Shit, I'm Losing Things Again

Yeah, trying to be organized during the Holidays is hard. Especially when I'm trying to upload pics from my camera and can't find the correct USB cord. Crap. I'm screwed.

The crazy thing is, at home I'm not very organized at all, but then I go to work and I'm colored coded OCD about my files. And I'm organizing other people's files as well. I think I'm going to color code our files at home. That might make it easier, I'll have to use the same categories that I use at work so I don't confuse myself. I associate a category with a color: red - financial, purple - personal, yellow - reference, green - internal departments, orange - external departments, blue - samples/ideas/etc...

At work, we keep financial files for 7 years so my red category is usually arranged according to fiscal year, one person that I'm organizing, I'm doing by vendor - it's easier for him to see his files that way. By vendor also helps when you use several people a lot in one year or in one month. I also keep personal files for people, so they have places to put their PTO statements and things like that. Warranties and invoices are also saved, along with meeting notes and promotional samples. As you can tell, I keep a lot more organized at work than I do at home! I just need to keep the energy going from work to home!

Here's my categories that I'm going to use at home, these are easy for me to see:

Red - bills
Green - bank statements, credit card statements, tax info
Blue - warranties, instructions
Pink - Personal stuff for me
Yellow - personal stuff for CJ

Ok, since today was payday I'm on a hunt for a USB cord and a new filing system.

Ugh. I hate organizing. Oh well, it needs to be done!


Pot Pies... My Favorite

So I found this recipe on realsimple.com for super easy chicken pot pies. I've been making them once a week for about a month now - my hubby loves them and *gasp* he'll eat the leftovers! Last night he put a leftover one in the oven for 30 minutes, it was just like I made them the night before!

I absolutely love their fake it, don't make it recipes. They're all very easy, usually 5 - 6 ingredients in which you already have them on hand. On Wednesday I didn't have chicken, so I made beef pot pies with cream of broccoli and for frozen veggies, I had the Italian combo. I also added some Italian seasoning and a pinch of crushed red pepper.

1 8-ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables
2 refrigerated piecrusts (such as Pillsbury)
1 10 ¾-ounce can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey
½ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Defrost the vegetables in a microwave for about 3 minutes. Cut 2 piecrusts into quarters, to yield 8 equal pieces. Coat the inside of 4 small aluminum-foil pans (4 ½ inches in diameter, 1 ¼ inches deep) or 4 ramekins with vegetable cooking spray. Line the bottom of each with a quarter of crust, molding it with your fingers to fit. In a large bowl, stir together the soup and milk; add the remaining ingredients. Spoon about 2/3 cup of the mixture into each pan or ramekin. Top each with a piecrust quarter. Pinch the edges together and cut vents in the top. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.

NUTRITION PER SERVING: CALORIES 572(0% from fat); FAT 32g (sat 6g); PROTEIN 25mg; CHOLESTEROL 61mg; CALCIUM 71mg; SODIUM 1221mg; FIBER 3g; CARBOHYDRATE 46g; IRON 3mg


Thanksgiving Menu

I absolutely love Thanksgiving. I do not love turkey. I like turkey on sandwiches and in omelettes, but not roasted, not deep fried, not baked, not blah. I skip the turkey and go for the sides, same as my husband.

This year I'm hosting his mom and dog. Yep, they're flying all the way down from Minnesota. Even the dog. The dog is old and to put it honestly, I'm worried that something will happen to the dog, like end up in Asia and not here in Indiana. I actually had a horrible dream the other night that the dog died and I had to bring it to Canine Companions so that it could be taken care of. I'm not telling the husband about that one!

My mother-in-law is kinda particular about her food. So I'm making something other than turkey.


Beef stew
Green salad
Apple, onion and sausage stuffing
Caramel apple crisp
Mashed potatoes and gravy

I think I might even attempt a pumpkin cheesecake. We'll see if I get a springform pan at Target on my lunch hour today.

Wish me luck for my no-turkey Turkey Day.



Holiday Baking

Ugh, not sure yet about what I'm going to start baking! I've just discovered that the oven actually bakes at a higher heat level than what you set it at - so over the weekend I made cinnamon streusel muffins, I cooked them at 400 degrees for 18 minutes instead of 425 degrees for 16 minutes. Geez Louise, renting is a pain in the rear end!

So here's my holiday baking list. I hate to say it, by myrecipes.com is my new best friend! The following recipes are from there, and I just can't wait to get started!

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (11.5-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chunks
2 (1.55-ounce) milk chocolate candy bars, grated
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended.
Pulse oats in a food processor to a fine powder. Combine oats, flour, and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in chocolate chunks, grated chocolate bars, and pecans. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.
Bake at 375° for 10 to 14 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Mississippi Mud Cookies

1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup milk chocolate morsels
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. miniature marshmallows

1. Microwave semisweet chocolate morsels in a small microwave-safe glass bowl at HIGH 1 minute or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.
2. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla and melted chocolate.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in chopped pecans and 1/2 cup milk chocolate morsels.
4. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Press 3 marshmallows into each portion of dough.
5. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks.

Caramel-Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Pecan Crust

With a yummy gingersnap cookie crust, this creamy pumpkin cheesecake is just what you need to wow your dinner guests during the autumn season. Prep: 29 min., Cook: 1 hr., 35 min., Other: 9 hrs.

12 crisp gingersnaps
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
8 tablespoons whipping cream, divided
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 tablespoons caramel topping

Process first 4 ingredients in a food processor until finely ground. Add butter; pulse 8 to 10 times or until blended. Press mixture into bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add granulated sugar, beating just until blended. Reserve 3/4 cup cream cheese mixture for topping; cover and chill. Add eggs, 1 at a time, to remaining cream cheese mixture, beating just until blended after each addition.
Combine pumpkin, 5 tablespoons whipping cream, and next 3 ingredients; add to cream cheese mixture, beating just until blended. Pour batter into prepared crust.
Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 1 hour. Remove from oven, and run a knife around edge of pan, and release sides. Cool on a wire rack. Soften reserved cream cheese mixture; spread evenly over cheesecake. Drizzle caramel topping over cream cheese layer; gently swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect. Cover and chill 8 hours. Store in refrigerator.

Tip: Make sure you don't cut into the cheesecake when swirling the caramel layer.

Yum! I just can't wait to get started - maybe I'll make something tonight!



Color Inspiration

I've been inspired. Kind of. To do what, I'm not really sure! I'm a huge fan of http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ and then I saw this Matisse on their website. I guess I've always loved the color red - this is Matisse's Red Studio. In theory, I would love a red room, red makes me more creative and thoughtful. Sometimes it's harsh depending on if it's an orangey or a more bluish or greenish red. In my current apartment, there is no way in hell that I would be able to paint my hospitalish white walls any other color.
(I am currently on cold medication, so I apologize for my ramblings, as I sometimes forget that people don't like to read the ramblings of a 24 year old on mucinex & pseudophedrine, sorry)
In any case, my original point of this post was to actually post about my wondrous cleaning caddy. In it I have the following:
Swiffer dusters & plastic duster thingy
Scrubbing Bubbles
My cleaning caddy is complete. Now I guess all I need to look like more of a dork is a cleaning belt complete with a place for paper towels.
This post may be edited after I have gone off the cold medication. I'm not quite too certain of what I've written or how my thoughts are being organized in my loopy brain today.