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Homemade Meal Monday (#3)!

August 31, 2009

Everyone ready for a main course recipe! Get your party hats because tonight I'm serving up Beef and Bean Chimichangas compliments of all

1 pound lean ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup diced green bell pepper (I substitute one can of Ortega green chiles)
1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn
2 cups taco sauce (I omit the taco sauce)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin (I substitute pepper for cumin)
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
8 (12 inch) flour tortillas
1 (16 ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon butter, melted
shredded lettuce
1 tomato, diced

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drain excess grease, and add the onion, bell pepper, and corn. Cook for about 5 more minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir in the taco sauce, and season with chili powder, garlic salt and cumin, stirring until blended. Cook until heated through, then remove from heat, and set aside.
  3. Open the can of beans, and spread a thin layer of beans onto each of the tortillas. Spoon the beef mixture down the center, and then top with as much shredded cheese as you like. Roll up the tortillas, and place them seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Brush the tortillas with melted butter.
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Serve with lettuce and tomato. (I omit the lettuce and tomato garnish)


Hamburgers and French Fries- Oh My!

August 27, 2009

I'm not a Baker nor a Cake Decorator, but thanks to my coworker who introduced me to Bakerella, I now want to be one of each! :) If you have a box or two of cake mix in your pantry, take a look at Bakerella's wonderful blog, as you'll instantly want to open the boxes to create magic!

Bakerella illustrates how to make these wonderfully cute cupcake/brownie hamburgers and sugar cookie french fries!

(Note: image above is from Bakerella).

Now go on and check out her made creativeness, as she has so much great ideas/recipes/and tips to share!

Snail Mail Craft Swap (Mystery Project!)

August 26, 2009

I've been a bit hush-hush lately regarding my current craft project, as it is for the Snail Mail Craft Swap with my dear (and oh so talented) friend Alia. If everything goes as planned I should be done with the project by the end of the weekend.

Any guesses?

Note: I'll reveal the 'finished' project (with a picture of course!) after it makes its way up to Oregon, and is in Alia's possession. Please be patient (hence, Snail Mail Craft Swap). :)

Homemade Meal Monday (#2)!

August 24, 2009

With Labor Day just around the corner, I thought I would share a potato salad recipe, which was a HIT with all of my guests for Memorial Day!

Bobby Flay is the master of southwestern cuisine and the grill, and his Grilled Red Potato Salad with Bacon-Blue Cheese Vinaigrette does not disappoint!

4 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed, cooked until almost tender, drained, and halved

1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1/4 cup

Salt and freshly ground black

3/4 pound hickory smoked bacon

1 large red onion, finely sliced

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 cup crumbled blue cheese


Preheat grill. Toss potatoes with 1/4 cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill cut side down for 3 minutes. Turn over and continue grilling 2 to 3 minutes. Place in a large bowl.

Place medium skillet on the side burner or the grill and heat until almost smoking. Add the bacon and cook until golden brown and crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Let cool and crumble.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan. Add the onions and cook until soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar, and sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved. Pour the onion mixture over the potatoes, add the crumbled bacon and parsley and toss to combine, season with salt and lots of black pepper. Spoon the salad onto a large platter and sprinkle with the crumbled blue cheese.

As always, if you end up trying the Grilled Potato Salad, I would love to hear what you think about it, as I've found it to be a great sidekick to any grilled dinner and/or celebration! Enjoy!

I [heart] Stacey and Clinton!

August 21, 2009

Looks as though TLC is running a 'What Not To Wear' marathon, which is a-okay with me!

With this post I'm professing my love for the show and Stacy and Clinton! :) I don't think my daily style qualifies for the show (although others may disagree [?]), however if someone wanted to give me a $5,000 New York shopping spree, hair cut/style tips, and makeup advice- I would take it in a jiffy!

Are there any other 'WNTW' lovers out there???

A Few of My Favorite Things

August 18, 2009

I've learned that Etsy can keep me entertained for hours! So much to see and so little time! I'd like to share the fruits of my labor, as there are so many lovely handmade goodies available! (Comeback next week for a look at what Artfire has to offer!)

Bottom Left to Right:
1. Springtime Sparrow- Porta-Pouch by alliebeans
2. Sunshine Yellow Ornate Magnetic Chalkboard Memo Board by shabbyvintagemom
3. Designer Preppy Ribbon Tie Theme Dog Collar by dirtydawgz
4. Havana Leaves Placemats by Kainkain
5. Clematis- recycled felt applique pillow by alexandragerguson
6. Fleur de LIs by thebackporchshoppe

Homemade Meal Monday (#1)!

August 17, 2009

How many of us wish we were better planners, shoppers, and/or cooks? I personally would answer 'yes' to all of the above. With that said, I'm going to try something new around her on Mondays, hence 'Homemade Meal Monday'.

I'll start by being honest and let my disclaimer be known, as I'm not a super-duper cook, nor do I cook every night of the week (I'm positive Mr. Made With Love is chuckling right about now), however I have found and tried some great recipes that I would love to share with you!

I'll start with one of the easiest (and one of my favorites)...Chicken Tortilla Soup via the Crock-Pot (which was introduced to me by my sister- thank you)!

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I prefer to use 8 boneless, skinless chicken tenders)
1 4-oz can chopped green chilies, drained (hot or mild, depending on preference)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 15-oz cans of diced tomatoes, including juice
½ to 1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cumin
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 lime
4 corn tortillas, sliced into ¼-inch strips
½ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 avocado, diced and tossed with lime juice to prevent browning

  1. Place chicken in Crock-Pot® slow cooker.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine chilies, garlic, onion, tomatoes, ½ c chicken broth and cumin. Blend and pour over chicken.
  3. Cook on high for 3 hours. When chicken is tender, use the tines of 2 forks to shred. Adjust seasoning and add additional chicken broth if necessary.
  4. Just before serving, add tortillas and cilantro to slow cooker. Stir to incorporate. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Serve in soup bowls, topping each with shredded cheese, diced avocado and a squeeze of lime.
If you decide to take the plunge and make the Soup, please let me know how your family takes to it! Enjoy! :)

Hello World!

August 16, 2009

I'd like to introduce everyone to the third member of our family, Stuart, our 2 year old Salt and Pepper Miniature Schnauzer!

When he's not laying under my feet while I'm cutting fabric and/or sewing, or collecting my fabric remnants from the floor, he enjoys freedom in the back yard (not to mention that he is quite the camera lover!).

Now I'm off to work on my Snail Mail Craft Swap project with my friend Alia! I'd love to post progress photos, however everyone is going to have to wait as I don't want to ruin the surprise for Alia (hopefully everyone is understanding)!

Drumroll Please...

August 15, 2009

The winner is...

Mysteryhistorymom, who said "My favorite birthday tradition is that my husband takes the day off and lets me do whatever I want to do! He is amazing!".

Congratulations Lori! Keep an eye out for my email, as I'm in need your mailing address!

Thank you all so very much for your participation!

Are You Feeling Lucky???

August 9, 2009

As promised here and here, I am hosting my first giveaway (an Amy Karol artsy clutch, as shown below), which is open to friends, family, and fellow bloggers alike!

1. Leave a comment on this post about your favorite BIRTHDAY tradition.
(I'll start, as my favorite is my mom letting the birthday person pick their favorite home cooked meal for a special birthday dinner- YUM!)

2. Become a follower of my blog.
(The button is located second from the bottom of the right-hand column.)

3. Do a Blog or Facebook post about this giveaway (leave the link in your comment).

There are 3 possible entries, so please be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry, and make sure there is a way for me to contact you (leave your email address in your comment if you don't have a blog or if you post as Anonymous, as I need to be able to contact you when you win!).

This giveaway will close the evening (PST) of Friday, August 14, 2009 (the 14th is a very special day...hint, hint!), and is open to US residents only.

P.S.- Thank you to all of my faithful readers and commenters! I'm hoping that by hosting this giveaway that I will inspire creativity, as the world is a much more beautiful place with handmade goodies! :)

The Giveaway is now closed.
Thank you for everyone's participation, and to all of my new Followers, I hope you stick around! :)

Craft Swap= a HUGE Success!!!

August 8, 2009

After weeks of planning and preparation, I am SO happy to report that the Craft Swap was a success! Welcome to the photo tour of Craft Swap #1 (Summer '09)!

Below is my Craft Swap 'loot' (scroll down further as I've provided close-ups of each craft). I knew that I had a crafty group of friends/family, but my oh my...they never cease to amaze me! :)

Megan (my sister) crafted beautiful beaded necklaces and bracelets, such a great addition to any outfit! We picked numbers and picked accordingly; I'm the proud recipient of
a the teal set!

Robbie (my Mom) made each of us a beautiful set of stamped stone coasters! They are so stylish and classic, and I must say I'm excited for a new set of coasters, as my puppy destroyed two of the four cork coasters I owned! There is no way of the puppy destroying these stone coasters (or at least I hope not)! :)

Kiara (my weeknight craft buddy) made each of us a set of handmade cards! I'm so excited to have a collection of her beautiful handmade cards, as I'm not one that enjoys buying generic (and expensive!) cards from Hallmark/Target, etc.

Sherri (a dear family friend) was greatly missed today! She crafted compartmentalized jewelry bags, and inside each of the bags were a pair of beaded earrings (refer to the first photo of this posting!). The jewelry bags were a hit with everyone, and I know that it will definitely be on my packing list for our upcoming vacation in September!

Last but not least, I made an artsy clutch for all, from Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules Sewing book. If anyone is looking for a great afternoon project, I would definitely recommend the clutch! It is a perfect catch all bag for makeup, photos, coupons, etc.

I also whipped up some flower pins (which were also used for table decorations) for the crafty ladies. I was inspired by Joy's Hope flowers, and think that the pins would be a great addition to any tote bag, pillow, outfit, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Thursday I promised that I would write a review for Melissa d'Arabian's Skirt Steak Tostadas- don't worry, I haven't forgotten! I'm happy to report that the skirt steak was a HIT! The meat had a great flavor, and I enjoyed the fact that for the most part the marinade ingredients are normal pantry components. I wasn't able to locate a Habanero chile at the grocery store, so instead I substituted with a couple drops of hot sauce, although I think you could also use red chile peppers. The recipe advises to marinate the meat for an hour, however I did so overnight, and would advise others to do the same (in my opinion an hour is too short!). All in all the meat was a hit, and will definitely be back on the dinner plate in the near future!

Saturday is the Day!

August 6, 2009

I think I've been walking around this week with an extra big smile, as its hard to contain my excitement of the Craft Swap on Saturday! The ladies will be joining me for lunch, the Swap, and great conversation...what else could a girl want? :)

Are there any The Next Food Network fans out there? The lunch menu is scheduled to include a version of Melissa d'Arabian's Skirt Steak Tostadas (that challenge in particular made me so hungry!). Come back Saturday afternoon for a recap of the Craft Swap and a review of Melissa's recipe.

Last but not least, don't forget to swing by on Sunday for my first giveaway!

Until next time...