Saturday, March 25, 2017

Princess and the Frog Po' Boy Sandwich


I had no idea what a po' boy sandwich was before this recipe. A little Disney cookbook is just introducing me to all these great new recipes.  

It's a simple sandwich. Not as complicated as the Muffuletta Sandwich from the same book. But just as good. This is just mayo, lettuce, tomato, roast beef, and gravy.

So to make it complicated I made EVERTYING from Scratch. I tried a new french bread recipe...and perfected it since this first time I made it. I make bomb french bread now. It take a day or two but it's so worth it.

I made the roast beef. Just bought a bottom round and roasted it with some seasonings for about an hour or so. I never knew making roast beef for sandwiches was so easy.

I made the mayo. Olive oil, eggs, mustard, spices, lemon, stick blender and a couple seconds later...mayo.

And I made some gravy. I tried to use the pan dripping from the roast. And let me just say...I can't make gravy. It's just too hard. But luckily it disappears into the sandwich and you won't even notice.

Put it all together with some lettuce and tomato. And...po' boy.

It doesn't really need a recipe- you jut put however much you would like to have on each sandwich. 

So good. I've definitely made some of the best sandwiches I have ever had. Go me!  

I'm kinda sad that was the last sandwich recipe in the book. 

Maybe I should try it with fried shrimp next?

Definitely. 


This is a terrible picture of the sandwhich- but after making all of that stuff I just wanted to eat it. And taking pics kinda fell to the wayside. Whoops. I promise it looked better than this picture. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

My Favorite All Natural Soaps

I've been using all natural soaps for quite awhile. And I did a favorite soaps post awhile back. They weren't all natural though. I had always wanted to switch to all natural soaps. But the commercial stuff was like a lure I just couldn't resist. At one point I used the all natural Nubian Heritage soaps, but once I tried all the varieties I became a little bored and moved on. Back to junky stuff. Then I got on a kick where I wanted to try stuff made in other countries and I picked up soaps from Scotland, Spain, etc from TJ Maxx. And then I landed back at all natural. I've been using the natural stuff for over a year now. And I like it. I think I will stick with it.

So I've tried quite a few out, and these are my favorites so far. The ones I would recommend to any and everyone.

Shall we start?

Note: These aren't in any particular order. 



Lux Naturals Blackberry Sage
I didn't know blackberry sage could smell so good. This soap...smells too good. Fruity, but the sage tames the fruitiness of it, and it just has the best scent. I loved this soap. And the design is super pretty. I've tried two other Lux soaps. And the Blue Haze is nice, but Blackberry sage is just my favorite. Note: This is made with fragrance oil-but other than that completely natural.


Nubian Heritage African Black Soap
Other than loving the fact that this soap is black, this gave me the healthiest looking skin...face and body. It was a tad drying. But this and following up with Shea Butter gave me the best looking skin I've ever had. And it has a nice fruity bubble-gum pear scent. Smells better than that description though. I loved this stuff. My first black soap, and definitely one of my favorites! 


Zum Bar Clove Mint- At first this combination seems a little strange. But it's mint with an edge to it. Mint is probably one of the most plentiful natural soaps scent you will come across. Well, mint and Lavender. And maybe a citrus. And mint is OK. I've had it mixed with a couple other things and so far...the mint clove is my absolute favorite. You just have to try it. 


Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap- This makes the list because I've never used more hydrating soap than this. It smells like burnt rubber, but the way it makes your skin looks.....it can't be beat. They do have scented varieties. I haven't tried any of them yet. But based on the way it made my skin look, this could not be left off the list. Just don't say I didn't warn you about the smell.



Nubian Heritage Raw Shea Butter Soap
This was my first time smelling the combination of Frankincense and Myrrh. My Jesus soap, as I like to call it. And it smells great. Powdery and exotic, and just plain good. I still pick up the bar in the health store and give it a good sniff. It's a great all natural soap, and a great price too. Give it a try! 

I was going to add Soapbox Cinnamon Soap. But they don't make it anymore-which is a shame. 

I'm kind of surprised the list was so short. I tried to add my absolute favorite ones. And there are a lot of great ones, that I would recommend but that I don't necessarily LOVE. Like Biggs and Featherbelle Mama Bar and Grizzly Bar, Zum Bar Sea Salt, South of France Orange Blossom, Lux Blue Haze. They are great. Just not great enough to make the list.

I think I need to do a post on some of the ones I really, really didn't like to. To give it a little balance. 

Do you have any faves? Let me know in the comments! 
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George Benson


George Benson is not an artist that particularly stands out when I think of all my favorite artist. But there are some his songs that never fail to get me on my feet, moving and grooving. 

My favorite song by George Give Me The Night. That's my song.



And Lady Love Me One More Time. I think this is 80's. It's on my 80's playlist. I'm not sure. But it's a good song. You should listen!



And the last one...Turn Your Love Around. Just smoooooth. Check out those VHS lines. I remember those days.


Good Music. Check it out!

Blue Velvet Cake

Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake.

For a self-proclaimed baker, I really haven't made very many cakes. Mainly for birthdays. And that's all. So I was kind of excited when this recipe came up on my list. Only the original cake was actually a box cake and the special part was the decorations. It was a corpse bride cake. I'm not really one for highly decorated cake. I would rather put my time and energy into making my cake from scratch. So I just googled and came across a Blue Velvet cake recipe that looked pretty good.

Blue Velvet. I know Red Velvet cake. My grandma made those. And I really love Red Velvet Cake. But only certain ones. Most people don't get the flavor right for some odd reason. And forget mass produced Red Velvet. They get it wrong every time. And how? All red velvet really is, is a hint of chocolate. I remember when I was younger I really could not figure out what the heck red velvet was. I mean...theres no such thing as a "red velvet". Not like figuring out what a coconut, strawberry or pineapple cake was. I don't think I figured it out until a couple years ago actually.


But anyway, back to the blue. Blue Velvet is pretty much identical to Red Velvet, except this cake might be a little sweeter than Red Velvet. And instead of red, you use blue food coloring. I typically try to avoid food coloring...but once in awhile it's OK. The blue came out beautiful.

But let me tell you, what goes in blue...will come out blue. And while the cake was delicious, moist, hint of chocolate, just all around good, I don't think I will make it again because the blue did not particularly agree with me. I had to use a lot of blue. And a little black.

As for the icing, I made it almost according to directions. I left out the marshmallows, because I made marshmallows, only they didn't set up because I forgo to add cream of tarter into my sugar syrup, so I didn't end up using them. And I drastically cut down on the sugar-because I hate super sweet icing. 

But I did add the toasted coconut and pecans. So yum. The red velvet recipe my grandma makes doesn't have coconut. And it's a yummy addition. Really. 


Overall, great recipe. So happy I made it. But probably would skip making it again because the blue food coloring is just too much for me to handle.

Also...this cake freezes beautifully. So theres that. I saved some for my sister in the freezer because she wasn't home, and for some reason it was more moist after freezing. 


Click hereto check the recipe yourself. It's from food.com.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

South of France Meditteranean Fig Soap Review




It seems I've been on a fig kick. Just last week I bought a bunch of dried figs and was in snack heaven. Like fig newtons-but I don't eat those ever since I learned in elementary school they allow a certain about of bugs in those cookies. I hope I didn't ruin figs for you. If I did, I'm sorry. Really, I am.

South of France claims:
  • Infused with the rich aroma of fresh-cut figs ripened in the salty Mediterranean air
  • Mass Balance Sustainable Palm Oil, Saponified Coconut Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Shea Butter, Natural Colorants, Blends of Natural and Essential Oils and Fragrance
So these soaps were on sale again, so I thought I would pick another up. Especially because I really loved the Orange Blossom soap. And fig just sounded good. But when I think about it, what do figs really smell like? I don't remember them having a scent. And there aren't very many fig scented products. I had Lush Figs and Leaves soap- but I don't think that was fig scented. Also a fig apricot scrub from Deep Steep that was amazing. And an Aveeno body wash that was Ok. But that was all.


The color is prettier than my camera wanted to pick up-sorry!

Anyway, this has a sort of unisex, hint of floral, hint of I don't know how to describe it but something weird. I'm not a big fan of the scent. It doesn't capture fig to me-whatever they smell like. It's just a blah, boring scent.

The soap itself is very pretty. One of my favorite shades of purple. And it cleans well, doesn't dry my skin too much, and lathers well. Also....it lasts a little longer since it is triple milled 

As always, natural, just like what I like to see in an ingredients list. I don't think they are scented with essential oils, but I do think they are more natural scented than some of the more artificial ones out there.


Ingredients: 
Mass balance sustainable palm oil, saponified coconut oil, vegetable glycerin, organic shea butter, natural colorants, blends of natural and essential oils and fragrance.
Free of Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl/ Laureth Sulfate, Parabens, EDTA, Animal By-Products, and Glutens.

Oh and although the name might lead you to believe these are made in France, they are made in the USA.

When it comes down to it, I would go for the Orange Blossom scent over this. The Orange Blossom is the best of the three I have tried so far. Get that...not this!

Game of Thrones Venison Pies

Well, not venison, because I can't eat Bambi. So I just used beef. Not that I don't like cows, because I really do. It's just I don't link cows with a childhood favorite movie. So whenever these recipes come up I just use beef. I do try to buy humanely raised meat, if that makes any difference-which I think it does. 
Medieval Recipe- Marinated meat and the finished product.


Anyway this recipe is from Game of Thrones. Well two of them actually, a modern one with with things like onions, sweet potato (love sweet potatoes-never had a meat pie with it..and it's yum), mushrooms, bacon, and red wine. Not your regular beef pies for sure. And then the not so modern one, made with rye dough (I just used regular flour because I made a mess of the rye I bought), the meat, ginger, sugar cinnamon, and red wine.

Without a doubt I preferred the modern ones. The spices were a little strange to me and it came out way too boozy for me. 

The modern ones were pretty good. But I don't think I would make them again because I HATE shaping meat pies. If it were apples or strawberries in it, I'm all ready. But for some reason meat pies are a no go for me.
Look, nice chopped up veggies-my favorite part of cooking!



I have a tendency to dry out any meat pie. It's my short coming. I can cook a whole of things I'm quite proud of but meat pie=. I think I get overzealous and over cook the filling. The modern ones weren't as dry. But they were just a bit. 

Overall, fun. Definitely fun to make and try. But not something I will make again if I'm being completely honest. That whole shaping them thing wears me out. 

Click here to check both recipes out.

And speaking of Game of Thrones, when is the new season coming out? I know a promo came out, but I don't want to watch it, because it's going to make me NEED see this new season immediately, and I think it will be awhile since I thought it was delayed. Anyway, I guess I have these recipes to tide me over in the meantime.....
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