Thursday, November 27, 2014


Sending warm wishes for a relaxing and peaceful Thanksgiving with the ones you love.  Thank you loyal readers...your support means the world!  XO

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Beef & Beer Chili With (dang) Quesadillas

Sorry, couldn't resist the Napoleon Dynamite reference ;).  I'm sure chili is the last thing on your mind a day before Thanksgiving.  After the holiday and when the leftover turkey and dressing has worn out its welcome, you might like to try this chili recipe.  The simple ingredients make this an easy week night dinner and the lime juice, beer, and cornmeal give it a special twist.  It's been a family favorite a long time!  Enjoy!

Beef & Beer Chili

1 1/2 cups chopped red onion (about 1 medium)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1 small)
8 oz. extra lean ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (19 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14 oz.) can beef broth
1 (12 oz.) bottle beer 
1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Cook 5 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring to crumble.

Stir in chili powder, cumin, and salt; cook 1 minute.

Add oregano and next 4 ingredients (through beer) to pan; bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Stir in corn meal; cook 5 minutes.

Stir in juice. 

Jack & Red Pepper Quesadillas

There are other more authentic ways to make quesadillas, but for a family of 4 (or more), I've found this to be the most efficient because you can make several at a time.

Lightly spray one side of a flour tortilla with cooking spray.  Lay sprayed side down on baking sheet. Top with cheese, red onion, and sliced roasted red pepper (from jar).  Top with another flour tortilla and lightly spray with cooking spray.  Bake in the oven for about 5-7 minutes on 425.  Slice into quarters & serve.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Secrets for Being Holiday Ready

Unless you're new to this blog, you know I prefer to keep things simple, especially around the holidays.  I'm also a product of my upbringing and follow closely in Mom's footsteps.  Growing up, our home always sparkled a little more around the holidays.  Mom started early cleaning floors, windows, and polishing silver and still does to this day.  She motivates me to do the same for my family.  Christmas lights seem to shine a little brighter when the floors are shiny and clean and so do the candle lit windows.  

Thank you Bona Hardwood Floor for sponsoring this post.  I've been keeping house forever years and have used Bona products since my hard wood floor guy recommended it many years ago when our floors were refinished.  I love Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner, so this post was a no brainer for me.  Get a coupon for $3 off Bona here.

Our home is far from being decorated for the holidays because we usually wait until after Thanksgiving, but I have a jump on the cleaning onslaught that comes before it.  Mom and I always chuckle with each other because decorating makes a mess.  We both prefer a clean slate on which to make our mess, ha!

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is quite simply the easiest way to clean hard wood floors that I know of.  I used to carry a heavy mop bucket around.  If you have ever done this, you know how awful that can be. This system is much easier!  With the pull of a trigger the floor is sprayed with non-toxic no residue cleaner.  The mop head simply releases and can be rinsed in the nearest sink when needed.  I usually rinse it after cleaning each room.

When you're finished, just throw the mop head in the washer and it will be ready for next time.  By the way, I have used some form of Bona once a week since we refinished our floors many years ago.  I may have missed once or twice ;),  but our floors hardwood floors have held up very well to kids, dirty shoes, and a dog with this cleaning system.

And here are just a few other things I do to be holiday ready...

Clean the windows.  As I said before, lights shine much brighter in sparkly surroundings.  And I love extra sparkle at Christmas!

Clean the silver.  Just as clean floors and windows reflect light, so does silver.  Clean your silver now.  Trust me, you will be happy you did when crunch time comes.

Do you have any tips for being holiday ready?  Be sure to visit Bona to receive your $3 off coupon.

Thank you for supporting brands such as Bona that support this blog.

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