Monday, October 31, 2011


This recipe does taste very similar to Chili's restaurant salsa.  It is a very minimalist salsa with few ingredients and surprising mild for containing so many jalapenos.  The lime juice in it gives it a fresh zing when combines with the tomatoes and compliments spicy dishes.  It is also quick and easy - takes around 5 minutes.
Recipe posted by kimboleyanne at  

Makes 6-8 servings  - original recipe Read more: here 
  • 1 can (14 1/2-15 oz) diced canned tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons diced jalapenos (I used 2 fresh jalapenos)
  • 1 TBSP lime juice 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced - I used 1 small onion

    Chop the jalapenos in half, remove the seeds and dice.
    Peel onion and dice into pieces.

    I used the juice of half of a lime, but you could use bottled lime juice.

    Put the above ingredients in a food processor along with the salt and cumin, then open the can of tomatoes.

    Run on high speed until pureed,  but still a little chunky (around 1 minute).

    Store any unused portion in a glass jar in the fridge for about a week.


    Sunday, October 30, 2011


    This was adapted by a recipe posted at Colie's Kitchen for Betty White's Chicken and it was a big hit and I have already been asked to make it again.  In my variation I used 1/2 cup of Worcestershire sauce is place of 1/2 cup of the soy sauce and 1/2 tsp of prepared mustard instead of dry mustard.
    She described it a bit like Korean BBQ, but  my son described it as having more of a hint of heat and a mouthful of flavor.
    • 3 lbs. chicken (I used boneless breast meat, but you could use any kind)
    • 1/2 cup margarine or butter
    • 1/2 cup soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
    • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • Non-Stick spray coating

    Heat butter, soy sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, sugar, water, mustard and garlic powder until water and sugar melt.  Allow to cool.

    Spray pan with non-stick coating spray then arrange chicken in the pan.    Pour above mixture over chicken and put in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours, turning over each piece once for twice.

    Pour off half of the marinade and bake at 375 degrees for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, turning the chicken occasionally.

    Saturday, October 29, 2011


    Artwork by Carly Johnson Issac

    If you have an owl lover on your Christmas list, My Owl Barn has collaborated with 45 artists to create a free downloadable 2012 calendar where you can choose what image you want for which month here, or download their download their pre-made calendar and print if off for gift giving or for personal use.

    Here is a sample of what I downloaded (prints 4 months per page).

    Owl Lover 2012 Calendar

    Saturday, October 22, 2011

    Duct Tape Necklace

    This necklace was made entirely out of duct tape for this month's challenge at

    While it might not be a quality piece that you would want to wear on a daily basis, it would be a good alternative to use to make a costume piece for Halloween as it is much lighter than a chain this size would be and you wouldn't have cold metal against a bare neck if you wore something other than a turtleneck on a windy night and does look more realistic from a distance.

    I cut two twenty inch strands of the duct tape and cut each of those strips into three equal parts.

    I also cut several smaller pieces about and 1/4 wide and 1 inch long.

    On four of the strands, you are going to fold into thirds toward the center of the tape to create each strand.  The red in the picture represents the center of the strand.  Fold over the left edge over then center, then the right.  Repeat on three more strands.

    To create each strand in the twisted strands, tape a thin strip of tape the ends of two strands together at one end and then anchor to a table with a heavy book or have someone hold the other end and pull one strand over the other and continue to do so until you come to the end and then then wrap a thin strip of tape around the ends.

    Repeat with the other set of strands.

    With the two remaining 20 inch strips fold in half of in thirds (I did mine in half - I think it would look better if it had been folded into thirds and tape one end to a twisted end and the other end to the other twisted end.

    Tape the two open ends together and you have a DIY Duct Tape Necklace.

    Check out some of the other amazing items other users made out of duct tape:


    Miao inspired headpiece

     Screen Sirens- made entirely out of duct tape

    An old chair recovered into a Narnia throne

    A duck made out of duct tape :)


    For a listing of all entries, click here

    Thursday, October 20, 2011


    This is part of a food challenge hosted by Lady Behind The Curtain where each month a different combination of foods and this month it is Apples and Carmel.   For more information if you would like to participate click here.

    I made this based on this recipe at  by Adopted Parisian but have added my own touches. 
    Here is the recipe:
    -   1 tube of pre-made chocolate chip chip or sugar cookie dough 
    -   1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temp 
    -   1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
    -   1/4 cup creamy peanut butter 
    -   1 teaspoon vanilla 
    -    2 green apples 
    -   1 cup of lemon lime soda (optional) 
    -   10 drops of lemon juice (optional) 
    -   1/2 cup caramel topping

    Preheat oven to 350° or whatever is indicated on the package.  Roll out dough into a large cookie enough cookie to cover a round pizza pan and place on pan (Sorry, picture did not come out for this one).  Bake 8-10 minutes or whatever is indicated on package, then allow it to cool.

    Blend the cream cheese, brown sugar, peanut butter and vanilla  until well blended.

    It should look like this when blended

    Spread on cookie

    Wash, core and then chop the apple in to thin slices.

    Pour the lemon lime soda in a bowl with the lemon juice.  Add apples and toss (will prevent apples from browning)

    Place the apple slices on the cookie.

    Heat up carmel 30-40 seconds in the microwave and drizzle over the top of the pizza.  

    I made my own carmel topping using this recipe, but you could use a commercially prepared topping instead.

    The Improve Cooking Challenge

    Friday, October 7, 2011


    This recipe is part the Mom's Crazy Cooking Challenge hosted by Tina where each month a different food is posted and participants make a recipe of another blogger and all are posted at the same time.   For further details, click here.

    This month's challenge was chocolate chip cookies and I chose a chewy chocolate chip oatmeal cookies by Jessica at How Sweet It Is  as the addition of oatmeal makes it sound more healthy than just a regular cookie.
    It had a nice flavor and the texture was someone between a cookie and a chewy muffin.

    I made larger cookies and it made 15.

    Preheat oven to 375.

    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
    • 1 egg 
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
    • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
    • 3/4 cups rolled oats
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips, could use
    • 1- 2 tablespoons milk (optional if dough is crumbly)
    Allow butter to come to room temperature, then cream together until smooth (I don't own a mixer so I used my hand blender, but in the past have used a fork).

     This is what is looked like when blended.

    Add egg and vanilla for about two minutes or well mixed.

    Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, then add the oats.  If it is still crumbly add 1 tablespoon of milk, if needed add 1 more tablespoon of milk.

    Fold in chocolate chips.

    The original recipe advised refrigerate for 30 minutes, remove and roll into big 1 1/2 inch balls that are 2 inches apart for 9-11 minutes

    Instead, I used tablespoons to drop heaping tablespoons on parchment paper without refrigerating and they were done at around 8 minutes, but could vary depending the oven - I would recommend checking at 8 minutes.

    Be sure to check out the other participants recipes below.  Next month;'s challenge is mashed potatoes and will be posted November 7th.  If you would like to join the party, visit Mom's Crazy Cooking.

    Have a yummy weekend!

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt Cucumber Sauce)

     Tzatziki sauce is a yogurt/cucumber sauce used in Greek cooking, usually on meats, gyros, souvlaki.  It can also be used as a dip for fresh vegetables or even diluted and used as a salad dressing.

    This recipe is from
    and also heavy on the garlic, which I love, but if you don't use one or two cloves instead.

    It has a creamy clean garlicky taste and works well with spicy foods.  I have used it on a spicy rice with peppers stuffed in tortilla (although traditionally pitas are the bread of choice).   I also what was left over with a little bit of milk and used it on a salad.

    The recipe:
    • 1 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt 
    • 1 medium or 1/2 of a large cucumber
    • 3 cloves garlic 
    • Salt
    • 1 tsp Olive Oil
    • 1 tsp Dill 
    • Pepper

    Scoop seeds out of cucumber with a spoon (the original recipe advises to peel, but I prefer unpeeled).

    Grate the cucumber and mince the garlic.

    Generously saturate with salt I  used about 25 shakes to and let set for 10 minutes to draw out the moisture and keeps it from becoming soggy.

    Strain the mixture in a a strainer or cheesecloth to get out at much of the moisture as you can.

    Put back in a bowl and add the Greek yogurt and the dill, mix thoroughly.

    Add pepper (I used 6 turns on the pepper mill) and mix.

    If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days.

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Carmel Crunch Topping

    This recipe is adapted from this recipe at by celestial_star03.  The above doesn't have the crispy rice cereal in it as I prepared it in advance for a Carmel Apple Pizza (will post that on 10/20/11 as it is part of food challenge by Lady Behind The Curtain) but I did also try it on ice cream mixing in the cereal after heating and it was delicious. 
    -   1/4 cup butter
    -   1/3 cup almonds, chopped
    -   1/3 cup light corn syrup
    -   1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    -   1/3 cup peanut butter 
    -   1/3 cup water
    -   1/3 cup crisp rice cereal, coarsely crushed 

    Melt the butter in a pan.  Saute the almonds over medium-low heat for approximately 5 minutes or until the almonds brown.

    Add the corn syrup, water and brown sugar to the pan

    Mix thoroughly.

    Add peanut butter and mix.  Cook for 4-5 minutes until it becomes bubbly and starts to thicken up.

    If serving over ice cream, add crisp rice cereal and stir in and the spoon over ice cream.

    If storing, do not add Crisp Rice cereal until just before ready to serve.  Heat up first (put in bowl and microwaved) then add Crisp Rice cereal and pour over ice cream.

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    TODAY ONLY - Free with free shipping Limited Edition Silver Plated Breast Cancer Awareness Pin

    For today only and while supplies last, you can receive the above pin to support breast cancer awareness and survivors for free. is a site that offers daily deals at a deep discount on a different item each day (while supplies last) in four categories:   Wireless, Watch, Family and Jewelry. 

    Occasionally, they will offer an item for free and free shipping - in the past I have received a business card case and a multi-purpose pocket survival tool.