Indoor Tulip Tutorial

Spring is right around the corner and soon flowers will be blooming!

Tulips are perennials, meaning they return year after year when planted into the ground but if you are not able to plant them in the ground and still would like to grow them, this is a perfect tutorial for you.

All you need is a vase, decorative gems or pebbles, water and of course tulip bulbs.

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Place a few gems or pebbles in your glass vase and set a few aside. Next take your bulbs and position them so that the pointy end is facing up.

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Take the rest of your gems or pebbles and align them around the bulbs to help set them in place.

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Take 1/2 a cup of water and pour into your vase until the water reaches right under the bottom of the bulbs. Try and keep the bulbs as dry as possible while pouring the water in the vase.

Place in a sunny location indoors and after a few days, you will notice the stem start to sprout and the bottom of the bulb will take root into the water. The roots will look like thin white strings so if you start to see this after a few days, your tulip is growing!

I will update pictures over the next few weeks but this easy tutorial will help you to get started!

With love,

– R. Vargas

 

Slow Cooker Chili

After reviewing quite a few chili recipes, I decided to adapt a few and make my own. Keep in mind this is a beginner recipe and someday I would like to add chipotle and adobo sauce and tons of peppers but until I master chili, this quick and easy recipe will do for now! This recipe is perfect for potlucks and great for Super Bowl Sunday!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs. of lean ground turkey
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 small clove of garlic,  minced
  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1 29 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinse & drain
  • 1 15 oz. can of kidney beans, rinse & dried
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes (I used Fire Roasted tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp. of Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Prepare slow cooker by spraying well with cooking spray or lining with a plastic slow cooker liner.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.

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Add the ground turkey to the skillet and cook until brown. Make sure to break up the ground turkey as you cook it and sprinkle the garlic powder on top.

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Drain and add the turkey to the bottom of the slow cooker.

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Add the remaining ingredients on top.

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Stir well and combine then cover with lid and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.

Once it’s ready and served, top with cheese, chives, and the rest of your favorites.

I used this recipe to enter a Chili Cook Off at work and it was a favorite!

Have you ever made chili? If so, what do you put in yours?

With love,

-R. Vargas

Hico Happenings

To start off my year right, I took a quick road trip to a small town called Hico, which is about an hour away from my hometown.
I made banana nut muffins the night before and packed a bag with a few more snacks to eat on the road and made hot chocolate in the morning to take with me.

I’m more of a scenic type of girl so I take back roads until I reach my destination.
Many of you may have never even heard of Hico, I’ll admit I didn’t know it was even a town in Texas until I stumbled upon it last year while making my way to San Antonio. At the time I was not able to explore it the way I wanted to and I knew someday I would visit again.

When I finally arrived in Hico, I made my way to the Koffee Kup which is one of Hico’s landmark restaurants.

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Each meal is served with fresh rolls and cornbread and everything is homemade and from scratch.

Next I visited Opera House Antiques which was the towns former Opera house dated back to 1895!

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Afterwards, I walked through downtown and saw this cute shop called, Hico Popcorn Works.

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There are so many options to choose from and best of all, you are able to sample them all! In addition to popcorn, the shop also sold homemade fudge.

While walking through the town, I realized that most of it is untouched with it’s old charm and vintage advertisements still painted on the side of the brick walls of buildings.

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If you are looking for a quick and quiet getaway with tons of antiquing, Hico is the town for you!

With love,

-R. Vargas

On Relationships….

You may have noticed that even though I am in a relationship, I am very private about it.
While I am very proud and privileged to be with my partner, I do not feel the need to broadcast our relationship and here are the reasons why:

  1. It is nobody’s business.
    This is the primary reason and will always be the primary reason.
  2. Nobody cares that you are dating. If someone is that interested in your relationship, more than likely it is because they do not have one of their own and if they do, could it be that maybe they are trying to compete?
    While there are some people who are genuinely happy you are dating, there will be several bitter ones who try to stay close for the wrong reasons. Be careful.
  3. I choose to not broadcast every single thing because I know there are many great men and women who view my content whether it is my blog, Instagram, Snapchat, or just talk to me on a personal level who yearn for a special someone but who have yet to make that connection. It is very difficult and hurtful to see someone or hear someone constantly throw their relationship in your face.
    You do not have to act like you are single or never speak of your partner, maybe just limit yourself and put their feelings ahead of your own.
  4. I feel like when you constantly broadcast what and who you have, it backfires on you. Whether it’s a breakup or you leave room for someone wanting to interfere in your relationship. It all causes damage. So again, I limit myself and set boundaries. Social media can be great but it can also be very dangerous when involving your partner.
  5. I truly feel that if you have a great partner, a great relationship and you are truly happy, you’re not going to need to post or constantly talk about how happy you are. People will know, people will feel that love when they see it.
    Real recognizes real.
    If you have to constantly put your business out there, who are you trying to convince? Others or yourself?

Remember these are my personal beliefs and opinions, you do not have to agree with me or like what I said.

With love,

– R. Vargas

Cajun Chicken Pasta

If you are looking for a quick recipe that has a little spice, this is the recipe for you!

All you need to do is place everything in your slow cooker and boil pasta once everything is ready.

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 Chicken Breast
  • 1 (8-ounce) package of Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 1 (10.75-ounce) can of Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 (10.75-ounce) can of Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of Cajun Seasoning (The more you add, the spicier!)
  • Mushrooms (Optional)
  • Bell peppers (Optional)
  • Cooked Penne pasta

Directions:

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  1. Place chicken breast in your slow cooker.
  2. Top with cream cheese and both soups.
  3. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  5. Boil pasta and sauté vegetables.
  6. Stir mixture and serve with Penne pasta and vegetables.

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I sprinkled parmesan cheese on top and served with a salad and French bread. I’ll admit it’s not the prettiest but it taste amazing and it’s definitely one of my favorite slow cooker recipes!

With Love,

-R. Vargas

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding is one of the easiest and most traditional recipes one could make.
It’s one of those recipes that doesn’t require much ingredients so it’s affordable and is perfect for a potluck or any other type of gathering.

This is your basic banana pudding, my family only adds in one special ingredient; Mexican Vanilla. 

Ingredients:

  • Vanilla Wafers
  • 2 Boxes of Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • Milk (For the instant pudding. Follow box for instructions.)
  • Bananas (The more pudding you would like, the more bananas you should get.)
  • 2 Containers of Whipped Cream
  • 2 tsp. of Mexican Vanilla (Optional)

Directions:

In a separate bowl, follow instructions for the Vanilla Instant Pudding, remember if you are making two boxes, you will double up on the measurement of milk.

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Once all combined, let it sit for five minutes.

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Set that aside and get your main bowl ready for layering.

The first layer is the Vanilla Wafers.

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Next you add a layer of your Vanilla Instant Pudding. Make sure the layer is enough to cover all the wafers.

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The next layer will be the sliced bananas.

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Before you add the whipped cream, add one teaspoon of the Mexican Vanilla extract and mix it in the container. You do not have to add the Mexican Vanilla but it gives the pudding an extra something. Again, remember if you are using more than one container of whipped cream, add a teaspoon of the Mexican Vanilla extract to each container.

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Now that you have completed your first full layer, you repeat each step until you reach the top of the bowl you are using.

So remember:

  • Vanilla Wafers
  • Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • Sliced Bananas
  • Whipped Cream

The last layer on top has to be whipped cream so in case you are running low on the rest of the ingredients, get to a good stopping point and make sure you top off the pudding with whipped cream.

If I have any remaining Vanilla Wafers, I crush them in the bag and sprinkle them on top. Also, if I have any maraschino cherries, I’ll add a few of those too but that is completely optional.

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I tend to use a clear glass bowl when I make my banana pudding solely for the reason that I love to look at all layers.

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Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat!

This is typically a hit at gatherings and one of my favorite go to recipes, what’s your favorite go to recipe for desserts?

With Love,

– R. Vargas

Tonkatsu

Hello everyone!

On today’s blog, I thought I would share my version on Tonkatsu, which is a Japanese dish that consists of a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet.
Since I am not Japanese, this will not be the traditional Tonkatsu you would have in an authentic restaurant or in Japan but it’s still pretty good!

Ingredients:

  • Boneless pork chops, pounded to a centimeter thick (I used 4 boneless pork chops)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup of Panko
  • Oil
  • Garlic Salt
  • Lemon Pepper

Directions:

Season the pounded pork chops with salt & pepper, garlic salt and lemon pepper.

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Dust with flour and make an even coating.

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Add a small amount of oil into your skillet over medium heat. If you throw in a small Panko breadcrumb in and it sizzles, that’s how you will know if it is ready.

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In two separate bowls, prep the egg and Panko breadcrumbs.

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Dip the pork into the egg to coat. Make sure to coat it well!

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Next, take the coated pork chop and dip into the Panko. Toss in a few times or press down to make sure it has a good coating.

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Once coated, lay the pork chops in the skillet with hot oil for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and cook on the other side for another 5-6 minutes.

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After they are fully cooked, place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.

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Slice your Tonkatsu and serve with shredded green cabbage, white rice or noodles and enjoy!

With love,

-R. Vargas