Harvest Stuffed Roast

It’s that time of the year!

Where you get the urge to cook, and eat until your heart is content!

Of course, around January, you decide ‘OMG, I need to get fit!’, but right now, we are eating!

For those who know me, I can wonder in grocery stores, and bookstores for hours. They give me motivation. As I wander, it’s the same formula “I wonder what x, y, and z tastes like? Will my crew like it? Will I be giving it to momhulk and her brood at her house?”

True thoughts to myself, but it never fails, 9 times out of 10, it’s a winner. Last Saturday was no different. I was out and about(which I shouldn’t have been, but that’s another story), I decided to venture into Sprouts. It’s like Trader Joe’s, but more expensive. Not as bad as whole foods, but not somewhere I frequent too often.

I made my way around the store, and got to the meat counter. I still needed dinner. Then I saw it. Harvest stuffed pork tenderloin. I hoped for a pork alternative, so it would be a food review, but no avail. Of course, you know what that meant……

CHALLENGE!

First, I thought, “crockpot?” No. I have been wearing mine out lately. No worries. Oven cooking it is! Then the most important part of this process, “what will I substitute for the pork?”

It took me a minute on that, because I don’t like repeating main dishes too often. That’s when it hit me…….Roast. Snapples! It was like a runaway train after that…..

My Harvest Stuffed Beef Roast

1 Boneless Beef Roast, trimmed of fat

1.5 cups dried cranberries

1 cup dried apricots

1 cup chopped walnuts

2 cups cran-apple juice

.5 cups brown sugar

garlic pepper

butcher’s twine

  1. Rinse off the roast, and pat dry. Make a cut in the middle. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix cranberries, walnuts, half of the brown sugar, and apricots. Put into the pocket of the roast.
  3. Proceed to tie the roast closed with the twine.
  4. Spray non stick spray into a baking dish. Place roast into dish. Then pore juice over roast. Season with reminder of sugar, and garlic pepper. If you have more cranberries or apricots, pour over roast.
  5. Bake at 350 for 45 mins to 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes.

It was a hit peeps! I made it with boiled sweet potatoes. This shall be a keeper for my winter dishes. Though I was a little on edge with the sweetness, it played well with the entire dish.

Let me know what you think! Try it out, and leave it in the comments!

~CSM~

 

 

Getting the Raw Me.

I’ve been so lost as of yet. Not for last night’s results, which that was a clusterfuck of an election.

I’ll be real with you guys. I love you guys, more than you know. You guys gave me another creative outlet to be me, share, and laugh as we tackle parenthood.

At times, I feel held back because I play the fine line of losing my peeps. I want to share my thoughts, discussions, and conversation. Understand different views, but also have my views understood.

I feel it’s a responsibility of mine to make these conversations happen. I’m a blogger, and I like to think I would want to use my blogging for positive things. Not spew anything that’s hateful or untrue. This is where the line gets weird.

Politics and Religion are two main ‘no nos’ as a person in the hospitality sector. I say fuck that noise. One driving point of having a restaurant is bring people together. They eat, conversate, and listen. Truly listen. Enjoy people’s company.

After the debacle of the election, one thing I notice, on both sides, is no one is truly listening. They listen to argue. Their is a difference to listen to understand, and listen to wait your turn you implode your point. We are missing that skill. I found it within my own family this trait, and it needs to end if we want to co-exist.

This isn’t about politics, though if you ask me, the electoral college needs to go like yesterday. It’s about that do we do now to combat the hate, ignorance, and lies. Peeps, it broke my heart to hear Super Samurai tell me “he doesn’t like people like me”. Wise one is scared for him, and frankly so am I, but as I tell my crew, we channel anger and fear into positive results.

Things need to change. They are way over due. To challenge the establishment, and to give facts, not opinions. I respect to disagree in politics, but the hate has got to go. I challenge you my peeps, have the awkward conversations and truly listen.

“When you listen, people tend to tell on themselves”. I’ve seen it on both sides, and instead of being hateful, I educate. To the point of quoting books and direct sources. It’s hard to argue facts. Opinions can be argued for days, but facts are facts. Lets talk!

Hit up the Wayment conversation on the FB page. I really want to hear both sides and soultions, because I’m not happy leaving this world to my crew and your children with this much bullshit. Let’s fix this.

Love and Peace

~CSM

Sweet Potato Chili

Hello. Hola. Any other way to say hello!……Peeps!

Graduation is over. Summer vacation has started. It also means, kids are home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Kids may think, “school’s out, sleep in, and crappy food! Score!”.

Nope. Not in this house. Still eating healthy on break. Now this recipe is kind ofย a take on my pumpkin chili recipe, but a little different. My goal for this was to not use white or brown sugar in the dish. To find better alternatives but still have a great dish. Bonus: there is enough for leftover Friday!

Sweet Potato Chili

4-5 Sweet Potatoes, boiled with skin

2 pounds ground turkey

4 chicken breasts, diced

1 can sweet corn drained

1 can black beans drained

1 half butternut squash, diced

3 cups beef broth

1 cup red peppers

2 cups green peppers

Garlic Salt

Seasoned Pepper

Cinnamon

Nutmeg

Onion Powder

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup agave syrup

In a large pot, boil sweet potatoes until soft. Remove from heat, and let cool.

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Dice chicken, peel and dice butternut squash. Set aside.

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Side Note: You may want to bake your squash a little bit on 350 degrees, since it’s hard to cut.

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Now, this is where you can go two ways with this recipe. Crock pot, my favorite, or stove top. I’m going to give you the stovetop option, since my crock pot was too small for the amounts I used. I double cook in the summer, so we can use our time for other things, like tv bingeing on cutthroat kitchen or bowling(new obsession).

Once you have cooled sweet potatoes, peel, with your hands. The skin should slide right off. Add potatoes, seasonings, honey, syrup, and broth to a blender/food processor. Blend until smooth. If too think add water or more broth.

Combine all ingredients into a large pot, cook down until meat is cooked thoroughly and squash is cooked. Occasionally stir so it doesn’t stick to the pot.

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This is a light chili, that can be cooked in the summer or fall. I paired it with my honey zucchini cornbread(next post), and topped with sour cream and cheese. Kids tore it up! I loved it, because it was full of protein, veggies, and low sugar. They couldn’t tell the difference.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

~CSM~

School Birthdays: Go Big or Go Home.

Hyperdiva’s Birthday in on Sunday. Her dad is taking her to disneyland for her gift from him.

It’s been tight around here with graduation looming, and making sure everything is paid for. It wasn’t going to stop me. Each child always got a big presence from me their last couple years of elementary school. The last time they will have parties, and be kids before hormones and craziness of confusement kicks in.

I asked her what she wanted. Of course ear piercing was her top choice, but again money. She then asked for a cupcake treat at school. I didn’t know if it was allowed because of new rules, but apparently, it was.

No problem. 25 cupcakes right?

Oh no. 56 kids, and two teachers since they have started switching classes. At first I thought of buying the cupcakes, but after calling for prices, I said um no.

Of course, if I made them, I could make them my way……oh yeah. Your girl was all over this! Question was what would 56 10-11 year old like? Banana Split Cupcakes! I mean who doesn’t like banana split cupcakes?!

I began my craziness Wednesday night. These cupcakes were due Friday Afternoon. Of course my direct deposit didnt show up until Friday, no worries. I was crunched for time, but that’s nothing new.

Normally, in my cake form, I made the cake portion to taste like bananas. Literally banana cake, but I didn’t feel like doing chocolate drizzle on each and every cupcake.

Marble cupcakes. Genius. Half banana, half chocolate. I have my list of things, off to the store I go!

I’m inside walmart. No marble cakes. Why me????? If you guys ever wanted to see a grown lady have a tantrum in public, you should have been there. It’s 6am on Friday. It’s bad enough I’m doing this the same day, let alone not having the supplies I need.

Again, no worries, thought in two seconds……..french vanilla cake mix, add banana extract. Buy chocolate cake to swirl into other cake. Got it.

Now before I get into the recipe itself, I’m going to give you the cost of the idea.

For 60 cucpcakes: Two boxes french vanilla cake, 1.17/each. One box chocolate fudge cake, 1.28/each. Two jars cherries, 1.78/each. Two whipped cream containers, 1.98/each. 18 pack eggs, 2.98. Cucpcake liners, 1.00. Two pints of strawberries, 2.48/each. Three disposable cake pans, 2.98/each. Altogether it cost under 30 dollars versus my local bakery wanting close to 70 dollars.

After everyone was gone we got the assembly line going and heated my oven to 350. I mixed the french vanilla cake, and added 1.5 teaspoons banana extract in the first mixing bowl. In a smaller mixing bowl, I mixed the chocolate cake mix.

Then I lined my cupcake pans. Its easier to do it this way since you are goiving them to kids, less mess. Taking my 1/2 cup measureing cup, I began to pour in the french vanilla/banana cake mix first. One cup full equals out to two cupcakes. You want to make sure their is enough room to add the chocolate mix too. After pouring the first cake, you take 1 tablespoon of the chocolate cake mix, and pour into each cupcake. You can swirl them if you choose to, but I didn’t. Keep in mind, 10-11 year old aren’t that picky. Cake is cake, swirled or not, as long as it’s good.

Next, rinse off your strawberries. Air dry. Slice the tops of the berry, and the tips of the berry off. Then dice into quarters. Place one quarter into each cupcake. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clear.

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HUGE STEP! Take out oven and let them cool off. The cooler the better.

I did this three times. I got done early, so that was good, but it was tiresome. Again, rather do it myself then pay a ton of money.

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Once the cucpakes cooled, I began the decorating process. Originally, I was going to get whipped crean cans. Again, walmart disaapointed me and didn’t sell them. Real close to being on cops at this point. Shopping way too early without coffee means no patience.

Again, thought on my feet………buy the tub, transfer to a ziploc bag, cut a hole and squeeze out the cream. Ok crisis avoided.

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I placed these cupcakes in the cake tins(with lids). Then transferred the whipped cream to my freezer bags and cut two holes at the corner. Looked just like it came out the can. Ending it with a stemmed cherry on top.

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I probably wouldn’t have been so tired if I was cleaning inbetween, but I hate a dirty kitchen. Six pans of cupcakes by 2pm. Hyperdiva and her classmates loved it. Her teacher missed out because he had to leave early, so between that and some kids missing school, I had leftovers. I may take him one on Monday. He’s a great teacher.

My madness never ends I tell you, but the happy look on her face was well worth it.

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Banana Split Cupcakes: Yields 60 cupcakes

2 french vanilla box cakes

1 box chocolate fudge cake

3 teaspoons banana extract

9 eggs

2 pints strawberries, rinsed and diced in quarters

2 whipped cream tubs

2 jars of cherries

Mix as directed in bowls. If you choose to double the french vanilla cakes, that’s fine. If not, divide banana extract in half. One for each mix. Pour 1/4 cup banana cake mix, one tablespoon chocolate cake mix, and one quarter strawberry into the cupcake cup.

Bake as directed. Cool, and decorate with freezer bag full of whipped cream. Finish off with cherry. Serve chilled. You can store in refrigerator or freezer.

~CSM~

Quit blaming everyone else. Look at home.

Three posts today, but this one had to be first.

I saw a post on my personal fb what the problem with millenials are. I think we should fully discuss this concept.

Yes, I’m going there today.

Now, reading the age range of millennials being 1980 to 1996-2000(roughly), I call bullshit on this first. You are telling me my teenagers and I are in the same group of people? My grandparents and parents weren’t in the same group, and they were two different generations, and they had kids young too.

Fine, I’ll take it.

The first point I want to make it that, millennials are lazy and entitled. If you go back and read the last paragraph I wrote, this generation was born in the peak of greed, wall street peaking, and keeping up with the Joneses was at its peak. It was taught to be the best you had to show it, even if it meant debt.

Tell me why we are surprised as a society that this new generation is stuck on being flashy and getting material bullshit at any cost?

We are also the generation that is charged out the a** for college. At one point, college could be paid for by just having a part-time job. Those days are long gone. Work study and part time jobs mean nothing. Mom and Dad having a saving account for school means nothing. You are more likely to borrow money to attend college to some degree. I have friends who finished college, and it cost 60,000 to attend. Just for a bachelor’s degree. Don’t add-on if you want a master’s degree, or if you are pre-med or pre law.

We wonder why people rather get a job than go to college. Rather have the pay raise then to pay off a huge debt like that.

I think the biggest insult is that we are lazy. Um…..don’t think so. I think it’s the company you keep. I know a lot of people my age who give as much as they work into causes and their careers. We are lazy, but there is a surge of women having kids later in life, because they want to work to establish themselves first before having a family. Huge lie that’s peddled. I also know a lot of us who work, and are tired of being paid crap wages to do so.

Take bartending for a profession. In most of the country they are paid 2.13/hr plus tips. Now if it’s a slow night or all kinds of variables add in, some people get only 2.13/hr. You wonder why we are taking action for a pay raise. We were taught part of the american dream is if you do the work, you can take care of yourself, and reward yourself.

Not really the case anymore. I think the scary part to it is, even with a degree, you still are broke. Not just bartenders, one huge lie is people wh work at McDonald’s are asking for raises, and these are just teens. No. The average age of service workers are 32. My age. They have families. Some even went to school, and are stuck with service jobs. Think about that. Anytime you go somewhere, and you request a service, that isn’t government related, are asking for a raise, and frankly, I think they deserve it. That’s child care workers, EMTs, janitors, fast food, CNAs, Caregivers to the disabled/elderly, maids, you name it. Think about it, even though the ambulance is charging 1000 for the ride and service, how much do the actual workers get paid? Not much. Lets not get started on the military and what they pay to their soldiers, not officers…….

Truth is, it’s depends on who raises you, which is a point I don’t think is addressed too often. If Mom and Dad gave you everything, then yes, you come into the world being a lazy ass thinking you deserve to have everything handed to you. If you came into the world to a single parent, you see the world differently. If you had shitty values as a kid, you just may be a shitty person. If your parents were humbled people, you definitely see the world differently as well.

I was blessed enough to have people around me who stressed material crap is nothing on this earth. You can’t take it with you when you die. It loses value the minute you buy it, and unless it has sentimental value to it, it doesn’t matter. It’s about what you do in life that matters. Who you surround yourself with,how you treated others, and task you perform is what is remembered.

I stress this to the next generation of kids in my house, and my troop. If you we really want to know who created the “Lazy, entitled” generation older people speak of, look to the past. New generations are a reflection of the generation before us. Baby Boomers created Gen X. Gen X created Milennials. Milennials created the ‘pioneers'(don’t ask, I didn’t make this up). My grandparents took a lifetime to get where they were at their peak. Hard work, multiple skills, and being humble. My mom did the same thing. She also embraced my creative streak, and still continues to do so. She did also went into debt falling into that stupid debt trap of being flashy. It was then we saw effects of it all, and she sat us down and told us “never fall into the trap of being someone else. You be you. If someone can’t deal with that, cut them off”. Bankruptcy is never a fun process. It’s very humbling, and will teach you a hard lesson.

One huge problem I have which goes deeper is grouping people. I’m technically a millennial. I came from a single parent home, and had everything stacked against me statistically. I also had the best tribe of adults raising me too. They embraced my creativity, even when schools cut the arts. They taught me from a young age to understand politics, and respect both sides. To vote my conscience not the lesser of the evils. To be respectful of others, unless it’s not returned. To defend myself, and those who can’t. To give back to those in need any way you can. To be humbled and nice. To carry yourself with dignity and respect. To not knock hand me downs, or cheaper versions of things. To be educated inside and outside the classroom, and work hard for it. Education and hard work isn’t something can be taken away from you. To not see color, but realize others do, and you have to prove them wrong every chance you get. Being a female wasn’t a crutch, it’s was and always be a beautiful blessing. Lastly, your brain is a muscle, always use it, and exercise it.

With all that said, I’m not a millennial. I’m not anything but me. I denounce the stereotypes that come with that label, and every other label I’m grouped in. The faster we stop this grouping bullshit, and see the person for who they are, this place will be a better place for the next generation to takeover.

You just have two groups of people: Nice people or assholes, simple as that.

I feel that most people who have the opinions of millennial base those off of news reports and what they hear. Riddle me this, have you got back into your community, or even talked to a group of people in their 20s or 30s like myself(34)? I’ve been told I’m a rarity. I’ve been told I’m snobby and a nut job for expecting too much, and holding on to good values that maybe be dated.

“Your children are a reflection of what you show and teach them”. In my case, my people expected the best, because they gave the best. They were innovators. They challenged the establishment. They hated injustice in every form.

In closing, you want to know why millennial are “the way they are”, begin at home. Began with who you keep company with. You are only a reflection of who you keep company with and the values instilled in you.

I vowed as a young mom, my kids would have the hard work, hustle, always a brighter side, fight for the small man, know your shit, and be the best you can be lessons that my military family showed me.

It’s time to start asking ourselves, who is to blame fo the stereotype or fact(depending on who you talk to), and how we change it. If we don’t, we will have round two of worse.

“Fix your backyard first before you criticize someone else’s” – Oliver Adams Jr. Product of the depression of the 40s, civil right movement of the 60s, Air force Sargent, Truck driver, carpenter, mechanic, father to three, grandfather of 3, great-grandfather of 4, from Savannah, Georgia, and great teacher.

~CSM~

Questioning my logic.

I was supposed to be writing on margaritas, and planning my first tupperware party, but getting the news I just got, I have to write on this first.

As you guys know, I wear a ton of hats, of which one is girl scout troop leader. I originally signed on because Hyperdiva was in the scouts in Illinois, and she loves it. Working with others to empower girls. Giving back to her community, and learning how to run her business.

I can get behind that. Here in California, in the area I’m in, their are wait list. You read that right, wait list. Girls who have waited since kindergarten to be a scout. I explained that to the parents that it takes work at this age, but we are also having fun.

Parents begged and pleaded for me to start this troop. I put about 20 hous a week into the troop, and at times my own money into the troop. We’ve lost one leader, and four girls.

Why?

Because they couldn’t commit to the work after realizing it wasn’t a hang out session, or not do the work in their roles. We now have a better co-leader, and some girls left, but it pisses me off that parents begged, but didn’t follow through. That is what really pisses me off.

It showing these girls that it’s ok to sign up for something, then quit when it gets tuff. I taught Hyperdiva “you don’t sign up for something if you aren’t going to give it your all”. She also has a two choice limit on activites for these reasons. She does her work, and really excited volunteering to help the retired veterans.

These parents knew of the work. They didn’t keep up with these girls, and when I pressed the issue to see what was going on, they “didn’t have the time to continue”. Let’s not mention the click-ish crap I had to bust up. We are a sisterhood, and included everyone, and don’t use others.

It’s almost like I’m another parent. I didn’t sign up for that bullshit. I signed up to guide girls in becoming awesome powerful women. To give back, and yet I feel like they don’t to try, and can give a damn of the other girls who do. Now, we have projects that didn’t get completed because they had task that they didn’t do. Such a waste.

I was real close to quitting, but then the girls who are left, and leaders would feel abandoned. Nope, I can’t do it and feel ok with that. My mom didn’t raise a quitter, and I’m not raising any either. The girls who are left will have me in their corner. Tonight, we will issue in a new era of our troop. Earlier, I turned in flyers to expand our troop, because most don’t know who to call or reach out to if they were interested. I was thinking of even seeing about our troop wanting to do a robotics team. Just because we ar girls doesn’t mean we can’t build machines.

My mom was a marine. “Can’t isn’t in our vocabulary”. If nothing else, that’s our troops motto, and that’s what these girls will take from this experience.

Thanks for listening. Remember, your kids need to know hard work, and giving back.

~CSM~

Tasty Tuesday: Pumpkin Chili Spaghetti

A FB friend of mine gave me and idea for this when we were talking about weird combinations of foods.

I heard of the tradition in Cincinnati, but never tried it. At first, it sounded like it would be gross, but then I thought about making this my own way. Then, the challenge was on.

I’m always trying to make food that is fun, healthy, and new. It’s been established on this blog, that the crew LOVES my pumpkin turkey chili. Leftovers are not an issue when making this dish. Knowing this, I decided to make this chili for that part, and add some new ingredients to make it chunky.

That left the pasta. As I’m getting back into working out, I’m really trying to cut the carbs down. Not out, just down.

Key point from the doctor: Don’t cut out foods, cut back. You needs different foods for different things.

Then this pasta caught my eye. Spinach and Zucchini Pasta. It’s green, obviously, but more veggies than flour. Sold. I bought two boxes, and made my way home to get the job done.

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Pumpkin Turkey Chili Spaghetti

2.5 oz Ground Turkey
1 can 100% pumpkin puree or 1/2 pumpkin, baked and pureed
1 bag butternut squash, cubed
1 can vegetarian baked beans
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup green peppers, chopped
1 cup yellow peppers, chopped
1 cup chopped white onions
1 can fired roasted corn mix
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
white pepper
chili powder
garlic salt
cinnamon
2 boxes spinach/zucchini spaghetti
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese

in a pot, combine butter and peppers. Sautee until soft, then add meat and spices. Cook until meat is brown.

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Meanwhile, in a blender, combine pumpkin, stock, brown sugar, and flour. Blend until smooth and thick. Pour the mix in the pot, and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, until sauce is thicken. During this time, stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Also taste to adjust seasonings if needed.

I added my butternut squash toward the end. I wanted it to cook, but not turn into mush.

Make pasta as directed. I broke mine in half to make more. Garnish with cheese and sour cream when serving.

These kids loved it! I got my kids to eat two different squashes, peppers, onions, corn, spinach, and zucchini, without any compliants. This was going on the permenant rotation. No leftovers. Took 30 minutes to throw together, and this dish can be made the night before in a crockpot, if you are pressed for time.

Leave a review, and let me know what you think!

~CSM~