Cuban Mojo Pork

Cuban Mojo Pork

I’m not a major pork fan. I like some things, but for the most part, I don’t eat it. However this is one dish I LOVE. Now you may think if it is a Cuban recipe that it will have exotic flavors and an abundance of spicy heat, you couldn’t be more wrong. Mojo pork has a wonderful deep flavor from marinating for 12-24 hours. So plan ahead, this dish isn’t one you can just whip up on a whim. We serve it with Cuban rice and beans. *As I don’t have access to sour oranges, I used the below recipe, if you do, feel free to substitute the sour orange for the fresh orange juice and lime juice.*

  • Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 Tbsp minced oregano, or 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (in one piece)

Steps:

The night before: In a food processor: add orange juice, cilantro, mint, and garlic cloves. Pulse until finely chopped. Add all this to a large ziploc bag along with the oil, zest, lime juice, oregano, and cumin. Mix all together and add the pork shoulder. Zip the bag and cover the pork with the marinade. Place in fridge for 12 – 24 hours.

Next day: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, place a wire rack over a baking sheet. Place the pork on the rack, and discard marinade. Salt and Pepper the pork well.

Roast the pork for 30 minutes, it should be lightly browned. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, roast for another 1 hour and 20-30 minutes, or until meat thermometer reads 160.

Transfer to cutting board and let rest 20 minutes. Carve against the grain and serve.

Cubano Sandwich

But wait there’s more….with the left over Mojo Pork you would be well equipped to make Cubano sandwiches the next day. The move Chef, showcases these sandwiches and you will LOVE them. Below is the recipe:

  • Cubano Sandwiches:
  • Ingredients:
  • Cuban bread or Italian bread (baguettes)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp of yellow mustard (if you prefer other kinds, you can substitute it)
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced Swiss Cheese, about 10 slices
  • Left over Mojo Pork
  • Sliced dill pickles
  • 10 slices of Ham

For these sandwiches you will want a Panini press, George Forman, or use two pans to press your sandwich together.

Slice the bread horizontally. toast both halves of the bread, until light golden brown. Combine the butter and garlic together in a bowl. Spread on the garlic butter onto one of the cut sides of the bread. Spread the mustard on the other side of the bread. Layer the meat and cheese, put Swiss on the mustard side, followed by the warmed mojo pork. Add another layer of Swiss cheese followed by the pickles and ham. Top the ham with any remaining cheese and the last part of the bread.

Put the sandwich on the grill and grill both sides for 5-6 minutes or until you feel it’s toasted enough. If you want to wrap your sandwich in aluminum foil to melt the cheese more, you certainly can.

If you try these recipes, please let me know in the comments, and if you have variations you do, share those as well.

Happy Eating!

Who Do You Want To Be

We all have those role models that we strive to be like. Whether it is for something they do, wear, say, or the image they portray. I am no exception. My role models may have changed as I have gotten older, but I feel they all exude this image of class, beauty, and strength.

Dame Maggie Smith

One of my favorite is Dame Maggie Smith. Probably best known for her role as Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter series, but she’s had a very extensive career starting in the 1950’s. One of the first movies I’ve seen with her, was The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie. She of course has been in numerous films, television shows, and plays.

But this isn’t about her acting career, this is why I have her as a role model. In all of her roles, that I have seen, I saw a strong woman. She was fashionable for the times, she was independent, and she is a lady. She is someone I can only hope to be like. We all try to emulate that role model, so be sure you are picking a good one.

Who are your role models and why? Who do you want to be when you grow up?

Be strong, be beautiful, be you

Brilliant

*This post is not sponsored by any of the products or brands mentioned therein*

Hello again, my beauties. I wanted to talk about something that I have loved since I was a child. Books and reading. I had gotten into trouble often in school, because my nose was buried in a book. I loved to read, and it didn’t matter the subject, I loved fiction and non-fiction, science fiction, horror, comedy, romance, you name it I am willing to read it, IF it catches my eye. Yes, I am one to judge a book by the cover.

So when I find a book and/or series that I love, I find that I learn something new while reading it. A book series that was recommended to me by a past colleague was the Kick Keswick series, written by Marne Davis Kellogg. These books, have a bit of humor, a dash of romance, a lot of intrigue, and heroine who is a world class jewel thief.

The series has five books in it, and I will admit I have read the first four. The series includes; Brilliant, Priceless, Perfect, Friends in High Places, and The Real Thing. I highly encourage you to read them in order as the books do reference back to each other at times, however you will easily follow each book if read in any order.

Brilliant by Marne Davis Kellogg

In Brilliant, you meet Kick Keswick. An over forty, single woman, with a womans figure, a passion for good wine, good food, and good jewelry. She has a fantastic wardrobe, an amazing career and she’s the words greatest jewel thief. This book does have a few areas where it seems it’s not chronological, however I’m willing to over look this as I truly enjoy the glamour that is Kick Keswick.

To avoid any spoilers, I encourage you to read the remaining books and see how you like Kick and her extraordinary life. Please comment if you have read the books and what you may like about the series.

Check your local library to see if you can get a copy of Brilliant otherwise it is available on Amazon currently $2.99 for Kindle, or a used copy starting at $1.50.

YOU are your own best investment.

Scotland Is In My Soul

I love to travel. I love the excitement of exploring a new destination. I love the opportunity to see history, meet new people, and try new foods. I love European hotels, I love dining out, getting there is sometimes not my favorite, but the ends justify the means. Some of my fondest memories from when I was young are traveling, we didn’t always go far, and it was always by car, but what I loved most was my whole family doing it together.

I have had the great privilege to be able to see Russia, Germany, Austria, Greece, and Bermuda. Among many other states. My bucket list is long and I’m sure that I won’t be crossing all of the locations off. So I plan for trips, research them, and look at pictures. Top three locations I want to go: Scotland, Japan, and Romania. Quite a combination.

Scotland has been number one on my list forever. I love the history, the beauty of the land, the food may be a little bit out there, but for the most part I’m on board. But mostly I’m a sucker for men in kilts, and that accent. Being drawn to the country for years, I was completely surprised when I learned that I have some Scottish ancestry in my background. It may not be much, but I totally embrace it and learned that I can trace my lineage back to Clan Cairns, which as I learned is part of Clan Grant now.

Was I excited? You have no idea. I had always been told that I was 100% German, and don’t get me wrong I love that aspect about my ancestry too, but I entirely feel that Scotland is in my soul. So when the opportunity came to purchase an honorary Scottish Title, I did. I’m the proud owner of a 1 foot by 1 foot square piece of Scotland, and now carry the honorary title of Lady of Dunan’s Castle.

Dunan’s Castle

Not that my honorary title gives me anything more than exclusive products, and bragging rights. It’s just something I did for myself, and I truly am glad I did. It makes my heart smile and my soul glow.

As I dream of the Highlands, the lochs, and mountains, I wish one day I can go to the place that calls to me. Maybe it will be the place that makes my gypsy soul call home. I can’t wait.

What are your top three bucket list locations? Share in the comments section!

Be strong, be beautiful, be you.

Highland Cow

Jaded – In A Good Way

*This post is not sponsored by any of the products or brands mentioned therein*

Welcome back, my beauties. I love being able to talk with you every day. This weekend has been crazy and I sincerely apologize for posting so late. However it is now Sunday and I wanted to discuss a skincare tool that is pretty popular. You have probably heard of them and seen them in most retail stores that sell beauty products and abundantly online as well. Jade Rollers.

The Jade Roller has been used in China as far back as the seventh century. It is a massage tool with jade or other stones used on the face. Jade is primarily used as it is cool to the touch, stays cool when in contact with the skin and helps with tightening your complexion, puffiness, promoting blood circulation and stimulating the lymphatic drainage system. Who knew one little tool could do so much?

The jade roller has two ends, the large end used for cheeks, forehead, and chin. The small end, primary used around the eyes, and other more delicate areas. To use the jade roller, follow these as a guideline, there is no set way in which to use the jade roller.

  1. Wash that beautiful face. You can reference back to Skincare Battle Parts 1 and 2, for recommendations on cleansing your skin. https://amateurconnoisseur.com/2021/02/11/skincare-battle-part-1/ and https://amateurconnoisseur.com/2021/02/14/skincare-battle-part-2/
  2. You will want to use a facial oil, or moisturizer to help with rolling your face.
  3. Start rolling.

Cheeks – Using the larger end and placing it on your chin, and use medium pressure move up towards your ear. Do this 5 or 6 times in the same location and then move up your cheek, stopping at your temple. Repeat on opposite side.

Forehead -Continue using the large end of the roller, start in the middle of your forehead, and roll towards your ears. Repeat this 5 or 6 times and repeat on each side. Work you way down to your eyebrows.

Under Eyes – Using the small end of the roller, start at the inner eye and move to the outer corner 10-15 times, using medium pressure. Repeat on the other eye.

Brows – Same as under your eyes, but above them now.

Crow’s Feet – Using the small end of the roller, roll upwards on the corner of your eye, rapidly for a few seconds. Repeat on each side.

Jaw – Use the roller in the joint of your jaw, if desired, rapidly rolling over this area several times. If you notice other areas that are super tight, please feel empowered to run your roller over those areas that need more attention.

Be strong, be beautiful, be you.

Exercer notre cerveau

*This post is not sponsored by any of the products or brands mentioned therein*

Saturday has come again. I apologize for posting this late. As I have mentioned previously I love to learn, when 2020 was upon us I started to learn a foreign language. I chose French and I am learning on DuoLingo.

I am 305 days in and I still feel like I’m a beginner and couldn’t handle the most basic of conversations.

DuoLingo makes learning a language easy. They start by assessing your level of comprehension in your chosen language. They go slow and repeat the phrases and words so you can build up your knowledge.

This program helps you build up reading, speaking, writing, and comprehending. It’s super easy to do and did I mention it’s free?

That’s right, download the free DuoLingo app to your phone and learn a new language on your lunch break, commute, or even while relaxing at night. They offer numerous languages from French to Japanese to Klingon.

If you start expanding your mind now, when we are all able to start traveling again you will be ready to communicate on your next adventure.

You are your own best investment.

Booty Lifting Leggings

*This post is not sponsored by any of the products or brands mentioned therein*

I’m not a trend follower, nor am I a trend leader. I do however get sucked into the advertising for certain products that I feel I just need to try. Wednesday was one of those days. Most of us have probably seen the advertisements, multiple times online, on Facebook, or any other social media platforms, for the leggings that lift your booty, and cause your significant other to stare at what mother nature has granted you with. Yes, those leggings. I have broken down and purchased a pair on Amazon.

Since I’m a beautiful curvy lady, my biggest concern was will they be available in my size, and will they fit. Most companies online went up to an XL. Searching more on Amazon, I was able to find a company that offered larger sizes, and I’m a review reader, so I like to see how products worked for other people. I took a chance on the brand as the price wasn’t bad and I was willing to see how they worked for me.

So I got the leggings yesterday, and am wearing them today. Let me just say that even if they don’t work, I put them on and felt an instant confidence boost and an immediate increase in my sex appeal. Right now if I was in a movie the music track would be ‘Bootylicious’ by Destiny’s Child.

Now the true test will be if they make my husbands eyes and hands check out my booty as the ads I’ve seen have shown. But even if they don’t, I feel good in them, and isn’t that the most important?

I encourage all of you to take a chance on something that you wouldn’t normally try for yourself. Whether that is booty lifting leggings, a new way to do your hair, or even simply reading a blog post. Do something that will give you a dose of confidence, a dash of sexuality, and a big dollop of empowerment.

Be strong, be beautiful, be you

On The Dinner Table – Prime Rib

My husband loves prime rib. I have only ever made it one time, and for two days he was bragging about it to anyone he spoke to saying how it could win competitions and how it was better than a restaurant. Below is how I made it, and this recipe requires the use of an Air Fryer. You may be able to adjust it for other modes of cooking, but I cannot guarantee the outcome.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 – 3lb. Prime Rib
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil to rub on meat
  • 3 – Cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp of Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Basil
  • 1 Tbsp minced dry onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Seasonings are to your taste, feel free to adjust or substitute as you like

Cooking:

Preheat your Air Fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. After you have seasoned ALL sides of your prime rib, place it into the preheated Air Fryer and cook for 8 -15 minutes. During this time, the scent of the meat, will make your entire family come sniffing around. After 8 minutes, turn the temperature down to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and cook another 30 minutes. When the time is up, and this is most important, take the meat and leave it sit on a platter untouched for 15 minutes. This allows the meat to rest and the juices to redistribute throughout.

This is an extremely easy and successful way to make Prime Rib at home. It’s important to ensure you have seasoned your meat on all sides and even if it looks like it’s too much, don’t take any off. This builds the crust that people love when eating Prime Rib.

Please try this recipe and post your comments below!

Happy Eating!

Boudoir Photography

Hello again! I’m very happy to have you still here reading my ramblings. Finding ways to be fresh and keep things real is sometimes difficult. However, a dear friend of mine mentioned just recently about an instant dose of confidence and empowerment that she recently experienced. So today I wanted to shout out to all those ladies who have embraced their beauty, flaws, and sexiness and building confidence simply by being themselves. Love the skin you are in, and show off to the world that you are a body of perfection.

Jenna Lynn Photography

My friend recently informed me of her experience with Boudoir Photos. Now if you are not familiar with this, Boudoir Photography is a style featuring intimate, sensual, romantic and even sometimes erotic images. It can be with backgrounds ranging from bedrooms, and private dressing rooms to outdoor shoots and cozy fireplace backdrops. The choice is yours.

Boudoir photography is completely different than glamour or nude shoots, it’s more of a suggestive rather than explicit image you are creating. Looking at the shots from previous photo shoots I saw women of all different shapes and sizes and what really drew me to the beauty of these images, was not the person themselves, even though they are all beautiful, it was the confidence and empowerment reflected in the images. I was absolutely impressed by how the photographer was able to capture that and what a little bravery and courage from some tasteful lingerie could do for a woman. These women embraced the vixen inside and the confidence oozed from them.

Zams Photography by Zita Makkos

I would love to find a photographer I am comfortable with to take photos like this, and use them not for my spouse, even though he would enjoy them, but really for myself. I want to see the beauty captured on film that other profess to see. I want that daily confidence in front of me and a way to flaunt the feminine mystery that is me.

If you have had experience with Boudoir photography on either side of the lens, please share your experience with me by leaving comments!

Fred And Rosemary

*Warning – The information you are about to read may include discussions of true crimes, graphic details, and crime scenes, this may be too graphic for some people, please use discretion when reading*

Many people are drawn and interested in true crime. Whether it is morbid curiosity, wanting to learn more about those people deemed ‘serial killers’, or simply a fascination with something taboo that they wouldn’t ever participate in. We all have heard and possibly read about high profile cases such as Bundy, Dahmer, Manson, and many others. I want to discuss not only the well known cases but cases that may have slipped under the radar.

The case of Fred and Rosemary West is a despicable case. It involves sexual abuse, incest, bondage, and, of course, murder.

Fred and Rosemary West

Fred West and Rosemary Letts both grew up in England. Their early family lives were similar in their despicableness. Fred and Rosemary were both sexually abused by family and sexually abused others while growing up. Perhaps this is why these two eventually met, married, and murdered.

In the beginning, Fred had been married to Rena Costello before he met Rosemary. With Rena, they had one child together, Anna Marie, and she had one daughter from a previous relationship. The nanny, Anne, and her unborn child by Fred, disappeared in 1967. Sadly both Rena and her first child, Charmaine would fall victim to Fred and Rosemary in 1971.

25 Cromwell Street, rear view

After marrying Rosemary and moving to the ‘House of Horrors’ at 25 Cromwell Street, the West’s began to inflict pain and abuse on their children regularly. By 1983 Rosemary had birthed 8 children, some from her clients as a prostitute, some by Fred and, rumored, from Rosemary’s father as well. The abuse inflicted was verbal, physical, and sexual. Rosemary participated in the abuse and sometimes initiated it herself. Fred’s oldest daughter, Anna Marie, was raped by her father starting at the age of 8 and prostituted in her stepmother’s business at the age of 13, with her stepmother telling clients she was 16.

Many nannies were hired to care for the children in the West household. Fred treated these women as his own harem and regularly initiated sexual intercourse with them, some becoming pregnant by Fred. Very few of the women who entered ever left the house on Cromwell Street.

Murders began in 1973. Lynda Gough was the first victim, and in two years time, 5 other victims were abducted, assaulted, tortured, and murdered. These five victims, were each buried in the cellar. Following the last murder in 1975, Fred converted the cellar into a bedroom for the oldest children and no further murders were committed until 1978.

In 1978, the murder of Shirley Robinson, who was also pregnant with Fred’s child at the time, was committed to remove a threat perceived by Rosemary to her relationship with Fred. Alison Chambers was the last sexually motivated murder committed in 1979. Shirley, her unborn child, and Alison were all buried in the back garden.

West Family Photo

During this time the abuse to the children had continued, the oldest West children, Anna Marie, Heather, and Mae had been sexually fondled or assaulted, being told that “I made you; I can do what I like with you.” And Stephen the oldest son, being told by his father that he would have to have sexual relations with his mother by the age of 17. Heather went to her mother about the abuse from her father and was laughed at in reply.

The children were told to NEVER divulge details of their home life, word got back to Fred and Rosemary that Heather had shared details of her home life and her mother’s prostitution business. After leaving school in 1986, Heather attempted to get a job to leave her family home forever, when she was unsuccessful in finding a job, it was reported that Heather had run away from home. However Fred often ‘joked’ that the the other children would “end up under the patio like Heather.”

In 1992, 13 year old Louise West, confided to a friend what was happening to her at home, that friend told her mother who, anonymously contacted the police. This prompted the children to be examined and placed into foster care. An investigation was begun, Fred and Rosemary were charged with rape, buggery, child cruelty, and obstruction. Rosemary was released on bail but unable to have contact with her children, husband or stepdaughter.

Louise and Anna Marie, who had both provided statements, declined to testify for fear of Rosemary’s vindictiveness and the misery of the other children. For this reason, Fred and Rosemary were acquitted on all charges. The younger children remained in foster care. The police were still trying to locate Heather, whom they believed to be dead.

In 1994, police were successful in obtaining a search warrant to locate Heather’s remains at 25 Cromwell Street. After being presented with the search warrant, Fred and Rosemary spoke together that night and the next day, Fred confessed to the murder of Heather. He directed police to where Heather was buried, and her body was located. Police continued to excavate the back garden and discovered the remains of the other victims. Rosemary was also arrested at this time, and both were formally charged.

HM Prison New Hall where Rosemary is held

During court proceedings, Rosemary no longer showed any interest in her husband, she snubbed him, and ignored him. Before facing trial, Fred committed suicide in his cell by hanging. Rosemary faced trial and was convicted on all counts. She was sentenced to life with no option for parole. She remains incarcerated as of 2021. The house on Cromwell Street has since been destroyed.

I know this was a lot. This case has spanned several decades, too many victims both deceased and living with the scars, and an anti-climatic ending as Fred never faced the repercussions of his actions.

Please be ever alert, make good choices, stay safe