Friday, July 18, 2014

Blue Angels, Egg Rolls, Hospice.. Friday nonsense.

Happy Friday, Folks! I had mixed feelings with/about this week... what felt like a dragging pain suddenly slipped into a quick end. We began the week recovering from a long weekend of fun in the sun, enjoying a serious, ALL DAY boat trip at Pensacola Beach for Red, White, and Blues. But don't let me get ahead of myself here. Today I want to share a few things about what's been going on around here lately...

Girls on the boat!! 

This picture is borrowed from my friend Amber who was working at a Condo across the street.  It perfectly shows the view of where we were anchored and how crazy it was!

1. Saturday, July 12th was a serious day for those in Pensacola & Pensacola Beach, FL. Our beloved Blue Angels were back in there air again. Well over 100,000 people crammed our beaches (that was just the number that the toll bridge counted, thousands cover the sound in boats- like me) to see the epic show they always bring! Red, White, and Blues not only brought the crowds with their heads tilted toward the sky, mouths gaping open, but it brought the spirit of our town back too! My dear friends Kim and James invited us our on their boat and we gladly accepted. We met them at 7:30am at a boat dock across from our "anchor dropping point". Myself, Rob, Kim, James, their fire fighting friend Patrick, and his precious daughter Ava ventured across the sound for the show.  The Blues don't start the air show until 2pm but it's hectic and you must get a good spot. Lucky for us, Kim came prepared with a cooler full of jello and pudding shots to pass out to the boats around us in order to make "friends" and shimmy our way into a perfect place fit for kings and queens. We set up.. meaning the grill was reading, homemade floating beer pong table set up, kayaks in the water, and beers ice cold. Not only was the company and food good but the show was fantastic.  Win for Team Jello Shots!
On a side note.. the bridges to get to the beach were backed up for hours.. seriously. The ONLY way to go to the Blue Angel shows is by boat (and bride those around you).

2. Were you aware that Gain AND Snuggle now make plugins?? Or am I the only person on the Earth to find out about this? I am a fiend when it comes to good scents around the house. Not only do I have a Scentsy burner but a Glade burner and two Airwick plugins. I would have more but Rob would go insane. I already get complained to about my use of Downy and Fabric Sheets-- #getoverit! I have now tried the Snuggle plugins and I adore them. I saw Gain for the first time (with my own eyes) and I'm wanting to try them now but I have to buy another holder-- or whatever, they aren't Airwick.  So they are next on my list. I got a wild hair to try the Airwick Cinnabon "flavors" and they are okay. I just love the fresh laundry scents. Have you tried them? Do it!

3. Have you ever seen the show Frankenfood? If you like cooking shows or crazy food combos, you should check it out. Rather than explain it, I'll just invite you to Google it. I was watching it the other day (hashtag ADDICTED) and a Contestant made Gyro Egg Rolls.  I know right then and there that I wanted to make them. While I got no photos of that adventure, the next night I decided that I would make "regular" egg rolls but with my own spin. Other than being tedious, this was a really good idea and loved by ALL.
I took a LB of ground beef and a LB of ground pork (this was way too much), three bags of shredded cole slaw mix (that contained carrots), Egg Roll Wraps, Asian Peanut Sauce- for dipping, Rice Wine Vinegar, and Tempura Oil. I used NO other seasoning on anything other than 2 tablespoons of margarine. 
I browned the beef and pork in a skillet and then added the peanut sauce towards the end, allowing it to mix with the juices that came out from cooking. I had time to rest this overnight but if you don't, let it sit in the juice for at least a hour. After sitting, strain very well-- it cannot be wet. Be plentiful with the sauce when adding to the meat. I wouldn't use an entire jar/bottle, but most of it. Set it aside.
Put the two tablespoons of margarine in a large saucepan and allow it to melt on LOW. Then add your shredded cole slaw-- please remember that you need to change the amounts of items when it comes to the amount you are making!! I did not cook this completely. I just allowed it to take a "touch" of the crunch out of it. You want it to have a bit of a "bite" when it's in the actual egg roll and it will cook at a bit when you fry it.
Anyway, I eyeballed how much Rice Wine Vinegar and Tempura Sauce when I was *slowly* "warming" this. I happen to love Tempura Sauce so I would just do it to taste. With that being said, taste your meat too.  The flavors are going to "mesh" together so keep that in mind. I turned the heat off and after taking this off the burner, I allowed it to sit in the juices and absorb them. Because I had extra time, I strained this out of the juice and allowed it to chill overnight with the meat (seperately) but if you don't, just allow it to come to room temp.  Since you've drained your meat and your veggies very well, you can mix them together and pull out your egg roll wraps. DO NOT give them time to dry out. Don't bother pulling them out of their package. Set yourself out a little bowl of warm water because it's going to seal them closed. Most egg roll wrap "containers" will show you how to roll them... I've already gone way too much into detail so you should just Google again to find directions. Anyway, do one heaping spoonful of your concoction, roll up, and we chose to deep fry at 375 degrees until golden brown. SO.DAMNED.GOOD. I served with fried rice and everyone loved me-- I didn't bother telling them it was Rice Roni. Shhhhhh.

4. As long as I've lived in Pensacola, FL (born and raised), I've known and become accustomed to the up and down weather, humidity, and bogus saying that "Southern Women don't sweat, they glisten"-- WHHHHHHHHHHHHHATEVER! The last thing that I would have expected is to have cool weather over the past couple of days but as if God simply smiled upon us, we have had an evening in the high 70's and this morning it was in the high 60's. Now that doesn't mean that it's not blazing hot, enough to make you want to scream and drown yourself in the river, but it makes a big difference. Can we please have mornings and evenings like this for the rest of the summer? Pretty please???

5. Since my son passed away (no I'm not being a cry baby or whining-- promise), I've had a passion for working in Hospice with Bereaved Parents. No one was available to help me after Miller passed away and I just knew that someone that had walked a mile in my shoes could cater to my needs.  Well, low and behold, one of my work contacts hooked me up with the Volunteer Supervisor with our local Covenant Hospice and I'm signed up to start with them.  For those that aren't aware-- in some areas, it's hard to get involved with volunteering.  I would love to make a career out of working with Hopsice and this individual knows this.. I'm so incredibly stoked!  I know that my passion is giving back and helping others and doing it in my son's name just makes me feel that he didn't die in vain.
I can't wait--- training starts the 29th and it's a pot luck.. so I'm sure to win the hearts of ALL of them.  Not only through the depth of my heart and passion but through their bellies!

On an *extra* note.. next weekend I will be sharing my Oldies/Motown playlist over on Helene In Between and I'm super excited!
Enjoy your weekend :)


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