Got wood?

ok first, before I really get into this post, forgive my typo’s, mis spellings etc. My computer is at Apple, and this old thing I’m on is awful and hard to deal with!

I have been asking my husband since we moved into this house 3 years ago now to build a planter for me, so that its eye level easy to reach, easy to grow, easy to pick. For 3 years he has tried to do just the opposite of what I asked and plant things in the ground. He was determined to have this beautiful little garden on the side of our pool deck, but everything kept dieing. Mind you niether of us have a green thumb, but we are desprate to grow! Needless to say after much begging and him finally being inspired, he gave in and built BEAUTIFUL planters!!
Now we can be a bit self sufficiant in this world of pesticides, and perservatives, and you know.. in case of a zombie attack.

Got wood?
We ordered coconut cloth online for the bottom of the planter.
In the first planter are Herbs, The second one he built are various heirloom tomatoes and peppers.
2 Weeks after planting the herbs.

We ordered our pepper and tomato seeds from Pepper Joe’s

We got what we could of our herbs from local organic growers.

Now I’m looking forward to showing you guys the first recipe’s I create from this amazing garden (providing we manage to keep everything alive long enough) Our parsley has already gone to seed and we re-planted some, and we are looking forward to this learning process and growing more food than we buy!! Here’s hoping!



Greetings Traveler.

I have decided since I always have so much to say on many subjects other than food, I needed another outlet, so I started an offshoot of this food blog here on WordPress to express my never ending thoughts lol.. Please Follow me at:

And the Wiener is…

Huge Thanks to Desiree from Of Moms and Monsters for nominating me for this award! I am honored that someone actually even reads my gibberish, much less think it’s inspired!! So read on down the line to find out some things about me you probably didn’t know, and catch onto a new blog to follow!


So, here are the rules:

  1. Display the logo on your blog (CHECK)
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you (CHECK)
  3. State 7 things about yourself (CHECK!)
  4. Nominated 15 other bloggers for the award (Well, 7)
  5. Notify your nominees by linking to their blogs so they get notified by ping-back. (CHECK!)

The fact that you actually want to know 7 things about me is pretty inspiring all in itself! So let’s see what I got for ya!

#1- I am a wife and mom of 4 (5 if you include my husband)  Kassidie (16) Connor (10) Jesse (7) Kelsey (My Angel in Heaven & Kass’s twin) Greg (46)

#2- I am a chef and owner of a Gourmet food company, Called Gourmet Addictions, Inc.- in that food company is 2 DBA’s one being A Gourmet Affair Catering and the other being Salsa Addiction ( I started catering because of my love of feeding people. I am untrained and self taught but successful and damn good! (and it’s the only subject in my life I KNOW Im good at!) I also write reviews and recipe’s for other ventures.

#3- I have pet peeves about peoples laziness, excuses, and shopping carts. Don’t give me an excuse of why you can’t do something, because you can. Don’t tell me your too busy to do something, because I know damn well your not busier than I am (most people anyway!) and for the LOVE of all things holy, walk your shopping cart back to the coral! Don’t leave it in a parking space to blow around playing bumper cars and blocking people from parking there. k thx.

#4- Im a total gamer. I even met my husband (married 11 years) in a game, true story.

#5- I stake the claim of truly having the most amazing people in my life, the most amazing friends, family, and support system, they truly are the best around, you can’t claim it I did! On that note, you also can’t claim having the most awful, ignorant, stupid, drama filled, crazed lunatics in your life either, I claim this as well, go on, do the happy dance, all the lunatics are mine, Ill claim they all wanna be me and are complete stalkers, it’s how I get through my day. *le sigh*

#6- I get frustrated with eating well and working out and never losing weight. I have Blood Clots (DVT) all through my right leg, and even into my lungs (PE) and have major Thyroid issues. I live in a constant state of exhaustion, and pain. Welcome to my hell, again, don’t tell me you “can’t” cuz if I can, so can you.

#7- I’ll leave #7 to you, the reader! Ask me anything, Ill answer honestly, and probably sarcastically 🙂  Ready, set go, what do you wanna know?

Ok a little extra tid bit about me, Im not a big reader, so I do not even follow a ton of blogs, but the ones I do follow, I truly enjoy! Some of the blogs I read I just started reading literally this week or a couple of weeks ago, so I may not list them now but in the future they may be top on my list! 🙂 So picking a few favs 🙂

1) Frugal Feeding a wonderful recipe blog that truly inspires me to create new things! Once, someone told me my food pictures were “too close up” making them look bad, Frugal Feeding takes all of his pics close up, so there! LOL and his pics are awesome, they make me feel like jumping right into the food!

2) Rantings of an Amateur Chef- I love the concept of this blog, he has guest bloggers so that you can cross post helping your blog and his, and it introduces me to new bloggers all the time! Matter of fact, I am a guest blogger coming soon on his blog 🙂 Check him out!

3) Joscelyn’s Journey – I know this blogger personally. HEr blog is truly inspiring giving sometimes a bit of wit and humor to the truly tragic events of the recent years of her life. This blog is inspiring as she journey’s through Princess J’s diagnoses of hemimegalencephaly.

4) Going Dutch – This blog gives me a bit of culture in my un-cultured life. Her adventures in travel, food etc. inspire me to do more traveling, and give me a peek into another land.

5) Of Moms and Monsters Desiree is the one who nominated me for this award, and someone I am lucky enough to know personally, but she truly is a blog I love to read! Many people go through life feeling sorry for themselves, or take their challenges being depressed and always down. Desiree embraces her struggles living with not one but possibly 2 children with Autism. She tackles it with humor and fun! She is a self proclaimed nut case and loves life. Check her out!

6) Domestic Diva MD– With every recipe, there’s a story (usually about a bad date and men with no brain power) but I love reading this witty blog of dating adventures by this hot doctor chick who tends to add a recipe to the mix 🙂

7) Homemade Delish– Great recipe blog, of which I envy her whole page set up, and number of followers, so be one!

Going through the list I found I follow more blogs than I thought! These are probably my top 7 for now though, so be sure to check them out 🙂

Thanks for the award, carry on!



So, I have been telling my husband for several months now that I think I might have a wheat allergy. All total 110% honesty, I have no idea, and no basis for this other than my own observations. For starters, ALOT of times when I eat, my belly swells, I look like I’m pregnant, but all in the top of my belly. I know a few people with Celiacs disease that this happens too as well, so I automatically associated my swelling with wheat (lol, ya ya I know, I should be a doctor) to date, I’ve done nothing about my thoughts on this, not even gone to see the doctor (I hate going to the doctor even though mine are AMAZING, but Im there too often as it is) Fast forward to now.. A friend of mine (shout out to Chantal) read a book called Wheat Belly. I have heard of this book before, and, but never really thought past that. Chantal has had tremendous results by using this book as her guide, I’m proud of what she has accomplished. A couple of weeks ago while bored and just exploring some stuff on the internet, I came across a quote by the author of this book that intrigued me, so I ordered the book.

Sure enough on the second page of the introduction this author says EXACTLY what I have been trying to tell people for a few years now but no one seems to pay lil ole me any mind, after all, Im just a self taught, big mouthed Italian chick from a little ole town in Florida.

“You will see that what we are eating, cleverly disguised as a bean muffin or onion ciabatta, is not really wheat at all but the transformed product of genetic research conducted during the latter half of the twentieth century. Modern wheat is no more real wheat than a chimpanzee is an approximation of a human.” William Davis, MD.

In other words, this aint your grandmas wheat! NONE of our food is your grandmas food. Everything is so genetically modified and warped, I often wonder if we could ever get back to our roots. Literally. My husband often says (wisely I might add) “The healthcare problem in the US today has nothing to do with insurance, and everything to do with what we put into our bodies”

So on that note, I am reading Wheat Belly, I am inspired to give it a try and see what it does for me. For my Whacked out thyroid, my blood clots and my many many fat cells. Being the Foodie I am, I really am not sure how deep into this I can dive, but Im diving none the less. Stay tuned!

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Our Project!

So, I know this isn’t a recipe per say, but I had to share the project my husband and I made together. We saw something similar in a little store, it was only decoration and not for sale, so we decided to make our own. We worked on it together, it was our project of love, and now it hangs above the dresser of our bedroom!

It’s perfect for our style, for our room, and we did it together! The “Love Always” is done in Chalkboard paint to give it a bit more rough un-refined look, plus who knows? I might write on it with chalk!  The boards are wood glued and screwed together in the back. We got the knobs from Anthropology, and even added a couple to our dresser for an added touch! The frame was rustic and cool, from World Market!

More Fun with Chalkboard Paint!

So today I played a bit more with my chalkboard paint!

I painted a plate so that I could write on it for catering events, or just to display on my counter at home! THEN I also painted a jar to store my morning munchies! Biscotti  or Bow Ties, whatever I put in there, I can erase and write it in chalk!

The Finished Product! LOVE!!

Chalkboard Rocks!

So ok, this isnt a recipe but man is it cool!
I’ve always wanted those little Chalkboard things you use for cheese etc. so that when your having a cheese tasting you write on the chalkboard what cheese it is. Well, those things aren’t cheap! So *I* in one of my few brilliant moments, came up with my own idea! Chalkboard paint+Rocks=Genius!
I simply had my 9 year old go pick some rocks out of the front yard that were smooth, I painted them with Chalkboard paint, and VIOLA! w00t!

The Resolution Diaries

BEWARE Bluntness will ensue. Take it or leave it, but don’t judge me for it, you have been warned. (There is a brighter side at the bottom lol)

So I can blurt out the whole “I’m going to make the best of this year and love everyone blah blah” Like 90% of people do when it comes to these resolutions, but let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be happy? Who doesn’t want to make the most of every day? Who doesn’t want to spend more time with family etc. We all do. So come up with a REAL resolution. Here’s mine.

Last year I wrote out some resolutions and posted them:

I managed to do some of those resolutions but not all, One of the biggies that comes to mind is this one:

Last but certainly not least, I want to adopt the younger Maria’s philosophy. I try so hard to make people like me, when I used to not give a flip, fact is, you should just like me because I’m me, and if you don’t screw you, move along.  I’ve grown tired of helping people, doing for people, spending time away from family and true friends to put effort into people who just do not care about me the way I care about them. I’ve grown tired of being bullied, thrown away like yesterdays trash, and of people who do not reciprocate. I’m done, and I’m done caring if I’ve lost you as a friend, crying over it, fretting over it. Fact is, if I’ve lost you, you were not a friend to begin with. I’ve said it a million times, Friendship is a 2 way street, time for people to start coming to MY part of the street.

2011 more than any year I can ever recall was the worst for this. I was surrounded by more drama, more lies, more fake friends etc. than ever before. I’ve been bossed around, bullied and knocked down. It was defiantly a very low point for me. So this year, It’s not so much a resolution as a promise to myself. No more being bullied by people who in all honesty are just threatened by me. No more allowing people to push me around. No more allowing people to tell me what to do, you’re not my parent and rather you think your older and wiser or not, guess what, I’m 40 I make my own decisions. No more allowing people to twist the truth to play to their side, and guess what? if you want to believe a one sides story without giving me enough respect to learn my side, you don’t deserve my friendship or to be in my presence. I’ve never been one to give into drama, I avoid it like the plague, but for some reason the more people who are in my life, and the older I get, I seem to catch myself in the center of it all, trying to make people happy, trying to have others like each other, whatever it may be, and I care so much that it turns around on me and kicks me straight in the you know where. I somehow have gotten to a point in my life where I want to fit in, where I want to be accepted, and not even accepted for who I am, but I’m trying too hard to please everyone. I’ve truly 110% had enough. This is who I am, take it leave it or get lost I’m tired of trying to make people like me, I’ve never been that way before, and don’t want to be any longer. I realize some of this has to do with my confidence and my self esteem, which has never been strong to begin with, but has been knocked down lately by bullies. I’m done.

I was recently reminded by a friend of mine “people may come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime but you learn something from all of them” And I did, time to move forward and take control again.

2011 has had many devastating losses for me. A Loss of organization I dedicated my life too due to one-sided stories and more drama than HS.  The losses of friends and families, Some losses of friends were simply, well, drama filled. It was meant to be. Some losses were due to death. In 2011 we had more people we know pass away than I ever recall in my whole life. Starting on January 1st, up until Christmas day we lost 11 people we knew and loved this year. That does not the count the people we knew who lost a loved one. Many friends of ours lost a parent, grandparent, child, or sibling this year. It was a devastating year.

On the bright side of my world, it has also been one of the best years of my life. I have met, and become friends with some of the most amazing people. I can honestly say that I have raised the bar of people in my life. Out with the drama in with the new. As one drama filled toxic person left my life, somehow, an amazing new friend entered it. I’m blessed. This year I also joined the PO/SD Chamber, Ive learned SO much, I’ve met so many wonderful people, and I’ve attached myself to those I know are the positive influences I need and want in my life both professionally and personally. My business has been taken to new heights, The salsa has truly taken on a life of it’s own, and after speaking to a few people who’s opinions I respect, I will be making some big changes in the new year, (stay tuned!) and refocusing my attention. I have my eye on the prize, watch out world, because I’m going to get it!

Some of you reading this may already know because I’ve asked you to be a part of my brainstorming sessions, but for those of you that do not, one of my big goals (Which will not happen very soon, but in the future after I finish my 1st goal!) is to start my own non-profit. I’ve volunteered and been on the board for many non-profits over the years, and I think it’s time to do things my way. I want this non profit to be current, trendy, and local. I have some amazing support behind me and can’t wait to conquer the non-profit world!

Last but not least  I’m going to love more & love harder, but be choosy about who gets that love. People are going to have to work hard to get into my inner circle, but it’s SO worth being there, because the fact is, I’m an amazing friend and worth the effort.

Like it or leave it, but for what it’s worth that’s my 2012. Happy New Year.

Confessions of a Black Friday Virgin

So, I’ve never participated in Black Friday. Ever. No deal could possibly be worth the crowds and lines. I told a few people someone would have to be giving away a million dollars for me to sit somewhere for hours on end waiting for a store to open.

I have to first say, Im a bit saddened by this whole black friday thing, it beginning to look a lot like Christmas. It gets earlier and earlier every year. I remember when all the sales were just when the stores opened at their normal times. Then it was “were opening at 7am!” Then it went to 6am, then midnight, and now some at 9pm and 10pm on Thanksgiving day! I feel bad for the poor souls who have to leave their families and drag their over stuffed bellies to actually WORK on what should be a thankful Holiday. That being said.

Last night, I lost my virginity. I looked through the ads which I do every year just for the heck of it and saw a couple things that we could save some money on. This year there were 3 big ticket items we wanted to get for the kids, you know, the older they get, the more expensive the gifts. So we figured, what the heck, let’s give it a go!  Greg and I handed the children over to my mom (Thanks mom!) for a slumber party and we headed over the Toys R Us which was the first store to open at 9pm.

We knew when we got to Toys R Us we were after one thing! An iPod Touch 8gb, not on sale mind you, but with the purchase you got a $50 gift card. We could spend that $50 in Toys R us in the blink of an eye on other Christmas gifts.

When we arrived at Toys R Us, at ooooo 8:45 (LOL) we saw there was a line, no problem! I figured as much, but as we walked down the line we realized the line stretched all the way to HH Gregg at the opposite end of the shopping plaza. HOLY COW! so we hobbled to the back of the line.

We saw some friends on our way back of what seemed like a punishment. The line actually moved pretty fast after the store opened, letting in only 50 people at a time. We scooted our way up inch by inch for about an hour, having lovely conversations with the people around us, I knew this Black Friday thing was serious business, I didn’t realize how serious! Women (and men too) With Notebooks, maps of the stores, ads clipped out and taped to papers, times and stores mapped out down to the last minute and item of importance. Standing waiting then finally,  THE DOOR! As we approached we witnessed the Toys R Us lady at the door hand the last ticket for the item we wanted to the people in front of us! I wanted to scream “Nooooooooooooooooooo” in a deep slow motion voice like in the movies, but I held myself back. In hindsight my friends Ashley and Patti made it in before us, had I known they were giving tickets for that item I would of asked them to grab one for me!  We headed straight in the store through the winding and confusing aisle set-up to the electronics dept. hoping there was some mistake, and asking everyone in there if there were any left, only to be told no. Ok Plan B! We will check out the Nintendo DSi XL for Jesse, and then head to Target which is giving $40 Gift Cards for iPod Touch purchases. (I could spend $40 in Target in my sleep!) We grab a DSi XL for Jesse and they are giving  $20 gift card with the purchase, GREAT! We grab a case with extra pens etc. and head to the register. After checking out Greg realizes he didn’t get the $20 gift card and asks about it only to find out we got the wrong case to go with it so no $20 for us. FAIL. Deciding to not make a big deal out of it and get a mob mad at us, we move along and head to Target.

Arriving at Target 1 hour and 15 minutes before they opened thinking we were getting there in great time (amateurs) Targets line went from the “green side” all the way the length of the building, and down the ally between Target and Lowes, wrapping around to the back.  We ran into some friends and kinda scooted into line with them (damn, I hate when people do that!) and for the next hour and 15 minutes we goofed off, chatted, looked over the Target Ad, complained about our slow dinosaur phones and generally had a good time. As the store opened and the line moved we worked our way inside, ran straight to electronics to stand in another line (This one MUCH slower moving) this round we got smart and as I stood in line waiting for the iPod deal, Greg did some comparison shopping for the Camera we wanted for Kass and to see if the DSiXL was on a better deal here. By the time I got up to the register, ordered my iPod from the lady in the cage, Greg had a GREAT Camera for Kass at $100 off the price, an 8gb memory card, and a flash drive on sale for $9.99. We cashed our using our Target Debit Card for an extra 5% off our total (a little over $13) and we were done! We headed over to Starbucks for our celebratory and much needed coffee. We saved $153 and change and headed to the next destination, Kohls. When we walked out of Target (about an hour after we entered) The line still went around the corner! Wow!

Happy to drive up to Kohls and not see a line (they opened the same time as Target) we drove up and saw Tim and Michele again (wow they got through Target fast!) who informed us that the register line in Kohls wrapped all the way around the store. Deciding it just wasn’t worth it, we headed home! Whew!!

My first Black Friday adventure I realized something very valuable. It’s not the great deals, or the amazing discounts, because really, they aren’t that great or amazing. It’s the thrill of the chase, the not knowing if your going to get what you want, the thrill of waiting with 1000 of your closest friends, and figuring out the best way to get it, where to get it, and how to get it without getting mobbed.

Last night I lost my virginity, but much like my other virginity, it may never happen again


Hi Recipe Addicts!

This blog will replace the “Discussions” Tab on the Facebook page, and hopefully will be much easier for you to navigate and get recipes, plan meals etc. Stay tuned as I started to move recipe’s into this blog!