Friday, March 2, 2012

Dancing With the Stars Season 14

Mark your calendars for Monday March 19th.  Dancing with the Stars is back for its 14th season, and I am excited.  Do I really have to wait two whole weeks!??  Sadly, yes.  But at least we now know who the cast is...

Gladys Knight!  Please tell me I don't have to explain who she is.  She is paired with Tristan McManus.  This is his Sophmore season.  I really like him.  He is patient and sweet and a good dancer.  Plus he is funny. 

Our resident jock...Donald Driver.  He may be a super star now, but he grew up homeless and had a number of other obstacles to overcome.  I am intrigued to see his story unfold.  The football players are usually surprisingly light on their feet.  Will he be?  His partner:  Petra Murgatroyd also in her Sophmore season.

Gavin DeGraw....now this is one I do not know.  He is chart topper(no wonder I don't know who he is I never listen to the radio!) but can he dance?  His partner is last season's champion pro:  Karina Smirnoff

Swoon it's Jack Wagner!  Soap star and singer.   Is he a triple threat?  Maybe with Anna Trebunskya as his partner he will be.

Steve Urkel?  Did I say that?  I meant...Jaleel White!  He made that character a household name whether he meant to or not.  We all loved him too.  He is paired with Kym Johnson.  I think this is interesting as she is usually paired with the jocks.

Katherine Jenkins, "The Sexy Soprano."  And not from that show either.  She is a singer.  Again, I am out of the loop on this one.  I wonder if we will get a sampling of her music.  She is partnered with Mark Ballas.

Maria Menounos is an actress, author and host on Extra. I do believe she will have the male vote.  And the envy of the females...her partner:  Derek Hough.


Martina Navratilova...a tennis legend.  I am not a tennis follower so I will take their word for it.  Tennis is kind of like a dance.  It certainly is physical.  Her partner is Tony Dovolani. 

Melissa Gilbert.  Laura Ingalls is all growed up!  Remember when she pushed Nellie in the mud!?  I thought she was awesome.  I think she is sweet.  So her partner better be nice to her...Maks Chmerkovskiy. 

Roshon Fegan...the Disney kid.  ABC is owned by Disney so of course there will be one.  He might get some humble pie from his partner:  Chelsie Hightower.  She has been known to kick butt and take names.

From The View it's Sherry Shepherd!  She has been very hush hush about it.  I don't know how she didn't spill it.  I would have totally blown it.  She will be quite fun.  And her partner is Val Chmerkovskiy.


William Levy  "The Latin Hottie."  He has a list of credits that I can not spell or pronounce.  He will also have the female vote for sure.  But will his Latin blood line run true?  If not he has a fab teacher:  Cheryl Burke!

This is a great line up.  And I am really looking forward to it. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Proud Mommy Moments...

When you have a sister who is outspoken, and a brother who is ... well... who makes his presence known, you often get overlooked.
Sometimes that is okay.  Especially if you are more like a wallflower.  Or if you embarrass easy. 
But somewhere inside lurks a star who wants out.   She is there.  If you watch her, you just might catch her.
But be careful, if she sees you...she will hide once again...
So imagine my surprise when my Little Middle tried out for the school talent show.  She did improv.  At this point, I do not know if she made it.  And it really doesn't matter.  The fact that she got herself up on that stage and put herself out there is enough for me!  I couldn't be more proud.

What is your proud moment?  Share it with EmmyMom and Kmama!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Chinese Dinner

A couple of weeks ago, we had my nephew over for dinner for his birthday.  We don't get to see him very often so my mom let him choose his favorite dinner.  He picked, Chinese food.  And by that, he meant homemade.  My mom is never one to cut corners.  She goes all out.  And I thought hmmm...I will take pictures of the prep and spread and share the recipes.  So here we go....

 Chinese Egg Rolls
My mom learned how to make these from a gal in her Ward.  She is the real deal too....
30 egg roll skins (4” square)                    Sesame oil to taste
6 cups shredded green cabbage               Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/8 cups shredded carrots                     Oil for deep frying
1 cup bean strings                                    Cornstarch paste (2 parts starch to 1
                                                                  part water)
2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil                                 Flour, for dusting
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1. Soak bean strings in warm water to 10 minutes. While soaking…
2. Add 2 tbsp. oil to a hot wok or frying pan, and stir fry vegetables for about a minute being careful not to overcook.  Add salt, pepper and sesame oil to taste and continue cooking for another 15 seconds.
3. Drain the bean strings and cut into 1-inch segments.
4. Combine cooked vegetables and the bean strings in a bowl and allow to cool.
5. Place sufficient oil for frying into the wok or frying pan and preheat to 375*
6. Place one or two heaping tablespoons of the vegetable mixture on the middle of an egg roll skin, and fold two opposite sides towards the middle.
7.  Fold both of the remaining ends over slightly and then roll from one of the ends to form a log shape.  Coat the upper edge with cornstarch paste and seal to complete the roll.
8. Dust a tray with flour and place the finished egg rolls on it before cooking.
9. Reduce heat on the wok to medium and deep-fry the egg rolls until golden and crispy (approximately 2-3 minutes) being sure not to “crowd” the wok.
10. As the rolls are cooked, transfer to a cooling rack covered with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
11. Serve with hot mustard, soy sauce, plum sauce, or any other accompaniment that you enjoy!  Also, fell free to experiment with other fillings, such as minced pork, ginger, green onion, and mushroom….the sky is the limit.
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Broccoli Beef

CHINESE BEEF AND BROCCOLI…from cooks.com   

1lb. Beef sirloin, cut into thin strips
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced…I used garlic powder (¼ teaspoon per clove)
2 Tblsp. Soy sauce
(I added a little sesame seed oil…a little goes a long way) ¼ tsp or to taste.
4 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp olive oil (I used canola)
½ tsp black pepper
1 lb. fresh broccoli or 2 (10 oz. pkg. frozen)
½ inch cube fresh ginger, peeled and chopped or ½ tsp. ground.
3 Tblsp olive oil
½ c water
2 cups hot steamed rice
**********************************************************

Partially freeze beef until it can be just pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.  Slice diagonally into bite -size strips….or have the butcher do this for you.

Combine soy sauce, cornstarch, the 2 tsp olive oil, garlic, sesame seed oil, and salt in a bowl.  Add beef, toss to coat well.

Slice broccoli lengthwise into think strips, about 3 inches long. ( I used frozen floweret’s) Heat ginger in 3 tbls olive oil in skillet ( I used a wok)  at 375* ( I did not test the heat)  Add broccoli and stir fry for 3 to 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add more oil if necessary and stir fry beef for about 5 minutes or until well browned.  Return broccoli to pan, add water.

Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Serve over hot steamed rice.  Season to taste with salt pepper and a pinch of cayenne if desired, just before serving.

Makes 4 servings 
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Sweet & Sour Pork


BATTER FOR FISH, CHICKEN, PORK, SHRIMP~~These came from my mom's mom, though she could not remember where she got them.  A book?  Her mom?  Tis a mystery.  But it's tasty!

½ cup flour
¼ cup corn starch
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda    
¾ cup cold water

Mix together.  Dip meat in mixture, let excess drip off.  Cook (deep fry) in hot oil.

*************************************************************
For sweet and sour pork…cut boneless pork into bite sized pieces or buy pre cut pork for stir fry.  Use the batter recipe above and then top with sweet and sour sauce.
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SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE

¾ cup sugar                            2 Tbsp. Rice vinegar
3 Tbsp catsup                          2 Tbsp. Corn starch
Can of chunk pineapple in P/A juice
Optional, sliced carrots, square chunks of bell pepper and thick sliced onion
¾ cup water or ¾ cup juice from pineapple ( if not enough juice add water)

Mix together and cook to boiling until sauce thickens and changes color.  You can add a few drops of red food dye if you want a more red color.  Add pineapple chunks, bell pepper cut in chunks, sliced carrots and sliced onion. Simmer to heat up veggies, you do not want them cooked soft, they should be crunchy. 

Makes about 4 servings
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Fried Rice

This one also came from the gal who used to be in my mom's Ward....
FRIED RICE
To serve 4-6
Pre cooked and cooled rice for 4 servings.  You can use wheat rice or white, or mix them together. 
Your choice of vegetables ½-1cup…I.E. potatoes, corn, cauliflower, broccoli, Peas, carrots, what ever vegetables you like…cut up and pre steamed.
1-2 Eggs whipped lightly
Soy sause
2 Green onions sliced
************************************************************

Stir fry the cooked rice with the sliced green onion in a little oil or bacon grease.  Heat till hot threw and then add the vegetables.  Add soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste mix.  Push rice to leave open space on one side of pan.
If needed add a little more oil…add egg…stir and cook till scrambled and done.  Stir eggs into the rice and vegetable mixture. 
And there you have it....yummy-licious!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ten Things to Smile About

Is February already over?  Even with an extra day in there it sure went by fast.  And at the end of each of month, I get to look back reflect on ten things that made me smile and then I link up with my bestie Emmy and her Ten Things to Smile About!




1.  Getting my craft on...
2.  Seeing my Bestie twice in ONE month!

4.  Watching Ryan go from training wheels to a two wheeler!

5.  Being a costume designer...and a darn good one if I do say so myself!
6.  Sometimes it's a line from a TV show...last week it was Grey's Anatomy.  The doc's were betting on the one who got the cool surgery to puke during it.  "Come on, puke already!"  

7.  When the weather is so nice you can be outside in shorts.  Please don't hate...it's back to cold.

8.  Going to lunch with my mom and shopping for fun and not for stuff we needed for the house which is totally boring.

9.  Making these super yummy cookies I found on Pinterest.
10.  DWTS!!!  The new cast has been announced.  I am still waiting for Scott Bakula to be on it.

What made you smile this month?

Monday, February 27, 2012

What's Your Opinion?

What's the best part about the Oscars?  Is it the anticipation of who will win what?  Is it the speeches(puh-leeze!)?  No!  It's those dresses!  The red carpet.  Seeing who is wearing who?  How is their hair done?  I have a handful of pictures and my humble opinion to go with them.

Bo Derek is 55 now and look at her!  She is dressed age appropriate, and classy.  But my problem is it's too plain.  I love the color though.  It just needs a little something. 
GAH!  It's the dress that ATE Emma Stone!  Seriously, this dress would be stunning were it not for the collar and giant bow trying to take over.
Best Support Actress nominee looks likes she is wearing an oriental rug. 

Only JLo could pull this off.  And was there or wasn't there a wardrobe malfunction while she was presenting with Cameron Diaz?
Kate Mara.  Please stand up straight!  Didn't your mother teach you this basic lady principle!  It might help this dress along.
Oh dear Lea, are the aliens coming?  So unflattering for such a beautiful woman.
Maya Rudolph, a full figured woman...a healthy woman with REAL curves.  Look at her.  And her dress is lovely. 
 Melissa Leo....was there a mirror near by?  She's adorable.  Why do this?
Nancy O'Dell's dress is  great, but I am not liking the black lace.  Maybe a different color of lace. I like the yellow and the flow.
Octavia Spencer Oscar winner.  Oh she stole my heart.  She went absolutely weak in the knees when they announced her name.  And just look at her.  Beautiful.
Rooney Mara needs at least ten pounds of meat on her bones to fill up this dress and make it work.  Put a woman like Marilyn Monroe in it and it becomes a fabulous dress.  On someone who is thin, it hangs and doesn't work.
 Stacy Keibler, if you are going to be on the arm of George Clooney, you should be a class act.  This is a dress gone wrong.  It had an excess of material left over and the designer turned it into a rose.

What did you think of the dresses?  For more pictures go here.