Saturday, November 26, 2011

Legal Notepad for My Fridge

I'm sure that someone else has dreamed this up already... but today I realized while looking for a new notepad for my fridge that I could easily make one myself. And I could make something that I like for less than what I could buy at the store anyways. I whipped these two up in five minutes or less with decorative tape and sticky magnet strips for the back. I'm thinking maybe cute scrapbook paper leftovers for the next one. Not bad for 50 cents each huh? ...cheaper than the dollar store. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day of Thanksgiving

I love everything about Thanksgiving, it's always been my favorite holiday. This year I was so grateful to celebrate it out at Grandma's house with everyone again. Everyone made it except for my brother who is down in California. My sister and cousins and I grew up going out to Grandma's house the night before Thanksgiving. We would help make the rolls, decorate and set the table and watch (and try to help) Grandma get the turkey in the oven. These last few years things have been changing. We still go out to Grandma's house, and we still spend the night but now Grandma gets to relax and watch us work. We make sure she still has her apron on, she's always helping out with something. Things have changed a little, but it's still a wonderful day spent with family. Of all the things I'm thankful for this year I'm most grateful for the time we get to spend together!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fake Lake

I just got back from a quick trip to Southern California visiting some friends and family. I stayed with Jen, we were both feeling a little under the weather but had a good time anyway! Before I left, she took me to a park that she calls "Fake Lake", we walked around the lake and looked at the birds, geese, etc. Was nice to get a chance to stretch my legs before flying home.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Refried Black Beans and Spanish Rice

Refried Black Beans 
This is a recipe I found online today and adapted. I've been craving Mexican rice and beans recently and figured it couldn't be too hard to make. I like that there is no added fat or lard in this recipe besides what is naturally in the beans. 

- 15 oz black beans (1 can)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/4 onion diced

Rinse and drain 1 can black beans. Put 1/3 beans and water in medium pot on medium heat. While it is heating up mash the rest of the beans in a small bowl. (I used the back of fork). When the water is heated add the garlic, spices, onion and bean paste and mix all together. Let cook 15 minutes (helps mellow out the onion and garlic).

Spanish Rice
This is a recipe my mom has been making for years, she got it from a Mexican lady who stayed with us once many, many years ago. Today, I decided to use brown rice, so I also used 1.5 cups of pureed tomatoes from our garden. After the stock/tomato water had evaporated, the rice wasn't fully cooked so I added another cup of water and cooked another 45 minutes or so, stirring every 15-20 minutes so it didn't burn on the bottom. White rice cooks significantly faster, so this isn't an issue with white rice.

- 2 T olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups med or long grain rice
- 3 cups chicken stock*
- 2 T tomato paste OR 1 cup diced fresh OR cooked tomatoes, strained.
- Pinch oregano
- 1 tsp salt

In large skillet brown rice in olive oil, med/high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook mixture, stirring frequently about 4 minutes or until onions softened.
In separate sauce pan bring stock to simmer. Add tomato, oregano, and salt. Add rice to broth. Bring to simmer. Cover. Lower heat and cook 15-25 minutes depending on type of rice and instructions on rice package. Turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes.

*Check instructions on rice package for proportions of rice to liquid. Can range from 1:1 to 2:1. If rice calls for 2 cups water for each cup rice, use 4 cups stock for 2 cups rice.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Some Scrapbooking Layouts

Thought I would share some recent scrapbook pages using my new favorite paper, Sassafrass Lass, which somewhat ironically is going out of business. Rumor has it, they don't enjoy producing things, but they may be designing products for other companies? ... I sure hope so, they have some talented folks.

*** "Cover page" for our recent road trip to Oregon ***

*** A page with some mini-pics from last fall ***

*** Some gardening pictures from last fall ***

*** Another page about our Oregon Coast trip ***

Back to work the next two days, then taking off for a quick trip to Cali to visit a friend. I'm going solo, Joe and Mal are staying behind to guard the fort. Side Note: Mal is becoming quite the little hunter, has been bringing in more "presents".
Joe and I are trying "No Fast Food November". We got started a little late, but better late than never. We're interested to see what it does to the food bill... I do get one exemption to go to In-and-Out while I'm in California though. We usually do one freebie to Dicks Hamburgers or something like that if we know we will be in Seattle.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Weekend in Seattle

A few pictures from our weekend in Seattle! We had a really nice trip, got to visit with a lot of friends and Joe's family. Just thought I'd share a few pictures. Haven't gotten used to busting out the new camera as much as I'd like but getting there. Got some thrifting in too! :)

My friend Jenn with her DSLR practicing with a manual focus lens.

One of Jenn's cats. Flash likes to pose for the camera :)

Wouldn't be a real Seattle experience without slow traffic on 520.

The view while creeping along - not bad! Nice fall colors :)

Kiko Sushi in Bellevue. Joe's favorite Japanese restaurant.

Carne asada tacos from our favorite Mexican joint in Shoreline! Did not disappoint!