Stuffed Peppers with Shredded Chicken Breast

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cut chicken into thin, shredded style pieces

Chop onions and mushrooms

Saute’ chicken on stove over medium heat with chicken broth until cooked through with salt and pepper

Add chopped mushrooms and onions and paprika

Add Monterey jack cheese, saute and stir until melted and veggies are soft

Meanwhile, cut peppers in half and clean out seeds

Place on baking sheet with parchment paper

Lay one piece of provolone in the bottom of the pepper

Scoop chicken mixture into each half of the bell pepper

Place piece of provolone cheese on top of each pepper half

Bake in oven until cheese is brown and bubbly

Servings – 4
Weight Watcher Points per Serving – 4

Buyer Beware!

Buyer Beware! Don’t fall for the gimmick! Recently, a friend of mine had me over to look at her kitchen and help choose kitchen cabinets. When I got there, she showed me the carpet she had chosen from a competitor of mine. She said they were offering her “Free Installation”. When I looked at what she had, I just about choked.
The carpet was marked $6.41/sf – Which supposedly included standard pad and free installation.

I have that EXACT piece of carpet in my store. When I add in standard pad and the cost of standard installation, my price is $5.04/sf *** So even with “free installation” I was $1.37/sf cheaper!

Think about it, if you had 600sf of carpet:
$6.41/sf = $3,846
$5.04/sf = $3,024
That’s a savings of $822 by shopping with me!! As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Fifty Shades of Chicken – A Parody in a Cookbook

” “Let me relax you,” he continues in a low voice.  “Take a deep breath, Chicken.  Think of a waterfall.”  He positions me on my back on a cutting mat, in a neutral position.  He grasps one of his many blades and traces a gentle line, drawing the tip toward the apex of my thighs, down there.  I feel vulnerable and eager as y legs loosen.  His expert hands to the rest. coaxing my legs wider, wider, until they slack and drop to the mat.  I am indecently splayed, yet so blissed out I scarcely register his fingers sliding into me, until I feel a deep clenching where he’s inserted half a lemon.  Ohhhhh. ”


If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is the chicken talking.  Talking about her handsome, rock hard bodied chef preparing her for his latest chicken recipe, Spread-Eagle Chicken.  I know you’re probably wondering, what the heck?!  Well, so am I!  This book arrived at the store, addressed to my name, and has me (actually all of us here) in stitches.


The hilariously written book has 157 pages of delicious looking chicken recipes ranging from “Popped-Cherry Pullet” to “Sexy Sliders”  I have a feeling that this will be a team effort cook book.  Something that Mike and I can use together to make supper, while reading the creative story of a man and his chicken and laughing until our sides hurt.  Or as in the case today, I laughed until I cried.  Did I mention that the man in this story has rock hard abs?  What I would do to be his chicken….  Ha ha.  Perhaps not, but it’s going to make for a good time in the kitchen!

Watch for updates on this blog, I’ll let you know just how delicious these recipes really are!




Product Review – Stufz Hamburger Meat Stuffer

We’ve got four kids and believe me, it’s hard to come up with meal ideas that please everyone.  When I saw my first Stufz Hamburger Meat Stuffer commercial, I just knew that I had to have it!  I waited until our store, Tri-County Lumber had it in the warehouse ($9.99)  and ordered it.  Last night, we put it to the test.
Usually when we make hamburgers, I figure out how much meat to buy using 1/3 lb. for each person.  I wasn’t sure if this contraption required more or less hamburger, so for 6 of us, I ordered 3lbs. just to be safe.
Laugh all you want, but the box didn’t come with instructions so we pulled up a YouTube video made by the inventor of Stufz and let him be our instructor.  He made it look so easy!  So now it was our turn.  Our family used everything from bacon bits, different cheeses, turkey and mushrooms.  The combinations are really endless.

Put your meat in the bottom portion of the Stufz and push down, wiggling the top around until the hamburger doesn't stick and open it up.  You'll have this large cavity just waiting to be stuffed with your favorite flavors.

Put your meat in the bottom portion of the Stufz and push down, wiggling the top around until the hamburger doesn’t stick and open it up. You’ll have this large cavity just waiting to be stuffed with your favorite flavors.


This burger has been stuffed with mushrooms, Swiss and Colby Jack cheese. It’s ready to be topped off!

After you put the top on, you'll have these awesome burgers, grill ready!  We marked our burgers with colored toothpicks so that everyone knew who's was who's.

After you put the top on, you’ll have these awesome burgers, grill ready! We marked our burgers with colored toothpicks so that everyone knew who’s was who’s.

Once everyone has stuffed their burgers, throw them on the grill and cook thoroughly.  You’re going to love the results!

Stufz Mushroom & Swiss

What surprised me the most, is that you actually don’t use much more meat than a normal burger.  We had left over meat so really, my 1/3lb. per person calculation was almost dead on.  We definitley give the Stufz a thumbs up.  Not only did it work, we had a lot of fun in the kitchen and the whole family got to participate.  The kids are already talking about the next time.  So order yours today!  Do It Best will ship to your local store for FREE!  If you’re in Jefferson, Trisha places orders every Monday and the truck arrives on Wednesday.  Give it a try!



Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast

Whether you’re looking for an appetizer or something new and fun to eat with the kids, this one is sure to be a hit!

What you’ll need:

Three boneless chicken breasts
1 lb. Bacon (I like the meat counter stuff)
Italian Dressing
3/4 cup of brown sugar
2 tbsp. Chili Powder
Wooden toothpicks

Prep time (not including the marinade):  40 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

Soak the whole chicken breast in Italian dressing and marinate over night.  Then, the  following day….

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Trim the fat and cut your chicken breast into cubes about one inch square 20141220_171032





Next, cut your bacon into three even length sections.





Prepare the rub mixture by combining 3/4 cup of tightly packed brown sugar with 2 tbsp. of Chili Powder.  Mix with a fork until the brown sugar crumbles are broken up and mixed well with the Chili Powder.

Next, wrap each piece of chicken with bacon and secure with a wooden toothpick.  Place into the mixture of brown sugar and Chili Powder and coat well.  It’s easier to put up to three or four at a time into the bowl so that you can completely cover the chicken and bacon.


I used a broiler pan for cooking.  First I put a layer of tin foil on the bottom section of the pan to catch all of the grease, then coated the cooking surface with a high quality cooking spray.  I used PAM Olive Oil.


Once this is done, place the chicken/bacon bites on the broiler pan with the bottom part of the toothpick in the drip slot, this will keep them upright and perfectly spaced out.






Place in oven and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the bacon starts to get crispy.  You’re then ready to serve!  Enjoy!





…. I love my job!


Today was a perfect example of one of the many reasons that I love my job. At around 9:30 this morning, Auggie and I loaded up for a trip to visit some of my tile suppliers in Des Moines.  These two beautiful displays are at our Sunderland Brothers showroom.  They are more than happy to show you these displays along with the many others that they have set up.  Call me at the store for more information or directions to the showroom.

20130801_133443I am currently working with two different clients on two major re-do’s in their homes. One is a bathroom remodel and the other is a porcelain tile install in almost all of her main living areas. I was like a kid in a candy store in each of these supply houses, trying to find the perfect match for each client. The part I love best about working with people on their projects is the excitement in their eyes when they finally start to see the big picture. I try so hard to get to know a person’s likes, tastes and personalities so that I can best match them up with the perfect product that fits their particular needs. Today was a such a rewarding day for me.  We didn’t get home tonight until around 6:45pm and it was worth every minute.  I can’t wait to see these two projects come together!

Cookie Tip


When baking cookies, put a bath towel on the counter underneath your cooling racks.  Not only does it double for a hot pad, but when the cookie crumbs fall through the cooler, they land on the towel.  That way when you’re done, all you have to do is shake the towel out like a rug and crumb cleanup is done!

Crab Stuffed Mushroom Caps

This is an easy one!  Delicious and filling, you won’t need anything more than a salad to accompany these tasty guys.

What you’ll need:

Portabella mushroom caps

1 package of cream cheese

1 package of chunky imitation crab meat

Finely shredded cheddar cheese



What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove stems from your caps and set on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil.  Chop your crab meat.  I like using one of those “slap choppers” for this.  They work great.  Mix the meat in with the cream cheese.  Add onion and garlic to taste.  A small hand-held mixer works best.  Melt butter in the microwave.  Pour melted butter in each mushroom cap then fill with your crab mixture.  Top with cheese and bake until the cheese is bubbly and just starting to brown.  That’s it!  You’re done and clean up is a snap!


Painting – Supplies – More of What’s in my Bag

Now that we’ve got the basics covered, let’s move into the stuff you’ll be handling all the time while working on your next project.  First, you need a hammer and paint can opener.  You can get an opener for free when you purchase your paint.  Don’t forget to ask for a paint stick too while you’re there.  For trimming, I keep a big plastic cup in my bag.  It’s a lot easier to handle than those large, heavy paint cans.  I prefer solid plastic over the disposable cups because they are easier to clean and not easily crushed.

Now, let’s talk about application.  I can’t stress enough that your paint brush can really make or break the quality of the job you do.  I never hesitate to spend good money on a brush.  The better the brush, the more smooth your strokes will be and the flatter the paint will lay without having those annoying brush marks.

paint brush


I use the Do It Best Select line of brushes.  They are made by Shur Line and are a 100% polyester bristolene filament brush with a comfortable wood handle.  These brushes really clean up well, too. I’ve been using the same one for several years now and believe me, it’s seen a LOT of paint!

scrub brushWant to know a great tip for cleaning your brush after painting?  Throw in a stiff bristled scrub brush!  When cleaning your brush, lay it flat in the sink and use this to scrub down on your bristles.  Take care to always scrub down so that you don’t kink your brush.  This will take the dried on stuck on little pieces of paint that you can’t ever seem to get off by hand.  The best part is that it’s super easy and saves a ton of time.


When it comes to rolling paint on walls, I also splurge a little bit.  I prefer using this fancy critter.roller frame  It’s a supreme paint roller frame that is constructed to meet the demands of everyday use and provide professional quality performance.  It features the Hold Tite fan cage that holds roller covers 50% tighter than wire cage frames yet allows easy installation and removal of roller covers. Also features the Sure Grip handle for added comfort and reducing fatigue.  It’s a little more time-consuming to clean, but it’s certainly built to last.  After using this roller frame, I won’t ever go back to the inexpensive wire type.  It’s worth the few extra dollars.  If you’re painting a door, or something that requires a super smooth finish, try a small, foam roller cover instead of a nap one.  The quality of your roller cover can sure make a difference in how flat your paint lays.  Cheaper covers tend to “lift” the paint, creating an unwanted texture.

You will also need to get yourself a paint tray.  I prefer to use the disposable plastic liners so that when I’m done, clean up is easy.  Just make sure that your tray is designed to work with the size of roller that you plan to use.

Time to begin!  First, lay out that canvas drop cloth you bought and start using that paper masking tape along the base boards and window and door casing.  Next, start taking off the switch and outlet plate covers in the room.  Most plate screws are a slotted head.  For that, I use a slotted rotary screwdriver like this one.  rotary screwdriver

It takes the work out of your wrist because the shank rotates in the handle.  You probably better throw i a simple Phillips screwdriver as well.  You never know when you might need to use it.  Often times I need it to take down towel bars and mirrors in bathrooms as well as curtain rods.  The room looks so much better when you paint behind the fixtures, not around them.

Before you paint, be sure that your surface is clean.  I keep a 3″ cheapo brush in my bag to use for cleaning up cobwebs and dust.  The last thing you want is a lumpy finish from dirt being trapped in your paint.  You will also need to use spackle to fill in nail holes. spackle  This quick drying product comes in a little plastic tub and is easily applied with your finger.  Just be sure to wipe off the extra so that the surface is nice and smooth and the repair won’t stand out.

Time to get started!  Be sure to mix your paint with the paint stick before pouring.  Also, if you’re doing a large area, don’t dry out one can before switching to the other.  Make sure that you mix the gallons.  I like to start with the trim first and then roll into it.  On a wall, I usually do about a 4-6 foot section at a time, pealing back the paper masking tape as soon as I’m done.  Failing to do so may cause the paint to come up with the tape.  Remember, paint is made up of a lot of glue, so it will bond to the tape.

Once you’re finished, pour the extra paint in your tray back into the can and start cleaning your brush.  The wetter the brush, the easier it will be to clean it.  Don’t forget to clean off the roller frame as well.

If you’ve chosen a very dark, saturated color, the paint may take several hours to set and become its true color.  Dark reds often start out looking pink but settle in with time.

Be sure the paint is dry before putting back your plate covers, curtain rods and pictures.  If the paint isn’t dry, the items may leave marks or indentations in the paint.

I hope that my tips for painting help you to actually enjoy the task.  I love the instant gratification that painting gives me.  Going from one color to a fresh, new color is pretty exciting.  Please feel free to offer your suggestions or ask any questions.