Sunday, January 28, 2007

Easy Chicken Tacos: A Crock Pot Love Story

Want something easy to do besides salsa? Try making these easy chicken tacos:

3lbs chicken breasts (or whatever kind of chicken meat you prefer)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 large can whole or diced tomatoes (or tomato sauce in a pinch - or fresh tomatoes)
1 good sized onion

Mix the tomatoes, taco seasoning and onion in the food processor for a couple seconds.

Fill crock pot with chicken and pour the other stuff from the food processor on top.

Once the chicken is cooked, shred it and stir it back into the mixture.

I find this to be a bit salty. If you wish you can add a whole potato for 30-45 minutes to absorb a bit of the salt.

Get flour tortillas, cheese, sour cream, black olives, your homemade salsa, some onion and tomato, and whatever else you like on your chicken tacos. Enjoy!

*If you have any left over you've got a great start for tortilla soup or an easy snack. For the easy snack get the tostitos made for dip (they look like tiny taco salad shells, made for dip) fill with some chicken, top with some shredded cheese, and put in the oven a couple of minutes to melt the cheese.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Salsa Made Simple

For my first entry on this page, I'll start with something I do well. I make great salsa. It's so easy, you can do it, too! You were warned, it's addicting.


Two small or one large can of tomato sauce (or whole or diced tomatoes)
One half bunch of cilantro
One half jalapeno pepper (or more if you want it really hot!)
3-4 handfuls of onion, chopped
1 tsp - 1 TBS garlic, to your taste
A dash of salt - optional
1 TBS lemon juice -optional

Give it all a whirl in the food processor until the salsa is the consistency of your liking. Enjoy!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Aint That A Shame?


It is a shame. Today I'm looking at my daughter's Sony Vaio PCG-K13 notebook computer. It's stopped working. We have no recovery discs, restore disks, whatever you choose to call them. I've tried the place online that claims they have every disk you could ever need - or they'll get it for you. But they've failed me.
Now I'm turning to anyone, anyone at all on the internet who can help me find the required disks to get this thing going again. Sony gave me some song and dance about how Microsoft only allows them to manufacture so many discs. Apparently this number is less than one per system, because we got none with this machine. Yes, now I know we were supposed to make our own when the thing was new, but we didn't understand that at the time. Hewlett Packard, Compaq, Toshiba, Dell, and Apple have always had discs available for purchase if we lost the ones that came with our machines. Sony is 0 for 2, as far as I'm concerned. No disc with the machine, no disc available for purchase. Booo Hisss.
If you can help please click the comments link at the end of this post and leave a comment. I'd gladly pay for the discs.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Camomile Lawn

Mary Wesley wrote the novel, which I have never read. Peter Hall directed the miniseries, which was a treat. I wasn't familiar with the actors, but I think they did a great job. The story is about a group of cousins who grew up in England during the war. Their lives are quite intermingled and separate at the same time. I especially loved Calypso, Polly, and Sophie. Maybe because they're girls? Their characters were the deepest, I thought. Relax some weekend and enjoy this group. It's a little dark in places, so I wouldn't sit down with children to watch it. It's not that kind of entertainment. It does draw you in, though. Have a day with the cousins.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Library Hotel, NYC


Do you want proof I'm a geek? Here it is! I haven't stayed at the Library Hotel
in NYC yet, but as soon as I get a chance, I will.

The rooms all have different categories of books. I'd like to stay in the Fairy Tale room and the Romance Room and the Classics Room and the Erotica Room and the Poetry Room. I want to stay in the Paintings Room and the Photography Room and the Music Room and the Fashion Design Room. I want to stay in the Ancient Room and the Romance Room. I want to stay in the Museums Room and the Logic Room and the Ethics Room. I want to stay in the Philosophy Room and the Paranormal Room and the Love Room and the Psychology Room.

Okay, I obviously need many nights at the Library Hotel.

Walden Country Inn and Stables, Aurora Ohio


The Walden Country Inn and Stables is a unique place. This must have been a labor of love for the architect. The design is so interesting, so unexpected. You feel cozy and taken care of and special just because of the way the building feels. The rooms are spacious and luxurious.

We stayed in A loft suite (about twelve hundred square feet!) and really enjoyed it. Even the private stairway had flair. You have a fireplace. The huge bath is across from the bed instead of in the bathroom, which also has a shower. If you want to spend a romantic getaway in a room that lends itself to blissful relaxation go stay at Walden.

Don't order room service from their on site restaurant, however. It takes forever to get your tepid food. As a bonus I got the nastiest case of food poisoning in my life. Waking up the morning of checkout with projectile vomiting is not in their brochure, but it was an unexpected part of our stay. They claim to have movies for rent, but when you pick up the list in the room and call down and ask for a title they are put out. They don't really have those movies for rent, they go and get them from a local rental place. I also don't recommend paying big bucks to ride their horses. One of our horses was entirely spooked by the mud in the trail and decided to run into trees and be otherwise impossible. We all had to return (the two of us and our "guide") after just a few terrible minutes (we didn't get through 5 minutes of our hour long ride) and they still charged us at full rate for the both of us.

Remember I told you the building is awesome, and worth the stay. The staff was mediocre - and I'm being generous. For the room alone, go. Eat and entertain yourself elsewhere.

see their brochure here:

Going to Orlando? Stay at Sheraton's Vistana Resort


You can thank me later. Vistana is close to Disney, across the street from a real, albeit a little depressing, grocery store. It's chock full of nice amenities, including a store or two on property. The pictures online just don't do it justice. Nice apartments, with their screened patios, washer/dryer, full kitchen, grand master bathroom give you all the niceties of home.

The giant pool in the picture is a fun place with lots of people, but there are a bunch of pools and hot tubs all around the property that feel much more private, and are usually right outside your back door. You can sit on the patio while older children swim. You can see the nightly midnight fireworks show from Disney's Pleasure Island from the Vistana property.

They have their own on site Pizza Hut and 3 or 4 other eateries. You can play tennis, rent bicycles, watch the chameleons, use the fitness centers or the game room. Or you could just relax. There's a television in the living room and the bedroom. I can't remember if there was a television in the 2nd bedroom?