Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pinto Beans and Polska Kielbasa

We are finally moved in. It was a three day process but it's finally done. The movers came and packed up our apartment one day, loaded the truck the next, and delivered all of our stuff at our new place the third day. But, on top of the craziness of moving, I got the flu the day they unloaded the truck. I hadn't been feeling well all morning but I really wanted to get as much unpacked and organized as I could. Finally I really thought I was going to hurl so I laid on the couch, which luckily came off the truck first, and I tried to take a nap. Then, sure enough, just after the movers left, I was sick all day. Great way to break in the new place right?

Luckily it was just a one day thing. I was able to unpack a little bit more the next day and go to Tyrone's holiday party. After the holiday party we headed back to our old apartment to pick up the last of our things that the moving company couldn't take for us and then we headed home. We didn't get home until about 12:30am. We were exhausted.

Then, Sunday after church Tyrone was dying for a home cooked meal because we had eaten out for almost a week straight. I looked in the cupboards and they were completely full but there was nothing in there to make a meal out of. All that was in the fridge was condiments, bottled water, and left over taco meat from Tyrone's work party. To make things simple we had left over taco meat on rice. It worked. That night we were dying for real food. But, with an empty fridge it was hard to make anything. We sadly ate junk food and went to bed.  

On Monday morning I HAD to go to the grocery store! That was the number one priority. I had to at least get the basic necessities. I found Polska Kielbasa on sale that I ended up snagging. I used it that night in a super easy recipe. My house was still not quite put together so I was trying to do a quick, hearty but easy meal. This was a hit. It was great as a left over too. 


1- 16oz bag of pinto beans
8 cups water
1 jar salsa (I used chunky. You could use picante sauce as well)
1 polska kielbasa link, cut into small circles
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped (optional)
cheese, (optional)

Rinse beans, taking out the rocks and misshaped beans. Place beans along with the water and salsa into the crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours. Place the Polska Kielbasa, green pepper, and onion into the crock pot for the last hour to cook . Top with cheese if desired.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving this year was awesome! In June I was getting ready for this new baby of ours and I thought that we should pick a date for his baby blessing in church so that our family could mark their calendars. We decided to bless him on December 1st which would only be a few days after Thanksgiving. With that in mind, we decided to host Thanksgiving here in Huntington Beach. I was not sure how it was going to turn out at all. I've only cooked a turkey once before in college but that's pretty much it.

Thanksgiving morning I put the turkey in the oven roaster and started getting things ready.
I rubbed the outside of the turkey with olive oil and then I seasoned it with an Italian herb seasoning, fresh grated garlic, and salt and pepper. I chopped up half an onion, two carrots, and a celery stick and placed them inside the bird with Italian seasoning as well to keep the moisture in. Then, I cooked it in the roaster oven at 350 degrees for about 4.5 hours.

Mr. Tyrone carving the turkey

To make Thanksgiving fun for the kids I made a turkey vegetable tray and a turkey caramel apple dip. I got the idea for the vegetable tray from Eating with food allergies. Everyone loved it. They were also pretty simple too. Tyrone had to help me with the turkey face on the vegetable tray though. He's much better at artistic stuff than I am.

On the table I used wide wrapping paper that I had found at the dollar store. I had bought brown craft paper at the dollar store a while back but when I went to pick some up they didn't have anymore so I went with the most Thanksgiving looking wrapping paper they had. This was basically the only one that didn't have any sort of Christmas print on it. It worked fine. Then I bought a big roll of ribbon at Sam's Club to tie bows around the back of the chairs. Again, all they had was Christmas ribbon so I went with the most Thanksgiving looking one.

For the table settings I bought napkins at Bed Bath and Beyond. Then, I made some "Give Thanks" burlap napkin rings. I'm not really that good at crafts like this but they ended up turning out really nice. I had a hard time finding the charms to go on the napkin rings like the tutorial shows but I think that just the ribbon looked nice. I got the tutorial from two it yourself.
On each plate I placed a small treat bag filled with "acorns." I used a Hershey's kiss, a small nutter butter and a mini chocolate chip held together by peanut butter. I put 6 in each bag. My father in law loved them. He took all the ones that were left on the table and hid them in the bushes. This is not a joke. I'm glad they were a hit.

Overall I think it turned out great! The weather was gorgeous and it was so much fun to have everyone here in Huntington Beach. Our one bedroom apartment was quite squishy at times but no one complained and I think it was nice to have everyone so close. It's going to be hard to say goodbye to this little place. There are a lot of memories here.
The whole family!