End of September

Well, today is September 30th.  It is amazing to me how quickly this year has gone by.  I swear it was the beginning of summer yesterday…  Well this day is always melancholy for me.  My mother passed 6 years ago today.  I miss her very much.  She was such an inspiration and I have to credit her for the best parts of who I am today. It is also because of her that I love all the various things that I do.

On to other things…  I learned last week that I have been picked to receive the book lovers cravebox.  I can’t wait. It should arrive this week.  I will let you know what I think after I read the book.  They were giving away hints on twitter, so I think I know what the book is and I have a feeling I am going to like it.  They also send a long a few other products to enjoy while reading the book.  All the products they send are new to the market, so I will get to be one of the first to test them.  If this kind of thing interests you, you should look into it.

Image Image As always I have been busy cooking and trying many of the new recipes I find on pinterest.  I love that site, if you don’t belong, you should.  I also like to try the recipes that I find in People Magazine.  Yes I said People magazine.

I tried this recipe by Maggie Gyllenhaal.  It was delicious.  It was made with arugula, ribbons of zucchini, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and an oil & lemon vinaigrette.  I can’t seem to find the recipe online – but here is a scanned version.

Mine doesn’t look quite the same, but be assured, it tasted delicious.  Try it while you can still get fresh local zucchini.

I think I will spend the rest of this rainy day working on a few craft projects and watching football.  Happy end of September.

Michelle

Klout

While working my way through all that is the internet these days – I came across a site called Klout.  Did you know that if you blog, tweet, facebook etc – you have a Klout rating?  This was news to me.

It started because I decided to join Cravebox.  This is a site where you get a chance to test new products and give opinions.  I like to that kind of thing, so I was all over this.  Part of signing up and being eligible to participate is a survey where you list your blog, facebook info etc.  They also have a place for you to enter your Klout rating.  Well I had to google this because I had never heard of such a thing.  So off to the Klout website I go and fill out another survey with similar information and Klout comes up with my rating…

I got a 41 out of 100 rating.  I get excited, that is pretty good isn’t it?  Well come to find out – it is average – LOL.  Well I hope that Cravebox finds my average rating good enough for their standards.

Cravebox image of a gift box

Back to Reality

I have recently returned from vacation in Cancun.  My husband and I went there to celebrate our 20th anniversary.  We had a great time.  I must say that Cancun surpassed my expectations.  I was expecting it to be like Fort Myers during Spring Break… You know, loud rowdy college students, drinking too much. That was not the case.  I can’t mention the fabulous weather enough.  One of my favorite pictures – taken from my beach chair at about 9 am. Image

The other great thing about Cancun was the food.  I love Mexican food and you can’t really get it any more authentic.  I tried everything I could.  One of my favorite things, which I am going to have to try to figure out the recipe for, was Red Snapper Ceviche.  I had this on the last day.  We were on the way to the airport and stopped at the Ritz Carlton for lunch.  It was so fresh and delicious.  From the title of the dish I know it had red snapper, mango, jicima, as well as the obvious citrus flavors. I also believe it had pepper of some kind – not hot, as the dish was not spicy.  Anyone out there have a good ceviche recipe to share?

Anyway – back to the real world of work and all the rest.  I know the memories will keep me going and last a little while longer…

Ziplist.com Oscar Party Contest

Hey – I mentioned ziplist in a previous post, well they are having an Oscar Party contest on Pinterest.  I entered and surprise, surprise, I am a finalist.  The thing I need though, repins or likes.  I have selected some recipes and games etc. that I would do, if I were having an Oscar Party.

Visit my board here and like or repin please.  If you don’t do anything else – go to ziplist and see what I was talking about in my previous post!

Organizing Life & Other Ideas…

One of my resolutions for 2012 was to try to be my organized.  I am sorry to admit that I am not very organized at all.  I try to be, but I usually fail miserably.  I think that Pinterest is going to help me with that.

Organizing ideas - using a pegboard

I have found so many great ideas on how to organize everything.  This weekend, I put a couple of those ideas to work.  Below I bought a pegboard from a nearby chain hardware store.  The whole piece cost $15.  What you see here is about 1/3 of it.  The rest will find a use in another room, or possibly the garage.  I was able to remove a lot of clutter from my desk.  This has made it easier to find things when I need them.  Yeah.  I also feel more productive when I can find the desktop.  Previously I (accidentally – still learning this blog stuff) posted a picture of my new folder organizer – a dish drainer.  It is such a great idea and I had one that I had bought, but was too small to hold the amount of dishes it needed to hold.  Yes I keep everything, just visit my basement sometime…

Another idea for re-purposing items, is to make a purse out of a place mat.  I got the idea from my sister in law.  You really do not need to have much sewing knowledge to to this.  It is so easy a beginner can do this without a problem.

Place mat Purses

Here is a picture of 2 that I made.  All you need is one place mat for each – I bought mine a Target and they were maybe $1/each.  Some coordinating ribbon and handles –  I bought mine at Joanne’s Fabrics but any craft store probably carries these.  Stitch on the ribbon, or fuse it, your choice.  Sew up the sides, add the handles and you have a purse.  You of course can get more fancy and add things, pockets, etc.  But for a beginner, this is an easy project as is…

Enjoy! – Michelle

Trying New Recipes

Last night I tried a recipe I found on Pinterest.  I changed it a little to work with what I had on hand.

On the note of recipes, if you are a collector like I am, you might be interested in Ziplist.  It is a service that allows you to save recipes you find online, to a recipe box.  From the recipe box you can select recipes you are interested in and create a shopping list from them.  I have folders and files of recipes I cut out from magazines.  The only problem with that, I can never find the one I want when I am looking for it.  I will admit, I am really unorganized when it comes to my recipe collection.  One day…

Anyway,  Ziplist keeps my recipes in one place and I can search for the one I want in multiple ways.  I can do this from any place that I can access the internet.  Sure beats carrying my recipe folders with me everywhere!  The one downside (if you want to call it that) is the website you are getting the recipe from, also needs to belong to Ziplist.  I think it is getting more popular as I am finding more blogs and sites that offer the ability to save the recipe to Ziplist.

Ziplist screenshotZiplist screenshot

Pictures from Ziplist 1st one is the grocery list section, the 2nd is the recipe section.  Check it out, you’ll like it.

OK now onto the recipe for Taco Salad that I made for dinner last night.

1 lb ground beef
1 can ranch style beans (I used Bush’s Grillin’ Beans – Black Bean Fiesta)
1 pkt Taco Seasoning

The key to this recipe is the dressing.

1 cup mayo
4 oz cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp onion powder (instead of the above seasonings I used 1 1/2 tsp of Paula Deen’s House Seasoning, it is a blend of the same seasonings)

For the dressing – put all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined.  Then let it sit in the fridge until ready to serve.

For the meat  – brown the ground beef in a skillet.  Drain.  Add the taco seasoning, stir to make sure it is well absorbed.  Add the canned beans and simmer for about 10 mins or until the beans are heated through.

To serve – I heated up 2 tortillas, in a 375 degree oven for about 5 mins,  in the shell pans (picture below).  I added lettuce, chopped tomatoes and the ground beef mix, sprinkled some cheese (I used a shredded Mexican cheese mix, found in most grocery stores) and topped with the dressing.  That is all there is to it.  Really easy and delicious.

I found the original recipe at the Becoming Betty Blog, above is my take on it.

Taco Shell PansFinished Taco Salad

I hope you enjoy!