Jan 31, 2012

Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps (recipe reviewed)

I found another great recipe on pinterest that I had to share.

This one is a pretty quick dinner idea and my whole family loved it. The husband termed it quesaritos, because they're kind of a mix between a quesadilla and a buritto.

quesritorev

Here's a link to the recipe from Mel's kitchen cafe. She mentioned that the original idea came from Cooks Country. By the way, have you ever watched that show? It's really good and makes me hungry every time. I think it's on Saturday mornings.

Anyway, the things I liked most about this recipe were: it was fast, easy and really tasty. I had a bag of pre-cooked chicken strips in the freezer so I used those instead of the shredded chicken. I also added a few fresh toppings but other than that, I kept with the recipe.

checktopp

First you make the lime-cilantro-black bean mixture (which happened to be my favorite part - next to the cheese) and cook the rice.

beansandrice

If you have pre-cooked chicken, that's all the cooking that's involved! Then you just assemble the "quesaritos." I bought the huge burrito sized flour tortillas and it made six.

quesaburassem

Then you put each one in a skillet (with a little melted butter) to crisp up the sides, top with sour cream, salsa, fresh jalapenos and avocados and eat.

quesritofin

And your meal is complete!

Jan 30, 2012

Every Princess Needs a TuTu

Each day I'm amazed at how independent my little Sweet P is getting.

She wants to do everything on her own and with as little help as necessary. I love watching her confidence grow as she becomes so much more a little girl and so unlike a little baby. She's just growing so fast and I'm trying to take every moment in.

One thing that is totally new is her independence in clothes choice. Her sister-cousin has always been pretty opinionated about her clothes and it's something I've never dealt with. Sweet P usually doesn't care what I put on her and for the most part, still let's me pick out her clothes.

However, she is starting to have her own opinions and favorites. She loves anything "cat" so any shirt or pajama with a cat on it gets picked first. When those are dirty, she likes her purple dress or sweater her pappy got her for Christmas.

Every now and then she demands to wear the tutu her aunt Ashley made her. If I ask her if she wants to wear it she always says no. I have found that to be true about almost everything.

My idea and it's a no. Her idea and it's the way to go.

This past week I had changed her after her nap and went to her closet to pick out her clothes.

This is what she picked.

princesp

Her purple princess cat shirt and her tutu. She's pretty stinkin cute, if I do say so myself!

Jan 25, 2012

My favorite socks

Someone stole my favorite socks.

mysocks2

I'm not naming names.

mysocks

But to be honest, I don't really mind because my knee length, neon heart socks look pretty cute on those plump little thighs.

Jan 24, 2012

Letters

I have a thing for typography so you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon these little beauties:

pletters

There were about 4 tubs filled with random letters, symbols and punctuation marks in various typefaces and sizes. I sorted through each tub until I found all the letters I needed. I have a small bag full that I came home with and have NO idea what I am going to do with them right now.

I just couldn't resist so if you have any good ideas, send them my way.

Jan 23, 2012

Homemade Pizzeria Pizzas

I'm sharing one of my favorite recipes today. Honestly, it's not really a recipe at all. It's more like an easy, cheater recipe for a fun dinner.

pizzaintro

Growing up we used to have pizza night where we got to make our own mini pizzas with whatever topping we wanted. The secret to fast mini pizzas was a can of biscuits. Yes, biscuits, the kind that come in a tube and you pop it open and put them on a cookie sheet to bake for breakfast. My mom would roll out each biscuit and then we'd top it with sauce, cheese, pepperoni ... you get the idea.

Anyway, we do the same thing now that I'm a mom, the only difference is the crust. There happens to be an awesome little hole-in-the-wall pizza place near me so I stop in and buy their raw dough. They sell the equivalent of a large pizza dough for only $3! Sure, it's more expensive than a can of biscuits but the taste of real pizza crust is tough to beat.

What is this magical pizza place I speak of? The Pie Hole. I've mentioned it before when I made pizza balls. They have this white pizza that's really good and their cheesy bread, well, it's pretty much amazing. So go try it and take home a ball of dough.

pizzadough

Anyway, I had all kinds of left overs ready for pizza toppings after a week of dinners so I stopped by and bought some dough (if you follow me on instagram, you already knew this - it was for "something I bought".)

Since this really isn't a recipe, I'll just share what we had for toppings but really, the possibilities are endless. I set each topping out in little bowls: chopped onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, jalapenos, leftover cooked chicken, pepperoni and cooked sausage. We also had mozzarella and cheddar cheese and regular pizza sauce.

pizzasupplies

Here's a tasty little idea for a different taste - make your own garlic butter glaze. In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and two minced garlic cloves. Microwave it until the butter melts and brush that over the dough. I made one with just the glaze and it was amazing but it's also really good with pizza sauce on top too.

Anyway, I divided the dough into 7 balls, rolled each one out and then we each topped our own pizzas with the different toppings. It was fun and easy. Even Sweet P helped!

pizzaassemble

pizzaround2

pizzaround1

That's my pizza in the lower left with the garlic butter glaze, onion, mushroom, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. It also ended up being my favorite.

As for cooking them, here's another little tip I learned from making these in the past. Bake the pizza at 450 degrees on a cookie sheet until the cheese starts to brown. Then, take the pizza of the cookie sheet and put them back in the oven, directly on the rack and bake for a few more minutes. This will make the crust a little crunchy but still soft in the middle.

pizzafinished

MMM.

Here's my little pizza.

pizzalz

And here's one of the husband's.

pizzaez

So that's that. Homemade pizzeria pizzas. As good as, if not better than going out and much less expensive!

Jan 19, 2012

Instagram

I mentioned a little while back that I was going to do a new photo challenge with instagram and my phone. I started out just planning on taking a picture a day for an entire year.

Once I got started, I noticed other people doing something similar but there was a common theme. As far as I know, this lady, Chantelle, created the graphic that tons of instagrammers are using to inspire their year-long photo challenge.

I started using her prompts and have really liked it.

Day 15 was happiness.

Here's a couple of pictures I took that almost made it:

First, a personal favorite. My husband doing the dishes = happiness.

dishes

Then there's the dinner he made. Baked fish, cheesy potatoes and cole slaw. Mmm. Good food and not having to cook it = happines.

fishdinner

Did I mention I wasn't feeling well this day? No? Oh, well that explains how I managed to get him to cook and do the dishes in one night!

Then there was my Sweet P and her chalk. I was happy it was warm enough to be outside to a little bit and she was happy to have her chalk. The kid and sidewalk chalk = happiness.

phappychalk

I finally decided on this one. I love that big ol-gap-toothy-smile. It makes me happy. That girl makes me happy.

happiness


I hope your day is filled with happiness!!

Jan 18, 2012

Tulsa Flea Market Finds

Remember that post I wrote for Tasha Does Tulsa? Well, I have some new finds to add to my collection of awesome flea market treasures.

fleamrktfinds

Notice the little hand trying to steal my goodies?

The thing I'm most excited about from my last trip to the Tulsa Flea Market was this beauty.

pyrexdish

My cat recently broke my old butter dish and I almost went out and bought another basic white one from Target but decided to hold off. I'm so glad I did! I have a few Pyrex pieces in this pattern, I think it's called Butterprint, and love that it's a butter dish to add to my little collection! And the best part, it was only $6!! That's even less than I was going to spend on a plain, boring white one!

And my other favorite find of the day was an old wooden soda-pop crate. By the way, do you say soda, pop or coke? I say them all. Random.

Anyway, I've been on the hunt for a crate to put Sweet P's kitchen toys in and the soda (pop, coke) crate was the perfect size to fit in my little microwave stand. Which, by the way, I haven't done anything to since I bought it. I couldn't decide if I wanted to paint it or not so right now it's the way I bought it. Back to the crate. I've seen a ton with the metal dividers but didn't want those because her toys were going in it. After months of searching, I found this little guy and he was a steal for $8. I think it's a steal anyway. I also liked the fact that it didn't have a brand painted on the box.

So here's what the little area looks like before and after the crate.

crateba

Do you think HGTV will be calling asking for decorating advice soon? Ha.

It's the small things folks. Seriously, I really am very pleased with my little finds and am proud to give them a loving home.

Jan 17, 2012

Pinterest

Hi, my name is Lesley and I'm a pinaholic. It's been 1 day since my last pin.

Seriously, pinterest is a great place for inspiration and recipe ideas. I have 125 recipes pinned to my food board right now. When am I going to find the time to make all those? Sometimes it's hard to make a recipe because, although the picture looks great, the dish might not be so good.

I think it would be awesome if there was a recipe reviews part of pinterest. Something to where if you pinned something and made it and wanted to leave a comment, that everyone could see it. I think that would be helpful. I know you can leave comments on pins but I think only your followers or people that repinned your pin can see it.

Since no place like that exists (that I know of) I'll leave comments on the pins for recipes I make and leave reviews here.

ojreview

I'm going to start with two recipes I made this weekend.

First up, Gooey Cake.



I pinned Paula Dean's Gooey Cake recipe a while back and finally made it Saturday. When I initially saw the recipe, it make me think of a dessert my husband and I devoured at a little Italian restaurant. When the waitress brought us our check she made sure to tell us that she'd never seen two people finish the entire thing. Yikes. It was so good though.

Although it has been years since we ate that Italian Butter Cake, Paula Dean's recipe seemed the same and was just as delicious. The Gooey cake was super easy to make and called for very few ingredients - thus, making this a go-to dessert any occasion.

pdcakesq

The only thing I varied was adding some powdered sugar to the top after it cooled. I think it makes it look extra fancy!

pdgooeycake

The other recipe I tried, and have made 3 times in 2 days, was an Orange Julius recipe. Here's a link to the recipe from Sweet Treats and More.

It tastes just like an Orange Julius from the mall! That's a great thing in my book. If you have milk, water, sugar, vanilla, ice and orange juice concentrate, you are ready to make your own!



I thought her recipe was great but a tad too orange-y for my taste so I tweaked the recipe to my liking.

1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon sugar (I've also tried it with raw sugar and it's great that way too)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/4 frozen orange juice concentrate

First I blended the water, sugar and vanilla in my magic bullet and then I added the milk and blended a little more to get it good and frothy. Next I added the on concentrate and enough crushed ice to fill the cup and blended until the ice didn't make any noise. I divided it between two cups but seriously could have drank the whole thing myself.

ojsteps

Perfection. Even the husband agreed it tasted just like a real Orange Julius! I see myself trying this recipe with all kinds of different concentrates! I'll let you know how that goes.

So, long post but there you have it. Two pinterest recipes crossed off the list and reviewed.

Jan 13, 2012

Chicken Broccoli Cheese Soup

I have posted this recipe before, here's the original post.

This is one of my favorite cold weather soups. MMM. Cheesy goodness.

Homemade Chicken Broccoli Soup

It's also a great way to use your homemade broth from this post, and the chicken too!

Ingredients:
2 T vegetable oil
1 onion - chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 heads broccoli, florets cut in big chunks, stems chopped
Shredded chicken meat from 1/2 chicken - or you can just use white meat only
3 3/4 cups milk
2/3 cup flour
1/2 t pepper
8 oz. velveeta cheese - cubed
extra shredded, cheddar cheese to top it - completely optional but who doesn't love more cheese?


Heat oil in a large pot, add onion and cook until tender then add garlic and saute about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, chicken and broccoli. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine milk and flour and whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to pot and cook 5 minutes - stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Stir in pepper and cheese. Continue stirring until cheese is melted, about another 5 minutes.

Pour into bowls and enjoy.

Whatever you don't eat you can freeze.

* If you like it really cheesy, just add more velveeta cubes or some shredded cheese.*


Did I mention how easy, fast and delicious it is???

Have a great weekend!

Jan 12, 2012

All About My Sweet P

As my due date approaches, less than 11 weeks to go, I'm trying to take in every moment with my little Sweet P that I can.

We shop, picnic, meet daddy to feed the ducks and just enjoy our time together.

p4squares

pfeedingducks

She's a lot like her momma, in many ways.

She has been inherited my inability to sit still when music comes on, love of laughter and a serious love for donuts.

likemommy

She's also a lot like her daddy.

She thrives in the cold, she has the most gorgeous eyes and isn't afraid to get a little dirty.

likedaddy

She loves to be outside and she recently got to walk our little dog for the first time. The kid oozes joy!

pwalkdunc
shesgrowinup

She oozes joy a lot and is getting big so fast. We tried piggie-tails for the first time, she insists on doing most things by herself, she can rock massive headbands, neon and sunglasses - at the same time, she loves to color and she's getting more and more independent every day.

All of a sudden, my little sweet P turned into a full-out child.

p6x6

She's a riot to be around and although I will miss our time together just the 3 of us, I'm pretty excited to watch her continue to grow and become an awesome big sister.

We love you little Sweet P.

Jan 11, 2012

Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. This is an issue that breaks my heart and I want to do my part to abolish modern day slavery and the first step is awareness.

Here are some facts copied directly from StopChildTraffickingNow.com

  • Child/Human Trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. Child/ human trafficking is the world’s second largest criminal enterprise, after drugs. U.S. State Department
  • The global market of child trafficking at over $12 billion a year with over 1.2 million child victims. UNICEF
  • 300,000 children in the U.S. are at risk every year for commercial sexual exploitation. U.S. Department of Justice
  • 600,000 – 800,000 people are bought and sold across international borders each year; 50% are children, most are female. The majority of these victims are forced into the commercial sex trade.  U.S. Department of State, 2004, Trafficking in Persons Report, Washington, D.C.
  • An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States each year. The number of U.S. citizens trafficked within the country is even higher, with an estimated 200,000 American children at risk for trafficking into the sex industry. U.S. Department of Justice Report to Congress from Attorney General John Ashcroft on U.S. Government Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons

Pretty jaw-dropping. You can get more statistics here.

I really want to encourage you to learn more about this issue today and increase your awareness. FreeTheSlaves.net has some really good educational resources. If anything, check out Slavery in the 21st Century.


"whoever you are
whatever you do
you have something to offer"
- not for sale website

Thanks for you time!

Jan 9, 2012

crazy joy, instagram and Love146

How's that for a title!? I decided the topics all kind of relate so I'll just pull it all together in one post and get on with it.

First things first: the crazyjoy challenge. You may (or may not) have noticed the lack of posts regarding the crazyjoy challenge. Over Christmas break and then New Year's, Anna and I decided to take a little break from it. She was good and let her readers know about the break where I just didn't even mention it! Anyway, we both enjoyed the weekly challenge but also enjoyed the time off so with a lot of thought, we have decided to end the challenge.

I struggled with ending it because we committed ourselves to doing it for 52 weeks and had only made it about 30 so that would mean we failed. But to be honest, that's not a very good reason to keep doing something. Sure, it's not great to be a quitter but if you have the right reasons, I think it's just fine. I want to be more intentional about my time this year, including my blog and the challenge was just not a high priority. I don't feel bad about giving up on it but I have also replaced it with a new challenge.

Which brings me to the second topic: instagram. I love having a phone on my camera. I usually have my camera on me at all times and take random pictures of just about anything. I found instagram quite a while ago and love it. Although I have tried doing project365 twice before and failed, I'm giving it another attempt this year.

I think this time around will be more successful because I'm only using instagram photos for the challenge. That means I don't have to worry about uploading them to my computer, editing, or anything else. All I have to do is snap a picture with my phone each day (no problem there) and add it to instagram. I'm 8 days in and doing good.

Jan 1-4 photoaday
jan 5-8 photoaday

Oh, and if you're on instagram, let me know, you can find me by searching recipeforcrazy.

Sorry, this post is super long, but I'm almost done.

If you haven't read any of this post yet, start now!

So, back to being intentional.

One of the more personal posts I've shared was this one on Love146. Just to remind you, Love146 is an organization with this mission:
"Abolition and Restoration! We combat child sex slavery & exploitation with the unexpected and restore survivors with excellence."

So, in an effort to raise awareness, did you know that the month of January is Human Trafficking Awareness month and January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day?

You can click here to view a PDF with quick facts on child trafficking.

Want to learn more? Here are some great links:
HumanTrafficking.org
Love146
Love146 blog
Not For Sale
Oklahomans Against Trafficking of Humans
Stop Child Trafficking Now

Those are just a few but I hope you take some time this week to learn more about this issue.

Alright. That's all for today! Thanks for taking the time to read this today.

Oh, also, thank you for all the comments regarding the Star Wars poster! You guys made my day!

Ok, have a great week!

Jan 6, 2012

Blog address change

Just a quick FYI, I changed my address today from http://lesleyraes.blogspot.com/ to http://www.recipeforcrazy.com/. Blogger said it would redirect traffic after the switch, which may take 3 days or so, but I don't know what that will do with bookmarks. If you currently subscribe to my blog with reader or bloglovin', you may need to subscribe to my new feed.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Lesley

Hand Drawn Lego Star Wars Alphabet Poster

One of the fun things about working in design is doing random projects for the fun of it. This is one of those projects.

If you know much about my nephews, you are well aware of their obsession with Star Wars. They know the movies, the characters, the games, the books and I think they own nearly every single Lego Star Wars set that's been made.

I thought it would be fun to make them an alphabet poster of the characters for Christmas. I took on the challenge of finding and drawing 26 different characters for the poster. You'd be surprised how many sources there are on the internet full of Star Wars info for such a project as this.

I started off with a basic google search for "alphabetical list of Star Wars characters." Then I wrote out a list to make sure I had a character for each letter. Once I had my list ready, I did an google image search for each name, made a contact sheet to use as a reference, then sketched out some dimensions so each would be proportionate.

Beginning the Lego Star Wars Poster

Then it was time to sketch. Each little character was hand drawn with pencil then I inked the lines in with my Sharpie.

Hand Drawn Lego Star Wars Characters

Once I had all the line art ready, I took a photo of each character (because I don't have a scanner) and then added the color to each in photoshop.

Lego Star Wars Art for Alphabet Poster

I should correct myself here, I only did 25 characters. I asked my sister to get a picture of the boys doing some sort of Star Wars light saber battle scene to use for the "F" for the FORCE. The photo was perfect!

Now that I had 26 graphics for each letter of the alphabet, I downloaded a Lego font and added the letter to each character. I also included the character's name inside the letter, just in case the boys needed it. Ha! Right.

So there's the finished poster - sorry about the large, ugly watermark!

Lego Star Wars Alphabet Poster

I gave it to them for Christmas and was not surprised when they told me nearly every single name in a matter of seconds. The boys know their stuff.

Check out the Halloween costumes my sister made them last year - here. They're awesome!

Jan 4, 2012

I Really Did It This Time

Remember how I told you I would have a post that makes this one obsolete? Here it is.

The perfect iced coffee recipe.

It's not so much a recipe as it is a recommendation for a product you HAVE to have to make the best iced coffee ever, well, that and some really good beans. And no, I was in no way paid for this recommendation but that would be nice Toddy people.

Anyway, when I originally posted about my trials with making an iced coffee, I really wanted something I could make in batches that I could just pull out of the refrigerator as needed. It may sound lazy but I didn't want to brew hot coffee and wait for it to cool in the refrigerator. I wanted it when I needed it.

So I tried some recipes I found online and wrote that post about it. Then a lovely friend (thanks, Krista!) left me a comment about how she uses a Toddy.

A what?

Yes, a Toddy. Don't worry, I had to google it too.

Several months went by and I found myself in a local coffee shop (with my mom) talking to a very helpful lady about the best coffee to brew for iced coffee concentrate. She directed me to the Toddy as well.

Hmm. I thought. There must really be something to this thing they call Toddy.

I jokingly made the comment to my mom to put it on my Christmas list (I mean hello, do you remember what happens when I make jokes about Christmas gifts - *ahem* alphabet cabinet *thanks dad*). We left the store and months went by.

Then Starbucks comes out with their iced coffee blend. Remember that? Anyway, the VIA was good and all but it was not so cheap. Sure, it's cheaper than forking over the $3 something for a small lattee, but not quite was I needed to be spending every day.

Jump forward to Christmas. My mom, with the best memory ever, surprised me with my very own Toddy!

I decided I would try my personal cold brew system with my favorite coffee, Topeca. To be completely honest, my favorite coffee is Blue Mountain, which comes from Jamaica, but $30 a pound is too rich for my family! Anyway, back to Topeca, if you haven't tried it, go get some, you won't be sorry.

Here's how the Toddy works: get your favorite whole coffee beans and grind them on the french press setting - they have to be coarse.

Toddy Cold Brew

Then follow the directions which basically go, add water, add grounds, add water, add remaining grounds and finish with remaining water and let sit at least 12 hours. After it sits, pull out the plug and let your coffee concentrate drip through the filter into the glass and refrigerate up to two weeks.

Toddy Cold Brew

That's it. When you are ready, make your favorite concoction.

Iced Coffee

Mine is 3 oz coffee concentrate, 7 oz. milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla syrup. I could really do whole milk and whipped cream on top but that's a little more calories than this 28 week pregnant lady needs!

The coffee is not acidic and my homemade drink tasted identical to the vanilla latte I get at a local coffee shop!

My search for the best coffee concentrate is officially over!!

So, if you're looking for a Toddy for yourself, or a caffeinated loved one, here's a few local spots that have them Mecca Coffee Co., Topeca and Williams Sonoma.

Or here's the actual Toddy website: ToddyCafe.com.

Jan 3, 2012

Reminders for 2012

I know I just said I'm not big on New Year resolutions but I came across something the other day that made me think of them in a different light. If you follow me on pinterest, you saw Woodie Guthrie's resolutions from 1942.

There are so many simple, doable things on his that serve as great daily reminders of how to live. I used his resolutions as inspiration for my own daily reminders for my life in 2012.

resolutions : 2012

Did you make any resolutions, goals or reminders for 2012?

Jan 2, 2012

Top Posts in 2011

I have enjoyed other people's posts about their top 5 posts from the previous year so I decided to do that here. I just based it on most page views for posts made in 2011, though, some of the most viewed pages were from 2010 posts.

Anyway, here are the top 5...

5. I Think I Did It

Coffee Ice Cubes

Maybe it's the coffee ice cubes or the fact that a ton of people are looking for a perfect iced coffee recipe, but either way, this post made it to the top five. I feel kind of bad because I am going to share something this week that will make this post obsolete. Seriously, folks, stay tuned.

4. P is for... (part 2)

Digging In

I would like to think it's my clever "Princess and the Pea" cake that got all the page views but it probably has more to do with the super cute dollhouse, pillow and quilt that were given to my P.

3. P is for... (part 1)

Party Table


This makes me happy to be in the top five because I'm usually not a crafty gal. I busted out all my secret skills on this party and it seems that people liked it, thank you pinterest.

2. Homemade Pizza Balls

Homemade Pizza Ball

Say hello to my favorite snack recipe for 2011. Those babies were so good. I have made them several times since and have no plans to stop. The Nathan's ball is my fave.

1. Maybe a Tad Biased

ponephoto4

Maybe it's the too-cute-for-words pictures my sister took of my P or the subtle announcement at the end that made this the top 2011 post but in all honesty, I'm quite certain it's the fact that my sister linked up to the news. Most page views in one day goes to this post as well. Thanks, sister.

Hope you enjoyed at least one of those!