Meringue madness

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beware: these are the most addictive little suckers ever! they are probably what I’m best known for by my friends and family; so much so that one of my best friends Adrianne comes straight into the kitchen, opens my vintage red breadbox looking for the bag of meringues and proceeds to yell at me if they’re not there. I also use them as payment for my father to do handyman jobs around my house and every time I make them and leave the room to let them cool I return to find half the batch gone and he and my husband standing there with guilty looks and full cheeks. These meringues are light, crunchy, and deliciously sweet. Not to mention SUPER easy to make which makes me love them even more. You only need five ingredients and a little bit of time. Here’s the recipe;

Beauty & The Butcher’s Melt in Your Mouth Meringues

4 egg whites room temperature (here’s a little secret I learned after several occasions where I wanted to make them but crap! my eggs were cold…I finally realized I could just put the eggs in a bowl of hot water and let them sit for a few minutes and voilà room temperature!) also if you need something to do with those yolks you just separated then make my yummy almond cake found here
1/4 tsp good vanilla (as Ina says)
1/4 tsp kosher salt (the only salt I use)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar (and no, in case you were wondering, this is not tartar sauce or anything close to it-you know who you are! it’s a fine white powder found in the spice aisle and is an acid that increases the stability and volume of the egg whites…fun fact it’s also used in the wine fermentation process!)
1 cup sugar (I sometimes use half a cup if I’m making them for people that can’t have a lot of sugar but they’re obviously not the same!)

Ok so let’s recap those 5 ingredients since I was blabbing so much…
4 room temp egg whites
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cream if tartar
1 cup sugar
(Optional- add chocolate chips or citrus zest)

You’ll also need a mixer, parchment paper, two baking sheets, a piping bag or large Ziploc, scissors, and some sort of vessel like a large jar.

Preheat oven to 225. Meringues need to cook “low and slow”.
Combine egg whites, salt, vanilla, and cream of tartar in the bowl of your stand mixer
Whisk on high until egg whites start to get frothy
Slowly add sugar into the mixture while it’s beating and beat until mixture is glossy and stiff peaks are formed (you should be able to hold the bowl upside down and it doesn’t budge!)
If adding chocolate chips (I use ghiardelli mini chips, they are easier to pipe) or citrus zest, fold in gently.
Take your piping or ziploc bag and invert it into jar or large glass. Fill with mixture, twist bag closed, and snip a small opening at the tip of the bag.
Pipe small (Hershey’s kiss shapes) onto two parchment paper lined baking sheets.
Put in the oven and bake for about an hour and 5 minutes. Put on cooling rack and then store in airtight container, then enjoy!!!!

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my beefcake

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This man. I love this man. My husband discovered the true definition of “shop till you drop” yesterday and did not complain once. We went to kohl’s, (where this photo was taken…he wouldn’t actually try it on, you can only push someone so far!) old navy, sports authority, the Gainesville mall (and many stores inside of it), trader joes, Walmart, SAMs club, Publix, and finally, target. Oh and four thrift stores one of which he saw and just pulled into the parking lot without me even having to ask! It was a lot even for me and I consider myself to be an expert shopper! We are leaving for vacation Saturday and so I had a list and purpose for each store we went to which I think helped him feel a little better about it all but he truly was a trooper. Is there a greatest husband in the world award? If there is, this guy should get it, and yesterday’s shopping extravaganza was only one of the many reasons why.

this is NOT chicken soup, it’s much much more.

this is CHICKEN AND NOODLES. a step above chicken soup, and far more comforting and delicious. and like any good dish, it’s even better the next day! so here’s the step by step (day by day…great now I have that theme song in my head again!)

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start with a whole chicken & cut accordingly. (or marry a butcher and make him do in at work. your local butcher can probably do it too, even without you marrying him) put it into a pot and cover with about 4 quarts (or 16 cups) of water.

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bring to boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. keep water simmering but remove chicken and (carefully-it’s hot!) shred the chicken. this is a bit tedious, but just consider it your workout for the day! set the chicken to the side or if you’re making this ahead of time put it in the fridge. return the bones to the simmering water, bring to a boil, and simmer for about an hour. then take the bones out using a slotted spoon or a spider to make sure all the bones even the tiny pieces are gone.

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while the bones are simmering get started on your prep, the classic mire poix. which is a fancy French term for the trinity of any good soup base; carrots, celery, & onion. dice them all in similar bitesize pieces. one onion, a bag of celery and a small bag of carrots (peeled).

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assemble your spices…

  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoons White Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Parsley Flakes

(remember to taste as you go, these seasonings are pretty much estimations based on my taste, always start with the recommendation and add as you see (or taste) fit. Add the mire poix to the pot, followed by the herbs and spices. Stir to combine and simmer for  ten minutes really let those flavors set in.

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Increase heat and add frozen egg noodles and chicken. You can make your own noodles but these are available in the frozen section of most grocery stores and are probably better and a heck of a lot easier than the real deal. give it a try, I dare you to be able to tell the difference! Cook for about 10 minutes.

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take 3 tbs of flour, add a little water and stir together into a liquidy paste. add this to the pot, stir it in, and let simmer for about 5 minutes until the broth thickens. if you want it thicker, add more flour but just be careful not to go overboard because you don’t want to be able to taste the flour.

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isn’t it pretty?!

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serve with some crusty bread and you’ve got yourself a real crowd pleaser little lady! (or gent, no discriminating here!)

 

 

one shoulder slam dunk

not always a fan of the one shoulder look (especially since it means wearing a strapless bra…you busty girls know what I mean!) but I was shopping with one of my best friends Angela recently, and came across this at lane bryant and when I tried it on we both fell in love! I was wearing the pants I’m wearing in the picture and let me just tell you something I discovered that day, if you have a go to pair of white jeans, wear them shopping! They go with everything and made everything I tried on look so good! Ok back to my outfit, the best part of all was that when I got to the register the shirt was only $6.98, doesn’t get better than that!!! my only hesitation was that the sleeveless side was on my right arm which has a large burn scar that I’m self conscious about (long story involving pasta water..another day another blog!) but tonight when I put it on upon further examination the front and back were completely the same and there was no tag, merely a logo imprint on the fabric do I turned it around and voila! instant scar cover!

top-lane bryant
pants- Merona for target
shoes- Nine West
earrings- forever 21

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it’s glamourtime- M.C. Glamour

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We are nine days (and counting!) away from vacation and as you know, I love a red lip and some accessories to liven up a bathing suit look! When I was a kid, my mother never left the house, even to go to the grocery store, without makeup and AT LEAST a pair of earrings on! She was pretty fabulous and still is, always matching & accessorized with perfectly polished nails (now that I think about it I literally cannot remember a time when I’ve seen her with a chipped nail or peeling polish!) And although I probably do break that rule on occasion, much more than she did, one place I DO wear makeup & jewelry to is the beach! When you look good on the outside you feel better on the inside and there’s no better time to make make yourself feel good than when in a bathing suit in front of a ton of people! So forget that beachy, natural, no makeup look (I mean there’s a time and a place but I feel this isn’t one of them) throw on your retro inspired suit, some wedges, a cute headband or sunhat, some great shades, and of course a red lip because…it’s glamourtime! (you have the hammertime song stuck I’m your head now don’t you?!)