Chicken Spinach Wrap

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a new recipe for all to share and so last night, in 100+ degree weather, I tried to come up with something that would be quick, healthy, and not make the inside of our house reach 100+ degrees as well. Have I said before that I hate Oklahoma summers? Yes? Well… I hate Oklahoma summers. Sometimes I don’t feel that it hurts to say it again! :) John is still working on a lake job that should have been something he was able to finish months ago, but due to circumstances beyond his control he is still there and working 16 hour days. You’d think being able to be right next to a lake every single day would be great, but in this case for him it’s exhausting. Last night he called me around 8pm to let me know he’d be home in about 15 minutes and so I thought this Chicken Spinach Wrap would be fast, easy, and healthy!

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Take some chicken. I made too much for just two of us last night but make however much you want. I used two chicken breasts but it wound up overfilling the wrap! Season with some garlic powder, onion powder, salt, parsley, and whatever other seasonings will make you feel happy.

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Unfortunately this beautiful tomato isn’t from our personal garden since we forgot to plant tomatoes early enough this year, but take a whole wheat tortilla and slice up a tomato into small cubes.

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Take some handfuls of spinach (also not from our garden… sad times) and fill up that wrap, baby!

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Put those beautiful tomatoes on top of the spinach and start the drooling!

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Top with the cooked chicken pieces.

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Add some chopped onions…

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AND VOILA! Add some cut up fruit (like this wonderful cantaloupe FROM OUR GARDEN) and some honey Greek yogurt! Now enjoy!



Using Reds When Painting

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My favorite color in the world is red and one of the things that I run into a lot when it comes to design is seeing people have a fear of using red. Reds can be amazing if you take the time to look at each red for its own merit and not for how red it looks on the color chip. Sometimes reds that have a purple undertone or even a pink undertone can give you the actual red you were looking for… even if you were expecting it! Here is a small collection of some reds that I really enjoy from Benjamin-Moore and Sherwin-Williams. Maybe one of them will work for you as well.

Just remember that the colors you see on your computer screen may not be what happens on your wall. Samples are your best friend when you’re remodeling!


April Skies

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We have been having some really amazing weather in Oklahoma over the past few days in July. :) So amazing that it feels like October to me. Unfortunately it’s going to be 100+ degrees really soon coming up and that’s super depressing to me. I hate hot weather. So to celebrate the great weather we are having I thought I’d post a few pictures from some pretty skies we had this past April.

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Edamame

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We’ve been really into bean creations lately and I have had this bag of frozen shelled edamame sitting in my freezer for a bit now so I figured I’d play around with it to see what I could come up with. Edamame is so good for you and is often times overlooked, for whatever reason, but it’s super tasty and really easy to create a side dish or snack out of. This will be a short blog entry but I was hoping to be able to encourage others to give edamame a try!

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First things first you’ll take your edamame and if it isn’t already thawed you’ll run it under some cool water to get it prepared to use.

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Next mix in some oil olive, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and any of your other favorite seasonings.

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Grease a baking dish and pour the edamame into the pan and spread it out evenly.

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Bake for 15-20 minutes on 350 in the oven and then serve! Super yummy! Goes well with a little ranch dressing or tar tar sauce (we ate it with fish). :) Enjoy!


The Difference Between Warm Gray & Cool Gray

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One of the concerns that I run into consistently when discussing color options with people is how to choose the right gray? Forever it seemed as though beige was the way to go and “the best for resale values.” To an extent this is still true but more and more these days people are starting to find that grays can offer a pleasant modern balance to an updated and current living plan. So how do you find the gray that doesn’t fail your expectations? It isn’t that hard it just takes a little bit of patience!

Specifically talking about Sherwin-Williams and their paint color palette let’s look at a few of their gray options.

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Now you might be thinking that I’m crazy and what you’re clearly looking at is a beige tone, a gray tone, and a blue tone, right? Isn’t that crazy? Well these are all gray! They’re just a small variety of grays that show how you can utilize grays to still be warm or you can alter them to add into your environment to add soft, cool tones that blend in perfectly with blacks and whites in a room setup.

A good way to not overwhelm yourself is to isolate a gray palette that your local paint stores may offer to you. It’s very easy to go too blue or to go too beige if you’re not careful so if you’re struggling it is never a bad idea to try to ask for some help! Don’t fear grays, embrace them! You can do anything with them!

Be careful! What you see on your computer screen may not look the same on your wall in your house. It is always a good idea to get up to three sample quarts (or pints) at a time (try not to get too many because you’ll just overwhelm yourself) of paint from your paint store to try out a couple of options on your wall before you commit to one color! In the end you can mix all of your samples together and use them as a primer coat of paint to save yourself a bit of money on the final product you choose!


Red Bean Burgers

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I recently found a link that allowed me to get Martha Stewart’s “Living” Magazine for free for two years and so I figured why not?  What could it hurt?  If nothing else John could use the pages for his spray paint art or it could be recycled.  To my surprise the magazine actually offered some great recipes and one of them was this recipe!  From the April 2014 issue there is a recipe called Red-Bean Burgers with Avocado and Lime and immediately I thought that it sounded amazing!  I was a little nervous because the last time I tried to make black bean burgers they were really runny and not all that great.  These, however, were so stinkin’ tasty and they formed just like real hamburger meat and that was shocking to me!  Unless you’re actually thinking about it you cannot tell that these are not really made from cows (or turkeys).  They are also so super moist and even if you end up with burned edges (as I did) they are still so super good!

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First you’ll take your red beans and put them in a food processor.  I used my fancy Ninja that John got me for Christmas!

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Then you’ll blend in the carrot, chili powder, oregano, and any other seasonings you choose (try garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley) to add to the mix!

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Next add in your breadcrumbs and eggs.  I would recommend adding a bit more breadcrumbs than the recipe called for.  The first time I made these they were perfect and the second time they were a little runny, so adding a bit more breadcrumbs will not hurt at all.

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You will have this glorious mess once all is said and done!

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Over medium heat add some oil to your frying pan and plop your burgers down and walk away.  Since these are not real meat you cannot press and flip them as you would right away.  Put them in the pan and leave them alone for about 10 minutes.  Flip them over once and leave them alone for another 10 minutes.

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See?  A little burny but it totally added to them flavor and was sooooo tasty!

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Add your extra interests to the burger (ex. cheese, avocado, lime juice/zest, mayo, ketchup, sour cream, onion, etc) and dig in.  SO, SO GOOD!

Red Bean Burgers

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 3 burgers

Serving Size: 1 burger

Calories per serving: 455

Fat per serving: 16.9g

Red Bean Burgers

Caloriecount.com gave this an A- rating (including bread!)

Low sugar, high fiber, and high vitamin B6!

Ingredients

  • 1 can red beans (rinse and drain)
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp parsley flakes
  • 1/2-3/4 cups dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • EVOO
  • avocado, lime, sour cream, cheese, mayo, ketchup, mushrooms, etc (as extras)

Instructions

  1. In food processor combine red beans, carrot, chili powder, dried oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley flakes, breadcrumbs and eggs together until it forms a stiff medium to work with.
  2. Compress patties into burger form and plop onto medium heated frying pan with EVOO in it.
  3. Let burgers sit untouched for 10 minutes. Flip once and let sit untouched for another 10 minutes.
  4. Set up burgers as desired and enjoy!!

Notes

Cals: 455 / Fat: 16.9g / Carbs: 59.3g / Protein: 19.9g / Fiber: 14.4g / Cholesterol: 62mg

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Butterscotch Toffee Chunks

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I will warn you now.  These are not good for you.

There.  Now that we have that out of the way, let’s learn how to do this!  I got onto a peppermint bark kick over the last holiday season and then I started wondering what else I could make that would be amazing tasting and I came up with this… which has been a hit!

But again, I will tell you, they are not good for anyone trying to diet, such as myself… who loves to bake… but cannot eat these.  Boo.

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Get a double boiler together.  See my makeshift?  Two pots, water in the middle, BOOM!  Pour a little bit of extra virgin olive oil into the top pan and then just turn the oven on to high and let it all start to warm up.  Pour a bag of butterscotch pieces in the top and slowly start to mix it as the pieces get melty.

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THEN!  Then add a bag of toffee pieces and stir, stir, stir it up!  Doesn’t that goop look awesome?

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Pour those goods onto a foiled and greased cooking tray and then smooth it out as best you can.  Sprinkle some salt on the top (I know it sounds crazy but it really helps tame the super sweetness of this)!  Put it in the fridge and walk away.  It’ll harden up in about 20 minutes.

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Break into 24 pieces and then eat them with total happiness in your heart!

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So easy and so fast and so yummy!  What kind of sweet treats do you like to make?

Butterscotch Toffee Chunks

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 24 pieces

Serving Size: 1 piece

Calories per serving: 126

Fat per serving: 83g

Butterscotch Toffee Chunks

So dang tasty!

Ingredients

  • 1 (10oz) bag butterscotch pieces
  • 1 (10oz) bag toffee pieces
  • Vanilla extract (just a little splash)
  • EVOO to grease the pan
  • Salt to sprinkle the top

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler add some oil and the bag of butterscotch pieces. Turn the stove on high and slowly mix it as the pieces start to melt.
  2. Once everything starts to melt add in the bag of toffee pieces and the splash of vanilla extract.
  3. When thoroughly melted and combined, pour mixture onto foiled and greased cookie sheet and smooth out flat. Sprinkle with some salt and put in fridge for at least 20 minutes to cool.
  4. Break into pieces and eat, eat, eat!

Notes

Calories: 126 / Fat: 83g / Carbs: 16g / Protein: 0g / Fiber: 0g / Cholesterol: 0mg

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How can you go wrong with a catnip mouse?

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We’re having a weird March in Oklahoma so far.  It’s the second day into the month and we’re having a storm of rain, thunder, lightening, ice/hail, AND snow… all at the same time.  I say weird because these storms usually happen in January and sometimes February, but it’s March and I would really rather be gardening right now.  I  mean really…

So instead, since it’s cold outside, I decided to find something to sew instead.  I was working on my fancy tote bag that is going to take me seven years to complete since I have to sew each individual strip together, but I got bored and wanted to do something else.  Instead I found this cute little catnip mouse tutorial and decided I’d give it a go.  Mine is obviously more lazy looking then what the tutorial shows but my cats love them.

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My cats have always been interested in catnip!  Recently I was researching different plants that I could grow in my garden that I could use in cooking and tea that would be good for me and would be beneficial in different medicinal ways.  I found out that catnip is also a stress reducer for people as well (obviously I wouldn’t recommend making tea from your cat’s catnip) and read that two-thirds of the cat population is affected by catnip and that kittens inherit that interest from their cat parents.  How cute is that?  It isn’t just something that happens… it has to be passed through cat DNA!  Ha!  Love it.


Brenna’s German Basketweave Scarf

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010314brennascompletedscarf-1My cousin Brenna is living in Germany right now as a foreign exchange student and I’m so very, very proud of her.  She has gone through some tough times while she has been out there and so I thought, hey, why not make her a scarf from home that can be comforting to her?  Soo… I made this one!  How cool is that?

010314brennascompletedscarf-2It’s just a standard basketweave knitting stitch, but I’m so happy with how it came out!

010314brennascompletedscarf-3If you’re interested in downloading this pattern, I have made it available here!  Have fun and thanks for looking!