Friday, December 13, 2013

Smash Fries Copy Cat Recipe

For those of you who haven't had smash fries, from Smash Burger, you are missing out on something delightful. Those shoe string fries, drizzled in Olive Oil and Rosemary are to die for.

Today while grocery shopping at Target, I was trying to think of something to have with BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. As I crossed the freezer end cap, they just happened to have shoe string fries, right there, next to the meat. Shoe string fries are not my normal choice when making fries at home, but immediately Smash Fries came to mind. I wasn't sure how I was going to make that happen, but I knew I was going to give it a shot. 

I did one quick Google search and boom, there it was...the easiest recipe ever! And the best part, was knowing I was using the rosemary from my own garden. So get out your recipe book and write this one down.

Rosemary Garlic Fries:

Prepare 1 package of shoe string fries as instructed on the package, making sure they are crisp, but not overly brown. My bag was 28 ounces and the perfect amount to use with the amount of dressing I mixed up. 

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 TBSP of fresh rosemary or 1 1/2 TBSP of dried rosemary , chopped
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Sea Salt 

Mix dressing ingredients in large bowl and once the fries are done, put all of them into the large bowl and toss until they are all coated. If you are leery your first go around, put some of the dressing in a smaller bowl and mix with a small batch of the fries. You can control the amount of dressing easier that way. We did that tonight, just because we weren't sure how potent it was all going to end up, but after the fact, the recipe was perfect and we could of just mixed it all at once.

Don't sit on this one, I'm telling you, they are so good and received 2 thumbs up from the guys as well.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bringing Joy to A Senior in Your Area

Tonight we were blessed with the opportunity to spend an hour with some senior citizens in a local assisted living facility. The simple act of caroling and spending 45 minutes entertaining them, was a highlight of their day, as well as mine. I walked away, again humbled and reminded of how such a small action can make the difference in someones holiday season. I'll keep my message simple tonight, but in doing so, I ask you to stop and think what you have to offer a senior citizen this holiday season. Do you know someone that could benefit from 30minutes of your time? If you don't have someone that comes to mind immediately, I suggest you seek out that someone. The smiles tonight were priceless! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

What's on Your Duck Dynasty Christmas List???

If you have been to any store in the past 6 months, I'm sure you have this thought..."Wow, those Duck Dynasty Guys Are Making Bank!" Well, today, those beards seemed to cross my path at every turn. So gals, if you have a Duck Dynasty fan in your family, fear not...Their is a gift fit for everyone on that Duck Dynasty Christmas list. But before I start this countdown, let's set the mood with some music.

Let's start this list off right and go right for your sweetheart. If you are a romantic at heart, why not put together this Love Fest package for your lover? Nothing says romance like...Wine, Candles, Christmas Music and Chocolate. 


For the Campers in your Life:

Matching His and Her Folding Chairs

For the Men on Your List:

Does your man size up to the DD guys? 

This beef jerky comes in a variety of flavors for his liking!

a subtle tie....

and a not so subtle tie

Duck Tape....what needs to be said about this?

For The Women on Your List:

Nothing says I love you for mom or grandma, like a very nice daily devotional. 

Socks to keep her toes warm

A hat to keep her head warm.

A T-Shirt, that says it all

With these Duck Commander ornaments, she'll remember 2013 forever.

For The Cook In Your Life:

How about a Pink cutting board?

Or a Cookbook....I hear she has the best fried frog leg recipe ever!! 

For the Young Boy In Your Life: 

Action figures are always a hit.

Or, if he's been really good this year, GO BIG with a battery powered ATV.

For The Young Girl In Your Life:

How about a board game for family game night?

A very Hot Pink watch?

Or a Pink Camouflage blanket for her bed? 

And don't forget to get her some new pajamas for Christmas Eve.

For the Gardner In your Life:  

What is Christmas without a Chia under the tree?

A Ghome is a Ghome...Year around pleasure. 

And last, but not least, if you can't find it in the store, have it made. Etsy, has an endless variety of gifts for all ages.

And after finding all those pleasant surprises of joy, I think I'll add this one thing to my Duck Dynasty wish list and call it a night.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December Confessions: Day 1-3

I can't believe it's already December 5th. It really is amazing how time flies when you want it to slow down the most. Sunday morning came, it was December 1st and time to send my daughter back off to school. I wasn't feeling the best on Sunday, so I decided to stay home from church, but like many days in my life, I never know when I'll end up back at work. My 11 day vacation, had a few little glitches, but when I walked out of their last week teasing, that I'll shoot for 9 days out of 11, I was spot on. That left me with time at my desk to finish up cards, make gift list, send out my visit teaching letters for the month and finish up some holiday planning at the office. 

Monday it was 60 degrees here in Northglenn, Colorado, but the threat of sub zero temperatures was looming. I woke up knowing, if I didn't get my Christmas lights done then, they weren't going to get done this year. So I strapped on my hot pink knee pads and went to work. 

At one point, we ran out of daylight and used the spotlight to finish after dark, but finally 11 hours of work, one failure to launch, an emergency trip to Costco for new lights, we were done.

Tuesday was just full of small things that make me happy. Like this candle. Holiday Spice candles are one of my favorite scents from Partylite Candles. But the cost is way up there for a jar candle. Several years ago, I came across this scent at Kohls and it smells exactly like Holiday Spice, but cost just under $5.00 when on sale. You can't beat that!! 

On Black Friday, I picked up these awesome Poinsettias at a rock bottom price and was able to send one to the office for each of the girls and kept two for myself. 

Now that I had time to sit down and enjoy the moment, it was time to open my first batch of Christmas cards from my MHH friends. They were all beautiful and really made my morning.

I'll finish with this piece of "Art".  It's the only painting I've ever bought at a thrift store and of course, it had to be a winter scene to catch my eye. You can't really see in this photo, but it portrays a snowy, day, in an old village town. I tease that maybe someday I'll find out that I'm one of those lucky people, who bought a million dollar painting at the thrift store. I'm sure that thought will wear off, but the smile this painting brings me, will continue on.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Videos Going Viral...

If you've not had a chance to see these videos yet, I highly suggest you take a few minutes and enjoy! In the last 24 hours, I've seen them everywhere and both are well deserving. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Is More Than a Holiday....

Today I'm going to keep it simple and share this video with you. 
I promise, it will make you smile.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Christmas Panic Setting In...

It's Monday morning BEFORE Thanksgiving and as usual, my Christmas panic is setting in. So many things on my mind about what needs to be done and so many thoughts about what could have already been done. What shopping or gift cards I could of bought during the year, what projects on Pinterest I could have actually made already, the cookie dough I could of made and put in the freezer...and the list goes on. Although I think about Christmas all year long, some years I definitely get more prep done then others. So let me think hypothetically. If I could be prepared and life was perfect, what WOULD I have done already.

1. The gifts purchased so far, would all be in boxes, numbered and ready to wrap.
2. The gifts for my employees would be purchased for the year.
3. I'd have a nice stack of gift cards waiting in my drawer, after budgeting for them throughout the year.
4. I'd be pulling a nice sum of cash out of our Christmas Savings account.
5. I'd have have at least 15 freezer meals prepped and ready to go for those busy days in December.
6. I'd have 3 different cookie doughs premade and in the freezer.
7. I'd have my dessert choices finalized for the month ahead, so I can makes sure I have all the ingredients.
8. I'd have my advent swap gifts all purchased, wrapped and ready to go.
9. I'd have an idea at least, as to what I am going to buy everyone this year.
10. I'd have my carpets cleaned already.
11. I'd have my nice dishes washed already.

So, there's just part of my list. I'm sure if I thought hard enough, I could go on and on. HOWEVER, I'll stop there and let reality analyze this situation. Some years, I'm able to purchase more gifts then others and this year happens to be one of those years I won't be purchasing as many as I'd like. With that said, I wish I had made more gifts, but then I remind myself that this year my priority was getting Ciara off to college. The time, just wasn't there and no amount of pondering is going to change that. 

Next, saving Christmas money. Well, in order to save Christmas money, you have to have extra money and let's just say...It's been one of those years around here and the bank account just isn't as Plump as Santa's belly! But as always, I'm thankful for a roof over our head and food on the table. Really, in this day and age, it's so much more then many have and I remind myself of that everyday. On the plus side, I'd say at least half of the gifts I do have are boxed like I like them and ready to wrap. If i could have it my way, all my gifts would be boxed. It's one of those "things" I prefer, but have learned to "let go" the last couple years. Somehow, I don't think anyone is going to turn away that new shirt I bought them, because it's not in a box. In my case, they might celebrate, because they say I use to my tape on my boxes anyway.

I don't have freezer meals prepped this year, but I just spent a at Costco to stock the fridge and make sure we have food to cover the month ahead. If I follow a weekly menu and just think ahead, I'll be set and my trips to the grocery store will be limited. Avoiding the cost of eating out during the busy month is ultimately my goal and having food already purchased helps with that stupendously.

As far as baking goes, I just need to breath and remind myself....baking is a time to enjoy, not a time to stress. In reality, I'm not a cookie maker. I don't have the patience to be a cookie maker. Now, I bake cookies, but on a limited basis during the holidays. I'd much rather make a cheesecake or try a new bundt cake recipe. So know that you will NEVER receive a plate full of cookies from Michelle. It's just not going to happen...that's what cookie swaps are for!

I'll finish with my house. My house, is a 10 year "project" waiting to happen. However, somehow we still celebrate Birthdays, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas just fine. Would I love to have a completed bathroom...absolutely!  In the mean time, I'll keep inviting those I love and care about, over to create memories. And I'll probably still be running around all day long, washing dishes, cooking and setting a nice table at the last minute.

All of the above, covers the materialistic portion of the holiday. Although, it's not the "reason for the season", it's all things that we invision will make the holiday season run smoother. Regardless of what I have planned, regardless of what I woulda or coulda done, Christmas is coming!!!  The lights, the music, family, laughter, memories, comfort, compassion, and giving. For each of us, Christmas will arrive at a different time this year. Keep your hearts open!