Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beef Chimis

We actually made these chimichangas probably about 2 years ago now? But we made them like 3 or 4 times in one month they were so good! Haha. And since I am craving chimichangas today I thought I would share this one before I forget where I found it... Or how amazingly delicious it is! YUM.
source: blogchef
  • 3 lb boneless beef rump, cut into one inch cubes
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 T flour
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 tsp jalapeno, minced
  • 2 T garlic, chopped
  • 2 ¼ c beef broth
  • ¼ c red wine vinegar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ c lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • ½ c fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 10 flour tortillas, warmed in the microwave
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 ½ c shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 c lettuce, shredded
  • 1 c sour cream
  • ½ c tomatoes, diced
  1. In a large stock pot over medium-heat heat. Add 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Add beef cubes and brown on all sides. Add onions and jalapeño pepper and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 additional minute. Mix in chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, and flour. Cook stirring frequently for 2 to 3 minutes. Add beef broth and red wine vinegar. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours.  
  2. When the meat is fork tender, shred the beef with 2 forks. Add pinto and black beans, lime juice and cilantro. Cook until heated through. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large deep skillet add about 1” of oil. Heat the oil to 325 degrees or until the oil is hot enough to frying. While the oil is heating prepare the chimichangas. Lay out a flour tortilla and fill the bottom half with ¾ cup of the beef/bean mixture (if the beef mixture has a lot of liquid, scoop it out with a slotted spoon). Top with about 2 tablespoons of pepper jack cheese. Lift the edge of the tortilla and roll it over the filling to secure it. Fold in both sides and continue rolling until you reach the opposite end. Place a skewer threw the seam side of the burrito to secure it (can also use toothpicks). Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  4. Lower chimichangas into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Fry in batches of 4. Serve with lettuce, tomato, and sour cream.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I love homemade tomato soup on a cold day! Yes we have cold days in AZ.

Delicious Creamy Tomato Soup
inspiration: the pioneer woman
  • 1 1/2 T butter
  • 1 1/2 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 of 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 can water
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 T. chicken base
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 c whole milk
  • 1/4 c plain Greek yogurt
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • chopped fresh basil


  1. Sauté onions and carrots in butter and coconut oil until onion is translucent. 
  2. Add canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and water, chicken base, pinch of salt, black pepper and stir. Use and immersion blender to bring soup to desired consistency. 
  3. Bring soup to a near boil, then turn off heat. Add in apple cider vinegar, water, milk, and yogurt and stir. Add in parsley and basil to taste.
  4. Adjust other seasonings and serve with yummy, crusty bread, some toasties, yummy grilled cheese sandwiches, garlic bread, whatever floats your boat :).

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wow, this is a good one!

Carrot Cake Green Monster
inspiration: full measure of happiness
  • 1/2 C milk (dairy, coconut, or almond)
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla 
  • 1/8 C oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1 c. spinach 
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1/2 of 1 frozen banana
  • 4-5 ice cubes
  1. Layer the ingredients: liquids, oatmeal, and powders on the bottom, then leafy greens/carrots, then bananas and ice cubes on top.  
  2. The heavy stuff on top helps weigh the leaves into the blender mechanism.  Blend away until smooth.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Lunar Chronicles

Cinder ***1/2
by Marissa Meyer
Book Type: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Summary: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

summary found on goodreads
My Review: Wow. The concept behind these boys - Cinderella CYBORG?? sounded a bit ridiculous to me... But goodreads had it on my suggested list of books based on previous preferences so I figured "Classic Fairy Tales meet Futuristic Sci Fi... Why not?" So I read the book. Yesterday. The whole thing. In one day. Yeah. Let me preface this by saying it is certainly not the best book I've ever read... But don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The twist is obvious from the second chapter, which takes away from the exciting reveal at the end. But you know what? I think the author wanted you to know the big secret. It didn't seem like she even tried to hide it. The fun part of the book isn't trying to figure out the big reveal, it's following along with Cinder as she discovers who she is. I enjoyed watching the prince and Cinder's relationship grow. It wasn't too dramatic or mature for teenagers and yet not too sappy or juvenile, it was teen romance as it should be. Cinder was a really great character. She is a cyborg, which turned out to be very cool, and she is a really lovable character. I saw in reviews that people complained about her not figuring out who she really is quickly enough but really, she is Cinderella. She is treated like dirt and therefore completely believes that she is nothing special. Why would she guess that she is important in any way? She wouldn't. It takes her a long to time to figure out and accept who she is because she has absolutely no reason to think she is anything but average. I love that she is a great mechanic and can fix virtually anything. I love her cute little android side kick. She is hilariously adorable. I like that she has a relationship with one of her step sisters, it was nice to have a twist on the family dynamics of the Cinderella story. I loved the Prince, he's charming as ever. The Lunar queen is insane, a great bad guy. The story takes place in Beijing, the author could have done a bit more with her descriptions on what the city is like hundreds of years in the future... but hey, that wasn't the focus of her story. So it's forgivable. In other words, I really enjoyed this story. It was surprisingly clever. A great twist on Cinderella. A fresh new change to the classic re-tellings. I look forward to reading the other books WHICH I hear will have other fairy tale characters thrown in. Cinder will be the main character all the way through the series I believe, but I hear we will be meeting Little Red Riding Hood, Repunzel, and Snow White... Exciting!

Scarlet ****
by Marissa Meyer
Book Type: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Summary: Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
summary found on goodreads
My Review: I thought this book was just as good as the first. Cinder is still the spunky, hard-core cyborg. Kai is now the Emperor and is more lost and confused as ever as we always tries to do the right thing. But there is now a whole new cast of characters pulling together to survive this galactic battle. Scarlet, who is a reflection of Little Red Riding Hood, Wolf who is the big bad wolf, or is he? Thorne, the adorably charming comic relief, and of course Iko. The adorable, spunky little robot that just wants to be human. I thought this book was a blast. It was so much fun following Cinder along on the next leg of her journey and getting to know a whole new slew of characters. 


Wreck-it-Ralph ****
Have you ever wondered what goes on inside of your arcade games when you're not looking? No? Well that's okay, you'll still enjoy this movie. It is ridiculously cute. I thought it was very clever and well made. If you have kids, take them to see this movie. If you're like us and DON'T have kids, still go see this movie. It's hilarious. We loved it from start to finish. It is very cute and clever. I love how Ralph just wants to be accepted for who he is. Even if he's not what everyone wants him to be. It's got a great cast so it's very well developed and delivered. Check it out!

Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies ****
Trailer 2
BUH. Okay, I saw the trailer for this movie and knew that I HAD to see it. The concept was so outlandish, it had to be good. Seriously, a zombie falls in love with a human, what??? So the day it came out we went and saw it, yeah, that never happens for us. Except movies like "Harry Potter" and "the Hunger Games". But we went and saw it right away because well, zombies, hello. Anyway, it was hilarious. The main character was fantabulous, so funny, I loved him. And the chick from "Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "I am Number Four" did great, as usual. The movie was cast well, the script was hilarious... Really, I loved everything about this movie. Except, obviously, the one f-bomb that was completely unnecessary as always. BUT honestly except for that and some other swearing, it was great. So clever, fresh, funny, new, great. I loved it. 2 thumbs up for this one. Go see it ASAP. Fo' shizzle. I just love "R's" (the main character) way of thinking. He is so genuine. And really just a confused teenager trapped in the body of a dead and decaying zombie who finds his heart beating once again when he meets this fab girl. So dang funny...


Skyfall 007 ****
I would say that this is easily the best Bond movie I've seen. I've seen... 4 total? That's ridiculous... 4 Bond movies and I probably haven't even seen a quarter of the amount out there. Goodness. Anyway. This movie was very well done. I think Daniel Craig is the perfect Bond. The other actors, including the bad guy, are all fabulous in this one as well. The story is great. There's back story and a point to the drama and bad guy-he is completely insane, but believable. I really thought this Bond was put together well, like I said, best one I've seen. So go see it. Totally worth your time. :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Oscar ****
Boomer told us about this movie ages ago. So when he got it for Christmas of COURSE we all had to watch it together. And I have to say, I was impressed. It was very very funny. Clever, fresh, and new. It's a movie from the 90's, normally I don't report on old movies but this one was worth reporting. It is a very entertaining film. Everyone should watch this movie. It is very fun. Very entertaining.

Les Miserables

Les Miserables ****1/2
WOW. This movie was FANTASTIC. They sang almost every word, which was unexpected and not EXACTLY my favorite part of the movie. But Hugh Grant did a fantastic job as usual. His voice is great and he is a brilliant actor. But the person that truly blew me away was Anne Hathaway. She. was. PHENOMENAL. Absolutely incredible. She had a minimal roll, but what she did was stunning. She really just made the movie for me. Outside of that Russell Crowe was a good cop/"bad guy". Everyone else also did a great job in this film. I want to read the book now! It was wonderful. Wow. I was blown away. Go see this movie. It's fantastic. A beautiful remake of this story.

The Hobbit

The Hobbit: There and Back Again ****
If you enjoy the Lord of the Rings movies, then you are most likely going to like this one. It is well acted, well filmed, well delivered. But, and this is a big BUT, it is like a million years long. Okay, it's three hours long, THREE hours. Yeah. Can you believe that? 3 hours, and they are splitting the book up into 3 movies. That's three 3 hour long movies. Ouy. When I was asked what my favorite part of the movie was I said, "the end." Haha, BUT the movie is well done, it is. I thought that the story was delivered incredibly well and the actors were fantastic. So don't get me wrong, the movie was very good. Just... LONG. Very long. But good. I wasn't able to make it through the book, but I did make it through the movie... if that tells you anything at all. :) The director added a lot of stuff to the movie that wasn't in the book... But apparently there is another book that the added story lines and plots are from. Which I obviously don't know anything about... Haha, but I would go see it at least once, maybe just once. Russ would have gone to see it in the theater more than once so I guess it really depends on you!


Guadalajara: Fiesta Grill
location: Tucson, AZ
Russ and I were lucky enough to host his adorable little sister Tacy at our house for 3 days this last weekend. We decided that one of the things we HAD to do while she was here was go to a Mexican restaurant. We decided to try a new restaurant, Guadalajara: Fiesta Grill! We sat down and ordered a bunch of food. This cute little Mexican lady came over and made us some fresh salsa right there in front of us. And it was really quite delicious. We ate so much we could barely fit the appetizer we ordered. It was this cheesy fondue type dish with some ground beef on top. Which we in turn ate so much of we were practically bursting before our actual food even got to us! But it all looked and smelled SO good that we HAD to try it. Even if it did lead to us exploding! Which it ALMOST did. It was THAT good. Man. It was absolutely fantastic. MMM. So I would say this restaurant is DELISH and price wise, comparable to your average Mexican food restaurant. Definitely go here if you are in Tucson and desperately in the mood for Mexican, or even just slightly in the mood, it's worth it! :)
p.s. We went to this restaurant again this last weekend (March 1) and everything we ordered was FANTASTIC, once again. This restaurant is seriously a MUST if you ever find yourself in our neck of the woods! :)

Being healthy is finally getting a little easier... :)

Sugar-Free Chocolate Milk
source: ME
  • coconut oil
  • cocoa powder
  • stevia
  • water
  • milk
  1. This is a recipe that is utterly up to you how much of each thing you use. All you need to do is put a spoonful of coconut oil in a pan and heat it just enough to melt it.
  2. Add a small spoonful of cocoa powder (it is very bitter, so add a small amount to start with and add more if you feel it's needed) to the coconut oil. Mix until it is well blended.
  3. Pour a bunch of stevia in. Once again this is up to you. Add as much as you think is needed, start small and add more. Add a small amount of water-just enough to help all of your ingredients come together nicely and create a type of syrup.
  4. Pour a tall glass of milk and add your chocolate syrup until the desired flavor is achieved and enjoy a tall glass of delicious sugar-free chocolate milk! YES.
  5. This could probably be used to make hot chocolate or poured on some healthy banana ice cream and you will have a dang good yet ridiculously healthy dessert! YES.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Quick, Healthy, and Gluten-Free Breakfast

Egg Muffins
inspirations: kalyn's kitchen and my home look book
  • 10 eggs 
  • 1/4 c. plain greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. tex joy seasoning (or any seasonings you prefer)
  • 1-2 c. grated cheese
  • 2-3 c. spinach
  • 1 c. onion, chopped
  • 1 c. mushrooms, chopped or sliced
  • 1/4 c. sun dried tomatoes, minced
  • 1 c. breakfast sausage
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Use 12 muffin pan, grease lightly with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl beat eggs. Add seasonings, yogurt, and cheese. Set aside.
  4. Cook the sausage through. Fill the bottoms of each muffin cup with sausage.
  5. Add spinach to pan and saute about 2-3 minutes, until slightly softened. Add to the whipped eggs.
  6. Add mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes to pan and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.Spread evenly over sausage.
  7. Pour egg mixture on top of veggies and stir slightly with a fork. Bake 25-35 minutes until muffins have risen and are slightly browned and set.
*NOTE* Muffins will keep more than a week in the refrigerator. Egg muffins can be frozen and reheated, but I like them best when they are just refrigerated. For best results, thaw in refrigerator before reheating. Microwave on high about 1-2 minutes to reheat.

This fudge is AMAZING and fairly healthy!

Primal Fudge
source: practical paleo
  • 1/2 c coconut oil
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c almond or peanut butter
  • 1/4 c raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Melt coconut oil.  
  2. Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Pour into paper-lined muffin tin cups or silicon muffin cups and fill half-inch full. Makes 10.
  3. Chill for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes.  When firm, remove. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. 
If you ever try one of our recipes we would love to hear your feedback! Let us know if you like them or if you make any changes! We love comments! :)


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