A Few on Friday

Well hey y'all!  Happy (Good) Friday!

1.  We had cookbook club last night and I'm still full.  I'm also awake at 5:21 AM; something I'm none to pleased with but just going with regardless.

2.  Are you running in the Viking 5K or Half Marathon?  If so, good luck and I'll see you there!  If not and you are in Greenwood, come on out and support us!  Should be a good stuff day.  

3.  Have you checked out the article from Esquire circulating the Facebook this week?  It's called What If Jesus Meant All That Stuff It's a lovely read, check it out if you haven't already!  Good stuff to think about on this Easter weekend. 

4. Anyone planting today?  It's Good Friday, after all, the day that you are supposed to plant your stuff I hear.  I think I'm going to plant some herbs in my brick planter this afternoon.  I'll be participating in a Community-ish Garden with friends this summer; I'm more than floored about planting cutting flowers.  And eggplant.  I hear eggplant is finicky.  Send me good gardening energy.  

5.  What about that Florida Georgia Line / Nelly mash up?  It's toe tappin' and if you visit this website and hit that orange button you can tap your very own toes to it.  Freaking love a mash up.  Freaking hate copyright issues that prevent me from sharing the video with you fine people.  

6.  I know you've said it, I've said it, we've all said it....but I'm going to say it again.  Ready for spring over here, guys.  And ready to purchase these:
And some white ones, too.  My white jeans have just about had it.  I have this style of good 'ole Gap jeans; I rambled about them in this post. I love them, like a lot. 

Happy day, dear friends.  Enjoy your holiday weekend...eat deviled eggs but don't buy your children a bunny...
       From the MARL Facebook page

Hoppy Friday!


Ginger Citrus Rice Noodles

First, listen to this:
Good, yes.  Don't you feel all happy and cozy nowI heard this song on my commute to work yesterday and it sealed the rest of the ride as good stuff.  

Moving on.  

While we're feeling happy and cozy, let's talk about noodles!

Noodles, noodles, glorious noodles.  They are my go to comfort food.  

They are also the basis of many stellar vegan dishes.  Well, some noodles.  Soba noodles.  Rice noodles.  Gotta check that label.  Gotta make sure there's not some sort of hidden egg situation happening.  Not cool

So I'm still doing my thing as a 1/7 vegan and I've got to say it's going well!  You haven't seen many recipes as I eat lots of the same stuff week to week.  Avocados.  Black Beans.  Quinoa.  Triscuits.  Hummus.  Granola barsThat's all good stuff, for sure, but this recipe here was a nice little break from the ordinary.   
 The original recipe called for Soba noodles; I couldn't find them and substituted rice instead.  Alls well that ends well and this dish did just that...it ended well.  It was even given an enthusiastic thumbs by my 0/7 vegan husband who had just enjoyed a big 'ole take out order of orange chicken.  Score one for meat free!   
out pesky shadow!

Ginger Citrus Rice Noodles
adapted from Love and Lemons

4 oz rice noodles
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup snow peas, tripped
1 cup edamame
3 scallions, chopped
2 tsp sesame seeds

juice of one orange
1 tbl lime juice
1 tbl soy sauce
1/2 tsp sirracha
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp grated fresh ginger

Cook the rice noodles according to package directions.  Set aside.  Combine the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a pan until its real hot; add the snow peas and cook them for about 2 minutes or until they start to char a little bit.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  

Turn the heat off.  Pour in the sauce ingredients and stir for several minutes, until it starts to thicken.  Add in the noodles, snow peas, edemame, scallions and toss.  Top with sesame seeds.  

Serving size 1/2 of recipe
Points plus 9      


Woohoo Wednesday (Timing and Gaga's Chocolate Cake)

One of you turkeys (turkies??) must really be needing a recipe for an amazing chocolate cake today.  Yep.  Somewhere, someone has asked for this.  To themselves, to a friend, to the universe, to the Internet.  

What the name of Sam are you talking about? You might ask

Well.  What I'm talking about is that concept of you get something (or find something) exactly when you need it.  A chocolate cake recipe, an answer, a job, a friendship.  Still not with me?  Think about it.  Think about the beauty of timing, the beauty of enough, the beauty of (duh) the perfect chocolate cake recipe.   


So.  I made this cake back in the beginning of March to celebrate my sister, Jennifer's, birthday.  I had this post (pictures and all) prepared but I couldn't find the recipe.  Anywhere.  It was gone.  Disappeared.  Done.  

So here this little post sat in my little corner of the blog world, waiting patiently to be finished and published and shared with all you kids.
Luckily for us all, this recipe revealed itself to me while I was doing something completely unrelated to cakes, opening the utility bill or something glamorous like that.  I found it buried under a few layers of papers clipped to the fridge.  Happiness ensued...I was finally going to this recipe out there and out of blog purgatory.  
Purgatory is not the place for this recipe.  No way, dude.  It's way to good and special for that.  I'm glad I got to not only spend her birthday with her but also bake this cake for my sister.  I'm also glat that I got to have a bite, but that's neither here nor there, right?  Right.  
This recipe has associated with it many happy memories and is up there on the list of most requested sweets from family members.  Once upon a time, Chickey helped decorate it by sticking candles in the sides as well as on top and requested it all be lit all up like a Christmas tree.  #youngestchild #shegetwhatshewant 

This recipe comes from my great-grandmother, Gaga.  My mom still has her original recipe card and read it allowed to me over the phone one lunch break.  I love how the original recipe calls of "oleo" and has "Andy's Favorite" written up top in Gaga's (pronounced Gah-gee) script. 

A thought:  what would Gaga think about Pinterest?  

She'd probably be just as confused by Pinterest as I am by Oleo.   
Gaga's Chocolate Cake

For the cake:
2 sticks of butter
4 tbl cocoa
1 cup water
2 cups four
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbl vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
pinch of salt.  

Bring the butter, cocoa and water to a boil.  Move to a mixing bowl.  Stir together the flour and the sugar.  Blend the eggs, baking soda, vanilla, buttermilk, salt.  Add the egg mixture and the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine.  

Bake for 20 minutes at 400.  Do not over bake!

For the icing:

1 stick of butter
4 tbl cocoa
6 tbl whole milk
1 tbl powdered sugar
1 tbl vanilla

Bring the butter, cocoa and milk to a boil.  Add the sugar and the vanilla.  Pour over cake to ice.  

Sooo here's something worth mentioning.  This icing is real runny, it never fully solidifies.  For this reason I'm pretty sure that trying to do something fancy like ice a layer cake would be disastrousKeep it simple and get yourself a foil pan...give the receiver of the cake the whole thing, minus the emotional burden of having to return a dish to someoneTakes winning to a whole new level....    

Enjoy this cake!

Thanks Gaga!  


Kinda Creamy Pasta Bake

Guys.  I've got some feelings I'd like to process.  


I've just got a slightly trashy pasta dish to share with you.  And by trashy, I mean amazing.  

My hat tips to Swayze as I discovered this recipe after she posted her version of it on the Instagram.  And the Pinterest.  It's quite the social media savvy recipe.  

Seriously y'all.  It's called Kinda Creamy Pasta Bake.  Of course we instagrammers and pinteresters were all over it.  If it's creamy, it's got cheese in it; if its a "bake" then it's easy.  Done.  

Browne Hounds and husbands were also all over it.  In fact, that Browne hound tried to sneak up to Brandon's bowl for a little taste.  Upon discovery, of course, he pulled the innocent hound face out, denying that any wrong doing had occurred.  
Look at him in the shadows.  Being all houndish and stuff.  Love.  

So this pasta.  Dude.  Make it.  Make it this week since (hopefully) it will be to spring-ish soon to make hearty pasta dishes.  

It's so good that it's not even right.  And the points value?  Not bad!  That is, of course, if you can exert the self control needed to only eat the one cup serving size.  But really guys.  Life is short.  Have a scoop and a half.  I wont tell anyone....   
Kinda Creamy Pasta Bake
adapted from Movita Beaucoup

1 lb extra lean ground beef
15 oz tomato sauce
8 oz no yolk egg noodles
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 cup light cottage cheese
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup of reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 350. 
In a large pan, cook the ground beef.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Pour in the tomato sauce and let it simmer while you are doing everything else.  

Cook the egg noodles, drain and tranfer to a large bowl.  Pour in the source cream, cottage cheese and green onions.  Stir it all together. Season with pepper.  

In a large baking dish, layer the noodles, beef and shredded cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is good and melted.        

Serving size 1 cup (makes about 7)
Points plus 8 


A Few (Stream Of Consciousness Rambles) on Friday

OMG where have you been?  


Hi.  How are you?  Well, I hope.  

I've been down south in Natchez attending the MS chapter of the National Association of Social Workers annual conference.  It's a trip I take each year, one I approach with many mixed feelings.  On one hand, Natchez is super cute and I enjoy getting to hang out with social work peeps (we are a fun bunch, you know.  We do more than listen to the things that plague you and take your children.) On the other hand, Natchez feels soooo farrrr awayyyyy and I'm a girl that prefers to be closer to home, with her husband and her hound and her bed please and thank you.     

This year, it's been quite different for a few reasons.  For A) I made this trip all by my awkward self.  I  usually have my trusty social work partner in crime, Ginny, with me.  We share hotel rooms, meals, conversations, comfortable silences.  Hell, I'm with her more than I'm with anyone else so it totally works out.  We jive.  This year, it's just been me.  As I type this, the total of meals eaten alone comes in at four.  FOUR.  That's a lot.  It also makes me eat a lot.  Or, rather, I choose to eat a lotSee how I'm taking ownership there?

For B) I've actually attended workshops this year.  Usually, I man a silent auction table.  However this year I've checked out several workshops and have so far learned about: remaining hopeful when it seems impossible, narcissism (it's going to be a pandemic, y'all), HIV/Aids in Mississippi (staggering...click here to learn more) and the dysfunctional/disorganized family's response to end of life issues.  Pair this with the email from the Akita rescue group that I support thanking us for our donation and sharing about how things have been hectic for them since receiving an avalanche of Akita orphans and you've got a girl here feeling pretty exposed.  

You know what I mean.  That cracked open feeling that is the wierd combination of oh my gosh there's just so much (said with desperation) and oh my gosh there's just so much (said with joy).  

So much heartache + so much beauty. 
So many in need + so many people doing really good work.
So much uncertainty + we're all ok right now      

I swear this rambling has nothing to do with the fact that I've had minimal interpersonal interaction past "how are you, good how are you, good" talk since Wednesday morning.

Regardless, that's what I've been up to!  And for those of you that show up here, post after post, for the food...here's where four meals went down!

Fat Mamas MargaritasA-may-zang margaritas, great hot tamales, a taco salad that was very memorable.  

Planet Thailand:  Had to feed my can't get it at home sushi craving and these folks took care of it.  While it wasn't anything that blew my mind, the atmosphere was calming and the food was good.  The Cherry Blossom scored high on my list of good stuff.  

Paisano's Italian Grotto:  I stumbled across this one and am glad I did.  I enjoyed a meatball sub (out of control I am) and a side salad.

Cotton Alley Cafe: Cute little place, nice glass of wine, excellent pasta, deep fried rolls (seriously).  Will for sure hit this one up on a return trip.           

Happy Friday, dear friends! Be well and do good work.

P.S.  If you want to support that avalanche of Akita Orphans click either here or on that picture of my sweet Browne hound at the top of the page.  Or you could donate to the Relay for Life page!  Or you could just do a little something to put some good energy out there!! Tons of opportunities to do good work today, people.     


High School Lover

Just because I'm completely uninspired by this here blog doesn't mean that I've lost the desire to dance.  So here you go:
Happy Tuesday, turkeys!  Have a great day!


Relay for Life 2013 :: Against the Wind - Team Szady

Who doesn't love a good, solid charitable organization?  You know I do.  I'm always asking you guys, along with my friends and family, for money.  Akitas, the children, whatever.  It's the social worker in me.  I'm not scared to ask.  Seriously guys.  We are blessed.  

I'm lucky this year to be a part of my first ever Relay for Life situation.  Along with several awesome Greenwood people, I'm a part of Team Szady.   This team was created by my friend Beth Barnes to honor her cousin, Michael Szady.  Here's a word from Beth:

This year I am putting together a team for Relay for Life to honor the memory of my cousin Michael Szady who lost his battle with cancer last May. 

Michael Szady is the oldest of all my cousins and blazed a trail in life that is an honor for us to follow. First one to go to an Ivy league School, travel the world playing Rugby, pioneering research at MIT,  starting his own business and becoming a family man. In the eloquent words of his brother, " No one finished 43 years more than Michael. He finished everything with passion, competitiveness and love. Michael proved that it is not the total amount of time we have here --it's how you live, and what you do, that truly matters"

Michael loved many things great wine, Bob Seeger, the Boston Red Soxs, science and technology, and a good long running joke. In his honor, we will live happily ever after, listen to Bob Seeger, and pass along his zeal and passion for life.
Michael sounds like an awesome guy, I'm glad to be a part of this team! 
During this time, I'll be remembering those no longer here and praying for this that are currently fighting.  Hopefully, money raised this year will help ease that fight and get us closer to a cure. 
  My Grandfather, a cancer survivor and all around good dude
You want to help?  AWESOME-SAUCE.  Here's what you do!
Simply visit my team website by clicking HERE. Once you get there, you can either make a general donation OR you can purchase a luminaria in honor or of in memory of someone special who has been touched by cancer.  The luminarias will light up the track the night of the event; I can't wait to see it!
If you'd like to mail a check for your donation, no problem!  Shoot me an email ( lmmccaleb@gmail.com ) and we can take it from there.  
Thanks for considering a donation to this wonderful cause!