Wednesday, February 9, 2011

R is for Review, Recipe, & Remembering...

I was so excited for the opportunity to Review a product for CSN

I am enjoying Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday meme
And this Review coincides so perfectly with the letter this week..."R".

First, let me share a few things about my experience with CSN...

---CSN has an amazing line up of products! (Whew! It was sooo hard to decide what to review!)

---I have purchased other items, since first hearing about CSN. (...and I am very pleased with what I have gotten so far.)

---One of the first items from CSN was through a wonderful giveaway that I had won. I had a little difficulty with the code (more likely, it was due to my like my lack of...)   

...anyways...well...CSN's customer service was awesome! (I actually got to speak with a real-live human being...not a computer prompt!) ...and my problem was quickly resolved.

---and fast, fast, fast! Did I say fast? Each item came incredibly fast!, here (on a bright and sunny day...yay, for a sunny day) is what was delivered at my front door...

I ordered it on Sat-Jan 22nd. was shipped out on Tues-Jan 25th.
...and I got it on Friday-Jan 28th!
(It took longer trying to decide what I wanted than it took to arrive. haha)

 It was like opening up an unexpected surprise! 

Can you guess what it is?

It didnt seem like it had lots of protective packaging...but it arrived safe and sound, in perfect condition.

Do you know what it is yet?
(Oh! If my Handsome Mister Safety man was home when I took these photos, you would not have seen the packaging to the far left - that was partly on my stove top!!! oops! :o) 

& another surprise: I lifted the bottom rack and found: came with this recipe & instruction booklet and spices.

My mom would send us jerky (along with lots of other home-made goodies), no matter where we were stationed in the military.

And for one of our anniversaries, my parents bought us a dehydrator. I used the same one for years and years...but this past Christmas break, I realized that the second batch of jerkey seemed to take longer.  I had made the jerkey for our daughter (Girly~Whirly) and son (Heartbreaker) to take back to college with them.

I couldn't wait to try it out. my hubby bought a rump roast that Friday.
& the next day, I marinated it for about 10 hours in the fridge.

I didnt use the packet of seasonings that came with the dehydrator, but used my mom's Jerky Recipe.
These are approximate measurements, cuz my mom was a wonderful "to-taste" kinda cook. 
(Oh, How I wish that she was still alive and I could give her a quick call about her recipes, and everything else!  ...and just to hear her sweet voice!)

My mom's Jerky marinade Recipe:
2.5 lbs of roast (sliced thinly)
1.5 cups shoyu (Hawaiian pidgen for soy sauce)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp (or more if you like it hotter) cayenne pepper
1 Tblsp garlic
1tsp (or 2tsp... an estimate) of liquid smoke.

There was a little bit of sound as it dehydrated... 
but overall, it was pretty quiet.

 Our old dehydrator was round, but I like the shape of this one, it seemed easier to lay the meat slices in the square shape.

The only "negative" thing about this dehydrator would be that it only came with 4 drying trays (you can order extras from Nesco).  The 4 trays were perfect for the 2.37 lbs of sliced meat that I had.

The size of the trays were quite large. (I love my kitchen, but in our next home I would love to have a large farmhouse style sink, so that I could put large pieces in to soak). 

(You can also see the "fruit roll" sheet that comes with this dehydrator for making fruit rolls. I placed it on the the very bottom to catch any drips so that clean up was easier.)

And here it is-fits perfectly on the bottom shelf :o)

 I divided the jerky for our 3 kiddoes and my hubby shipped them off with a few of their things for Valentine's :o)
 Happy Valentine's Day! 
...looking forward to our 29th Anniversary this Saturday!
Maybe a dessert stop to the Melting Pot in Savannah!!!
(*hint, hint*)

Although my sweetie is highly trustworthy regarding military affairs, things security clearance, etc... when it comes to surprises like gifts, he can't help but give little hints about something...

So, last night: 
Mr. Hawaiian Hunk(my hubby of almost 29 years! :o) : "So, what's the name of that place you keep mentioning?"

Me: "...oh...what place... (yeah right, I have talked about this for some time, off and on...)...the Melting Pot?"

Mr. Hawaiian Hunk: "Yeah, what time is that place open?"

Me: "...OH! I can find out! (in my head, I'm thinking..."Yes!")

Mr. Hawaiian Hunk: "...well...I was going to surprise you, but since you got it out of me..."

Me: "hahahaha! what? You brought it up!" (He cracks me up! I love him and his "surprises"!)

(As you may have noticed, I manage to get one post up a week, so some of my posts share a little more than I initially intended).

Here's a few flashback memories and photos to add, 
as I join in with Alicia's fun Friday Photo Flashback.

When we were stationed in Hawaii. We had 6 year old Girly~Twirly, 3 year old Girly~Whirly and I was pregnant 6 months pregnant with our son Heartbreaker. Pretty much, especially in the first and second trimester of my pregnancy, I could only manage to eat and keep down- Taco Bell bean burritos. Our 8th anniversary dinner was with our little girls at Taco Bell :o)

(I tried to find a photo of that, but it must be with the Rubbermaids of photos waiting to be put into albums!) is one with all of us and my hubby's parents at the Honolulu airport, when they were going to fly out to visit his mom's dad in California. I guess the girls wore their Mickey Mouse hats to get them ready for Disneyland :o) 
I'm about 4.5 months to still wear regular clothes, since I really wasn't eating anything but those bean burritos.

At my in-law's home in Hilo, Hawaii...after the wonderful surprise baby shower they hosted. I'm about 8 months pregnant. 
Girly~Whirly, me, our nephew, Girly~Twirly, and my Hawaiian Hunk.

It was Easter the same time week that we were with his family. 
I definitely look like I am over my 1st and 2nd trimester of only eating bean burritos!
(Hm...maybe I can blame how huge I look on my tent style dress! haha)

Back at our military home in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii...

9 months pregnant...
This was the night before Heartbreaker was born.

With our Girly~Twirly and Girly~Whirly.

And thank you for stopping by and reading through this long post.  I will be by to return your visit.

One LAST thing...I try to post past orders on every post.  

I've had lots of past "R" orders, like a Racoon, Rhinoceros, Radiology, Raiders, Radios(antique)... but thought this post was way too long already.

So here are two that begin with the letter "R".  
Thank you to these soldiers for their military service & their families for their support! & Thank you for the families who thought of these as gifts to their loved ones.

Oh... also...thank you for your kind comments regarding my last post about the Cathedral quilt I am working on. I had a few contact me regarding info on it and asked how I did mine. I have a very dear friend who is an excellent quilter, that showed me how she did hers 8 years ago. If I can do it, any one can do it. It is a matter of taking the time to do. I will share how she showed me in another post...

*Ok, this truly is the very LAST thing*
--- please do take a peek at my facebook art page and become a "fan" by hitting the like button. I humbly ask for you to help raise my that hopefully others will learn more about the art that I do with names. 

Signature for blog


jfb57 said...

A triple RRrrrr! Great post!

mle said...

Congrats on winning the CSN review!
I won a certificate once and it took for.e.ver to decide what to get {I probably spent it many times over!} they were a pleasure to work with!

The Melting Pot is quite yummy!

You are a very beautiful : )

happy wednesday

Mary said...

Happy Anniversary! I hope you enjoy your trip to the Melting Pot & your dehydrator :-)

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love the Melting Pot. The meal takes a whole evening. It was a great time of chatting and eating when I went.

Donnie said...

That was a lovely post and I especially enjoyed your shout out to all our military and their families. Have a great day.

Miss Sweet Tea said...

I recently did a review for CSN, they have so many neat things. I didn't even know this kind of machine existed, but the jerky looks so tasty!

I hope you and Mr. HH have fun at Melting Pot! I've never been there, but I hear it's very good!

And, can I just say how phenomenal you look at 9 months pregnant?! It just looks like you have a basketball under your top because you are still so little!

It's always good to see one of your blog posts pop up in my reader! You are a great blog friend and I like keeping up with your fabulous life!

Have a great week!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Congrats on your anniversary and have fun with the dehydrator:@)

Jingle said...


best wishes for the coming events.

~Laurie~ said...

You were such a pretty pregnant Mama! Happy Anniversary - doesn't the marriage get better with time?!! I'm off to Like you on FB :)

Judie said...

I just adore seeing pictures of your family! They are a lot more beautiful than the dehydrator!!

Kate said...

Happy Anniversary! Looking forward to hearing how u made cathedral quilt. Following u on fb!

Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

29 years? That is hard to believe. Congrats on the "surprise"supper : ) ... and the dehydrator : )

gabe said...

congrats on the anniversary!

my boys love jerky. . .may have to try that one out sometime!

Sue said...

Boy, you covered it all in this one! And made me hungry, to boot!


Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I'm with Judie, the dehydrator is cool and everything, but the pictures of your family are lovely!

Your girls are just darling...

Bearly Sane ® said...

Well what an interesting time you had with your review.
Love the quilt in the previous post, such a lot of work but very much worth is beautiful.
Thanks for stoppin by it's been a hectic few weeks since the beginning of the year and I haven't been blogging much.
The BMV online teddy show is this weekend at so stop by if you have time, it'll be fun!
Warmest Hugs,
Sandi @ Ess D'Ess Bears and Bearly Sane Studio

~ Regan said...

Thanks for the recipe for jerky! I think I'm going to pull my old dehydrator out and make some this weekend! I always stack up the trays and set them ontop of the bottom rack of the dishwasher, run it on 'rinse', and most of the mess will was off easier by hand! I can't soak mine in the sink, either!
Can't wait to hear more on how to make that quilt!!
And, I love seeing your photos, you were a beautiful expectant mother!

myorii said...

How cool is it to have a dehydrator! I've never even heard of such thing until I read your post! Wow, making jerky in your own home....I want to try that now too! Of course, I don't really see myself making use of it that often so maybe it's not a good idea for me :)

I love that little trip down memory lane. :)

yonca said...

It's a great choice from CSN Stores. They have pretty much everything in their stores and the best part is 'shipping free':)
Great review Maria and your mom's recipe sounds and looks delicious.
Wish you a wonderful weekend and happy V-day:))

Vivek Chamoli said...

Wow :) Congrats !

And Wish you a Happy Anniversary!

Hope you had a great time was a nice read ...Pics were as usual very amazing ..loved them all.

Take care.
keep smiling.
Happy weened

Orglamix said...

I love CSN too! I've done several reviews for them and they always ship in a timely fashion. I hope you have a wonderful time at the Melting Pot. I've never had a chance to go. Happy Anniversary!

Jenny said...

I'm so glad you got to review something that you love!

What a fun way to break it in, too!

Your family photos, as always, warm my heart.

Thanks for a ridiculously wonderful link to Alphabe-Thursday's letter "R".


Pondside said...

I've never tried to dehydrate anything, but you've got me intrigued!

Alicia said...

YUM! Now I'm craving for teriyaki & beef jerkey!!! It looks awesome!

And, of course, I always adore your pictures (past and present). You look gorgeous even until your last month of pregnancy!!

Veronica Lee said...

Happy Anniversary!
Yummy!! Your recipe sounds good!! Adore your pics, as always!!

Sue said...

Happy Valentines Day. I like your pictures & you looked great even the night before having a baby!


I am a little jealous of your awesome kitchen equipment....mixer etc. You are so organized too. I love your jerky story. I used to send my son jerky when he was in Iraq but I bought it from the German restaurant. Yours looks awesome!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I bought my hubby a dehydrator for Christmas this year. I'm going to copy your recipe for jerky for him. He and my youngest son backpack with scouts, so, this will be great for them. PS: I love Janome machines and I don't know anyone who has one that doesn't like theirs. Have fun picking a machine. Visit my blog.

xinex said...

Oh you were so cute pregnant, Maria! Your dehydrated meat looks so good!...Christine

Sue said...

Happy Anniversary! Nice surprise from your hubby :)

Amy said...

Oh how precious! I love seeing your family pictures. Your kiddos are adorable. :) Thanks for the detail information/review on the dehydrator. I've never own one and always wonder if it works well. Apprently, it did. Hm...I love jerky and can't wait to try to make some on my own. I heard about the CSN store many many times but never order with them yet. Guess I'll be placing an order pretty soon! :P


Pearl said...

In the Philippines we call jerky as "tapa" :-) Nice one you got there, Maria.
I love the photos you shared when you were pregnant and you were in Hawaii. My husband studied in Oahu for 6 years. Then he moved to Kauai, where we (my son and i)followed him last year. Then Sept last year we moved here in Iowa (yes, we did a lot of moving).
God bless you!
..and oh, I almost forgot..I checked out your etsy shop, you are VERY talented! Your artworks are great! I am now a follower and would add your blog to my links so that I won't forget to visit you. xo

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