Friday, August 23, 2013

Salad Week: Day 4

Several years ago, I sat with a friend in her kitchen while she ate this concoction of broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, onion (raw, bleck) and just moaned her enjoyment while eating it. Thanking her partner for making it, that it was the best thing in the world. Ever since then I have wondered about it and halfheartedly searched for the recipe. Will the wonders of the internet ever cease? Low and behold, Pinterest, of ALL the UNLIKELY of places, brought me this recipe. *snerk* The pin from Pinterest was simply an image with a recipe, so I had to do a search and found it on my OMG FAVORITE RECIPE WEBSITE EVAR! My Sister in Law, Amy, told us all about Just A Pinch and I have been hooked ever since. All the recipes I have made from there have been AWESOME! I ramble, so let’s get to it shall we?

Amish Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound bacon, fried and crumbled
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
I halved this recipe, well eyeballed it. And left out the sugar, cause why? Once made, I found out that it would give Mike the toot’s so bad I’d have to put him out. And I must say, I don’t have the toot’s yet, but the burps will only win awards in the most foul category. However, I did like the salad, but I wanted boiled egg in it. I’d use real bacon next time, using turkey bacon as it isn’t half bad and I’ve been catching it on sale for about $0.59 a package, so my freezer is loaded with it. Carrot’s would do nicely in this too. I am sure some would like tomato. But for me, it’s so chunky that I am afraid tomato's would just get smashed. All in all, I’d take it to a family picnic, then giggle myself to sleep that night, thinking of all the tooting and how delightfully despicable I had been.

Update: I totally spaced and for got to add links to Cass and Randi. My bad, so sorry girls!

Abounding Joy is Randi and Lulu's Whimsy is Cass.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Salad Week: Day 3

I had such high hopes for this salad. I mean it had all the star players, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, egg and BACON! Bacon, bacon, bacon, BACON! How could it go wrong? BUT, it just fell…flat. So flat, it was just a very convoluted bacon to mouth delivery system. I’ll have to work on it.

To make it, assemble your salad greens, boil and slice an egg, cook your bacon, about 4 to 200 pieces, you know, depending on how much you like, slice some Roma tomato and add your dressing. We used sundried tomato dressing, but I think a bacon ranch would have helped make it more exciting. As boring as it was, I am full. So there’s that.   

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Salad Week: Day 2!

Being in Iowa, I could not pass up a chance to do a fresh corn salad. Corn is our #2 cash crop, pig being our #1. Or so I am led to believe. Never having made a Fresh Corn Salad before, I looked up and found this recipe. It is quite delicious. Very simple, has am emulsified dressing. Quite tasty. Would go good with pork chops.

The Recipe is this, which I have halved.
  • Kernels from 3 cobs of corn. Or one half cob of corn per person is this is a side salad.
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  •  freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 10-ounce container cherry or pear tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup small-dice red onion, if you like raw onion, I do not. 
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced, which I forgot to pick up.
Next, I followed the instructions, cutting the kernels off the cob, boiling them for 4 minutes, then plunging them into an ice water bath. While they were cooking, I washed and slice the tomatoes. Then made the emulsion while the kernels cooled. Threw it all together, gave it a good toss and was good to go. Pretty tasty too. We’ll see what Mike thinks when he get home.  

As always, go to Lulu’s Whimsy and Abounding Joy so see what delicious salad’s they have come up with! See you back here tomorrow for another!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Salad Week: Day 1


This is the first day of our Salad Week. My cousin's and I are making salads and link to each others blogs as we do. Cass was on the ball with her salad today, check it out at Lulu's Whimsy. Randi jumped in to with her deliciousness at Abounding Joy

Today was the kind of day where you look through your kitchen to see what you can assemble into a salad. I came up with Oven Baked Fried Chicken Salad. It turned out fantastic! Mike really loved it, and this is a good thing.

To make this delicious dish, read this recipe I snagged off Pinterest.
Your Grocery List
Chicken Breasts or Tenders               Salt
Buttermilk                                          Pepper
Shredded Cheddar Cheese                Chili powder
Almonds                                           Garlic Salt
Flour                                                 Your preferred salad mix.

I basically followed this recipe. First I thawed my chicken breasts, as I have a 2 person household, and marinated them in buttermilk. Like so:
Place the buttermilked chicken in the fridge, covered for 30 minutes. Or 2 hours if you are me.
When you are ready to get cookin’, set your oven to 400 degrees. The recipe says to cube the butter and let it melt in the pan, but I chose to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a healthy alternative. I poured on about 4 or 5 tbs. Then coated the pan with it. After the fact, I would recommend more oil.

I next decided to cube the chicken for easier end result. Once cubed, I added them back to the buttermilk, while I prepared the flour.
In a plastic gallon back, add 1 cup of flour, salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder and Garlic Salt. Be generous with your seasoning, as it gets diluted in the flour.
Once your flour is prepared, drop in several of the chicken cubes, toss and add to the pan.
Once you have completed this task, pop the pan in the oven for 20 minutes. Then turn the chicken cubes and cook for 20 more minutes.
While they are cooking, wash, spin dry, and assemble your salad greens into the bowls. Add some cheese if you wish, and chop your almonds.
Once the chicken is done and your salad is completely assembled, it should look something like this:
Add your favorite dressing, ours was Ken’s Thousand Island. Enjoy! Both of us really liked how it turned out and it was filling and satisfying. Yum!

Salad Week!


I am dropping a note here because it is salad week! I am participating with my two cousin-in-laws, hence forth simply cousins, in a linked up salad week. So everyday, we will make a salad, describe it, show a picture, and link to the blog’s of the others.


Cass over at Lulu’s Whimsy already has hers up for today. Randi at Abounding Joy has hers planned and will be posting later, as will I. My salad will be a bit run of the mill today, as I am not up for going to the grocery. I mean it was a morning where I was preparing my coffee, got distracted, took care of my distraction, came back and freaked out because I thought my coffee maker was broken. There was only about a cup of coffee in the carafe. I smacked it and shook it and just freaked out. No more coffee was being made! OMG WHAT WILL I DO! Turned around and spotted my already full coffee cup. *facepalm* So yeah, probably not wise to go in public today. lol


At any rate, I’ll make a blog post this evening after we have prepared and consumed our simply delicious salad.

Friday, August 16, 2013

We Finally Made It

To church, that is. This past Sunday, Mike and I finally got out of bed on time and went to church. We visited The Ridge in Ankeny, a Reform church. It is affiliated with Lutheran and Presbyterian, I believe. The pastor spoke to us for a bit before the service and I found him to be pleasant. The sermon was about Jesus telling us, Do Not Worry. I completely needed to hear that. All told, the service was about an hour long.


Once it was over, Mike and I were headed to lunch and I asked him what he thought. His answer was essentially the way I felt. Over all, it was a pleasant service. The message was good. The praise and worship…well…I won’t be rude. I said, “I didn’t really feel moved in my spirit.” Mike concurred.


So we are going to try another church. It is a church still in a school as of yet, called Cornerstone Church. I want to go this Sunday, but Mike is helping John move and I bet he will not want to get out of bed. Maybe I’ll just go alone.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Blog Envy

I have blog envy. I read several blogs daily and the blog designs are beautiful, their content readable and entertaining. These ladies have got it going on!

And I…don’t. Not yet. I am still on Blogger with a bare bones understanding of how it works, using one of their templates and back ground designs. All of my content is owned by Google as soon as it’s posted. The niche of my blog is still personal, with a touch of body positive. I have big dreams. Realistic dreams, I don’t expect to ever have this huge following, landing me on The Talk because my post about Thursday night dinner was so fabulous it had to be televised.  Yet, I am not comfortable to make the investment to get off Blogger until I have proven to myself that I am committed to the blog and to keep writing it. All too often in the past, I catch fire with some idea or project or hobby, only to get bored and distracted, dropping it, unfinished, in a corner somewhere. In a few months, say 6 months of consistent blogging, I may make the jump to my own domain and server using probably wordpress, if I haven’t discovered something better. Until then, I shall read beautifully written and designed blogs, wistfully wishing mine looked this good.


Here are some of my favorites:

A little nepotism goes a long way. My cousin’s blog:

A touch of whimsy mixed with vintage inspiration:

This girl loves cupcakes and has awesome glasses:

Katelyn is probably the most professional and blog centric blogger I read. I am in love with her page layout:

Gotta give a shout out to my favorite personal blogger, Sarah Wilson. Her content is entertaining and intelligent making her everyday life such a joy to read.  Check her out:


These are the enviable ladies I look to, to fuel my passion. They each and every one are beautiful, intelligent, passionate and readable. Check them out, give them some love, tell them Trace sent you.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cleaning Out My Closet

Cleaning out the closet has been so very therapeutic. Trying on all my clothes in front of the long mirror on my door, I have actually been looking at my body with out this intense loathing. Wow! It has taken me nearly 4 decades to get here. What? You mean to tell me I am not disgusting? That I am perfectly beautiful? When did that happen? I was telling Mike before he went to bed, that I have wasted so much time being miserable in my body. Flat miserable. Wasted, all those years. I could have been having fun and being happy and wearing clothes that I loved. But I didn’t. I was hiding from the world, from myself, inside myself. (I still do and will, but that’s a different post.) All because I was convinced that because I was fat, I was disgusting and unworthy and no way would I, could I ever be beautiful. Or even sexy for that matter. But I am. Sexy. Beautiful. Worthy.

Life is wonderful. I am going to live. And wear fantastic clothing. That I will find thrifting. *grin*

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lesson # 2: Reclaiming the Word Fat

It’s ‘bout time I got around to doing the second assignment in the How To Be A Fat Bitch Ecourse. This assignment is all about reclaiming the word Fat. Let’s see what I can do, shall we?

Lesson 1 can be found here.

Fat, a word that should be a simple neutral descriptor, now carries the weight of untold numbers of insults. Fat no longer just means having large amounts of excess flesh. It means different things to different receivers and different speakers.

The speakers meaning can be heard in just the way the word is said. “Fat.” My paternal grandmother, a woman I generally found to be quiet and sweet, would describe someone else as “Fat”, making a down turned face and drawing the word out, making it sound sour and disgusting. This is my sweet little grandmother, who in her own way, managed to suggest I try to get on The Biggest Loser one Christmas visit. Now, I have no doubt that my Mimi loves me, so this particular conversation was laughable instead of insulting. However, her pronunciation of the word when I was much younger, told me I was one of those sour, disgusting fat people.

We the receivers, hear many things when the F-word is thrown in our direction. Lazy. Disgusting. Gross. Undeserving. Undesirable. Unlovable. Unworthy. For me, though I hear all of these things in the word, unworthy is what I have heard the most; what I hear to this day.

No more. I am ready to reclaim my sense of self. My sense of worth. My beauty. FAT BE DAMNED. The sour, disgusting word has been thrown around too carelessly with no regard for the people it hits. The beautiful souls it tries to destroy. Yet truly, the word is not hateful. The word itself is not bad. It is a simple descriptor made of three little letters. F, A, and T. I am ready to rip that word out of the mouths of the sour and disgusted and make it into something that will lift me up, build me up, and set me free to be: 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Painting & Pizza

Mike and I went over to our friend John's new house to help him paint before he moves his stuff in. It's a very cute house and I am so happy for him! Two bedrooms, hardwood floors, nicely updated bathroom. The basement is perfect for gaming. I am looking forward to some good gaming nights there. It's totally a house I would have chosen myself.

I probably should be trying to get more creative in my 30 Day Challenge writing. An idea book has been recommended to me, I might just get it. At least I am writing irregardless.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Oh To Read

Which is what I am going to today, post haste. *grin*

I had signed up for Goodreads and stuck my personal reading challenge to my blog. (Thanks Erin!) It's set for 10 books this year and I am far behind. Currently reading Margret Mitchell's tome of all things romantic, ridiculous, racist, sexist, and 1860's southern. Oh and there's the war too. Shock that I haven't picked it up before now. I have no idea why. But for $0.75 at a thrift store you too can be charmed, angered, annoyed and unable to put it down. Kinda. Also useful to carry in your purse as a defensive weapon. Even as a paper back. It's over a grand long. George R. R. Martin's mother must have had this on display in their home as something to aspire to...and fear.

Seriously though, I am enjoying the read, even if it's taken 100 pages to move the story a whole day and a half. At that pace, how did she cram nearly a decade of story into only 1000+ pages? (Or maybe more than a decade? I'm not sure how much time passes.)

Ah well, my writing is done and I am off to read. Pray I don't manage to drop the book and knock myself out or break a bone or godforbid.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Writing when you feel uninspired is like climbing a loose, rocky hillside to reach your awaiting dinner. Very much a difficult necessity. This 30 day challenge is keeping me motivated. I have lapsed two days so far, but the simple fact that I committed to this is why I am here now, writing.

I do not fancy myself some talented writer, gifted by the gods themselves, but it is one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up. I might actually have been good at it, had I commitment to the craft. I remember being in sixth grade, writing this completely terrible who-dunnit titled, "Murder in the Sixth Grade". It was bad. Mysteries were never my genre and to this day I don't tend read them. What was I thinking?

After writing a few chapters, I decided to see if a publisher would be interested in it. I opened one of the books I had been reading and copied down the address of the publisher. I then wrote a letter and with big dreams of grandeur sent in the first chapter. I would be the first sixth grader ever to publish a best seller! 

I waited.

I wrote.

I waited.

I wrote some more.

I ran out of ideas after the group of sixth graders found foot prints in the barn.

I abandoned my book.

Then the letter came. It was probably the most encouraging rejection letter anyone ever received. He even gave me the very good advice to find a literary agent. Most of all, he encouraged me to write. And to keep writing.

As I grew up, my writing went from short stories, to dreary and and dreadful poetry. Oh I thought I was a wonderful talent. Until I read my best friends poetry, then everything I ever wrote ever was crap and I was crap and I went all Sylvia Plath on that shit.

Over the years I have written here and there, but basically I gave up on my dream to be a writer. The world is probably better off having not been inflicted with even more bad fiction, but I do wonder. If I had committed to the work, would I have made something of my previous passion? Could I have been good? 

So I may lapse a day here or there in this challenge. But as tonight's post is evidence of, sometimes the hardest part of climbing that rocky hill, is getting started. The rest is seeing it through to the end.