Three Things

I’ve recently discovered organization blogs, once again thanks to Pinterest. I am horribly disorganized. We’ve lived here for 10 months and still have an entire room of unpacked boxes, a basement full of I-don’t-know-what, and important papers thrown into random drawers, folders, cabinets, wherever.

I’ve tried making lists – on paper, on the iPad, on my phone – but I always seem to lose them/forget about them/ignore them because I get overwhelmed. I read a suggestion on one of the blogs I found to make a To Do list of three things to accomplish each day. That sounded doable, so I went in search of an app in my phone that would allow me to make checklists and cross things off as I completed them. I downloaded Color Note for free and it is exactly what I was looking for. I made a note for each day of the week and started adding things I wanted to get done by Friday.

Yesterday morning, my Monday list looked like this:

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(Yes, I know there are more than three things on it. They were so easy, I thought I needed more of a challenge.)

By 11:00 pm last night, the list looked like this:

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Success!

As an added bonus, I got a 15% discount on our car insurance AND I saved $50 by ordering the dehumidifier online and picking it up at the store. Yay for saving money!

Today I was not nearly as productive:

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Baby steps.

Pinterest Chicken Enchilada Pasta

I don’t cook. I can if I try, but most of the time I’m too tired/lazy to try. When I wasn’t working for three months several years ago, I used to cook dinner every single day because I had tons of free time, but now I don’t get home until close to 6 (or later if I have errands to run) and by then all I want to do is sit down and veg out. Plus, the hubby doesn’t get home until close to 9 twice a week, so we tend to eat a lot of frozen stuff from Trader Joe’s, which we’ve deluded ourselves into thinking is “not so bad” but who are we kidding?

I saw a pin for Chicken Enchilada Pasta the other day and it looked fabulous so I knew I had to try it. I was going to attempt it on Sunday because I thought I had all the ingredients, but alas I was without cheese and sour cream and I couldn’t convince myself to drive the three whopping minutes to the grocery store. So I made it on Monday night instead.

I started at about 7:40 and it was ready to eat by a little after 9:00, which is just way too late for a weeknight meal. I also made several adjustments to the recipe:

  • I didn’t include any peppers or onions because hubby doesn’t like them and I was trying to save time
  • I didn’t include any sour cream because it was already creamy enough and hubby doesn’t like it
  • I used about 2.5 half cups of cheese, which was way too much
  • I used 2 cans of red enchilada sauce and half a can of green chiles
  • I used fully cooked, frozen chicken breasts from TJ’s instead of rotisserie chicken

Wow. This stuff is AH-MAZING. Even my husband liked it (and asked for seconds!) and he is a pretty picky eater. He also had very low expectations for this meal because he didn’t think the Mexican flavors would work with pasta. Wrong. I’ll definitely be making this again (on a weekend) and am going to try to make it a little more Weight Watchers-friendly by using whole wheat pasta and reduced-fat cheese. I have no idea how many points it is as-is, but I’m guessing a lot.

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I apologize for the sucky food pictures. I’m always done cooking/baking at night when it’s pitch-black out and the lights in the kitchen just aren’t very flattering.

Cake Pops Fail

So, cake pops have been all the rage lately. I first attempted making them at Easter and they turned out… Ok. A lot of them fell of the sticks and I didn’t know why. They seemed like a lot of work, and they were much harder than they look, so I hadn’t tried them again. Until last Friday when my niece slept over and insisted on making the pops.

We went to the grocery store and she chose chocolate cake and chocolate icing. We bought two of each, just in case, and grabbed a couple bottles of fun sprinkles, too. As the cake was baking, I consulted my friend, Lindsay, who is the cake pop master in my little circle of friends. I asked her if I was supposed to use a whole can of icing (I did the first time), and she said that I should only use half to 3/4 depending on how moist the cake is. Once the cake was cooled, we crumbled it with our hands (Mistake #1) and added half a can of icing (Mistake #2). The cake was super mushy at that point. We attempted to roll it into balls, but they weren’t staying together very well.

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After letting them cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes we started putting the sticks in. I told my niece to put them about halfway in, but she’s only 7 and I don’t think she could judge the depth very well.

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We put them back in the fridge to let the sticks solidify in the pops, and then we started melting the candy. We used Wilton candy melts in pink, blue, green, and yellow (Mistake #3). The pink worked pretty well and I was feeling really good about myself and my baking skills. Then we tried the blue and everything went down the toilet. The stupid pops wouldn’t stay on their sticks. It’s like the blue candy created some kind of vortex that just sucked them down because it was nearly impossible to dip them and get them back out whole. We had a whole lot of these:

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It just got worse from there. It’s almost like the ones still waiting to be dipped were actually melting on the cookie sheet. They just fell apart. For every semi-decent looking pop, we had about three catastrophes.

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Next time, I’m going to only use a quarter of the can of icing and I’ll crumble the cake like Bakerella instructs, instead of using my hands. I may also try almond bark for the coating instead of the stupid candy melts (even though they’re delicious).