo on my forearm!!! My friend, Nicole, and I are the only people I know with the "Warriors in Pink" tattoos on our bodies. When I talked about adding to mine, she suggested I stick with the theme of breast cancer awareness...and that's just what I want to do! The symbols are so simple, but their meanings are so significant...and the meaning of a simple piece of art can make the image even more special. That's just what I believe anyway!

In an attempt to wrap this somewhat random and not so fluid rambling up, I will simply say that with this upcoming birthday, it's time to take control of this decade before it passes me by like my 20s...and that tattoos make everything better...oh and presents as well. Hugs and love, my lovelies!