cheesecake parfaits

when my daughter comes to visit i buy strawberries and vanilla bean cream cheese dip.  it is her favorite. she was about to leave and i had a large container only half way used.  i love dessert and if i can make something quick and easy i love it even more.  
cheesecake parfaits
4 canning jars
vanilla bean cream cheese dip
layer one: diced strawberries
layer two: two teaspoons of *cream cheese dip
layer three: **blueberries and raspberries
layer four:  right before i am ready to serve them i top it off with whipped cream
*i started buying individual servings of the dip at walmart and then tossing them in the freezer. when i am going to make this i will pull one out and it is the perfect size for two parfaits.
**we always have freeze dried fruit on hand and i reconstituted with a little apple juice.

pinterest test — saving the lettuce

a while ago i saw this on pinterest and decided to try it out. it actually works. i have since went back to find the original poster of this genius idea and there are so many posts about this that i can’t seem to find it. i am not sure where i found the idea in the first place. 

anyway, i live in the middle of nowhere now and there is not a grocery store for miles. so in an effort to continue healthy eating habits i rely on tricks like this to keep me on track.
i buy romaine lettuce and canning jars.  
first i clean the lettuce and spin it to get all the excess water off.  i have actually brought life back to limp lettuce by using a spinner. if you do not have one, get one.  they are marvelous. 

i then place the lettuce in canning jars filling them to over full packing the lettuce in the jars as tight as possible. then i place the lid on and put them in the fridge. do not open them until you are ready to use the lettuce remember once you open it the clock starts ticking on how long you will have nice lettuce.

i have actually kept lettuce fresh up to a month doing it this way.

pinterest won me on this one.

kitchen gadgets — popcorn love

i love popcorn.  i used to go to the theatre not to go to the movie but to sneak in and buy a bucket of popcorn.  i was lucky enough to live in a small town that would allow me to do that.  now that i am older and never live in a village/town large enough to have a theatre i am forced to make my own.

for years i have searched for the perfect popper and ended up throwing or giving away poppers that just did not cut it. then my friend introduced me to the stir crazy popper and my love for popcorn has been taken to a new level.

i use coconut oil for everything these days, another tip from another friend (if you are wondering if i have any original thoughts….i wonder that too). anyway i use coconut oil and gourmet white popcorn.  the coconut oil is better for me and the popcorn is delicious. when using gourmet popcorn you use less kernels if that matters to anyone? i just like the way it pops up better than a cheaper brand.

i add the oil and the popcorn and plug the popper in and then just watch the magic happen.  i normally wait for the pops to slow down and then unplug the popper. you just flip it over and you can use the lid as the bowl.  

clean up is easy.  i just take a clean sponge and wipe out the popper.  i wash the bowl in a little soap and water.

i do not add butter to my popcorn not because it tastes better without it but because it is healthier that way.  i do add some popcorn salt. the kernels are perfectly popped with very few solid kernels to get in the way of things.

new path for 2013

welcome 2013!

i accidentally deleted my blog, simply blogged, don’t ask how i did that because i am not really sure.  after the initial shock i immediately started to figure out how to recover it.  then i decided things happen for a reason.  i started to think about other blogging possibilities and thought about my strengths, we all have them, and decided to tap into that.  i am good at organizing. i love photography. i thought i could combine the two and start a blog.

we move every three years or so and each time i have to refocus my home and priorities to match the new lifestyle we will be living in each new place.  organization is a huge part of that. i would like to focus on that more. i always have referred to my home as the traveling palace. it sounded like the perfect title for the blog.

then i came up with a top ten list for this year and for my blog.

1. focus word — enjoy

2. photography — start taking pictures again. after working for more than two years i have decided to stay home. the kids are all over the state and it is so nice to just be able to jet off if i need to. also i am really excited to really focus on my favorite hobby, photography.

3. family fun, travel and the great outdoors– this year i would like to see more of the state. i love traveling outside but this year i really would like to see the inside passage and a few other places here locally.

4. home — i would like to focus on keeping my home organized and efficient this year. since i am not working this year i would also like to work on a budget that will be pleasing to my bank account.

5. inspiration — to achieve my goals this year i really need to also focus on all things inspiring. i really do not want to wander aimlessly…that will be a challenge for me.

6. mind, body, soul — healthy eating, exercise, and a healthy mind….that is a load in itself but we will see how far i get with that. i am hopeful.

7. technology — since my son is at college he really hates when i call him asking him tedious tech questions. he feels that now he has left the nest that i need to grow up and figure it out.  another load.

8. shopping — with the “budget” issue coming into play i really need to figure out my gift giving and my everyday shopping as well.

9. home decor — i would like to focus on a clean design of my home decor.  i am really excited about this one….i love decorating.

10. organize — i really would like to get it together this year.  with the move, new home, new area….I just want to take the time to organize my home, life, everything!

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