Sunday, July 31, 2011

Publix Cooking School

Thursday night I went to a Publix Apron's Cooking School.   The chef for the evening was Kevin Gillespie from Top Chef season six.  Now in all honesty I don't and haven't watched the show, but the friends I went with do and he was one of their favorites.  Chef Gillespie is based in Atlanta and is co-owner and executive chef of Woodfire Grill.  Attending one of these classes involves watching the chef cook the dish while he explains what he is doing, often times imparting tips of the trade you would not otherwise read about.  After demonstrating how to prepare each dish,  you and your table are then served the dish and are given a reasonable time to enjoy and discuss amongst yourselves.  How great is that!  Also with each course you get a wine pairing... bottoms up.

First Course: Sliced Tomato on Cornbread pancake with bacon basil mayonnaise:
Oh my lord the mayo was AMAZING!  This was such a good flavor combo.  The only thing I would have liked a little more of was tomato.  I felt like another slice would have been good or even chopped up tomatoes mixed in with the mayo and then poured over the pancake.   The little cooking tip on this was to sprinkle your tomatoes with salt and pepper first, let it sit for an hour or more so the water can be pulled out of the tomato and then drained back in to really let the flavor be spread out.

Second Course:  Sweet corn roasted in the Husk with Lime, Japapeno and Cotija Cheese with a Mojo Marinated and Glazed Grilled Pork Steak. 
The Pork Steak had really nice flavor but was a tough piece of meat.  Kevin did talk about how this is an under utilized piece of meat.  It does really need to marinate with a citrus marinade for a while so it can break down the muscle.  It did have really nice flavor.  But only having a regular knife to work with did make this hard.  The corn with the Cotija Cheese was really good!   The tip for the corn was to leave the husk on remove the silk and pull the husk back over.  Let this soak in water for 24 hours.  And then you put the corn on the grill with the husk wrapped around you are steaming the corn without the husk catching fire.
Course Three:  Grilled Pineapple Cobbler
This was soooo good and looked so easy to make.  Once he had all the ingredients together and was pouring them it into the dish he sprinkled raw sugar on top and it gave the cobbler this creme brulle crust.   I am bummed that I forgot to take a picture of this.  By the time I had realized I had already eaten the whole thing.  They did pair it with vanilla ice cream.  A great summer desert.

If you are close to one of these Publix Apron's Cooking Schools  it is really a lot of fun and a great value.   And you get copies of all the recipes that are being cooked for that class.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Couponing: Extreme or Lifestyle

So I am sure you have seen or heard about the show Extreme Couponing on TLC.  The first time I saw it I was in amazement as I am sure most people were.  I wanted to do this.  I wanted all my groceries for $10 and an amazing stock pile of toilet paper and cereal.   My husband was watching the show with me knowing that I would now need to coupon.  I love a good deal and have always felt that I was a pretty good shopper.  I always look for the sale and rarely buy full retail.   This type of savings would be great!  So I started with the Sunday paper. I needed those coupon inserts.  I looked through them and took out what we would use.   I also noticed that on Tuesday in the mail came more coupons.  Once again I took out what I thought we would use.
As you may know from the show this is serious business.  The people on the show have a serious collection of coupons and know their stores very well.  They must have some connection with the amount of coupons they are able to collect because that is ridiculous.    As you may have also noticed with the extreme couponing, it is a full time job:  the cutting of the coupons, knowing what coupons they have,  figuring the sales with each store, the preparation of the lists,  the strategy that comes into play with these big shops.  More power to them.  The time they put into this does pay off with the savings.  Some purchases though are really just silly, I mean one lady bought 80 something jars of mustard.  Really, would one family ever go through that much mustard in their lifetime.   They sure must like to BBQ with mustard.   My point is that I knew pretty quickly that I was not going to be an extreme couponer. 
I wanted to understand this coupon thing a little more.  I found a few sites that help with navigating though this world. One that I really like was Kitty Coupon Diva.  She offers videos to understand how she coupons, breaks down the sales for different stores that week and also links up to printable coupons.   And if you sign up she will send out notices when stores are having their weekly sales.   After reading though her site I knew I would be more of a life style coupner.  
My next step was to find a way to organize my coupons.  I found a coupon file index at Target.  This was the way to go for me.  I did not need a binder, just something small and compact that I could easily go through to understand what I had.

Smead Fashion Portable Case File Letter

I have been couponing for about two months.  I have found that you must be really prepared when you coupon.  Some days I don't even think about a coupon.  Especially if I am just running in to grab a few things.  Other days I go though my coupons, know what I need and organize myself so that I am using my coupons wisely.  This past Sunday I did my Target run and saved $25.96 in coupons.  I was really proud of myself.  I am happy with my choice to be a life styler in the coupon world.   

Friday, July 8, 2011

Old Navy

A new Old Navy just opened by my office.  I stopped in after work to check it out.  I have not bought anything from Old Navy in a while.  I was really impressed.  They had some really cute stuff.  The black top was really flattering.   That will get a lot of use this summer.  The dress was a GREAT deal.  Not sure if it was so cheap due to it being a new store or if this was a summer promo but is was only $7.48.  I have a great white cardigan that I can wear with it.  I am excited about the options.  The pheasant top was also really cute on.  I don't have a lot of colors like this so I thought it would be good for mixing up the wardrobe a bit. 
Hope you enjoy your weekend!




Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Polyvore Stikes Again

I kept seeing these shoes pop up with different outfit ideas on the Polyvore site.   I really do love Burnt Orange.  And how can you pass up a cute shoe at a really great price.  These are a Target find.  They had some nice color options.  Only $15.  I thought it was well worth it.  Just click on my link to the right to see them in action.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Husband - My Second Love

While I've known him longer and he is responsible for finding and procuring my love, Buckley (see below), my husband comes in at a close second!  What can I say?  Have you seen Buckley???


Somebody got a makeover.  Hope you like the new design for the blog.  It makes me smile. 
Have a good week!
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