Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tunesday - Lost In The Trees

Sorry I missed Tunesday yesterday! Tonight is not a night for costumes, candy, or scary things. No, sir. It's a night for music. I've been waiting a while to talk about this band mostly because I didn't know quite what to say about them. There are a lot of words I'd like to write, but instead I'll keep it brief:

I love this folky-orchestra group because it has this really fantastic combination of meaningful lyrics and beautiful orchestral instruments. I've heard that the number of band members on stage can range with each show, rendering the sound of each show unique. Their music contains instruments like guitar, violin, cello, French horn, tuba, and I'm pretty sure there was a glockenspiel at the show I attended last winter.

Here's my poorly recorded video of favorite song (sounds good though!):

Here's a great song from their newest album A Church That Fits Our Needs to illustrate their current sound:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oven Baked Fajitas

Here's a pretty ballin' recipe I found on Pinterest. I made it for the first time a few months ago and to be honest, I kind of forgot about it (which is surprising because it's super delicious. I thought of it again the other day and decided to make it again tonight. This recipe is pretty large. I'd say it would make enough for 4 adults. My favorite thing about this is that it's ridiculously easy to make. The first time I made it I used precut onions and peppers. You could even get the fajita chicken pieces that are already cut into neat little pieces. Try it, you'll like it.


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into strips


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken strips in a greased 13×9 baking dish.
In a small bowl combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt.
Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and stir to coat.
Next add the tomatoes, peppers, and onions to the dish and stir to combine.
Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

Original recipe credit: Real Mom Kitchen

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tunesday - Pentatonix

One of my friends introduced me to this group last week when I mentioned that I had that stupid Gotye song in my head. First, let me just say that I have a love hate relationship with this song. It love the lyrics but sometimes I really dislike the overall 80's sound. This a cappella group from Arlington, TX won The Sing-Off last fall. Here's the cover for your listening pleasure:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Baked Jalapeño Poppers - 2pp

By now you should realize that I love Skinny Taste. Here's another one of my favorite recipes by Gina. I used some corn flake crumbs instead of panko since I had some left over from a chicken recipe. Here's the original recipe. Stay tuned below for mine.

Makes 12 servings of 2 poppers each. Each serving has 2 Points Plus and about 62 calories.

12 jalapeño peppers, sliced in half lengthwise
4.5 oz light cream cheese
5 medium scallions, green part only, sliced
2 oz shredded low fat sharp cheddar
1/2 cup egg beaters
1/2 cup corn flake crumbs
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp chili powder
spray oil

Preheat oven to 350°.
Cut peppers in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
Combine cream cheese, cheddar and scallions in a medium bowl.
Mix corn flake crumbs, paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder in another bowl.
Fill peppers with cream cheese mix.
Dip in egg beaters.
Put the pepper in the corn flake mix and coat.
Place the peppers on an oil-sprayed baking sheet. Lightly spray the tops of the peppers with the spray.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden and cheese oozes out.
Remove from oven and serve immediately. Serve hot.

Friday, October 12, 2012

DIY -- Lamp Upgrade

When I started redoing my bedroom, a friend of mine gave me an old lamp that she used to keep in her classroom. It has a lot of shells in it and a slightly stained and outdated shade. It also had a dead seahorse inside. It's non-existant eye haunted me. Haunted me, I tell you. I really wish I had taken a picture of it. Oh well. Anyway, here's a before picture:

I picked up a round shade from Target when it went on sale for around $18.00. Then I sat down, unscrewed the bottom of the lamp, and started shaking the shells out. The awkward part came in when I tried to clean the inside of the lamp. Long story short; it's still slightly dusty/linty inside. Ready to see the final result?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Taco Pasta - 8 pp

This is one of my new favorite recipes! I found the original version by Canadian Moms Cook through my Pinterest. I made it a while back and while I liked it, I thought it needed just a couple changes. To be honest, I really only added more cheese and little Rotel, but I think it made a difference.

It's ridiculously easy and relatively quick to make.

Makes 8 1-cup servings. Each serving is 8 points plus.


1/2 - 3/4 box of bowtie pasta
1 pound of ground beef (I used ground sirloin because I'm fancy and it has a lot less fat).
1 pkg/envelope of taco seasoning
1 cup of water
1/2 can of tomatoes with green chiles (i.e. Rotel)
3/4 package of cream cheese (I actually used Neufchâtel, but you could live it up)
1 1/2 (approx) cups of shredded Mexican blend cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil pasta until just cooked; drain, run cold water over it.
3. While pasta is cooking, brown ground beef.
4. Mix taco seasoning and the water; pour over cooked beef and let simmer for about 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced.
5. Add the cream cheese to the beef mixture, stir until melted and combined. Remove from heat.
6. Combine pasta and about 1 cup of the cheese. Add 1/2 can of Rotel. (note: I normally do this in the same pot I cooked the pasta in. You can do it in your casserole dish, but it seemed to messy to me)
7. Top pasta and cheese with beef mixture, gently mix until the pasta is coated.
8. Transfer to casserole and top with remaining 1/2 (and maybe more!) cup of shredded cheese.
9. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes.

Additional Note: I have used both a 9x13" dish and a 1-quart dish for this recipe and both worked fine. Also, I kind of eyeball the amount of cheese used on the top; 1/2 cup is just a guideline. You can do more or less.

Tunesday - The Decemberists

Tunesday is 20 minutes late, but I make the rules so maybe you should just calm down. Let's get down to business. Though I have an appreciation for most all types of music, I have to let you know that I love folky music. It's my thing. Has been for a while now. The Decemberists and Iron and Wine are in a constant war for my supreme affection. I'm featuring The Decemberists now because I've cared deeply for them since high school. Here are my two favorite songs.