Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chili Mac-n-Cheese (quick and easy)

Stir a 4 oz. can of chopped green chilies (drained) and a 15 oz. can of chili into prepared mac-n-cheese.

Roast Beef Wraps

Spread bottled horseradish mayonnaise on flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, thinly sliced tomato, swiss cheese and deli roast beef. Roll up.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts (easy)

Toss sprouts with oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet/pan. Roast for 15 minutes at 500 degrees until tender. Serve with lemon wedges.

Mexican Mac-n-Cheese (quick and easy)

Stir a 4 oz. can of chopped green chilies and 1/4 cup each of salsa and chopped fresh cilantro into prepared mac-n-cheese.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Project in a hurry...

I have a project to do in a hurry. I forgot that my niece's baby shower is this coming Saturday. I plan on making her a baby afghan as part of our gift to her. I am looking for something out of the ordinary, so I decided to try this pattern . This is a free pattern on the net. What I like about it is that it's not a square or rectangle...but a circle or round one. I'm not going to make it striped though. I bought several skeins of baby yarn in the colors that she wanted, and it's a multi-color yarn. So, this is what I will be doing the rest of the week whenever I have some extra time. I have to get it finished or else.

What were they thinking....

I attended my youngest son's ball game (baseball) on Thursday evening here in town. He played during the JV (Junior Varsity) game. And I was shocked at where he was placed....1st base. He's a 3rd baseman. Anyway, the JV game was more interesting that the Varsity game. We watched both. The Varsity lost 7 to 0 and the JV lost 6 to 4. But the highlight was my son getting a great hit and 3 RBI's out of it. Woo Hoo!!! He's a heavy hitter. And the clean-up batter. Here he is in the photo slamming the ball for the big hit. He's #55. He's a big boy, can't run worth a lick, but quite the hitter.

Latest Crochet Projects

I haven't posted anything about my latest crochet projects in awhile. Probably because I haven't done a lot of it. I haven't found any projects that have inspired me. Plus, I didn't want to buy more yarn. I want to use up some of my yarn stash. That meant that I got out my pattern for the Ugly Duckling blankets since I make them child-sized, I only need 3 skeins of each color yarn. I have that much in several colors. The first photo shows the purple multi blanket that I made. It uses one skein of purple and one skein of purple multi held together. The second photo is made of one skein of black and one skein of royal blue held together. Both blankets have a border, but instead of making it a contrasting border, I continued on using the same yarn that I used for the body of the blanket. I prefer the contrasting border, but it's too late to change my mind on them now.

Getting Organized and De-cluttering My House

I've been needing to do something for a very long time. Do you know what it is? It's getting my house organized and de-cluttered. I have to admit that it's not something on my priority list. However, I did some soul-searching and realized that I am an inner pack-rat. My whole family has a tendency towards this. So I developed a plan. Here it is:

1. Start simple. You see, I have so much to do, that I never knew where to start.
2. Ask for help. I have a husband and three kids. They can help me out. It doesn't have to be a one-woman job.
3. Keep the momentum. Once started, don't let it peter-out. Stay with the job until it's finished.

This sounds simple enough, doesn't it? I still didn't know how to get the ball rolling though. But things were taken out of my hands this week with the delivery of a new mattress and box springs for our bedroom. It's a small room and we have a king sized bed, so I had no choice but to do some serious cleaning and re-arranging with the removal of the old bed before bringing in the new. That was the beginning of my organizing and de-cluttering. Here's what happened:

Our bedroom - When the old mattress and box springs were removed from the room, I had to clean under the bed. That led to cleaning out the night stands and pulling down the curtains for washing. Since that left me with room to move around (minus the big bed), I re-arranged the bedroom furniture and in the process, cleaned behind it, plus organized Kenny's "dresser" and mine, cleaned off the little TV, dusted the walls and such, and even cleaned out our closet. I took out all of the clothes we aren't currently wearing and put them downstairs on the extra rack we have until we can go through them later on in the next week or two. I vacuumed the floors, cleaned out the extra boxes of books (boxes of romance novels) that I have accumulated over the winter and either stored them in the garage or gave them away. What was taken out to the garage will either be donated, given away or thrown away. I now have a nice, clean and clutter free bedroom to enjoy.

The guys went fishing on Saturday, which left my daughter and I at home for the day. Since it was just us two, I took her out for breakfast (coffee for me) and asked her if she would help me work on the living room that day. I told her that I wanted to go through everything in it, clean it out, and throw away or give away anything that we weren't using, hadn't used, or just plain didn't want anymore. So here's what we did:

Living Room/Family Room (upstairs) - The first thing we did was remove everything from the room that didn't belong there. That meant backpacks, shoes, etc.. It seems that the living room is the dumping point for the family when they come in the front door. My youngest son is the worst offender. I ended up getting a big basket out and putting all of the smaller items belonging to him in it and then carried it down to his room. He had a ton of stuff we had to haul down. Then we cleaned out from under all the furniture and dusted everything down. We cleaned up the fireplace area and the bookshelves on each side. I threw away a lot of magazines (and I dearly love them). In the end, I had four big black garbage bags that we took out of there. We left most of the furniture where it was since it's hard to change the lay-out with the big sectional sofa. I did the dreaded job of cleaning off my computer desk. It's always a mess since everyone uses it to put the items "they don't know what to do with" on it. It was a long, hard process, but I got it done. After running the vacuum, placing the dog kennels in another spot by the fireplace, and putting out new air fresheners, the living room looks lovely. The only area not cleaned by us was my husbands computer desk and his book shelf area. I'm not allowed there. It's his domain. So I asked him if he would take care of it some time soon. I will just keep asking every now and then until he does it. It feels so good to have a nice, clean, clutter-free area to sit down and relax in. As a side note- I ended up taking several bags of goodies to my sisters'. One was gifted with a bag of new candles, I returned a set of books to my nephew, etc.. I didn't realize how much stuff I had that either didn't belong to me, or I didn't use.

I've been pretty sickly today, but I hope to start on the dining room tomorrow. It's my next organizing and de-cluttering zone.

Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce

Mix 4 chopped ripe tomatoes, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, 2 Tbsp. each olive oil and fresh lemon juice, 2 tsp. minced garlic, and salt & pepper to taste.
Toss with cooked pasta and mozzarella balls or chunks.

Mexican Scrambled Eggs (quick and easy)

Add 11-oz. can of Mexican-style corn, sliced scallions or green onions, and shredded Cheddar cheese to beaten eggs.
Scramble as usual.
Serve with salsa.

Breaded Pork Chops

Coat boneless pork chops with seasoned bread crumbs.
Spray with garlic-flavored cooking spray.
Bake, without turning, until cooked through.

Shrimp Scampi (Quick and Easy)

Saute minced garlic in a little oil and butter.
Add peeled and deveined shrimp and chopped scallions or green onions.
Cook until opaque.
Stir in lemon juice and chopped parsley.
Toss with cooked pasta.