My 1 Million Row Challenge

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mohave Mango Salsa Chicken

This is what I am cooking for dinner tonight.

Mohave Mango Salsa Chicken Tacos

2 chicken breasts skinned and boned
1/2 cup of Goldwater's Mohave Mango Salsa
1/2 Cup of water
a pinch of salt and pepper
Corn tortillas
shredded lettuce
2 tomatoes diced
1 Avocado diced

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. 1 hour before dinner spray the inside and cover of a 2 quart Le Creuset casserole with non-stick cooking spray. Rinse the chicken breasts and place in the casserole. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the water and put the salsa on top of the chicken breasts. Cover and cook for 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Once the chicken is in the oven clean the sink and any counter space used with your bleach solution of preference.

Wash and shred the lettuce and place in the fridge. Wash and dice the tomatoes and place in the fridge. Dice the avocado right before serving so it does not brown.

When the chicken has finished cooking very thinly slice or shred the chicken and place back in the casserole dish and cover. Dice the avocado and leave the pit in the bowl. Heat the corn tortillas 2 at a time in a fry pan on medium heat, turn once just till warm, be sure not to burn them.

On a plate assemble the salsa chicken taco's by placing the tortillas on the plate. Add the chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and avocado, for a spicier taco you may add extra salsa.

Serve with rice and/or beans.

This recipe will make 8 to 10 taco's.

The Vegan option is even faster to make, just dice the vegetables, heat the tortillas and cover with vegetables and add a dollop of salsa on top.

For the vegetarian option just skip the meat, dice the vegetables, heat the tortillas , cover with vegetables, cheese and a dollop of salsa on top.

For those of you that are not lucky enough to have an A.J.'s Fine Foods near your home, the salsa can be bought on line. Please go to .

I am not being paid to endorse the Goldwater's Salsa, this is just a family favorite. Likewise I am not being paid to endorse A.J.'sFine Foods, it happens to be close to my house and have a lot of products that are not available elsewhere in Tucson.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Friday Pattern -Wash Cloths and Beyond

This was the most wanted pattern by new knitters on Friday.

The pattern is for a wash cloth for new knitters this is a perfect pattern to leap off from. Use the needle size recommended by your yarn of choice. I like Lilly "Sugar and Cream" or Lion Brand cotton for dish cloths, but feel free to use any cotton you like.

Cast on 2

Row 1 knit one (K1), yarn over (YO), knit one (k1)

Row 2 knit one (K1), yarn over (YO), knit (K) till the end of the row.

Repeat row 2 till your wash cloth measures 10 inches up the diagonal side.

Row 3 knit 1 (k1), knit 2 together (k2tog), knit (K) till the end of the row.

When you have 2 stitches left on the needle bind off (BO).

Weave in the ends.

The abbreviations in the brackets are like the ones you would see in a typical knitting pattern. The pattern would look like this in in a typical book.


Row 1 K1, yo, K1

Row 2 K1, yo, K till the end of the row

Repeat row 2 till the diagonal measure is 10"

Row 3 K1, k2tog, k till the end of the row.

repeat row 3 till you have 2 stitches left on the needle.

BO and weave in ends

The thing I like about this basic pattern is that it can be grown into different projects by just adding a little more knitting. I like to use cable needles when knitting blankets, the weight is distributed more evenly and does not get as heavy as if knit on straight needles.

For a preemie blanket knit till the diagonal is 20-26 inches long. I would use a soft washable yarn with NO metal threads in it. The nurses in the NICU's generally do not like wool because it tends to felt when washed and is not quite suitable for their smaller charges.

For a full term baby blanket knit till the diagonal is 36". Use any yarn you like. If it is meant to be a show only blanket the yarn does not matter, if however, you want a usable blanket make sure that the yarn is machine wash and dry able.

To make different size blankets make 9 (3 blocks by 3 blocks)to 30 (5 blocks across by 6 blocks long) wash cloth size squares and sew them together. This is a good way to use left over yarn. Once the squares are sewn together a a small crochet trim to bring the project together.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave me a comment with your e-mail and I will answer to the best of my ability. Have fun knitting and see where the yarn will take you.

Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My First Pattern

I am writing my very first pattern to sell on my web site. I only have 4 more skeins to knit. This is my I can knit in my sleep shawl that everyone seems to like and want the pattern to. I guess that I will have a lot of time to work on it since Eric was sent home sick from school. I can't believe that school has been in secession less than 2 weeks and that he is already sick.

I hope to use his sick days more productively this year, but round the clock child care seems a bit tyring at times. The bright side of the whole Eric being sick is that I have lots of patterns to write, lots of items to knit in my queue, and yarn everywhere...did I mention that yarn was one of my addictions?

Well on to child care and knitting.

Have a great day and enjoy your families.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Yet Another Red Pot Recipe

This is my families favorite chicken soup. This is a basic recipe that you can change up with the addition of matzo balls, dumplings or noodles or a combination of noodles and dumplings or matzo balls.

1 whole chicken ,washed in cold water.
1 teaspoon salt
water to cover chicken
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 pounds of carrots peeled and sliced
1 large celery sliced, this will be about 7-8 cups
1 onion diced

In a large pot add cleaned chicken and salt. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Skim the pot of any junk that comes to the top, this should take about 30 minutes. While you are waiting for the chicken to boil now is an excellent time to scrub down your sink with your favorite bleach cleanser. It is important to clean the sink and the surrounding area before you chop the vegetables.

Once the chicken is not making any more junk and the broth has been skimmed clear, Add all the vegetables at once and add the pepper. Turn the stove to medium low and and simmer at least 2 hours.

After about 2 hours I carefully pull the chicken from the pot and de-bone the chicken, this is the process where the skin is pulled off and the bones are taken out of the chicken. Smaller pieces of chicken are tossed right back in the pot, I tend to dice the larger pieces before they are put back in the pot.

If you are going to add dumplings this is the point where you add them. For a quick dumpling just use a regular biscuit recipe and spoon into the boiling broth and turn down the temperature and simmer for about 20 minutes. For and even faster dumpling just get your favorite ready to use biscuits and layer them on the top of the broth and simmer for about 20 minutes.

I usually make the noodles separately and keep them separate from the soup. Since everyone has their own noodle preference I let everyone scoop their own noodles and then add the soup. The only exception to this would be alphabet noodles which just taste better when they have more time in the broth.

The soup is ready to serve. I usually serve this with bread and margarine.

Enjoy this soup recipe and add your families favorite vegetables to the soup to make it your own.

Unfortunately I have no vegan or vegetarian options for this soup.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Eric's Milk Shake

Eric has a new favorite dinner. I know he likes it because he makes happy sounds, makes nice mommy and takes my hand to rub his tummy to show me how good it feels.

Eric's Shake

1 Banana
1 cup vanilla soy ice cream
1/4 cup of nut butter ( The current favorites are Macadamia and cashew, and will do peanut butter in a pinch)
Soy milk to top off the container.

In a large Magic bullet cup add the ingredients in the following order: Banana, soy ice cream, nut butter and fill to 1/4 inch from the top with soy milk. Blend till smooth.

This is the vegan recipe. You can use regular ice cream and milk if you don't have any allergies to cows milk.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Wonderful Day

I always find it interesting how I always have a wonderful day after Eric gets better. Friday was no exception. I did not even mind that my day would be cut short, the air conditioning was out on the bus, so I let Eric ride to school because it was still fairly cool. When he got out of school it was about 100 degrees outside which would equal an oven in the bus, no we do not want to do heat stroke again, once was one more time than was absolutely necessary.

It was a small but great group at knitting Friday. I finished one of my unfinished objects. Well not all the way finished but the knitting is done and I did not want to weave in the ends Friday. This morning I wove in the ends and listed it on Art Fire. Because of the 50% off sale this week the current cost $65.00 is only the cost of the yarn, no labor included. The price will go up Tuesday. John liked the blanket, but said that even selling it for the price of the yarn the blanket was still too pricey. I am hoping that if people want to support the handmade movement and the made in the USA movement the they would be willing to pay a little bit more for a nice handmade blanket. check it out at ,I guess that only time will tell.
I was thankful that Wii did not forget me, and that I had a great workout. One of the few that have lasted 30 minutes since December. The real test will be tomorrow, to see if I can do 30 minutes again.
Have a wonderful day an enjoy the time with your families.

A Quick Poll

I am running a quick poll today.

Would you like to see more recipes on my blog Yes or No?

Please use the comment space below.

Thanks for your help and any other comments would be helpful too.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another Red Pot Recipe

Eric is home sick today, he pick up heaven only knows what at that giant perti dish called school. So in honor of Eric being sick I will give you a very easy red pot recipe. By the way this is what my husband is getting for dinner tonight.


1 Brisket
1 package of Lipton's onion soup mix
4 cups of water
non stick cooking spray.

Spray the red pot with non-stick cooking spray. Add the brisket and 4 cups of water. Sprinkle the onion soup over the brisket. Place in the oven and cook at 350 degrees for 3 to 4 hours.

Serve on soft rolls with a salad or vegetable sticks for a complete meal.

The only problem I have every encountered with this recipe is that the meat gets so tender that it is almost impossible to slice sometimes, and we just have to scoop the meat out of the pan.

Please let me know how you like the brisket.

I am sorry to say that there is no vegan or vegetarian alternatives to this recipe.

Please have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

Monday, August 17, 2009

L1 Sale

Hi All,

I am having an L1 sale in honor of Teri's 1st week of Law School. Everything will be 50% off for the next week.

Check out

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Red Pot Soup Recipe

You may have noticed that I put a large Le Creuset pot in my Amazon favorites box. So I will give you an easy recipe to go along with it.

1 to 2 pounds of stew meat or chicken cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1 package of Streits dry soup mix any flavor
1 pound of frozen mixed vegetables
any vegetables just hang around in the fridge, diced in 1'' cubes

In the Le Creuset pot add the olive oil and meat, season with salt and pepper. Brown meat till well browned and no pink showing.

Add 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. skim the pot of any crud that bubbles to the top. Add the large bag with the main ingredients and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes. Add the seasoning bag and simmer for 15 more minutes.

Add the frozen mixed vegetables and any other handy vegetables and simmer about 1 hour more. I usually pile the vegetables to with in a 1/2 inch of the top and cover. At this point I stir about every 10 to 15 minutes and then after an hour put the pot on low check the broth level and stirring every 10 to 15 minutes.

I like to cook this soup for 2 to 4 hours, the more time it has on low the better.

For the Vegan option just leave the meat and the olive oil out.

This soup taste even better reheated.

Please try this and enjoy.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Things are going well

I have to say that despite my back being flakier than a croissant, meaning I never know when I will be able to move or I will get stuck, things are going very well.

Teri Has finished her L1 orientation. She has even been teaching Microsoft Word a bit of Latin. She has acquired a mentor and is keeping pace with her reading. I think that this has been an overall great week for Teri.

Eric managed to make it through the first week of school with out missing a day, and has come home very happy both days. Our school district believes in easing the kids into the school year slowly by always starting on a Thursday.

I have managed to get a lot of knitting done and have almost finished another blanket. I hope that this blanket will be the second one I finish this week. I will be showing my work at a small festival hosted by a local pre-school Sunday evening. It will be nice to have some feed back on my work. I hope that I come home with less than I leave with.

John and I managed to find time for a date yesterday. We went to the 10 am showing of District 9, the CMG was fantastic, it was worth going to just for the CMG. Then off to lunch at Micha's one of our favorite restaurants on the south side of town.

We saw more movies today. Eric and I saw The Time Travelers Wife and John saw GI Joe, when we came home we had an Amazon rental, She is Just Not That into You. John said that GI Joe was good and would have like to see it in 3-D. the other 2 movies were fair.

Please have a wonderful day, and may your to do list take a break for the weekend.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I just knew that my back was going out yesterday, sometimes I could move and bend sometimes I could not. I woke up today and have lost my bend. I have to get Eric ready to start school tomorrow and have too much to do for my back to go out.

I have miss placed part of the nebulizer set that I send to school, I can not remember where I put the extra masks, now If I were a nebulizer mask where would I be hiding? I still have not put everything back in its place since we did the remodel and finished 3 months ago.

Today will be devoted to getting Eric ready for school tomorrow. Everything will land on the table till it is packed and ready to leave the house. I can not wait for school to start, there is a little more time in my day since I do not have to drive both ways. I wonder if the Wii remembers who I am?

I finished one lap blanket on Monday and will try to get it listed this week and am working on another, since the temperature has dropped to the low 100's it is time to bring out the light weight cotton blankets.

Have a wonderful day and may your chore list be shorter than mine.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I did finish the audio version of Sophie Kinsella's new book, Twenties Girl . It is the summer must read. Since it is mid August You might want to save this book for the first day of school when you can take some me time. This book is suitable for older children to listen to, although being classic chick-lit you might not get you other half to listen to it.

The book goes into the details of Lara Lington's adventures with her recently departed Great Aunt Sadie. Aunt Sadie is looking for the necklace that her parents gave her as a young woman in the 1920's. Lara's search for the perfect man, will it be the long time boy friend or the intriguing American Consultant? Lara is also trying to run a viable business with a flaky friend who has run off on holiday. Will Lara survive her business partners exploits?

Lara's family has its own issues and personality clashes and not everything is as it seems on the surface of things. I do like the way Lara interacts with her family and I love the end results of her efforts.

This book does scream sequel and I would not mind following Lara for a few more books. Ms. Kinsella can we please have a few more books about Lara?

The twists and turns in the book will keep your attention and at 6 1/2 hours it is not a very long book. If you decide to rip this book to your MP3 player be prepared to take about 25 hours to down load. This was my only problem with the book. My suggestion would be to listen to the disks in the car and only rip it if you want to take it out for a run.

In the effort to keep this an honest and ethical blog, I would like to tell you that my husband bought the book for my daughter and I because we adore Sophie Kinsella's books and he did not want us to be disappointed if it was not available locally on the day it came out. No one is paying me to review this book, If however you decide to buy the book after reading this review and use the link on the left corner of my blog to Amazon I will get a commission from Amazon.

Have a wonderful day and if you decide to read Twenties Girl I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Alpaca Farm Girl » Alpaca Yarn Giveaway

Yes you heard it here Alpaca Farm girl is having a giveaway.

Check this link .

Alpaca Farm Girl » Alpaca Yarn Giveaway: "For the Alpaca Bunny Smackdown, we are giving away a skein of white royal baby alpaca yarn. This yarn was home-grown on our farm. Made from the fiber of our alpacas, Earth Angel, who won a Blue Ribbon in the National Spin-off Competition, and her son, Bishop, who was a Champion herdsire. The skein is a natural white in color, 16 WPI. The skein is approximately 200 yds and weighs 4.0 oz.
Alpaca fiber is prized worldwide due to its luxurious fineness. Alpaca is very light, warm, and has a nice handle. Alpaca also lacks the lanolin that wool has, making it wearable for those allergic to wool. This yarn can also be purchased in our Etsy shop. This yarn Giveaway made possible by the alpacas at Fairhope Alpacas!"

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Teri is Off

This morning after a week of packing we loaded Teri's car to the brim and then some. It is a good thing that dad decided to leave his lap top at home, there would not have been room. They did stop at Carl's Jr for lunch and had to stop at 3 Boarder Patrol check points all with in California. That seems a bit much. They have arrived safely at their first stop on there journey and rumor has it that they will be having dinner at Cozumel's across from the hotel. The food is just wonderful.

At Teri's law school I am wondering if they will think that we are divorced , since we usually play tag team with Eric with one parent staying home and the other going with Teri. I went to the first event and John is doing the drop off and move in. Not to mention a long 2 day car trip so Teri will have her car there if she needs it.

Teri and John are off to a good adventure, they have never done a father daughter solo trip before. But I think that they will have a good time. This will also give John a chance to see what he is paying for, for the next 3 years. I hope that they do not freeze as they head up the coast, it has been a steady diet of 100+ degree days here.

Eric on the other hand spent the morning pouting, figuring that if he pouted long enough that Teri and John would turn right around and come home. When that did not work he decided to have a fun day at camp.

I on the other hand relaxed and spent some time cleaning, the house was very quite so I went after the first pile I saw and moved on to the next. I found time to book appointments and merge Eric's school calendar with mine. Of course there was time to knit and will be time to knit tonight too.

I am thinking of immersing myself in chicklet,movies, books and Tivo till Sunday. Not to mention going out with the girls while Eric is in camp.

Yes I do miss Teri, but if I keep busy enough I should be able to handle this stage of life with grace. After all I have spent the last 22 years getting Teri ready for this day, I should be ready too.

Have a wonderful day.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


This is Teri's last weekend at home before she heads off to law school Tuesday. I have been knitting and crocheting like crazy so she will have a touch of home when she is gone. I know that this is totally irrational but the knitting will continue and I will mail what I don't finish by Tuesday morning. She is also moving to a colder climate and I will be able to knit sweaters for her( but only if I use super wash as per Teri), something that she did not need much of in Tucson.

I will not have a completely empty nest,Eric is still at home, but as daughters go, I think I got the best daughter possible. The house will lack just a little spark when she leaves and it will be a long time till winter break. I will miss our long talks into the evening after the guys went to bed, those can never be replaced or duplicated. I feel so lucky that she included me in her life so much and valued my opinion.

We got a taste of the empty nest when Teri went to England for a semester, but we knew that she was going to be home for at least a year when she got home. This time is different. We know that she will come home for visits and we will visit her if Eric's health permits. But it is just not the same. After law school she will study for the bar and enter the work force, vacations and visits will become shorter.

I am very happy that we prepared her well for life on her own. Teri has been packing all week and has her first shopping list with coupons complete. Teri went through a rite of passage today and got her own Safeway Discount Card, this seems to be a rite of passage among Teri and her friends. For someone who went through the rites of passages in the late 70's this seems like a strange ritual, but it is so new millennium.

I am going to enjoy every last minute I can with Teri and try not to cry on Tuesday morning.