Archive for August, 2011

Fireplace – Before & After

Posted: August 25, 2011 in Painting
Tags: ,

With the economy still in the pits, it’s easy to liven up a room with simple paint color.

Rich Color After

White Before

Broiled Chicken – BBQ Style

 The following Broiled Chicken Recipe I discovered when our BBQ died and I REdiscovered that I can broil anything in my oven to make it taste like it’s been on a BBQ.  This recipe can’t get any easier and makes your home smell intoxicatingly like a professional smokehouse.  Ultimately your family’s senses will be filled with tempting aromas and their bellies filled with a healthy meal (rich in protein).  Also, I dare you to get your kids to help you with this recipe!

Broiled Chicken

  • 3 lbs raw chicken drum sticks (pounds may vary)
  • 5 lbs raw split chicken breasts (pounds may vary)
  • McCormick Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple Seasoning (or your favorite grill rub)


  • In your oven, place racks on the middle level.  Turn your oven on to Broil-Low,  and let it heat up.
  • Rinse raw chicken and pat dry with paper towel
    • Note:  Remember to wash your hands constantly with soap and water when dealing with raw meat!
  • Place chicken in a gallon-sized plastic bag, add about 4 tablespoons of seasoning, close bag (letting all air out), and massage the seasoning onto the chicken pieces.
    • Note: If you really want to get down and dirty, and get more flavor, pull the skin back from the chicken and rub the seasoning onto the meat, then cover with the skin.
    • Note:  Your meat will even be better if you let the chicken marinate for a couple hours or overnight.
  • Coat your broiler pan with a little oil (to prevent sticking)
  • Place chicken on broiler pan (skin-side up) and place in hot oven for 40-45 minutes.
    • Note:  The skin may burn a little, but just realize that you’d rather have the skin burn than your meat.  The skin protects the meat from the intense heat as well as helps the juices continue to marinate.  Ooo, my mouth is watering already!

The best part of this chicken recipe is that you can even make it in the morning, and then for dinner, either eat the chicken cold or reheat for a hot meal.  Also, it doesn’t hurt to make double the amount, as you can always use the cooked chicken for other “Day 2” recipes!

Side Dish Suggestions:

  • Macaroni & Cheese (what kid doesn’t love that!)
  • Green Salad
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Potato Salad


And, let me know how it goes for you!

—  Christie


It doesn’t get any easier than this, and healthy too!

  • 4-6 ripe Avocados
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt (or add more if your taste desires)
  • 1 tsp Cracked Pepper (or add to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped
  • Tomatoes, chopped
  • Lime, 1 small squeeze for taste

Mash all together and serve with chips, veggies or carnitas!  (Check out the Carnitas recipe!)

Note:  If you have left overs, place Guac in a container with one of the avocado pits – believe it or not, the pit will keep guacamole greener (naturally turns brown quickly).


FOOTBALL – GAME DAY RECIPEThe following recipe has been tested and can provide a great check list on hectic game days…

Day B4 Game Day:– 1 Player’s Sport Bag
– 1 Helmet & 1 Mouth Guard
– 1 Shoulder Pad
– 1 pair Padded Pants (in some cases, after you wash the pants, you’ll need your boy to insert the 7 pads.  This takes a little time.)
– 1 Belt
– 1 pair Game Socks
– 1 pair Cleats (you may say “duh”, but trust me, they’ve been forgotten and it can turn a fun morning U-G-L-Y.)
– 2 Game Jerseys
– Throw in an extra TShirt & Shorts & Flip Flops
– Cup – “now this ain’t no Dixie Cup, and you sure don’t want to drink out of it!”
– Cell Phones (charged)
– Directions to game! Print them out now!  Nothing more frustrating than being lost in a town you’re not familiar with!
– Team Roster ( in case you do get lost, call someone for guidance!  And always be prepared to help someone else if they call!  Peace. Love. Kumbayah.)
– Video camera
– Food & Water
– Cash for Snack Shack (always a must, especially if you have little ones)
– Player’s Jug of Water
– Ice in a Chest
– Black Eye Patches (to be applied on upper cheek bone)
– Aloe Vera Wipes (transform sweaty boy to fresh!)
– First Aid Kit (always a good idea to have in the car) & Extra Waters (just always a good idea)
– Family Spirit Wear (tshirts/sweatshirt/hat for sun protection, etc)
– Secret Ingredient: Wart Band Aides (Serves 2 purposes:  works on those annoying, gross warts AND makes your kid look tougher :). Ew, I know, but it’s a reality for anyone with sporty kids

– 1 Football (of course)
– Spectator Chair(s)
– Easy Up
– Sunscreen
– Younger sibling snacks and toys
– Blanket
– Gas in the car (the caravan won’t wait for you)
– Car Paint to decorate your car with your team logo ( it’s always fun to create a party around this)
– Home Made Rah-Rah Signs
– Another Secret Ingedient:  Freeze a couple Towels for your Player – trust me, they will LOVE you for it during the game when they are exhausted and hot!

– Check emails for any last communications from coaches or team momsNight B4 Game Day:
– No Sleepovers
– “Family Movie Night” (preferably “Grid Iron Gang”, “Game Plan”, or “Rudy”)
– Team Dinner (examples of menus coming soon)
– or Family Dinner involving Roasted Chicken/ BBQ Steak and a Pasta dish and Salad – see Recipes
– Player to drink lots of water (no sodas or energy drinks!!)

To make this Recipe tastier and more memorable, don’t forget:
– your camera/video camera

– to be respectful to each other
– to be willing to volunteer or help out where needed
– keep the field clean of trash (pick up someone else’s, in case they haven’t read this.  Doing a little extra clean up in this world is good for the soul.)
– to be grateful to the Head Coach Upstairs as well as your earthly coaches on the field.Now, Go, Fight, Win !!!!

Note:  Looking back at this huge list, it’s amazing we all still play football!  Once you’re in your groove, the season will be over.  EnJOY your boy and every moment!  It goes by quickly!

                   Now, I know I forgot SOMETHING….

With your left over carnitas from yesterday, you can do one of many easy things for tonight:


Shopping List:  Box of Black Beans & Rice, Frozen White/Roasted Corn, Turkey Sausage Link, Frozen Cooked Shrimp, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Ranch Dressing

This is one of my husband’s favorites:  In a big pan, make Black Beans & Rice (usually a Louisiana-style box of rice – follow box directions), add the carnitas, some corn, and cut up turkey sausage (like Hillshire Farms brand), defrost some cooked shrimp, if you have it.  Heat up and serve.  Eezy Peezy!  And it’s husband approved! 🙂     Add a salad, mixture of lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and Ranch Dressing


Shopping List:  Big Tortillas, Frozen White/Roasted Corn, Cheedar Cheese (shredded), Can of Black Beans, Enchilada Red Sauce, Corn Bread Mix, El Torito brand green cilantro salad dressing, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions

This one, also husband approved! Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grab some big tortillas, corn, shredded chedder cheese, some canned black beans, and the left over carnitas.  Get a 9″x13″ pan, coat with canola oil and about 1/3 cup of Enchilada red sauce (Trader Joe’s has a good one).  Fill the middle of each tortilla with the ingredients, wrap like a burrito and lay about 6 on top of red sauce/oil.  Pour remaining red sauce over the top of the burritos and rub sauce all around to coat.  Shred more cheese on top and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.   Whip up some corn bread (from a box; we love Trader Joe’s) and bake according to directions.  Make a quick salad with lettuce, cut up tomatoes, cheddar cheese, cut up red onion and El Torito’s green cilantro salad dressing.   You’ll look like a super star at the dinner table!  Don’t forget to say grace and be thankful!


Shopping List:  Eggs, Big Tortillas, Cheddar Cheese, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Salsa, Hot Sauce for dad, Juice/Milk Boxes, paper towels, tin foil, and plenty of Coffee of course 🙂

On game day, these are a hit, especially on the road, early in the morning.  First off, make your coffee (always take care of #1)!  Then make 6 eggs, any style; I prefer making egg whites in a small saute pan.  In each big tortilla, add carnitas, eggs, shredded cheddar cheese, and tomatoes, and onions, salsa, hot sauce (or whatever your favorite ingredients are).  Wrap into a burrito, then wrap in paper towel (your napkin for the road) and then wrap in tin foil (to keep warm).  Pour your coffee, grab the boys’ juice/milk boxes and off you go!  Kids get a healthy, hearty meal before the big game!  Note:  These can be made the night before for grab-n-go in the morning (just don’t forget to heat in the microwave withOUT the tin foil!)

Let me know what you think!


Carnitas – Day 1

Oh, boy, is your family in for a treat!  This recipe is simple, simple, simple and yet so good!  Get out your crock pot – your new best friend during your favorite busy sport season.   I guarantee your family will LOVE YOU!

{Please note:  my family involves 2 boys, 1 man-child, 1 man, and 1 female who likes to eat a lot of protein – we’re ALL carnivors, so we hope you enJOY all our meaty recipes!}



  • 3-5 lbs pork – shoulder roast (melts in the crock pot and shreds so nicely!) – enough for a 2nd meal, stay tuned!
  • 1 cup whole milk (this is a creamier version; 2% milk is OK too)
  • 1/2 orange – cut in half
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or whatever you have)
  • 2 tsp pepper (personally, I like cracked pepper)
  • 1/2 onion – chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves – chopped/pressed

Place pork in crock pot, fat-side up (so fat juices are pulled down through the meat while cooking,  mmmmmm!).  Add in milk, squeeze juice from the orange over the meat and throw in the rind, salt, pepper, onions and garlic.   Turn your crock pot on low for 6-8 hours.  Come home from practice and your house will smell like you’ve been cooking all day!

Serve with your favorites:

  • Flour/corn tortillas
  • Tomatoes – finely chopped
  • Onions – finely chopped
  • Cilantro – finely chopped
  • Corn – frozen white corn is our favorite; heat up in a hot water in the microwave
  • Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamoli – home made if possible; check out my Guac recipe!

Let me know what you think… and check out “Carnitas, Day 2” – other meal options for the left overs.


Football — Meaty Marinara Sauce 

The excitement is starting!  Football season kicks off this weekend with Pop Warner scrimmages and High School practices and preseason games!   To create a great, hardy meal for your family with little effort, get your crock pot out and let’s make some Meaty Marinara Sauce!                                                                 

Ingredients to throw into the Crock:

  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • 1 pound Ground Beef (already cooked and seasoned with salt and garlic powder)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Dash of Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Basil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregeno
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 3 large Garlic Cloves (skins removed, finely chopped)
  • 3 (14-oz.) cans of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt (or whatever you have)

 Set the Crock on low and let slow cook for 6-8 hours.

When ready to serve, take out the bay leaf, boil up some of your favorite pasta, throw a quick salad together and dinner will be ready for you and your family after practice (and, oooooohhh, your house will smell GOOD!)   EnJOY!

Go Titans!  and EnJOY!

xo  Christie (Team Momster)


Who’s who?


These four paintings were custom designed to match the accessories in a young girl’s room, accenting pinks and black, and providing a relaxing atmosphere.