Archive | August, 2011

Becca’s Belly Busters

19 Aug

Last night was…you guessed it…Girls Night In! Its been awhile since we’ve had a GNI, and I was so excited to kick back with a glass of wine and enjoy the “cooler” weather we’ve been having.  After work I headed over to my friend Alison’s house, and the lovely hostess had some wine ready — just in time!

The other day I cornered Chef Becca and I convinced her to do a recipe tutorial for the blog! She graciously obliged to my begging; and on the menu for the night was….(drumroll please)..Beef Enchiladas a.k.a. Becca’s Belly Busters.  Or if  you ask my sister, they are “cheesy roll-up thingys.”  Becca’s Mexican food is a staple on Girls Night – its something I always look forward to!  Even though the recipe is easy peesy (and cheesy, ha!), until now i’ve never known how to make enchiladas.

Here’s what she did:

1lb ground beef

1 can Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chili peppers)

1 packet taco seasoning

1 bag shredded cheese

1 can red enchilada sauce

1 pkg Large Tortillas

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 375

2. Brown the ground beef and drain well

3.  In a bowl: mix beef, taco seasoning and Rotel (un-drained)

4.  In a casserole dish: pour a small amount of enchilada sauce to lightly coat the bottom of the dish

5.  Spread the beef mixture on the tortillas and sprinkle with cheese

A generous sprinkle

6.  Wrap up (burrito style) and place in the casserole dish

7. After preparing enough to fill your casserole dish, pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the rolls and top with cheese (Becca makes ours extra cheesy)

8.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Cheese should be completely melted.

Voila!  It’s called “Amazing in your mouth!”

For those of you that don’t know, Chef Becca moonlights as a bartender.  See? She made us dessert!

Ay Ay! Tequila!

Two nights in a row I have stuffed my face, looks like the gym will be seeing me this weekend after all!!

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Chocolate Heaven

18 Aug

Birthday season is flying right on by!  Yesterday evening we spent some time with Jake’s family to celebrate his mom’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Miss Julie!

For dinner, Jake’s younger sister Becca marinated a mouth-watering Pork Tenderloin; it was grilled to perfection!

Jake’s dad threw some vegges on the grill that were delectable.  We also had one of my most favorite foods, cosume rice! It was so creamy that it resembled mac and cheese.  The food was great, but I still saved some room for my favorite part of every meal – dessert!

Becca picked out a peanut butter cup triple chocolate ice cream cake. Chocolate Heaven is no exaggeration.  I ate my piece, and even stole a bit (or two) of Jake’s.

Mouthwatering

We spent some time chatting away and looking at pictures taken so far this year. (sorry for the blurry photo below..I couldn’t keep a steady hand!)

Mr. Jake and his Mama

Eventually we headed home stuffed like turkeys and wanting nothing more than to hit the hay.  That is, until I saw this pathetic little face staring at me when I walked in the door!

Schweetness

Oh Please!

This house is Project City!

17 Aug

Part of the reason I have not been posting lately is the fact that I have been completing project after project, after project.  Not work assignments (although work is as busy as ever), but fun household projects.  Jake and I are not in the position to start replacing expensive essential items, so we have resorted to “renewing” the old ones!

When we moved we did some inventory of our belongings and got rid of things that take up too much space, or things we simply do not need.  We held on to things that we couldn’t live with out, or things we knew we could up-cycle.

My first project was one that I have been meaning to do for awhile now.  Jake’s mom gave us some blue storage jars that she got a great deal on, and we ended up using them to store utensils in the kitchen (remember the seventeen spoons?).  Unfortunately, they became a bit of an eyesore seeing as they did not match with anything else in the kitchen.  Rather than spending more money on new stainless steel canisters, I decided to paint these as close to S. S. as possible.

Taa-Daaa

I took my creative self to the hardware store and ended up finding a can of textured spray paint.

I got "Hammered"

The color is actually similar to our stainless steel appliances, and dries in a “hammered” texture.  They turned out great!  I got a little paint happy and also covered our Olive Oil container to match!

My next project was not an “up-do”, but rather a decorative project that saved us some moolah.  A lot of our artwork could be considered hand-me-downs (aka Jake’s man-art).  While most of it is “cool”, none of it really matches with the look we’re going for.  We really needed something fun to hang above the couch, and it seems that everything I like is $$$.  Then, like a ray of sunshine, I found this pattern online.  It seemed pretty easy, so I gave it a shot!

Inspirational!

(Photo courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com)

I purchased a large canvas at a nearby craft store and measured out my pattern with painters tape.  Then, I covered the whole thing in two coats of green paint and waited for it to dry.  I was a little disappointed when I pulled off the tape only to find that the paint had bled through :(.

Jaggedy Lines 😦

Once I removed all of it, the bleeding actually looked kind of cool — so I went with it.  I may just be in denial, but I kind of like that it’s imperfect.

My next projects will be focused toward the outside areas of our house.  I have two tables that are in need of some TLC!

Yek...

Double Yek

Frozen Dog Treats

16 Aug

Thank goodness gracious that this heat is starting to slow down because, phew, i’m so done with it;  and as a matter of fact i’m 100% sure the dogs are done with it too! Brock and Sully usually love being outside and playing around – but not lately.  What was the run? 2 weeks? Two freaking weeks of temperatures over 100 degrees, what are we coming to people!?

I’ve been downing smoothies and frozen yogurt like its my job (this heat is the perfect excuse).  I have even stooped to taking a cold shower on the weekends just to cool off.  My poor little pups have had to grin and bear it.

Jake figured out that they love it when you fill their water bowl outside with ice cubes.  They go crazy and try to catch the ice like they are bobbing for apples.  Seeing them do this reminded me of the Puppy Party we had for Brock at a local pet shop earlier this year.  All of the canines were served “Doggy Ice Cream”, and they loved it so much that the owner was kind enough to give me her recipe!

It’s simple really, kind of reminds me of the way I make my dog biscuits (just throw in what you’ve got).

Here’s what I did:

1 large sweet potato

1/2 cup water

1 cup plain non-fat yogurt (use less if your dog has a weak stomach)

1 small banana

1. Peel and chop the sweet potato into large chunks.  Boil the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes or until soft

Bubble and Boil!

2. Combine the boiled sweet potatoes and 1/2 cup of water in a blender (or food processor) and mix until smooth.  It should look like baby food at this point.

Baby Food Mush

3. Add yogurt and banana split into chunks.  Hit that magical “liquefy” button and viola!

Mmmm..Looks Like Dessert

I poured my mix into silicone ice trays left over from the Fourth of July and stuck them with straws before freezing.  This will make it easier to pull the treats out of the tray.

Two Hours, and We're Ready to Go!

After about 2 hours I let the pups try the frozen treats with every intention of snapping some cute pics.  Yeah, that didn’t work out so well – Sully took hers in one bite and Brock grabbed his and ran.  This is all that was left:

Little Brats!

After a little research online, I noticed that some people add peanut butter or beef bouillon. Brock and Sully would go freaking nuts for that!

I’m Back, Baby!

16 Aug

Wahhhh! I’ve been gone for S-O long! So much has happened in the last few weeks that I have had almost no time to blog. Today is the first, yes first, afternoon that has left me with nothing to around 5pm.  After all the craziness, it feels great to be back to a schedule and have a sense of organization.

You’ve really missed out on a lot, my friends!  Here’s a quick re-cap to keep you up to date on my goings-on:

  • We moved! Yessir! Since signing the lease on our most favorite home to-date, we’ve packed up and cleared out.  We’ve already gotten all of our important items unpacked and have only one room full of “junk” (i’m saving it for a rainy day).  It is so relieving to come home to an open, clean and comfortable home.
  • Heather hosted girls night to celebrate Becca’s birthday!  I won’t reveal her age; she might sock-one-to-me if I do.  We enjoyed a delish Italian meal made by Ms. Patterson, and a heavenly cake made by our lovely friend Hannah
  • We celebrated my birthday! Yes, this old girl is now 23.  Let me know when I can pick up my walker 🙂

    Me and Mr. Jake

    We had a great night at Brew at the Zoo, an incredibly fun Beer Festival hosted by Riverbanks Zoo. Despite the fact that the Heavens opened on us, we had a great time touring the zoo with our 2-ounce sample glasses.  My favorite, by far, was the ACE Pear Cider made by The California Cider Company.

    Heaven in a Bottle

    It was bubbly, and light, and oh so refreshing.  Although it is a Pear flavored cider, it had a hint of banana – which I loved!

    The Ladies I Love!

  • Slightly less interesting than the above three, however so important to Jake and I – Brock became a crate-dog.  Jake was really resistant to it, but as a condition of our lease, we needed to at least HAVE  crate for him in the house.  Baby Brock ended up crawling into his crate while no-one was even paying attention. Ahhh…I can just feel the anxiety rolling off my shoulders!

    I want to lick your face!

I have some really fun posts planned for the next few days, so keep your eyes open!