Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ice scream you scream we all scream for ice cream

Is it wrong to have a bowl of ice cream before AND after dinner??

It makes me happy...and there's days I need 2 bowls instead of 1.

I confess, I'm beyond missing my love right now. Painfully missing him. Tomorrow he leaves for 2 weeks overseas (it just got reduced from 4 to 2, praise God!) and just thinking of that makes me miss him even more.

Which if you really think about it, is really silly because we're already 3,745 miles away (thanks google maps) from each other with an ocean separating us so why would him going out of the country be any different?? I. do. not. know.

But it is.

I digress.

Remember the raves about my awesome tax lady?? Well, let me set the record straight...not so awesome. She did my taxes and wanted to check with her boss on something and stated she would call me back. uummm, that was over a month ago.

I've called, I don't know over 30 times and left messages with reception. I EVEN talked to her once where she told me she was able to drop how much I'm paying by 1/2. Which is GREAT! BUT she wasn't at her desk and had to call me back later that night.

....that was 2 weeks ago.

Finally I thought outside my little box that's my brain and made a phone appointment with her. I'm smart, I know...only she didn't call me. I called 2 hours past the appt. and the receptionist said she'd call me that night, for sure.

She never did.

She's 3 1/2 hours away from me and has ALL my tax forms. April 16th is looming ever so quickly.

So I'm just going to go to my happy place....
...will you join me?
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Have you ever

I'm diving in today people!!

Have you ever had to pop both your ankles, both knees 4 different ways, both hips 2 different ways in order to walk like a normal person + pop your fingers, palms, wrists, elbows, deltoids, collar bones, neck in all different directions, your upper middle lower back in any way possible and your deep lower back just to be able to move?
- Yes, I never claimed to be normal.

Have you ever made a bet with a guy that dining wasn't spelled d-i-n-n-i-n-g? 
- Yes, I only bet when I know I'm going to win, why do it otherwise right? He believed 100% it was spelled with 2 n's so I bet him a soda (I know, big stakes) that it was with 1 n. Guess who won!? glug glug glug!

Have you ever lived with such horrible roommates who stole your food, mugs, detergent and anything else they could get their hands on that you marked your milk line after each use to monitor usage?
- Yes, remember the L.A story (see #2)? After living in L.A for 6 months, my roommate got married so I had to move fast and found these 4 horrible people to live with. I was working 2 jobs and could barely feed myself so it would hit hard when they took all my stuff. It got so bad I hid my t.p in my room. I didn't see my favorite mug for 4 weeks before it turned up dirty in the sink.

Have you ever lived with such dreadfully horrible roommates (yep, same ones as above) who, when asked if you had any mail, looks at you, says, 'no' then says, 'hold on, let me look in the trash.' Pulls out your mail that is opened, read, with the papers sticking out of the envelope and out of order, hands it to you and says, 'yeah I think this is yours.'?
- Yes, she opened official government documents from the state that told me the date of testing to join CDC. If I hadn't asked at that moment, I would have missed my appointment and not been able to join the department. can we say federal offense?! Oh 10 minutes later she came in my room with another piece of mail saying, 'I just found this, I think its your's too.' was from the original envelope.

Have you ever driven down the road wishing you'd get into a car accident so you could buy a new car only to have a head on collision happen 5 CARS IN FRONT OF YOU?
- Yes, I said, 'sorry Lord, I take it back.' drove around the accident (everyone else was already there) and ended up driving that hated car for 8 more years.

Have you ever had such a horrible week at work you went to the mall and spend $400 in clothes, $650 on a ring and bought a new car?
- Yes, yeah, I know...I still have the ring, don't have the clothes and got stuck with what turned out to be a clunker for 10 years. I'd like to say that was only in my younger years and I've grown out of such wild amounts of spending but....

Have you ever told your mom your weakness is home goods stores and your desire to avoid them yet she still takes you in an antique store she loves, to make you spend $550 in stuff?
- Yes, okay so she didn't make me, but I WARNED her I avoided all things housewares! Truth be told, I would have spent $400 more on a chest of drawers but they only took debit cards, not my credit card.
I've mended my ways now, promise! --I still love my purchases for my home to this day by the way!

*Random Tip: Leave home without your money to keep yourself from spending. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reaction? What reaction?

One thing they teach us in the dept. is to not react. Bad things happen when you react without standing back for a second to access the situation.

When I became a Sergeant it got even more ingrained in our brains because we aren't the 1st responders anymore. We sit back, let the officers deal with the situation, then come in to direct.

For instance, I was on the yard supervising 500 inmates when all my c/o's had stepped away which left me alone. As I'm watching the i/m's all of a sudden about 50 ft. in front of me, 2 of them start fighting. I stand there for a sec, then get on my radio and calmly tell observation to put the yard down. All but the 2 prone out. It was a full on fight. I then make the next appropriate radio call for back up, still standing there. About a full 30 seconds has passed and I haven't moved...and they're still fighting. they're not hurting my staff so I'm in no rush. Once a c/o arrives, he and I walk over, give them the command to 'get down' and pepper spray them. (note to self, don't spray into the WILL come back in your face and leave you looking like a tomato for the rest of the day. Brutal burn!)

Any way...why am I talking about this? Well....I seem to have taken this whole no reaction thing a little too far in my personal life.

In the church kitchen with 2 ladies talking. A man walks in, puts something in the big fridge and walks away. I hear this waterfall sound, look and see this gush of liquid pouring out of the fridge. I look at it (they're still talking) then I point to it, say 'look', which they do, and THEY run over to it to stop it. I didn't move an inch.

Having breakfast on G-man's lanai, I look down here (note the arrow) and see this man standing on the car's bumpers and hoods attempting to get over the fence to the yacht club. Clearly drunk. I watch for a good 2 minutes, finding amusement more than anything and finally point it out to G-man. He looks and immediately gets on the phone and calls the cops.

I hear a lot of knocking on my neighbor's door. I peek out my window and see a guy at the door. Stands there for over 5 minutes knocking. The door opens a peek, he attempts to go in, I see her arm shove him back out. She says no. That she didn't want to see him. He keeps coming in, she shoves back, then he goes in and shuts the door. I stand there and listen. But do nothing.

The list goes on and on with things I'm not reacting to, to the point of thinking there's something wrong with me. I promise I'm not this horrible person that I'm clearly making myself out to be, I've just lost my ability to react. TO ANYTHING.

I think about this all the time and wonder if this will carry over to the day I have kids. I'm not reacting to other people's kids when I see them doing something, will I react to mine?? I get worried that I won't but have no idea and realize it's pointless to worry. I really wonder though. It's like I've taken it to the extreme with this and I don't know why.

Am I horrible? Are you disappointed? Do you think less of me?

Here's the outcome of the above:
i/m's had a misunderstanding and made up (typical)
it was lemonade which was cleaned up and talking resumed
the drunk guy never could get over the fence, walked away and the cops couldn't find him
the guy left a little later and she came out of the apt. completely fine
all the children were rescued by mothers nearby and remained unharmed.

What should I do? Any suggestions? I feel like I'm so far removed from normalcy...and I rest some blame on how my job has affected me, because it has and obviously not in a good way. Pin It Now!

Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm thankful for 6

Have you ever gone through the whole week and by the end can't remember what you did at the beginning of it? That's me right now. I have no idea what I did Monday but know I did something.

hhmmm well I know I've been busier than normal, seeing how normal = nothing, and doing anything more than nothing is something which = busier, so maybe that's why I can't remember. Yeah, that must be it.

One thing I do know; I'm thankful!

- I'm thankful for God setting me straight. He's always good at that.

- I'm thankful for having the skills and abilities to bake and cook, and enjoy doing it.

- I'm thankful for my Minnetonka house slippers. They allow me to stand on kitchen floors, bathroom floors, hardwood floors and walk on carpet without pain.

- I'm thankful for dear friends who invite me over for dinner two nights in a row.

- I'm thankful for my new blogging friends who give me encouragement through reading their blogs and sweet words through their comments to me. Thank you!

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

- I'm thankful for the Light of life!
Amen Pin It Now!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tortellini Soup

I found this recipe thru Ree's tasty kitchen blog. When I made it, it was, eh. I couldn't figure out why I was mashing the whole tomatoes with my fingers after putting them in the pot..among other thoughts throughout making it.

So I changed it up a bit to make it my own..and truth be is. awesome!

You might ask, 'uuumm Em, when do you not say your recipes are awesome!?' And to that I would say 'it's few and far between, my dear.'

Ok really I say it all the time. You can click on the link to view the original recipe but here will be my own.
hello deliciousness

Here's all you need (I doubled the recipe, so ya know)
 chop chop! really it's mince mince
 Heat the olive oil and add the garlic and onions for about 5 minutes
 Raise your lid if you're 1 too many! Yeah, I opened 3 when I needed 2, but I went with it.
Add all the liquids and that's about a tbsp of rosemary (again I doubled it ) and bring it to a boil.
 Once it comes to a boil add the tortellini and cook and stir and cook and stir some more.
 Now add that spinach right before the tortellini is done. Lots o' spinach and stir it all in. Take it off the heat when everything is combined, wilted and lookin' oh so good.
Here's the original picture from that night, not that great I know. (I had a friend over, she was looking at me weird, I felt I made it quick and you see the garlic bread I made more than the soup!) But alas, that is the soup. mmmm

Variations can be adding more oregano for more flavor. More broth if you want it more soupy. If I'm not doubling the recipe I'll add an extra can or 2 of broth. It gives me something to soak up with my bread. I liked adding an extra can of diced tomatoes to it. Added even more liquid and flavor. Use any diced tomatoes you have that have added spiced or add your own additional spices if you just have plain diced tomatoes. Add more tortellini, I do!

 1 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 whole sm onion, minced
1-1 1/2 tsp dried oregano (or more if you want)
1 quart low sodium chicken/vegetable/beef broth
1 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (or any flavored diced you have)
salt and freshly ground pepper
9 oz any variety, fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
3 C fresh spinach
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top

In a lg pot, heat the oil over med heat. Add the garlic and onion. Cook until the onion is softened about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, broth, tomatoes and salt/pepper to taste. Bring the soup to a boil and add the tortellini. Cook according to the package directions. A minute before the tortellini are done, add the spinach. Stir to combine. When the tortellini are cooked, remove from the heat. Add more salt/pepper to taste. Serve and top with parmesan cheese.

Serves great with any bread or rolls. The garlic bread I made went perfectly with it.
Oh and it's a great leftover as well. Pin It Now!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Holy cow! I love the Lord!

It is so great to see when He's working in me...or more like when I'm not selfishly looking at myself and realize He's working in me.

The beginning of this week I planned on linking up with another blog to do a confession post. So while I was lying in bed that night I listed off all the things I planned on 'confessing' to you all. This went on for over 30 minutes. I listed them over and over. They would get more detailed. At one point I thought, I should confess these to God and kinda talked to Him about it but kept on with my "ideas".

The next morning when I was praying I finally confessed it all to Him. Giving Him the glory where He deserved it and not me, repenting, surrendering and accepting what ever happened.

I faced some struggles that day. It was almost a test from God to see if I really had surrendered and let go of what I was holding onto and He kept me strong.

I love when I'm focusing on Him and get to witness His works. I love that my love and I are studying the Old Testament and are learning more about who God is. The discussions we have, the help we give each other, the encouragement he gives me, all that I'm learning...I just can't praise God enough!

One verse that sticks out a lot in my mind lately,
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

The meditate on it day and night stands out the most. How can you stray from God if you're thinking about Him and His words day and night?!

And in my Bible study we're studying Philippians. Another one I want to focus on;
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (and 14 says) Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 

Words to live by!

When I look at this picture, I can see just how small we are and how BIG God is. There's little me on the ground taking the picture (behind camera of course), then the high rise buildings then this massive cloud that makes those buildings look so small! (there's a rainbow in the cloud too!!)

God is good and God is good to me! I can't thank Him and praise Him enough for all that He's doing for me and how He's sustaining me right now...and keeping me humble. -very important-

Have a fabulous weekend everyone. I pray you (and myself) are open to God's work this weekend and can focus on Him.

Isaiah 40:31 But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Because I must

G-man sent me a text in lieu of his normal good morning the other day and I just have to share how it all played out...much to his joy I'm sure (sarcasm there).

G-man: I hate you
Me: I hate you more
G-man: No. Seriously! U have me making my bed, washing off the coffee spoon. Heck! I even fold my uniform pants and put them in my closet instead of the couch.
Me: *gasp* how dreadful! Who is THIS girl that is altering your life in such a horrible way!?
G-Man: I know. People r gonna think I've got my stuff together or something. You're ruining me.

Just love that man (especially when he says heck, so cute!) For the record there's something about walking into a room with a made bed that makes me so happy. It completes the clean room for me and I can't stand the stirring spoon placed on the counter with coffee still on it.

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Laughter and Lattes

Tuesday night was the first ever Laughter and Lattes created by the Women's Ministries within my church. It was so much fun. From playing Bingo where all but 1 person at my table had the same card...we were hoping to all yell BINGO at the same time. (All we needed was I Jesus) to learning all the awesome positives of being a Golden Retriever, woof! and if I remember negatives. Yes, that's right, no negatives.

I made a ridiculous amount of food that I begged people at the end of the night to take home. Literally begged. Got on the microphone and begged them all.

And they did!

I'm sure you're dying to know what I made and I will oblige you...I know, I'm kind like that.

But first, the pictures: Here's everything displayed all pretty thanks to the lovely ladies that set it up.

 A nice little close up here.

All the goodies still waiting in the kitchen and what I begged everyone to take home. 

So, have I enticed you enough that you're drooling over your monitors dying for the recipes? Drool no more!

You'll be happy to know, or sad, depending on your diet, that 4 out of the 6 things I made were from this woman right here! The Pioneer Woman. She's my go to gal for many things.

1st up!
Petite Vanilla Bean Scones  these were my little trouble makers. I threw away the first 2 batches but the next 2 proved better as I was told that night. Whew, they made me the most nervous.
Orange-Marmalade Rolls very yummy and the citrus in the icing and throughout was so tasty.
Cinnamon Rolls a favorite for me to make. The maple icing is to die for!
Bacon Onion Cheddar Biscuits a great savory (helped balance out all those sweets)

That sums up the Ree contribution. Now for the others.

My awesome top secret, you can never make me crack to reveal how to make them:
Snickerdoodle Cookies

Ok I'll crack. It isn't even my recipe to hold onto. My friend graciously bent to give me the recipe after I hounded her for 4 years. Yes, it took 4 years to get it. She would always give me the bag of the dry ingredients but wouldn't tell me what was in it.

Email me or comment if you'd like the recipe and I'll send it on over to you.

AAAANNNNNNDDDD last but certainly not least, my favorite:
Schwetty Balls
(please tell me you've seen that SNL skit with Alec Baldwin...ok, you'll understand after this)

Offensive? Hilarious? Too Much? My humor loves it! Sorry =/

Any way back on track. They're really called, plainly, Sausage Cheese Balls. It's just not the same is it?
It's a Bisquick original recipe that has been around over 30 years. It's their ORIGINAL, not the current altered one. Real simple

2 C bisquick
1 lb Jimmy Dean Premium Pork Hot Sausage (the roll)
10 oz cheddar cheese

Mix all together in a bowl, roll into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Bada Bing Bada Boom! Simple as all get out!

I had a wonderful time with the ladies and couldn't have done it without the help I was given with the icing...the pastry cutter...the pick up of cinnamon rolls...the beautiful display of the ladies know who you are and I thank you! thank you thank you thank you!

*Random Tip: The cinnamon rolls can be frozen. Pre-baked in the pan, fully baked but before the icing and fully baked AFTER the icing. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Have you ever

This has no relevancy, just wanted a tranquil start to the post.

My goodness it's Wednesday. Anyone else feel this is the longest week ever? I normally don't have much concept on dates or days or times...I'm not working right now so there's no need for me to watch the clock anymore.

(is it weird that I'm a little embarrassed to write that I'm not working, even though you all know it's because of my disability? I feel this weird shame about it, yet it's impossible for me to work, so why am I stressing!? agh!)

With that said, longest. week. ever. So let's pep it up and pick it up with my Wednesday ritual.

Have you ever agreed to bake goodies for, what turned out to be, uh I think over 80 women?
- Yes, though I made myself stressed out and overwhelmed over it, I enjoyed being able to give in this way. I give God the glory for pulling it all off with just enough time before the event.

Have you ever seen a new Dentist who takes molds of your mouth, x-rays and gives you a full check up and when you walk out to the receptionist she says, 'That'll be $3000 please.'
- Yes, really yes! She expected full and complete payment right at that moment. That's all he did. I think my deer in the headlights, I think I just saw a ghost look on my face made her take pity on me. She "let" me pay it all at the next visit. And yes, I had insurance.

Have you ever been stung by a hornet a 1/2 inch from your eye and you scream and scream and when you take a breath and go to sit on the ground find out you're about to sit in horse manure?
- Yes, I was 9. A girl was banging on a hollowed corral where a hornet's nest lived. They came out angry, all the girls were screaming, I turn around to see what happened and here comes this hornet right at my face! Stings me! Now I'm the only one screaming (and being stared at like a crazy person) and when I go to sit down everyone yells at me not to. I think I'm about to sit on a hornet and it's horse poo and I scream in fear. at. horse. poo... Eye swelled shut for a few days after.

Have you ever forgotten someone's name that you've known for over 3 years, worked with for over 1 year and sneakily asked them what their FULL name was, acting like you wanted to know their middle name just to get their first name?
- Yes, it worked. Still to this day I know her first name. That was 15 years ago.

Have you ever seen a young girl with her thong strings sticking way out of her pants in a huge crowd where everyone is laughing at her and gone up to her and whispered that her thong was showing, and she looks back at you and says, 'I know, I did that on purpose.'?
- Yes, This was back in the day when it was 'just starting to become a fad'. I was at an N'Sync concert (yes I said N'Sync! Bye Bye Bye...) walking out and there she was. I wonder if she knew that everyone was laughing and pointing at her. And she thought she was being "sexy" no less. What a nasty trend that was/is.

*Random Tip: Did you put on your shirt and find white deodorant tracks on it? Use your nylons to wipe them away. Rub on the spot where the deodorant is and they'll fade away. Put a knee high in your purse for on the go use. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yippy skippy

The sweet and cute and adorable Victoria at Our Love Never Fails has tagged me in the 7 facts blog awards and I heartily accept.

Aren't you all tickled pink (get it? it's pink) that you're going to learn 7 things about me that you never ever knew before?

I thought so. Would you like me to continue to stall to build up the anticipation of the moment...or jump right in?

What? Jump right in? Okie dokie then.

  1. I have watched the movie Tremors soooo many times that I can practically say every line while watching it. It's a fantastically hilarious movie if you haven't seen it. GO, go now,(well after you finish reading of course) and rent! buy it. You'll thank me after. 
  2. At 21 I believed the only way I could quit my job in Vegas was to tell them that I was moving out of the state. So I up and moved to Los Angeles. They liked me so much I didn't know how to quit, get another job and stay in the city. I was young, haha.
  3. My junior year in HS I broke my foot in the middle of basketball season yet still played the rest of the season on it. Truth be told, I didn't know it was broken until after State competition. It hurt like a mug though.
  4. I absolutely positively figuratively and literally hate, loathe, despise anything casserole. Do not give it to me as a dinner, I will not be able to stomach it. 
  5. I am a coffee snob. I only drink Dunkin Donut that I have delivered to me every few months.
  6. In all my 29 years, I've only had 1 real boyfriend, yep you guessed it, G-man. <I don't count the unfortunate 4 months in college with a name I still keep from my mouth to this day, besides, 4 months at 18 isn't real.>
  7. I follow recipes to. the. T. Only recently have I begun to add my own spin on them. 
Do you all feel so much closer to me now for knowing these deep dark secrets fun facts? You can silently answer that, I'm feeling a little vulnerable at the moment. 

So to continue the 7 facts love I will now randomly tag 4 people. Ready set go!

Sara at Simply Sara
Christina at He.Makes.All.Things.New
Katie at J&K
Jennifer at The Blair Affairs (you're my latest follower, yay, thank you and welcome =)

Did you all know it was going to be you?? I can be predictable sometimes. 

I better get back to all things baking! I am making a ridiculous amount of baked goods for 75 women tonight. EEK! I've had my, just walk away from the kitchen, moments but have overcome them and ready to finish! Pictures of all the delicious (or I hope so any way) goodies soon.

*Random Tip: Read a recipe BEFORE you make it, not as you go along, so you are prepared for the next step coming otherwise you make a mistake and can't go learning you are supposed to saute the onions before putting them in the biscuit mix.
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Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm thankful for 5

Happy Monday to All! It finally stopped raining, the birds are chirping and I see a little patch of blue sky through my it!

I'm thankful for my mom, madre, yo yo ma, momma, ma! She's intelligent, wise and so darn smart. Beside being awesome to turn to for any cooking questions I need and always knowing the answers, she's also quick to dispense insight when none is coming from me. She's cool, she's loving, she's sweet, she's caring, she's kind, she's hilarious, she' momma and I love her! Don't go anywhere, ok mom?

I'm thankful for my safe return home. Even though I griped and complained about the plane being switched out for a smaller more cramped and uncomfortable one; I got home in one piece with my bag waiting for me AND my sweet and generous friend waiting for me at the airport to take me home. What more can I ask for?

I'm thankful for Skype. Skype is the greatest invention ever...well maybe not ever, but it allows me to video talk and it helps the lonely heart.

I'm thankful for my pillow. Weird I know, but I looked over 2 hours for this pillow when I got home and found it in the most unlikely of storage bins labeled 'Home Decorations'. Don't know what I was thinking but thankful I found it.

I'm thankful for a full fridge. If you saw my fridge I posted the other day it was empty. Now, it's bursting out of the seams with food. I'm so blessed.

I'm thankful for my health. Even though I'm an 85 year old trapped in a 29 year old body with all my ailments and issues, I'm in good shape with no serious, life threatening problems.

Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Pin It Now!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Creamy Pesto Chicken

I get quite a lot of people asking for this recipe once they've tasted it's goodness. I came across it years ago while searching for a better chicken dish and I think I found it on food and family but have not been able to find it since...I'm so happy I found it before it disappeared. YAY for me.

So I've kinda dubbed it my recipe since it technically disappeared...I can do that right?? Right??

What's FANTASTIC about this dish is it's a 1 dish dinner. I will repeat; ONE DISH DINNER!!
Who doesn't love that!?

Before I begin; let me start out with a disclaimer: Mid way through, this becomes a very fast paced dish (or for me it does) so I highly recommend not doing another fast paced dish at the same time (as I did last night) this will leave you with kitchen chaos and things not turning out as they normally would if you had just focused on one. But it was all still very very good.

So let's begin. Here is everything you need. -yes that is my water glass, I hadn't measured the water yet. You get the point...

Heat a large pan on med-high heat and cook chicken. If you have my stove, turn it on med-high, walk away for 5 minutes, think you smell the oil getting hot and add chicken only to find it wasn't hot and wait a full minute before you even hear a sizzle. love you stove!

I like to pound the chicken out a bit to cook it faster and more evenly. Remove chicken. Add water and watch it steam! But only for a second!

Reduce heat to medium and add the cream cheese and whisk it breaking up the yummy bits from the chicken. (I started doing the spinach at this time, which began the chaos!)

Add the pesto and stir stir stir. Swirl patterns are the most fun to do. in case you wanted a suggestion.

Return the chicken, mix it in the sauce and add the cheese on top. Put a lid on it to melt the cheese, and run around the kitchen looking for the other lid for the spinach you're about to ruin OR stand there filing your nails since you have so much time because you didn't choose another crazy dish to make like me.

Once the cheese is melted add the tomatoes (this makes the dish!) and stir them around to get a little warm.

Serve it with a great "pre-made side" not necessarily this spinach I wilted that had me nearly ruining both dishes. (though a very good spinach...I'll have to share that one another day...another crowd pleaser)

Some variations that can be done: Use mozzarella cheese or 4 cheese instead of monterey. I usually use mozzarella but felt like using a different white cheese this time. This is a 2 person dinner, increase the ingredients if you're feeding more. :-)

2 chicken breasts, tenders removed*
1 TBSP olive oil
1/4 C water
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4-1/2 C pesto
Shredded mozzarella
All the cherry/grape tomatoes you want

Heat oil in lg pan on med-high heat. Add chicken cooking for 5-7 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Once cooked, place chicken on a plate, cover with foil to keep warm. Reduce the heat to medium and add the water and cream cheese whisking up the chicken bits until combined. Add the pesto continuing to stir for about 1-2 minutes. Until all heated through. If the sauce looks or is getting thick add a tiny bit more water. Return the chicken to pan, coating the chicken in the sauce then add cheese to chicken. Cover with a lid for about 2 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Add the tomatoes allowing them to warm through. Remove from pan, determine who gets the most tomatoes and enjoy.

*Random Tip: Remove the tenders and wrap them individually in cling wrap/ziploc and freeze. Continue to add tenders and over time you'll have enough for chicken fingers or for any recipes that call for tenders.
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Problem with a gallon

UGH! I have major issues!

How am I expected to do anything or go anywhere when I committed myself to drink a gallon of water a day???

I can't make it to my car before I have to go the bathroom again. I make sure to go at least 2 times before having to go somewhere that will take a couple hours. And even then by the time I get there I'm looking for their restroom.

I'm doing really good though with the intake and I have a killer system down!

What's that?
You want to know what my killer system is?

I'd love to tell you. :)  I have to trick my brain, even though my brain is the one that came up with the idea. I like to think my right side came up with the idea and is fooling my left side.

I drink 1 glass of water first. Once that's done I grab me another glass (these are 17oz glasses) and fill up both. I drink 2 glasses at a time so it seems like I only drank 2...but, here's where the trickery comes in... I really drank 3!

Don't you love that!? Yeah, it's can borrow, I give you my permission.

It takes 8 glasses (or bottles, whichever floats your boat...hahahaha I'm hilarious, whew, okay give me a second, ahem...okay. aaaannnnd resume) to be a gallon, a little over in fact and I average 6-8 glasses a day. It literally has taken over my days.

Today I drank 7. I went no where until the evening, which was Bible Study and I made 2 visits in a matter of an hour while I was there.

Is this total TMI?! Sorry if it is, I just wonder if anyone drinks this much too and has the same problem as I do.

When I was working I would only drink 2 bottles during my whole shift (8 hours). It was way too difficult to use the restroom with the belt, equipment and uniform. Such a hassle so no water for me. When I would get stuck working a 16 hour shift, I would be bummed only because I didn't have water to wash down my food. I've never appreciated water before.

Now I've been drinking a gallon for almost 3 months now and lo and behold my skin looks better, I feel a ton better and I lost some weight. No, I don't want to lose weight. That's not my intention.

So does anyone else drink this much water a day?
Have you noticed any changes since drinking so much water?
Do you want to join me and challenge yourself to drink a gallon a day? You can do it, I have faith!

*Random Tip: When the Dr. tells you to drink 8 glasses of water a day, he's referring to 8 8oz glasses. That's easy peasy to do.
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Story Time

So I said I would do this weeks ago and have been putting it off. I'm sure you all have forgotten I said I would tell a work story. You can admit it, it won't hurt my feelings.

I'll start out with the very first day I ever stepped into a prison and was around...inmates *gasp*

So gather around kiddies and grab your popcorn..or your just might fall asleep on me, hard to say.

I was in the academy when my company; GOLF COMP-ANY! (I just shouted that...did you hear it?)

Any way, went on our 1st COSIT (no clue what it stands for but basically we went and toured prisons) We were like lambs led to the slaughter, especially on our 1st COSIT...and especially for us girls. There were I think 5 girls to 35 guys in our co.

We arrive at the 1st prison and are all bunched together as they lead us to our first dorm. It's Z dorm, affectionately known as ZOO Dorm because of how crazy it is in there...and crazy it is!

We had to walk down 10 steps to get to the gate to enter the dorm, which is really a gym converted with bunks and single beds. AAALLLL the i/m's are staring at us and I know all of us girls questioned right then and there whether we wanted to really do this...and I'm sure a few guys did too.

I/m's have a way of making a person feel very uncomfortable with their stares. They practice these stares...

We're ordered to walk amongst them, talk with them, even search them and their lockers/bunks. I was a scared little girl that day. I made sure I was walking with other cadets and freaked out inside when I found myself alone having to walk past the i/m's.

They would cat call and whistle (all things they absolutely cannot do) and again stare down us girls. My Sgt/Company Commander would get on the i/m's when they did it, but seriously, they didn't care. They'd wait for the Sgt. to walk away and continue with what they were doing. That's what i/m's do.

It was a major eye opener for me being there. Smelling it....a prison has one of the most distinct smells you will ever come across, never to be forgotten but one you hope to never smell again. It's putrid.

I'm not too full of pride to admit that I was afraid being there. Seriously! Who wouldn't be walking into a prison with a bunch of i/m's acting all tough?! I did my best to put up a front but they're like animals in this way, they can smell fear in people and they pounce.

No, I was never pounced on. But I know they definitely noticed my fear. Wide eyes are hard to hide, haha.

*Random Tip: When asked a question by a superior that you don't know the answer to; say "I don't know."  Never make up an answer by using the words; "I believe it is, or, I believe so, or I think that's right". Admit you don't know and inform them you'll get the answer promptly. They'll appreciate the honesty and you'll be free from the stress of fake answers.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Have you ever

Aahh Wednesday, some love you, some hate you but I don't mind you. You once were my Fridays and sometimes my Mondays and now you're my have you ever days.

Update from yesterday: I only have 1/2 a tank of gas, darn it! And I never went grocery shopping but found a bunch of soup I had frozen in the freezer, SCORE!

Have you ever been to a Michael Buble concert?
- Yes, 2 in fact. We love love love Michael Buble. Can't get enough of him and he is a great performer, I recommend ALL to go see him. The last concert we got floor seats and he walked by us and slapped my hand. 
 That's my head and he's the one with the microphone...

Have you ever been punched in the kidney by a guy?
- Yes, gotta love high school. I was 15/16 sitting on a desk before class when a guy (who I had this 'punching friendship' with...I was a bit of a tomboy) came up from behind me and punched me in the kidney. He took it a little bit too far with that one and pretty sure I told him so. Boy that really hurt. 

Have you ever met a den mother for a strip club who would punish the strippers by putting itching powder in their "costumes" if they didn't give her enough of their tips?
- Yes, I used to work at an animal hospital in Vegas years ago and she would always bring her 2 dogs in and would be full of stories. She was not a woman to be crossed as the strippers would learn, rather painfully. 

Have you ever been in a push up competition, lost and still hold bitterness over it to this day?
- Yes, It followed the sit up competition I mentioned last week. The guy in charge was standing over me, since I won. After announcing me as the sit up winner he said for everyone to get ready for the push ups. I asked him if I could rest for 2 minutes. He said, NO then said ready set go! I started doing push ups. By 115 I was getting really tired. My strategy was to do 2 then rest for 10 sec, 2 rest for 10 since I didn't know where everyone else was and wanted to stay ahead. It proved fatal. On my second push up my arms gave out and I stopped at 133. Come to find out the closest person to me was at 100 and was doing 1 rest for 10 AND her hands were being held down, which to this day I still believe was cheating. She stopped at 150 (which irritated me that she kept going past my #) and won. yeeeaahh, this was 6 years ago too. One day I'll let it go, one day.

Have you ever driven across the country?
- Yes, we took an entire month to do it. Went from CA to Virginia/D.C and went the southern route. We had such a wonderful time, taking our time and seeing everything possible. It really is a great way to see our beautiful country...and meet Paula Deen along the way.

*Random Tip: Instead of frying bacon, bake it on a cookie sheet in the oven. Lightly spray the sheet with Pam (makes it easier to clean) and pop the bacon in a 400 degree oven. After 10 minutes drain the grease, place back in the oven and cook for another 6-9 minutes (depending on your desired crispness). Drain the grease again, place bacon on a paper towel to blot and eat the yumminess. No frying splatter mess to deal with.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reality, please be nice to me

Reality and I don't always get along. Sometimes it'll bite me really hard or I'll scream at it "I hate you reality!" So it's a love/hate relationship between us. Ok, I really don't scream at it...well maybe in my head I do...

I'm back home...*deep breath* It kinda sucks but I'm doing my best to dwell on other things.
Like this:

I have nothing to eat. NOTHING! That milk is only there because we stopped at the store on the way home from the airport. I must have my cream (which is in the door) for my morning coffee and milk for cereal. 

So to the store I must go...eventually...

But then reality pops it's head in and says...'remember, you don't have funds.' darn you reality for reminding me!

Before I go to the store lately I have to check all the websites for deals, the weekly store ads for what's on sale and write out my huge grocery list, determine which stores I'm going to hit and head out for the day. This takes me HOURS. I'm still not used to doing this. And by the time I'm ready, it's too late to start the grocery shopping day.

I commend all who have this down to a science and save tons of moola, I'd love some counsel on this. For too many years I've just gone out and bought whatever I wanted when I wanted without thought. Now I feel I am entirely TOO aware of the mighty dollar.

I thank the person, who will remain nameless, who has given me grocery money to get what I need. It's very hard to be in this position of need... very hard....very very hard. But am blessed to know they're there to help me. 

Now I must focus on the things I need to get, here's to hours of list writing, pantry checking and Internet searching. 

...I wonder if my tank is full in my car?? I can't remember if I filled it up before leaving to give me a full tank of gas or if I didn't bother, only now to regret that decision with it being 30 cents more. 

Reality...please be nice....Guess I'll find out soon!

*Random Tip: Hydrate your skin when sun burnt with lots and lots of lotion. It helps it heal faster and reduce the pain and peeling time. 
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Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm thankful for 5

What a doozy of a week for me. As I sit here at the airport (boo) and think back, so much has happened and truly, there's so much to be thankful for.

I'm thankful for surprise night's out. I'm in the middle of making dinner when my love called and said he's taking me out. We had a wonderful dinner out by the water.

I'm thankful for being able to have dinner, at night, in shorts and a short sleeve top, on the water, in March. Absolutely thankful for that ability.

I'm thankful for the Lord's protection during the tsunami warning.We stayed up all night and morning to watch it come in.

I'm thankful for all the prayers and concern from friends and family all over the country for us during it all. Definitely feel blessed.

I'm thankful for my love and his goofiness the entire time we were watching and "preparing" for the tsunami. He was cracking me up with his energy, jokes and just plain goofiness throughout it all.

I'm thankful for all the time spent with my love. I cherish every moment we have when we have and will miss him more than I can ever express.

I'm thankful for the Lord my God who has blessed me with this opportunity to be here, enjoy beautiful warm weather, spend time with wonderful friends and love of my life.

(I know I'm a little sappy today...)

Galatians 5:13  For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Excuse me...that's ok

When we were in the check out at the grocery store the other day a little girl in front of us needed to scoot by us to grab something. She was squeezing by and her mother says; 'say excuse me.' So the little girl does and the G-man says; 'that's okay' and let's her by.

That got me remembering a female comedian that joked about women in public restrooms. When one woman is in her stall and all of a sudden another woman opens the stall door. Immediately the woman opening the door says, 'Excuse Me! I'm sorry!' and the fast response back from the woman sitting on the toilet is, 'That's ok.'

IT'S NOT OK! Ever think about that? Someone just walked into your stall while you're using it and we say it's ok. It's such an automatic response yet we just had a very embarrassing thing happen to us.

Why did I think about this with the kid at the store? Because this parent is actually instilling manners into this kid and we are so quick to dismiss it.

G-man and I started talking about this and how quickly adults don't acknowledge a child with manners or learning manners. I've done the same thing. A friend and her kid visits, the kid does something they shouldn't, the mom says, 'I'm sorry' and I'll say the famous, 'that's okay' when really I'm going crazy inside.

Why do we do this?! It basically is telling the kid that it doesn't matter how well behaved they're being since they get lumped in with all the other kids good and bad.

We determined when a child says excuse me or pardon me or whatever it may be to acknowledge them. Say,  'thanks kiddo' or something to show that we are grateful for their manners.

I encourage everyone to do the same! Show those kids that their manners mean something to us adults. Show that they are set apart from the others to encourage them to continue with their well mannered behavior and not say 'that's okay' when a child does something wrong...not to mention when a woman walks in your stall! ;-)

Have a great and safe weekend!

*Random Tip: Avoid using a loofa, wash cloth, or back brush on a fresh sunburn. It hurts, it really really hurts. And then the hot shower water just adds to the hurt. Hold out for a few days, you'll be glad you did. Pin It Now!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Whew! We're safe

Praise the Lord it was a mild tsunami for us. I'm sure you've seen on the news by now (though not sure what they're reporting), we are all safe and sound.

I just woke up 30 minutes ago...went to sleep at 5:30am! So very tired from staying up all night in anticipation of it coming.

Not knowing how it would hit, we made sure we were prepared since we are so close and thought the water might get shut off. So we washed 2 loads of laundry, ran the dishwasher, we both showered, filled up over 5 gallons of water and brewed some coffee. haha

(coffee is SO important when pulling an all nighter)

Here's some videos and pictures from last night's adventure. hhmmmm ok so I have no clue how to upload the videos so I'll just do the pictures for now.
Here is the harbor at around 1am.

(though blurry, sorry) All the boats went at least a mile out to sea.

Within a matter of minutes the water level shot up. The smoothness of the water was a bit mesmerizing.

And within minutes of it rising, it rushed back out. You can see how the pier posts are gone above and then very visible below. Not to mention the rush of water going from left to always flows right to left.

This went on the rest of the morning. All the boats are still out to sea right now. It's neat to see them all sitting out there. I think its the most that have been out there at once.

Thank you ladies for your prayers and sweet comments. I'm thankful nothing severe happened, and even though my morbid brain would have liked to see waves come in and crash over (without destruction or loss of life of course) I am glad it didn't.

Did you all see the footage from Diamond Head? Where the reef on the ocean floor was exposed?! That was pretty neat to see. We were in awe of that.

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Breaking news!!

Hard to say how serious it really is but there's a Tsunami warning issued for us here in Hawaii from the earthquake that happened in Japan.

It's supposed to hit us at 3am HI time. If you've seen my pictures I've posted you've noticed we are RIGHT on the water. Thankfully we are high up in the high rise, but still it is a concern.

All the boats in the harbor are fleeing to the deep ocean for safety, and technically we are in the "red zone" for evacuation but are staying where we are because we are so high up. They keep turning on the Tsunami siren which sounds very much like a tornado siren if you've ever heard one before. Semi-eerie...

Any way, I'll keep you posted after it all happens. I'm sure it's going to be alright. Keep us all, and everyone in Japan, in your prayers.

I'll DEFINITELY have pictures of it all. I've already taken a picture of the current water level and can't wait to see what the Tsunami will do to it. ((we are a little excited to see it and are a little bummed it will come at that morbid?))

Until the update!! Take care all!

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ever heard of stairs

Silly question, I know...

Due to my major aversion to public displays of working out a.k.a gyms I have to tap into my creative brain to find other means of working out. Like the apartment complex stairs.

42 glorious flights of hardly ever used stairs. Why wouldn't I want to go there?! It's dimly lit, concrete and metal with poor air flow. Sounds like a place for me!!

No, I did not use all 42 flights. I focused on 6 flights only. (I'm all about moderation and not utterly killing myself). Working out, I felt compelled, compelled I tell you!,  to share all the things you can do on stairs.

Brace's a doozy!!

Naturally, there's running up them; 1 at a time, 2 at a time, 3 if you're ambitious (I'm not ambitious) on the toes, on the heels (careful on that one), flat footed, squatted down...oooh you'll feel the burn on that one. Or just plain walking up.
you can go sideways taking 2 at a time. (Holy cow, let me tell you that one burns. I don't recommend having that be the LAST thing you do because you'll only be able to do 1 just to prove it's possible for a post..yes, I HAD to test it out before I mentioned it...I'm weak ok!?)

there's also push ups. At an incline OR decline (can't do the decline...a little too tough for this girl)

Tricep dips. Absolutely great!

NOW we get into the squats. Side squats to be exact. At first I did them with 1 foot on the landing 1 on the 2nd stair. Full set but didn't like it. So dropped it down to the 1st stair and felt it a lot better. It burned in all the right places.

Of course there's the calf raises. Toes pointed forward, toes pointed out and one at a time. I could only do the 1st two and a very small number. My feet can't handle them, it's too painful.

Which is really frustrating because I've been told I have big calves...non defined big calves....not to mention being told I have cankles. Not to exclude my dr. telling me when I was 25 that I'll have cankles when I get older. This is how that went...

Me: my ankle swells up sometimes right here, is there anything you or I can do to reduce the fluid and swelling.
Dr.: No, there's nothing.
Me: So I can't ever get rid of this and have it go back to normal?
Dr.: No it will always be like that. And probably collect more fluid over time.
Me: So I'll have fat ankles when I'm older???
Dr.: Yes you will have fat ankles when you're older.
Me: staring at him at this moment in shock and sadness.

I sure love that Dr. P....'s apparently a fact of life that I will have cankles and non shapely calves...*sigh* especially more so since I can't do anything that involves a calf workout thanks to my feet. thanks feet!

But let's get back to the stairs...((almost done, promise!))

There's also abs! Yep abs on stairs. Go to the top and lift those fat calved legs up...ok sorry, dwelling here, ahem sniff sniff...all better.
And do either bicycle or bringing the legs in for the crunch.

It was really hard for me to do these and stay focused. The darn emergency lights in the stairwell buzzed and every time I dipped back I would hear the buzz and it got very annoying. Every time. bzz..bzz..bzz..bzz. 15 times hearing this, I couldn't take it and stopped. I DID do another set and had to sing in my head to drown out the bzz sound.

I'm sure there are a ton more things you can do on the stairs (oh don't forget stretching on them too) but that's all I did.

What other things can be done on the stairs? I'd love to do them if you have any ideas of your own.

If you stuck around till this moment, thanks...I figure I'll be driving people away on this randomly boring post HOWEVER my point to all this is simply saying you don't need a gym to workout. If you have stairs in your home or apt. complex or even the bleachers at the high school (which is where I prefer to go) you can do all these and get a full body workout and the cardio...holy moly you will get your cardio in!

*Random Tip: Never ever ever ever shave while burnt. You will scream, cry, suck air through your teeth and cringe. And then have it all repeated once the hot shower water makes contact with your now offended skin.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Have you ever

Is it bad that all week long my brain says 'have you ever' in preparation for these posts? It's constantly thinking of new 'have you ever's'. Sometimes it's really annoying.

I have to tell it, 'Brain, you need to stop. Take a break for just 2 hours. Think of other things like puppies or the ocean or how about thinking about the old man that hit on you at the beach yesterday??! Just don't think of 'have you ever' moments for me, PLEASE!

(Seriously...old man. at the beach. hitting on me. *sigh* This is one of the many reasons I don't like to go to the beach by myself. Guys come to talk to me. He was a very nice man from NY who was vacationing, apparently by himself. He flies home Sunday. Any way...I'm getting off track.)

Have you ever crashed your moped in a busy intersection for all to see?
- Yes, In Waikiki. So very very embarrassed. The whole turning, breaking, accelerating thing hadn't sunk into the ol' noggin yet and I crashed right into the curb! Kind pedestrians ran over to help me, but I was so mortified I brushed them off, jumped up and zoomed away...I still have the scars on my ankle to prove it.

Have you ever been in a sit up competition?
- Yes, true sit ups for 30 minutes straight. I did 545 sit ups and won the competition. OH YEAH!

Have you ever been stopped in a clothing store 2 weeks later by a guy that saw the competition asking to see your abs?
- Yes, and...I admit...I showed him. He was impressed. hehe

Have you ever said something with complete sincerity to someone only to have it taken the complete opposite of how you meant it?
- Yes, I was 22 and a girl my age had 2 kids already. She came up to me to tell me she wished she was skinny like me and I responded (with sincerity) that I'm skinny because I haven't had 2 kids yet(like her). Well, it got all awkward since people around me thought I was saying she was fat and insulted her...I wasn't!

Have you ever kept a childhood tradition all through your adult life?
- Yes, since I can remember I have stayed up until my birthday. I was born at 3:02am. So every night before my birthday I will either stay up till exactly 3:03am (so it's official) OR set my alarm for 3:01am so I can sit there with anticipation. Every time I say, 'Happy birthday to me.' and then I go to sleep.

(and because it wouldn't be a have you ever post without a speeding comment)
Have you ever driven hundreds of miles to a destination and not have anyone pass you?
- Yes, this used to be a big deal for me when I was younger. I would make sure I was the one passing people and would feel disgusted when someone was coming up on me. So I would speed up even more, just to keep my record of no one passing. (I know...I was crazy or weird or stupid...however you're seeing it right now)

So, have you ever!???

*Random Tip: Instead of a lemon, put a slice of cucumber in your glass of water. It's wonderfully refreshing and a nice change from the sour lemon. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My tacos

I make these tacos, see, that everyone ALWAYS wants the recipe for. It all started a couple months ago, when I boldly wrote on Facebook that I make the best tacos EVER! Everyone wanted to know if it was true and is. (my modesty knows no bounds) 

So I made them over the weekend again and thought I'd pretend to be The Pioneer Woman with pictures. Let's see how I do! I know I won't be as good as her...but that's ok.

First things first, you want to cook the ground beef in the pan until almost done. (the picture still had some more cooking to do)

Drain the meat and rinse it off to get as much grease and fat off as possible. Wipe any excess grease out of the pan as well and return the meat back to the pan continuing to cook it through. I use these spices for my tacos. These are essentials for me!!

Continue cooking, adding as much of the spices, until the desired flavor.

While the meat is cooking, cut up your taco goodies. Tomatoes, grate the cheese, lettuce...whatever you put in them. But cheese is the major ingredient. In another pan, heat up vegetable oil until piping hot! While it's getting hot prepare your tacos. (don't judge me for the pre-packaged grated cheese. I don't like using it AT ALL but we are very low on the real cheese and had this as a back up)

Then place a prepared taco into the piping hot oil, side down. The key with this is using a FLOUR TORTILLA!! Fight the urge to use corn. Let it get nice and crispy and flip it over.

Once cheese is completely melted inside and the tortilla is at the desired crispiness transfer to a paper toweled lined cookie sheet to absorb the oil.

This is what I put on my tacos (ketchup may seem weird to some, but I grew up with it on my tacos. So yummy!!)

Serve it with yummy Pina Coladas! We found the best Pina Colada recipe EVER here. Not even joking, the best ever.

Some variations that can be done (and have from friends and family) Use shredded chicken instead of beef. Fry the tortilla alone, without the meat and cheese. personally, it's all about the melted cheese for me, so it's a must to have the meat and cheese in the oil.

1/2-1lb of ground beef
grated cheddar cheese
flour tortillas
chili powder
vegetable oil

Cook ground beef until almost cooked through. Drain and rinse meat and return to pan. Cook completely adding spices. While beef is cooking, grate cheese and prepare other desired condiments. Heat oil in separate pan until it's very hot. (drop a droplet of water in it to see if it pops) Meanwhile, prepare tacos. Place meat and grated cheese into flour tortillas. One at a time, place prepared taco into hot oil, laying on it's side until crisp. Then flip. Once cheese is melted and tortilla is crispy, transfer to paper toweled sheet to absorb oil. Repeat with remaining tacos, then add your favorite items into your tacos and enjoy!

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