Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Ralph

Today is Ralph Lauren's 70th birthday...America's iconic designer! Ralph was certainly an influence in our home growing up. We not only slept on his sheets, but wore his preppy polos and madras sundresses. I remember spending hours admiring his bedding and fabrics with my mom. I've never grown tired of his vintage florals and crisp, classic designs. To celebrate this legend, here are photos of Ralph and Ricky's beach side home in Jamaica (which I adore!) featured in Architectural Digest a few years ago.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Green Chile Pork Stew

If you have had the green chile stew at Z'Tejas or the Roaring Fork, you know how fabulous it is. It is a dish that I craved over and over until one day, I decided to make it for myself!
This has definitely become a family favorite over the past year. In fact, it even took over the spot for regular beef stew which used to me one of those meals the boys couldn't get enough of during the winter.

  • 5-6 thick boneless pork chops, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces (I get mine at Costco!)
  • Olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves crushed and minced
  • 1 – 1 ½ cans of chicken broth
  • 1 jar of Cookwell Green Chile Soup mix (sold at HEB) OR 3 cans of Hatch green enchilada sauce
  • 2 small cans of chopped Hatch green chilies
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 3-4 potatoes cut into bite size chunks (add during last hour of cooking time)
  • Optional: Monterrey jack cheese (sprinkle on top of stew before serving)

Saute garlic and onions in oil. Remove from oil and set aside. In a gallon Ziploc bag, add 1 cup flour and 2 tbsp of Montreal steak seasoning. Add pork chop to flour until well coated, and then brown in oil in cast iron/dutch oven pot. I usually have to do mine in 3 or 4 batches since it won’t all brown at once. Add all browned pork back to pot, along with the rest of the ingredients (including cooked garlic/onion). During the last hour, add potatoes and stir well.

Bring to boil and then SIMMER for 3 hours…I have even cooked for 4 hours…the longer the better! The pork should fall apart easily with a fork. Stir every 30 minutes so it does not stick/brown to bottom of skillet. If it gets too thick as it cooks, you can add more chicken broth.

You can also do this meal in the crock pot! Brown pork and then add all ingredients to the crock pot. Cook on high for at least 3 hours or 5 hours on low!

Sprinkle with Monterrey jack cheese and serve with warm flour tortillas! If you have leftovers (we rarely do!), you can make green chili pork enchiladas the next yummy! A cool front just came in so guess what's for dinner?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Five Star Product of the Week

Okay, I admit it. I am a shampoo fanatic. With baby fine hair and proudly in my 40's, I can't get away with using just ANY shampoo! I have spent way too many hard earned dollars over the years trying to find a shampoo that not only gives my hair body and volume, but leaves it healthy and shiny too! My verdict is that this isn't an easy job! If you are one of those people that buy fancy shmancy brands that ring up at $35 dollars a bottle, you very well may have already found the miracle shampoo. But being the thrifty shopper that I am, I can't bring myself to pay that much for something that I rinse down the drain.

To complicate matters even more, I stopped using soaps and shampoos containing sodium laurel sulfate about a year ago. (Why? I decided that bathing in harsh chemicals couldn't be good for me! I have noticed that both my skin and hair don't seem to dry out like before.) The pool of shampoos without SLS is still fairly small so it is even more challenging than before to find something that cleans your hair while not damaging it!

If you have read my blog on a regular basis, you will remember that I once recommended Organix Coconut Shampoo for a reasonably priced sulfate free shampoo. Well, I have found one that I love way more for so many more reasons! Read on...

First of all, this sulfate free shampoo actually makes a silky lather (not many sulfate free products can make this me!). According to the label, this shampoo is designed for color treated hair. I don't usually color my hair, but the fact it was sulfate free led me to give it a try. I loved the way my hair rinsed clean and didn't feel dry or coarse. In fact, I almost skipped the conditioner altogether since my hair felt so soft after one shampoo. Okay, it felt silky and smelled great while washing, but more importantly, what did it do to my hair? I have to say that my hair had more bounce and body than it has had in years. In fact, it almost looked liked I had used a curling iron and then combed it that's volume you can write about. I couldn't believe how soft my hair felt. And just between you and me, I kept touching it all day yesterday and admiring the shine in the mirror.
Bottom line, Loreal's EverPure Sulfate Free Volume Shampoo is totally worth $5.99 and has solved my hair problems for now. I can mark this one off my list and move on to solving how to lose 10 pounds in one week or finding the perfect shade of makeup that makes me look 10 years younger. Stay tuned...