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Autumn in Minnesota

It’s November in Minnesota and autumn is just about over.  But we had a pretty one this year ~

Autumn in Minnesota

The leaf colors are really pretty this year.

Maple Leaf

Ahhh ~ the beauty of autumn.

Autumn in Minnesota

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Slow Cooker Chicken Mole Tacos

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole Tacos

These were one of the best Chicken Mole Tacos I have ever tasted.

I found the original recipe in a Better Homes & Garden Magazine and have searched the internet for it but for some reason it’s not found.  The original recipe was created by Robby Melvin but I have adapted it and you get to be the recipient of it’s deliciousness.  Yay for you!

Alright so ~ a disclaimer here ~ I don’t like very spicy sauces so you’ll need to add extra adobo sauce if you want it spicier.

One of the things that I normally do NOT have in my cupboard because I enjoy them way too much are tortillas.  In this recipe I used flour tortillas because the mole sauce is so juicy and the flour tortillas hold up much better.

Flour Tortillas

Here’s a peek at what your slow cooker will look like when the chicken is almost ready …  Uh, shoulda made more, eh?  Well, this is 4 chicken thighs for two of us.

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole Tacos

It was, well, pretty close to perfection … 🙂

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole Tacos

I decided to use Manchego Cheese which is a white cheese that I find at Costco but, you can use any cheese your heart desires.

Ready to see the recipe?

Here you go ~

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole Tacos

2-4

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole Tacos

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 14 ounce can unsalted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 ounce semi sweet baking chocolate finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins (1 small box)
  • 1/4 chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp canned adobe sauce (from the chipotle chili can)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 chipotle chili, canned in adobo sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs with no skin (or remove skin once cooked)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 ounce cheese, shredded (I used Manchego)
  • Tomatoes
  • Flour tortillas

Instructions

  1. Make the mole sauce in a food blender by adding the following and blending until smooth:
  2. tomatoes, onion, almonds, chocolate, raisins, chicken stock, cumin, adobo sauce, cinnamon, chipotle chiles and garlic
  3. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper then place it in your slow cooker.
  4. Add the blender mixture over the chicken.
  5. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  6. When the chicken is ready, remove them from the slow cooker and remove the bones from the chicken.
  7. Shred the chicken into pieces and return them to the slow cooker.
  8. Discard the bones.
  9. Heat the tortillas on a skillet one at a time on medium heat.
  10. Add the chicken mixture, cheese and any other toppings you'd like to the tortillas and enjoy!
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.simplynorma.com/2018/01/12/slow-cooker-chicken-mole-tacos/

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Mountainous New Mexico 

While visiting friends in Las Cruces, New Mexico, I was surprised at how many mountains are in the area.  

Below is a picture of the Dona Ana Mountains.  

Dona Ana Mountains, New Mexico


From our friends house, we can see the Organ Mountains in the distance and the Las Cruces valley in the foreground.  

Organ Mountains, Las Cruces Valley


Quite pretty, don’t you think?

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Remodeling The Master Bathroom

When we first moved into our house 4 1/2 years ago, I knew that the master bathroom needed updating.  And for the last 3 1/2 years, we have had many contractors come to our house to give us estimates but we didn’t feel comfortable with any of them nor with their estimates.

Basically what we wanted done was to have everything taken out and and all new items put in.  Simple enough, no? The problem we kept having was that the estimates we received ran from $34K to $40K. For that, we could have bought half a house in St. Paul.

Then last year, the jacuzzi tub started leaking into the downstairs family room.  Not good. After the insurance company came out and assured us the ceiling was dry, we decided to wait until we remodeled the bathroom to have the problem fixed.

And  so our remodel project begins.

The dumpster arrived first thing Monday morning and within an hour our contractor, Tom, showed up.

Dumpster

Dumpster

Here are some “before” pictures of the bathroom ~

"Before" Bathroom Remodel

“Before” Bathroom Remodel

Originally we received estimates to have the soffit over the tub removed but were told it would cost $5k to do that. So, instead we decided to put in a rectangular tub but at an angle to match the soffit. But in comes our contractor Tom who told us previous contractors’ estimates were way off.  The large soffit could come down but the long one on the side would have to stay as it’s a beam.

"Before" Bathroom Remodel

“Before” Bathroom Remodel

"Before" Bathroom Remodel

“Before” Bathroom Remodel

"Before" Bathroom Remodel

“Before” Bathroom Remodel

And thus Day One of the bathroom remodel began which mostly consisted of gutting the room.

Gutting the Bathroom

Gutting the Bathroom

Gutting the Bathroom

Gutting the Bathroom

The closet door on the right will also be replaced.

Gutting the Bathroom

Gutting the Bathroom

Vanity, sink, faucets, lights … all gone.

Gutting the Bathroom

Gutting the Bathroom

Then we came upon two surprises.  The first was tucked away underneath the bathtub in a corner.  It was a duct that provides heat underneath the tub.  A little odd, no?  Our contractor decided to leave it there.

Heat Duct Under Tub

Heat Duct Under Tub

Next, I was called upstairs to take a look at a small thin tube that ran from underneath the tub to under the shower to … ??? We’re not quite sure, but the tube looks like one that attaches to our hot water heater in the basement. When we had the water heater replaced, those contractors didn’t know what the tube was for either so they just kept it there.

(Not the best picture … )

Gutting the Bathroom

Gutting the Bathroom

I was surprised how quickly two men were able to gut a bathroom.

Hopefully this will be a painless remodel.

Day 2 of the bathroom remodel.

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An Autumn Lake of the Isles Walk

On a crisp early October day, a friend and I took a walk around the Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

It was hard not to notice all of the high-end houses in this area, but the lake is what caught my attention because being around water brings my heart peace.

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The city is close by but, outside of glancing at it, the noises can’t be heard.  So peaceful ~

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