08 July, 2013

My favorite body scrub...

I found this scrub a few years ago while getting a mani-pedi at a Nashville spa i used to frequent.   I picked it up on a whim because I had a gift card I needed to use up before it expired.  To be honest, I'd never been huge into body washes or scrubs.  I've got a very sensitive nose and I'm pretty picky about my scents.. Sensory Fusion Pomegranate Salt Glow Scrub changed that! This product is just luscious!  It exfoliates with just enough coarseness, smells aMaZing, and is super for priming your skin before self tanner. Pomegranate is the only scent I buy, but lemongrass or mango ginger sound really yummy too.  Here's where you can find this magical stuff. mAgiCaL sTuff

05 July, 2013

Fantastic Flank Steak

  This is a great recipe that has become one of my favorite (and simple) summer things to make. I made this late tonight for the whole family (when my college boy was home from Nashville) and he likened it to eating at Flemings steakhouse!  Our family loves Flemings, and their steaks are fabulous, so that was quite the compliment!  The secret to this steak is marinading it a good 6-8 hours, only grilling it 5-6 minutes on each side (medium rare) and then covering it awhile to sear in the juices before thinly cutting it across the grain.  I made the classic cheesy potato casserole and it was the perfect accompaniment. The only thing missing was a nice garden salad...  Here's what you need:::

1 1/2-2 lbs Flank Steak
8-10 garlic cloves, minced
sprigs of fresh thyme
crushed rosemary (fresh is best but dried is okay too)
olive oil
salt and pepper
a stick of butter
Fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Put your flank steak in a shallow dish and drizzle with olive oil, rub oil all over the steak.  Salt and pepper well on both sides.  MInce 4-5 of the garlic cloves and spread on the top and the bottom of the steak.  Do the same with the thyme and rosemary, placing on the top and bottom of the steak.  Cover and refrigerate 6-8 hours.  Prepare your grill and grill meat on each side 5-6 minutes depending on the thickness of your steak and your preferred doneness. Take off the grill and cover tightly with foil for 10-15 minutes before cutting to keep the juices in. Now melt the stick of butter and your other 4-5 minced garlic cloves together in a little sauce pan and sprinkle some salt in there too. Chop up your Italian parsley.  After 10-15 minutes in the foil you'll want to cut the steak across the grain in thin slices.  Pour the butter and garlic over your steak and sprinkle the Italian parsley over the top. 
serve with some yummy cheesy potato casserole:

1 large pkg. of shredded hashbrowns
1 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 onion, minced
8 oz. sour cream
salt and pepper to taste.  
Combine all ingredients in buttered baking dish and place in 375 degree oven, uncovered for 40 minutes.  

I know this casserole often calls for butter, but I find it to be just as good without it.

04 July, 2013

Red White and Blue Trifle

Happy Independence Day everyone!  We are suffering from serious Nashville withdraw today as this is our first Fourth in 14+ years not spent in music city.  In our old neighborhood by now there would be some serious popping off of fireworks in the air and on our street.  It's dead quiet on our street tonight. BOO!There are strict regulations on what fireworks you can light off here.  My usually, over-enthusiastic, pyromaniac-ish boys have had to stifle their love for shooting off the big-boy fireworks and settle for a few smoke bombs and sparklers. My boys love them some fireworks. Well, at least I didn't have to be stressed over my kids safety and keeping all their fingers and limbs like I usually am on the 4th--that's a big plus.  I am glad we are together as a family tho'--all 5 of us.
For dessert I made this delicious trifle.  I chose simple and just used a box cake mix.  It's super simple and really pretty.  

Red, White and Blue Trifle:
1 box of white cake mix (i like Duncan Hines)
8 oz. cream cheese softened
1/3 c. sugar
1 c. heavy whipping cream
3 c. strawberries, washed, hulled and cut in half, dried
2 c. bluberries, washed and dried
1 c. raspberries, washed and dried

Make the cake according to box directions.  When cake is cooled cut into bite size pieces.  
Combine berries together in a large bowl.
In another bowl cream the cream cheese with the mixer and gradually add the 1/3 c. of sugar.  Blend well until the mixtures gets a bit airy.  Slowly add the heavy cream and mix until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Put a layer of cake in the bottom of the trifle bowl.  Spread half of the whipped cream over the cake.  Place half the berries over the whipped cream.  Repeat the layers.  Chilling it for a couple hours makes it even better.

Have a wonderful 4th!