Friday, April 29, 2011

Lighten Up Blog Hop - April 2011

Welcome to the Lighten Up Blog Hop! If you have come by way of Melissa's blog then please sit back and enjoy!

We love Mexican food in this house and one of the dishes I enjoy making is "Mexican Lasagna" There are certainly a few different recipes you can find online... Here is my take...

Mexican Lasagna

2 lbs ground chicken breast
1 medium sized red onion diced
1-2 diced peppers - I used a mixture of Green Bell, Anaheim and jalapeno
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (add more if you like)
1 - 19 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes (I usually use fresh tomatoes, but canned works well - just drain the juices)
1 - 14 oz can corn, frozen corn works as well (3/4 - 1 cup)
2 - Tbsp chili powder (I used a mixture of powders, you can add more or less, depending on your taste).
1 - tsp ground cumin (I always add less cumin, but that's personal preference - usually 1/2 tsp)
2 cups of a tomato pasta sauce, I used Prego
1 1/2 cup salsa (I used medium heat)
 2-3 Tbsp Cilantro, depending on your preferences
4 large or 6 small whole wheat flour tortillas
2 cups shredded light cheese (cheddar, or monterey jack)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
Light sour cream for topping.

I like to gather all of the ingredients and start by chopping up the veggies. I love putting in jalapenos, Anaheim peppers, and green peppers, along with red onion...

I also enjoy using a variety of  chili powders such as adobo, ancho (this one we got from my friend Brian's mom, which she made with ancho peppers from her garden), and chipotle... most recipes will call for cumin as well as that is a common seasoning in Mexican food.... The other seasoning I use is my Chili Garlic Sea Salt...(you can use regular salt).
I almost always make this recipe with ground chicken, I find I like the flavour and of course it cuts back on lots of the fat.

Once I have cooked the ground chicken I add the onions and peppers, and then all of the seasonings. Be certain to toast the cumin (I will usually make a well in the middle of the pan, I add a bit of olive oil, then the cumin, it brings out the flavour and makes it more pleasant).
Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low heat for about 15 minutes. While the meat mixture is cooking you can prepare the lasagna pan by spraying it with a bit of cooking oil if you like. Add a light layer of sauce, then take 3 of the small tortillas (or however many you need depending on what size pan you are using) and spread them on the bottom. You may need to cut them to fit.

Once you have the tortillas in the bottom, then take the sauce and add 1/2 of it, layer with the shredded cheese, then repeat with the rest of the tortillas and sauce, ending with the cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake for 35 min. at 375 degrees F. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes until cheese is bubbling. Let sit for 10 minutes, slice and add sour cream with scallions on top.

I hope you have enjoyed this recipe, now see below for your next stop!

Be Glorious - START HERE

Daily Life - Bits & Pieces

Ginger's Life Of Spice YOU ARE HERE

Holaday's Happy Hearts  NEXT BLOG

Since we have readers from all over the world we want you to be able to easily convert measurements as needed. These links take you to conversion charts. We hope you find them helpful.

For a chance to earn a cooking tool please leave a comment at each blog, coming back to Beverly's blog. At Beverly's blog your comment should tell which of the six recipes you are most likely to try first.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What's Coming?

Don't forget to join in on the "Lighten Up" Blog Hop... It starts Saturday, so be sure to stop in and check out the healthy recipes on this hop... This month will feature entrees!

As well, you will not want to miss out on .... :)

Come back on Sunday for Storytelling Sunday where you can read some wonderful stories from other bloggers around the world!

I signed up for Stacy Julian's Finding Photo Freedom (formerly known as Library of Memories) over at Big Picture Classes... This is one I have been waiting for and I look forward to organizing my photos. If you have not heard about the class you can see it here, or you can also read about it at Melissa's blog... she has a very good description, plus she has lots of experience with LOM and has been asked to be a  coach for this newer version (Finding Photo Freedom).

I hope you are all enjoying your Thursday evening!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mail Posted

I have been trying to work on a few projects and managed to get this one completed!
Just a bit of an update on my MIL... as there have been no improvements the doctors felt the last resort was to do a lung biopsy on Saturday... so we hope to have some answers by the end of this week....

I wish you all a wonderful and healthy day :)


Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Can't Believe It!!!!

Listen... I was working on my Storytelling Sunday post and IN ERROR pressed "PUBLISH POST", of course I removed it off of my blog but BLOODY HELL if it's not in your Google Reader! I was not finished with it so PLEASE DO NOT  READ it!!  ARrrrrhhg  This is why you should not be doing two things at once! Remember that Folks!  :)

Happy Easter

courtesy The Graphics Fairy :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Banana Bread French Toast

Yesterday I made some banana bread and hubby asked if I was going to make some French Toast with it... My response was... No... we don't need French Toast... Ha! So guess what I made this morning? You guessed right!

Grab 2-3 eggs - slightly beaten
Add 1/4 tsp Nutmeg or Cinnamon
The zest of one orange
Mix together
Butter, for pan

Start with slicing a couple pieces of banana bread.

Then place them in your egg mixture....

Place in pan with butter... cook 2 minutes each side.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar. You could add maple syrup as well.


If you are interested in seeing more sweet treats check out the Sweet as Sugar Cookies blog  where Lisa is having a linky party :)


Friday, April 22, 2011

New Header & Another Art Journal Page

Okay, seriously... I miss digi scrapbooking :)  I love the creative process involved with digi ... it's so forgiving... and easy to make changes if you don't like it...  I have been wanting to make my own header for so long and so YEAH for me!! The hardest part was finding a patterned paper that went with the blog background... I was able to change the hue to match it up close enough.  I will be testing it out for the next bit and seeing if it's ME! My thoughts were to include photos of some of my work, as this will give new readers an idea of what to expect, as well, I wanted to include pictures of FOOD, because I love to cook, bake and eat... but then you already knew that ;)

This has been the mix of a perfect evening... pizza for dinner... Hubby has a live Sting concert playing on the stereo and I'm enjoying a glass of scotch! My sister just called... not a perfect evening for her... their basement is flooding... Yikes! With the snow melting much of the lower lying areas are having problems... Unfortunately, many parts of the western provinces are facing these obstacles yet again.

I will leave you with some photos of an art journal/collage page. I have been wanting to use my new roller stamp... you can just make it out in the background of the page (it's an alphabet stamp from Scarlet Lime - not available as it was a one time order, but there are lots of other great stamps in her shop)... Many of you probably know about ARTchix Studios, so if you do then you will know about the Mermaidens... I have had this sheet for some time... I picked it up at my favourite LSS Treasured Memories and set it aside for a rainy day :) This is my rainy day... enjoy!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Hello Blogging friends! I wanted to let you know so far the results from my poll indicate the majority of you enjoy my blog as it is... so I thank you for taking part in the poll and really I'm thankful that you enjoy the things that I show and discuss. As for the look of my blog... well please bare with me... I will be making a few visual changes... and I want to find a new over the next 3 weeks I will be trying out some new looks starting with today!

I just changed over to the new blogger template so I am enjoying the advantages of having more options, especially with the different fonts... Love the choices!

That's all I have for now :) Thanks for stopping by.


Favourite Pieces of Art In My Home

I wanted to share a post of some of my most favourite pieces of art we have collected through the years.

We have been on a couple cruises and after reading a few nasty articles about the art auctions on cruise-lines I'm not so certain I want to admit purchasing anything at these auctions, but I figure what the heck... If I was had well then so be it...

When we first moved into our home in 2004, we had no pictures hanging for 2 years! Yes that's correct, can you believe that? I guess we just did not want to commit hanging anything, it was no issue in our apartment, but then we were not owners and did not have to paint the apartment walls. In the house, things just seemed to be more permanent (and not that that was a bad thing... just wanted to be sure we hung things where we were going to be happy with it). I love the orange and red of the abstracts above, they are what I see when I walk into our living room.

Here is a print that I absolutely adore... I fell in love with the dark purple blue hues and of course it is of beautiful women in fashionable clothing... does anyone know that building in the picture? Don't ask me who the artist is... I could not find the paperwork for this post... perhaps it is a common print... I do not know, nor do I care... because I love it!

This is a pastel drawing of... can you guess who? Hmmm... I like him here with his longer locks of hair... Marvin had it made for me for my 35th birthday by our friend Reinhardt...

This one is my absolute favourite... made by Maya Green... her use of bright colours fascinates me... When I saw this painting I was completely drawn to the deepness of the colours and every time I walked away, I just walked right back to it...
We certainly do not stick with any one type of art. Do you have some favourite pieces of art in your home, do you purchase items because you love them or because they go with what you already have in your home?

I hope you have a great Tuesday!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Blog Poll....

Today is the first day of Shimelles new class, Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers... and so after finishing the first class (Blogging For Scrapbookers), I am now wondering where this blog is headed. I started blogging mostly because I wanted to keep a journal of sorts, something to look back at to remember things I did and scrapbooking memories. Mostly, I thought it would be something my friends and family could check to see what I was up to...I believe my readership has changed and so that leaves me to ponder what the readers of this blog are interested in...  If you have a moment, please take some time to answer my quick poll... you can pick more than one answer and if you have any further thoughts you can certainly leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you. Thanks!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pay It Forward , Mail Art Exchange Reminder & Updates

A few days ago I received my Pay It Forward from Melissa. It put a big smile on my face when I saw that package on the table. Melissa had e-mailed just a day or two prior wondering if I had received it yet.
She made me a lovely notebook with a bookmark! I told her green was my favourite colour which she took great detail in adding to the PIF from the patterned paper, to the flowers, to the green tassle on the bookmark, right down to the packaging. Check out the lovely birds on the card... Very pretty. I love it Melissa and will definitely keep the notebook in my purse for those times I need to jot things down. As for the bookmark... well no more earmarked pages in my book... it's already there keeping my page saved.

Reminder.... Today is the final day for signing up for the Mail Art Exchange... see the post here
As for those of you who have already signed up... I have the list compiled and anticipate sending it shortly after the closing date (today) :)  Mail Art Exchange is now closed

Lastly, I would like to thank all of you for your comments, e-mails and well wishes for my MIL, she is still in critical but stable condition and slowly improving. They will try in a couple days to see if they can take her off the ventilator. There has been no definitive diagnosis (she was on antibiotics prior to admission so testing her for bacteria would not give accurate results). In the meantime, your support has been greatly appreciated...


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Coming Soon....

Here are a couple events to look forward to on my blog...

Watch for the Alphanumeric Blog Hop on Sunday, April 17th.

As well... look for the Lighten Up Blog Hop on Saturday, April 30th. If you are looking for light recipes to include in your healthy menus then you will not want to miss out on this blog hop.

Both hops will have prizes and giveaways.

See you at the hops :)


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Postive Thoughts... Needed.

The past couple days have been stressful here as my mother in law has been transferred to the ICU where she is being ventilated for acute respiratory distress, which they are unable to determine at this point what the cause is. I am thankful she is here in Edmonton and thankful for the good and prompt care she is receiving. We are hoping this is an atypical pnuemonia or influenza A virus, but will not know for a couple more days.

You can help us by sending positive thoughts to the man upstairs... it would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Morning Walk

I took Edwin for a walk the other morning and thought I would share a few photos of my neighbourhood. As you can see we still have snow and are a good 6 weeks away from planting flowers (I plant as little as possible as I did not inherit the green thumb from my grandfather). I enjoy the fact that Spring leads to Summer which in turn precludes Fall (my favourite season), but the thing that I don't really like, is waiting for the dullness and drabness to disappear. I'm tired of rock chips in my windshield and my heals being wrecked from all those bits of gravel everywhere to prevent one from sliding into doom.

My mood has improved immensely (although from the above rant you might think otherwise ;) in the last 2 weeks with the warmer weather and sunshine, it's funny how we all talk about the weather and you can see people's spirits lift with the hint of the days getting longer. I look forward to those long evenings in June when we can sit out on the deck in the dusk light sometimes until 1100 pm... that is until the mosquitoes get you!

I hope you are enjoying your morning wherever you are...


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Winner: Pass the Book!

Here are all the names that were entered into the draw:

This is my first video and so I'm a bit nervous in it, but you will have to watch it to see who the winner is ;)

Untitled from Ginger Demmert on Vimeo.

If you are interested in seeing the other books that are available for passing please check here.

Also, a huge Thank You to Sian over at From High in the Sky, for starting Pass the Book, this has been a wonderful experience :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mail Art Exchange Update!

I just noticed a couple of you have e-mailed me and hotmail has punted the message to my spam box. I very rarely ever look in there, but did just now and noticed this. So if by chance you have sent me a message and I have not responded by now please leave a comment on this post and we will work this through. Thanks so much for your patience! Update: Mail Art Exchange is now closed

 Also, this is a reminder of Pass the Book, for the Good Mail Day. You can read about it here. I will be doing the draw tomorrow morning.


Favourite Vacation...

With teaching so much these days, I like to use an icebreaker when asking staff to share their name, by telling us where their favourite vacation spot... in going through some of my old photos (pre-blog) I thought I would share my favourite vacation spot... San Francisco...

You cannot go to San Francisco without riding the cable cars.

I highly recommend visiting Alcatraz...

Chinatown... a must...

Muir Woods... quiet and serene...

I will not tell you how many of these we enjoyed in the evening...but just looking at this makes me want to run out and get some cream...

This is what one looks like after a wine tour....! "Della Santina's Tratorria"... highly recommended...

No explanation required....

Do you have a favourite vacation spot?