Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday Treasure - Busaba Eathai

This week's treasure is Busaba Eathi, a small restaurant with great food and even greater service, that I visited during my January vacation to London and Versailles. Boy BFF, Chuck and I enjoyed our meal so much that we embarked on our own version of The Amazing Race to have it a second time. We left London and spent a couple of days in Versailles, but during our trip back to London, we decided that we needed a repeat performance. We got back to London at 9:40 PM, knowing the last order would be taken at 10:30, so picture two complete lunatics hopping on the tube, rushing to the hotel, dropping off bags, and SPRINTING in a mad race against the clock. I'm pleased to announce that we arrived at Busaba Eathai with EIGHT minutes to spare!! Running through the streets of London to one last meal, makes Busaba Eathai forever a TSE Treasure.

Here's a little snapshot of our first meal. Please pardon the photo quality, they were shot with my Blackberry.

Thai Calamari

Pad Thai

Pandan Chicken

Brown Rice

Chinese Broccoli

All washed down with a few of these

Sadly, there are no photos of that last meal, but believe me there were TONS of empty plates and bowls on our table. What a girl won't do for a great meal!! What are some of your restaurant treasures?

Sheila Denise

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Temptation Tuesday - Homemade Samoas

Good Morning!! This is the second Temptation Tuesday and this week I'm challenging you to be tempted by a recipe that you may feel is intimidating. That's right...dig out that recipe and DO IT! Tackle something that you think would be easier to purchase (many things are), but make it yourself. Nothing can equate to the sense of pride and accomplishment you'll feel when you add a new recipe to your stash.

Today's temptation came about as a request from a friend. They wanted me to make Samoas. I thought, like you're probably thinking, honey just go buy a box, but being the TERRIFIC friend that I am, I said okay. I went to my trusty favorite food porn/recipe site Foodgawker for inspiration and found several to choose from. There are a few steps to follow, but this is still a simple recipe. If you don't have Foodgawker bookmarked, please do so STAT! You'll love it.

Now back to putting the Girl Scouts outta business. Yeah right!! I buy them religiously, but don't particularly care for them, well except the Trefoils, but my friends love me for giving them as gifts. I've added homemade Trefoils to my to-do list too. What was I talking about?? Oh the Samoas...well, I'm not going to monopolize any more of your time. Just look at the photos, find a recipe to conquer and enjoy your day.

Happy Tuesday!

Sheila Denise

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm A Winner!!

Can you believe I said this to myself TWICE last week? Well I did! I entered two blog giveaways and won BOTH! Now the best part of it all is they were both delivered on Friday along with one of my favorite magazines, Southern Living.

The first notification email came from the goddess of EVERYTHING--tablescapes, soirees, weddings, dessert tables, crafts, and who know what else. I "met" Sandra Downie a few months ago and instantly became a fan. This lady is awesome, so make sure you visit her site and blog, The White Library.

My second email came from the wonderful Jamie of My Baking Addiction. I was one of five winners of an Edgeware Zester. I must say that this little doozie is amazing! Now Jamie's blog crammed full of food porn, so run on over and take a look. When you click on the above link, it will take you to one of the most touching posts Jamie has done. Read it carefully and do as Jamie asks...take care of yourself.

If you haven't seen the March issue of Southern Living, you're in for a real treat. I was immediately drawn into the cover photo and KNEW I had to bake the featured pound cake. After all, I was the proud owner of Driscoll's coupons so it was meant to be. You'll see more on the cake in another post, because today, it's all about ME and my winnings. LOL I honestly felt like I had won the lottery! I had $25 in free berries, a nifty new zester and a favorite magazine! What more could a girl ask for? Well I can think of a few things, but you get my drift.

How was your weekend?

Sheila Denise

Friday, February 18, 2011

Crab and Corn Chowder & Trying Something New

If you've been with me this week, you're already aware of a couple of enhancements I'm making here at TSE. With that in mind, I'm trying something a little different. Not sure if I'll make it a Friday "thing" but, if you'd like it to become "Friday Feature" or Friday "something", I'd be happy to oblige. Well, without further delay, here's TSE's latest blog spin. I hope you like it.

You can find the recipe here.

I'd love your feedback as well as suggestions for naming the Friday "thing".

Sheila Denise

Recipe Source: My Man's Belly

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday Treasure - Cake Stand

Noticing a trend here this week?? I'm working really hard on being a more consistent blogger and dedicating days to specific topics is really going to help. On Tuesday, I introduced Temptation Tuesday and today is the official roll out of Thursday Treasure. This thought popped into my head when I made a fantastic discovery today. Thursdays will feature great finds that I happen upon or a great find that you share with me. I hope you appreciate the direction in which TSE is moving.

While shopping in one of my favorite stores, Big Lots, I overheard two shoppers discussing a store called Value Village and their GREAT deals in the housewares department. Now as a person who NEVER passes on an opportunity to score a deal, I immediately wrapped up my Big Lots shopping and scurried to Value Village. I rushed to the back of the store and started my scavenger hunt. Glassware for 20, 30, 40 cents!!! I could hardly contain myself. The moment I thought I would simply pass out, I turned the corner and nearly DIED when I saw this vision of beauty.

This is a stainless steel rotating cake stand!!! I had just posted on Facebook last night that I wanted to enroll in a few cake decorating classes, and there I was... staring at one of the items I'd need when to help me become a proficient cake decorator. I love everything about this stand--the simplicity, the sleekness, EVERYTHING!! I was even more thrilled to see that it was a Crate and Barrel item!!

The only info I could find on this stand was from a Chowhound post. Apparently the original price was $20 and it was on sale for $16.95 at that time (2004). This is the closest I can come to obtaining a pricing information. I'm happy to announce that I paid a whopping $6.96 for my slightly scratched, but perfectly beautiful (after a scrub session with a little Bar Keepers Friend)!

I can hardly wait to debut my latest find with a beautifully decorated cake (or a few cupcakes). What treasures have you uncovered lately?

Sheila Denise

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Temptation Tuesday - Hot Chocolate On A Stick

What's the perfect time to enjoy a wonderful cup of marshmallow-swirled hot chocolate?? I'll let you decide.

Kicking off the middle of February with my first weekly Tuesday feature. These features may or may not contain alot of words, but I hope the photos prove to be rather tempting. I'd love to hear what you think. Please provide suggestions and/or food porn photos that you'd like me to showcase.

Sheila Denise

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sugar 'n Spice and Everything Nice

That's what little girls are made of, sorta. These two managed to shake up the recipe a bit, but I think we turned out just fine. LOL

I'm feeling like a kid this morning and it's all because of flashing back to childhood last night. Traveling down memory lane, catching up on years and years, lots of OMG I can't believe it, we've been friends since Kindergarten, you look great, you're so skinny (definitely not said to me), more OMG I can't believe it...we were probably real sickening, but no one said a word to us. After many years and missed opportunities, I finally reconnected with my friend Yvette!! Yvette hasn't changed a bit, except she's ever more super cool than she was in high school...she's now a fab singer, songwriter AND has a BAND, Intrepid Souls!! Seriously, how cool is THAT??

I'm officially a groupie!! Intrepid Souls performed at Our Place Cafe Bakery last night, so I had a double treat--giggling with Yvette between sets and JAMMING with one heck of a band!! We grooved to everything from original tunes to Reggae to Jazz to Proud Mary!! I may even have a crush or three on a few musicians. *winky wink* I wasn't thinking clearly, so I had eaten before arriving at Our Place, but after seeing and smelling the food, I'll be revisiting and sharing my experience with you. I knew I was in the right place when the Our Place crew started dancing behind the counter and later brought it out onto the impromptu dance floor!! It really was a fantastic evening. I had a wonderful time seeing Yvette, meeting Brian (her other half) and getting to know her family and friends.

To make our reunion even more special (and to force Yvette to dream about me), I whipped up a special treat for her. Well, after all the constant BEGGING, it was the least I could do. You can find the recipes for the cocoa blocks and marshmallows in this post from my other site.

Yvette, I hope you're enjoying a big mug of hot chocolate this morning. Thanks for making me smile my friend!! See you soon.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!! xoxo

Sheila Denise

Saturday, February 12, 2011

And Then There Was Bread!!

With a bit of time on my hands yesterday, I decided to tackle my my desire to improve my bread making skills. Remember this January post? After digging through my always growing recipe stash, I finally decided on a simple loaf of good old white sandwich bread. My line of thinking...simple is best and now that I've eaten a few slices of this delicious bread, simple is FANTASTIC! The recipe is simple and the dough is extremely easy to work with. I had bread in a couple of hours and was eating my first slice (with butter), within minutes of removing it from the pan. I do apologize, my hands were a little too buttery to take a photo, but I THOUGHT about it. I really did, but it just didn't happen.

I have a few more loaf recipes to try, but this one is in the top spot...for now and I highly recommend you give it a shot.

Take the time and use a couple of hours to go from this:

to this:

Do you have a favorite bread recipe that you'd like to share? I'd love to try it.

Sheila Denise

Recipe Source: American Sandwich Bread - Brown Eyed Baker