Mother Nature, go home you’re drunk.

Welcome to Arkansas, where the weather is bipolar and needs medication stat. It the first day of May and 81 degrees. But tomorrow through this weekend is a whole other story. A chance of snow? Really?? I go to the beach in 10 days and with a chance of snow in the forecast, it doesn’t feel like May at all! Can someone find Mother Nature’s doctor and get her moods leveled out immediately? Puhlease and thank you!

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Strip Steak with Sautéed Kale and Mushrooms

This yumminess was created on a whim and I must say it beats any steakhouse I’ve ever been too. The steaks are rubbed with a coffee & spice blend and hit with a bit of Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce and thrown on the grill until they are at medium.

Kale and mushrooms:
2 tbs olive oil
Bunch of kale
Several mushrooms sliced.

Heat wok to medium. Add olive oil. Add kale and mushrooms and salt to taste. Cook until kale is tender.

This meal was simply delicious.

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Mexican Salad

Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

Broken tortilla chips can be added to give this a little more crunch if desired.

Layered Mexican Salad

For Beans

  • 1/2 lb black beans
  • 1 cup red chili sauce or salsa
  • 4 green onions white and green parts chopped and separated
  • Salt/pepper

Wash and soak beans overnight. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn heat to a simmer and cook until soft, adding more water if required. Add white parts of onion and chili sauce. Season with salt and pepper and cook until thick and creamy, about 1 hour. Add green parts of onion and serve.

For cabbage

  • 1 small head cabbage cored and shredded
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar

Place cabbage in a bowl. Mix other ingredients together and pour over cabbage. Let sit for 30 minutes in refrigerator.

For fruit salsa

  • 1/2 pineapple cut into small chunks
  • 1 mango…

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Missing him

It has been 4 months since I lost my little brother. I think of him each and every day. I still find myself tearing up over the haunting fact that I’ll never see him barge in the house unexpectedly, I’ll never hear his laugh, and I’ll never get to sit on the front porch with him all afternoon ever again. I miss him, terribly. I lost my brother to a terrible addiction, and I at least have the peace of knowing that he is no longer hurting. But not having him in my life has created a huge loss. I still talk to him every morning. He always crosses my mind every single day. I never take off my necklace with his fingerprint engraved into it. I just miss my brother. I miss my friend. I miss having our sibling connection. I miss my daughter not having an uncle. I miss you, Seth.

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How Fruity is Your Chicken?

mmm!

Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This is a great way to use up some leftover dried fruit. The sweetness of the stuffing complements the roast carrots and pears perfectly. Do not remove the skin from the breasts, but you can trim some of the fat away to make it healthier.

Chicken Stuffed with Pears and Prunes

  • 4 chicken breasts deboned skin still on
  • 1 pear cored and chopped into small dice
  • 1 pear cored and cut into large chunks
  • 5-6 carrots chopped into large chunks
  • 10 prunes diced fine
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 4 basil leaves chopped roughly
  • Salt/pepper

With a sharp knife cut into each breast on the side in the middle creating a slit about 1″ long. Use the knife to create a pocket that goes all the way around the breast without cutting through the sides, top or bottom. This takes a little practice but go slow and use your finger to…

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St. Patty’s Day in Eureka

My love and I decided to go to Eureka Springs for a little get away for the day. We planned on doing some shopping, eating, and drinking. When we arrived we were smack-dab in the middle of their St. Patrick’s day parade. Awesome! Needless to say, we didn’t get much shopping done. But we had a heck of a time trying new beverages and eating some glorious food. The locals here are some of the most awesome people one can ever meet. We didn’t want to leave, but had to so we can take care of our pups. I even created a new drink while visiting one of their local pubs, Rowdy Beaver. The drink is Three Olives “purple” vodka and sprite. Easy peasy!! We dubbed it the “Graper Raper” simply because it tastes exactly like grape soda! One can easily guzzle a few and feel pretty swell! We had lunch at Garden Bistro and enjoyed Greek Salad with pesto vinegarette as well as stuffed mushrooms! Delish! For dinner we dined at, well I don’t actually remember. The Graper Rapers had me feeling a little loopy at this point. But I’m sure it was amazing! 20130405-144112.jpg20130405-144149.jpg

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Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

Ok, so I have a thing for bacon. I admit. But who the hell doesn’t?! Bacon is seriously the duct tape of the kitchen, if it can’t make something taste better it was probably not worth eating in the first place. So with out further ado, please meet my flipping amazing chocolate bacon cupcakes topped with maple cream cheese frosting.

Cupcakes:
Butter 1/2 cup
Sugar 1 cup
2 large eggs
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Baking soda 1/4 tsp
Pinch of salt
Cocoa powder 1/2 cup
Milk 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract 1 tsp *get the good kind*

1 pkg bacon

Icing:
Cream cheese 1 1/2 packages
Butter 1/2 stick
Powdered sugar 3 cups
Maple syrup 1/3 cup

Set that oven to 350 degrees
Cook your bacon, make that yumminess crispy!
In a large bowl, beat butter until softened and then beat in sugar. Beat in the eggs. Now grab another bowl and combine flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Mix gently. Add milk and extract to your wet ingredients and mix. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the larger wet ingredient bowl. Now gently fold in some bacon, reserving some for topping. Now fill your cupcake cups with this yummy filling about 3/4 of the way full. Now bake it for 20 minutes until they are gloriously done. Now it’s time to make the icing: beat butter and cream cheese together until creamy. Ha! Creamy cracks me up. Then slowly add the powdered sugar until incorporated and then add the maple syrup and mix all the way through. Pull those cupcakes out of the oven, let them cool, frost them and top em with some bacon. Holy shit! You just made the most glorious tasting cupcake your mouth has ever had the pleasure of eating. Congratulations. You’re welcome. 😉

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This is a must try beverage!

Cold Glass

Warm days are returning to Minnesota; time to think about tropical drinks. As luck would have it, Jeff Berry’s Grog Log came to hand the other day, and fell open to his fruit and spice laden Ancient Mariner.

According to Berry, the Ancient Mariner is an attempt to recreate the flavors of Trader Vic’s Navy Grog, which was itself an attempt to decipher Don the Beachcomber’s drink of the same name.

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Already?!?!

This week I registered my only daughter for kindergarten! Where the heck has the time gone?!?! This is a bitter-sweet moment for me. She is so excited for this new chapter in her life and I am wishing time could slow down and let me relish in her youth a bit longer. One thing I know, is I have raised a strong and independent daughter and I know that will get her so far in this world. Now, can someone pour me a drink so I can reflect on where these 5 years have gone?!

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