Sunday, January 31, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Does anyone else do anything as dumb as this?
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
When Lance and I moved to Des Moines I started going to used book sales. Previously, I had the tendency to only purchase books that I had read previously and loved because who needs to waste money on something I'll never read again was always my philosophy. Too bad I can't apply that philosophy to textbooks ... But book sales. I started picking up things I had heard good things about, but never read. Well, it's been a dangerous practice because for the first time in my life I have a stack of books that I've purchased but have no idea if I like them or not. It is my goal for 2010 to finish that stack. And here is the list:
1. The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen Carter
2. Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky
3. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
4. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcom Gladwell
5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
6. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
7. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
8. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
9. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
10. The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky
As you can see, no rhyme or reason to my list. Just thinks that I've picked up the last couple of years that I thought would enrich my life. And then of course whatever books my book club reads and other random books that strike my fancy. Will I get the list done? What are you reading?
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I tried their Pink Lemonade too and now I like that too. Crap. It's so hard to go back to concentrate and powdered mixes once you've tasted the good life! Do you buy $4 jugs of juice?
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
There hasn't been tons of cooking in my life recently. We've been out of town, Lance made supper on Monday (his "famous" Italian dressing marinade chicken and a Lipton package of rice) and last night we ate at Ban Thai and went to The Lion King. Lance and I had seen the production in 2005 in London, but wanted to relive the magic. I'm glad we went, it was better than I remembered it!
But in lieu of a food post, I thought I'd post a couple of things I'm currently digging in my life right now.
Bare Escentuals - Bare Minerals Matte. Because I'm shiny by lunchtime. And my face seems to get fewer pimples when I'm using Bare Minerals products than for example a traditional Clinique foundation. One of the reasons I'm loyal to Sephora is because they allow me to return opened makeup. Genius and convenient for a girl like me who is never sure until she gets it home and decides "NO!" If anyone wants to know, my shade is medium beige :)
I also am really appreciative of my wireless mouse I got at Target. No, I didn't need it, but darn it, it makes using my laptop so much quicker!
I've been hairspray shopping for awhile. I went in for a trim the other day (BTW: I love my hairdresser - Kristy- Talking Heads Salon; if you make an appointment, tell them I sent you and they'll give you 50% off your first cut and color!) and picked up Aveda Brilliant Medium Hold hairspray. It's the perfect amount of hold and of course it smells fantastic - and it has a gloss in it that makes my hair super shiny. I had previously purchased "Air Spray" by Aveda because it smells absolutely glorious, but really, it did nothing for my hair as far as hold. So it was basically like spraying my hair with perfume ...
And lastly my new Scentsy warmer. My mom had got it as a gift, she didn't want and thought it had been regifted in the first place and gave it to me. It's a little pink ... but I'll take it! I love free.
And those are a few random things in my life right now. Enjoy!
Friday, January 15, 2010
I think I should have photographed this on a green or blue plate. Perhaps that would have offset some of the crazy yellow-orangey color palate. Oh well, I was hungry and hindsight (especially in hunger!) is 20/20. When we make this for supper on a weeknight, we always make it ahead of time as this Mexi Pasta Shells can be a little time consuming. Especially when you're starving :) I will warn you, it is good to cover as much of the pasta shell as possible with taco sauce otherwise you have a chance of them getting a little crunchy. Gross. For this same reason, it's hard to reheat this meal effectively for leftovers. But first time around, these are yummy and worth a try. This recipe is courtesy of Betty Crocker.
12 - 15 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 lb ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c taco sauce
1 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend (4 oz)
1/2 cup crushed corn chips
1/2 cup sour cream
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch square pan with cooking spray. Cook and drain pasta shells as directed on package.
2. Meanwhile, in 2-quart nonstick saucepan, brown ground beef on medium heat. Add onion; cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender. Stir in chili powder, cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the taco sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted.
3. Fill cooked shells with meat mixture. Place shells, filled sides up, in pan. Pour remaining taco sauce over shells.
4. Cover and bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and corn chips. Bake uncovered about 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Garnish with sour cream and onions
Cover and refrigerate pan of unbaked stuffed pasta shells up to 24 hours. Increase first bake time to 25 minutes.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The brand is called "The Dish" and it's made in Missouri.
Yes, it's going to be more expensive than your typical frozen pizza, but it's still cheaper than going to Chicago for it! If you can find it in your grocery store, pick one up. I really like the spinach version. The crust is so perfectly crunchy and pairs perfectly with the ooey gooey cheese. I'm making myself hungry now ....
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I always call our taco salads "tico-taco salads." I'm not sure why. It's not something that my mom ever did, I think it's probably because I like the alliteration. Or maybe because I'm a little strange. Anyways, one of my favorite things to eat at the Iowa State Fair is a taco salad from the Cattleman's Tent or the Cattleman's Head Quarters as it is officially called. The taco shells are always fresh and the taco meat is always lean. It's one of my food highlights. Unfortunately, this means that my taco salads are seasonal. Not so anymore! I discovered that the Hy-Vee I shop at makes their own taco shells fresh! They're huge. Big enough that Lance and I split a salad. But for $1.20 I get a nice taco shell at my own convenience. Here's my laundry list of things I throw in:
1/2 lb taco meat
Really, put whatever you want in there because the best part is the taco shell!
Monday, January 11, 2010
- Pizza: 8
- Deep dish spinach pizza: 3
- Garlic bread
- Bagged chicken breast: 3
- Catfish: 2
- Banana bread
- Parmesan bread
- Smart Ones frozen dinners- Santa Fe Chicken Rice: 14 (yikes!)
- Stir Fry rice frozen dinners: 2
- Almond patties
- Stuffed peppers: 3
- Bacon: 7
- Chocolate Caramel ice cream: 2
- Chocolate Cherry ice cream
- Monster Cookie ice cream
- Chicken breasts: 7
- Peppermint mocha creamer: 7
- Parisian almond creamer
- Vanilla chi creamer
- Blocks of cheese: 4
- Orange juice concentrate: 3
- Grape juice: 2
- Apple juice
- Cranberry pink ribbon bagels: 4
- Sedona ice cream treats boxes (they were free!): 5
- Aspen ice cream treats boxes (also free!): 4
- Bomb pops
- Mini cheese cakes
- Cream puffs
- Sugar cookies
- Gingersnap cookies
- PB cookies
- Rotisserie chicken carcasses (for stock): 3
- Edamame: 3
- Coffee: 3
- Green beans: 3 bags
- Homemade strawberry jelly: 11
- French vanilla ice cream
- Cherry nut ice cream
- Corn: 2
- Spaghetti pie
- Dinner rolls
- Cheese ravioli
- Hot dogs
- Heavenly chicken casserole
- Friendship bread starters: 2
- Chicken broth: 6
- Green pepper strips
- Green peppers containers: 5
- Hot peppers
- Smoothie mixes
- Cube hash browns
- Shredded hash browns
- Chopped spinach
- Stir Fry vegetables: 3
- California blend vegetables
- Turkey (a 13 lb. - I need to make that ...)
- Pork shoulder roast
- Pizza crust
- Frozen fruit mix
- Whipped topping
- Girl Scout cookies: 3
- Vegetable cream cheese
- Cherry Cordial Hershey Kisses
- Egg noodles
- Puff Pastry shells
- Rotisserie chicken
- Pork chops: 8
- Beef stew meat: 7
- Sirloin tip steak: 4
- Round steak: 18 (I really don't like round steak and haven't found a recipe for it. If you have suggestions, shoot them at me!)
- Sirloin: 7
- T-bone steaks: 6
- Rib eye steaks: 6
- Beef roasts: 6
- Hamburger: 19
Yep, that's everything in my outside freezer. We get a side of beef from Lance's family, hence the large amounts of beef. I still need to figure out something to do with round steak. It appears that I also like purchasing ice cream. And this isn't even mentioning the ice cream we have in the house ... But this list is why I'm declaring January "Eat out of your Freezer" month!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Lance and I got a Wii for Christmas and I have to shamefully admit that most of my free time has gone to playing silly games on it. Things like cow racing ... I will say, I did start and finish all of the Twilight series in the matter of six days. Multiple snow storms and long car rides did attribute the short reading duration. But yes, our gift to each other this year was a Wii. We also have Wii Play, Super Mario Brothers, Wii Sports, Mario Kart, and Wii Fit. A plethora of games!
Monday, January 4, 2010
I was making soup tonight with tears as I listened to these lyrics by Carrie Underwood's "Temporary Home" song:
"Old man, hospital bed
The room is filled with people he loves
And he whispers don't cry for me
I'll see you all someday
He looks up and says "I can see God's face"
"This is my temporary home
It's not where I belong
Windows and rooms that I'm passin' through
This was just a stop,on the way to where I'm going
I'm not afraid because I know this was
My temporary home."
This is Mark Hausler's Testimonial about his battle with cancer. Read his testimonial on his caring bridge website.