"Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding". Prov.4:7(NKJV)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Unstuffed Bell Pepper Casserole

If you like stuffed bell peppers you are sure to love this. Just take your favorite stuffed bell peppers recipe and turn it into a one dish casserole. Here is mine:

IMG_20141104_182151Unstuffed Bell Pepper Casserole

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef, turkey. or sausage
1 green bell pepper, chopped (I used 1/2 green & 1/2 orange or yellow for a pretty Fall look)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup instant rice or 1 cup cold cooked rice
1/2 cup water (if using instant rice. omit if using cooked rice)
14.5oz. can stewed tomatoes
1/2 bottle of Heinz chili sauce
2 Tbsp. Ketchup
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 8oz. pkg. shredded cheddar cheese (or Colby/Monterey Jack)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a pot full of boiling water put in the chopped bell peppers. Let them blanch for 5 minutes then remove from water to a strainer. Run cold water over them to stop the cooking. In a skillet brown your meat with the chopped onion until no longer pink.. Drain. In a 2qt. casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Put in your meat, onions, and bell peppers. If you are using instant rice now is the time to stir that in with the water. If you are using cold cooked rice just put that in. Add in rest of seasonings and 1/2 of the cheese and stir. Cover with foil and cook for 30-40 minutes. Uncover, stir, then sprinkle the rest of cheese on top. Pop back in the oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pork and Squash Stew

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Pork and Butternut Squash Stew
 
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. oil
2-3 cups leftover pork roast, cubed (I used leftover shredded pork I had from when I made some for BBQ pulled pork sandwiches)
1 large onion, diced (2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) Italian stewed tomatoes
4 cups butternut squash (1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes)
2 cups chicken broth
16 oz. bag frozen mixed vegetables (I used frozen stewed vegetables)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. dried thyme
2  tsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. flour

Directions:
In a skillet sauté onions, garlic, and mushrooms.  In a 6 quart slow cooker put meat on bottom and sprinkle flour on top.  Add sautéed vegetables, tomatoes, cubed squash, broth, mixed vegetables or stewed vegetables, and seasonings. Cook on LOW 6-8 hrs.

IMG_20141021_190851
Note: I served this with cornbread that our son made. We also added Tabasco sauce in our bowls of stew for a kick. I'm going to try this again but subbing the butternut squash with sweet potatoes. I'll be sure to post that recipe whenever I make it.





Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Taco Soup

A warm comfort food that's so yummy it will have you going back for seconds.

IMG_20141008_190709
Taco Soup

Ingredients:
1-2 lbs. ground beef (or go 1/2 beef and 1/2 ground turkey)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 (14.5 oz.) cans chili or pinto beans (can mix and match your favorites), undrained
14.5 oz. can black beans
14.5 oz. can Mexican style stewed tomatoes, undrained
10-14.5 oz. can Rotel (or tomatoes with green chiles) or any diced tomatoes, undrained
14.5 oz. can of whole kernel corn, undrained (or use 1.5 cups frozen corn)
8 oz. can tomato sauce (optional)
4 oz. can diced green chiles (optional)
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

Directions:
Brown ground beef and/or turkey with onion. Drain and pour into 6 qt. crockpot. Open cans and dump all into crockpot with beef. Pour in seasonings and stir. Cover and cook on LOW heat 6-8 hours.

IMG_20141008_191417
Serve with skillet cornbread or garnish with shredded Mexican cheese, sour cream, chopped green onion, black olives, jalapenos, salsa and serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, November 3, 2014

You did what????

For those of you following my natural hair journey I have some news. I decided to cut some inches off my hair. Yes you heard it right…I cut my hair. When I went natural going on 4 years ago, I thought I wouldn’t do any cutting of my natural hair until I let my hair grow for a full 5 years. At that time I also thought I would transition for a whole year without cutting the rest of my permed ends but I didn’t make it past 9 months. Life happens, things change, and people change.

Remember the new cut last May? As of today my hair has grown back to 7”. That’s a lot of hair in a year and a half! Some people will ask me (whether out of curiosity or with a disapproving tone) why did you cut your hair? Before I answer that question let me throw this out there. Through this journey I’ve proven time and again I can grow my hair long in no time, and hey…it’s MY HAIR so I’m pretty sure what I think is what matters most. My hubby also has no problem with it. He wants me to cut it all the way down to a TWA but I think it will be another 5 more years before I’m ready for that :-)

So why did I cut it? How much hair did I cut? How does it look today? I cut my hair because I didn’t like the way it was looking when the hair I cut last year started growing back. That shaved look doesn’t look so hot after the hair grows back in. You go through this awkward stage and well I just didn’t like being limited in my styling options. I had my reasons for doing it then but I won’t be trying that anymore. I’ll shave my whole head bald before I do that again. In July I did cut the front to help with the awkward look, but as my hair continued to grow I hated the look and shape. I kept saying for months I was going to finish cutting it and so I finally cut 4” off the back. My hair was past my bras strap now it’s a few inches above that when it’s stretched/straightened. Here is how my hair looks now:

IMG_20141024_112022IMG_20141024_112030IMG_20141024_115109IMG_20141024_115120

I did a twist~n~curl for this style. Next year this time I’ll have more hair to deal with so I’m enjoying this length for now. I didn’t realize how much easier is to detangle less hair and styling didn’t take as long either. For anyone wondering, I'm not anti perm. Well for me I am but for anyone else...if you know how to have healthy hair with a perm, rock on with your bad self! I ain't hating. Do what works best for you. I went on this journey for a reason and a journey it has been. It has taught me a lot about myself and my hair. I've grown spiritually as well as learning to love me for me in the process. If I had to do it over I'd do it again. Until the next update thanks for reading Smile.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Crockpot Saucy Italian Chicken

IMG_20141020_183130

Crockpot Saucy Italian Chicken

Ingredients:
1 family pack of thighs (or chicken quarters)
1 small onion, diced
14.5oz. can diced or stewed Italian tomatoes
6oz. can tomato paste
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. of Italian salad dressing (optional)

Directions:
Wash chicken and let drain for 5 min. in sink (can use a rack in the sink).  In 5 or 6 qt. crock pot put chicken in with onions. Sprinkle seasonings on top.  Open cans and pour over chicken and onions. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

Note: To make a thicker sauce you can season some flour, coat chicken pieces with it and brown it in a skillet in 2 Tbsp. oil. You don't want to cook this all the way through just brown it. Put in crockpot with other ingredients to finish cooking. This will help the sauce not be so thin. I like to serve this with brown rice or pasta and a salad. Another thing I serve it with is green beans or peas, and pasta salad.










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