Friday, March 06, 2015

Corn Tortillas

Honestly, you don't need a recipe for corn tortillas. It is simply water (I use boiling or hot water) and corn masa (flour). 

I use these in my chicken enchiladas and for baked chips. 

Here is how I make them. I mix the water and masa with a spoon while it is super hot and then with my hands once it cools down. It should be the consistency of play dough. It is actually fun to play with. :)

I roll them into 1-2" balls. They have to be covered with a damp cloth, during the winter or they will dry out. I place each one on the press with a piece of plastic under and over it. I use two plastic circles cut from grocery store bags (you can also use wax paper, but I saw my Mexican coworkers doing this and I thought, what a great use for grocery bags). 

Flatten with the press. Peel the top layer off carefully. Pick the other piece of plastic up and flip it over in your hand. Carefully, peel back the second piece of plastic. Place plastic back on press. Flip the tortilla, from your hand, into a hot pan. 

Cook 1-2 minutes for the first side. Flip. Cook another 30 seconds. Keep warm in a clean kitchen towel. 

Thursday, March 05, 2015

More Snow

We had even more snow today. Either Jared or I have had something every night this week!! I don't know how people with kids in activities have any time. Our kids don't do anything yet and we are super busy. 

All of my sisters stopped by at some point this week and visited with us. That was especially nice. We love the Aunts.  :) 

I made a new corn bread recipe from ATK tonight. It was amazing. I will post the recipe later. I also made a new banana bread recipe and bean burrito recipe from them. 

Just so I have a picture, I am throwing in a comment about cloth diapers and Martin helping in the kitchen. I just love my bum genius diapers. They were worth every penny. I have tried several other brands and none of them compare. 

And as you can see, Martin had learned to climb on chairs. He loves to measure and stir when I cook. It is a bit messy, but it keeps him busy while I am cooking. 

Monday, March 02, 2015

Sisters

1. My uncle helped to build EuroDisney and brought us these shirts for Christmas one year. He and my grandfather were mechanical engineers, which I did not know until after I chose my major. 
2. Look at ALL my hair!! Wow. Since I am currently in the after-pregnancy-hair-loss period, I am envying my old hair. :) 

Friday, February 27, 2015

I Wanted A Burger (chipotle, roasted garlic burgers)

I thought, around 2:00, I really would like a burger and fries for dinner. Maybe I should splurge and buy one. 

Note: I recently discovered how good Five Guys is while in the hospital after having Warren. My lunch was really late (after 1pm). I was craving protein and getting grumpy. Then they brought me tomato soup and a grilled cheese. What a disappointment to a woman who just had a baby!! I wanted to cry. So, my brother-in-law, wonderfully, ran out and bought me Five Guys. It was incredible. It was probably the best burger I have ever had. Part of that could be because I was in the hospital. :) I was incredibly grateful for that burger. 

Anyhow, I seriously considered buying Five Guys for dinner, but decided to take a look through my ATK cookbooks first. I discovered a burger recipe that I thought looked amazing (green onion, chipotle peppers, and roasted garlic). Then I thought, I don't have rolls and have no time to make yeast rolls.  So Martin and I threw together pretzel rolls. I finished it off with some oven-roasted sweet potato fries, that I tossed with a bit of olive oil, cinnamon, and sugar, and a salad leftover from last night. 

 I just wanted to mention two things they learned from cooking burgers that I found fascinating. 
1. If you like your burgers medium-done, poke a hole in the middle to help the burger cook evenly. That way the edges won't get super done before the middle is finished cooking. 
2. Grate your cheese into the burgers, if you want a cheese burger. If you melt the cheese on top, you end up over cooking the burger while trying to get the cheese to melt. 

Burger (Plain or Chipotle, Onion, Roasted Garlic)
*these can be grilled or pan cooked - I cooked them in a cast iron skillet over medium heat

Plain
1-1/2lb burger
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Add in for extra flavor:
1 T chipotles in Adobe sauce chopped
2 T chopped green onions
3 garlic cloves, dry roasted in a pan for about 8 minutes and then minced

I also added in 1/2 c. quick oatmeal because I was using frozen turkey burger that didn't have much form. 

Mix together. Make into four burgers (4-1/2" in diameter, 3/4" in height). Cook 3-1/2 minutes per side for rare. Cook 5 minutes per side for well-done. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Seven Books

I had forgotten that I was 35 pages from the end of a book I started in January. I finished it tonight while nursing Warren. So that brings me to 7 books for the year! 

And I am so glad I read the space trilogy! It was like finding a lost treasure. :) I love CS Lewis. I can't say I loved every book, but I enjoyed them as a whole. 

One Week

Wow. I can't believe it has been a week since I posted. In the last seven days, we celebrated my mom's birthday, it snowed twice, the baby has learned a bunch of new things, I almost finished the space trilogy (only 25 pages left), and Martin keeps doing well in potty training. 

I made a lasagna (new ATK recipe that is amazing), stuffed shells (from Aunt Suzanne's recipe), cowboy cookies, no knead bread, and the most amazing chocolate fudge cookies ever. But that is not all we ate. My sister made a fruit salad, green salad, and delicious barley soup. She also bought a smith island cake and ice cream. We like to eat good food and send food home with each other too.  :) 

This week I have made the baby laugh several times. He Is delightful. The baby also rolled over both ways in one day. He consistently rolls over several times a day now when I put him on his stomach. He also looks like he wants to crawl. He has scooted several inches while I am not watching. He is so much more active than Martin was, but I guess he is trying to keep up. 

I have decided this space trilogy is really good and I want to read it again, not now, but maybe next year. The third book is like a grown up Chronicles of Narnia. It wouldn't be quite as good without the first two books. So, you should read them all! If you are a Lewis fan, you will wonder, why have I never read this third book before? 

My goal was to read 4 books a month. I am coming in at 6 books so far this year. So, not quite as many as I had hoped, but better than zero. If you have any suggestions for excellent fiction or interesting biographies or non-fiction, let me know. 

The brothers

Thursday, February 19, 2015

40 Bags in 40 Days

I am intrigued by the 40 bags in 40 days decluttering challenge. I have seen several people mention it recently. I don't plan on doing it, but it has inspired some decluttering.  I attacked some baby clothes, my dresser, and my linen closet. Next up is the top of my dryer. So far, I have:
2 bags of maternity clothes, baby clothes, and toys for the pregnancy center 
1 bag of clothes for Salvation Army
1 bag for a friend
3 bags (grocery size) of trash
1 bag of clothes for a clothes exchange
1 bag of toys for the clothes exchange

And I am burning two small candles from my massive collection of unused candles. So they will be in the trash by nightfall. 

Here is my linen closet. I do have blankets and towels behind the storage bins. I took the drawers from an old organization caddy that I had during college. I find labeling things help them stay in the right place and helps me find stuff faster. Jared built this closet for me a few years ago and I love it. The wall was where the old chimney used to be and was hollow and empty. Now it is a useful closet. He found the door at the ReStore. 

And I also organized some of my drawers. It is amazing how much stuff fits when it is folded and rolled. I keep my stockings also in a small bin to keep that from getting tangled. My bathing suits are in the Gap bag on the far right. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snow

Isn't snow pretty? We probably have about 8". Jared still had to go to work today. Boo. I have some homemade chicken stock, which I plan to turn into some sort of soup for dinner. Maybe I will even make some warm bread...  

Martin woke up this morning and I could hear him talking to the baby. The baby gargles back some noises, which are really just the sound of him trying to eat his fist. Then Martin started singing, "mommy, up please". 
So, I went in and first he asked to see the baby. After smiling at the baby for a while, I asked if he wanted to see the snow. I opened the curtains and let him look out. He said, "Martin play big snow?"

Oh, and 2/3rds the way through the second space trilogy book, I have gone back to enjoying it. I am having trouble putting it down. The first book, as boring as most of it was, has made this one more satisfying. It is almost as if you needed the first book to make this one as  understandable and intriguing. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

A few words

I am sitting by the window nursing the baby, watching the snow (6" maybe...) start, drinking tea, reading a new Lewis book, and listening to Martin play on the piano. 

Yes, that is the 2nd space trilogy book... I am still not sure how I feel about them. Sometimes I almost put them down because I am overloaded with fantastical images that I don't relate to and sometimes I don't want to ever put it down because it is so interestingly descriptive and seems to give me a new understanding of a simple concept. I love how Lewis comes up with these word pictures of common ideas.  Anyhow, the jury is still out.

Enjoy the snow.