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Friday, November 30, 2012

Mexican Stuffed Shells

I saw this recipe over at The Girl Who Ate Everything blog. She has some really fun looking recipes that I am most definitely going to try.

My family was way skeptical of these stuffed shells, but everyone loved them and approved of them going on the dinner rotation.

Her recipe calls for ground turkey with taco seasoning, but I used my crockpot chicken. Yes, I'm talking about that chicken again :)

She also used taco sauce and I used enchilada sauce instead. Go check out her recipe b/c her pictures are much more appetizing than mine.

Here's the recipe:

1 box jumbo shell pasta
1 lb. crockpot chicken (you could use ground beef or turkey or any shredded chicken, then season to your taste)
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 can green enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Prepare the shells according to package directions (salt the water to help prevent sticking), drain pasta and spread out on wax paper to prevent sticking.

Mix the crockpot chicken with the package of cream cheese in a bowl.

Spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan. Spoon the mixture into each shell and place in the pan.

Pour more sauce over the top of the shells (I used most, but not all of my 15oz can of enchilada sauce).

Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20min.

Remove the foil and bake uncovered another 10-15min until the cheese is bubbly.

We served ours with sour cream on top.

It's really a versatile recipe, you can use a variety of meats (or no meat and just use ricotta and cream cheese with mexican spices or taco seasoning) and whatever sauce you want and a mix of cheeses or just plain cheddar or whatever you fancy :)


Linking up here:

One Artsy Mama


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pork and Ginger Potstickers

I've had this recipe forever, so I have no idea the original source. I've tweaked it over the years as I have made these, so I guess it is now MY recipe.

I don't make these often because they can be a little time consuming and because I just don't think about it much. But, they are not difficult to make (although, my husband says time consuming = difficult). They are so worth the extra effort though!


2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 Tbsp. salt
1 lb. ground pork
2 Tbsp. minced ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. thin soy sauce
3 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 egg

Goyza wrappers (you could also use wonton wrappers, they will just be a different shape)
1-2 cups chicken stock

Dipping Sauce:

2/3 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2/3 cup scallions, chopped
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. Sambal (I used Sriracha instead)


Sprinkle cabbage with salt and let sit 30min. Squeeze out as much water from the cabbage as you can.

Mix all ingredients except stock in a mixing bowl.

I didn't take pictures of the process here, but I used fresh ginger and grated it with a fine grater. Fresh ginger is very strong, so keep that in mind. I have never made this using ground ginger or minced ginger that was not fresh. I think it would really change the final product. So, use fresh ginger.

Place a small scoop in the middle of the wrapper, wet your finger (I have a small bowl of water near me) and wet the edge of the wrapper.

Fold the wrapper over (making a moon shape) and pinch the edges together to seal.

This is where it starts to get time consuming. The biggest issue is just that you have to cook them in small batches, so it takes a while.

Coat your pan with sesame oil (you can use any oil really, but sesame is the best for this recipe). You are not trying to deep fry these things, so you just want to coat the bottom of the pan (sorry, no real measurement here - 2Tbsp, something like that). They naturally stick a little and that's ok, you want them to (that's why they're called potstickers, no really, that is why). You just don't want them to stick so much they burn or you can't get them off the pan.

Place them in the pan making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Let them brown on one side (a couple of min). I like to move them around a little and slide a spatula under them just to make sure they are not sticking too much. Once they have browned, pour a cup of chicken stock in the pan and immediately cover.

BE CAREFUL this will cause all kinds of splattering, so have your lid ready and pour the stock and cover right away. Now, they will steam in the stock until fully cooked. After about 5min, if the liquid is totally evaporated, add more stock (or water). Cook until all the liquid has steamed off (about 7min total).

This part of the recipe really depends on your pan. Mine took about 7min. I used 3 different pans b/c I was making them for a party and was impatient and didn't want to take forever cooking 5 at a time in one pan. Because I only had 2 pans with lids, the 3rd pan I just put foil over the top.

I did not intend for this to be a "which pan works better for this recipe" experiement, but that's what it turned into.

I had only intended on using the pans with lids, but out of desperation also used a pan with foil. It turned out the pan with foil worked much better than the other 2. In fact, one of my lidded pans was so bad (burning the potstickers and sticking so much I couldn't get them out of the pan), I stopped using it completely.

So, if you do not have a pan with a lid (or maybe even if you do), you may want to just use foil over a saute pan instead.

One last thing about the pan, none of the pans I used were nonstick. I just don't own any nonstick pans (I know that's kind of crazy). I got rid of all of them many years ago with all the teflon issues about that stuff scraping off into your food. I think that is not as much of an issue anymore, but I have just never gone back to using them.


If you used a nonstick pan, I'm sure the results would be way different. You just have to do a batch and adjust from there (more oil if sticking too much, move the potstickers around to prevent them from getting stuck, pan covered in foil needs more liquid added part way through since there is more evaporation etc.) After your first batch, cut into one and make sure the cooking time you are using is cooking the pork all the way (we don't want any undercooked pork here).

Serve with the dipping sauce.
To make: simply put all ingredients in a bowl

These are so dang good. I like them better than some restaurant ones I've had. They have a distinct ginger flavor, which I love, but I suppose if you hate the taste of ginger, you will not like these (and to that I say "poo on you").

Anytime I've taken these to a party, they are a big hit. They're even good cold. One thing I have noticed is that every time I have taken these for a crowd, there is always at least one person that does not eat pork. I've thought about making them with ground chicken sometime, since it pains me to see people pass up on them b/c they contain pork. But I just love them too much to change it up :)

Hope you love them too!

Linking up here:

I Heart Nap Time

Tater Tots and Jello
Too Much Time On My Hands

Tuesday To Do Party

Delightfully Dowling
Bowl Full of Lemons

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Organizing Inspiration and a Sale!

I'm always trying to get organized. Always

Usually, fairly unsuccessfully.

However, since starting this blog, I have had a few successful organizing projects like the kitchen pantry (that was a big job) and my school lunch station (a simple project, but still in use today).

Since this is always one of my New Year's resolutions, I decided to get a jump start and get some organizing projects done before then end of 2012.

My Wish List To Do List:

1. Entry Closet (currently used to house all of our board games and a bunch of other really important stuff junk), since we really don't need a coat closet here in AZ, I will continue to keep our games in there, but also want to use it to hold the vaccum, brooms, steam mop which are all currently taking up space in the pantry.

2. Hall Closet (I guess this is kind of like an entry closet too, since you see it upon entering the front door and our entry closet is more like a coat closet). This is a big project, but I plan to make this into one of those closet turned mud rooms I see all over pinterest.

Like this:

3. Linen closet (currently a heaping pile of blankets, towels, sheets - a total mess). We took the doors off this closet a while ago b/c they are those awful accordian doors (like the ones on my pantry - yes, replacing those is still on my list. So, now our unorganized linen closet is open for all to see. It's lovely.

Since I have recently become a Thirty-One Consultant (check my side bar to check out my website and facebook page), I am so excited to see all the organizing ideas people come up with for Thirty-One products!

For all of you scrapbookers and other crafters, this Large Utility Tote is perfect for holding your Cricut or Silhouette machines:

I do not have one of these machines, but I do have a ton of cake decorating supplies that this bag would be perfect for. People also use this bag in their trunk to hold groceries, making the trip into the house much easier after shopping. These Large Utility Totes were also being carried around on HGTV's Dina's Party:


I used my Large Utility Tote all summer as our pool bag. I kept our beach towels, goggles, sunscreen, pool toys etc. all ready to carry to the pool.

For my linen closet, I plan to use these Large Utility Totes to store extra blankets and pillows that I currently keep up high in the closet, but always seem to get unfolded or become unruly looking.

Something like this, but only on the top shelf:

Check out this pantry:

Here are some super cute ideas for the bathroom:

Love the tissue holder! Those would be great teacher gifts too since they are always asking for tissues for their classroom.

Speaking of great teacher gifts:

This bag would also make a nice diaper bag or baby shower gift:

I am totally using this bag for my cleaning supplies. I currently have a plastic tote made for holding cleaning supplies, but it is not tall enough, so some of the bottles seem to want to tip out of the bucket, it also does not hold everything the way this bag does:

Go check out A Bowl Full of Lemons blog, she did a whole post on how she uses these totes.

And if I ever have a home office....

Right now, a mobile office is more my speed:

If I had stairs, I love this idea:

So here is where the sale comes in. Yes, I did mention SALE at the beginning of this post.

In the month of October, for every $31 you spend, you can get one of 5 different bags for 50% off including the Organizing Utility Tote from this post (as well as the Super Organizing Tote and the Retro Metro Bag and Totes):

Go to my Thirty-One website to shop through October to get this special. Also, I am having a Mystery Hostess Online Party starting today through Fri. Oct. 26th. Anyone who orders from my website under the "Mystery Hostess Party" event will automatically be entered in a drawing to win all of the hostess rewards from that party. You'll get all the rewards of hosting a party, without actually hosting a party! Pretty awesome, right?!

There will also be some really great bloggers hosting a giveaway of Thirty-One products for me in the near future, so stay tuned.

And you can stay up to date on all of my sales, giveaways and other special offers by joining my Thirty One Facebook group.

Happy Shopping!

Linking up here:
Happy WINSday Giveaway Linky

October Overhauling

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cookies and Cream Poke Cake

My husband loves Poke Cakes, or as he grew up calling them "pudding cakes and jello cakes".

I, on the other hand, have always had a late 70's (early 80's) mom cooking association with them. What in the world is 70's mom cooking? Well, for me, it conjures up images of mashed potatoes from a box, canned veggies and t.v. dinners. I put poke cakes right up there in that same category.

My husband recently said something like "You know what would be good? If you made a pudding cake". To which I probably rolled my eyes or turned up my nose or something like that. For someone who loves to make cake, a very specific kind of decorative cake, this request was offensive. My cakes take me all day to make and are my own little piece of artwork. You want me to make a box cake, poke holes in it and pour pudding all over it? Why, I never! This is like taking your date to McDonald's for dinner.

Then I came across a whole slew of poke cake recipes over at The Country Cook and given my husband's love of all things cookies and cream in combination with his love of pudding cakes, I had to try it. I was not even aware jello made a cookies and cream pudding until I saw this recipe.

So, I gave it a try. And, well, I have to eat a big piece of humble pie humble poke cake, because it was delicious! And super easy. It would be a great recipe to make with the kids.

Watch out people, there may be a sudden barrage of poke cake recipes coming your way.


1 box chocolate cake mix (plus whatever is needed for the mix - eggs, oil, water)
2 boxes cookies and cream instant pudding
4 cups milk
1 container cool whip
Approx. 10 crushed oreos

Bake the cake as directed on the box. While the cake is cooling, mix 2 packets pudding mix with 4 cups cold milk, stir and let sit in fridge until it begins to thicken. You don't want it to be completely set, you want it easily pourable.

While cake is still warm, poke holes all over with the back of a spoon or spatula.

Pour the pudding all over, then spread with a spatula, applying light pressure to get the pudding down in the holes.

You can see in my picture, I let the pudding fully set. It came out fine though, so no worries if you do that.

Cool in the refridgerator for at least one hour (several hours or overnight would be fne too).

Spread with cool whip and top with crushed cookies.

Cut yourself a big 'ol piece and stuff it in your face!


Linking up here:

Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Shine Your Light
I Heart Nap Time

In The Old Road