Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pork Roast Leftovers

Cooking for two is quite the conundrum. Basically any recipe yields 4 or more servings, thus forcing us to eat leftovers for every lunch and sometimes breakfast. Now I don't mind some leftovers, but every once in a while ... I just want to eat a fresh meal. Sue me.
A while back I made a huge pork roast, which boyfriend and I used to have carnitas. YUM! (Un)fortunately we had about 4 lbs. of meat left.
That's still about two meals worth of pork.
So, being the resourceful individual that I am, I decided to use these leftovers (which were frozen), to make pork burritos. Also YUM!
I loosely followed this recipe from Parr for the Course, but made a few adjustments of my own ... partially because I was starting with leftovers.
Here's MY recipe -
3 T. Butter
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb. pork meat, chopped or pulled
1/2 c. frozen onions & peppers
1 t. dried oregano
2 T. flour
3/4 c. sour cream
1 can (10 oz.) green enchilada sauce
2 t. cilantro, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
6 flour tortillas, warmed
2 c. shredded cheese (I used colby-jack and mozzarella)

The best ingredient for any dish.
First, melt the butter in a skillet on medium-high. You'll also want to preheat the oven to 350 degrees at this point.
Next add the garlic and let it sweat for about a minute, do not let it burn. You will kick yourself, really hard!
Then add the meat and let it warm in the pan. Measure out your veggies and give them a rough chop to disguise them from your unsuspecting boyfriend. Toss them in with the meat, give it a stir and when boyfriend asks what that "green thing" is ... say it's part of the sauce and smile like a fool. I hope he still loves me.
For a bit of flavor, add frozen onions & peppers. This Bird's Eye brand is pretty good.
Then add the oregano and sprinkle the flour over the meat mixture. Stir to combine, you'll notice the "saucy" part or the meat mixture starting to thicken.
Next up, add God's gift to condiments - sour cream. I did a rough measure out of the container, but don't be like me and actually measure it.
Then, you'll want to add about half the can of enchilada sauce. This will add a delicious flavor to the meat and make it even better once it's rolled in a tortilla.
What you DON'T want to do is get in a fight with the can opener like I did. This is the one kitchen appliance I can't seem to master. I embarrass myself.
Next add the cilantro, salt & pepper; stir and turn off the heat. It's time to build your burritos! Do a little dance of joy now.
The aforementioned delicious mixture.
To assemble the burritos, place about 2/3 c. of meat mixture in the center of the tortilla and top with about 3 T. of shredded cheese. Fold in the sides and roll the burrito and place in a greased baking dish.
Top the assembled burritos with the remaining enchilada sauce and copious amount of cheese! YUM. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
If you're feeling wild (like we were) make some homemade Mexican Rice too. Find the recipe here.
Your finished meal should look something like this.
YUM. You'll notice the copious amount of sour cream on my plate.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

9 Steps to Being Attractive

I stumbled across this image on Pinterest and I had to share. It rings true on so many levels for me.
Image courtesy of holyprepster on Tumblr.
My parents always taught me to be nice. I suppose that I would even call myself "nice" if I had to pick an adjective to describe myself (among other words - like outgoing, fun, genuine). Attractive isn't exactly the first word that comes to mind, but I certainly am not walking around with a bag over my head. In addition to being "nice" I would call myself a people person. I love people ... I love learning about them, hearing their stories and getting to know them. I try to be kind, open and forthcoming.
I too, like holyprepster first try to smile when first meeting someone. Or even someone on the street with whom I make eye contact. I've even starting waving at everyone I pass while driving (for those of you familiar with Rensselaer, Ind., this is easy as it's not very many people)!
Smelling nice seems like a given ... nothing worse than too strong of perfume or cologne or WORSE ... B.O.
I want people's respect more than anything, so I don't enjoy being too flashy with my dress. You'll rarely find me in something that's not loose fitting and/or starched (the gym shorts I wear at home don't count). The days of wearing tiny tiny shorts and ripped up jeans are over and I wish the rest of my generation would take note.
#4 is something I need to be more conscious of ... because of my job, most of my information comes from Twitter and Facebook. But, I follow USAToday, and I must say - that's helped me a lot. I do usually have an opinion, but I'm not one to be ignorant with them and post them all across social media (another topic for another day).
I try my best to see the good in people ... positivity is my number one strength as you may recall. So I try not to "hate on" people, and certainly not publicly ... but it happens to the best of us. This is something else I need work on.
3 hobbies don't include a screen - reading, shopping, looking at cattle. BOOM.
Educated. KSU. Common fact. Plus, I love learning and am currently watching online tutorials to help me get better at my job.
Being a good friend is something I try REALLY HARD at. I send cards, little gifts and thoughtful texts/calls. I don't do this for the recognition, but instead to make my friends realize I am here for them ... even if we live 500+ miles apart. I like to make people feel special, including my 92 year old grandpa and my Great Aunt Mary who lives in Florida (we're pen pals).
Thank you is so important, and a simple thank you can make or break my day. I try to say thank you to anyone that helps me, and hopefully return the favor one day.
Here's how I'm living by the 9 Steps to Being Attractive. If you make any sort of effort on this list, I'm certain we can be friends too. So tell me, how are you doing?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Revisiting My Bucket List

Back to blogging! Sorry for the brief vacation everyone - life has suddenly gotten busy!!

Today I want to visit about my bucket list. I've been doing my best to continue to update you on my progress.

24 Things I Want to do Before I turn 24

Domestic Things
1. Start a garden
2. Go 1 month without shopping (food and healthcare items excluded)
3. Craft with my old 4-H ribbons
4. Make chocolate oatmeal cake - Read more here.
5. Put all of my CDs onto my iTunes account

Turns out I can't really grow herbs. My parsley, cilantro and basil aren't faring too well under my care.
But luckily, my sunflowers are thriving!
Career Things
6. Fix my rkkcommunications website
7. Book 5 human photo sessions (not family)
8. Judge a show
9. Enter a photo contest

Good Citizen Things
10.Help out a 4-H or FFA judging team
11. Get a library card

Family Things
12. Take Cougar to a dog park
13. Ride in the tractor with my Dad, just like 6 year old Robin did
14. Teach Cougar how to play dead
15. Introduce my family to Nick’s

Traveling Things
16. See Stoney LaRue (carryover from my college list)
17. Go fishing
18. Visit Joe in Stillwater, Okla.
19. Return to Manhattan, Kan.
20. Go to a baseball game

Personal Things
21. Read 3 non-fiction books (1/3) - Click here to see which one.
22. Lose 20 lbs.
23. Buy a new laptop - also DONE! Click here to see the big purchase.
24. Watch The Hatfields & McCoys

That makes a grand tally of 1/4 of my list either started or completed!! I am looking for suggestions of other non-fiction books to read so I can cross that one off completely.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Favorite Subject

I am a livestock photographer by trade. I grew up showing cattle. Typically I feel more at home in the barn or at a stockshow than I do at home. Since my time as a junior exhibitor has come to a close, I've enjoyed photographing in the ring rather than showing.

I've been analyzing my photographs lately. Figuring out what to do better - changing my camera settings, getting a better angle, etc.

Seems like I have a common subject among some of my best photographs - my brother, Joe.

Last summer, I had just learned to shoot my camera in manual mode and was trying it out at Shorthorn Jr. Nationals in Grand Island, NE.

Here's a few highlights -

 Joe and his beloved heifer Peach in showmanship.
In class with Peach.

Notice how the second one is really yellow. Ick.

This year, I returned to Grand Island for Maine & Chi Jr. Nationals. I think my pictures improved -

 Junior showmanship in the Chi ring.

A fresh angle, like I mentioned.

Back to my favorite subject -

 Mama & baby at Shorthorn Jr. Nationals 2013 in Des Moines, IA.

Sometimes he looks angry - just like his cow Pokey. Like this picture from the Indiana Shorthorn Preview Show in June 2013.

I love learning and I most certainly like to improve. I hope others see my pictures getting better, and appreciate the quality without a lot of fake looking photoshopping (popular among many aspiring photographers).

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

To the Zoo!

This past Sunday, we traveled to Indianapolis to see our good friends Rachael, Eric and their son Huck, who is a popular feature on this blog. (You may remember his 1st birthday party invitations, or a few of his photo sessions.)

We first ate lunch at Harry & Izzy's, a really nice steakhouse in downtown Indy. We all had super yummy prime rib sandwiches (Huck had pizza).

From there we went to the Indianapolis Zoo, and met up with my college roommate Rachel, who was in town for some meetings. (I was lucky enough to spend the last two weekends with her ... which hasn't happened since 2011!)

We captured the moments the best way our iPhones could. Here's a few of my favorites from the day.

Some highlights of the zoo include Huck falling and getting a black eye, eating Dippin' Dots, the ocean exhibit and petting sharks!

Unfortunately, the polar bears (my favorite zoo animal), didn't want to come out and play. But then again, 85 degrees was probably too hot for them?!

What's your favorite exhibit at the zoo?


Friday, July 5, 2013

Red Dirt Friday, Vol. 10

Wow. Just holy moly. Sometimes a song hits you hard.
I was doing my normal Facebook creeping, when I came across a wedding video. The background music was clearly Randy Rogers, but I couldn't identify the song. After a quick Google search, I was all over this song on iTunes like white on rice.
You all know how much I love them. Remember this post about "Steal You Away"?
Besides my love for all things red dirt country, the song that captured my attention is called "I'll Be Here For You." Somehow Randy and the band just turned it into something magical. Something that hit me hard, and really made me want to call my boyfriend? I am sappy, and I'm not ashamed.
Here's the words to the second verse:
"When your star falls from the sky
And your wings don't want to fly
Just remember I'm standing by
To help to see you through
'Cause better days
will come again
Clouds will break,
your heart will mend
I'll be where I've always been
I'll be here for you"

Turns out it's a cover of a Robert Earl Keen song. Robert Earl Keen is kind of the pioneer of modern "red dirt country." Hear his version of "I'll Be Here For You" on YouTube.
photo courtesy of
Now let the words drift over you, and enjoy the weekend!
P.S. - If you're smart you'll download this song and play it on repeat until your boyfriend comes home. (Maybe that's what I'm doing.)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What My Handwriting Says About Me

I am a nerd, tried and true. I love to learn, I love to read and I love to try new things.
When Adobe InDesign posted this infographic on their Facebook page yesterday, I had to read more about what my handwriting means! For those of you that don't know, InDesign is the program that I (and nearly all) graphic designers use for creating flyers, brochures, handouts, magazines and more.
Photo courtesy of National Pen Company

The infographic, featured on Creative Bloq, talks about graphology, the study of handwriting.
The blog suggests using your own handwriting as inspiration for different fonts in your designs, and says this -
"If you're looking for a completely original typography design, you need look no further than your own handwriting. Completely unique to you, handwriting can apparently indicate a staggering 5,000 different personality traits, and even reveal information on health."
So there I was, writing sentences that use all 26 letters ... multiple times. I wanted to show you all my "super cool" handwriting. Instead, I went with how I usually write, not perfect but still pretty legible.

So what I can deduct from the infographic -
1. My letters are large. I am outgoing, people-oriented, outspoken & love attention. BINGO.
2. Wide spacing between my words. I enjoy my freedom and don't like to be overwhelmed or over-crowded. Yep.
3. My letters are rounded and often connected. I am artistic and creative, as well as logical, systematic and make decisions carefully. I'd like to think so.
4. The dot over my i is high above it. I have a great imagination. Aw shucks!
5. Long crosses on my t. I am determined & enthusiastic. You betcha.
6. Heavy pressure on the pen. I am good with commitment and taking things seriously. All the time.
There's just some of my results. Some were hard to decide, so I think I'll leave that up to a professional. Thanks to the National Pen Company for putting together this interesting information!
What does your handwriting say about you?
Until next time,