If you’ve been following me through the 30 for 30 challenge, you know I’ve been playing hooky about once a week to go snowboarding. It’s so nice to be able to enjoy our new home in Colorado. My husband and I have a flexible work schedule so we take one day off in the middle of the week in exchange for working on at least one of the traditional weekend days.
Snowboarding is a fairly economical way for us to have fun too because we bought season passes. This means we can go as many times as we like during the season, which normally starts by November and goes through at least April. Last year, the ski resorts were open on the 4th of July!
However, if you’ve been to a ski resort lately, you know the food is anything but affordable. It’s as bad as an amusement park and feels like a darn rip-off! After dropping a cool $25 to eat on our first trip this year we decided we would be bringing our lunch instead.
One of our favorites is Turkey Chili Billies (I’ve heard it called lots of other things too, like Walking Tacos or Frito Pie). Basically it’s turkey chili, frito chips and cheese.
We have a thermos that fits two servings of chili and it’s strong enough to stay warm until lunchtime. In two large coffee mugs I add the chili, top with shredded cheese, and then Fritos. Delish!
Plus the turkey chili recipe is super simple. I call it Six Can Turkey Chili.
On days we go snowboarding, I heat two servings on the stove before storing it in the thermos. Quick & easy!
I am so excited to show off my recent dresser makeover! She’s been a work in progress for a while now, but it was worth all of the work I put into it. As with any good makeover, we have to show you what she looked like before…
My life was all about red when we first moved in last summer. Not only was our master bedroom fire engine red, I happened to find this lovely red beauty at a garage sale. I picked her up for $20!
I pulled out all of her drawers and started sanding. This is probably not the correct way to prep a painted piece of furniture, but it’s all about learning as you go.
I took off the handles and got to work on the drawers too. Don’t worry, I made sure to wear a face mask and glasses to protect from the dust.
It was A LOT of work!
But, here she is today ready to show off her hidden beauty…
Isn’t she gorgeous?! I know…I’m a little biased, but please! She went from red to sophisticated and she doesn’t look too shabby against that repainted wall either.
I taped off all of the parts painted white and used bronze spray paint to paint the detail and handles. Then used a high gloss white paint to cover the rest. To give it a more aged look, I used the same can of polyurethane that I used to finish our table and thankfully there was just enough stain residue for it to gently tone down the white.
The side panels were covered with a beige linen fabric. I used homemade “mod podge” to make the fabric stick. Since the edges were not perfect, and there was not enough contrast to the white, I added a dark brown ribbon trim around the edge using the “mod podge” again.
This is my new favorite project! I love how it turned out and it cost less than $30! ($20 for the dresser, paint from around the house, $3.50 for spray paint, $2 for ribbon, and $3.25 for fabric)
Do you have a project that makes you smile? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
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It’s Fat Tuesday and I wanted to celebrate! So, I decided to follow a Mardi Gras tradition and bake us a king cake.
What is a king cake, you ask? The simple answer is that they are a Mardi Gras tradition with over hundreds of thousands eaten in New Orleans throughout the Carnival season.
Here’s a little history behind them from Wikipedia. While king cakes began as a dry French bread-type dough, they area now made in a more Danish-style with a cinnamon-filled dough in the shape of a hollow circle. Traditionally they have a glazed topping that is sprinkled with purple, green and yellow colored sugar, which have ties to Christianity and symbolize justice, faith, and power.
King cakes often have a small plastic baby (symbolizing baby Jesus) hidden into the king cake, however small beans or other trinkets are sometimes placed in the cake instead. The baby symbolizes luck and prosperity to whoever finds it in their slice of cake but comes with various privileges and obligations. The finder of the baby is often designated “king” or “queen” for the evening, but with the fun also comes the responsibility of purchasing next year’s cake or even throwing the next Mardi Gras party.
It’s a tradition that sounded fun and tasty so I thought I’d learn how to make a king cake.
Since we’re not sharing this with friends tonight I did not include the baby or charm. I know it’s supposed to bring luck, but thanks to my one word goal for 2012, I will be making my own luck this year. Brett and I will just have to settle for both being the king and queen of our non-existent party tonight. Ha!
Sorry I didn’t take photos of the whole process, but I did capture some photos at the end. Our king cake turned out really yummy and I am happy with my first attempt at using yeast! I also left out the nuts because Brett does not like them and I forgot to get raisins at the store. Next time, maybe I can make 2 so that we’ll have at least one more traditional style king cake.
Here’s the unbaked cake after rising. It’s almost ready to eat.
And baked, but not yet frosted.
Sliced and ready to eat…finally! Can’t you just smell the fresh baked cinnamon?
[yumprint-recipe id=’14’] Do you have any Mardi Gras traditions you follow? Have you ever made a king cake? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
I never ever thought about combining avocados and pasta. Then, Pinterest came along and I found this little ingenious idea amongst the pins. I knew I’d have to try it.
We had some friends over for dinner and made avocado sauce to go with our meal. We made too much avocado sauce so I put it in the freezer (yep, I am one of those people that will not let avocado be wasted so I froze the extra sauce!). This was the perfect opportunity to use up some of this extra sauce, which was a bit heavy on the lime so I needed to tame it down a bit for the pasta.
2 tablespoons of avocado sauce (from Rachel Ray’s 365 days of Cooking)
1 whole avocado
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 mild italian chicken sausages
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cook the pasta according to package. Drain and rinse. Meanwhile, slice and cook the chicken sausages in olive oil until brown on each side.
Smash the avocado and combine with the avocado sauce.
When the sausage is cooked, add 1/4 cup cream and heat. Reduce heat and add avocado mixture to heat up. Toss with cooked pasta and top with parmesan cheese.
Ta Da! Yummy avocados and pasta.
For a more traditional flavor, check out the inspiration recipe here.
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