State pride in a pasta form

How adorable is this???  Pasta shaped in my favorite state…..Texas!!!  I love Texas so much for so many reasons, but how funny to take state pride into pasta.

Texans take their state pride SERIOUSLY though….no joke.  There are many sayings around here, but my favorite one is “you don’t mess with Texas”.  That is the truth!  Nothing good will happen if you kid a Texan about loving their state too much.

When we first moved to Texas, we thought how odd it was that everyone we encountered displayed something Texas-themed….whether it was the Texas flag on t-shirts, wrought iron Texas star wall decor (that’s very popular) and just lots of Texas stars everywhere.  I never would have thought to display wall decor in the shape of Indiana….or Illinois.

I’m used to it now….I have Texas pride, even in pasta form. LOL.

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I found the Texas pasta at my nearest grocery store, and my youngest child cannot get enough of it.  With something this novel, I assume it’s a limited edition and I find myself stuffing my shopping basket with 3, 4 bags of this Texas pasta before it’s all sold out.  The shape is too cool, and it gets my kids to eat their dinner because they think it’s fun…so I’m all for it!  Viva Texas!

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Familiar smell…

I was out running in my neighborhood and I made a hard stop right here:

2015-09-01 10.41.33Like that? Haha…now you don’t have to imagine it, you can see it above.

Ok, so I stopped because I smelled something so very familiar that it was frightening but nostalgic.  I smelled Filipino Chicken Adobo!  Someone in the neighborhood was cooking adobo for lunch probably.

It was AMAZING…and it smelled exactly like my mom’s Chicken Adobo – that’s why it was frightening to me.  It’s like a tangy, peppery, chicken brothy type of smell…and nostalgic because I got visions of my mom slaving over the hot, steamy stove (but with love), with the purr of the stove fan to break up that chicken-y aroma.  And, of course, my mom was wearing her hair net.  That was and still is an important kitchen aid for her…you know, so the hair off her head doesn’t fall into the food she cooked.

So adobo is not just adobo.  I’ve had some adobo cooked by other “Titas” at family parties, but no one can make it like my mom.  Could it be that just because I grew up with my mom cooking adobo in our normal dinner weekly rotation, and it’s just so familiar to me?  Quite possibly.  But I don’t doubt that my mom is the best Filipina cook known to man.  My dad even tried to cook it exactly like my mom’s, but he can’t replicate it. (Don’t tell him that 🙂 ).

I kinda liked it….and made me miss my family.  So, ya….that was my nostalgic, happy food moment today.

Stepping out of my comfort zone with sushi

sushiI’m so good being pretty adventurous with food and tasting different food….but I’ve never caught onto the raw fish train.

It took all my guts and glory to do my best to enjoy the tastes of an ‘ahi tower’ type of sushi that included all sorts of cold, raw fish, seaweed, caviar, ginger, sesame oil and seeds…and this one included tomatoes?!  Yes, only in Springfield, MO is where you can find this!

It did have tomatoes and I couldn’t figure out where the cold, slimy texture was coming from…the raw fish or the diced tomatoes.

I added as much soy sauce as I can tolerate, but I couldn’t enjoy this raw fish delicacy.  How do y’all do it??  Eat and enjoy it??!  It MUST be an acquired taste, I suppose.

Now, I can at least say, I gave this a shot and tried it….I know, I’ll grow up and eat grown-up food someday 😉

Halo- Halo Holllla!

Do people still say ‘holla’?  Is it still cool to say ‘holla’?  Gahhhh…. I’ve recently visited Las Vegas and stayed with my family there.  And, yes – they do NOT live on the strip.  I’ve discovered my greatest love in Las Vegas while I was there.  It wasn’t the fancy, blingy, schnazzy newer hotels, or the ungodly abundance of overpriced all-you-can-eat buffets….nor was it the 24/7 ding-ding-ding-ding’ing of the slot machines. I fell in love with all the Filipino food venues in and around the Las Vegas metroplex!  That’s something we don’t have here in North Texas, so it was a very pleasant surprise for my eyes. My soul was in heaven slurping on a chilly halo-halo from Jollibee on a 115 degree, sun-blazing, hot day. Halo-halo is a popular chilly dessert in Filipino cuisine.  Yes, I said it was cuisine! When I was a kid, my dad used to make halo-halo by using a steel ice block shaver, and he would work so hard shaving that 1-foot by 6-inches block of ice.  The result was very thinly shaved ice. It was light and fluffy like snow.  I can just imagine my dad now…laboriously pushing down on the metal shaver back and forth on the ice.  I can hear the sound it made….shhhhh, shhhh, shhhh.  Ah, can put me to sleep with that sound.

This is ice shaver my dad used to use. The blade is on the bottom and the ice collects in the compartment, as the lid shuts down on it.

In a cup, add some sweet beans, coconut gel, palm nuts, sliced jackfruit, coconut, cantaloupe, ube (sweet purple yam), top with the shaved ice, drizzle some evaporated milk and BOOM….halo-halo.  If you want to get fancy, you can top it off with a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream.

So excited to have my tasty treat from Jollibee's!

So excited to have my tasty treat from Jollibee!

So, halo halo hits the spot for me.  It tastes delicious, and it also brings back sweet memories of my childhood….enjoying a tasty cup of halo-halo with my family.  That is the sweet life. And for that, I’m gonna say because it feels good, whether it’s cool to say or not….but HOLLLA for halo-halo!

Texas-style burgers

I love themes.  Love themed parties.  Themed birthday gifts.  Themed food menus.  Anything that carries the same thought and message in a consistent….and well, theme!

As I mentioned in previous posts that I’m not a big meat eater. I eat any kind of meat maybe once or twice a month.  Occasionally I’ll crave for a well-seasoned grilled chicken or medium-well done grilled filet.

Last night, I was cravin’ pretty hard on some red meat.  Going carnivore…and I had a pretty damn tasty burger at BJ’s last night that was topped with fried jalepenos and hot pepper cheese with a cold pale ale to wash it down.

Since I’ve eaten this delish burger just last night, I’ve been seeing print ads of burgers, seeing burger commercials on tv, blog posts and read an article about burgers through this morning.

The burger gods are trying to contact me through media….calling me, and are asking me to create an AMAZING and the ultimate burger.  I will honor their calling and take the burger challenge 😉 Haha…

I want to Texas-ize a burger.  Thinking outside of the side.  Not your ordinary Texas burger, it’s got to be different than the millions of Texas burgers out there.  How do I do this? Any thoughts?!!!!  How do I made THE MOST AMAZING Texas “themed” burger….bringing in Texas tastes???

I may be doing some mad brainstorming on how to achieve this godly burger…and better yet, I may be doing some mad experimenting this week.

Stay tuned 😉

Wanna snuggle? And have a bowl of chili with me??

Today was the first real all day cold snap of the Fall.  Thirty something degrees in the morning and warmed up to sky-high fifty something during the day….BRRRRR!

I armed myself with a thick, leather winter coat to battle the freezing cold and a slow-cooker to rule dinner.  All I kept thinking today is….mmmm, chili sounds SO good.

Chilly night with fire going...wanna snuggle?

Chilly night with fire going…wanna snuggle?

So I threw stuff together to make not just your ordinary chili, but Texas-style chili!

The start of a healthy version of Texas style chili

The start of a healthy version of Texas style chili.

What’s the difference?  Well, I thought of stuff that made me think of Texas…flavors with heartiness and layers of spiciness and smokiness.  The smoked flavor of mesquite first came to mind.  So, I seasoned this ordinary chili and threw in levels of smoky mesquite, a little saltiness, a little sweetness and savory-ness.  A lot of -nesses.

Since I’m not a big red meat fan, I went the healthy route and browned up some ground white chicken breast meat.  It worked really well.  Probably not as flavorful as a ground beef, but it still worked.

PSX_20141111_182830Sprinkled some chopped green onions….shredded cheddar…and scoops corn chips on the side and DONE.

End result....so delicious.

End result….so delicious.

Fireplace going, a warm, hearty bowl of big Texas-style chicken chili….and I’m stuffed and snug as a bug on a rug…and looking a hug…and a snuggle…anyone?!

Absolutely speechless….what a harsh reality

Ok, this has nothing to do with food. Well, maybe it does a little…it’s a stretch.  I saw this on my Facebook feed today that one of my Facebook friends posted about saggy boobs.

God help me…and my saggy boobs.  Womp, womp… ;( ;( 😦

My takeaway from reading this article: eat right, exercise and rub natural ingredients on your boobs to help them perk up!

WOW…you can seriously find out about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING on the internet.  I’m blushing and feeling warm as I’m typing this….a little embarrassed!