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Seven Things…

I follow a handful of cooking blogs (okay, a really large handful) and sometimes a recipe post will roll around inside my head gaining momentum until I just HAVE to make it. Other times I read a post and mentally tabulate what’s in my pantry. If I have everything I need, I’ll make it right that minute. Some recipes make it into my monthly rotation and I carefully plan to include their ingredients on my grocery list.

I thought I’d take a minute to mention a handful of recipes that I’ve tried from blogs that I follow that, in this simple little house, bearing zero in the way of fancy kitchen gadgets, were a  huge phenomenal success. Follow the links provided to try these crazy good dishes yourself! The photo above was my first attempt at General Tso’s Chicken, shared by Tia at It was better than any take out I have ever had anywhere, I promise. ***Note: breading with cornstarch yields perfect results, but makes a sticky mess. Wear an apron and keep the water running*** Also from Tia, I made a blackened chicken rub for grilled chicken that was spicy and delicious. Chad brushed ours with a little sweet barbeque sauce before taking the chicken off the grill and laying it to rest on my plate.

This is how you feed a hungry man after work. I made Smothered Pork Chops, posted by Allison at Main St. Cuisine. Hers was an adaptation of a Good Housekeeping recipe. I saw that issue (February 2012), and Allison’s pork chops put theirs to shame. I was in a hurry that day and did not take any decent photographs of my creation, but it was a quick easy recipe and I highly recommend it.

The tomato sauce pictured here was a recipe from Creative Noshing. It was full of veggies and delicious tomato flavor and made this rigatoni so so happy. I used this tomato sauce for the mini pizzas my family made at our last birthday bash. From Creative Noshing’s site I have also made caesar dressing (which I pulled off without a food processor- it was super yum), and baked oatmeal (which was delicious and kin to having dessert for breakfast; next time I make it, it will be accompanied by a big scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt).

These recipes are totally copycat worthy. Try them! You’ll see!

On another note… last week I posted a handful of awards, but I felt like I was getting a little long winded. Awards come with a set rules for acceptance, and I postponed fulfilling the requirements for another day. Another day has arrived. The Beautiful and Kreativ Blogger Awards both required me to share with you seven things. And yesterday I received another Kreativ Blogger award from Tabkhet el yom who with her blog does some really amazing things! It’s traditional Lebanese cooking from a mother of four who posts recipes for things like biscuits with anise and falafel (my own personal favorite). So if we are keeping track here, I’m supposed to tell you 7…14…21 things. And that’s too many.

I’m gonna break it up…

This is my favorite picture of Chad & Me

2. I am totally opposed to having things on my feet. I prefer to be barefooted at all times and refuse to sleep in socks.

3. I used to sell and install cable tv.

4. I am terrified of spiders. Once when I was opening the store I worked in, a gigantic spider flew out of the light above me and landed in my hair. I have ALOT of hair and I just thought it was a moth buzzing around me until I got inside, locked the door behind me, and a spider the size of my fist crawled down my arm. I flung it into the floor and let out a blood curdling scream, and then left Chad a hysterical voice message at 6 o’clock in the morning. He still laughs at me about that.

5. The gum balls from two sweet gum trees in my front yard have become my natural enemy.

6. I live in a dry county. Prohibition is going strong down here, ya’ll.

This is my happy family.


Saturday 17th of March 2012

Heather, what a lovely family you have! Strapping, bonny lads and a strong man ;-) Am most impressed with the cable TV bit! And, I was a former member of the barefoot club. Worse than having footwear on constantly, is having dust on your feet. Doha desert sand is in every nook and cranny!

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Monday 19th of March 2012

Thanks so much, Caroline! I am a lifelong member of the barefoot club. I don't have to fight desert sand & dust, just the stupid sweet gum balls.


Friday 16th of March 2012

Thanks for the mention. That general tsos looks amazing! Loved all of your facts. Cable installer? Wow, i would be afraid to knock on strangers doors. Your brave!

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Monday 19th of March 2012

Oh the cable job. It didn't really phase me then, but I don't think I could do it now. I definitely don't miss it. And thank You! The recipes of yours that I linked here were awesome.


Friday 16th of March 2012

You are so wonderful! I think this is such a sweet idea.

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Friday 16th of March 2012

You are so sweet :) Thank you!

The Foodie Affair

Thursday 15th of March 2012

Cable installer? That's impressive!!

What a great family you have, Heather! Your boys will grow to be appreciative foodies, especially after being made meals like General Tso's Chicken! I must try that recipe. It looks de-li-cious!!

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Friday 16th of March 2012

Thanks so much! And Tia's recipes are amazing-- this one in particular! My boys do have a pretty expanded palate, but I probably take it for granted because they will devour sushi (both raw and cooked- my little one is a sashimi man) and gobble up things like eggplant parm, but then I get really annoyed when they turn their noses up at roasted brussels sprouts (they do love asparagus though!) or sauteed spinach. It's a work in progress lol.

And yes, I sold and installed cable for 4 years (in apartment buildings; I will NOT be crawling under a house). I don't miss that job at all.

{Main St. Cuisine}

Thursday 15th of March 2012

Love love love the photos of you and your family. Your boys are too cute! Thanks so much for including me in your list of recipes. Pork chops are on the menu tonight too, but now I may want Tia's chicken or that beautiful tomato sauce! Decisions decisions...

Oh, and I'm ok with spiders. It's those annoying sweet gum balls! Ahhhh, those things make me nuts. I think I scooped 100 of those awful things yesterday.

Another great post, Heather!! :-)

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Thursday 15th of March 2012

Last year I paid the boys 5 cents per gumball to pick them up. And then I went broke.

Seriously though, have you ever stepped on those things in barefeet? It's worse than a lego.