Monday, July 30, 2007

Tasty Little Treat

I love summer. It just leaves so much opportunity for baking the most delectable things, and all the ingredients are so fresh! I needed to make some cupcakes recently for my family, but I didn't want to make the traditional birthday cupcakes like they're used to. I knew there would be a lot of adults there, so I wanted a more "grown up" cupcake. So, off to my fellow foodie's blogs I ran! I found myself at Coconut & Lime with this recipe (http://coconutlime.blogspot.com/2007/01/cuba-libre-cupcakes.html) for Cuba Libre cupcakes. Brilliant!! Here's their recipe:



Ingredients:

-1 cup flour

-1 cup sugar

-1/2 cup coca cola

-1/2 cup butter

-1/4 cup milk

-3 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa

-2 tablespoons rum

-1 tablespoon lime juice

-1 teaspoon baking soda

-1 teaspoon baking powder

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1 egg


Directions:Preheat oven to 350. Line or grease and flour 1 12 cupcake cupcake pan. In a small saucepan, heat butter, coca cola and rum to boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Mix together lime juice and milk in a small bowl* or measuring cup and set aside. Meanwhile, whisk together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the cooled butter/coke mixture and beat until well combined. Add egg, beat then pour in the milk. Mix until combined. The batter will be rather thin. Fill each well 2/3 of the way full. Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove cupcakes to wire racks as soon as possible to cool. Frost with Chocolate Rum Cream Cheese Frosting when cool. Garnish with a wedge of lime.
*This will sour the milk a bit. Do not worry if it looks slightly curdled.

Chocolate Rum Cream Cheese Frosting:


Ingredients

-1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

-4 oz cream cheese @ room temperature

-1 1/2 tbsp dutch processed cocoa

-1 tbsp good rum



Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until creamy and smooth. Use to frost cool cupcakes or cake.



I pretty much followed the recipe exactly as listed, but I added 1 tsp of my Pure Mexican Vanilla to the cupcakes, and 1/2 tsp of the vanilla to the frosting. I'm crazy about that vanilla right now, I want it in everything! But, I have to be careful, I don't want to run out too fast. Also, both recipes call for "good rum", but I'm pretty bad at recognizing what's good and what's bad, so I went with some stuff we bought in Mexico:
You can get Appleton White in the States, but we bought it there because we love it so much and wanted it for mixing drinks while we were there. Trouble was, we barely even mixed one drink out of it because we were too busy going out for dinner/drinks. Oh well, now I can use it at home!
One thing I did notice is that if you do want to use a lime garnish, slice a tiny slit in the cupcake so that it creates a little pocket for the lime wedge. Otherwise, you run the risk of the cupcake and frosting rejecting the lime and it falling off prior to serving, especially if you transport them in your car like I did. Here's a pic of my finished product:



Many thanks to Coconut & Lime for coming up with this yummy recipe! I just know I'm going to use it again, I've already gotten a couple requests from people at work for them.

~Mehgan~

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Loved It!

So, E took me to see "No Reservations" tonight, and I absolutely loved it! Abigail Breslin is a total darling, and a great little actress. Catherine Zeta-Jones was amazing, I totally adore her, both as an actress and a strong woman. It was a wonderful surprise to see her in a different role. And Aaron Ekhart is charming and witty and gorgeous. I've only ever seen him as a tough-guy type, so it was nice to see him in a different role as well. My only complaint is that they didn't show enough FOOD! Well, for me anyway. I'm sure non-foodie people complained that there was too much food, but I can never get enough. I enjoyed it a lot, and if you're as into food as I am, I'm sure you will, too.
And after seeing the film, I was inspired to cook (as if I weren't enough already!) but, I had already eaten dinner, I decided to at least make SOMETHING. I totally forgot that my new bento box arrived on Friday! Away to the kitchen I ran as soon as we got home. On the menu for tomorrow: red baby grapes (I used the smaller ones so I could cram as many as I could in there), a Babybel cheese (so good!), 5 Townhouse crackers, and a whole wheat wrap consisting of cream cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pastrami and bean sprouts. I can't wait to show it off... errr, I mean, eat out of it, tomorrow!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What's On YOUR Desk?

As Peabody from Culinary Concoctions By Peabody, Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasms, and Mary from The Sour Dough have done, I am posting a non-food related blog entry today. We can't always post about food, because... well, we're human! So, I've decided to show you my view at work. What's on MY desk, you wonder? Well, my dear, it can get a little complicated.


As you can see, I'm a complete mess! Well, maybe not a COMPLETE mess, but I like to refer to it as "organized chaos" (could I sound more Virgo?). Anyways, I've got my computer, naturally, with a background of a pony laying down eating cake. Nice. I've also got FOUR speakers (one is offscreen to the left). That's how you can tell I'm a true lover of muzak. Actually, only two of them are plugged into my iPod, the other two are plugged into my computer so that I can hear my e-mail notification while I'm filing. I've also got two postcards from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, one for each time we went there on vacation. You can't really tell, but I have a teeny tiny Zen garden on the computer stand below the monitor. I use it when I'm stressed, I like to draw little swirlies in the sand with the rake, and get really irritated when people mess with it. Oddly enough, I only have one picture of me and my husband, and it's about the size of my palm. I should really take more photos of us.


Turning left from my computer is this view. I love how organized my step-file is!! And only one of those Beanie Babies is mine, the other two were left there by the girl that sat next to me. It feels weird having them stare at me all day. I call my inbox "The Bottomless Pit" because there is never a time where there is nothing in it. I've also got the obligatory Far Side Comics day calendar. I accidentally ripped off two days' worth this morning, so you're seeing tomorrow's comic. All the pictures of the babies are my neices and nephews. People always ask me if they're my kids, but I just point to the one of my dog and say, "That's my kid." That's actually the "clean" side of my desk, believe it or not. I actually get to change my name plate from YN3 Mehgan Solbach, to YN2 Mehgan Solbach because I'll be getting advanced a pay grade on Wednesday, August 1st (yay!! *happy dance*). I haven't gotten advanced in 2 1/2 years, so it'll feel good (the pay increase helps it to feel even better!!).

Looking at the other desks make me realize that my desk is so teeny!! In comparison, I've got about half of what everybody else has got. Oh well, that's military life for ya!

~Mehgan~

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Want To Be A Browniebabe!

Myriam at Once Upon A Tart (http://onceuponatart.blogspot.com/2007/07/who-is-gonna-be-next-browniebabe.html) is hosting her monthly Browniebabes contest, and I figured now was as good a time as any to enter. I got my eye on the prize, baby! I want that Browniebabe apron! (Of course, I don't expect to win the first time I enter, but it's worth a shot!)

So, I had been thinking about making these brownies for a while now, I just didn't have the motivation to do them. Now, though, I do! I adapted Nigella Lawson's Brownie recipe from "How To Be A Domestic Goddess" (fresh out of its packaging last night!) and threw in my own little variations to create what you see: Lasagna Brownies! Here's the recipe:
Ingredients:
-1 2/3 cups soft unsalted butter
-13 oz bittersweet chocolate (I actually used milk chocolate, because I LOVE milk chocolate)
-6 large eggs
-1 tbsp vanilla extract
-1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp salt
-1 1/3 cups chopped walnuts (I actually only used about half that, I don't like a whole lot of nuts in my brownies)
-One 10 oz bag of mini marshmallows
-6 to 10 sheets of phyllo pastry
-2/3 cup shaved white chocolate
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350F. Line or grease 13" x 9" x 2 1/2" pan (sides also). Melt butter and chocolate together (I used the bowl over a boiling pot of water method) until smooth and creamy. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla and sugar. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Once the chocolate has cooled a bit, beat it into the eggs until smooth. Add the nuts, then the flour mixture. Pour 1/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the pan, sprinkle with 1/3 of the marshmallows and layer on between 3 and 5 sheets of phyllo pastry. Repeat two more times. Once the final layer is put on (there should be two layers of phyllo, ending with the marshmallows on top) sprinkle the shredded white chocolate on top. Bake for 45-60 minutes in center of oven until marshmallows are a golden brown and a toothpick entered into the center comes out clean.



These turned out really well! A lot better than I thought they would. They were super messy to cut up, but so gooey and delicious. They were especially good with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. My brother and E couldn't get enough, and the folks at work raved about them. I love it when that happens! I know it may sound odd, but Lasagna Brownies are oh-so-tasty! Go Browniebabes!

~Mehgan~

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

They Go Really Well Together (TGRWT) #4




This month's They Go Really Well Together is being hosted by Kookjegek (link: http://www.kookjegek.nl/archives/151) and the two ingredients chosen were Mint and Mustard. I know... that's a toughy.


I was going to go with fresh mint, but couldn't find any! So, I relied on dried mint, and paired that with some really tasty sweet hot mustard.



I thought about this one for a really long time, and had absolutely no idea what I'd go with. Finally, it dawned on me: Pasta Salad! I wanted to really showcase both flavors, without them seeming like just a side addition. Here's the recipe:

Mint & Mustard Pasta Salad
Ingredients:
- 1 Package rotini pasta (I used rainbow colored, for effect)
-1/3 cup oil
-1/3 cup vinegar
-2 tsp garlic salt
-2 tsp Italian seasoning
-1 1/2 tsp mint
-2 tbsp sweet hot mustard
-2/3 cup black olives
-1/2 green bell pepper
-1/2 red bell pepper
-1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
-salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Boil pasta in a large pot until tender, drain and put pasta in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, mint and mustard. Pour mixture onto pasta, add the olives and the bell peppers, and lightly toss. Top with shredded Asiago cheese.



Reactions: I made this salad for a BBQ for my older brother's birthday, and it went over really well. The mustard was definitely apparent, but wasn't too overpowering, and the mint added a refreshing flavor that wasn't really detectable at first, but once I told people it was mint they were tasting, they really seemed to like it. The Asiago cheese added a nice saltiness and really enhanced the flavor. I only got one suggestion that perhaps there should be some more cheese in the actual salad than just on top, but I figured that was mainly because that person really liked cheese. I didn't put that much cheese in it because I know not everyone likes a lot of cheese. Maybe next time, I'll have a small bowl of cheese on the side for those that want more. I do know that I will definitely be making this one again. It was so simple and quick, and I didn't have to worry about it like I would have had I made a salad with dairy ingredients in it like potato salad has. All in all, it was a hit!




~Mehgan~

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tastes Like Sunshine

The lovely Jenn over at The Leftover Queen (http://www.leftoverqueen.com/) is hosting the second Royal Foodie Joust, and I decided to participate. Last month's winner, Jennifer from ...and the eggs, got to choose this month's ingredients and they were eggs, honey and peaches. We had to invent a recipe using all three ingredients. At first, I had no idea what I was going to make, but I already had eggs and honey, so I picked up some peaches at the store and got to thinking about what I could do with them. I was talking with my brother and E, and they suggested pancakes (it must have been a long time since I made them, they sounded like they were really craving some good pancakes). Normally, I make pancakes using Bisquick (for shame!), but this time I decided to do it from scratch, so I looked up a few recipes for simple pancakes and got a general idea of how to configure them. Here's proof of my ingredients:


(Note: I was almost out of honey, so I used pretty much the rest of the bottle in this recipe, boo hoo! Oh well... back to the joust!) Recipe for Honey Peach Pancakes:


Ingredients:

-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour


-3 tbsp salt


-2 tsp baking powder


-3/4 cup milk


-1 egg


-2 fresh ripe peaches, peeled pited, and chopped


-2 tbsp honey


Instructions: In a small bowl, sift together dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until you get a nice batter. (If you don't want peach chunks in your pancakes, you can use a hand blender to really cream them into the batter). Grease a skillet with some Crisco over medium heat, pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls. (One thing I noticed that was different about these pancakes than regular pancakes is that they're done a lot sooner than you would think. They're not like typical pancakes where you wait until the tops bubble before you flip them. I flipped mine when just the edges started to bubble. It's tricky, but if you don't do this, they'll burn quite easy). Due to the use of the fruit and its juices, these pancakes generally have a more crepe-like texture, so be gentle when handling them.

I served these with a honey peach glaze. I put the meat of one peach, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and some maple syrup in a saucepan and simmered that over low heat for 35 minutes. It was the perfect topping and made it taste even better. I also cooked up some bacon to add some saltiness to the sweetness of the pancakes. What a lovely Sunday brunch!

Be sure to vote for yours truly at this link: http://www.leftoverqueen.com/forum/index.php?topic=49.15. Thanks and good luck to everyone!

~Mehgan~

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sugar High Friday 33


Well, ladies and gentleman, consider my first Sugar High Friday... COMPLETE! Mary, from Alpineberry (link in the blogroll to the left), chose Tropical Paradise as this month's theme, and it couldn't have come at a better time. It was a tough challenge, but I'm glad I decided on this one to be my first cooking/baking challenge before I really delve into the tougher ones later on this month.

I decided on something a little off the beaten path when it comes to "Tropical" foods. Since I recently returned from a vacation in Mexico, I decided to go with something I ate while I was there. To me, since Mexico has palm trees (and I got a rawkin' tan there as well), then it's tropical enough for me. I decided to try replicating these delicious little "cocadas" I had my first night there. While mine didn't quite turn out the same as far as texture goes, the taste was spot-on.

When I was at work the morning I decided to make these, I thought the cocadas would look a little... lonely, on the plate. So, I popped on over to my local Asian food market and picked up some canned jackfruit, and made some jackfruit frozen yogurt to go along with it. I had some extra yogurt, so I made up some mixed berry frozen yogurt for the guys, which they thoroughly enjoyed. I made some dulce de leche to drizzle on top, and that added touch made all the difference. It's funny, because it looks like gravy and the jackfruit frozen yogurt looks like mashed potatoes, and the cocada looks like a potato pancake.
One thing I need to learn how to make better is frozen yogurt. I don't have an ice cream machine, so the only time the frozen yogurt was really yummy was the night I made it. After that, it was more like jackfruit-frozen-block-of-ice. But, oh well, live and learn, as they say.

The results were wonderful, my younger brother even went so far as to say, "It feels like my tastebuds are having an orgasm". Not quite sure how to take that... but, needless to say, I was flattered.

Well, folks, there you have it! Mexican cocadas with jackfruit and berry frozen yogurt and a dulce de leche drizzle. I'm going to try to work the kinks out with this recipe before I post it in detail. I don't want everyone who reads this to have to subject themselves to the streamline of expletives I was emitting in my kitchen while crafting these babies (trust me, when a recipe doesn't turn out, I tend to cuss like a sailor). Anyways, thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for more cooking challenges from this crazy girl.

~Mehgan~

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Home Cookin' On A Rainy July Day

So, it's been raining here in Seattle the past couple of days, which sucks, because HELLO, IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE SUMMER! But, oh well, like Peabody at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody said, it's nice to have a fall preview around here. Especially after how dry and hot it was last week (though, I didn't really mind coming home from Mexico to nice, warm weather).

I decided a hearty, home-cooked meal was just what I needed to make me feel better about the crazy rain we've been having. (On a side note, the rain makes this odd sound when it hits the windows at my work. It sounds like rice being thrown against glass. Very strange.) Anyways, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to make, so I settled on pork chops with sauteed green beans and tomatos, and came up with a potato side dish I like to call "Twice Baked Potato Casserole". The pork chops didn't photograph too well, and since it's too late to take more photos as the pork chops are now in my belly, you only get photos of the potatos and the green beans.


"Twice Baked Potato Casserole" Recipe:

Ingredients:
-2 to 3 red potatos (depending on the size casserole you want)
-2 to 3 Yukon Gold potatos
-3 to 4 tbsp butter
-1/2 cup milk
-1/2 cup sour cream
-3 cloves of minced garlic
-1/2 cup chopped green onions
-1/2 cup shredded cheese (for the mixture)- I used a four-cheese mixture I had in my fridge
-1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (for the topping)
-salt and pepper to taste


Instructions: Cube the potatos and boil until fork-tender. Drain. Mash together with butter and salt and pepper. Add milk, sour cream, garlic and onions. Using a hand blender, blend until creamy. Stir in 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Pour mixture into casserole dish and top with 1/3 cup shredded cheddar. Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes. (I set my oven on broil for the last five minutes to get a nice crust on top).


"Sauteed Green Beans With Tomatos and Garlic"
Ingredients:
-1/2 lb fresh green beans with the ends chopped off
-2 cloves of minced garlic
-3 tbsp olive oil (you may need to add a bit more)
-1 large tomato, cut into triangles
-salt and pepper to taste


Instructions: In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over low to medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about 3 minutes to release the aroma. Add the green beans, cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until tender. Add tomatos and salt and pepper. Replace cover and allow to cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.


The casserole turned out delicious! It was inspired by something a mom of a friend of mine made when I was in the sixth grade, except used russets and she baked her potatos instead of boiling them. I boiled mine to save time. I also would have added bacon bits, to make it taste even more like a baked potato.

The green beans I make all the time, I only added the tomatos to give more volume, because I didn't think I'd have enough green beans for the three of us to have a decent-sized portions. I like them because they taste really fresh, and the tomatos had a really robust flavor. I couldn't get enough of them.


On to other news: Glenna at A Fridge Full of Food inspired me to get a bento box of my own. She posts such great stuff about her lunches, and they all make my mouth water! She recommended a seller on eBay to me, so I went through him. I got mine for around $20, and that's including shipping. He also had all these great accessories for my bento box, but I had to limit myself if I wanted to also get a copy of Nigella Lawson's "How To Be A Domestic Goddess". I can't wait till both items arrive!! It's like Christmas in July!! (Oh, that has inspired me to bake some wintery treats. Standby for that post!)



Thanks for stopping by!

~Mehgan~

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

So Tasty

I was a busy little bee last night! I was really craving some fajitas, but was sick of the way I ALWAYS make them, so I decided to do a few things differently. Here's my recipe for Open-Faced Steak Fajitas, or Tostadas, if you prefer that:
-1 lb. steak, cut into strips
-1/3 cup oil (I used vegetable oil)
-juice of 1 lime
-2 to 3 cloves of garlic
-salt and pepper
-1 bell pepper (I used 1/2 orange bell pepper, and 1/2 of a red one)
-1 onion, half of it sliced into strips, the other half roughly chopped
-1/3 cup vegetable oil
-1 can of refried beans (yes, I was lazy on this one)
-3/4 cup shredded cheese
-1/3 cup sour cream
-1 avocado
-1 tomato, cut into 1/4" pieces
-6 to 8 small flour tortillas
-1/3 cup vegetable oil.

To marinade the steak, combine the steak, oil, lime juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and cover. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, allowing juices to soak into meat. Once finished marinading, simmer the whole bowl of ingredients over medium heat until you reach your desired doneness (I like mine a bit on the rare side).

In a separate saucepan, heat refried beans over low heat until they get smooth and creamy.

In a separate small skillet, heat the oil for the bell pepper and onion strips. Cook over low to medium heat until soft, but not burnt.
To make the guacamole, in a small bowl mash the avocado. Add chopped onion and tomato and mix well until smooth.

In another small skillet, heat vegetable oil over low to medium heat until a small droplet of water causes it to spit. Using tongs, place one tortilla at a time and fold over into a shell, or leave flat like I did. These cook really fast, about 15-20 seconds per side, so keep an eye out for burning. Cool on a plate with a paper towel to drain excess oil.

To assemble: Top tortilla with cheese, steak, beans, veggies, guacamole, sour cream and a bit more cheese and tomatos.



These were quite messy to eat, but sooooo good. I was really full afterwards. Almost to full for...

Flan!

I love flan, it's just so sweet and caramelly, yum! Here's the recipe I used that I got from my mom:

Ingredients:

-1/3 cup sugar

-4 eggs

-1/2 cup sugar

-2 cups milk

-Cinnamon stick

-3/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small saucepan, over low heat, warm 1/3 cup sugar until it starts to melt and become runny (don't be afraid if there are a few leftover lumps of sugar, those will melt in the oven). Pour caramel into a 9" round glass pie dish (or other pan if you prefer) and coat as much as possible before it begins to crystallize.

In a large bowl, stir 1/2 cup sugar into eggs slowly. On the stovetop, steep the cinnamon stick in the milk and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and add the hot milk to the eggs and sugar and add the vanilla (I used the Mexican vanilla I got on my vacation, yay!). Pour mixture into prepared dish. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean (I'll admit, mine need to cook a bit longer). Another note: you might want to bake yours in a bain marie (water bath, about a half inch of water on a cookie sheet) to ensure even heating.

Once done baking, let cool in your fridge for about 6 hours or until it's nice and Jell-o like. To remove from pan, take a nice and sliced around the outer edges, place a plate on top of the dish and carefully flip over. Pour whatever caramel is leftover in the dish on top of the flan, and garnish as you like.



I'll admit, mine turned out a bit on the eggy side. I think I may have beaten the hell out of my eggs too much before baking, because I could really taste the eggs. I'm not used to making flan without sweetened condensed milk, so maybe I'll go back to that. Also, I won't use fat free milk next time either. Whole milk would have worked out much better, but overall, it was still a nice sweet treat after dinner. The caramel came out lovely, I could drink that stuff!!


Thanks for reading, folks!


~Mehgan~

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Gotta Love Friday




After a hectic day back at work, we decided it would be fun to pick up some teriyaki and head to the Drive-In. We loaded up the bed of the truck with a futon mattress, lots of pillows and blankets and caught a double-feature of "Live Free Or Die Hard" and "1408". Die Hard was good, what I expected, lots of manly-man stuff and things blowing up with Justin Long providing a nice comic relief. I wanted so badly to stay awake for 1408, especially since I read the book, but it was already midnight when it started and I was so tired. From what I did catch, though, it looked really spooky.



I took the night off cooking, so I decided to snapshot what we ate. My favorite Drive-In provisions: shrimp yakisoba (two star) and a Diet Coke. I realize that two chopsticks sticking up in a bowl of rice signifies death, but these were noodles and I was just about to take my first bite, so I figured it would be ok.

And we packed these snacks for dessert during the second feature. Monster (for energy to keep me awake, even though I still ended up dozing off a half dozen times), Starburst and Skittles (for the husband, since I can't eat them due to my braces), Red Vines (my favorite), and Reese's Pieces... because they're just so cool.


That's all for now, folks! See you next time!

~Mehgan~

Thursday, July 12, 2007

We're Home-And I've Been Tagged!

Hello everyone! We're back home and I couldn't wait any longer to show off my goodies from our Mexico trip. And, here they are:

Clockwise from top left: Pure Mexican Vanilla (which I cannot wait to use!); VOSS Norwegian Water (I had read about this in a magazine, and just had to get some... just for the bottle alone!); two small hand-painted jars bought at a marketplace in Bucerias, Nayarit; Manzana Lift soda (I had some once back in 1999, and can't find it anywhere in the US, so I snuck 6 bottles of it back with me in my luggage); Mexican wedding cookies (they're crunchy and hollow, not like the soft dense ones found in the States); my sunglasses, lol, I just put those in there for fun; a plateful of smuggled baked goods that I couldn't resist taking with me on the plane; and Champagne sugar treats that are usually intended to be eaten with a nice dessert wine or with champagne, but I nibble on them for something sweet (they're also those french fry looking things on the plate of baked stuff). Here's a closer, albeit blurrier, shot of the goodies plate:

And, thanks to Joelen at Joelen's Culinary Adventures, Jennifer at ...and the eggs, and Glenna at A Fridge Full of Food, I've been tagged! Which means I have been "ordered" to post 8 random facts about myself. Here are the MeMe rules:

"Each player starts with seven random facts or habits about himself or herself. A tagged player then writes a blog entry with the eight things, as well as these rules. Then the player tags eight others and lists their names on his or her blog. Remember to leave a comment for your newly tagged players, letting them know they have been tagged and to read your blog!"

I'm not sure I know 8 other bloggers who haven't already participated in this, but I'm going to give it my best shot. So, with that being said, here are my random facts:

1. I have never been to Europe. As obsessed with it as I am, I still have not been there. I'm planning on going to Scotland in May of 2008, so that'll be really fun. Another thing checked off my list.

2. While I am part of a sea-going service, I have a huge fear of deep water that I can't see or feel the bottom. Lakes freak me out. Angry oceans terrify me. I'm more of a calm-waters kind of girl. That famous photo of the man in the lighthouse with waves crashing around him makes my blood run cold.

3. I have a stepsister I have never met. My dad got remarried last year, and I have still not met her. It actually only recently dawned on me that I actually have a stepsister, I never even thought about it!

4. I bought a digital camera recently, because I thought my current one was broken, when all it really needed was new batteries. I had just kept shoving dead batteries in it, and so when it didn't work, I just thought it was broken. Oh well, now I have an extra one in case one of them actually does break.

5. I am utterly obsessed with designer denim. I live in my 7 For All Mankind and Citizens of Humanity jeans. My Rock & Republics I have dubbed my "ass saviors".

6. I teach color guard at a local high school. Now, it's not the military kind, it's the kind that performs to music while tossing and spinning flags, rifles and sabres. I started it when I was 11 with the intention of becoming a great instructor (like the one I had), and this year I started instructing. It's one of the most wonderful gifts, watching a new kid learn how to spin.

7. I watch entirely too many movies. I watch one almost every night, if not two or more. The same goes for Friends, Sex and the City, Prison Break, LOST, Oz, Jeopardy and The Sopranos. I could kick ass on The World Series of Pop Culture.

8. My younger brother Brad is living with me now. He just turned 18, is 6'5" tall and weighs 145 lbs. It is my mission to put some weight on that boy before he ships off to Navy boot camp in 3 months! I've also started teaching him how to cook (my rule is: if I'm in the kitchen, so is he), and tonight I taught him how to make beef stew from scratch. No more of this canned food crap he's used to eating, he's going to eat REAL FOOD!

And here are my fellow foodies that I've tagged for this event:

-http://www.ecupcake.blogspot.com/

-http://chubbycheekgirls.blogspot.com/

-http://www.jasonandshawnda.com/foodiebride/

-http://foodmaven.blogspot.com/

-http://www.cupcakeblog.com/

-http://nookandpantry.blogspot.com/

-http://www.breadchick.com/

-http://whatdidyoueat.typepad.com/

They're all wonderful in they're own ways. Check out their blogs, if not for the tasty recipes, but for the food photos alone! Thanks for dropping by everyone!

~Mehgan~


P.S. This is how I would look if I lived in Springfield with The Simpsons. I decided to post it in honor of the new movie: