Saturday, December 28, 2013

Crossing into 2014...

     Well, it goes without saying that I have been in a time of transition and change, but I am surviving and will be better for all of it, at least I hope and pray that is the case.  I have always felt that the week between Christmas and New Years is a tremendous opportunity for reflection.  What a year that 2013 has been, its been rocky to say the least, but it has had some beautiful moments as well.  I have so many hopes and dreams and goals for 2014.

     As I reflect on everything that has happened in 2013 it is overwhelming, and I hope to soon have my feet on solid ground again and back better than ever.  As I sit and think of 2013 I can focus only on one thing and that is how very blessed that I am.  I have the best family that any girl could ever ask for.  I have parents that are the best I could have ever dreamed of and brothers and sister in laws that stand by me no matter what happens.  And the world's funniest Grandma, and the cutest nieces and nephews in the world.  I have amazing friends, and the cutest dog ever.  I am blessed.  While I am re-grouping and figuring so many things out as the divorce proceedings go on, I become more and more aware of just how lucky I am.

     Every year I try to focus on something, 2014 I want to be a year focusing on gratitude and acknowledgement of my blessings.  Due to my current situation it will have to be a simple year where I focus completely on the simple things in life and being happy and grateful each day for the blessings I have.

     I hope that all of you had an amazing Christmas!  I had a very nice Christmas and I will be writing more about in in the next few days.  The past couple months I haven't written much as you can see, I have been re-grouping and figuring out exactly where I am headed.  I am excited to say, I know where I am headed and however rocky the journey may be I am going to get there!

    Over the next few days you will hear lots more of my plans and goals for 2014 and I would love to hear your goals for change 2014.  Together I think that we can all have a great 2014!  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Updates & Where Have I Been???

Hope On
     Wow, where to begin?  Its been a whirlwind since I last wrote that is for sure, so let me bring you up to speed on a few things.
    
     There is sadly, no longer a Mr. Love From Scratch anymore.  Since my last blog entry I have moved out and filed for divorce.  This really is not the place to air dirty laundry, so I will just leave it at that.  I wish him nothing but the best as he moves forward and I pray for the strength as I move onward and upward and rebuild.
    
     This time of year is always my favorite.  I love Thanksgiving and the chance it gives me to reflect on all of my many blessings. This year I have so much to be grateful for, I am so very blessed.  It is a wonderful time of year and I am blessed far beyond what I feel I deserve. 
    
     I am sorry this post is short, so much more is coming, I am thankful for all of you and I am so happy to be back!  Life is a journey, and I am hanging on for every twist and turn of the ride.

Friday, September 13, 2013

And the Results are in! Luca Wins as America’s Next Masterchef!!!

Luca Wins!
    What a season it has been for Masterchef!  I have to say I loved this season, and found the season very inspiring.  As all of you already know by now Luca won.  I was hoping that he would win for so many reasons, but especially because of the story of his journey to Masterchef.
    
     On Season 3 he was the last person eliminated before the contestants enter the Masterchef kitchen.  He was admonished to keep cooking and to try again for Season 4.  He could have so easily said that he had already given it his best effort and moved on.  However, he showed humility and persistence, and took the judges advice.  He worked very hard that year, fine tuned his craft, and he came back and he WON!!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Thoughts on Fall and The Anne of Green Gables Cookalong, (It’s coming I SWEAR!)…

PEI in the Fall Revised
     Autumn leaves, sweater weather, college football, hot chocolate, the fall really is the best season ever!  I have always been a bit of a romantic when I think of Autumn.  It seems like the perfect season, it’s a shame that it has to turn into something as bleak as winter (which for the record, is my LEAST favorite season.) 
    
     Autumn is always full of lots of baking, pumpkin and apples abound.  Every Saturday I make treats for the big game (Go Texas A&M!).  I love the fall, it always seems like such a peaceful time of year.  So nice and relaxing, like a nice quilt that you can just snuggle up in.  Especially since to me Summer is the least relaxing season ever.  It always seems to be such a whirlwind for me.  I am glad for some relaxing fall days where I can enjoy all the beauty that nature has to offer.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Like Father Like Son! Masterchef Week 14 Recap…

Masterchef Fathers and Sons     I know that lately I have been pathetic and get this recaps up in a timely manner.  It's been a whirlwind so I am trying to get on top of things and do better!  It was a great week for Masterchef however!
         
     On tonight’s show the judges get some very special help from their sons, who stop by the Masterchef kitchen to judge the next mystery box challenge. Those boys are spitting images of their fathers. Later, in a field challenge, the remaining five home cooks visit a ranch where they will each prepare one Southern-inspired dish as part of a special summer luncheon for local charity volunteers. After the first part of the competition, two home cooks will advance to the finals and the Top Four, while the bottom three contestants will face a pressure test that will end the competition for one home cook.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Bad Day For Vegetarians…Masterchef Week 13 Recap

Masterchef Challenges to new Heights     This week I actually got to watch Masterchef with my parents, which was quite the treat.  I have been visiting them, so I do apologize that my recap is so late in being posted.  The trip was wonderful, and full of good food.  I will share more about the trip soon!    
    
     We begin the episode with the the Top 6 on top of a huge building and we learn that Krissi is deathly afraid of heights. They are going to have their team challenge, the restaurant takeover.  I always like this challenge, it is very eye opening to see how certain people react to the restaurant environment.
    
     They will be responsible for taking over dinner service for one of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants.  No pressure right?  There will be two teams, Bri and Natasha as the top two from last week get to be team captains.  Natasha gets to choose first.  Krissi is still hiding due to her fear of heights.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Deep Down in the Heart of Texas…

James Avery Charm
     It seems like forever since I have written, I am a slacker I know.  I have been in Texas for the past few days and absolutely loving it!  Texas is will always be near and dear to my heart.  I love Texas, it is the best, full of great people, great food, and lots of things to see.  I have been spending time with my parents and absolutely loving it!  It seems that no matter where you go wherever your parents are is home, and that is always the best feeling.
    
     My birthday was last Tuesday, I turned 33, (I am getting old I know).  My mom bought me this sweet charm for my birthday, and I love it!  Texas will always have such a special place in my heart, I have learned so much in this great state.  I will be sharing pictures soon of my trip!  Tonight I get to make my dad a special birthday dinner and I am so excited for that opportunity!  Family time is the best time!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Masterchef Week 12 Recap…It’s a Fowl Situation!

Masterchf Wk 12
     I have to admit I hate the new format.  I want 2 hours of new material every week!  Not one hour from last week, and only one hour new material.  I feel cheated, but I am still excited for the new episode, even if it is only one hour. (sniff, sniff)      
    
     The contestants are in the kitchen, it’s the final 7 (again) they have a mystery box challenge to start out with. They have a 16 ounce t-bone steak. James informs us that “he is from Texas and a Man, so he eats steak, once a week, and that is a fact.” Love it!  Never underestimate a Texan’s ability to make a steak!  I am telling you any real Texan can make a killer steak, its in our DNA.  Oh how I miss Texas!  The contestants have 45 minutes to make their steak dish.

     This challenge is making me hungry.  Maybe I need to fix myself a TV snack while I watch this week.  Steak is one of my absolute favorites.  My dad is an excellent grill master, and a good steak can rarely be beat!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Masterchef Week 11 Recap, Definitely a good day for Vegetarians!

Keep Calm and Cook on

     I am sorry that I am a day late for my recap, so I am sure all of you already know what happened, on this week’s episode, but it still definitely deserves a recap.  I have to admit I was surprised at how the episode turned out, where any of you?

     We begin with the remaining contestants learning that there are 3 contestants that get a second chance to get back in the master kitchen. 

     Each judge got to pick someone that they thought deserved a second chance.  Gordon picks everyone’s favorite vegetarian Bri.  We can already see Krissi’s eye rolling and the profanity begins pouring out of her mouth.   Joe picks Lynn to return for a second chance, which has several of the contestants very worried.  Graham picks Bime to get a second chance.  I found the selections interesting, I don’t know that I expected that selection, but I do love when they have the opportunity for people to work their way back into the Masterchef kitchen.

Friday, August 2, 2013

August is here! The First Annual Anne of Green Gables Cook Along…

edited anne of green gables
     August is here!  I love August and I try to celebrate the whole month because its my BIRTHDAY month!  I know, I know you are excited!  Every year since I was a little girl I have always read Anne of Green Gables, An Old Fashioned Girl and Pride and Prejudice in August.  I always felt like enjoying some of my favorite books.  This year I have decided to create the first annual Anne Of Green Gables Cook Along. 
    
     My amazing sister in law is part of the inspiration behind this project.  Several weeks ago she found the Anne of Green Gables Cookbook while thrifting, and sent this beauty my way.  I have planned numerous Anne of Green Gables inspired events in the past, but how fun would it be to have a whole month devoted to Anne of Green Gables recipes?  Sounds like a good way to me to celebrate my birth month!

     This month I will be cooking through this cookbook and sharing my own Anne of Green Gables inspired recipes as well.  Also there just might be an Anne of Green Gables birthday party featured.  So follow along and see what fun happens this month.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Masterchef Week 10 Recap, Lesson learned…Don’t wash the uni!

Never Wash Uni-Masterchef Week 10 recap
     Here we are down to the Final Magnificent Seven, week 10 has finally arrived which means that we’re getting close to the finale!  The contestants enter the Masterchef kitchen there they see an absolutely huge mystery box behind the judges     
    
     Inside it is  the family members of the contestants. Luca’s wife .is absolutely beautiful, they look extremely well matched for whatever my opinion is worth.  Everyone has someone except Krissi  Poor Krissi, her son couldn’t come, that is sad even though I don’t like her, my heart breaks for her.  He did send a video message for her though.  That does make me feel better, everyone needs to have someone rooting them on, I believe everyone deserves that.  Everyone seems to be re-energized by seeing family, and want to do this next challenge as a tribute to their respective family members.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Happy Culinarian Day!

Parisian Strawberry Cheesecake
     Happy Culinarian Day!  I am sure that its another one of those holidays that I celebrate that you don’t even know exist.  Whether you know about this holiday or not, it’s a pretty cool day.  It’s a day where we celebrate the Culinarians in our lives. 
    
     So what exactly is a Culinarian?  A culinarian is a cook or chef, doesn't matter if they are professional or not, or any culinary arts enthusiast.  Definitely a lot of people can be categorized as a culinarian.  So this is a day for all of us.  I thought long and hard about how to really celebrate Culinarian Day, and didn’t come up with too many answers, except to make sure you do some sort of culinary indulgence today, no matter how small or trivial it may seem.  It could be trying a new recipe, or buying a new cookbook, or kitchen gadget you’ve had your eye on.  Trying a new food in the market, or checking out a new local restaurant.  So many different ways to celebrate the culinarians in our life, and such a fun holiday!

Masterchef Season 4 Week 9 Recap…Out in the middle of nowhere…

MasterChef Review
     Here we are, as begin the episode and there are 8 remaining cooks who are now stranded in the wilderness, Krissi is already whining, no surprise there. The 3 judges show up, the contestants have to cook a gourmet dish with the ingredients in the survival cases, there are 2 teams, captains are Bri & Natasha, as the winners from last week.          

     Bri picks James, Natasha picks Jordan, Bri picks Eddie, Natasha picks Jessie, Bri Picks Luca, and Natasha gets Krissi, who makes it clear yet once again how much she hates Bri. Now they realize that the Captains are trading teams. So Bri and Krissi are going to be on the same team.  That should be interesting.

Pioneer Day Fun…Heritage Month Continues…

Pioneer Day
     I love July, it is always such a fun month here in Utah.  We have the 4th of July of course, but we also have the 24th of July as our state holiday, or Pioneer Day.  Pioneer Day is a huge deal here in Utah, there are fairs, parades, fireworks, and activities galore.  It is simply so much fun!  I have so many memories of Pioneer Day.  This picture is actually from one of the many parades that has been going on throughout the valley.  It is fun to see all the families and the excitement of all the little children.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Family Times and Memories, Divinity Goodness…

Divinity Recipe
     There are so many things that I love to do, I love to cook (obviously), travel. sew, quilt, so many things.  However my favorite thing is always family time.  There is nothing better than family time.  I love spending time with my family, it also helps that I have the greatest family EVER.  I’ve been very blessed to have such incredible people to call my family.
    
     When my family gets together be warned, we tend to be loud and very talkative and lots of stories are always being shared.  Summers we would always come to Utah and see all of the family, visit with the cousins, aunts & uncles, grandparents and so many more.  One of my favorite things to see is when my Mom and her sister get together.  It is a sight to behold.  My mom is the baby of her family by several years, and that dynamic is evident in the interactions between the two of them.

Monday, July 22, 2013

All in Honor of the Royal Baby…A Royal English Trifle…

Royal English Mixed Berry Trifle
     The big day has finally arrived, yes I know that EVERYONE already knows, but William and Kate have had their baby!   I have to say I was so excited for them!  I remember the day that they were getting married and waking up early to watch their wedding as I had a traditional English breakfast.  It was so much fun!  She was radiant, he was dashing, and the venue was amazing.
    
     So here we are, a little over two years later, and the royal baby FINALLY enters the world.  It seems like “royal bump watch” has been going on non-stop from the day of the pregnancy announcement.  I’ll admit it, I’ve always been fascinated by the royal family and always wonder what it would be like to be a royal.  This new little prince is definitely going to have a charmed, life with opportunities galore, but a very watched and measured life as well.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happy Caviar Day, Creating Your Own Memories…

Happy Caviar Day
     Happy Caviar Day!  I am sure you didn’t realize that this day even existed!  Caviar I think is one of those funny things, people either love or hate caviar, very rarely do you find an in between.
    
     I personally love caviar and always have.  However when I first was entering the “grown-up” world, there was not anyway that I could afford caviar on my ramen noodles budget.  My budget didn’t allow for much of any frivolity, so I had to exercise self-control (boo!).  I worked in event planning, floral design and catering for years, so I have almost always been surrounded by some of the nicer things in life.  While parts of it were glamorous, parts of it were most decidedly not glamorous.  One of the perks though were always all the great recipes I learned and inspiration I got from events to implement into my own life.

And the recap is up! Masterchef Week 8 Recap, the joy of sausage!

Masterchef Season 4
     I have to start off by saying that this week’s format was different than I was expecting, it was two hours, but the first hour was a recap of last week’s episode.  The second hour was the only new material this week, which made it interesting, only one person new left this week,, and only one mystery box challenge, one elimination challenge, but not any (new) team challenges.  So that was interesting this week.  At first I thought that this will make this week’s recap substantially shorter, so I guess we will have to see what happens.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Manicures, Bingo, Pepsi, OREOS and Ice Cream with Grandma…and above all don’t forget the See’s Chocolates!

Essie Ballet Pink Nail Polish edited
     For the past several months my Grandma, Grandma Love From Scratch, has been in a nursing home.  Her nursing home is close to where I live and I try to see her as much as possible, ideally everyday. 
    
     The home that she is in is very nice and I am grateful for them, and for the wonderful staff, but I try to help out with my Grandma as much as I possibly can.  She loves and visits, and gets so sad on days that I am unable to see her.  When I was on my last cruise poor Grandma did not fare well in my absence.  Grandma is a character, she has been my entire life, but the nuances of her character are only increasing with age.  I may be biased but I think she is a pretty entertaining lady.

What I Have Been Reading Wednesday…A Homemade Life…

A Homemade Life
     I always tend to feel a sense of accomplishment to know that I am half way through the week.  I guess it’s the little things in life.  One day at a time, step by step.  Today I went with a dear friend of mine to one of her doctor’s appointments for moral support.  Whenever I go to appointments I make sure to bring a good book with me, because after all you never know how long those things are going to last.
    
     As my friend settled into the room for her x-rays I settled into the waiting room to finish my book.  It was interesting to see the hustle and bustle as people walked by.  I always find doctors offices to be an interesting cross section of society.  I finally found a chair in a quiet area and settled down for a nice read.

     I have been reading A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenburg.  She is also the writer for the food blog Orangette.  Definitely check out both the blog, and her book, both are incredible.  She is a very gifted writer and is really able to capture the essence and story of a recipe.  I thought that her book was perfect to review this month, with it being heritage month here at Love From Scratch.  Such a gifted writer and storyteller, I found myself completely engaged in her book.  She shares so many different life lessons and stories in her book, and the recipes that go along with them.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Heritage Month Continues, Modernized Pork Chops…

Cooked Pork Chops
     Growing up my mom made pork chops for us frequently.  It was a good budget friendly meal, and easy for a weeknight meal.  One of her favorite ways of cooking pork chops was to bread them with graham cracker crumbs and then bake.  It’s pretty good, she’d do some marinating as well.  Once I moved out of the house for college, lots of times I would take my mother’s recipes and try to tweak them or modernize them a bit.  I think that part of the fun of heritage recipes is taking an old family favorite and making it more modern and applicable for your life.  Reinvent your families recipes into new masterpieces.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

How Exciting! My First Interview!

Edited Me in Geneva
     How cool is this?  I was actually interviewed for my very first food blogger interview.  Lydia from www.gourmandize.com reached out to me and asked if would be willing to answer a few questions for an interview.  Of course I was more than willing to oblige.  You can read my interview here.  I love to be able to share my thoughts on food, cooking and blogging. 
    
     I definitely encourage you to look at the Gourmandize site, its actually a great recipe reference. Also when you join they have a special offer for a free personalized cookbook.  I have been having quite a bit of fun looking at it and exploring and meeting other bloggers as well.  I definitely want to give a shout out to Lydia and Gourmandize and say thanks for the interview and I look forward to seeing you more at Love From Scratch.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Few of my Favorite (Budget) Things Friday!

Drugstore Favorite things collage
     What a long week it has been, yes I know that all weeks are really the same length, but sometimes no matter what anyone says they aren’t.  This has been one of those long weeks. 
    
     I realized today that is has been ages since I have done a Favorite Things Friday.  So I decided to do a few of my favorite budget beauty  products.  Nothing in this feature is over $15, some I have gotten on Amazon, but most at Wal-Mart or Walgreens.  These are all things that I use routinely, and I love.  I know several times I have shared some of my indulgences, and lets be honest, sometimes indulgences are pricey.  So this time I wanted to share something that will be far more accessible to everyone.  I firmly believe that we all want little indulgences at times, and these are definitely great indulgences, because they won't break the bank!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Masterchef Season 4 Week 7 Recap….I hate a bully!

Eva Longoria Masterchef picture
     Week 7 is beginning, and we have the top 11 contestants entering the Masterchef kitchen. This week we will enter into the top 10 realm. I am curious to see who is eliminated this week. The contestants are jumping right into a mystery box challenge, and see the largest mystery box ever. As the box begins to come off, it is obvious that there is a person inside that box, Eva Longoria is today’s guest judge.           

     Eva hand picked a Mexican mystery box for the contestants. Ingredients include shrimp, jalapeno, cilantro, pork tenderloin, corn, avocados, limes, and so much more. I would have loved this mystery box! It must be the Texan in me, but these are some of my favorite ingredients.     
    
     The top three are announced, they really didn’t show too many of the chefs cooking during the challenge, so at this point I am very curious to see who the top 3 would be. The top 3 are Bri, good day for vegetarians, Natasha apparently doesn’t see a vegetarian in the top 10, sour grapes Natasha, Gordon says it is her best dish yet, Eva calls is a beautiful job. Joe says she nailed it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What I Have Been Reading Wednesday, The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook…

edited anne of green gables
     I have one of the best sister in laws ever.  I am very lucky that my brothers married very well.  I am blessed with amazing sister in laws.  One particular sister in law was out thrifting (girl after my own heart), and came across this little treasure.  Like the amazing sister in law that she is she picked this up for me and sent it to me in the mail.  I love mailbox surprises too!
    
     So I have watched this book on Amazon for several years, truth be told I have wanted this cookbook for years, but it is extremely hard to find.  Right now to get a used one on Amazon it ranges anywhere between 40-100 dollars depending on the condition, if you are lucky you can find one for 40 dollars, but most listed are 100 dollars for a used paperback.  So as you can imagine it has caused some hesitation for me in acquiring this cookbook, yep a limited budget will get you every time.  As you probably know by now I am a HUGE Anne of Green Gables fan!  I was meant to have this cookbook!  So huge thanks to my sister in law for making this a reality for me.  Talk about a champion thrifter!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy Sugar Cookie Day, Cookies and friends and family, as good as it gets…

Cookies and Friends
     I really don’t have many vices, but if I have to admit to one, I do love cookies, I also love cupcakes and Dr. Pepper, but lets not digress.  You always hear that parents are a child’s first friends.  Such was the case for me growing up.  My parents and I are very close, and my mother was the one who taught me how to make cookies.
    
     My parents have been my sounding boards, my mentors, and my greatest cheerleaders.  While my mom taught me to make cookies, the person I think of the most when I think of cookies is my Grandfather.  I lived with him for a couple years before he passed and at that time he was truly my best friend.  My Grandpa still is a hero of mine, absolute genius and the nicest man you’ll ever meet.  He loved his sweets, anything sweet he would just relish.  Every night he’d have two cookies and a glass of milk with his nightly medication.  I had so many great talks with my Grandfather, he was so wise, and I miss those talks so much.  After he died I missed those evening talks the most. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Happy National Fried Chicken Day!

Fried Chicken Goodness
     I have no shame in admitting that I love fried chicken.  Yes, I know its usually not that healthy for you, yes, I know its not true gourmet food, but I guarantee that my fried chicken will leaving you dreaming of your next plate.
    
     With this month being all about heritage recipes, and the stories behind recipes I knew that fried chicken had to be included.  So my mother is not a fan of fried foods, so my mother didn’t teach me anything when it came to fried recipes.  She taught me lots of other amazing things, but fried chicken not one of them. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy July! Its Heritage Month here at Love From Scratch!

fireworks edited
     I can hardly believe that it is already July.  2013 seems to be soaring by at a break neck pace.  I still have so many things that I want to accomplish in 2013, so I am hopeful I can make the most of my remaining five (yikes!) months.
    
     July has always been a favorite month of mine, I love the 4th of July and I love the fireworks that come with it.  Here in Utah we have our state holiday in July as well, the 24th of July, which is called Pioneer Day.  It is the day we celebrate when the pioneers from the Mormon Trail arrived in the Salt Lake valley.  Because of these two holidays I always heard stories of my ancestors and the sacrifices they made to get to America and the hardships they experienced once they got here.  I have always been humbled at the sacrifices that so many made who came before me. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Masterchef Season 4 Week 6 Recap, Wedding Bells are Ringing…

Christine Ha Returns to Masterchef
     I love my Wednesday nights, Masterchef is such a great show. There seems to have been more drama this season than usual, and I don’t like that, but there are some definite contestants that I am rooting for. By this time every other season I felt like I had an idea of who the final 4 will be, this season I really don’t have a solid idea, lots of guesses, but nothing solid. Well onto the show!
    
     The 13 remaining contestants enter the Masterchef kitchen where the judges meet them to begin the challenges for the week. Their mystery box challenge involves a whole Pigs head, eyes staring right back at you. I wonder how our cute vegetarian Bri will handle that?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What I have been reading Wednesday, Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations…

Park Avenue
     Another Wednesday is here, meaning time for What I have been reading Wednesday!  This particular book was a very interesting book for me, its Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations.  It is actually published by the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.   This cookbook was actually published to raise awareness and funds for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
    
     That being said I was already a fan of the book before reading it, I have always been a fan of charitable causes, and especially a cause that hits so close to home.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, they do amazing things.  They were established in 1946, and they are the world’s largest and oldest private cancer center.  They are amazing not only with the patients, but with the families of the patients as well.  Definitely check them out, this is an amazing facility that is doing so much good in the world.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Happy Catfish Day! Catfish Ratatouille…

Catfish Ratatouille
     Another week and another crazy food holiday.  Today is indeed National Catfish Day.  I love catfish, not ashamed to admit it.  Unfortunately I think catfish gets maligned, yes it is a bottom feeder, yes it is slightly ugly, well a lot ugly.  However, catfish are beyond delicious when cooked correctly.
    
     I remember the first time that I had catfish.  I had recently moved with my family to the Midwest and we lived close to the Mississippi River, where catfish are beyond plentiful.  My mom’s first attempt at making catfish was far from delicious, (sorry, Mom!)  we have however learned the ropes since then and she now makes excellent catfish recipes. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Masterchef Season 4 Week 5 Recap…Poor Sportsmanship and Hypocrisy

     My trusty dog Chloe and I are ready to watch week 5 of Masterchef, and we are excited to see what happens this week. I have already logged off of Facebook and Twitter so I shouldn’t have any spoilers like I have the past several weeks.      

     The week opens with the contestants waiting in the Masterchef kitchen to see if Luca or Kathy are returning from last week’s elimination pressure test. As we already know Luca stayed and Kathy went home. Krissi is crying to see Kathy eliminated, apparently Kathy was the only person she liked. The contestants are happy to see Luca for the most part, and I don’t know that many are surprise to see him there, since it was really such a close competition between him and Kathy.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Zero Self-Control…Chocolate Cake and The Bachelorette…

Flourless Chocolate Cake
     So last night was definitely not one of my finer hours.  Some days  you just can’t help yourself and yesterday was one of them.  Let me explain, yesterday after I finished all the days chores and activities I knew I needed chocolate! 
    
     Now being gluten free desserts can be a bit trickier.  I knew a flourless chocolate cake would be exactly what the Dr. ordered for the day.  I used my favorite recipe for the cake, it turned out amazing if I do say so myself.  Then my moment of self control took over. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Meatless Monday…Farmers Markets Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad edited
     I love the summer, its always one of the best times of the year, course I do tend to say that about every season.  Meatless meals have gotten much harder for me since going gluten free.  Its tough with out gluten, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that I love.  One of my favorite gluten replacements is Quinoa.  I have actually loved quinoa for awhile now, but I am especially grateful for it now.  Course anything that helps me not feel deprived I am a huge fan of right now.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Masterchef Season 4 Week 4 Recap…The drama reaches new heights…

Masterchef Beth Breakdowns
     Here we are, we’re ready for another week of Masterchef, let’s see what drama ensues tonight. The contestants begin by arriving at “iconic Pasadena City Hall,” where they learn they will be cooking for 101 firefighters. They must cook a strip steak and 2 sides for each firefighter. The two team leaders are Bethy and Bime, the winners from last week’s cupcake challenge. Bethy as the winner will get to choose first. Gordon asks Bime what he thinks of some of the contestants. Bime says Beth doesn’t look like she eats, and Krissi looks like she eats. Bime, I don’t know that I’d pick fights with Krissi, probably better to leave some things unsaid.  Just some friendly advice Bime, you can thank me later, oh wait you already put your foot in your mouth. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Farmers Market Month at Love From Scratch, Zucchini Blossom Goodness…

lfs squash blossoms
     I love it when you can utilize things that normally go to waste into a recipe.  I think it is important to utilize as much of your harvest as possible.  Where I live people grow squash and zucchini left and right, and a lot of people just toss away one of my favorite parts the blossoms!  Luckily most years I have neighbors that I can get these beauties from, or I can always get them at the local farmers markets as well.    There are so many different ways to use these in recipes, but I have to admit my favorite way is definitely fried with goat cheese.  It is absolutely DIVINE!  Usually it takes some coaxing to get people to try these, which I personally don’t understand, but I guess its outside of some people’s comfort zone.  Definitely give these a try, at least once, cause I guarantee that once will be all it takes for you to fall in love with these.  Sadly I can eat a whole plateful all by myself, since I find them completely addictive!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Happy, Happy Doughnut Day…

Plain Glazed Doughnuts LFS
     I have to admit, doughnuts are a huge weakness of mine.  Luckily I very rarely crave them, but when I do, sadly several doughnuts disappear all at once.  I can eat several back to back without even thinking, which makes them a very dangerous dish for me.  I blame my Grandma.  Grandma Love From Scratch loves doughnuts and sweets of any kind.  Maybe I inherited my lack of doughnut self control from her, its definitely possible. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Masterchef Season 4 Week 3 Recap, Back to School Time!


Week 3 Masterchef Recap Pic
     Another week has come and gone, and here Chloe and I are, ready to watch another week of Masterchef. Some of you have asked, yes, my dog watches Masterchef, she loves it. Week Three begins with all of the contestants on the Masterchef School Bus, with Graham acting as bus driver, hat and all.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What I Have Been Reading Wednesday, Les Petits Macarons…

Les petits macarons LFS
     It is a very rare occasion when a cookbook makes me actually lust after the recipes and daydream of the recipes therein.  This cookbook has accomplished this feat.  Seriously this book is amazing.  The photography alone will make you running to the grocery store, to recreate the recipes yourself.  Now this is a specialty cookbook, course I am sure that you already realized that by the title.  This book only focuses on macarons.  In many ways I love specialty cookbooks like this because I feel like the item really gets the attention it deserves, and I get the guidance I need to create them.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday Blessings, Forget Not…

LDS Forget Not

     Another Sunday is here, which means another week is about to begin.  Growing up I absolutely loved going Sundays with my family.  We’d all pile in the car and go to church, and my mother would always make an amazing dinner.  We would all sit around the table and talk about the day, what we learned in church, and what was going on in our lives.  Sounds a bit idyllic doesn’t it?  I am not going to lie, I am extremely blessed to have grown up the way that I did.  When I was younger I certainly didn’t realize how fortunate I was to have the family that I do have.  They are the best and I am so blessed to have them in my life.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Farmers Market Month at Love From Scratch!

LFS heirloom tomatoes
     I love the summer, the warm days, the water gun fights, the fireworks and picnics.  I love the summer!  One of my favorite parts of the summer is all of the beautiful produce and farmers markets.  I love farmers markets, most summers I make a weekly trip to the farmers markets to see what goodies I can find.  There is always something so relaxing about farmers markets to me.  I love to visit with the farmers and learn what method they use to grow their produce.  I love to see the pride that they have in their harvest.  I love to get my produce as close to the source as possible.  It is inspiring to see how hard the farmers work on their produce and their dedication.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Thoughts on the Masterchef Season 4 Finalists…

Masterchef Season 4 Finalists
     The finalists have been listed FINALLY for Masterchef Season 4!  I was thrilled to see the list, and I thought I might share a few thoughts with you on each of the finalist.  Kind of a “Ruth’s Take on the Competitors”, so to speak.  It definitely has the makings of a great season.  I have to admit that I am very said to already see Sasha Foxx crossed out….Boo!  I liked Sasha Foxx.  Some of the finalists so far have been slipping under the radar.  Eddie Jackson, for instance.  I saw him in the first week’s episode and was definitely rooting for him.   I barely saw him at all on this week’s episode, to be truthful until the list of finalists came out I was not sure whether or not he had made it.  I am definitely pleased to see that he did, way to go Eddie.  I hope you get more air time though! 
    

     So let’s go down the list and I will give you my take on each of the competitors, and a little bit more about what I hope to see this season on Masterchef!

Adventure is everywhere you look! Thoughts on Around the World in Food Month…

Up Adventures LFS
     I love exploring and seeing new things. it has been so much fun this month, exploring and sharing new things with you.  One of my favorite movies is UP, I seriously love that movie.  I’ll admit I cry during the movie every single time (don’t judge me).  There is something so beautiful and inspiring about that movie.  I love Carl and Ellie’s dedication to each other, their thirst for adventure and excitement.  I love Carl’s commitment to fulfill his and Ellie’s dream, even as crazy as it may seem.  I love Russell’s unwavering determination to get his wilderness badges.  It’s a great movie, complete fantasy, but that is part of the beauty of it.  One of the themes of the movie is that adventure is everywhere, and that we can all create our own adventures.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Masterchef Season 4, Week 2 Recap. The Claws already come out!

Masterchef Season 4

Well here we are ready to begin week 2 of Masterchef. I have my trusty puppy Chloe and I ready to watch the excitement. I have to tell you again I love this show,  I am hopeful for another great season.  There is something inspiring about watching the contestants fight for their dreams.  First they show the remnants of the auditions, it appears that there are a there few remaining auditions left for the judges to past their judgment on.  Here goes this week’s Masterchef recap!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Around the World in Food Month. A Piece of Home…

LFS Utah Wildflowers
     For years I lived in Texas, and I absolutely loved it, and Texas holds a very special spot in my heart.  During the Spring in Texas there are wildflowers everywhere you look, and it is breathtaking.  I have missed that since I came to Utah, and during the spring I always find myself yearning for my Texas Wildflowers.  I was driving here in Utah the other day, and I came across this meadow.  I of course pulled right over and began snapping pictures.  Its beautiful isn’t it?  It is like a piece of home for me.  I actually keep my camera in my purse everywhere I go, and its great to be able to take pictures of beauty when I see them. 
  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Around the World in Food Month, Geneva and croissants…

Edited Me in Geneva
     One of the places we were able to see on our trip was Geneva, Switzerland.  Geneva is a very pretty city, and I loved looking at all of the architecture and sites.  Geneva is a very interesting place, full of diversity everywhere you look.  While we were there we were able to see the UN Building, the Jet d’Eau, and more.  While we were there we stayed and a quaint little bed and breakfast that was nice, it was a nice city to visit and we saw some interesting things.
     We went to the UN Building and took the tour of the facilities, we go to walk though the assembly rooms and see some very interesting things.  Some very historic decisions have been made and discussed with in those walls.  It also interesting to see how people from all over the world all came together to see this place.  Everywhere we looked there were people of every background imaginable, diversity was everywhere.

Happy Memorial Day and a few thoughts…

USA Flag.jpg
     Happy Memorial Day.  Days like these are always so difficult for me, I feel a cross between reverence and gratitude and feelings of guilt, and being undeserving.  Words always seem hollow when it comes to things like this.  How can a person truly ever express the gratitude for the heroes who made the supreme sacrifice for our freedom.  How can you truly express to a military widow, or fatherless child, that you appreciate the sacrifices they have made?  I don’t know if there will ever be an adequate answer for that.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Around the World in Food Month, Turkish Delights

LFS Turkish Delights
     When I was a child one of my favorite books was, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.  In that book and in others they refer to a type of candy called Turkish delights.  As a child they sounded so exotic and elegant, I wondered what they would be like, would I like them?  Where could I find them?  It was several years after first reading about Turkish delight that I was actually able to try these delicacies.  I loved them from the first bite.  I was so surprised when I first saw them, because they were similar to a candy that I was already familiar with, Aplets & Cotlets or Fruit Delights.  We had those for special occasions when I was a kid. My mother, being allergic to milk, was very limited in the types of candy that she got to indulge in.  Aplets and Cotlets were always her special treat, and when I tried Turkish delights I recognized immediately the similarities.   So it is fair to say that I have definite emotional connections to these treats. 

Sunday Blessings and my Visit to Ephesus

Ephesians Quote
     I love Sundays.  Sundays have always been one of my favorite days, I happen to love going to church, and I love spending time with my family, so Sunday is a good day.  On my trip I had the opportunity to go to somewhere very special.  I was able to go to the city of Ephesus in Turkey.  Now the city of Ephesus is an interesting place with quite a bit of religious history.  The Apostle Paul wrote an epistle to the people of Ephesus, which is what we now know at the book of Ephesians in the New Testament.  The Apostle Paul did a lot of teaching in Ephesus as did John the beloved.  The home of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is said to be outside of Ephesus, as is the wishing wall and the grotto of the seven sleepers.  There was so much to see in Ephesus and so many ruins to explore.  The scholars estimate that only fifteen percent of Ephesus has been excavated.  It was an amazing place that I feel so blessed to have been able to visit.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Fashion and Personal Style, What’s it all about?

YSL Dress Quote
     I have always had a love of fashion and glamour and all things pretty, even though most of the time I definitely don’t feel glamorous.  It is interesting when I travel to see the clothing and styles of the different places.  Many times I spot a style or a trend in my travels that I decide to implement when I get home.  So many people talk about “signature styles”  I don’t know that I have one of those.  I tend to be pretty classic and understated in my appearance, but I do have amazing shoes if I do say so myself.  A girl after all can never have too many shoes.    I tend to be a pretty low key, low maintenance person, but I do like nice things and I always love a good deal.  Most of my friends always comment on my ability to spot a good deal a mile a way, and my ability to spot quality in items as well.  I have had lots of different jobs through the years, and lots of my jobs required me to know the latest and greatest fashions and brands in clothing, cosmetics, etc.  In some ways this was hard, it caused me to develop a strong taste for very fancy things.  On the other hand it allowed me to learn all about quality and production and really getting your money’s worth from a purchase.

Around the World in Food Month, Pizza Margherita and Beautiful Rome…

Italian Pizza
     Traveling is always so much fun, but usually so much work too!.  Do you ever feel like you need a vacation after getting back from vacation?  One of the places that Mr. Love From Scratch and I went was Rome, Italy.  I loved Rome, and we were able to see some interesting things during our time there.  Every where we looked we saw pizzerias and gelato shops.  I was lucky, and had some AMAZING gelato while I was there.  Sadly, I was unable to have the pizza.  I couldn’t find gluten-free pizza in the places we went to, so I didn’t have any.  Mr. Love From Scratch however, was able to indulge in some authentic Italian pizza.