Saturday, May 18, 2013

One Strong Chick!

Well, we're back from the Girl's State Track meet and I am SO proud of my niece.  She ran fast and hard and gave it her all.  Her team didn't come in first, but they didn't come in last, so all in all, they did good!

The weather is starting to warm up here in Iowa.  I'm beginning to think we're going to skip right over Spring and hit Summer head on.  I've already had the a/c on once (I'm a wimp) and have been putting off putting the window unit in upstairs.  That thing is heavy, awkward and best put in by a man LOL  But since I didn't want to wait any longer and it's hotter than H E Double Hockey Sticks up in my bedroom, I decided to put that bad boy in myself!

There were no casualties, I have all of my fingers and the unit didn't fall out of the window...yet.  Oh!  And it's running and cooling the upstairs down, so I would say it's a win, win situation.  I don't have much on the agenda the rest of the weekend except for laundry, laundry and more laundry.  I have 2 clothing baskets full of clean clothes that need to be put away, so I should probably do that.  I don't mind doing laundry and even folding it.  But putting it away?  That's another story.

For dinner either tonight or tomorrow night (I haven't quite decided yet) I'm going to make Not So Traditional Taco Salad minus the tomato.  I'm not a tomato fan unless they are cooked.  While we were driving home last night from the track meet I had mentioned that I was hungry for it.  With the warmer weather, it's perfect!  No heating up the oven just browning the meat.  And it lasts me forever, so I'll be having it for dinner for the week. 

Well folks, that's about it for this MFFG, I need to put my taco salad together and start up some laundry.  Have a great weekend!

Until next time!

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Proud Aunt Moment!!!


I don't talk a lot about my family on here because they may or may not be okay with my sharing their lives on here along with mine.  So, out of respect, I might mention them here and there, but that's really about it.  But today, I just can't contain myself.  I am bursting with proud Aunt Katie energy and have to share!  Ready?

My niece is going to Girls State Track today, running as a freshman in high school!  A freshman!  I'm so proud of her for this accomplishment and can't wait to go watch her run her little heart out.  It's hard to believe that the little girl I used to call Squirt (and sometimes I still slip up and do it) has grown up.  So, run hard and fast Squirt!  We're going to be there to cheer you on!  Good luck!  Aunt Katie loves you!

Aunt Katie and Squirt 2012

Until next time!

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cowboy Caviar....What?!

Yep, you read it right.  Cowboy Caviar.  Now, before you turn your nose up to it, it's not what it seems.  I too had the total look of disgust when I had heard the actual name of this...dip?  Salsa?  Appetizer?  What does one really call this?  Besides flipping AWESOME!!!!!

One of my co-workers had made something like this a while back and she gave me the recipe, but I lost it.  So, I went searching on Pinterest.  There were so many different recipes for this stuff, it was overwhelming.  I decided I would make up my own and combine about 3 different recipes.  I made it for Mother's Day and it was a hit!  Not too spicy, not too bland, just perfect (if I do say so myself.)

Cowboy Caviar

So, what's in it?  Well, here you go!  It makes a very big batch, so consider yourself warned:

Cowboy Caviar
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
2 cans corn, drained and rinsed (next time I might try frozen)
2 cans Rotel tomatoes, drained
1 small can diced chillies, undrained
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, diced
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 16oz bottle oily Italian dressing
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp cumin

Mix all ingredients together and let sit at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.  Serve with tortilla chips or Scoops.

This was so easy to throw together and was even easier since I used my Chop Wizard.  This thing rocks!  Chopping and clean up is a breeze!  You can find them at Bed, Bath and Beyond or of course, at (my favorite site) and for the price I think it has more than paid for itself.  

Until next time!

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Salads In A Jar

Recently I had come across some fun pins about salads in a jar.  I did a lot of looking into these things and thought I would give them a try.  I watched this video on how to vacuum seal your salad.  I know, it sounds weird, but it works!  I swear!  I used the Ziplock Hand Pump (I actually found it at my local Wal-Mart), a push pin and electrical tape and BOOM!  I had me some salads in a jar!

Salad In A Jar With Southwest Ranch Dressing

Here's the breakdown of what I did.  The first rule is to keep your dressing as far away as possible from your lettuce.  That's a rule that every post/pin stated and it worked for me.  The second rule is have fun with your salad combos!  I put "softer" foods at the bottom with the dressing, like beans, carrots etc. that can almost marinate in the dressing.  I sealed my jars on a Sunday afternoon, eating the last one on a Friday and it was as fresh as the day I had "jarred" it.  It is time consuming, so if you think you can crank these out in 30 minutes, you're WAY better at it than I am.  On a Saturday evening I cut up my lettuce, celery and pepper.  I cooked my chicken and blanched my corn.  Finally I drained and rinsed my black beans.  The trick is making sure you get rid of the extra moisture before you jar everything.  I used a salad spinner for my lettuce and stored it in a large container with a paper towel on the bottom and on top of the lettuce to draw out any leftover moisture.

Now for the fun part...assembling your salads!  I crammed a bunch of stuff into mine (as you can tell) and even made some dressing!  When I do this again, I'll probably use the same ingredients because it worked and well, it was yummy!!!!

Salad Layers
(in order of assembly)
2 Tbsp dressing
shredded carrots
black beans
green pepper

Southwest Ranch Dressing
1 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup salsa
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin

Mix together and store in a container.

When putting your salads together, make sure to push all of your ingredients down into the jar.  I used the wide mouth quart jars and it made more than enough for me.  I wanted some croutons, so I just took some along with me to add.  I poured the salad out of the jar into a plastic bowl, added the croutons and BOOM!  Instant salad.  

In my opinion, these really are worth the time and effort in the end.  I did notice some condensation on the insides of the jars over the days, but it didn't wilt the lettuce or affect the rest of the salad.  I would say minus all the cleaning/prep of the ingredients, it took about an hour to put them all together.  I'm sure over time, I'll get faster and better at it, but they sure were handy to grab and stick in my purse before work. 

Let me know what you think, or if you make these and if you do, what you used!
Until next time!
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sneak Peak

I made these salads in a jar a couple weeks ago. They took some time but were well worth it. I made 4 of them and the last one was just as good and fresh as the first one 5 days later! I'll post the links and exact ingredients soon!

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