Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Damn Good Crescent Roll Jalapeno Popper Bites

I rarely repeat dinner recipes. I mean, I have my basics (baked chicken or fish being my go-tos) but there's so many things out there to make, I rarely have difficulty finding new things to try.

Apps are a different story. I get in app ruts. I have the dips I like and sometimes I don't want to branch out. I'm glad I did with these because they were gooo-oood, Clark. And easy to make too. 

One of my requirements for apps is that they are able to be assembled in advance of people being there. We had them for the Super Bowl and I prepped and assembled them in advance so all I had to do was pop them in the oven. I got the original recipe here

1 tube crescent rolls
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced. Use more or less to your taste. I cut these a day in advance - and in the name of all that is holy don't touch your eyes for the rest of the day after cutting them
8 slices bacon, chopped and cooked till crisp - I did this a day in advance too. 
About half of a brick of cream cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Open can of crescent rolls and separate each roll along the perforation. Cut each triangle in half.

Smear cream cheese (amount of your choice, I just eyeballed it) on each roll and top with a few pieces of diced jalapeno (the amount depends on the amount of heat you want) and crumbled bacon.

Gather the edges of the dough up and pinch them together. Poke, prod, and do what you will to make sure all the filling is inside. 

Place the ball of dough seam side down and bake for about 12-13 minutes or until golden brown.

They're coming in hot.
Jalapenos are awesome...
but can burn your butt.
Tomorrow: February Recommendations from me, Jana @ The Townhouse Pioneer, Amanda @ Voyage of the MeeMee, Kerry @ Til Then, Smile Often, and Kelli @ She Crab Soup
 photo green_zpsc25796d6.png
Martinis & Bikinis

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cruise Essentials

This post originally appeared as a guest post on Green Fashionista on November 17, 2013. Kate is a fellow cruise lover, so a cruise essentials post was perfect to share there, and it's perfect to share here now because      
1. It's February and winter has us in a headlock
2. I'm sick of whining about cold and snow.  
3. Monday night our roof started to leak because, yes, too much snow and ice up there. Instead of laying in bed in the fetal position, I want to think of beaches and vacations. 
4. It's my blog and I do what I want
I never thought I'd like cruising, but I freaking love it. So does MFD, because a cruise ship is just another small town where he can be the mayor. 

Here are my cruise essentials:

1 - I hate clutter at home, I don't want it on vacation! Cruise rooms don't have a ton of counter space, so buy a hanging shoe organizer and bring it with you to store toiletries, batteries, chargers, etc.
2 - No one wants to deal with wet bathing suits. Most bathrooms have retractable clotheslines. You can fit more on them if you use clothespins.
3 - I know, I know, no drying clothes on the balconies. That being said, if you bring a clamp, nothing will fly away. Good for shirts or cover ups that get wet.

4 - A fierce manicure. There will be a lot of photos.
5 - Comfortable shoes. Boats are big, so even if you're sashaying around in flip flops, make sure they're comfortable. My favorites are Sanuk Yoga Mat flip flops.
6 - A stylish yet comfortable to carry beach bag. Some excursions can mean a lot of walking. It's not fun to lug a bag that's not easy to carry.
7 - A room with a balcony is a must for me. I'm claustrophobic and I need to be able to get outside without having to go up steps and down hallways. 
8 - Your on-board schedule. You don't want to miss out on bingo, baby. 
9 - Good reading material. A must on any vacation. 
10 - A camera to capture the gorgeousness that is the sun setting over the open sea. Your iphone isn't going to do it justice. 

The next time we'll be saying Bon Voyage is in December for a five day out of Miami with stops at Cozumel and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. And two days at sea to bask in the ocean on all sides of us. We're going with our good friends and cruise buddies Jill & Frank and hitting Disney for a few days after. It promises to be a wonderful time. 

Are you a cruiser? What are your cruise essentials? 

Linking up with Kathy for Humpday Confessions.
 Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hungry Eyes: Ga-gung Ga-gung Chili

You know when Baby is learning to dance and she's not getting it? Johnny says, "It's not on the one, it's not the mambo. It's a feeling...a heartbeat. Ga-gung. Ga-gung. Don't try so hard. Ga-gung. Ga-gung. Close your eyes." Cue Hungry Eyes.
Chili is the same thing.You have to taste your way through making it. It's a feeling...a heart beat. Ga-gung. Ga-gung. Chili.
1.25 lb ground beef
1 lb beef for stew
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1 cup bell peppers, chopped
15 oz tomato sauce
3 tbs tomato paste
28 oz crushed tomatoes
15 oz pinto beans, rinsed
15 oz kidney beans, rinsed
diced green chiles
Chili powder - start with two tablespoons and add as needed
Cumin - start with two tablespoons and add as needed
Paprika - start with one tablespoon and add as needed
Garlic powder - start with one tablespoon and add as needed
Ground mustard - start with one teaspoon and add as needed
Salt & pepper to taste (last)
Hot sauce if you choose, to taste.
Drain and rinse beans in colander.

Brown ground beef and half of the onion. Drain and set aside. Cook stew meat in same pot without washing it out. After the outside is all browned, add the other half of the onion and peppers and cook until veggies start to get soft, about four minutes.

Add tomato sauce, green chiles, crushed tomatoes in juice, and beans. Stir well. Add your seasonings and stir. Cook over medium for five minutes, taste, add additional seasonings if desired. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
If you want to be a fancy dancer, you can make homemade cornbread in a cast iron skillet using this recipe. To make it in a cast iron skillet, put two tablespoons of butter in the skillet in the oven and let melt, then pour the cornbread in and stir a bit. Bake as instructed - mine took a bit longer but I didn't time it so keep an eye on it.

Dirty Dancing meals?
Hungry eyes...hungry eyes...mmm
Dance and dine with me.
Did I just connect chili to Dirty Dancing? You bet your sweet maracas I did.

 photo orange_zps7f2fb71b.png

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Snow Day Stromboli

Thursday I worked from home since winter took a big crap on Philadelphia.

MFD went to the store on Wednesday night to get fat guy in a little coat food because who wants to be snowed in without it? Stromboli sounded warm and delicious so I asked him to get the stuff for it on a whim.

pizza dough (I used Pillsbury in a can because I was out of bread flour to make my own - use your favorite)
2/3-1cup of pizza sauce (I make my own: heat 15 oz can of tomato sauce and  6 oz can of tomato paste. Add onion powder, garlic powder, garlic salt, basil, italian seasoning, salt to taste) 
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
6 slices cooked ham
12 slices genoa salami
1 egg
1 tsp milk or water
Italian seasoning
Garlic salt

Preheat oven to 500.

Roll pizza dough out into a rectangle with the long side facing you. I do this on parchment paper but it's not necessary.

Spread sauce out almost to the edges, leaving about 1.5 inches of room on the short side edges. Top with one cup of cheese.

Rip ham into pieces and place lovingly where you will. Layer with slices of genoa salami and top with remaining cup of cheese.

Crack egg into a small bowl and beat. Add milk or water and beat again. Congratulations, you have just made an egg wash.

Roll short side edges in. Brush with egg wash.

Beginning with the long side edge closest to you, roll up like a jelly roll. Press along the seam when you come to the end.

Place stromboli seam side down on baking sheet. Brush top and sides with egg wash, then sprinkle Italian seasoning and garlic salt on the top. Cut a few slits in the top.

Bake at 500 for 8-10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 5 before cutting into it. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping if desired.

It was insanely easy and delicious. Best idea ever. It would also be good as a party app.

As for who had the best snow day ever...

Have you entered the Debbie Rae Designs giveaway?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 photo purple_zpse5f7f916.png

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ain't Nobody Love You Like I love You - Debbie Rae Designs Jewelry

Like I Love You by Justin Timberlake on Grooveshark
I love love. All kinds of love. I think we should celebrate the shit out of love every day. Things I love about love:
1. There's so much love to give and receive every day between you and the people around you: between you and YOURSELF (an often overlooked relationship), you and your parents, you and your children, you and your siblings, you and your best friends, you and your partner, you and your pet, you and your God. Sometimes you're born with shitty relatives, which is why it's awesome that you can have framily: the relatives you choose by choice. Even if your parents or siblings suck, love is out there for you.

2. No one gets to say who you love or how much you love someone. You can love whoever you want with your whole huge heart.
3. Love exercises your heart - it pushes your heart to be bigger to hold all the love that needs a place to live, to stay strong when it's been mistreated, to hold its muscles tight when it's bursting with pride, to keep a steady beat when it's full.
4. Love gives you a safe place to land - when you screw up, feel worthless, get kicked around by life - it's the love of your tribe that will prop you up until you can stand on your own two feet again.
5. Love gives you the opportunity to share with and give to others. It allows you to find joy in their joy. I love my Debbie Rae Designs jewelry and wear at least one piece every day (but am usually wearing two or three bracelets at a time). To celebrate the talent of my fabulous BFF Debbie and the launch of her new Debbie Rae Designs website and because ain't nobody love you like I love you, one of you will win a custom Debbie Rae Designs bracelet (you pick the bead and the charm) and set of earrings.

Cheers. From me to you with love. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 photo purple_zpse5f7f916.png

Linking up with

Helene in Between

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Meet Geege

Oh dear. This is it. My mother told me it's time to leave my mark in words. I much prefer to mark my territory in other ways, always have and always will, but I digress.

I'm not much for the spotlight. I prefer to sit behind Gus and the new girl and let them take center stage. Too much attention makes me nervous.

I'm Geege. That's gee like gee whiz, followed by juh. It was a made up nickname but now it's just my name.
My parents adopted me from a nice family who called me Jake. I came to live with my Mom and Dad in May 2007. For the first week, I sat at the window and barked. For the next six months, I sat on the couch or the floor and warily surveyed the situation. After that period of reconnaissance, I decided to actually sit on the couch next to my people. I've never regretted it. I will always appreciate them not rushing me...letting me feel out the situation and be a part of the family when I was ready. Gus? He appointed me his lackey from the moment we met. It might sound like a raw deal for me, but we are very very very best friends and have been from the minute I walked into that tiny apartment.

These are my roles: protecting my people to make sure this kingdom is guarded and on lock down at all times, following my mom around the house to make sure she's doing everything up to code, and refereeing Gus and the new sister. My command center is the front window, but the front door and basement level sliding doors are my posts as well.  How do I do performance-wise? I'm a super hero, and that's not a brag. I take my duties very seriously.
Even Spider-Man has fears. I'm afraid of loud noises like booms and things that crackle and light up the sky and make my mom yell "Enough fireworks, you assholes!" out of our windows. Loud noises make me shake and cry and have earned me the nickname Heebie Jeebie. Sometimes I have to hide under the bed. Other times I like to crawl under the bed just because I can be a weird guy.
The burdens of guarding my people and fellow canines as well as overseeing the running of our kingdom tire me out. When I sleep, I burrow into my people and I sleep hard. I've earned it because I've been patrolling all day. You can tell I'm tired when my tongue is out. My mom says I'm the cutest sleeping dog ever.
My life isn't all guard work. When I take a vacation, I prefer to visit places where I can run free, free like the wind! My soul bursts out of my body and carries me through Treat Lady's woods like I am a puppy instead of a 10 year old. I also enjoy romps along the beach. When I'm on vacation I can show my free spirit who likes to chase butterflies and gets distracted easily, running from one thing to the next with adrenaline and pure joy.
At home, I take my breaks in the sun. I love to go on walks and be outside, roll in the grass and run free in the fields by my house when no one else is around. It's important to appreciate the small things in life. Especially when you have a good one like I do - freedom to roam, tons of belly rubs, vacations, people who love me, siblings to play with, being allowed to sleep in a big bed with my head on pillows like a person, an important role as guard and protector, tons of toys I rarely play with, food I bark insistently for every day and cheeseburgers on my birthday. Life is good. And my mom calls me her best boy every day.
I don't have much else to say. I'm just a soulful guy trying to live a noble life. Don't be sad if you see me looking concerned in photos - I'm just always more concerned about you than I am about me.
I'm very soft and easy to love and I have endless love to give. Kisses too even though I'm told my breath smells like buttholes. Mom, what's a butthole again?

Tomorrow my mother will be back and my Auntie Debbie is giving bracelets and earrings away. I heard ladies like those.

In service and good stead always -
Geege aka TeeTee aka GeeJosh aka Tatie aka Gee-kah-baba aka Genie aka Tahtita
Linking up for Pets Are People Too
Jade and Oak

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Keys are our Kryptonite

If we go away together and share a room, I will always call "not it" on being responsible for having a key. I will lose my key at some point, requiring visits to the front desk to get the room re-keyed.

My key issues go back many years. When I moved back home after college, downstairs was a fortress but my window was usually open up on the second floor. So when I misplaced my keys, I'd haul a big ass ladder through the yard, prop it up, and get my ass into a second story window, which required climbing on a perilous little ledge of a roof. Often drunk as a skunk after a night at the Hulmeville. Sorry Dad and Carol. At least I never broke my neck? Silver linings.
Countless incidents of key fuckery are why at least nine people have a key to our house. I continue to lock myself out, which, whatever, I'm used to the key fuckery. It doesn't help that you can open our front door from the inside and not know it's locked until you turn the outside knob.

But last year a bad thing started to happen. MFD came down with the key flu. I have to say I'm surprised it took more than 11 years with me for him to catch it. It's worse than the fucking plague.

His descent into key hell began as a joint  incident. I took the train to work and MFD called to inform me I had both car keys and he and had locked himself out of the house. On crutches. With a closing and an orthopedist appointment to go to. I called my mom like mother please help.

As the year progressed, MFD started locking himself out more frequently. I was like dude...I know. These fucking keys have it out for us. Or we're dumbasses. Probably both.

A few weeks ago, I locked both of us out of the house on a Monday night. Three days later, he locked himself out with another doctor's appointment and a meeting to attend.

Since these types of things happen in threes, a few days after that he locked the keys in the trunk in a loading zone in Center City. The locksmith was two hours out and $190. The PPA was closing in and he had an actual deal closing he had to get to, so the back window had to be broken out a la Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing.
He was getting it fixed at 9:30 the next morning for $132. So an overall savings compared to $190? Fuck me. The best part is that he told me very casually a few hours later. Because what could I say? I couldn't freak out. I have the worst case of key flu known to man.

Thank God for our neighbors and framily who accept that keys are our kryptonite and just bring us the key when we call. If it's stupid and involves keys, it's happening to us.  And before you suggest I hide a key outside, I've done that. A few times. And lost those too. So thanks but no thanks. MFD is ordering an extra lockbox for us because I and now we suck so hard with keys.

What's your kryptonite?

Don't miss tomorrow's blog - Geege is finally making his debut. And visit my facebook page today to share a quick & easy healthy recipe for a chance to win $20 you call it on Friday. The post is pinned to the top of the page.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Organizing items of note

Nerd alert: one of my favorite things to figure out is which storage item to use to organize something. I know Steph at Not Entirely Perfect feels the same way, which is why we are giving away a $50 gift card to The Container Store right now that you can enter to win at the bottom of this post. We love to organize the shit out of things. Check Steph's organize posts out by clicking here.

I look around and re-purpose what I have before I buy an organizer. I have a lot of things laying around that would be good organizers. I bet you do too. Before you throw something out, look at it and ask yourself how you could put it to work as an organizer. A magazine holder was on its way and now holds my garden flags. However, sometimes you just need to purchase organizers instead of re-purposing something. Here are some of my favorite organizer purchases:

1. Rectangular sea grass bin from The Container Store - $7.99. I also have one in my linen closet holding extras: mini tissue packs, mouthwash, toothpaste, MFD's shave gel and deoderant.

2. Large multi-purpose translucent bin from The Container Store - $5.99. I also use one of these under the kitchen sink to store water bottles, and an XL one ($6.99) to store dish liquid and other kitchen cleaners. I am not of the "keep all cleaning items in one place" school. When we lived in a small one bedroom apartment, I did that. This house has three floors.  Leaving cleaning stuff in each bathroom and the kitchen stuff in the kitchen ensures that those places get wiped down daily.
3. Mini stacking basket from The Container Store - $3.99. I usually have four rolls of TP stacked in here.
4. Shoe boxes from Target - It's been a while, but I think they're around $3? I can fit two flats in one box. I also use them in the linen closet to store medicine, travel sized products, and Qtips/cotton balls. These are a great work horse and can be used throughout the house.
5. Dollar Store organizers. They're a little flimsy, but they do the job. I use them in both freezers to keep shit in check. In the fridge they hold little stuff like MFD's beloved Country Crock, yogurts, etc. They also hold baking stuff: vanilla, baking powder, salt, chips, cookie cutters, etc. I have an oval one under the kitchen sink that holds my dirty towels, napkins, and wash cloths until they're ready to be washed.
6. ClosetMaid Cubeicals from Target - $5.99. I employ these on the book shelf in my room. They hold pajamas, pants, flip flops, slippers, and crapping around t-shirts. 
Most of my other organizers come from Marshalls/Home Goods. I'm lured to fun colors and textures, especially for organizers that sit in plain sight.

And, of course, my Muji makeup organizers. They are lebombdotcom.

What are your favorite organizers?

 photo redsig_zps5103b6e2.jpg
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips
Pin It button on image hover