Gettin’ Creative in the Kitchen

There’s something about the chill in the air in the Fall that just makes me want a big pot of soup simmering on the stove (or in the crock pot), filling my home with the aromas of a wonderful meal to come. A good friend of mine had recently told me about taco soup, which I had never heard of before but thought it sounded great! It’s one of those soups you can really get creative with, because you can put in the things you like and leave out the things that make you go, “Ewww!” So I looked around on the internet and found several recipes, then I jotted down the ingredients I wanted to put in my soup. I found that I already had a lot of the ingredients in my pantry, which was nice. Then I shopped for the remaining ingredients and put together a delicious soup that I will definitely be making again. I will list my recipe below, since several of you requested it when I posted this picture on my Facebook page. Don’tcha just love my “fine” china??

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Chicken Taco Soup

2 lbs. frozen chicken tenderloins
Sweet Balsamic salad dressing
Montreal Chicken seasoning (McCormick brand)
Dried parsley

28 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes, with juices
15 oz. can tomato sauce
14-15 oz. can yellow corn, drained
11 oz. can white corn, drained
15 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed & drained
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
1 jar mild salsa (mine was 15.5 oz.)
1-2 cups water (add gradually for desired consistency)

Garnishes
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Fresh chives, chopped
Avocado, cubed
Lime slices, to squeeze over soup
Olives, sliced (green or black)
Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Tabasco sauce

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place frozen chicken tenderloins in baking dish. Pour sweet balsamic dressing over the chicken to coat it. Sprinkle with Montreal chicken seasoning and dried parsley. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

In a large pot, add remaining ingredients, except for garnishes. Heat on med-low, stirring occasionally. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to pot. {Try to refrain from chowing down on the chicken as you cut it up, lol! It will be difficult — I know, because I make this chicken dish all the time and LOVE it, which is why I used it in the soup.} Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve with flatbread, Fritos or tortilla chips, and garnishes.


I made mine a day early, so after it cooled down, I placed the covered pot in the refrigerator overnight. You know how things always tend to taste so much better the next day after the flavors have combined? Well, let me tell you, this was no exception – it was AMAZING!

I hope you will get creative in your kitchen this Fall and try this yummy soup. Your house will smell awesome and your tummy will thank you.  Enjoy! 🙂

See you soon,
Cat

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A Puzzling Good Time!

For the past few weeks, I’ve been having a great time altering puzzle pieces, making hanging ornaments out of them. So I decided to make one for my Mixed Media Morsels, Main Dish #8 video. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can click here to watch. These little ornaments are just over 2 inches tall and can be hung on a Christmas tree or anywhere in your home throughout the year. They make sweet handmade gifts and several people commented on the video that they wanted to make some to use as gift tags, which is another great idea! In the video, I said that I would be posting some pictures of my ornaments here on the blog, so here they are.

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I found my 24-piece kids’ puzzles at my local Dollar Tree store. I have also found puzzles at thrift stores and garage sales. I hope you will find some to alter and have fun using up your leftover bits of napkins, stickers, beads, charms, embellishments, and anything else you can attach to them. And be sure to look at things before you toss them — it’s amazing how much we often throw away that could be turned into something as cute as these little ornaments!

Till next time,
Cat

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It’s Giveaway Time!

Those of you who know me, know that I enjoy having surprise giveaways from time to time over on my YouTube channel, and I think it’s time to have one here! I very much appreciate each of you who have chosen to follow my blog, so I have randomly picked one of you to be receiving a small thank you gift from me.

You may remember a video I posted recently in which I created a faux canvas from a box lid, and this little canvas is the gift I’m sending. If you missed the video and would like to see how it was created, click here.

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So here we go! The randomly chosen winner is —  sam……@aol.com! I will be contacting you soon to get your mailing information. Congratulations!!!  🙂

If I do not receive any response from the winner by September 17, 2017, I will randomly choose another winner on September 18, 2017 and will post an update here.

Thank you, again, everyone, for your support of my blog. Feel free to share it with anyone you think would be interested. And if you’re not already following me here, just click the “Follow” button on the right side of the page and enter your email address. Who knows?  You could be the next winner!

Have a lovely weekend,
Cat

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Those Random Images We See…

I’m sure you know which images I’m talking about – the ones that aren’t really supposed to be there, and yet our brains tell us they really are there. They’re the ones we see in things like clouds, floor tiles, painted papers, the moon (remember that guy?) Most of us have experienced this funny phenomenon and believe it or not, there’s a word for it — Pareidolia (păr′ī-dō′lē-ə.) According to Merriam-Webster.com, pareidolia is “the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern.” Here’s a fairly obvious one that I saw in some sunset clouds in 2012 and that day, clearly, there was a fork in the sky.

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For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed finding pareidolia, and now I especially enjoy finding it when I’m creating. I have several examples of it, but today I want to share a couple of my favorites with you. This first one came about when I was working on a canvas for my grandson and I was filming the process for my YouTube channel. I didn’t even see the hidden image until I was in the editing process. I was so surprised when I saw this portrait of a man’s face, complete with crazy hair and a big moustache, in the background of my canvas! It’s sort of Mark Twain-esque, and he may even have a cigar in his mouth, LOL!  He’s facing toward the left… If you’d like to see how it was created, literally by accident, you can click here.

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The next one is also from one of my YouTube videos. I was getting ready to create a mixed media index card, using one on which I had already created a background. I had actually picked up this card several times, but just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and I kept putting in back in the pile with the others. But oddly, this particular time, I suddenly saw what was there all along.  And maybe, just maybe, that was the reason I kept putting it back. Was I unknowingly waiting for the time that I could see what was there?  We may never know, but it’s amazing to me how clearly defined the image was when I looked closer and started sketching it.  Click here to watch how I brought it to life.

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Then, just the other day I saw something else that was interesting…

So I urge you to keep your eyes open for some pareidolia in your creations.  There may be something hiding there that you could bring to life. And believe me, it’s so much fun when you do!
Until next time,
Cat

P.S.  I first heard the word “pareidolia” from Meri at TheMeriAtlier.  Check out her YouTube channel for some wonderfully inspiring videos!

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What Inspires Me?

People often ask me what inspires me to create. My answer is… just about everything!

Since I started creating mixed media art, I see the world so much differently than I did before. I notice things like light and shadow more readily and I now see amazing color combinations everywhere – in clothing designs, product packaging, home decor items, and especially in nature.

For example, the towels in my guest bath inspired me to make this collaged piece. You can watch how I create it by clicking here.

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Nature is actually one of my favorite inspirations. I used to spend a lot of my time photographing the ocean, the moon, clouds, trees, flowers, birds, insects, etc., and I still do, sometimes. But now I’m finding so much enjoyment in making collages, drawing, painting, and doodling the wonderful things I see in nature, too.

Things created by other artists also inspire me. I watch YouTube art videos and browse photos on Pinterest, when time allows, and what I see there motivates me to create. And that is why I make YouTube videos myself – my goal is to inspire you to be creative and have as much fun as I’m having.

And here’s something you may not realize — YOU inspire me, too! When you leave positive comments for me, not only do I enjoy them, but they also motivate me to continue creating and sharing, and I am very thankful for that.

So, if you’re looking for some mixed media inspiration, take a look at the world in a new way. Not the whole world at once, LOL, but just look around you and if you see something that makes you smile, instead of just seeing it, really look at it and let it motivate you to create something. Whatever it is you make, it doesn’t have to be perfect, and most times it’s better when it’s not! I find that when I’m not overly critical, and I just relax and play, I really enjoy it so much more. Success!

Thanks so much for dropping by,
Cat

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My New Blog :)

COMING SOON!

{Ideas, Tips, Giveaways…}

Be sure to Follow me here, so you will be the first to know all the details as they unfold!

 

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