Spooky Foodie Friyay: Halloween Food Series

For the next 3 weeks, I’m making Foodie Friyays all about Halloween food. This will be the perfect series for throwing those parties, and even some cute dishes perfect for a potluck or even just dinner this month.

So light your candles, grab a cup of coffee/tea/drink, and a notepad!

This week is all about snacks. I hope ya’ll are ready, and are decent on plating things (because I’m totally not)! I’m including things that could be appetizers as well here.

To start out, I have a Pinterest board of a bunch of snacks. Shameless plug to start out, right?!

Delish posted 19 Easy Halloween Recipes, which includes brie, rice krispie treats (also could be seen as a dessert!), jello (ADULT RECIPE), and “fingers”!

We all know and love Food Network (I half grew up on that channel). Here’s their Scary Good Snacks list. Cocktails and sweets and healthy? Oh My! They give you pictures and the link to the recipe, all the works! For those in the warmer areas, or who just love ice cream, even in cold temps, this Orange Sherbet in Cups looks devilish! Plus it’s near fool proof…just make OJ, then scoop the guts out! I think that was a sign, since I’ve been eyeballing an old school fruit juicer, where you do it by hand. The link is for reference (I can do a review on this one, if ya’ll want…just tell me plz)

Here’s one for the kiddo’s…especially if you’re on town Aunt/Uncle duty (since all of your kids’ friends are coming over, or it’s an event and you’re that extra as a person). Just for reference, mind how much sugar you give ’em, and mind their age and tolerance…bedtime might be 2 am!

Anyway, Country Living gives these 35 treats for your (and your neighborhood/classroom/Sunday School) kids. Some of them are on my Pinterest board, I’ve noticed…at least the images anyway. As an adult, whose not the fondest of sweets, this whole thing has me some ideas…I might try a few and take them into work to have others eat them as well!

Do you want more from Country Living? Check out this post of 60 Homemade Halloween Treats. Some of them are similar to what we’ve seen in these other posts, and others are typical snacks, with a twist.

What are your favorite snacks or appetizers for October/Halloween? Let me know! I want to try some out, including your favorites!

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Foodie FriYay: Fish Edition

I know this isn’t lent, but fish is good for you! I made this dish a while ago, and couldn’t wait to share it with you.

Babe was wanting Old Bay seasoned something, and I finally got a thing of it for him. I didn’t think that Salmon was in either of our moods, and Tuna was definitely not at that point in our lives. So I went with tilapia as our fish.

In all reality, you can use Old Bay on anything, but I see it more for fish or chicken. Here’s how it turned out:

Get your ingredients ready. I wanted mashed potatoes as our side, with asparagus as an added flavor to the fish.

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Put your tilapia in a dish or bowl, where you can sprinkle on the Old Bay, as the pan is heating. Serving side, especially with a side, is one filet per person. If you have young kids, I’d say split them in half for them.

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In my mind, to save both time, and from letting the fish get cold, heat up both your fish pan, and if you’re making a side like me, of mashed potatoes, get that pot up and running too. Fish cools down faster than you think, and you don’t want the fish to sit out too long.

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In your fish pan, you should have oil or butter (I’ve chosen butter), a couple shakes of Old Bay in it, and let it melt/heat up. It should be very hot when you put your fish in. Then you let it cook on each side for a couple minutes.

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When you’re adding something like Asparagus, like me, add it in when the butter is melted, but while it’s not as hot as you wanted for the fish. Let it marinate for a hot minute, then you can finally add that tilapia in!

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Like I just said, after the pan is good and hot, regardless if you’re adding the extras like me, put a couple fillets in. Make sure not to over crowd the pan though!

Flip the fillet over a couple minutes later, let it cook for about a minute more, and serve up! Work on your other fixings, while needed.

I didn’t get the chance to picture the plated version, but hey, what’s new?!

I hope you like this, and save it for later (even as a lent dish!). Let me know when you try it, and tell me how you did!

Plan With Me: September 2018

So this is my BIRTH MONTH!!! I’m playing it super chill this year, since summer was so packed full of events, and I did a lot last year for my birthday. I was planning on some events, but they’ve fallen through, sadly. Next year though. There’s next year, and next year will be a better year (hint: I’ll be worth a US quarter! I know I’m worth so much more than that, but it’s a cute joke!).

For this month, I have more content planned for you guys, and this will be more of a month for relaxing, taking long weekends, and enjoying alone time, and time with those I care about the most. Let’s get to planning, shall we?

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I usually start with my whiteboard, even though I should start with my Artist of Life Workbook review of the previous month. Wiping it clean allows me to have a clean slate of what will be in front of me, so I can just keep the past, well, the past. I set the month up numerically, then go into the review of the previous month, for what I didn’t finish.

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On the whiteboard, I note any plans, and for this month, it’s just my birthday and a live chat that I have in my Artist of Life Mastermind group, as you can see. Sometimes it’s as simple as that, and other times, it’s more complicated like June was.From there, I can easily see what is happening, and what days are where.

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Since it’s an easy glance, I go from there, into either my notebook, like this month, or into a digital note, usually on my phone, to plan out what blog posts I want to do that month. Then from the ideas, I set the date I want them to be posted on.

For this month, since I had things written out on paper, and I wrote down some notes, I took the themes of the blog posts, and put them on a sticky to-do note pad, and on the far side I write the tentative days I wanted to post them on.

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Past this, I don’t have much plans for the month, other than tentative plans of relaxing, and birthday dinner(s), depending if I feel like doing a solo date, and one with my dad, and if my guy and I go out.

I also planned out my meals for the month, since I’m doing a cleaning out of our cupboards this month. It’ll help me with some of the food days, plus clean out the stock we have, and I don’t feel bad for wasting it, or donating it.

I know there’s people who could use the help, and I’ve been there before (ironically, there’s a few canned goods that are left over from my dad’s raid of his pantry, since he’s doing a Keto meets low sodium diet).

I used to take a big monthly wall calendar to meal plan, but I noticed that I would forget what I was meal planning for the week, when I’d be shopping, and wonder why I would need one random ingredient, or something of the like, and dumb me would just not get it.

Now that I’ve gone digital, I can look at the meal plans on the go, and if I can’t recall why I need something, or if I need to tweak something, I can see what needs it, more on the fly. I love being frugal and prepared, and it’s so much easier. Plus, with trying to be more conscious of what I use, and why (really, the Konmari mentality, of if it truly brings me joy, and adds value to my life), I feel better by using what I already have.

What do you do to plan your month? Do you meal plan for the month, or by the week, if at all? I’d love to know your answers, truly!

(Re) Make it Monday: Jazz Up a Cheap Meal (Rice-a-roni)

This will be my first over time, to doll up basic boxed dinners like Hamburger/Tuna Helper, Rice-a-Roni, and Knorr Pasta/Rice sides.

Today, I’m starting with a Rice-a-Roni dinner. They’re about a buck, and you add meat (chicken, turkey, pork, certain fish), and you have the meal there. But this one, *my* version, adds a twist!

So start with browning your meat.

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Add diced veggies you’d like out of:
Onion
Tomato
Any color bell pepper
Mushrooms

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If you want to make it breakfast-y, add scrambled eggs. Past that, follow the directions on the back of the box of how to cook the rice!

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Some other possible add ins might be:

Salsa
Shredded Cheese
Diced Chiles
Jalapenos
Ro-Tel

How do you make your simple rice-a-roni a little fancy? Which one is your favorite to make? Is there one you can’t stand?

Foodie FriYAY: Crockpot Lasagna (gone slightly wrong)

So earlier this week, I attempted a lasagna roll recipe that would cook in the crock pot. It didn’t go as planned, but I did make instead just a lasagna bake in a crock pot. Here’s the journey.

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This is 100% the last time you’ll see this pot. It went up in flames not too long after this picture. But anyway, boil some water, add some seasoning and oil, break your lasagna in half (both in how much is in the 1 lb box, and in length, like you might do for spaghetti and kids), and cook to the box’s demands.

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While you have your lasagna noodles cooking, chop up any veggies (I KNOW TOMATO IS A FRUIT….DRINK KETCHUP THEN AS A SMOOTHIE THEN. DO IT.) and cook your protein of choice (or not…I’m not in charge of you).

While you’re at it, pour a drink. Because this is where it went ALL WRONG FOR ME, so it may do the same for you. If it goes wrong, you have a drink. If it goes right, you have a drink.

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I don’t like broadcasting failures, so here’s what happened after things went wrong, and I just went f*ck it and changed it into a casserole dish before I burned the whole place down with the pot that caught fire (YES I KNOW HALF OF IT WAS MY FAULT, FOR CATCHING ON FIRE lol, don’t judge me haha).

I took the lasagna noodles, layered it, put riocotta cheese, then my veggies, then my meat, and repeated the process until I ran out of it all. It became like 3 good layers. Oh, add sauce as you wish as well.

After it looks something like this, finish the sauce and add shredded cheese. I took a 3 cheese Italian blend. Make it look like this:

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Then, for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on how your crock pot handles the high setting, and how crispy you like that top layer of cheese), cook it on high.

Serve like you would regular lasagna, and save the rest (if you have any).

This can serve 2 people for 2-5 meals, depending on hunger levels, and what it’s paired with (salad, dessert, other sides), so take that as you will.

Have you tried a crock pot lasagna dish? How did you like it? Did you do anything different than I did? Share with me, so I can try it as well!

If you have any tips to do the little rolls, TELL ME YOUR WAYS below.

Take Care Tuesday: How I Planned My Summer

I have one heck of a summer planned. I want to share my journey on how it came about, and how I planned (well, my end of) it all. Look below on my monthly outlook, and I’ll share month by month, what I have currently planned. I have some tentative plans, that I want to wrap up by the middle of May or so, that’s really happening during my June trip to CA.

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June is totally my busy AF month. I’m taking a 2 week vacation from work (well, my “day” job. I’ll still have stuff planned for here during that time, plus creating stuff from these 2 weeks, for content). I’m half the envy for June at work, since I’m doing a cross-country trip, let alone for 2 weeks.

Backstory: my grandparents asked me back in the fall, if I wanted to visit Yosemite with them, as I’ve hardly seen the states. They didn’t have any concrete plans outside of doing it when my mom was also off, near the summer. Of course I said yes! Awhile later, some other things fell into place, on both of ours end, and they asked how long I wanted to be out there, so they could plan out the airfare. Grandpa always finds good deals, so I told them I wanted to be out till a Monday, since I’m off Mondays and Tuesdays, and it’d make things easier.

We crafted a 14 day plan, with 2 days of flying, both on Mondays. Since then, I’ve added some stuff, and have others in mind, keeping in mind of what some other family members might want to do, which is my focus for May.

Other than the 2 days of flying, there’s 3 hard days in Yosemite, VidCon (which is always up to the day, what we do), a solo date to Kevin Hart and Disneyland, plus whatever last few things come about.

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I have a Panic! concert that was so impromptu, it’s not even funny. And taking off for it, was so fitting for my wisdom teeth surgery. It’s a very basic month. I’ll also be trying to do something with my step-sister and dad for their birthdays.

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August is also gonna be a chill month, but come September, I’ll have some more stuff coming along.

I have a long awaited concert as well, which I planned before Panic!, which will be fun. That’s really all the plans I have. I’m sure I’ll need more me time to unwind from everything, plus the struggle of working full weeks again, off and on.

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September is my birth month, and even though I’ll be working (probs) on my birthday, I already have 2 things planned.

My dad and I have been doing Renaissance faires off and on for years now, going to the same one up until this year. This year, we’re going to the one on the other state. This year, I’m going to drag babe along again. This will be a first for all of us. My step-mom might even come along, so double date much?

Then, I have plans *hopefully* just for babe and I to do a full moon tour for a wolf reserve, a couple weeks later, for a wolf reserve an exit or two prior to where we will get off for the Renaissance Faire. It’ll be an evening tour/chill session, to hear them all howl at dusk. I’ve been having a calling to visit a reserve for awhile now, and I believe this will be a cure.

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Of course, I have to share with you, the fact that I’m marking how long till each thing happens. This is all the stuff I have planned, and as of this morning, how long it is until they happen. It’s just a free app for countdowns.

I’ll send my mom screenshots like this every so often, as she gets excited for the June trip. I haven’t seen my mom’s side of the family since 2014, and that was only my maternal grandparents and mom.

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Of course, the next most important part is, thanking those who take care of you. My grandparents paid for half of my June trip, easily. I don’t know what they spent on it, but I did spend a pretty penny on my end, and I couldn’t have done what I will do, without them. And that’s just speaking on this trip.

I’m staying with my mom for the other days I’m out there, and not somewhere, so she deserves thanks as well. I have hidden gems in these cards for them, plus wherever I can manage to spoil them during the trip, I will.

I’ll be adding thank you notes, as I finalize the rest of my plans for the summer.

So what are your plans for the summer?

Taco Tuesday: Taco Salad Editon

I was soo feeling tacos, so here we are. Babe’s been struggling with illnesses off and on, as this weather won’t just pick one (winter or spring), so I took to a mild form of taco salad, that I got from my ex’s sister in law. It’s different, but good, and you can add in all the spice you want, while not hearing everyone else eating, complaining “It’s too spicy!!!!!”

What makes it different, you ask? Well, take to these ingredients, and take a guess:

-Ground meat or substitute. I like ground turkey
-taco seasoning
-onion
-tomato
-lettuce or spinach
-shredded cheese or substitute
-Catalina dressing (I like Kraft’s sweet honey one for this)
-sour cream, or substitute
-refried beans
-soft tortillas, or Doritos (spicy nachos, cool ranch, or nacho cheese, all will do)
-anything else you want, like chives, rice, hot sauce, jalapenos, etc

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Start by dicing up some onion, and put in a hot pan with oil. Let it start cooking, and put some taco seasoning in with it, then your meat substance. While the meat is cooking, dice up any more onion you’d like, and all the other veggies. If you’re using tortillas, rip a few tortillas into bite sized pieces. If you have rice, cook that too.

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Once the meat is almost done, add some more taco seasoning. Once it’s done, add refried beans, and if you want cooked rice in there, add the cooked rice here as well. Let the refired beans and rice get warm, and soak in the seasoning.

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From there, grab a big bowl, layer some tortillas or chips (kind of crunching them as you go), some veggies, then the meat mixture, cheese, and dressing. Rinse and repeat.

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At the top, add some sour cream, and if wanted, either put some salsa in now, and mix it all up. Serve, and add any spicy condiments, as desired (or not).

I hope you enjoy this simple and milder take on taco salad. I enjoy it both with chips and tortillas. Which one is your favorite? Try them both, and get back to me!