We are 7 sisters (well, 6 sisters and one in-law who we think of as a sister). We have always been close to each other and so now in order for us to stay close, even though we are far away, we have a blog, which we like to share fun finds, recipes, date ideas, crafts, and anything else we think the others will like. :)
I saw this video the other day and it is adorable! It made me a little teary eyed. So I thought I'd share it for all of you fabulous women out there on this special day!! Hope you were all spoiled today!!! Happy Mother's Day from the sisters!!
Maybe this is a weird thing to post about, I am not sure, but maybe it will be useful to someone else! I had this shelf I had purchased from a furniture store that I absolutely LOVE. It is a beautiful cherry wood color, simple but beautifully crafted, at least in my opinion. It was perfect except that within the first few months of having it with my books on it, the shelves all started to sag. I don't know if it was just my luck or not because the store had the exact same shelf with lots of heavy books decorating it and they were not sagging, so who knows. Anyhow, it has been like this for a few years because I was just not completely sure how to fix it, but I knew I wanted to fix it and not throw it away. So with a little inspiration from my mother-in-law and some help from my friends at the local Home Depot, I have FINALLY been able to fix my shelf and it is working AMAZINGLY well.
I don't know if you can see the bowing in this top picture as accurately but it was the best one I could find with books on the shelves. It was from about 5 years ago, right after we got it. The picture down below is one of the shelves turned upside down and you can really see how badly it is bowed. It should be lying flat on the ground!
Here are the steps I took to fix my shelf:
****I am going to make this note right here and it goes for all of the pieces you need. Whether you purchase your wood from a Home Depot, Lowes, or other wood supply store, if YOU do NOT have a saw at home, just ask them to cut the pieces to the length you need. They are SUPER nice and willing to help like that! Just bring your measurements with you! Make sure to measure at least 2x's to get it right!
1. I measured underneath each shelf from side to side, inside the framing and purchased 1" X 2" boards that would be the supports on the inside, back of the bookcase, underneath the shelf. As you can see, I also had to purchase 1/4" X 2" piece of wood also that is a little shorter than the 1" X 2" because of the way the framing is, otherwise there would have been a 1/4" gap between the back and my support piece of wood. You may or may not need this additional piece.
a. If you DO need this piece, mark on your 1" X 2" the left and right sides of the framing that are vertical so you know where to attach the 1/4" piece. For example, on my bottom shelf, the left side vertical piece was 2 1/4" in but the right side was only 2". I marked those lines so I could glue and attach my wood right there. Once it was dried, the piece fit into the back perfectly!
b. Once your sides are marked, (I would also mark L and R just to keep them straight, and mark both pieces of wood for which shelf they belong to) apply wood glue to the 2" part of one of the pieces of wood and put the two together. (Make sure the 1/4" is on the back side with L on the left side and R on the right side!)
c. Then you will C-clamp the pieces tightly together using a piece of cardboard or something similar to protect the wood from indentations.
d. Once C-clamped, screw together using FLAT head, 1/2", wood screws. Let it sit overnight or several hours until the glue is nice and set, then move on to the next one.
2. For this step, you will want a nice firm 1" X 2" pine or hard wood. Something that should be very stable for it. This one does not have to be the exact length of the shelf. Mine was about 2" short of the entire shelf length.
I took the piece I made in step one, and one of the pieces of Pine I had cut and on the BACK, UNDER side, I lined this up to match the indents of the shelf with the PINE piece in the FRONT. It should be about 1" short on either side of the piece from Step 1.
a. Put wood glue (in small dabs) on the 1" side (facing the shelf) of the PINE piece and put back in place.
b. Put your cardboard piece on the top part of the shelf (the part touching the ground) and start attaching the C-clamp just to the PINE piece while making sure to keep everything lined up. The wood piece from step 1 should remain flush with the shelf at all times or you will need to readjust. If you let it dry overlapping the edge, it will not fit into the bookcase.
c. Once you have the first side C-clamped, C-clamp the second side and you will start to see the curving straighten out.
d. Wipe off any glue that got smeared or squished out and remove the piece from Step 1.
3. Turn the shelf over and measure how far from the end your piece of wood is now glued. For example: my Step 1 piece brought my Step 2 piece out 1 1/4". If I measure between 1 1/2" and 1 3/4" in, my screw will be attached great. Do the same from the side end and mark where they cross.
b. Once you have both ends marked, measure the distance between those 2 marks and divide it by 3. Mine came out to 11 inches, so I marked the 2 middles screws 11" from the 1st and last screws, 1 1/2" from the back end. Screw these in with 1 1/4" FLAT head, wood screws.
c. Again, let this set over night or several hours until the wood is good and dry!
4. This step has 2 options. If you don't care about appearances on the front, don't follow this part. If you don't care about appearances on the back, follow this step! Take your Step 1 piece to the bookshelf and fit it to the framing. Turn it sideways so you can see the screws and the back of the bookshelf. Mark 4 spots (similar to Step 2) where you can screw all 3 pieces through the back. Approximately 2" from the L side and R side, and then 2 evenly in the middle. Just make sure you will not be hitting the screws in the board of Step 1. (this is why you are turning it sideways). Once marked, drill a small pilot hole through the back of the bookshelf.
5. Once you have screwed the Step 2 piece to the shelf, you can put the Step 1 piece back into the bookcase framing. Line it up with the side framing where the shelf will go. It doesn't have to be perfect yet!
6. Once you have completed Step 3 and your shelf is dry, and you have completed Step 5, place the shelf back onto it's support frame with the new one in place. Once it is in there, look underneath. If your Step 1 piece is not flush with the bottom of the Step 2 piece, either take a scrap piece of wood or a hammer and GENTLY tap it into place.
b. Do this with all of the shelves.
7. Move the bookcase out so you can screw your finishing screws into the backside. You will use 1 1/2" FLAT head, wood screws for this. Just line them up with the pilot holes you already drilled and you are set. Sorry that I am messing up the back of your shelf but they are usually against a wall, right? You can always cover them with the little plastic covers if you want.
a. Second option if you do not want to go through the back, just go ahead and drill your 4 support screws through the front side, going through the PINE wood first. Again, you can always cover with the plastic screw covers or the wood plugs.
8. Finally, find a stain that matches your shelf color and stain away. I just used a little foam brush and it worked great. The front side required about 3 coats, but it dried really quickly.
It was kind of a long process because I only had 2 C-clamps, but I definitely think it was worth it! My shelves are perfectly lined up and my books actually go straight across now!
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
12 corn torillas
2 C. mexican cheese blend, shredded
1 14 oz can green enchilada sauce
1/2 to 3/4 C. heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350*. Place the cooked/shredded chicken in a medium bowl, set aside. In a small mixing bowl combine honey, lime juice, chili powder and garlic, whisk together. Pour over chicken. Allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for up to an hour.
Heat a large griddle until a frop of water skitters across. I add a little oil, and I mean a little, in between each tortilla. Heat the tortillas for 15-20 seconds on each side, until they are flexible, they can have a golden spots on them. Have a cookie sheet lined with paper towels and place the warmed tortillas in between the paper towels until ready to use.
Mix the enchilada sauce and heavy cream together. Spread about 1/2 C. on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Add a large spoonful, about 2 Tbps. of chicken to each tortilla. And a tablespoon or so of cheese and roll up. Place the enchilada seam side down in the baking dish. I line them up so I have two rows, spreading across the 9" part of the pan. Repeat for all remaining tortillas, chicken and cheese (reserving some cheese to add to the top).
Add any leftover marinade to the cream mixture. Pour over the top of all the enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake enchiladas for 30-35 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
This is seriously one of my family's favorites. There are never any leftovers, sadly. We usually serve it with lime-cilantro rice, black beans, and chips and salsa.
I have been contemplating some things I can do to strengthen my marriage and relationship with my husband because, lets face it, relationships can be hard and if you don't work on them, like anything else, they will fade out and die. That is not something you want to have happen to a relationship you obviously have invested yourself in, or you wouldn't be married, have children with, or whatever the case may be, right? I have also talked with one of my sisters and a friend very recently who have also been having these thoughts so I figured there may be others too who are sharing these feelings. I really love Michelle's idea about keeping the notebook throughout the year and writing in all of the reasons they make you laugh or make you happy, but, let's face it, if you only give it to them once a year, there are 364 other days you may not be expressing those feelings and appreciation to them. So here are some ideas for you to do on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis to help strengthen your marriage and make things fun again!
1. Leave little notes for them to find letting them know you appreciate what they are doing for you: working to provide for your family, mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage, washing your car, helping with dishes....whatever they have done to help you.
2. Put "Conversation Hearts", stick-figure pictures, or other little notes in their lunch letting them know you love them, or giving them something to look forward to when they return home that night!
3. Try reading the book, "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. This should help you figure out what your spouses "Love Language" is so you can help "fill their Love Bucket". (Borrow it from the library, most will have a copy of it!) These are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Most people have one or two very apparent ones and if you don't know how to speak in this language, they may not feel your love for them, have a hard time expressing it to you, and make your relationship difficult!
Here is an example. My Love Language is very much Physical Touch, but my husbands is Acts of Service and Gifts. He would much rather have the house clean and dinner started instead of a hug and kiss when he gets home, and I am the opposite. It took me a really long time to realize this. I can always tell a big difference when I have the house cleaned up and his attitude than when he comes home to a dirty house and cereal for dinner!
4. Do something they like to do. Relationships are about 2 people, not just one, so we need to learn to be unselfish and compromise. This may be something as small as letting them choose the movie you will watch or which restaurant you will go to. Try doing something they like for a date every once and a while too. For instance, my husband really likes to play the Playstation 3 and I am not a big fan, however, I think playing with him for a date would be fun. Now, I will put limits on it like the shooting games but anything else would be fair game and fun. Try finding the thing you can do that he likes and you might blow his mind!
5. A Service A Day. I have always heard as I was growing up, that you will love those you serve, and if you don't like someone,start finding ways you can do service for them and you will learn to love them. I have seen this over and over with my all of the people who have become my best friends. It can be the same way with your spouse!
We tend to get in ruts with them and just do the same things over and over and it can become feeling like a duty or obligation, when really it is a choice to do nice things for them and serve them. Try looking for one nice thing, above and beyond what you normally do to give service to them once a day.
For example, my dad makes my parents bed every morning. He loves doing it and I think is secretly proud at how good he is at making it. I think if my mom were to quickly make the bed one morning every once in a while he would notice it as something nice she did for him that day to say thank you for always making the bed. Now, if she were to do it every day for him, he might start thinking she doesn't think he can do it good enough for her and take offense, so you need to think of something different every day!
One more example and I will move on. My husband doesn't really like to mow the lawn and I really don't mind it, but have PLENTY to do inside the house. Every once in a while, I know he is busy or tired, so I will just spend a little bit of my inside cleaning time to mow the lawn for him. I figure it is kind of a toss up because he likes the inside cleaned too, but would really rather not be mowing the lawn himself. Just be creative and have fun. Don't be offended if they don't notice your service, it is meant to be service, not jobs for pay!
6. Go on Dates. Yes! This is still extremely important! What did you do before you got married that got you to fall in love with this man? You were probably going out with him, seeing him out in all different settings and having fun with him. Dates help you get away from the stresses and pressures that are at home. Please try to remember to keep work, money, kids, and all other home problems at home.
Budget for this so it can be a reality. Dates don't have to be expensive either...sometimes the funnest ones don't cost a thing! Decide what is financially possible for you, but make it a must. Do a babysitting swap with a friend who has kids if you need to, to help make it possible to have your date night!
Here is a link to some dating sites or ideas: Stay At Home Date Night In House Date Night Impress Your Man Book Date The Dating Divas Love Actually
7. Another book to try. I would suggest buying it because you rip out the pages and I would doubt the libraries will have copies because of this! Once you rip them out though, you can always put the his and hers into ziplock bags and do them again later. The book is called, "101 Nights of Grrrreat Romance," by Laura Corn. This has 101 different dates to go on. Every other one is his, then hers. They range from little to no money, traveling to a destination (dinner) to staying at home, and so on. Each week (or how ever often you two decide you will date), one will decide which page to rip out and then follow the instructions for that date. You can modify it a little if you need or like, but all of the instructions and things you will need are right there. It is a lot of fun, especially when you are both participating in the planning. I know how NOT fun it is to be the only one to plan date, get the baby sitter. . .
8. Try a NEW nightly ritual. By this, I mean more than just saying "I Love You", although that is VERY important. Everyone needs to hear and know this, EVERY day. Here are 2 examples of what I mean by this and you can come up with your own if you don't like them and/or have something different!
I was reading one from "The Dating Divas" that was really cute I would like to try myself. She said every night before they go to bed, they say, "I love you today because. . ." and then proceed to say a reason why. It could be something they did that very day, something in general, or something that has previously happened that has been on your mind. Another reader said their version of this is on a small white board. Every morning, he writes his reason on the board and hangs it on the fridge before going to work so she can see it when she wakes up. She will then write her reason while he is at work and leave it on his pillow to find that night! How cute! I love it!
My other idea comes from my son. For the past few years, he and I would take naps together, a lot, because he wouldn't go to sleep well at nap time once he was first sleeping in a big bed. I was totally okay with that because I LOVE naps! So, he started turning towards me and asking if I would hold his hand while he fell asleep. We would just hold right hand to right hand and both fall asleep like that, facing each other. It was so sweet and I LOVED it. Then, he went to kindergarten and I was so sad to lose that with him. I told my husband we needed to start that at night because I just felt like that was such a connection I had with my son, it would be awesome to have with my husband, falling asleep face to face, hands joined every night. He is not totally sold on it, and we have only done it a couple of times, but I am working on him.
9. Get them random gifts or treats. Maybe not everyone likes to be given things, but I really haven't met that person, have you? You don't have to spend much money at all. When you grocery shop, just think of their favorite candy bar, gummy treat, or chip, and buy that especially for them. Buy them a $5.00 movie you think they would like, wrap it up, and just out of the blue give it to them or leave it under their pillow to let them know you are thinking of them.
My husband apparently likes rye bread. I didn't know this until last year when I heard him telling one of our friends, so I have been making it a point to buy a loaf of rye bread to send with him for his sandwiches in his lunches. No one else gets the bread, I just keep it in the freezer and only pull out the slices I need for that day. He also likes gummy bears, so I just bought him like 2 pounds of it yesterday so I could surprise him with them and send some in his lunch as well. Maybe it won't mean a thing to him, but maybe it will make his day!
10. Do things for him you want him to do for you. I am not talking about manipulating him! I am saying this. A while ago, I was feeling down because I hadn't heard I looked nice, or thank you, or whatever else you start feeling when you are down, and then it dawned on me that I hadn't told my husband he looked nice in a long time either. I hadn't told him thank you for going to work every day for us, or thank you for providing food and a home for us. I hadn't been being as kind and caring as I was wanting him to be being either. It really made me start thinking about the things I was saying and doing too. I can't expect him to be full of complements and thank you's when all I am doing is complaining and nagging, right?
If you want him to be opening doors for you, try opening his door for him when you are inside the car. Offer complements and gratitude daily. Be respectful and kind. As the golden rule states, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!"
Hope this helps brings some spark back into your relationship!
We are all getting so excited for SPRING and the warm weather it brings! We realize it is already warm (Like 90's already in Arizona--Stacy and Michelle), warming up in other places like the South, and still cold enough to be snowing (Like the sisters in Idaho and Utah last week!), but most of us have been itching to do some spring cleaning. We have been sharing ideas with each other for what we are doing, what we have done in the past, or what we would like to try this year.
* This is one I am going to do for my grout! Using 7 cups of water, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup lemon juice, and 1/4 cup vinegar you will spray this combination onto a small area your grout at a time. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub. Have a bucket of warm water and a cloth with you so you can rinse your scrub brush out and wipe up the dirt you scrub up. It will also leave a residue, be ready to do a light mop after. (It really does work and will amaze you how much stuff comes up from it).
After * Vacuum window blinds and curtains. Some curtains you can even wash in your washing machine once in a while to avoid getting a large dust build up on top of and down them. (Especially important for those with allergies in the home!) * Wash windows inside and out. -For the inside, after washing go over again with a newspaper to diminish streaks. ~Another idea is to dry horizontally inside and vertically outside (or vice-versa) so you can see if you had streaks on either side or if one side needs more cleaning. -For outside, we recommend using a bucket of soapy water and a squeegee. Use either a cloth to wash the window or a squeegee like you would use to wash the car window. To dry, however, use a straight squeegee like this:
Something like this can be purchased at Home Depot or similar for around $10.00 but will last a
really long time. This will keep the streaks from forming and your window gleaming!
*Dust top to bottom. I have one of the "feather duster" type dusters that can extend it's arm out and I go from top to bottom in every room, getting all corners (with spiderwebs) clear down to the floor. After I do this through out the whole house I vacuum thoroughly and then clean the carpets and couches.
*Check and change batteries in smoke detectors.
*Wipe down walls. Again, I take a bucket of warm water and vinegar and a rag and go from room to room wiping down all the walls.
*Light switches. I am sure that you all have the same problem I do with the light switches, maybe not, but mine get all gross and grimy. I give my kids Clorox Wipe and assign them a section of the house. They then clean the light switch and all around it. There is always so much dirt and grim around them when they are cleaned it looks like a totally different light switch! Gross!! (Do the same thing with door handles. Kids also like this job.)
*Clean baseboards. This is a great job for the kiddos. I fill an ice cream bucket with warm water and vinegar an old sock and a section of the house. They think it is pretty fun (now).
*** a little tip*** When socks get a hole in them, keep them. They are great cleaning rags. I slip one over my hand and go to town dusting. I also use them for almost all of my cleaning projects ... cleaning the bathroom sinks, baseboards, walls, chicken eggs. I have an ice cream bucket that I keep full of them and replace when they start looking yucky.
*Take rugs outside and beat with a broom handle. You won't believe the dust and dirt that comes out of them!!
* Wash your couches. If you have a cloth couch that has removable covers for the cushions and you feel comfortable, you can try running them through your washing machine. I would suggest only trying one on the delicate cycle. (Stacy tried this with her extra cushion first to make sure it would not ruin it before trying the rest of the couch). If you are uncomfortable trying this, you can us a steam cleaner with the hose adapter. Do not try this if the couches are made of micro-fiber or leather!
-You can also wash the throw pillows for the couches with cloth material.
-This always makes the couches look and feel fresh and they smell GREAT!
If you have leather couches, this is a good time to apply the leather conditioner. I also go and apply it in my vehicles at the same time.
* Steam clean your floors. It is always good to do this in the spring and fall. If you don't have a steam cleaner, you can always rent one for very cheap at most stores like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.
-Try spraying Oxiclean pre-wash on the big stains prior to cleaning
-Also, either use one of the cleaning products with Oxiclean added or add about 1/4 scoop to
each load of water/cleaner.
*Deep clean Fridge and Freezer. This is a great time to defrost your freezer too before you start stocking you on the great fresh fruits and vegetables that will be ripe soon!
*Deep clean your stove top and oven. I usually pick the first nice day outside to do this. That way I can open my windows throughout the house and the smell from the cleaning will blow out. Plus, my oven tends to set off the smoke detectors if the windows are not open. (I guess I would know if my smoke detectors were working or not)
*Clean the fronts of the kitchen cupboards and the hood for the stove.
*Clean and organize pantry.
*Clean out and organize medicine cabinets. Throw out all medications that are expired (or empty that you just kept the bottle for sentimental reasons, right? Why else would I have 5 empty childrens' tylenol bottles in there???)
*Organize bathroom drawers. No matter how hard I try to keep them neat and organized, they always get messy. Throw out anything you don't use.
*Wash shower curtains. I like to buy the shower curtains that are fabric and washable. If I have a liner I usually replace it in the spring (after I have deep cleaned the shower).
*Organize kids closets. I do this 2 times a year, once in the spring and once before school starts. I have a donation box and a tote for all nice clothes to pass on to siblings or cousins. We pack away anything that does not fit and make a list of things we may need to get for the upcoming season.
*Organize my closet. That is not as much of a task as the kids, but I do try to get clothes out of my closet that I don't wear or like anymore. I also go through mine and my husbands t-shirts and such and refold/make them look nice. (mostly my hubby's, he is not so neat when it comes to his clothes)
Now we know that this is not going to get your whole house, because everyone has different homes, but this will at least get you started. Make yourself a list of things you would like to accomplish and get to work. Do one Spring cleaning job a day (or more if you catch the spring cleaning bug) and you will have a sparking home in no time!!
After you have your home all clean here are some tips to keep it that way.
Some more great tips can be found at this website.
Hey Everyone!!! We are having a sale in our store now through the end of the month! We are trying to add some new fun items we have been working on and want to have a sale on some of the favorites. So visit our shop and enter this code in at check out: SHOP10 and you will receive 10% of your purchase of $12.00 or more. We hope you enjoy it, but hurry because there are only 2 weeks left in the month! Here is a preview of a couple of our newest items.
Handmade Silk Flowers (with or without the feather accent)
Boys and Girls Ribbon Pacifier Clips
Boys and Girls Beaded Pacifier Clips
Family Birthday Boards. With Mother's Day coming around, it is a good time to start thinking of her. These are awesome ideas for Mom's and Mother-in-laws!
The Missionary Board has been a really Neat quote for families to have in their homes while their loved one is serving!
These CTR Towels have been awesome gifts for all kids turning 8!
We all got to celebrate a really fun thing over the Spring Break week (for Stacy) and that was our Dad's 60th Birthday!!! We started planning this back in February and wanted to keep it a secret from him. When you come from a big family, you understand that can be a hard task so to pull it off, it was going to take a lot. Our family has also always been very neat in the fact that we have done everything with extended family included, so of course, we knew we would invite all of his siblings too and their children if they wants, so the secret part was really being tested here. Michelle and Stacy were also coming from AZ and wanted to keep that part secret as well. We let our mom in on it so she could help in the planning and making sure he and they would all be home. We kind of divided up jobs amongst all of us kids so the burden wasn't left on just one person. Well, the party went off AWESOME!! and we wanted to share some of the things we did in case you may be planning a surprise party of some sort. . . anniversary, birthday, etc.
Our dad is a HUGE Yankees and Sports fan so of course we had to go with that as our theme. Mary was in charge of the decorations and did an awesome job. She had little noise makers for the kids for when Dad got home so they felt like they were really helping.
Melanie was in charge of the food. She had Rachel and Heather make a Shrimp Pasta, and Spaghetti, rolls, Meagan made a fruit salad that everyone loved. Melanie made German Chocolate and Caramel Cupcakes plus a Blackberry Swirl Cupcake. Stacy made lemon bars. (Recipes will be at the bottom!)
Then Melanie made this fantastic cake and fondant icing! Just look at the details on the hat and the buttons. It is pretty incredible.
Dad had some meetings before the party so the surprise part worked out great. Once he got home and we got the reaction we were all hoping for... Definitely Surprised!! All of his siblings were able to come and all of us kids were there too. Awesome!! We moved on to the rest of the party. We had all written down favorite memories of Dad. Mary and John (our brother) put on a sports cast session including these "facts" about Dad. It was funny and awesome.
We opened presents, one of which included the movie Michelle and Stacy put together. It was also pulled off by everyone adding photos of Dad (onto www.Dropbox.com). It was so much fun seeing all of the fun things we have done as a family over the years. We have had some amazing times together.
After the movie we just ate dinner and visited with everyone until people had to start heading home. It was so much fun and Dad had such a great time. He was so surprised that we had kept it a secret from him all week. He was so grateful that all of his kids and siblings made the effort to put this on for him too. Definitely worth it!
Spaghetti Sauce 1 pound ground beef cooked and drained 2 quarts tomatoes (Drain some water, squish them – I use a potato masher) 2-3 cans tomato paste 4-5 tablespoons sugar 1 ½ teaspoons salt 2 cloves garlic minced 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 1 ½ tablespoons dried onion 4 tablespoons parsley flakes 1 teaspoon oregano
Mix all together and simmer in a pot 3-4 hours or 6-8 hours in a crockpot. It seems like the longer it cooks thebetter it tastes and it also thickens it up more the longer it cooks.
Creamy Tomato Shrimp Over Pasta
12 lg. tomatoes
3/4 c. butter
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
5 green onions
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 green peppers
2 lbs. large shrimp, cooked and deveined shrimp
16 oz. pkg. angel hair pasta
Clean and dice tomatoes.
In a large pot melt butter and gently stir in diced tomatoes. Add sugar, salt, pepper and crushed red
pepper. Let tomatoes simmer for 30
minutes, stirring occasionally. Fold in
heavy cream and sliced green onions.
Rinse green peppers and remove seeds; cut into small pieces. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet and sauté
green peppers. Fold in cooked shrimp and
fry until the tips are golden. Add to
tomato sauce. Cook pasta al dente
according to directions on package.
Serve creamy tomato shrimp over pasta.
This is another recipe that I tried from "The Biggest Loser" cookbook after Heather had told me how good they were. I would have never thought to try cooking a grapefruit, or adding cinnamon to it for that matter, but it is really delicious. It is also very simple.
1. All you have to do is cut your grapefruit in half, use a serrated knife to cut the piece loose, and then sprinkle with cinnamon.
2. Place it in the oven at 400° for about 20 minutes for until it is browning and the juices are coming out.
3. Take it out of the oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes before you dig in.
***If you have never heard of a grapefruit spoon, they are fantastic and just something fun to have when eating grapefruit. You can purchase these at somewhere like Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $4.99 (for 4). These just help you cut out the fruit without having to peel it or use the serrated knife, not a necessity but nice to have!
The best part is half of the grapefruit is only 52 calories!!! That is all I usually eat at a time but even if you eat the whole thing, that is a large snack for barely over 100 calories!!
1 3-5 lb.
boneless pork loin roast 1 cup
Place pork on the bottom of greased slow cooker
(if you have crock pot liners, this would be a good time to use them) and pour
the brown sugar and salsa over. Cover
and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours.
Shred pork with a fork before serving.
uncokked white rice ¼
chopped onion 1 tsp.
freshly squeezed lime juice 2
cloves garlic, minced
granulated sugar 1
tsp. grated lime zest
fresh chopped cilantro 1
(15 oz.) can chicken broth
In a saucepan, combine rice, onion butter, garlic,
lime zest, chicken broth, and water.
Bring to a boil, then turn to low heat.
Cover and cook 15-20 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff with fork. In a small bowl, combine lime juice, sugar,
and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice.
Tomatillos Salad Dressing
sour cream 1/3
envelope Ranch Salad Dressing ¼
cup fresh chopped cilantro
envelope Fiesta Ranch Salad Dressing 1
clove garlic, minced
from 2 limes, freshly squeezed
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend
until smooth. Store in refrigerator. The Fiesta Ranch is hard to find, so I sometimes only use regular Ranch, and it works just fine.
(Stacy just uses Ranch Dressing for this part and it is delicious. She doesn't think it is worth the trouble of making this dressing and it makes a LOT and doesn't store well!)
garlic, minced 1/3 cup salsa
ground cumin ½
olive oil 2
T. fresh chopped cilantro
oz.) can black beans, rinsed
Cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium
heat until you can smell it. Add beans,
salsa, and salt. Continually stir until
heated through. Just before serving,
stir in cilantro.
Now pile the rice, pork, and beans on a large
tortilla, smother with Creamy Tomatillos Salad Dressing, wrap it up, and enjoy!
As an added bonus, I heard about the Café Rio Salad
and found this on the internet:
3 parts to the salad: the rice, the
pork, and the dressing, all on a bed of salad greens. Add tomatoes and avocados if desired. My family loves the beans so much we also load those on top too!
I am so excited that I have a lemon tree in my back yard now. It produces GIANT lemons and I couldn't wait to try lemon bars from it. They were delicious!!! No, they are not the healthiest of snacks but if you need a cheat day or something to bring to a friend or neighbor, this is a good choice. This is my Grandma's recipe and she is one of the best cooks/bakers I have ever tasted. Thankfully, she did pass her skill on to our mom too!
For the crust you will need:
1 Cup Margarine
2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/8 tsp Salt
Combine ingredients and pour into a 9X13" baking dish. Bake at 300 for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned.
For the filling you will need:
4 Eggs, beaten
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
1/8 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Cup Flour
Combine all ingredients and pour into baked crust. Return to oven for another 30 to 40 minutes. I sprinkled about 2 tsp of powdered sugar on the top after it came out of the oven instead of the topping suggested since it already had a lot of sugar. I will add the topping part too if you do want to do that instead of just the powdered sugar.
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp Margarine
4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Mix all ingredients and spread over warm filling after removing from the oven.
So last year when I was visiting home for my youngest sisters wedding, all of the other sisters had just purchased "The Biggest Loser" cookbooks and were just raving about all of the recipes they had tried and how good they all were. This interested me since they were healthy, low-calorie recipes, plus, the books were at a steal of a price right then, so I too purchased one. This past month I have been looking for lemon recipes because of my gigantic lemons on my tree and I want to take advantage of them as much as I can, and I ran into this recipe. It looked good and I love lemon-poppy seed muffins, so why not. They were really good. I doubled the batch and ground up a whole container of the oats so I could make more of them soon.
Here is the recipe:
1 Cup Whole Grain Oat Flour
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Fat-free, Artificially sweetened Vanilla Yogurt
3 Large Egg Whites
1/3 Cup Honey
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Lemon Extract (or approximately 3 Tbsp of real lemon juice)
1 Tbsp grated lemon peel
2 tsp Poppy Seeds
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat 20 cups of mini muffins (or 10-12 of regular size) with nonstick spray. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the flour for about 1 minute, or until it is the consistency of all-purpose flour and no coarse grains remain. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sift the mixture twice.
In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, egg whites, honey, vanilla extract, and lemon extract until well mixed. Stir in the reserved flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the lemon peel and poppy seeds. Spoon into the the muffin tins.
Bake for 9-11 minutes (for the mini muffins 11-13 for regular), or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out dry. Cool on rack 5 minutes and enjoy!!
The mini muffins are about 41 calories!! My regular muffins are about double the size of my mini muffins so they are only about 80 calories!! You can't say that about many muffins that taste good!
The cooks for The Biggest Loser suggest if you are going to use lemon juice, to use the real stuff so I tried with these. I only doubled the amount from the lemon extract (1 tsp) and they weren't too lemony, so I googled and found a few answers you can try (I am going to do the same). The first was 1/2 tsp lemon extract= approximately 3 tbsp of lemon juice. The others said to use lemon zest instead because that is where the flavor of lemon extract comes from and double what the extract calls for. So. . .if you want to try either of these instead of the extract, I think either will be wonderful. I thought they were great and so did my youngest son. He ate about 5 of the mini muffins as soon as they came out of the oven and loved them!
To find this original recipe and more from The Biggest Loser, go to: www.biggestloserclub.com/. (You do have to register as a member if you want to get more recipes. I will try to post more delicious ones I have tried. They offer 1 month free, but then you do have to pay a fee. I am not sure what because I have not joined!)
Here is another little playlist to try for a great workout. Some of my favorite tunes! As I am adding these, I know they may seem a little crazy- country, hip hop, and whatever else, but this is what I listen to to keep me moving. Honestly, I will even listen to slower songs too if I really like them, but that is probably not the best suggestion for most people!
Stereo Hearts (featuring Maroon 5)- by Gym Class Heroes (3:31) 50 Ways to Say Goodbye- Train (4:06) Tonight, Tonight- by Hot Chelle Rae (3:20) Fireworks- by Katy Perry (3:40) Marry You- By Bruno Mars (3:50) Moves Like Jagger (featuring Christina Aguilara)- by Maroon 5 (3:21) Cowboy Casanova- by Carrie Underwood (3:39) Magic (featuring Rivers Cuomo)- by B.O.B. (3:16) Keeps Getting Better- By Christina Aguilara (3:02) Country Girl (Shake it For Me)- by Luke Bryan (3:52) Geek in the Pink- by Jason Mraz (3:55) Good Time- By Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen (3:27) 22- by Taylor Swift (3:48) Locked Out of Heaven- By Bruno Mars (3:54) California Gurls (featuring Snoop Dogg)- by Katy Perry (3:56) Drive By- by Train (3:13)
So this playlist is just over 54 minutes so add in two slower songs for a warm up and cool down song and we will have you at about a 60 minute workout, give or take.
All the Right Moves- by One Republic (4:01) Both of Us (featuring Taylor Swift)- by B.O.B. (3:38)
Here is the link for the play list. (Push the play button to put them in whatever order you want to hear them in.) I hope you like it! (powered by www.playlist.com)
Well, we are coming up to our final hours for March. We only have 2 more days to add up our total miles walked, run, biked, swam, or any other way you got them done! We are falling short of our goal of 5,000 :(.Please enter in any miles you have accomplished during this month so we can have our giveaway! Our total to date is. . .253.46 There have only been a few consistent people adding in their numbers and I know there are more out there who were active this past month so comment away so we can GIVEAWAY!!!!