Chili Lime Chicken Tacos

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This recipe came from the Knorr website.  We use their rice and pasta sides frequently.  This recipe sounded different but good, so I figured we would give it a go.  We had them a week or so ago, and we really liked them. I did add some sharp Cheddar cheese that we had on hand. Next time I want to use their white cheddar queso rice instead. I have a feeling that would be really yummy too.

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Sorry I didn’t edit the picture at all.

Chili Lime Chicken Tacos
Ingredients:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (I used my Pampered Chef garlic press)
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 limes)
1 medium poblano pepper, chopped (about 2/3 cup)
1 small red onion, chopped (about one cup)
1 package Knorr Rice Sides Rice Pilaf
8 corn tortillas or taco shells (I used flour tortillas.)

Directions:
Season chicken if desired with salt and pepper (I did not). Combine one Tablespoon olive oil with the chili powder in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook chicken, stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked (about six minutes). Add garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add lime juice, toss. Remove and set aside.

Heat remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in same skillet over medium-high heat and cook poblano pepper and onion, stirring occasionally,until softened, about 4 minutes. Add 2 cups of water to the skillet and the Knorr Rice Sides Rice Pilaf and cook according to package instructions.

When the rice is done, stir in the chicken.

Serve in tortillas or taco shells. Garnish with salsa verde, sour cream and lime wedges if desired. (I forgot the garnishments!)

ENJOY!

Pinecones Christmas Card

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Each year I make between 60 and 80 Christmas cards to send out.  I love making them and sending them. I usually make 5-7 sets of 12 cards.  I try to make one set each month starting in May or June.  Well, I am on my way! Some months it just doesn’t happen, and then I scramble near the end. They always get done though! 🙂

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This is a fairly simple card, but I think it works.  The stamps are huge, but they are sure fun to use!  This set was gifted to me from a friend that went to a Stampin’ Up! party, but never got into scrapbooking or making cards.  Yay me!

I used the Stamp-a-ma-jig to line up the pine cone with the branch.  It took me a bit to figure out how to position the branch so there was enough room for the pine cone as well.  I ran the card stock through the Big Shot with the Top Note die prior to stamping.  Those bigger stamps sometimes don’t give me the best images.  I am thankful we can usually flip the piece over and use the other side! 🙂

Stampin’ Up! Product:
Stamp Sets: Pinecones, Petite Pairs
Card Stock: Handsome Hunter
Ink: Close to Cocoa and Handsome Hunter
Other: Stamp-a-ma-jig, Top Note die, corner rounder punch

Non Stampin’ Up!
Papertrey Ink Vintage Cream card stock

Thank you for stopping by!

Fruit Cookie Cups

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I was asked to bring a dessert or appetizer to our family Christmas get together.  I thought about taking meatballs in bbq sauce.  Then I thought, well, that might be putzy to take along even though my crock pot has the lid that clasps on.  So, I went with these cute lil cookie cups.  Think fruit pizza in little individual size portions!  They are a bit putzy to make, but they are yummy!

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Aren’t they cute?  I used red and green fruit because I made them for Christmas – kiwi, strawberries and raspberries.  My nephews approved, so they HAVE to be good!

I prefer to use liners in my mini muffin pan for everything I make. They are so handy, and for $1.99 I get 75 of them at Michaels in the candy making area.

This recipe comes from the following: http://www.atthepinkofperfection.com/2012/11/sawpinnedconquered-fruit-cookie-cups.html

I used two rolls of cookie dough, and I doubled the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.  I made 48 cookie cups, but I only had enough filling for 47.  I may have been a little too generous in some of them.  🙂  Ok, I do not have a frosting bag or whatever those are called, so I spooned the filling into a zip top sandwich bag (a quart size probably would have been much easier, so please try that instead!), and trimmed off a bottom corner just a bit so the filling could be squeezed out.

I could see these being a big hit at upcoming summer picnics or family get togethers!

Fruit Cookie Cups
Ingredients:
1 package Pillsbury Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Assorted fruit chopped to equal size pieces

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease (or use liners) a 24 count mini muffin pan.
Slice the sugar cookie dough into 24 equal parts, roll into a ball, and place in each muffin cup. (I used my small scoop from Pampered Chef to do this.) Using your thumb mold the sugar cookie dough into the shape of the muffin tin, ensuring they stay equal thickness. (I used my scoop and just dropped the dough in each cup. The middle sunk on its own when they were done baking.) Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on them as every oven is different. Mine were done in about 8 minutes. Remove from oven when golden brown. They will be puffy, but they will settle down as they cool. Once cool, transfer to a serving platter, tray, etc. Mix the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract together. Pipe into the cooled cookies. Top with fruit. Enjoy!

A Set of Cards Using Painted Blooms

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I looked back and realized I don’t think I have shared these before.  If I did, please forgive me! 🙂

I wanted to make a set of cards to have on hand.  I used them all pretty much right away. I love to send happy mail. I like to make people smile, and I think it is much more fun to get a card in the mail that you were not expecting rather than junk mail and bills.

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I regret not getting the Blackberry Bliss card stock and ink that coordinate with this paper, but I do think these turned out ok.  The Designer Series Paper (DSP) backgrounds on all of these cards are from one sheet of 12×12 paper.  It is just the prettiest paper set. I love it. I wish it was still around.

The card bases are Rose Red, Soft Sky and Wild Wasabi cardstock.  The butterflies use the Elegant Butterfly punch (retires on May 31st) and pearls over the center in the top left card.  Soft Sky ribbon and Rose grosgrain ribbon were used.  The scallop oval and an oval punch were used for the sentiment pieces. The sentiments were stamped using Rose Red and Soft Sky ink.

There wasn’t a lot of stamping involved on these cards.  I think they are just beautiful though. I have one more sheet of this paper, and I plan to do the exact same thing with it!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate my followers!

Paying It Forward

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The other day I needed to miss a few hours of work for personal reasons.  I told my boss I would be happy to use a vacation day. I am on salary, but I was willing to do so.  He said nope, he was going to pay me anyways just pay it forward.

Those that know me well know that I love to pay it forward, and I think it is such a great concept.  There is even a great movie out there about it!

It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Don’t do it for the recognition of doing a nice thing.

Keep it in mind if someone does something for you. Even if they don’t ask you to pay it forward, consider doing it anyways.

http://ffilms.org/pay-it-forward-2000/

Here is a link to the movie in case you haven’t seen it.

Thank you for stopping by!

No Bake Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

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I am always looking for healthier type snacks to put on Tim’s lunch. He has been having some sleep issues lately, so I went looking for energy bites recipes. These have stuff that he really likes in them. He said he had more energy after lunch today. He likes them. 

I did not have almond butter, so I used peanut butter. I did not add the wheat germ. I didn’t have any here.

I used my small scoop from Pampered Chef to make the balls. This made 35 total. 

This recipe is from http://www.lovetobeinthekitchen.com

No Bake Cranberry Almond Energy Bites 

Ingredients:
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup ground flax seed
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon wheat germ, optional
1/3 cup almonds, chopped
1/3 cup craisins

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes then roll into balls. Store energy bites in an air tight container in the fridge or freezer.

Woodland Sympathy Card

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A dear friend’s Mother passed.  I did not have any cards on hand. 

Sympathy cards are not easy for me to make. You know how things always seem to happen in three’s? Well it never seems to fail that I need sympathy cards in groups of three or six. 😦

This card was made for a guy. I made two of them. I don’t like to make more than two of the same with sympathy cards. Just an odd thing about me (one of many).

It feels like a fall card to me, but I like it even though it is spring. 

I probably should have made the vanilla piece a little bit smaller. 

Stampin’ Up! Product:
Stamp Sets: Lovely as a Tree, Thoughts and Prayers
Card Stock: Soft Suede
Ink: Soft Suede
Other: Very Vanilla taffeta ribbon, Woodland embossing folder

Non SU! Product:
Notched corner punch
Papertrey Ink Vintage Cream card stock

Thank you for stopping by.

Farmers’ Markets

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It is almost that time of the year again!  Time for the outdoor farmers’ markets to kick into full gear.  We are lucky to have a few indoor winter farmers’ markets near us.

If you have never gone to a farmers’ market, please consider going.  It is a great way to support our local farmers.  The produce is usually picked that day or the day before the market.  The vendors are usually very nice people.  The product they are selling is something they are passionate about.  We have become good friends with a few vendors, and we really enjoy supporting them and passing on info about them.

We regularly attend the West Allis Farmers’ Market on Saturday afternoon.  We have a few vendors that we love to buy from.

Polzin Farms is our very favorite.  Nancy and David are great people with awesome produce, jams, popcorn and conversation.  Nancy is the one that got me interested in spaghetti squash.  It is now a must have in late summer and fall!  They also have great raspberries, strawberries, potatoes, zucchini, peppers, onions and a variety of squash!

Hoekstra’s is our other MUST stop at the market.  Flowers for our patio in spring are at reasonable rates.  We anxiously await their sweetcorn that is yummy and sweet enough to eat raw.  Ask Herman, he will tell you.  Herman is a fabulous man in his early 90’s.  He sings lovely songs, brings peonies from his plants at home to hand out, and sells you on the best corn around.  Hoesktra’s also have great squash and some of the sweetest cantaloupe I have ever had.

You can read more about Herman here… http://archive.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/at-farmers-market-a-sweet-voice-and-comforting-presence-b9985076z1-221417391.html

Here is a link to find Farmers’ markets near you.  https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/farmersmarkets

Stop by, support your local farmers, enjoy the products and conversation.

Thanks for stopping by!

Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta

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This is a recipe that is similar to the Bang Bang Chicken recipe I shared a few months ago. I found this at http://www.myincrediblerecipes.com.  It was a big hit with Tim. He had seconds!  Shrimp was on sale at Aldi, so I bought a few bags.  Living on a budget is hard, but it can be done!

I used Penne pasta because that is what we had on hand.  I think it worked well.

I didn’t see in the recipe directions when to use the olive oil. That may have been my bad since I was in a hurry.  I assumed it was for cooking the shrimp.  I added the olive oil to my skillet as it warmed. I added that to the directions.

For the Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, I used some of the Panda Express sauce that I had on hand from making their Sweet Fire Chicken Recipe.  It tasted great!

I wasn’t sure when to add the parsley either, and honestly I skipped it. 🙂

Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta
Ingredients:
1 lb spaghetti or your favorite pasta
1 1/2 lb medium shrimp
1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons paprika
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley
Black Pepper to taste

Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons lime juice (I used fresh.)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/ Tablespoon onion powder

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix together sauce ingredients, set aside.
Cook pasta according to box directions, Drain.
Place uncooked shrimp in a medium bowl. Add paprika, garlic and pepper. Stir.
In large skillet, on medium heat add oil and shrimp. Stir constantly while cooking until no longer pink (approx 10 minutes). Remove from heat. (at this point, I drained a lot of moisture from my skillet). In large bowl, combine shrimp, pasta and sauce. Mix well. Enjoy!

Koala with Regal Rose Flowers

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I just LOVE this Koala stamp.  It is awesome to use the Watercolor Crayons to color it.  I use a Blender Pen to smooth out the color of the crayons. Very fun stuff!

The image makes me smile just looking at it, so I hope when people receive their cards it makes them happy too. Happy mail is FUN!

I decided on the colors by sorting through my big stack of Print Packs that  I have. I have three sets of them and at least two of each Pack. 🙂 Good stuff!  Regal Rose and Basic Gray go so well together!

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Stampin’ Up! Product:
Stamp Set: Kind Koala
Card Stock: Regal Rose
Other: Print Pack II, Watercolor Crayons (Basic Gray & Regal Rose), Blender Pen, 7/8″ white organza ribbon,

Non SU! Product:
Jet Black Stazon ink pad, Cotton Candy Stickles (center of the flower)

Thank you for stopping by!