Monday, February 28, 2011

Last minute meal

Okay this must be important if I'm willing to do two posts in one day. Actually it was all planned out. My day was planned out, dinner was planned out. I am totally in control and I live a meticulous life.  

You know me better than that. 

Some of you. 

I spent most of the day sifting and looking through all the piled up whatevers, and doing puzzles with Ave. I filed my nails and managed to brush my hair, and teeth too. But lets not leave out folks that I made dinner. A very last minute dinner.

The easiest dinner of all time!

The yummiest dinner, until I make tomorrows.

Chili fries

I know; This is not fancy or creative, I didn't buy my ingredients from France, and I obviously did not spend hours over the stove. But since I had two plate fulls, and I'm eye balling the last bit of fix-ins, I had to share this idea. Plus, I'm probably the only one on earth who has ever come up with Chili Fries right?

Good for you chili fries?

Chili Fries Ala Good For You


Any chili you fancy, preferably the good for you kind (I used my leftover frozen Turkey Chili)
Baked crinkle cut French fries
Any toppings you like

What I did: Heated up chili over stove. Baked off fries until golden and crispy. Topped fries with a little quality cheese, my chili with some liquid strained, fresh avocado, diced tomatoes, chopped green onion, a sprinkle of cilantro, and a splash of fresh lime juice. I drizzled mine with light sour cream and a couple pickled jalapenos.

Holy heavens have mercy it was good. 

Be inspired


I wont dare leave my fellow followers in suspense.

I would like to announce.....

From one blogger to another.......

A recipe first.

Did you really think you'd skip out of here without a recipe???

Didn't think so.

It wont take long. 

I followed every step of this recipe with the exception of adding a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Her name is Katie and you'll find the recipe here at This chick cooks. I stumbled over it on Saturday morning while my family was still deep in sleep.  I knew my time was limited so what happened next was nothing short of what I normally do on a weekend morning. I threw off my robe (fully clothed underneath of course)  pulled my unwashed hair back (washed my hands after that of course) and dreamed of summer nights at the fair while I made these amazing funnel cakes. Did I mention my teeth weren't brushed either? Do you care?

Here's how mine turned out and then will get to the good stuff.

Caution: You may eat more than one.

Caution: You may have sugar overload.

Caution: Your children may too.

Alright, what you 20 something folks have been waiting for........

THE WINNER IS...........

Using Random.Org.........

Lindsay from An Ordinary Girl!

Congratulations Lindsay on your new blender and kitchen towels. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine.  I'll be contacting you soon!!!

Thanks to the rest of you for entering and sharing all (or none) of your favorite chowder recipes. 


Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's not over yet.....

Just when you start getting used to the idea of spring and flowers and bright beautiful sunrises.....

You get snow.

Ave and Copper were hardly excited this morning when the pasture was blanketed ever so softly.

My philosophy is if it's gonna snow, dag-gomit snow!

It melted.

I still had to go to work.

The night before however I knew what the weather report was calling for so dinner was easily decided. I rolled up my sleeves, put on my apron, and turned on my slow cooker.

Slow cooker chicken tortilla soup

The easy Process

Chicken tortilla soup with creamed corn 
and black beans

Note: I never used the can of diced tomatoes shown in the picture. 


3 chicken breasts roasted and shredded 
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 oz can diced green chilies
1 14 oz can mild enchilada sauce
1 can creamed corn
1 cup frozen sweet corn
3/4 cup Tequila lime salsa (Newman's own)
1 qt organic chicken stock
1 red onion, quartered and sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tb olive oil
salt and pepper

Tortilla strips

10 yellow corn tortillas
cooking spray


cheddar cheese
sour cream
green onion
lime wedges
tortilla crisps


In large saute pan heat olive oil on medium heat and cook onions for five minutes. Add garlic and cook for two minutes. Add to large slow cooker.

Put rest of ingredients, leaving out frozen corn, and cook on low for 7 hours;on high for 4 hours. When just about ready to serve add frozen corn and let heat through just a few minutes.

Make tortilla strips by halving the stack of 10 and cutting them into thin strips. Spray with cooking spray and bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Or until golden and crispy.

When soup is finished top it with any of your favorite toppings along with the crispy tortilla strips.


Winter is not over yet.......

That's okay!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You might be a redneck.......

If your beach toys have no purpose and seaweed soon becomes a punching bag.

You might be a redneck.....

If your family dog gets a place setting at the table.

You might be a redneck.....

If you allow your daughter to ride a dirt bike with a princess helmet.

You might be a redneck.....

If all you have for sledding material is a container lid.

You might be a redneck.....

If you have a cotton candy machine
a dunk tank at your 35th birthday party.

Last but not least.

You most certainly are a redneck.....

If you ask your guests to bring their baby billy goat to Sunday dinner.

I love being a redneck.

Just 4 more days until the GIVEAWAY! Don't forget to enter!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Here's one for ya......

Okay my dear readers, I'm feeling great about my decision for balance. It's been a great couple of days focusing on and cleaning out some much needed areas including my guest bathroom, Coppers  food bowls, and Ave's bedroom just to name a few. All in all the pressure to perform and exceed far beyond my abilities leaves me feeling very healthful.

With that said, today's post is just a recipe, one dag-gone-good-one I might add. Feel free to add or take away, but keep in mind my version is nutritious yet very scrumptious.

Twice baked potatoes with caramelized onions
and lite cheese sauce

I love caramelized onions but most kids don't. Just add all ingredients, leaving out the onions, and fill a couple potato skins for the kiddos before you mix in the onions.

Twice baked potatoes with caramelized onions
and lite cheese sauce


4 large baking potatoes (bake at 400 until tender, 30-40 minutes
2 cups steamed broccoli
1 large onion, sliced thin 
2 heaping Tablespoons Brummel & Brown
2 oz lite organic cream cheese 
splash of nonfat organic milk
3 Tb olive oil
salt and pepper
paprika for garnish
1/4 cup sharp cheddar for garnish

Cheese sauce

This recipe I found from Eating well but of course used my choice of quality products.


Preheat oven to 400

For onions: Heat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium heat with 3 Tb olive oil. Quarter large onion and slice thin. Add to heated pan and season with salt and pepper. Coat onions in oil and turn heat down to low. Allow to cook about 45 minutes stirring occasionally. You want the onions to become soft and golden brown. They should be very sweet at the end of the cooking time. This would be a good time to bake your potatoes.

Cut baked potatoes lengthwise and scoop out the flesh into a medium size bowl. Add Brummel brown, cream cheese and milk. Mash everything together until somewhat smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add caramelized onions, and steamed broccoli. Fold this into the potato mixture and season if need be with salt and pepper. Scoop into potato skins and sprinkle with a little cheese, and a sprinkle of paprika.

Place potatoes in baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. This would be a good time to make your cheese sauce. You want the tops of potatoes to be slightly crusted and cheese melted. Pour cheese sauce over the top of each potato. Serves 4-6 (depending on size of potatoes)


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Do you ever need balance?

Boy I sure do. These days my life is wrapped around mothering, working, cleaning, cooking, and lets not leave out being a wife, a writer, a lover, a mother (oh wait, I already mentioned that one) and of course blogging. (Which I suppose goes along with writing) I'm sure most of you would agree that while you wouldn't change the titles you were given, it can often feel overwhelming. I relate to it best like a spider web. Ever notice when those sticky little boogers touch the slightest bit of your hand, and you go to grab the fine thread only to have it stick to the other finger. It's very annoying. 

So I find in my own web of life (and were not talking about Internet) that it's nearly impossible to have every thing running solo. You can't just walk away with the expectation that this thing, whatever it is, will keep itself up. And if you do walk away, somehow those wants or needs aren't far from your mind. They seem to tag along wherever you go, leaving this heaviness hanging over you until the time you do have finds it's way back in your schedule.

Take cleaning for instance. Can someone please invent a magic wand? It never ends! I vow every time after cleaning that I will keep it up and never let it get that bad again. Only the next day it's that bad again. And it's not something you can just block out of your mind. I take high pride in how clean my home is, and it still isn't clean. When people come over, do they really look at my husband if the toilet is dirty? Are they giving him the stink eye if the sink is full of dishes? Most likely not. And just for the record, for those of you who have had the pleasure/or not of my company in your home, I don't judge. Or care for that matter. You are my friends and I love you.

With all that said, I'm struggling to find this "balance thing" and still feel good about it. I love all my roles and while my faith and family are clearly number-one, I still battle with that perfect proportion of needs and wants. 

So while blogging and writing are so important to me and I love every second of it, I need to steady this area, along with other things. 

I've decided to step down just a little and focus on some other much needed areas in my life. Particularly my faith. I need to focus on my heart and keep it as fresh and active as much as God's willing to allow. For myself, I'm nothing without the assurance that my spiritual life stays progressive and functioning at a level in which I'm growing and purposeful.

I'm confidant as I'm determined, I will experience true fulfillment, true balance and real contentment that only lasts when it's given from the right source.

I hope you all are able to find the right balance in your lives and keep what's most important close to your hearts. 

I know I will.

With love,


Don't forget to check out my Giveaway!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Just for the Halibut GIVEAWAY!

Can you believe it! I'm finally doing a Giveaway! This is not my "year anniversary" nor is it my "100th post" but I felt with all the kind words and tons of support, you all deserved a chance to win something (insert wink here) real nice. 

I have enjoyed every minute of this blog-venture. Except the time of course when I read over half my posts and discovered my horrid grammar, my lack of word use, and well, my absence in personality. Which actually hasn't changed much, but I'm working on it.

I determined that writing should feel natural (duh) and I shouldn't feel lost for words, or lack of in my case. I should write as if I'm writing to my best friend. Although if I were writing to my best friend you would probably see words like, "friggidy frick frick" and "Fo shiz".  Or maybe "son-of-a-biscuit-eater". Ya I know; I'll try to leave those out in the future.

Anyhow, all I'm trying to say is I'm proud of my site and the much needed blossoming I've done thus far. I'm also tickled- to- no- get- out (oops, that one snuck in there) to have met so many great bloggers. Some have inspired me far beyond food but just as equal I have come to admire and respect all the amazing talented home and professional chefs. It's a wonderful thing.

You are wonderful people.

So without further due.........

I present to you...........

A recipe first.

~Halibut Chowder~

I'll leave out the step by step process since I know how anxious you all are to see your potential prize. And I'm certain that most of you can read a recipe and follow the directions. However, I must show you the trick in which makes this soup so velvety and merit the "Chowder" title.

Two words

Immersion blender

Halibut Chowder


1 pound fresh wild Halibut, cut in 1 inch cubes
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery (I include the leaves)
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 inch cubes
4 Tb olive oil
6 cups low sodium organic chicken broth
8 oz stewed tomatoes chopped
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk (organic)
2 oz of 1/3 less fat cream cheese (organic)
1/4 cup half and half (organic)
1 cup frozen corn
handful fresh parsley
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper


Sharp cheddar cheese
Saltine crackers


In large dutch oven (or large stock pot) heat 4 Tb olive oil. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 10 minutes just until veggies start to soften. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer about 10 minutes. When veggies are tender take immersion blender and blend just until mixture slightly thickens. You still want texture in this chowder so don't overdo it. Add Halibut and simmer another 10 minutes until fish is firm but no longer pink in center. Add corn, cream cheese, half and half, and cayenne pepper. Keep heat very low until cream cheese is fully incorporated and corn is heated through. Don't bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to your liking, add any of your favorite chowder toppings and dig in.

Two words

Make this

I actually had a lot of fun making this chowder. Partly because I always have fun whenever I make anything, but also because using a hand blender was the coolest, easiest way to get a little smoothness to your soup/chowder recipe. So when I bought mine........

I decided to buy two.

This ones for you.

And that's not all.........

This stainless steel blender doesn't come solo. It has a mini food processor attachment/A whisk attachment/And Mix measuring cup.

Also for fun, I threw in these kitchen towels by "Storehouse". They are very industrial and will last forever. You wont be disappointed. 

To enter:

*You must follow this blog.
*Leave me a comment after this post telling me what your favorite chowder recipe is.
*For an extra entry post this giveaway to your facebook page, and show that you've done so.
*U.S. and Canada addresses only please.

Also: Make sure you leave me a way to contact you.

Giveaway ends Sunday the 27th at 12:00 a.m.

Blessings to all, and good luck!