Cooking The Old El Paso Way #review

Bring a little mexican into your kitchen.

The family loves a bit of spice, my boys are gradually becoming to welcome a little spicy flavouring to their taste buds. In almost everything that I cook, I always add a little herb and spice and I can see how much it has made an impact on my boys choice of foods that they like to eat. The youngest will eat almost anything, the middle boy is kind of getting used to eating flavoursome food as long as he can have a glass of milk with it and the eldest is becoming very adventurous with his food and likes to experiment tasting different kinds, a favourite of his being Mexican food.

We was recently sent a box of Old El Paso food to try out in the kitchen. My eldest was son was quite excited about the box as he loves to taste new food but also his favourite meal has got to be fajitas.

We received two packets of seasoning mix for Fajitas, one spice mix for roasted tomato and pepper and the other one was a smoky bbq seasoning mix. We used them along with a pack soft flour tortillas.

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Recipe:

  • 500g chicken
  • 2 peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • spice mix for roasted tomato & pepper/smoky bbq seasoning mix

The fajitas are simple to make and the instructions on the packs are easy to follow, they are ready to serve in 15 minutes. The roasted tomato mix has been labeled as a medium spice and the smoky bbq has a mild spice, so i decided to give the bbq flavoured fajita to the youngest of my boys. My boys thought that it was too spicy for them and would only eat the tortilla.

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I tasted both and I must say that there wasn’t much difference in the spiciness, but they were both very tasty and didn’t have a floury packet taste to them. The flavours are strong, fiery and tantalising. We added some sour cream to them to cool the taste down a bit.

Next up was Enchiladas the Old El Paso way

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Recipe:

  • 400g chicken strips
  • enchilada sauce
  • 150g cheese
  • tortillas

Another easy and simple to follow recipe, ready to serve in 25-30 minutes. After cooking the chicken strips in a little oil in a hot pan, add half of the enchilada sauce and half of the cheese, mix until the cheese melts. Spoon some filling into the middle of tortilla, wrap them up and place them fold down into a baking dish. Pour over the remaining sauce and top with the rest of the cheese. With the mild spice to it they were perfect for my boys, I served them up with cous cous stuffed peppers and a side salad. This recipe is quite cheesy, with 75g added into the sauce and 75g added onto the top of the tortillas before cooking in the oven.

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The enchiladas were lovely and crispy on top and the filling was juicy and sweet.

We also made a Chilli using a packet of spice mix. I normally make my chilli dish using spices such as chilli, paprika, cumin and coriander but this packet contains all of the previous spices plus more.

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Recipe:

  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • old el paso chilli spice mix
  • 1 onion
  • 500g minced beef
  • 400g kidney beans

Once the onion is browned in a pan, add the spice mix and stir. Pour in the tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the kidney bean heat through and it is ready to serve, as simple as that! This chilli is really tasty, very flavoursome with a little kick. All of my boys loved this recipe and was their favourite out of all 3. It is packed with rich, deep flavours. I served mine up with a little rice in a stand ‘n’ serve tortilla, the children loved it.

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We have really enjoyed bringing a little mexican into our lives and tasting all of the different flavours.

We was provided with some packets of food for the purpose of this post. All words and photos are my own.

 

 

 

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A Hen do with a difference: Rolling in Mud

Tft! Tft! Tft! Tft! Pop! Pop! Pop!

The noise is deafening. I crouch down, shielding myself behind the wooden log wall. I can hear people shouting out orders but I can’t see them! Green smoke is all around, I cough as it hits the back of my throat. My mask is filling up and I am struggling to breath, the goggles are getting steamed up and I am struggling to see what is in front of me. The smell is strong. I can hear footsteps nearby, rustling of the leaves, they are getting closer. I am ankle-deep in thick mud, my hands are shaking,  my heart is beating faster and faster, they are getting close. I go to make a run for it, I slip in the mud Tft! Tft! Ouch! something has hit me! I look to my arm, Nothing. No sign. Tft! Pop! Again. This time something has hit my head, lucky I have my helmet on. I roll on the floor, rolling in mud, rolling to cover. Too late! Not only am I covered in mud but I now have a green slime all over my leg. I’ve been hit!

Saturday was my future sister in-laws Hen do and she had arranged a half day for us all at Extreme Paintballing.

We all met in the car park and was taken to a big shed to sign our lives over and get kitted out with some overalls and a padded ambush hood. It was a mild day but I heard that when you get hit it stings so I had layered myself up with my clothing. Even though I had 4 layers of tops on and 2 pairs of trousers, the overalls that was given to me were HUGE. The crotch came down to my knee!

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We was all given a lift down to the main arena field in a trailer led by a 4×4.

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We was taken to a waiting area where we was served tea and coffee whilst we waited for the first half of the days paintballers to finish their game. Our games were to start at 12:30 as we was only booked in for half a day (I’m not sure we could have managed a full day!) As the first half of the day people exited the battle area, we looked on, wondering who we would be up against. After a quick bite to eat we was ready to battle.

We was given our safety talk on how to use the gun, given our helmets, belts, coloured arm band, paint pellets and ammo hopper. There were extras that we could have bought like smoke grenades and baseball grenades but we decided on waiting to see what it was like out there first before we bought any.

Goggles on. We was taken through to the gun area, we attached our hopper that was filled with the pellets to the gun and off we was led to our part of the battle field. The aim of the game was for us to protect our coloured flag. We didn’t stand a chance! We was talking to the Marshall so we didn’t hear the count down. We was told to run so I did, I took shelter behind a tree. Someone was shooting at me so I shot back. I had no idea if my pellets were going in the right direction but i was shooting towards the other team. As i peered from behind the tree, a pellet hit my gun. I was out! Actually our whole team were out! Heads hanging in shame was led back to the waiting area to de-gun and wait for the next game.

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We had 5 games in total and lost all bar the last one as we got help from the marshalls ;-)

It was a fun day, with lots of laughter, giggles, chat and bonding. I rolled in mud, ran through water, crouched down behind barriers, got scratched by brambles, fell face first into thick oozy mud and got shot lots.

It was the first time that I had fallen over, not under the influence of drink on a Hen do.

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A New Home Map Card DIY

My brother has recently moved into his new home and I wanted to give him a quirky home-made card; something that showed that I had put some thought into it, something that was little different to what you could buy in the shops, with a personal touch to it.

This is what I came up with

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You will need:

Paper

Printer

Colour Ink

Coloured card

Small Wooden Peg (I have attached a little wooden heart on to mine)

Button

Patch Liner Relief Paint ( gel ink)

Glue

Scissors

  • First I searched for the address using online Maps and I screenshot the page. I looked at a normal view and a satellite view.
  • From the screenshot, using photo editor, I cropped the area that I wanted to use and copied in onto a word document
  • I printed out the map images onto strong paper
  • Fold the coloured card into half to create a card
  • Making sure the road that the new house is on I drew out a puzzle piece onto one of the maps images and cut it out
  • I stuck the satellite image down onto the front of the card in the middle
  • I stuck the wooden peg into the top left corner of the card and pinching it open I placed the image puzzle piece in
  • I decorated the rest of the front with a single red button and wrote New Home

I loved how the card turned out, It has the personal touch and didn’t take much time to put together.

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Hope you find this post helpful :-)

 

Lego Mini Figure Storage- A sewing project

Are you constantly walking around the house stepping on little pieces of Lego?

It’s like my house is booby-trapped with Lego! I find myself tip toeing cautiously around my boys bedroom, taking care of where i tread. I fear that maybe my boys have planned between them on where to leave the Lego pieces so that their Mum doesn’t enter their bedroom to tidy it up!

These tiny pieces of plastic brick shaped toys can not only be found on the boys bedroom floor but they seemed to have escaped out into landing and down the stairs, in fact there isn’t a place in the house that these tiny little feet scaring critters will go. The worst is in the middle of night, when all of the lights are out and I awake to a crying toddler. As i jump out of bed and race to his bedroom to comfort him, I find myself cursing under breath (in order not to wake the rest of the house up) as my foot comes into contact with a tiny little brick. It maybe tiny but hell does it hurt! I fall into the bedroom and hop over to a NOW sleeping toddler.

I had to think of somewhere for my boys to store their mini figures/Lego creation, either that or I constantly wear shoes in my home, even to bed!

I put my thinking cap on and came up with this

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A folding Lego storage holder.

It is made from red cotton and yellow felt. The red cotton was used for the whole of the storage holder and the yellow felt was used for the LEGO letters. It was my son’s idea to have LEGO written downwards and he asked for all of the pockets. He wanted to be able to fold it up and carry it.

Material needed:

Red Cotton roughly 1m , 150cm wide (cost £3.99 ebay)

Yellow Felt roughly 1m, 150cm wide (not all needed cost £4.49 ebay)

Red cotton thread

Yellow cotton thread

Tape measure

Sewing machine

wooden pole 5mm thick roughly 50 cm in length

Scissors

Instructions:

  • Cut out the LEGO letters. I roughly drew them on with a pencil and then cut them out, size roughly 21cmx33cm
  • Open out the red cotton and lay it flat on the floor/table. Place the letters down one side of the red fabric. Leave about 6cm along the top, bottom and edge side so that there is enough room to stitch and hem. Stitch in place.
  • Cut away any remaining red material from the bottom as this will be used for the pockets. Cut into long strips, 10cm in width I used about 8.

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PicMonkey Collage words

 

  • Edge each strip both sides by folding over the edges twice, 5mm each time. Pin in place and stitch

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  • Once you have edged all of the strips You will need to place them on to the red cotton alongside the LEGO letters, so that they are running across the material.

pockets

  • Try to measure out all of the pockets so that they are the same, 10 cm. Each box pleat is about 2cm.

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  • Once the pockets are all pinned down on the red cotton, you will need to stitch in between each pocket

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  • Once they are stitched in place then you will need to stitch the strip of pockets down. Start top left and follow it around the edge, use the foot edge for guidance and try to sink stitch along the bottom.

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  • If you want a handle you will need to stitch it in place now. Stitch a long strip like you did with the pocket strips. attach it in place at the top above the letters.
  • Fold the material in half so that the pockets are touching the LEGO letters.
  • The sides need to be stitched together, the whole item should be inside out.  Remember to leave the top edge unstitched! Once finished turn inside out again so that it is the right way. You should have the LEGO letters on side and the pockets behind.
  • The top edge will need to be strengthened, I used a wooden pole. I stitched across lengthways along the edge of the letter L, making a pocket for the pole.

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  • Now stitch the top together, making sure that the handle is facing out and upwards. Make sure that the edges are poking inwards giving a neat finish.

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lego back lego finish front

My son wanted to be able to fold it up and carry it around so we attached some velcro to it, not sure if it will work as some of the Lego could possibly fall out. He hasn’t tried it yet as it is still hanging up in his bedroom for all to see.

I have thouroughly enjoyed this sewing project and I f you would like to make one yourself please share with me your finished product.

You can find me on Twitter and facebook

Thank you for reading :-)

Bubble wrap 42/365

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There’s nothing quite like popping bubble wrap, but it’s even better when the bubbles are bigger than the normal ones.

We received some post today and it was wrapped in the big bubble wrap. My son and I enjoyed popping the bubbles,  we had a little race on who could pop the most. My son cheated in the end by jumping up and down on them.

I found it quite therapuetic listening to the bubbles busy with a satisfying pop! 

I found it quite calming

A helping hand

There’s a knock at the door….

The youngest runs towards it pushing me out-of-the-way as we both make our way to answer the front door…..

He waits eagerly next to me, as i begin to turn the door handle….

He smiles up at me, jumping up and down with excitement…

He already knows who it is as we have been expecting the knock for the past hour….

He can’t wait!

I open the door….

“Hello, I have your food shopping”….

Yes, my son gets excited when the food delivery man knocks on the door as he loves to help take in the bags and put the food away.

He quickly pushes past me, stepping over the door frame to get to the crates that are stacked high with the food that I had ordered online a few days earlier. He clumsily grabs at the bags that he can reach and pulls them out of the crate to the floor and off he goes running with what he has picked up, into the kitchen. Dropping the bag in the middle of floor, he rapidly races back through the living room to the front door to take the next bag that the delivery drivers hands over to him.

The whole ‘taking in the bags’ takes a couple of minutes at the most, he is like a duracell battery operated bunny rabbit. Backwards and forwards he runs through the house, grabbing bags from the front door and taking them into the kitchen. There is no order in this process, he has one goal in mind and that is to pick up all of the bags from one placer and to take them to another. The kitchen is a mess!

As Mummy is signing for the shopping and we wave goodby to our delivery driver, he hurriedly makes his way into the kitchen for the next part of ‘Putting the shopping away’.

He certainly is very helpful!

Unlike his older siblings who have now made their excuses from helping us and disappeared away to their bedrooms upstairs, Oliver is more than eager to help out.

 

He unpacks all of the food out of the bags and into a heap on the floor in the middle of the kitchen.

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Once all of the food is out of the bags and looking like a complete mess all over the floor, he then starts to attempt to put the items away.

For days after our delivery has been taken in, I find food in places that you wouldn’t even expect to find them. I found some noodles in the pots and pans cupboard, tins of beans in the carrier bag storage bag and a bag of potatoes in the cupboard under the sink where cleaning items are kept. I forget half of the items that i have ordered as most items are not in the correct places.

My little one is definitely a very helpful, adorable little chap.

Do your children like to help out with chores around the home?