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~ Kathy M.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bargain Book Bonanza #9 , Chubby Mommy Runs The Eugene Marathon, and Easy Taco Salad:

Welcome, peeps!  This is three posts in one, so to leave a comment, please scroll all the way down to the bottom of it.  Thanks so much for stopping by to visit, I appreciate it very much!

Another Trip to St. Vinnies

Last week I was running my errands in downtown Mayberry.  One of those errands was to donate my paper grocery bags to St. Vincent de Paul.  

I don't like plastic bags, so when I am getting my groceries, I ask for paper.  I never have figured out how plastic bags are supposed to be better for the environment.  You can re-grow trees, and there is no reason why old growth needs to be made into paper bags, so the plastic peeps argument never convinced me.  I know, bringing your own good reusable canvas bags to the store is the best option, but I usually fill those up with things at home or forget to bring them with me.

So, I recycle my paper sacks to St. Vinnies, because as we all know -- books don't do well with thin plastic bags.  They are getting used to me coming in there now, and I hope to set an example.  The funny thing is that Oregon is going to now ban plastic, so maybe more people will soon be donating paper bags all over the place.  Oh, I love being a trendsetter!  I also think that I'll start sewing and selling cloth bags to sell in my little store.  What do you think?

Well, I got inside the store, gave to the needy and decided that I couldn't help it and walked straight over to the used book section.
Take a look at my haul:

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

I got a Stephen King to add to my collection, a Star Wars book to give to my son, and a copy of Forrest Gump (I've only seen the movie 100 times but I didn't even know that there was a book).  The book that I am most excited about is the blue one, Case Histories.  It looks really good.  I might read it next.  Right now I am reading Maeve Binchy's Heart and Soul.  It is really good.  I was ready for a light reading type of book after Beloved.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

I spent $6.00 that day, and the lady punched my card and combined the two that I had.  That gave me one full card for next time and a $5.00 punch on my new one.  Yay!  This really is a good deal, because a full card is worth $10.00 off the next time that I come in to shop.  If I come in on 1/2 off day, I will really get a good deal ... $20.00 worth of stuff for free.  I'm very happy about that.

This is a Bargain Book Bonanza post.  To read about others great finds, please CLICK HERE to go over to Mrs. Greenawalt's Cozy Book Nook to take a look!

JulieJulie Runs Her Very First Marathon!

Chubby Mommy Running Club ~ Julie Anderson

Do you remember my sister, Julie Julie over at the Chubby Mommy Running Club?  If not, she is the one in the orange.  Julie Julie loves orange.  She also loves staying fit.  Yesterday, she ran her first 13.5 mile, 1/2 marathon with, 10,000 others in Eugene, Oregon.  She came in 3056th place, also received a medal!  Yay for you, Aunt Julie!  (That is what I've been calling her for the past 30 years, since my firstborn was born.)

To read more about her adventures, please check out her websites.  She's a great writer and is lots of fun.  Julie is starting Chubby Mommy Running Clubs up all over the world, and that is very exciting. Maybe you can start up a chapter where you live ... just ask her how!  Here is her main blog Chubby Mommy Running Club, and here is her business website: Twist Pop Media.  This is the post about the night before the marathon: Chubby Mommy Running Club: Running the Half Marathon.  I'm sure that she will be writing a story about the event itself very soon.

I'm awful proud of you, Little Sister!

Easy Taco Salad

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

This is super easy to make and it tastes great.  My taco salad is quite a crowd-pleaser, but it isn't thrifty, unless you can get everything on sale.  It is probably super high in fat and calories, but you can make your own adjustments for that.  This is how I make it:

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

You also need a can of olives, sliced.  And an onion chopped up and cooked with the hamburger.  I forgot to take an action shot of chopping up the onion.  That is two sacks of salad, by the way (or one big one).  Oh, you also need a couple of tomatoes. 

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

Brown 2 pounds of lean hamburger and the onion.  When it is brown, drain off the fat and add the packet of taco seasoning and mix well.  Don't follow the recipe on the back of the package.  If you need to add a teeny bit of water, that is okay though.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

I usually mix this part all up in my big spaghetti pot, but it was dirty.  So I grabbed two big bowls and made two separate batches ... one to eat now and one for later.  (I didn't add the salad dressing to the one for later, that makes it really soggy.  Good, but soggy.)

Pour a bunch of tortilla chips into the bottom of your bowl.  Take a cup or small glass and crush them down into little pieces.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
Add your seasoned hamburger and onion mix to your chips and stir well.  I'm switching to the green bowl now, for better pictures.  I always strive for beauty in the tiniest places.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
Grate up a bunch of cheese and mix it in well with the other stuff.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
Add your salad and combine everything.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
For this size of bowl, add 1/2 bottle of Catalina dressing.  There is also a sweet and spicy option, if you can find it.  If I had my clean spaghetti pot, I would have put everything in there, including the whole bottle of dressing.  Then, for serving, I would have transferred everything to a pretty bowl. 

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
Top with sour cream, guacamole or fresh avocados, olives and more chips.  This part of the post seems to be a "do what I say, not as I do"!  I really wasn't in the mood to cook that day, but did it for my Cary.  I figured that while I was at it, I'd might as well take pictures of my project.

I put the rest in a gallon Zip Lock freezer bag, and we are eating it when we get the urge ... just adding a bit of dressing as we go!


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Lynn said...

I'll have to give that Taco salad a try sometime. I never think about making a taco salad for some reason. Congrats to your sister - good for her! I've been to her site. And nice finds at the store!

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

Congratulations to your sister, and your taco salad looks delicious!!

Lesa said...

It is so annoying when the corners of books rip open plastic bags! Glad you are at the forefront of the paperbag movement!!

Fun BBB! I'd like to read the Star Wars and King book.

Look forward to hearing what you think of Gump-- I read a few pages once and it didn't seem as charming as the movie so I stopped. That is very unusual for me to think a movie is better than the book.

Thanks for linking up to BBB!!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Lynn, it's good and I know you will enjoy that taco salad. I promise. Thanks for giving my sis a visit.

Hi Gloria, thank you! She couldn't find where to leave a comment (this post was so long), so she wrote to me on FB. I know that you will enjoy the taco salad too.

Hi Lesa, yeah, I'm trying to show by example. I hate it when they rip too! I wonder if they wrote the book from the movie? But the actors in the movie were so perfect, even if the book was written first it would be hard to beat that movie.

No Copying!


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