Thursday, July 24, 2014

52 sandwiches #40: pepper jack grilled cheese

This is another Joy the Baker sandwich recipe. I made her lasagna sandwich last week. This week I made her pepper jack grilled cheese. If I seem obsessed with Joy, it's not an illusion. I totally am. She's awesome and this sandwich is awesome.
I think you should know up front that this sandwich is spicy- in the best way though. Give it a try!
52 sandwiches no. 40: pepper jack grilled cheese
Joy gave detailed instructions on her blog here, but I will summarize. The first step is to char a jalapeño (or more if you want) on the stove top. When it is completely charred (black), put it in a saucepan with a lid to steam it. After a few minutes, cut the skin off with a knife careful not to handle it with your hands. (It'll burn your skin. My mom handled habanero chiles with her bare hands one time. She was in pain all night!) Once the skin is removed, cut it in half and remove the seeds. Then, coarsely chop the jalapeño. (I like the smell of charred jalapeños. It reminds me of my grandma making salsa).
To make this sandwich, spread cream cheese on both sides of the bread, then layer chopped jalapeños and shredded, Monterey Jack cheese. Finally, put the slices together and toast them with butter in a pan.52 sandwiches no. 40: pepper jack grilled cheese
Then, eat. Hope you like spicy AND tasty! :)
52 sandwiches no. 40: pepper jack grilled cheese52 sandwiches no. 40: pepper jack grilled cheese
** I am attempting to make 52 sandwiches. Read more about how this project got started here. See all the sandwiches I've made so far here.**

P.S. The emails for the Whimsy Jar Swap are coming in. Hope you'll play along!

Click below for more details:
whimsy jar swap- details on my blog

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

whimsy jar swap

I've decided to go ahead, and host a whimsy jar swap. It's been so long since I've participated in a swap! I'm excited about it. :)
whimsy jar swap- details on my blog
The idea of this swap is to take a small jar (7 ounces- give or take a little), and fill it up with pretty and usable craft items like buttons, paper clips, washi tape, ribbon, wooden veneers, rubber stamps, silk flowers, tags, flair badges/buttons, charms, labels (Dennison labels, anyone?), you name it. It took me 15 minutes to put this jar together. Easy!
whimsy jar swap- details on my blog
I will make groups of 3. Each participant will be sending out 2 jars to those in their group and receiving 2 jars, as well. 
whimsy jar swap- details on my blog
Here's what you need to do:

1. Sign up for the swap by sending me an email at jessrodarte(at)verizon(dot)net by August 15 or until we reach a maximum of 30 participants. In your email, please include the following: your name, mailing address, blog or other social media forum address (you must have one to join). Please include a list of your likes/dislikes including favorite colors and color schemes (please be thorough! It's easier to to put a package together when there is an extensive list of likes).

2. The first step is to find 2 good-looking jars- maybe recycle a jelly jar (the Bonne Maman jars are my favorite), a pesto jar, or a vintage jar, etc.

3. Finally, fill up your jars with your partners' likes, and...

4. Ship them off to your swap partners along with your name and contact information (by August 22).

Contact me if you have any questions. 

I sincerely hope you will join! I look forward to your email. :) Feel free to let others know about the swap! 
whimsy jar swap- details on my blog
I will be accepting international participants for this swap. I will be grouping international participants with each other to keep shipping costs low.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

whimsy jar swap?

"I'm 30" Giveaway (details on my blog)
Once upon a time, I was "swapping" left and right. To swap, one is paired with another interested person by the host. The participants, then, exchange information- likes/dislikes, interests, and addresses.  Then, depending on the theme, they send out a thoughtful package to each other. I participated in a variety of swaps a few years ago. Some were hosted by others and some I hosted myself. My favorite swaps included Heather's petite inspiration (matchbox) box swaps, my pretty pockets swaps, tiny book swaps, and my whimsy jar swaps

I'd like to host a whimsy jar swap if I have enough interest. For this swap, I'm thinking 3 participants will be grouped to send each other a jar of cute embellishments like buttons, paper clips, candy, washi tape, ribbon, charms, labels, etc.  That means each person will receive 2 jars. Be sure to let me know if you're interested! Either comment below or email me at jessrodarte (at) verizon (dot) net with your social media link (blog, Instagram, Twitter, etc.).

Whimsy Jar

Monday, July 21, 2014

my weight loss toolbox: let's talk protein

banana bread greek yogurt
I am in the middle of trying to increase my protein consumption because I don't have enough on a regular basis. Increased protein consumption is known to decrease levels of hunger, expend more energy due to the body's attempts to digest it, and increase lean body mass or muscle (which in turn burn fat). (See Three Reasons Dieters Should Eat More Protein by Martina Cartwright for Psychology Today).

I'm sharing some of my regular, high protein meals and snacks. Like I said, I'm working on this, so I'm no expert! In fact, I'm hoping you would chime in in the comments with ideas.

For breakfast these are regulars:
*two ingredient pancakes (made with an egg and half a banana)
*cottage cheese with fruit
*Greek yogurt, granola, and fruit (the picture above is a banana bread Greek yogurt I linked to here)
*soy milk with my cereal
*nuts on my yogurt usually
*peanut butter with a banana or other fruit

For lunch or dinner these are regulars:
*deli meats (turkey is my favorite) in sandwiches- check out my 52 sandwiches project for sandwich ideas
*rotisserie chicken in my salads
*grilled chicken with mango salsa
*ground beef with spaghetti
*tofu and rice/vegetables
*black beans (I insist you try them like this)

For a snacks these are regulars:
*hard boiled eggs
*string cheese
*trail mix** 
*nut bars**
*hummus with vegetables
*smoothies (with soy milk)

**Be choosy with these because they can also be very high in calories.

Please do share how you include protein in your diet in the comments below!

P.S. Tips for eating more vegetables.
(Want to know more about My Weight Loss Toolbox?  Start here, and continue here). 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

summer break week #7

**My kids are currently on summer break. Like last year (see 2013's summer break activities here), I am planning to do one, fun activity with them every day. I will be documenting our various projects together and sharing them here on Saturday mornings and possibly more detailed projects within the week. Read more about how this project got started here.*summer break week no. 7summer break week no. 7summer break week no. 7summer break week no. 7summer break week no. 7summer break week no. 7summer break week no. 7summer break week no. 7summer break week no. 7summer break week no. 7summer break week no. 7summer break week no. 7summer break week no. 7summer break week no. 7
Day 41 (Saturday) my mom asked if the girls could come over to her house for Spanish lessons and embroidering. "You want to babysit my girls while I have some free time with Jesse? Um. Yes." ;)
Day 42 (Sunday) we watched a movie, made a nice family dinner, and made a no bake dessert (like this one).
Day 43Day 44Day 45Day 46Day 47 (Monday-Friday):
We went to VBS all this week at church. Our girls enjoyed the stories, the games, the crafts, the snacks, and gathering with friends. That took up all week. Tuesday my mom took them to the library, and Friday night after VBS we went to a local diner for banana splits. Yu-um. It was a busy, happy week. :)

**Every Tuesday we go to the library and every Friday we get a frozen treat. 
Week 1's highlights include making a summer calendar, making a summer manifesto, and planting vegetable (and watermelon seeds) for a late summer harvest). Click 
here for additional pictures and links.

Week 2's highlights include ribbon weavings, paper rockets, and a sofa fort. Click here for additional pictures and links.
Week 3's highlights include making silly faces using potato stamps and Spanish lessons. Click here for additional pictures and links.
Week 4's highlights include making terrarium planters and bug patterned tote bags. Click here for additional pictures and links.
Week 5's highlights include working in our garden, baking pies, and celebrating the 4th of July. Click here for additional pictures and links.
Week 6's highlights include our growing garden and bug patterned tote bags. Click here for additional pictures and links.**

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!