Sunday, April 29, 2012

Southwestern Crock Pot Chicken

Can you tell I'm in a food-phase? I'll get to posting crafts soon enough... someday :)

I've heard of black beans and corn with chicken, but I always wondered what kind of sauce could go with it. So I looked up chicken, corn, and black beans on Google - and this delicious recipe came up (at This recipe had me at crock pot. I'm just saying - anything involving a crock pot ALWAYS comes out tender, full of flavor, and just yummie, yummie, yum, yum, YUM!!!

Here's whatcha need:
(Sorry that the salsa and cream cheese is not pictured! They were fashionably late.)

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I have used the frozen tenderloins from Costco & they come out great - just use way more than 4-5 of those tenderloins... they're kinda on the small side)

1 (15oz) can of black beans

1 (15oz) jar of salsa

1 (15 1/2oz) can of corn (I use frozen corn & just kinda eyeball-measured it)

1 (8oz) package of cream cheese (I tested out the Philadelphia Cooking Creme w/garlic flavor - just because it was on sale at the Grocery Outlet.... and I also love anything garlic. It came out great!)

Clean your chicken (my momma always taught me to clean off my chicken - meaning get all that slimy nasty stuff & fat that you can off of the chicken. I don't know if it really makes any difference, but in my world - it does!), then put it into your crock pot. 

Drain and rinse your black beans & dump them into your crock pot. Then add your frozen corn (drained if you're using canned corn) and salsa.

Put your crock pot on high for 4-5 hours (or until the chicken is cooked throughly)

Let the sweet aroma of cooked food fill your house.......

When the chicken was done, I took half of the chicken out, bagged it, and threw it in the freezer. You can either leave your chicken breasts whole, you can cut them into chunks, or shred your chicken at this time. Then, add your cream cheese and let it melt for 30 min.
Stir and Serve over rice, in tortillas, or even over pasta. 


Call me boring, but I didn't need all that flair to have a good meal. Besides, my mouth couldn't fit over his ginormica taco... He eventually reached for a fork for some assistance :D

This was so good... you can thank me later for finding this sweet recipe!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nummy - Nummy Salad -The Top Ramen Concoction

This is another pot luck favorite. The original recipe is called "Fugi Salad". Why it's named Fugi Salad is beyond my knowledge. What's fugi anyhow?! I personally call it the Top Ramen Concoction... that has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

This is my modified version. Let's get down to business! You will need:

2 bags of pre-chopped cabbage (or if you want to put yourself through more work - you could also get a head of cabbage and chop it yourself.... but - uh yah, I'm not doing that. I'm being simple people! Work with me on this!)

2 packages of crushed ramen noodles
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of sugar
8 chopped green onions
1/3 cup of vinegar (white, rice, or apple cider vinegar works fine. We favor Braggs, so we use Braggs apple cider vinegar)

 2 teaspoons of salt (we used Braggs Liquid Aminos -  a natural soy/salt alternative....)

(Optional: 3/4 cups of blanched slivered almonds)

So, all you do is grab the 2 bags of cabbage, the crushed ramen noodles, the green onions, and the almonds (if you decided to get some. I'm frugal, so I usually leave the almonds out - unless I'm making this for my man. Think what you want about me, but no one will know that they're called for in the recipe. It'll be our little secret!). Mix all of that in a huge bowl (if you are preparing this ahead of time - wait until you're ready to serve, then add the crushed ramen noodles to prevent them from getting soggy & squishy). 

 In another bowl, whisk the oil, sugar, vinegar, pepper, and salt. 

Pour the sauce over the cabbage and toss. It may not look like a lot of sauce, but the cabbage will soak it up - so don't worry. 

Your finished!!

You can serve this right away, or put it in the refrigerator to chill. I personally can't resist this stuff, so I try not to make this too far ahead of time because then I'll start munching, and next thing you know - I have nothing to take to the pot luck! If you can't tell.... I like to eat. If you didn't know that... you know now :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Best Dessert EVER!!!

So I tasted this piece of heaven at some event - somewhere, and I decided to make this for our Financial Peace University class (by the way - you should take the Dave Ramsey class if you haven't already. It's amazing!). We get together on Friday's and the host makes the main dish. Everyone else brings some side dish. Our responsibility was dessert this week. Now, I don't know about you, but when I'm around other people - I just want them to be amazed by my super-awesome tasting dishes :) Thank you pinterest for the many ideas you have provided me. Unfortunately, I didn't find this on pinterest.. I found it here

So anyway, after tasting this dessert I decided to hunt down the recipe. Here's what you need:

1 (10oz or 16oz) pkg of frozen strawberries, 8oz. of Cool Whip, Pretzels, Butter, Sugar, 1 (8oz.) pkg of cream cheese - softened, and 1 large pkg of strawberry Jello

For the Crust:
2 cups of crushed pretzels (not too fine)
3/4 cups of melted butter
3 Tbsp. sugar

Mix the above ingredients together and form the pretzel mixture into a 9 x 13 inch pan, packing tightly. I did crush up about 1/2 cup more because I wanted a bit of a thicker crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes. Let it cool (I threw mine into my freezer for a little while - worked like a charm)

For the topping:

1 cup of sugar
1 (8oz) pkg of cream cheese - softened
1 large pkg of strawberry Jello
1 (10oz or 16oz) pkg of frozen strawberries

Beat the sugar and cream cheese until it's blended and smooth. 

Now, since I don't have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, I used my hand-held mixer (ghetto - I know... I like to call it resourceful - HA!). 

Stir in Cool Whip

Spread this delicicous goodness over that pretzel crust you just made (which should be cooled by now - if you stuck it in the freezer)

And don't let ANY of that fluffy mixture go to waste....

Grab yourself a pretzel and eat that stuff... or you can channel that inner child and lick the spatula before your children ask if they can. I'll spare you that picture of me :)

Go ahead and put this back into the freezer until you get the strawberry mixture done.

Next, dissolve the Jello in 2 cups of boiling water. Stir in the frozen (not thawed) strawberries until it's mixed in. Let it set for 10 minutes. My strawberries were whole - so I decided to cut them in half. Of course it was after I had thrown them in the hot Jello - so that proved to be interesting... 

When your 10 minutes is up, go ahead and stir the mixture to break it up a bit. Then, pull out your pan with the pretzel crust and whipped topping, and pour the Jello/strawberry mixture over the entire thing. Spread it around - all the way to the edges. 

Refrigerate this baby until it's set. Then try not to gobble the whole thing up before it reaches it's destination. That's the hardest part!! 

When you take your first bite - feel free to roll you eyes, moan, drool, gasp, growl, silently mouth the words "Oh My Gosh" to whoever is looking at you, tilt your head back - close your eyes - and thank God for allowing your taste buds to work properly, or do whatever comes naturally. Don't worry about being embarrassed by your actions... I'm sure you won't be the only one!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


This is a question that's always asked when I tell the kids to get their own bowls in the morning, water cups, spoons, plates... you name it... Well, I've figured out how to fix that:

Enough said.... Thank you dry erase markers for helping fix my dilemma!
I'm sure I could have used a darker marker to get a better picture, but if you haven't realized that I'm a little too busy for that now.... well, then you don't really know me, and I'm not sure how long we can continue this relationship :) Let's work on that - shall we?

Big Hair

I'm so in love with this new hairstyle I found because it allows me to be lazy, dirty, and messy. Since there's few opportunities for me to do that, and feel good about myself at the same time, my hair can fill that void for now! I usually pull this hairstyle out on the 3rd or 4th day of not washing my hair. Sounds gross, but I love it lol! I don't care what anyone else says. Besides, they don't really know. Well... I guess you know now... So if you see me - don't judge :)

It's just a lot of teasing, dry shampoo, a rubber band, hairspray, and - uh.... that's about it! I found the awesome tutorial here. The chick who writes the blog is so pretty! She wears this hairstyle better than I, but what can I do - I'm an impostor! Haha! Anyhow, this is how it looked on me:

Yes, it was high, huge, and fun! I felt somewhat glamourous that day. The button necklace - you ask? Yep, just buttons and string. 4 rows to be exact. Found the idea on Pinterest!! Love it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

What to do with all these hats?!

Yes, it's been forever since I posted. I'm spring cleaning - what can I say? It takes up a lot of time. Feel loved that you even got this posting out of me :p

So my husband has a lot of hats... and I mean a lot. I've only been able to find SOME so far, but I know there's a stash of them waiting to pop out like a gremlin (Ha! Remember that movie? I loved it..)

Anyhow, I've used his hat collection as decor before (in our room) with twine and clothes pins, but that's long gone now that I want to hang up pictures.... and maybe even *GASP* paint! So I've been trying to think of a clever way to hang these up where it's easily accessible, easy to remove, and (most important) easy for him to put away. I was using shower rings to store my scarves onto a hanger (see the idea I found here), but I noticed that the rings and the scarves would end up sliding down all together to one side of the hanger. Lame. So now, I figure those shower curtain rings are not as useful as I thought.... or are they...?

Get some binder clips that can slide over the shower curtain rings like so (not all binder clips are made equal. I had some binder clips the same size, but the shower rings would not fit through the opening. Of course I'm using cheap fat plastic shower rings... so this could have been easier if I had the skinny metal ones, but remember.... this is why they weren't being used - and I'm trying to re-purpose something so give me some credit):

I stacked 5 to each shower curtain ring just to give myself some leeway, but you're welcome to stack more. Then I clipped the brim of the hat into the binder clip. Here's a pic of 5 on a ring:

The hats without that adjustable strap in the back were the ones that I chose to put in the clips. The other hats that had the strap I just pulled through a shower curtain rod like so (if General M needs one of these he just can snap on or snap off):

Weave that shower curtain rod through a shelf holder, or use the tension to place between two walls. I was really tempted to put this close to the ceiling, but then I realized I'm short (which I've of course known all my life.... if it seemed like I forgot, someone was always there generously reminding me by putting their ginormous arm on my head), and that I need this rod accessible to me - 
just in case I find any stray hats ;)

The end result?

Oh yah, baby! It looks so beautiful! I may even sneak my scarves in between the hats because, you know, I'm worth it :)


Saturday, March 17, 2012

What happened to simple days?

Today was just a nice relaxed day. I had my sister (in-law) over, and she made some BOMB vegetarian chili, as well as some mouth watering banana bread. Ooooohhhh..... yah, it was gooood! I haven't had banana bread in forever! 

It was nice to have her over and not feel like I had to entertain her. She and I just chatted while she was raiding my kitchen baking. Then a little later we sat on the couch together and played Scramble With Friends, as well as Draw Something (apps on the iPhone). She attempted to make paper stars with me, but we quickly figured out that construction paper isn't the paper you want to use to make those lol! We then cut up vegetables for her chili, and she threw it all together. It was fun! We were even wearing *GASP* sweatpants and t-shirts! Yes. We were not wearing jeans, we were not wearing makeup, and we barely did our hair (she had a ponytail, and I had mine barely brushed lol!). We did have brushed teeth though :) Hanging with my sister was like going back in time... when being with your friend was all about being happy with the simple things.

What happened to those days anyhow? Do you remember going over to your friend's house just to hang out and watch TV? Or maybe just to braid each other's hair and do each other's chores together? My sister and I were just talking about that. Now that I'm all "grown up", it seems like those days of simplicity are no longer here... If I were to have a friend over, it would be really hard for me not to attempt to make my house look like a showroom. I mean, yah I picked up and swept before my sister came over, but... I dunno. For some reason I think us women freak out before company comes over while we go to great lengths to clean our house like there's no tomorrow! What's with that? Enough with the games ladies. Let's be real. We have kids.... our house is constantly a mess, dishes do get piled in the sink, we have piles and piles of laundry hidden in our closets (because that's the only door you can shut away so much stuff), our substitute for dinner is cereal on busy nights, we don't open our mail which creates a pile of papers on our counter, and our dinner table is usually cluttered with a project we are working on! Please say it's not just me!!