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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tacos & Spanish Rice

You know those taco kits you get in the grocery store?  The ones with the really, really salty taco seasoning?


Just thinking about it makes me feel dehydrated!

I'm on spring break this week, which means I'll be cooking huge, longer to make, and slightly more difficult meals.  How exciting, right?  ;)

Anyway, instead of using seasoning packets to make tacos and rice, my mother figured out the perfect combination of spices to use for the tacos.  The rice, I found the recipe to myself:)  Sooo delicious.

Speaking of which, this weather is crazy, isn't it? So hot, and only March!  To enjoy the lovely weather, we ate outside on the beautiful veranda.  Unfortunately, my parents had already started eating by the time I brought the rice out, so I didn't get any pictures of either the food or the pretty table.  Tomorrow, tomorrow.

Anyway, to the recipes!



1 bag Morningstar veggie crumbles
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water


Prepare the veggie crumbles in a skillet, like you would ground beef (on the plus side, no need for any kind of oil!).  Add the liquids and stir in carefully.  Add the spices and stir again.  Turn the stove on high and let the excess liquid boil away.

Meanwhile (or way before, actually), you'll want to make the rice:


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped or put through a food processor
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups white rice
3 cups vegetable stock (I'm still a big fan of Better Than Bouillon)
1 big tablespoon of tomato paste
1 pinch of oregano (roughly half of a 1/4 teaspoon)
Salt to taste


1. In a large skillet brown rice in olive oil, medium/high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook onion rice mixture, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, or until onions are softened.

2. In a separate sauce pan bring stock to a simmer. Add tomato sauce, oregano, and salt. Add rice to broth. Bring to a simmer. Cover. Lower heat and cook 15-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

The recipe is from this site.  

If I had had the time, I would have tried making it with brown rice, but I was a little pinched since we had just come from the grocery store. Tomorrow, I'll post my recipe for chocolate-chip oatmeal cookie bars, which usually vanish in ~3 days:)

Until Next Time,


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kony 2012

I'd like to preface this by saying that I've seen the criticism.

Believe me, I've seen it.

I get that people are more than a little angry about how commercial it seems.

That the whole non-profit is run by a bunch of film makers, not professionals.

That only 33% of the money goes to the actual kids, etc.

But really, it's more than the money.  You don't have to donate to help.  You don't have to open your wallet and donate a single red/green/purple cent of your hard earned change.  What is most important is that you take 30 minutes out of your day (because I know that statistically, many of us spend far more than that watching TV, playing video games, and reading blogs like this one), and watch this movie.  Then share it with your friends.  Share it on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or just show it someone you love.  The most important thing is to get the word out.

It's more than a little heartbreaking to know that things like this go on in the world- I know that for me, I find it easy to forget that not everyone has as easy a life as I do.  But it's SO important to make sure that everyone knows this is going on, and that it has to be stopped.

And for those who say that this is promoting "slacktivism"?  It may be- but isn't that better than nothing at all?  Even if we can't help, even if we don't have money to donate, or the ability to do anything really meaningful to do, it's still important to know this is going on and do what little we can.

Oh, and if anyone lives in/near the Huntsville Area and is interested in "blanketing the city", I'm SO up for it.  I stay up all night anyway, so I might as well be doing something good with my time.

How do you feel about this movement?  Will you be sharing/donating?  Let me know in the comments!

Until Next Time,


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Year's Resolutions: February Check In

I can't believe another month has gone by! Actually, I can.  This month feels like it's dragged on for ages.  Anyway, another month, another resolution check in!  I'm surprised at how well I've been keeping these.  They're surprisingly easy when broken down on a day by day basis.

1. Original Goal: Lose Weight

     People who have been reading my blog for a bit know I just completed the Bodyrock February 30 day challenge(!!).  My fit test results have improved by leaps and bounds, and I'm seriously astonished at how much stronger I've gotten in just a few weeks.

Oh, and those three pounds I lost last month?  I gained them back.  And then lost them again.  One of the many cycles of life, I suppose.

But what's more important is that I've gotten so much stronger and that people can actually see a difference in the way I look.  The scale can go hang itself, I've got more tangible results than a silly number on a scale:)

2. Original Goal: Make all A's this semester.

This feels like the month of tests & papers (but in college, aren't all months like that?)

I had two (count'em) math tests (108 & 93 respectively), a Biology test (104), an English test (89), & a History test (99).  With the exception of the English test, I think I'm doing pretty well:)

I'm particularly happy about math and science- I can't believe it was just two years ago when I was failing my Trigonometry class and making a D in Biology.  It really does make a difference when you have both good teachers and a great attitude!

3. Original Goal: Get accepted to all my transfer schools.

N/A at this time.  But check out this cute postcard I got from one of the two I'm applying to:

How cute is that?  It was actually hand written by one of their students.  I have to say, love the personal touch!

4. Original Goal: Assorted Blog Goals.

I haven't posted as much as I'd like, but as you saw...I've had plenty going on in the way of schoolwork. I should actually be working now, but this is more interesting (also, my middle name is basically "Procrastination").  Anyhow, last month at this time, I had 47 followers, and now....I have 72!  I love each and every one of them, and I feels so thankful that people who have never met me actually want to read what I have to say!

5. Original Goal: Stop stressing the small things & go to Church more.

Went to Church every Sunday this month (plus Ash Wednesday), which I find very calming.  It's nice to be able to sit back and relax (and stand, kneel, etc) for an hour a week and just listen and absorb without having to worry about anything.

As part of not stressing, I've been taking hikes on the weekends.  This past Sunday we went to Tim's Ford State Park in Tennessee, and had a looovely hike in the woods.  The woman said it was very easy and for people who didn't hike much....but we found it plenty strenuous as it was mostly up a steep incline.  But what can I say, I love a challenge!

I hope you all have had an amazing February, and I can't wait to see how March goes!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Terrible Weather

My parents moved to Northern Alabama in December 2010, and I followed suit in May 2011.  Obviously, I missed the spring tornadoes here, but to be fair, I was in Hawaii, dealing with the potentially devastating effects of the Japanese tsunamis.

I've never been through a tornado, although that's probably the only natural disaster I haven't experienced.

Until today.

My mom woke me up super early this morning after a phone call from my dad, saying we should get in the "safe room" (my bathroom) and hide out in the bathtub, because tornadoes had been spotted barely a mile from our house.

(Oh my God)

The power went out after a few minutes, so we hung out in the dark with two temperamental cats and listened to the wind howling around us.  We stayed in the bathtub until we got the all clear, then moved out into the rest of the house.

Barely an hour later, we got another phone call, telling us to move back to the bathroom.

The cycle repeated itself several times to the exasperation of everyone involved.  We were sitting in the tub, watching Alf DVDs on my laptop when a loud clattering startled us.  We paused the show and listened, absolutely convinced the roof was going to cave in on us at any moment.

The door thrust open and my dad stepped in, telling us about golf ball sized hail.  Of course we rushed out and went to look.

                                          Some of the smaller hail stones.

We didn't have any damage, but we saw on the News that some places further North were completely devastated, and that the worst is to come tonight.  Regardless of what happens, I already feel very blessed and thankful that nothing has happened (yet).  My heart and prayers go out to everyone affected, and I hope things work out for the best for them<3

                                                The front porch(!!!)

I love all things extreme, but weather like this really freaks me out!  Is anything crazy going on where you live?  Tell me about it in the comments!

Until Next Time,