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Showing posts from December, 2014

A peacock and a lady screaming?

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If you have never been around peacocks at night the title of this post must be confusing, or intriguing perhaps?
My favorite uncle and aunt lived on a large farm that covered an even larger hill (read mountainish) in Kentucky. I used to love to go,stay with them and explore the farm. I also loved tagging along with my older cousins. I had one I particular who fascinated me with her teenagerness. She had the most gorgeous long dark brown hair and was/is beautiful. I'm sure she hated having her little city-cousin following her all over the farm, but she never let me know if she felt this way. Even her name was exotic to me as it was her parent's names put together. This was before the days of it being a fashionable southern thing to do to give your kids a double name.
My anut and uncle had all tgoes of animals on the farm. Everything from cows to chickens to...yiu guessed it, peacocks. I'm not 100% sure how they ended up with peacocks on a farm in northern Kentucky. Things l…

Oh Christmas tree!

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Before having a child in the house I had one of those "perfect trees". You know the kind with the perfectly matched ornaments and draped just so. I had so much extra time on my hands (and a heavy dose of OCD) I even made my own large ornaments! Oh to have that kind of time again.....sigh

Now our tree looks different, I think better but the word different is a better descriptor as a nod to my former self. Now the tree has a mismash of ornaments, a lot of them homemade still. These are so much better than my old ones, these have things like 'Kindergarten 2009' and Merry Crissmass' on them. This year we even have a boat from a recent Cub Scout Raingutter Regata making an appearance. Our tree has become a visual journal of our lives together and apart.
There are also ornaments from the annual ornament party to bring back great memories and ornaments from special friends.
This year a friend made me an initial ornament that I am in love with! Not only is it personalize…

Deck those halls and everywhere else too!

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I love Christmas. I know that's not a particularly bold statement to make, but it's the truth when it comes to me. I love shopping throughout the year, yes I'm one of those people, and finding the perfect gift for someone. I try to keep a lookout throughout the year and buy when I see an item. Thei helps not only on the December sticker shock, but also relieves some of that Christmas stress.

Today I am thinking about decorating. How else can you change up a room and have it gone before you get tired of it? Yup, Christmas decorating!
I usually start in the days following Thanksgiving. I am a purist when it comes to the timing of decorating. Not until after Thanksgiving and always comes down before Jan 5th or so.
I also try to change things up every year. This year I finally got around to decorating the one area I have always wanted to, the light fixtures above the bar. I envisioned how the garland would look wrapped around the chains and the lights themselves. I threw in a …

Chicken chili - crockpot style!

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I love my crock pot, no maybe that's not a strong enough statement. What do you call the emotion you feel when you walk in the door after a long day away and you have food hot and ready just waiting for you? Oh yes, that emotion is indeed love!

So into the crockpot you will need:

3 frozen chicken breasts
3 cans northern beans (drained) or white beans in chili sauce
1 medium can green Chilis
1 - 14oz diced tomatoes or 1 can mild rotel tomatoes
1/3 cup chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 chopped white or yellow onion
32 oz chicken broth

Throw everything in the crockpot and cook for 6 hrs on high or 8 hours on low. When you get home, or about 5 hrs into the cooking, pull the chicken out and chop into small chunks. Return them into the soup and cook for 1-3 hrs more depending on temperature chosen. If you don't have that extra time, no worries. Chop,the chicken and return it to the soup just prior to serving.

Serve with crackers, a dollop of sour cr…

Quick spaghetti sauce, yup you heard right

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I used to be a jar sauce kind of gal when it came to spaghetti, until I made my own sauce. Now having spoiled myself for...myself I find it hard to ever go back!



Tonight's meal is a favorite in this house and so fabulously easy that it seems almost sinful.

Need:

1 can (or jar) of either crushed or whole tomatoes
Chopped red, yellow, and orange peppers
1/2 white or yellow onion
5-6 garlic cloves (or to taste, we LOVE garlic)
Fresh or dried basil (my favorite in the colder months is in the tube*)
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp fennel (if you like it that is)
1 lb turkey Italian sausage
- any veggies you have leftover be them tomatoes, carrots (not too many as it can sweeten the sauce), mushrooms, peppers...you name it and it can probably go in this sauce!)

Cook the Italian sausage throughly and add the fennel and chopped garlic cloves. Add the onions and peppers and let them simmer with the meat. When the veggies have cooked down a bit add the tomatoes. If I am using whole tomatoes that either…

Lazy burritos

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Day two recipe from the one day of prepping is what I refer to as Lazy Burritos with Guacamole. Lazy because I mix the refried beans straight into the taco meat. This way you can use it as taco or burrito filling.

You'll need:

1lb ground turkey 90/10
1/4 cup chili powder (or to taste, we like a lot!)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbs dried onion (or 1/2 white onion chopped if I have time)
1 can refried or black beans

Cook the first 6 ingredients together until fully browned and then add either a can of low-fat refried beans or a can of black beans - drained well.

Guacamole!

3 large, ripe avocados
1/2 purple onion finely chopped
Cilantro - big handful, roughly chopped
2 medium tomatoes
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp powdered garlic
1/2 lime, juiced

I am very hands on with this recipe, so wash your hands very well before proceeding! Scoop the avocados into a medium bowl and add the chopped onions, salt, and garlic powder. (If the kid isn't eating the guacamole I w…

A many meal kind of day

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Back when I worked full-time I would prep and/or cook all my food for the week ahead on Sundays. When my son was a baby this time also included making his baby food and freezing it into portions for the week.
Today I decided that we have been eating out far too much and the main reason is because I've gotten lazy. Lazy in that I not only had no food prepared, but no food in the house! So today I revisited an old habit and revisited some recipes I haven't made in a long while. This week's menu is:

Monday - easy chicken enchiladas
Tuesday - beef burritos with guacamole
Wednesday - spaghetti with garlic bread
Thursday - crockpot chicken chili

Although I made all these meals today, I will be adding the recipes as the week progresses. Tonight's recipe is for easy chicken enchiladas with sour cream/green chili sauce. My family does not like corn tortillas, well I should say that I am outvoted 2-1 on flour vs. corn tortillas!

Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream/Green Chili Sau…