Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Party in Your PJs! #164

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Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on three different blogs each week.   You'll also find Party in Your PJs every Tuesday evening at Grandma Ideas, and here!

You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.

We're currently looking to add one or two new hosts.

If any of you, Dear Readers, would like to join the Party in Your PJs crew, please send an e-mail to nina (at) grandmaideas.com. Please include a link to your site!

Are you ready to party? I can't wait to see what you've brought to share!

Kim ~ The Cookie Puzzle | Facebook | Pinterest 
Nina ~ Grandma Ideas | Pinterest | Twitter
Lynda ~ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos | Facebook | Pinterest

 Meet the Co-Hosts

Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

How is this: Nina is wildly in love with her grandchildren. She delights in doing activities with them that strengthen their relationship –- playing games, doing crafts, snuggling, reading stories to them, and cooking together. She enjoys reading, technology, and traveling. (Tahiti is her most favorite place on earth!)

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda lives outside DC with her husband Michael and elderly beagle, Sadie. She and her daughter Jackie started RCHReviews as a way to spend time together in spite of living across country, and along the way they've added several friends as regular contributors. Between them all, they bring together many different perspectives and lifestyles with one common philosophy - try new things, have fun, and remember you are awesome!

The rules for the group board include:
1. Limit of one pin a day.
2. Just like the party anything goes, but clear wonderful pictures with great descriptions are most successful.
3. Please no Spam ( Spammers will be deleted without warning)
4.  If you pin to the Pinterest Board, please link to the Party in Your PJs Party also, the party runs from 7 pm Tuesdays-Midnight Saturday (Central Time)
5.  Finally have fun and share this group board  with blog friends and followers!  The more success the group board is the more success you will see from your pins.

Want to be added to the group board?  Follow our Party in Your PJs board and email Kim at thecookiepuzzle@gmail.com

Features from Last Weeks Party!

 to see their features - we each pick our own!

All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiratioPn to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.

Spanish Tortilla with Poblano-Tomato Sauce - Volver #FoodnFlix

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Once again, I am participating in the monthly Food n' Flix Cooking Club. I am really enjoying the opportunity to discover movies that are new to me, and rediscovering old favorites experienced through the lens of food.

June's movie, hosted by CulturEatz, was a 2006 Spanish film called Volver, which means 'return'.  This is another one that is subtitled in English - a situation I generally avoid - but  the dialogue and plot was engaging enough that I soon stopped noticing it.

This is very much a woman's movie - but I don't mean a 'chick flick'.  Several generations of women from a small town known for its strong winds and high rate of insanity are both kept in close relationship with one another and held apart by the withholding and sharing of secrets.  And some of those secrets are very, very dark - but the movie itself, with the exception of a painful scene or two, is buoyant and full of laughter and love.  The title stems from both the physical departures some of them have made from their village (and what draws them back), as well as a return to former closeness with one another after they've grown estranged for one reason or another.

These women have strong passions, but also very pragmatic responses to their difficulties (almost entirely brought on them by men), and in the end it is kindness and compassion to one another that matter most - often delivered with a sharp tongue, a hug and a bite of food.

I don't actually want to give away any of the plot at all because it is too hard to pick out even a part of it without giving away spoilers that are too fun to experience as they happen in the film.  I will say that it felt a bit (and only very loosely) like the magical realism found in Practical Magic, so much so that I felt dumb when I figured out what was really happening regarding one pivotal plot point.  For those that did see it - let's just say I was making the same assumptions as the villagers.

Mystified?? Good!  Rent this movie on Netflix, and settle in with some good Spanish tapas, and enjoy!

My notes on the food seen while watching included:
- some crispy rolled up hollow pastries translated by Netflix as 'wafers' (which was also how some donut shaped things were labeled - so I am  thinking 'wafer' is a translation of some general word for baked good),
- tomato and bell pepper salsa,
- 'a stick of bread' (what one elderly character lives on daily),
- a restaurant sign advertising tortilla y morcilla (omelet and blood sausage) and carne de cerdo ensalada (pork salad),
- comments about Madrid being full of Chinese and one character being called 'the Russian' which made me briefly contemplate going for a wholly different cuisine,
- a cloudy white cocktail I think may be a mojito (but not like I'm used to seeing here),
- chiles and onions being chopped,
- tapas (lots of goodies stacked on a pick),
- some sort of molded dessert (possibly caramel topped flan or rice pudding),
- a bowl of fruit (apples and peaches?)
- and a simple meal involving a cutlet of some sort, salad and some bread in a round pan, sort of like cornbread.

Whew!  None of this was really front and center to identify exactly what it was, so I decided to go for a Spanish Tortilla, so I'd at least have some idea of how it should taste.

Now, I am much, much more familiar with Mexican cooking than Spanish, and they aren't really as much alike as one might think, even when the words and ingredients are similar.  Spanish food tends to not favor so much heat, for starters.

In this case, 'tortilla' does not mean the corn or flour flatbreads we eat here in the Americas.  It means 'omelette' - but not like we think of an omelette, either!  It is fried potatoes and sometimes meat and other vegetables, encased in an egg base (like a frittata... only not. Confused yet?)

The one I made does have a couple of Mexican touches.  A bit of New World flavor 'returning' to Spain!  Instead of using blood sausage or hard-cured Spanish chorizo, I used Mexican chorizo, which is fresh sausage that is cooked loosely like ground meat and has a good bit of kick to it.

I also used poblano chiles rather than bell peppers to make the tomato sauce that topped it, because for some odd reason, I can eat chiles but not bells.

Also - I used 8 eggs and that wasn't enough. Take it up to 10 or even 12 to make sure there is plenty of delicious egg omelet in with the potatoes.

So here's what I did - and my husband asked that this go on our  regular meal rotation, so I'll call this a success.

Spanish Tortilla with Poblano-Tomato Sauce
Serves 4 (or 8 as tapas)

Poblano-Tomato Sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 large Poblano pepper, cored, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 large can diced fire roasted tomatoes
4 Tblsp. butter

1 lb Mexican chorizo
6 Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
10 eggs
2 Tblsp olive oil
2 Tblsp butter

In a large saucepan, melt 4 Tblsp. butter, and cook chopped onion and pepper until softened and onion begins to brown.  Add minced garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, until fragrant.  Add can of tomatoes, stir and bring to boil.  Lower heat and let simmer gently while the tortilla is prepared, stirring occasionally.

Mexican chorizo comes either loose, or in thin casings that should be slit, and the meat inside removed.  Break up sausage in large, oven-safe frying pan, and cook on medium heat until fully cooked.

While chorizo is browning, beat the eggs together in a large bowl and set aside.  Thin slice the potatoes and onion and set aside

When chorizo is cooked, turn into the bowl with the eggs.

Add olive oil to the same large pan, and heat to medium high.  Add sliced onion and potatoes, and cook until slightly browned.  Lower heat, add lid, and let steam cook for about 15 minutes, or until tender.

Turn the potato mixture into the bowl of eggs, folding gently to combine.

Add 2 T. butter to the pan, and heat to medium high.  Add the egg and potato mixture to the pan, patting gently with a spatula to shape and flatten it.

Heat oven to 400F.

Cook about 6 minutes, or until set on bottom. Gently run a spatula under the tortilla to make sure it isn't sticking.

Now - if you've got strength and dexterity, you can flip the tortilla onto a plate by putting a plate upside down on the pan and then turning the whole thing upside down, and then, once the tortilla is on the plate sliding it back into the pan to cook the other side.

So.... while you're contemplating just how many burns you'll get before the whole thing crashes onto the floor and the pan breaks your foot - just put your oven-safe frying pan into the oven, and let it cook another 6 minutes or so, no flipping needed.

Now, slide the completed tortilla onto a large plate, and let rest a couple minutes.  Slice into 8 wedges and serve, topped with some of the Poblano-Tomato Sauce.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Review: Zim's Max Foot Creme

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The key thing to know about a daily treatment is, you gotta use it daily.

I don’t always do so well at maintaining a regimen, especially one that requires new habits. When I finished my review of Zim’s Max Crack Creme, I agreed to write a follow-up of Zim’s Max Foot Crème, a similar product that has a couple additional ingredients to help sooth and heal dry, cracked feet.

I made the mistake of waiting for the product to arrive before beginning to use it, rather than just buying a tube to fill the gap.

Even after I had the product in hand, I used it only sporadically for a couple of weeks, because I had not yet made it into a habit.

As a result, my skin dried again and a good deal of the cracking returned.

But then I picked up the pace and started to use it daily, along with a pumice stone on the callouses. My feet are improving again, but I set myself back almost to the beginning.

Zims Max Food Creme is readily available at a grocery store nearby and is quite inexpensive, so I will be using it daily from here on out. I am confident, based on the previous experience, that my feet will again be soft and pink soon, but they are not there yet-- and that is my fault.

As you browse through Zim’s list of products, you’ll see a broad range of products for healing damaged skin, and you might not know which is the best choice for your particular need.

For example, if you have dry and cracked feet, do you want the Crack Crème or the Foot Crème? In my experience, both work and have similar effects.

However, the Foot Crème is made with arnica montana, aloe vera and l-arginine (an amino acide which WebMD lists as being used topically to speed wound healing, and improve circulation when applied to extremities - a concern for those with diabetes) while the Crack Crème is primarily arnica and myrica oil.

But these two products barely scratch the surface of Zims’ product line. There is a third variety specifically designed for diabetics and intended for use on feet and fingertips.

The company also offers various other skin-care products, including a hydrocortisone spray, a cold sore treatment and an aloe vera gel for protecting minor wounds.

And if that were not enough, there is also a line of Max Freeze products for relieving sore muscles.

So how do you sort these out? The company has a lot of information on its website to help the perplexed choose the right products. However, you might also want to do some research on homeopathic treatments, or even consult a homeopathic healer, for expert advice in choosing natural herbal treatments.

Based on my experience, I am confident recommending the company’s skin-care products;  I have not tried the Max Freeze products, but if they are formulated with the same degree of expertise, they are probably equally effective.

 Zim’s does not sell through its own website, but its products are available through many online and brick-and-mortar retailers. Click here for the list.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Awesome Life Friday #118

Welcome to Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

Here's a bit of what we've been up to this week:

Jackie's family made up this salad, to fill a craving for that famous fast food burger while staying low-card.

If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!

Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!

Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:

Here we go!