Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Soap Box....

I like to think of myself as a pretty easy-going, straightforward person. I have strong religious beliefs and anyone who truly knows me can tell you that they are pretty conservative. What I believe is precious to me and I try my hardest to live my life in a way that reflects those beliefs to people who I'm close to and to those I may only encounter through everyday life.

I don't pretend that I am perfect. Perfection in my life would actually go against everything that I believe. I am a flawed human being who has been known to make bad choices. I get frustrated with life and sometimes even throw little tantrums. I try to my hardest to tell the truth but don't always succeed. I try not to judge or make assumptions but it still happens. I love with every ounce of strength God gives me and try hard to convey this to people in my life.

What I struggle with - regularly - is hate. I don't struggle because I hate - I struggle because I don't understand people that do. People often hate what they don't understand or simply hate what someone tells them to hate. I have people in my life who I have known for a long time and over time they have developed deep hatred for different things in this world. There are several things about this that bother me.

First, they say they are Christians. Being a Christian, I find this offensive. There are things in this world that I disagree with. There are things that happen that make me angry or sad. But I don't hate people or things. The God I believe in teaches me to love and He teaches me forgiveness. Yes, He is a wrathful God and He hates sin but He loves ALL of His children. No matter the size or shape of their sin, He loves them. So who are WE to hate? Who are WE to throw that first stone? I believe God wants us to hate the sin but love the sinner. Often that is easier said than done but I know that what I need is God's love and the love of others when I'm making a bad choice.

Second, these people in my life used to live their lives much the same way that I do now. They had love and acceptance and forgiveness in their hearts. But they have changed. Now they belittle others because they are different, speak with bigotry, racism and hatred and, in my honest opinion, repeatedly embarrass themselves with their ignorance. I am saddened by the choices they have made to move away from being the people that they once were.

Now, mind you, these people aren't hating things like war or people who hurt children - although I'm sure they have pretty strong feelings about those subjects too. No, I could make sense of those "hates". They hate people because of their religious beliefs. They hate people because of their skin color. They hate people because of their sexual preference. They hate people because of their political affiliation. And it's ugly.

It makes me angry. I am often hurt by their ignorance and insensitivity. I can choose not to listen or read or respond (which I often do) but then it is thrown full into my face and I can't avoid it. That is when I get angry. With righteous anger. And I hate. But, unlike them, I don't hate the people. I hate their ignorance. Their racism. Their small mindedness. I hate their sin of arrogance that they must believe they are above God's call to "love one another, even as I have loved you" (John 13:34) and yet they purport themselves to be Christians. I am angered because somehow they seem to represent to the world what it is to be a Christian and I am often judged because of their ridiculous need to hate.

But I'm letting the world know:  they don't speak for me. They don't speak for my husband. They don't speak for my Church. And they certainly don't speak for my God. 

"As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord" - Joshua 24:15

Hugs & kisses

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Can I just say how much I HATE hormones?

They make me emotionally sensitive. They make me physically miserable. They create a desire in me to eat either an entire container of Pringles or a big bag of Cheetos. They make me want to consume a pint of Ben& Jerry's ice cream - alone, no sharing - with a container of Double Stuff Oreos. Bring. It. On.

And I become a crazy person. Quite literally. Ask Preston.

I think my poor husband thought I was semi-normal until I couldn't take ANYTHING that might regulate my hormones because I had to go and have a myocardial infarction - you know - a heart attack. My cardiologist AND my endocrinologist both say that one of the things that can cause stress on my heart are hormones. I looked at both doctors and said "and the stress that NOT having them to help me is better?". So that means it's safer for me to have high anxiety because I'm hormonal and freaking out or have a massive migraine because my hormones aren't playing nice. Apparently these two have not had to deal with me when I'm in "Crazy Crawford" mode. Maybe THEY should ask Preston.

So I go on through life being under the influence of raging hormones.

Now, for the record, I get the whole punishment because of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and Eve were flat out wrong and Eve (and therefore the rest of us) had to take her punishment for listening to the serpent and giving Adam the fruit. I get the whole punishment of pain during childbirth. But where does it say anything AT ALL about PMS or hormones or menopause?? Come on God, are you there? It's me, Marisha!! I know He is listening (just a clarification to all of my friends out there who are going to reprimand me) and I'm sure He smiles when I raise my voice. But I know He hears me and He hears all of the other women yelling the same thing. How do I know? I know this because in the midst of it all I will suddenly have a moment of peace and clarity. Then I smile quietly and thank Him.

And then I return to being a psychotic, emotional lunatic. Yup. Game on.

Hugs & kisses.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Today is a day to celebrate! A day to eat and drink too much! 

Honestly, if you're like me, it's probably just another day. One of those days when I wake up and don't want to get out of bed. Or spend too much time obsessing over what I should or shouldn't eat. Or have an internal discussion about exercise. I mean it's a TUESDAY - how exciting could that possibly be??

So I'm creating a little excitement. What could be more exiting than popcorn coated in white chocolate? And just when might think I was finished there - oh NO....I added purple, yellow and green to make it Mardi Gras appropriate!


Purple, Gold & Green Popcorn

Pop popcorn. 

Melt the almond bark and add food coloring.

Mix the colored chocolate with the popcorn. I did this in my MASSIVE stainless bowl. Side note - everyone needs a massive stainless steel bowl. I honestly can't remember where I got mine BUT I sure love that bowl and wouldn't trade it for anything! OK, back to the popcorn - I don't have pictures of this because it got SUPER messy because I had to use my hands and I didn't have my photographer to help me. Maybe next time!!

Here you go - finished product. 
I SERIOUSLY need a better camera. Seriously. Oh well....
Laissez les bon temp rouler!!!
Hugs & kisses


Monday, February 20, 2012

Mardi Gras Covered in Remoulade Sauce

Ah sweet Mardi Gras. With your hues of purple, gold and green and visions of amazing Cajun food dancing in my head I welcome you with open arms. Oh and the fact that you translate to "Fat Tuesday" might be part of what makes me love you too. 

A quick little history lesson for all of you about Mardi Gras. The origins can be traced back to ancient Roman times when the festival known as Lupercalia was celebrated in mid February. When the Romans embraced Christianity they didn't want to get rid of all of the pagan festivals (why would they want to give up all of their fun??) and created "Carnival" as a time to celebrate before the season of Lent began. Mardi Gras came to North America with the French explorers Iberville and Bienville. On March 3, 1699 they landed about 60 miles south of what is now New Orleans and called the spot Point du Mardi Gras. The celebrations grew and continued while under French rule but when the Spanish took over all Mardi Gras celebrations were banned. When Louisiana received statehood in 1812 the ban was lifted and the celebrations throughout Louisiana grew over time and developed into what we know today. 

Here are a few links where I got my information and to read more:

Moving on to FOOD! Shrimp with Warm Remoulade. This is one of my FAVORITE meals. Mostly I just love the Remoulade sauce and could eat it with almost anything - even by itself. Typically it is served cold over chilled boiled shrimp but I love to dip French bread into it, spoon it over baked tilapia or cod and also serve it warm over shrimp. I have seen so many recipes in cookbooks and on the internet and they are all pretty much the same. My recipe is based on Emeril's "Remoulade" from Louisiana Real and Rustic. When I originally made it I followed the recipe exactly but Preston thought it was too "mustardy" so I adjusted it and used more mayonnaise and ketchup. According to everything I have read there really isn't a right or wrong way to make it because everyone does it differently but everyone uses the same basic ingredients.

First start with lemons - you will need 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice.
 Next chop the onion, green onions, celery and garlic.
Next measure out the horseradish, whole grain mustard, yellow mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup.
 And finally chop the parsley and add dry spices. Gather everything together and put it all into the food processor.
Process everything for about 30 seconds or until everything is well mixed.
At this point you can either store the sauce in the refrigerator for several days or use it immediately to make your Warm Shrimp Remoulade (see below for the link).
Remoulade (Adapted from Emeril Lagasse's Louisiana Real and Rustic)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped celery
chopped garlic (I use a TON but the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons Creole or whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or more if you want it spicier)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Put all of your ingredients into a food processor and process for 30 seconds. Use immediately or store for a few days in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

 Here is a link for the Shrimp with Warm Remoulade straight from Emeril's website:

Like I said above, one of my favorite recipes. Honestly the original recipe has less fat because it does NOT call for any mayonnaise but instead uses 3 TB of Creole mustard and 3 TB of regular yellow mustard. But because Preston isn't a big mustard fan I substituted part of the mustard with mayonnaise. I use Kraft's Olive Oil Mayonnaise but I think I might try and use plain greek yogurt to cut the fat even further (and up the protein!!). Serving this cold over shrimp or fresh lump crab meat mixed with fresh greens or even as a salad dressing would be delicious. 

So get ready for Mardi Gras my friends and as they say over in Louisiana - laissez les bon temps rouler (Let the good times roll!)!

Hugs and kisses.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Shoes....glorious shoes.....(sung to the tune of "Food Glorious Food" from Oliver!)

I heart shoes. Seriously. I love looking at them. I love trying them on. I love holding them. I love pumps, boots and sandals. I love 5 inch heels, 2 inch heels and flats. I love strappy, peep-toe or closed toe. Black, hot pink, yellow, silver......glittery gold (under my wedding dress).

Sigh....it's an obvious problem that I have. 

However, I am aware of my obssession and with the help of my husband I have worked to bring it under control. I try VERY hard to not buy a pair of shoes without getting rid of another pair. This is, honestly, because I don't have enough space in the closet. Oh, and money is obviously another factor.

But I apparently have a new means of self control. 

Ta da!! UGLY SHOES. 

What exactly is appealing about these shoes?? Who thought these shoes were made for a woman's feet?? I ask myself - what is SEXY about these shoes?? Nothing. I mean, not all shoes are meant to be "sexy" but aren't those "not sexy" shoes meant to be comfortable? These are just hideous. And I, who can personally rock a pair of 5 inch heels, wonder about women's ability to walk in them. I watch girls in the office EVERY day who have no business wearing any heel over an inch (uncomfortable cringing as I think about it) and I tremble at the thought of them trying to wear these shoes. I even asked some of my other "shoe loving" sisters about the new shoes out this Spring and not surprisingly we are all in agreement!!

These shoes remind me of why I love them so much!!

These shoes are sexy. And they are "wearable". And to me (although possibly not to everyone else) they look comfortable. I would feel beautiful and sexy wearing these shoes. Those other ones? Not so much. 

So (and I'm sure Preston will breath a huge sigh of relief) I see no shoe purchases in the near future thanks to shelves full of UGLY SHOES that were obviously meant for those young ladies who have not yet learned the difference between stylish shoes and just plain trendy shoes. I wish you girls luck and have already begun to pray for your ankles. 

Hugs and kisses.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My first post!!

It's my blog!! Finally. I know, you have been waiting too.....

I can feel your shivers of excitement.

That could, quite possibly, be an exaggeration but I am excited!

So here is a quick explanation of what you can hope to find here: me, my family, my fur-babies, my friends, my thoughts about life, faith, health and anything else I feel like talking about AND finally, and most important, Delicious Goodness. Yes, recipes and pictures of whatever yummy-ness I feel like creating. My real purpose is to show a combination of healthy eating (that CAN be delicious while being healthy) and sprinkle in those indulgences that I might decide to make. All things in moderation - that is what every doctor I see tells me so I'm going with it. 

All of that being said....here I go....

I have had a migraine for 3 (count them 1 2 3) days. Not constant, mind you, but always there behind the scenes just begging to interfere with my life. Quite frustrating. And no, before any of you ask, I have NOT been to the doctor about them because I have never, in my history of migraines, had one hang on like this. I can, however, apparently overcome the pain when necessary. I mean making fabulous Valentine's Day cupcakes obviously falls into the "necessary" category - right???


As does a Valentine's dinner prepared with love through the searing pain of white hot pokers being pushed into my head. 

Yes.....anything "love" related obviously falls into that category.

But that, my friends, is because I'm a woman and I work through the pain. Until I fall, tearfully, into bed after taking two over-the-counter migraine pills, a sinus pill (just to make sure), plastering a package of frozen broccoli (wrapped in a dish towel) to my neck and quietly begging my Preston to keep the lights off. Sigh. Happy Valentine's Day people!!! According to Preston, I passed out quickly. 

So here are my deliciously wonderful cupcakes which I must admit do NOT fall into the healthy category.

For these jumbo gems I used Betty Crocker's Super Moist Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix. I substituted 1 1/4 cups brewed coffee instead of the water (a little trick Preston's Mom taught me). It is supposed to add moistness and enhance the flavor of the chocolate and according to my tasters it worked. One box made 12 jumbo cupcakes. Then I made yummy butter cream frosting from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and added AmeriColor's "Electric Pink" gel coloring. I was so happy with the hot pink color! Those little chocolate wafer cookies on top were straight from Martha Stewart. They are delicious and I used the leftover cookies and frosting to make little sandwich cookies. 

So there it is. My first blog post. Whew.

Hugs and kisses.