The BEST crock pot taco recipe eva

       

Living on my own again with a new-found passion and love for good food, I have a great deal of respect for the magical things that can happen in a crock pot.  I found this recipe and swear by it.  It is a no-fail, and I would say pretty healthy (depending on the amount of dairy you use) recipe.  It is super duper easy…here we go.

Step 1: Bust out your crock pot

Step 2: Put in as much chicken you want to use. I usually use two to three chicken breasts depending on their size and it makes a TON of food. I have also put the chicken in thawed out and frozen, and both work great.

Step 3: Add… Salsa (enough to cover the chicken), 1 can of corn, 1 -2 cans of black beans (again depending on how much chicken you use), and either cream cheese, sour cream, or if you’re being healthy neither or maybe some plain greek yogurt.  I like having the creamy element so I always add something.  I also add a few shakes of some type of hot sauce of taco seasoning to give it a little something extra.

Step 4: Turn your crock pot on and let it do it’s thang. High for 3-4 hours or low for 5-8 (depending on how fast you need it to cook) Again, I have done both and both work.  This is a very fail-safe recipe.

Step 5: After chicken is cooked and you’re ready to eat take out the chicken breasts and shred the chicken, then put back in the crock pot.

Step 6: Enjoy! I like to make cilantro lime rice and make a burrito bowl, wrap it up in a tortilla, or just eat it plain. It is so good!

 

 

Super easy maxi dress

       

Using this great tutorial from Pinterest (where else?!) I made this sweet maxi dress.  The tutorial I used made theirs with cotton, which I would do next time because I used a really stretchy jersey fabric, that I thought would be easier…it wasn’t.  I want to try this again with cotton.

You can see from my pictures I did the same thing she did and made a sash out of the fabric from the bottom of the dress, and used a belt to cover up the seem around the waist.  Simple sewing at it’s best.

Asparagus Easter Tart

I made this on Easter and it was DELICIOUS.  It is a mixture of asparagus, cheesy goodness, and a crispy, flaky crust, and wasn’t even that hard to make.  I got the original recipe idea from my Food Network magazine (my bible), but used a recipe from Pinterest. Find the original at goodlifeeats.com

Here are the photos I took of my tart…

Turn your favorite t-shirt into a cute throw pillow

Taking old t-shirts and turning them into throw pillows is something I learned form my mom.  Her motto is that if you aren’t using it, why hold on to it? Sentimental value isn’t a big thing for her (half serious, half joking).  But in turn, that makes her really great at recycling and re-purposing things…like old t-shirts.  You know you have too many old t-shirts to count that you never wear anymore, but can’t give up because “they’re sentimental!!”.  Well, I say turn them into something you will use, like a cute pillow! I took my boyfriend’s favorite favorite favorite (very old, torn up) t-shirt into a pillow for his birthday last year, and this is how I did it.

Start with your t-shirt and a pillow that fits inside the width and length of the t.

Next is the hard part…start chopping your shirt up into bits and pieces…follow the very precise measurements in my above photos.

You can see in the second picture that after you cut through the seems on the side of the shirt you have two big pieces of fabric, one is the front of the shirt, and one is the back.  With the back side you are going to cut that piece in half.  This is so you can easily remove your pillow sham after you sew it, and doing it without adding any buttons or zippers.  Next, you are going to start pinning your sham together.  Lay everything inside out around the pillow.  Overlap the two back pieces (just a couple inches, so there isn’t any pillow showing after you sew it together).

When you are all done and have sewn all the pieces together, you should have seems that look something like this…

The seem going across the middle of the pillow should not be sewn shut, that is where you will insert the pillow.  I have a seem there because I wanted a clean line on the outside of the pillow.  But hopefully by now you get my whole overlap technique.  If not, feel free to just sew the whole thing shut.

Just a side note, I wanted the collar to show on my pillow (you can chop your off if you want so you have a clean, straight line) because it had all the cool wear and tear, so I took a piece of the sleeve and sewed it behind the collar like the above picture.

After  you’ve finished sewing, turn your pillow sham right-side-out, put the pillow in, and wa-la! A very cool, homemade, re-purposed pillow sham!

Breakfast for Dinner

Breakfast for dinner.  Quick, easy, and delicious.  My boyfriend and I do breakfast for dinner maybe once a month.  Eggs are such a good protein, and roasted potatoes are my favorite. This time we did a onion, pepper, spinach, and cheese scramble with roasted potatoes.

For the eggs…

– Scramble your eggs

– Caramalize onions

– Then add whatever veggies you desire.  We usually do bell peppers because we always have some on hand

– Pour in your eggs

– Last add some spinach

For the potatoes…

– dice some potatoes into bite size pieces

– lightly cover in olive oil and salt & pepper

– bake at about 375 for 20-30 minutes or until crispy exterior

 

Cheesecake

My classic cheesecake creation topped with a vanilla mousse, fresh strawberries, and chocolate.  Usually I find myself tweaking recipes I find online to simplify them, or make them easier on the wallet, but this one was just right.  I took the recipe from Cookiesandcups.com.  I’m sad to say my friend and I could only make it through half of this cheesecake, but from what we did eat, it was heavenly.  I highly recommend this recipe for any occasion…even if that might be staying in on a Friday night…

Enjoy!

I L.O.V.E. February

February was a very inspirational month for me this year.  I am happily in love, but I have always LOVED valentines day.  Here are a few things I made this month to celebrate love.

Tissue paper heart candle holders inspired by pinterest.  I got the tissue paper at the dollar store and the candle holders at Michaels.  Over all, this cost me about $12.00.  Not too bad in my opinion.

This one was all my idea.  I bought the stickers at Michaels and just saved a few wine bottles.  My tip for this project is to soak your wine bottles for a long, long, long time in order to get the labels off.

This one was also inspired by pinterest (craftaholicsanonymous).  The canvas is an old top to an ikea coffee table.  For the letters I bought some thick scrap book paper and used the die cut machine at my work to get the perfect X’s and O’s. After I got the letters but I simply glued them onto the piece of wood.  I used tacky glue.

This is another project inspired by pinterest.  I used a deck of cards to make an extra special valentine for my sweetheart.  I put a different reason I love my boyfriend, Colin on each card.  This project was a little tedious since I decided to mod podge each reason onto each card.  If you wanted, i’m sure it would be cute to just write the reason on each card.

Restaurant quality hash browns

Stop buying frozen hash browns! They take forever to cook and are the silliest invention ever.  If you have potatoes and a cheese grater you can make your own home made hash browns that taste like the delicious ones you get from a diner.

What you’ll need:

– Large cheese grater

– Canola oil (or any type of light oil)

– Salt and pepper

– potatoes

Grate your potato onto a couple paper towels.  You will use these to squeeze all of the water out of the potatoes.  That is the KEY to great hash browns.

Ball up your grated hash browns into the two paper towels and squeeze over the sink.  You will be amazed at how much water comes out of those little tators. Then lay the squeezed hash browns onto a couple paper towels, depending on how much you are making and pat dry to get any excess water.  The dryer the potatoes, the better they fry. Add salt and pepper now.

Coat a frying pan in oil and lay your hash browns on the pan.  Use your hand to evenly distribute the potatoes (the thinner the hash browns, the faster they will cook, and the crispier they will get).  Cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown, then flip! (as carefully as possible) This is the tricky part.

After you flip, hopefully your hash browns will start to look like this. YUM!

To make sure the inside of the hash browns are cooked, I put my pan in the oven for a little bit.  Make sure you use an oven safe pan.  As you can see, I had to transfer my potatoes to a different skillet, since my big frying pan can’t go in the oven. Leave them in the oven for 8-10 minutes, depending on how much you are making.  Take them out, lightly salt, and serve!

Enjoy!

How I made my own wordpress header

For this post I give all the credit to Picnik, a free photo editing site.  I used the site to create my own wordpress header for my blog. It’s super easy.  Here’s how I did it.

1.) Went to Google and searched words like “plaid” or “stripes” to find images of those things to use as my background.  I made sure to view only the large images so that they were big enough to edit.  When I found one I liked I uploaded it to picnik.

2.) Once you have your image in picnik you want to crop the image to the right dimensions for your wordpress blog.  It will tell you in your appearance tab in your dashboard under header what the dimensions need to be for your specific theme.  I’m pretty sure all the themes will have different dimensions needed for the header.  Mine were 855 by 252 megapixels.  If you go to picnik you will see on the left side there is any area where you can make basic edits like cropping or adjusting the light.

3.) Once you have your image cropped it’s up to you with what to do with it.  There are many different fonts, stickers, and fun things to edit your image with.  You can see on the top of the picture above the different tabs you can go to in order to edit your photo.  I used mine to make some sort of logo for my blog, but you can do what you want with it.

4.) Then, the last step will be uploading it to your wordpress blog.  To do this you will go to your appearance tab in your dashboard.  Click on header.  There you will see where to upload it.  You can upload as many as you want.  You also have the option of turning off the text on the top of your blog, which I did so that you only see my custom header.

5.) and wa-la! You have your own custom made header for your wordpress blog.  Also, as you can see above I made quite a few and uploaded all of them.  This makes it easy to change the appearance of your blog, if that’s what you wish to do.

Hope this was helpful!

Photo collage

My mom loves to garden.  I love to take pictures.  The last couple times all of her flowers were in bloom I made sure to take some pictures.  I saw the idea to make a photo collage like this one a while ago.  This is my version I made for my mom for Christmas.

 

 

Supplies

– Black frame (I got this one from Ikea)

– 16 4×6 photos

– double sided tape

Directions

Get the photos you want to use developed.  Make sure how many your developing will fit into your frame.  Then tape or glue your photos onto a piece of paper that fits into the frame.  The frame I got came with a piece of paper in it, so I just used that since it was already cut to the right dimensions.

Total cost was probably under 10 or 15 dollars.  Developing the pictures was only a couple bucks, and the frame couldn’t have been more then 10.