Monthly Archives: August 2011

help wounded warriors

A couple of days ago a friend of mine invited me to a Facebook event for wounded warriors. It’s a fundraiser called Fight Gone Bad and it’s done by CrossFit communities. Basically on September 17th, all CrossFit communities will do a 17 minute intense workout dedicated to wounded warriors and their children. My friend Christian is looking to reach his goal of $75 but he has already surpassed that amount. The last time I check I believe he was at $125. The proceeds go to Camp Liberty, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and CrossFit Kids. I would really appreciate it if you could help him out. Donating $1-$5 can make a huge difference. Thank you!

Here’s the link to his FGB page: https://fgb6.rapidgiving.com/frp/fundraise.aspx?pk=F1C5TE5
Here’s the link to the Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=202690673127874

Thank you for reading 🙂 More recipes coming soon!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

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fried pork chops

I’m finally squared away in my new apartment. Today was the first time I cooked here. I was intrigued by the stove (yes you read correctly). At my old apartment I had a gas stove but the one I have here is an electric stove. I thought it was pretty cool. I was doing last minute cleaning at my old apartment and I ended up with pork chops and frozen pork and cabbage dumplings. I decided to defrost the pork chops and have them for dinner. I made the dumplings for lunch. I usually don’t make pork chops. I have to admit, the recipes I’ve tried were kind of gross and my pork chops were tough. There’s a recipe that my sister uses that I like but I don’t know it. I decided to brighten up my week and probably shorten my lifespan by making fried pork chops using the Pioneer Woman’s Marlboro Man approved recipe. I must say, Marlboro Man knows his pork chops. The ones I made were de-li-cious! 🙂 A successful pork chop recipe! A must keep. I had a fried pork chop with rice and a tomato for dinner. I almost felt a little dangerous by wanting to fry my tomato! That would have been quite interesting. I’ve never fried a tomato before. I think I’m trying to get in touch with my Southern side.
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That pork chop was close to the size of my foot! So basically, I enjoyed every bite of my dinner. What would a wonderful dinner be without dessert? I had orange sherbet with a white peach. I was contemplating whether or not I should poach my peach but I was too lazy. Dessert was delicious as well!
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The boyfriend comes home Friday. I can’t wait to see him. I’m super bummed that I might not see him until next week because I have an appointment with my counselor when he gets back. Hopefully things go in my favor. Fingers crossed! Thanks for stoppin by.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

my apologies

Sorry I haven’t been blogging recently. I’ve been busy packing everything and moving it to my new apartment. So far I think I have everything squared away. My new room is pretty great. I still have a lot of space. I plan on getting a bookcase, sofa, and tv. Yes, that will fit in my room with the stuff I already have. I have a desk, night stand, bed, lamp, storage box, and 3 layer container. Having my own sink is pretty cool too. I get my own cabinets and mirror. I have a lot of mirrors in my room. I have mirrors on my closet doors and another one for my sink. I’m kind of excited for school to start. I get to start fresh 🙂 I’ll have something to do so that’s always good. I’ve been cleaning so far. I’m kind of tired of cleaning. I’m not much a cleaner. The bf gets back this Friday so I’m excited. A little nervous but excited. Hopefully he’ll be home soon. I’m looking forward to him coming home and school starting. I hope my apartment sorts out soon so I have time to cook and bake 🙂 I haven’t had the chance to use the stove and oven at my new apartment yet.

I hope the best for everyone on the east coast. The bf’s family is from Virginia so there’s been some worry. Hurricane Irene hit two days ago and there was the earthquake. Thanks for reading.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

barcelona on the go

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If you’ve ever been in Irvine, you know that food trucks are a pretty big hit. There are a lot of offices around and well…workers gotta eat! The Lime Truck and SlapFish are two of my favorites but SlapFish wasn’t available at the location that I went to. The Lime Truck always has a line. There were about 10 people in line when I got there and they usually open at 11:30am on the dot. I got there a few minutes earlier. I didn’t recognize most of the trucks. I only recognized The Lime Truck, Barcelona On The Go, and Seabirds. The Lime Truck is known for California beach food whereas Barcelona is Spanish bistro and tapas. Seabirds is a vegan food truck. I love my meat so sorry Seabirds. Don’t get me wrong, they have some delish food too. I was just in a meaty mood. The other food trucks that showed up were Home Skillet, Bratz Berlin, Flavorful Rush, and Waffle de Liege. I was extremely disappointed when I read the sign on Waffle de Liege that said cash only. I really wanted to try it after hearing good things about it from my roommate. So Barcelona is was. I got the grilled chicken sandwich with fries and the usda top sirloin steak with chimichurri sauce and fries. Let me tell you, that steak was one of the best I had. I got it medium rare and it was perfection. The only complaint that I had was that there was way too much chimichurri sauce. There was twice as much sauce as there was steak and fries. That’s definitely no bueno. The fries were well seasoned so it was delish. The cashier was nice and I was super impressed with her iphone. She had this white square thingy that she could swipe cards with attached to her iphone and when she asked me to sign it I got to write on the phone. I thought it was pretty cool. The chicken sandwich was great as well. I might even like the sandwich more than the steak and fries. The sandwich was on ciabatta bread with veggies and this orange looking sauce. Not sure what it was but it was great. One of the best versions of grilled chicken I’ve ever had. There was a lot of chicken and it was cooked to perfection. I’m always weary about chicken sandwiches because some places like to have their chicken “well done.” It’s way too dry in my opinion. So that’s my review for Barcelona. I’ll definitely have to keep an eye on them. Thanks for reading 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

a fund for jennie

As many bloggers may have seen on other blogs, Jennie Perillo (a fellow food blogger) lost her husband to a sudden heart attack. She is now a single mother of two daughters, age 3 and 8. My thoughts and prayers go out to her. I can’t imagine growing up without my father. He has been my back bone and the reason I am who I am today. Please donate for Jennie and her daughters. Jennie was denied widow money from social security because she made “too much money.” Grieving for a loved one is hard enough as it is. Jennie doesn’t need to carry a financial burden on her shoulders. She has to pay her mortgage and health insurance which are both quite pricy on it’s own.

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Reading Jennie’s story truly touched my heart. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl and I remember times when I was younger my older sister would be jealous because I always got my way. Daddy made sure I always got my way. Jennie’s story made me appreciate my father so much more. He’s always been my back bone. He supported me in whatever I wanted to do even when my mother was hesitant. He’s always proud of all the things I’ve accomplished. He is the reason I am who I am today and I will be forever grateful for all he has sacrificed for me. I don’t know what I’d do without him. Daddy was the one who funded my baking schemes in high school. We’d go to the grocery store and he’d laugh as I ran to the baking aisle to get my cake mix or brownie mix. He’d eat whatever I handed him and told me it taste good even when I knew it didn’t. He’d yell at other people when they said what I made didn’t taste good. He used to take my sister and I to the grocery store and we got to ride on the ponies and helicopters that were outside. He’d try to ride it with us but wouldn’t fit. Such amazing memories for the most important man in my life. The one who taught me the difference between right and wrong.

It troubles me deeply to know that Jennie’s little girls won’t have the same memories I do. At the age of 3, it’s hard to remember a person. A few memories here and there but not a whole lot. At the age of 8, it’s hard to understand why a person isn’t there anymore. I lost my grandpa to lung cancer when I was 4 years old. I hardly remember anything about him other than the fact that he always took my sister out to dimsum and I wasn’t allowed to go because I wasn’t old enough. That is the only memory I have of him. My heart goes out to Jennie and her family. It’s especially hard because it was so sudden. They never had a chance to say goodbye. It just makes you think about all the times you should have said something but you didn’t. The times you could have said something but you didn’t. The hardest part about moving on is knowing that you never got to say goodbye. Please help Jennie and her girls. The reason I wanted to be a part of the food blogging community is because we’re like family. We’re like family even though we don’t know one another. We’re like family even though we’ve never met. We’re like family because we do whatever it takes to help each other in times of need. Thank you for reading this.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

strawberry cheesecake

This past weekend was my friends birthday but I’m currently being held in Irvine. I mean I’m still at my apartment in Irvine. He said he wanted strawberry cheesecake. At first I kind of made a face. The kinda face a person would make if something smells bad. I’m not a fan of cheesecake at all. It’s probably one of my least favorite desserts. In fact, if I made a list you can be sure cheesecake won’t be on there. I don’t really see what the hype is about. I love cream cheese..on my bagels but cheesecake? Definite no. I decided to make it for his birthday since he was so excited he got a springfoam pan and everything. It would be impolite to say no would it not? I have no idea what I’m trying to say. I made the damn cheesecake, there 🙂 I’ve never made one before so I wasn’t exactly too thrilled to attempt it. I followed the PW’s recipe cause I can always trust her. It’ll be something yummy even if it doesn’t look like it came from a fancy shmancy restaurant. That’s what I like about the PW. Her recipes are simple and she doesn’t feel the need to make things fancy for it to taste delicious. Plus she’s simple.

Here’s the recipe..
Strawberry Cheesecake (The Pioneer Woman)
3 boxes of cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups of sugar (regular is fine)
1 box nilla wafers
1/2 chopped pecans
1 stick butter

syrup:
1lb diced strawberries (You can use any kind of fruit. PW used blackberries but I used strawberries)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Using a food processor or blender, pulse nilla wafers and pecans together.
3. In a microwavable bowl, melt the stick of butter and pour it into the food processor and pulse again. Just enough for it to come together.
4. Pour into a springfoam pan and press down to make a crust. PW said it’s okay if the crust rises a little on the sides but I didn’t do that with mine.
5. Unwrap the cream cheese and throw them in a large bowl and use a mixer to mix until creamy and smooth.
6. Add sugar and mix again.
7. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
8. Finally add sour cream and mix again.
9. Pour mixture onto nilla wafer crust and bake for about an hour to 1hr 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
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10. In a small pot, heat water and sugar until it boils.
11. Add in diced strawberries and cook for about 2-3 minutes letting the mixture become syrupy.
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12. After cheesecake is done baking, allow to cool for about 1hr and pour syrup on top. I really went all out. Didn’t save any of the syrup. The pan looked like it was going to overflow.
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13. Refrigerate for 2hrs minimum or overnight.

This is my first time making cheesecake so it was a little iffy. I baked mine for only an hour and it was fine. However, the top cracked in three places and the outer layer looks like a pizza crust. It also browned a lot. I’m not really sure what happened because I’m no cheesecake expert but I know the PW’s didn’t look like that! 😦 Oh well, I guess that’s just an excuse to make another one? Hehe 😛 Thanks for stopping by.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

coffee macarons w/buttercream filling

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My post yesterday talked about how my roomie and I bake a lot at night. We take turns sampling the baked goodies we make 🙂 She made coffee macarons with irish cream buttercream. So far between the two of us, this attempt is probably the best. Or at least it looks the part because the macarons she made had pretty feet! 🙂 HOORAY for success! Italian way > french way any day. See roomie? You can’t give up even though the meringue doesn’t look like what it’s supposed to. She made these the italian way and the italian way calls for a sugar syrup. The sugar syrup can be pretty tricky without a candy thermometer. We didn’t have one so I told her to eyeball it and just make sure the sugar came to a boil. She sort of caramelized the sugar but that’s okay. The meringue worked out pretty well. It kind of scared me at first because it was the same consistency as glue. Anyway, the batter was really thick so I told her to add 1/2 a teaspoon of water. It turned out pretty well after that. The shells dried in record time and she had them baking. She used Bailey’s irish cream in the buttercream filling. My KitchenAid mixer does wonders. Yesterday was the first time that I’ve seen buttercream be made successfully. I made coffee macarons my 2nd attempt and it called for a buttercream filling. My buttercream filling was so disgusting that I melted chocolate and added that in to thicken the consistency. Nevertheless it was quite tasty. I haven’t tried these yet but they look really yummy. Thanks for reading 🙂
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Fail Sweetly,
Justina