Pretty Fabulous Cook

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dear Reader's,

We have a couple of days before the giveaway officially ends (June 30, 2012).  Hope you're excited!

I will be using to choose the lucky person.  On Monday, July 2, 2012, the winner's name and/or email address will be posted and I will email them personally.  I wish you all the best of luck.

P.S.  I would appreciate if the winner sends me a picture of the earrings they receive from the candle.  I would love to post it.

The Pretty Fab Cook
(I guess the company's name changed, but it's still the same candle)

Chicken-Ranch Mac and Cheese

Above is a picture of yesterday's meal. It was my first time trying a "healthy" mac and cheese recipe. It came out fairly tasty (if I do say so myself).  If you're interested in the recipe just let me know.

Recipe from "Cooking Light" App.
Serving Size: about 2 cups
CALORIES: 497; FAT 17g (sat 7.4g, mono 4.7g, poly 1.4g); PROTEIN 33.3g; CARB 51.7g

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Not from Concentrate

Some days I feel like a watered-down version of my true self. Ever get that feeling?

  • I'm a wife, so there are certain things I can't do...
  • I'm a mother, so there are certain things I shouldn't do...
  • I'm a responsible adult, so there are certain things I won't do...

If given a free pass, I wonder how much of these "no, no's" I would actually participate in?

I can see it now (mind-bubble forming)...Waking up in the morning, eating breakfast and...and.....and...spending the entire time thinking about what I could get into.

DARN IT!! Even my imagination is watered down!!

Mood: Confused, moody

Dinner: Chicken-Ranch Mac and Cheese, Corn on the Cob, Tossed Spinach Salad

Meet the Cinnaburger

So, I don't get grossed out very easy, but here is another one for my "yucky" category. blogger thought it might be an interesting (if not unique) idea to use two Cinnabon's as hamburger buns...more after the jump .

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"What's going on?"

... was my daughter's first question when we arrived home.

I'm sure you're asking yourself, "what could those pictures POSSIBLY have to do with cooking or food?"

Need I say more?

Mood: Happy

Monday, June 25, 2012

Book Club

I have finally opened the discussion forum for my book club.  My goal is to have a member discussion of the current book monthly.  Below is a link to the forum if you're interested in joining.  You can find the current book and meeting dates in the "Book Club" section of this blog. Hope to see you there :)

Life is Like Golf...Without the Mulligans

I tagged along with the hubby for 18 rounds of golf on this trip.  It was my first time and I must say, it was rather enjoyable.  The weather was nice and so was the company.  As we breezed through the fairway, I noticed my significant other getting rather PO'ed at different aspects of the game and thought to myself, "why play a game that obviously causes you so much grief?"

That thought led me to my next observation...that life is a lot like golf:

1: Life, like Golf, give you high's and low's.
2. Life, like Golf, is all about how well you know (and master) your equipment.
3. Life, like Golf, is a fun ride with lots of traps to avoid.
4. Life, like Golf, can sometimes progress slowly because of the people that precede you.
5. Life, like Golf, has jerks that will hurl balls in your path.
6. Life, like Golf, is surrounded by beauty.
7. Life, like Golf, is much more fun with a cigar and a strong Scotch.

(I think he's ready for the PGA)

(The Beauty of the Course...Reeds & Crane)

Mood: I think it's safe to say that my mood this entire trip was extremely happy and truly blessed.

I'm Baaaack!!

Two days post New Orleans, and I'm still stuffed. As a Texas girl with Louisiana roots, let me tell you, there are no better states to live in (or visit) when it comes to food. Check out the pics of some of the deliciousness below.

(Redfish Bouillon from Le Bayou).

(Stracci from Domenica). I loved this dish but, according to my husband, it's definitely not for the faint of heart. It's parsley pasta with oxtail meat and fried chicken liver.

(Fried Seafood Platter we got at some restaurant down Canal St). Definitely drunk man food...the grease helps absorb the alcohol (lol). Fried alligator, calamari, fish and shrimp.

(No N.O. collage would be complete without a Hurricane pic). Sorry, but I'd already drunk half before it dawned on me to snap it.

Dear New Orleans Restaurants:  

Your prices for Red Beans & Rice is out of control!  $13-16 for a bowl?  Pure foolishness.  I could cook a pot of beans to feed 10 people for that price.  Please regulate your prices in accordance with the price of ingredients/preparation.  

Thank you,
The Pretty Fab Cook

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Off to The Big Easy

Well blog family, I'll be on my way to New Orleans soon (time for a mini vacay). When I return, I'll be posting pics...and reviews, of yummy Louisiana cuisine.

Mood: Excited/Happy

Meal: soft shell crab, beignets, seafood gumbo, po boys, muffalleta's, boiled crawfish w/andoulle sausage, corn and potatoes, etc.

P.S.  I will won't be partaking of these foods all at the same time.  Although I love the thought of trying to consume all these at once, I'm pretty sure I would have a massive coronary...or something to that effect.  Chat with you guys soon :)

Fill Up My Glass!!

I don't know who comes up with this stuff...but they're genius'.

Monday, June 18, 2012

This is why I only eat fried Calamari.

A South Korean woman got quite a mouthful when a semi-cooked squid she was eating reportedly inseminated her mouth.

The 63-year-old suffered "severe pain" and a "prickling, foreign-body sensation" in her mouth after taking a bite of the partially-cooked seafood, read more

Where's My Chi?

Sorry ladies and gents; but I was MIA for a few days. Besides the nachos, I didn't do very much cooking last week (hubby was out of town on business).

The last few days I've felt like I was loosing my chi. No rhyme or reason behind the personality shift, just taking a lot of things the wrong way I suppose (or taking things the right way and having the wrong response). This weeks project is...GET IT TOGETHER, GIRL!!

ANYWAY, I have a new favorite product (see below).

I've been using it on and off for a couple of months and must say I love it. It makes a wonderful family meal in less than an hour and comes in 4 flavors.

Mood: Tired, Moody
Dinner: Italian Parmesan chicken, Spinach & Risotto stuffed pasta w/marinara sauce, mixed veggies

This product was purchased by The Pretty Fab Cook and is not a paid advertisement.

Ice Cream & Bacon?

The fast food world has been abuzz with the recently unveiled bacon sundae from Burger King. So what do you think? Culinary Genius or Mastication Madness?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


No pic of the finished product. Even though it tasted delicious, all the pics I took looked a little gross.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Breaking Bad

I have been reading about breaking bad habits...and, even though I hate to admit it, I've got quite a few. I have defined a "bad habit" as anything that negatively effects those around me; not mere annoyances. There are 5 steps needed in successfully change behavior.
Step 1: Awareness
Step 2: Wanting to Change
Step 3: Commitment
Step 4: Consistent Action
Step 5: Perseverance

Honestly, I get stuck anywhere between steps 3 - 5.

Why is it that bad habits are so easy to form and maintain? I've often wondered if these actions are instinctual to humans; perhaps they are pieces of our personality that develop naturally as a coping mechanism. That would definitely explain why so many of us act the way we do.

It also gives us a good excuse for some of our behavior :)

Mood: Content

Dinner Menu: Grande Nachos

You put THAT in WHAT?

This is filed in my...yucky category.

I am signed up to receive emails from quite a few recipe websites. One arrived in my inbox yesterday that I just had to share. It's called Mashed Potato Tacos.

Yes, you read right.

In my humble opinion, this is just GROSS. Something about mashed potatoes in a taco shell is just no bueno. The recipe said it was a great snack for kids, but I can't imagine my VERY picky toddler even looking at these. What do you think?

Monday, June 11, 2012

My New Coat Rack

I'm so excited!! Over the weekend I got a space-saver exercise bike. My plan is to put it in front of the TV and work those leg muscles nightly. I guess since I like to eat, I need to learn to like working out.

(I had a little model that was determined to showcase the "vehicle")

Chicken/Sausage Gumbo

You know the problem with gumbo is it's hard to make a small pot. Oh well, plenty of leftovers :)

(Boiling the chicken; you know I like my onions)

(This okra was gorgeous)

(The completed cuisine)

(Just in case your wondering, despite all my cooking...the toddler's meals look like this; oh well)

Friday, June 8, 2012


"Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.[1] A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources."

The above statement is a copy/paste from Wikipedia. So, how do you define your happiness? Do you allow others to dictate whether or not you are in "an emotional state of well-being?" If you fall into that category, you will never be fulfilled. If I've learned anything in this life it is this:
You should never give ANYONE so much control over your life that they have the ability to steal your joy.

Situations and circumstances have the ability to make me a little down, but no longer people. When you are in a good mood, try to limit the time you spend around individual's that are down in the dumps (PS: don't be offended when people apply the same method to you). Keeping a smile and an upbeat attitude will help keep your spirits up, and just may have a positive ripple effect.

Mood: Happy

Dinner: Chicken/Sausage Gumbo, Toasted French Bread


You learn something new everyday. These are my favorite picnic cups.

(to put into perspective for the drinkers in the room)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Sandwich...finally!

Ok folks. You'll find the picture of the Croque Monsieur below. Sorry for the quality; I think the foil screwed up the lighting.

Reason 2

They say laughter is the best medicine. Good thing there is plenty around my house. When I'm not laughing at my daughter (who is naturally funny, by the way), I'm usually smiling at something silly "the spouse" is doing. Robert Frost said "if we couldn't laugh, we'd go insane."

Hmmmm.........what if you're already insane?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Blogging is my "Mood Journal"

As I've been writing about my moods (and cooking), I'm surprised at the positive vibes it has given me. I'm noticing that I most definitely have more content/happy days than I previously imagined. I guess we get so wrapped up in the negative that we completely overlook the positive.

I challenge my readers to begin a "mood journal." It doesn't need to be fancy, just a quick chronicle of your current status. After a month, take a look at your previous may be surprised at the outcome.

Much Love,

Pretty Fab Cook

Total Randomness

Name some foods that begin with the letter "U."


Ok, I'll admit it...I was tired. I wanted to make the Croque Monsieur but I just couldn't bring myself to do it (thank God for leftovers and hot dogs). I will definitely make them tonight and post the pictures tomorrow; PROMISE.

(A face you can trust)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Simple, Complex Sounding Sandwich

Today's meal is going to be pretty simple. It's great for all you busy people out there that want something delicious with very little effort.

Mood: Content/Tired

Dinner Menu: Croque Monsieur, corn on the cob, sweet potato fries

Check back tomorrow for pics!

It's Done...and Contest!!

The new blog design is finished...hooray!! Thanks to Keely at Mod Melon Web Design.

In celebration of my new look, I'll be having a giveaway. Ever heard of One Carat Candles? They combine "natural soy candles with jewelry." There is a surprise in every candle (a pair of earrings ranging from $10 - $3000).

I will be giving away one One Carat Candle (Apple Slice) to a lucky winner; all you need to do to enter is subscribe/follow. The winner will be chosen in a random drawing and is open until June 30, 2012. Good Luck!!

Disclaimer: Open to US residents only. Winner will be notified via email. Candle will arrive 1-2 weeks after winner notification.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Self Reflection: Unappreciated

Sometimes I feel under appreciated. I feel like I work my fingers to the bone and no one really cares. Between the work I do at...well, at work; and the tasks I complete at home I think there should be some type of celebration just for me and my accomplishments.

Between the washing, folding, cooking, cleaning,feeding, dropping off/picking up, doctor's appointments (let me stop this list now cause it could go on forever) it's easy to feel devalued. Time's like these (when I'm feeling sorry for myself), I wonder if I make others feel the same way.

The answer is "probably so."

We can get so accustomed to things people do, that we no longer feel the need to say "thank you." We take their sacrifices for granted and forget to value the contribution they have made in our lives. Look around there something someone does in your life that makes your life a little easier? Why don't you send them a quick thanks, it'll be unexpected and I'm sure bring a smile to their face.

Mood: Unappreciated...just in case you can't tell.

Dinner: Fried chicken wings and restaurant leftovers (shrimp fried rice).

Chili con Carne

That quiche wasn't my only culinary therapy for the weekend. Friday I tried my hand at Chili con Carne (basically a Mexican chili w/stew meat). The recipe called for only meat, but the hubby needs something that will stick to his ribs, so I added pinto beans. Enjoy the pics!

Mood: Happy

Dinner: Chili Con Carne (careful, it's spicy)

(Uncooked beans w/onion & bell peppers)

(2 hours of simmering)

(Last bit of cilantro before completion)

Breakfast Quiche

I know it's a bad habit, but I don't really eat breakfast. A cup of coffee in the morning and I'm good 'til almost noon.

I understand the importance of the first meal of the day, so I try to cook something most weekends for the fam.

Mood: Content/Moody

Breakfast: Ham & Cheese Quiche

(Sauteed ham & leeks in pie crust)

(After egg mixture and cheese added)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Good Deed?

Why is it when you try to do something nice for people, it seems unappreciated?! Happened to me yesterday, and without going into too much detail, it left me pretty upset!

Last night was an angry meal, but after all the chopping and sauteing, I felt soooo much better.

Mood: Angry and Unappreciated

Dinner: Baked Tilapia w/shrimp etouefee sauce, wild rice (below are pics of the peppers and fish being prepped)


I'm not a patient person...there, I said it. I've heard all my life that "good things come to those who wait," but thanks to Grover Washington I know "not to those who wait too late."

Side Msg to my younger readers: Look Grover Washington up.

What are some things I can do to work on this...hurry up and tell me?