Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

I made this last night for dinner. No, it wasn't the crisp, cool August weather that made me want soup, but rather this is one of my absolute favorite recipes. There are two reason that I love to make it: 1. It is DELICIOUS 2. It is souper (couldn't resist) easy! I mean you really can't mess it up. It's perfect after a long day at work or to just have it cooking while you are home doing other things. Try it for yourself!

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts  (frozen or thawed... doesn't matter)
1 carton of chicken broth
1 can of black beans (well drained)
1 can of pinto beans (well drained)
1 can of yellow corn (not drained)
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (not drained- I use Publix brand, but you can use Rotel)
1 packet of taco seasoning (again, I use Publix brand)
4 green onions (chopped)
2 limes
handful of cilantro (chopped)
garlic powder (a couple shakes)
shredded cheese for topping (I use Publix brand four cheese Mexican)

Are you ready for this? I just might blow your mind with how easy this is.

1. Place chicken in the crock pot (again, frozen or thawed- doesn't matter)

2. Dump everything else in the crock pot (with the exception of the cheese and limes)

3. Squeeze both limes into the crock pot

4. Cook on low for 4 hours (for thawed chicken) or 7 hours (for frozen chicken)

5. Once it's done, shred the chicken with two forks in the crock pot, stir and voila!

I like to serve it topped with sliced avocado, sour cream and cheese. Enjoy!

*Note- I did not take this picture. It was eaten too quickly and I forgot to take a picture. I did choose this picture because it looks very similar.

Monday, August 29, 2011

25 ways to know you're a child of the 90's

I heard this on the radio this morning and it was a fabulous way to start my Monday. I am hoping it will do the same for you all.

1. You can’t resist finishing the rest of these lyrics: “In West Philadelphia born and raised...”

2. You know all of these shows: All That, Doug, Clarissa Explains it All, Round House

3. Your AOL profile had to be PERFECT... dial up anyone?

4. You read all of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series... Create Your Own Adventure anyone?

5. Everything could be settled by these three words: Paper. Rock. Scissors.

6. You would listen closely to the radio so that you could record your favorite song…on a tape... did this ALL THE TIME.

7. You always dreamed of being slimed. (And you know what that means).

8. You know the real meaning of TGIF... Family Matters and Step by Step had the best theme songs.

9. You’ll never forget your first boom box... It had to have two tape decks so you could make mix tapes.

10. You had to have the coolest slammer (hello, pogs).

11. All your school supplies had to be Lisa Frank... neon puppies? absolutely!

12. You collected every Beanie Baby, ever.... guilty.

13. Getting the original walkman was one of the best days in your life... mine had a belt clip on it for easy transportability (is that a word?)

14. You know the “Macarena“ by heart... unfortunately, yes.

15. Ring pops were the original bling.

16. You had at least one Giga Pet, Tamagotchi, or Nano Pet. And it never left your side... pretty sure I had a couple. A Giga Pet  iPhone app would be so cool...

17. You remember the original Now: That’s Music! ... I think they're up to 38 now. You still can't beat the original CD with this little number.

18. You begged your parents to let you stay up to watch Are You Afraid Of The Dark on SNICK... Saturday night Nickeloden anyone? This was a sleep-over must.

 19. You predicted your future career, house, and marriage by playing M.A.S.H... I was going to marry Jonathan Taylor Thomas, live in a mansion and be a lawyer.

20. Dunkaroos were the bagged lunch must-have... and we wonder why there is an obesity crisis.

21. You read the Babysitter's Club and started your own... of course.

22. It was worth getting up early on the weekends to watch the cartoons.

23. You remember heading to the VIDEO store to rent VIDEOS not, DVDs... don't even think Blockbuster is still in business.

24. You really wished that Jumanji was a real game... LOVED this movie!

25. You won’t admit it, but you miss your trapper keeper... I would still carry one if I could find it.

Hope you all enjoyed that little trip down memory lane. Feel free to share any of your own!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Pizza

I have been on Pintrest now for a while, but have yet to actually attempt any recipes, crafts or interior design- until last night. If you are not aware of what Pinterest is, it is like someone reached inside my head and created a website from my brain. It actually warrants its own post, but I don't have that much time right now. Last night, however, I made a recipe that turned out DELICIOUS. It is from here. I did tweak it a little bit.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Pizza
1 pizza dough ball (I use the Publix Italian found in the bakery section)
6 cloves garlic, minced (I actually used 8... what can I say? I'm Italian)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 green onions, chopped
2 cups cherry (or grape) tomatoes sliced in half
1 teaspoon adobo sauce (found by the taco seasoning and salsa)
1/2 lb medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado, diced
1 lime

1. Preheat oven to 400°, preferably with a pizza stone. Roll out the pizza dough. Brush with olive oil and 4 cloves of chopped minced garlic. Then spread cheese evenly over the top.

2. In a medium sauté pan add 1 tbsp olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 cloves (or 4) of garlic and stir until fragrant. Then add the shrimp to the pan and stir for a 1-2 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes, green onions and adobo sauce to the pan, and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes to soften the tomatoes and flavor the shrimp.

4. Spread the shrimp mixture over the pizza, and sprinkle some more cheese on top.

5. Bake at 400° for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately top with cilantro and sliced avocado. Squeeze lime juice over top of the pizza.

6. Serve and ENJOY!

Photo credit to here.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Feel Good Friday

I was so excited to be able to host Selena Gomez a few weeks ago at The VOICE. Apparently, she enjoyed her visit too, because she put together this video recap. All of the clips are from her visit with us, but the singing portion was filmed at The VOICE at Children's Philadelphia. If you look closely in the background at the :45 mark, you will see yours truly in a red skirt and white shirt.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

A big thank you to one of my best friends, Heather from Notes from the Nelsens for naming my blog in the "Versatile Blogger Award".

Apparently, after you receive the award you are supposed to:

1. Thank the person who gave it to you and link back to their blog in your post.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass this award along to 15 of your favorite blogs.

So whether she thinks my blog is really fantastic or she needed to fill her "15 blog" quota, I'm not sure... but regardless- thanks! Kidding about the quota thing... I think : )

So here goes the random fact part:

1. I am married to my high school sweetheart. We have been together for 10 years (wowzers!) and married for over 4. Time flies by so quickly, and there is nobody I would rather spend it with! *collective "awww"*

2. I have an awesome job. If it sounds like I'm bragging it's because I am. I plan super fun events for the kiddos at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Just check out some of my previous posts like American Idol Visit, The Right Stuff or Just Another Day.

3. I have self-diagnosed CDO. It's kind of like OCD; except the letters are in alphabetical order as they should be. Let's just say "a place for everything and everything in it's place" is putting it mildly.

4. I could live on pasta for the rest of my life. My husband thinks I am secretly trying to convert him to a vegetarian... he may or may not be right.

5. I judge people by their bumper stickers and that may or may not determine if I let them in front of me. Living in Atlanta has also made me an agressive driver... still deciding if this is a good thing or not.

6. We are about to enter my absolute favorite time of year. I am obsessed with all things pumpkin, the color orange, college football, crisp weather, sweaters, scarves, Christmas... seriously I could go on for pages.

7. I am learning more and more everyday about God's sustaining grace. Refer to my post Your Mercies in Disguise to see why.

Now for some blog recommendations:

Adventures of a Big Girl

Keeping Up With The Kimseys

Wrapped in Raffia

Creed's Story

Cool Mountain Air

Tausch Family

E, Myself and I

Young House Love

Fly Through Our Window

Ok, so it's not 15 blogs... I'm not sure that I read 15 blogs; however, I do recommend them : )

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I hate sand but I love the beach.

Dustin and I were blessed to be able to spend this past week at the beach. Not just any beach, but Hilton Head. Now Hilton Head holds a very special place in our hearts. It's where we used to go on vacation together with Dustin's family in high school and college and where we would drive down for day trips just the two of us. South Carolina in August isn't exactly the coolest place to be. It was hot, humid, sticky with a heat index of 112... but the timing was absolutely perfect for us. We have had this trip planned since April, because we wanted to get away before KLife started for the fall- but after the summer we've had, I think it was extra special. We slept in, had coffee with Matt Lauer and Ann Curry and then went down to the beach each morning. We would come in only for lunch and go back to the beach for the rest of the afternoon. We went out to eat a few nights and others we just cooked in at the condo. It was a lot of rest, relaxation and restoration. I read Heaven is for Real, The Same Kind of Different As Me and The Help. Dustin read Heaven is for Real and Seal Team Six. I could easily write a long book review for each, but I will just simply say read them. They were all phenomenal. Here are some pictures from our trip.

Dustin sporting his new hat on the way to HHI.

Dustin went running on the beach every morning and I asked him to do a pre-run stretch pose.

And another.

Meanwhile, I read... and read... and read.

This mug sums up not only our trip, but me in general.

We purchased this at Publix on our first night and it barely lasted the week.

Listening to Todd play at Steamer's- one of our favorite traditions.

Dinner at the Boathouse.