Thursday, April 22, 2010

I like it hot! Just a little something to spice up your Thursday!

You know what they say.  "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!"  (Side note: Did you know that the originator of this quote was Harry S. Truman?  Don't say you didn't learn anything from me!)  As far as chili goes, I like it hot (spicy that is, though I don't want to eat cold chili so temperature hot is needed as well).  Spicy is where it is at!

If I'm being honest, I like a lot of food spicy.  The spicier the better.  If it's not burning your lips, then it's not hot  The need for spice has kind of been a recent development in my palate, maybe over the last year or so, much to my husband's dismay.  He likes food to be spiced more on the lukewarm side, but he's trying his best to keep up with me.  He told me that he is actually scared at how hot our food will have to be to satisfy me when I become  He's too cute. :)

Anyways...I decided to make chili this afternoon for tonight's dinner. (Hey the best chili needs time to rest.  Ever notice that chili tastes better the next day?  That's because the flavors have had time to meld together and get all super yummy.)  I usually use that McCormick Original Chili Seasoning and add to it, but I didn't have any on hand and I was too lazy to make a trip to the  So I Googled around and found a recipe that sounded similar to what was in the seasoning mix.  It took a little tasting and additions here and there, but I think that I have perfected it!  Drum roll please....

Now that is what I call chili!  Yum-o fo' sho! :)  I know you all want the recipe.  Since I'm feeling spicy and because I love you, I'll share

Arielle's Chili
1 lb ground beef or turkey (turkey is usually sold in 1.25lbs, which is fine.  Just throw it all in.)
2 Louisiana Hot Links, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 16oz can tomato sauce
1 16oz can kidney beans
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 cup frozen corn (optional)
3/4 cup mushrooms, chopped (optional)
Chalulas hot sauce, to taste (optional)

Brown beef (or turkey), sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic.  If using beef, drain.  Stir in the dry ingredients, tomato sauce, and kidney beans.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Add in the corn, mushrooms, and hot sauce to taste.  Simmer for about 10 more minutes.

Serve over rice and top with shredded cheddar cheese.  Take a bite and realize what has been missing in your life!  No more Zippy's chili for you, this is the major leagues now!

*You can control the heat by how much or how little hot sauce you add in.  If you are feeling REALLY spicy, you could chop up a few jalapenos and throw those babies in.  Now that's spicy!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Flirty Little Flowers

In the spirit of Earth Day (which is tomorrow people!)...and because my Mom told me to...I spent my 'down time' (aka. nap time for the kiddies at her daycare) today planting her new flower bed.  I'm not going to lie.  I'm not one of those people who loves to get dirty and sweaty, especially not sweaty, outdoors.  I like the idea of gardening, but am in no way a gardener.  The closest I get to gardening is going to the farmers market and buying locally grown

Don't get me wrong, I've tried...but the poor plants usually die a slow and painful death.  I've over-watered, under-watered, forgot-to-water, over-sun exposed, under-sun exposed, etc., etc.  many plants to their untimely deaths.  So as far as I am concerned, gardeners who can get plants to grow for any large chunk of time must possess magical powers.

But look!  I did it!  The rows of flowers even seem to look straight. :)  I planted impatiens.  Partly because the name (Haha to the play on words there) and partly because they are supposed to be easy to grow...we'll see about the latter.  Also, they are dirt cheap!  At only $0.89 each, if they pass on to plant heaven I won't feel so bad.

Okay time for a close up.  Look how cute they are!  So springy and fresh looking.  Plus they come in a ton of shades of pink!  My kind of flower.

Here's a picture of my hand, excuse the pastie whiteness it's been awhile since I've seen the beach, to prove that I really planted them.  My fingers are orange from the gloves I was  I'm actually surprised that there are no ink stains on my hand from stamping.

Hmmm...if this flower bed works out, maybe I'll consider trying to garden again.  I really want to grow a veggie and herb garden.  (I must confess that I do have a rosemary and oregano plant right now.  Thanks Teri's Dad!)  Fresh veggies and herbs make the best dishes!  If I take up gardening I'll most certainly need a pair of wellies to garden in, right?  I did have my eye on a pair of Dooney and Bourke wellies.  If I want to be successful I'll have to have the right tools!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Can she build it?!? Yes, she can!

This, my friends, is my masterpiece!  It is my castle!  I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into building it.  And when I was done there was no applause; no gasp of astonishment at the shear beauty that it exudes.  Only silence and then the question, "Can I knock it down?"  (Can you believe that?  Ludicrous.  That's what that is.)  My reply was, "Can you knock it down!?!  Yeah, I guess so, but let me get a picture of it first."   As soon as the picture was taken, my nephew's face took on a Godzilla-like appearance.  He let out a squeal and charged right into my castle.  All the blocks came tumbling down.  Then he said, "Can you build another one?"  No one appreciates good art any more.  Especially not six year olds... :)

*Photo Update* April 2010 Class: Purse-fection!

Here's the final purse version.  The flower on the front really adds something don't you think? (Sorry that this pic is blurry.  The chairs in the background are more in focus, but you try seeing how the picture is going to look with a small 2.5" screen!  My eyes are good, but they aren't bionic! Lol...)

 As promised, here's the little card that fits in the front pocket of the purse.  Simple and sleek.  I love it!  Sometimes I tend to...shall we say over-embellish?  So it's nice to see that I can still create something simple and stylish.  It only pained me a tiny bit not to add bling to this card, but I justified the lack of bling by telling myself that the paper was already glittery. :)

Enjoy!  I look forward to seeing you all at the next class.  What's the next project, you say?  You want a hint?!?  Okay just twist my arm then!  Think cards, multiple cards, and caps, gowns, and diplomas.  That's all you get.  I can say no more!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April 2010 Class: Purse-fection!

This month's Girls Stampin' day class will take place on April 18th, which is a Sunday, at 1pm.  (Please contact me for more details about the location.)

As an ode to the children's book My Mommy's Tote, we'll be making a sweet little purse filled with recipe cards in honor of Mother's Day (which is coming up fast on the 9th of next month!).  A cute little way to say I love you to the "Moms" in our lives.  (*Note: Original purse idea from Becky Roberts.  Your designs totally rock my socks!)

All Moms love recipes, right?  Well at least my Mom does...but if your Mom doesn't you can always use the purse as a box for her gift and keep the recipe cards for yourself (Don't worry, I'll be sure to share some of my favorite recipes with you guys!).  Score two gifts in one!  (I'm still working on jazzing it up with some decorations and a cute little card that will fit in the front pocket of the purse...and you thought that I was ahead of the game this month...April Fools on  

Picture from the front

Picture from the back
The class fee is $20, which includes your kit with pre-cut pieces, all shared supplies (stamps, scissors, etc.), and a super yummy snack.  If you are unable to attend the class or live outside of the island of Oahu, please include $5 for shipping.  Please RSVP to me by Monday, April 12

*If you'd like to share a recipe with the group please email it to me with your RSVP.*

Don't be shy!  Encourage a friend(s) to come along.  More girls means more ideas and more fun shared together!  Just be sure that they RSVP to me or you can RSVP for them.  Also, if you are unable to attend, but still want to do the class you can purchase a kit ($25, including the $5 shipping).  Looking forward to seeing you all!

Stampin' and bloggin',

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cat Nap...

Ditto, this is an intervention.  You're out all hours of the night.  I just can't get through to you any more.  So I have to do it...

This is what you look like after a night of partying a little too hard.  You know...those nights where you were, shall we say, over-served?  You spend all of your days napping and all of your nights out prowling.  Sure you looked hot the night before shaking your tail, but now look at you.  Was it worth it?

Response: "Meow."

Here's the Easter Rabbit, Hooray!

"Gooses, geeses!  I want my geese to lay golden eggs for Easter!"- Veruca from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

So these eggs aren't exactly golden, but they are pretty darn cute!  My Mom loves to color Easter eggs, so each year she, my husband, and I color at least a dozen.  It's mostly my Mom and I coloring because my hubby takes forever to color each egg.  (See the one with all the little yellow lines and the one with the teal triangles?  Yup, those are his...see why it takes him so long?)  We colored for a total of 2 hours and my husband only colored 3 eggs!

Why are the eggs so shiny, you ask?  Let me tell you  My Mom decided that she likes the eggs when they first come out of the dye and they are all shiny and bright.  She brainstormed and came up with the idea of rubbing them with a drop of canola oil to keep them  Does it really work, you ask?  The answer is yes and no.  Yes, it is shiny while in the box when it is first done.  No, it does not stay shiny because the cardboard box absorbs the oil as it sits in the  Needless to say, she was very happy with the results for the time being.  Plus it was funny to see people's faces when they saw the shiny eggs...the general response was "Oooh nice eggs...hey wait, why are they so shiny?".

Another Easter :)  

Happy 26th B-day my wonderful Hubby!

Okay so this is a little late for a post since it happened over two weeks ago...yeah, yeah no wife of the year award for quick  But I'm sure that he knew of my procrastination issues long before he married me.

I think that this, on the other hand, qualifies for wife of the year points!

This is the chalkboard at the entry point of our little community where we live.  (Yes, they have a chalkboard for posting important messages about our community...yes people still use writing, actual handwritten messages, as a form of communication...shocking I  Usually people write things about community events, great housekeepers (man do I wish that I could afford one of those!), and occasionally birthdays.

I made up my mind that I was going to write a b-day message for my husband.  The day before his birthday, I got in my car and drove to the store and bought the colored chalk.  I then drove to the chalkboard, fully equipped with a bottle of water and paper towels to wipe off the previous message, and stood there planning out my message...only to be greeted by a million mosquitoes!  (That's what you get for living in the mountains...I know, I know!)  So I quickly wrote out the message, plain and simple, all while swatting away the evil blood-sucking beasts.  My original intentions were to just write "Happy Birthday La'akea", which I happily wrote out.  Then I took a step back to review my wonderful art work and realized that "Happy" and "Birthday" were too far "26th" got thrown in at the last  (Hey, I figure we are still young enough to announce least until next

Cheers!  His birthday dinner at Yard House. :)

So who loves you, baby?  Yeah that's right, I do! :)