Tag Archives: September writing challenge

3 Days in Chicago and back home…

23 Sep

Whew! What. A. Weekend… How fast it went. I have just got through the door, ate a quick bite and brought in my bags and have gotten myself into position to go right to bed. Food,  fun and, travel can wipe a person out. I am so excited to share with all of you all the exciting things I did this weekend. My sister who lives in Texas met me in Chicago. When we decided to make the trip we both created a to do list while in the windy city. We checked everything off on our list. Every place but, one place was somewhere that had food. No kidding. That’s all we wanted to do. Eat. Try new restaurants. See new things. How awesome was that?! Pretty awesome I must say. Even though we checked off visiting every place on our list. We did not eat at every single one.  But, I will be back to eat at the ones I did not try this time.

Here is a list of all the food we tried this weekend:

  • pancakes
  • eggs
  • biscuits and gravy
  • hashbrowns
  • hummus and pita chips
  • vegan pita wrap
  • caramel cake
  • a german chocolate cake
  • peach cobbler cupcake
  • double chocolate cupcake
  • birthday cake cupcake
  • red velvet cupcake
  • apple pie empanadas
  • pierogis
  • fried chicken
  • mac & cheese
  • sweet potatoes
  • collard greens
  • cornbread
  • polenta potato cake
  • vegan fish tacos
  • vegan biscuit

I think that’s about it… Oh, I did get some popcorn from Garret’s and Nuts on Clark… We will talk about all of this later… I need to repent for all this gluttoness sin I committed this weekend.

A full review is coming this week. Stay tuned.a

Kim Cherie

#septemberwritingchallenge

day23

 

 

All About Raisins…..

12 Sep

As you may already know last week I was on the hunt for muscats. Before last week I had never even heard of a muscat. Learning about them came about when my dad told me his mother used “larger raisins” when making a Blackberry Jam Cake. I did know what he was talking about and because it had been so long since he had one he could not remember what the “larger raisins” were called. He called my aunt and she remembered that they were called something that began with the letter “M”. That’s all I needed to begin my search on the internet.  After a few clicks of the computer mouse some creative google searches I found out what the “M” word was. Muscat or Muscats.

After learning that muscats were not readily available in the grocery stores in our area, we bought some online from California and they arrived quite swiftly. Packaged in bulk, fresh and tasty. Before ordering from the internet, my dad and I were in and out of stores looking for muscats and; in our search I discovered they were several varieties of raisins. Now raisins might not sound overly exciting to read about but they are a great snack and go well in many baked goods, cereals and, salads. I use baking raisins specifically in my soft Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and traditional raisins in my delicious Coleslaw recipe which you can find here.

Here is a little more info on raisin varieties:

Baking Raisins: These are a must for me when I bake. They are not always available everywhere so stock up if you bake a lot. Baking raisins come in 6 ounce pouches filled with the traditional raisins and small amount of a sweet syrup that I believe partially rehydrates them which will leave your baked goods even tastier.

Dark Seedless: Raisins that are made from Thompson seedless grapes that are dried for several weeks. These raisins are good for almost anything.

Golden Seedless: Also from Thompson seedless grapes treated with sulphur dioxide to prevent darkening. These grapes have a shorter drying time. Use these for cooking and snacking.

Zante: Zante grapes produce tiny, dried currants often used for baking.

Last but not least:

Muscat: Muscat grapes yield large, fat, dark, very sweet raisins. Use muscats for snacking and baking too. Beware of the edible seeds inside the muscats. The seeds may be left in or out when baking but, I would suggest cutting the muscat in half and taking the seeds out one by one.

This concludes today’s lecture on raisin varieties. Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Talking with my Mouthful of Food. 😉

Kim Cherie

#Septemberwritingchallenge

day12

Favorite Foods For Fall and Winter

10 Sep

Just last week we were running the air conditioner trying to stay cool and, now the last few days have been feeling like the middle of fall here in Flint, Michigan. I was holding off on getting to that Pumpkin Spice Latte’ until it was cold weather season, but this week has me trying to map out my way to drive by Starbucks. Because the weather turned cold so fast the house has gotten really cold and this has gotten me to ponder on all the fall and winter foods I need to get ready for; to keep warm all season long. Actually, some  just won’t keep me warm but, they sure will taste good.

  • Hot Apple Cider: I fell in love with this beverage when Tim Horton’s hopped on the scene here in Flint. This hot cup of  liquid apples and spices smells like something delicious will be coming out the oven at any moment. (Hot Apple Cider is no longer sold at Tim Horton’s.) And, I am very sad about it.
  • Hot Chocolate:  Ok, maybe Hot Chocolate should’ve been before Hot Apple Cider but, I can get Hot Chocolate anywhere so I rank it a little lower on my totem pole. But whenever I get a good one with whipped cream I am set.
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte: I met Pumpkin Spice Latte’ 2 years ago. I was just getting something at Starbucks to be apart of the group and possibly to stay warm at work but, I was so glad I did! I didn’t drink any type of coffee drinks hot or cold until then. I don’t even know what’s in a latte’ and really I don’t care. It just makes me happy. 🙂
  • Apple Pie: Homemade Apple Pie to be specific. And, it just so happens that I can bake them from start to finish; crust and apple filling. This is one thing I really enjoy baking. I love cutting up the apples, mixing in the sugar and spices and the recipe I use for crust is not difficult to make at all. Once you taste a freshly baked made from scratch pie you will never want it any other way.
  • Sweet Potato Pie: Ok, I can’t say Apple Pie and Not mention Sweet Potato Pie. We can have Sweet Potato Pie all year long if we wanted to. But, there is almost nothing better than Sweet Potato Pie made by my Grandma at Thanksgiving at our family gathering. This pie is the appetizer that we devour way before we even know what time dinner will be served. (BTW, I can write a whole post just about this pie.)
  • Caramel Apples: A treat that needs no introduction.
  • Chicken Pot Pies: OMG! I love love love love love love love love love love love love love Chicken Pot Pies. Except, they put peas in every single one I have ever eaten.  I nominate the discarding of anything with peas. And, please make sure it has a double crust. What is a pie with only a top crust? Plain rude, that’s what it is. You can’t just top crust a person. You have to, have to double crust a pot pie.  You can’t call it comfort food if I’m going to be uncomfortable with only one crust.
  • Chilli & Grilled Cheese: Aannnddd, I don’t like beans either, but I let them stay for the sake of argument. I like everything else in the chilli so I’ll just eat around the beans. Grilled Cheese goes with Chilli or Chicken Noodle soup and it just adds more comfort and warmth with every bite. Make sure you use Texas Toast with that melty and cheesy Grilled Cheese.
  • Chicken & Noodles: Some people call it Chicken Noodle Soup but it’s thicker than a traditional Chicken Noodle. It’s a creamy gravy type dish with real egg noodles and lots of chicken. This dish can is easily made in the crockpot. COMFORT ALL THE WAY…
  • Beef Stew and Cornbread: OOOOH… That combo was a favorite of mine when I was a teen. The tender beef and all the veggies that went in the stew finished off with a sweet cornbread. That’s the stuff memories are made of.

Those are just a few of my favorite that keep me warm on cold days. I would love to hear from you what your cold weather favorites are. Is it warm beverages, cider and donuts, soups or casseroles? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to discover something new to me.

Ciao’ for now,

Kim Cherie

#septemberwritngchallenge

#day10

I want to get better at…..

7 Sep

Public speaking and enunciation of my words. I want to become a great speaker while interacting one on one and in front of large groups of people. Speaking with authority and articulating my thoughts without getting nervous and tongue tied is like my current obsession.  I already know that I can do this because I have done it before. Hey, I do it now… but, I do it in comfortable spaces. Where there is no need to be afraid. The problem is being confident in unknown places and company, such as online, on camera, in front of large groups of people I might want to show how to bake a three layer cake without fail or, just with one person I want to get to know better or I want them to know me. Also, I want to enunciate my words better when talking. I don’t mumble or anything like that, but when I hear people speaking clear and sharp I pay more attention. That’s the effect I want on my listeners.

Frankly, I get nervous and tongue tied all the time. I am mostly an introvert I think. I say hello to everyone I see but, I don’t usually engage in a full conversation until I feel them out for a bit. The funny thing is, in my imagination I am a social butterfly and I engage with everyone and can talk about anything and everything. I can actually visualize it. This is what tells me that my selective semi-mutism doesn’t have to be. I just have to snap out of it. And, by that I mean PRACTICE. It’s going to take practice and patience to get to the place where I’m comfortable walking up to an unknown person and starting a conversation even if it’s just small talk. Big things start out small.

In just a few weeks I hope to begin developing my speaking skills and my confidence by joining a group of like minded people who have the desire to do the same. I am excited and nervous to get out there and push past the fear.

Until tomorrow,

Kim Cherie

#Septemberwritingchallenge

day7

My Grocery Shopping Routine… Yes I really do have one!

6 Sep

Actually, it is more like a plan of action. And, it’s usually planned out weekly; mostly on payday when I see how much money I do not have. This is something I have been doing for several years now and has become somewhat of a game to me.

Well first let me preface this post by stating that I enjoy the grocery store probably more than anyone I know. Even though I know where every item is (even the ones I don’t buy) in my favorite store, I still push a grocery cart up and down every aisle to see what is new in grocery food.  My only exception to that rule is probably the frozen isle because, I don’t buy a lot of frozen foods. In addition to knowing exactly where the food items I wish to buy are located. I also know the regular retail price of it (Disclaimer: this is only in my usual choice grocery store).  And that’s where the fun part comes in…..

Every week after I decide how the money will be spent for life bills; I see how much money is left for food and other essential living items. From that left over money, I create a weekly menu that can feed my family for the next 7 days. Even though I get paid bi-weekly now, the weekly thing still works for me because I can only plan for food for the week. My taste buds and cravings cannot be planned out 2 weeks in advance. (REAL LIFE FOODIE HERE!!).. After planning the weekly menu, I make the grocery list based off the menu I have created. Everything on the list will be used to make meals and eat this week. Not next week or next month… Just this week. This is so you only spend what money you have for groceries. As you write your list, write down how much each item cost at regular price.. Add it all up. This is how much you will probably spend at the store unless something is on sale. Which is totally awesome when you can get food on sale!!! Once your grocery list is made, go to through your cabinets, pantry and, refrigerator and freezer to see what you already have on hand. (If you’re the only cook in your household you may already know what’s on hand and can skip the pantry check because, you already know what you have.) What can you cross off of your list? That’s money you don’t have to spend at the grocer. Yay! That’s money you can put in a piggy bank or buy yourself a small treat for staying with your list! Once you are all done shopping and in that check out line, pull those coupons out if you have them. You’re doing great! Watch the cashier ring up your items and see if the prices match your prices you have wrote down already. Does her grand total match your grand total.. Did you get away spending less than YOU have wrote down on you grocery list? If so, YOU WON THE GROCERY GAMES!!! 🙂

Yes, I get excited about things like this. It’s the little things that count. But winning at my grocery budget is totally a big thing with me… Mostly because I spend soooo much money on food and I have to reel myself in when it comes to groceries and/or going on a food adventure.

So, to recap:

  1. Decide how much $ you want to spend on groceries this week. Create your menu for the next 7 days.
  2. Draft a grocery list. Write down the regular retail price also.
  3. Check your cabinets, pantry,  refrigerator and, freezer for items already on hand.
  4. Get shopping! If you have coupons use them!! Bonus points if your items are on sale!
  5. Lastly, go check out…. hopefully with good knowledge of food costs and your grocer you can spend as much cash as you have allotted or less. And, that’s how you win at the Grocery Games!!!

Hmmm, maybe I should’ve title today’s post: Grocery Games. LOL.

Goodnight….

#Septemberwritingchallenge

day6

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