Thursday, December 20, 2012

#26 DZP: Cook a Prime Rib Roast

#26 DZP: Cook a Prime Rib Roast
Now this was originally the Mr's recipe he wanted to do. So he did buy the roast and he butchered it, but he had to work late and I really didn't want this roast to go to waste. So he helped me (more like coached me) and I cooked it!
Using Iron Chef Michael Symon's recipe we read in our Food Network magazine, I was able to cook it and it was great! The house smelled amazing and not going to lie: I was super pleased with myself!
Prime Rib
Recipe Adapted from Michael Symon from Food Network
(Note: Total time is 4 hours, not including overnight refrigeration)
  • 1 4-bone prime rib, bones and excess fat removed and reserved
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled, smashed
  • 4 ounces arugula (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
  1. Liberally season the prime rib with the salt and some pepper and refrigerate overnight.
  2. An hour before cooking, remove the roast from the refrigerator to allow it to come to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Put the reserved ribs in a roasting pan bowed-side up (the ribs will be acting as the roasting rack). Scatter any fat and meat trimmings in the pan around the bones. Roast the bones and trimmings for about 30 minutes, or until the fat starts to render.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, put the rosemary sprigs on top of the bones, then top with the prime rib. Put the smashed garlic in the bottom of the pan with the trimmings. Baste the beef with the fat drippings and return the pan to the oven.
  6. Cook for 30 minutes and then baste the roast again.
  7. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and cook until the meat is medium rare (an internal temperature of 125 degrees F to 130 degrees F), about 1 hour, 15 minutes, basting the roast every 30 minutes until it is done. Keep in mind that the roast will continue to cook while resting.
  8. Remove the roast from the oven and put it on a cutting board to rest, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Slice the prime rib to the desired thickness and garnish with the arugula and olive oil.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

#5 DZP: Transform a recipe to your own - Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies

Who doesn't love a soft, melt-in-your-mouth cookie? Really, who doesn't?!

Last week I found a Paula Deen recipe called Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies. It was an awesome cookie all around. Easy to bake and definitely easy to eat. Because of the ingredients, it's like eating cake, but so very much a cookie.

So why not try LEMON! Oh Ya!

Note: the picture is not my proudest one, but they flew out the door like hot cakes, so I had to stop a coworker so I can at least take a snap shot!

Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies
Recipe Slighty Adapted from Paula Deen


  • ½ cups Butter (1 Stick), Softened/Room Temp
  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, Softened/Room Temp
  • 1 whole Large Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Extract (or Juice from 1 Large Lemon)
  • 1 whole Large Lemon, Zest Grated
  • 1 package (18.25 Oz. Size) Lemonade Flavor Cake Mix
  • Granulated Sugar, For Rolling
  • Confectioners Sugar, For Dusting

  • Directions:

    1. Mix the cream cheese and butter until mixture is smooth. Beat in the egg, lemon extract/juice and lemon zest until combined. Add the cake mix and beat just until mixed.
    2. The dough is too sticky to roll into balls, so cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours.
    3. Preheat the oven to 350 F.While that's warming up, take out covered bowl from refrigerator.
    4. Place some granulated sugar into a separate bowl or plate. Scoop out dough into 1-inch to 1 1/4-inch balls. Drop each dough ball into a plate of granulated sugar and roll it in the sugar to coat completely.  
    5. Place the dough balls 2″ apart on ungreased/parchment paper covered cookie sheets; flatten slightly. Bake at 350 F for 12 minutes. DO NOT overbake. Take the cookies out of the oven when they look a little underdone.
    6. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes, then remove them from the pans to wire racks and cool completely.  
    7. *Optional* Dust with confectioners sugar
    Store the cookies in an airtight container. Makes about 2 1/2-3 dozen.

    Friday, December 14, 2012

    #22 DZP: Eat my first Macaron!

    #22 DZP: Eat my first French Macaron!

    It was my Mom's birthday on December 5th. But she was on "expedition adventure" down at Antarctica. But we waited for her return to carry on our tradition of enjoy birthday dinner at the Melting Pot, just us two! (since 2008!)

    Just before we went in, I remembered a small, adorable bakery that's just a little walk from the restaurant. We had time so we popped in to see what Merely Sweets had.

    I knew they had macarons and cupcakes, but I wasn't expecting the number of flavors! Needless to say, my Mother and I took a dozen and I believe we got every flavor:

    They're light, sweet, and really delicious! I'll have to control myself because I could eat them all right now. I split them with my Mom: birthday treat for her & goal complete for me! YAY!

    I will spare everyone a picture of me eating (& throughly enjoying) a macaron. No need for that!

    Now I don't know if you've seen the Macaron Trees online or through Pinterest, but they look amazing. And at Merely's they have a tree guide for their customers:

    Shout out to Merely Sweets! They were BOMB!

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

    Thirsty Thursday: Red Melon

    OK! Magazine's Drink of the Week: RED MELON!

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

    Good Karma is In

    I love feel-good Karma stories.
    I'd like to share my Karma story.
    It just happened recently. Like an hour ago.
    I was shopping at Target (yes, I'm obsessed) and when I was returning to my car, an older woman came up to me telling me her story of her daughter going into labor, she had no money for gas to get to the hospital and if I could spare any change.
    I'm not one to give money... I'm not proud of that either. I hardly carry cash though. Today I actually got $5 from a coworker to get her a Starbucks drink (yes, we're obsessed). But something in me dug in my back pocket and pulled out what cash I had. Call it the Christmas spirit, or the fact that I really wanted this lady to try to get to her daughter, but I'll have you know that woman is $5 richer. It's not much but it's what I had.
    It wasn't a big deal to me, but I'm glad she had a brief smile on her face as I returned to my car.
    Skip some time and I'm shopping online for PJ's at Victoria's Secret. A couple months ago I received one of their Secret Rewards cards, and I actually remembered to use it this time! For those cards you can have a chance to have $10, $50, $100, or $500 off your next purchase at VSecret. So as I'm checking out online, I typed in my card code & pin, and what-do-you-know: I got $100 bucks off! I'm beyond stoked!
    I feel extremely lucky, but more importantly: Blessed. It makes me think how many people I see begging for money or food. It makes me think twice if I could really help them. It makes me think how much I have, and how much I can give to others in need. Let's just say the Christmas spirit is all around... and should stick around all year.

    Karma was good to me, and I'll try not to disappoint her anymore.

    #98 DZP A-Z Movies

    #98 DZP: Watch 26 movies I've never seen starting with each letter of the Alphabet
    I did it, I finally finished. I don't watch movies all the time (Ryan won't sit through them and some he just should NOT watch) but I finally finished this goal. Some are old and some opened this year, but I did it. Done.
    A - Avatar
    B - the Blind Side
    C - Cleaner
    D - the Day After Tomorow
    E - Eclipse
    F - the Fighter
    G - Get Him to the Greek
    H - He's Just Not That Into You
    I - Inception
    J - Julia & Julie
    K - Knight & Day
    L - the Last Song
    M - My Sister's Keeper
    N - No Strings Attached
    O - Old Dogs
    P - the Proposal
    Q - Quantum of Solace
    R - Reel Steel
    S - Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
    T - the Town
    U - the Ugly Truth
    V - the Vow
    W - WALL-E
    X - XXX (Triple X)
    Y - Yes Man
    Z - Zookeeper

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

    S'mores Bars

    These just look so good to eat all in one seating!

    S'mores Bars
    Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

    Prep Time: 20 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
    Yield: 18 Servings

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each)
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme

    1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Set aside 1/2 cup for topping.
    2. Press remaining mixture into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Place candy bars over crust; spread with marshmallow creme. Crumble remaining graham cracker mixture over top.
    3. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.
    Nutritional Facts: 1 bar equals 213 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 28 mg cholesterol, 114 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat.

    Friday, December 7, 2012

    Friday Finds: Fun Bandages!

     These are WAY cooler than regular brown/clear bandages. You're not going to find these babies in the drug store... Nope! I found all these at Urban Outfitters. Adult versions, but don't worry... I still rock my Hello Kitty bandages. And actually Miss Erin got me the Sh*t Happens bandages!
    So go out there, stub a toe, and blame it on your ninja fight!

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

    #32 DZP: Complete the 10 iPhone Photo Challenge

    #32 DZP Goal: Complete the 10 iPhone Photo Challenge
    Back on the last post on my Pinterest find: A Beautiful Mess, I want to attempt to complete the 10 iPhone Photo Challenge, & I'm happy to say I was successful! Let's have a look shall we...
    1. Use a blur effect
    I know it's hard to see, but I used the blur-circle tool on Instagram to help with this one.
    PS: Ryan loves nanas.
    2. Play with sun flares
    While babysitting Ryan & his new cousin Austin, we played outside on a beautiful morning, and the sun was perfect for a quick sun-flare-pic!
    3. Use two filters to create a unique style of editing
    I love hanging out with Ryan before "nite-nite" time.
    I used "twinkle" & (I think) "Melissa" filters off the Pixlromatic App.
    4. Use a timer for a self portrait
    I was cleaning that massive pot behind me after Ryan's Baptism party, and I was a dumb-butt and didn't think about all the soot from the bottom of the pot... then I touched the other hand... then I wiped my eye/face... and this is what I ended up with!
    So I took the opportunity to take my self portrait, using the timer on the Camera+ App!
    5. Take on the challenge of taking 10 photos throughout the day
    I only remember that it was a Tuesday, but which one, no clue. My bad.
    Lots of Starbucks, Ryan, colorguard, traffic, and cold weather.
    6. Try taking a silhouette
    Funny story: I could hardly ever get the right lighting for this, so it was fairly difficult to do.
    Oh but this picture is the closest I got, and it was taken in (drum-roll-please)
    ....the office women's bathroom! Yes! I did!
    Then I took the picture through the Camera+ App and "Darken" the picture a little bit more.
    7. Create a filter with your sunglasses
    Left picture is with my Coach glasses, and the Right picture is without.
    Not a huge difference, but noticable.
     8. Add fonts to your photo.
    I've heard that it's usually "No-Pants-Friday", but this particular day was "Track-Suit-Friday"!!
    It was raining, and too cold to run around with no pants, so I decided track suit it is!
    For the font I used the Phonto App.
    9. Make a collage
    This wasn't hard, because I make collages using the Diptic or PicFrame app.
    But this one is special to me, because it was the first time Ryan "met" my Auntie Debbie and Grandpa Bob.
    10. Create a message
    It's simple but sweet! Aloha & Mahalo everyone!

    Thirsty Thursday: Strawberry Thyme Agua Fresca

    I love strawberries, and I doubt that will ever change.
    I love agua frescas too, and I doubt that will change either.
    But you add THYME in the mix, and that's just pure foodie genius!

    Strawberry Thyme Agua Fresca
    (recipe from Matt Bites, picture from Eat Drink Pretty)

    Thyme Simple Syrup

    1/2 cup loosely packed thyme sprigs
    3/4 cup sugar
    3/4 water

    Bring the water and sugar to a boil and then add the thyme. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Strain and remove the thyme.

    For the Drink:

    4 cups of fresh or frozen strawberries with 2-4 cups of water to blend
    8-10 cups of water

    Puree the fruit and water in batches and then strain to remove any seeds or pulp. You can use a fine sieve or cheesecloth and you’ll want to get as much solids out of the liquid. Add the simple syrup to the strained liquid and then dilute with 8 to 10 cups of water. At this point you can adjust the sugar and water levels to your liking. Serve over plenty of ice and enjoy immediately.

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

    Word of the Day 12/5/2012

    Connive (verb)
    1: to pretend ignorance of or fail to take action against something one ought to oppose
    2a : to be indulgent or in secret sympathy : wink b : to cooperate secretly or have a secret understanding
    3: to engage in secret scheming : conspire

    Examples: He is not above conniving against his own co-workers if he thinks it will benefit his own career.

    "Families fare badly in Western drama. Oedipus kills his father, Lear's daughters connive against one another, and Ibsen's Nora walks out on her husband and their three young children." — From a theater review by Steven G. Kellman in Current (San Antonio), August 22–28, 2012

    Did You Know?: "Connive" may not seem like a troublesome term, but it was to Wilson Follett, a usage critic who lamented that the word "was undone during the Second World War, when restless spirits felt the need of a new synonym for plotting, bribing, spying, conspiring, engineering a coup, preparing a secret attack." Follett thought "connive" should only mean "to wink at" or "to pretend ignorance." Those senses are closer to the Latin ancestor of the word ("connive" comes from the Latin "connivēre," which means "to close the eyes" and which is descended from "-nivēre," a form akin to the Latin verb "nictare," meaning "to wink"). But many English speakers disagreed, and the "conspire" sense is now the word's most widely used meaning.
    #100 Word of the Day!

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

    Word of the Day 12/4/2012

    Campestral (adjective): of or relating to fields or open country : rural
    Examples: "Santiago's proximity to ski resorts, beach resorts, and the idyllic countryside, with its campestral and ranching traditions and colonial estates, offer plenty for the traveler to see and do." — From Frommer’s Chile and Easter Island, 2011

    "Just about any amateur naturalist who pays attention to the birds, beasts, flowers and seasons in campestral Maine will find an eye-opener or two here." — From a book review by Dana Wilde in the Bangor (Maine) Daily News, October 26, 2009

    Did You Know?: Scamper across an open field, then, while catching your breath, ponder this: "scamper" and "campestral" both ultimately derive from the Latin noun "campus," meaning "field" or "plain." Latin "campester" is the adjective that means "pertaining to a campus." In ancient Rome, a campus was a place for games, athletic practice, and military drills. "Scamper" probably started with a military association, as well (it is assumed to have evolved from the Latin verb "excampare," meaning "to decamp"). In English, "campestral" took on an exclusively rural aspect upon its introduction in the 18th century, while "campus," you might say, became strictly academic.

    Monday, December 3, 2012

    Word of the Day 12/3/2012

    Hotdog (verb): to perform in a conspicuous or often ostentatious manner; especially : to perform fancy stunts and maneuvers (as while surfing or skiing)

    Examples: The wide receiver hotdogged in the end zone after catching the touchdown pass.

    "Benson hotdogged with her usual flair..." — From Matt Warshaw's 2010 book The History of Surfing

    Did You Know?: The verb "hotdog" first appeared in the 1960s as slang for surfing with fast turns and quick movements. Surfers adopted it from the use of the noun "hot dog" for someone who is very good at something, which was popularized around the turn of the 19th century along with the interjection "hot dog" to express approval or gratification. In time, the noun became mainly associated with people who showed off their skills in sports, from basketball to skiing, and the verb form came to be used for the spectacular acts of these show-offs. (As a side tidbit to chew on, the word for the frankfurter that might be eaten while watching athletes perform is believed to have been first used by college students. That "hot dog" was current at Yale in 1895.)

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

    Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes

    Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes

    Again while searching through the lovely Pinterest, I came across these bad-boys: Banana Cream Pie CUPCAKES! Yes I said it! Cupcakes! And over at the Betty Crocker site, Arlene Cummings with Cooking with Sugar posted this recipe and I had to try it!

    Recipe adapted from Arlene Cummings


    For Cupcakes -  
    1 Box of Betty Crocker® FUN da-Middles™ yellow cupcake mix with creamy vanilla filling
    3/4 cup water
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    2 eggs
    1/2 box (3.4-oz size) banana cream instant pudding and pie filling mix
    12 vanilla wafer cookies

    For Frosting -  
    1 cup butter, softened
    4 cups powdered sugar
    1/2 box (3.4-oz size) banana cream instant pudding and pie filling mix
    3 tablespoons whipping cream
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    2 teaspoons banana extract
    For Garnish -  
    1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (I forgot to do this haha)
    12 vanilla wafer cookies


    1. Make cupcake batter as directed on cupcake mix box, using water, oil, eggs and adding 1/2 box of pudding mix. (Other half of box will be used in frosting.)

    2. Before filling paper baking cups as directed on box, place 1 vanilla wafer cookie in bottom of each paper cup. Fill cups as directed on box. Bake and cool cupcakes.

    3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat frosting ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

    4. Frost cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle tops with graham cracker crumbs; top each with 1 cookie.

    For the "how-to" click here, it really helped me!


    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    Word of the Day 11/20/2012

    Tartar (noun)
    1: a person of irritable or violent temper
    2: one that proves to be unexpectedly formidable

    Examples: "Strange that one whom I have described hitherto as so timid and easily put upon should prove such a Tartar all of a sudden on the day of his marriage." — From Samuel Butler's 1903 autobiographical novel The Way of All Flesh

    "'Yes, Great-aunt Gert took us both under her wing.' He jerked his head toward the severe woman in the painting. 'My father's spinster aunt, a bold tartar of a woman who most people were frightened to death of.'" — From Anne Gracie's 2008 novel The Stolen Princess

    Did You Know?: Originally, their name was "Tatar," not "Tartar." Since at least the 1200s, the Tatar people have lived in Asia and Eastern Europe, and they were among the fiercest fighters of the Golden Horde of the Mongols. In the 13th century, they rode with Genghis Khan and became the terror of their day. Their name, "Tatar," is believed to come from Persian or a Turkic language, but in Europe it was associated with "Tartarus," the Latin name for the part of Hell reserved for the punishment of the wicked. Because of that association, English speakers began calling the Tatar people "Tartars." Over time, "tartar" came to be used for anyone considered as ferocious or violent as the Tartar warriors who had once ransacked the ancient world.

    Friday, November 16, 2012

    #77 DZP: Complete 3 DIY projects

    Now when I say "DIY", I really thought "Craft-Time". So while I was off work, and staying home with Ryan, Craft-Time is what I did during his Nap-Time. :)
    My craft store loved me: Ryan and I probably went (at-least) 3 times each week...
    I always wanted to make melted crayon art, so I bought my crayons, the board, the frame, and the flowers, and took my glue and hair dryer to them. Tutorial to follow :)
    Since it was Halloween, I found this off Pinterest (what else?!) and decided to make my own.
    Just take a fake pumpkin (from craft store), spray paint it black (or white, or orange, or neon green... get your Pantone-color on!), take rhinestones and stick/glue them on into a web pattern, then hot glue your creepy (but glittery) spider! I absolutely HATE spiders, but I loved this project!

    Once again, Pinterest sparked my creative-funny-bone: Halloween Tu-tu Wreath!
    Take a roll of tulle (I bought mine from amazon, but tulle is everywhere!) and cut into strips. Tie, knot, slip-knot (whatever you want) on a foam wreath (also from craft store, I think I used a 12" wreath). Then run to the craft store and gather decorations for your fancy wreath: flowers, leaves, glittery-shinnies, and hot glue them on! I used  purple and black flowers, orange-glittered stems, and a decorative peacock feather. And because the spiders were 2-package deal, I used the other for my wreath!

    Yay for crafts and Do It Yourself Projects!

    #15 DZP: Get professional pictures done of the 4 generations

    Ok, so this one was slightly altered because my father came with us, so it's the 4 generations + Jichan (grandfather in Japanese). We took pictures at Emotion Portrait Studios/Dogma Pet Portraits (located at Newport Beach, CA) and this would be our second time going. We love David & Sylvaine! I always LOVE the pictures and I'm so glad we took Ryan and captured his 18-month-old-self!

    #79 DZP: Dye my hair a different color

    I didn't want to dye ALL my hair a different color, but I didn't want to look like a zebra with blonde streaks coming down. So I talked it over with my stylist and she suggested a couple shades lighter, so it's suttle, but shines in the light. I was so down!
    I don't have a picture of it just as I was stepping out of the salon, but my family and I had pictures taken at Emotion Portraits Studios in Newport Beach, CA. I was stoked that I got my hair done before!

    #96 DZP: Eat at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour

    When the Brea's Farrell's opened way back when, my Mother told me stories of her trips to Farrell's and how she loved the food, and of course the ICE CREAM SUNDAES!
    So Alex, Ryan, and I took a trip up there on Alex's day off, and enjoyed a family lunch out!
    We've tried going there before, but the line to get in was wrapped around the corner... so needless to say we didn't go then. But the lunch was perfect. And unforunately I didn't take my snapshots (how un-Japanese of me!!) but I did take this snap of my baby and his Dodger shirt.

    #58 DZP: Buy a Lotto Ticket

    Can you believe that I'm over 25 (that's all I'll say about that too) and I haven't bought a lotto ticket!?!
    I've been to several 7-Elevens and passed by the CA Lotto purple stand, but never stopped to get a ticket. When I was little, my parents bought a mini lotto ball dispenser, so I got to help pick lotto numbers, but I was too little to buy one, obviously haha!
    But I bought one, so yay! & good luck to me! :)

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Word of the Day 11/15/2012

    Unwieldy (adjective): not easily managed, handled, or used (as because of bulk, weight, complexity, or awkwardness) : cumbersome

    Examples: The futon mattress was heavy and unwieldy, and the only effective way to move it was to slide it across the floor.

    "In the U.S., unwieldy, multimillion-dollar sports businesses are housed in universities. The danger occurs when a school's prestige, psyche and fundraising come to rely on its football team instead of just being enhanced by it." — From an article by Sean Gregory in Time, November 21, 2011
    Did You Know? : The verb "to wield" means "to handle or exert something effectively." A carpenter might wield a hammer with impressive dexterity, for example, or a talented orator might wield influence over an audience of listeners. Something that is "wieldy" is capable of being wielded easily, and while that adjective may not be particularly common, its antonym "unwieldy" finds ample use to describe anything that is awkward to handle, move, or manage. "Wield" and its relatives all derive via Middle English from Old English "wieldan," meaning "to control."

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Word of the Day 11/14/2012

    Watershed (noun)
    1a : a dividing ridge between drainage areas b : a region or area bounded peripherally by a divide and draining ultimately to a particular watercourse or body of water
    2: a crucial dividing point, line, or factor : turning point

    Examples: Historians generally agree that the battle was a watershed in the war.

    "Penn State's 38–29 win over previously unbeaten Northwestern felt like a watershed, the end of purgatory at the very least." — From an article by Mike Gross in the Intelligencer Journal/New Era (Lancaster, Pennsylvania), October 8, 2012

    Did You Know?: Opinion on the literal geographic meaning of "watershed" is divided. On one side of the debate are those who think the word can only refer to a ridge of land separating rivers and streams flowing in one direction from those flowing in the opposite direction. That's the term's original meaning, one probably borrowed in the translation of the German Wasserscheide. On the other side of the argument are those who think "watershed" can also apply to the area through which such divided water flows. The latter sense is now far more common in America, but most Americans have apparently decided to leave the quarrel to geologists and geographers while they use the term in its figurative sense, "turning point."

    Monday, November 12, 2012

    Light 'Em Up 2012

    I came across this great website and this idea for the holidays is absolutely wonderful!
    It's called Light 'Em Up! It brings out the real meaning to the season of giving, not the season of "how many [presents] are there?" (yes, that's Dudley from Harry Potter).
    It's for parents to help teach the little ones about giving back to the community, appreciating others (especially the ones we take granted of: janitors, grocery check-out clerks, security guards, etc.), and how to give a little joy into people's hearts.
    Lil Light o' Mine has 100 ways to "Light 'em Up!" like "Pay the toll for the car behind you", "Tape quarters to buble gum machines", "swing by your dentist or doctor's offices with treats for the whole team", and of course "hug someone". She also has great printables! Check them out!

    Involve your whole family, get the friends to participate, and stay anonymous (this isn't about you remember!).


    Sunday, November 11, 2012

    DZP Update: 100 Days Left!!!


    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    Word of the Day 11/6/2012

    Bugbear (noun)
    1: an imaginary goblin or specter used to excite fear
    2a : an object or source of dread b : a continuing source of irritation : problem

    Examples: The biggest bugbear of the skiing business is a winter with no snow.

    "Smartphones are getting better all the time, but one area that's always been a little bit of a bugbear with owners is the quality of the built-in camera. However, inventive third-party manufacturers have been quick to come up with their own solution to this particular snapping quandary." — From an article by Rob Clymo on, September 26, 2012
    Did You Know?: "Bugbear" sounds like some kind of grotesque hybrid creature from fable or folklore, and that very well may be what the word's creator was trying to evoke. When the word entered English in the 16th century, it referred to any kind of creature made up to frighten someone—most often a child; in 1592, Thomas Nashe wrote of "Meere bugge-beares to scare boyes." The word combines "bug," an old word for goblin, with "bear," which is perhaps what such made-up creatures were described as resembling. The "source of dread or annoyance" sense came not long after. In the late 20th century, the word found new life as the name of a particular kind of creature in the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.

    Friday, November 2, 2012

    PB&J Sandwich Cake!

    Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cake

    You better believe it!

    My boyfriend came across this from our Food Network magazine and he said "you HAVE to do this!", so I made it for a BBQ party!

    Now the first time I made it, it didn't come out great... I didn't bake the cake long enough, only 25 minutes. So I had to scrap it in the trash and start all over again. Thankfully I had an extra cake mix box and all the ingredients needed for it!

    Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine

    PAM Baking spray
    1 18.25 oz box white cake mix (plus the required ingredients)
    1 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 1/2 to 2 cups of confectioners' sugar
    2 to 3 tablespoons milk
    1 to 1 1/2 cup strawberry jelly (but you can use whatever jelly you like)

    1. Spray a 9-inch square pan with PAM Baking spray and set aside. Make the cake mix and fill the pan three-quarters full (you might have batter left over). Bake at 350 degrees F until a toothpick comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes (it took the full 35 minutes for my oven).

    2. Let the cake cool in the pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and let cool completely. Transfer the cake to a work surface. Trim off the top using a serrated knife, then slice the cake in half horizontally.

    3. Beat the butter and peanut butter with a mixer until smooth. Alternate adding the confectioners' sugar and milk, beating after each addition, until the frosting is fluffy and smooth. In another bowl, whisk the grape jelly until it is loose and spreadable.

    4. Spread a thick layer of peanut butter frosting on the bottom cake half.

    5. Spread the jelly on top of the peanut butter frosting, making sure to reach the edges. Top with the remaining cake layer.

    For a helpful how-to (incase you didn't get that issue of the magazine) click here!
    I love PB&J sandwiches and now it's a great dessert! Thanks Food Network!

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012

    Word of the Day 10/31/2012

    Phantasm (noun)
    1a : a product of fantasy: as b : delusive appearance: illusion c : ghost, specter d : a figment of the imagination
    2: a mental representation of a real object
    Examples: The old mansion, which according to local legend is inhabited by the phantasm of an 18th-century resident, is the perfect location for a Halloween haunted house.

    "Like the railroads, the cattle industry was a creature of finance, a phantasm of numbers and calculations so enticing and so disconnected from any underlying reality that numbers ceased to be representations and became their own world." — From Richard White's 2011 book Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America

    Did You Know?: The root "phan" comes from Greek verbs that mean "to appear or seem" or "to present to the mind." Does "phan" bring to your mind any other English words, in addition to "phantasm"? Indeed, this root appears in several English words that have to do with the way things seem or appear rather than the way they really are. "Phantasmagoria" and "diaphanous" are examples. Also from this root are words such as "fanciful" and "fantasy," in which the imagination plays an important part.
    Happy Halloween!!

    Friday, October 26, 2012

    My Dad's Cabbage & Sausage

    Dad's Cabbage & Sausage
    I had this practically every week growing up, and I still love it! It only takes a couple of ingredients and you have dinner done! Cooking the rice takes longer than cooking the C&S! And in my household, I still have enough left over for lunch the next day!
    1 head of green cabbage
    2 packages of smoked sausage (I use Hillshire Farm's Smoked Turkey Sausages)
    2 - 3 cups White rice (You can do more, it's about a cup per person, we love our rice)
    Optional: Sriracha Sauce, Tapatio, any hot sauce for taste.
    1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, cut the cabbage in quarters and cut the heart/core out. Then cut cabbage leaves into bite size portions and put into a large skillet. Wilt cabbage and make sure to stir, otherwise the bottom leaves will burn. Roughly 5 minutes.
    2. Cut the sausage up into 1/4" to 1/2" slices. Add to slightly-wilted cabbage. Add salt and pepper for taste. Cover and stir every so often to make sure they don't burn. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes more.
    3. Cook rice according to instructions. Serve cabbage & sausge over white rice and enjoy!

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    Word of the Day 10/25/2012

    Enigmatic (adjective): of, relating to, or resembling an enigma : mysterious
    Examples: When Rolf asked her where she had been, Tianna just gave him an enigmatic smile and answered, "Oh, here and there."

    "Chris Marker, who died earlier this year at 91, was an enigmatic figure, reluctant to be photographed and prone to biographical embellishment." — From an article by A.O. Scott in the New York Times, September 26, 2012
    Did You Know?: When it comes to things that aren't clearly understandable, you have a wide range of word choices, including "dark," "enigmatic," "cryptic," and "equivocal." Of these, "dark" is the most sinister, implying an imperfect or clouded revelation, often with ominous overtones. "Enigmatic" emphasizes a puzzling, mystifying quality, whereas "cryptic" implies a purposely concealed meaning. "Equivocal" is the best choice for language that is left open to differing interpretations with the intention of deceiving or evading.

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    Word of the Day 10/23/2012

    Smashmouth (adjective): characterized by brute force without finesse
    Examples: Monday night's game, between two teams known for their hard-hitting, aggressive styles, promises to be entertaining if you like smashmouth football.

    "The Tigers earned the win behind a smashmouth rushing attack and a passing game that was effective when it needed to be." — From an article by sportswriter Kyle Kendrick in The Ponca City News (Oklahoma), September 23, 2012

    Did You Know?: "Smashmouth" crashed its way into the English language during the 1984 football season to describe the brutally hard-hitting play that is characteristic of the game. It has since been used to describe similar physicality in other contact sports, such as hockey and basketball, and has even forced its way out of the realm of sports into politics; we’ve been using it to describe hardball tactics in politics since the 1984 U.S. presidential election. However, this political application of "smashmouth" has yet to make it into the end zone. It occurs too rarely in English to merit its own sense in the dictionary.

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Fall Cupcakes!

    Fall Cupcakes!
    Decorating How-To:

    Most Everyone has seen Pillsbury's Funfetti Cupcakes down their grocery store's baking aisles, but I wanted a fall-themed cupcake. I love the reds, oranges, and yellow... I just love Fall!

    So I picked up Wilton's Autumn Leaves Sprinkles and decided to try them out on Lemon cupcakes. I know, I know, lemons are not really "fall-themed", but they were yellow, and my coworkers LOVE lemon cupcakes!

    So once I mixed the batter up, I poured in about 1/3 of the container, and whisked them in.

    Fill your cupcake liners 2/3 full (sometimes I like to fill it more), and I sprinkled some more sprinkles on top of the batter. Bake as directed and waalaa! Fall funfetti cupcakes!

    And check out the inside!
     (I'm going to pour more in the batter next time!!)