Monday, August 30, 2010

Machaca (Shredded Mexican Beef)

This just might be my favorite Mexican dish...every time that I've seen it on a menu I have instantly jumped over all of the other options to order it.

It varies a little from one restaurant to another, but I've never been disappointed.
It' perfect in burritos, soft corn tortillas or with eggs for breakfast.
I LOVE Machaca!

Alright so let's get down to's my little adaptation of Machaca...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cinema Sunday ~ How To Marry A Millionaire (1953)

This happens to be my favorite Hollywood bombshell triple threat movie...Bette Grable, Marilyn Monroe & Lauren Bacall. These women deliver their comedic roles wonderfully. The fashion is amazing...I just love the dresses, suits, gowns, swim suits, capri outfits....everything from that time!

Shatze Page (Bacall) orchestrates a grand plan of how she and her two fellow models can land themselves a few unsuspecting millionaires. Her head is in the game and the plan is simple...pool the financial resources, rent a ridiculously expensive penthouse from Freddie Denmark (David Wayne), who was in hiding to avoid the IRS, and seek out the millionaires wherever they might be frolicking. Shatze is one tough cookie who doesn't go for anything less than what she believes is the perfect million dollar very kind, older widower J.D. Hanley (William Powell). And you can't help but feel bad for the striking young man, Tom Brookman (Cameron Mitchell), who is nothing more than a "gas pump jockey" to Shatze. He tries so hard to crack her icy exterior only to hear after each date that she never wants to see him again. Yet when it all comes down to it Shatze can't go through with her wedding to J.D. Hanley and ends up marrying Tom Brookman instead. (thinking that she's ended up with the poorest choice of all)...

View complete posting: Cinema Sunday ~ How To Marry A Millionaire (1953)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Giving In The Desert Moments

2 Corinthians 9:7-9
(New International Version)

7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

9As it is written:
"He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever."

A lot of people get funny when they are hit with the topic of giving an offering and/or tithing at their church. You typically can hear a pin drop. We are SO tied to our money. I think that people make the mistake at looking at it as the "church" wanting to just get their hands on people's money. And I understand how they can get caught-up in that. Really, I can.

But here's what I've experienced...when I haven't been faithful in my tithing in the past, my financial world has gone literally bonkers. I mean it. Who would have thought that when you don't give just a 10th of what you earn...just a 10th...that your finances could actually go completely awry? We're talking going from being in a financial balance with a family income of almost $4,000/mo. to not being enough to get caught up on credit cards and student loans...thus resulting in a bankruptcy filing. Oh yeah, let's just say that I've learned my lesson. It's a lesson that I never want to have to repeat again.

Here's how it started out...there has always been some credit card debt, but it was basically manageable. I didn't like it, but it was slowly coming down. Then Charming & I got married and two months later found out that we would become parents that coming December. Shocker! We also were hit with the news that Charming was a Type 2 diabetic a month later. Another shocker! It was just about this time that we stopped tithing. The first time either of us had ever stopped tithing in our lives. Mistakes were made trying to keep an online business going...didn't work out well and only got us further into debt. Couple that with the purchases for new things for our little one that was on the way and it equalled even more debt. That debt machine was in full force and wasn't stopping. We become late on a couple of payments and the interest rates went from 6% to 26%! By this time we were about 2 1/2 years into our marriage...and trying to pretend that our world wasn't financially falling apart. We were completely in denial.

Long story short, in December 2008 we completed our bankruptcy...and a huge weight was lifted. And a promise was made that no matter what we were going through, we weren't going to pull back on our tithing. We need God's protection over our finances, especially with the way that this economy is today. And in that scripture above you see that we are called to fulfill an action...and in our fulfilling that action, it allows the promise that God made to be put into motion.

See the promise? Right there in verse 8? I love that promise.

Some might get the wrong impression that since we started our tithing again that things have been easy for us. Nope. They haven't been easy...but we've been able to meet our financial obligations every month. It may be tight, it might be a bit uncomfortable, but we have always had what we need to cover the bases. Most of the time I look at the month's obligations and wonder just how we're going to squeak by, but we always do. We give our tithes and offerings now with a joyful heart. And we have seen that God has been faithful in fulfilling His promise to us.

In a state where we lead the nation in unemployment, Charming has been blessed with a job and been shown favor in it and I have been able to get an evening part-time job (even though it fluctuates)...I call that God's favor and His provision. We've known too many people that are looking for work and can't seem to even get an interview anywhere...yet we have been able to. Our bank accounts have been stretched and we have been faithful in our giving even when we look and see that there wouldn't be enough to meet other obligations between checks. Yet, somehow in a way that only God can, our money seems to stretch and stretch to cover everything. It hasn't been easy and there are times when I think, "There's no way that we can give any more", yet we look at eachother and we give above our tithe...and we give happily because we know that somehow God is going to make everything work out.

The floor has been paced, praying & praise has been something that I do in the still of the night (12am-2am) almost nightly and I have seen God move on our behalf. I have seen Him honor His promises...every time. And I find peace in His presence. That peace is priceless. Especially during the desert moments. I thank God for His faithfulness, His grace and His mercy. When everything starts billowing and looks chaotic, I know that in the midst of it all God is right there to hold our hand and walk us through it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chocolate Flecked Coconut Bark (Cocada con Chocolate)

This recipe is so simple that it's perfect for having your little kiddles help out. 

This may infact be the simplest and fasted baked good that I've ever made. And if you are a lover of Mounds candy bars, then you are absolutely going to adore this coconut bar. There are two ways to have it...a little crunchy or more gooey and chewy. I love it gooey and chewy...especially when still warm. Mmmmmmm! So all you have to do is grab a couple items from your pantry...sweetened coconut flakes, sweetened condensed milk and bittersweet chocolate chips. (I prefer the 60% cocoa chips) That's all you need for this treat! Oh, and a little cooking spray for the baking dish. In a medium-large sized bowl combine the coconut and sweetened condensed milk.* Be sure to get all of the coconut coated, if not then you're liable to end up with peices of burnt coconut. (not so good) * For the gooey version, use 14 oz. of sweetened condensed milk. Do not increase the coconut. Once your coconut has been well mixed, add in the chocolate chips! You can leave them whole, buy mini ones, half or quarter them. Since I use the 60% cocoa chips, which are pretty big, I quarter them.

Get everything well combined so that your chocolate is dispersed throughout the coconut. Grab an 8 x 8 glass baking dish and give it a quick coating of cooking spray. Then pour the coconut mixture into the dish. With a spoon, press the mixture so that it is firmly and evenly packed down. Place the baking dish into a preheated 350°F oven. Bake for 20-22 minutes.** **If you are like me and want the gooey version, then your baking time is going to be approximately 25-28 minutes.

Chocolate Flecked Coconut Bark (Cocada con Chocolate)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Level: EASY
Servings: 12

Nonstick Cooking Spray
5 1/2 cups Sweetened Shredded Coconut
1/2 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/4 cup 60% Cocoa Chocolate Chips (quartered or chopped)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix the coconut and condensed milk in a bowl until combined. Make sure that all of the coconut is covered with the condensed milk, if not covered it will burn. *For a more gooey bar, use 14 oz. of sweetened condensed milk. Do not increase coconut.

Add chocolate chip pieces into the coconut mixture and stir until well combined.

Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake until the coconut is evenly browned and crisp at the edges. Cook time is about 20 minutes. **For gooey bars 25-28 minutes, keeping watch to avoid burning

Cool slightly, and cut into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

My Night Job Is Like Having A Newborn Again

Okay, so I've now finally gotten a little part-time job that allows me to juggle my family...and I do mean juggle. The nice thing is that I actually get to have a family dinner with my hubby and kiddles, before rushing to finish getting myself ready for the evening. I already miss-out on some bedtime storytelling and prayers, so I'm extremely greatful that I don't have to missout on a family dinner also.

Nights are sometimes done around midnight...sometimes later. (or earlier the next day, depending on how you look at it) Which means that I end up with anywhere between 4-6 hours of sleep on those work nights. And those nights are the ones that I remember having for what seems to be roughly 3 years out of the past 6. (unless there are dreams of monsters & snakes...then it's pretty current) Those nights make the following day extremely difficult...but time moves on and demands a Momma to be at top form at all times. So top form I will be...with a lot of caffeine in my system....

View complete posting: My Night Job Is Like Having A Newborn Again

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cinema Sunday ~ To Have And Have Not (1944)

Lauren Bacall & Humphrey Bogart star in the movie that brought them together beginning their romance. In fact, this is Lauren Bacall's movie debut...she was only 19 years old at the time. (funny little side note, the wardrobe for Bogie in basically the same here as it is for his later flick The African Queen...just add a few more wrinkles to his face)

They fill the roles of a tough ex-patriate boat captain Harry Morgan (which I found hysterical at the thought that here was "Captain Morgan") and a singer, stranded American Marie Browning ("Slim") (Bacall), who fool Nazis on the island of Martinique. Harry's "rummie" friend Eddie (Walter Brennan) & hotel-keeper/Free French leader Gerard ("Frenchie") (Marcel Dalio) frequent the screen as well.

Frenchie pressures Morgan to use his boat to service some "friends" of his...meaning smuggle in some fellows. To which Morgan staunchly refuses to take part in the current political upheaval. Enter Eddie...and his question that just makes me laugh (I don't know why):
Eddie: Say, was you ever bit by a dead bee?
Beauclerc: I have no memory of ever being bit by any kind of bee.
Slim: (interjecting) Were you?
Eddie: You're alright, lady. You and Harry's the only one that ever...
Morgan: Don't forget Frenchie.
Eddie: That's right. You and Harry and Frenchie. You know, you got to be careful of dead bees if you're goin' around barefooted, 'cause if you step on them they can sting you just as bad as if they was alive, especially if they was kind of mad when they got killed. I bet I been bit a hundred times that way.
Slim: You have? Why don't you bite them back?
Eddie: That's what Harry always says. But I ain't got no stinger.

View complete posting: Cinema Sunday ~ To Have And Have Not (1944)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cinema Sunday ~ My Favorite Wife (1940)

There are so many great Cary Grant films...but this one is just so much fun. How can you not just adore Cary? There's just something about that man that draws you in, makes you feel a little more sophisticated and light-hearted and flat out wonderful. (no matter what the day has brought you up to that point)

Anyway, to see the twists and turns that unfold when lawyer Nick Arden (Cary Grant) has his wife Ellen (Irene Dunne), who has been missing for 7 years since her ship was lost at sea, declared legally dead so he can marry Bianca (Gail Patrick)....well, you can't help but feel sorry for the guy. Let's just toss in the fact that on the same day that his presumed departed spouse returns, Nick is off on his honeymoon with his new bride the same little honeymoon suite that he shared with his first wife, Ellen. There's an instantly classic scene when he sees Ellen waving to him as the elevator door is closing. The look on his face is priceless...

View complete posting: Cinema Sunday ~ My Favorite Wife (1940)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Cherry On Top Blog Award

The rules for this award are:

1. Thank the person who gave this award to you.

I want to say thank you so much to Mom State Of Mind.
She is one busy momma to a darling little boy, Tristan, who somehow manages to work reviews, giveaways and more into her days!
Stop by for a visit and show her some love!

2. Copy the award and put it on your blog.

3. List three things which you love about yourself.

I love that I have kept art in my life. (even though it now is mostly murals for my kiddles)

I love that I long to put a smile on my Hubby's face every day.

I love that I can turn my kiddles tears into laughter quickly by being just a bit goofy.

4. Post a picture you love.

5. Tag five people you wish to pass this award on to.

Mommy Topics

Coffee, God And Me

After The Alter

Guessing All The Way

JDaniels4's Mom

View more postings: The Chatty Mom's Official Blog

Friday, August 13, 2010

DANCE! It's The Weekend!

Alright...just to get you into the mood for the weekend...

My jaw hit the floor when I saw this little kiddle boogie. Apparently I'm behind in seeing it, but I just had to share. (I was view 3,329,345)

Come on... there's more rhythm in this little one than in most adults.

Sometimes in the midst of all of life's craziness, you just need to take the time to get up on a table and dance.

Dance I Say!

Happy Weekend Everyone!

View more postings: The Chatty Mom's Official Blog

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pearberry Compote Frozen Yogurt

I L-O-V-E LOVE frozen yogurt with fresh fruit. And at a time when strawberries and pears are ripe for the picking, there is no better time for me to pull out a scoop or two of frozen yogurt. (this compote is also terrific over pancakes)

When I'm making this just for myself, I grab a handful of strawberries and a pear. (recipe below is for 4 servings or for someone who likes to hoarde the goods)
Then slice or dice them just depends on my mood...

View complete posting: Pearberry Compote Frozen Yogurt

Wordless Wednesday ~ Classic Cars For Kids

View complete posting & pictures: Wordless Wednesday ~ Classic Cars For Kids

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pressing Onward With Praise

Life is interesting. Really, it is. It seems like everyone that I know/run into has some sort of crazy going on right now. Jobless, mortgage problems, insane issues with their families...there just seems to be a lot of things flying at people right now. It's almost like Life is in a revolt process.

Throw politics into the mix and that's just a whole other slew of nuttiness and stress that errupts.

In my life, things aren't horrible or completely out of control...they're just a bit difficult. In 6 years of marriage, my hubby & I have lived with inlaws the entire time. Yeah, that means that we've had about a month's worth of days of just being our own little personal family in a house for 24 hours at a time. That's a bit nuts. It's not what we planned, by any means, it's just what we've had to walk thru together.

Through this I have had to remind myself that we could have been going down a much more difficult road...we could be one of the families living out of their cars or at a shelter. The fact that we have been blessed to have family that had the room for us to raise our children in a home and not in the condition of basically being gypsies is something that I try to keep in the front of my mind. It's a huge item to be greatful for...even though it comes with frusteration at times...

View complete posting: Pressing Onward With Praise

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cars & Poodle Skirts ~ Hot August Nights In Reno, NV

If you love classic cars...the paint jobs, the roar of the engines, that shiny chrome ... then you'll absolutely be in heaven during one of Reno's largest festivals. Hot August Nights is in full swing right now throughout downtown Reno. Almost everywhere you look right now there is a gorgeous vehicle cruising the streets. All that's missing is a row of neon diners.

This is one of the best festivals every year! Cars, cars cars!!! We headed over to the Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa for our first official viewing of these beauties. Let me just say, I thought that Charming was going to need a bucket to catch all of that drool. Especially when he saw the beauty above. Then again, almost all of the cars went on his wish list. It was almost like walking through a car lover's dreamland. Rows of some of the most gorgeous cars I've ever seen. And there's still tons that I have to go check-out at other casinos before the festival is over. (Schedule of events is listed below)

View complete posting: Cars & Poodle Skirts ~ Hot August Nights In Reno, NV

Wordless Wednesday ~ The Conga Line

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cinema Sunday ~ Gilda (1946)

I stumbled upon Gilda about 8 years ago when I was looking for something a little more serious on evening other than a Bob Hope comedy. And I fell in love with the story line, scenery and music.

Rita Hayworth was one of the stunning leading ladies of the 40's screens. A siren by all accounts...not to mention a talented actress. She carries the role of Gilda with perfection sucking you right into the world of an illegal casino in South America. Her portrayal of this sultry femme fatale (and wife of the gambling boss) is simply superb. Not to mention the costumes...I would kill for those dresses! Oh what it would be to have a wardrobe filled with the splendor of the 40's...

View complete posting: Cinema Sunday ~ Gilda (1946)