Monday, April 30, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

Are you in need of a new dinner recipe? This one is good!

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili
Servings: 10

1 onion, chopped 
1 16-oz can black beans 
1 16-oz can kidney beans 
1 8-oz can tomato sauce (used a 16 oz can)
10 oz package frozen corn kernels (used 2 small cans of corn kernels)
2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes w/chilies (used a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes)
1 packet taco seasoning 
1 tbsp cumin 
1 tbsp chili powder (used a bit more as I didn't have any chilies in my tomatoes)
24 0z. (3) boneless skinless chicken breasts 
chili peppers, chopped (optional)
chopped fresh cilantro 
  
Combine beans, onion, chili peppers, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker. Place chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Top with fresh cilantro. Also try it with low fat cheese and sour cream (extra points).  


10  Size: 10 oz  Prep Time: 5 minutes  Calories: 202 • Points: 4 ww points

(Recipe was found on Pinterest - http://redsie05.blogspot.com/2010/10/ww-crock-pot-chicken-taco-chili.html)


Enjoy! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Crock-pot Salsa Chicken

This recipe is so easy and SO YUMMY! 

Ingredients:

1 Jar of Salsa
2-6 Chicken Breasts
1 Package of Taco Seasoning
1 Bunch of chopped Cilantro
1 Diced Onion 

Directions: Put all ingredients into your crockpot. Cook on high for 4-6 hours. When done, shred and enjoy! I made ours like tacos with flour tortillas, cabbage, diced tomatoes and cheese. The leftovers are just as delicious too!






Thursday, April 26, 2012

More LOVE

A fun piece of homemade art. 

Supplies: 

Old piece of wood
Paint (color of your choice)
Paint brush
Pencil 

This project couldn't get any easier. Find an old piece of wood, mine was found by my parents on a road trip home from visiting family in Arizona. Clean the wood with a dry rag to make sure all of the old dirt and dust is removed. 

With your pencil lightly write your word of inspiration. It doesn't have to say LOVE. You could put Hope, Joy, Laugh...whatever inspires you and makes you happy!

Once you have your word penciled on start painting. Take your time and try to make your lines as straight as possible, not easy to do on an old textured piece of wood, but that is part of the charm. 

When complete, let it dry and hang. Could that project get any easier?!? I don't think so! 





What is your word of inspiration? 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Better than Pecan Pie Cookie Bars


If you love pecan pie, this recipe will give you pecan pie taste in bite size bars.  Enjoy!
Better than Pecan Pie Cookie Bars

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 c packed brown sugar
2 2/3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
Pecan-Pie Topping:
1 stick salted butter
1 c packed brown sugar
1/3 c honey
3 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 - 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 c chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2 inch overhand on all sides.

Make the crust by creaming together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.  Add the flour and salt and mix until it is crumbly.

Using your hands, press the crust into the foil-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

With about 7 minutes left to go on the baking time of the crust, prepare the filling.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, honey, heavy cream, and cayenne pepper in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

Sitr in the chopped pecans.

When crust is ready, remove it from the oven and immediately pour the pecan filling over the hot crust, spreading it to cover the entire surface.

Return the pan to the oven and and bake for 20 minutes longer.

Once done, remove from oven and allow bars to cool.

Use foil overhand to lift the bars out in one big piece and transfer to a cutting board.  Remove foil and slice into bars (very rich, small is OK).  Enjoy - Adapted from justataste.com

Mama L

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Little Girls and their Bows

Now that I have a little girl, she has to have a big bow or flower on whenever we leave the house! Instead of spending lots of money on store bought headbands and beanies I started making them. With some tutorials and inspiration from a few blogs I found on Pinterest, I've made some super cute flowers that can be clipped onto headbands or beanies. 

Check out the blog listed below for tutorials and specific how to instructions on how you can start making your own! So much cuter and cheaper than anything you can find in a store!


 S sporting her red and black zebra print flower on her black beanie at church. 

S wearing her pink and brown flower on her white lace headband.
www.Makeit-loveit.com -




www.Littlethingsbringsiles.com -
http://www.littlethingsbringsmiles.com/2010/12/felt-fun.html

Enjoy!

Crustless Quiche




Here is a great quiche minus the crust (where most of the carbs and calories are).  I used some leftover ham from Easter but the recipe actually calls for Canadian bacon - whatever you have leftover or on  hand.

6-8 asparagas, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pkg. Canadian bacon or leftover ham (approx. 1 cup)
6-8 eggs (depending on size)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 tbsp flour
1 1/2 c milk
1 tsp dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray your pie plate with Pam.
Beat eggs with a whisk until blended.  Add the dry mustard, mix.  Add milk and salt and pepper.
In a separate bowl, mix the cheese with the flour (this makes the most beautiful, browned, puffed quiche).
Add the Canadian bacon or ham to the egg mixture.  Fold in asparagas and cheese.  Pour into your pie pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes until puffed and golden (and an inserted knife comes out clean).  Remove from oven and cool.  Serve with salad or fruit or my favorite, tator tots.  Ummmmm and makes for great leftovers or lunch.

Mama L 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pizza Extravaganza

With the weather warming up we like to cook outside. One of our favorites is pizza on the grill. 

We start with prepackaged Naan bread available in the fresh bread section of our grocery store. We then choose a spread to put down first; hummus, pizza sauce, a creamy cheese, BBQ Sauce etc. After you put down your base start topping with yummy things. We like to use Italian Sausage (already cooked), roasted veggies, fresh basil, tomatoes, chicken, artichoke hearts...and of course top with shredded cheese. 

Bake on the BBQ!  You can either place them directly on the BBQ or on a pizza stone, they don't take long as everything is already cooked, just need to toast the bread and melt the cheese. 

There are endless combinations, be creative when making your pizzas! 

Garlic Naan Bread with Hummus 

Wheat Naan Bread with Laughing Cow Creamy Cheese 
Roasted Butternut squash and beets - dice, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. 

Wheat Naan, Laughing Cow cheese, roasted beets and butternut squash, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and tomatoes.  
Garlic Naan, hummus, Italian Sausage (already cooked), gruyere cheese, fresh basil and tomatoes 
 Enjoy!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Food for your Pets

Trojan, our 6 year old Chiweenie


If any of you are in the Irvine area and are in need of an AMAZING groomer please call Anni (contact info below). Trojan, our Chiweenie is a bit temperamental, to say the least, and he hates going to the groomers. So, through recommendations I found Anni. She runs her grooming service out of the back room at her house. Trojan's first visit was early in the morning, she wanted to see him after a good nights sleep. We arrived to her place where she had soft music playing and she got on the floor to meet Trojan. He was shaking like crazy...but by the time I left he was calm and in her arms with his tail wagging! She also sent me a text of the above picture - he was a happy camper getting his bath and hair cut! 


Just the other day I received a great email from Anni and I thought I'd share it with everyone, since I know there are lots of dog lovers out there like us...healthy foods for our dogs. 


Hello friends,

If you or your vet has decided that your pup could lose a few pounds, finding healthier options than some of the meat based treats doesn’t have to be difficult. Since we are all looking for ways to save money, making your own dog treats can be cheaper than buying them. There are plenty of recipes for baking dog cookies but if you’re not a baker , why not look to buying some produce that you can chop up and share with your canine buddy?
Remember: always cut up the fruits and vegetables and give small amounts. When introducing a new food group into your dog’s diet, do it slowly, one new treat at a time, and let their body adjust to the changes. This cuts down on the chances of your dog having an upset belly.
Here’s some fruits and vegetables that can be used as treats and rewards:
1: Apples (cut up and do not let your dog eat the seeds)
2: Apricots
3: Bananas
4: Mangoes
5: Pears
6: Pineapple
7: Blueberries
8: Strawberries
9: Raspberries
10: Broccoli
11: Lettuce
12: Beets
13: Carrots
14: Cabbage
15: Zucchini
Keep in mind, some of these fruits and vegetables may produce gas in your dog such as broccoli. Try feeding the stems of broccoli instead of the florets to reduce the chance of a gassy pup. All these treats are low fat, have no artificial flavoring, and provide extra nutrition in addition to their regular meals.
I hope you and your dog will find a treat for you both to share, like I do with  Pasha and Boca, we love carrots!
Pair up healthy treats with exercise and  your dog will be slim, trim, happy and strong!
Have a great weekend!!
Anni
(949)293-7068

Friday, April 13, 2012

ABC Cakes

Do you like to bake? If so you have to check out this baking supply store in Orange, CA.

ABC Cakes, located at 429 N. Tustin St., Orange, CA 92867. 

This place has everything and they even teach classes! We have taken several classes there and have had a great time at each class. We've done cookie decorating classes and cupcake classes. 

This shop has all of the baking supplies you can think of from baking tins, flavoring, chocolates, packaging and more. Check out there website for more info: http://www.abccakes.com/

Valentine's Day Cookies
Easter/Spring Cupcakes
Thanksgiving Turkey 
Holiday Cookies 
Holiday Cookies 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pretty Pots


With a few cans of spray paint you can spruce up your backyard, front porch or patio. 

Next time you're at your local hardware store pick up a few inexpensive terra cotta pots and dishes. Terra cotta pots are very porous so I primed my pots with a coat of white primer spray paint. When that dried I started praying on the color. It took a few coats to completely cover and have a vibrant look. 

I also decorated my red pots with a few white polka dots. Just a white acrylic paint that I had in my craft cupboard. After the dots dried I sprayed on a clear top coat. 

They were ready to plant! It brightens up my small patio and gives it a little life!

Try painting your pots to  match you house/patio.

Enjoy! 


Monday, April 9, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

DIY Taggies



My baby girl is growing so fast and she is now into touching new things. She loves soft blankets and different tags. So I decided to make her my version of a taggie. 

I picked out one of the fabrics from her room and cut a 9x9 square. I then cut a piece of coordinating minky fabric in a 9x9 square. Next I cut different ribbons into small lengths approximately 3 inches long. I chose ribbons that were silky and ones with texture.  

Once you have all of your pieces cut the next part is the tricky part - but you can do it. 

Place one of the squares of fabric on a table with the right side of the fabric facing up. Then fold your ribbons in half and pin them with sewing pins so that they are facing the middle of your square. Once the ribbons are all pinned sew the ribbons in place. You can then remove all of the pins. Keeping the ribbons facing the middle place the other square of fabric on top, right side facing down. Sew around the square leaving a small opening to turn it right side out. 

When you're done sewing turn your square right side out, be sure to push all of your corners out all the way. Then stitch, on the sewing machine or by hand, the small opening and you're done. 

Your little one will  be entertained for hours with this one!

Here is a sample of one I made for a little boy. 



Friday, April 6, 2012

Playground - Delish!

Tomorrow is my moms birthday so my daughter and I decided we'd go out for a girls lunch today.  My mom  had read about a new restaurant in Downtown Santa Ana called Playground. One of the owners is a guy who was on The Lime Truck, known for their win on Season 2 of the food networks Great American Food Truck Race.

We've heard great things about Playground and wanted to try it out. They used to be closed for lunch service but earlier this yer they decided to start opening for lunch between 12pm and 3pm.  It was full when we got there so opening for lunch must have been a good idea. Their dinner services are by reservation only! So if you want to try it be sure to call ahead of time.

To start off our lunch we ordered drinks, my mom had a real ginger ale. Refreshing and slightly spicy from the ginger chunks in the bottom of the bottle. I had the Blueberry Soda, which in fact tasted like blueberries and was perfectly fizzy!

For lunch we shared the Bib Salad - bib lettuce, candied walnuts, dried cranberries, pickled red onion, blue cheese and a little bit of crisp fatty bacon (how could you go wrong with a little bacon). It was topped with a light vinaigrette and oh was it was fantastic! We also shared their lunch burger. It was a burger piled high with juicy meat, lettuce, sweet caramelized onions, swiss cheese and yellow mustard. It was an amazing burger!

We will definitely be back! Check out their website for more info http://playgrounddtsa.com/





Dying Easter Eggs

I find myself looking at Pinterest more than I should. It's quite addicting!

While searching late one evening I found some really cool Easter eggs dyed with silk ties. Check out this link for a full tutorial www.ourbestbites.com 

My mom and I picked up some old ties at the local Antique Market 4 ties for $6.00, great deal!

Wrap a raw egg in a silk tie. Make sure the right side of the fabric is facing the egg. Tie ends with string or a twisty tie. Try and have the fabric touching as much of the egg shell as possible for best results.
Where the fabric isn't touching the egg there will be a swirly look. 
After wrapping the egg in silk, wrap the egg again in a  light colored fabric, this is to keep the color  in.
After wrapped put eggs in a pot of cold water, bring to a boil and boil for 15-20 minutes.
When done, let the eggs cool before unwrapping.

Ta-Da
Rub the eggs with a little olive oil for an additional shine to your eggs. 




Easy Artichoke Appetizer


Easy and delicious artichoke appetizer! 

1. Boil an artichoke in a large pot of water until you can easily poke a fork/knife into the stem.
2. Cut in half and brush the cut side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Place cut side down on a hot grill and cook until slightly charred.  
4. Drizzle or dip with Balsamic Vinegar. 

You can eat it just as is or you can always make an easy dipping sauce. Some like to dip in butter, others like mayonnaise.  

Flavored mayonnaise is great - try a little mayo, add lime juice, chopped cilantro, salt & pepper. YUM! Or try a garlic and herb mayo, another good one. 

There are a million combinations you can make with the dipping sauces. Get creative and enjoy! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Flower Fields


This week my husband is on Spring Break, and it happens to be my last week of maternity leave before returning to work, so we are visiting new places with our little girl.

Today we went to the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, Ca and it was amazing. There were hundreds of rows of brightly blooming ranunculus. Pinks, golds, whites and purples, the stripes of vibrant colors continued for as far as the eye could see. 





The Flower Fields is a great place for kids too. They offer tractor rides around the ranch, there are great learning stations throughout the site to show how they track the moisture of the soil and how they keep bugs away from the flowers. There is also a mining area for kids, Santa's Playground and a lemonade stand for a cool treat. 

Carlsbad Mining Co.
Santa's Playground
Tractor Rides
Check out their website for hours, pricing and more  http://www.theflowerfields.com/

Enjoy!



About Me

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My mom, referred to as Mama L, and I have been talking about starting a blog for quite some time now. We are always trying new recipes and making new crafts - always being told by friends and family that we need to sell our creations. Instead of selling them we've decided to share our crafty ideas, yummy recipes along with our funny adventures here on our blog. Please follow us and enjoy. We are always trying to find new places to explore, new recipes to cook for our families and most of all we're just having fun!

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