Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tuna Casserole

Fish- Biz style! We don't do fish in our house usually. This is a seriously revamped recipe. I won't call it my own because all I did was screw up the original recipe. Come to find out it was fantastic! So I will give you this recipe with my tweaks added in. It is 'the dish' that I'm required to bring to all the people love it! Your people will too!

Tuna Casserole: Biz Style
serves at least 6 hearty portions

1lb bag wide egg noodles
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can condensed cheese soup
1 med onion coarsely chopped
2 Tbl butter
One soup can of milk
1-2 cans of tuna drained (depending on how fishy you like it)
One roll Ritz or Club crackers
Parmesan cheese

preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cook egg noodles in pot, drain and set aside (this can be done while cream mixture is cooking).

In medium saucepan saute onions in butter. Once onions are translucent or at least soft add soups and milk . Cook over med heat until bubbly. Add drained tuna in and heat through.

Put egg noodles in 13x9 pan. Pour cream sauce over the top and mix in well. Crumble crackers over the top of the noodles. Liberally sprinkle parmesan over the top of that. Put in oven.

Cook for 35 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Cowboy Beans

Another recipe from the kitchen of Biz! This was a staple in my house when we were growing up. Over the years I have tweaked the original recipe to fit our family, hope you enjoy!

Cowboy Beans by Elizabeth Mareno
Serves 2 very hearty portions(with some leftover)-4 smaller portions

1 Medium onion or 1/2 Lg onion chopped coarsely
1 lb super lean ground meat (95% lean beef, turkey, chicken)
1 28 oz can Vegetarian Baked Beans (do not drain)
1/2 C Brown Sugar
2 Tbl Worcestershire sauce

Brown meat and onion in medium sauce pan until onions are translucent and meat is done. Add beans, brown sugar, and worcestershire sauce. Cook till well incorporated (about 4-5 minutes on a medium heat). Salt and Pepper to taste. Serve.

Fruit Pizza...I'm in Love!

I promise to post the recipe for this when I get home! It was so good I wanted to eat the whole pan! I can't even enhance the pictures with words.....

What do you do with your bunny?

Easter tradition in our house is:

That one kid (stef) bites the ears off of her bunny.

The other kid (teo) bites the butt off of his bunny.

Then the bunnies get together and the one says: "My butt hurts"
and the other one says "What?", over and over again!

"What?" "My Butt Hurts!"

Lather, Rinse, Repeat....

Friday, March 21, 2008

Welcome To Indecision.

Blog Blog reader.

A Revelatory Moment

I don't talk alot about God or the Bible on my blog. But I have to share my morning devotional with you. Well, it was a little less a morning devotional and more of a journal entry. Anyway, here goes:

I've been claiming favor for and calling in a certain thing into my life for 4 days now. My instant gratification mind thought "oh it comes". The first three days of it were what I considered totally unproductive and not what I was asking for at all. My first reaction was "What am I doing wrong? God why aren't you answering me?" Then when I was doing laundry this morning and not even thinking about my certain thing the Holy Spirit dropped this nugget into my ear. "Don't Quit." And a light bulb went on in my head! DUH! Don't be moved by what I see, feel or hear. I either totally trust that God is the supplier of my needs or I don't. I am either going to stand in faith completely or I'm not. There is no grey area here. I am either trusting or I'm doubting. No matter how long it takes for this to come to pass in my life. It will be in God's perfect time. And I fully trust Him.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A story to laugh about!

Whilst reading through the blogs that I profess to 'read'...I came across this story. Too completely funny...had to share it.

If you are married, you've experienced it! :)

This week in pictures....

Let's start with the WIP's from last week.

#1) Here we have the camo socks DONE! Thank you hubbies legs for being my models!

Notice how the color flashing makes them look like they don't even belong in the same pair?!
Gotta love it. I think it adds character and screams "YES...I'M HANDMADE!"

#2) We have the ball band dishcloth from last week that decided to be finished :) From there I broke out the Mason-Dixon book and am now learning Log Cabin knitting. Should've taken a pic of it before I left the house this morning...but I forgot!

#3) Here we have the stocking cap that my brother asked me to make for him during the Christmas of 2006. :)

Yes, that's right...2006. I am the queen of procrastination!

So I looked at it the other day and said to myself "Biz", I said, "maybe it's time to get that hat done. I mean you are going to visit them in two weeks and you could take it with you. Now that winter is all but over, it'll be perfect timing, don't you think?"

and myself said to me, "Yes, yes it is." So we sat down and finished it.

Here is my daughter getting her hair home mind you! She has cabin fever so bad because this winter has been sooooo long..she just needed something new and fresh! So we dyed her hair flaming red.

Goofy chick.

Here is the end result. I thought it turned out fabulous and she couldn't be happier with it. I did learn though, that her hair is so thick that I need to get two packages of color from now on.

This is my 'wanna-be' goth chicky. Isn't she just scary? *snicker*

Speaking of snickers..I'm hungry so I'm going to go eat some breakfast!
Tah for now!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I've Been Tagged!!

I am not so new to blogging, but this is my first-ever tag...thanks to Misty!

What I was doing 10 years ago:
By the end of 1998, Hubby and I had been married for 5-1/2 years. We had a 3-1/2 year old and a 2 yr old. Nothing super significant was going on. We were just living and surviving.

5 things on my to do list today:
1. Move beads around and finish putting up product at the store. *Done*
2. Keep kids motivated in school. *Working on it*
3. Work on baby clothes order. *Don't want to*
4. Make supper.
5. Finish sock.

Snacks I enjoy:
Normally: M&M's(PB or plain), Hanover's Cheddar Cheese Pretzel sandwiches, Chips and salsa OR a slice of cheese.

Things I would do if I were a Billionaire:
Pay off our debt and our parents debts. Buy newer home and vehicle. Tithe to my church. Give offerings to several ministries. Set up trust and college funds for my children. Go shopping and travel....alot.

3 of my bad habits:
Swearing when I am really mad. Arguing with hubby when I know I'm right. Being lazy and not cleaning my house as much as it needs.

5(or 6) places I have lived:
Syracuse, NY. Okinawa, Japan. Arcadia, Waupaca, Waukesha and Phillips, Wisconsin.

5 jobs I have had:
Gas station clerks. Movie theater. Dental office. Car Dealership. Offc Mgr for dad's company. Own my LYS. (Someday I may move from Phillips...when that happens, I want to work at Starbucks...if for no other reason than to sniff it.)

Thanks for the fun Misty! I don't really have anyone to tag. How very sad am I.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Can we say...Work..In..Progress...

I feel like I'm not accomplishing much.

We'll start with this one because it causes me the most stress and hair loss. This yarn does not want to be this sweater....wait...nope...I just hate the it has to go away. I don't care if the yarn gets down on the floor and begs me to make it the's not gonna happen. So this one is going to be a ball or two of yarn by the end of today.. :)

Then we still have my mom's socks from Christmas. Although I'm thinking they will be done this week. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Here we have the Patons Merino wool destined to be a man's sock. I had a sock done up to the instep and then discovered I had decreased too many times in the heel. So I looked at it, decided I really didn't want to make that sock anyway, and ripped the sucker out. Then promptly cast on a Paton's pattern from their new sock booklet they put out. As soon as I saw it, I had to have the book and I'm not gonna be sorry, I already love the book and I'm only on the first pattern out of it! This is the "Basic sock in worsted weight". Instructions are very simple.

Here we have one of many ballband's that I have been working on. These are my 'in-between projects, but have to keep my fingers moving' projects. So it'll sit there till I get bored doing what I'm doing.

Then we have the ever-present lavender baby blanket. I started this to be a baby gift in January. We'll be lucky if I finish it this year.

And all of these things have been pushed to the side because I've had to work on designing this!

I wont' say anymore right now, cuz this one I think I might actually submit to be published...?? dunno. But I don't want to ruin my chances with the fussy magazines!

You'll notice all my UFO's and WIP's are knitting. What does that tell you about me? LOL

Monday, March 10, 2008

100 Things About Me...

Misty suggested I do a 100 things about me list. When I read hers, I said we had a lot in common....we shall see! So here goes, in no particular order:

10 words that describe me:
1. Spunky
2. Fun(ny)
3. Loud
4. Laughing
5. Singing
6. Busy
7. Bossy
8. Loving
9. Soft
10. Sweet
**This is me describing me...others may think differently LOL

10 things I love about my family:
1. ....that we do everything together.
2. ....that I homeschool.
3. ....that I have a boy and a girl.
4. ....that my husband still calls me beautiful and never makes me feel fat.
5. ....that I've been married for 15 years.
6. ....that they are willing to try new foods.
7. ....that everyone understands my need to sing and crochet/knit.
8. ....that we all love to read books and watch "Monk" on DVD.
9. ....that my husband bought a Madden football game just so he could learn how to play video games with his son, even though he(dh) doesn't like playing them.
10. ...that we all love and serve God.

10 favorite movies/tv shows:
1. White Christmas (Bing Crosby/Rosemary Clooney)
2. Remember Me (David Duchovny/Minnie Driver)
3. Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley/Matthew McFadyen)
4. Highlander (Christopher Lambert/Sean Connery)
5. Star Wars 1,3,4,5,6
6. Lonesome Dove-the original mini series
7. Monk
8. Highlander-the series
9. The Food Network-if I had tv, I would live on this station!
10. Star Trek, TV and Movies 1-7 (After that Kirk is dead, so who cares?!?)

10 thing I love to eat:
1. Pizza- sausage and onion OR spinach, artichoke, garlic, sun-dried tomato, & feta cheese
2. Spaghetti- my husband makes a KILLER sauce!
3. Donuts- triple chocolate bismarks (like twice a year, if I'm lucky)
4. Prime Rib Sandwiches without too much fat- total comfort food for your mouth.
5. Cream based soups- specifically broccoli, cheese, potato, or cauliflower soups.
6. Chinese- specifically fried rice and twice baked pork(nice and spicy).
7. Mexican- almost anything will do. :)
8. Cross-Cut fries, crispy with lots of salt and ketchup- I know its a heart attack on a plate, but thankfully I bless my food and I've been redeemed from that curse!! :)
9. Hanover's pretzel sandwiches with cheddar cheese.
10. M&M's or Reeses PB Cups
**These are my favorite foods...doesn't mean I get to eat them very often!!

10 favorite crafty things to do:
1. crochet
2. knit
3. take pictures
4. scrapbook
5. flower arrangements
6. paint- acrylic
7. paint walls in houses
8. beading
9. jewelry making
10. make my own clay beads

10 aspirations in life:
1. ....learn to speak fluent Spanish.
2. ....learn to speak fluent sign language.
3. a youth center in my city with a teen crisis center and tutoring clinic attached.
4. a 40's-50's style soda counter/candy store with vintage style toys and dolls for sale.
5. ....someday record an album.
6. ....preach at women's conferences.
7. ....minister to teen's globally.
8. ....learn to play the piano & guitar proficiently.
9. ....have a pristinely clean and organized home.
10....publish books.

10 favorites of music:
1. Desperation Band
2. Lincoln Brewster
3. Pillar
4. Plumb
5. Jeremy Camp
6. Mercy Me
7. Denver and the Mile High Orchestra
8. TFK (Thousand Foot Krutch)
9. Kutless
10. KJ-52
**And about a bazillion more....

10 favorite colors:
1. Red
2. Sapphire Blue
3. Orange
4. Yellow
5. Pink
6. White
7. Dark Brown
8. Avocado Green
9. Plum
10. Mustard Yellow

10 things I do not like:
1. People who marinate in their cologne.
2. The smell of vanilla.
3. People who network me.
4. Swearing for absolutely no reason. (I'll admit the occasional flies out of my mouth depending on my anger level- old man habit I'm trying to change)
5. Movies with too much sensuality or sex.
6. People who hurt/abuse others (wives, children, animals)
7. The liberal agenda.
8. The separation of church and state. Prayer being taken out of schools/courtrooms, etc.
9. Curry, Kidney Beans and Fish.
10. People who challenge my faith just to argue their point.

10 random things:
1. I love having my hair touched by my husband. It's one of the most intimate things I can think of.
2. When I am creating a new pattern I feel really smart. (Then I show 5 people just to make sure its good..LOL..insecurity issues)
3. I used to smoke in college. It almost ruined my singing voice. I tried quitting two or three times. The night that I rededicated my life to God, he told me to quit that night or I'd never sing for him again. I went to my car and broke two brand new packs of cigarettes and threw them out. I never craved another cigarette.
4. I have a thing for uniforms. I don't care if it's a cowboy, a fireman, a cop, a military uniform....they are just sexy.
5. I notice teeth and butts. I know, I know...strange but true. I'm not partial..if you have them(and you all do), I notice them. I have always been that way.
6. I crave water.
7. I love orange juice with massive amounts of pulp in it. I love to chew my juice LOL
8. I love praise and worship. I love being intimate with God in that way. It doesn't happen often enough.
9. I wish that I could have another child.
10. I wish I didn't live in Phillips.

OK!! Wow!! I didn't think I was ever going to find a 100 things to say about myself! Maybe it's more than you ever wanted to know! Maybe we aren't as much alike as I thought, Misty!

Crock-Pot Southwest Chicken and Rice

This is my own 'concoction' recipe. Came up with it a few weeks ago and discovered that I wrote it down in my journal! Of all things! Well, I decided today to make it again AND to share the recipe with you cuz its really good!

Crockpot Southwest Chicken and Rice
by Elizabeth Mareno

Serves 4-6
1 Large container chicken broth (160z) -although a 14oz can will do fine too.
1 Can mixed corn (southwest style with peppers) drained
1 Can black beans rinsed and drained
1 Can diced tomatoes- do not drain.
4-6 slices of jalapeno- finely chopped (i use more depending on how spicy i want it)
1 small onion chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic (yes its a tablespoon, not a teaspoon!)
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
2/3 C rice
4-5 Chicken breasts- frozen

-In crockpot mix all ingredients except the rice and chicken.

-If you have a large oblong crockpot lay the frozen chicken on top of the mixture. If you have a deep crockpot, wedge the chicken into the mixture so that each piece is in the liquid.

-Cook on High for 3-1/2 to 4 hours, put rice into crockpot one hour before its done.
If you like your rice very mushy and porridge-like, add the rice right away with the rest of the ingredients. We've had it both ways and its very good.

-Serve with tortilla chips and cheese and sour cream!

**This recipe would also be great with leftovers and minute rice on the stovetop!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Catching up AGAIN...

I always seem to do great at posting and then ...I don't.

Here is the last week or so of my life:

1st up we have the kitchen swap box that I got from my partner Theresa (Everyday Crochet) from Minnesota! We were involved in the Crochetville Kitchen Swap. Lots of fun. I made her a bunch of scrubbies and some dishcloths. And then a bunch of other stuff got put in her box. She sent me yarn and potholders and a game and pencils for the kids. A towel, a scrubbie, a notepad and some candy for everyone. Plus, a teapot shaped recipe/picture holder.

Theresa and I both homeschool our kids. She has four rugrats!

Next up are the newest additions to our family. When Bailey was put down we promised the kids they could get some animals as long as they lived in containers and couldn't beat Mack up. They were looking at turtles...then we settled on lizards. The day that we went to look at the lizards and sorta get an idea of what we'd want, we were all so creeped out by them that we couldn't stand the thought of bringing any of them home....I mean one of them had an over 6" tail...gross! Soooo...we meandered over by the cute little fuzzy critters and the kids chose to get Russian Dwarf Hamsters. We made them wait one week for the decision to settle and then we went back to get them last Saturday.

Stefani chose this little girl and named her "Nelly". She was sitting in the food dish when Stef chose her and so Stef said, "See, she likes to eat, just like me!" :)

Nelly is timid. Nelly really hated being touched at first and Nelly liked to think she could bite you, but her mouth just isn't big enough...LOL We've been taking things very slowly with them and not letting the kids handle them constantly. Just letting them get used to our smells, etc. Well, today was Stef's triumphant moment...Nelly crawled into her hand all by herself. She has a beautiful disposition.

Here we have "Zoe". Teo decided that was what he was going to name his hamster before he even chose her. Zoe means "life". And holy cats, did he choose a lively one! She is always looking for a way to escape! When you hold her you can't relax for a second or she'll bungy jump off of you (obviously without a cord)! She's constantly on the move. When we put her in the run around ball she cruises.

Zoe has the most adorable white paws and a white stripe on her belly. She is incredibly hard to get a decent picture of because just as you get your camera set...she moves... hence the next picture....
Teo loves her to death. They both love their hamsters. I'm so glad they chose to get them instead of lizards. These guys are doing really well with being handled. They don't bite you unless you bother them while they are sleeping. They are a hoot! Oh and Zoe poops....constantly!

Last, but not least, we have my kids. :) Yes, I only have two. But, the others are my 'kids' too. R-L we have Teo, Stefani, Mandy, Brandon and Nick. Brandon and Nick are both being shipped out next month. Brandon to Afghanistan and Nick to Iraq. Keep them in your prayers. Nick is stationed with Brandon in NC. Brandon and Mandy are cousins and kids that we grew very close to while they were in our youth group.

Anyway, we had them over for supper last week cuz Brandon was home on a week's leave. This is the last time I will see him until he comes back from Afghanistan. Why can't they just stay kids forever? I miss the good 'ole days.

On that very melancholy note I will end my recap.
Till next time.