RECIPE: Apple Marinade Pork Chops

Pitmaster Jimi James

 

 

By Pitmaster Jimi James

 

One of my favorite meats to make is pork chops. Pork chops have been baked,

Baked Pork chop

fried,

Fried_pork_chop

smoked,

Pork_chops_baked

and grilled.

Grilled pork chops

Nothing…and I mean NOTHING…goes with pork like apples do. Whether it’s a seasoning, a brine or a marinade, apples are a mainstay with pork!!!

Today, I’ve decided to share one of my basic, yet amazing, marinades for pork chops.  If you tried my recipe for easy pulled pork cooked with apple juice, then you already know how the end of this story turns out. You’re going get a ton of compliments and probably not a lot of chops, because everyone is gonna want seconds and thirds and maybe even fourths.

What You Need:

2 medium size bone-in or boneless pork chops (If you plan on making more than two pork chops, just double the recipe for the marinade.)

You’ll also need a grill–charcoal, electric or gas. Use what you enjoy grilling on.

And of course, Ingredients for marinade:

  • 2 cups apple juice
  • ½ cup apple juice concentrate
  • 3 Tbsp your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp regular salt

 

Put all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.

Place 2 half-inch pork chops in a one-gallon storage/freezer Ziploc bag. Then, pour the marinade over the chops. Make sure to push all the air out of the bag and seal it shut.

Put the bag in a bowl and put the bowl in the fridge for no more than 2 hours. Mix marinade (by swooshing the bag around and making sure the marinade is covering the meat) into the chops every 30 minutes.

After 2 hours, put on your grill at a medium–low heat.  Each side should grill for 7 to 10 minutes.

Make sure to use a digital thermometer to check the temp of the chops. They are done when the internal temperature reaches 150 to 155 degrees.

Let the meat rest a few minutes before serving and enjoy!

Stay Hungry, My Friends…Until Next Time!

Customer Service: Getting It Right

by Kristie LeVangie

When we, as consumers, purchase an item, whether big or small, we expect it to be of decent quality, delivered in a timely manner, and should something not meet our expectations, be no-hassle, returnable.  This is the very premise of the customer-retailer relationship.

…Or so I thought.

I recently had 2 very different experiences with customer service that exemplified in juxtaposition the “right” and “wrong” way to handle consumer complaints.

1.  Kohl’s

Kohls-Logo

Last Sunday, I bought a Croft & Barrow laptop bag.  It sat unused for a few days because I was too tired and too busy to switch over the contents from my previous bag.  But Tuesday night, I emptied out my MacBook Pro, a 7-page questionnaire, my mouse, power adaptor and a few pens.

Thursday night, I saw one of the decorative loops sitting on the carpet by where my bag was placed when I got home from work.  Upon further examination, the straps had begun to come off.  One strap on each side, actually.

This was just unacceptable, from a quality perspective, and I emptied out the meager contents, found my receipt, and wondered how Kohl’s was going to handle my complaint since tags had been removed and the bag had been gently used.

Friday after work, I went into Kohl’s with bag, detached loop and receipt.  I was greeted in a friendly manner, given a sympathetic apology, and credited the amount for the bag back onto my Kohl’s card.  I was leaving the store a very satisfied girl in less than 5 minutes.

Easy, peasy.  My dedication to Kohl’s strengthened even further by the experience.

RIGHT!

 

2. h.h. gregg

hhgregg_Logo_A_E_CMKK

 

About a month ago, we wondered into an h.h. gregg store and found ourselves perusing the refrigerator section in search of a new refrigerator.  We were approached by a very nice salesman who really impressed us with his knowledge of the brands and features on each floor model.  After finding a scratch-and-dent markdown of a $3400 top of the line French door stainless steel fridge, we applied for a credit line and then added on a front loader washer and dryer.  Why the hell not, right?

The salesman insisted we purchase the pedestals to go with them even though we didn’t really feel a need for them.  And finding out they were conveniently “just put on sale” (in our heads = a discount to close the deal), we finally gave in and went home happy to await our Saturday delivery.

Friday before delivery: 

The delivery manager called to tell us that the pedestals were out of stock.  He asked if we would prefer to wait for our delivery or have the appliances delivered, and they would schedule another delivery for the pedestals once they were off backorder.

We said, “Bring on the new appliances.  No problem.”

Saturday:

Delivery went well.  The guys were nice, didn’t wreck the house, and surprise!  They had a pedestal.

Oh…wait…

No, they didn’t.  It was BROKEN!

Apparently, they made a note that we did not get the pedestal and told us we would get a call when both pedestals were available.

Saturday night:

I got an automated call saying we were getting a delivery within the 3-hour window on Sunday.

Come to find out, after pressing “0” to talk to a human, they were going to deliver a pedestal the following day.

Oh…wait…

No, they weren’t.  They were not even in stock.

Sunday: 

Another automated message.

They weren’t in stock.

 

Let’s fast forward a bit with automated messages coming periodically.

 

Two weeks ago:

Guess what?  ANOTHER automated message.  Press “0”.

This time we are told they have 1 pedestal ready for delivery.

One.

I let the boyfriend handle it.

He tells them, “No.  We said not to deliver them until there were 2.”

After a few minutes of trying to explain we never got the original one since it was broken, I yell out in frustration.

“Tell them to cancel it and return our money!  I’m through!”

Come to find out…they sure take your money right away, but to get it back as a refund…7 to 10 days!

 

Last Friday:

Still no refund.

Go to the store to face this head on.

The manager had to call over another employee to look up our info.  Apparently, they don’t teach the managers to use the computer systems…even for simple tasks.

We are told the refund should be coming in the next few days.

 

Current status:

The refund was finally credited to our card.

WRONG!

 

Evaluation:

If the end game as a retailer is “the sale”, then h.h. gregg has done a good job.  The pre-sales experience was really good.  The salesman was friendly, knowledgable about the products, and made the experience easy.

Then, as is so typical with a lot of retailers, after they have your money, they no longer care.  Our post-sales experience with h.h. gregg was so horrible and frustrating that not only will I never go back, I’m going to go out of my way to deter ANYONE and EVERYONE from shopping there EVER!  This blog is just another way to share my story with others and warn them before they too find themselves in a fiasco over pedestals.

Not only did h.h. gregg lose my pedestal business, they have lost my future business.  And I already know that I will need a new stove and dishwasher to match the new fridge.

Guess where I’ll be going?

I can tell you where I won’t be.

Kohl’s, on the other hand, has my business for life.  I know that they stand by their products and really care about the customer experience.  They apologized on behalf of the product manufacturer.  They couldn’t really predict that the bag would fall apart after just a few uses, and yet they sympathized with my situation and offered an immediate resolution.

As a business owner, I tend to lean toward the Kohl’s approach.  It’s quite frankly the only way to ensure long-term customer retention and organic growth.

h.h. gregg will just be another company who put too much investment into training and not enough investment in its consumers.

Caveat emptor!

RECIPE: Healthy Alternative Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

by Kristie LeVangie

 

Healthy Alternative Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

Plated Chick Alfredo

 

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 boneless, skinless grilled chicken breasts, but into chunks
  • 2 cups roasted broccoli (tops only)
  • 8 ounces fettuccine
  • 2 TBSP. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP. flour
  • 1 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan

 

What to Do: 

In a pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta, drain, ice bath, and set aside.

Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add garlic and cook until golden brown.  This should take just a minute or two.

Whisk in the flour until the mixture is smooth (about 2 minutes), and then gradually add the chicken broth.  Now, add Greek yogurt, milk, pepper and nutmeg.

Bring to a low boil and simmer until the mixture thickens.  Continue to stir periodically.

Once it’s a good consistency, stir in 3/4 cup of the Parmesan.

Add cooked chicken and broccoli to the sauce, as well as the pasta and toss it all together.

Chick Alfredo Prep

 

Serve with a sprinkling of the remaining Parmesan.

 

RECIPE: Broccoli Cheddar Jalapeno Fritters

by Kristie LeVangie

Broccoli Cheddar Jalapeno Fritters 

Serving Size: About 10 fritters
Serve with alone or with lime wedges and sour cream. 

What you will need:

  • 1 cup of steamed broccoli, slightly cooled and diced into very small pieces
  • 4 green onions, finely diced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 lime, for both its juice and its zest
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups cooled cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cups of self-rising flour
  • Salt
  • Olive or vegetable oil for pan frying
What to do:
Place the cooked broccoli, cooked quinoa, cheese, jalapeno pepper, green onions, lime zest, cilantro, milk, salt and eggs in a large bowl. Add the self-rising flour to the bowl and stir everything together. (NOTE: Feel free to add a bit more flour if it seems too wet.  They should have the consistency of salmon cakes.)
Ingredients
Heat a large nonstick frying pan on medium-high heat with about 4 tablespoons of oil.
Oil in Pan
Drop the batter into the hot pan. I suggest using a 1/3 or 1/2 cup measuring cup to ensure even portions.
Fritter in Pan
Cook until golden brown. Then, flip.
I served this up with a marinated chicken breasts and more steamed broccoli for a healthy and nutritious, fiber-packed meal.
Fritter on plate
Add a bit of Mexican flair and substitute the sour cream with Greek yogurt for a healthier, more protein-ramped option.
You will not be disappointed with this one.  These are addictive!

Flirting is Fun

by Johnny Jackhammer 

My wife is a champion flirter.

She has an effortless ability to energize a room and connect with anybody she wants. Just this week she admitted to me, “FLIRTING is my middle name!” She is eager and sharp and ready to beam her smile at everyone.   It’s all about a playful attitude.

IMG_0655 2

Proof!  My lady texting me a photo while she was furniture shopping.

Why Flirt?

A flirtatious attitude can boost your confidence, bring more fun into your day, and help you feel more energetic. There is something about the naughty exchange that quickens the pulse and sharpens the senses.

Flirting can also expand your world, making it easier to meet new people and strengthen existing relationships.

In her book Total Flirt, Violet Blue shares several reasons to flirt, whether it’s to find friendships, flings, or something more. She sums it up well when she says, “For everyone, it’s just good, clean fun.”

That’s how I see it too: good, clean fun with a twist of naughtiness. True sexual intellectuals are inspired by these salacious exchanges with playful people!

Ways to Flirt

This is where I seek your advice, as I hope to learn from others.

I like the fun of the eye contact spark, and I certainly am not looking for hookups as a result. I believe that flirting begins and ends with meaningful eye contact. Watching my lady has clarified the most important principles of flirting: eye contact and a smile.

I find that people are quick to return a smile when you smile at them. If you let the eye contact linger, you can turn a polite greeting into a flirtatious connection.

The art of the experienced flirt revolves around being playful without being misinterpreted. You might just be having a laugh without necessarily looking to bed somebody. The skill is found when you can raise the heat without stepping past anybody’s boundaries. That might be easier for a woman than it is for a man, since many men are eager to go as far as the woman will allow.

And the success of the flirt is in sharing the spark of attraction with them without pushing the need to act upon it.

And I would avoid any cliché that resembles a pick-up line. They may have a beautiful body, but you’ll only get an eye roll if you ask them to hold it against you. Be clever. Be safe. Be fun. But have a spark of naughtiness in you.

254717_10151147535525674_757630067_n

A drink might help, but be careful not to cross into the “creep” zone.

Flirting is best done in public.

My challenge to you is to bring more spark to your day. Why not feel the magnetic energy and share it with others to brighten their day?   I challenge you to bring the sunshine to the general public. Let’s see if we can’t create a kinder, happier community.

So make some eye contact in the following daily situations:

  1. Sitting at the stoplight
  2. Walking through the grocery store
  3. Strolling on your lunch hour
  4. And, for experienced flirts, while on public transportation

And, one very important thing to keep in mind: make your lovers or partners your first and most frequent target. If the goal of the flirt is to energize your life, you’ll achieve so much more by building the fire that is already between you!

Plus, if you both get really good at it, you can expand into “threesome” flirting! Talk about some crazy and dangerous energy! And all in good, clean fun!

To be continued . . . 

RECIPE: Baked Apples, or Apple Pie Filling

by Pitmaster Jimi James

As summer winds down, and is cooler than any August I can remember, I decided this week to start looking toward Fall.

autumn-19806_640

When I think of fall, I think of desserts.

When I was young and wanted apple pie, my mom came up with baked apples instead. She was trying to prolong summer, and she didn’t want to spend her summer making pie dough from scratch. From-scratch dough was for when it was cooler outside and a reason to get the fireplace going and listen to stories about my granny (my mom’s mom).

This recipe is for my mom’s apple pie filling.

Now, pre-heat that oven to 350 degrees.

 

What You Need: 

  • 5 to 6 apples, of course. I use Granny Smith, Braeburn, and Jonathan apples. You can use just one kind of apple if you like or add some variety like me.
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. of All-purpose flour ( If you can find it, try using tapioca instead.)
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Nutmeg

 

First, you’ll need to peel the skin off the apples.

Apple Peeler

Next, you’ll need to take the core out of the apple. You can do this with an Apple Corer or just slice the apple in half and cut the core and seeds out.  Make sure you watch your fingers though.  Safety first.  The Apple Corer makes it a bit quicker, safer, and easier.

Apple Corer

Once you have the apples peeled and cored, slice them into quarters about the size below and put all the apple slices in a bowl.

Cut Up Apples

Then, we’re going to add your lemon juice, sugar, flour or tapioca, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the apples. Stir all the ingredients into the apples. Make sure all the apples are covered with the mixture.

Let the apples sit like this for 10 to 15 minutes as the lemon juice and sugar with start pulling the water out of the apples. As the apples bake, the water mixes with the juice and sugar and makes a thick filling.

Spread the apple mixture into a casserole dish. A 9×9 or 9×13 is good.

You can take a quarter of a stick of butter and slice butter to put on top if you like. . . OR just leave it how it is.

Apples in Pan

Now, cover the pan with parchment paper and aluminum foil. The reason you use parchment is that the apples are acidic and can react with the foil.

At this point, you are steaming the apples. Now, put the covered pan in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes is up, take the pan out and take the parchment paper and foil off. Put the apples back in the oven uncovered for another 20 minutes.

Pull the apples out and check the apples with a fork.  If they are still hard, bake another 5 minutes. You want the apples soft, but not falling apart.

As fall sets in, this rough-and-tough Pitmaster can’t help but think of all the times I spent with both grandmas and my mom. These women are my heroes!!!!

It’s just around the corner. . . Stay Hungry My Friends!!!!!

INTERVIEW: Lili Parallax

Lili Parallax

Performance art takes incredible strength– strength of character and strength in spirit.  This lady has that in spades!  Libidacoria Magazine is proud to present Lili Parallax, a Columbus performance artist who isn’t confined by normality.  She’s quirky.  She knows herself.  And that, my readers, makes her super interesting.  Enjoy!
 
 
 
Lili1

Photography by James R. Parker (http://www.jamesrparkerphotography.com/)


When you “perform”, are you in character or yourself?

Lili is just a bigger version of myself. She’s all the emotions and eccentricities turned up a notch…or ten!

How did you find yourself here? What’s your story?

It’s been a winding journey! As a kid, I dabbled in dance and basically lived in flamboyant leotards, and then did show choir for several years as a teenager. I sort of lost interest in performing for a few years through college as I focused on my studies, but came back around to it when I decided to try a pole class after moving to Columbus. I tried it as an alternative to joining to a gym, and completely fell in love!

I was drawn to pole for a number of reasons:

1. It allowed me to fly, which obviously, is super fun and bad ass.
2. While I enjoy taking dance classes, I’ve never been very serious about it, so taking ballet as a beginner in your 20’s can be scary. Most pole studios are still adult-only, so I didn’t feel behind!
3. Underwear is appropriate (and necessary!) workout attire. As you advance, more skin contact is required to stick to the pole. I was timid at first, like most are, but when the option is taking off your shirt or plummeting to the Earth, you get over it.

After a year or so doing pole, I started to branch out and try other aerial apparatuses. I love them all, but like all aerialists, I tend to prefer some over others. They each require different skills and strengths, so it makes sense that different bodies would naturally be better at some over others. I perform primarily on pole and lyra (aerial hoop), but I’ve done some work on trapeze and corde lisse too (aerial rope). I’ve tried silks (aerial fabric), but I could never really get into it. I guess I just prefer having something hard in my hand (bah-dum-cha!).

Lili2

Photography by Effy Falck

Correct some misconceptions about your art.

Aerial and pole dance is HARD. I know sometimes it looks easy, folks, but that’s because we work our butts off to make it look that way!  I sometimes get comments like, “It can’t be that difficult… I mean, strippers do it.”  Aside from being a generally ignorant comment, it just doesn’t make sense. How exactly do you think those strippers get those rockin’ bods?

I actually find that once people see the work it takes to do it, they respect both me and the art form more.

How do you juggle your “racy” side with your “home” side? And do they ever merge together?

Juggling my performer life and home life isn’t an issue at all, but I do have a 9-5 working, professional side that I like to keep separate. Having a stage name certainly helps with that, and it makes me feel like a super hero!

Describe your life in one word.

Fun.

If you could go back, would you do it again or take another path? And what would that look like you think?

I’ve really enjoyed my journey, and it’s not so much that I wish I would have done things differently as much as sooner. I’m having so much fun; it would have been great to have been doing it all along!

What’s your cure for creative blockage?

I put on some music, close my eyes, and just start moving. If I can’t think of anything to do, I just bounce up and down, but eventually something comes. If that doesn’t work, I take a break, drink some booze, and then start the process over. There’s always a video recording, so I don’t forget anything genius that’s discovered in the fourth cycle or so.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

In college, my roommate and I would watch “Next” marathons on MTV. I haven’t seen it in years, and I still get withdrawal shakes when I think about it. It’s so unbelievably good/bad.

I also really dig Quiet Riot.

What’s your sexiest turn-on?

It’s something I’ve only realized lately, but I really dig underwear with ass capes.

What’s your perfect Sunday look like?

  • Breakfast – Cold pizza
  • Morning activities – practicing pole on the beach somewhere warm and sunny, next to clear blue water. While riding unicorns along the beach, all my favorite people would clap and holler when I nailed all my nemesis moves.
  • Lunch – Sushi and cheesy mashed potatoes
  • Afternoon activities – Drinking margaritas on the beach. The unicorns are still there too, of course.
  • Dinner – Hot dog in a baguette from one of the street vendors in Denmark.
  • Evening – All of my friends fly to Korea and dance until the sun comes up. We exit the club and eat Pizza in a Cup (That’s a real thing. This little old lady stays up all night to feed the hungry drunk people of Daegu tiny pizzas in paper cups. Rain or shine!  She’s a saint).

Mind you, this Sunday isn’t very practical, but neither is perfection.

What’s your preferred drink?

Bulleit bourbon and soda

Have you embraced technology or are you still a pen and paper writer?

I’m constantly made fun of for being a Luddite. All my grocery and To-Do lists are scribbled on old envelopes and receipts, and I have a notebook with a Zebra-Unicorn-Pegasus on the front that I keep all of my act ideas in. I don’t have a smartphone, so I still look up directions on Google Maps and write them all out on scrap paper before I leave the house. I feel that I function just fine, but it really bothers others when they find out.  I really just prefer to be less “connected.” It’s liberating.

Share an embarrassing story.

When I was in Korea, my friend Shauna and I saw this white van idling, but empty, along the side of the street.  This was in the wee hours of the morning after some drinking, so we decide it would be a good idea to climb inside and see what happened. I was looking around while in the passenger seat, and as Shauna is climbing in, a man comes running up and speaking Korean to us. Then, almost immediately, there were about 15 young Korean dudes (early 20’s?) in the van. We try to explain, in English, that “we thought it was our friend’s van.”  They accepted our “oops”, and he even handed us his business card. We met up with one of our friends that speaks Korean and showed him the card. I’m not sure I would have guessed that a business card with pink stars all over it would be for male prostitutes.

Truth? I’m not actually embarrassed by this story, but I think it’s so good that you, lovely readers, would enjoy it anyway.

What’s your next project or step?

The next couple of performances are repeats of previously created acts, but I’m really excited for some things I’m working on for October! Halloween always brings out the best performances. You really have to bring your A-game since it’s rare that you’re the only one in costume. You have to really give them something to look at!

 

Lili3

 

What’s the last random internet…thing…you saw that made you laugh out loud to yourself?

Drunken Jungle Animals:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it0GkrNewH8

Name one completely useless thing you’re really good at.

I can wiggle my ears, although I’m much better at one side than the other.

What was your moment—the moment you realized you “made” it?

Have I made it? Don’t stick a fork in me yet! I’m still in the making!

I have really enjoyed the journey so far, and all the opportunities I’ve been given, but I still feel like there’s so much room for me to grow. Of course, I put a lot of effort into my pieces, and I try to put the best show on I can, each and every time, but I can still really feel myself developing a little more with each performance.

Stay tuned, folks!

 
Visit Lili’s facebook profile at https://www.facebook.com/lili.parallax or send her an email at Lili.Parallax@gmail.com.
 
In addition to her independent work, Lili performs regularly with the following groups:
Movement Activities/Mikey Butane Ensemble: movementactivities.com
Columbus Burlesque Collective: http://columbusburlesque.blogspot.com/
 
In the Columbus, Ohio area and interested in giving it a try?
Aerial classes: Movement Activities movementactivities.com
Pole classes: Candy Cane http://www.candycaneparty.com/

Indian Roadmaster

by The Heart Wrecker

indian roadmaster

The first thing that came to mind when I saw the 2015 Indian Roadmaster was, man, it is SEXY.  Then as I learned more about it, I started to realize it is just like a woman– sexy on the outside and full of surprises on the inside.

My favorite description so far is “techie meets biker.”  To start off, you notice the typical batwing front that a lot of bikes have, but what is unique to the new Indian is that the windshield is adjustable and automatic.  With just the push of a button, you can customize the height to fit conditions or personal comfort.  This is especially nice when that unexpected rain pops up.

Another great feature of the new Roadmaster is that it has over thirty seven gallons of weatherproof storage in the  saddlebags, a roomy trunk, and fairing, including convenient front storage in the lowers for all those things you need for that cross-country ride or week-long trip to Sturgis. The storage in the lowers is accessible from the saddle for those extra shades or whatever you may need at hand while riding.

Another thing at your fingertips is control of the heated seats and hand grips for when that evening ride gets a little chilly.

Other great features of ride comfort are the fully adjustable rear seat arm rests and adjustable passenger floorboards.

indian seat

Now…let’s get to the important part of any bike, HORSEPOWER!

The Indian Roadmaster boasts a 111 cubic inch motor with 119 foot pounds of torque which equals all the GO POWER you would ever need.  Whether you are bar hopping around town or heading to Daytona Bike Week, this has you covered.

To help manage that power is the usual front shift along with an adjustable heel shifter. The kind of power this bike brings to the road is made controllable by years of  experience from true biker builds.  The rich history of Polaris and Victory make the amazing comeback of the Indian possible, and it looks like it is here for years to come. 

I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

Recipe: Summer Pasta Salad

Jimi

 

 

By Pitmaster Jimi James

This is the Best Summer Pasta Salad EVER!!

With summer in full swing…

Getting our grill on with Burgers, Dogs, Chops, Chicken, Steaks…

We are always looking to perfect our side dishes or create new ones that make everyone go back to time and again, until that bowl is licked clean!

We have all tried and true potato salad, macaroni salad, or some form of pasta salad.   But in today’s recipe, I’m gonna help you make THE BEST pasta salad fitting for this season and summers to come.

So let’s get to it.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces of multi-colored Rotini pasta
  • Half of a Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups of Broccoli Florets
  • 1 1/12 cups of sharp shredded cheddar
  • Pasta Sauce ingredients (see below)

Directions: 

Take a 5-quart pot, and add 6 cups of water.

Add 2 tsp. of salt to the water,  and bring water to a boil.  Then, add the pasta.

Boil the pasta about 7 minutes. This pasta when cooked through has a different texture and softness than say, macaroni pasta does.

Once cooked, drain the pasta and rinse with VERY cold water for 2 minutes.  We want to completely stop the cooking process, because we don’t want the pasta to get so soft that it falls apart when you try and serve it or eat it.

Now, chop your red onion in nice small pieces and add the onion to the pasta, but don’t mix it yet.

For the broccoli florets, I prefer to use fresh, but you can use frozen.  Add the florets to the pasta and again do not mix anything yet.

Lastly, add you shredded cheddar to the pasta.

NOW, just fold everything together a few times.  (Notice I did not say stir it together or mix it together. You just want to fold it together. If you mix or stir it, you could tear the pasta up and no one will want to eat it.  That’s definitely NOT what you want.)

 Pasta Salad Pasta

90% OF OUR TASTEBUDS ARE IN OUR EYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Pasta Sauce Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces (1 Cup) of Miracle Whip . . . NOT MAYO!!!!
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 ½ tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp. Granulated Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Oregano
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ** Crushed Red Pepper
  • ** Sugar

In a medium-sized bowl, add all the ingredients and whisk together. Pour into the pasta salad mix and fold in until it coats the pasta salad mix.

Pasta Salad Sauce

 

Then, refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to serving.

Now for the ingredients marked with astericks…

Some folks like their food spicy, and some folks like there food with some sweetness.  I’m not giving actual measurements for the last two ingredients, because these two are up to YOUR tastes.   I would start with ½ tsp. of crushed red pepper and go from there depending on how spicy you’d like the salad. On sweetness, I would start with 1 tsp. and then add ½ tsp. at a time until you get it to the level of sweetness you prefer. You can also choose to use Splenda, Stevia, or any other sweetener if you prefer to sweeten the salad , but not use sugar.  This is a good suggestion for health-restricted diets as well.

So…let me know what ya think!!!!!!

Stay Hungry, My Friends!!!!! Until Next Time…

Mistress Elle: How to Be a Heartbreaker

That’s right.  It’s time for your session with Mistress Elle.Elle

Mistresses operate best giving instructions.  ;)

It’s easy.

1.  You submit your questions to mistress_elle@libidacoria.com.

2.  I share my googled research, sage advice, years of experience, and deliver it to you in one sarcastically biting blog.

Now…I’m going to let this song start to explain today’s question from Newfound Freedom in Seattle.

Dear Mistress,

I’ve recently gone through a divorce and find myself single after a 17-year marriage.  I’ve spent years wondering what it would be like to play the field, but only now am I truly able to attempt it.  I fantasize about being the Heartbreaker I was never able to become.  Trouble is…I have no idea where to begin.  I got married right out of high school and have only ever been with my ex-husband.  Help a girl out.  Where do I start?

Yours truly,

Newfound Freedom

Seattle, WA

Newfound Freedom,

The first thing a girl needs to do is understand the rules; hence, my Marina and the Diamonds intro.

1.  Do You!

The first rule and underlying philosophy of being a Heartbreaker is: It’s all about you.  You need to turn off your need to please.  Turn off your sympathy.  Turn off your empathy.  Turn off your desire to please….except when it comes to yourself.  “Doing you” is about satisfying your urges, your needs, your desires and your amusement.  It’s harder than it might seem.  I think we all have a natural inclination to feel for someone, even those we just meet.  So this step and mentality may take some practice.  Focus on the fun.  When the fun begins to wane or if you suspect the other person is beginning to develop feelings for you, you have to walk away.  Detach and flee quickly and without warning.

Not doing so will result in unnecessary drama and emotional conflict.  Both of these are the very antithesis of “fun.”

2.  Appearance

Doing You also comes with a sub-requirement that merits it’s own entry: Appearance.  It’s hard to be a Heartbreaker with unshaven legs, split ends, dry skin and half-painted nails.  Sexual attraction, especially surface sexual attraction, is motivated by visual appeal.  Make sure that no matter what, you clear your schedule for one day a week and do all the girly maintenance at once.  Not only will it increase your confidence, it will ensure that you shine and stand out from your competition.  Shiny things don’t only attract the eyes of women. ;)

3.  Be Bold.

You only get what you really want.  If you see a person you would like to get to know, you aren’t going to get to know them by sitting and playing on your phone.  You have to “grow a pair of tits”, as Lily Allen would say, and approach them.  For some, it takes slipping into a “character”, someone perhaps not timid like their usual self.  For others, it takes a drink or two…or music…or meditation…or “motivation” (for the actors out there).  Whatever it takes you to become assertive, do it!  I guarantee after a while that your personality will change and assertiveness will become part of your nature.  If you’re lucky, it will not only help your love life, but your career, your other passions and your meaningful relationships.

Boldness should permeate your wardrobe, your speech, your ability to make eye contact, your approach, your body language and your sense of adventure.

4.  Play the field.

Go big or go home.  You can’t be a Heartbreaker by focusing all your attention on one person.  By definition, a Heartbreaker plays the field.  Ideally, you should never date the same person more than once, but given reality, there will be those that you quite enjoy and want to take out for another test drive. You should always be on the lookout for new players to add to the fold. Keep an influx of new players and an outflux of retirees.  Never go out or meet more than twice or feelings will begin to form, even in “Friends with Benefits” situations.

5.  Keep him/her at bay and definitely make them work for it.

Being too available wreaks of desperation.  And while I’m not a big proponent of playing games, being a Heartbreaker is unfortunately one of the times when it’s a necessary evil.  Anything catchable is not worth having.  Remain elusive.  If he/she calls, give it a few days before calling back.  Make tentative plans and don’t follow through.  Don’t divulge the minutiae of your day, details about your personal life, your real social media information, information about your family or your past relationships.  Your goal is to remain a woman of mystery, to give the impression that you have a life outside of him/her and that you have better things to do than sit by the phone or computer waiting for correspondence.

Better yet, don’t fake it!  Get out there.  Be on the prowl.  Be experiencing new things, meeting new people, and living!

Put the onus on the other person to plan, organize and pay for the date.  They should be trying to impress you rather than the other way around.  Heartbreakers are in it merely for the fun, and all that planning and organizing takes too much energy.

we__re_not_the_perfect_two_by_asheemerson-d4s6h5p6.  Build them up.

It’s important to remain neutral in your emotional involvement, but the largest part of being a Heartbreaker is the actually breaking of the hearts.

While on dates, become “the ideal woman.”  You must be able to morph into the characteristics they find most attractive.  Learn as much as everything as you can because you never know when you might need it.  For instance, if he’s into Baseball, you should be able to site enough information to gain some credibility.  Learn some stats or player’s names.  Or if you are more of a football girl, that’s okay too.  It still shows an interest in sports without mimicking his interests exactly.  You want to create the illusion that every interest they have is validated, is special and is shared.  Great Heartbreakers scope this information out in the pre-date conversation.  Being prepared will make the date less awkward.

Your goal is to become the “perfect girl” in the few hours you will spend with them.  Like a salesperson, you have to have them believe you might just be “the one” so that when you walk away (no later than date #2), there is a real and stinging emotional let-down, a breaking of their heart.

7.  And finally, Grow a thick skin.

Being a Heartbreaker is not to be taken lightly.  It’s hard work.  It’s emotionally disastrous if you aren’t in the right head space.  And what may be fun at first, becomes empty quickly.  It’s not a cure for loneliness, nor will you always be proud of yourself.

But try to at least have some fun while it lasts.