Archive | May, 2012

Nutella Pull Apart

31 May

I believe I have said this before but my husband is amazing!

He came up with this recipe a few weeks ago and made it for a bake sale at his work. I asked him to show me how to make them so I could eat them we could have something to take to a couple Memorial Day parties we were going to.

These are easy, semi homemade and can be adapted. Shane’s mom is allergic to Chocolate (Sherry I will give you $20 if you mention this post to me before Sunday! She sometimes has a problem with Google! ) so we used Jelly instead of the Nutella on some of them. You can use peanut butter, frosting anything your heart desires. Shane and I are going to come up with a savory version of this. Nutella has been my favorite so far. And now you can try it out!

Roll out each biscuit separately (make sure you flour the surface you are working on so you the biscuit does not get stuck)

Once the biscuit is rolled out, spread a tablespoon of Nutella on the rolled out biscuit

Once you spread the Nutella, roll the biscuit in to a cigar shape

Take a pair of kitchen scissors and cut the biscuit into thirds

What you need

One jar of Nutella

Two packages of refrigerated biscuits (Grands! Refrigerated Biscuits)

Four tablespoons melted butter

Four tablespoons sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting

What you need

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pull Apart Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Get your cupcake pans ready

Lightly flour the surface you are working on

Pop open the refrigerated biscuits (I love doing that)

Roll out each biscuit separately (make sure you flour the surface you are working on so you the biscuit does not get stuck

Once the biscuit is rolled out, spread a tablespoon of Nutella on the rolled out biscuit

Once you spread the Nutella, roll the biscuit in to a cigar shape

Take a pair of kitchen scissors and cut the biscuit into thirds

Take the three pieces and place them into cupcake liners. Make sure you put the seams in the middle so you can see them

Melt the butter and add the sugar – brush the tops of the pull aparts before you bake them

Bake at 350 for 30 min or until golden brown

Once cool – top with a cute dollop of cream cheese frosting. I find it easier to work with the cream cheese frosting when it’s cold – so put it in the fridge to firm up a bit before you put on the pull aparts.

Cream Cheese Frosting Directions

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract

Enjoy!

Slacker

30 May

That’s me! I am a slacker! And I am slacking at my blogging duties! I apologize profusely! Let me tell you what happened. I got LAZY! That’s it – I suck!

Actually I feel like since May started I have been so busy. Every weekend has been booked and that threw off my blogging groove.

See, I am creature of habit. I need a routine. So my normal routine was get up early on Saturday and go running in the Bosque – then come home and feel really good about myself because I just ran and exercised and was active. Then sit on the couch (which was ok because I just ran) and crank out some blogs!

This was my favorite part of the weekend! Is that sad? Does this mean I have no life? Oh well – I really looked forward to this routine. Then all of a sudden May hit and BAM routine went out the window! There were graduation parties, garage sales, weddings and other events. June is shaping up to be the same.

So I need a new routine and need to fit blogging in because I really enjoy it! And not only did I become a slacker in my blogging reports, but also in my pursuit of hobbies! I have not been running as much or cooking or doing the other things I said I would. Aside from reading, I have lost track of my other hobbies!!!

BUT I am back! I am making time again for my hobbies come hell or high water!

I did manage to read a few books that I will report on at a later date.

So again, sorry for being a slacker – it probably won’t be the last time – but for now I am at it again!

Stay Tuned . . . .

A New Term – Fate Friends – Also a low calorie summer drink

16 May

I don’t have a best friend – I have been blessed with many close friends/cousins/family members/awesome husband/ in-laws/pets – but I think I might be the only person to have a Fate Friend!

Yes – my Fate Friend (FF) and I came up with a new phrase. It all started in college – well actually since we were fate friends – it really started in a magical place called Band Camp! Humming Bird Music Camp (week four) to be exact! And don’t judge us because we went to band camp – when I have kids and if they choose to play an instrument I WILL send them to Hummingbird Music Camp! One of the best experiences of my life. I made some lifelong friends there and still run into people all over the world wearing Humming Bird Music Camp shirts!

Ok so my FF Shannon and I first met at band camp when we were in elementary school, reconnected in high school for a brief moment and became the friends we are today in college. See what I mean by FATE friends – she is my lobster!

We were cheerleaders (again don’t judge) in high school and college together. And we bonded in a van at a basketball tournament in Bowling Green, KY!

We have many reasons we credit to the fact that we are friends, we even attempted to make shirts – but we just had some cocktails instead. On that note, . .

Shannon came over last weekend to hang out, and try my new concoction the Drunken Arnold Palmer. In an effort to be healthier, while continuing to enjoy an adult beverage I created a Drunken Arnold Palmer.

Drunken Arnold Palmer

– Ice tea (I just brewed normal bore snore tea)

– A zero calorie lemonade (I used Vitamin Water Zero Squeezed Lemonade)

– Two shots of your favorite Vodka – or more depending on your mood

– And a bunch of fresh lemons.

The only calories you are getting are from the vodka – so it’s a low calorie, refreshing summer cocktail! You can also add Splenda or a sugar substitute if you wish but I think it tasted fine without one.

Drunken Arnold Palmer

Drunken Arnold Palmer

So back to the Fate Friend thing, I have a list of reasons why Shannon and I are Fate Friends – so enjoy and maybe you will realize you too have a fate friend and we can make the term Fate Friend a house hold name!

Fate Friend Reasons:

  • We went to band camp together – week four every year from the third grade to the eight grade!
  • She played the piano – as did I – but I also played the flute (don’t have any dirty thoughts – Alyson Hannigan totally ruined band camp for some actual band campers)
  • My husband’s dad Coach Montoya (or as I like to refer to him as Choach) was Shannon’s PE coach in elementary
  • We both worked at the Limited Too at the Cottonwood Mall – and still have clothes and love that place. We also agreed that if we ever have kids – they are not shopping at the Limited Too because it’s ridiculously expensive for the tweens!!
  • We found each other again in College when I tried out for the NMSU cheerleading all girls team. Shannon was already on the team – basically from that moment on we were always together. She was mostly at my house watching Friends or eating left over pies the husband would bring from Village Inn (Lemon Supreme to be exact)
  • Which is another reason why we are fate friends – in college we were always coming up with crazy diet schemes. We even drove to Juárez (it was still safe then) to try and get a crazy diet pill we read about at a Pharmacy – they did not sell them to us – However . . .
  • We did come up with another scheme – over green chili cheese fries with ranch at Village Inn where we ate every Tuesday night and complained about our weight to the husband who worked there – we came up with a scheme to convince a doctor to prescribe us the crazy diet pills. After months of prep (mostly lots of cheese fries later) we convinced doctor to prescribe us the diet pills! Poor doctor – he hardly spoke English and was a total suckerJ
  • The husband worked at Village Inn all though college and I hate staying alone, so Shannon, being the great fate friend that she is would stay with me. One night we were convinced she had a stalker (which turned out to be true) we came up with a bunch of scary evidence that he was watching her and filed a complaint
  • Our mutual love for animals! One time I was at Shannon’s on campus apartments when this skinny, scrawny bag of bones cat walked up to me (really was just wandering outside her apartments) I grabbed saved the cat and brought it into Shannon’s apartment even after she said several times “DO NOT BRING THAT CAT INTO MY APARTMENT” now the cat (Lance) is a member of Shannon’s family and a little overweight! What a lucky cat!
This is Lance

This is Lance

  • A big reason we are fate friends is because I understand Shannon’s family – they are quirky as is my family. Shannon’s dad is the reason I am working at PR Newswire – he knew Shane and I were moving back to Albuquerque from Las Cruces and kept an eye out for any job openings in my degree area. He told me about a new business opening in Albuquerque and I immediately applied – thanks Jack!
  • One time I was at Barnes and Noble stocking up on books when this lady stuck her face in my hair and took a loud sniff – I was shocked and turned around and saw Shannon’s mom! She said “Josa thank god that was you! You smell so good I couldn’t resist smelling you. What are you wearing?” HAHAHAHA (it was Coco Mademoiselle)
  • I usually ask book advice from Shannon’s mom Becca who thinks I am a serious reader because I loved People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks – it’s seriously an amazing book you should check out!
  • We both are nerds at heart! We LOVE Harry Potter, will pick Damon over Stefan in the Vampire Diaries and will read any artical about the show FRIENDS – also both Team Aniston!
  • Shannon and I have established traditions – One of which is having a girls weekend in Vegas at the end of every Summer! Can’t wait for this year – we bought our tickets last week!!!
  • My husband is just as much of a fate friend with Shannon as I am. I will start to say something about Shannon and he can finish what I was going to say!

I LOVE my fate friend and hopefully you all will realize you too have fate friends.

Sports, Olympics, NBA and funny look alikes!

15 May

I love sports!

Yes – it’s a fact – and a happy fact for my husband! I love and would like to think I  am knowledgeable in sports. Thanks to my Dad, brother, husband and father-in-law. I know a lot more than I should about sports. I should really refocus my knowledge of sports facts, rules and trivia to make-up and fashion. But – I grew up in a household who worshiped the Dallas Cowboys, Michael Jordan, Emit Smith the 1996 US Gymnastic team (Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Dominique Dawes, Kerri Strug, Amy Chow, Amanda Borden and Jaycie Phelps or better known as The Magnificent 7)

I kid you not – my brother Nick and I spent the day I was supposed to celebrate my college graduation watching the NFL Draft. We were very concerned where Matt Leinart would end up and we were late to my party! But that is one of my favorite memories!

So I LOVE sports – not all sports – I don’t care for baseball unless I am actually at a baseball park, but even then it’s the people food and atmosphere not the actual sport. I don’t know much about Tennis(although I wish I did), any sailing or rowing type sports – I live in the desert! I know nothing about NASCAR, Formula 1 or race car crap, if you consider that race car crap a sport.

So in honor of the NBA Playoffs – which I made a ridiculous bet with my Father-In-Law that includes the LA Clippers going further in the playoffs than the Boston Celtics (which sucks because I LOVE the Celtics, I was counting on the Bulls to knock out the Celtics in the second round and Chauncey Billups was a healthy man when this bet was made) oh well – I have included a fun look alike photo gallery for your enjoyment. Even if you don’t love basketball (weird) you will enjoy these odd players and their movie star twins!

Enjoy!

Sam Cassel – ET

Sam Cassel – ET

Sam Cassel – ET

Sam Cassel – ET

Orland Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy, and Famous Porn-Star Ron Jeremy

Orland Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy, and Famous Porn-Star Ron Jeremy

Doc Rivers -  California Raisin

Doc Rivers – California Raisin

Brian Scalabrine and Phoebe’s boyfriend for a few episodes

Brian Scalabrine and Phoebe’s boyfriend for a few episodes

Colonel Sanders – Phil Jackson

Colonel Sanders – Phil Jackson

Blake Griffin - Randy - Pee-Wee's Playhouse

Blake Griffin – Randy – Pee-Wee’s Playhouse

Anderson Varejao and Side Show Bob - a litte obvious

Anderson Varejao and Side Show Bob – a litte obvious

Ginobili and Balki from "Perfect Strangers"

Ginobili and Balki from “Perfect Strangers”

Jordan Farmar and Dumbo

Jordan Farmar and Dumbo

Pau Gasol and Big Bird - it could just be the yellow and maybe the hair.

Pau Gasol and Big Bird – it could just be the yellow and maybe the hair.

Chris Bosh and any kind of reptile – I like to remember the raptors from Jurassic Park. RIP clever girl!

Chris Bosh and any kind of reptile – I like to remember the raptors from Jurassic Park. RIP clever girl!

Clever Girl

Clever Girl

Chris Bosh - Ostrich. He is just so odd looking!

Chris Bosh – Ostrich. He is just so odd looking!

New York – 1969

10 May

My Dad had an amazing life! He visited six continents – the only one he didn’t get to see was Europe!  Weird right? I mean he even went to Antarctica – but he never went to Europe? I have even been to Europe! But he said he never had a desire to go there.  He said if he could go on a free trip he would go back to the Middle East or Africa.

He had a lot of amazing stories and as I have now discovered a lot of incredible pictures! I found these pictures of New York amongst some other treasures. I know that his high school girlfriend was a flight attendant for a brief period of time with Pan Am (yes like the show for us younger kiddos) and she had to go to New York for her job.

Well, she took these pictures and sent them to my dad. Who ended up driving from Albuquerque to New York (I believe in his VW van) to pick her up when she decided the aviation industry was not for her.  Great guy? I say yes!

I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do!

And thank you Betz for taking them!

Empire State Building

Empire State Building – 1969

Broadway - 1969

Broadway – 1969

Pan Am Building

Pan Am Building

Statue of Liberty – circled :)

Statue of Liberty – circled 🙂

Chicken Tacos and Lime Cilantro Black Beans

9 May

One of my new hobbies was to cook more. I believe I said I would try and cook a healthy meal twice a week. And I have been good at doing that I just have not been good at documenting. So I need to catch up! Below is a delicious healthy rendition of tacos and black beans!

 

Healthier Version of Chicken Tacos

What You Will Need

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

Cooking spray

12 (6 inch) white corn tortillas (corn tortillas have less calories than flour)

1 1/2 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced

1/4 cup Monterey jack cheese, reduced fat, shredded

low-fat sour cream (optional for some but not for meJ

Directions:

Heat grill

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; rub spice mixture over chicken.

Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 5 minutes; chop.

I have a weird fear of undercooking chicken so I always end up overcooking chicken. I tried cooking the chicken for ten minutes on one side and eight minutes on the other side and it came out perfect! Juicy and not dry!!! I loved this tip! I can follow directions but I hate when recipes tell me to cook until it’s done! How am I supposed to know!  If you suffer from a fear of undercooking poultry, try the ten minutes on one side and eight on the other. BUT, make sure you cut your chick so it’s even. Another big problem for me is I typically see chicken breasts are not cut even; there is usually a thicker part of the breast. Just trim that part down so it’s even and easier to cook, plus you get a little extra meat!!

Heat tortillas according to package directions.

Divide chicken evenly among tortillas; top each tortilla with 2 tablespoons cabbage and 1 teaspoon cheese. Serve with sour cream, if desired

I didn’t use the cabbage – I like cabbage on fish tacos but not on chicken or beef tacos.

Also if you’re the kind of person who plans ahead (or wish you were) cook some extra chicken so you can take it to lunch the next day! That’s what I did and I didn’t even use the corn tortillas just mixed the beans, chicken and cheese in a bowl! It was delicious!!

 

Lime Cilantro Black Beans

What You Will Need

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

1 medium onion, chopped fine

2 jalapeno chiles, chopped fine (seeds removed if desired)

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Directions:

In sauté pan heat garlic in oil on medium heat.

Add onion and jalapeño as oil begins to warm.

Add oregano and cumin and sauté, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender, adding a few drops of water if they begin to stick.

Add contents of cans of black beans and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, to allow flavors to blend.

Add chopped cilantro and lime juice and stir. (I also zested the lime and added that into the beans)

 

So I tend to freak out a little when I cook and have more than one thing cooking at a time. So if you are like me – it’s helpful to chop up all the veggies before you start “cooking” that way you don’t burn (like I did – opps) or overcook the onions and garlic.

Also, when I chop up the veggies before I start “cooking”, I put the chopped up veggies in little bowls and add them to what I am cooking as I go – this makes me feel like I am cooking for the Food Network since see them do that all the time! And this makes me feel like I know what I am doing and happy. Although it does make a bigger mess – but if you have a dishwasher or kids that does not really matter!

Enjoy!

RIP Maurice Sendak

8 May