Thursday, July 18, 2013

on mexican polenta...

I'm not going to lie but there's not much fancy stuff going on in my kitchen lately. There's been a nasty heat wave around here and honestly, I just do not have the will to sit in an already smoldering kitchen to sweat even more to cook extravagant meals. You heard me, sweat! It's bad and since we already have to keep our air conditioning full blast all day long I don't have the heart to heat the house right back up. So lately, it's been simple things like salads. Not to mention that this heat totally makes us not want to eat much either. It's a mess and I hate it. I always wish for Fall to be here right about now. 
Anyways, the other night I made this Mexican Polenta that was very tasty and even the hubby enjoyed it. He took it with him to work that night and called me just to tell me how yummy it was and that it was almost gone. So, that being said it was blog worthy. 

1 lb. pork loin, pork butt or shoulder (whatever you prefer but I just used the loin)
1 14oz can black beans
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes 
1 cup chicken broth 
2 tablespoons taco seasoning 
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup Ortecga taco sauce 
1 cup corn meal/polenta 
4 cups water 
salt & pepper 
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 
sour cream & jalapeƱos for topping


1. Place pork that's been seasoned with salt and pepper, chicken broth and minced garlic in the crock pot and cook on low for about 6 hours. Or 4 hours on high. I did it on low because I was away at work. Once it's cooked add black beans, diced tomatoes, cilantro, taco seasoning and taco seasoning. Stir everything together with a fork. The pork will just fall apart at this point. Cook everything in the crock pot for another 15 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan heat both the water and corn meal on medium heat. Stir it constantly because it will splatter. Be careful! Once it thickens take it off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Polenta should be soft and not too thick. If it is then just add a little more water. 

3. Preheat the broiler. Dump pork mixture into a baking dish and then pour polenta over told. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top and place dish in the heated broiler for about 10-15 minutes. All you're doing is melting the cheese and setting the polenta a little. Serve with with a dollop of sour cream and some jalapeƱos on top. 



Monday, July 08, 2013

on currently...

Reading// Still working on Game of Thrones book #1. I haven't really been reading much the past few weeks but hoping to finish it up soon. I'm very close to finishing and I still love it as much as I love the show. My last post was my reading list and I think I'll be starting on Neil Gailman's book next. It's not as long as some of the books I've been reading lately so that will be nice. 

Listening to// Pandora. It's really all I listen to now a days. God knows when the last time I bought music. I seriously want to make out with whoever it was that invented Pandora. I love the variety and I swear it always knows just what I want to hear. And when I get bored or want to mix it up all I have to do is change the station. Other than that Fleet Foxes has been my favorite thing to listen to lately. 

Thinking about// My dad. He's been on my mind ever since I left Seattle. He is due for surgery tomorrow. He will be staying one night at the hospital and home by Wednesday. It's hard to be so far and even with all my positive thoughts it still hurts to be so far away. But when I think of my dad I swell with pride. I am so incredible proud of him and can't but look up to his strong will. I can't wait until I can finally be back home and be able to hug him whenever I want. He's a great man. 

Watching// Teen Wolf. It my favorite show that is currently on. It even tops True Blood right now. Don't get me wrong True Blood with forever be on my list but something about Teen Wolf this season has been all giddy and excited. Every episode has had me on the edge of my seat and ending with lots of question to be answered. I love that! And after each episode I get all pouty about it being over! 
I saw World Ward Z with a couple of my girlfriends on Sunday. Two thumbs up from me! I loved every minute of it. I loved the zombies. They were creepy looking but the sound that let out took things to a whole new level. I thought Brad Pit was awesome in the role he played and even though I wished we learned some more about his past I still thought it was enough. Without giving away too much I will say all around the thing I was most pleased with was the ending. Many people would think that is weird because well, the ending didn't really end or give us closure at all but I liked that because it seemed more realistic to me. Worth seeing though! 
The next movie I'm counting down the days to is-- The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. It comes out on my birthday! 

Looking forward to// Sebastian's 5th birthday. I still can't believe my little boy is going to be five! Ahhh! The days have flown by and it's about that time. Since it's his big 5th birthday we plan on spoiling him and having a small birthday party at his favorite place, Happy Tymes, which is a family fun center. Huge jungle gym maze, rides, games, go carts and mini golf. Where a little boys wildest dreams come true. My little boy to be exact. I know he will have fun and it will be something he will talk about and relive for months after. Can't wait to see his face light up. 

Making me happy// A hardworking husband. He really is the moon of my life. My perfect fella. Books and their ability to sooth and relax me. I can get lost in a book and forget about anything on my mind. Thinking about Seattle and the future. It makes me happy knowing that all but good things are coming our way. I love to think I'll finally get to start on my dreams. Bobby and I have been talking about expanding our family and once we get completely settled out in Seattle we hope to work on turning our family of three into four. It exciting to think about! Over all at the end of the day even though some times life is tough and whether it's me or a loved one going through something the best way to take it on is with positive thoughts and a brave heart. 


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

on a summer book list...

I'm keeping my summer book list small this year. I know for a fact I'll be doing a lot more writing and a little less reading on my spare time and even though I'm tempted to just push books aside for a little while and focus on my writing, it's just not something I can bring myself  look to do. I always like to have a book by my side. It's funny because I have a small notebook just for my book list. I carry it around in my purse because I never know when I'll spot a title that I want to write down or when someone will recommend a novel! Here are six books I've told myself that I want to read this summer...

Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat. Someone had recommended this book to me after they saw my previous post about my love for wolves. Thanks Gina! It's a true story, totally dig that, and it's made into a movie which is something I will forward to watch after I read the book. It's basically a story of a man who goes to the Canadian Arctic to observe the wolves and in doing so starts to feel a deep connection to them. It just seems like a book that I would enjoy. 

September Girls by Bennett Madison. I stumbled across a blog that strictly shares and reviews young adult and scifi books called The Book Smugglers. That's were I spotted this book and thought it sounded interesting. It's about a boy named Sam who spends his summer in a beach town where he is surrounded by beautiful blonde babes. An unexpected romance happens between him and one the girls but as things come together she pulls away. Sam is faced with trying to unravel secrets to do with her and these girls. This book is about first love and...mermaids!! Now I got your attention. I know! That's what grabbed me too. 

Slammed by Colleen Hoover. Julee had this book on her dinner table and noticed it when I was at her house while we were out in Seattle. That's one of the things I love about going over to Julee's house, seeing all the books she has stacked in random places in her home. I always end up taking photos of them so I can go back and write all the titles down. I've already read Hopeless by Hoover and that was amazing! Everyone that I have gotten to read it say the same. After that, I told myself I had to read another of her books and this one seems just as captivating! Can't wait to get my hands on it. 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Another author that I've come to like. After reading his novel The Graveyard Book I knew Neil and I were soul mates. I don't know much about this book other than it's a mysterious bewitching story and everyone that I've talked to rave about. So I'll be reading it!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. A story about a girl and a boy meeting at a Cancer Support group. I heard it's a heart-swelling story that will make you cry. Even though I don't read books like this often, I think it's good for the soul every once in a while. Many around the blogosphere say it's worth reading. 

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. Out of all these, I am most looking forward to this book! I've read lots of reviews where people compare it to The Host by Stephanie Meyer in the sense that it's about an alien race taking over but also they say that it's way better. Alien movies and or books always leave me with this creepy feeling like what if? It's the "unknown" that gets me and once I heard about this book I just knew I needed to read it. 

Have you read any of these books? Or do you have any other great reads that you just think I must know about? I am always looking to add more to my never ending book list! 


Monday, July 01, 2013

on five things...

You have got to know by now that I absolutely love making lists. When I first started this blog I created this huge list of things I would like to do before my time is up on this Earth. It was fun and it was a perfect kind of post to do to start this blog. I went back to it the other day and I was able to cross of a few things and some I had to alter.
I always end up writing goals or little things I want to do in the future or even just goals and things to do for this month. It's nice to have ideas and plans to keep you motivated. One of these days I will revamp my really long (like fifty-something) bucket list and re-post it again but for now I wanted to inspire everyone to think of your own goals, whether it's something fun for this week, next month or 10 years from now. Here are my five new goals to add to my bucket list...

Visit a wolf sanctuary. I've been in love with wolves since I can remember. They are fascinating animals and whenever I'm asked what my favorite animal is?-- well, wolves are it! One of my regular customers via the coffee shop told me about a wolf sanctuary right here in Pennsylvania. I had no idea there was one up until she told me. Then next day she brought in a newspaper clipping with a little article about the place and I just knew I had to go. The have tours during the day on the weekends and some week days but when I saw that they have a By the Light of the Moon Tour, I instantly became giddy! These tours are strictly tours which are held on days that fall on the full moon. You take a tour to see the wolf packs while your tour guide shares facts. Then afterward you get to sit by a bonfire, drink coffee or tea, listen to a Native American family tell stories and hear the wolves howl to the moon. So freaking cool! Since this particular wolf sanctuary is only about an hour and a half away I'm planning a trip for the full moon tour this September. 

Write a book. This has been on my bucket list for quite some time now. I always knew I'd write a book in this lifetime but the question remained, what sort of book and when? Some of you may already know that I've started writing a book! It was a thought that I had randomly come to me and once I brought up the courage to tell my husband about this idea he at once told me to write everything down so that I didn't forget. We both went out to buy a sketch book so that I could start to write & doodle all my ideas down. Shortly after I just began writing. I've only told a select few the premise of the book but I will say that it's a fantasy novel with three main characters. A vampire, werewolf and a witch. Are you surprised? You shouldn't be. I always wondered how all these wonderfully creative authors out in the world come up with what they put in their novels and suddenly now I know! It's an amazing thing to be able to take the things you make up in your mind and put them down on paper. Of course, it's hard work and with working full-time and being busy non-stop, this book will most likely not be release until like 2090! But alas it's a fun goal to have and once I do accomplish it, there will be no stopping me. Not to forget that I have some pretty awesome people who support and believe in me. That helps too! 

Motorcycle. My dad bought me a dirt bike for my 16th birthday. He was always one to get really great birthday and Christmas gifts but the dirt bike topped all! When I told my dad I wanted one he was very apprehensive. It's a dangerous thing to have and he didn't like the idea. But after I begged him to no end he caved in. I remember standing outside as he drove his truck into the driveway. I didn't see it at first until the bed of the truck was facing me and there it was. I freaked out to say the least. Long story short, I would ride that thing after school everyday just around our two acre property and be in heaven. 
My dad rode motorcycles back in Europe in his twenties until one of his dear friends died riding one. It took him forty years to get back on and it's been four years and two bikes later! 
One of the first things I want to do when we move back to Seattle is to get my motorcycle license. Ever since my dad starting to ride again I've been secretively longing to go on a trip to Yellowstone National Park with my dad on our motorcycles. Together on the road with just a backpack full of our things and a tent. Camp out where ever we want without a worry in the world. We're going to do it and I can't wait. 

Hair academy. Pretty much everyone knows that I want to go to hair school and become a hair stylist. It's been my dream for quite some time now and I'll be finally pursuing that dream once we're out in Seattle. Once I am licensed, I want to work somewhere downtown in a trendy salon where I'm not doing old ladies hair or the same hair style over and over again (no offense to all the old ladies out there or people that are boring!) but instead being able to be creative and help people be creative. Of course, soon after I'm out there gaining experience I want to open up my own shop. Hopefully with my little sister. 
But my biggest dream yet, the whopper of all dreams is to create my own hair academy! I vision to have a school where I teach my own philosophy and techniques to people who are equally as passionate about hair as I am. It's a pretty big dream!

Play the banjo. I've always wanted to play an instrument but there's never really been one that I've fallen in love with. When I was younger I wanted to learn to play the drums but now I've sort of lost interest. Until now! I want to learn to play the banjo and hopefully soon because I'm asking for one for my birthday in August. Eeeee!

What are your goals?