Thursday, April 30, 2009

Have you ever...

Had Cheetos the size of a marshmallow?


I have. And they are fun. And big.
My one complaint-They need to put a little cheesyness in the middle, as it is a lot of "fluff" with just a little cheesyness.
But I love it that you don't have orange fingers after eating them!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Most Talked About Recipe

A long time ago (12 years ago maybe), my sister Kristi introduced me to a recipe for Chicken Roll Ups. They were delightful. I would forget about them. But when I remembered them, I would eat them. And love them.

In college, my roommate Amanda made them. I don't remember what she called them but I do remember one thing she did differently.

Then I moved to Virginia. And my friend made them. But she called them Chicken Pillows. And made them a little differently.

When my sister Kim came to visit me in Virginia 1 1/2 years ago, I made them for her and her family. Apparently this was her first time partaking of them. And she ,too, loved them.

About a month ago, my sister Andrea was telling me about this recipe she was going to try, called Chicken Pillows. She told me about the recipe and they were very similar but had a few differences from my Chicken Roll Ups. I laughed as I thought everyone in my family had now been introduced to this recipe.

2 weeks ago I was visiting my friend Anitra in Virginia and she told me about a recipe for Chicken Pillows. Once again, the idea was the same, but had small differences.

Now I truly believe that the whole world has made/tried these. But apparently there are several variations out there. So I will share it for those few people who haven't yet experienced them, or want to try a different variation.



Chicken Roll Ups


2 cups cut up chicken
8 ounces cream cheese
2 sticks celery- chopped
1/2 cup onion- minced
1/4 cup silvered almonds
1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 cans crescent rolls or biscuits
4 Tablespoons melted margarine
2/3 cup Stovetop stuffing


Roll out rolls.
Put 1/2 cup of mixture on each roll.

Roll up, dip in margarine and roll in crumbs.
Place on cookie sheet.

Bake at 375° for 30 minutes.

Top with gravy- can of cream of chicken soup diluted with no more than 1/2 can of milk.

So delicious. And I think they make great leftovers. We found out that they even freeze well.

Here are the different versions I have heard of:


Amanda's- used bread crumbs instead of stuffing to roll them in. I usually don't have stove top or am too lazy (or hungry) to take the time to coat them so I just eat them plain. This time I made them, I used bread crumbs. There was a little too much coating for me. I preferred the plain.

I ran out of margarine and bread crumbs so 2 stayed plain. The plain ones cooked a little faster!

Martha's- put mushrooms rather than almonds and celery. I'm not a fan of mushrooms.


Andrea's- didn't call for almonds, celery or onions. And says to use cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken. Don't really understand that one...


Anitra's- says to put in parmesan cheese and green onions with the chicken and cream cheese. Interesting.
I had never even thought of adding cheese to the mixture. So I gave it a try. Can't say I noticed a huge difference. But "cheese makes everything better..."



I prefer using the biscuits rather than the crescent rolls. They are easier to stuff as with the crescent rolls you have to somehow wrap the small amount/oddly shaped dough around the filling. With biscuits you just fold in half and pinch the dough edges together.
Crescent rolls were much cheaper than the biscuits so we went with those this time.

Have you had/made this recipe before? How is yours different? The same?





Monday, April 27, 2009

Vacay #2: Virginia

After being home for 2 1/2 days, I needed another vacation. So I went to Virginia.
I knew it was going to be a good vacation when the guy sitting next to me fell asleep before we even took off. His head went straight for my shoulder and stayed there from Chicago to Virginia. Sorry for the dark picture but I had to cover up the red light and turn off the flash so he wouldn't wake up and see me taking his picture. Second sign that is was going to be a great vacation: I arrived with this bag:
And left with these bags: My 9 year old bag looked like this when I arrived home from Mexico:
and yes, the zipper is zipped. And some airlines make you pay to check bags. So I threw away my bag and did carry-on there. I planned to purchase a new big bag and check it for the trip home. The bags were on sale so I had to buy 2. And boy, am I glad I did. There were so many things I just HAD to buy.
Like fun cereal we don't have in Canada.



and cool crackers

And sprinkles to add to my collection.



But my trip wasn't all about shopping.
We ate delicious food. Like Mac & Cheese, Taco & (way too spicy) Buffalo chicken pizza from CiCi's.
I drove past my favorite cemetery which consists of 2 graves. In the parking lot of a shopping center. I would like to know who those people are. Were they the only 2 buried there? Or were their families the only ones who wouldn't allow them to be moved for Starbucks to be built on their final resting place? Weird.
I saw pretty blossoms. And green grass.




And hung out with my good friend Oscar (at the American History Smithsonian).
For some reason I failed to take pictures of the fabulous friends I saw from Church and School (and the fun things we did). Or the cute family that was gracious enough to let me stay with them for a whole week. And drive me to Sonic and all of the stores I HAD to shop at. How grateful I am for fabulous friends. Although seeing them made it really hard to leave. Thanks for the fun times.

sand & snow

27 days ago, my feet were here. Today, they were here.
It wasn't snowing when I left the house. And thank goodness it was melted before the sun set this evening.
I love snow. But once I break out the flipflops it is hard to put socks and shoes back on.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What to do??

So I have 2 email addresses that I don't really use too much- one less than the other. I had the less used one forwarded to the other one but I noticed I hadn't received any forwarded emails recently. So I logged into it. And saw a note that said: To stop sending automatic vacation message, go to options.
What??
I hadn't set up a vacation message.

I read the emails in my inbox and read an email that said this:

Hello!How are you recently?I would like to introduce a good company who trades mainly in electornic products.Now the company is under sales promotion,all the products are sold nearly at its cost.They provide the best service to customers,they provide you with original products of good quality,and what is more,the price is a surprising happiness to you!It is realy a good chance for shopping.just grasp the opportunity,Now or never!The web address: (I am not going to share it with you as they have already gotten enough advertising from me!)

Then I noticed that it was sent to 7 different email addresses from MY email address. Luckily- 5 of them are addresses that bounced back as they no longer work at those jobs with those email addresses. But unfortunately 2 of them worry me. One was sent to my former Principal. And one was sent to the Human Resources of a school district I am still hoping to get a job with. What do I do? Do I send out an email apologizing and somewhat explaining what happened? Or just drop it and hope it doesn't affect my future employment?

And how did it happen? Someone totally logged into my email and changed the settings. Kind of scary. Luckily it was my email I hardly use and not one I use everyday with lots of addresses in my contacts.

Very interesting.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vacay #1: Mexico

My deepest apologies for taking forever to blog about my cruise. I have had a stressful 3 weeks of vacationing, shopping, eating and sleeping.
I don't have all the pictures from my fellow travellers... so here are some highlights featuring my photos.




Speaking of my fellow travellers... here they are. Joanna, Alyssa & Melissa. I had the privilege of sitting in the front seat of our taxi from LAX to the Los Angeles temple at 1am. Good times.


We stayed in the L.A. temple patron housing Friday night. It was much cheaper than a hotel and we had planned to go to a session at the temple Saturday morning before getting on the boat. The housing lady told me to call security when we were getting off the freeway to have them open the temple ground gates for us.

I called.

No one answered.

We pulled up. And the gate was locked. We were on the outside trying to get in. And there were some guys with their car on the inside trying to get out. I walked up to the gate to get the scoop. As soon as I looked at the guys I totally recognized them. They were roommates of a friend (of mine from Ricks College) that I had met in Virginia. Did you get that? Weird. We met twice in Virginia. And again after midnight on the L.A. Temple grounds. They said they were trying to get their car out and that security was no where to be found. They told us about a spot where the gate was lower and we could easily hop over. Our taxi took us there where the guys met us to help us also put our luggage over the gate. I think our taxi driver thought we were nuts and was probably considering calling the cops. Luckily, he didn't. Here we are jumping the fence, with our good buddy helping us out.

Such a beautiful temple. I felt like a celebrity. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling 100% yet. My cough was pretty much the only thing remaining. And it was loud and frequent. Throughout the session I was offered cough drops, tissues, water, etc. I received pats on the back, words of encouragement and so much more. From the temple, we took a $90 taxi to the port where we got on our boat. The Norwegian Star. Saturday evening & Sunday were days at sea. This was the view from our port hole. We had 4 of us in a small room. But it was much bigger than what we thought it would be. I was sure one of us would have to sleep in the shower. Luckily, that wasn't the case. Monday- our first port was Cabo San Lucas. We were attacked my offers for taxi's. We had a guy down to 500 pesos when we spotted a guy with a sign that read "Special LDS rate" and had a picture of the Salt Lake Temple. We chatted with him to see what special rate he would give us. We got him down to 800 pesos. I am not sure why we went with him when we had a much better deal with our other guy?? We took a boat taxi to Lover's Beach. It was gorgeous. Our driver/ captain (what are they called if they are driving a boat taxi??) took us to a few of the features of Lover's Beach- like the cool rocks and the smelly sea lions.

My favorite part of the beach experience is when the boat just pulls up to the beach and you jump off. While the waves are crashing and the boat is moving. I was the last one to get off and of course a big wave came up and knocks me off the boat. I fell under the boat, my flipflops fell off and I later discovered that my pockets and bathing suit filled with sand. Luckily, watching me was a man who caught my flipflops and travelling companions who laughed and laughed at me. Our taxi captain said he would be back in an hour to pick us up. So I tried to dry off while trying to avoid contact with sand. That was fun.

We returned to the town where we browsed the shops and street vendors. My goal was to try guacamole at each of our ports. (Sadly this was the only place I experienced it- other than the ship). So when I saw this sign, I knew we had to eat at this restaurant. And it was good. Holly Guacamole indeed.

Tuesday- Port numero 2 was Mazatlan. We caught a taxi to the "Golden Zone" which was pretty much a "Let's sell the same crap to these dumb American tourist Zone". Wasn't very impressive. There was a spot between the shops where you could walk onto the beach. But you got attacked by guys selling stuff, so it wasn't too relaxing.
Exhibit A. Joanna on the beach. The rest of the people in the picture= guys selling stuff.
Here are my feet relaxing on the dark sands of Mazatlan. One regret is not collecting sand at each of the beaches. The taxi's were pretty snazzy though. Our driver even let me pose as the driver. I should have taken off and become an illegal Canadian living it up in Mexico.


Wednesday- Our last port was Puerto Vallarta. This was our longest port but unfortunately, we saw and did the least here. Joanna and I decided to get pedicures at the spa. Then we ventured out to find nothing but a Super Walmart across the street, beckoning us.

I know that Walmart is dumb and American. But it was probably one of my favorite places, other than the beach. It was neat looking at all the fun, unique products. My favorite was this:
I love it. Second regret, not buying 10 of these. It just makes me smile. Since it was our last stop in Mexico, I had to spend my pesos. So spend them I did.
On fun chapsticks. And oddly named candy. And a churro mix that comes with a free pasty bag. Ha ha. And delightful flavored juice crystals. Like Apple, Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Mango. I am not sure if that one brand is Clight or perhaps C light... like Crystal Light. Clight just sounds like a disease.


But don't worry. I didn't give all of my pesos to Walmart. I did buy this fun little bowl from a nice senorita in Cabo. I think it really needs some salsa or guacamole in it.

Thursday & Friday were days at sea as we sailed back to Los Angeles.
Thursday was a sunny day. But windy. Too windy. Wind is probably my least favorite element. We were trying to enjoy our last 2 days of cruising by sitting on the deck, soaking up the sun and reading. But the wind made it too cold so I headed back inside. And it is a good thing I left when I did as later that evening I developed some weird wind/sun burn combo on my feet, shoulders and a knee. Yes. A knee.
We were deeply saddened to wake up Friday morning to find the sky cloudy and the wind still blowing. It was soo chilly. So we hid inside. All day.
When the wind blows, the boat rocks. On the first day, I felt a little sea sick, but nothing major. By the last day I was feeling fine, while my travelling companions were all Nauseated Nancy's. The worst place for feeling it was in the theater as shown by the rocking and rolling set.
video
Being our last night, we decided to live it up and eat at Endless Summer, a Mexican restaurant on the ship. I was full after the guacamole, mango salsa & chips they started us out with. Then we received our complementary margaritas. We were pretty much an anomaly- cruisers over the age of 18 that didn't drink an ounce of alcohol.
Unfortunately I was full by the time our food arrived. But I managed to eat some of my burrito and a smidgen of the mango/pineapple dessert.
My pasty skin (other than the burnt patches) rejoiced to see the sun out and the clouds/wind gone when we ported in Los Angeles. We spent the day amongst the palm trees, DSW's, Targets and walked along Hollywood Blvd. And even hit Downtown Disney for dinner. It was quite the painful experience to be so close to Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones & Soarin' Over California and not ride them. We were wondering if you could buy discounted tickets (since it was 9pm and the park closes at midnight) but just like every party has, we had some poopers that didn't want to. So we returned to our hotel room. Where we slept for 3 hours before heading to the airport to return home.
It was a great trip as evidenced by Exhibit B. My awesome tan lines.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yowza.

6 airports
8 flights
4 boats
3 countries
6 states
5 Targets
4 DSWs
3 JoAnns
4 books

all in
18 days.

I am finally home.

Pictures and stories to come. But this old Grandma's gotta roll her ol' bones into bed.

Monday, April 13, 2009

So there I was...


So there I was shopping in one of my favorite stores. I was with my dear friend and her cute little baby. He was tired of shopping. And shared these feelings by crying. We were quickly trying to find more items since you gotta spend money to save money, right!?!?!

A sales lady (S.L.) is helping us as we walk to the check out. My friend was in the lead pushing the stroller. I was following her with the S.L. behind me. As baby cries,

S.L. says: I think Grandma needs to pick him up.

me thinks: What is she talking about??

S.L. says: Aren't you the grandma?

me thinks: Holy schmolies. She thinks I am the grandma.

me says: ummm. no.

I am a little scared about turning 30 in 2 weeks. But this is ridiculous. A grandma. Seriously?

my friend may look like she is 16. But that would mean I either had her when I was 16 and look 32. Or I had her when I was 20 and look 36. But that is only if this lady thought my friend is 16.
Do I really look old enough to be her mother?
Don't answer that.