deux filles

The Adventures and Musings of 2 BFFs Separated by a Continent

Western Mac 28 November 2010

Not sure when this turned into a cooking blog 😉 , but remember this?

Western Mac

1 package of Velveeta Shells and Cheese
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup chopped green peppers
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 16-oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup water
Dash of pepper

Prepare mac and cheese following directions on package.

Brown the meat, green pepper and onion; cook until tender.

Stir in tomato paste, water and pepper; mix well. Stir in corn.

Add macaroni dinner.

Pour into 2-quart casserole; bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes.

Of course, I do a few things differently. I prefer raw vegetables, so I don’t sauté them with the meat. I also love peppers and onions, so I put in a whole pepper and half of a red onion.

Side note: Did you know there are male and female peppers, and they taste better for different things? Male peppers have three feet on the bottom and are good for slicing to eat raw or cook in stuff. Female peppers have four feet and are good for stuffing. (Thanks, Pampered Chef demonstration lady!)

I also don’t usually bake it in the oven; if it needs to be warmed up, I just nuke it in a bowl for 30 seconds.

And thank you to whoever told me about buttering crescent rolls before rolling and baking them!


The Never-Ending TO DO List 23 July 2010

Filed under: Arizona State,les Deux Filles — deuxfillestwogirls @ 2:44 am
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Denise says:

Sunshine introduced me to the idea of a running “TO DO” list back in college, oh so many eons ago. (We are old.) Hers was in a little notebook, and she kept adding to it. I make mine on a piece of paper, usually errands for the weekend or occasionally what needs to be copied for school each day of the week. There really is great satisfaction in checking things off of the list. (I check off. Sunshine crosses out. Wonder what that means, checking vs. crossing?)

Then there are the lists that keep growing. What starts out as “grade papers, Post Office, Target” written in a neat, bulleted list becomes a scribbled, multi-colored mess.

Or last week, this:

It started as what needed to be done before going to Seattle for the PNWA conference. A few items got added to the back. Then I reiterated and added some details to my Alumni responsibilities on the yellow Post-It note. That also has some notes on the back, including the address and phone number for my hotel here. As the list got smaller, a few items kept escaping me so they were rewritten on the star Post-It on the very top (in red caps!).

Thankfully it’s done because I don’t have any Post-Its that are any smaller!

Sunshine says:

I do LOVE my running To-Do lists, even though they stress me out from time to time. There is great satisfaction in marking things off my list, but when things are constantly being added, it can become a bit discouraging at times. A new thing I find myself doing lately is creating new lists in addition to my primary running list. Don’t know why I’m doing it, but there wind up being duplicates when I compare the lists, and I just add the items to the original list anyway.

As far as the checking off items on the list vs. drawing a line (or several) through them, I use the drawing the line method because if an item is marked through, my eye is more quickly drawn to the remaining items I must complete. I’ve even started using an asterisk and highlighter to mark things I’d like to accomplish in a particular day. Not that I get it all done, but it makes me feel closer to getting it done. Crazy, I know!

Here’s a photo of my most current list, which I’ll be rewriting today. It’s a mess, but this is how they usually end up looking until I can’t stand it anymore and I rewrite them. I actually have two other smaller lists to add to this one, as well.


Pat’s Run 17 April 2010

Today is the Pat’s Run in Tempe and San Jose. The Greater Philadelphia ASU Alumni Chapter hosted our second annual Shadow Run.

Remembering 42

We had about 25 runners, including a large group of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).

ASU tent with a Pat Tillman banner made by one of our board members

The sun came out just long enough for the 4.2 mile run along the towpath in Manayunk. It was awesome to see the pack of maroon shirts moving down the trail.

The Manayunk Towpath where the runners ran 4.2 miles

The first runner came in at 36 minutes. But it was a fun run, not a timed run with prizes. (Though the ten year-old who ran the whole way with his Vet dad totally deserves one!) We hope to expand every year, and the Alum who owns Machismo Burrito said the town would love to make it a big deal and shut down Main Street for the morning! Sweet.

What a great day! RIP, Pat.


Turkey Day Scrapping 27 November 2009

Filed under: Arizona State,Denise — deniselouise13 @ 12:43 pm
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I’m watching the Black Friday Law & Order marathon on TNT. Suddenly I’m missing the X-Files marathons I used to watch on Thanksgiving Day. Twelve hours of Mulder, Scully, the Cigarette Smoking Man and the paranormal. I would tilt the TV on the shelf so I could see it from the dining room table where I set up all my scrapbook stuff. Then I spent all day scrapping and watching X-Files. The first year I made eight pages, and I’m pretty sure I made as many the next year. It was my own little Thanksgiving tradition.


College Day! 21 October 2009

Filed under: Arizona State,Denise — deniselouise13 @ 5:22 pm
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Every other Wednesday we have Wacky Wednesday. The kids use tickets they earned for good behaviour to participate in Pajama Day, Wacky Hat Day, Twin Day, Sunglasses Day, Sports Team Day, Inside-Out Day, and so on. Every year they ask for ideas for a new day. Two years ago I read about a school where everyone wore a shirt from a different city/state/country to celebrate Geography Week, so I suggested Geography Day.

Then over the summer when I was reading There Are No Shortcuts by Rafe Esquith, and I was thinking about taking my class on a field trip to local colleges, it hit me – College Day! What better way to get our kids thinking about college than to ask them to wear college gear!

We had our first one today. Not many kids had stuff to wear, but all the teachers did. 🙂 Thanks to Sunshine, I had ASU Crocs…


and a Sparky Sun Devil foam head!!!!


Combined with my maroon ASU t-shirt, from far away a few teachers thought I was decked out for the Phillies. I said, “Nope! ASU is Maroon and Gold!” Go Devils!


Salty and Sweet 6 August 2009

Filed under: Arizona State,Denise — deniselouise13 @ 10:27 pm
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I’m enjoying some hot-air-popped popcorn. Remember my hot air popper? I left it in my classroom in Arizona (I thought it would make a nice gift – she was probably like. “What the heck is this??”), and it took a while (like a year!) to find one here. I use it a lot at school – it makes a great impromptu snack or behavior reward! I’m so known for making popcorn that I chose a popcorn-motif to decorate my door with the kids’ names. (Their names went on the popped kernels, and little Batman-like “kapow” bursts went in between. Then there was a pot with popcorn overflowing, and my name went there. The title was, “Look who popped in.” Ha ha, corny, I know. But I hate that crap. Anyway.) I melted butter to pour over it, and you introduce me to pepper with the salt I still use it. Dee-lish!

I was wondering if I had anything sweet, but I didn’t want an Almond Hershey bar. That made me remember how we’d go through a bag of pretzels and Hershey Kisses because salty and sweet are so good together! I do believe we even discussed this phenomenon. (Undoubtedly, since we talked about anything and everything for hours and occasionally tried to retrace the flow of the conversation because we didn’t understand how we started out talking about one thing and ended up on something completely opposite. We tend to free associate I guess.)

Hey that reminds me of…


Go, Bill! 5 August 2009

We are so proud of Bill Clinton for bringing back Euna Lee and Laura Ling from North Korea. They say there was a lot of legwork done in preparation, but still. Bill rocks! He’s a badass. Yeah, totally! I’ve always thought so, and I haven’t done a very good job at hiding the gigantic crush I have on Bill, either. Honestly, I was a bit hurt when Monicagate/Lewinskygate broke. Why Bill? We coulda had OUR secret moment while you were in AZ, cowboy boots, and all! Eh… ahem, seriously, he’s an awesome person and you’d NEVER see Bushie Boy pulling something like that off… or even caring enough to even bother.

Remember walking down Mill to get to Gammage for the political rally? You had stayed over at my apartment, and we got up as early as we could (like 6? ;-)), but there were already a ton of people. How lucky were we to even get that ticket to pass to the front?! Talk about being in the right place at the right time when that lady turned around to give it away! And thank goodness it was for two people – I can’t even imagine how that woulda gone down. 😉 Yeah, that coulda been ugly! Remember how we were crushed in the crowd just trying for the opportunity to shake his hand? Remember that really big, ugly guy that ended up so close (shoulder to shoulder) with us in our photo? LOL! I always forget him til you remind me. What a creep! I don’t remember if he was Secret Service, or not, but it was like, get your own limelight, big guy! I also recall a Secret Service Agent literally stepping on my foot at the same time he was trying to strongarm me away from my beloved Bill. Wherever you are, watch it, buddy!

The only thing I remember about his speech was Clinton saying how if he won, his Presidency would be “the bridge to the 21st century”, and referring to the bridge-like walkway at Gammage Center. (And me doing the math to see when his second term would be over, and if that would technically be in the new millennium. It was, by 20 days.) Oh yeah, and didn’t Juan Roqué, the Sun Devil football player, introduce him? (‘Cuz that’s the year we went to The Rose Bowl, baby! ;-))

Speaking of the Rose Bowl, remember going to the autograph session with the players and how I got crushed against the tables they were sitting at and had to climb over the top of the table to escape? And, then promptly fell into the lap of one Mr. Juan Roqué? Remember how security came over and wanted to escort me out, but Juan was like, “Um, let go of her…she’s my sister”. You rock, Juan Roqué! Speaking of Mr. Roqué, I saw him doing a TV broadcast for the Cardinals last year. I yelled at my husband, “Hey, my bro’s on TV!”. Yeah, cuz you two look SOOO much alike… 😉 I was down aways trying to get the hot blond kicker’s autograph. And we both missed Jake Plummer cuz he snuck out early, what an ass.

We ❤ Bill!