Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Merry, Merry

I am looking at all of our Christmas decoration storage bins with a bit of trepidation.  And excitement.

I'm thinking we'll go for this look this year:

What do you think?
I think the Sharpie marker arrow just makes the decorations pop, don't you?

Hope you are enjoying your Christmas preparations.  Including the preparation of your heart to receive the greatest gift we've ever been offered -- Jesus Christ.

I'm off to unpack the boxes and let the Merry begin...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So Good It'll Make You Wanna Slap Yer Granny!

I don't know why I had to title the post that, but I just did.  A woman I love dearly says that and it makes me smile every time.  And this recipe definitely qualifies.


Clean Chicken Taquitos and Fresh Pico De Gallo.

Is your mouth watering just reading the title of the recipe?  It should be.  Unless it's early in the morning.  Then your mouth might not be watering.  Your eyes?  Yes.  Mouth?  Maybe not.

So let's pretend it's afternoon and you're asking yourself, "What will I feed the fam?"   Well, I've got you covered!

As I mentioned recently, we have begun to eat clean.  Well, I'm eating clean.  The family is eating clean-ish.  But they all loved this one.  Except Princess Picky-Pants.  She didn't even try it.  But her idea of delicious is ravioli from a can.  (ICK!  Totally not clean.  But a treat she does enjoy from time to time, much to my chagrin!)

These were so good that I actually jumped up after dinner AND MADE ANOTHER BATCH.  To freeze.  Yes, they were that good.  I don't know about you, but making a second dinner after cooking and eating the first isn't on my top 10 list of "faves."  Neither is cleaning up after cooking, but that's another story...  

You'll have to excuse the lack of photos.  I was in a cooking frenzy and we ate these before I even thought to shoot a photo or two.  And when I tried to shoot photos of the second batch of taquitos,  it was too dark in the kitchen.  And I think I had every single pan, bowl, and measuring utensil I own on the counters.  So, I  borrowed some images from Google.  I noticed the same photos on several blogs/websites and I'm not sure who to give credit to.  If these are your images, I'm sorry I didn't give you proper credit.  But your pictures?  Yum!  These look remarkably like what I made.  I love it when that happens.  

Okay.  Enough chasing rabbits.  Let's get to the recipe, shall we?

(taquito recipe adapted from The Gracious Pantry)
Makes 12 taquitos
12 Clean Corn Tortillas (I used Food for Life brand)
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 jar Clean salsa
2 Tbs. Onion Powder
1 1/2 Tbs. Garlic Powder
1/2 Tbs. Garlic Salt
Pico De Gallo:
(No ingredient amounts are given because you can make as much or as little of this Pico as you’d like, and you can vary the different ingredients to get the taste you enjoy.  Also remember to taste and season to your preference.)
plum tomatoes
yellow onion
fresh cilantro
garlic powder
course salt
lime juice
  1. Place chicken breasts and salsa in a crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 4-5 hours. (This is called Salsa Chicken in our house and some evenings we eat it straight from the pot like this.  But not this night!) 
  2. Preheat oven to 400º.
  3. Remove chicken from crock pot and shred.  Return to crock pot and stir to incorporate all the salsa juices into the shredded chicken.
  4. Wrap tortillas in a wet paper towel and warm in the microwave until very pliable. 
  5. Put chicken in a food processor and add garlic powder, garlic salt, and onion powder.  Process until a “dough” is created.  If the mixture is too dry, add a bit of the salsa juice from the crock pot.
  6. Take a warm tortilla, add a bit of chicken mixture, and roll.  
  7. Place in a well misted (with an oil mister/sprayer) pan.  
  8. Continue to stuff and roll until all the tortillas are filled.
  9. Spray rolled tortillas with an oil mister.  This is where the crunch will come from!
  10. Bake at 400º for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy.
  11. Serve with fresh Pico De Gallo.  I also served it with the Pico mixed into a mashed avocado as a fresh guacamole.
  12. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Self Portrait

Seems like I'm always behind the camera and never in front of it.  Most self portraits I've tried have come out pretty bad.  Too posed.  Too uncomfortable looking.  Too lame.

Until now...

Note to self:  Shooting one's own picture in the side of an uber-shiny fire engine does wonders for one's self esteem.  I'm not even going to try to figure out how that bendy metal made me look so tall and thin!  And curvy in just the right places.  And thin.  I'm just gonna take it, smile, and say, "ThankyouVERYmuch, shiny red fire engine!  You have made my day!"  
Who's the siren now???

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Misto -- Product Review

We have recently begun to eat "clean."  That simply means that we are eating and preparing foods (and man, there are a lot of them!) that are as close to God's creation as possible.  Fruits, veggies, grains, lean proteins;  nothing processed.  It's been quite a delicious adventure!

One of the things I knew I'd need to help prepare our clean meals was an oil sprayer.  I've seen them in many locations, but I knew I wanted a durable version.  So I went to the local housewares store and purchased one.  The Mikasa Misto was $9.99 and came in two color choices -- stainless steel, or red.  Though I've since seen them online in a rainbow of colors, when at the store, I chose stainless steel.

I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about spraying with oil.  I thought there would be too much oil on the food and in the pans I was using.  I was wrong!  After filling the Misto with a small amount of oil, I re-capped it, and pumped the lid.   After about 6 pumps, the lid became resistant, or "firm" as the directions said it would.   I knew it was ready.  Holding it over my small pan, I pressed the trigger.  And was surprised!  A fine mist of oil came out of the nozzle and coated the pan.  No drips!  No gunk on the nozzle!  

We have used the Misto in our stovetop pans, on our BBQ grill, on our waffle maker, and to lightly coat veggies before we season them and throw them on the grill.  I have been quite happy with the Misto's performance.  I'm also happy that I seem to be saving money on olive oil since I am using much less than if I'd poured it directly in the pan.  I also like that I know exactly what I am spraying into my pan.  No scientific sounding chemicals, preservatives, or whatever else they put in that can!  The Misto is very easy to use and the kids have enjoyed spraying with it, as well.

There are a couple things about the Misto that I'm not thrilled with.  When the unit has been freshly primed, the first couple seconds of oil that come out seem to be pretty large drops.  After those first few seconds, the spray is more like a fine mist, which I prefer.  Another thing that I don't care for is that the Misto will only spray for about 8-10 seconds per prime.  For us, that means only coating one pan or the waffle iron before a second prime.  When using Misto on larger jobs such as the grill or on veggies, I have found that I have to put the lid back on and pump the lid to get the oil primed and ready to spray.  Not a huge issue, but something to get used to after using the no-stick-junk-in-a-can. 

All in all, I'm quite happy with my purchase of the Misto.  In fact, we've started calling him the Mr. Misto around our house.  Using less oil, easy to use, and nice to look at.  What more could I want?  

The Misto can be purchased at many locations including World Market, Bed, Bath and Beyond, and Amazon to name a few.  Prices and colors will vary.  

This is not a paid product review.  I purchased the Misto and have reviewed it as part of an interview process for Molly's Home Team, which is a component of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  Any opinions expressed are completely mine, and I have not, nor will I, receive compensation for this review.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another bird...

I had another opportunity to shoot some family photos at the beach this past weekend.
In addition to getting some great shots of the family, I also had several very cooperative herons.
One of the herons seemed to be stalking the family dog, but that's another story for another day...

Be blessed!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Come, Follow Me

I recently applied to be a product reviewer -- in other words to review a product, honestly and publicly, on my blog.   I passed the first round!

Now on to the second round, writing a review.  That will come in a few days.  But there is something to be done now.

One of the specifications of "making it" past the second round is to have at least 50 public followers on my blog.  As of this writing, I don't yet have that many.  But I know you're there.  I can see you blog-stalking...

So, would you please be so kind as to go to the right sidebar, scroll down to the Followers section and click on the "Join This Site" tab?  I would be so thankful if you'd let me know you're here looking around.

I feel a bit silly asking you to follow me...  All I can hear are Jesus' words in the gospels:  "Come, follow me,"  Jesus said, "and I will send you out to fish for people."  Mark 1:17

Well, I do follow Him, and I did pray about this opportunity before I applied for the position, and so now, all I can figure is that God is keeping His word.  He's sending me out to fish for people.

So, come follow me...

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Part I Like the Least

This tooth has got to go on record for being the loosest, snaggliest, twistedy, and most stubborn tooth any child has ever attempted to lose!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

BBB -- Another update

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for our boy!

Earlier this week, we went back to the doctor and found out that the bone has already healed.  It healed slightly crooked, but we were told that shouldn't be a problem.  The arm is still bruised and very tender, so TheBoy was given a short cast for two weeks.

God is great!  By His stripes we are healed...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Weekly Pic(s)

Playing with my new editing software... This thing should have come with an additional 5 hours to add to your day.  I can get lost in it...