Tag Archives: Fiesta Dishes

Tales from the Thrift – Part Two

J Crew statement necklace for $1.99 – thrift store find!

As you read in Part 1 of Tales from the Thrift – I love a bargain!  I’ve been perfecting my thrifting “style” over the years and I believe I’ve turned a new leaf this year when it comes to the hunt.  This happened when I began photographing my finds and keeping track of these new-found treasures.  When I find something these days, I ask myself a few questions…(1) do I really like the item?  Sometimes it’s a name brand item but it’s not my style.  This could be clothing, dishes or glassware, jewelry or collectible items.   (2) Will I use it?  This could mean, does it go with any of my collections or is there a spot in my house that needs sprucing up and this would make the difference?  Will i wear it?  and finally (3) Is this something I can I’ll use while entertaining or for an event?  For instance, I host an annual cookie swap party, so is it something that I could use as a theme for that party or another?

This past year, I’ve lucked up on a lot of great jewelry at the thrift stores!  Last year, I wrote a post about all the vintage Christmas pins I found.  I have a collection so this fit right into my criteria and I do love using them during the holidays.  This year it’s been about silver jewelry and pearls with a dash of statement necklaces!  During one trip I found two very different pearl bracelets…one gray wrap bracelet ($2.99) and the other a white pearl and gold cuff ($3.99), still with the original tag on it, I might add!

On another trip, there were a multitude of silver jewelry to choose from and I walked away with another bracelet and 3 pairs of earrings.  The bracelet was really an exciting find for me.  It’s a Mexican Cabochon link bracelet with all the markings on it.  I paid $9.99 for it which was a steal when I’ve seen them for as much as $80 on Ebay and other online places!  I have two others already, one from my mother and one I found in an antique store.  I paired all three together for a beautiful look recently.  The earrings I found are all very vintage looking and very timeless.  One pair is a drop pearl, and you can’t go wrong with pearls!  The other two can be change based on your wardrobe – casual or dressy.  I like stuff like that!

Finally, I love a good statement necklace!  I have several I’ve collected over the years and I look for unique pieces that you don’t see coming and going.  This amber stone necklace has a Chico’s tag on it and if you’ve been shopping at that store, you know these are rather pricey!  When I saw this one I knew it would be a great fall piece because of the color.  It was $5.99!   The other statement necklace is from J.Crew and was $1.99.  I plan to wear this over the holidays because it has bling! (This photo is posted at the beginning of the blog post.)

Chicos statement necklace – great fall color!

Finding Mexican made items is also something I’m always on the lookout for, especially talavera pottery.  It turns up here and there and I’m always thrilled!  Recently I found this planter for $2.99.  I have several in various colors and designs and I love adding more to the mix.  I also walked into the thrift store a few days before Day of the Dead this year and found these punched tin lanterns.  They were perfect for my dining room altar and are marked Mexico.  Timing is everything plus when I find things like this I always have the belief that they were there just waiting for me to come and get them!

Fiesta dishes are also a love of mine!  A few years ago I decided I wanted a set in every color I could find at the time and Kohl’s had a great sale and I took advantage of THAT sale!  I’ve been able to find various Fiesta vintage pieces while thrifting.  A few weeks ago I lucked up on bowls, mugs and plates in three colors.  Each were priced individually at $1.99.

Wow…I still have more to share so I guess there will be a Part 3 after all!  Stay tuned for more Tales from the Thrift tomorrow!

Easy Peasy Taco Soup!

IMG_9639When the weather starts getting a little cooler I start thinking of Taco Soup!  Not just any taco soup, mind you…but my husband’s taco soup!

I don’t know where he got the recipe but I tell you, it’s the best!  He always makes a huge pot – is there any other way?  So we are guaranteed to have leftovers for a few days afterward.

IMG_9637This recipe calls for the following to make one batch but seriously now, we always double this!

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 onion, chopped (optional)
  • 1 pkg El Paso taco seasoning
  • 1 pkg dry Ranch seasoning
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 can black beans (drained)
  • 1 can pinto beans (undrained)
  •  can whole kernel corn (drained)
  • 1 cup water

Brown the meat and the onion.  Drain this mixture.  In a large crock pot, combine the meat mixture, Rotel, drained black beans, pinto beans, and corn.  Add taco seasonings, ranch seasoning and water.  Simmer until it is all well blended and HOT!  Add grated cheese or sour cream for your toppings.  Don’t forget corn chips or cornbread!

Everything was ready just in time for us to sit down and watch the Alabama vs. LSU football game tonight!  ROLL TIDE!!!  And buen procecho!

IMG_9619

Anybody else out there have a special taco soup recipe they would like to share?  Hope you enjoy ours!  Here are a few shots of the process…I’m so lucky to have a “chef” for a hubby!

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Salsa Señorita, the Tamale Task Force and the HICA Tapes.

Carlos Aleman, Lori Sours, Clementine Tufts and myself at the HICA tamale sale video filming this month.

Carlos Aleman, Lori Sours, Clementine Tufts and myself at the HICA tamale sale video filming this month.

Sounds like Hispanic intrigue, doesn’t it? But it’s really a new way for the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama – better known as HICA – to get the word out about their annual tamale sale!

Some of the many varieties of Salsa Señorita Salsa!

Some of the many varieties of Salsa Señorita Salsa!

Since our tamale sale took a little “siesta” last year we decided to create a Tamale Task Force of staff and board members to really amp things up this year!  I love it when creativity starts to flow and everyone throws out any and ALL ideas, no matter how crazy they may seem.  We narrowed down our list and decided to make a few YouTube videos.  We invited Lori Sours, co-creator of Salsa Señorita, to join us and make and share some of her tasty recipes using her delicious salsa.  Two years ago, Lori was gracious enough to partner with us on our 2013 tamale sale.  During tamale pick up day, we used to get questions like “do you have any salsa for sale to go with the tamales?”  – and so that year we had salsa on site for sale thanks to Lori!

UAB Film Making Graduate - Jessica Chriesman - works the angles during the tamale sale videos. This one features Lori Sours, co-creator of Salsa Senorita and Ernesto Martinez of Hacienda Grill.

UAB Film Making Graduate – Jessica Chriesman – works the angles during the tamale sale videos. This one features Lori Sours, co-creator of Salsa Senorita and Ernesto Martinez of Hacienda Grill.

We worked with UAB Film-making graduate, Jessica Chriesman, to create the videos and had a blast in the process.  Lori came ready with recipes for four segments.  Who knew you could make so many delicious dishes with salsa?  The first was a beer cocktail also called a michelada.  Seriously, there was salsa in that beer drink!  Lori also made a salsa slaw, guacamole with salsa and finally a salsa cheese dip!  Ernesto Martinez of Hacienda Mexican Grill did the michelada segment – lucky guy!  I got the slaw segment and not only did Lori add salsa to the slaw…she also added honey!  OMGEEE!  It was SO DELISH!  Never would have thought of that combination in a million years!

Carlos Aleman studies his lines as Lori Sours sets up for their guacamole segment of the HICA tamale sale videos.

Carlos Aleman studies his lines as Lori Sours sets up for their guacamole segment of the HICA tamale sale videos.

Carlos Aleman, History Professor at Samford University, got the guacamole segment.  I was a little jealous because I absolutely LOVE guacamole.  There was plenty though and we all dug into guac with chips between segments.  Maricela Garcia rounded things out with the cheese dip segment.  Before each segment began, we would run though lines and during Carlos’ and Lori’s segment, they got tickled about something and kept breaking out into laugher!  You know how it is…no matter how hard you try, you just keep breaking out into laughter?  That went on for a little while until we were all laughing.  I think we may have a great “out-takes’ video in the making!  Jessica was definitely patient with us all as we goofed up, goofed around and well…acted goofy!  (Thanks Jessica!)

Of course in addition to promoting Salsa Señorita and the recipes, we also had tamales on hand with information on how to order beginning Thanksgiving through December 11th.  We had pork, chicken and my favorite – cheese and pepper tamales in these videos.  I had not eaten much that day so I devoured whatever I could!

Photo opp with Lori after our salsa slaw segment.

Photo opp with Lori after our salsa slaw segment.

Spending the afternoon with Lori was the best.  She is so down to earth and really loves what she does.  A native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, she and her brother, Mark Coffman, created a salsa company based on their mother’s recipe.  They use all natural ingredients and as she describes – “it’s vegetables in a jar with a kick!”  Growing up she said her family put salsa on everything.  I told her I could relate with my own New Mexican family!  We got into an animated conversation about Hatch chile peppers and she told me she keeps a freezer full at her house.  I showed her a picture of my cousin Nino, in Alaska, getting ready to roast a huge batch of peppers and she said she could relate!

The videos will be ready soon.  I’ll provide the links so you can get a sense of the fun we had filming that day as well as the great salsa recipes.  And remember, if you are in the Birmingham area and want some great tamales, you can buy them through HICA’s website beginning Thanksgiving day through December 11th!  And guess what…we’ll be selling Salsa Senorita too!  Be sure to buy a jar or two on pick up day.  A portion of the proceeds will go to HICA!

Muchas gracias, Salsa Señorita!  And HUGE shout out to HICA staff members, Clementine Tufts and Holly Hilton for handling all the arrangements and logistics of the day!

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