Ranch Water aka Easy Margarita

Ok, so maybe it’s not a true margarita but sure is tasty and easy to make!

The pictures are from when I made a small taco bar for Mark and I. He had one small taco. I had a taco bowl with cauliflower rice and a few Ranch Waters.

*food waste lately is awful around here with. Ark not eating much at all … plus some days I feel like a short order cook but then I pinch myself and think how thankful I am to be able to feed him when he is ready to eat*

So anyway. Back to the cocktail of the month. If you love margaritas but hate the calories and sugar in the premodern aka easy mix stuff, you need to give this a whirl!

Super simple … my only issue is the last 2 times I’ve not been able ton find the mineral water …

1 bottle Topo Chico Lime sparkling mineral water (12 oz)

6 oz good tequila

Juice of 1 lime (or lime lime juice)

Lime slices

I cheated and wanted to see how I could use this as a pantry type (snowed in/quarantine/etc) cocktail so opted to use the lime juice and it was perfect and beats squeezing limes!

Ok, ready? Grab a large picture, dump in all the ingredients. Taste and add more lime juice if desired. I liked it with a lot, personally.

Fill up a couple of tall glasses with ice and serve up.

Yes, you can do a salt rim. I did it both ways and well, I like salt but don’t think this is a requirement, especially if you are going with a ‘skinny margarita’

Enjoy and make sure you drink responsibly!

Jan and Mark Lipinski are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Watermelon Lime Cocktails

It’s been a long time and I am ready to get back in the groove of things!

We went from one hotspot (south Florida) to another (Houston) this past week. We landed at 5pm on Wednesday and sitting in the #tinycondo by 7pm on Friday. In and out of MD Anderson. Blood work, scans, trial board and lead oncologist all done. I’ll share the results with another post!

So. It’s summertime. And this is like no other summer …. 2020 will go down in the history books for so many reasons! One of those is the amount of watermelons we’ve been using around the #tinycondo! Mark likes to eat it during g the week of chemo and I think it’s a good, easily digestible food for him so I’ve been buying a whole watermelon every 2 weeks. *check out the easiest way to deconstruct a watermelon!*

Sometimes we have leftovers that are getting a little too ripe and those get frozen. This time, however, I processed it a little to make this yummy drink!

Ready? Let’s do it!

2 cups of watermelon, cubed

1 Tbshoney

1 oz fresh lime juice (one lime)

3/4 simple syrup – mix 3/4 cup water and 3/4 cup sugar in saucepan, heat til sugar dissolves and chill

4 oz vodka

2 oz fresh lime juice (2 limes)

12 mint leaves, torn up

Watermelon sparkling water OR boring club soda

Add watermelon, honey and 1 oz lime juice to blender and run til smooth. Toss this mixture in some ice cube trays and freeze at least 2 hours

To make the yummy cocktails, mix vodka, 2 oz lime juice, mint leaves and 2 oz of simple syrup in container filled with ice. Top with sparkling water or club soda. Stir

Grab 2 highball glasses (tall, narrow) and add 3 to 4 cubes of watermelon in each and pour cocktail mixture over the top. These are best if you let them sit for 5 minutes to let the cubes melt a bit. Add a a straw and sprig of mint if desired, make a toast to summer and enjoy!

As always, remember to drink responsibly. Since we are semi locked down and no longer allowed to have house parties, I can drink as many of these as I’d like 😉

#watermelon #cocktails #summer2020 #vodka

Jan and Mark Lipinski are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Cinnamon Rolls – a Christmas Tradition

The recipe originally comes from The Pioneer Woman … I was making them every year for about 5 years … of course, I had to count on my fingers and remember key events to get to that number of years … really, FOUR YEARS??  It’s been about another FOUR years since I’ve last made them and well, time to bring out the old recipe AND old pictures! Here you go with an old post from the other blog with a little update at the very end …

cinnamon roll iced

They aren’t hard to make either … I mean heck, if the Pioneer Woman is making them … you know that they are GOOD and EASIER than most recipes … gotta love that about anything!

cinnamon rolls cooked.jpg

I started making these on Christmas Eve one year, and it just became something that everyone expected … and since I love that people LOVE when I make something for them, I’m always happy to bring out the flour and hop to the baking …

cinnamon dough on counter

I still have a HECK of a time getting rolled tight, but probably because I really really load them up with the filling. Which is what makes them so good, I think.

cinnamon roll filling.jpg

I also use brown sugar instead of white … so there’s my one noticeable difference in the recipe…give yourself 2 days to make these as you can toss the dough in the fridge overnight and roll and bake the morning of.

Cinnamon Buns … my version:

2 cups of milk (I use 2%)

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup of white sugar

1 pkg yeast

4 cups plus 1/2 cup of all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder (make this heaping)

1/2 tsp baking soda (make this ‘scant’)

1/2 tbs salt (heaping)

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

cinnamon

Ready? Get yourself a big pot and add the milk, oil, sugar. Give it a quick whisk and scald the milk … this is just BEFORE it starts boiling. Make sure the pot is big because it will bubble like mad AND you are going to mix the flour in too.

cinnamon roll spoon trick.jpg

Once it is scalding go ahead and remove from the heat and let it sit for an hour or so til it cools down some (lukewarm to warm but NOT hot).

Sprinkle the yeast over top of and let that sit for a minute while it does it’s foamy action.

Add in your 4 cups of flour. It’s going to be a wet soggy mess, but that’s ok. Put a lid on it and let it rest for an hour on your countertop.

Add the 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder and baking soda AND the salt. Stir together. At this time, I would recommend you put in the fridge. It may grow overnight, just punch it down and tell it who’s the boss. Personally, I would highly recommend you do the overnight thing. The dough will become much more manageable once it’s cool like that. OR you can proceed to finishing them NOW.

::next morning::

Hello and good morning my baby

(ummm, surely you talk to your food when excited?).

Sprinkle your countertop surface with some flour. Dump the dough out in the middle of all the flour and roll out into a rectangle (now, mind you, it does not need to be perfect).

cinnamon roll rollout.jpg

Take your soft butter and rub it over the surface of the dough. Um, yes, I do use my hands because it’s quicker and easier… then sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter and then the cinnamon. I don’t measure the cinnamon, I just eyeball it, but I’m pretty generous with it.

Roll the rectangle up. I have no easy recommendations on this, except if you have a bench scraper, use that to assist you where the dough might stick a little. I still struggle with a TIGHT roll, but it’s sufficient.

Once rolled, pinch the seam as much as you can. Cut into 1 inch sections (using the bench scraper, knife, non-waxed floss, etc.).

Place these is a dish that you’ve sprayed with non stick spray. *For gift giving, I highly recommend picking up those little disposable pie tins!

Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees til light brown, 15 to 18 minutes.

Pull out, and top with glaze. I’ve made it with powdered sugar and milk with a pinch of vanilla. But I prefer to use canned cream cheese frosting that I’ve diluted (to make pourable) with milk. I just dump the frosting in a bowl, add a little milk, whisk, add more milk (a little), whisk until it’s runny enough.

Enjoy!

*This makes a TON of cinnamon rolls and you can easily cut the recipe in half! If you don’t want a bunch of sweets taunting you this year, by all means, halve the recipe!

cinnamon roll eat

*The last time I made these, I was an emotional, hot mess as my neighbor had requested them after she had gone through some chemotherapy … it took her all day to eat one but she ate it and called me to bring another for the following day. I’m hoping these put Mark and the kids all in a happy place. I’m also sharing with my NEW neighbors to open the door for friendship!

#FoodGifts  #ChristmasTraditions  #CinnamonRolls

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties … go check them out!

Jan and Mark Lipinski are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

Awesome Onion Dip

This is a super yummy and easy to make appetizer for all those upcoming holiday parties …

FYI … THIS IS VERY ADDICTIVE AND YOU WILL WISH YOU HAD MADE A DOUBLE BATCH!

 

It’s been a looooong time since I made this as we were making it every weekend and both Hubby and I decided that it was a little too indulgent to make “just because it’s Saturday!” BUT now the Boat Parade Party is coming up and well, we are attending as GUEST, what better time than that to make this again! Yippee!! Continue reading “Awesome Onion Dip”

Christmas Crack Candy

Looking for a easy and frugal holiday treat? This is it!

I’m sure everyone has seen this recipe out there … but when one of the attorney’s gave me the recipe to try last year, I decided to do it.  Because, hey, we had that boat parade party and I was trying to do it within the budget that year.

Christmas Crack Candy
Christmas Crack Candy

So I made it with modifications.

OF COURSE

Continue reading “Christmas Crack Candy”

Gold Chicken Wings – Slow Cooked

These are the BEST! The very very BEST!

Gold Wings Ready to Eat

They are NOT fried. And are only baked at the end to crisp up …

Bring out the crock pot baby!

cooked in crockpot.jpg

I know I constantly talk about the temporary housing …

old dark kitchen.jpg

THIS is what I have to work with … and then I have this thing staring at me as well:

creepy pig head on wall.jpgWhich is WHY you are seeing a few more crock pot / slow cooker recipes lately …

Ok, so these wings? I got the recipe over at MadeItAteItLovedIt … and you really need to go check her site out, ok?

2 pounds of chicken wings that have been split. I used some from my 10 pound bag I bought from Costco eons ago and are taking up a big chunk of that damn chest freezer

1 cup of mustard based bbq sauce. I used Trader Joe’s Carolina Gold … *mustard base is NOT sweet so it needs to be this type!

Trader Joe's Gold  bbq sauce.jpg

1 tbs of hot sauce, give or take a few extra shakes depending on how hot you like it! I used the Tessemaes Buffalo Sauce because I can’t find my Aldi knock off of Franks (still unpacking folks)

Salt and pepper

Ready?

Toss the wings in the crockpot.  Measure out your bbq sauce and add the hot sauce to that. Mix it up.

Pour it over the chicken wings.

Put the lid on and set it to 6 hours on low.  Ok, so truth be told, I cooked mine for a few hours on high and then knocked it down to low because I got distracted that morning by a girlfriend who came by …

sauced and ready to roast.jpg

Once cooked, lay the wings out on a baking tray, preferably lined with parchment paper to reduce your clean up headache and either bake at 400 degrees or broil til crispy and golden brown. *The oven we have here in the temporary house does NOT have a broiler. What? No freezer?? No broiler?? Hence, I baked for 5 minutes, flipped and baked again. Yummy results!

Parchment paper saves the day.jpg
Parchment Paper Saves The Day!

Serve up with some celery sticks and blue cheese or ranch dressing. Or just skip that fancy stuff and dig right in!

Wings Baby!.jpg

Enjoy!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties … go check them out!

Jan and Mark Lipinski are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Awesome Italian Potatoes

Here’s a super quick, awesome side dish to add to your next summertime Sunday Dinner at the grill!

Ok, let’s get one thing straight … these are NOT Italian Potatoes in the sense that anyone Italian grandmother would be making for Sunday dinner.

Italian Roasted Potatoes.jpg

There. I put it out there …

They are, however, an awesome, easy side dish to make if you are grilling for a Sunday dinner.

on the grill cooking.jpg

So there. I put that out there as well!

Continue reading “Awesome Italian Potatoes”

Watermelon with Mint – Whole30/Paleo

A great dish to take to any and all of your summertime parties!

I shared how to Deconstruct a Watermelon the other day and now I’m going to share with you what to do with those leftovers! Well, hopefully, you’ll have some leftover … you might need to start walking around with a flyswatter like my grandmother did 😉  In the event that you all ate the watermelon, just buy another one and cut it up again, they are inexpensive and so in season right now!

watrmlon and mint.jpg

This is great to take to a grown up party … it’s a little more elegant than just a bowl of watermelon cubes, you know?

Oh. And it’s E A S Y.

Of course it is!

All you need is some cut up watermelon

fresh mint

half a lemon

Himalayan (Pink) salt

mint.jpg

Grab yourself a nice little tray and toss your watermelon on the tray. Spread out to a somewhat even layer.

Squeeze the lemon juice over the melon.

Lightly salt the melon.

Chop up your mint and sprinkle that over the watermelon.

Stick a few toothpicks in a few pieces and call it a day!

upclose watermelon.jpg

Enjoy!

#Paleo         #Whole30

#Watermelon  #Summertime   #Entertaining

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties … go check them out!

Jan and Mark Lipinski are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Deconstruct a Watermelon

The fastest way to cut up a watermelon in to perfect cubes!

Are you all in high gear for summer?  It’s been crazy hot everywhere! Mark is up on NW Indiana and the heat index was around 106 degrees! Holy Cow, that’s hot for that area!

watermelon done.jpg

I’ve been buying watermelon fairly often lately as it’s a great thing to keep Mark hydrated on those treatment weeks. Sadly, he doesn’t tolerate cold foods really well for about 5 days so I need to time it just right. But come the weekend, he’s all over it!

Continue reading “Deconstruct a Watermelon”

Corn and Black Bean Salad

I don’t eat black beans and corn a whole lot anymore … it doesn’t fall within my food guidelines, but once in a while I will eat some (which yummm) but then, generally, I feel the effects the following day.

The Boy and Hubby, and the majority of my friends, however, DO eat corn and black beans, so heck, summertime is here and THIS is the perfect BBQ/Pool Party dish to be making!

yummy.jpg

Continue reading “Corn and Black Bean Salad”