Happy Easter



Yummy Egg Salad or Something to do with all those hard boiled eggs after Easter!

Egg Salad is great, its fast, easy, low cal, and low fat.  You can eat it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or a midnite snack. You can serve it on bread, toast, crackers or a bed of lettuce.  Talk about a versatile food.  When I was teaching we had a snack truck that would come around just in time for morning break and those ladies whipped up a delish egg salad, I just loved to grab one with a chocolate milk, I could eat half, then save the rest for lunch and I was satisfied all day.
Today I was wanting to try something different for breakfast and needed to post a food blog so as I stood in front of the frig wondering what to do I saw the mayo next to the eggs and there it was egg salad.  What how do I boil an egg? hmmm check out that learning experience here.
Since I don’t boil eggs I have never made egg salad before, I consulted the BHG bible but they didn’t have what I wanted. I decided to just wing it… here’s what I came up with,
1/4 c mayo
1 tsp mustard
1/8 finely chopped onion
1/8 finely chopped celery
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp paprika
Smash it all together.
Serve on whole wheat toast.
It was fast, easy, cheap, very yummy, and BF luv’d it ;D
Awesome morning learned how to boil and egg and make egg salad! Win WIN!
Enjoy Y’all

I will never buy bread again!

Recently I bought a Welbuilt AMB 3900 (check out bread machines here) at my favorite local thrift shop, Madera Thrift Center. It’s a great store if you spend more then $10 they will stamp the back of your receipt which you can take back any day and get 50% off of everything!

The Welbilt AMB3900

The Welbilt AMB3900

I had spotted this little gem the week before but was limited on funds and shopping for clothes for the steppies at the time, so I passed it up. 😦

Last week I went back to browse and to my surprise it was still there.  It was marked at $12.99 but I had my trusty coupon and got it half off… what a steal.

BF was skeptical when I brought it inside but when I plugged it in and it beeped alive he was like good, now make some bread! (LOL, not really) I knew it worked because the store has outlets you can plug electrical items into before you buy. I never would have bought it without being able to check it first.

So Sunday when the steppies where here I thought now is the perfect time to try it out, we can do it together (they LUV helping me in the kitchen) and then they can have fresh bread for breakfast.  Now sometimes I am not the brightest bulb in the box, and I just automatically grabbed my trusty BHG cookbook and went to breads, white.  We mixed it all together and added it in closed the lid and hit menu #1 and start.  Then we went to play.

About 2 hours later I didn’t smell baking bread; it smelt like burnt plastic.  I checked the machine, no smoke, not too hot, tried to look in the little window, it looked like bread, so I left it to do its thing. I just hoped the smell wouldn’t effect the bread.

Finally it beeped to tell me it was done, I rushed over, lifted the lid and…

My bread exploded!

I should have taken a pic it was truly awful! And I was truly disappointed. Good thing I had just bought a new loaf of bread so I didn’t have to rush out for any for breakfast.

Once everyone was sleeping I pulled out my laptop and got to researching and found this.

So today we were running low on bread and I thought ok lets try again.

I followed the instructions from the youtube video and again added my ingredients, chose 1 and start. The I waited and worried and waited and worried… I must have check it a dozen times. No plastic smell this time, just glorious baking bread, just like momma’s. I took that for a good sign.

I was playing a game when she beeped at me.  Nervously I went to the machine and opened the lid and viola ….

The 1st fresh loaf

                                                    The 1st fresh loaf

Yes! Victory is mine!  I will never buy another loaf of bread again.  Its crust is perfection, the inside is soft and delicious and my whole house smelled amazing.  

Look at that gorgeous crust! Even the shape is perfect

Look at that gorgeous crust! Even the shape is perfect

Don't you just want to grab some butter and taste its yummy goodness... I did ;)

Don’t you just want to grab some butter and taste its yummy goodness… I did 😉

I will be pinning lots of recipes for my favorite new appliance.

Enjoy Y’all


PS the bread you see in the background is about to be put in the food processor for crumbs, and the last kind of that over-processed, fating bread you will see in my house!

How to Boil an Egg or I am just the lamest cook ever!

I have a confession …
I can’t boil an egg.
I know, how can you get more basic then boiling an egg.  To be honest I have never been a big egg eater, so when mom boiled eggs I didn’t really pay attention.  Now I do luv egg salad sandwiches and so does BF so today I thought why not… lets learn how to boil an egg 😉
I pulled down the BHG cookbook, grabbed 4 eggs and a pan and jumped right in.
1. Cover 4 eggs making sure there is 1 inch above eggs.
2. Boil rapidly, meaning they want you to put it on high and make it come to a boil quicker than you might normally.
3. Once boiling remove from heat and cover for 4 mins. I set a timer.
Now the last step I remember my mother doing, drain, and then rinse and let rest for a couple of mins in cool water just so you can handle the eggs.  If you aren’t using them for awhile then skip this cool down process just drain of the hot to stop the cooking process.
1. Same as above till the boil you reduce the heat and let simmer 15-20 mins.
Easy peasy right, can’t believe it has taken me 40 some years to figure this one out 😉
Enjoy Y’all
P.S. anybody got any tips for peeling?

Tamale Pie or 60s Mexican Food


 You are going to luv this one!
One of my favorite childhood dinners was Tamale Pie.  I still remember the smells when my mom made it and those smells have haunted me for years.  I know very strange why not just make some right?  You are totally right, I actually have her cookbook (BHG circa 1968) so I could have, but I knew my kids wouldn’t eat it and the ex showed no interest.  Don’t get me wrong I am not one of those moms that cater to their kids and makes 3 different meals, Heck NO! I am one of those moms that doesn’t believe in forcing my kids to eat things; I was forced as a child and still to this day have an aversion to certain foods, Thanks mom 😉
Actually my 2 oldest are good, adventurous eaters but ya know how little kids can be.  We kind of got stuck in a food rut for the last 25 years.  At least it was good, healthy food; balanced nutrition was always very important to me.  Funny though to look at a pic of my kids when they were very little, you would have thought I starved them… supper skinny, I’m talking like scary skinny.  I’ll have to see if I can find that pic and show y’all, it actually kind of freaked me out the last time I saw it again, lol.

So back to Tamale Pie, yesterday I read BF the recipe and he said “go for it love” (he’s a very good eater, even if I mess it up or its something he doesn’t like he’s generally eating it, he was raised that you eat everything on your plate and don’t complain, that’s rude).  I was super excited to cook dinner tonight.  Excited to cook… wait am I a clone and don’t know it?  No really, this is not where I expected to be in life at this point. I actually thought I would be eating out all the time and only cooking on special occasions, but then again life has a funny way of changing on us in unexpected ways.  One of the reasons I titled my blog, ‘Life in a Different Direction’. Again I digress…

If you have never had or heard of Tamale Pie, its a casserole type dish with a tomato base, hamburger and a cornmeal crust on top.  Obviously its the 60’s American housewives version of Mexican food which at the time was not a part of American culture as it is now.  You can bing or google the recipe but I wanted the classic that mom always made, from my favorite cookbook.  I swear I had dreamed of it, which strange as it may sound I actually do dream about her cooking, just one more thing I’ve missed since she died.
Tamale pie is basic, hardy comfort food, don’t think about calories or fat grams… just enjoy.
1 c chopped onion
1 c chopped green pepper
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 12 oz can whole kernel corn
1/2 cup pitted, olives, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
2-3 tsp chili powder, depends on taste
dash pepper

This is the main part the topping comes next.
Cook meat, onion, and green pepper together in large skillet till meat is browned.  Stir in rest of ingredients and let simmer for 25 mins or until thick.  (I did not add my olives here I waited and only added to half during assembly, BF doesn’t like them).

While this is simmering prepare topping. Also preheat oven to 375.
3/4 c cornmeal, yellow
1/2 tsp salt
2 c cold water
1 tbs butter

In small saucepan add water, salt and cornmeal, cook on med high heat and stir constantly to avoid lumps or sticking.
Stir till thick. Next add butter, and stir into topping.

1 1/2 c shredded American cheese (I used taco blend, tasted the same so which ever you prefer. I use it for pretty much everything, its nice to just buy one huge bag and have it last all month vs. a bunch of little cheeses I have to grate and store).

Now when your tomato mix is finished, you are ready to assemble and bake.
In 9x9x2 (approx) baking dish (glass or metal no difference which ever you prefer, but I do suggesting lining with foil, I forgot had to soak my pan overnight).  Pour tomato mix into pan, cover with cheese, (this is where I added the olives to just half the pan, easy peasy and I have olives left to use for something else) then spread on cornmeal topper.

Bake in moderate oven (375) about 40 mins. Serves 4-6.
I was thrilled it tasted exactly like my moms and was still delicious like I dreamed about and bonus BF was thrilled, he actually said, ‘I loved it’.  So score!
Enjoy Y’all

Have your kids seen the original film version of “The Wizard of Oz”?

Has this classic film been forgotten? Or are parents shielding their children too much nowadays?

Has this classic film been forgotten? Or are parents shielding their children too much nowadays?

I was very shocked this weekend when I found out that my step-kids have not seen or even know what “The Wizard of Oz” is.


How can this possibly be?

I am suspicious that this is some type of pandemic of this generation, I have a couple of friends with children under 12 and they too have been deprived the joy of Oz.

Not only have they not seen the movie but the parents are oblivious to the fact that there are a total of 13 books written about the magical land of oz.  Now I have read the books and yes they are a bit dark and I know that many children have been frightened by the flying monkeys (I was for sure but I watched it again and again), but aren’t parents overprotecting their kids a little too much these days.  Life isn’t all sunshine and trophies; come on lets face it sometimes life is really hard and scary and as parents aren’t we supposed to teach our children to cope with all life’s aspects, including the hard and scary parts?

I know when I found out I was pregnant with my oldest one of the things I planned was all the things I wanted to share with him, not just how adorable I would decorate the nursery or what college he would go to.

First my love of books, I have read all L Frank Baum books and love them dearly.  Now I am the first to admit that the books can be a little adult but the are perfect for the getting the imagination going. Lack of imagination is something that I am so sorry to be leaving our children in this age of video and internet.

Second my love of film, and of course “The Wizard” is in my top 10 classic kid movies, and I loved watching it with my kids every year just like I watched it with my mom, (yes the monkeys scared them too) but I was there to comfort them and to educate them that they were not real, and just part of someone’s imagination, and by using their imagination they could think of anything, they could go anywhere, and do anything. This movie also teaches great family values like the importance of family, and home. It teaches the value of appreciating what you have, and about heart, courage, loyalty, and love. It teaches about morals such as, good and evil, right and wrong, and honesty. They will see beauty and wonderment, like a horse of a different color. It is good old-fashioned family entertainment, which can be hard to come by these days.

Third my love of music, and what great music has “The Wizard of Oz” produced from “Somewhere over the Rainbow” to “Ease on Down the Road” to “Defying Gravity” these are some amazing classics and talk about inspirational.

love you my love(this is what happens at my house when you leave your computer open and walk away… awe, I luv u too BF) Ok back to the blog, lol

I shared all these things with my boys and yes they were a little bored with the movie after  seeing it a few times, compared to today’s special effect filled films it can seem lackluster, but its a cherished memory now, those nights snuggled up on the couch and when we play movie trivia games at Christmas (a tradition in our house) there is almost always a question that if they hadn’t seen it they wouldn’t know.  Most important they learned from this movie, we watched and discussed it afterwords, what they understood and didn’t, I explained to them. I read the book to them. We sang the songs together. They were encouraged to use their imaginations, to dream, to believe the impossible, but to always love home and family.

I will be sharing this movie classic with the steppies (and someday my grandkids) next time they come to visit. I will hold them when the monkeys scare them and reassure them that witches are not real. I will be reading them the books (guess what they are part of the Kindle classic freebies, sweet!)  I will be playing the songs in the car so we can sing along. I am actually really excited to be able to share these things I love with them, and I hope that in the years to come they will appreciate that I shared this cherished family tradition with them.  I hope they will appreciate the classics, be it on film, in print, or in a melody.

Most of all I hope that you share these things with your children and grandchildren.

Because there is no place like home

Enjoy Y’all