My how time flies!

Well I am sure you may have noticed that I have been a little MIA around here lately.  I cannot believe that it is November already! I swear is was just April a couple months ago.  Things on my end have been a bit crazy, we had a huge project come up at work which meant I was just working like crazy over the summer and then it was extension time for taxes and that ended in October and here we are at the start of November.  So I am finally to a point where I can breath and wanted to swing by and give you a glimpse into the last few months.

First up I want to give a quick update on the Etsy shop! Things have been going really well, I am not crazy busy but things are selling.  I kind of like it this way where I am getting an order here and there.  It allows me time to make sure that I am not rushing products out the door.  I will say that the best thing so far in my shop has got to be the Instax Mini Albums.  I can’t keep them in stock!  Which makes me so happy, and also means that I am working on a new cover designs which I hope to have up before Thanksgiving.  As well as a whole new size album which I think should be created just in time for the crazy soon holiday season!  So be sure to keep checking in on the Etsy shop over the next month or so for new products.  If you have twitter you can click on the side bar to the right and follow me and/or if you are big on Instagram be sure to follow me at TheBlurredLinesofSanity. I post pictures of new items as well as behind the scene type photos, a sneak peek of Instagram is also located on the right hand side.

I also want to let you guys know that I have taken up a new hobby of knitting.  No it isn’t just for little old ladies, I honestly had no clue how relaxing this hobby would be.  Then it wasn’t until I was a few projects in that I came to terms with the fact that I have been sucked in.  I started learning to knit back in early summer, I can’t even tell you how it started other than I tried about 7 yrs ago to knit and I did fine but it just never stuck.  But this time I picked up those needles and I haven’t been able to put them down.  I have managed to knit a pair of socks, a blanket, a scarf, & two hats completely.  I am still working on 2 sweaters; these are my down fall so far, because I work on them then put them down to do some other project that I can complete quickly since a sweater is no small feat and they take forever.  But I am sure once they are completed they will be some of my favorite things.  So don’t be surprised if in the coming months there are some knitting related posts.  I signed up for Yarnbox, which is a monthly yarn subscription where they send out a surprise yarn based off what you set as your preferences.  Since I am a few months in I think I am going to start doing reviews on the boxes I get/got.  I would also like to do some posts on just the things that I am working on so that other new knitters can see how things come a long.  I know I like looking at others knitting projects and ideas while I am trying to figure something out.  If you are on Ravelry you can find me here.  I am still learning how to fully use this site but it has been fun seeing all the patterns and getting to see notes from people who have made the item before.

If you have taken up a new hobby or even picked up an old one let me know in the comments! I would love to hear what everyone has been doing or what you are going to be doing through the end of 2014!  I have some posts planned over the coming weeks so please bear* with me as I get back on track!

*Full disclosure I totally had to look up if it was “bear” or “bare” and I learned you use bear because it is for forbearance which completely makes sense once I read it. If I used bare I would basically be asking you to get undressed with me.  So there is that tidbit for the day.

 

Etsy Shop News!

Hi Guys!

Well I am happy to report that my Etsy shop has officially opened as of this past weekend!  If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you have already seen the pics and the link so I apologize for the overload of Etsy.🙂

So the process of getting the shop open was very nerve wracking.  For a good 10 mins I battled with myself and the computer on whether or not I was ready to face the world and open up.  There is this button that all you have to do is click it and you are open well I kept bypassing that screen and double checking the listing, my policies, my about, the picture, the heading, etc…. Until finally I was like forget it just push the button and open!  That little pep talk and a few choice words to myself got me to just click the button.  Which means the shop is live and ready for orders! Please go check out the brand new store: Blurred Lines of Sanity

Currently I only have one item listed at the moment, and it is for a screen printed Moleskine notebook. I am hoping to have some jewelry pieces and more notebooks up on the site over the next few weeks.  Especially since I got the shop opened earlier than planned!  I will admit I have been one of those people constantly checking the Etsy app to see how many views I’ve gotten and I was totally smitten when I saw that some actually favorited* my notebook.  It’s the little things in life.

When you check out the shop be sure to come back here and leave me a comment letting me know what you think as well as if you have any themes you would like to see! I would love to hear from everyone!

Thanks for sticking with me on this crazy journey, I can’t wait for what is ahead!

*is favorited even a word? Isn’t that the action of to favor something online? The red squiggly line says its a word but only if capitalized, I am rebelling and using lowercase🙂 Let me know if the comments.

Quick Note

Hi guys! I promise that I am still alive and working on the blog, just in the hidden back room.  My day job unfortunately has me under piles of paper leaving very little time to get things posted and up.  But since it has been awhile since I posted I wanted to swing in and give you a glimpse into what has been happening in that hidden back room.

Things are in full design mode for my upcoming Etsy shop; I am working on some stamped metal jewelry as well as screen printed notebooks.  I am just trying to narrow down a few designs and will get the shop listed hopefully by the end of next month; with a few select pieces just to see how things go.  I have been trying to find the right materials for the jewelry because there are just so many options out there I am still trying to learn which are the best quality.  The notebooks I have already waiting to be printed I am just trying to decide if I want to print them as they are ordered or all at once.  It’s funny what goes through your mind when you are starting an Etsy shop.

I have also been dealing with the fun oddities of owning a home.  I tried to buy a new fridge since the current one I have is just not working for me anymore.  I went and picked out this lovely new Kenmore Elite Grab-N-Go fridge from the Sears Outlet.  It had a couple dents in it but I was told they are totally functioning.  So I bit the bullet and bought it saving approximately $2500 on the cost because it had a couple dents.  Well a week later on Valentine’s day I was patiently waiting for my lovely new fridge to get there.  It of course did and I was so excited, it got hooked up and looked all pretty in my kitchen.  But that was were the fun ended, while the installer was testing the water line nothing was happening.  Fast forward 5 mins I notice that water is now on my floor but we can figure out where it is coming from.  He was checking the line on the back and it wasn’t dripping.  That is when I decide to open the french doors and was greeted by a rush of water.  The fridge had been collecting water inside the entire time we were pushing the water button on the outside.  Needless to say I had to send my Valentine’s present to myself back and I am stuck with my boring fridge until after tax season.  When I will have more time to take time off of work for deliveries.

On the tail end of this delivery when they were turning the water off and on under my sink it loosened up something and I got a leak.  Which of course I didn’t know about until a week later when I went in for dishwasher soap.  I managed to narrowed down the leak and kind of knew what I needed to do in order to fix it.  But that meant I would need to head to Lowe’s where I get to be that girl wandering around with no clue where to go in the home improvement store.  I stood and stared at the wall of valves for what seemed like forever until I saw an employee, unfortunately he had to pass me off to a gentlemen who was only moderately happy to help me.  I say moderately because he admitted it had been a long day for him and I could tell he really didn’t want to help me.  But he sucked it up and helped me find the right valve.  I went home all ready to switch the valve out and then quickly learned that while I have all the brains to do this I lack the brawn to complete the task at hand.  I did manage to put some teflon tape on the threads of where the leak was coming from and when I screwed the tube back on it seems to be holding the leak at bay.  But while the leak may have stopped I am still in need of replacing the valve because I sense that when I get a new fridge again this could happen all over again and I want to prevent that.  So lucky for me I have a step-dad who has the brawn to come over and get the valve off the wall for me sometime in the near future.

Of course all of this is happening during the busiest time of year for me at work.  I am working crazy hours so I have to admit I am dead tired once I walk through my doors at night so I am a little slow at getting posts written.  Hopefully I will get a break and can get something up over the next few weeks.  So please stay tuned as I work through all these kinks!!

Turkey Pesto Pizza

Well I am a little late to the party with this recipe I originally planned to have it up right after Thanksgiving, except I kind of suck🙂 and the time just got away from me!  Since it is the middle of January it is safe to say that we have safely survived the holidays.  Unfortunately this means you probably do not have any left over turkey breast waiting in the fridge to be gobbled up anymore.  But hopefully even though the holidays have passed you aren’t too burnt out on turkey because you are going to want to try this pizza recipe; at least one time!  Now since we are assuming you do not have any leftover turkey you can head over to the recipe I posted awhile back for crockpot turkey breast.  If you whip this up you can then come back and make this recipe with the leftovers; well if there are any leftovers after that meal. 😉

If you’re anything like me you get bored easily eating the same thing over and over and I am guilty of wasting perfectly good leftovers because I just can’t bare to eat the same thing again which is why this recipe is good because you can use leftover turkey or even chicken that you have in your fridge.  During the holidays I had all this leftover turkey and I didn’t want any of it to go to waste I wanted to make sure I try something different with the meat to keep my taste buds from getting bored.  This pizza recipe started with me being at the grocery store picking up a few basics when I came across garlic & herb pizza dough in the refrigerator section of my Fresh & Easy.  This was something I hadn’t seen before and it sounded yummy and different, but I wasn’t quite sure how to make a pizza with this dough.  It isn’t a plain crust so not just anything would go with it.  That was when I saw the pesto just below the crust and realized that the mix of pesto and turkey could make for an interesting pizza.  That was how this pizza was quickly born and luckily for me the flavors of the turkey with the pesto and the herb crust was just perfect.

This is a quick and easy dinner or in my case lunch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients

1 package premade pizza dough (you can use homemade or any pizza dough you love)

1/2 cup to 3/4 cup pesto sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup precooked turkey(chicken); I used both white & dark meat

Follow any preparation directions on the pizza dough; for the Fresh & Easy dough you have to leave the dough at room temperature for 30 mins before you can begin.  This dough cooks at 425 degrees so I preheated my oven after I let the dough rest at room temperature.  This way once I assembled the pizza the oven would be ready.

Once your dough has been rolled place 1/2 cup of pesto sauce and spread it out leaving 1/2″ border of exposed dough.  I noticed that 1/2 cup covered only a portion of the dough so I added about 1/4 cup more.  You want it to look like this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once the pesto has been spread out take your shredded cheese and sprinkle it around the dough.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now you are going to top the pizza with your chunks of white and dark meat.  Feel free to use whichever meat you prefer, I liked a little dark meat mixed in because it brings a different flavor to the dish than just white meat.  The flavor is a lot more pronounced which I think is why you get some people that will only eat white meat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You will then placed your prepared pizza into your preheated oven for 18 – 20 mins or until the crust is a nice golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you give this recipe a try please be sure to come back and leave a comment letting me know how it came out!  For me it was very good the first day and just as good as leftovers even after it had been refrigerated.  At this point I noticed that the pesto was more prominent the next day, I take it  was because it had time to meld with all the other ingredients.

Looking Back on 2013

In just a few short days we will be embracing a brand new year! It seems like it was just January 2013 a few moments ago.  It is amazing how the years are just flying past, one moment you feel like you have months ahead of you and then you realize it is just days before 2014 shows up! I wanted to take some time out to reflect back on 2013 since it has just flown by and talk a bit about what I hope for 2014.

I will start with what I hope will be a bigger success in 2014 an update out on my Weight Watchers journey; 2013 didn’t go as planned for me at all.  I hoped I would be about 70 pounds down by time we got to the 31st of December but instead I am only down 29.5 pounds.  It was 30 but I gained weight a few weeks ago and I am slowly taking it off again.  Which really has been the typical story of this journey.  I spent a lot of the year doing this roller coaster of gain a pound, lose a pound, gain a pound, lose one, so on and so on.  It was/is very frustrating.  I would be doing everything right but still stay on that coaster which then after so many weeks of that it lead me to fall back into old habits.  I started ordering a lot of meals that start with a number, eating unhealthy snacks or not eating regularly at all. I also did the whole I still have X amount of months/weeks/days left of the year to get back on track.  Then bam it was the end of the year and here I am 40 pounds away from the goal. I am trying to not be too hard on myself about it, I mean we are all human and this wasn’t going to happen over night by any means and 30 pounds is still a nice chunk of weight to be gone.  I know that the journey wasn’t going to be easy no matter how much I wished it was which does make it easier for me to hopefully get back on track.  Even though it is not officially 2014 I have already started to get myself back on track, stocked up my fridge and pantry with all my favorite things.  Like Belvita breakfast biscuits in cinnamon brown sugar (tastes like graham crackers) and blueberry (tastes like a blueberry muffin in cookie form); the whole packet is 6 points which is great for a quick breakfast or hearty snack.  I have also been buying whole pineapples and cutting them up to fulfill that something sweet craving, keeping lemons & limes in my fruit basket at home to add to water so I avoid soda and actually getting at least 30 mins of exercise in a min of 3 times a week.  I hope to increase the workout time back to an hour a day but right now I am going into my busy season at work so I am starting small so hopefully I wont stop once work gets crazy.

I jumped back into this blog in 2013 officially and while many moons have passed I am still working out the kinks on making time for the blog and what content to put on it.  So I hope in this coming year I will become more regular at posting and get things more organized.  I really do enjoy blogging and sharing my life, crafts & food with everyone and want to make this a more regular thing.  I think I am my own worse enemy when it comes to it, because I have grand ideas and then I talk myself out of them and I need to learn that blogging is about being bold and I should really starting going with my gut no matter what!

In 2013 I took up screen printing and have really enjoyed it.  I don’t get to be too creative at work dealing with taxes and bookkeeping all day so it is nice to have an art hobby to do on the weekends.  I have been wanting to sell some of my screen printing items under the Blurred Lines name on Etsy, but for some reason I have been holding back and finding reasons to wait.  Here I am again being my own worst enemy.  I need to stop holding myself back, so hopefully in 2014 you will see some of the fun geeky items I have planned for purchase! Doctor Who fans need to defiantly watch out because they are going to love my Moleskine notebooks & t-shirts!

My next big crazy plan is to get my cupcake business up and running officially by the end of next year.  In 2013 Clark County finally adopted Cottage Law which allows people to make and sale items from their home.  Before this was illegal and everything had to be done in a commercial kitchen.  Which of course has always held me back, I don’t have enough clientele to warrant paying for space in a commercial kitchen. I am hoping that I can get things in order so that I can schedule a meeting and get my official license after this coming tax season so that I have the spring/summer time to get the marketing up and running officially.  This is something I want to do on the side and do not plan for it to be full time work, at least not right now. Who knows what will happen in the future.

2013 was also the year of change for me, I let some friendships go officially; which was a hard thing for me to come to terms with and I even struggle with it today.  Which is funny considering I know it was the right decision to walk away but at the same time it is never easy to lose someone you care about.  I can say that luckily while I was struggling with the loss of one friend an old friend who I had lost touch with came out of the woodwork which I am grateful for because she was a good friend and it great to see that we can overcome the past and reconnect.  So here’s to 2014 bringing in new friendships, fostering old friendships, and maybe a boyfriend or two. 😉

No matter how much change went on in 2013 the year itself was pretty good; I got to go to Cozumel Mexico for the first time, saw my first whole dinosaur skeleton, saw a space shuttle up close (it’s smaller than I thought), and even managed to move a step up within my job.  So it certainly was a good year for me but I am very ready for the New Year!  Leave me a comment below telling me about your 2013 and what do you have planned for 2014? Or tell me what did you plan to do in 2013 that you just didn’t get finished, that now you are determined to do in 2014?  I can’t wait to hear from you! Happy New Year everyone!!

Thanksgiving Madness

This coming Thanksgiving will be my third time cooking the big meal all by myself.  You would think that I would be relaxed and know what I am doing; which is so not the case!  For some reason this Thanksgiving has me all frazzled.  I am researching how to time out the dinner so things stay warm and when to pop which dish in the oven with what.  It is like a well choreographed dance routine that someone has yet to teach me.

For a little perspective and because every person that has cooked a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal has at least one crazy oh my goodness story.  I want to let you into my kitchen for last Thanksgiving.  I was cooking dinner for my folks, great aunt, and two of my friends, this is a total of 6 people including myself.  Seems simple enough, I got myself a fresh 15 lb turkey so I wouldn’t have to deal with defrosting and that I would be able to brine the turkey.  (Fun Fact: you can’t brine a frozen turkey because they put saline inside the bird to help them freeze faster so you would get an extremely salty bird, if you brined it)  It is now Turkey day it started out easy, woke up took the bird out gave it its bath and then popped that baby in the oven.  I then made my butter wine basting mixture and got to roasting.  I basted every 30 mins and my bird started turning that gorgeous brown color and things were just peachy.  Then I got a call from my friend who said they decided that they were going to go to their coworkers house instead of mine; so here I was a planned dinner for 6 turned into 4.  The upside is at least there would be less people not more at my dinner, but that still sucked to hear the day of.  So I am back to basting and thinking of all the yummy leftovers we will have, then bam out of nowhere the bird was unexpectedly done! What!? How can it be done it should have at least one more hour to go, and my guests aren’t going to be here for over an hour.  So here I was frantically calling my parents telling them to get over here because the turkey was done early.  Which then meant that I had to rush to cook everything else because I thought I had a whole hour left to cook the sides.  So I am sure your thinking this doesn’t seem that exciting or funny; and you are right up until this point it isn’t unless you could see me trying to get a hold of the folks; who of course aren’t answering their phones, running around my kitchen boiling water for potatoes, trying to get the bread out of the can and into crescent rolls, and then ultimately forgetting to get the gravy started.  All while trying to keep the bird covered so it would stay warm while I waited for my step-dad to get there and carve that sucker.  Because this girl still has no clue hot to carve a turkey or chicken without it just being chunks.

So here I am with a dinner done too early and the sides only partially done when everyone finally gets to the house.  I get them into their seats and start laying all the food out that was done, while finishing the gravy that I initially forgot about.  Then we eat and it is all delicious even with all the chaos.  Now stay with me, I still haven’t gotten to my crazy funny Thanksgiving story.  We finish our meal and I enlist my step-dad to finish taking the bird down to the bone so we can put the leftovers in the fridge.  He is happily carving away and pulling the meat off then all of a sudden he stops and asks if the meat looks cooked.  I was like what are you talking about of course it is cooked it was the right temp and we already finished eating.  Well it turns out that the top 7/8ths of the bird was cooked but the bottom portion was not.  So even though the turkey said it was done and registered at the right temp it wasn’t actually cooked all the way.  Now the crazy part is how does the bottom of the bird be the only part that doesn’t cook?  This is closest to the heating element of my stove.  Also this wasn’t the first time I have ever cooked a turkey it was my second, and the first one was perfect if I do say so myself, so I had no doubts that I could manage a turkey last year.  Well obviously I can only manage 7/8ths of a turkey.

Which brings me to this Thanksgiving, I think I am freaking out and am unable to focus because I am scared I am going to only cook 7/8ths of my turkey this year and I really do not want to repeat that.  But the other issue I am thinking about is how do you keep the turkey warm while you cook all the other sides.  Every blog post I read says they let their turkey rest from 30 mins to an hour before carving and it is still hot.  How is this possible?  I can’t even let a whole chicken rest sitting covered on my counter keep warm for 15 mins.  So how do these people manage a whole hour?

Luckily I get a little reprieve because football controls our family life and the Green Bay Packers are playing Thanksgiving Day my parents and I will be at the local Packer bar to watch the game.  Which means we will be having our Thanksgiving on Friday, which allows me one extra day to do things.  Especially since as of today I still haven’t done a single ounce of shopping; but I have made multiple shopping lists so that is a step in the right direction. I think.  I am planning to make the stuffing from scratch for the first time, brine my turkey for at least 24hrs, and bake my first apple pie in years.  Since I am freaking out I am considering making the mashed potatoes in the crockpot.  A lot of the recipes I read online seem to really like the set it and forget it approach, but at the same time what if they suck then I don’t have any potatoes.  I think I need someone to tell me to calm the heck down things will be fine and who cares really.  Worse case scenario we have to go out and eat.

So what is one of your oh my goodness stories or do you have a tried and true tip to make the turkey day schedule a breeze? Please leave me a comment below so I know I am not the only one freaking out over how to accomplish a holiday meal!

Crockpot Turkey Breast Roast

Have you ever had that craving for roast turkey, but have no motivation to cook a full turkey?  Plus who wants to heat their house up during the summer with an oven?

All Finished! Enjoy!

As you can see the meat just falls apart because its so tender!

Well the answer to those cravings is today’s post!  Today I am sharings a recipe for roast turkey breast that is made in the crockpot.  No need to slave over the oven, you can just set it and forget it.  I also chose this recipe based off of a recent conversation with one of my coworkers about how she doesn’t enjoy cooking, she isn’t sure if it is because she just doesn’t know how or if she really just hates the idea of cooking.  My advice to her was break out a crockpot and try this recipe, it is easy, short, and oh so delicious.  I told her that it would be good for her to give the set it and forget it portion of cooking a try to get her toes wet.

Gather up the ingredients and your trusty crockpot and give this a try!

Ingredients:

1 boneless or bone in defrosted turkey breast (I use Honeysuckle Boneless w/dark meat)

1 medium white onion

1 14.5 oz can of Chicken Broth (I use low sodium Swanson)

2-3 lbs red potatoes

Seasonings: granulated garlic, thyme, dill, salt & pepper

First let’s talk a little about the turkey breast.  You can find these frozen turkey breast normally right next to the full sized turkeys in the freezer section of your grocery store, they come in varying weights but most are 4-6 lbs.

Turkey Breast

©Blurred Lines

I normally buy the Honesuckle White boneless breast with white and dark meat, this is because it is just what I seem to find in the stores near me and it runs about $8 per roast; which fits in my budget for meats.  It will easily server 4 without too many leftovers.  Just depends on your guests appetites.  I will go ahead and buy a couple at a time and keep them in my freezer for that go to meal or that random craving for Thanksgiving dinner in July.  Because these breasts are frozen you do need to do some prep the day before you want to cook your crockpot meal because we need to defrost the breast before cooking.  Now I will admit I have done this same dish with a partially frozen breast and it came out just fine; actually I am pretty sure that my breast this time was a little bit frozen.  While it is not normally suggested to use a frozen roast I am here to say I survived, but please use discretion when cooking poultry from a frozen state.

Now that you have defrosted your breast the next morning you are ready to get going.  The first thing you need to do is cut your onion in half and then those halves into 4 wedges.  Break the layers a part and put them at the bottom of the crockpot.

Your turkey breast and potatoes will rest on top of them.  Next up you want to take your breast out of its packaging, at this point you will notice that there is netting surrounding the breast.  Feel free to leave it on or remove it, for this time I decided to remove the netting.

What it looks like without the netting

©Blurred Lines

  I always found it annoying trying to take the netting off the extremely hot roast when I am ready to serve so I decided to be a rebel and see what happens.  (Well the dramatic pause moment is that nothing happened it retained its shape and came right of the pot in one piece.)  So I suggest you do what feels right to you, both ways get the same results for me.  Once you have made your choice to remove or not remove the netting give the breast a quick rinse and pat dry.  Place the roast skin side up in your crockpot.  Now you need to season the breast with the above mentioned spices.  I do not have measurements because I tend to go by sight & smell versus exact measurements.  If I had to guess I would say I used about 1 -2 tablespoons of each one.  Also if you don’t like garlic use onion powder or none at all.  Feel free to add sage or even rosemary to the top anything goes at this point.

Once you have seasoned the roast to your liking drop your red potatoes next to or all around the roast however they fit best.  For me they are side by side because my crockpot is oval not round and I just have more room.  I then sprinkle additional salt and pepper over the potatoes and then pour the chicken broth around the sides.  Doing my best to not wash the seasonings off of the roast or potatoes.

Now all you need to do is place the lid on your pot set the crockpot to low and walk away for 6-7 hrs or until the internal temperature is 179 degrees.  Avoid opening the lid for the first 5 hrs, because the crockpot will have to regain the loss of heat and that can cause the food to take longer to cook.  If your crockpot tends to cook on the high side this could be done closer to 5 hrs.  I know mine runs high and it would have been done at 6 but I let it cook for 7.  It still maintained all the flavors and was not dried out but it was running closer to 206 degrees internally instead of the recommended temp of 179.

Once it is done cooking remove it from the crockpot and allow it to rest for 2-3 minutes then slice and enjoy!  When you give this a try please come back and let me know how it turned out, if you made any changes, or if you know of tip/trick that enhances things!