Super easy and healthy chile-mac

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Can of black beans
Can of kidney beans
Can of diced tomatos
Can of El Pato tomato sauce
Packet of chile seasoning
One 19 oz. can of red enchilada sauce
Half package/box of wheat noodles
One pound of ground turkey

Cook the noodles as directed on box.  Put the beans in a strainer and rinse off.  Put the diced tomatos on top of the beans.   Brown the ground turkey in a large frying pan.  When finshed add everything else.  Mix well, bring to boil then remove from heat. 

You can use different varieties of beans and any kind of noodles depending on your own preferences.

We like to make this chile-mac on Sundays while we watch football.  Sometimes we set up a “chile bar” with small bowls of shredded cheese, chopped onions, sliced jalapenos, a jar of Tabasco and some cornbread and/or crackers.   

I almost always double this recipe and then freeze some for later. 

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Napkin ring collection

Matt and I host a lot of dinner parties, large and small, including Thanksgiving which can be as many as 20-25 people!  I have a napkin ring collection which I like to use at these dinners, I have never been one of those people who has to match everything.  Some are passed down from my mother and some I got at Goodwill.  Here is a photo of some of the napkin rings I have. 

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Some are vintage and some are new.  I love a variety!

Pina Colada Moonshine

So today I made my first batch of moonshine without a recipe.  After having made 4 other flavors, I thought I would try to make a new flavor… Pina Colada!  The ingrediants I used were:

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3.5 cups Everclear
2 cups Malibu Rum
3 cups sugar
3 quarts of pineapple juice
3 cans Bicardi pina colada frozen mixer
4 cups water

Combine everything, except the everclear and rum in a large pot.  Place on the stove on medium heat.  Stir frequently. 

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As soon as it starts to boil take it off the heat and let stand until it is room temperature.  Add alcohol.  Stir really good and put into mason jars.

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Cover and put in fridge.  It is ready to serve as soon as it is chilled.

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Enjoy!

Photo booth

For my husband’s 40th birthday party we set up a photo booth.  We hung some white sheets for the background and set up a table filled with props.  The props were items we already had from past Halloweens… and we bought a few additional items at Party City.  My friend’s teenage daughter and her friend offered to be in charge of taking the photos.  They did a great job! It ended up being a lot of fun! If you ever plan on setting up a photo booth, if at all possible, I would recommend buying props for it the day after Halloween at either Party City or Spirits Halloween Superstore (saves a few bucks).

Here are some of the photo booth photos…

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Finally finished something… almost

This is a side table we got at Goodwill for $24.

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This is a photo from Pinterest I used as my inspiration for the table.

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First step in the re-do is to do a little sanding, not the whole thing, just wherever it has some rough edges that need to be smoothed out. Next, spray paint the table with filler primer. Matt primes everything before he paints, even when using chalk paint. He says the paint covers better and less coats are needed. He uses filler primer because he says it helps to hide imperfections.

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When spray painting, hold the can approximately 6-8 inches from the object being painted. Hold can to the left of the piece, not pointing at the piece. Press the nozzle and start spraying while moving the can to the right across the piece one time (not back and forth). Spray all the way to the other side. Do not stop spraying until you have passed the piece completely. Repeat until done. Be patient.
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After the primer dries, Matt painted the base of the cabinet with Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint. The top of the table is painted with Graphite. Matt used a small roller to paint the larger areas and a small brush to paint the parts of the table with the smaller details.

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When dry we used a piece of micro fiber rag to cover the top with Annie Sloan soft dark wax. This created a really deep, antiqued, black color.

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In the photo below you can see an area where the wood from the base of the table does not meet up exactly to the wooden leg. There are 2 ways to fix this:

1. Painters caulk. This method works before or after the piece is painted. Buy a tube of caulk. Cut an opening in the tip of the tube. The opening size will depend on the size of the crack, ie: small crack small opening, big crack big opening. Fill the crack with caulk. Run your finger along the caulk… This will push the caulk into the crack and it will also smooth it out. If the piece had already been painted it may need some touchups…no big deal.

2. Plastic wood. Use to fill in the crack. Wait until it is dry and sand it until smooth and even, then paint.

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Hash-brown, egg, potato and cheese, crockpot casserole

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About 6 weeks ago, a friend of mine threw a baby shower brunch. She made this casserole and I loved it (thanks Sheree). I have made it at least 4 times since then. Last night I made a huge batch for my husband to bring into work to share with everyone. They all loved it too. This is in no way a healthy recipe, but boy is it good!

Here is the recipe for one batch, which can easily be doubled for a huge batch:

6 eggs
1 bag of hash brown potatoes
1 brick of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 small can of chopped green chilies
1/2 cup, diced up, roasted bell pepper strips
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 small roll of pork breakfast sausage
salt and pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl mix everything, except the sausage. Put in the crockpot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 5-6 hours. When almost finished, brown and cook sausage in frying pan. When done add to crockpot. Cook another 20-30 minutes and it is ready to serve. This would be perfect to serve on Christmas morning. Enjoy!

Hookah

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OK, so I believe this photo needs some type of explanation. Last Saturday I went to Goodwill. There were 2 of these beautiful, gold colored, 3 foot tall, metal hookah pipes with very intricate designs (the pipes were not on it yet). I thought it would make a pretty lamp so I bought one. Matt took it to a hookah shop today. He was told the pipe was probably antique and very rare. They said it could be sold for at least $250! Matt bought the rest of the pieces/pipes and put it together, then he went back to Goodwill and bought the other one. I think we should have a hookah party before we sell them…