I’m in the process of moving my personal blog, LLBR, to my professional portfolio and website, megmcelhaney.com. Please go look at my portfolio and let me know what y’all think!
I don’t know about y’all but my absolute favorite season is Autumn! I love the food, the clothing, the colors, the weather, football…the list goes on & on. If I could have a year of half fall and half summer, I probably would. Even though it’s still summer technically I thought I would post this list so y’all could get your fall on before the season is half over!
1. Tyler Candle Company 22oz. candle in Homecoming
I love Tyler candles and this is probably my favorite scent. Its warm and spicy without being nauseatingly sweet. I hate sweet candles, they give me headaches and I think that they defeat the purpose. No, I don’t want my living room to smell like birthday cake.
This is the time of year I trade in my iced tea for hot chi tea lattes. I almost never like the ones from the coffee shops (too sweet, not spicy enough) and these two are near perfect. If I’m at home I’ll use a Bengal Spice tea bag, brew it strong and add milk & stevia. When I’m not, I’ll carry a packet of Oregon Sugar-Free Chi Tea Latte Mix and just have to add water. I’m in love with either way and if you’re not a chi fan or don’t like the idea of no caffeine, ask for a dirty chi (chi tea latte with a shot of expresso).
I always start looking for books about hauntings, witches or anything paranormal this time of year. I love a good horror movie in the summer, but the fall weather is perfect for curling up on a rainy morning and reading a scary book. This one, however, is more about the magic and is a very solid historical fiction novel. If you’re into either one of those Paula Brackston does a wonderful job keeping details strait, and has seriously done her research about witches and Wicca.
The weather is cooler, but in Oklahoma being tan is never out of style. I use one coat of this every other week or so to keep a healthy glow. Without it I look white as a ghost.
5. Harvest beer
This time of year many craft (and national) breweries are turning out their fall harvest brews loaded with notes of spices, pumpkin and other fall favorites. My favorite brand, currently, is Abita Brewing Co., out of Louisiana.
Not only did the color orange really have a moment this last season, but pumpkins are being put into everything from shampoo and body lotion to soups for their antioxidants, fiber and gourdy goodness. And you get to carve them for Halloween! I love Halloween like most people love Christmas, so happy haunting, y’all!
I’m not sure if you realized it or not, but I’m a huge paranormal fan and I thoroughly love being scared. Haunted corn mazes are midwest’s gift to the season, as are all the abandoned warehouses that OKC has to offer. But, I look to the boondocks of Oklahoma for my favorite place to get my freak on.
You think I wouldn’t include at least one beauty product on a list? While I love that chill in the air that comes with this season, I hate what it does to my skin. Being pale I almost always have redness problems, pair that with a sharp wind and allergies and I look like a tomato. This lotion is heavy enough to help condition my skin and does all the things that I need it to do while being light enough to wear under makeup without feeling heavy.
What’s your favorite part of Fall?
Well, September is finally here.
Things are starting to fall into a pattern around my house and I am looking to start a personal challenge for this month.
I’m going to try to eat a mostly (if not completely) plant-based diet. Y’all know I love food, of all kinds, but the more I research it, the more it makes sense. I’m not doing it because of the animals, although I do try to buy grass fed and free range when I can, it is about my health. I have very bad allergies and have been finding that the normal OTC remedies don’t work as well as they used to. So, I’m trying alternative methods. This way has been recommended to me by a few friends and a lot of online research.
Are any of y’all vegetarian/vegan/clean eaters? I’d love to know any tips or trick or things that you know now that you didn’t know when you first started.
I’ll let y’all know how it is going, and if I discover any really good recipes while I’m on my little journey.
Sometimes we need comfort food because everything else is hard to swallow.
This weekend I’m moving up to Stillwater for the last time & I’m beginning my senior year of college. Looking back I can’t belive how fast everything has gone, but how much things haven’t changed. I figured I’d know what I should do with myself and the only thing I’ve reaffirmed is a love of writing and food. So, in my attempt to comfort myself I made a dish of fried potatoes.
I’ve always had these a few times a year, or more, my entire life. My great grandmother would make them, my grandma, my mom & my dad. I was always told that whoever eats them for dinner will get bad dreams. Now, I’m sure that that was started because if you’re eating fried potatoes and onions any dream will seem like a relief if that’s al you have to eat. Which, for many in my family, this is what they had.
What you need:
Potatoes (I used new, because it’s what I had, but you can really use any kind)
Onion (sweet, white)
Bacon (really, just the grease)
My version isn’t what my grandparents would do, but it’s what I like. First I sliced a small white onion fairly thin.
After that, I added a few slices of bacon to a cast iron skillet with some oil already in it. If you have bacon grease on hand, go ahead and put a tablespoon or two in there. This is just to flavor everything.
After the bacon has cooked, remove it. You can eat it or give it to your pups (like I did), because there’s nothing else that needs it, unless you want to crumble it into the potatoes, which would be really good.
Add the sliced onion and let it cook until it starts getting happy (which is a term I use for yummy smelling & looking. So, brown and soft) add some salt to the onions to help the process along.
Add the potato slices and cook through, turning occasionally. This isn’t science. If it smells good, keep going.
Add the garlic and let the whole thing cook a minute or so.
And then, if you’re like me serve it on a big blue plate with Tabasco & ketchup.
There, now we’re both on our way to feeling better.
I’ve gotten a few questions at to why I was all shady the last couple of months, and now I can finally tell you!
You see, at my school, Oklahoma State University we have a little thing called the Greek System. Our women’s Greek system of sororities has been named as one of the top ones in the country. During recruitment we use women called Gamma Chis. These are women who are initiated members of a sorority that go through an interview process and training to become recruitment counselors. Their main goal is to be able to help the incoming pledge class go through recruitment (lots of helping girls to ignore stereotypes, rumors and not listen to their moms, in some cases). This means that they are completely removed from their chapter. They can’t have a Facebook, any photos of themselves on the internet or wear their letters (or any symbols). Then, during the two weeks of work week (the week before recruitment, or rush) and then actual recruitment week (you probably know it as rush, which is being phased out) they can have no contact whatsoever. If you run into your best friend in a boutique you can’t even aknowledge her presence. The whole thing is very uncomfortable.
I was a gamma chi. I can now say that I am a member of the Alpha Upsilon chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha. My biological little sister and best friends are all ZTA’s, too. These past two weeks were way more emotional than I had ever imagined. And I was so happy to reunite with these women. And if you’re curious there are a few Youtube videos about Bid Day just search “OSU Running of the Girls” (yes, that is what it is really called because everyone runs from Library Lawn to the different chapters to meet their new sisters after getting their bids earlier that day).
I have more photos of the house, and bid day but I haven’t uploaded them yet. I’ll update this post when I get them.
Lovely, Intelligent, Funny Readers:
My life is getting weird. And I have to go on a two-week hiatus, for reasons that I cannot say at this time. As soon as that time is over I promise I will explain anything & everything to you. I will be setting the entire site to private so it will not be accesible by anyone for a few weeks (more like a week & a half). I cannot wait to be reunited with you and explain why I have been so inconsistent this summer.
This includes any of the following:
Okay, this is why.
Okay, I know that sounds really harsh but I can count at least 5 or 6 cupcake shops within spitting distance of me currently. I’ve tried them all and hope each and every time that I’ll find the one that beilieves that the cake should have integreity and if you’re calling something a flavor, it should also taste like it. I’ve posted some links to the shops that are offending, and some that I haven’t tried, yet. I’m not telling the difference because all have loyal followings (some within my close circle of friends & family) and like to think I’m a nice person. Let me know if you’ve had any luck/loss with these or if there’s one that I need to try, I’m always up for ruining my diet.
It’s all about positive thoughts, y’all.
My posts are lagging, but this is my busiest time of the entire summer. Bear with me until after the 3rd week of August & then I’m all yours.
I’m sure that got your attention. Or maybe not.
They’re pretty trendy now, and it’s a little annoying. Most people haven’t tried these, and those that have haven’t tried to make them. The last time I had them in a restaurant they were served stacked with sprigs of herbs, a glaze of some kind and a whole lotta pretentious shit. It made me uncomfortable. Modern things make me feel uncomfortable. Maybe that’s why I like these so much, with ranch. But, people are still going to pay for those fussy ones, regardless of what I think.
But, I think mine taste better. As long as you like spicy things, and ranch.
First, you need some green tomatoes.
The greener, the better. Part of the magic is the tangy-ness that they get after they’re cooked. If they’re even just a little bit ripe they’ll turn mushy and too sweet when fried. You can just set those in the window to ripen up. I got mine at the local farmer’s market. Large slicing tomatoes work best.
After you wash them, simply slice them. You can try thinner or thicker ones, but don’t think you’ll get crispy little tomato chips out of these. There’s too much water in tomatoes and thats why we put cornmeal and breading on them–that’s the part that gets crispy.
Next, you’ll want to make the liquid mixture and the dry mixture for breading the tomatoes.
Mix the egg and buttermilk in a shallow bowl. Whisk until combined then season with pepper. If you’re adding hot sauce or Tobasco, this is when you should add it. It’s all about personal preference. Set aside and allow to come to room temp.
At this point you could just take some cornmeal, throw some salt, pepper, garlic and seasoning salt and they’d turn out OK. Or, you could trust me and do as I do. Use fish fry mix.
Get your packet of fish fry mix and dump into the bowl and taste it. If you like it, leave it alone, if you don’t I’ll show you how to fix it.
I fixed mine with more cornmeal (it gets really crisp in the pan), Slap Ya Mama seasoning and chipoltle pepper for heat and a little different flavor. Again, all to taste.
Before we go any further, let’s talk about your pan. You need a deeper pan, but not a dutch oven. These are pan fried and don’t require gallons of oil. Another thing. Make it cast iron and hot. At least 350 degrees or a little higher. If the oil is too cool your food with come out greasy instead of crispy. You can use vegetable, canola or peanut oil to fry in, but don’t use olive oil, it will burn.
Get everything you need at hand before you put the first one in the pan, because you shouldn’t leave hot oil on the stove.
Now, for the Hot Ranch dip
1 packet of original Hidden Valley Ranch mix
1/2 cup of light mayonaise*
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/8 to 1/4 cup milk*
1t. ground chipotle pepper
2t. cajun seasoning (Tony Chesaries or Slap Ya Mama work well)
1/2 to 2t. cyanne pepper
Combine all ingredients and mix. Add more or less milk, mayonaise and spices to taste. Allow to chill for a minimun of 1 hour prior to serving. Spices will intensify after chilling.
I really love these two together, because nothing is worse than a pretentious plate of fried green tomatoes. Serve tomatoes hot and ranch cold.
Thats all for now. Comment with any questions or thoughts!
Like most women, I feel that I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. But it’s mostly one sided. I don’t simply hate my hair. I LOATHE it.
So naturally, at the ripe old age of 21 I finally found a shampoo/conditioner that actually made me feel like I had “white people” hair (as my family liked to call it). For years I had spent probably thousands of dollars on every brand from the cheap stuff to the high end stuff. I finally found my HG (holy grail for those of you not in the know) at a Food Pyramid in Stillwater, Okla. when I had ran out and was just picking up groceries:
It was wonderful. My hair was soft, silky and behaved itself.
Then, I couldn’t find it. Anywhere. Not Ulta, Walmart, Walgreens, Supermarkets. I’ve been looking for this stuff everywhere. So I tried a Tresemme pair called Smooth & Silky.
To my horror, after 1 wash it felt as though my hair had completely changed textures. I had fuzz and flyaways in places that I hadn’t had since those awkward I-don’t-know-what-a-straightern-is middle school years. As most of you ladies, and some of you guys know, having a bad hair day can throw everything off. Having a bad hair 2 weeks? It sucks.
My boyfriend called me Hermionie. As in this…
I was on a date. *Facepalm*
Here’s my S.O.S:
I need help with this, if any of y’all know of a brand you reccomend or where I can find my beloved Aussie Sun Touched Shine (I don’t want to order it online because mostly I’d have to buy in bulk) please help a girl out . Before I go all Britney cira 2006. Seriously.
* I know I could dye it, and I have. I looked dead with brown hair. Maybe red next time?