Sunday, October 28, 2012

Quick Pumpkin Caramel Latte

Pumpkin Caramel Latte

This is a simple fast way to make a yummy coffee treat.  

In a coffee mug:

Put a shot of Davinci Caramel Syrup in mug
Fill to about halfway with half and half

Microwave for a minute

Add pumpkin pie spice...a sprinkle, about two shakes through the shaker part of the lid Stir, add coffee and heat again if coffee is not piping hot.  

Top with whipped cream it you have any.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

DIY Desk Organizer

I was cleaning off my desk,there was a huge pile of papers again and it drives me up a wall to see my desk like that.  I am not really in the mood to go out shopping and I looked on a few office supply websites and found nothing suitable for my paper-mess ..I don't want something too big, that has too many compartments, afterall, the papers are supposed to be there temporarily until they get filed in the filing cabinet or taken care of how they need to be...mailed, tossed etc.

I need something, anything to control the clutter and lets face it, this is just my cubicle (I have my office contained in an armoire), it's not a show  house.We live here and we use it as such.  I just need some quick organization.

I grabbed a cereal box and a few things I had laying around (fabric from one of my crazy quilt adventures, a utility knife, scissors, and a hot glue gun).  My box  had to be large enough to accomodate files,so I used this box, even though its slightly larger than I wanted..I made due because my smaller cereal boxes did not fit the file folders. You don't have to use fabric, you can use wrapping paper, contact paper, whatever..its no a forever thing and if you are bored, you can even do it in holiday paper.  I don't have that kind of time, I am not Martha.
Okay, follow along, this isn't rocket science so I am sure you get the idea without me going through the steps word for word...

The finished product has a smaller cereal box in it, I put in there to catch the smaller things.  I could have fabric covered it, but I am just using this to organize and who is gonna look in there (except for all ya'all reading this lol) 

This will make due for now...I may have to find another box that is slightly less deep, to take up a tad less space, but its not taking up that much room. At least not as much room as those papers and catalogs strewn all over my desk. 
Here is my finished "cubicle". 
This organizer cost me ZERO dollars, as I had the glue gun, leftover fabric and I recycled a cereal box. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Healthy Fast Food Vegetarian & Meat Eaters versions

I have been calling this stuff, Cowgirl Caviar. 

It is nearly impossible to get a fast food that is healthy from any restaurant...they all add so much salt and what not to their foods, even when they CLAIM to be healthy. I promise you, this is fast food. It's a lot of typing, because this is so diverse, you can change it up to your liking, after all, that is what makes us good cooks, making the food, how we think it tastes good.

This is so fast....and ♫ SO DELICIOUS. click the link, you can listen to faster by Matt Nathanson while you read this if you like....Vegetarian, but only by chance. I am not vegetarian, I just like to eat fresh foods. My family eats vegetarian a few times a week, but we do love meat. This is also carb free if you are into that.

Let me start by saying a main staple I buy at the grocery store is the fresh salsa in the produce dept...every week, we buy two and we use it up...I like the hot, since we like it hot. Every grocery store I have been to, has their own brand.  Its just fresh ingredients. No additives. This saves you the step of dicing veggies.  I use this for EVERYTHING! My tortilla pizza post is to follow using it. There is a tad bit of salt in this, but not like the jarred kind and this isnt' runny, its just like pico de gallo.

Okay, here it is....
Mix black beans, kidney beans (or your favorite beans), fresh salsa, corn and Gorgonzola Cheese....and then, some of your favorite spices..what are you in the mood for.... Mexican? Add some cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano and paprika (you can use a packet of taco seasoning, but it probably contains a lot of salt)   Italian?  Add your mafia seasonings, which is what I call my mixture I keep ready to use in a big jar (rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley, garlic, sage, thyme and marjoram)...etc...I don't have to go over your favorite spice blend, you can make it any way you want... Indian, Thai, the sky is the limit.

Heat this up, in a nuker is fine, and put this over your spaghetti squash. 
I also take it as is to work and put it on a flour tortilla and eat it like a taco. 

Or, use it for anything, chips and salsa or on a bun, or just eat it with a fork alone. You can add your meat to this if you like also.  I love to make this a few times a week so I have something quick and healthy to eat at work.
Some tips for prepping for this to be fast food....if you don't wanna use canned beans.  I dont like to use canned, since canned foods have added sodium.

 If you want to make it with meat, and in a hurry, buy precooked sausage links, and cut them up. Buying prepped foods makes it easier to cook fast, there are cut up cooked chicken and beef strips available too, but again, additives...If you have leftover cooked meats, add it.

You can nuke the spaghetti squash or bake it in the oven, your choice...faster in the nuker but your choice.
Here are some ways to cook it I found online → .How to cook spaghetti squash

While that cooks, cook your beans, kidney beans, your choice, or a mixture in the pressure cooker, or make it easy on yourself and pressure cook these ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for multipurpose use Most can be cooked in 20 mins or less in a pressure cooker.
 You may also used canned, nothing wrong with that.

Another use is, mix it with precooked chicken strips and serve it over rice.  I keep this in the fridge non stop now for on-demand healthy quick lunches.  I make it on a Sunday and its good until Thursday or Friday.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Kick the Habit ~ It won't cost you a cent, & you don't need medications

Totally unrelated to pretty much any of my posts, I have been a "closet" smoker for years.  Some close to me knew I smoked, some had no idea. But in any case, I WAS a smoker.  I am embarrassed for those who didn't know, to know now that I smoked..but in all honesty, I did. Often and for many years.

I had people torment me to quit and I didn't want to hear it, which is why I kept it in the closet for the most part, no one likes to hear people lecture. In fact, its quite the turn off. 

I had friends who used meds to quit, and I heard the horror stories of the side effects, scared me to death, not to mention, what are the long term health effects of taking those drugs, even for a few weeks?  Does anyone really know?

I started doing yoga regularly, and the breathing exercises, pranayama, mimicked the same breaths we take when we smoke cigarettes. The only difference is, I was getting fresh, healthy air..not smoke.  Now I did not put 2 and 2 together, until I had already quit and my friend pointed it out to me that this was the breathing I was doing in yoga. (thank you Kory) 

  In any case, I was doing yoga, not even thinking about quitting smoking when a friend from work (who is also one of my yoga teachers) sent me this picture. (Thanks Tina, you were my inspiration, you held the key and I did not even know it at the time)
She had been a smoker and kicked the habit. She never hounded me to quit, I don't even think she once said to me, that I should quit. One day, out of curiosity   I asked her how she did quit. Drug free, she just did and she mentioned using a pen as her way of getting the feel of having one.  I kept this picture and set a date.  I didn't tell many people right away. My date was for the middle of the month.  In the beginning of the  month I was to quit, I ran out of cigarettes and decided..I was just going to do it now, why prolong it.  I didn't buy another pack and have not looked back since.  

At first, there was the desire, when I talked on the phone, or had a glass of wine...and I would just tell myself, I AM A NON-SMOKER.  That was all it took, the desire was gone. I stopped hanging with my smoker friends, both at work and in my personal life for a time.  I explained to them why.  They understood.  

Here are the steps that worked for me...I hope they help at least one person kick the habit. 

1. If you want to quit, set a date...tell people, people who have kicked the habit will support you. People who have never smoked aren't much help, as they never had the desire to understand, so try to find someone who has done it.  Listen to people's stories, who have quit, they hold keys that can save your life. I was lucky to have a few friends who quit. (Tina, and Teresa were my go to's with questions I had)

2. Start doing yoga, or at the very least the breathing exercises associated with yoga. Breathe in deep, (like when you take a drag), hold for a second and then breathe out. Pause and repeat.

3.  Avoid the smokers for awhile.  If someone in your house smokes, you may wish to ask them to not smoke around you, or in the house anymore.  

4. Avoid situations where you may love to chat on the phone and have a cigarette...stay off the phone for a few weeks..keep the calls short and don't hang on the phone.

5. Do not cheat!  Not once!  You are right back to day one if you do.  

6. Tell yourself over and over, every time you get the desire...I AM A NON-SMOKER and say it proudly! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tortilla Pizza

If you are like me, when you are hungry, you are hungry now and want food fast.  It can be fast and still somewhat healthy, and cheap....Here is an easy fast meal, the teenagers can even make..  use whatever tortillas you like and make it how you we go....

You can make this like a regular pizza...sauce, parmesan, and mozzerella cheese..
Add your mafia seasonings, which is what I call my mixture I keep ready to use in a big jar (rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley, garlic, sage, thyme and marjoram)..

I like mine a little different...again with the fresh salsa...I tell ya, I can't get enough of this makes my life so much easier, no cutting up the produce makes it so much faster....its a smiliar texture to pico de gallo.

Take your tortilla, and spray it with oil..I use grape seed with a kitchen spritzer. I just do the top of it. You can do the bottom if you like.

Next, put the salsa on it...some gorgonzola cheese, parmesan cheese and basil, rosemary garlic and some fresh cracked pepper.  
I have also added apple sausage, it comes precooked, so you can just slice up a link and toss it on before baking but you can eat it without the sausage too, its my favorite after work snack. 

Bake it for about 10 mins, watch it, it should crisp up but of course,not burn.  I put mine on a prebaked baking stone. I make it on a deli sheet, and pick it up on that, move it to the baking stone and slide the paper out from under it and toss. 

These sheets come in handy! ↓ I use them to wrap sammiches etc.