Friday, December 28, 2012

Healthy Chili Verde

First of all

Merry Everything 
and happy always.

Man, oh man. Those holidays kicked my butt.
But they are over. Almost. Lil' Red will be turning 2 in January, and once that is over, I can only hope that things will start to calm down. 

Mr. Red and I are having a weight loss competition to see who can lose the highest percentage of weight. If he wins, I have to go to an event of his choosing (like that's going to happen!), but if I win, he has to go to the event of my choosing. Needless to say, we will be attending a 3 day long country music festival that he will loathe every minute of.

So begins the healthy recipe kick for me! Here is what we're having for dinner tonight, already tasted and super delicious! I've never made chili before and I don't think I will ever make a different recipe.

Healthy Chili Verde

You will need:
1lb ground turkey
1 large red bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 16oz (or 2 8oz) jars of La Victoria green taco sauce (mild)
1/4 cup La Victoria chunky jalapeno 
1/4 cup water
2 15oz cans low sodium pinto beans
15oz can low sodium kidney beans

Cook turkey, bell pepper and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned, 8 to 10 minutes. 
Add garlic, cumin and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. 
Stir in hot sauce and water; bring to a simmer. 
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. 
Stir in beans and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Top with plain non fat yogurt, or non fat sour cream, tortilla chips and/or cheese. 


This chili is very hot, and honestly I'm not sure how to make it more mild. We like it hot. 

Let me know what you think!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Enchilada Chicken

It's been a while...

Sorry I haven't been around lately, we've been so busy between Thanksgiving and the closing of our business. I did however want to jump on and let you know I'm still alive.

And I figured...
What better way to say hello than a Crock Pot recipe?
So today I have for you Enchilada Chicken.

I saw a delicious looking recipe posted by Chef in Training this morning and I was like "I so want to make that." so I went to my pantry and realized I had only two of the four ingredients it called for... And I was still in my pajamas (at 11am) so I decided to improvise. 

For this recipe you will need:
4-5 boneless skinless frozen chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can of drained and rinsed black beans
1 can of Rotel
1 package of enchilada sauce mix
shredded cheese
baked tortilla strips
sour cream

Spray your Crock down with Pam and lay your chicken breasts inside. On the side mix together the other ingredients in a bowl and pour on top of the chicken. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Plate and top with the toppings of your choosing, or shred and fill tortillas.

To make fresh tortilla strips, cut up a flour tortilla into short strips and spray with cooking spray. Broil them for a few minutes until they are golden brown.

I cooked up some Spanish rice and we threw that into our tortillas as well. Mr. Red didn't even make it to the table to eat, he loved it so much he ate standing up in the kitchen while I was fixing up my plate! It was a winner at our house!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Organizing the Kitchen

As you may know, I joined the 14 week challenge over at A Bowl Full of Lemons. I'm moving very slow, but I'm so happy to say that my kitchen is complete. I owe a big thank you to Mr. Red for helping to keep me motivated. I'm so relieved to have a clean and organized kitchen. I love walking in there and I love cooking in there. I love it. 

So, wanna check it out?

Here is a few pictures of my overall kitchen before and after:
(on my behalf, I had been canning for three straight 12-14 hour days away from home, so I neglected the housework, and hadn't gotten the canned goods put away yet! Although I had no where to put them!!)

I got rid of the extra paper towel holder and all of the clutter has a place, now :) I even had room for my birthday present! A new KitchenAid mixer!! Love it!

Don't mind my little photo bomber! I got matching garbage cans, one for, you guessed it, garbage! And one for cans to recycle. I turned my little garbage can, that I was previously using for garbage, into a recycle bin. I'm hoping that will keep me from putting the recycle onto the table.

All of my Wildtree now has a home.

My Crock Pot now has a home in the cupboard above the stove, and my cutting boards are now inside the cupboard with the pots and pans.

I have a basket in my pantry for both chips and bread now, so that is off the counter. I also have a home for all of my drink mixes in the coffee cupboard, and a home for the recipe box inside of a cupboard :)

Here are some before and after pictures of drawers and cupboards.

 My utensil drawer, I used a few drawer organizers I found at Walmart, they were super cheap for packs of 3

My baking cupboard. Got rid of all the expired stuff and put things in order. Yes, I know I have two sea salts... I couldn't find the other one so I had to make a special trip to the store to get another... Now I know where both are!

Here is the liquor cabinet. Got rid of all of the mixes that I hadn't used for.. oh, 3 years...

This is our "junk" cupboard. You can't see it in the photo, but that garbage bag holder was sitting on the inside of the cupboard, not attached to the door (you can buy one here). and everything that was in there is still in there, just neat and tidy!

This used to be Lil' Red's baby food cabinet, now it holds our Wildtree products. 

Here is where I keep my pots and pans. It was pretty organized before, just straightened things up a bit. Also, after I took the picture I decided to get the cutting boards off the counter and they lean up against the side of this cupboard now.

This is the cupboard above my fridge. It now houses some of my extra dishes and appliances that I rarely use. We've always kept our paper plates up there, and now all of our kitchen appliance manuals are in envelopes for easy access.

 This was my favorite cupboard transformation, but I forgot to take a before picture... it is now our "coffee station" and it helped me make more space in our dishes cabinet. 

I can't wait to start baking my Christmas goodies!!

What do you think?

Stay motivated, and happy organizing!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Chamber

I was surprised when I saw a picture of John Grisham for the first time about 3 minutes ago. 
He looks exactly like I would imagine! 
And I'm not going to lie, for an older guy, he's pretty good looking, too!

What do you think? Does he look like you imagined he would, too?

Anyway, I remembered reading one of his books many years ago. The Chamber. Here is my slightly rusty review.

Throughout the book you follow a young lawyer, Adam Hall, who is appealing his grandfathers death row sentence. Adam's grandfather, Sam, is a racist who was responsible for two bombings and as a result, murder. The story progresses kind of slow, but the entire way you learn little bits and pieces of information to help keep you motivated to continue reading. I loved this book, and I will always recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting read. It's not really one of those can't put it down books, but a good read, nonetheless. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Easy Apple Crisp

Mr. Red surprised us tonight and came home early! I was so excited that we got to have dinner together tonight early, Lil' Red was pretty pumped, too!

I threw together one of those stir fry packages that have the noodles and sauce and all you have to add is the veggies. It was okay, but after dinner while Mr. Red was playing with the little one, she kept saying something that sounded like "pie". 

Mr. Red says, "Yeah, some apple pie does sound pretty good right now." and I couldn't help myself. I hopped on Google and typed in "Apple Crisp Recipe" and came up with one of the most delicious and so so easy apple crisp recipe I have ever found. Want to know the best part about this recipe? I had everything  I needed.


So I thought I would pass it on.

Here's what you'll need
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup quick oats
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 stick of butter
1 can apple pie filling

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease a round cake pan. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, quick oats, cinnamon and nutmeg. Melt the stick of butter and pour into the mixture and combine, creating the crumble topping. Empty the can of apple pie filling into the greased pan and top with the crumble. Bake for 35 minutes. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

You can find the original recipe here. I cut the recipe in half :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

I couldn't find a recipe to fit exactly what I wanted, so I did my own mix of a bunch of recipes that I had seen, by just looking up "Salsa Chicken Crock Pot Recipes" in Google. Here it goes!

Spray your crock with Pam.
Put in 4-5 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Dump in a big jar of my homemade salsa (a few 16oz store bought ones should do if you don't have any of mine)
Pour in a drain can of corn.
Drain and rinse a can of black beans to put in (this is optional, I wanted them in there, but didn't have them on hand.)
Add in some of Wildtree's all natural Taco Seasoning**
Turn your crock on low for 8 hours

When the 8 hours is up, take your chicken out and shred it, then put it back in and mix everything up. Place on flour tortillas and top with lettuce, tomato, sour cream and guacamole! If you like guacamole, we don't so we chose to skip that one!


What's for dinner in your house tonight? I would love to have some new recipes to try!

Friday, November 2, 2012

DIY Crafts

These crafts are on my

To 5 to do Crafts List

All of these come from Pinterest (where else do you get your craft ideas?) and they are all on my to do list. Here we go!

#1: Wine Cork Ornaments
I have an abundance of wine corks, and trust me, I'm not complaining! My sister-in-law is opening a little gift shop and I can't wait to start making some of these adorable ornaments to put up for sale in there. She's planning on offering a variety of nice wines, so these will fit in perfectly. 
You can find the tutorial at Lavender Clouds

#2: Cork Keychains
Keyping (haha) right along with my previous post, I think this one will be a sure hit. Simple, cheap and super adorable! These wine cork keychains need only 3 things to complete! I could make a gazillion of them in an hour! Love them!
You can find the tutorial at A Law Student's Journey and while you're there, check out her other posts, I love this girl!

#3: Cord and Button Bracelets
I love two things about these button bracelets, 1) how simple and cute they are and 2) that I have everything needed to make them on hand. It looks super easy and I'm excited to try it!
You can find the tutorial at The DIY Dreamer

#4: Painted Treat Tins
How stinking cute will these be for Christmas treats? Mr. Red and I are trying not to spend very much on gifts for the (fairly big) family this year. I have already made some handmade gifts for our close family (grandparents, parents, sister, brother), but Christmas treats will be perfect for the aunts, uncles and cousins! Mine will say "Peace" and "Love" and "Joy". I can't wait for these!
You can find the tutorial at Cynthia Shaffer

#5: Mod Podge Tile Coasters
These might just have to wait until after the holidays, I have so much that I'm doing right now, I think these can be put on the back burner. Although, I think Mr. Red will appreciate this craft seeing as he had such a fit over the $6 zebra coaster set I insisted that we needed years ago when we first got together. We still use those coasters, by the way, but these DIY coasters are going to be perfect to switch out for different holidays or place in separate rooms.
You can find the tutorial at Hostess with the Mostest

So there you have it, the top 5 DIY crafts on my to do list. What's on your list? I'd love for you to share!

Fast Facts Friday

5 Fast Facts, every Friday.

1. There is a coral Reef in Australia shaped like a heart

2. When Lil' Red was born she had extremely long fingers and a little duck tail of red hair on the back of her head

3. I love McDonald's chicken nuggets, despite all the nasty pictures and terrible descriptions I've seen.

4. One of my favorite movies is Transformers.

5. Lil' Red colored her first picture yesterday. It was beautiful.

Until next time.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Did I really just do that?!

Here I am, Halloween morning, trying to find something for Lil' Red to wear under her costume. I throw a load of her clothes into the washer so that I have options to choose from. I hear it singing it's pretty song when it's done and I walk on in there and open the washer to start switching things over... Gel pellets .. everywhere. Did I really run a Pull-Up through the washing machine?!

Okay, it's time...


and then Google. 

First of all, I felt much better when thousands of results appeared, at least I wasn't the only one. I felt even better when I realized that it wasn't that hard to fix. 

I came across a post from the Anti Mom Blog that walked me through the entire process of fixing my mess. Here's what I did:

1. Shake out all of the clothes trying to get as many gel pellets out as possible. 
2. Throw the clothes in the dryer.
3. Wipe out as many pellets as you can with a paper towel.
4. Run the cleaning cycle on your washer once or twice. 

And that's it!

Here's some pictures from our Halloween! Lil' Red was an Oregon Ducks cheerleader!

Happy Halloween!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Italian Crock Pot Chicken

Mmmm... Dinner smells so good.

Italian Crock Pot Chicken, with carrots and potatoes from Crock-A-Doodle-Do (cute name, no?). 

I stumbled upon this recipe when I was looking for easy frozen chicken crock pot recipes, and I'm so glad I did. Let me say this again, it smells so good. 

Here is what you will need:
One bottle of Italian dressing 
Frozen chicken breasts (I used 4, for leftovers)
Bag of baby carrots
6ish red potatoes, cut in quarters
Parmesan cheese
Oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram (or Italian seasoning for those of you who like it easy)

So here's what I did. First I sprayed down my crock with Pam, and put in a little squirt of Italian dressing. then I squirted more Italian dressing on the chicken and added a bit of each of the array of spices and a little bit of Parmesan cheese. Then I threw in my bag of carrots and added more seasoning, dressing and cheese. Last, I piled on the potatoes, more seasoning, the rest of the dressing and some more cheese. I turned the crock pot on low for 6 hours and I can't wait to try it!

Let me know what you think!

Dinner was delicious and we will definitely be making it again! If I were to change anything it would be the kind of dressing I used, I would use one with less oil.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fast Facts Friday

I thought I posted this yesterday, but I didn't!

5 Fast Facts, every Friday.

1. My mouse pad has an image of a beautiful beach.

2. One of my favorite author is Janet Evanovich.

3. I am now hooked on Lost

4. Lil' Red has an Alfalfa hair-do today

5. When I was attending a University I thought I might minor in Art

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lazy Day

Today Lil' Red and I have absolutely no plans. Besides making dinner, and even that plan isn't nailed down yet. First I though Hamburger Helper with some potatoes, then I decided on spaghetti, and now I'm thinking tortellini. 

Here's Lil' Red relaxing in front of the TV, watching Word World.

Mr. Red is getting ready to do some errands before he heads up to the business, and I'm just sitting here watching season 3 of The Good Wife. I love it. I've watched the first two seasons this week. Have any of you seen it? What were your opinions? 

I think the first season was pretty slow, but season 2 was great, and I'm only an episode or two into season 3, but so far it's got a good story line.

What shows are you addicted to? I love getting into a new series. Let me know what's good!

Hope your day is super fantastic and that you get to take a moment to relax.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Spidey Sence

Let me start with this:

I can spot a spider from a mile away.

Now let me get to this:

Our house is crawling with them.

No pun intended. Here are some very recent photos of the spiders I've found in my house. 

 Here is one on my Wildtree bag in the living room.

Here is one next to one of Lil' Red's giant LEGO's.

 Here is one watching me in the shower.

Here is one in the kitchen watching me cook.

Here is one (about an hour ago) that I saw skitter across the floor into Lil' Red's blankets.

I swear. I can't eat, I can't shower and I can't even sit down and watch TV without getting bombarded by a spider. Not just a spider, but a very large spider. 

The worst part about this spider business is that I can't bring myself to kill these things! Listen here, if I were to attempt to kill him, say, by throwing a shoe at him (I can't get close enough to step on it, couldn't imagine feeling it squish under a paper towel I was holding...) and if I was to miss in my attempt... Don't you think that it would be quite simple, being a sneaky, little big, 8 legged, furry creepy crawly critter to just bite you when you were asleep? Or say I were to get him with my shoe, what if his little brother, or mother or some relative of this spider wanted revenge?! A sleeping target is an easy target.

That being the reason I contract Mr. Red for all of my spider hits.

I have a bottle of spider killer I'm going to spray when Lil' Red goes to bed tonight. Hopefully this will solve the problem!