Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I've been reading some articles on organization recently.  We have so much stuff.  It doesn't help that I am a pack rat extraordinaire and Tim is the king of "I'm going to do something with that!"

I've been going through the house with the hopes of getting rid of things we don't need.  I was able to dump several "but I'm going to fix that!" projects that have been sitting around waiting on me for years. 

I also started another Goodwill box.  This is the hardest thing for me to deal with- getting rid of things I might need.  I also hate looking at something and thinking "I spent X amount of money on that, now I'm going to just get rid of it."  You have to ask yourself if keeping something solely because you spent money on it is a worthy reason to store it.  If I keep it 10 years and never use it or look at it, why save it? 

I tend to keep gifts folks have given me.  Long after the giver has forgotten it, I will still store it- moving it from house to house, never unpacking it.  Why?

If you worry about moving something out and forgetting X- Auntie Em who gave it to, the situation surrounding it, that first concert you went to, the summer of '69 or WHATEVER, just take a picture of the item.   It's easier to store a single photo than an entire t-shirt, or a statue of a dalmatian from second grade.

I managed to fill up that Goodwill box today.  I still have a lot more to move- especially stuffed animals.  I have so many from my childhood that just sit in boxes and are useless.   It's time to let them go, even though sometimes it's like saying goodbye to old friends.  Still- I'd rather regain my sanity by getting this house in order, than haul the stuffed toys around until bugs ruin them or they fall apart from old age.

Wish me luck!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Bake

I found a recipe on facebook for "Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas"- but I'm not really sure why these are considered enchiladas- so let me introduce my much-modified Cheesy Chicken Bake recipe!

You'll Need:
2 cups of shredded chicken
2 cups of chicken broth
5 burrito shells (or 10 soft taco shells)
2 cups of shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
3 tbsp of butter
3 tbsp of flour
1 cup of Cream of Chicken Soup
1 (4oz) can of diced green chiles (not spicy)

While your oven is preheating to 350 degrees, grease up your 9x13 pan.

Mix your chicken and 1 cup of your cheese in a bowl.  Roll in your tortillas and place in the pan.  I added a little extra feta cheese since I had it on hand.  Nom nom.  I also cut two of the rounded edges off the tortillas once I start to roll- I don't like when there is a ton of extra tortilla- I'm weird, sue me.   So, the ends are still rounded, the part you roll over the meat and cheese are straight edged!

In a sauce pan, melt your butter.  Sirt in the flour and cook one minute . It kind of looks like you're making a biscuit in a pan at this point.  Add in your chicken broth and wisk it until smooth.  Heat it over medium heat until it's thick. 

Stir in your chiles and cream of chicken soup. Heat and wisk until smooth. 

Pour over your stuffed tortillas.  Are you drooling yet? 

Dump the remaining cheese on top, then Bake for 22 minutes.   Under high broil, brown your cheese for another 3 minutes.

It's done!

I think next time I may add in some more cheese and maybe a little salsa inside the shells.  This is another very customizable recipe.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Htipiti Recipe

I've really been enjoying cooking lately- it's amazing what you enjoy doing when you are home all day!  However, I do feel like my life revolves around loading and unloading the dishwasher.  Sigh

So, on to Htipiti!  It's a Greek Dip that I first tasted in a little hippie grocery store- I fell in love with it, but did not want to spend $6.00 for the tiny little container, so I decided to give it a shot myself.

 You will need:
1 12oz Jar of Roasted Red Peppers (or equivalent of peppers you have roasted yourself!)
4 oz (1/2 cup) of Feta Cheese
1 tbsp. of Olive Oil
Red Pepper Flakes to taste
Minced Garlic to taste

The great thing about this recipe is it is highly customizable.  You can try it by also adding a teaspoon of lemon juice, more garlic, less garlic, no garlic but a scallion- don't be afraid to play.

 Drain your peppers (I also rinse them off in cold water), then lightly squeeze them in a paper towel.  You want to remove as much liquid as possible.  Also, remove any skin you see on the peppers.

Add your peppers, feta cheese (I used  1/2 heaping cup of crumbles, if you use regular, drain off the liquid and then cut it in to chunks), garlic, pepper flakes and olive oil to your food processor.  I use around 4 shakes of the pepper flakes and 3 spoonfuls of garlic- I really like garlic.)

Pulse in the food processor! You want it to not be a smooth paste- unless you do want a smooth paste.  Really- whatever you prefer, though typically this is a thicker, chunkier dip- not a smooth one.  Taste it and decide if you want to play with the flavor a little more or let it go as is! 

I put some minced garlic in, then added a little "juice" from the garlic jar, which made the dip a little runnier than I was expecting- but it still tastes good!

I think this would make a fantastic alternative to tomato sauce on pizza as well- my mouth is watering just thinking about it!    I eat it with Pita Chips! Yum yum.

Refrigerate after it's made and enjoy!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hectic Hectic!

Things have been so crazy lately, this is going to be a general update!

The hens are doing well! Unfortunately the four bantams have pretty much been broody the entire summer, so they are eating, but not producing anything helpful.  Way to go girls.  The Australorp has split her time between broody and making eggs, but by far, the best hens have been the Ameracaunas.  They have been enjoying garden scraps and got plenty of hot dog buns (and a few hot dogs!) courtesy of the youth group not eating all their food at the meetings.  Spoiled girls!

Thirty One:
My Thirty One business is really starting to take off! One of my hostess's just ended up with a $1200 party- meaning she gets $250 worth of FREE stuff, three totally free hostess exclusives and three half priced items- she just can't figure out what all she wants, which is a great problem to have.  That payday for me is going to be very welcome too!

With the little extra free time I've been enjoying, I've really been having fun baking!  So far I've managed several different loaves of artisan bread- delicious! My absolute favorite was making the "churro" cupcakes from scratch!   I've taken advantage of the 40% off Michaels coupons to get a pan for mini cupcakes, mini cupcake liners and a few decorating tips.  No- no new business is being planned, I'm just enjoying playing around with decorating my cupcakes!

Birthday: I am old, I am old- I shall wear my trousers  rolled! I recently turned 29- which really isn't that big of a deal.  I've been operating under the delusion I had already aged another year for at least two months.  Man, my mind is going already!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Gifts in a Jar (12 Months of Christmas Post)

Mason jars come in various sizes and shapes.  Wide mouth jars can make very excellent containers for all kinds of jar gifts.   Tie a bit of ribbon to the jar, use a little fabric over the top and it's gorgeous!  Just be sure to look for wide mouth jars.

Food Mixes:  Cookies, Brownies, Cakes- there is no shortage on the internet for wonderfully fun, attractively layered mixes in jars to be given as gifts.  Don't underestimate an awesome jar of cornbread mix, along with a lovely printed recipe.

Pie in a Jar:  If you can find the right size jars, you can bake small pies right in the mason jar! These are fantastically fun ideas and you'll have your friends and family ooohing and aaahhing over them.

Bath Items: Sugar Scrubs, bath salts- this is another sky's-the-limit jar gift idea.  I like finding funky shaped jars (the best I found were at Lowes, of all places...). 

Memories:  Place beautifully typed or hand written memories on bits of colored papers and fill up a jar with them.  Tie a candy cane to the outside of the jar and paint it or just wrap a bit of ribbon around the top.  It's a very thoughtful gift for someone who has everything.

A quick google search will turn up hundreds of ideas, so get started!  Be sure to check the sunday inserts for coupons on Ball Jars!  Last year I scored lots of great jars at Dollar General. 


Catch up on all the 12 Months of Christmas posts here.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Target Trip- AWESOME

Check out my haul at Target today!  Now, would you believe I spent only $3.39 for everything you see in the picture?

I used three different phone apps- one was Target Cartwheel, which got me 10% off the peanuts, 5% off the strawberries and 5% off the meat.

Then I used a Target printable on the Right Guard, plus a Manufacturer's
coupon. It was free.

Then I used Target Mobile Coupons (you text FRESH to their number and get coupons that you open with your phone's internet browser) and got $1.00 off the peanuts, $1.00 off the snickers bars, $1.00 off the meat and $1.00 off the strawberries!

Then I used a $0.50 coupon on the strawberries, which I got when I joined Driscoll's email list.

THEN I used a $2.00 gift card I had earned through Shopkick.  You earn points for just walking in to Target or a variety of other stores, then you can cash out for various gift cards.

Oh- and I brought my own shopping bag, so I got another $0.05 off.

So there you have it- lots of different ways to coupon now, which can lead to huge savings- especially at Target, where you can triple stack Cartwheel, Target Qs and Manufacturer's Qs.  Add in gift cards that you earned and you can rock the trip!