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Share a Spoon Theme - This Ain't the Shallow End of the Pool

Saturday, February 26, 2011

 Think Tank Momma

Happy Saturday Smackers!

Theme Time!


My great friend Sexy Steph from The Blue Zoo gave me all sorts of themes.  This theme is just the first one from her list.  I decided we needed to do something decadent.  Indulgent.  Naughty even.  

What's more naughty than fried food?  Plus, I wanted the challenge of coming up with a new recipe.  You see, Momma B doesn't really fry food.  Like...ever.  Alright, when I cater I do fry Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tenders.  Usually 10 pounds at a time.  Trust me, that's a whole lot of frying.   But, at home?  We don't really eat fried food. 

The really cool part of this theme is we can see sweet recipes or savory recipes.  I am hoping some of you Smackers will share some churros, or doughnuts....beignets even!  That sounds fabulous.  However, a good fried chicken recipe, fried green maters, great french fries.  Let's face it...fried food is yummy!

So get your little Fry Daddys out and SHARE your favorite fried goodies this week!

Share a Spoon - Midnight Snackin' Grilled Cheese Please

Thursday, February 24, 2011

 Think Tank Momma

Share a Spoon 


brought to you courtesy of


This week's theme came from Kim from Foodies Unite.  She has an ultra cool website devoted to FOOD!  If you are a foodie and you haven't been there make sure you go and follow!  She's fabulous!  I mean, would I steer you wrong?  Ok...don't answer that.  Would I steer you wrong when it comes to food?  Yeah, I thought not!

Each and every single one of us have had that late night craving sneak up on us and found ourselves wondering towards the fridge aimlessly at o'dark thirty!   Especially on the weekends.   Some people are slaves to sweets at night, others need that salty bite.  For me?  Well, sometimes it's sweet, sometimes it savory, but most often it's cereal, in a bowl, with milk and a spoon, please cheesy!

What is the best cheese fix, quick, fast and in a hurry?  Grilled CHEESE SAMMICHES!  Add a side of pickle and it's on!  There's nothing better than a perfect grilled cheese sandwich.  It's ooey, gooey, crunchy, buttery, yumminess!

The Perfect Grilled Cheese

Two slices whole grain bread
1 slice Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 slice Provolone Cheese
Optional (2 thin slices honey cured ham)

Butter both slices of bread.

In a nonstick pan or seasoned griddle over medium low heat place one slice of bread butter side down.

Add the cheddar cheese.

Top with ham. (if adding ham)

Top with Provolone.

Top with bread, buttered side up.

Make sure the griddle or pan is not too hot.  Cook slowly in order to melt cheese completely without browning the bread too crispy.

Serve with a pickle!

So here's the thing about two kinds of cheese.  Pick two cheeses that melt well.  These are my favorites, you can use your favorites.  I love the bite of the Sharp Cheddar for flavor and the creaminess of the Provolone.  The butter makes this sandwich perfect.  Number one, it adds FLAVOR.  Secondly, it helps brown the bread evenly when you spread it on the outside of the sandwich.  The bread...whole grain (I use wheat usually) is because white bread can cause a spike in blood sugar that late in the evening and can cause an unrestful sleep.

Parmesan Popcorn

Another favorite here is Parmesan Popcorn.  We pop a bag of microwave popcorn according to the directions on the package.  I heat two Tablespoons of olive oil and one Tablespoon of butter together in the microwave.  Drizzle over cooked microwave popcorn.  Sprinkle 3 Tablespoons of good Parmesan over popcorn and toss.  This is a really fun treat for late night movies!

Quick Pizza

My kids favorite late night snack is pizza.  I make them on either crackers (usually Triscuits) or flour tortillas.  All you need is your favorite canned pizza sauce, pepperoni and shredded mozzarella.  If using flour tortillas I brush with a little olive oil.  I keep some low-carb tortillas on hand for these.  Again, blood sugar.  Not that we are carb conscience or diabetic, just that late night snacks are bad enough without too much sugar.  Top tortilla or cracker with favorite sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Well there you have it.  My top three cheesy late night fixes.  This girl is all about the cheese.  Haven't ever met one I didn't like.  Well...maybe one.

So, now it's your turn.  Type up your midnight go to snacks and SHARE with us!

I have lots of themes coming in from you and I am thrilled to have so many of you engaged.  Keep them coming and I will line them up!

My 10 inspired by The Blogger formerly known as That One Mom

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My great friend Kristin, the blogger formerly known as That One Mom has been on a roll this week.  First, she came out of the closet.  Changed her name on her blog and Twitter, when she decided to share her true authentic self with the rest of the world.  I loved the post.

Then today, she posts her 10 Commandments of Kristin.  Her basic rules of being Kristin.  Fabulous post.  If you haven't already, go read it here.

So....I am doing my own.  Basically, these are a set of non-negotiable guidelines if you will to live by.  Everyone has them, but, writing them down and really thinking about what makes the top ten is an exercise I think we can all benefit from.

Here's my list:

1. Love thy self.  (You must love yourself before you can love others.)

2. When in doubt, opt for truth.  (The truth will always set you free.)

3. Do it with passion or don't do it at all.

4. Don't sweat the small stuff.  (The big stuff is never in short supply.)

5. Forgiveness begins with me.

6. Never go to bed angry.

7. Enjoy the moments.  (They are gone too quickly, no time to lament what you didn't enjoy the first time around.)

8. Take time when you need it.  (You are no good to yourself or others when you need a moment to breathe, grieve, cry, etc.)

9. Teach love, don't just preach it.  (Actions speak louder than words!)

10.  LAUGH.  Laugh long.  Laugh loud.  Laugh often.

So...what are yours?  Have you ever sat down and written them out for yourself?

A Party fit for a Princess in a Pink Tutu

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This past weekend we celebrated Belly's birthday.  A fabulous Princess Castle Cake, a few gifts, family and friends, and great food.  It was a smashing good time.  I have pictures to prove it.

Every little girl needs a pretty pink tutu for her 1st Bday Party!

She needs a Princess Castle Cake too!

As I was thinking about how much my little princess enjoyed her party this evening, I kept remembering some things I read on blogs recently.  Moms talking about molding their daughters into this, or into that.  Carving their paths for them.  I remembered reading a blog months ago where one mom talked about not allowing her daughter to have fairy tales of princesses and the like.  Her daughter was going to be Chief Justice after all.  Her daughter was 3.

I remembered how that blog struck me on that day.  I thought perhaps I was just in a surly mood, that I was offended that she would deprive her daughter the imaginary places that I had played when I was little.  I mean, I grew up soon enough and experienced what the world had to offer.  Why was this mom so driven to make sure her daughter was everything she (the mother) wanted her daughter to be?  Yet, so quick to stifle her daughter's little imagination to dream of things that were silly.  Imagine if someone had stamped out JK Rowlings imagination.

I've also been stewing over so many of the posts I've read where moms are passing on their own demons to their daughters.  WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?  I mean, we as women want to mold our daughters into what we think they should be?  What we want them to be?  Which obviously would be something more or different than we are, yet, in addition to driving them to this success, we are going to burden them with our demons?  SERIOUSLY?

This bothers me.  What's wrong with just nurturing our children, daughters and sons alike, to be who they are?  Who they are supposed to become instead of what we think they should become.  What we want them to become.  They all come into this world with their own little personalities.  Why is it so difficult to just embrace that personality?  Help that little person grow into who they are in their heart.  

There is enough sadness in this world.  There is enough ugly in this world.  There is damn sure too much hate in this world.  Our babies will experience all of that way too soon for my liking and way too often as they grow up.  It's much easier to take that sadness, hate and ugliness if you are happy.  I want my boys and my daughter to be happy.  Whatever it is they want to be, that thing that brings them joy, deep in their hearts, that's what I want for them.  

If that joy comes from becoming an artist, or musician, I am o.k. with that.  It isn't always a lucrative choice.  They struggle to make ends meet.  However, they do what the love.  What they are passionate about.  What makes their hearts sing.  Don't you wish your heart sang everyday because you were doing what brought you joy?  Wouldn't you want that and more for your child?

Sometimes I think that it's easy to forget what makes us happy, isn't the same as what makes the next person happy.  That's an especially hard concept to grasp when the next person is your child.  We all tell our children they can be anything they want to be.  Do we really mean that?  Or is it just something we say?

The greatest gift my mother ever gave me was the gift of fearlessness.  She gave me this inner strength to just be me.  To love myself regardless of what others thought.  To never fear being told "no."  When I would struggle with trying out for something, or tackling my next accomplishment, she would always say..."What's the worst they can say?  No or hell no, right?"  And she was right.  So what if someone says "No."   What if they say "Yes!"?  If you never try, you'll never know.  Good Lord that woman was smart!  Is smart.  I didn't give her credit for that when I was a shithead teenager.

So...every day I try to encourage my children to be who they are.  I love that Kenna has blossomed into her own woman.  I love the fact that Kamden marches to the beat of his own drummer.  I love that Kooper is exactly like BDC.  A son truly could not be more like his father.  I love that when my step-son Michael is here in my home, he feels comfortable to be himself and let his guard down.  I am learning to love that Belly is stubborn, and strong willed.  *ahem*  I don't know where she gets that!

Share a Spoon - The Witching Hour

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Think Tank Momma

Happy Saturday Smackers!

Share a Spoon - Theme Time

Midnight Snacks!

Brought to you today by the fabulous food lover Kim of Foodies Unite.

I titled this post The Witching Hour because, well, it's European folklore for when the "black magic" or creatures (i.e. witching, ghouls, demons, ghosts, etc.) come out.  And let's face it, for a FOODIE??  All sorts of imaginary voices start calling your name from the kitchen around midnight!  No?  Just me?

So this week it's time to share your favorite midnight snacks.  I don't care if it's chocolate cake, or grilled cheese sandwiches.  The only thing you can't post is cereal, milk, in a bowl, done.  Ha!

I have lots of great theme ideas from Kim aka @foodiesunite so now it's your turn, what do YOU want to see hear on Share a Spoon?  Also, if you have specific recipe requests, as opposed to themes, let me know.  I will share what I have or make one for you.  See...don't say I am not a giver!

Alright Smackers, I am off to Belly's birthday party.  Pictures to come this week.  Wait until you see the Princess Castle Cake I made!  It is awesome!

Share a Spoon - Breakfast SoS

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Think Tank Momma

Share a Spoon


Compliments of @amberella87

SOS aka Chip Beef Gravy on Texas Toast

This is a favorite at my house.  I'm not even kidding.  This is Kamden's favorite meal of all time.  I know.  I think the same thing, of all the things I make?  THIS is his favorite?  It is though.  As a matter of fact, he's converted his Uncle Will to his line of thinking too.  I get requests for this meal on a regular basis.

I try to make it sparingly, as this is not exactly figure friendly.  I mean, butter, cream, dried beef, even the toast is Texas sized!  It's an indulgence for sure.  Comfort food at it's very definition.

Chipped Beef Gravy n' Texas Toast

1 Bottle of dried beef
6 Tablespoons butter (plus more for toast)
1/4 flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
2 cups of heavy cream
1 teaspoon nutmeg
fresh cracked black pepper
Texas Toast

Remove dried beef from bottle.  Cut in half, and then cut into thin strips.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.  Add the dried beef strips and stir.  Make sure to coat all the beef with butter.

Add the flour and  cook for a minute or two to cook out the raw flour taste.

Whisk in milk slowly.  Stir in heavy cream.  If mixture is too thick add additional milk as needed.

Add in lots of freshly cracked black pepper and the teaspoon of nutmeg.  I grate fresh nutmeg for this, but you can use ground nutmeg.

Toast the Texas toast in the oven or in your toaster.  Butter lightly.

Serve the gravy over the toast!

Now it's your turn.  Share your breakfast favorites!  Leave me some love!

PINT - Doorbell Ditching The Grim Reaper

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Only Parent Chronicles

It's Sticky Love Day.  Head over and Stick 'Em Up with @That_One_Mom!


Share a Spoon Theme - Breakfast

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Think Tank Momma

Happy Saturday Smackers!

Theme Time

Share a Spoon - Breakfast

brought to you this week by


I put call out on Twitter last night for this week's theme.  You guys have been seriously slacking on what you want to see for Share a Spoon.  *ahem*  back to my Twatter story....Amber answered quick fast and in a hurry.  She apparently has some fantastic recipes for waffles and french toast.  A couple of my favorites.

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day, as "they" say.  Whoever they is.  Anyway, the word breakfast, is a compound of break and fast.  Referring to the conclusion of fasting since the previous day's last meal.

The idea of what constitutes breakfast across the globe varies tremendously.  However, the majority of the English speaking world eats roughly the same things.  Most of us grab something light during the week, and then reserve the weekends for a real "sit down" meal.  

I love breakfast.  Like....really really really love breakfast!  We eat breakfast foods pretty often for dinner 'round these parts!  AND I DON'T FEEL BAD ABOUT IT ONE BIT!  Pancakes are a food group right?

Join me this Thursday for Breakfast.  We can even have breakfast in bed if you want!  Ha!

Now leave me some love, and tell me what you want recipes for in the coming weeks!

It's a Belly Party....

Friday, February 11, 2011

What a difference a year makes.  Last year on this day my heart was so full I didn't think it could experience anything more without bursting from sheer joy.  BDC and I welcomed our newest family member into the world and experienced emotions I didn't know were possible.

In one day we watched our daughter give birth.  We became grandparents, and new parents all in one day and the emotions were....well there just really are no words.  We have grown this last year in ways that have made us stronger, made us love deeper and given us the opportunity to embrace parenthood with more appreciation than I dreamed was possible.

If you are new here and don't know the story of Belly, please feel free to catch up here.  We'll wait.

All caught up?

Today we're celebrating just how much joy you can experience in the blink of an eye.  We aren't having a party until next weekend, as we've all been sick this week, including Belly, but nevertheless, today BDC and I have hearts full of joy and happiness.

(In case you're wondering about the moniker Belly?  I tend to give everyone I love nicknames. I started calling her Khylee Annie Belly pronounced with a very heavy Italian accent <think big Italian Chef> because her name is Khylee Anne.  Belly just kind of stuck)


I will post some pictures of her Princess Party after we shower her with Birthday wishes next weekend!  Until then....HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELL!

Share a Spoon - Hershey's Chocolate Truffles

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Think Tank Momma

Share a Spoon



I love chocolate.  I mean I really really luuuuuurrrrrve it!  When I was little I wasn't the biggest fan.  I'd have rather had any other candy or cheese.  Don'e get me wrong, I liked it.  However, it wasn't a must have.  As an adult and after having children, my tastes have changed and chocolate is a love affair that rivals some of the greatest love affairs of all time.

I'm not just a fan of the milk chocolate variety either.  I like semi-sweet, dark chocolate, white chocolate (even though technically that's not really chocolate).  There's something almost healing and therapeutic about chocolate.  The world can be turned upside down.  The sky can be falling.  You have the worst day ever and if someone hands you a piece of chocolate?  For that moment...your taste buds smile and your heart skips a little beat, and all is right with the world.  Even if just for a moment.

We've been down with the creepy crud this week so I haven't had the chance to do a step by step photo shoot with my truffles, but seriously, you can't mess these up.  They are really really THAT easy.

Image provided via Google Images.

Easy Truffles

2 bags Hershey's Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 shot brewed espresso
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat warm the two cup of heavy cream.  Bring to a simmer.  Do not boil.

Whisk in chocolate chips one bag at a time until smooth.  Add butter and combine until chocolate is shiny and smooth.

Remove from heat.  Add espresso and vanilla.  Stir until combined.

Allow to cool and refrigerate for at least six hours.  I do this overnight.

Use a small ice cream scoop, or teaspoon to make small balls.  Roll into small balls and transfer to a sheet pan lined with wax paper.
(Note:  This is a little bit of a messy job, but so fun and so worth it!  Just wash up when you're done.)

Once all your truffles are done, roll them in the crushed walnuts or pecans.  You can really use any nut that is your favorite.

Return the truffles to the refrigerator.

If you want to get fancy and you like the hard coating and soft truffle center you can dip these in milk chocolate.  In that case, use Hershey's Milk chocolate chips.  Warm them in the microwave in a heat safe bowl 30 seconds at a time.  Stir after each 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

Dip your cold truffles in the chocolate and return to the wax paper. 

Now...this is the important part.  USE HERSHEY'S chips!  I have made these truffles with other chocolate.  Expensive chocolate.  Other chocolate chips.  I've tried everything.  Hershey's is the best for this recipe.  When I use something different the response isn't the same. 



It's your turn.  Share your favorite chocolate inspired dishes of love and let me know what you'd like to see in upcoming editions of #ShareaSpoon!

Got a spare set of lungs? Anyone?

Monday, February 7, 2011

This is the current state of Casa di Romano.  Thanks to someone who sent their child to school down with the sickness.  Mini-me has infected BDC and me with razorbladelungitis.

Why do people send their children to school sick?  Why do people go to work sick?  Why do people go out in public sick period?  I mean?  Wouldn't we save the general public at large a whole lot of grief if we just stayed in doors until we were well?

I've also made a shocking discovery.  Dimetapp?  yeah..nothing more than purple Koolaid in a medicine bottle that is really overpriced!  It's a pretty good scam they have running.  Here's a tip....if it doesn't taste bad?  It doesn't work.  The worse the medicine tastes....the better it works!

So...I'm off to the store.  Vitamin C, Thera-FLU and Robitussen here I come.  What?  I have to go out.  I know what I said but how else are we going to get well?

Share a Spoon Theme - Will You Be Mine

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Think Tank Momma

Theme Time

Share a Spoon 

Valentine's Day Edition

It's all about....

Valentine's Day and chocolate are like, peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots, perfect together.  Almost every dessert on the special Valentine's menus at your favorite restaurants are CHOCOLATE.  There is chocolate on every end cap at the grocery store, your retailer of choice and it's everywhere in the mall.  Chocolate just screams VALENTINE'S DAY.

So I thought we would honor the liquid gold of the Mayans this week and share our favorite chocolate confections.  I won't limit you this week though.  If you have a favorite savory dish that incorporates chocolate feel free to share that too.  AND...for those of you lushes, alcoholics, who enjoy an adult beverage or twelve two feel free to share those as well.

As long as the recipe screams I LOVE CHOCOLATE it's welcome this week! 

Share a Spoon - Super Grub Nachos

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Think Tank Momma

Share a Spoon Thursday

"Super" Grub for The Big Game

This weekend is a match made in heaven for a FOOTBALL FOODIE.  I mean come on!  THE game.  SUPER food.  It's like the Mecca of food and football.  I mean, it's a pilgrimage the whole season, culminating in the *insert angels singing here* BIG GAME.  Nothing less will do for The game day Grub!

This year my boys have requested "Super" Nachos.  A big favorite with everyone.  The best part is you can build your nachos the way you like them.  My boys will leave off all the fun stuff BDC and I like, but to each his own I guess.

Provided via Google Images.

Super Nachos

1.3 lbs ground sirloin
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 pk. taco seasoning mix
1 medium onion 
Your favorite tortilla chips.  (I prefer corn chips)
Guacamole (recipe here)
sliced black olives
sour cream
fresh sliced jalapeños
Cheese sauce (recipe below)

In a large skillet over medium high heat brown the ground sirloin.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add in diced onion.  Cook until onions are tender.

If there is excess grease/water from the meat drain it off.  There shouldn't be much, the sirloin is quite lean.

Add the taco seasoning and the black beans.  Mix well and remove from heat.

Ultimate Nacho Cheese Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 heavy cream
1 tablespoon dijon (or spicy) mustard
1 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper
1/2 cup jalapeño Pub Cheese
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

In a sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter.  Add the flour and cook until well combined to get the raw flour taste out.

Slowly whisk in milk and cream until smooth.  Add mustard, nutmeg and salt pepper. 

Once the sauce is smooth add the pub cheese and grated sharp cheddar. 

 Whisk until the cheese sauce is smooth and creamy.  Remove from heat.

Now you're ready to BUILD your nachos.  Put a layer of your favorite tortilla chips down.  Add your meat/bean mixture and top with the jalapeño cheese sauce.  I add black olives, sliced fresh jalapeño, fresh salsa, guacamole, and top with a little sour cream and sliced scallions.  Oh, and just because I lurrrrve cheese we also add a sprinkle of grated sharp cheddar too.

Best thing is you can add your favorites and leave off what you don't like.

These nachos are sooooo ooey, gooey, cheesy, over the top yummerific they are perfect SUPER GRUB for any BIG GAME!  They really are easy to make and I promise you'll like them better than any you order out at a Sports bar!

Now, it's your turn!  Share your GAME DAY must haves for Sunday!

PINT - Creep Show

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Only Parent Chronicles

It's Sticky Love Day!