Friday, February 27, 2015

The Big Bingo Bonanza!



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My friend, Deb, came to town to play at the Station Casinos Big Bingo Bonanza...it is 2 days of bingo fun! The payouts run from 500.00 per game up to 50,000.00 a game! yep someone at red rock casino won 50,000 playing bingo!

You sign up online at www.Stationcasinosbingo.com They have bingo everyday, but these tournaments are special, they have them in Feb, a small one in April and May and then another big one in October.

We chose to play at Sunset Station, you buy in (199.00) pick your seat and book your room (special bingo rates). Then show up and play bingo for 2 days, no worries, you get breaks and they feed you a boxed lunch and then give you breakfast and dinner at the buffets...you actually play 3 sessions per day, from 10 to 11, (break)11 to 12 (lunch) and then 1 to 4. Makes for a fun day!

We did not win but we had a good time!

I love to play bingo, I figure I am going to be one of those little old ladies playing bingo whenever I can!
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Hope everyone is enjoying the winter, spring is almost here, then comes my wonderful summertime...Oh, I can't wait!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Going off the grid...

My hubby watches a show about people buying houses in Alaska, so they can live "off the grid"
Yep, he thinks he wants to do that, but after an hour he would want to drive back to civilization...he gets bored easily.

Normally we do not fall prey to valentines day nonsense, but he asked if I wanted to go do something Friday night. He wanted to go for a massage again, he has been working hard so I checked online, GVR was too expensive but Mandalay Bay had a room for the night 125.00 and the spa looked amazing. I got a room and booked him a massage.


We got to MB at 3 on Friday and the room on the 28th floor was amazing, but my phone was dying and I forgot my charger, he arrives and same thing, his phone was dying and no charger, it was then we decided we were going "off the grid"!!

We turned off our phones and headed to the spa.
Wow, very nice, he went to the men's side and I went to the women's side. Got my locker and robe and hit the sauna, sooooo relaxing!


We met back at the room at 5, dressed for dinner and headed out, we decided to take a cab over to our favorite place to eat, the Grand Lux in the Venetian. 15.00 to get us down there in a taxi, jeepers.

But it was worth it, no worries about driving with the crazies. Dinner was wonderful, we highly recommend the Caramel crispy chicken and the Chicken rivello, delicious!


From there we started the walk back to the Mandalay Bay, stopping here and there for a drink or to play a slot machine or two, we kept walking, dipping in and out of hotels, watching all the people.

When we got back the New York New York we hopped on the tram to the MB, wow, we made it back! It was only 9:00 so we went in to the Crossroads bar where they have karaoke night, we grabbed a seat and the music started, they have mostly regulars singing but still pretty good stuff, one guy thinks he is Billy Idol and he was pretty good. We sat and drank and ate chips and spinach dip, they really need some chips and salsa, I will have to write them a letter!
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At 11:30 we went to our room and crashed, wow, that was fun. We have no pictures, no drunk texts to friends, no shaming on facebook...just a fun time eating and drinking and just being tourists!

In the morning, hubby picked up Ethan to go to work and watch the races in Pahrump, I headed down to the Café for breakfast, then home. I just love being able to escape to Las Vegas then come home again!

Hope you all had a fun valentines day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Scrapping Good Time!

My first scrapbook trip of the year. I am working on my Scandinavian album and have 5 more scrapbook trips planned this year to complete it, then I am off to British Isles and Ireland next year!

We scrapped with Patti who owns ScrappinEscapes.com She puts on wonderful retreats and picks the best locations, Town & Country resort in San Diego and the Marriott in San Diego, we will also be heading to The M resort right here in my own backyard!!

This resort is a little dated but the location is awesome, you can cross over a bridge and you are at the big mall where you can eat at the Cheesecake factory every night! YUM!

We had a wonderful time and I got a few pages completed!

The only problem I had was trying to fly to LAX in the early morning to drive to SD with Christy, my flight got cancelled and I had to sit there until the fog cleared up. I finally got there at 2:30! UGH!
Then we had to drive to SD, yuck, traffic!

But it was a great weekend full of a fun, fun group of scrapbookers!

My album and table!

scrapadoodling!

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The resort has 2 pools, and lovely garden like settings and lion statues everywhere!

My room is there, wonderful views!

73 scrapbookers scrapping away!

The walkway to the mall and restaurants!

My happy place...

A toast to many more scrappy events!




Thursday, January 29, 2015

Chobani Lemon Pies

Looking to make a healthier switch and to add a little yogurt to your recipes?
Chobani at www.Chobani.com  makes it super easy!
 I was sure surprised. I had been wanting to make some pies for awhile now but the sugar filled jams and pie fillings always made me think twice. I am not much of a sugar eater, but I do love a nice warm piece of pie with a cup of tea.

Today I made my version of a mini lemon pie using some Chobani Greek Lemon Yogurt. What a delicious little pie, small enough to not compromise your diet and full of all the benefits of Greek yogurt!

First you will need:
Chobani Greek Lemon Yogurt
2 rolls of pastry dough (homemade or store bought)
1 lemon
1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water added (beaten)
3-4 inch Heart shaped cookie cutter
1 teaspoon cornstarch
optional: some chocolate chips melted for drizzling finished pies

Heat oven to 400*
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Roll out dough and cut as many hearts out as you can I ended up with 5 pies
Mix the yogurt with the cornstarch and add a tablespoon of lemon juice from the fresh lemon.



Place half the hearts on the tray, add a spoonful of the yogurt, next brush the edges with the egg mix and layer on the top heart, press down the edges only with your fingers to seal, then using a fork press the edges, this helps to seal and makes a lovely decoration around the edge.




Brush the tops with the egg mix and bake for about 12-16 minutes, just until browned around the edges.

Gorgeous!



If you desire a little chocolate, melt your chips and drizzle on the top!


The inside turns to a nice creamy custard texture, with just enough lemon tartness, not too sweet.
These would make perfect little pies for a tea party or just a little after dinner dessert.

Chobani has so many flavors of yogurt, you can make any pie you desire!
Just head over to www.Chobani.com and see all the great flavors and recipes they have for you!
I am thinking of some Chobani chocolate yogurt pies for my chocolate loving husband!

Hope you enjoy your little Chobani pies!

Jackie



Saturday, January 24, 2015

Etsy is stocked up! Whew!

Got a bunch of camera straps made and put in my etsy shop! If you or someone you know owns a DSLR camera (canon rebel, etc) these straps make a fun gift, they make wearing your camera so comfortable, nice and soft and they have lots of personality, I have themes for every person!

Headed to a scrapbooking retreat in a couple weeks where I will be taking them with me so if you are interested better get one now before they are gone!

Just showing a few here:
Skulls and Roses

Tropical Paradise

For the Beer Lover

Fancy skulls

For the Nerd or Geek

Pink paisley
Get them at:  www.peaceloveandartshop.com

Friday, January 23, 2015

Chicken and wild rice recipe, It's a Keeper!





I came across this recipe on pinterest and thought this would be good to try, it has everything my hubby likes and since he is a picky eater and it came from a site called "Picky Palate" well, I figured this should work!

It is a little labor intensive, but if you want to shorten the cooking time by using pre-made items, I will give you the fast version too....I can see this coming together in 20 minutes or less!

Personally, I prefer the homemade everything method as food just tastes better from scratch, I am lucky enough to be able to leave work early and spend lots of time in the kitchen, yes, I am very lucky!

So here we go for a Cheesy Chicken and Wild rice casserole....it was fabulous!

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 of an onion diced fine (recipe calls for a whole one, I can't do that much onion)
3 stalks celery diced
3 carrots diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 cups white rice cooked
2 cups wild rice cooked
salt and pepper

Cheese sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 flour
salt and pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups cheddar cheese (keep a little for sprinkling on top of casserole)

I roasted my own whole chicken first, let it cool down, then cut up 2 cups of meat from it.
While the chicken cooked I made the rice's.

Preheat oven to 350*
Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the carrots, celery and onion for about 10 minutes, then add garlic, cook a couple minutes more. Then add chicken, rice's, salt and pepper. Mix well and pour into a casserole dish, 9x13 size.

Now the best part, making the cheese sauce, this was so glorious and beautiful, I was shocked I was able to pull this off, I am horrible at gravy and sauces!! This one worked like a charm!

Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat, whisk in flour slowly until you get a nice paste forming, add salt and pepper and slowly start to pour in the chicken broth, whisking continuously, once it is smooth and ready to boil, turn the heat off and whisk in cheese, once cheese is melted and the sauce is shiny and silky and gorgeous...pour it on top of the chicken and rice, mix it around, top with some cheddar cheese and bake for 30 minutes, take out and let it sit up about 15 minutes and then serve. Hubby loved, loved it, me too!

If you need it fast:
Use pre-cooked roasted chicken you get at the grocery store deli. Use pre-cooked bagged rice's in the rice section of grocery store, use one wild and one white. For the cheese sauce I would still do the cook your own version, it is so good, but in a pinch, heat up 2 cans of cheddar cheese soup, mixed with 2 cans milk, season with pepper only, as canned soup has too much salt!




Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Year, New Stuff to Try!

This year I want to introduce new meals into the weekly dinners, I love my go to recipes, but it is getting a little boring...I subscribe to Food Network magazine and have about 3 years worth, maybe more, plus Cooking Light, and tons of other magazines picked up along the way...and there is always Pinterest to find new recipes, my idea here, is to make one new meal a week choosing from my various sources...


 So let's start off with some fried chicken, but this is a bit more healthy then traditional fried chicken, plus there is no frying involved!

You need:

1 quart buttermilk - regular or light does not matter
1 pack chicken thighs with skin or with out, depends on just how healthy you want to go.
pepper fresh ground coarse
Seasoning salt, you can make your own blend or use Accent
I use Accent/no MSG.

Bowl of flour, approx. 2 cups mixed with lots of pepper and Accent.

The night before put thighs in a casserole dish 12x9, Pepper and Accent them heavily!! Pour on buttermilk, cover and marinate overnight until you are ready to cook the next day.

When it is time to cook, heat oven to 350*
Pick out pieces of chicken and drain the buttermilk, dredge the pieces in flour coating both sides and place on large rimmed baking tray covered in foil and sprayed with non stick spray.

Bake 25 minutes, turn over, bake 25 minutes, turn over and broil the tops a few minutes, turn over broil the tops a few minutes. Remove from tray and place on wire rack with paper towels under it, let chicken sit up about 15 minutes and then serve, YUM, tastes like fried chicken without the frying!!!

I served with mash potatoes and broccoli, great meal!

So I hope you will enjoy my cooking experiences this year and hopefully we will all get about 50 new recipes!!
Bon Appetite!
Jackie