Miscellaneous

How To Make Taco’s

9D925FF1-FDEB-42E1-AD4B-CE0849B00DF6Yesterday was Taco Tuesday at our house. Yum!!! Even my picky son, who hardly ever eats anything, ate 4 taco’s yesterday evening for dinner! I was surprised but so thrilled. Upon going to bed, he told me that this was the best dinner ever and that’s something this momma was so glad to hear! I think we may make Taco Tuesdays a weekly thing at our house now since it proved to be such a hit with my family. The best part about a taco dinner is how easy and fast everything is to prepare so it is perfect for a weeknight dinner. I think the fun part is everyone making their own perfect taco so this is also a great dinner to make if you have company coming over. This is not really a recipe because everyone knows pretty much what a taco consists of, this is just my step by step tutorial for those that reached out to me asking about how I make the meat filling and stuff. I hope you make next Tuesday a taco Tuesday too! 😉

How To Make Taco’s {Serves 6-8 people}

Ingredients:

  • 2 LB Ground Beef
  • 2 (1.25 oz) Packets (Ortega Brand) Taco Seasoning Mix (I use the 40% Less Sodium)
  • Taco Sauce (Mild) (Optional, to top)
  • 2 Boxes of Taco Shells (13-15 Count) *I like the stand & stuff shells, so much easier
  • 1 Large tomatoe
  • Romaine Lettuce (Or regular lettuce)
  • 1 (8oz) Block Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Shredded)
  • 1 Container Sour Cream (Optional, to top)
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil (For Sauté)

9CEEC5C6-CF37-48C2-A86F-6B8066A6C96FDirections:

1) Do all the prep work first. Wash and chop up the Romain lettuce, set aside in a plate. Wash and finely chop up the tomato, set aside in a plate. Shredd the block of Cheddar Cheese, set aside in a plate.

2) In a saucepan on Med-High heat add 2 TBS Olive Oil. When the oil heats up, add the ground beef, break it into pieces using a spatula.

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3) Add the packets of Taco Seasoning. You need 1 packet of seasoning for 1 pound of ground beef. I use Ortega brand 40% less sodium packets bc I don’t like my meat to be too salty and using regular packets of seasoning in my opinion make it too salty. Mix thoroughly and cook until the meat has browned and is cooked through (about 15-20 minutes). Meanwhile bake the taco shells on 350 degrees in the oven for 5-7 mins until hot (be careful not to burn them).

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4) Set up a “taco station” on the table with all the toppings in plates, the meat, the taco shells, taco sauce, and sour cream.

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Everyone creates their own perfect taco! Yum!!!

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The Best Home Made Salsa

IMG_0441This is a recipe for the best home made salsa! I found the basic recipe on google and just changed a few things up to my liking. Not only is this the best tasting home made salsa, it is also the easiest to make and yields a big batch! So it is perfect for entertaining or bringing to an event. I made a batch for a cook out a few weeks ago and for a party recently, both times it was a big hit! Nearly all of it was gone. Keep in mind you will need 2 bags of tortilla chips for this much salsa. I like to get the scoop tortilla chips because they are so fun to dunk and fill up! Once you try this delicious home made salsa, you will never go back to store bought salsa again!

The Best Home Made Salsa {Yields about 12 Cups Salsa}:

Ingredients:

  • 1 (28 oz) Can peeled tomatoes
  • 2 (oz) can Rotel Brand Tomatoes and Green Chilies (Mild)
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro
  • 1 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Small Onion (or 1/2 of a big onion)
  • Juice from 1/2 Lime (1 whole lime, if a smaller lime)
  • 1/2 Jalapeño Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cumin

IMG_0438Directions: 

1) Do all the prep work first. Open the can of tomatoes and tomatoes with green chilies. Wash and finely cut the cilantro leaves. Chop and desead the jalapeño pepper. Chop the onion. Finely mince garlic clove.

2) In 2 parts blend or purée everything in a food processor. Puree the can of tomatoes, can of Rotel tomatoes & chilies, cilantro, garlic, onion, and jalapeño pepper. You can do this in a food processor or blender. I used a blender, and pulsed each batch 7 times for a quick second but feel free to make yours a chunkier consistancy if you’d like.

3) Pour puréed mixture into a big bowl (with a lid). Add the lime juice, salt, sugar, and cumin spice. Mix and refrigerate for at least a few hours for best taste!

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Serve with your favorite tortilla chips!

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Easy Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

IMG_0436I know it’s still mid August, but I am already transitioning to fall time lol. The weather is finally cooling down, the leaves are starting to change color, my son starts school in a week, and everything is beginning to feel like fall. To me, nothing says fall more then a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte… so this beautiful Saturday morning, I decided to make these for my hubby and I to enjoy. It was super easy, and instead of paying $5/cup it will cost you about that much to buy everything you need to make these all season long. Of course, the taste is way more superior too! I have tried making this drink before and couldn’t get the right proportion of ingredients but today it literally turned out perfect! Even my 5 year old liked it and he doesn’t like coffee beverages. My hubby said he couldn’t tell the difference between this pumpkin spice latte or the ones we get at Starbucks (Score! Lol) and like me, he was excited to get to enjoy this beverage now since it’s seasonal and Starbucks doesn’t even have these yet! The best part about this home made, pumpkin spice latte is that I use simple ingredients that you can find anywhere and you don’t need any fancy espresso/coffee machines.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Brewed Coffee (I used Starbucks, Blonde roast)
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Purée (Or Can of 100% pure pumpkin, for a pie filling)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (And more to sprinkle on top of latte)
  • Whipped Cream (Optional, to top)

IMG_0433Directions: 

1) Brew fresh coffee. Any coffee would work, but I used Starbucks blonde roast.

2) In a small container, mix together the pumpkin purée, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice until well blended together.

3) In a small sauce pan, combine cold milk, coffee, and pumpkin purée mixture. Mix well and set on Medium heat, occasionally stirring until it almost boils and comes to a simmer.

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4) When it starts to simmer, turn stove off but keep on the burner until ready to serve so it stays hot. Then pour into individual cups. Optionally add whipped cream on top and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice to decorate. Enjoy!!!

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Note: I made 3 times as much because my hubby and I both had big mugs. I couldn’t get enough of this deliciousness!!!

My Weight Loss Journey

Okay, so let me start off by saying that, this is a hard one for me to post. But I know that it needs to be done so here it goes… The reason I decided to make this post is because I have been struggling with this problem for 4 years now since I had my son and have been diagnosed with Hypothyroid and PCOS and I know that I am not alone. I know there are more people out there that are facing the same challenges and I am writing this to give you hope, encouragement, and a solution. I want to give this information to help someone because I only wish someone had shared this with me earlier. Also, because I have been receiving a lot of compliments from people and they want to know what my secret is. Well let me tell you, it is no secret. I have been working out!

Now before you jump to conclusions please hear me, I have tried working out before. I literally spent 1 entire summer going to the YMCA and doing Zumba class for 1 hour and then I’d lift some weights and do the elliptical or treadmill for another 30 minutes. I did that every day that summer Mon.-Fri. and I also spent another hour driving because it was 30 min. each way for me to get to that particular location. I got no results. Lost about 5 pounds in all and spent a lot of time and money. I tried different diets, but you guys know that I love to eat and cook new yummy meals for my family so that did not work out for me either because I could never last long. Ya’ll know I like my biscuits with gravy! Lol jk. I tried many different work out programs, probably all the ones that you can think of and if I was able to do them, I got little to no results and others I tried were just too hard for me to do, I mean impossibly hard. So we got the elliptical machine for our house and I would do that, every other day, or walk/run outside at least 3-4 times a week and still was not getting the results that I wanted.

Then one day I tried something that completely changed my life. I tried the Power 90 work out. That my friends, is the secret. Before you read any further, let me just tell you that I do not sell the work out or own it, and I am not getting paid in any way for writing about it. I just genuinely, want to help someone that is looking for help like I was. I only wish someone would have told me about this amazing work out! Sure, I have heard some friends saying that they did it. But no one really told me much about it and their experience with it.

I know many of you have New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t believe in those because I feel that we should always be striving to get better in all aspects of our life, the physical, spiritual, financial, mental, emotional, etc. just to name a few. I don’t know about you but I always want to be the best that I can be. Now, with that being said, I am all for setting and achieving goals and in fact I do that all the time. I just feel like resolutions should always be made and not just at the beginning of the year but all through out. Some of you have resolutions to loose weight or get into better shape. In fact that is one of the top resolutions that most people have today. So reading this post is just the right timing for some of you.

This was my resolution in September last year so I decided to start the Power 90 work out. It is an in home work out. A set of DVD’s. I bought mine online for about $50. However I have seen some for sale on Craigslist and through Ebay I even saw some for sale at local thrift stores, so shop around and get a good deal on it. I am all about saving money. I started my work out September 28th and completed the 90 days, 12 weeks on January 7th. I do not know exactly how much weight I lost because I was not weighing myself consistently. However I just bought new pants for church, 2 sizes smaller! That is a pretty big deal in just 12 weeks! My husband has been doing the work out with me and he has lost about 15 Pds and also dropped 2 pant sizes. Also it has helped us to build balance, endurance, and flexibility. I feel a lot more tightened and toned. That is a really big deal in such a short amount of time! The work out is supposed to be done 6 days a week but we only did 4 days a week, each week, due to our already busy schedule and because we did not want to over work ourselves.  We did not change our eating or lifestyle habits at all. That is why I like this work out. I can still be me, do me, and eat what I want to. It does come with a food guide/cook book with light recipes but we did not follow them.

Sure there were days when I wanted to quit. Especially in the beginning. There were days when I would pout, and cry. Get mad at myself because I had to take breaks between each interval. But I kept on going. The work out is hard, don’t get me wrong. But it is doable. I have tested and tried it myself! I guess one of the biggest motivations for me was a picture I had seen on FB before that said “Would you rather work out 30 minutes a day or be dead 24 hours a day?” And that really got me thinking hard about getting in better shape. Some other things that helped me stay motivated was getting it over with first thing in the morning, before devotional time, before breakfast, etc. Having my husband do it with me has also helped a great deal! We are there to support each other and hold each other accountable. And of course all the compliments and encouraging words that I have been getting from many people has really helped a lot! I appreciate each and every one of you.

With all of that being said, I hope that this is helpful to someone out there. I am definitely not a fitness guru. I just want to offer help and support to someone who is needing it. I am not where I want to be, but thank God, I am not where I used to be. I plan to continue with this work out. To do another round of it and then possibly do the harder versions like the Power 90 Extreme etc. (Which by the way I did try before but was not able to do because you first have to get at least decently fit to be able to do that one). Please comment and let me know if you have any questions or comments for me. I would love to be able to help you, any way that I could. Blessings!!! 🙂