Friday, February 11, 2011

Swap-Bot & Yummy Mexican Hotdish

My daughter-in-law directed me to It is an on-line swap community. She has been talking about it for awhile, so I finally decided to check into it and see what it is all about. I am signed up for a number of swaps so I can start building my rating and meet the qualifications for more future swaps I want to participate in.

As I was looking through the list of current swaps (in the US - got to think about postage afterall), I found one that is all about making a journal and writing a short story about time travel. It is called "Somewhere In Time Journal". This is the one that fascinates me the most. One of the requirements to be a participant in the swap in to have 10 complete type #3 swaps under your belt and also have a 4.9 rating in the Swap-Bot rating system. My goal over the next couple months is to achieve the 10 swaps required before the May 1st sign-up deadline. We actually have to have our journal mailed by May 31st, so I am going to start working ahead on mine. I feel pretty confident I will be able to meet the requirement of 10 finished swaps by the deadline. Of course that is if there are not any major upheavals in my life between now and then!

The Time Travel Journal has been on my mind ever since I saw it on-line. I have already begun to "spin the tale" of how my story will go, but I remain open to specific details, because I want to be able to incorporate some little trinkets and ephemera I'll be collecting, between now and then, as part of the journal. I'll weave my story around whatever little trinkets and paraphenalia I can find to put in it. Plus I plan to do some art - pen & ink drawings and maybe some little watercolors to "document" my travel through time - where I started from, how I got there, what I did, and how I got back home. Upon thinking about this subject, I realized there are an awful lot of time travel stories and movies out there: The Time Traveler's Wife, Wizard of Oz, Return to Oz, an old movie with Christopher Reeves entitled Somewhere in Time (1980), the Back to the Future trilogy (1985), Kate & Leopold, TimeLine, and others, lots of others. I like reading books about time travel and seeing these kind of shows. Making the journal should be a lot of fun.

I stopped into our local antique store today for a short bit after getting groceries this afternoon. I was looking for some small items for the journal. I found some old photographs in a box and a couple little ceramic items to dangle on a ribbon from the spine of my journal. As I've been thinking about it, I realized if I am going to be pouring a lot a effort and work into this piece, I will probably find it hard to part with it. Afterall, working for several months extended time on it will make it somewhat precious to me. Okay, some of you might be thinking - NOT! But unfortunately I tend to get attached to things. That would explain how I have managed to surround myself with so much "stuff" and why I am not leading a minimalist lifestyle.

I made a Mexican Hotdish tonight for supper. My mouth feels "hot" right now as I'm eating and typing at the same time. My hubby pronounced it "really good" . . . in a high energy exclamation as to its status. Yay! I found another great meal that's pretty easy to prepare, and is well liked! Basically it's a pound of ground meat (ours is elk tonight, from the freezer) browned with half a large white onion a 10 oz can of tomatoes and green chili, about a teaspoon of chili power and a half teaspoon of cumin. (I'm guessing because I just sprinkled some in from the little spice bottles). Of course you would drain the ground meat of any fat - elk does not have fat - it is a very lean meat . . . and yummy! I had quite a bit of what was left in the bottom of a bag of crushed tortilla chips (we like the Mission Tortilla chips in the brown paper bag) - about 2-3 cups worth, but slightly crushed, not teeny, tiny particles - just not the whole chip. Plus I had some hard corn taco shells in the cupboard that I needed to use up as they had been up there awhile. It was about 9-10 hard taco shells. I crushed these up as well with my hands, right into the pan. My hubby does not like sour cream, but I do. He cannot eat refried beans anymore, but I wanted some . . . so . . . his portion had Ricotta cheese instead of the sour cream and beans. I layered half of the crushed chips and taco shells in the bottom of a large glass baking dish that I had sprayed with a Pam-type cooking spray (we just buy the less expensive store brand). I used a hard taco shell, split into two pieces, to separate my side of the dish from his side. He didn't want my sour cream and beans mixing into his portion.

Next spoon on half the meat mixture. Then spoon on half the sour cream/beans or ricotta cheese (mixed with a generous sprinkling of garlic power in the cream and the cheese). Layer on several hands full of Colby or Colby-Jack cheese. Then repeat the layers: chips, meat, sour cream/ricotta cheese (beans). At this point you will want to pour a whole can of enchilada sauce over the whole thing. Then top with a couple handfuls of Colby cheese. Pop it into the oven for 35-40 minutes with a foil covering. After it has baked this long, pull it out of the oven, remove the foil covering (add more cheese if you want - mine didn't need any more) then return to the oven for 5 minutes to brown up a bit.

We had a Rice-A-Roni box of Mexican rice to go along with the hotdish. Soooo Yummmmy! My tongue is hot and tingly from the spices (hot spices don't bother my hubby!) but that's okay . . . I'm washing it down with a cold beverage. Meanwhile, the dogs are acting like they're starving with their little whimpering, whining noises . . . especially Sugar. I'm being mean to the dogs - like the soup nazi on Seinfeld, "No hotdish for you!" Poor things . . . I know the house smells good right now.


  1. I know what you mean about not wanting to part with your swaps. There's been quite a few of mine that I find hard to part with! Taking lots of pics helps a little anyways :)

  2. Welcome to SwapBot! It can be a little frustrating trying to build up your swaps when you're new to join ones you really want to do. Good luck with your Time Travel Journal! It really sounds interesting! (AsAlwaysAngela on SB).

  3. Blackbird 4 here from sb,I read your profile and saw your crafts on your other site-you certainly keep busy!I lost my small little terrier last yer as well and I still miss him Talk to you again Bye for now

  4. Hope you enjoy Swapbot.
    What an excellent way to separate the likes/dislikes when cooking - taco shell barricades ;0). May steal that idea along with your basic recipe. We luv Mexican influenced food in my household.

  5. I can totally relate with not wanting to send your journal. I have had this experience a few times as well, so I rarely do journal swaps anymore. I hope you enjoy the site, I find it very inspirational and it pushes me to try new things.

  6. Thank you everyone for all the great comments and encouragements. So glad my daughter-in-law suggested I take part in the swap she was hosting about visiting other blogs. I've been kept a little busy lately fulfilling other blogs, but got those off to the post office. So after a bit of sewing this after noon I think I'll go "a-visiting" - like they used to say in the old days - somewhat like a virtual walk-about, and see what everyone else is up to. I'll give you all a big shout out when I get to your place on-line!

  7. Oops, I meant to say . . . fulfilling other swaps. Silly ole me!

  8. I once did a journal swap that I did not want to send away, since I had really opened up in it!

    That dish sounds great, but I'd have to make it less spicy.

    Phoerauf on Swap-Bot

  9. Welcome to swap-bot! I love getting fun packages in my mail. I like reading about those creative swaps, but I never have the courage to actually sign up. I'm afraid the recipient will be disappointed with me because I'm not very creative!

    Tanja (tanchyka on swap-bot)

  10. That's so funny because I'm the one who introduced my boyfriend's mom to Swap-Bot. It just seems like something women can't keep from their mother-in-laws. I love the site and hope you do, too!!!! This is hxckendra from Swap-Bot with the Blog Followers #2 Swap. Take care and happy swapping!

  11. I love the idea of a time travel journal!!! I might do one on my own. How is it going with the journal?


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