Thursday, February 24, 2011

2 recipes that rock it

I am in a generous mood. This morning I found some bright Gerber's tucked in my mailbox. It was much appreciated, although Abby insists they are for her. Maybe.

So in this light I want to share a new family favorite recipe. (the one I mentioned in 30 before 30)

I had serious intentions of taking a pic the last time I made this, but alas it went straight into every one's belly's before I could do so. So for those who hesitate to make a recipe without a picture, please take my word for it.

1/2 c honey
1/4 c lime juice
1 T chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 & 1/2 lbs chicken, cooked and shredded

Stir together honey, lime juice, chili powder and garlic powder until combined. Add chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes (I do it overnight, plus this is the best part of the recipe-don't scrimp, make more if possible).

2 (10 oz) cans green enchilada sauce
1 c half & half
flour tortillas (wheat are delish)
shredded Colby jack cheese (or that big bag of Cheddar you have in the fridge)

mix enchilada sauce with half & half. Spread roughly 3/4 c of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Fill flour tortillas with marinated chicken and cheese, roll up, then place side-by-side in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas and top with more cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

When we make it, I get a side of the instant Spanish flavored rice (the Mexican rice is our 2nd fav), some sour cream, mashed up avocado, and some of Harmon's fresh salsa. And if I'm impressing my guests, I'll have some quartered limes to garnish.

L.O.V.E. this dish. Mmm.

And since I love you, here is another instant favorite around here. Recently I had the sisters and kiddos over for a sugar cookie frosting party. We served up some mac n'cheese for the kids, but for the adult women in my life who deserve something more sophisticated, I made this salad. And trust me, I am plotting some other female gathering so I can make it again. (Why is it men never appreciate a good salad?)


1 bag of spring lettuce mix
3 green onions
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 avocado, diced
1 apple, diced
1/2 c dried cranberries, or crasins
1/3 c crumbled blue cheese
1/2 c caramelized almonds

2 T white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 & 1/2 T sugar
1/4 c oil

whisk together dressing ingredients. Toss salad ingredients and dressing just prior to serving. If preparing in advance, remember to add diced apple and avocado directly to jar of dressing to keep from browning. Shake before adding to salad.

And if you make if for lunch don't forget to toss in some chicken to make it more of a meal.

Alright, 2 favorite recipes. Don't worry this isn't turning into a recipe blog.

Monday, February 21, 2011

everyone deserves one

Apologies if this post is too chipper. I am coming off a high from a perfectly delightful weekend. Everything was just what I needed it to be.

Saturday, my friends, was the crowning jewel this weekend. It started out with family pulling up in trucks and trailers, chainsaws and work gloves in tow to remove our tree. It was fast, and relatively painless, leaving me with plenty of time to reflect on the blessing of family.
Then I took off with A to Target. I had promised her a Strawberry Shortcake surprise if she lived up to her end of the bargain. We perused all the aisles enjoying the day, when I got a call from a dear, dear friend telling me to get home. Surprised, I called Bug. He said she had arranged this a few days previous, and wanted to kidnap me. So, I suddenly found my day went from being great to fantastic.

She pulled up with a fresh Dr. Pepper and non-kid friendly music blasting out memories of high school. She promptly handed me a paper listed with many fabulous and thoughtful ideas on our "Jolly Holiday with Holli" day. You should have seen my smile.

And because its us, and our love for things old-made-new-again, we skipped the movies and pedi appointment and went consignment/antique shopping. I tell you, if you have never set foot in a consignment store before YOU are missing out! Seriously. Should I suddenly turn this into why I love them? Unleash the passion on you? I'll keep it simple with 3 reasons to love them: 1. I feel its a more responsible way to shop. 2. I feel like a treasure hunter. 3. It satisfies that desire in me to have things in my home that not everyone else has too.

My friends, I know we all have days when we need to be kidnapped. My advice, do it. Go grab your friend now and pull off blasting your tunes and sipping that special drink of choice. And if you want to do it "Jolly Holiday with Holli" style this is where you go:

Emilie Jayne: 801 S. 800 E. our favorite consignment, hands down. Love the color coordination, and the owners pickiness in what they re-sale.

Second Hand Chic: 2006 S. 900 E. good. They also color coordinate, but I found I wasn't as tempted to purchase.

Home Again: 1019 E. 2100 S. (also one in midvale) The first consignment I stumbled into. ever. Some of my best staple furniture pieces came from here. I always try and squeeze in a visit when possible.

Abode: 1720 S. 900 E. more on the antique-ish type stuff. This is where you get a lot of corks for a buck, and such.

Moriarty's Antiques and Curiosities: 959 S West Temple. The place is huge, the workers nice. A little overpriced for what I am there for, but I still found a treasure or two (that are now prominently displayed in B's room).

Euro Treasures: 470 W 600 S-right as you get off the freeway. I must warn you, we went there for the first time Saturday and a few of my thoughts were: "why am I wearing a white shirt?" "good thing I recently got my tetanus shot." "when can we come back?" I loved this place. Picture a huge warehouse packed so full of old stain glass windows, millions of chairs, tables, dressers, doors, old fireplace mantels, and everything else you can imagine jammed in there so full you have to turn side ways in some places and carefully balance your way through. I can't lie. It felt like Christmas morning walking in there. My head was reeling with project possibilities. The business card for this place says "liquidating the largest collection of European antiques ever sold." At this point in the day we started sending pictures of us sitting amongst all the chairs to our husbands back fathering at home, and receiving texts back saying they were cancelling credit cards and declaring bankruptcy now.

And don't forget to stop for lunch (also mentally appreciating that you don't have to share your fries with the 3 year old, or rearrange the drinks on the table so the 1 year old won't pull it all onto the floor). We stopped at my ALL TIME favorite bakery: Gourmandies 250 S 300 E. After splitting a panini with the perfect consistency of gooey cheese, we both settled in to enjoy the rice pudding. I tell you, this is my gateway into bliss.

So, go on out and have your own Jolly Holiday with Holli. Heck you can really even kidnap and bring me along (I'll tell you the best places to park).

And if you have never been in a consignment store before: promise me you'll go.

And if you have and weren't impressed you weren't in a good one. Try one of mine.

And if your located down south I even have some favorites down there. Let me know and I'll pass those along too.

And if you are already a connoisseur of consignments-I am always giddy to try new ones...pass them along.

But in the end, just take off for the day. We can hold off yet til the sunshine is a permanent fixture in our lives again.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

r.i.p. tree

Dearest Bug,

When you get home tonight, you'll find us minus a tree.

The big 40' one in the backyard. In fact, I suppose I should say we are minus a backyard because there is a huge tree in its place at the moment.

Remember how we were so excited last night that we had no house project or plans this weekend? Fate overheard.

RIP tree. And for that matter: hello backyard neighbors. Bug, this is also probably an ideal time to stop wandering the house in your g's at night. The neighbors now have a straight shot in. That or get curtains...

P.S. If anyone has some fancy to sport pine wreaths on their door, I would happily supply the boughs free of charge.

Friday, February 11, 2011

for the picture lover

Hello friends. Just checking in.We are all excited about Valentine's Day around here. In fact, just returned from delivering these delectable little bubble gum necklaces to some special Valentine's. (pictured a little better below...A is showing you that you can eat the necklace) I have a treasure hunt in mind for the kids, and we were able to get a babysitter (thanks mom) last minute so Bug & I could escape. Can't wait.

Also, after working (yet again) our behinds off we put our old house on the market. And after one week, a flurry of calls, showing the house, while also getting a crash course on land-lording we are excited to have tenants. I have to tell you, it will be totally weird to have someone else inhabit our house. Up til now we could still drop by on a whim. And it also makes it all the more bittersweet since the basement is newly remodeled, the stairwell painted just how I wanted 4 years ago, the 'purple' room now the 'yellow' room, new carpet everywhere, and the deepest cleaning the house has ever seen. Ever. And can I even admit that while putting the for 'for rent' sign out, Bug & I shared a moment of silence? Does anyone else need some happiness after all this rental chitchat? How about a photo op. If you would have chanced by on the night Bug had class this week, you would have found most of us dressed up (aka everyone except me).
In fact, maybe we do this a lot? And should I worry Mr. B is happiest most when holding a spoon?Also, if A sees my camera out and about she fills it up with little beauties like this one. (lion in his crib) There are also a lot of up-the-nose shots too. One day when she's a famous photographer, maybe I'll go public with these.

Until next week. (I have a few 30 before 30 goals to cross off with you, and I am sharing my all-time favorite recipe).


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

30 before 30

Here it is. The much awaited and highly anticipated list. I have been thinking long and hard about this one, only considering goals I think are achievable, but will be a good catalyst for growth. I also was picky that they had to relate directly to me. None of this goals-for-my-kids stuff. Shame on me if I don't have enough boundaries and self awareness to come up with 30 goals for myself. (teach A to ride a bike will just have to start some other list.) Some I have even begun to tackle already; others I know I will procrastinate. And without further delay and in no particular order: 1. Roast a chicken. (thank you Martha Stewart Living January addition for prompting this one) 2. Put together a meal idea book. This idea is pulling all the "good" recipes I have into one location, listing their ingredients (breaking down into pantry and fresh) and then at a glance deciding what the weekly menu will be. I have Bug's cousin, Cynthia, to thank for helping me get going on this one. I am SO excited. This will conquer food storage, quick grocery lists, and save some $ along the way. We have already begun, but I still need to type it up. 3. Paint an oil painting to go above our stairwell in the entry way. Deep breath. I just figured out the subject matter. Wish me luck. And if you stop by and see a painting hung over our stairwell, please utter nothing but encouragement. Lying is absolutely permissible. 4. Sew something with my inherited sewing machine. All knobs and twisty things are not set right. The first challenge will be to get the machine working before I attempt to sew. And, have I mentioned I am not a sewer? 5. Meet with Bug's Aunt Janese to go peruse family photos. We have talked about doing this forever. 6. Loose weight. Don't worry I have a specific # I am working towards, and a specific plan...know that's key to goal setting but I am keeping it to myself. 7. Read the Book of Mormon. Helps me to have a deadline. 8. Sell my first oil painting. Is this too much? I don't know. This is the one that makes me most anxious. Last year I sold several watercolors, with a few more commissioned pieces on the horizon. I am grateful and humbled by the experience. Now that I am taking up oils again, I hope to attain a level of skill that is also desired by others as well. Long way to go before this happens. 9. See The Little Mermaid in St. George this summer with the fam. 10. Get my passport. 11. Paint kitchen cabinets. (white in case your wondering) And hoping that getting new counter tops and floors will shortly follow. 12. Repurpose free-standing jewelry box. Such big plans in my head for this one. Can't wait to see if it turns out as good as it is in my imagination. Warm sunny weather, please get here so I can reunite with my paint gun? 13. DI my clothes. Done. And I even color sorted my closet. 14. Get scrapbook items up to date. This is the item I dread the most. Hate scrapbooking. Hate it. Will probably be saving this one until right before the big deadline. 15. Print off blog for my mom. (who is not internet savvy, but still likes to read my ramblings.) 16. Sort through every cupboard in the house. There are cupboards I haven't even touched since the its time to figure out whats all where. 17. Organize A's room. Done. Moving basically equaled some rooms having stuff dumped in drawers and A's room got hit hardest. Plus it feels good to rid the house of an abundance of dollar items and happy meal toys that no longer work or are missing pieces. You are welcome, DI. 18. Host a YW reunion dinner. 19. Invite 4 new neighbors to dinner. This one also is a bit intimidating. My courage comes from a new recipe I tried that's to die for. Hopefully our new friends will feel the same? 20. Try all the places on our 'eat out' list with Bug. You are more than welcome to join us on this one. 21. Journal in kids' journals once a month. This is where I pour my heart out. Used to be so good at this, but have since needed to recommit. 22. Host/throw a craft party. Excited about this. After explaining the concept to Bug, he said "so like a mini-enrichment night?" Kinda, which frustrated me to affirm. (when I saw another blog post on this, I died with envy.) Who's in? 23. Eat at least 1 serving of fruit and veggies a day. I know I should already have this down, but I find myself being so hypocritical about this. Insisting the kids get their servings, and then in my head "hm, a banana doesn't sound good to me." Whatev. Will try to change. 24. Watch all the shows on my bbc list. There are 22, and I have seen 3. This is an indulgence. 25. Sleep overnight at the cabin at least 4 times this summer. Love the cabin, and need to start using a mini-vacation spot instead of an afternoon retreat. Although there is nothing wrong with escaping for a couple hours. 26. Update my goodreads profile. This is basically nonexistent. I keep getting asked what my book recommendations are, and it would be helpful if this baby was already up and running like its intended to be. 27. Relearn 2 guitar songs. Does this one surprise any of you? Did you know I took a semester or two in college? Don't get too excited. I wasn't amazing, but I would love to start dabbling in it again. 28. Make headboard for our bed. 29. Take the Salt Lake Walking Tour. 30. Be on vacation on my actual birthday. Don't care where. Actually that is untrue. Being in the same valley as my house does not constitute a vacation. And there we are. Thirty of them. Wish me luck. I am a lover of lists, so hopefully I will be extra motivated to strike through my goals. I have roughly 8 months to tackle these. And don't worry, I'll keep you posted.