Friday, January 18, 2013

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken with a Mexican Flare

There are literally hundreds (or more) recipes for crock pot chicken with cream cheese. This is just one of the variations. I read several recipes and made my own adaptations.

You'll need:

2.5 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 can diced tomatoes with green chili's
8-10 oz. chunky, medium, Pace Picante sauce
taco seasoning
1 yellow onion
2 cans black beans
2 cups cream cheese

the finished product
Sprinkle taco seasoning on both sides of chicken. Place chicken in crock pot. Rinse and drain both cans of black beans, pour on top of chicken. Pour diced tomatoes and Pace on top of the black beans. Dice up onion, mix into the bean/tomato mixture. Cook on low for 4.5 hours. Then add the cream cheese. Allow to cook an hour or two longer. Serve with rice and or tortilla's.

We found the mixture was a bit too runny to use the end result as burrito filling. We ate ours with Spanish rice and flour tortilla's and had extra salsa and shredded cheddar cheese for toppings for those who desired it. It was delicious! I will be making this again, no question.

If you really prefer mild flavors I'd recommend not using the medium Pace and either using their mild sauce or another can of diced tomatoes. I've seen this basic recipe where people added corn (not my cup of tea, I don't want any Tex in my Mex) and olives. Feel free to be creative and add whatever you think would blend well.

Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats

When I first found Pinterest I went a little nuts finding all these "cake batter" recipes. Truffles, fudge, rice krispie treats. I had the best intentions of making all of them. Yeah. Anyway, I finally made the rice krispie treats. I mostly followed the recipe here.

You'll need:

10 oz. marshmallows
3 Tbs. butter
6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
2/3 cup yellow cake batter (just the dry mix)
1/4 cup (or so) sprinkles (your choice)

Melt the butter and marshmallows over low heat. Once melted, slowly mix in the dry cake batter powder. Then mix in the rice krispie cereal. Sprinkle on about half the sprinkles, mix, then add the rest and mix.

Put into a 13x9 pan that's been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Allow to cool off before eating. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

USB Drives

Tell me we aren't the only family who never has a USB drive. It doesn't matter how many I've purchased, it seems every year when my kid needs one for any subject I have to buy another. How is this possible? Where do they go?

 In my search tonight I found the plug in alarm I had for my car... my car that I haven't had for 8 years. How is it possible I can find that, on which there is one, of which I have zero need for and not a freakin' USB drive?!

 Several drawer and desk digs later I finally did find one. Just one. One of however many I've purchased since my kid has needed them for school. He needs one for tomorrow you see, for pre-engineering. I think this particular USB thumb drive was from his 7th grade engineering class, so hey... but what about all the others? I started having to buy these things when he was in 5th grade. We're up to 9th now.

 Kid did give me some warning. He sent me a text today while I was at Target. So I looked for one. Guess what? Target had several brands, GB and colors of USB drives. However, had either red or blue. No red or blue at kid's school. Those be gang colors, yo. No bueno. So yeah... thankfully the USB that allowed itself to be found tonight is all black. *whew*

Monday, September 19, 2011

Favorite words

Words are powerful. I've known that I very much disliked certain words for decades now. It's only been more recently that I realized that I have at least as many words that I just adore. Do you have any favorite words? Care to share them with me in the comments? Is it strange to love a word? Oh well, it really doesn't matter if it is. My favorites:

imagine. This is something I never used to do with regards to my own life. It was reserved for reading books or watching movies/TV.
Definition: to think, believe, or fancy

hope. This is something I lived without for many years. I never want to feel that way again.
Definition: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best

love. Something I am learning more about every day. Realizing that we are here to love each other and that is a big enough 'life purpose'.
Definition: a profoundly tender, passionate affection;a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection for a person

grace. A group of amazing people have recently shown me what this really is. I will be forever grateful. One of my favorite words by far!
Definition: unmerited favor or goodwill

believe. Something I didn't allow myself to do for a long time... still learning to believe in myself as much as I believe in others.
Definition: to have confidence or faith in the truth of (a positive assertion, story, etc.

serendipity. This makes the list because I want so badly to live this way. I want to believe that life is like this in my head, not just my heart.
Definition: an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. good fortune; luck

serenity. I strive to be and feel this way. Always. Probably not good, normal or healthy to always feel this way... but perhaps something to aim for when more harsh feelings creep in.
Definition: the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil

dream. Something else I didn't allow myself to realize. I actually have dreams of my own. Things I want to do. It's time to start going for it!
Definition: a vision voluntarily indulged in while awake

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tales of cat litter. This is what my life has come to.

The last few months I haven't been able to find a store that carries the exact type of cat litter I prefer to buy. That is, Fresh Step Fragrance and Dye FREE. I prefer this because 1) it's generally cheap (as compared to Cat Attract) 2) I'm allergic to most fragrances (this is the biggest reason. Well, this & that it's cheap.) and 3) it just sounds like it's somehow better for my cat even though I'm really doing it for me.

So I've been forced to purchase whatever Fresh Step type the store has in stock. Do not let their lack of "Scented" on the box fool you. They are all scented. If it doesn't specifically say "Fragrance and Dye FREE" it's scented. Big time. It smells like really awful cheap perfume. You may be saying, "But isn't that better than the scent of cat urine and feces?" to which I would reply, "Only if you're not allergic to the fragrance of really awful, cheap perfume!"

It had gotten pretty bad. I could smell everywhere my cat had stepped. It smelled like horrid cheap perfume thanks to Fresh Step. And it burned my nose. And it made my eyes water and itch. And it made it harder for me to breathe. Basically the time came where I could not stand it any more and the following trip to the store I attempted to find any cat litter that stated it was fragrance free or unscented. Yeah. That crazy cat lady reading the labels on all the cat litter in Target that afternoon was me. There weren't any that I saw, by the way. Not all said they were scented, but none said they weren't and as is my experience that means they all were. Now lest you think I am shopping at some tiny mom & pop store that carries like one brand of cat litter. No. Target is generally my shop of choice. Super Target, baby! It is also worth noting that I looked many other places for Fresh Step Fragrance and Dye FREE cat litter as well during this period. No go. There is always Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract which is good stuff. I mean, it really is. If your cat has issues with not using the litter box, try it. But goodness it is pricey! Yes, the included coupons in every bag helps, but not enough for this single mom to buy it on a regular basis even to save herself from allergy issues.

Which leaves the option of that stuff that looks like wheat berries. What is the deal with that? I doubt my cat would tolerate it plus I guessed it was most likely scented. Then there is the option of the pine or cedar type stuff. We used to have pet rats (Yes. Rats. As pets. This was pre-cat, of course.) and yeah. I'm also allergic to many types of trees and therefore those also exacerbate my allergies. Good times all around. So I ended up buying what I thought had a chance of being unscented/fragrance free. It's from Arm & Hammer. They call it "Essentials" and it's made of biodegradable corn fibers. Ok, that's pretty cool right? Totally eco-friendly cat litter. Because of this I thought it might actually be fragrance free. You know, in the name of naturalness, etc., etc., blah, blah. Yeah, it's not. It doesn't smell like cheap perfume though which is a huge, huge plus. It smells like that sweet almost fruity type scent you get a whiff of when you walk into a Bath & Body Work's store. Dare I say that it's actually kind of pleasant. This is what I'm saying now. I only now put it into the cat box. We'll see what I say in a few days if or when I can smell it on every chair, every blanket and every inch of my bed.

This is not the look of a happy Skye
Nothing else will matter however if my cat decides she doesn't like to crap on corn fibers and decides to instead take to the carpet in our new house. Arm & Hammer and I are going to have a serious falling out if this occurs. I am already sightly apprehensive since Skye generally leaves her mark in her box as soon as I clean it. It's already been an hour and nothing. Eeeek.

.... to be continued... or not... hopefully not.....

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

R.I.P my beloved Chi. You served me well.

The flat iron pictured above was one I saved for and bought, new (allegedly), off eBay. I bought it when my son was in Kindergarten so that was... 8 years ago. I've probably used it daily for at least 6.5 years. I've dropped it many times. Others have dropped it many times. So it's been knocked around more than its fair share. I finally knocked it on the ground one too many times as you can see. To say I was upset would be an understatement. Chi's are not cheap and as far as I know, they do not grow on trees. At least not in California.

So, what to do, what to do? It wasn't like I could just up and order a new one. They're like $150.00 retail most places. Someone was looking out for me knowing I would keep using my old Chi, exposed wires and all (What?! I'd push the ceramic plate back on so they weren't exposed while in use!). I got an e-mail from Ulta with a coupon code for $20 off any purchase - including CHI products! That was a first!

Back when I bought my first Chi it was available in one size and one color only. Since then I've seen hot pink Chi's, zebra and leopard print Chi's... yeah. I don't like them. They aren't me. They aren't for me. It just so happens that Ulta has their own version of the Ultra Chi. As of this post it's no longer on their web site but it is the one I bought. It is glittery and blue (cobalt!) and gorgeous. And this... this was perfection. It also just so happened that that flat iron was on sale for $99. Uh, yeah! I bought it. Coupon code made it less than $80 shipped. Woot!

I am hoping this new pretty Chi will last as long as my previous one did... but from what I've read I probably shouldn't get my hopes up. :| I can tell the new Ultra Chi is not quite as heavy duty as the old one. But the new one does have the ceramic plates on a little swivel type thing which I'm excited to try out tomorrow. We shall see!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Pet Peeves... the first of many such posts

I hate that they're called "pet" peeves for one. I like my pet. If I didn't, I would find her a new home. These peeves, I don't like.

People who stop and sit there and don't attempt to make a right hand turn until the light turns green. Of course once the light turns green there are pedestrians which have the right away that we actually do have to wait for. But what's the deal? Why do so many people seem to believe they cannot turn right until the light is green? Right on a red is ok so long as it is safe. :P

photo stolen from

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's Friday peeps!

Exhasuted. Worn out. Can't do any more. This is me tonight. The last 2 weeks have been too long and filled with too much. So relieved that tonight is Friday night and that I don't have to work all weekend! Woop!

This is my weekend theme song