Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Link Ups: My Birthday Weekend Plans!

Happy Friday Everyone!!
I'm back today for another Friday Link Up!
And again, I'm linking up with THREE different groups.
Make sure to check them all out at the bottom of this post!

My birthday is tomorrow and I'm spending the weekend away.
It's not a big birthday or anything, but I still have some fun things in store.
So I thought today would be a great day to share 
Keep reading to find out what I have going on.

1. Wine Tasting!
Photos via here
With Napa, the Central Coast and Temecula all relatively close,
it's pretty crazy that I've never been wine tasting!
I'm changing that today and hitting up a few wineries with family and friends.

2. Hanging out with Family and Friends!
Hanging out with family and friends doesn't stop with wine tasting.
Nope, I plan to spend a few days with some pretty awesome people.
And if I'm being honest, I can't wait to celebrate my birthday with them!

3. Eating some yummy food!
And because I'm ME, I already have the menus planned out.
I won't be doing all the cooking, but I will be eating well!
I'm super excited for some fluffy pancakes and bbq'd salmon.

4. Horseback riding!
And of course we'll be doing some horseback riding!
Not only is it something that I love to do
but I can't wait to wear my new cowboy boots!!!

5. Relaxing in the hot tub...and maybe even the pool!!
Yup, you read that right folks.
I'll be hot tubing for sure, but I'll still be in Southern California,
so if the weather's nice enough I may take a dip in the pool too.

Now for more Friday Link Up Fun, check out the blogs below!

Andrea and Erika's blogs from Friday Favorites.

 April and Christina's blogs from 5 on Friday.

Karli and Amy's blogs from oh hey friday!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Grilled Blackened Tilapia Tacos

I've made fried fish tacos many times and even blogged about it here.
Until recently I hadn't thought (or maybe wanted to) try them any other way.
With the new year, I'm trying to be extra healthy and make good food choices,
so I thought I'd be a good girl and stay away from frying the fish.

After some quick online research, I decided to grill the fish and make

The Goods:
Corn Tortillas
Blackened Seasoning
Tomato/Onion Relish*
Avocado Cream Sauce**
Fresh Limes

I like to cut my fish into smaller pieces.
It's up to you, but I feel it makes it easier to eat.
Next, coat both sides of the fish with blackened seasoning.

Get your grill (or grill pan in my case) nice and warm over medium-high heat.
Once heated, I spray it with a lil cooking spray to prevent sticking.
Now it's time to cook your fish. 

Each side will take about 4 to 5 minutes.
Your fish is ready when the outside is blackened and flakes easily.

Next, simply assemble your tacos to your liking, serve and enjoy!

And if you have extra and feel like sharing,
 package up a to-go container for your neighbor to enjoy too!

*To make the tomato onion relish, I diced tomatoes and onions,
then combined and mixed in a bowl with fresh lime juice.

**This recipe is great, but I only used it for the sauce - not the entire meal! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Show & Tell: Organization

When I saw that Andrea was hosting a Show & Tell Link Up about Organization,
I KNEW that I had to post, link up and show you all about my crazy ways!!!
Yes, I know my antics are crazy and yes, I know I'm a little OCD.
Okay, maybe more than a little...

Anyway - I know this post will be kinda long,
but it covers a lot of different aspects of organization in my life!
From the kitchen, to my closet, to holiday decor and more!!!
Keep reading to find out all about how I keep MY life organized!

Let me start out with lists.
I'm ALL about lists!
For me - using them makes it easier to prioritize, 
and I end up getting a lot more done!
I used them both at home and work.

My kitchen/dining room closet comes in very handy 
and if organized well it can store quite a bit! 
I purchased the baskets years ago on clearance from Target
and they've come in quite handy since day one.

Yes, even my freezer and fridge are organized.
I can't stand just throwing things in 
and I get more use out of the space this way!

And the organization extends to my pantry as well!
This makes cooking MUCH easier for me.

More baskets!!! I like lists, but I may like baskets more...
I don't have a linen closet and I had to come up with a solution.
I have a rather large bedroom closet, so I decided to use that
and organize my linens by type into different baskets. 

You didn't expect my linens to be organized and my clothes not, right?
Of course I organize all the clothes in my closet and dressers too!
In my closet, I separate things by sleeve length and then by color.
It makes finding whatever I'm looking fo a lot easier!

And my shoes are pretty organized as well.

I know that it takes up quite a bit of space,
but I like to keep my boots in their boxes.
They keep their shape much better and don't get dusty!

Most of my scarves are folded and organized in a dresser drawer...

But I also have a lot of my infinity scarves hanging here!

I'm not going to show you all my dresser drawers...

but just know that all the drawers are as organized as my sock drawer!

My brother and sister-in-law got me that jewelry case when I graduated from college.

It's super awesome and holds quite a bit!

But I now have too many bracelets.
So I made this handy little holder myself!

You're not surprised that my organization extends to my crafts too, right?
Again, being organized here makes finding what I'm looking for so much easier!

My cardstock is organized by color.

And my stickers are organized by occasion or holiday.

Last but not least, my holiday decorations are all organized into plastic tubs.
Years ago I had one, yes ONE tub, for all the holidays combined.
But since I like decorating SO much (see examples here, here and here!)
multiple holidays now have their own box(es)!!!

So that's it!
Like I said before...
I know that I'm a little (maybe a lot) crazy,
but this is what works for ME!
Not everything will work for everyone,
but I hope you you have found something useful.

Now go to Andrea's page to see more Show &Tell: Organization posts!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Baked Pretzel Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

In this post I showed you all about how to make Homemade Pretzel Rolls.
And today I'm taking it a step further and am showing you how to use them to make

My sister-in-law made a variation of these a few years ago.
And I was hooked from the first bite!
I knew I wanted to make them myself,
but as usual I changed the original recipe up a bit.

These sandwiches are incredibly easy to make and so darn tasty!
They can even be made ahead of time and frozen.
Keep reading to see how easy they really are!

The Goods:
Deli Ham
Cheddar Cheese
Poppy Seeds
Onions (Optional)
(Full Recipe at bottom of post!)

Melt butter with mustard, then add poppy seeds and onions if using them.

Get all your supplies ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Cut Pretzel Rolls in half and spread mustard butter sauce on each side.
Add a few slices of ham and one slice of cheese to each sandwich.

Wrap each sandwich individually in foil.
Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. 
If making from frozen, bake for 45 minutes instead.

And that is is folks!
Super simple as promised!!!

Ham and Cheese Pretzel Sandwich Recipe
1 pound Deli Ham
6 slices Cheddar Cheese
 1/4 Cup Butter
1/8 Cup Mustard
1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
1 Tablespoon Chopped Onions (Optional)

1. Make your Pretzel Rolls. Or you can buy them but they won't be as good! 
2. Melt butter with mustard. Once melted, add poppy seeds and onions if using.
3. Cut Pretzel Rolls in half and spread mustard butter sauce on each side.
4. Add a few slices of ham and one slice of cheese to each sandwich.
5. Wrap each sandwich individually in foil.
6. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. 
If making from frozen, bake for 45 minutes instead.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Homemade Pretzel Rolls

I got the idea to make some homemade pretzel rolls.
Shortly after I got home, I decided to make them.
But the holidays - all of them - kinda took over,
and it's taken me months to blog about their deliciousness!

I've made Soft Pretzels countless times,
but I didn't think that recipe would make the best rolls.
So I did some digging online and found this recipe!
And after gathering all the necessary ingredients,
I got busy in the kitchen making them!

The Goods:
Brown Sugar
Baking Soda

Heat butter and milk until warm.

While heating the butter and milk,
put brown sugar in your mixing bowl.

The butter and milk is ready 
when it's between 100 and 110 degrees.

Combine the warmed butter and milk,
with brown sugar and yeast in mixing bowl.
Stir in salt and 2 cups of flour, then beat for 3 minutes.
Gradually add more flour until you have a soft dough.

Attach dough hook and kneed until dough is smooth and elastic.
This will take anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes.

Form dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl.
Cover and let rise for at least an hour - until doubled in size.

At this time, you'll want to Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

The originally recipe says to divide dough in half,
but I wanted smallish rolls so I divided mine into six.
Then formed each into a tight, smooth ball.

Combine 3 quarts of water with 3/4 cup baking soda and bring to a boil.
Boil in batches - I did two at a time - for two minutes, turning after one.
Remove with a slotted spoon and place on parchment lined baking sheet.

Cut an "X" in each roll with a sharp knife.
Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Put rolls in oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Then bake rolls for 10 to 12 minutes longer...

Until they're evenly browned!
Cool on wire rack and then enjoy!!!