Stuffed Pepper Casserole…

This casserole was a hit at my house tonight…and my daughter is a very picky eater. It’s even better than actual stuffed peppers in my opinion because it’s all mixed together in one dish! 

Ingredients:

2 green bell peppers 

1 red bell pepper

1 pound ground turkey or beef

1 bag of boil in a bag rice cooked on stove

1 can diced tomatos (any variety)

Onions (optional) I used dry minced

1 bag shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Italian seasoning

Trader Joe’s 21 Season Salute (optional)

Directions:

Cook ground turkey or beef on stove and drain. Set aside. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish. Cut out the cores of the peppers. Slice into strips and dice. Put in greased dish. Put the remaining ingredients into the dish and mix well. (only use 1/2 bag of the shredded cheese at this time)

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, top with the rest of the shredded cheese, and put back in the oven. Broil for 5 minutes until cheese bubbles and browns. Remove. Let cool and enjoy. 

Please remember I don’t measure…I just add until I think it looks good…and I am of the opinion, the cheesier the better! You can add other ingredients or seasonings.  If you try it, be sure and let me know what you think.

K

Memories…

Do you remember the first time you stood on the beach and saw nothing but the ocean extending to the horizon and the waves crashing before you?

Do you remember the first time you saw the mountains rise from a distance and how they seemed to go on forever?

Do you remember your first day of school and not wanting to let go of your mother’s hand? Your last day of school and the excitement of going out into the world for the first time on your own?

Do you remember your first crush? Your first kiss? The first time you fell in love? The first time your heart was broken? The first time you broke someone else’s heart? 

Do you remember the first time you found out you were expecting a child? The first time you heard the baby’s heartbeat? The first ultrasound? The first kick? Seeing your baby for the first time and holding it? Hearing your child’s first cry? The first time they crawled and walked? Hearing their first word?

Do you remember your parents being your heros? Remember a time when they knew everything and then for a season they knew nothing at all? Do you remember the first time you realized how much they really loved you..unconditionally? How much they had done for you and sacrificed for you? Do you remember the first time you realized they wouldn’t be with you forever? Watching them get sick and weak? Watching them take their last breath?

There’s so much emphasis on memories, both good and bad that make us who we are. I love to remember and stay awhile inside my yesterdays. Of course it’s not good to stay there too long or we miss out on the present.

Everything and everyone in your life was once a “first time”.

Today I challenge you to appreciate and see everything and everyone you encounter as is it were the first time.

Really look at that sunrise or sunset. Listen to your children as if it were the first time you heard them speak. See the world around you as if it were the first time. Your home. Your neighborhood. The trees. The birds singing. Your pets. Your parents. Your friends. 

Oh, and don’t forget yourself! Really look at yourself and see who you are, inside and out. Forget the mistakes and heartache. The disappointments. Even the bad experiences and choices have made you who you are. Let it all go and see yourself… not only for who you are now, but for who you can become.

K❤

I March To The Beat Of A Different Drum..

#notmymarch

Don’t include me in your crazy rhetoric. As a woman, this does not represent me. I am not an extremist or a feminist. No one is stealing any of my rights or beliefs. I am not a victim. I am not oppressed. Look to the Middle East and Africa where this is really needed…where the real rape culture is.

Have women been discriminated against? Yes, and it was wrong. It wasn’t corrected by burning bras or wearing offensive hats depicting female genitalia. That discrimination was overcome by the hard work of millions of women. The battle was won by showing the world through our efforts, studying more, and working harder. Actions always speak louder than words.

BBQ Chicken Pineapple Pizza…

The following recipe is quick, easy, and delicious…a special request from my daughter for supper tonight. 

I cooked the boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot overnight on low. I let the chicken simmer in chicken broth. Once I was ready to make the pizza, I removed it from the crock pot and shredded it with a metal hand chopper.


Ingredients:

1 can Pineapple chunks or tidbits

1 bottle BBQ sauce (use whatever you like)

1 package shredded pizza cheese

1 pizza crust (I used Mama Mary’s) 

Shredded chicken (about 4 cups)

I cooked the pizza on a baking stone. Put crust on stone and spread BBQ sauce on crust. I only used half of the bottle.


Spread chicken evenly over the crust and season with your favorite seasoning. I used Trader Joe’s 21 Season Salute.


Spread pineapples on top of chicken and top with shredded pizza cheese. Use whatever amount you prefer. Personally I think the more cheese the better!


Bake in over for 10 to 12 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, slice and enjoy! 


I hope you’ll try the recipe. The best part is you can add whatever ingredients you like. Because I never really measure anything you can use more or less of the mentioned ingredients. As I’ve said before….make it your own!

It’s  very simple and quick and when it comes to everyday meals, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Merry Christmas…

To all…I hope you have a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year! I hope you will dream dangerously and outrageously. The only failure is in not trying. Take risks. Be kind. Be wise. Show compassion. Help others. The world needs more of that right now. It always has. Love one another as God has commanded us to do. Don’t judge. Don’t hate. Be respectful of others even when you don’t agree. One person can make a difference. You might not change the world, but you can change the world for one person. 

For those of you who aren’t experiencing the “storybook” Christmas this year…Maybe you’re grieving a loss. Perhaps you’re lonely, discouraged, or worried about the challenges you’re facing. I assure you there is no one who hasn’t struggled through a holiday or two. Be gentle with yourself. Stay open to the kindness of others and stay open to some small, Christmas miracle. 

Merry Christmas to all!! I wish you all the best… today and always!!

Small Town Life…

I was born in a small town. Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world, waiting on a midnight train going anywhere. Just a few lines from songs by John Cougar and Journey to describe who I am. 

I had big dreams of catching that midnight train and going wherever it would take me, but only ended up settling an hour away from home in the “big city”. Of course if I could go back and do it all over again, I would. The world was a big ol’ place full of adventure. At the time I had no responsibility and yet no courage to venture out. Now that I have the courage to do so, time has also brought about too many responsibilities to just pick up and go. Someday I will!

I miss my hometown, but I’m lucky because it’s only a short drive anytime I get the urge to go for a visit. I find it hard to go back to visit since my mom passed away, but I do go back to visit my dad, sister, aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

This is one of my favorite photos from the small town I come from. It just reminds me of home:

There are many pros and cons for the small town life just as there are for life in the city. 

There’s never a lot to do. Not many places to shop or eat, but it has grown since I lived there. One of the greatest past times as a teen was to “cruise” Main Street in your car and then everyone ended up parking in the church parking lot and hanging out. A short honk as you passed a friend was a way to say “hi”. If you “layed” on the horn as you passed someone, it meant you wanted that person to pull over so you could chat awhile. Sometimes you’d park your car and get in with someone else and keep on cruisin’. A good part of my paycheck as a teen went towards gas money to accommodate all this cruisin’!

It was the kind of town that you waved at everyone you passed while driving because you knew everyone. BUT if it was one of your friends, you crazy waved  as you passed…I mean it was one of your best friends after all!

It was also the kind of town where everyone knew who everyone else was. There wasn’t a lot of privacy and you couldn’t get by with much…gossip or the truth, everyone knew what was going on with you. Sometimes they knew what I’d done before I did! I always knew to tell the truth when I got home if I was asked where I’d been or what I’d done because chances were my parents already knew.

The plus side to this was that if you had a crisis or a death in the family, everyone knew and the whole town was there for you at the drop of a hat. When you had a death in the family, people would come by from all over town and bring a casserole…dessert…tables and counters would be covered with dishes. They’d visit with you and pray with you and you knew you were not alone.

Where I live now people don’t do that. The city is too big. It’s not a close knit community. However, at least in my neighborhood, if something happens I make it a point to visit and do what I can to assist my neighbors.

Here in the city, no one pulls over for funeral processions except those of us who came from small towns. Back home everyone pulled over off the side of the road to show their respect. Men would even get out of their cars, take off their hats, and place them over their hearts. That’s respect! Not only for the person who passed away, but for their families as well.

I for one think the pros of living in a small town outweigh the cons. People always watched out for you and your kids. If you needed help with something, you didn’t even have to ask and no one expected anything in return.  It was a simple way of life and simple was good. 

We all have big dreams no matter where we live or where we come from. We’re always waiting on that midnight train to take us somewhere…”anywhere but here”. And once we get where we’re going and life happens, we usually long for those simpler times of our youth.

I can’t say I’d want to move back and live there, but I can say it’s always nice to “catch that train” and go back home once in awhile. 

No matter where I live, I’ll always be a small town girl at heart. Nothing will ever change that.