FOUR of your FAVORITE recipes

Prepare for some new food!  Since moving to Portland, I have found a fun and crafty friend.  She pretty much rocks. Here's Lisa's blog tom & lisa + 2 that you need to go check out.  She loves to find some random looking furniture, make it gorgeous, and then sell it.  I have several projects ready to pay her to do.  :)

Not only is she crafty, but she's fun to talk to and poses thoughtful life questions.  Her search for balance in motherhood is one understood by all us SAHM (stay at home moms).   Between her projects she has a good voice and witty personality.

Here are a few of my favorites:

A recent make-over that I would love as a bedside table.

Adorable earring combos...she's really good at that.

And a headboard to die for!  I want my little girl to have a room with this shade of pink and then maybe some accents with green and brown.
SO the real reason for this post is her amazing food!  I've been really tired of everything on our "usual" list, so in the past month we probably haven't eaten the same thing twice...except these recipes.

Just a little side-note...each of these deserve their own post, because they are that good, but I don't want to deprive you that long.  So here you go.  You're welcome.  Thanks, Lisa.

Taco Cones 
(AKA Taco Ice Cream Cones)
4-5 big tomatoes, chopped
1 can olives, drained and chopped
2 avocados, chopped
2 cans kidney beans
1 bundle of green onions, chopped
Couple handfuls of grated cheddar cheese

1 pt. sour cream
16 oz. medium salsa
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
Dash of garlic salt
About 2/3 bag of corn chips, smashed

Burrito-size flour tortillas

Mix all ingredients together.  Cut tortillas in half, then roll to make a cone.  Fill with mixture.

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
(do not be afraid that there is lettuce AND pasta together in this salad)
3 cups (about 12 oz) shredded cooked chicken breast / or grilled (may use less)
3 cups cooked penne pasta (about 6 oz. uncooked)
2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1 ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
½ cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup Caesar dressing (or to taste)
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (4-oz.) pkg. crumbled feta cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
Sea salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, toss well. Best when chilled 10-15 minutes before serving. 

Tortellini and Bean Soup
Light, yet perfectly filling with the tortellini
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 med onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
8 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
3 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
Black pepper, to taste
12 oz fresh or frozen cheese tortellini

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute for 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and drained tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, oregano, basil, black beans, vinegar, and black pepper to taste.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Finally, add the tortellini to the soup and cook for 5-8 minutes or until tender.  Serves 8.

Chicken Enchilada Soup
HOLY COW this is good!  I made this last night and really really really want to make it again for tonight.
28 oz chicken broth
2 cups cooked, diced chicken
4-6 oz diced green chilies (when doubling, add 3 cans)
1 15 oz can corn, drained
1 10.75 oz can Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 tsp ground cumin (or more if you love it)
2-3 tsp lime juice

Chopped tomatoes
Shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions
Sliced olives
Diced avocados
Sour Cream
Fresh chopped cilantro

Bring the soup ingredients to a boil, adding the chicken last.  Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  Ladle into bowls and let everyone choose their toppings.  Double this for company or for yourself (it keeps well in the fridge).  This one never fails.

My Shirt to Her Dress

I have a pile of clothes that I didn't really like how they fit, and now that I'm pregnant, feel totally fine parting with.  However, as I looked over the pile the other night, I realized there where several things that I could fix for my little girl.

Thanks to my friend Kathie for this shirt, I now have a little dress.  I love that it already had a band around the waist and now fits perfect as a hip band on a dress.

Here's how the shirt began.  I hemmed up the sleeves/shoulders, took in the sides from the armpits down to the hip band (leaving the bottom un-hemmed for some flair), and took off the collar.  It really was simple adjustments to make this work for my girly.  I totally think you should try it.

(ps i hemmed the right sleeve top on this already...and then remembered that i wanted to take a picture first )

Petals you CAN'T live without: The Fabric Daisy

I have been having lots of fun the past couple of days planning out some new flowers!  This is what I have to show.

Looking at this picture of a daisy from this site,  I think it fits perfect with these fantastic flowers.

So although my kids have been running high temps, runny noses, and coughs galore, I've squeezed in some crafting.  They are too cute to pass up, so now it's your turn.

How do you make these?  (follow the link below)

I'm off to get clips! Yea for Shoe Sugar!

This is what I've been wanting to do forever!  I'm glad I'm not the only one so now I can have more ideas.

Kathleen Frances has a fantastic blog called Grosgrain that you must see.  This month she is doing Shoe Sugar (as she has called it).  So I'm off to pick up some secure clips to make my own.  I'm sure the hair clips might work, but they could also fall off easily because they lack some teeth.  So depending on your shoe, if you want it to have little teeth marks or not, choose your clip.

I can't link her pictures, but here's some of the buttons with her shoe clips.  I can see this as a 2011 addition to ruffles, white kitchens, subway art, and t-shirt up-cycling, can't you??

As for my own projects, I'm working on some flower love and a long over-due apron.  PS Have I told you I love fabric covered buttons?

Loving Scarfs!

I found some awesome patterns from Megan's Brassy Apple that I will be purchasing soon...because they are irresistible.  Seriously, I know you want to get them, too!

In addition, I found the Pleated Knit Scarf from Ashley's Make it and Love it and knew I just need to whip one up with some left-over knit.

Pleated Knit Scarf...My Belly...My Toes

Crush on my Prego Skinny Jeans...(sshh - that I made!)

So now I live in Oregon.  No big surprise, except to my feet.

I think I was California from birth.  I've always preferred sandals, slip-ons, and open toes to anything.  Now I live in a rainy state that makes all my cloth flats wet and cold (and non-sock friendly).  And what else do I have to wear?  Heel boots.  No.  Running shoes.  They might be practical, but not cute.  No.  And I do not have rain boots.

My solution was to buy this great pair of flat brown boots from Target, that were $10 off, and pair them with some skinny jeans.  Fashionable and practical.

Only problem, no skinny maternity jeans.

This pregnancy I've had to purchase some new pants, mostly from a great consignment store "Back on the Rack" that's just down the street.  So I have my old slightly larger maternity pants from before.

I took matters into my own hands.

I've made my own skinny jeans before.  You can check out this post if you want to see.  I followed the same idea, except I didn't previously have skinny prego jeans to copy.  See below for method.

Boy Project: Puppy Dog Clothes

This was a fun and simple upcycle morning project: superhero shirt and cape for beloved Puppy Dog.

With BOYS in mind, check out Dana's "Celebrate the Boy" in February at MADE.  She rocks.

I had cut off some superhero pj's the kids had gotten for Daddy, so they were perfect for this project.

I used the bottom hem of the pants for the bottom of the shirt, sewed a line up for the shirt sides and across for the bottom arm holes.  Then I sewed a top line for the top arm seam.  I left the shirt sleeves and neck hole with a raw edge *gotta love knit.  Then he called for a cape.  I just cut a piece with ties attached = no sewing.

And well received!  This picture makes me smile.  I will be sad when Puppy Dog is on the shelf.  (and no, he didn't come with a button nose...he's had a nose job because of some intense love)

Speaking of toys on shelves, has anyone seen Toy Story 3 and about cried at the end?  Well done (again) and sad to see a goodbye to toys and little boys.

And then there was a baby that decided she needed a cape, too.  Just to fit in.  :)

Weekend Find and Weekend Food

When we lived in California, our family on-campus housing was known for its dumpster diving.  I'm just here to announce that we still have that blood in us.  Some of you might find it a little unnerving, but there are some good things that people leave for, to find.

We've had a good hand-me-down table for a while now.  It was light colored, food encrusted on the bottom (disgusting), stamp and marker stained, and had sticky legs from packing tape.  It had lots of love in it.

I took the garbage out and found this.  An Ikea table, basically perfect condition, and had my name written all over it.  We traded tables.  That's the true dumpster diving way.  At our old complex this table wouldn't have lasted even 2 minutes before it was snatched, so we're pretty happy with our find.

Yea us!

Okay, on to food.  Even though I haven't been sewing as much recently, I have been eating.  My weekly budgeting (the best system ever) always stays on track when I have a menu for the week.  This past week I filled our days with new recipes I had tagged from allrecipes.  So so good!

Perfect for a cold day.  The real bacon crumbles made the perfect compliment.  I didn't have any baked potatoes on hand, so I diced and boiled some raw ones instead.  Definitely a keeper - might even replace my Leek Soup recipe.

I have been wanting to try this recipe for a while now.  This was the weekend.  However, when I went to make it, I had half the time needed to make it.  It requires 20 min cook time for the rice and 20 for after you stuff the peppers. 

I cut that in half.  While I was cooking the rice mixture, I thickly sliced the green peppers, salted them, and broiled them on low until they were nice and tender.

I served the rice/meat mixture over the peppers, grated cheese on top, and drizzled slightly saucy heated tomato soup on top.  

Awesome.  I will also do this again.  I hope you try it.

And one more thing, introducing my drool of the moment: The 2011 Ford Flex.  So with a 3rd on the way, we'll have to get a bigger car.  Our Saturn Vue will fit three boosters/car seats, but elbow to elbow children does not pose a peaceful car journey.  

Not that this is what we'll get, but it's a very pretty option, don't you think?
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