September 18, 2014

#Manwich Perfect Meal For When You Are Busy

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Manwich for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
 photo a40aeb3f-0048-4f72-a5a2-2f62746bc9ec_zps05d34a9a.png 
As many on my readers know, I am in the process of moving. Moving is such a joy isnt it? Everything is in disarray, as you pack things up, then after you move you need to get used to a new kitchen. So it is a very busy time for me. I also had several friends in helping me do the big move, as a thank you I had to feed them a lunch as we were moving my stuff from one apartment to the other. 
That is where Manwich came in to play. Manwich is a hearty sauce with a sweet and tangy taste. Manwich makes meals a messy-licious treat to be enjoyed with both hands – giving moms and dads an easy, quality ingredient to bring the family’s attention back to mealtime and away from everyday distractions. Also great in moving because, who needs messy hands when your moving furniture? As a bonus , each can of Manwich is free of artificial flavors and preservatives. It is just the perfect answer for Easy Weeknight Meals
My friends know I love to cook, so it was time to get creative with Manwich. Manwich has three different canned sauce varieties – Manwich Original, Manwich Bold and Manwich Thick & Chunky. I pulled out the trusty slow cooker and used the Bold and added a small pork loin to it in my slow cooker, and slow cooked the pork for about 8 hours on low, as we moved the furniture. Then, shredded the pork, heated up the orginal
sauce and presto Manwich pulled pork sandwiches
Of course not everyone likes pork, so to please everyone, I did make the traditional Manwich, but with a kick. Using the Thick and Chunky can, I added more chunk to it, chopping up some onion, celery, and peppers.
I like taking canned and adding to it, the flavor of Manwich is perfect for making it your very own. You can get inspired to create your own Manwich Recipes by looking on the website to get get some ideas! There is no meat in Manwich cans. Manwich is a tangy sauce perfect for sandwiches, pastas and more. 
Manwhich not only perfect for my move but you do need two hands to eat a Manwich- which means your family is focused on mealtime, and not texting or playing video games. Perfect for families!

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September 7, 2014

New Home Update!

I am taking a break in between packing boxes. Well truth be told, I ran out of boxes and have to wait till tomorrow when I am at work to get some more. I have been busy this weekend I have about 80% of this apartment packed up.

I been busting my butt all weekend, and I worked too at my day job to get this place packed up! Wow the things you accumulate in 6 years, it is amazing. I been throwing things out or giving them away to a few neighbors. Some is decor, I no longer use. My tastes have changed. I was really into a maroon Tuscany look for the longest time, now I want chic, simple, teal colors. So one my neighbors is very happy because she can redecorate her apartment with all my old things.

Actually, when she saw me at the clubhouse at this complex, the attendant there told her I was moving out. Word has been slowly going around that I was moving. I was more liked here then I realized. I have had so many people, especially the ones that work here, like the girls in the office, maintenance, and the clubhouse people, are in shock what the manager did with the illegal rate increase and that it forced me to give a 30 day move out notice. They admitted to me the, in silence of course, that they think this new manager is just down right vicious, and that this place has hit rock bottom now.  Anyway, my neighbor, she said to me: "Dee, I just heard your moving out, everyone is leaving, too many good people like you are leaving this place, why doesn't corporate see how these managers are driving out long term good people like you? Now who is going to bring me fresh muffins and cookies now?"

She helped me today in my storage locker cleaning it out, towards the back, I found a box. I knew what was in the box. I have not seen it in 6 years, I put it there when i first moved in and did not look at it since. It was things from my marriage, but I knew it had other things in it too. I was glad she was with me because a wave of emotion came over me as we opened the box to see what was worth keeping. First thing was my wedding photo  of me and him and our hands with rings photo. I was not allowed to display that when we we married, In fact he would not allow me to do the wedding shelf most women do with things from the wedding on display in your home. He knew he was using me for the green card that is why. My ex was very controlling.

So really this photo of us and our hands has been in storage for close to 10 years, never really on display. Lynn took the photos out, looked at me and said, you ready. I shook my head. I was, she tore up the photos. I felt the relief come over. Tears came first when I saw that photo, then relief after she tore it up. Slowly we threw away the things from my wedding, the knife set, my cake topper, the napkin and favors.

Then Lynn found  in my box 2 pieces of paper, one was a list my ex made me write and he added comments on it it was things I wanted out of marriage. Trust me what he wrote was very cruel. The other was my weight chart. He was embarrassed I was fat, he would make me weigh myself everyday in front of him, then once a week I had to put down on a chart how much weight I lost that week, I got rewarded for meeting certain goals, this was the chart:

All of these are headed for a landfill somewhere, including  the weight chart and the list he had me write. Why am I sharing this with you. It was a freeing experience today in packing.  My old life with a emotionally mentally abusive man is gone. I am no longer that woman he married and used so he could be a doctor here in the US. I realized in all of this packing, That life I had with him was so long ago. I am a new woman, I am moving out of a place he put me in, when he divorced me. I am starting a new life in a new place, away from this old life I once lived.  I have said this before the song by Linkin Park says it all:

Anyway, it is finny how you can pack up your entire life into boxes. Each time I think I might be done, turns out I need a few more boxes because I find more stuff. As you can see, my life is starting to stack up in the living room now.

Since my life is in boxes right now, my next post will most likely be from my new apartment! Plus I will be back to making some delicious recipes once again. So thank you for bearing with me through this whole moving ordeal. I really had to concentrate the last 2 weeks on getting this place all packed up and ready for this move. I have friends here, but being all by myself, I am the one has to do all of this stuff. I got lucky today when Lynn helped today with my storage locker,. 

Hopefully next weekend if I can gather enough friends and find someone to drive the U-Haul and help lift the couches, I will be moving everything into the new place. That is my biggest obstacle right now, most of my friends can't lift heavy things or just a bad weekend for them to help. It is one those times when your are all by yourself, and no family around you, you are at the mercy of friends to help you. No, to hire movers is is expensive, I don't have $150 for it. I did look into it. There is a possibility I may move furniture on Sunday rather than Saturday, it might be better for a few people. I did promise my friends that I will have a moving party next weekend, as you see in the laundry basket I do have plenty to offer up.

As I said many times on Seduction in the Kitchen, change is good, this move is good. I need the change, trust me I am so happy right now I have a full size kitchen and my very own washer dryer! Already this new place is 100% better then my old place I am leaving. I am doing a happy dance. Yes, change is good. So, yes the next post next week will be a recipe and I will be back to seducing yinz (yes I am throwing in my Pittsburghese) with recipes again.

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September 3, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars Taste of peanut butter mixed in some chocolate chips and you have a simple delicate snack. A recipe from Seduction in the Kitchen.
So, why did I go quiet and not post anything? Truth be told I had something personal going on that needed my full attention. I always say everything happens for a reason. Way back  in April when I told you that I was running into issues finding a new apartment, So I decided to renew the lease for one more year and I will do this start over new in an old apartment theme.

Also if you remember, it was about this time last year when my dishwasher broke and I was told my fur babies could no longer live with me. Then it was 8 months later they finally replaced the dishwasher that was filled with moldy, stagnant water in my apartment. I could have held the corporate office liable, because under law, they have 30 days in Ohio to fix the dishwasher, not 8 months. I just found this out when I was complaining to the renter's association about the new issue that popped up this week. The only reason they finally replaced it after 8 months of complaining was because I threatened to call the health department on them that suddenly I finally got a new dishwasher. It was a health hazard. I had the dishwasher so tightly shut so that mold water smell didn't infiltrate my whole apartment.

So why am I retelling all this? Well, the complex got a new manager, who decided, even though I am mid lease, to illegally raise my rent and tack on fees. The letter she gave me said I pay it by September 5, yes she only gave me 1 week notice, or get out. Well calls to the renter's association and legal aid office was then placed. You can not do this. I decided enough is enough, the games this place is playing is starting to get very ridiculous. I been here 6 years and this how they treat someone who is long term? Everything was ok the first 4 years I lived here, it wasn't till the new manager came into play that the last 2 years been hell.

So, on the advice of the legal aid office and renter's association, I gave  my 30 day notice and I am out of here. I actually found a place and I signed the lease there tonight. It is small, but cute, it not a corporation that owns it, and I have a good feeling about it. Plus bonus, full size kitchen and a washer dryer! Right there is something I am very excited about! Finally I am starting new in a new place!

 I did find out that the corporation that owns my current apartment complex is actually in trouble for illegally doing things, like this rent increase. They own several huge apartment complexes and nursing homes, lets just say if you plan to move in Cleveland, you do not want one of their places. Message me I will tell you who to avoid.

So, that was why I went quiet I had to deal with all this, I had to get a game plan in motion. My worse case was I live in a Microtel, It cheaper then living in this apartment and I still have a small kitchen.  As I said everything happened for a reason, I wanted out this place back in April when the lease was up for a new start. I couldn't due to my ex husband and I needed to clean some stuff up on my credit, well it wasn't the right time then but now it is.

So I admit I am a stress eater, trust me this last week I been stressed to the max over this whole thing. So I tend to nibble on things, especially sweets. I know this a reason I have issues losing weight. I do have stress, like I live all by myself, no family around me. Trust me having family close by when have issues is nice, but I dont have that. They dont really bother much with me anyway. So that is stressful, work is stressful, hell life can be stressful, so I nibble on sweets.

That is how these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbreads came into play. I like to bake to relieve stress, I do nibble, but I also give away many the sweets I make. Beating eggs, and creaming butter, it truly does help with stress for me. Plus they are delish!

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter and peanut butter at medium speed with mixer till creamy. Then gradually add sugar, mix it well. Then add the vanilla

Combine flour and salt, gradually add to butter mixture, make sure you beat at low speed till blended. Then add the chocolate chips

Spread the dough into a grease brownie bar pan. Which about 8 inches long normally. If want more, or do not have this size, double the recipe.

Bake at 275 for 45 minutes until they are nice golden brown. Take out let cool, slice them up and ENJOY!

August 26, 2014

Steakhouse Swiss Mushroom Meatloaf

Steakhouse Swiss Mushroom Meatloaf, steakhouse taste but in a meatloaf. A recipe from Seduction in the Kitchen.
And then the heavens opened up! Finally I am getting relief from working every weekend! We been so short staffed that we have had to work every weekend since, well March. I only been getting 1 weekend off a month. What happened? Well, they finally hired 2 part timers who have to work every Saturday and one my co-workers went to part time due to school, so she has to work every Saturday. So that means the ones that left we only required to work 1 Saturday a month for 2 hours now! I am doing a happy dance! I am getting weekends back!!!

I know sometimes it sucks to work on health care, but This last year has been the worse I have seen in 17 years. Between my co workers being, well very immature, but most them are now gone, and working short, it been brutal. Finally to have some much needed break from the craziness I been putting up with, it a huge sigh of relief.

What has me thinking about all this craziness I put up with is because the other day one my co workers, who is a male and is also much older then me, suddenly lost it at work. He was very upset because the negativity the one co worker has and her attitude. Truth be told, she caused me a lot of grief, in fact I talked about it in the Crock Pot Cheese Soup recipe.

She is our troublemaker, she lies very badly, in fact I have told my boss and a few others, "that girl lies worse then a rug on the floor." Everything is drama with her. Let's put this way, she always wants to be the center of attention, and will never compliment you. Example, I got a hair cut, It was huge change for me, everyone was loving it. She says to me, "You got your hair cut? Good luck growing that out." What the hell kind of compliment is that? Another time:

"Dee did you get a new purse?" 
"Yes, I did I got at JustFab." 
"I was going to say that looks like a knock off Prada purse."

Cant she just say, nice purse or, I like that color, or even, I heard about JustFab. No she has to be, well negative, it isn't about her. Back when I wrote the post for Crock Pot Cheese Soup, I actually had to put up with 3 of them. There was 2 others just like her. They are all around the same age 23-25 and they were all friends. They just have the worst attitude. So my male co worker had no idea what I had to put up with, so that was another reason I had him read that post, besides for the saying my mom told me about dealing with those, well for a lack of a better term, oh let be honest, "bitches. Trust me they really were that, and that is being nice believe it or not.

Things are changing, we got fresh blood, only have one the three bitches left. The new people have seen through her act, and I got my weekends back. I think we need a happy dance, dont you agree? But what? I know lets put on something corny shall we? Let's have some fun!

So, old things can have a freshness to it, no not that video, you can tell was 80-90's video. I don't think could add freshness to it. Usually, anything can have a reinvention, just like my work situation and meatloaf. Meatloaf have be reinvented several ways, it all depends on what you want to do with it to make it better. For this recipe, I decided to stuff it with saute onion and mushrooms and Swiss cheese. The real secret is this new seasoning found from McCormick's Grill Mates, it was called steakhouse mushroom. I admit this probably the best meatloaf I made in a long time.

1 lb of ground sirloin
1 package of Grill Mates Steakhouse Mushroom
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
3-4 slices of Swiss cheese
4-5 mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion chopped
2 tablespoon butter

In a saute pan, melt the butter, then add the mushrooms and onions. Saute them till the onions turn clear.

Take them off the heat and set them aside. Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.

 In a bowl, add the sirloin, the Grill Mates, Worcestershire sauce, milk, egg, and bread crumbs. Mix it all together well. If it is too wet, add a little more bread crumbs, and mix it again.

Grease a loaf pan and set it aside.

On a piece of parchment, press out a flat,  rectangle of the meat mixture. Down the center, lay the cheese slices.. On top the cheese slices, add the mushrooms and onions.

Carefully, roll up the meat starting on the short end. You will have to keep shaping the meat into the loaf, also keeping the filling from coming out.

Place the meatloaf, seam side down in the pan cover with foil and bake the meatloaf for about 60 minutes. Remove the foil, and let bake another 10-15 minutes till the top has a nice brown look to it.

Take it out the pan, slice it up and ENJOY!


August 23, 2014

Roundhouse Princess Pumpkintini

Roundhouse Princess Pumpkintini, a sweet pumpkin flavored martini that is fit for a princess. A recipe from Seduction in the Kitchen.
Fairy Godmother where are you? Have you ever just wished you had a fairy godmother who would make your wishes come true? She would just wave her magic wand and presto, you have what your are desiring. Then again, if there was a real thing as a fairy godmother, life would not be interesting.

What do I mean by that? Well, think about it, if someone just gave you every thing you desired, wouldn't you be board? If you didn't have a, well for the lack of a better word, struggle, to get what you do have, could you honestly say you would not have enjoyed the success of getting it as much? The fun in getting something is actually the struggle to get it.

I will admit I do wish from time to time my fairy godmother would show up, at least in this dating department. Yikes, yep I met some "princes" so far, and trust me they really are not my type of prince. I admit I am being too picky, call me crazy, but a job is kind of is a big thing with me. What kind of job? I don't care as long as they have one.

So why all this talk about fairy godmothers and princes? I was "challenged." Not the ice bucket challenge, but a recipe challenge. I had to create a cocktail based on a cartoon. The rules are simple, be inspired by a cartoon, and develop a drink that is the cartoon. Create a post that would be fun. Finally, challenge 3 other recipe blogs to do the same. So now that told the rules, I am challenging the following blogs, who I think would have a lot of fun coming up with a cartoon cocktail are:

So, Disney Princesses came to my mind, my favorite one is Cinderella. What comes to mind with Cinderella, mice, a pumpkin, fairy godmother, a princess, the color blue, glass slipper, midnight. Hmmm, well seeing as no one would drink a mouse flavored cocktail, that is out. What else is one the list?

Pumpkin, hmmm, I have from Roundhouse The Pumpkin King Cordial. I love using Roundhouse Spirits in many of my drink recipes. If you want a great crafted spirit, you need to check out the Roundhouse line. You can buy their products online at Drink Up NY.

Perfect, the scene most remember is when the fairy godmother waves her want and turns the pumpkin into a carriage. Lets make a little more sweet, bibiti bobbity boo.  Now you have a cocktail for a princess.

1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces whipped vodka
1/2 ounce of Roundhouse Pumpkin King Cordial

Pour the simple syrup and vodka into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake well.
Add the Pumpkin King.
Shake again.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and ENJOY!.



All photography images and content by Deanna Samaan/Seduction in The Kitchen/Lovely Pink Diva