Friday, December 30, 2011

Simple Spinach Salad & Mandarin Orange Chicken

Recently I've been cheating when I cook, I've been picking things up from TJ's (my favorite grocery store) throwing them together. Sometimes it is more cost effective with just the two of us and not to mention really easy. I bought the Mandarin Orange Chicken and cooked it to the oven specifications on the package, serve over rice. Now I don't know why but I suck at cooking rice. It's one of the first things I was taught in culinary school yet I can't make it to save my life.
I love Spinach so of course I love Spinach Salad. I think it's because I really dislike soggy salad and Spinach seems to hold up against dressing very well. 

For the salad:
Baby Spinach
Mini Heirloom Tomatoes
Persian cucumbers, sliced
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Mix together, serve with Mandarin Orange Chicken...BOOM dinner.

Now I know that's not really a recipe but sometimes It's good to see what other people make to get ideas. Joe was one happy guy with this meal.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cheese Review: Hirtenkase

Name: Hirtenkase
Origin: Germany
Type: Cow's Milk, Very Firm
Why I picked it: TJ's was sampling this cheese with a green olive and a piece of Columbus peppered salami.
Thoughts: I enjoyed this cheese, while chewing on the Hirtenkase it had a very creamy texture. Joe "liked" it but wouldn't say it was his favorite (cheese snob, he use to be a cheese guy at some Michelin rated restaurant).
Buy Again?: I'd buy again but not tomorrow.
Purchased From: Trader Joe's

*All opions expressed in this review are my own. I do this for fun and for the love of cheese.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Baby Holden

Scott Andrew (local photographer) and his sweet family could use a Christmas miracle. His baby boy Holden is struggling to stay healthy and needs a little help from a very pricey feeding clinic [not covered by insurance]. If you have any room to give this holiday season, please consider the Andrew family. Scott has made a touching video you can check out on his blog. And please spread the love and the word on this post...strenth in numbers people!

Joe and I donated $20 dollars, as did Kristen!

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Chair...lady in red.

Our "living"room that we haven't lived in much has got a new piece of furniture, I call the chair "lady in red". Joe's mom got us this beautiful chair that I we wanted for Christmas. The chair arrived over the weekend and fits perfect in the room. After Christmas our tree will be gone and we'll be moving in a bar we have in our garage. The "living"room has a insert so we've been using the room a lot more, since our home has been very cold. I love the chair, kind of excited to put away christmas now.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Curtain Fabric

After 1 year of being in our home (Happy 1 year of home ownership to us!), I have finally selected a fabric for our nook and kitchen windows, it's a little bold and loud (kinda like me) but I love it! Last night my mom and I went to the fabric store and made 3 of the 5 panels our nook is done. Now on to the kitchen. Hoping to be finished by next Tuesday.
Fabric: Waverly "Solar Flair Lime Indigo"

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pepperocinis Beef Sandwich

I modified a recipe I saw on A year of slow cooking, this recipe was beyond simple. I served the sandwich with au jus from a jar.

2 pounds beef chuck roast (thawed)
1 (16-ounce) jar peperoncini peppers
1 small yellow onion (chopped)
1 tablespoon of garlic powder

Place beef followed by the other 3 ingredients in crock pot. Cook on high for 5 hours. Drain mixture. Place on a toasted roll with pepper jack. Serve with au jus.

(after being drained, back in the crock pot)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wreath making

I have been wanting to make a wreath for our front door since we bought our home, which is almost a year ago on the 13th (we moved in on the 10th but technically we closed on the 13th). Andrea and I got all the stuff we needed over the weekend to make one for her home and mine. We bought wood letters and spray painted them, armed with our glue guns here is the finished product. If you are interested in purchasing a wreath please contact me.

*Our initial is a little hard to see, I am painting our door a lighter color in January.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bathroom decor upgrade...

We bought our house almost a year ago and I am starting to finally decorate, rooms still need to be painted and some upgrades are needed but it's a pretty fabulous house.

Now the linoleum in our downstairs guest bathroom and laundry room not so father in law is going to install new tile but for now I decided to mask the 70's tile by drowning it in brown. I still need to add an accent color but here it is as of now.

Mary Ellen (boss/friend/aunt in law) gave me a gardening pot I'm going to spray paint and use as a trash can. I need new hand towels, a small curtain that I am going to sew myself, picture frame for counter and one knob for the vanity.

ps I'm loving the stars, found them at Ross for super cheap,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Baked Jalapeño Poppers

Jalapenos are one of my favorite chile's, they have such great flavor. I had six left over from my last salsa batch. Instead of letting them go to waste, I stuffed them.

6 Medium to Large jalapenos, rinsed
6 strips of bacon, cut in half to make 12
1/2 block of cream Cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1tsp onion powder
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese ( and a little more for sprinkling)
12 toothpicks

Pre-Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice jalapenos in half length wise. Scrape out all seeds. In a small bowl cream together cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder and Parmesan cheese. Spoon mixture into jalapenos, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, wrap with bacon slice, use toothpick to keep bacon in place.

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I was featured on take a look and follow her blog.
She post awesome make-up tips, newest trends and can answer all your beauty questions!

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's "FRY"day!

It's Friday aka FRYday.  I love fried food, it may be bad for you but it taste so good. I think as long as you are not eating it everyday then, hey why not enjoy a good deep fried (insert name of deep fried food here).

While paroozing pinterest I kept seeing a recipe for a deep fried dill chip, me being a lover of pickles decided I must eat these deep fried dill chips.
1 jar dill pickle chips
1c. buttermilk
1tsp garlic salt
Drain pickle juice from jar, pour in buttermilk, add garlic salt. Let soak over night.

Dry Mixture:
3c. Flour
1tbsp baking powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
In large ziploc mix ingredients.

Drain pickles, add to Dry Mixture, and shake it like a polaroid picture! Meanwhile have oil heating I used 3/4 vegetable and a 1/4 olive oil. Place in HOT oil about a minute on each side. Place on paper towels to drain. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

*I had left over buttermilk and dry mixture, I sliced up an onion and made some rings they were AWESOME!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Boys Night Out

In April I attended a fundraiser with some friends at a local pizza place, we ended up buying some sticky mustaches out of the vending machine. We Called this picture (see below) "boys night out". In June Erin's (handle bar mustache) mom suggested that she and I send some pictures to SJ Woman magazine who had recently asked for "girls night out" pictures, so we did. I had completely forgot that I had sent in our photo until Bobbie (groucho marx), called me this morning. One of her co-workers had put the publication on her desk, imagine her surprise since she had no idea I submitted. The whole thing is just funny and made my day.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Mimosa Sunday with the future Combie's (wedding date 5/26/11), cheers!

2/3 TJ's Blanc de Blancs (sparkling wine) + 1/3 OJ = Mimosa

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Homemade Canned Chili

Homemade "canned" chili is homemade, but I used canned items to make it. It was DELISH and very easy. Makes great leftovers.

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 medium Yellow Onion, chopped
1 Tbsp Garlic Salt
1 small can of Tomato Sauce
1.5 lbs. Ground Turkey
1 7oz. can of Green Chiles
2 cans Pinto Beans, drained
2 cans White Beans, drained
1 can Beef Broth
1 can petite diced Tomatoes
2.5 Tbsp Gebhards Seasoning (Chili Powder)
1 Bay Leaf
4 dashes of Tabasco

Heat olive oil in a large pot, add chopped onion. After about 4 minutes of stirring onion add Ground Turkey and 1 Tbsp garlic salt stirring occasionally until Turkey has browned. Add tomato sauce, stir for about a minute. Add all of your other ingredients to pot. Bring to a boil then simmer 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve.

If chili is not thicken enough mix a little corn starch with water and add to mixture stirring for at least one minute.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Taco Casserole

My BFF pinned this recipe, I adapted the ingredients to what I had on hand and added a few more things. The best thing about casseroles is you can completely change them up and make them your own. Now it probably isn't as low cal as weight watchers but that's okay. It was super delish, Joe gave it a thumbs up. I suggest you try it my way or the original weight watchers way.
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 c onions, chopped
1/2 c bell peppers, chopped
1 16 oz. can of pinto beans (you could subsitute black beans)
1 small can green chiles
1 clove garlic
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
8 taco bell mild packets
1 c sour cream
1 c low-fat cottage cheese
1.5 c tortilla chips, broken up (1 cup for the bottom, 1/2 c for top)
1.5 c cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup for mixture, 1/2 c for top)
3/4 c salsa

Heat oven to 400. Spray cooking spray on bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish; set aside. In a skillet,
cook chicken, onion, peppers, and garlic clove cook until tender. Add seasoning mix, drained pinto beans, green chiles and taco bell mild sauce; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese and 1 cup of cheddar cheese; set aside. Place 1 cup of broken chips in the bottom of casserole dish. Add meat mixture to cover the chips, then cover the meat with sour cream/cheese mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and crushed chips. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until cheese has melted. Top with 3/4 cup salsa if desired.

Makes 8- 1 Cup Servings

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Joe and sunny's don't mix

Joseph: hey babe at school

me: Hi Babe.

Joseph: how is your day

me: Good, it's so sunny outside. Kinda nice.

Joseph: yes a very nice day

me: I think I need a new pair of sunglasses, do you love yours?

Joseph: I do love mine what kind are you thinking about getting

me: I'm thinking the kind I don't lose at the bank for a week and not know they are missing. That sounds like the best me. Missing anything Jojo?

Joseph: :-|  :-/ <3  :-o   :D I thought I left them somewhere safe  IM SORRY HONEY

me: meh

Meaty Meatloaf

I have always wanted to make a meatloaf, but have been intimidated by the massive meatiness of the loaf. I looked at a few recipes online, they all seemed to have ketchup which I am not a fan of, unless for the purpose of dipping french fries. I perused for about 30 minutes and decided I would just make up my own. The common thing for most meatloaf recipes was ground beef and egg. You can definitely adapt this recipe to your own style. I may use crushed up cheese crackers instead of bread crumbs next time (my mother in laws secret ingredient). * It was one of the easiest things I've ever made.

2.5 lbs ground beef
2 eggs
1 8oz can of Tomato sauce (reserve two tablespoons for top of loaf)
1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
1 package french onion soup mix
1 tsp of garlic salt

Combine all ingredients together minus the reserve two Tbsp. of tomato sauce. Place in baking dish and form, cover with reserve tomato sauce. Place in fridge for 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour, lower oven temp to 350 and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove any drippings for gravy, Let cool about 10 minutes, serve with homemade mashed potatoes and homemade meat gravy.


*My meatloaf took a dive of the counter onto the floor, luckily I had just swept, I scraped the top layer off and put bake in the oven for 5 minutes on broil to kill any germs...AWKWARD. The meatloaf was still delish.

(what didn't make it back in the oven)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Beautiful Aptos

Our view from Seascape Resort, Aptos, CA.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Weekend time!

Off to Aptos for the Lozano/Misasi wedding, so excited for the beautiful couple ( he caught the garter at our wedding)! Looking forward to two and a half days at the beach with my love, then Cabo on Monday!
Apparently XM radio has a fantasy sports station, oh yay [insert sarcasm].


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Reading now...

I love to read blogs! For the past year I have been doing so excessively. I love so many blogs , I normally start by checking , , , and . With so much blog reading and pinterest it's sometimes hard to pick up a book. In the last few months I've been trying to read more I just finished The Help, which was amazing but I need to read more books, don't you just love blogs though???  (see my other shared blog to see my race to read Page Turners)!

I'm currently reading:

I also have The girl with the Dragon Tattoo shoved under my bed, I've only read 5 pages of it. I need more ideas, good books, ugh


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Beer Cheese Dip

I saw this recipe for Beer Cheese Dip on pinterest, I had actually had it over the summer, Joe's friend has been making it for years. It is very easy and really tasty. You could definitely use it as a cheese ball, think I might do so for our next party. Here's the recipe:

2 – 8oz pkg Cream Cheese, softened
1/3 cup beer (if dip is too thick, add more beer. Dip should be thick for cheese ball version)
1/2 to 3/4 envelope Ranch Dressing Mix*
2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Whip the first three ingredients until well blended.
Stir in cheddar cheese
*Original recipe calls for 1 envelope, it was a little to salty for me and Kristen.

I serve with pretzels but you could use any cracker or chip you want.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Heirloom Pico de Gallo

I've always thought pico de gallo is a funny name for salsa. I did a little research and I heard it comes from the act of people using their fingers like a rooster pecking, chunks of salsa from the bowl, gallo being rooster in Spanish. Even with a ridiculous name it's still delish.

I was given some heirloom tomatoes (Thank you, Erica!), I new they would make a perfect pico de gallo.

5 heirloom tomato (medium sized)
3 jalapeño peppers (use more if you like it hot)
1/2 of a yellow onion
Handful of cilantro
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cumin powder
Juice from 1 lime

Chop the first four ingredients place in bowl. Stir in last 3 ingredients. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Serve with chips! I also ate it on eggs an in a burrito.


30 and 3

I live in my hometown somewhere I never in my 30 years imagined I would end up living. My husband (Joe) of almost 3 years and I bought a home here last December close to our family and friends. He has always wanted to live in his childhood neighborhood, I have always wanted to be in a big city, a fifth floor walk up, tiny studio would suit me just fine. It's funny how what you want can be changed so easily by love. It's truly an amazing thing to be married to your best friend, it changes you in ways you've never dreamed possible. I'm lucky to have found such a loving and supportive man to share my life with. As we approach our 3 year wedding anniversary, I find myself being thankful more and more for him.

Turning 30 has also changed me, I'm working out, reading for pleasure, and staying on top of my laundry. My goals are to enjoy my delish life with my hubby, get a teaching degree, start up-cycling used furniture, learn to sew, landscape my big ass yard, turn my house into a home room by room, volunteer, and all around just be a better person. Not sure how long all of that might take, especially since I'm sure I'll add goals an we want to have children, I hear they take up a lot of time hahaha.

Here we are being silly (see above). Please note the karaoke singer in the background , I do not karaoke...Joe does. I do however love to dance like a fool to the cupid shuffle and other various line dances after a few cocktails of course.

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