Bummer. RIP Arch West.

September 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm (For Amanda, News, RIP, Tips to Live) (, , , , , )

The man who created the delicious snack chip near and dear to our collective family hearts has passed away, last week, in Dallas, Texas. Arch West was 97 years old. He came up with the idea for the Dorito, on a family holiday to San Diego, in 1961,  when he visited a food truck selling fried tortilla chips. Genius is recognized! He took his idea back to Frito-Lay where he was a marketing executive, and said, hey….big idea here! They said, hmmm…not sure. But thankfully, in 1964 when they rolled out those cheesy chips, the world said, HELL YEAH!! And a legend was born.

My family personally loves the Dorito. My sister in particular, has been known to snack on a bag or two from time to time…it’s the never-ending story from our past…Amanda eats Doritos! Sorry sis, it’s just too good to pass up and I know you’d feel a bit sad to hear the news and maybe want to pay your respects by having some and NOT feeling guilty! Or care what OTHER people think about your Dorito loving habit!! Be proud! Besides you are an adult now and you can eat as many as you like! Haters are always gonna hate!

My son loves them too. He switches back and forth from Nacho Cheese to Cool Ranch, so we get them both in the Frito-Lay Lunch Pack. My personal fav is the Taco flavor. (Coincidentally, also the very first flavor of Dorito to be introduced) Seriously, they just rolled them back out over the summer. Before, if you wanted them you really had to search them out. They’re even in their original packaging. I don’t know why. All I know is they are THE essential component of this Taco Dip that I make and without them, the dip just tastes like taco-flavored cream cheese with nacho chips.

Here’s the recipe to try for next weekend if you like, or tonight! Monday Night Football! That works. Super easy, NO cooking required! In fact once you make the core dip you can basically do whatever you want to it. It’s low maintenance. This is one batch. Just double the amounts for more. One bag of chips is good for one batch of dip.

8 oz. Cream Cheese (Does not matter what kind, unless you like a particular brand. I’d use full fat though for this and the sour cream and just suck it up. The dip hold better with the extra fat. Much like everything right??)

8 oz. Sour Cream (Again, whatever brand you like. Stick to full fat.)

1 packet of Taco Seasoning Mix (Any kind. Your choice.)

That’s it! Blend them together in a bowl. Use a hand mixer if you have one because sometimes the cream cheese can be hard to smooth out. It should be thick enough to hold a shape, but not solid.

Now you can let it sit in the fridge, melding flavors (cover it up), while you chop up the toppings to add to it. Remember this is a Taco Dip, so add stuff that you would put on a taco. There is no limit to how much of any one ingredient or what kind/flavor of cheese. These are my suggestions:

Shredded Cheese. I started off with just plain cheddar or colby, but they make so many different kinds now, you can really get creative. My kids like more flavors now too, so things like the cheese blends with taco spices adds extra oomph. Queso’s are good too. Get a crumbly kind. My only real advice is to stick with the taco flavor theme, or it’s gonna get confusing.

Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Black Olives. These are my main tops. Lettuce even comes in a bag shredded for you and olives come pre-sliced. Onions are hit and miss, as are tomatoes, and I guess black olives too, but they’re easier to pick off. It’s all up to you and what your particular audience likes and won’t whine about.

Additional add-ons can include: Avocado, Sour Cream (as an extra topping), Salsa, Hot Sauce, Jalepenos; anything you can serve up on a taco. I would also offer the advice to stick to COLD items. Things that taste good cold. Hot toppings or meats aren’t all that great with this and it makes the whole thing way harder than it has to be.

Now get a disposable pizza pan or a big plate or serving platter if you aren’t concerned about losing any dishes in a traveling party situation. I started using disposable cooking pans or roasting pans because they have sides and the dip doesn’t get lost to the edges. Keeps it in nice and tight.

Take your dip from the fridge and scrape it out onto the platter, in the center, into as tight of a ball as you can manage. Basically just try to keep it in one big lump. Then add the other stuff to the top. I start with cheese. I use enough to cover the whole dip ball. I like to put everything in smaller containers or sandwich baggies to take with if I am making it somewhere else or leave it on plates until I am ready to assemble. You can make the core dip ball ahead but I wouldn’t add the “taco” stuff until just before serving, otherwise it gets kind of runny, and that’s no good. Then I dump on the other stuff. Kind of layering it and adhering it to all sides of the dip. Eventually you will have a core lump of dip covered in many different ingredients. It should be colorful and look pretty impressive. Don’t worry about any of the toppings falling to the edges of the pan. Here’s where the “Greatest Dorito Chip Of All Time!” comes in!

(We really took the long way today) Break out your bag of Taco Flavored Doritos. I have to stress the Dorito kind here because they do have this very specific flavor that cannot be matched. Now just put them all around the edges of the dip like a life preserver. This is where the pan with sides comes in handy. I used to use a flat platter, but the chips would always end up falling off or getting shoved off trying to scoop up dip. The pan keeps it all in and gives you something to brace against when scooping. And it’s super-easy to move around if you are trying to steal it away from the crowd and keep it all to yourself.

That’s it. It’s really simple even if the instructions have taken up 10,000 words. And it’s really good. People seem to love it wherever I bring it and it usually gets eaten first and to the last cheese shred. I may have a picture of it somewhere on this site already. If I do, I’ll post it later. If not, next time I make it, I will for sure.

This ends my tribute to the man who invented Doritos. I have done my best to research the details of Mr. West’s awesome creation to the world, but if I have missed anything or gotten something wrong just drop me a line and let me know. His funeral will be held on October 1 in Dallas.

One more fun fact: His family, daughter and sons, will be tossing Dorito chips over his urn, into the ground, where he will be buried. As of my posting, the flavor is still undetermined. Taco was first, but Nacho Cheese was most successful. They say he would have loved it!

Arch West (1914-2011)

Rest In Supreme Nacho Cheese Peace.

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NEW FEATURE!!!

September 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm (Joke, New Features, Stevie's Joke of the Day!, Tips to Live, Wasting Study Time Posts) (, , , , , , , )

VEGETABLES OF THE DAY!!

NO. Just kidding. The new feature, as with ALL the new things I try on here, will hopefully be a daily thing. I use the word daily in it’s broadest definition, like, close to every day, possibly every other day, but something posted ON A day. That doesn’t necessarily have to mean all the days are in a row…anyhoo, the new feature shall be called:

STEVIE’S JOKE OF THE DAY!  Brought to you by various sources, among them, popsicle sticks and her science teacher. Only the best will be placed here. I am talking the good jokes, the ones that are actually funny. These will make you laugh out loud (or at least chuckle to yourself), and they are short. Seriously, riddle short. Really.

For those of you still actually following this blog thing, I apologize for the serious lack of posts and dedication to this medium. I love sharing all the thoughts in my brain with random strangers because it’s fun and good to get these things out of my head. I really do have lots of stuff keyed up and ready to go, but 3-D life keeps interfering with my 2-D need to chatter endlessly about stupid sh*t all day! Pardon my harsh language. I am well aware of the non-importance of a site like this, but it is great to have an outlet for a racing mind.

Here’s the fast update: Became RN. Still registered for school to obtain BSN. Class is one day a week. Wednesday. Have to write a paper every week. Have procrastinated until Tuesday, to do such paper, every single week so far. Took the ACLS class that I talked about in a previous post. PASSED the class!! Certified! Refief! So nervous!  STILL DO NOT HAVE A JOB! Stevie, the girl with the jokes, joined cross country and has meets every other day, and for two more weeks. Luckily, I have been able to attend all. In fact, she has one today. In about a half an hour so I need to get this up and out there. I need to update resume. Send out more applications. Do that paper. GET A JOB! I got money on my mind, and you’ll see that in a later post when I get back from the run thing. I should prob make dinner too. It’s not all bad. In fact it’s pretty good and I need to enjoy the time instead of freaking out because it can all change in a fast second. (That’s another post).

Let’s do this joke thing. Again: STEVIE”S JOKE OF THE DAY!! Are you ready??

Why was the mushroom the hit of the party?

Because he was a fun guy! (FUN-GI)

See how it all ties in?? Mushroom picture, mushroom joke…this is the kind of high level entertainment you can expect from this site on an almost daily basis. We think these are pretty funny. Tip to Live/Rule of life: You must have jokes you can tell at any time, to any crowd. These are those jokes!

Alright, gotta…runyuk yuk…later.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

September 2, 2011 at 9:34 am (Day to Day, Drunk Posts, Holiday, Shameless Self Promotion, Tips to Live) (, , , )

TO ME!!

It’s probably kind of weird that my first post, after quite a while, is about me, but, hey, it is MY site!

So anyway, that picture is of a drink that I am NOT having right now, but doesn’t it look tasty? It’s my own recipe. I call it “Quick Margarita”.

Just put ice in a cup, pour in the tequila, the sweet/sour mix, triple sec (if you have it, it’s nice but not necessary), stir it up with your fingers, and sprinkle salt on top of the ice. I just use regular old salt from the shaker. As you can see I got a little fancy with the salt around the edge. This is also very easy. Before you put the ice and alcohol in the cup just swish some water on the rim and salt like you would a sweet corn cob, then follow the directions as given above. That’s it.  If you absolutely MUST shake it, follow my recipe, pour the whole thing into a shaker, shake it, and pour it back in the glass. At least now you will have liquor residue on the rim and the salt can stick to that!

Time required to create this masterpiece: As fast as you can pour stuff in a cup without spilling.

After a few of these quick drinks, you will find that it becomes even easier as you start skimping on the slower aspects of the recipe. Salt? Eh…we can skip that. Triple sec? I mean, come on the sweet/sour is prob good enough. Sweet/sour? The glass? Tequila drinks just as well from the bottle as it does from a cup.

So anyway, that’s it for now. It’s my birthday. I am 42. I became an RN just a few weeks ago. It has been my adult goal for the last 5 years. I am happy. No job yet, but I am waiting. Apps are out and I still have 15 days on the master plan. Panic will ensue then.

It’s supposed to be hot again here in Chicago. A blazing 90-95 that will feel like 100-105 thanks to our nasty humidity. Stay cool as you can and have a drink for me/with me/because of me! It’s our day! Have a great one!

One last thing. I’d like to dedicate this little bit of silliness to my cousin Lorraine. She’s an avid follower of my goofy site here and she’s basically, just all-around, awesome! She’s definitely what people call “a cool chick”. This is for you! You rock!

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Dawn gets the blood out of anything

July 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm (Advertising, Day to Day, Heat, Home Improvement, Tips to Live, Wasting Study Time Posts, Weather) (, , , , , )

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Dawn Dishwashing Detergent gets blood out of anything. Seriously. Clothing. Furniture. Carpet. Throw rugs. Anything that can get stained, dripped, splattered, etc. with blood can be quickly and easily removed with some Dawn and cold water. (You can probably use any temp water, but I always use cold). Anyhow, just squeeze some right on the stain and rub it, scrub it, brush it, whatever, and the stain starts lifting and moving. Rinse, repeat, or throw it in the washer, until it’s all gone. Even if something has been washed AND dried, it can still take the stain out. I am always amazed that it works as well as it does. Like, literally no trace. Well, CSI could probably pick it up, but that’s a whole different problem.

So there you go. Tip for the day! This info might come in handy later when you go outside and realize it’s about a billion degrees and all the crazies who can’t take the heat start flipping out and causing some mayhem. Now if you get caught up in any bloodshed at least your clothes won’t get ruined! Stay cool! Drink lots of water! Later.

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Next Up…RUN WILD!

May 4, 2009 at 4:57 pm (Day to Day, EFS, Tips to Live, Warrior Dash) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

It’s a 5K at Brookfield Zoo, in Chicago. Only two weeks left not to embarrass myself. The run is awesome! We get to be in the Zoo before it opens and then run the race on the Zoo grounds and then hang out at the Zoo all day if we want! It is going to be so much fun! I won’t win or anything, I just participate as fast as I can.

So I went out running around my favorite outdoor track in the forest preserve. I swear those trails are the best thing the Park Districts/Counties have ever done. I love them. This particular one is perfect for me because it’s 3.6 miles so it covers me for everything. If I can make it around there I can make it….well, you know. After that is the Warrior Dash! 6K Plus.  I’m just training to run—I’ll probably just wing it for the rest of it. How do you really train for crawling over cars, or thru the mud? I guess next time I’m at the Forest Preserve I could run through the little swampy areas and then start jumping over everybody’s cars parked in the lot…I’m sure I’d be VERY popular after that. “Hey! I’m training for the Warrior Dash!!” is what I’ll be shouting from the back of the police car. People just don’t understand!

It’s beautiful today. 72 and sunny in the burbs and I just couldn’t sit in the house at the computer, or on a treadmill at the gym. But I’m back now and posting up for the race and then some new scanned in things for another fun post!

We are still following Extreme Fat Smash but we keep getting derailed in the middle of the week. You would think it would be easy to eat pretty much nothing and move on with your life, but less food means more planning. But I’m not knocking it. I think it works really well. I am the same weight as I was last week, and I’ll admit that I cheated on the food and did not exercise to the book. Luckily, if you live pretty well, normally, you can deviate to the dark side somewhat and not throw the whole cart off the path. Another mini philosophy break.

Here’s a  mini tip on yogurt eating:

I like to mix in granola, which technically is not on the list but if you work out extra hard and buy a good product with good ingredients, I think its worth the extra calories. Plus it really makes you feel like you are getting a good meal.

Anyway, I like to let it sit a bit to get the granola to a softer consistency, like cookie dough, but with bite. Today though, after I put the yogurt and granola together I got distracted with a phone call and the kids and it sat extra long. IT WAS EVEN BETTER! I mean, like really good. It was almost the texture of oatmeal with lumps. Tasty, delicious, granola lumps. Still firm enough to chew, but with none of the hard edges. Try it and see what you think. If it sounds gross, just try it anyway, you might be surprised!

And I also ate a hard boiled egg. I just love those too.

It’s supposed to be a good week so here’s to 4 more days of running the trails and eating smart. Hopefully I’ll go into this race at my lightest weight since before I had my children. A girl can dream.

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Tip for Tuesday / Lunchtime Version / Tongue in Cheek

April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm (Tips to Live) (, , )

My children are cold-lunchers. Whereby they bring their lunch to school every day, instead of paying for the school-cafeteria hot-lunch. Over time I have come up with these easy-to-follow instructions to make this daily process much faster and maintain the flow of our busy mornings. This may seem second-grade, but beware the simplicity. There is a boy version and a girl version. As follows:

HOW TO MAKE A SANDWICH

BOY:

I like to start with 2 pieces of bread. Any kind. (I find the thinner, wheat kind is popular with my son, but not the overly-grainy kind. Avoid any bread with actual seeds or oaty pieces inside or attached)

GIRL:

NO bread.

BOY:

Using a knife, spread Miracle Whip, on the inside of  both pieces of bread for the first half of the school year. Then inexplicably, switch to Mayo for the remainder. Remember to cover the whole slice, edge to edge; thick enough to taste with every bite, but not overpowering and squeezing off the sides.

GIRL:

NO condiments.

BOY:

Place various meat slices on top of one spread bread. Turkey or ham exclusively and separately. Never together.

Two slices or three depending on meat choice and addition of mustard or a nice piece of lettuce, which you will not be asked to add to the final product until sandwich is completed and already in lunchbox and book bag. Thereby voiding the request and eliminating the need for this sub-article.

Arrange meat slices in such a way that they cover the bread but avoid the dreaded “hanging off” fashion.  Choosing the right kind of lunch meat is key here. Shape-Wise is Brand specific. You’ll have to commission that for yourself. It takes time, several grocery outlets and a bit of skill, but 3 months in, give or take, you will be expert.

Fit together, the one slice of bread with meat along with the other  spread-only slice, and form the “sandwich”.  The meat and spread should be inside, while the outside remains dry and handle-able.  Put sandwich in plastic zip-lock type baggie. Place entire structure in lunchbox.

GIRL:

Put  two pieces (3 if she’s hungry) of lunch meat (any kind, any shape) in plastic baggie. Place in lunchbox.

FOR BOTH:

Now just add various other things into the lunchbox. This portion is not part of  the actual “sandwich making”  but it can be equally helpful.  I like to add in water bottles,  ice packs, napkins, a salty snack and a sweet snack. The  boy gets a quarter for milk. (The girl doesn’t like milk). Lately, they’ve also had a string-cheese stick.

Please keep in mind that these instructions are generalized for the elementary set, but specific to MY kids. Change any ingredients/additions according to your own personal child’s preferences.

It may seem intimidating at first or time-consuming, but with practice, two or three times a week, it becomes like second nature!

7 months into the school year and my children enjoy a sandwich almost every day! How many mom’s can say that?

I hope this post was very helpful. Feel free to leave a comment or suggestion to better improve this site. Thank you.

Disclaimer: This was written in a highly satirical and hopefully comical style for the complete benefit of my son who has the best sense of humor of anyone I know in the 11 year old/fifth grade range. XO. Now eat your lunch!

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Tips to Live. Hard Boiled Egg Edition.

April 14, 2009 at 11:49 am (EFS, Tips to Live) (, , , , )

Oh yeah. The big time here. But seriously. How do you do it? I was actually thinking about this early this morning when I should have been sleeping. This may have been more relevant a few days ago, but we don’t color eggs anymore so I didn’t think of it. We do use them as part of the EFS and BFL so it’s still good information. This is how I do it and for the most part it works and the shells always come off easily and in few pieces.

Put eggs in pan. Cover with water. (I don’t use hot/cold/warm–just whatever)

Turn on heat high. Get them Boiling. After they start boiling, time them for 10 minutes. (Keep them boiling…)

After time is up, take them off heat and run under coldest water possible. Drain and fill pan until the eggs are warm. Then I dump in a tray of ice (Boyfriend’s extra tip. I used to just keep running them under cold water until they were cooled.) The ice seems to work good and faster.

After the ice is melted throw them in the fridge. When you peel one later, or immediately, the shell comes right off!

This has worked consistantly for my whole life. Every now and then you get a tough egg , with a shell that just won’t come off, but that’s true with everything in life.

Try it out, see what you think and if you have a better way, send it on. Leave a message and I’ll try yours.  We always need  good eggs over here!

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Tip to Wrap–Save some Bucks

March 30, 2009 at 12:42 pm (Recycle, Tips to Live) (, , , )

This is a new idea I thought of to add to the rolling list of nonsense that goes thru here. Kind of a “TIP” section. Things that are kind of helpful maybe to someone. I thought of it obviously while wrapping a present. Whenever I come across something I think is tippy, then I’ll post it. So, if this helps, great! If not, just move along! Thanks.

This is a quick tip for wrapping presents. I’m sure alot of people already know this, but I just figured it out.

As usual when I went to go get supplies for the b-day party we are having today for the boyfriend, I forgot some stuff. Like wrapping paper for the present. PLUS, I really hate spending money on things that just get torn off and thrown away. In the mail, I got a big pack of sales fliers. Alot. Like for 10 different places. DING!

The Jewel sales paper is perfect! It feels the same weight as wrapping paper, doesn’t bleed all over your fingers, is super colorful, and it’s FREE.

So I wrapped the present in it. I think it looks very party like, and it works for ALL occasions. You can always get fancy for things like weddings and Christmas, but I think it would work pretty good for everything else.

You can try other papers too. I noticed some are really faded looking, some are black and white, some are heavier or thinner–its really up to you and what you prefer for the present you have. For something really large, just throw it all on there! There’s an endless supply! I put a picture up of my present. Hope it saves you a few bucks!

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The Boyfriends Birthday Present—Wrapped Cheaply

March 30, 2009 at 12:41 pm (Pictures, Recycle, Tips to Live) (, , )

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Tip for girls—don’t throw away those clothes just yet…

March 30, 2009 at 12:16 pm (Recycle, Tips to Live) (, , )

If you have a flip flopping girl like I do (she likes this pair of pants today, but hates that ugly shirt and vice versa) then listen up. My daughter gets alot of clothes for presents, b-day, x-mas, easter, whatever…and some she likes, most she hates. Not because there is anything actually wrong with the clothes–but because they are just not EXACTLY “right”.

The number size is correct. It’s things like: the color is too dark or too light; the waist has the wrong belt band; the length is too long or too short; the buttons or designs are bright, sparkly, dull, beaded, not beaded, stitched…; or the worst of all, too tight, not tight enough, tight on TOP but too baggy at the knees, too baggy at the ankles, too tight at the ankles, not flarey enough…it goes on and on until I tell her not to wear them then! Whatever–JUST GET DRESSED–WE HAVE TO GO!!

Then she demands they be thrown out and never allowed back in the house again.

I however,  know that in a week, tops, someone at school is going to have those pants and guess what? She NEEDS to have those pants. So, under much resistance, I tell her we are not throwing them away. She can put them in the bottom of her drawer and try them at a later time. Just trust me here, you are going to want them eventually.

NO!! I don’t want them in my drawer!! Fine. Then put them in your closet.   FINE. But they are going in the very bottom of the junkiest spot in there. Fine. Just get dressed, please. UGGHHH!! And off she goes. It’s so much fun, and she isn’t even really THAT close to the teens yet.

Go forward a few days. The pants get brought back out quietly. Tried on. Pranced around in. Paired with various other,exiled, ugly tops, and suddenly you find yourself looking at your daughter decked out in her most horrible, horrendous, hideous clothing to go to the party AND she tells you, “I love these pants SO much! They are my FAVORITE pants! They fit so good, don’t they mom??”

Yes honey.

If that doesn’t work for you, I keep a bag in the garage for the Salvation Army. They come around with trucks every few months. If it doesn’t make it back into the house by then, someone who needs it more will get it. Obviously, this scenario might not occur for everyone, but it’s working like this for me right now, so maybe it will help even a little. Like most kids, she’s really good…until she’s bad!

Have a great day!

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