Monday, December 31, 2012
Actually, we are getting out a bit today...started the morning by taking the boy swimming while hubby was coaching the boys swim team this morning. I had plans on doing that last week as well on the day after Christmas, but the raging ear infection put a stop to that. After nap time this afternoon, we're loading up and heading out to the zoo for zoolights. It's a tradition for us to go every year (back even since hubby and I were dating!), and each time we've planned on going this year, we've been rained out. Today though, the weather is nice, so we're going! It was either today, or we didn't go at all. I'll post a couple pictures later.
In any case, hope you have a safe and happy new year!
Saturday, December 29, 2012
In any case, I originally found the recipe at allrecipes.com. I love that site too! If I'm trying a new recipe out, it's either something I've found there or on pinterest. The recipe is listed here, and I don't have a picture of the final outcome of this one because we finish it off faster than I can take a picture!
I don't measure out the spices, and I always double the sauce because there just isn't enough if you follow the recipe exactly. Serve over some rice, and with a side of green beans, and you've got yourself a meal!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I usually use 3...one for each of us, but have done as many as 5)
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried dill weed
3 tbsp butter
1/2 c. whipping cream (I just buy the small 1 pint container of heavy cream and use the whole thing...doubles the sauce)
2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
Make sure your chicken is thawed completely before starting. It makes the cooking process MUCH easier (trust me on this one...I somehow end up with chicken still raw in the middle for some reason and end up having to finish it for a couple minutes in the microwave and it just doesn't taste as good!).
Season (one side of) the chicken breasts with lemon pepper, salt, dill weed and garlic powder
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place breasts in skillet, (seasoned side down, and season the other side...the extra seasonings in the skillet give the sauce more flavor) and increase heat to medium-high. Turn chicken every few minutes, until brown, then cook a bit longer until they're cooked through. Remove chicken to a warm serving platter, and cover with foil (or if you're like me, put them on the plate WITHOUT foil and into the microwave for a couple minutes)
Increase heat on stove to high, and whisk in heavy cream (in the skillet), stirring constantly so it doesn't burn. Stir until it is reduced to sauce consistency (it will bubble up a lot, and then settle down). Remove from heat, and stir in capers.
Pour sauce over chicken and enjoy!
I make this with rice, and a little sauce goes a long way. I've read that this is also pretty good served with pasta as well, but we prefer rice.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
AKA...what I make for dinner when I don't feel like cooking. Tonight was one of those nights. I developed a raging ear infection when we got back from all of our Christmas festivities. :( Why is it that illness always comes when I get a "bonus" day off work? Oh well. At least I don't have to take a sick day or vacation day for it. After debating for a few hours yesterday, I took a trip to the doctor and am now on antibiotics. The only problem is that I'm still not feeling great, and therefore not in the mood to cook anything that takes a while lot of effort.
Enter the quickest dinner in our meal rotation. Hubby introduced me to this while we were still dating. I thought it was weird at first, but quickly became a fan when he first made it for me. Seriously...easiest.meal.ever. It can totally be made more gourmet with mashed potatoes from scratch, and chili from scratch however, when energy is lacking, open a can of chili, mix up some instant potatoes and dinner is served! Top it with some cheese, or any other toppings you desire, and you've got a quick and filling meal when you have a busy weeknight, or a night when you don't feel like cooking!
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Sunday, December 23, 2012
This year however, I had a few extra minutes to add some finishing touches to them. I think they turned out pretty cute! I used my Creative Memories tag maker and punched out as many tags as I could get out of a 12 x 12 sheet of cardstock. A quick dig through my stamps, and the perfect one was found! Then, it was just a matter of stamping and embossing. I used my versamark watermark ink pad, and some white embossing powder. A blast of heat, and they were done. All that was left to do was to write everyone's names on them. They're not much, but I think they add just enough of a personalized, crafty touch. If I can't find the time to make everyone's gifts, I can at least make some tags!
Thursday, December 20, 2012
To be honest, I'm really not sure how much we're saving or going to save because I hate doing laundry! I do as little laundry as possible because a) I hate doing it, b) I'm never home to do it and c) I hate doing it! Actually, maybe I should clarify that...the actual process of gathering up the clothes and physically putting them in the washer and dryer is easy. Hubby does his own laundry and I wash my clothes and the boy's clothes, although give it another year or so and he'll be doing his own too. It's the darn putting the clothes away that I just seem to never find the time to do! I think I actually put clothes away 3 to 4 times a year, when mount laundry gets too high and when there's actually a day when there's nothing else planned and I go on a house-cleaning rampage! The last time I put clothes away ended up in a trip to the hardware store after the bar in the closet came crashing down at 3am because of the weight on it! The thing just snapped clean off the wall and made quite the racket in the middle of the night! It didn't help that the wall support was also holding up the shelf in the closet either, and that was rather heavy as well. The last 6 shirts I hung up did the poor thing in! We discovered, in putting new brackets up that the closet rod was never hung level to begin with. Funny what you learn about your house when random things start breaking and you have to fix them!
Anyway...the pin that I was going off of was here:
It took me a bit of time to gather up the materials I needed because I wasn't really in a hurry, and every time I went into the store, they were always out of borax! Eventually, I rounded everything up and had an afternoon where there were a couple of free hours for me to get it made. The longest part was grating up the soap. Since we've got a front loader, I not only grated the bar of soap, but ran it through the food processor as well to make sure that it turned into a really fine powder that would dissolve easier. I also added in a bottle of Purex crystals to give the detergent a bit of a scent.
All that's needed for the soap is: (it can all be found in the laundy soap aisle at walmart)
3 bars fels naptha (I grated them up and then ran it through the food processor)
1 box borax
1 box washing soda
1 4lb box baking soda
1 tub powdered oxyclean (I used the larger, 3lb one)
1 bottle purex crystals (optional for a light scent)
I'm pretty sure we're going to have laundry detergent for a LONG time! It only takes 1 to 2 tablespoons per load, and with as much detergent as this makes, a tablespoon is nothing! I add the mix right in the drum when I do a load, instead of putting it in the soap dispenser on top. I'm not sure why, but everything I read said to do it this way, so I do! I finally found a big jar at walmart, and just had to make it look fun. To be honest, I really was just looking for another glass etching project! I don't remember what font I used, but I thought it looked fun. I grabbed some spare vinyl, cut it out, weeded and put it on the jar, then let the etching cream sit for a bit before rinsing it off. I'm pretty pleased with the result, and so far the soap seems to be working like every other brand of laundry soap that we've ever used. As long as the clothes come out looking and smelling clean, it's a winner in my book! Now, if I could just solve the putting-the-clothes away issue!
Monday, December 17, 2012
I digress...this particular question of how to make her chili recipe sort of left me baffled. I couldn't believe that it was that haphazard, and that easy! The recipe I was given..."Go down the bean aisle at the grocery store and grab a can or two of each type of bean, a can of diced tomatoes, some pork chorizo, and a pound of ground beef. Brown up the ground beef with some onion and garlic, then throw it in a pot with all the beans, tomatoes, chorizo, and whatever spices you want, bring it to a boil and serve." I was shocked...it couldn't really be that easy, and what the heck was chorizo?! I've since learned a lot more about cooking, and have discovered that sometimes the best meals happen when you grab a whole bunch of things and just throw them into a pot! That being said, the first time I make something, I'll follow the recipe pretty exact and then when I make it again, I'll change things up to make it better.
Since it was cold and slushing out this weekend, and I had a pantry full of beans, I figured that chili would be the perfect comfort food! I didn't have everything that I needed for it, but it turned out pretty good anyway. I like to refer to this chili as a good way to make space in the pantry. I think I used at least 10 cans by the time I was done!
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Christmastime has always been the main time that the office gets decorated. Every year we add a little more. This year, we decided to try vinyl. I love how it turned out, and it was so much easier than cutting out, layering, and laminating a ton of paper. We've still got the paper decorations from years past and while they still look good, we noticed that they faded A LOT! Green and red just don't do so well sitting in the window! By the time we pulled them down last year, the green had faded so much that it almost looked blue! Note to self...don't use cheap paper in my scrapbooks!
Anyway, as I was saying, we decided to try vinyl this year. We did a trial run over the fall to see how it would hold up, and we were very impressed. It's so easy to work with, and fairly easy to take down. The only downside is that you can't save it for next year once you take it down. That's not necessarily a bad thing though...just means that we can come up with new decor next year! Oh darn, another excuse to bring my stuff back in!
I really love how the windows turned out. We used a combination of things that we had leftover that I cut out with my cricut last year, and things that I found in the silhouette store and cut out with my cameo this year. Using the laminated paper cutouts on the inside of the window, and the vinyl cutouts on the outside, really gave the decorations a sense of depth too.
Now to come up with ideas for the rest of the holidays!
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Fast forward a few years, and I still hadn't forgotten about that project. The problem was, I couldn't really think of anything worthwhile to do. One day a couple of months ago, I finally had a good idea for a glass etching project. I got sick and tired of how messy and disorganized that our laundry area had become and I went on an all-out cleaning spree! You know the type...the cleaning spree where nothing is safe from the garbage can, and you end up with stacks of random things that need to be put elsewhere. This whole cleaning spree was inspired by a mug that we had on top of the dryer. In this particular mug goes all the change, and other random knicknacks that end up in the dryer after a load of laundry is done...see where I'm going with this? I had found the perfect jar to use to throw all of our "laundered money" in, but there was no place on top of the dryer to put said jar, hence the cleaning spree!
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Being 4 now though, we figured he could sit through a movie if it could hold his attention. We decided to give it a try and had heard great things about Wreck-it Ralph. We had also heard great things about a new movie theater in town, how comfortable the seats were, and how reasonably priced it was. Since life has been so crazy lately, we took advantage of a relatively free day and had a family movie night. What a great night it was! The boy was completely into the movie, and hubby and I enjoyed it as well. We loved the references to games that we had either played as kids, or were familiar from our childhood.
I completely agree with a review that I read where someone had mentioned that they wanted to go and hook up their old Atari system and play some nostalgic games! My parents, I believe still have the Atari console that I remember spending hours playing on as a kid. I'm tempted to
So, I guess I begin (again) with a little bit about me...I'm married to the love of my life. We've got a fun-loving, sweetheart of a 4-year old boy, and a 6-year old lab/blue healer, who thinks she's still a puppy. I work outside the home as an office manager, a job I've had for nearly 10 years. On the side, I am a Creative Memories consultant and I run a tiny etsy store. In addition to that, I'm also involved on the worship team at our church. I play the piano and sing, and occasionally lead. Somehow, I find time to attempt to cook (mostly) wholesome meals, keep the house clean, have enough clean dishes to eat off of, and a pile of clean clothes to wear! In my spare time (haha!) I love to get my craft on. My family is the most important thing in my life, and I don't know what I'd do without them. I struggle sometimes with feeling like I've failed my family because I never quite get everything done like I think it should be. At the end of the day though, all that matters is that I love my family, and they love me enough to see past what perceive as my shortcomings and that's enough for me.
Here's to another blog, and hopefully enough time to keep up with it!