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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tomato Avocado Salad

Looking for a simple refreshing salad? This is one my mom makes and shared with me. It has 2 foods that I love as the main ingredients! Avocados are very beneficial because they have good fats and have been shown to lower cholesterol. They are also rich with potassium and other vitamins.

Tomato Avocado Salad
serves 4 (but easy to adjust for however many)

2 medium-large sized tomatoes
2 avocados
olive oil
kosher salt and pepper

Cut up tomato.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Season with kosher salt and pepper.  Stir.  Cut avocados in half.  Remove pits.  Then quarter.  Remove peal and slice each section in thin slice.  Add to tomatoes.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper.  Stir gently so you do not bruise the avocados.

Serve and enjoy!!

Easy peasy! It's nice to have a salad without lettuce for a change. You won't be sorry you tried this :)
Goes nicely with Crock Pot Cajun Shrimp and Rice or Crock Pot Potato Soup. Can you tell I love my crock pot?! Also taste wonderful over baked fish according to mom.

Linking up at these fun parties:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Super Simple Skirt

Back in May I made a simple skirt for my niece Abby's birthday. I decided to make one EVEN simpler for her for Christmas. This is like the next easiest thing to sew compared to a square pillow. Seriously? Yes seriously! If you think elastic will be hard - I promise it is not.

My niece is 4 1/2 with a 21 inch waist. I wanted the finished skirt to be around 12 inches long. 

Here are the instructions. Make sure to always back stitch. You will need fabric (amount depending on the size you plan to make), thread and 3/4 inch elastic.

1. Cut your fabric 2x the waist by how long you want the finished skirt plus 2 1/4 extra for hemming allowances.

2. Sew your short sides together (wrong sides together) with a 1/4in seam allowance. You will have the skirt circle when you are done.

3. Iron your hems at the top and bottom. Top: 1/4in and then 1in - this is your elastic casing. Bottom: 1/2in and then 1/2in.

4. Sew around your bottom hem just a tiny bit in from the edge.

5. Sew around your top hem for the elastic casing but leave an 1-2in opening so you will be able to put in the elastic.

6. Cut your elastic to about an inch more than the waist. Using a safety pin feed the elastic around by cinching it along. Overlap the ends so that you end up with a length of about 1 inch less than the waist (you want it to stay on and it is stretchy after all) and sew. I usually go over it twice just so it is very secure.

7. Sew up the opening you left in the casing.

AND YOU ARE DONE! See how easy was that?! And it really doesn't take much fabric. I got mine on sale at Hob Lob and I love the colors. It can be hard to see but the blue outlines are elephants! I'm sure glad I realized that before i started so I knew what should be the top and bottom.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Peanut Butter Cheeseball

Here is another wonderful recipe I made for our Gingerbread House Making Party this year. It is another pinterest discovered recipe that I have begun sharing (first was the Cajun Shrimp and Rice). How can you go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate?!

Peanut Butter Cheeseball
from The Girl Who Ate Everything
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature - I used reduced fat
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter chips
Foods for dipping

Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until blended. Spoon onto a large piece of plastic wrap; bring up all four corners and twist tightly forming into a ball shape (or as close to that as possible).

Freeze for 1 hour 30 minutes or until firm enough to keep its shape or see what I did at the bottom of the post to make ahead of time. Place peanut butter and chocolate chips on wax paper. Remove plastic wrap from ball and roll ball into morsels to completely cover, pressing morsels into the ball if necessary - was necessary for me since I wanted as many morsels as possible.
Place ball on serving dish or in tupperware. Cover and refridgerate for 2 hours or until almost firm.

Serve with cookies, fruit, pretzels, graham crackers. I really wanted to use those graham cracker sticks but could not find them at walmart, bi-lo or the teet.... so regular sized ones broken in had to do.

I made this 2 days before the party and left it in the fridge but then rolled it in the chips 1 day before and took it out of the fridge about 20 min before serving. If you wanted to make it further in advance it would freeze easily.
It was a party favorite! One it starts getting eaten and softens more it isn't as pretty but still tastes great! Would be perfect to serve at a Super Bowl party or Wine and appetizer party or really an excuse you can think of to make it :)

Linking up at these fun parties:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Crock Pot Cajun Shrimp and Rice

Ever since I created an account on pinterest I have been hooked and so has everyone and their mom, seriously. It really is a fantastic idea and site (minus some glitches). I think it is very easy to get caught up in pinning great idea after great idea you see in the moment and never really do anything with it. I have started to take action on some pins in my food board area by cooking some of the recipes. After all, why pin a recipe if you never plan on making it.

First up is crock pot Cajun Shrimp and Rice. This appealed to me because I really love crock pot meals and I love shrimp.

Here is the recipe from Fitness Magazine

Cajun Shrimp and Rice
From, 6 servings

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14-ounce can chicken broth
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 6- to 6-1/4-ounce package long-grain and wild-rice mix, such as Uncle Ben's
1/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning
1 pound cooked, shelled and deveined shrimp
Hot-pepper sauce (optional)

1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, onions, bell pepper, rice mix with seasoning packet, water, garlic, and Cajun seasoning.
2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
3. Stir shrimp into rice mixture. Cover; cook for 15 minutes longer at high-heat setting. Sprinkle with hot-pepper sauce if desired.

223 calories, 21g protein, 32g carbohydrate, 2g fat (0g saturated), 3g fiber

Tip: Definitely err on the side of less time in the crock pot or you could end up with overcooked rice. On low it was ready a little quicker than 5 hours.

The only disadvantage of this dish is that it cannot go 9+ hours in the crock pot making it impossible during the week for us to leave while we are at work. Otherwise, this was a fabulous and flavorful crock pot dish. Goes very nicely with a side salad.

I CANNOT wait to share more recipes with you that I have tried out from my pins!

Linking up at these fun parties:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Zippadeedoodah! Make-up bags

My godmother and mom have been making these awesome make-up bags for a long time. My SIL has always liked these bags I have when we go on trips so I wanted to make some for her for her birthday. I was a little nervous due to them having... ZIPPERS. Dun dun dun.

I have to say the zipper part was not that bad. They were just a little more involved than anything I had made before and there were more steps. You are basically making 2 bags for every bag because of the lining but that does make them look nice and professional. I also had to make sure the stitching that you can see was very straight.

I made 3 different sized bags which will be great for traveling. To the largest one I added a wrist-let. I bought the fabric in a fabric store that carries a lot of nice fabrics like Amy Butler. She loves purple so when I saw this, I knew I had a winner.

Moral of the story is that zippers on make-up bags and the like are not that scary. I would imagine putting one into a garment is more challenging but I haven't braved that yet :)

The make-up bag pattern is McCalls M6131 for anyone who is interested and can be resized to a multitude of sizes using a copier.

And the birthday girl liked them! Hooray!

Linking up at these fun parties:

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Who can believe it's 2012!? Wow 2011 went by fast but it sure was a ton of fun. 

We rang in the new year by dressing up and going to a nice dinner with friends and then stopping by a couple of parties on our street. It was great!

I am excited to see what 2012 brings... many recipes, diy projects, and adventures are in store! A couple of my 2012 goals are to finish the loft, paint the guest room, and work out 4 days a week instead of 3. I can share more along the way.

Thanks for being a follower here on LaForce Be With You! I really do appreciate yall!
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