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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bougie Girl In The Kitchen: Pasta Poverina

Ah, pasta! 

I remember the lean years in which I consumed you in some form or fashion. This was long before you earned that bad rap for being fattening. But, for this former struggling college student, you were an answered prayer! 

My recipe for Pasta Poverina is an ode to you. I start out by boiling water per the instructions on the pasta box. ( In this instance, I am using mostaccioli. However, you can use just about any type of pasta noodle for this dish.)

Next, I add chopped up Baby Bella mushrooms,  sliced Spanish onions,  and capers to a small pan with  2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in it. I cook them over a low flame for at least 5 to 7 minutes. 

I turn my attention back to the mostaccioli. After it finishes cooking, I drain the mostaccioli and place it in a medium saucepan. Afterwards, I mix in marinara sauce (usually the least expensive jar) along with the mushrooms, onions, and capers. I add cracked black pepper and a couple of  tablespoons of lemon juice.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bougie Girl Audio: Boy Guardians

Boy Guardians bumpersticker
Boy Guardians by Bougie Girl Apparel

Listen to the Audio: Boy Guardians

I grew up during the 1980's and 90's.  During my childhood, a majority of my friends were boys. I played basketball, football, whiffle ball, and even ran foot races against them. We were always there for one another. I was a scrawny awkward looking girl so, none of my male friends viewed me as girlfriend material.

This was fine with me because I was more into books, sports, theater, and science experiments than dating. However, once I reached college things drastically changed.  Inexplicably,  I  blossomed into an attractive coed which made things awkward with my male friends. 

Yet, ever chivalrous gentlemen, they made an unspoken pact to look out for me. They were my self-appointed knights of the roundtable. At the time, I did not fully appreciate the way in which they treated me as though I were a delicate piece of crystal. 

They cleaned up their language around me, opened doors, and helped me to put together furniture. Alas, I wanted to be "one of the boys".  I  secretly envied those women whom were treated in that manner. Turns out those women were envious of my position of being under the constant watchful eye of the boy guardians.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bougie Girl In The Kitchen: Tater Tot Casserole

I spent last Saturday night playing board games with a big group of friends. I love our Game Nights because it is a chance for all of us to unwind and have fun. In addition, there are always seems to be some yummy food on hand.

This time was no exception.I feasted on a bunch of different culinary offerings including  multi-layered dip, red velvet dessert, and chocolate cookies just to name a few.  What can I say? My friends really know how to bring their "A" game to the food table.

Not wanting to be outdone, I brought a tater tot casserole. Just what's in a tater tot casserole? I am glad that you asked. Basically, I marinated tater tots in lime juice, extra virgin olive oil and black pepper.

 I baked them per the directions on the bag. While they were baking, I sauteed Baby Bella mushrooms, Spanish onions, with a spritz of lemon juice in a  pan  on the stovetop.

After the tater tots were finished, I placed them into a  resealable plastic container and mixed in the mushrooms and onions. I stirred a handful of mozzarella cheese into the plastic container.

The tater tots were definitely a hit at the party!  Guests commented  favorably on both the crispiness and flavor of the tater tots. I was lucky to get scoop of them before they were gobbled up.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Guest Blogger: Deanna Proach

How Creative Inspiration Came to Me Without Me Looking for It...

As an artist, inspiration can come from anywhere: a passion, an imagined scenario, a dream, or life experience. I'm a writer of fiction, although everything I write is based on my love of history and of the things that happen in the real world. 

My first novel, Day of Revenge, was a product of my immense interest in the French Revolution. What initially stirred my interest in this historical event was the infamous guillotine. Why such a gruesome killing machine would intrigue me so much, I honestly cannot explain. But, there is so much more to the French Revolution than the guillotine. How a group of people overthrew the Ancien Regime--a system that has been in place in France for hundreds of years--amazes me.

I've often wondered what life was like in France during the Reign of Terror. How did people cope in such a hostile environment? How did they deal with the death and destruction all around them? What did they do to avoid the one-way trip to the guillotine? These questions plagued my mind until I could no longer keep them there.

I didn't want to create characters who fled France without a fight, or who joined the ranks of the revolutionaries. I wanted to create characters who were brave, courageous, ones who were willing to fight for justice, even it resulted in their death. And, that is what I did.

I started writing Day of Revenge when I was partway through university, so it took me five years to write and edit the novel, then an additional six months to find the right publisher--Inkwater Press. I signed the contract with them in June of 2010 and four months later, my book was released.

In the meantime, I had started the writing of To be Maria, a novel completely different than Day of Revenge. Set in the fictional town of Peach Valley, British Columbia, To be Maria follows the story of two seventeen-year-old girls who, in their quest for popularity, find acceptance in the wrong place. The idea of this novel came to me when I was searching for ideas for another historical. Part of the story is based on my own life experience and part of it is based on what I have seen on the news. 

The reason behind the writing of To be Maria is not as easily explainable as the writing of Day of Revenge. I wasn't pouring out my strongest passion onto paper, not at the start anyway. At first, it felt good to write about something that I can relate to. Although, my passion for this story grew as the story evolved.
With writing--as in any form of art--you never know where your imagination will lead you. Most often, the best stories are the ones that come from knowledge and from the heart. Often, you'll find that creative inspiration comes to you when you're not looking for it.

To learn more about my writing efforts, you can visit my blog at

You can find Day of Revenge on When Deanna Proach is not writing novels, she writes for, a website that deals with all kinds of voucher codes.

I Found The Greatest Love Of All...


I was in the 6th grade the first time I heard Whitney Houston's version of "The Greatest Love Of All". This song literally changed my life for the better. At the time,  I was a scrawny, crazy-haired Black girl, with a broad nose, and prominent lips.

Growing up in Kansas, I was not anyone's idea of a beauty queen. Yet, I learned to both love and accept myself because I really had no choice. I just could not imagine hating myself because I did not fit into what the media had declared beautiful.

I remember listening to this song over and over on my cassette player.It acted as a daily reminder  that the greatest love of all begins and ends... with me. 

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