Sunday, February 16, 2014

Happy Belated Suck-Face Day

Valentine's Day came and went with it's usual annoyance. It's the one holiday that just about everyone hates. People who are single hate it and are usually obnoxiously vocal about that, which leads to me say things like, "I can't imagine why you're still single. You have such a heart-warming attitude." People who are in an established relationship hate it because we're not allowed to enjoy it because of the aforementioned miserable people. Hippies hate it because it's pure consumerism. 

Actually, you don't have to be a hippy to hate the commercialism of any holiday. "Every kiss begins with K." No. No no no. The word kiss begins with the letter K. Most physical kisses begin with some kind of positive stimuli. You've just eaten a good meal with your partner. You're hunkering down into a warm bed for a long night's sleep. You just received a Kohl's gift card. You're on your fifth shot at the bar and will suck on the face of anyone willing to join you for a jello shot. 

I was going to mention an exchange of money for sexual favors might be involved too, but hookers don't kiss. I learned that from television.

The one person who likes Valentine's Day more than anyone else in the world is the girl who is in a new relationship with a guy, and this is their first V-Day. The one person who hates it more than anyone else in the world is her guy. NO PRESSURE TO GET THIS RIGHT, SON!

Despite all that, I do like Valentine's Day for the red and white decor, and the cards. Here's some cheeriness to remind us it's not all bad.

Kat gave me a bag of wreaths that were going to be thrown out as she thought I might be able to re-use them. I found a heart-shaped vine wreath amongst them and re-purposed it into this cute, simple Valentine's wreath. It's ten inches in height and is currently hanging in my living room. I will probably leave it there. It's adorable!

For Laurie's card party last month, we had a card swap with a Love/Valentine's Day theme.

WARNING: My photos are complete and utter crud. I have no idea why they are so blurry, and I'm honestly too tired to go re-do them. Forgive my laziness today.

I feel terrible because I don't really remember who did what cards. I admit to having a bad memory, but I can usually tell who did what. Card makers each have their own style. This time around the cards were so different that I can't honestly tell you who made most of them.

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the heart basket on the left was Stacey's contribution, and the second card on the left was mine. I mean, I'm thick-headed but I do know my own card. It's a heart puzzle with a piece taken out of it. In its place is the word You. Inside the card was the phrase, "You will always be in my heart." Awwwww. Pretty gushy for me. I had considered, "Shot through the heart, and you're to blame."

More card swap cards. I think Christie might have been the second from the left, and maybe Shirley to the right of hers. Maybe not.

These are the cards we made at the workshop. I never would have picked the colors for that first card, but it works! As Jessica said, "It's very 80's." And the card on the far right was Jessica's swap contribution. It's from SU's Whole Lot of Love campaign which unfortunately ended January 27th. The cards and stamp sets were wonderful. I did get the Follow Your Heart set which has the Eiffel Tower stamp you see on the card. (You can never really have too many Eiffel Tower stamps.) We made the cards ourselves, which is always a treat!

It was a great party, and Laurie's house is perfect for card making. A nice big table and huge kitchen. Which is why I'm having my party there in a couple weeks! I hope to have more (and better) photos from that party. Maybe I'll snag some pics of my fellow card makers at work! I'm sure they'll loooooove me for that.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Freezer Recipe: Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Ever since Make & Take closed I've been looking for freezer recipes. I really enjoyed Make & Take because I could make perfectly portioned meals for one or two people. They were easy to put together, easy to cook, and they tasted great! Now I'm trying to find simple but yummy recipes I can make in big batches and freeze. That way during the week I can thaw one out and toss it in the oven for dinner.

For freezing, I buy rectangular tin containers from the Dollar Tree. You get 3 for $1, and they come with cardboard lids that are foil lined on one-side, so I can write on the tops without worrying about them soaking through on the other.

Below is a recipe I found recently and tailored to my tastes and cooking skill-level, which is currently "gee, do I have to?"

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

6 bell peppers (any color), chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 package Wegmans Poultry Italian Sausage, mild or hot
1-10.5 oz can diced tomatoes
4 cups Basmati rice, cooked (It's 1 cup uncooked.)
16 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 TBSP Italian seasoning
Grated parmesan cheese, optional (Not in my house, but maybe it's optional in yours.)

If you bought the Italian Sausage in the link form, squeeze the meat out of the casing. I find it easiest to take a knife and run it down the outside and just pull the casing off. It's a lot less messy that way.

Cook the sausage, peppers and onion in a large frying pan until the sausage is done. The chicken sausage has enough moisture that you don't need to add oil, but not too much that you need to strain it afterwards. Remove from the heat and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Separate into containers. I filled 4 tin containers. One container is a meal for me and the hubby. (Honestly, I could probably eat just one by myself. This is so yummy.)

Bake (thawed) at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Plate up and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

Here's one of the tins of Stuffed Pepper Casserole with the date made and cooking instructions on the lid.