Saturday, July 28, 2012

Spam and Taters

I love Spam! There I said it... You may all mock me now, if you please.
As a kid my mom would make fried Spam sandwiches, and anytime there was 'ham salad' guess what the secret ingredient was? Yep! Spam!

When I met my husband I confessed that I am a food snob - It's TRUE! 
For example - I will NEVER eat a generic Pop-Tart!  Toast-Ums are just NOT the same!
He agreed wholeheartedly!
(This is how we knew it must be real love!)

But then we both admitted the truth. Despites the fact that we are both "foodies" we will not ever disrespect or shun the canned goodness that is Spam... It's just too wonderful to scorn!

My husband taught me a new recipe and today I want to share it with you!

There are two ways to make this delectable treasure. The pictures below are the "baked potato" version but I'll briefly explain at the end how to modify this for the 'skillet potato' version.

1 can of Spam
1 Bell Pepper
1 Yellow Onion
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Season Salt to Taste
2 Tbs Butter or Margerine

Dice Spam, bell pepper and onion into cubes. You can go larger or smaller on the cubes, a larger cube is obviously easier and faster, but be consistent so that everything cooks evenly.
Place butter into hot skillet.
Put bell peppers only into skillet. They take the longest to cook so you want to start them first.
When the bell peppers are about halfway cooked add your onions.
Season the vegetables.
Once the Onions are translucent add the Spam and heat for a few more minutes to cook Spam.
Baked Potatoes! For years we wrapped our Baked Potatoes in plastic wrap before placing them in the microwave and then my husband discovered that if you wet the potato thoroughly before putting it in you don't need to wrap it. Just wet it and then nuke it for 3-4 minutes. Re-wet it and then flip it and nuke for 3-4 more minutes.

Top your baked potato with Spam and Veggies and you can add cheese (as I did below) if you want to. My husband also added Cholula Hot Sauce and Sour Cream to his as well! Yum!

Now: If you want skillet potatoes then you will need to dice your potatoes (around the same size as everything else). Put them in the skillet with butter (or cooking oil if you prefer) and saute them until they are tender. Season with salt and pepper. (We also sometimes use season salt and garlic powder as well.)
Once the potatoes are cooked set them aside in a bowl while you cook the veggies and spam as directed above. Once the spam is cooked with the veggies add the potates back in and let them heat back up.

If you want a healthier dish you can use Spam Lite or Turkey Spam (both are pretty tasty). You can also cook everything in olive or canola oil both of which are heart healthy oils.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Coffee Mocha Smoothie

I tried this today... its pretty good... It's not any starbucks copy cat, its just a yummy goodness all its own.
I'm not a slave to the local starbucks, I just like sweet and yummy coffee drinks, so I didn't try to copy anyone else's drinks.. I just made my own. 
As I try it again in the future I'll post updates to let you know how I've improved or varied it.

Here's the official recipe:

3/4 c coffee
3/4 c milk
1/4 c sugar
2 Tbs. vanilla syrup
3-4 Tbs Hershey Chocolate Syrup
12 cubes of ice (about 1 and 1/2 cups)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until ice is crushed smooth.
This recipe filled my glass twice.

White Mocha: melt white chocolate chips (1/2 c) in the microwave and mix them in (let them cool a little) in stead of Chocolate Syrup
Caramel: use 3-4 Tbs of Caramel Sauce instead of Chocolate Syrup
Vanilla: omit Chocolate Syrup and increase vanilla syrup by 1-2 Tbs.

If it sits for awhile it will separate. I read online somewhere that Starbucks uses a little bit of xantham gum to prevent the separation. I didn't worry about it because I drank it fast enough it didn't have time to separate.

Let me know if you try it and if you have any suggestions for improvement...

Friday, July 20, 2012

You Might Be a Cop If...

Dedicated to my dearest husband, who laughed at every last one of these...

Disclaimer: I did not create this list... I don't necessarily agree with the points of view presented in this list... This list is for entertainment purposes.... Lighten up, everyone!

You might be a cop if...

•You have the bladder capacity of five people.
•You believe that 50% of people are a waste of good air.
•Your idea of a good time is an armed robbery and a car chase.
•You conduct a criminal record check on anyone who seems friendly towards you.
•Discussing dismemberment over a meal seems perfectly normal to you.
•You find humor in other people's stupidity.
•You believe in the aerial spraying of Prozac and birth control pills.
•You disbelieve 90% of what you hear and 75% of what you see.
•You have your weekends off planned for a year.
•You believe the government should require a permit to reproduce.
•You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, "Boy, it sure is quiet tonight."
•A little "stick time" has nothing to do with baseball.
•(Can you say "TAZER"???)
•You refer to your favorite restaurant by the intersection at which its located.
•You have ever wanted to hold a seminar entitled: "Suicide...getting it right the first time."
•You have ever had to put the phone on hold before you begin laughing uncontrollably.
•You believe the Watch Sgt. is a crap magnet possessed by a demon.
•Your favorite hallucinogen is exhaustion.
•You think caffeine should be available in IV form.
•The person you're speaking with states, "That's not mine. I have no idea how that got there."
•You believe anyone who says, "I only had two beers" is going to blow more than a .15
•You find out a lot about paranoia just by following people around.
•People flag you down on the street and ask you directions to strange places.
•You can discuss where you are going to eat with your partner while standing over a dead body.
•You are the only person introduced at social gatherings by profession.
•You walk into places and people think it's high comedy to seize their buddy and shout, "They've come to get you, Bill."
•You do not see daylight from November until May.
•People shout, "I didn't do it!" when you walk into a room and think they're being hugely funny and original.
•You've ever started a sentence with the phrase "We had this awesome dead body earlier. You should have seen it."
•A week's worth of laundry consists of 5 T-shirts, 5 pairs of socks, and 5 pairs of underwear.
•You've ever referred to Thursday as "My Monday".
•You've ever written off guns and ammunition as a business deduction.
•Anyone has ever said, "There are people killing other people out there and you are here messing with me."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Scraps and Leftovers and Free Time, Oh My!

Well as I said Tuesday, Sasha had surgery today to be spayed.
We woke up at what I would call an "un-godly" hour to drop her off at the clinic this morning and she wasn't ready to be picked up until 4:00. So I had a whole day of trying not to think about her or worry ahead of me and needed to keep my hands and mind busy.

I also had scrap corners that I cut out of her dog bed that I made on Tuesday. Waste not, want not, right?

I chose to sew by hand because it takes longer and requires concentration. Since I needed a distraction that would last several hours (and didn't much feel like cleaning house) this fit for me. Usually I'd knock this kind of project out on the sewing machine.

I was also curious if the feeble stitching skills I learned as an 8th grader in Life Management Skills were still rattling around up in my brain. Sure enough, they were!
I sewed four of the eight squares into a bigger square and then did the same with the other four.

I then pinned the two larger squares together pinning right side to right side.
I stitched all the way around the edge except for a 3 or 4 inch gap in one side and then turned this little toy pillow right-side out.
And then stuffed it with some left over fiber-fill from a project I did so long ago I can't remember what I used it for!
I sewed the gap closed and there you have it... a tiny little pillow...
It accomplished its goal - I was distracted from thinking about my girl while I sewed it.  I figure I'll let her have it. If she chews it to pieces its no big deal... it was all scraps and leftovers anyway.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Extra Large Dog Bed. No sewing!

I created this dog bed for our very large German Shepherd, Sasha. It cost $17 to make and took about 3 hours. (It took about another 3 hours to post it on my blog!)

This is Sasha. We adopted her about 2 weeks ago. The lady that had her was very nice but had too many dogs. Sasha lived in an outdoor kennel and slept on hard dirt or the hard bottom of her dog house. No soft blankets or pillows.  At some point in her life she was a baby-mamma in a puppy mill operation, so she's had a rough life so far. Later this week she will be spayed. That's right, her baby-making days are over, now she's just going to be a spoiled-rotten fur-child.
So far she has rejected any blanket or towel I've laid down for her to sleep on, but I'm thinking she'll like a little extra cushion when she's recuperating from her surgery. So here we go!

3 yards of fleece fabric
(1 1/2 yards of two coordinating colors if you want the top and bottom of the dog bed to be different).
fiber-fill stuffing or pillow form
scissors or rotary cutter and cutting mat
straight edge or ruler

I went to my local discount store and purchased a brown fleece twin/full sized blanket for $7. My local craft/fabric store was charging a very proud $10+ for their cute patterned fleece, so I sacrified cuteness and went with this more economical brown that matches our living room furniture. If Sasha refuses to lay on it I can always let my son use it as a floor pillow while watching tv.
My first step was to cut off the satin trim on the blanket. If you buy your fabric at the fabric store you can skip this step, but you will still want to square up and trim your fabric so that the top and bottom line up.  I also had to cut my blanket in half to get the top and bottom pieces of the bed. If you used two different fabrics you can skip this step.
Sasha is a big dog, so this is a very big bed. In the picture below its folded in half, so that's only half the size of the bed! I pinned the two layers together while I worked with it so that it would stay lined up, if you have a normal size dog and thus a smaller rectangle of fabric this step may not be necessary for you.
I used my straight edge which is 5 inches wide to lay a strip of tape five inches from the edge.
I've seen some tutorials that used masking tape but I used scotch tape, because its what I had and it worked fine.
Before you start cutting the fabric remove any pins from the area you are about to cut. You don't want to knick your rotary blade! That's why I used the tape too - it gives you a visual stopping place, without a sharp edge that can knick your blade.
First you will need to cut the corner squares out. I recommend cutting them out with scissors rather than a rotary cutter. This will ensure that you don't go past the edge of the tape cutting into the area that is going to be cut into strips.
Next you cut 1 inch wide strips that are 5 inches long. You can lay a ruler down and eyeball it or use a straight edge like I did. If your strips aren't exactly 1 inch each it doesn't matter... close enough counts in this game... eyeball the end of each row as you near it so that you don't end up with a super fat or super skinny last strip.
At this point you can pick up the matching strips from the top and the bottom and just double knot them together. That's what most fleece blanket tutorials say to do. I wanted my knots to look neater and more uniform than that, so I looped the two pieces together and tied a knot. The pictures above should give a good demonstration of how I did it.
See... nice even knots... pretty knots... I love order... A place for everything and everything in its place!
Continue tying knots on three of the four sides. After you've stuffed the dog bed you'll tie the fourth side closed.

Look at that - she's huge, she's a horse! Now you see why I had to make such a big dog bed!
I purchased a twin pack of standard pillows from my local discount store for $5.  My local craft store was selling bags of fiber-fill stuffing for $3 each so this seemed like a better deal to me. My plan was to rip these babies open and stuff the dog bed with the guts. However, my dear husband brought up a valid point that if she accidentally (or purposely) rips into the fleece the stuffing will be everywhere and the whole bed will be ruined.  Instead I decided to stick the intact pillows into the bed so that I can rescue them if the fleece gets mutilated.

I also discovered that I did not estimate the size of this bed accurately so I had to run to the store and buy two more pillows.
Yep! I stuffed all four of those puppies in there. 
And knotted the final side closed.
Now all I have left to do is to take pictures of it... there it is!

 Oh, and convince Sasha to lay on it...


Welcome (and so it begins, again)!

Welcome to My blog (attempt 2.0). If ever such a thing as a "hodge podge" existed; this blog fits that description! I will post funny stories, musing thoughts and ramblings, craft projects and recipes. I have called this blog Copper's Fox (me) and Friends (you).