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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

One Pot Southwest Pasta

How was everyone's weekend? Sorry for my absence. I was spending time with Chip and the kids, enjoying the lower humidity and sunshine! I decided we don't really have fall here in Arizona, we have second summer. Why you all are enjoying your fall temps and colors, we are just a little cooler and enjoying all the wonders our state has to offer, mostly hiking!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

It seems all my well thought out plans seem to fizzle before I execute them. This post should have gone out yesterday, but I was helping my daughter move some pictures in her room and it took a lot longer than I planned. I know I said I would give you all an update on my daughter, but I think I'll wait a little bit.

I will tell you that having Chip travel a lot is not something I'm terribly fond of right now. I talk to him every night when he's gone (it's something my dad did when I was growing up and he had to travel a lot too and it just stuck), but he is distracted and doesn't seem very happy, so I prefer to talk to him when he's completely present. Does that make sense? It's not like the traveling is something new. He started traveling two weeks after we found out I was pregnant with our son (who will be 23 in about six weeks), so the travel I can handle, but it's been a lot more than we planned and I miss him.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

After School Beverages with Cascade Ice

*Disclaimer: I was sent this product from Cascade Ice to review and create or use their recipes for review purposes only. I have not been compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own of those of my family.

You all know of our love of Cascade Ice from previous posts using their product to create yummy drink combinations. They are actually just as delicious to drink on their own. The kids have their favorite, which is the Peach Mango!

When Cascade Ice contacted me to help promote some great back to school drinks I was more than ready. Okay, so my kids are not going back to school yet, or at all! But, they are more than happy to have a refreshing drink while sitting by the pool or after a day of work.

What I love about Cascade Ice, and you should too, is the drinks are sodium free, caffeine free, gluten free, zero grams of sugar, and no carbs!! Woohoo! Who wouldn't love to serve this to their kids after school? Plus, when you serve something in a fancy glass they think it's an extra treat, don't they?

Head on over to their website to see where you can buy one of their many flavors to have ready for your kids when they get home from school today!

We decided to make three drinks. The first being an Apple Fizzy. This was a suggestion from Cascade Ice and it was very refreshing. Just take a glass, fill it with ice and pour in McIntosh Apple Cascade Ice. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and apple slices. What should you do with the rest of the apple? Why slice it up, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with a little cinnamon. This was a favorite after school snack of my daughter's growing up. Give it a try!!

Next up a smoothie. I mean, who doesn't love a smoothie? This one is a Berry Blast Smoothie, changed slightly from Cascade Ice's suggested recipe. Mostly based on what we had in the refrigerator and what we like to eat!

1 cup sliced apples
3/4 cup strawberry yogurt
Handful of fresh strawberries (or any berries)
Blend, pour in a glass and top with berries.
*You can substitute 1/2 cup soy or almond milk for half of the Huckleberry Blackberry for a creamier and thicker drink.

Finally we made a very simple Lemon Slushie.  This was perfect on the day I made it because it was a bit warm which always calls for a cold drink enjoyed by the pool!

Blend ice and 8 ounces of Lemonade Cascade Ice in your blender. You can add more lemonade until it's the desired consistency or add a bit of club soda! Either way, it will cool you off and make you wish for one more summer day!

Thank you Cascade Ice for the delicious drinks! Cheers!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Carrot Romesco

Good Morning! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are energized to start this new week. We were busy, but it was good! It was nice having Chip home, of course he's headed out again today for the week. I think the kids are tired of spending time with me!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Crazy Easy Fish Tacos

How are you all doing? I finally cooked something! I know I have fish tacos on the blog, but these are so easy I had to share.

I was talking to the kids about inexpensive and easy meals to prepare either at school or once they are living on their own. I mean, how much pasta can a young adult consume? I remember Chip and I use to eat pasta with butter and cheese. Or, when he was feeling fancy he would pour cold pasta sauce on the hot pasta. His theory was the pasta would warm the sauce, so why add a step. It was so wrong! But, when you're short on cash you do what you have to do. I wish I had known about some of these quick and inexpensive meals when we were younger! Now I can just pass them on to the kids.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Deep Thoughts

Do you remember back in the day (I can say that because some people think I'm old, like my five-year-old great niece) on Saturday Night Live when they had Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey? Always so random and very funny!

While out on my run the other day it popped into my head. So, here you go, some of these thoughts are deep, some shallow, some funny, some pointless!

1. There are days I have thought about discontinuing this blog. I feel my readership has dropped tremendously, regardless of what I do, and my heart isn't in it most days. But, I have committed to a blog conference in a few months and feel I need to stick it out until at least the end of the year.

2. I have started running again, a little, once or twice a week. My knee is starting to feel much better, it only locks up when I have it stuck in one position for too long. I do plan to go see a doctor, but with four people sharing two cars it makes it a bit of a challenge.

3. I am a little obsessed with my Fitbit stats. Ever since I returned my Force (which you could see your step count, time, floors, etc.) and bought a Flex I find myself checking it all the time to see how close I am. Yes, each dot indicates about 2000 steps taken, but I need a true number!

4. Speaking of my Fitbit, I have friends I kind of compete with on my dashboard. I think one of them is cheating. How in the world do you go from 5000 steps a day to 18,000? I'm not buying it. And, how do you get steps when you're sitting on a plane? I'm talking a thousand or more. It's just fishy to me. Why do people do this? What happened to honesty?

5. I worry almost constantly about my daughter. She has these blood clot disorders, and has a blood clot, and I am always concerned about her. I especially worry when she travels. She went to NYC recently (first time she's been since she was six and that trip included her parents, brother, both sets of grandparents, her aunt, and her babysitter) to visit a friend who is interning there this summer. Okay, I may have been worried about just the big city part, but I worry about her moving on the plane, in the airport, etc. I know there is nothing I can do, but it's always in the front of my mind.

6. I just checked my Fitbit dashboard and I'm in the lead! (Told you I was obsessed)

7. I love all our new friends here in Arizona. Honestly? They are more fun and want to do more than any of our friends in St. Louis.

8. I don't understand people who shower and get all dressed up with full make-up to go to the grocery store. Does the food really care? How many people do you know when you go? Why do you care? Obviously I am not one of these people!

9. Why have we become a society so obsessed with technology that we cannot have dinner conversation anymore? Have you looked around when you're dining out? How many people are on their phones ignoring their dinner companion? It's just sad to me. We really try to keep our phones put away when out and when we're at home. I never let the kids have their phones at the dinner table.

10. I love when Chip comes home with flowers for me! Sometimes it's just the little things.

11. I have a notebook where I write down all my workouts each week. I'm a little odd. I like to make lists. I don't go back and look at them, I just like writing down what I did every day.

12. I am bored with cooking right now. We have been eating a lot of family favorites. I try to do this when the kids are home from college, well just my daughter now. It doesn't feel like much of a challenge to me, maybe that's why I'm feeling so bored!

13. You know how everyone says you need to eat more leafy veggies? Well, it's difficult when you live with someone on blood thinners, because they can't have them and must limit their Vitamin K intake.

14. A bird flew into the window the other day. I didn't think much of it until I looked and it was dead on the patio. I may have left it there for over 3 hours so Chip could clean it up. I even let the dogs out the front yard because I didn't want to be near it.

15. I really do not care for people using Facebook to complain about every aspect of their lives. Are these people really that unhappy? Or the ones who leave cryptic messages just waiting for a response. I have almost completely stopped posting on Facebook except my blog's page.

16. I am concerned with the state of our country. Nothing has changed in so many years and it's leading to more tension, every where. We have been spared the constant reports on the events in the St. Louis area because we have been dealing with some major rain down here. But, I'm still concerned.

Those are my thoughts, currently. I hope you're not bored! I hope to have a recipe for you tomorrow. I just haven't had the desire to write much this week. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

Happy Monday to all of you! I hope you had a wonderful weekend filled with love and laughter doing everything you wanted! We accomplished a lot of moving things around, going through a lot of things with our daughter from her childhood (our son did this earlier in the summer) and eating at a favorite restaurant. Oh, and making a dozen freezer meals for future dinners!