Monday, July 23, 2012

Scentsy and Summer Snacks

I have an addiction to a magical smelling home. Scented candels stress me out to have going all the time with the dogs around.

My mom got me hooked on an awesome product called Scentsy. They are scented waxes melted over a pretty ceramic base with a light bulb inside. ( they have loads of different warmer bases to pick from we have 2 large ones and a plug-in in the kitchen)

I just ordered my summer scents and they got here today. Excited for a fresh smelling home! All the bars I had were very wintery smells and didn't seem fitting this time of year.

If you are thinking or ordering any for summer Beach is my top pic! You can order it all direct through their website linked above or find a local distributor. I am officially an Scentsy addict and you probly will be too if you try it out.

So as you all know I love food! I get lazy in the summer and need to find simple snacks to beat the heat. My top go to snacks at the moment are Edamame and cheese!!!

Presidents Choice finally has frozen in shell edamame and I am a little too stoked cause they used to be so hard to find up here in Canada unless you went to Costco and I don't make my way out there super often.

I like putting a lemon pepper spice I have on them with a little bit of sea salt!

I am also hooked on Boursin cheese at the moment and wine. Perfect summer mix!
And on that note I am hungry and off to go make some lunch lol!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Friends and Pups!

I can never take enough photos of the little babies!

Today was one of my best friends 27th birthdays! She is a great human and deserved a great birthday present. So I got her a custom set of nails made by my lovely friend Tiffany. Glad she ended up loving them!

We headed over to a BBQ at our murtual friends new house to celebrate their new move! One of the hosts is posssibly the most amusing humans I know. It's never a dull tiume when Joady is around!

Well thats it for me off to bed cause I work at 7am the next 2 days! Hope everyone is having a great week so far.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Adventures in SlowCooking: Chicken Enchilada Soup!

So as I told you guys I have been missing Mexican food soooo bad and at the same time trying only to use my slowcooker during these heat waves. I found a recipe for Chiken Enchilada Soup and felt a strong need to get it in my mouth!

This one was super easy, makes a lot of soup and was soooo tasty! Here is the recipe for you guys

Chicken Enchilada Soup

 Initial ingredients to cook chicken in:
3 large chicken breast halves
2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
2/3 cup chunky salsa (I used my own homemade salsa)
1/2 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
2 Tbsp chili powder ( I would cut this down to 1 tbsp the next time I make it)
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder

Ingredients to add in after having cooked chicken:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Masa Harina ( substitute with corn meal you won't find this in most places)
2 cups milk
2 cups frozen corn ( I used freshly cooked corn from husks)
1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
2/3 cup shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste

For Serving (all optional):
Additional shredded Cheddar and Monterrey Jack Cheese
Diced avocados
Sour Cream
Chopped cilantro ( this one is such a great addition to the flavours)
Chopped green onions
Tortilla Chips or stripsn (in my mind a must to have with the soup)

Place chicken in a slow cooker (mine was half frozen so don't wory about that part).  Pour chicken broth, tomato sauce, salsa and zesty italian dressing over chicken.  Sprinkle in chili powder, cumin, onion powder and garlic powder. Give a good little stir and then ensure chicken is resting on bottom of slowcooker again.  Cover with lid and cook on low heat for 6 hours.  

Once cooked, remove chicken from slow cooker and set aside.

 Prepare a roux in a saucepan by heating olive oil over medium heat then stirring in Masa Harina (mixture will be thick), slowly pour in milk.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is very thick and it reaches a gentle boil (it should be like the consistency of a porridge). 

 Pour mixture into slow cooker and whisk until smooth.  
Add in corn, Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Cheddar Cheese and Monterrey Jack Cheese.  Shred chicken and stir into soup. 

 Season soup with salt and pepper to taste.  Allow to cook about 10 minutes until all ingredients are heated through. 

 Serve warm garnished with additional shredded cheese, diced avocados, sour cream, cilantro, green onions or  tortilla chips.

Hope this heat wave isn't getting to anyone to bad!


Cute New Tattoo!

Yesterday my friend Rob Chambers did this cute little Oil Lamp tattoo to add onto my sleeve. I love it! (excuse the blood we took it just after we finished I will get a better pic when it's healed)

 Afterwards we had a doublke date night with him and his gf and watched Indiana Jones movies! Needless to say it was a pretty sweet day.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Adventures in Rental Renos

  Alright so any of you who rent an apartment or even a house know my woes. You want  it to feel like home but at the same time you don't own it and there for don't really want to invest loads of money into making it magical bcause when the time comes you can't take it all with you.

 We lived in our current place for a year before deciding we would stay here till we buy a condo. At that point we went to our landlords and said, hi we love you and we love living here but our place looks like a frat house what can we do? They were more than happy to pay for us to do one project per month and just take whatever it cost off the price of our rent!

 So far we took out the carpet had laminates put in, painted the whole apartment, re-painted and decorated the stairway and had custom curtains made for all the rooms. Now we are onto the kitchen / bathroom. Both came with what is quite possibly the most ugly tile backsplash known to man kind. They have made me insane since we moved it!

 We had planned on ripping them out and putting in a new back splash. But frankly for what it cost and the amount of hot mess and work it would take we searched out other options.

 I have become very friendly with the man in the paint section at our local Home Depot and he knows EVERYTHING lol. So I went to go see him and ask for his suggestions. We ended up leaving with this new prime anything primer to paint over our tiles with and something else ment for decks and patios that would give a stucco effect to the existing tile. Only cost $75 so it seemed like the best option.

 I cleaned all the tiles with just hot water and a rag very well like he told me (I have learned to listen to what the Home Depot man tells me lol). Nate taped off all the edges for me cause I hate doing it. Then I  did 2 coats of the primer and let it set over night.

Today I did one coat with the special textured roller let it set for 3 hours then did my second coat and it was as easy as that! Now if any of you do end up using this paint for something similar be warned it is messssyyyy! The paint it  mixed with cement and sand and it flies everywhere when you are rolling it on. Be sure to wash down all unrealted surfaces as soon as you are done each coat with super hot water and a rag otherwise you will hate yourself later trying to get it all off!

So here is the finished product, not exactly my dream kitchen but way easier on the eyes then baby blue tiles with painted white flowers lol. It makes a hugggge difference!

  Next up on the list is redoing the kitchen floors and then refacing all the kitchen cabinets! Can't wait to have the floor done because our kitchen floor is like a sponge for mess. I can mop it in the am and by dinner time it looks like someone covered in dirt rolled around all over it. Makes no sense/drives me nuts cause I am kind of a clean freak. I think it was a tile that needed a topcoat and or sealant and it was just never done wah wahhhhhhh.

  I am a pretty handy lady so if any of you have questions or want suggestions of what to do chez vous don't be scared to ask!

Thats it for now, off to do my gf Sarah's hair whilst we gorge on the remaining Barbacoa beef !!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Adventures in Slow Cooking

So after living down in SanDiego I grew a possibly unhealthy addiction to Mexican food. Mexican food the likes of which you CAN NOT find in Canada. With the awesome summer weather here I have been craving real mexican food more and more! SOOOOO I decided to take it into my own hands and try my hand at some epic mexican treats.

I found a recipe for slowcooker Barbacoa Beef to use for tacos and burritos. I made the beef yesterday so we could have it for lunch today. WOW was the recipe ever spot on! The meat is delish tender and so flavourful! Here is the recipe I used with my own little changes and suggestions

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef 
(original recipe and link here)

1 jar of Tomatillo salsa (presidents choice has a great one)
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed well and chopped
1 red onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 head garlic, peeled and cloves smashed
5 dry bay leaves
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Juice of 4 limes
1/2 cup cider vinegar
5 to 7 pounds beef brisket
4 to 6 cups beef or chicken stock

Stir together chipotle peppers and sauce, cilantro, red onion, garlic, clove, salt, lime juice, and cider vinegar in the insert of a slow cooker. Place the brisket on top of this mixture.  Add stock to cover the meat and place bay leaves on top. (if meat isn't fully covered cut brisket in half and replace in pot).

Cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Once finished, turn crock pot to WARM and let sit for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove meat from slow cooker and place on rimmed baking sheet. Use two forks to pull the meat apart.

Place shredded beef in large bowl and ladle cooking liquid over the top a few scoops at a time. You want the meat to hold the liquid but not swim in it.

I kept all the cooking liquid and frozer it to make a stew in the fall because it was so rich and seemed like a waste to toss out!

Here is my end results ( I made fresh salsa to go with them HERE is my recipe for salsa fresca)

 They were delish and this is for sure a recipe we will be making again in the future!
Hope everyones week is off to a great start!