Holiday Food Shopping. Black Friday? Ummm No Thanks!

Somehow this just doesn’t scream out “Good Times!” to me. Insanity! That’s what Black Friday is.  At least to me.  Some people camp out (literally) for days in front of stores before Black Friday even starts. For what? To boast they saved a few bucks on a big-ticket item, or make the six o’clock news of their hometown.

For some people it’s an Olympic event, for others it’s a family tradition. To each his own.  More power to you.  I want no part of it.

Although, I did contemplate on going out for a few hours snapping photos and filming some events from Black Friday, but who was I kidding? My behind was sleeping in today.  How could I resist the warmth and comfyness of my couch and glow of my Christmas tree as I fell asleep on it (the couch not the tree) last night watching Holiday movies? It’s a tradition of mine. More so now, since I live out-of-state and often spend Thanksgiving alone.

I digressed…

Anyway, I imagined in my mind that I’d go out with my camera, lurking incognito in a fashionable hat and sunglasses just waiting for the right moment to snap a photo or turn on my Palm Pre video.  Maybe I’d catch two ladies (whom would otherwise be respectable courteous shoppers on any other given day) fighting over the last Wii. Hair pulling and scratching their way through a cat-fight to give their child the most-wanted gift on their list.  Nothing screams Black Friday like coming home with the gift of your child’s dreams and a black eye.  Hey, maybe that’s where the word “Black” originated from!?

I couldn’t even handle the crowdedness of Publix (super market) two days before Thanksgiving.  Why does everyone have to be a last-minute food shopper like myself?  I had cart rage.  I had a good mind to run a few people over with my cart who were so rudely blocking the already narrow isles with their shopping carts haphazardly parked, while they chatted with a friend they ran into. Thank heavens they were at least passing out wine samples, which made it somewhat more bearable.

The isles narrow enough as it is, now had holiday displays set up, taking up even more precious cart space for passing.  I mean, I thought I saw sparks fly off the carts as two people passed each other in opposite directions.  And I live in Florida…the retirement capital of the world!  Publix+Senior Citizens=slow and miserable shopping experience! Sorry, I know that’s going to be me someday, but for now, I just need you to get the hell out of my way!

It got so bad I had to park my cart in a little corner of the produce section and run around and retrieve items to bring back to my cart.  I got so disoriented in the mass chaos that I almost stole some other lady’s cart thinking it was mine.

Could you imagine if you did that to someone on Black Friday?  You’d probably be carried out of the store on a stretcher.  Although, it’d be fun to purposely do it and see people freak the eff out!

Look, I like the holidays just as much as the next person, and I’m not above taking some little old lady out to save a few bucks on a scarf that I thought was really cute. But with my impatience and crowd/cart rage, I think it’s best I stay home and find other things to do. Like blog about Black Friday.

Where did Black Friday get its name anyway?

Everyone Has To Start Somewhere

I’m bored with blogging.  Don’t get me wrong I still have a great time doing it, but I need to spice it up a bit.  There are so many other blogs out there with a purpose in the blogsophere and one has to keep up with the bloggers so to speak.  Me, I’m all over the map.  I never know where I’m going to start or end up with one of my blog posts.

So to confuse you even more, I’m going to start Vlogging. Don’t be scared, cuz I was nervous enough for the both of us when I filmed it.  I started out with my Casio video camera which came out great, (the video), me…not so much, but then I realized a dinosaur laptop that my boyfriend restored for me (because my 3-year-old laptop decided to break) didn’t take the camera card. I had to use my Smartphone video, which was essentially easier because I uploaded it right to Youtube in a snap.

I won’t make you wait any longer…hahahahhaha but it you’re like me you don’t always read the blog and get right to the good stuff.  I’m officially posting my first Vlog.  Enjoy.

YouTube Preview Image

Hahahahaha I know what you’re thinking…more more, we want more!  Don’t worry there will be more where that came from. Crossing my fingers that Santa is going to bring me what I want so I can edit like a pro, add music, and annoy the hell out of my viewers (lol my whole 10).  I appreciate you all by the way :)   Sorry for the attack of the camera.  It’s quite the assault on the eyes and ears.  I’ll try to improve my editing skills on my Palm Pre as well, until I have a better operating camera system.

1.) What are you asking Santa for this Christmas?

2.) Do you Vlog?

3.) Do you have any tips for this new Vlogger?  Don’t hold back ;)

Beefy Crockpot Chili Recipe

With the holidays swiftly on our heels, who has time to cook with all the extra holiday errands in addition to our usual daily routines?  I’m quickly becoming the Queen of Crock-pot meals.  I’m all about one dish meals and saving time and money. I been experimenting a lot lately with my slow cooker, cuz let’s face it, I’m lazy and don’t like to spend more time in the kitchen than I have too. I’ve been having a craving for Chili.  I haven’t made it in years (which is weird because I love it) and wanted some comfort food yesterday and decided to make a pot.  This recipe is both inexpensive and feeds 6 to 8 people. Or if you’re only feeding a few people freeze left overs and have a meal for another day.

This is a combination of my chili recipe and Bobby Flay’s Red Beef Chili recipe.

What you will need

1. A pound of beef tips and pound of ground beef

2. One can of cannellini beans

3. One can of red kidney beans

4. One large can of Hunt’s Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce (trust me it’s delish)

(*Addendum: Please see #5- I now make a copycat version of Manwich- I add these extra spices to my tomato sauce in a separate pan on stove. 1 tablespoon ketchup, 3 teaspoons onion powder, 2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow or green sweet pepper, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon celery seed, 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 2 teaspoons mustard powder.

5. Two cans of crushed OR diced tomatoes (*addendum I now try to steer clear of canned process food as much as possible and I’m not big about the FDA allowing PBA added to my food are you?  I now use all natural Pomi tomatoes which comes in a box carton.  I also switched it up to one 26 oz  strained tomatoes and one 26 oz. chopped tomatoes )

6. *Seed and finely chop all your peppers. Wear plastic gloves and make sure to wash your hands frequently.* One small dried Thai bird chili which is extremely HOT! One small red chile pepper, one medium poblano pepper, and 2 teaspoon of chopped jalapeño.

7.  One medium purple/red onion

8.  2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

9. 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

10. Chile powders- 1 tablespoon casabel chile powder, 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper powder, 1 tablespoon pasilla chile powder, 1 teaspoon Mexican chile powder

11. 1 tablespoon Cumin

12. One 12 oz bottle dark beer

13. 2 cups chicken stock

14. 2 tablespoon maple syrup

15. 2-3 tablespoon semi sweet chocolate chips

16. Sharp cheddar cheese for garnish

17. 1/2 cup flour to coat beef tips, sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Mix with fork coat beef tips. ( I usually mix mine up in a plasticware with a lid and throw beef tips in and shake baby shake!)

18. Honey Cornbread Recipe

This recipe is well suited for a larger crockpot. If you don’t have one a large pot on the stove will do just fine. Coat frying pan with 2 tablespoons EVOO  and heat oil on medium heat. Coat beef tips in flour mixture and fry off tips. Scoop out and set aside in crockpot. *Crockpot should be OFF at this point. In same frying pan salt and pepper and brown ground beef. Strain and set aside in crockpot with beef tips.

If using Hunt’s Manwich sauce pour 3/4 of can into large sauce pan over medium heat, along with a two cans of crushed or diced tomatoes. If you are using the copy cat recipe. Refer to #5 above. Add chicken stock. Seed and finely chop hot peppers and add as much or as little as desired. Add diced purple/red onion. Add finely chopped cloves of garlic.  Add about 8 oz of dark beer and cook on medium high heat while stirring frequently until it begins to boil reduce heat, simmer for about 20 minutes.

Place crockpot on high heat. Pour sauce mixture over ground beef and tips. Strain and add kidney and cannelloni beans.  Stir.  Add all your chili powders, and cumin. Cook on high for at least 2 to 3 hours.

Add maple syrup and chocolate chips then reduce heat to low and simmer for another 2 hours or until beef tips are tender.    If you’re going to cook it all day while at work then cook on low and add your maple syrup and chocolate chips when you get home.

When ready to eat make honey cornbread.  This is the best homemade cornbread I have ever eaten!!! It comes from Down Home with the Neelys.  I always add extra honey. Serve chili in your cutest chili bowls and garnish with sharp cheddar cheese.  It’s so yummy! Comfort food at it’s best.  And who doesn’t love soppin’ up the chili with some sweet honey cornbread?

 

Want To Win An Old El Paso Family Taco Night Kit?

Want to win this cool Taco Dinner Kit?  Check out Girl From The Ghetto’s Blog Old El Paso Family Taco Night

I do.  In fact, I want to win it so bad I’m almost hesitant to share it with everyone else.  Who doesn’t love to win free awesome gifts?  I’m a sucker for crazy dinner dishes.  I really want to win this, so that means I have to share the offer with the rest of you in order to get all my entries in.  Who doesn’t love Family Taco Night?  If I win this I’m totally giving you all my recipe for awesome dinner tacos(easy and delish), sporting my food in the FREE Taco dishes.  Good luck and Happy Family Taco Nighting to you all.

Halloween 2010

  This Halloween season was awesome.  I hated to see it go.  Now that my kiddos are older and live out-of-state,  I really miss doing the Halloween activities I used to do with them.  So in order for me to continue my Halloween traditions I needed to find a substitute to join in the fun with me.

Enter boyfriend…TZ.  He was such a good sport. He never even complained when I baked my annual sugar cut-out cookies with homemade icing  and hand delivered them in a Spooktackular Booquet. 

 I even decided to whip up another batch to share with my co-workers. 

 I told my boyfriend that I didn’t want to deal with picking out a costume this year. It was much too stressful and I’d rather just stay in this year.  He warned me “We’re not going out to find costumes at the last-minute like last year if you change your mind.”  

Well guess who changed their mind at the last-minute?  Hehe.  How is one to enjoy the Halloween season without joining the other last-minute Halloween shoppers and costume procrastinators? The look on my boyfriend’s face was priceless as he stood in the long lines glaring at me. He’s such a trooper. 

I decided I was going to be Katy Perry and wanted to dress as her making fun of the whole Sesame Street and Elmo debacle on SNL.     But I couldn’t find an Elmo T-shirt at the last-minute so I had to make it work somehow. I bought some props like a guitar, heart-shaped sunglasses, an Elmo doll, and stumbled upon  found a cute T-shirt at Wal*Mart that said “I kissed a ghoul and I liked it.” and donned it all to make my outfit come together.

  TZ decided to go as the seven-teen year old “Miami Cat Killer”   He strung some cats together and tied them around his waist.  There was this one cute kitty that he bought that I wouldn’t let him desecrate with fake blood or mutilate with a prop knife.   When his costume was together I couldn’t stop laughing.  He had nailed it! Literally! 

The white kitty actually purrs, walks, meows, and grooms its paws.  I’m keeping it for myself.    Since I wouldn’t let him harm the kitty he hand-cuffed the neck to his wrist and whenever he would take a drink it meowed.  People loved it. Okay, I LOVED it!

We headed down to 2nd Street in downtown Fort Lauderdale where they close off the street and people go nuts. It’s always a good time to view everyone’s costumes.  I was stoked.  Not one person had our costumes.   Here were a couple of my favorites.   Love SNL and Wayne’s World!  This couple was spot on!  Someone forgot to tell this dude to “Save a horse and ride a cowboy!”

This probably is not a good night to be wearing a costume that doesn’t have easy access for the can.  Why is the women’s line to the head always so long?  Us girls can have a good time no matter what we are doing.  Btw…here was the Men’s Restroom line   Doesn’t seem fair does it?

After hitting a few more places before we knew it the night had come to an end and we hadn’t even had dinner. Luckily one of my favorite local pizza spots was open and we stopped in at   am for some

Come Halloween day we still had our uncarved pumpkins that I’d bought for us a week before.  We decided we would carve them out for the whole seven trick-or-treaters we had.   TZ had to even show me up with his fancy schmancy carving of the stem on his pumpkin. 

Yep, I sure hate to see this Halloween season go.  TZ was such a great sport throughout all the events too.  Bring on the Holidays!

1.) What did your Halloween festivities consist of?

2.) Did you blog about it? (even if it was late, like mine) Leave us your link so we can all read about it.

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