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Recipe: Taco / Burrito / Nacho Mix

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Easy and quick to make!

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice) - less oil with ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped (or red bell pepper or combo of green and red)
  • Choose one meat:
    • 2 large skinless chicken breasts, cubed
    • 1 lb. ground beef
    • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 8 oz. La Victoria Mild Taco Sauce (or taco sauce of your choice) - Salsa can be substituted but don’t also add onion and bell pepper listed above
  • Choose one or more:
    • Tacos: 8 corn tortillas, fried in oil or steamed in microwave
    • Burritos: 8 wheat or flour tortillas, steamed in microwave
    • Nachos: Corn tortilla chips
  • Extras:
    • Pinto or black beans (refried or whole), heated
    • Cheddar cheese, shredded
    • Tomatoes, chopped
    • Black olives, sliced
    • Sour cream
    • Lettuce, chopped

In large pan on high heat, saute onion in oil until almost clear. Add bell pepper and meat and mix well. Reduce heat to medium, stir regularly, and cook until meat is 1/2 done. Add taco sauce and reduce heat to simmer. Stir regularly and simmer until meat is cooked and sauce is desired consistency.

Serve as tacos, burritos, and/or nachos with your choice of extras.

About 8 servings.

Quilt Block Curtains

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  • Size: Each panel is about 46 inches x 61 inches (excluding tabs)
  • Fabric: 100% cotton; variety of brands and colors
  • Pattern: 12 blocks are from one of these books: Quilter's Mix and Match Blocks: A Comprehensive Handbook 2004 and 365 Quilt Blocks a Year (Pertetual Calendar) 1999
  • Backing: Cut from a set of sheets we replaced recently
  • Date: start July 13; finish December 20

Here they are! My Quilt Block Curtains for the craft room! Today I bought a thicker and better quality curtain rod. The rod in the photos is slightly bent from the weight of the curtains and moves when the curtains are opened or closed!

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The stained glass look was a pleasant surprise!

The curtains have a backing cut from the set of sheets we replaced recently when I bought new sheets.

Update for August

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A month since my last post! I'm just not feeling bloggy. Here's an update:

20080808greglaurenweddingrings.jpgMy son is married! Greg and Lauren tied the knot in a simple ceremony on August 8. I flew in Thursday evening and flew back Friday evening after a nice lunch for just the 3 of us after the ceremony. They took off for the weekend on a short honeymoon to the wine country about an hour away from where they live. Then, on Monday, Greg started his new job as an attorney working for a mid-sized litigation firm. Whew - big changes!

My new shoes: The brown Ros Rhommerson Cynthia shoes I wore at my son's marriage ceremony are comfortable - as long as I don't walk in them. Ack!

The muscles in my feet, ankles, knees, and lower back just weren't up to walking in 2 1/2 inch heels! Now, the black Hugh Puppies Sara shoes with a 1 1/4 inch heel don't hurt me nearly as much!

I don't think the problem with the brown shoes is the shoes - as I said, they're comfortable. I do think the problem is that I'm so used to wearing fully-padded New Balance walking shoes with basically no heal height, that the muscles needed to walk in 2 1/2 inch heels just aren't up to snuff! Because of that, I haven't yet worn the black shoes with 2 1/2 inch heels!

Our home: We're having 5 of the windows in our house replaced on Tuesday - livingroom, kitchen (front window), craft room, bathroom, and TV room - by American Vision Windows.

After that's done, we're thinking about hiring a painter to finish painting the outside trim (a project started last summer but not finished) and paint the house (we're still not happy with the medium grey colored stucco). I'm now thinking a creamy light yellow which will work fine with the white trim.

Bryan brought a girl for dinner! My stepson brought his latest girlfriend Brit to our house for dinner last night - something neither Bill nor I can remember him ever doing before!

Together, Bill and I have joked that, since Billy got married on 7/7/2007 and Greg got married on 8/8/2008 that Bryan may get married on 9/9/2009.

In fun, we mentioned that to Bryan several weeks ago and he responded that maybe 12/12/2012 would be the date he gets married! Of course, there's no rush for him to get married! I just thought it interesting that he brought Brit over for dinner.

Crocheting: No crocheting in the past 4 weeks or so. Just not into it right now.

Quilting / sewing: I bought storage containers and many more fat quarters at JoAnn Fabrics (I couldn't resist the 99¢ sale!) to add to my fabric collection. The weather has been hot so it's taken some effort to get around to washing and ironing all the new fabric - but I just finished this afternoon.

20080830kylebusch.jpg NASCAR: Kyle Busch won his 18th race of the year last night! As I type this, he's working on his 9th Cup series win! Tony Stewart hasn't (yet!) won a race, but at this moment he's one of the 12 drivers qualifying to be in the Chase for the Cup and he still has a chance to win this year's championship!

Update for the end of July

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Well, let's see, the past 2 weeks have been a bit eventful!

My son is getting married! Yup, I'm gonna have another daughter(-in-law)! Whoop!

Last year, my stepson Billy got married on July 7, 2007 (777 or 7-7-07 or 07-07-07 or 070707) - a popular day to get married last year!

Greg proposed on July 19 in a field while they were picking raspberries and, practical people that they are, they decided to skip a big wedding ceremony (and all that goes with it) and get married right away - on Friday, August 8, 2008 (888 or 8-8-08 or 08-08-08 or 080808). Eight to the Chinese culture is a very lucky number. Neither of them is Chinese, but I'm sure their marriage will by a good one! Lauren and Greg make a great couple!

Greg asked his current boss, a judge, to marry them. The simple ceremony will be at the courthouse.

Parties (more formally known as wedding receptions) will be held at family homes in Oregon and California for family and friends local to those areas. We haven't set a date yet, but at our house, the party will be a small affair with close family and a few close neighbors.

Then, on Monday after the wedding, Greg starts his new job as an attorney for a mid-sized litigation firm. How cool is that?! Married and a new job all in the same 4 days!

20080803newrefrigerator.jpg On the home front: The new refrigerator fit perfectly! Whoop! We love the clear shelves and drawers - and can now see what's inside the drawers and we can stop forgetting what's in the them!

Bill and I are heading to the lake tomorrow! A whole day off together!

On the crochet front: Two more lap blankets are done (no photos for posting yet) and one more started.

On the quilting front: Yes, I said "quilting"! I began piecing blocks together on July 12 and have finished 4 since then! Also no photos yet.

New refrigerator coming tomorrow

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I opened the refrigerator yesterday morning to get my lunch packed and discovered many of the items were cool, some warm, and a few still cold. Ack! We need a new refrigerator!

Luckily, we use an even older refrigerator in the garage as our "drink fridge". Bill calls it our "beer fridge" It holds water, soda, iced tea, and of course beer - both non-alcoholic and alcoholic versions! The freezer holds chicken, steak, ground turkey, sandwich rolls, bread, and other frozen goods that don't fit in the kitchen fridge.

So, I emptied the garage fridge of drinks and moved all items from the kitchen fridge to the garage fridge. Thank goodness we hadn't done a CostCo trip lately so there was room in the garage freezer for most of the items in the kitchen freezer.

Last night, Bill went to a Sears outlet to find a replacement refrigerator. After a freezer door fell off one refrigerator, he left. Since Bill found our new stove and I'm home from work today (4-day work weeks during the summer!), it was my turn to find a new refrigerator.

The area in which the refrigerator fits is smaller than a majority of the refrigerators manufactured today. The space is 65 1/2 inches high, 35 inches wide, and about 30 inches or so deep. The deeper and/or wider the refrigerator, the more space the door needs to open all the way. The old refrigerator was 65 inches high, 30 inches wide, and 31 inches deep. The door couldn't open all the way without hitting the stove, even with the garbage can out of the way.

I found a Whirlpool refrigerator at Western Appliance that should fit fine. It is 66 1/4 inches high (but the floor model was 65 1/2 inches so we're hoping we can adjust the feet if needed), 32 1/2 inches wide, and 31 1/2 inches deep. The shelves in the door are adjustable so I think they can be situated in such a way that we can open the bottom drawer on the right side without too much trouble.

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Old stove, new stove

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I mentioned previously that we got a new stove in May. Both the old and new stoves are 40 inches wide, have a small oven and a large oven, and have 4 burners. The difference is that, for years, only the 2 right-hand burners and the large oven worked. In April, the back burner on the right side stopped working.

We've been enjoying 4 working burners since the new stove arrived! Whoop!

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As I mentioned previously, I cleaned out my closet Friday. The 3 piles of clothes turned into 8 bags of clothes. The box of hangers will also be donated.

The helpful cat (my girl Cleo!) stays.

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Bill's new toy, err, truck

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Hubby bought himself a new toy Monday night! Today was the first day I could see it since mornings are dark and evenings are dark!

A 2008 Chevrolet Colorado LT Crew Cab in Ruby Red. With the higher gas prices and about 9 miles per gallon, random things going wrong here and there which needed fixing on his 1997 Chevrolet Silverado Z71, and a $200+ registration fee coming due, he wanted a new, more dependable truck with better gas mileage. So, here it is!

Most of the time, his toys are more expensive than mine!

His: New truck, motorcycle, table saw, etc.

Mine: Small digital cameras, sewing machine, fabric, crochet books,… - even the Dell XPS 400 desktop computer I bought in April 2006 was only $2,245.

Spending spree!

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dvd-shrekthethird.jpg On Saturday, after troubleshooting a loud grinding/spinning noise coming from my PC, I decided to buy an external hard drive to use as a backup drive for my PC. So, a visit to Amazon.com was in order! After much research on Google, I ordered an external drive - and two wanna-have items!

Then on Sunday, I spent about 4 hours online researching digital cameras. I want one I can easily carry around in my purse. I again talked myself out of buying a SLR-type digital camera (the Nikon D300 DX 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)) that I can use with my Nikon lenses - I'm just not sure I would use it enough to justify the price ($1800). And, I'm not even sure the almost 10-year-old Nikon lenses I have are fully compatible with a digital camera. So, I compromised by deciding to buy a second new camera to replace my almost 6-year-old Fujifilm FinePix 2800Zoom 2.0mp 6x optical zoom camera. I'm still happy with my FinePix camera, but the new camera have so many more features I want to play with! So, I ordered:

How exciting! I'll hopefully have the A570IS camera before December 27 when I visit my son!

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[NOTE: The following is my opinion about our experience with installing Pergo laminate flooring. I am not an expert. I do not represent Pergo. Your experience may vary. I am not responsible for any problems you may encounter.]

On occasion I see that visitors to this blog are looking for information about Pergo laminate flooring in general or Pergo Global Passages flooring in the Dolce Mahogany color in particular. In September-October 2006, we installed Pergo Dolce Mahogany laminate flooring in our master bedroom as a 16-year Anniversary activity (yes, we're odd like that!), and I wrote 7 entries in this blog during the project.

Recently, I received a message from someone with questions about our experience with our Pergo floor and the installation process. I thought I'd include the questions and answers here as a set of Frequently Asked Questions (with answers!) that may help others with similar questions. It was nice re-visiting our Anniversary project from last year! Leave a comment if you have additional questions.

The links below are helpful:

On to the questions…

Q. How is your floor holding up in the past year since it was installed? Are there any noticeable scratches? Any other issues to be aware of?

A. No scratches to date. The floor is supposed to be pretty resistant to that.

We noticed that our vacuum cleaner left skid marks (rubber(?) plastic(?) wheels) so we don't bring it in there. The skid marks came off easily. I used my fingernails, but a washcloth may also do the job.

We pick up anything that might scratch the floor if we were to step on it (such as clay cat litter that gets carried around the house sometimes in between the cats' toes).

We put thick felt pads (from Orchard Supply Hardware) on the bottom of every piece of furniture in the room, except the wheels of the bed (which are plastic(?) and don't seem to leave skid marks).

Bill (who is a machinist) does not walk in there with his work boots on (metal chips get embedded in the bottom of his boots).

[Update April 10, 2010] I thought I would check in now that it's been a few years since we installed our Pergo floor. We love it! Dolce Mahogany is a dark brown color. It shows dust and strands of long hair (mine) and cat hair balls. After being cleaned, the shine is great.

There may be one or two small scratches from some sharp object on our shoes (such as a metal chip on Bill's work boots - which he doesn't usually wear in our bedroom - or me skidding on a piece of cat litter).

Liquids never touch the floor. The floor is swept with a dry swiffer or vacuumed (the vacuum is placed on a small rug in the room so the wheels don't leave skid marks). Random skid marks, dirt spots, lotion spills, and cat puke are quickly and carefully wiped up with a dry or damp soft cloth, paper towel, or tissue. Pieces of cat litter, metal chips, and any other sharp object is picked up when it's spotted.

Sketch of Cheryl

About Cheryl

Enjoys crocheting, gardening, cats, NASCAR (especially Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch!), reading, photography, snorkeling in Kailua-Kona with sea turtles, Sizzler's Mega Bacon Cheeseburgers, hot and iced decaf coffee, dark chocolate, color (yarn, fabric), playing around with web technologies - not necessarily in that order! Still very much a beginner with quilting, knitting, and sewing. Donates crocheted lap blankets.

List maker, detail-oriented, organized, leans heavily toward perfectionism. ISTJ. Libra.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Home Improvement category.

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