Weekend Adventures

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Today’s Topics

Being the Newbie

Halloween Music

Halloween Movies

Being the Newbie

(tips for new people at a job, and hints for the oldies)

from the moment you walk in the door everyone can smell the fear and it feels like you fell into a gator infested swamp with raw chicken strapped to your back… fear not.. I have come to rescue you from the newbie blues

Ever feel like as a new person everyone is out to get you?  Don’t worry it happens to us all…and I wanted to share some thoughts on the challenges of being the new person and ways to overcome it.. and remind the “oldies” of what it was like to be new

Rule for newbies

1- Be yourself but friendlier –

2- Patience

3- Take pride in your work

4- Ask questions

5- Take notes

6- Take everything at face value (don’t like the oldies discourage you in your new job)

Rules for oldies

1-3 Patience

4 Remember you were new once

5 Give newbies reality of job, leave out personal opinion unless asked

6 Be nice to new people

Halloween Music

I simply adore Halloween, it’s the one time of the year we can get away with dressing up in whatever costume we want (save for Comic Con conventions..)  and scaring each other..

So with that in mind, I wanted to share some of my favorite Halloween music videos and suggestions for movies…

Marilyn Manson’s cover of “This is Halloween” for Nightmare before Christmas (nothing says Halloween like Marilyn Manson)

The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Oogie Boogie (one of my favorite villians)

and this little gem of a music video I’m a Goner which features Matt and Kim, Andrew WK and Soulja boy.. it’s a catchy little pop song but the video is pretty neat.

and then there’s the Halloween light shows.. which I had to watch featuring Michael Jackson’s Thriller see below (video is 6:02)

Halloween Movies

What’s Halloween without scary movies to watch?

Here are a few suggestions..

Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)- Saw it at a friend’s.. I was reluctant to see it but ended up really liking it.

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi665978649/

Trick R Treat- Saw the preview for it while watching 300 on DVD.. finally found it.. and fell in love with it.. it’s a combination for 4 stories woven together.

http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2906784281/

Gothika –

http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi866517273/

The Orphanage (2007) –

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi129106201/

Orphan –

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi780468761/

Alien – A classic

http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi284858393/

Others

The Shining – a Stephen King/Jack Nicholson classic. Slow to start, but I believe that’s when King is at his best.

The Stand – another Stephen King novel, this one was adopted into a mini series…not really Halloweenie per say but pretty decent.

Scream – I reluctantly watched it a while back and liked it.

Weekend Adventures (more veggies)

new weekend logo

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(One more week and I’ll be back with more comments from the Peanut Gallery!)

More vegetarian recipes to share..

Microwave Bread and Butter Pickles

(Taken from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/microwave-bread-and-butter-pickles/detail.aspx)

recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Linda
Photo By: amccoy
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 24
“Who knew the microwave was a pickles best friend? Cucumbers, onions and spices become crisp and delicious in minutes!”
INGREDIENTS:
1 large cucumber, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
DIRECTIONS:
1. In a medium microwave safe bowl, mix cucumber, salt, onion, mustard seeds, white sugar, distilled white vinegar, celery seed and turmeric.
2. Microwave on high 7 to 8 minutes, stirring twice, until cucumbers are tender and onion is translucent.
3. Transfer to sterile containers. Seal and chill in the refrigerator until serving

Fried Plantains with Sweet Cream Sauce

(Taken from http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/fried-plantains-sweet-cream-91740.aspx)

Fried Plantains with Sweet Cream Sauce recipe

what you need

2 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 lb.  very ripe plantains, sliced (about 2 plantains)
1/4 cup BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1/4 cup  thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp.  ground cinnamon

make it 

MELT 1 Tbsp. of the butter in medium skillet on medium heat. Cook half of the plantains 3 min. on each side or until golden brown on both sides. Remove from skillet; set aside and keep warm. Repeat with remaining 1 Tbsp. butter and plantains.

COMBINE sour cream, whipped topping, sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Serve plantains with sweet cream sauce.

Potato, Carrot & Cauliflower Mash

(taken from http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/potato-carrot-cauliflower-mash-121326.aspx)

Potato, Carrot & Cauliflower Mash recipe

what you need

1 red potato (about 1/2 lb.), peeled, cubed
1 cup  small cauliflower florets
1/2 cup baby carrots
1 cup  chicken broth
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 tsp.  garlic
1/4 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1/8 tsp.  kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

make it

BRING vegetables and broth to boil in covered medium saucepan; simmer on medium-low heat 15 min., stirring occasionally.

DRAIN vegetables, reserving 2 Tbsp. broth. Place vegetables in medium bowl. Add cream cheese, garlic and seasonings; beat with mixer until creamy, gradually adding reserved broth.

Journal Prompt 27: If you could change one thing, what would it be. This could be something about yourself, your situation, your city, your country, the world…anything!!

I would change my hair, i would make my dreads longer and highlighted on the ends.

I would change my attitude towards trying new things.

I would want to know how to swim so I can go diving and snorkeling.

 

Journal Prompt 28: What are you most looking forward to? This can be something tomorrow, in a month, a year, or way into the future .

My extended disney trip in october.. 🙂

Getting married in May.. it’s nerve wrecking.. and I wish I would just get on with it so it’s over. .. plus the honeymoon is a trip to disney 🙂

I look forward to having little ones and showing them the good of the world and watching their little eyes light up and having their first moments in the sand and in the water, teaching them to pet the kitties nicely.. things like that.

Weekend Adventures (going veg!)

new weekend logo

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In case you missed me posting about food.. this week and next week are vegetarian recipes. I’ll be back with more comments from the peanut gallery in October…

I decided to make a change to my diet and incorporate more veggies and fruit..and the best way I felt to do that was to try out some vegetarian recipes. And by which I mean no beef, pork, or poultry. Milk, eggs and fish are acceptable.

Easy Red Pepper Hummus

(Taken from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Red-Pepper-Hummus/Detail.aspx)

recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: kfordham281
Photo By: bobco85
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 10 Minutes
Servings: 8
“Red Pepper Hummus that has been a favorite of all my friends. Easy to make! Serve with chips, pita chips, veggies, or whatever.”
INGREDIENTS:
1 (16 ounce) can garbanzo beans,
drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2
inch pieces
1 tablespoon tahini
1 fresh lime, juiced
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
DIRECTIONS:
1. In a food processor or blender, mix the garbanzo beans, olive oil, red bell pepper, tahini, lime juice, water, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Blend until smooth.

Unsloppy Joes

(Taken from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe-Tools/Print/Recipe.aspx?RecipeID=13893&origin=detail&&Servings=8)

recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: KDCG
Photo By: Food Fan
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 8
“The filling – kidney beans and lots of celery, carrots, green pepper tomatoes, and onions flavored with chili pepper and vinegar. When this is hot and savory, spoon into hollowed out Kaiser rolls and dig in.”
INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
and rinsed
8 kaiser rolls
DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, green pepper, and garlic: saute until tender. Stir in tomatoes, chili powder, tomato paste, vinegar, and pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
2. Stir in kidney beans, and cook an additional 5 minutes.
3. Cut a 1/4 inch slice off the top of each kaiser roll; set aside. Hollow out the center of each roll, leaving about 1/2 inch thick shells; reserve the inside of rolls for other uses.
4. Spoon bean mixture evenly into rolls and replace tops. Serve immediately.

Potato & Cheese Croquettes

(taken from http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/potato-cheese-croquettes-120306.aspx)

what you need

2-1/2 lb. baking potatoes (about 4 large), peeled, cubed
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 eggs
2 Tbsp.  butter, softened
1/2 cup minced fresh chives
1/4 cup  chopped Italian parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp.  pepper
10 RITZ Crackers, finely crushed (about 1/3 cup)
1/3 cup  KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

make it

HEAT oven to 375ºF.

COOK potatoes in boiling water in large saucepan 20 min. or until tender; drain. Mash potatoes until smooth. Stir in all remaining ingredients except cracker crumbs and Parmesan.

SHAPE into 30 (2-inch) oval croquettes, using about 1/4 cup potato mixture for each. Roll in combined cracker crumbs and Parmesan, turning to evenly coat each croquette. Place on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray; spray tops and sides with cooking spray.

BAKE 30 to 35 min. or until golden brown.

Journal Prompt 25: I want you to think about your day today. If you had to describe to me in one word, or one short phrase what would it be?? Us this phrase or word repeatedly on your page, trying out new fonts :)

Wednesday are made for Disney 🙂

 

Journal Prompt 26: Today you are going to write out your favorite recipe!! This can be written, illustrated, cut and pasted, something. It is always really good to document these small little pieces of your life. Don’t you think?

(see above) I think the hummus is truly my favorite.. a day without hummus is like night 🙂

Weekend Adventures

new weekend logo

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I decided to change the logo to a more fun look.

I have to give props to the other half for an awesome birthday surprise..
He made it while I was at work… and it’s a wonderful surprise.. a white cake with icing and sprinkles 🙂

Oh and I had to share my wonderful breakfast.. it was an egg and cheese burrito and a donut leftover from Saturday’s disney trip. Nom!

And in speaking of the awesomeness that is food.. I have to share the wonderful chicken I made on Tuesday…

It started out as 6 chicken thighs in sweet baby ray’s chiptole bbq sauce with some water to help assist with the cooking…

After about twenty minutes I cut the meat up to make sure all of it was cooked throughly and let it cook for about twenty more minutes

I made some grilled bbq beans (for this I used Bush’s but I’m sure regular baked beans would work just as well as I added some of the sauce used on the chicken to the beans so that the flavors don’t clash.

Here was my share of it..

And here is what was left after I took my share. Since the other half is scared of chicken in any other form other than chicken strips, I shared with a co-worker.

I am all about the freebies.. and thanks to Yahoo.. there’s a small list of published freebies available.. and I’m starting where I normally start.. with food.

(Taken from http://shopping.yahoo.com/articles/yshoppingarticles/665/fabulous-freebies/)

Free Food

Your favorite snack shop or fast food restaurant may have an annual freebie day. Mark your calendar for free IHOP pancakes and Rita’s Italian ice in March; free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Pretzelmaker pretzels, Cinnabon treats andStarbucks coffee in April; free Haagen-Dazs ice cream in May; a free Krispy Kreme doughnut and TCBY frozen yogurt in June; and a free Chick-Fil-A meal in July — to name a few.

You can also sign up to score free food on your birthday from Famous Dave’s BBQ, Cold Stone Creamery, Denny’s and other eateries. Search the Web for “birthday freebies,” or call your local restaurants to ask whether they offer such a deal.

And for those of us who are food junkies… (if you’re reading this article you are =^.^=)

Free Diet & Fitness Help

Need help sticking to a diet and exercise plan? At Fatsecret.com, MyFitnessPal.com and SparkPeople.com, you can craft meal plans and count calories, put together a fitness plan and track your progress, and get support and advice from other users.

Some employers offer free diet and fitness help to their employees. After all, it’s in their best interest that you stay healthy and show up for work. These programs may include free gym access, weight-loss support groups and smoking cessation programs. Some will even pay you for your progress. Ask if your workplace has a wellness plan in place.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Okay now that I’m done giving advice and such.. I want to give my review on Disney’s Hollywood Studios. 🙂

1st and foremost I have got to say the Tower of Terror is a blast.. ❤

and since yours truly is on the bigger side.. (let’s say I’m horizontally gifted) my other half did some research and found that the trick is to pull the seat belt out and then sit down. And that makes a world of difference. I was a bit worried about the Tower of Terror since I get motion sick, but riding it for the first time was awesome. We rode it a second time while waiting for the fast passes for Rock n Roller-coaster.

As for the roller-coaster.. I can’t say much for it.. I kept my eyes closed for most of it.. if I wasn’t screaming my ears were taking a beating from the shoulder straps…but the other have had a great time and was hooting and hollering.

** I would like to add that my second attempt at riding rocking roller coaster was a blast, I kept my eyes open and  actually enjoyed it.. so thank you to those who suggested I try it again. **

(the other half said I was scared out of my mind.. just because i was holding onto the shoulder handles and had my eyes closed and mouth open does not mean i was scared… i might have screamed a few times.. but that’s it.. :p)

The Great Movie ride  was pretty neat.. our tour guide was Dillon who apparently liked his job very much as he was bopping around to the music and reminded me a lot of the guy from Not another Teen Movie (see below, right)

I think the end of the ride was the best because I got to see clips of some of the movies I had seen before and some of the ones I hadn’t. Sure it was cheesy and nearly predictable, but it was a movie ride at Disney.. and it was in a/c (which in August is a blessing).

Star Tours was interesting.. it was 3D and it was in a moving pod room thing… we sat in the front so naturally I received the up-close and personal experience.  Not sure if I was shaken more times than I was on Space Mountain, but it certainly lasted longer. We got up close and personal with Darth Vader, get hit, crashed landed and ended up safely back.  It was interesting, I would advise anyone with motion sickness not to go as it threatened to bother me.

The other half really liked it.. and found a set of legos he wanted.

The true highlight of the tip was finally determining that the other half is “Sully-sized” and in visiting Hollywood Studios lo and behold what did we see?

A mini-Sully.

who can resist that look?

there he was striking a pose on the dashboard of the car during lunch.

There’s no way you can even be mad around something like that.

That was truly the highlight of the trip.. oh and the hotel tour of the Polynesian Resort and missing out on the torrential rain this time.. (unlike last time where the Magic Kingdom’s train ride turned into an unexpected water ride).

Also I wanted to share the awesome morning sun pictures I took on the way there..

(I loved the way the clouds were shaped, I think this was due to Irene being in the Atlantic..)

The sun attempting to peek over the clouds

(there was an 18 wheeler in front of us, but this was pretty cool)

We returned to Disney on the 31st for me to try Rocking Rollercoaster again, which I now approve of.. and do the Tower of Terror.. *grins from ear to ear*

Here are some pictures from that trip

the famous hat in Hollywood Studios (formerly known as MGM)

Malificent from Sleeping Beauty in a store window at Hollywood Studios

the greatest invention *ever*… a bubble blowing machine.. this was outside of the Rocking roller coaster…one of the cast members was using it and I had to take a picture.. I sooooo want one of these, it would be great for work.

the parade that went by, I missed Sully by a few seconds, but he was dancing around and they were singing “I don’t wanna work, I just wanna play all day”..

(I know it’s sideways, I couldn’t get it to rotate right so you could see the entire costume.)

We rode the backlot ride where we got to walk by props from movies, watch a set in action and then see some costumes.. and darth vader’s costume was there.

Along with the White Queen from Chronicles of Narnia,

Alien from Alien and a few other villians.

oh and before I forget I got to see the awesomeness that is the organ in Pirates of the Caribbiean..Captain Davy Jones.. (see below)

We went to Epcot and discovered a few rides such as The Circle of Life and Living with the Land. The first of which featured Timon & Pumba from the Lion King, which was a great little video about the environment. Living with the Land talked about how technology helped us find new ways to get a better yield out of plants and be environmentally conscious.  It’s a boat tour that goes through the different environments, what people have done and then opens up into a greenhouse filled with various plants, then fish and then more plants.

the beginning sign as it opens up into the greenhouse

very bright plants.. i forgot the name of them..

(sunflowers grown in special pods)

bananas.. they were so cute and tiny

a sturgeon that is farmed raised..

cucumbers that grow in the air..

lettuce grown in little pods

each plant generally has a sign in front of it to tell you what it is and that as you can tell is not a habanero pepper.. i was a little too fast with the camera.

but after that tour they tell you about the behind the seeds tour which is available to go into the labs and see how things are done… the tour had been cancelled for that day, but I did ask a cast member and they told me it starts at 10:30-4:30 and is $18 per person and an intern does the tours and while on the tour you get to sample some of the food grown in the lab and help plant trees.

He stated there is a sign up sheet in the morning near the Living with the Land ride exit and it never gets packed.

For more info on it click here

The other half and I intend to go on this tour.. and I’ll be sure to take the camera.

While the other half was riding star Tours.. I got snuck in some Stitch pics..

stitch as the emperor and pete as darth vader

stich as yoda and goofy as chewy

yours truly mickey-fied midday on the 31st.

Oh and the beautiful clouds on the way home..

Oh and while we were looking up information on the water parks, the other half mentioned something about River Country, which I had never heard of. Apparently it was a water park that was built in 1976 and shut down in 2001.

I found an awesome site with plenty of pictures (because I like pictures) on what it looks like today for those that may or may not remember it.

(Taken from http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2344523)

Journal Prompt 21: What is your most favorite quote? A quote that inspires you, or your mantra. I literally have 4 journals from college filled with quotes that inspire me and make me smile. Today is the day to share your inspiring words with your friends

“Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry”

“Minds are like parachutes, they only function when open” Lord Thomas Robert Dewar

“Imagination is more important than knowledge” Albert Einstein

“Neo, sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did that there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path” Morpheus from the Matrix

“So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” Gandalf from Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring

“He’s good. I can tell.” ~ Lilo when commenting about Stitch in Lilo & Stitch

“Desserts!” Lilo form Lilo & Stitch

“Fish are friends, not food.” Bruce from Finding Nemo

“Here there Mr. Grumpy Gills.  When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.” Dory from Finding Nemo

” I can’t afford any more delays and you’re one of those fish that causes delays. Sometimes it’s a good thing. There’s a whole group of fish . They’re delay fish. ” Marlin from Finding Nemo

:”I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy. Come on, Squishy Come on, little Squishy.
[baby talk, the jellyfish stings her] Ow. Bad Squishy, bad Squishy. ” Dory from Finding Nemo

“Bubbles. Bubbles. My bubbles. ” Bubbles from Finding Nemo

 

Journal Prompt 22: Today I want to know what your favorite holiday is!! There are soooo many holidays out there and the cool thing is that they differ depending on where you live, your family, and your religion. Teach me all about your favorite holiday and why it’s your favorite 

Halloween is my favorite holiday.. as it’s the one time a year you can dress up (unless you’re a comic con fan) and scary people silly or do silly things like bobbing for apples and such.

It’s a shame it’s not longer than just one day and I love watching some of the movies that are shown on tv during that time as it’s a chance to remember halloween’s past and make this one better. 🙂

Weekend Adventures – birthday edition!

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First of all.. Happy pre-birthday to me!!!  Seriously..I’ll be a year older tomorrow.. and as much as I would like to spend the day doing nothing, I am determined to do something.. even if it’s just going to work.

My wish for my birthday was to go to Epcot eat at China or go to Animal Kingdom and eat in Africa.. the buffet there is awesome!! The meat is cut right in front of you and the multi grain bread is to curl up into a ball for..

In speaking of Disney and all stuff mouse related, I wanted to share my experience at the Magic Kingdom.. and for those that don’t know I did go on 8/20 for most of the day.

I haven’t been to Magic Kingdom in close to 10 years, so I wanted to see the changes they made to it.. and see how my perception of it has changed in a decade.

Here are some of the things I noticed:

1- The wait for Space Mountain is longer than the ride itself. I got the fast pass and did a fast walk/slight jog to the line and waited to get into the line to get onto the “shuttle” and then got in got settled and boom! We were off into space.. and let me tell you I was very glad I was wearing a new bra because I got jiggled and jostled like there was no tomorrow.. and I don’t consider myself “top heavy” but I feel bad for any one who is. I’m just lucky that when the camera took a picture my hands were not on my chest.  I don’t think the powers that be at Disney would have appreciated that.

2- The Haunted Mansion has changed drastically gone are the days where the ghost would appear in the “coffin” with you

now they have three hitch hiking ghosts at the end of the ride. The ballroom area with the dancing ghosts and the creepy harpsichord music is also gone (which I loved dearly) they replaced it with singing which I couldn’t understand what they were singing and I can only assume was from the movie that starred Eddie Murphy (of which I never saw and have no intentions of ever seeing).  I think it’s been changed for the worse, it’s no longer “scary” it’s gotten a bit cheesy.

3- One ride has changed for the better (thankfully) and that is Pirates. Blackbeard is now in the begining and Jack Sparrow pops up here and there throughout the ride. We had a french group sitting behind us and we couldn’t help but smile at them saying Captain Jack Sparrow when they spotted him. I remember riding it before the changes were made (thanks to the popularity of the movies) and it was cheesy and now it’s still slightly cheesy but you can have fun trying to spot the changes or finding Jack hiding.

4- There are some big changes coming in 2012, Fantasyland will be expanded to include a Little Mermaid area, dueling Dumbo rides, a new restuarant and a circus..

I have to say I’m a big excited to see how things turn out once completed. For more details.. check out http://magicalmouseworld.com/2011/07/14/fantasyland-expansion-update/ to view pictures of the construction in progress, check out http://www.wdwmagic.com/Attractions/Fantasyland/Gallery.htm

5- The train ride that goes around Magic Kingdom turned into a water ride thanks to the sudden down pour… we were stopped for a few minutes and watched the sheets of rain and when we got moving again a gust of wind caused the rain to come in sideways and soaked everyone sitting on the left side of the train, it didn’t help that the water was coming in on both sides of us either.  And I thought it was bad being hot and sweaty..

All in all I had a great time and look forward to my next adventure.. Hollywood Studios. 🙂

You know I can’t post a blog without including some food.. so in celebration of my pre-birthday.. let’s go have some.. this actually looks good, minus the green chili peppers.

(Taken from http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/recipes/tostada-pizza-538788/)

Better Homes and Gardens

Turn an old Italian favorite distinctly Mexicanusing this recipe. Beef, beans, and cheese take over instead of regular tomato sauce and pepperoni toppings while chili powder andpeppers add some spice. Using refrigerated pizza dough makes preparation quick and easy so you can get dinner on the table fast.

nutrition facts * Calories423 * Total Fat (g)17 * Saturated Fat (g)7, * Monounsaturated Fat (g)7, * Polyunsaturated Fat (g)1, * Cholesterol (mg)67, * Sodium (mg)939, * Carbohydrate (g)41, * Total Sugar (g)2, * Fiber (g)6, * Protein (g)28, * Vitamin A (DV%)0, * Vitamin C (DV%)23, * Calcium (DV%)20, * Iron (DV%)23, * Starch (d.e.)2.5, * Vegetables (d.e.).5, * Medium-fat Meat (d.e.)3, * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chile peppers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 13.8-ounce package refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (4)
  • Bottled taco sauce (optional)

directions

  1. In a large skillet cook ground beef until brown. Drain off fat. Stir in the water, chile peppers, taco seasoning mix, and chili powder. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with the cornmeal. Unroll pizza dough onto the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl mash pinto beans with a fork. Spread beans over partially baked dough to within 1/2 inch of edges. Spoon meat mixture over beans. Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes more or until crust is just golden. Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake 1 to 2 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Top with lettuce, tomato, and green onions. Cut into 12 pieces. If desired, serve with taco sauce.
  4. Makes 6 servings
  5. Taco Pizza: Prepare as above, except add crushed tortilla chips or corn chips to the toppings. In desired, serve with dairy sour cream. Per 2 pieces: 470 cal., 20 g total fat (8 g sat. fat), 67 mg chol., 989 mg sodium, 47 g carbo., 6 g fiber, 29 g pro. Daily Values: 24% vit. A, 23% vit. C, 22% calcium, 24% iron Exchanges: 3 Starch, 3 Medium-Fat Meat, 1/2 Vegetable

Journal Prompt 19: Today I want you to create a “guide to your city.” What are the must-see things that you would want a visitor to experience in your city. This can guide can be for your city, town, or state. I am really excited to see these and to maybe even use them in my future when traveling!! Have fun with this!!!

Oh geez.. which city? I’m located near Tampa, Clearwater & Saint Petersburg. hehe.

Daytime-

Clearwater Beach – it’s metered parking if you get there early, otherwise you will be paying quite a bit more to park and be at the beach. There’s a pier area and there are locals selling crafts and such. The beach is beautiful.. white sand, blue water. Picture perfect.

Downtown St. Pete –  .25 Trolley ride, need I say more? Lots of museums and shops.. make sure to bring ones for the parking meter and for the trolley. If the downtown area is boring, I would recommend going to the Sunken Gardens.

Orlando – A short 2 hour drive to see the mouse and friends. If you don’t want to go to the parks, go to Downtown Disney for most of the day. There’s several good restaurants across the street from the Downtown Disney area. Sweet Tomatoes, Friday’s, Fuddruckers, etc.

Early Evening –

Dolphin Cruise at St. John’s Pass in Madiera Beach, it’s $17 per person, but unlimited beer and wine.. very awesome to go on when there is a full moon. Went with friends in March and happened to catch the orange moon.

Disney for the fireworks and such

Nighttime-

Since I’m not a clubber (too old and settled for that) I would recommend going to the Improv in Tampa, pay the extra money for the refillable drinks so you can get the souvenir glass.

There’s also a lot of seasonal things that go on, so make a friend with someone who lives in the area and they can let you know when is the best time to go where.

Journal Prompt 20: Here is the age old question, what is in your bag?? This has always been a great photo prompt that i have seen all over the blog world. Today, you are going to write about the contents of YOUR bag, or illustrate it, or take a picture of it, whatever :D

What’s in my bag?

Well if I’m going to work I have pens, headache meds, nail clipper, nail filer, wallet, cell phone, small notepad, inhaler, blood sugar tester thingie..(it has a name and I can’t think of it at the moment), hair bands, peppermints, gum (on occasion), tissues of the paper towel variety, hand sanitizer, chapstick x3,.. and I think that’s it.

If I’m going out somewhere.. I have my camera with extra batteries

If I’m going to the beach it’s beach towels and half as much stuff in my purse and a change of clothes, sunscreen and such

Weekend Adventures (food addicts edition)

=^.^=

Good morning ! I apparently can’t count and this was posted this morning and not tomorrow morning.. -.-‘

 

I wanted to share an inspiring story with everyone to start the day off..

Food –

As many of you know by now.. I love sharing recipes and trying new things.. and today is no different.. we’re discovering the joys of eggplant, rhubarb, coleslaw, sweet potatoes, and what to do with left over refried beans  =^.^=

I asked a friend about eggplant and rhubarb and this is what I got from her.

http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/dads_ratatouille/

Dad's Ratatouille

Dad’s Ratatouille Recipe

Preparation time: 1 hour and a half, minimum.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb of yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 lb zucchini, chopped
  • 1 lb yellow squash, chopped
  • Bell peppers, seeds removed, chopped into 1/2 inch square pieces:
  • –1 lb green bell peppers
  • –1/2 lb red bell peppers
  • –1/2 lb yellow bell peppers
  • 1 lb eggplant, 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 lb fresh ripe tomatoes (or equal amount of high quality canned tomatoes, chopped)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-inch sprig rosemary
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock (or thin tomato juice)
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

METHOD

1 Preheat oven to 400° F.

2 Using a large oven-proof pan over medium high heat, sauté onions in olive oil until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and reduce heat to low.

3 While the onions and garlic are cooking over low heat, put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a another frying pan over high heat. As soon as oil starts to smoke, quickly add enough zucchini cubes all at once to cover the bottom of the pan. Keep on cooking over high heat, stirring, until zucchini is lightly browned on all sides. Remove zucchini cubes, and add them to pan with the onions.

4 Working in batches, repeat this process until all of the zucchini cubes have been cooked. Do the same with the yellow squash. Make sure to add a little olive oil between each new batch. Continue with the bell peppers, then the eggplant cubes, adding the browned vegetables to the onion pan as soon as they are cooked.

5 When all the vegetables (except the tomatoes) are browned and in the pan with the onions, increase the heat to high and stir, making sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add salt to taste, thyme, bay leaf, and rosemary, the vegetable stock, and stir well. Place in oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Alternatively you can cook them on the stovetop on low heat for 30 minutes.

6 If using fresh tomatoes, boil water in a saucepan on stove. Remove stems from tomatoes, and crisscross the bottoms with a knife. Plunge into boiling water for a minute or two, until skin starts to fall away. Rinse in cold water and remove skin. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise, remove seeds, chop coarsely, set aside.

7 After the vegetables have been in the oven for a half hour, remove from oven, drain vegetables in a colander set over a bowl. Clean browned bits (if any) off bottom of pan with a paper towel. Return any liquid to the pan and reduce to a thick glaze over medium high heat. Keep on adding juices to the pan as they run out of the vegetables into the bowl.

8 When all the juices have been reduced, return vegetables to the heavy pan. At this point the ratatouille should be moist and shiny, with very little liquid. Turn heat off. Add the chopped tomatoes and cover. If serving as a warm side dish, let the ratatouille stand for 10 minutes, just enough to “cook” the tomatoes. The ratatouille can be served at room temperature or refrigerated and reheated the next day.

9 When ready to serve, remove the bay leaf, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 6-8.

(Note: my friend said it was a lot of work, but a lot of food, very good and can be eating warm or cold)

Next..

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-challenge/grandmas-strawberry-rhubarb-pie-recipe/index.html

Grandma’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Picture of Grandma's Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour as needed, up to 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup cake flour (recommended: Soft As Silk)
  • 3 teaspoons sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening (recommended: Crisco)
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • Pinch  salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ice cold water

Filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb , fresh
  • 2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and cut strawberries  (in larger pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (1 1/4 cups for high altitude)
  • 2 tablespoons minute tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cubed small
  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • Large granule sugar

Crust Preparation:

Directions

Using 2 pastry  blenders, blend  the flours, sugar, shortening , butter and salt. Whisk  the egg, vinegar and water in a 2-cup measure and pour over the dry ingredients incorporating all the liquid without overworking the dough . Toss the additional flour over the ball of dough and chill if possible. Divide the dough into 2 disks. Roll out 1 piece of dough to make a bottom crust. Place into a pie dish. Put dish in refrigerator to chill.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Filling Preparation:

Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca , flour, zest and juice of lemon, dash of cinnamon , and vanilla. Mix well in a large bowl and pour out into chilled crust. Dot the top of the filling with the butter. Brush edges of pie crust  with egg white wash. Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling. Crimp to seal edges. Brush with egg white wash and garnish  with large granule sugar. Collar with foil and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling. Higher altitude will take 450 degrees F and 400 degrees F respectively. Also, you can use a pie bird for extra decor. Let cool before serving.

(another one my friend said was really good)

I’ve never had rhubarb outside of a pie, so if anyone knows how to make it otherwise, let me know.

I am smitten like a kitten in a mitten with KFC’s coleslaw so when I saw this.. I had to share. =^.^=

Homemade “KFC” Coleslaw

(Taken from http://theheritagecook.com/?p=9093&cpage=1#comment-1511)

Modified recipe from Connor’s Cooking

Yield: about 8 to 10 servings

INGREDIENTS

Slaw

3 medium carrots, trimmed

1 head of green cabbage, cored and cut into chunks

1/2 small head of red cabbage, cored, optional

2 tbsp minced onion

Dressing

1/2 cup light mayonnaise (preferably Best Foods or Hellman’s brand)

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup low fat buttermilk

2-1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1-1/2 tbsp white vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

METHOD

Place the carrots in the food processor and pulse several times to get them to a medium chop. Add the onions and pulse a couple more times. Then add the cabbage to the carrots and onions. Pulse until everything is the same size and texture. Alternately, you can use a sharp knife and chop all of this by hand. Transfer to a large bowl.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl, whisking well to thoroughly blend. Pour dressing over the slaw and toss to coat well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight before serving to allow the cabbage to soak up the marinade. Use a slotted spoon when serving, leaving the excess dressing in the bowl.

Refried Bean Roll Ups

(Taken from http://momscrazycooking.blogspot.com/2011/08/bean-roll-up-secret-recipe-club.html)
Found over at Conner’s Cooking, which she found originally at Betty Crocker

1 can (16 ounces) refried beans (when used a bean & cheese dip that was left-over)
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 package flour tortillas for burritos
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (we eliminated the cheese, because there was already melted cheese in our left-over beans)
avocado & tomato (diced for those who wanted to add them in)

Mix beans, salsa and chili powder in 1 quart saucepan. Heat over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until warm. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the bean mixture onto center of each tortilla; spread slightly. Top with lettuce and cheese. Fold over sides and ends of tortillas. Serve with additional salsa if desired.

=^.^=

Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

(Taken from http://glutenfreewithjudee.blogspot.com/2011/08/cajun-sweet-potato-fries.html)

Ingredients:
3 large yams, peeled and cut up in strips
2 TBSP Cajun seasoning mix or
(make your own like I did) Use paprika, garlic powder, thyme, a little cayenne, oregano, and black pepper for the seasoning mix
2 tsp cumin
olive oil ( I added this, it is not in the original recipe.)

Directions
Preheat oven to 425. Put cut up sweet potatoes in a large zip lock bag . Add 2 TBSP olive oil , shake in Cajun seasoning and cumin and shake the bag until sweet potatoes are lightly coated. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for about 35-40 minutes ( depends on the size of your fries). Drizzle a little extra olive if you like before putting in the oven.
Take out and serve.


Journal Prompt 17: Today you are going to illustrate a day. It can be today, it can be yesterday, it can be a significant event that you have had in your life :) Use pictures, labels, words, doodle, sketches, anything you want, to describe your day! This is a cute one. Enjoy!

I’ve had a lot of significant days so far.. like when i was “picked” by my cat Buggy.. (whose name at the time was Yankee)

When my other half and I looked at Miss Bit-Bit (then Jesse) for the first time, she was sooo tiny and scared!

Or when we first visited the Tampa Bay area..or the first magical Ikea trip..

I truly think the most significant day in my life was when I met the other half.. and all the days and nights we spend together just hanging out and talking. When he moved in, I have to admit I did the “girly” thing and tested out my name with his last name and told myself it didn’t sound too bad.

And we’ve been together since.  😀

I know the next big day for me will be the actual wedding day…of which I’m excited about as I never thought I would get married.. or when/if i decide to have a kid or kids.. that’s going to be a big deal because all their “firsts” are going to be significant.

Journal Prompt 18: Music is one of my most favorite things ever!! It translates emotions that I can’t even imagine putting into words. I love it. Today I want you to create a playlist of some kind. It can be your summer playlist, your July playlist, songs from your wedding day, or favorite songs of all time :) This one will be another fun one to look at down the road :)

Uh oh.. music lists.. this is going to be a long one..I love most types of music.. even rap.. so it’s hard to put a list together of just one type of thing for me. I would call this my August 2011 playlist.

Everybody’s Free (class of 1999) – Baz Lurhman from the Romeo & Juliet Soundtrack

When Dove’s Cry – Quidon Tarver from the Romeo & Juliet Soundtrack

Please Don’t Leave me Behind – We are the Fallen

F***in’ Pefect – Pink

Red House – Jimi Hendrix

All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix

The Diary of Jane – Breaking Benjamin

Sing for the Moment & Lose yourself – Eminem

Broken Pieces – Apocalyptica feat Lacey

Have a recipe you want to share? Send me an email! yasorusproductions@yahoo.com. Topics you want to see discusses/mentioned? Email me! I love hearing from readers.  =^.^=

Weekend Adventures (cheesecake, bubbletea & more!)

=^.^=

Good Morning.. I know it’s Saturday.. I wanted to change things up a bit and do the weekend adventures on a Saturday.. 🙂

I really enjoy having such creative people surrounding me… today’s topic is (as usual) food.. but the difference today is that I wanted to share a delicious mini cheesecake recipe linked to one of my favorite food related blogs and wanted to share a bubble tea recipe from a wonderful photographer friend Melissa. First the evil goodness that is …

(Taken from http://mykitchenapron.blogspot.com/2011/07/paula-deens-peanut-butter-cheesecake.html)

Paula Deen’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake Minis
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 TBSP sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 12 bite-size peanut butter cups
  • 2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place a paper cupcake liner in each cup of a standard muffin pan.
  2. In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until crumbs are moistened.
  3. Press crust into bottom of each muffin cup.
  4. Put 1 peanut butter cup into the center of each crust.
  5. Beat cream cheese with handheld electric mixer until fluffy.
  6. Add sugar, flour, and almond extract, beating well.
  7. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  8. Spoon cream cheese mixture over peanut butter cups and graham cracker crusts.
  9. Bake until just set, about 20 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool completely before serving.

*drools* I cannot wait to make these for the holidays.. I am seriously wanting to change it and put a strawberry in the middle or something, what do ya’ll think?

Anyways.. now that my arteries are clogging.. let’s have something a bit less fattening..bubble tea..

(http://whatscookingamerica.net/BubbleTea.htm)

Classic Bubble Tea Recipe - How To Make Bubble Tea

Recipe
Yields: 1 (16-ounce) drink

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 30 min
(Tapioca Pearls Cooking Ingredients:

1/2 cup chilled, cooked large tapioca pearls (if substituting smaller tapioca, use 1/3 cup)*
1 cup crushed ice
1 cup very strong chilled black tea (or orange pekoe tea or Lichee tea)
1 cup milk, or to taste
Honey or sugar to taste

* See How To Cook Tapioca Pearls below.

Preparation:

Place the pearls in a large parfait glass. Combine all remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker, 
and shake vigorously until the mixture is frothy.

Pour into the glass, and serve with extra-thick straws.

Yields one (16-ounce) drink.

How To Cook Tapioca Pearls:

6 to 8 cups water (the ration is a minimum 7:1 water to tapioca pearls)
1 cup tapioca pearls

In a large pot (Make sure the pot is big enough so boiling tapioca water will not spill over) over high heat, 
add water and bring to a boil.

Slowly stir in the tapioca pearls so that they do not stick together (after 1 minute, the tapioca pearls should float). 
Reduce heat to medium and let boil, covered, for approximately 15 minutes; turn the heat off and let the tapioca pearls
 site, covered, for an additional 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat, rinse the tapioca pearls in cold 
water, and drain.

NOTE: The cooking time above is a general guideline. If you shorten the cooking time, you will get chewier tapioca ball
s. Cook longer and you will get less elastic tapioca balls.

Add the cooked tapioca pearl to your favorite Bubble Tea recipe.
Turn the heat off and let Bubble Tea Supply tapioca sit in the water for 15 minutes.
Rinse the cooked tapioca pearls in warm water and drain out the water.
Cover with bubble tea sugar syrup or brown sugar and serve.
Note: This is for those that want to make Bubble Tea at home and don't want to wait an hour. What I do is boil the 
tapioca pearls for 15 minutes and let it sit for 15 minutes. I rinse the tapioca pearls and then place in a gallon zip 
loc bag flat. Store in the freezer flat. When I get the urge, I boil a cup of water and put a piece of the frozen 
tapioca pearls in for about 2-3 minutes. Rinse, cover in sugar syrup and serve. It usually lasts a few days before it 
gets too mushy. Enjoy!
--

Also before I completely forgot.. and I’m liable to..

I saw this adorable link for bento boxes (while we’re on asian things..)

http://bentozen.wordpress.com/

(I don’t know where she finds the time to make this, but it is so cute and creative )

And on a more personal note.. I’ve broken my relationship with chocolate.. at least for the time being.. I love it, but I really need to switch to frozen yogurt and fruit or something..

Also, I’m testing out life without being addicted to plastic.. by that I mean my debit card.. it’s weird to pay in cash wherever I go, but it lessens the chance of someone trying to steal my identity and also helps me keep better track of the money I do have and keeps me out of trouble.

So I will be updating on the next few blogs how things are going with that.. but I wanted to just have it out there and put the pressure on myself to really focus on using cash and not the plastic.

=^.^=

--

Journal Prompt 15: Today I would like you to brainstorm some goals for the upcoming month. A short list of goals that will be attainable to accomplish in one month.

Goal 1 -Start walking … I’ve been extremely lazy and my poor body has had to suffer for it.. I want to walk at least 4 days a week.

Goal 2 – Clean up my office, it’s been a mess pretty much since I moved it.. I want to get it organized and get thing looking neat

Goal 3 – Get the garage organized, it’s partially there.. but needs more work

Goal 4 – Get a place for my bamboo plants that’s out of the cats reach but still in a memorable spot

Goal 5 – get 5 projects together for the holidays (yes, I know it’s early, but I’m pretty bad about getting holiday things done)

Journal Prompt 16: Short, sweet, and straight to the point :) What are you wearing today? Write it, doodle it, cut it out of a magazine, whatever!