Monthly Archives: September 2013

Pioneer Woman Burritos

Another Pioneer Woman recipe. I told you, I’m obsessed. Last week we made delicious Beef and Bean Burritos.

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This picture doesn’t do them justice. Please go to her site to see how amazing they really are! (Someday my photography will get better…)

These are so simple, but everything comes together so wonderfully to make a really great meal. They are so filling too. We both ate two, but that was more than enough.

You can find the recipe and her helpful tips and beautiful pictures here, but I will also post the recipe below.

Beef and Bean Burritos- The Pioneer Woman

  • Ground beef, 2 lbs.
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 14 oz. enchilada sauce
  • 28 oz. refried beans
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 12 burrito-size flour tortillas
  • fresh cilantro
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef and onion. Once the beef is cooked and onion soft, add the cumin, oregano, chili powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
  2. Add half the can of enchilada sauce (7 oz) and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. While that is simmering, empty the refried beans into a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat.
  4. This is the best step! Add the 3/4 cup cheese to the beans and stir until the cheese melts. DELICIOUS.
  5. Once the beans and beef mixtures are ready, heat the tortillas in the microwave for 1 minute.  (Only heat as many as you are going to be eating. If there’s only two of you, 12 might be a bit too many)
  6. Spread beans, beef and any other toppings you’d like (we added rice, cheese, and cilantro)
  7. Fold the ends of the tortillas and then roll them up.
  8. Put two burritos on a plate and pour enchilada sauce over them and sprinkle with more cheese.
  9. Heat each set of two in the microwave for 1 minute.
  10. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and ENJOY!!
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Dog Training “Game”

Our sweet Oliver has been in training “school” since February. Once a week for 7.5 months we have gone to Petsmart for his school. (In all that time we have only missed ONE night! We really make it a priority because he loves it so much and it’s his only time to socialize with other dogs. He gets soooo excited when we say “let’s go to school!” and he loves his teacher so, so much!)

He has learned many things, some of which are sit, down, on your bed, heel, bow, stay, wait, take, crawl… and many more. He was already very well-behaved when we adopted him (almost a year ago!), but now the three of us communicate better and we’re on the same page with what we need him to do. It’s making life easier. Especially learning to walk on the leash better. That was one thing that was a huge struggle… and now he’s great at it.

Last week he “graduated” from Intermediate class. We are so proud! He will stay in there for a few more weeks to get better socialized, and then we’ll move on to Advanced! I know we are all ready to learn some new things!

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One thing we have had to do is PRACTICE. Lots of practice time. We try to do some every day. We were just going through everything by memory, but I found that we were just practicing the same things over and over, and not trying to learn the new things or any of the random “tricks” she throws into the class.  So I decided to make a “game” to help us better practice EVERYTHING.

All I needed were some buttons (I have lots leftover from my button crafts), and an empty medicine bottle.

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On each button I wrote one of his commands.

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Then I somewhat decorated the bottle and labeled it Oliver’s Button Game (So creative, I know).

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Now when we practice we shake the bottle and he gets real excited about practicing, and then we pull buttons out and practice the commands that are written on them. I think it’s a lot of fun and it helps Oliver be more engaged.

What are some of your dog training tips?

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Pioneer Woman Pasta

I LOVE The Pioneer Woman. I first fell in love with her in 2011 when I read her book Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, a novel about how she met, dated, and married her husband. It mirrored my relationship with my husband in a lot of ways and it was so fun reading their story and how she went from a city girl to a country wife! From there, I started reading her blog and making some of her recipes. I own her two cookbooks (and a third is coming out soon!). She is just so down to earth and sweet and funny. I don’t get to watch her tv show because all we have are rabbit ears, but I wish I could!

We also share a love for the television show “24” as shown through these tweets. (I nearly DIED when she tweeted me back, TWICE. Never mind that she replies to most of her fans… it was to ME!) (Also, yes, I grayed out my personal twitter handle…. It’s not a private account, but I just feel weird putting it on my blog. I don’t really tweet much anyway. You’re not missing out.) (Also, the pictures are out of order, but it won’t cooperate to fix. So, read right to left.)

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Another thing I LOVE is pasta. If I had to choose three foods to eat for the rest of my life they would be pasta, bread, and cake. Clearly I could never do Atkins. (But maybe I need to.)

Last week I made Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce from Pioneer Woman’s cookbook, Food From my Frontier. We had recently had a similar dish at the Cheesecake Factory and I was very excited to find a make-at-home dish that tasted just as good. In the past, I’ve tried mixing alfredo sauce and marinara to make “creamy tomato”, but it just doesn’t work out for me. I’m pretty picky, especially in the sauce department. (I don’t generally like sauces of any kind.)

Pasta

[Someday there will be beautiful pictures of the cooking process and finished product… Clearly not for this recipe, but hopefully for future posts. Need to make picture taking a priority as I cook!]

This sauce was the perfect blend of tomato-y and creamy. I may cut down on the onion next time (just because I don’t like onions), but other than that it was delicious! Of course it was, PW never lets me down! Though I got this recipe from her cookbook, she also has it posted on her blog (along with her wonderful commentary and pictures) so head over there to check out the recipe!

See Related Posts:

One Pan Pasta

Pioneer Woman Burritos

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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One Pan Pasta

I have gotten kind of lax in the meal planning department. I used to sit down every Sunday and plan out all our meals for the week and we would try new recipes and we always had a great (but mostly unhealthy) meal each night. Then a few months ago we decided to attempt to eat healthier, and it all fell apart. I am NOT good at planning healthy meals. I hate vegetables, weird healthy things, and weird meat (as in, not beef or chicken). So, with this new “healthy” focus, nearly every night our meals consisted of chicken or steak with green beans or corn. Well, that got boring after a while…. and we fell back into our old ways. So that’s where we are at now.

All that to say, I am back to trying a new recipe each week! A couple weeks ago (I’m behind on blogging) was a Martha Stewart recipe I found on Pinterest called One Pan Pasta.

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You basically take pasta, onions, tomatoes, basil and a few other things and throw it in a pot and let it all simmer together.

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I’m still unsure of “rules” for reposting recipes, so click on the link above for the full recipe. My hubby LOVED it and asks for it again even though we JUST had it.  I didn’t love it… probably because I don’t like tomatoes and onions…. and it has a bit of red pepper flakes which made it too spicy for me, so watch out for that if you’re sensitive to spiciness! It did all come together to create a nice creamy texture. I was surprised by that!

Let me know if you try it and what you think! Also, if you have any great healthy recipes that you love and aren’t weird, I’d be much appreciative if you shared them.

See Related Posts:

Pioneer Woman Pasta

Salsa

Cheddar Soup

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House Makeover: Entry

When we moved in to our lovely stark white house, the entry was one of the first rooms that we finished. We painted, changed the awful light fixture and added decor.

2012-04-12 entry before 2012-05-22 entry done (1)

My FAVORITE piece of decor in our house is a Pinterest-inspired project I did to record the previous places we have lived. It includes pictures, addresses, dates, and keys from our first two apartments we lived in together. Love having those memories and parts of our story together as part of our home now.

2012-05-22 entry done (3)

Last week, our entry went through another makeover. I had been wanting a place to hang coats and such because last winter jackets were ending up all over the house and that was annoying. So I’ve been on Pinterest searching for coatrack ideas and settled on simple piece of wood on the wall with hooks. My great hubby lovingly took on this project and I am so happy with how it turned out!

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I have also been wanting to get a new table instead of the bookshelf that had been pretending to be a console table. A few weeks ago I saw one at Target that I fell in love with (and it matches our end tables in the living room!), but I couldn’t bring myself to spend the money… until last week when I was there with a friend and she gave me the encouragement I needed to just buy it 🙂 I am SO happy with it.  (And it’s also become a great place to semi-hide my hubby’s shoes that end up all over the house!)

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See Related Posts:

Master Bedroom

Master Bathroom

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Cleaning Month 1: Office/Craft Room

Month One of cleaning is finished and our office/craft room is very clean and organized! I love that feeling. We started off the cleaning by renting a steam cleaner and cleaning all the carpets in the house. That was a lot more work than I thought! (Though the hubby did most of it…, thanks, babe!). So in awe, and disgusted, by how dirty the water was coming up. Ugh. So gross. But I know that unless you steam clean every day, they’re just going to get like that. Nice knowing they’re a bit cleaner, for now.

Another big project I tackled in this room was the closet. When we moved in I didn’t really do much to it, just tried to bring simple organization. But it has bothered me ever since then and I took this opportunity to really do something. I was limited in time and budget, so it’s not perfect, but definitely better!

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Wow! Looking back at the Before pictures makes me cringe. Can’t believe I let it get that bad. All I purchased to organize things were those two black drawer containers and the two black baskets on the top shelf. One of our biggest issues was our wrapping paper and gift bags. That whole gifting area had gotten completely out of control. So I used one of my new black things to put gift bags, ribbon, tissue paper, and boxes in. Then my wonderful hubby built me a holder for the wrapping paper rolls.

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So much better!!  (Also, I’ve tried and tried to get the pictures bigger, but they want to stay small. No idea what’s wrong there.)

Here is the full list of everything I cleaned and cleaned out/organized. You obviously have to tailor it for your specific room needs, but it’s what I did:

  • Steam cleaned the floor
  • Dusted the fan (did this before cleaning the floor…)
  • Cleaned the windows, inside and out
  • Dusted the blinds (I used a wet cloth and that worked really well)
  • Dusted the closet shelves
  • Dusted all the shelves/desk/etc.
  • Cleaned the door knobs (with disinfectant wipes. Probably need to get in the habit of doing that more often!)
  • Cleaned the baseboards and trim (I used dryer sheets because that’s a “trick” I’ve seen in Pinterest. Not sure it it’s the best way or not, but it works for me!)
  • Cleaned the walls (I used the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser- my first time to use those and I am in love! Best product ever.)
  • Touched up the baseboards and trim.
  • Touched up the walls.
  • Cleaned/touched up the doors. (Again, Magic Eraser)
  • Disinfected the light switch (So gross. Definitely want to do that more often.)
  • Cleaned and touched up the window sill (Oliver sits and lays his head on that allll day, so it had gotten pretty gross)
  • Wiped off/dusted frames
  • Caught up on our shredding (we let that get way out of control)
  • Cleaned out/organized the closet
  • Cleaned out/organized the desk
  • Cleaned out/organized the filing cabinet
  • Cleaned out/organized the bookshelf and craft shelf
  • Cleared off/updated my bulletin board
  • Updated the decor

The room for September is the Living Room! Already been working on it some. Will update on that in a month!

See Related:

Cleaning Plan

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Pinterest Crafting, Part 1 of Many

One of my best friends has been off work for a few weeks to take care of her mom after a surgery. Since I am unemployed and spend most days at home, just me and Oliver, having a friend off work is like winning the lottery. For months we’ve been talking about doing Pinterest crafts, but there just never seems to be time. So last week we chose some crafts to do, made a couple trips to Hobby Lobby, and crafted away!

We’ve both been really wanting to do button crafts, so those are the first ones we attempted. I made a heart and and a paw print. They are going to go in our entry way above the coat rack my husband recently built (post on that coming soon!). I used two different methods. For the heart I just kinda “winged it” and didn’t create an outline to follow or anything. With the paw I cut out the shapes on brown paper and glued those onto the canvas, then put the buttons on those.  I really didn’t think I was going to successfully create a paw out of buttons, and it still be a definable shape. The paper behind helps to give it more definition. I really want to attempt a tree next… But not sure I trust my skills to draw a good one!

paw and heart

My friend made a K out of buttons (the first letter of her name). I think hers turned out super cute! She traced a K onto the canvas and used that as an outline to put the buttons down.

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The next day we crafted some more! I made a fall decoration that I am in LOVE with! And it was so simple: Just a framed canvas from Hob Lob (they have some really cute new things!!), some wooden letters and a burlap flower from the scrapbooking department.

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Love crafting and can’t wait to make some more things! Especially fall and Christmas crafts! What are some of your favorite holiday crafts you’ve made?

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