Saturday, January 29, 2011

Slow Cookin' Sunday~ Stuffed Peppers

This is one of the easiest and least messiest recipes ever. Stuffed Peppers 6 Peppers (I think the green ones have a bitter taste in Winter, so I went with orange. It would be really attractive to do a mixture of red, orange and yellow) 1 lb LEAN ground beef. At least 80% lean. 1 Cup cooked Rice (I used White rice only because I was out of Brown and forgot to buy more) 3 Tbsp Worchestershire Sauce 2 tsp each of: Basil, Minced Garlic, Oregano 1 tsp Salt 1 tsp Pepper A dash of red Pepper Flakes (I sprinkled a little more salt and pepper on my serving at the table, but I'd rather undersalt while cooking than end up with something too salty.) 1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes 1 can Tomato Sauce (small can) In a large bowl, mix the Ground Beef, Rice, Worchestershire Sauce and spices. Wash the Peppers, cut the tops off (do it pretty, like a pumpkin so you can put it back on later!) and clean out the seeds, ribs, etc inside. Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture. That's right, you don't have to brown the beef first! Put the tops back on like a little cap. (I like a stylish dinner) Pour the cans of Fire Roasted Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce in the bottom of your Slow Cooker. As always, don't forget the liner! Place the peppers in carefully so that they all stand up. I cooked these at high for about 4 hours and they were done perfectly. I only did four peppers and made a little meatloafy thing out of the extra meat. I am thinking that they would freeze well, though, so I'll make six next time. Peppers are kind of pricey and I wanted to make sure we liked this recipe before making so many! Mr. Wonderful gave it two thumbs up!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mediterranean Feast

I made a meal last week that was reminiscent of the fabulous meals that we’ve eaten at Comono, one of my favorite restaurants on Isla Mujeres. Mediterranean Beef Kbobs (Being that it is winter, I made these indoors on my George Foreman grill. Yay, George! And they were delicious. You could make them on a grill, or as hamburger patties, too.) 1 lb Ground Beef 1/2 medium Onion, diced 2 Garlic Cloves, minced 1 Tbsp Parsley 2 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, finely chopped 1 tsp Paprika 1 tsp Cumin ½ tsp Salt ½ tsp Black Pepper ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and get your hands in there and mix up really well. Like meatloaf, you can’t do this without getting your hands dirty. Refrigerate mixture for one hour. I formed these into small patties, about 3” across and grilled them on the Foreman. You can also form them into sausage shapes around a wooden skewer and grill on your outdoor grill or make large patties for Mediterranean Burgers. I served these with a Tzatziki Sauce (recipe below) Greek Salad, Pita Bread, Olives and Hummus. I didn’t take the time to make hummus from scratch (which is sooo good!) but I did add a generous sprinkle of Zatar and Paprika, as well as a drizzle of Olive Oil to the top of store bought hummus to ‘homemade it up’ a little. Since I am being ‘low carb girl’ right now, I cut a couple of Low Carb Whole Wheat Tortillas into wedges and toasted them in the oven for me in place of the Pita bread. It was still fantastic! I will make this again very soon. Tzatziki Sauce 1 small carton of Greek Yogurt – Plain, Unsweetened ¼ of a Cucumber, peeled 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice 2 cloves Garlic, minced 2 Tbsp chopped fresh Mint Dash of salt and pepper Put it all in a food processer or blender and puree. Add more lemon juice, salt, pepper to taste.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Head-to-Toe Winter Skin Makeover~ Under $70...

This is a very easy, month long regimen that you do at home and it will transform your dull, dry, flaky, itchy Winter skin into smoother, softer, clearer beautiful skin - head to toe! All for under $70. That's hardly more than a good facial plus tip. Here are the things you will need: A QUALITY LIP BALM - Look at the ingredients. You don't want something that is a petroleum based product. The C.O.Bigelow Mentha Lip Balm Stick pictured here is made with Hydrogenized Coconut Oil and Shea Butter. It isn't glossy, and we all know how I love my gloss,so just apply under your gloss or lipstick. Apply generously at night, as well. You will need to exfoliate your lips, too, so either do that with a toothbrush or the body scrub that you will see down the list. Cost: $7.50. Available at Bath and Body Works. Soft smooth lips? Your husband or boyfriend will thank me. Maybe they both will. PHILOSOPHY INSTANT SKIN MAKEOVER KIT- This wonderful kit contains a daily Microdelivery Exfoliating Face Wash (I use each morning in the shower) and a two step exfoliating mask that consists of Microdelivery Peel Resurfacing Crystals and Microdelivery Peel Activating Gel. It also has a generous sample of their Purity Face Wash. I use the two step mask once a week and it really has improved my skin's texture and brightness. A little goes a long way. I've used it three times and am not even halfway through the product. Be sure to follow the Mask with a moisturizing serum (if you have one) and a good face moisturizer. (Philosophy 'Hope in a Jar' is da bomb). Use before bed because your skin is going to feel so clean and pure you aren't going to want to put makeup on after you do this. I have dry, rather sensitive skin and this works great! Cost: $32. Available at Sephora.com or your local Sephora store. HOMEMADE SUGAR SCRUB - This is easy, cheap and if you make extra, it keeps beautifully in the freezer. Use once or twice a week all over, even on your lips. Mojito Body Scrub (leave out the mint and lime for unscented) 2 Cups White Sugar 1 Cup Safflower OR Sunflower Oil (yep, cooking oil) 2 Tbsp fresh Lime Zest (finely chopped) 2 Tbsp fresh Mint Leaves (finely chopped) Juice of 1/2 lime Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Store covered, in a plastic food container or purchase pretty glass jars at a hobby/craft store. Make sure it is sealed well so as not to attract ants. QUALITY LOTION- This Neutrogena Moisture Wrap Lotion is unscented and it really gets the job done. Put on at night before bed. Cost: $12.00. Available at Walgreen's or your local drug store. BODY OIL- When you turn off the shower, don't dry off. Instead, liberally apply a body oil and rub in before you gently towel off. This really locks in the moisture and will leave your skin smooth. Most drugstores have their own knockoff of the Neutrogena brand. Make sure it's unscented and don't get baby oil. Petroleum. Ick. Cost: $7.00 - $13.00. Available at Walgreen's or your local drug store. This has worked wonders for me. Let me know if it works for you!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Isla- Sept 2010- And the rest...

And, this, mi amigo, is where the trip report goes LOCO! I got so incredibly lazy that my journal just went blank. Nothing. Nada. So, we do it with pictures!!!! We moved over to Media Luna and I decided to go for a walk into town to pick up provisions. Okay, to shop and get food. But first I collected some Sea Glass. Carpool at the school! Casa Luz Spa Casa Sirena Street Cool House New Turtle Sculpture A stop at Qubano to visit with Vivian, refresh with some of her delicious watermelon water and get some yummies to take back to Mr. Wonderful New Recycling Bins! Mmmm...A Vivian Salad and Hungarian Potatoes to go, eaten seaside. Lazy afternoon at the pool Okay, this is bizarre - (enlarge pics below by double clicking) This guy and his wife were taking pics of each other on the beach. And he had his swimsuit pulled down under his butt! His entire butt was hanging out! It was so weird. They'd go behind the rocks and take some pics, then back on the beach. All the while his butt hung out. They were at this for about an hour. Truly bizarre!!! Mr. Wonderful All festive for the El Grito (or just for my visit, perhaps!) Festive Decorations in the Zocala Fabulous dinner at Olivia with Steve, Tio Bobby, Brad and Tiffany. I failed to get a pic of Brad. I'll get a good one in a couple of weeks when I'm back, to make up for it!!! The food at Olivia is to die for, the atmosphere is superb. We were seated in one of the Pavillions. I had a hot flash. My dinner companions iced me down and all was well. Good times! My Isla Kitty View from our 'outdoor living room' at Media Luna Breaky Cute kitty sleeps under my lounge chair A morning of Sea Glass hunting Food from Qubano --- OH, BABY!! Cool Airstream at the carnival Me and mi amiga, Miss Luna. Yes, black cats follow me. Coincidence? I think not. Mr. Wonderful. Breathtaking. Spectacular Sunset as seen from our table at Ballyhoo. Breathtaking, too. Betsy, Me and Gail at Ballyhoo This is Gregorio, whom I adore. I apologize for the video being sideways, I've tried every way to fix it. (lesson learned) He sings a beautiful romantic song for us! We found this tiny Siamese kitten the night before we left. I notified Josephina the next day via email and she was able to trap her. She is growing, healthy and happy now living at Josephina's home and is available for adoption! Last Breakfast before boarding the evil ferry home. A & G's is always a great pick. Bacon, eggs, rice and beans for Mr. Wonderful Chicken Chilaquiles with Salsa Verde for me. Absolute heaven! Repairs being done to the walkway at Playa Media Luna add an extra degree of difficulty! Adios, Isla! I love you!!! So that's it, until next time! Thanks for reading! Mmmmwah!

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Some of these entries are vintage travel reports and have been restored from a lost blog. I hope you enjoy them.