Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Sorry for no Tasty Tuesday last week. I am back this week and with a fun new recipe that my friend Kai shared with me. 

Shredded Salsa Chicken!

For this you will need:
  • 3 to 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 jar of salsa
  • 1 packet of taco or fajita seasoning (I used taco)
  • 1 can cream of celery soup (you could also use cream of mushroom or cream of chicken)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray and then place your chicken breasts in the bottom. Mine were still frozen, but that's okay if yours are too. Saves the step of thawing them out. 

Sprinkle the taco season over the chicken breasts.

Next, dump in all the remaining ingredients, except the sour cream. You could also include a can of black beans. I didn't have any on hand, so I left them out. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4. 

After it has been cooking all day, you will want to take it out and shred it. Mine was falling apart before I could even get it out of the slow cooker, so it shouldn't take much effort to shred. Once shredded, add back into the slow cooker. 

You will then want to mix in the 1/2 cup of sour cream.

Now yo are ready to feast, and feast you will! We ate it as tacos and on nachos and I may have been known to eat the left overs right from the container I was keeping it in. 

Thank you Kai for the wonderful recipe as I know it will be a staple now in our household. 

Hope everyone is having a lovely week!

Peace out *g*

Monday, March 28, 2011

Long Time No Post

Yeah, it has been a week since I last posted. I have just been so busy it seems that I just haven't had a moment to sit down and do it. Sorry!

I did have a few things I wanted to share tonight and tomorrow we will be back with Tasty Tuesday.

A co-worker of the husband had asked me to do a Thank You card with a dog theme and a Thinking of You card for a person who likes candy and Pepsi. At first I really had no idea what I was going to do. I thought about it for about a week and this weekend inspiration struck and I was able to come up with two cards that I was really happy with, and more importantly so was the woman that bought the cards.

I hope the people that receive them like them as well! Later this week I will be sharing the card I made for the husbands birthday. 

Peace out *g*

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Saturday Saga (and an orange Lamborghini)

I knew this past Saturday had the potential to be busy and trying at times, but in my mind I always imagine things going well, and that can bite me in the end.

A bit of background first. In the spring of 2008, after being out of town for 3 months, my husband came home to Pittsburgh and we put his car in storage in our garage and he started using my car 100% of the time. His car was a well-loved 2001 Alero and mine was an almost new 2007 Mazda 6. He traveled for his job 95% of the time all over the Northeast coast of the US, so it made more sense to use the newer, more reliable car. I worked downtown and could take the bus or the train almost anywhere in town, so I was fine not having a car. 

Fast forward 2 years later when we are moving back to Ohio, the Alero is no longer registered in any state and we have to bring it back with us. We towed it to Ohio on the back of our already very large U-Haul truck (thanks to my father-in-law for driving it the whole 3 hours back, at night, in snow). The plan was to get it up and running and in year buy Nick a new car. That didn't happen.

Nick's job and mine weren't far away, so we just car pooled as long as we could. Which was from March to October. In October, Nick got a new job, on the other side of town. We were still able to car pool, until his hours changed. Then, it just wasn't going to work anymore. Lucky for us, but no so much for my mom, she had surgery at the beginning of November and wouldn't be driving her car for 4 - 6 weeks. So, that got us through November and most of December. In the mean time, we were getting the Alero looked at (finally!) so we could get it registered in Ohio and Nick could drive it. 

The problem with this was that the work needed done on it was 10x the amount that the car was actually worth. Yeah, we weren't investing that kind of money into a now 10 year old car. We ended up buying my mother-in-law's old car when she got a new one in December and we were once again a 2 car house hold (the first time in almost 3 years). 

Now you see, this is where this past weekend comes into play. The Alero was still at the mechanics, just sitting. It didn't run. It wasn't fit enough for us to drive it the 1/2 mile home. So it sat there, from November to this past weekend. 

We had issues with the title. It was signed over to Nick from his dad, but we never got it "officially" put in Nicks name, which meant we couldn't sell it apparently. To get an out-of-state title put into an Ohio title, the car has to be inspected to make sure it is the car on the title. Makes sense. Except, remember, that our car didn't run. Sigh.

We had to get the car out of the mechanics lot and fast. We decided to bite the bullet, tow it to the BMV and have it picked up the same day from the cash for clunkers place we had been planning on selling it to, for much more than we felt it was worth (we weren't going to point that out to them though). The guy at the mechanics told us that he would leave the keys in the car and we planned on having it towed to the BMV on Friday evening, so it was one less thing to worry about on Saturday morning. 

We go to the mechanics Friday after work and, surprise to us, no keys in the car. I was upset, because I felt like we had been hitting wall after wall concerning this car and trying to sell it for the last several months. We decided to make a nice evening of it though, and went out for dinner and to see Take Me Home Tonight. It did cheer me up. A Mai Tai and seeing Topher Grace for 2 hours has that affect on a girl.

Saturday morning, we were both up at 6 and ready to go. Nick started calling the mechanic at 7, a half hour before they opened and got a hold of the guy who we had been dealing with. He apologized for not leaving the keys and said they would be waiting for us anytime that morning. We went and got the car. We called a local tow place and 20 minutes later a tow truck was there to take it away.

This was the car all loaded up and ready to go to the BMV. It is also the last time during all this mess that I was in any frame of mind to take a photo of our adventure.

We went to the BMV, unloaded the car and headed to the first office to get our out-of-state inspection. We literally walked in, sat down, and then got called up with anyone else wanting an inspection. We paid, she checked our car, filled out the form and sent us on our way, four doors down to the title office. The line there wasn't long and in less than 5 minutes, it was our turn. 

Now, I was a little nervous about the title. This was the thing that we kept running into brick walls over. The original title from Indiana was from my father-in-laws company and the they signed it over to my FIL when he bought the car from them. He signed the car over to Nick on the back of the title last spring. 

We get to our window and the women looks it over, goes and talks to a manager and comes back and tells us that it is no good. While, in Indiana, a person may be able to sign a title over to someone else, as my FIL did to Nick, you cannot in Ohio. My FIL should have went and got a brand new title, in his name and then he could sign it over to Nick. Yeah, well, that wasn't going to happen. 

This is where things get a little blurry for me. Nick and I, well, we balance each other out in ways that I don't think people realize. He has no patience for lines and waiting and things like dealing with the bank and BMV. I do. I do not handle keeping my cool though, when things go wrong. Like the lady at the BMV telling me that all the phone calls and leg work and $70 tow I just paid for were for naught. While I remember vaguely walking back to our car, I don't remember throwing the keys at Nick (into his lap, which he says I did) or throwing my sunglasses (sunglasses which I love and would be heart sick if i broke) and all our paperwork. While I sat in the passenger seat sobbing, Nick had the sense and cool-head to google junkyards and found a place that offered us a little less than the original cash for clunkers place. A place that, even after explaining the mess of the title we had, said that it would be no problem (he explained it in detail to two different people, just to be safe) and better yet, they could be there right away and would give us cash on the spot. I was SOLD.

We cleaned out the last few things left in the Alero, watched everyone and there sister at the BMV stop to take pictures of the ridiculously expensive orange Lamborghini in the parking lot (some even posed with it, as if it was theirs. Be aware when these pictures surface on Facebook. Your friend probably doesn't really own it). A new man with a new tow truck showed up right on time, took the title and keys from Nick (I think he checked Nicks ID, but Nick says he didn't bother checking that the title even matched the car we were selling), gave Nick the cash and just sent us on our way. 

We treated ourselves to lunch and then I dropped Nick off at home before going back out to run all the other errands I had to do. By the time I got home I was so tired I went to lay down for just a quick nap before I was supposed to go out for the evening, but somehow it went from 4 to 9:30 in the blink of an eye and my night out became my night in. 

Whew! So what is the point of all of this long (and probably boring story)? None, I just thought I would share my ridiculous Saturday and hope that yours was better than mine. I mean, all in all, for the crappy 4 or 5 hours I spent dealing with the car issues, I got two meals out (one at a Japanese Steak House that I had been wanting to go to for months), got to see a movie I had been wanting to see, and got some extra $$ in our pockets. Sure, we were out the money of the first, and ultimately unnecessary tow to the BMV, but in the end it worked out well. 

Now if I could just pretend I don't have to go BACK to the BMV this weekend to get my new license (yeah, a year later and I still have a PA license), I would be okay. Lets hope I don't have another BMV related post next week.

Peace out *g*

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

For the last few weeks I have done meals that would be good for dinner and I wanted to do something a little different this week. 

Since around the holidays, I have been making a homemade breakfast every Sunday for the Mister and I and this week I thought I would share one of the things I recently made. Banana-stuffed French Toast. He saw the recipe in the new William-Sonoma catalog and decided that we needed to try it. So, try it we did.

Here is what you'll need...
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large ripe bananas (I just used 3 medium ones)
  • 1 lb loaf of day-old challah (I couldn't find any so I used square sourdough, and even though there are two pictured, I only used one)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 Tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp. honey

First, you will want to peel and cut up your bananas into rounds. 

Melt 2 tbs. of butter in a skillet over medium heat. 

Once melted, add in your 2 tbs. of sugar and 2 tbs. of water, stirring until the water is dissolved.

Cook until it is lightly caramelized, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add in your bananas and cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. 

Resist the urge to just stop here and eat the bananas on their own, and place them in a bowl.

Yup, that will work. While your bananas are cooling, go ahead and preheat your panini maker and we'll get the bread ready.

Cut your loaf into 1 1/2 inch slices. Mine are a little unevenly cut, but it'll work. 

Cut a 2 inch slit on one side of the bread slice, cutting about 3/4 of the way through. 

Now, go ahead and stuff in some of the banana mixture. There is no real measurement here, but I would say I used any where from 1 to 2 tablespoons, or until it seems stuffed enough, but not too stuffed. 

Set aside your bread slices and now we'll get the egg mixture together. In a mixing bowl combine 6 eggs and 2 cups of milk.

Next, mix in the 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp. of honey.

Once it is all mixed together, pour into a 13x9 baking dish.

Soak your bread slices for 5 minutes, turning once in a while to make sure both sides are coated.

They are looking good!

Your panini press should be hot and ready by now, and you will want to give it a quick spray with a non-stick cooking spray.

Go ahead and place in two of your bread slices and lightly press down, cooking it for 4 to 5 minutes. 

This is what you will have when you are done! These got a little dark, but that was okay, I give them to my husband and he just ate them right on up!

For mine, I smothered on a light layer of Nutella (can you really lightly smother something??) and a little extra on the side. Bananas and Nutella. I was a happy girl on Sunday morning. 

The french toast was wonderful and so filling that it kept us going right until dinner that night. While it was fantastic, I can't say I would make it all the time, but probably keep it for special breakfasts or when we have guests. We don't really ever do either though, so I would probably make it once every 3 to 6 months. 

If you are looking for something fun to make for breakfast, I would give this one a go!

Peace out *g*

Monday, March 14, 2011

Whoa, it's an Etsy Shop Update!

I have been working on some new cards and ideas and I am so happy to share some of the new ones that I have just listed in my Etsy shop. Since March is my (and the mister's) birthday month, I felt it was appropriate to list some new birthday cards.

Head over to the shop to check them out. 

Are there any events, holidays or topics you would like to see a card made for? Leave me a comment  and you might just see it in the shop.

Peace out *g*

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

First off, WOW! I never expected all the response and views my spring giveaway would get. I was so happy that everyone else was as excited for spring as I was (and loved a fun giveaway). Thank you for everyone who viewed, commented, tweeted, blogged, or just let others know about it. I really appreciated it.

Now, on to the winner. I used the random number generator and the winner is...

Congratulations chksngr! Send me an email to sayanythingcreations (at) yahoo (dot) com and I'll get our your fabulous prizes to you!

Thank again for everyone who entered and have a fabulous week!

Peace out *g*

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Few Quick Peeks

Whew! It is almost the end of the work week, and let me tell you, I am READY! I don't have any real plans for the weekend, beyond making cards and watching the movies I got from Netflix, but I am looking forward to it none the less. I start my new (old) part time job next week and then start off a whirlwind of birthday celebrations/scrapbooking events/other fun spring things that will carry me well into May.

I plan on updating the Etsy shop over the weekend or early next week (haven't decided which yet, but watch this space for once I do), but I wanted to share a few sneak peeks of some of the new cards I have been working on.

While I enjoy making cards for various holidays, it is always fun to just make some for some basic celebrations or some just because. This is a great time of year as we are in between card giving holidays, at least for a few months, and I get a chance to work on some ideas I have had on the back burner.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and don't forget to enter my spring giveaway here which runs until tomorrow night at midnight!

Peace out *g*

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

The recipe for this week was one I found shortly after I returned home from a visit to Houston in April 2009. I had been looking for a copy cat recipe of Chuy's Creamy Jalapeno Dip and I found this blog instead. More importantly, I found a post about Houston style carnitas. I liked carnitas and the idea of making them at home intrigued me. Why it took almost two years to make them, I have no idea, but I can assure you, I know that I won't be waiting that long again.

You only need a few things for this recipe. A 3 pound pork shoulder roast, boneless. If you can't find a boneless one, you can ask the butcher to remove it for you (like I did). You will also need water, orange juice and salt. That's it kiddos!

Here is my pork...all ready to be sliced and diced.

Not really diced. Just sliced. 

You will want to cut your pork into strips, about 3 inches by 1 inch. 

You will want to add the pork to a large pot with 1 cup of orange juice, 3 cups of water, and 2 teaspoons of salt. 

You will want to bring it to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, you will want to simmer it on low, uncovered , for two hours. 

After two hours, this is what you will have. You will want to turn it up to medium high heat and continue to cook until all of the liquid has evaporated.  This should take about 45 minutes and you will want to stir a few times to make sure that the pork doesn't stick. 

After 45 minutes, this is what you should have. The pork should be brown on both sides and there will be some liquid fat in the pan. 

At this point the pork is ready. I attempted to remove it from the pan to a cutting board to shred it, but it just fell apart before it could get it out of the pan (a good sign!), so I was able to just use my tongs to shred it and break it apart in the pan and then I moved it to a serving bowl.

This is what it looked like after I moved it to the bowl. It was delicious and I had to stop myself from "taste-testing" it and remind myself that I had made it for tacos. 

Just gather your favorite taco fillings and feast away! We enjoyed it for several more days, on nachos, as sandwiches, or just a quick bite here and there. 

A note from the blog that I got this recipe from, and one that I would totally agree with, is that fat is a key part in this. Make sure that there is plenty of fat on the cut of pork that you get and don't trim it off. If there isn't enough fat, it will turn out dry, and that would make for sad carnitas. 

The next time you are thinking about making tacos or burritos, instead of using beef or chicken, I would recommend giving this a try!

Peace out *g*