Wednesday, December 28, 2011

quote of the week...

"we all have our time machines, some take us back, they're called memories.  some take us forward, they're called dreams.
~jeremy irons

redondo beach, outdoor movie

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

home made hot coco mix...

my coworker makes this every year for holiday gifts and it is so good!  she was nice enough to pass on the recipe..


~1 14 quart box dry milk
~1 16 oz jar coffee mate
~1 lb. nestle quick coco mix
~1 16 oz. box powdered sugar
~2 cups sugar
~1 cup coco

mix together in large container, and package in mason jars.  add 4 tb. to cup of hot water and enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

another wreath...

i decided i wanted to make jarad's parents a yarn wreath as part of their holiday gift.  i picked red, white and black to match their decor, and jarad said his mom would love some leopard print in there.  here is how it came out...

***check out my original "yarn wreath" post to see how to make this step by step***

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

quote of the week...

"go back a little to leap further"
~john clarke

huntington beach

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

holiday cheer...

one of my co-workers (and friend) is a very talented artist.  last week he left us a surprise at the office.  he painted bottles with a personalized note on the back and put a piece of his art in each one.  they are all different and a one of a kind.  what a bright start to the day...

If you saw the post on my re-decorated living room, David Phillips painted the skull lamp that sits on the table below all my artwork.  i also have another painting that hangs over my sofa.  check out his website here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

creamy chicken chili...

another crock pot recipe!  kinda, sorta, not really like my white bean chicken chowder...


~2 chicken breasts
~1 can diced tomatoes and chili's (similar to rotel brand)
~1 can black beans
~1 can corn kernels
~2-3 diced fresh anaheim peppers (optional)
~8 oz. package of cream cheese
~1 packet of ranch seasoning mix
~1 1/2 t. chili powder
~1 t. onion powder
~1 cup white rice (to be cooked separately and served with chili on top)

how to:

cut chicken into pieces and throw all ingredients and spices into crock pot, stir and cook on low for 8 hours.

this is what the chili looks like when it is finished...

cook up a side of rice and serve chili on top.  enjoy!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

garden box...12 weeks

we picked our first tomato!!!

jarad sliced it for a sandwich and i cut it in chunks for a veggie pizza...i'm not a big tomato fan, but this was good!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

sweet and spicy meatballs...

here is an awesome recipe for meatballs, i recently made these in the crock pot for a holiday party, and they were a big hit!

meatball ingredients:

~3 lbs. lean chop meat
~2 cups panko (japanese bread crumbs)
~2 eggs
~1 t. red chili flakes
~1 t. ground ginger
~1 t. garlic powder
~salt and pepper to taste

sweet and spicy sauce ingredients:

~1 cup soyaki
~2 cup bbq sauce
~3/4 cup grape jelly
~1/2 cup water
~2 tb. worcester sauce
~2 tb. tapatio

how to:

mix all meatball ingredients together and form into 1 inch balls.  pan fry them briefly so they lightly brown.  i do this so they maintain their shape while they cook in the crock pot.  if you do a smaller batch, you may be able to eliminate this step completely.

place meatballs in crock pot, cover with sauce, and cook on low for 6 hours.

this is what they should look like after cooking all day...

serve with sweet hawaiin rolls to make mini sandwiches or even just lay out toothpicks so they can be eaten straight out of the pot.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

quote of the week...

"go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great purpose in your heart.  love life and look for its opportunities."
~gordon b. hinckley

rhode island

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

santa hat brownie bites...

we recently had a holiday party, and i made a "no cook" dessert.  here is how i assemble my santa hat brownie bites...


~brownie bites (i got mine at whole foods)
~cream cheese or vanilla frosting (with ziplock bag to pipe on)
~1 container of fresh strawberries

how to:

cut off tops of strawberries....

spoon frosting into one side of ziplock bag and cut tip off, this is what you will use to pipe frosting. 

put a dab of frosting in the middle of the brownie bit to "glue" down your strawberry.

once strawberry is in place, pipe frosting around the base of the berry and a dab on top of the strawberry.

it should look like a santa hat when it is done...

repeat this process with all of your brownie bites, serve to guests on a nice platter and enjoy!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

warm fudgy pudding cake...

this was my first attempt at a dessert in the crock pot, and it was a delicious chocolate cake!  very easy and satisfying for your sweet tooth.


~box of devils food cake
~box of chocolate pudding
~16 oz sour cream
~4 eggs
~3/4 cup vegetable oil
~1 cup water
~1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

combine all ingredients (except chocolate chips) and blend with hand mixer.

 fold in chocolate chips and pour batter into greased crock pot.

cook on low heat for 5 hours or until the edges start to pull away from edge of crock pot.  keep lid covered to allow for even heat distribution.

 serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.  i served mine with peppermint ice cream (seemed appropriate for the holiday season).

this cake tastes delicious, but is not much to look at.  this recipe also makes a lot...i would say you have at least 8-10 large servings.  i ended up freezing the leftover cake in individual sized ziplock bags for when i need a quick chocolate fix.  enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

garden box...11 weeks

garden box is looking big and healthy and finally getting some produce that will be ready to pick very soon.

the tomatoes are starting to change color, they still don't look ready to pick, but i hope they taste as good as they look.

the cucumbers have multiple babies coming in on every plant...

and the squash are also getting more and more blossoms and plants coming in...

here is our brocolli raab baby transplants (sprouts to the right of the green onions)...

and our lettuce transplants:

Thursday, December 8, 2011


here is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to give new life to a cheap candle.

what you need:

 ~tall candle in glass vase (i got mine at the 99 cent store)
 ~twine or yarn
 ~hot glue gun and glue sticks
  ~felt flowers for decoration

how to:

glue twine to top of candle and start wrapping it around and around (gluing it every now and then) until the entire glass candle holder is covered.

add a few felt flowers, light and enjoy (or give as a holiday gift).