Friday, August 8, 2014

Taco Bake

My husbands LOVES tacos. I rarely eat more than one taco in a sitting and I never eat leftovers. Then I found this recipe via Pinterest for a Taco Bake. If you like tacos and lots of cheese in salsa con queso form....then you want to make this. I have gone back for seconds, thirds, and fought for leftovers. I'm in love! 
We now make double batches and freeze one for those days where nothing goes right and we want an easy dinner.  
Here's what you need:
1lb of ground meat (we use turkey)
1 jar salsa con queso (we buy the big boy for double batch)
2 cups of cheese (cheddar, mexican...your choice)
tortilla shells
favorite taco seasonings
favorite taco veggies (we use a variety of peppers and half an onion)
springform pan for baking

First up dice the veggies and add to a pan with some oil for sautéing.

While those are cooking I prep my springform by adding a tortilla to the bottom of the pan. You can cut it down to fit if you like but I like the way the larger shells keep in all the good stuff. 

Once the veggies are done remove them from the pan and set aside. Add turkey to the pan. We like to season the ground turkey while we brown it for extra flavor. A nice sprinkle of cumin and garlic powder. (I prefer to used minced garlic but I didn't have any on hand today)

Next up on the turkey is some cayenne pepper, paprika, and some red pepper flakes.

Cook until the meat is completely browned.

Add your taco seasoning per the instructions.

Don't forget to add the veggies back in to soak up some more flavors. (This is the exact same way we make our tacos and our friends never believe us when we tell them we use ground turkey instead of beef. So here it is in print everyone!)

Once the taco sauce is done. Add half a jar of queso (if you're using the big jar like me or if it's smaller use the whole jar.)

Mix all the queso glory into the taco meat.

On top of your tortilla scoop out a heap of meat and cheese so it covers the bottom.

Sprinkle a handful of cheese on top of the meat. 

Repeat the process.

Till your run out of taco meat. Optional: add one last tortilla and dump the remaining cheese on top. We like a crunchy top.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes till all the cheese is melted and the tortillas start to turn golden brown.

Carefully remove the sides of your springform pan and let it cool a bit.

But I'm a rather impatient person when it comes to waiting to eat cheesy taco yumminess. As you can see I didn't get a clear photo and the cheese is still molten and oozing out and I was in a hurry to eat!

I just couldn't help myself. I love it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Craft Room Peg Board

So my craft room got a little crazy an I needed a quick way to clean up and organize the odds and ends while keeping them within reach. So I decided on a framed peg board. But I didn't want to pay to frame a large piece of peg board so I decided to frame it myself using moulding just like I did for my Agile/Scrum Board.

I picked up my peg board and moulding from Home Depot.

Using a compound miter saw I made my angled cuts. (Make sure you wear appropriate safety gear!)

Then I pieced everything together to make sure it would fit perfectly. (Don't mind the tent in the background we got rained out when camping.)

Since all my cuts looks great and fit nicely together I decided to go ahead and paint the moulding. I decided to use paint I already owned. And let it dry overnight.

Then I made sure everything looked good and I didn't miss any spots. 

I used some wood glue in the corners where the boards attached.

The frame was wrapped and cinched down with tow stapes to hold everything in place while the glue set.

After everything was dry I made sure everything was going to line up.

Then it was time to flip over the frame and add the glue.

We let the glue set up for a few minutes before placing it on the peg board.

Made sure our corners were nice and lined up.

Then used our corn hole boards to weigh it down for a nice tight fit.

Using the hardware that game with all my accessories we mounted it on the wall.

I got all these baskets and hooks from Home Depot.  All of the hooks were part of a starter pack and the baskets came in a three pack.

After a little playing around and rearranging the hooks and baskets this is what I've found works best of my day to day work.

Do you use vertical space to stay organized?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Homemade Iced Coffee

Three years ago my life changed big time. I became mom and then I discovered coffee. Usually I stick with lattes but there are days I just really want a nice iced coffee so I decided to search my favorite place on the internet for the best recipes...hello Pinterest. I came across this recipe for Homemade Iced Lattes. The best part is I'm saving so much money!

This is a cold brew recipe. No machines required. To begin start with some espresso beans to grind. (A lot of places will grind the beans for you.)

Make sure it's a coarse grind.

I make mine in a mason jar.

Take one cup of your coarsely ground espresso beans and place them in your mason jar.

Then you're going to add 3 cups of cold water the jar.

Once all the water is added shake it up and place it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

The next day get your cold brewed coffee and a strainer and bowl.

I like to strain it once to get out all the big chunks of the grounds.

Make sure you press out all the water the grounds may be holding.

Next I take the strainer and place a coffee filter in it.

And then strain my cold brewed coffee again.

When you're ready to make your iced coffee grab all your ingredients. 

Cold pressed coffee
Flavored syrup
Milk of your choice (I use Vanilla Almond Milk)

Since everything is already cold I use just a little bit of ice.

Start by adding your syrup to your glass.

Then fill your glass halfway with your cold pressed coffee.

Then top your drink off with the milk.

Give your drink a quick stir. Look how cold and refreshing this is! You may have play around to see what ratios work best for you. If you like a strong coffee flavor add more of the cold brewed coffee. A little less coffee flavor just add more milk. If you fancy a super sweet drink add more flavoring!