Monday, October 31, 2011

Paper Scraps - All good things must come to an end

It feels so weird for me to say this, but as of today, I am no longer on any scrapbooking design teams. I have been on various kit club and sketch blog design teams for about four years, so this is going to be hard. I still love scrapping, but rushing to meet deadlines and creating work that, to me, wasn't design team worthy because I felt rushed was taking its toll on me. I thought I needed to be on design teams to be happy, to keep my scrapping fresh, and to just keep scrapping at all. I thought once my son started school that things would slow down, but in fact, quite the opposite has happened, and we are busier than ever.

This doesn't mean that I am going to stop scrapping. I am hoping this will allow me to get back to the root of why I started scrapping in the first place. I want to fill my pages with stories of our lives and meaningful journaling. No more searching for new and unusual techniques or crazy tutorials that my kids aren't going to give a hoot about when they look at these pages years from now. It is time for me to tell my stories, and that is exactly what I plan on doing, and I'm looking forward to doing it at my own pace with whatever supplies I choose to use. I seriously doubt that my kids are going to care about whether or not I used the latest and greatest in paper and products. It is time to keep it real, and keep it simple. I'm not necessarily saying my style is going to change, but I hope to make my pages much more meaningful. After all, scrapping is still an artistic outlet for me.

Here are the last few pages I did for Creative Scrappers. Thank you, Kristine, for having me on the design team for another term. Maybe someday things will slow down, and I'll join again, but for now, I am going to embrace my new creative freedom and run with it.Notice anything about these pages? Not a single one has any journaling on it. Not every page needs journaling, of course. Sometimes the pictures tell the whole story. But I want to go beyond the pictures and express more. I think my next project is going to be to make a journal to jot down stories and things I want to be sure to document on my pages. I'll post it when I get it done! Thanks for looking and happy scrapping!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Table Scraps - Pulled Pork Tacos (Crock Pot Recipe)

I have a confession to make...

I HATE grocery shopping. Seriously, despise it. The only thing I hate more than grocery shopping is grocery shopping on a weekend...with my husband.

Yes, I said it. I HATE grocery shopping with my husband. Trust me. It is an ordeal from hell shopping with him, and it starts before we even leave the house. He has a standard grocery list saved on the computer of things that we usually buy on most grocery trips. That list is organized by aisles in the store. He prints this stupid list out and then makes me go in the kitchen to look in the cabinets and refrigerator while he calls out items on the list and crosses them off if I say we already have that. If I try to add something to the list in the middle of this process, I am told to wait because we aren't at that aisle of the store yet on the list. You see where this is going, right?

Once at the store, he immediately pulls out the list and starts reading and planning out his strategy for maximum efficiency. There is no leisurely stroll to browse items. If I pick something up and put it in the cart that was not on the list, I am interrogated as to the necessity/when it will be used/what it will be used for. And let's not forget about the endless "Don't we already have that in the cabinet?" question. When I go to the store alone, I rarely make a list, and if I do, it is just a few key items that I am afraid I will forget. And 99% of the time when I do make a list, I don't even bother to pull it out of my purse once I get to the store anyway.

There is one thing that does make me happy when I go to the store though. That is a sale on boneless pork loins! I love it when I find them on sale for $1.99/lb or less. I usually buy two or three of them when they go on sale. Once I get them home, I slice them in half and freeze them for future meals. They are so versatile, and I use them for tons of things from pulled pork BBQ, pork stir fry, etc, etc.

One of my favorite uses for boneless pork loin is for my pulled pork taco recipe. My husband loves this recipe so much that he ate leftovers for lunch for three days straight and was sad when it was gone. The beauty of this recipe is that it is done in the crock pot, so there is very little work. Just throw it all in and forget about it.

Pulled Pork Tacos
2 lb. boneless pork loin, cut into 2 inch cubes
1 large onion, quartered
2 jalapeno peppers, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup chicken broth

Trim fat off of meat and place meat in crock pot. Add chicken broth and then the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove meat from crock pot and shred with a fork.

Serve meat on flour tortillas with sour cream, Mexican cheese, fresh lime juice, and fresh cilantro.