Friday, April 29, 2011

Tacos and Tostados

This could be a photo from my childhood... the divided Pyrex cookware with beans on one side and taco meat on the other. Taco meat nestled in a crispy perfectly formed shell with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and mild salsa poured on top. I haven't had this type of taco in a long time. This type of taco just doesn't exist in Mexico. Sure they have crispy shells and they have a ground meat dish called picadillo... but they are about as similar to this dish as those egg rolls you got on the Chinese buffet last night are to ones purchased at a street stall in Guangdong providence in China.
That said I have fond memories of taco night and so I thought that it might be a good dish to try cooking with my kids. A couple of weeks ago we made tostadas and they were a huge hit. The most difficult part of the whole meal was trying to eat them without them falling apart.

Just look at that concentration!

For taco night we simply browned some turkey meat. We added a seasoning packet and there you have it... Nothing could be easier. My older daughter was very proud of herself. I don't often let her cook things on the stove, but now that she is tall enough she has been able to help more freely in the kitchen.

Next we chopped up all the goodies to go on top: Lettuce, tomatoes, and onion. We grated cheese and put the salsa and other condiments on the table.

My big girl got the taco shells all lined up and ready to heat in the oven.

She put some lime juice on the Jicama salad.

She then set the table and took this photo so I could post it here.

This is the Jicama with chili powder on half (for the adults) and the other side plain for the kids. We through in some lime and orange slices.

Here is the finished plate with beans, rice.



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Easter

Candy filled eggs

Chocolate bunnies and morning sugar highs.

Homemade bunnies and and crocheted eggs.

Finding eggs that the Easter bunny hides.

AA seasoned pro who finds them all in no time.

Silly games played with family.

An unexpected find.

An Easter dinner of ham, mixed veggies, baked beans, salad and this lovely bread... and I didn't have to cook any of it. Now that is happiness!

The first Makeover Monday yesterday went very well... I hope more people will stop by next week... and if you have a makeover post or a beauty secret please use the linking tool and share it!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Makeover Monday

This weekend my husband and I celebrated 16 years of marriage. We didn't go out for a fancy dinner or take a Caribbean cruise... but we did get rid of the kids for a couple of nights. It was wonderful. We went on a few hikes, did some geocaching, went swimming in the beautiful river, and caught up on our beauty sleep. We also tried out some homemade beauty treatments straight from the kitchen.

The first one we tried out was a grapefruit sugar scrub. All you do is cut a grapefruit in half, dip it in sugar and scrub your body with it. The acidity of the grapefruit combined with the exfoliating power of the sugar is suppose to make your skin nice and smooth. The only trouble was that we had both been out hiking at a place know as purgatory creek that day. I'm not sure where the name comes from, but I can say from experience that while the views are heavenly the terrain can be a bit hellish.

Hiking under the moss covered trees was beautiful and pleasant. This was by far my favorite part of the hike.
The thick tall grasses were a bit unsettling... you just have a feeling that there are snakes hiding in the grass below your feet.

The rocky terrain is nice, but watch out for the thick brush and the thorny brambles. We hiked here for hours in the heat. It was great fun. We found a few geocaches and got a few war wounds in the process.

It was the many cuts and scrapes all over our arms and legs that gave us the problem with this beauty treatment. OUCH! I wouldn't recommend this treatment after shaving or if you have multiple cuts. I'm just thankful we used sugar and not salt. The other downside to this spa treatment is that if you have (lots of) body hair, like my husband, the grapefruit pulp tends to get stuck to it. He didn't really like picking the ruby red pustules out of his man pelt.

For our second round of iron chef kitchen spa we tried out an old favorite, and that same old favorite with a new twist. When I was younger my mom would always whip up egg white facials for our girls nights. It is cheap and a wonderful way to tighten up your pores. I made up a batch of this by simply separating an egg and whisking the whites until they were nice and frothy. I also made up a batch of egg whites with some strawberries added to the mix. I tried just mashing up the berries with the egg whites, but found that I couldn't get them to a spreadable consistency without pulsing them in the blender.

So here is the promised shot of me with crap smeared on my face... in this case I am covered in a layer of egg whites and pulverized berries... How lovely I look.

I may not be beautiful but my skin did feel fantastic afterwards. My pores were nice and tight and my skin felt super soft.

Here is my husband with egg on his face. He was watching a soccer game and was sweet enough to be my Guinea pig. He was not terribly fond of the experience, but then as a man he has never been subjected to the old saying "beauty knows no pain."

Do you have any homemade beauty secrets? Any beauty secrets at all? If you do please leave a comment or post a link to your favorite post. Just be sure to grab a button to add to your post or blog and visit some of the other links. Then stop by The Zany Housewife and read about her adventures in beauty and check out the links there as well.

Have a wonderul Monday!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Colored Eggs

Here's a game from childhood that you might remember... One person is picked to be the wolf... the rest of the kids are colored eggs. Each egg picks a secret color and the game begins like this...
Wolf: Knock knock.
Eggs: Who's there?
Wolf: The big bad wolf.
Eggs: What do you want?
Wolf: Colored eggs.
Eggs: What color?

The wolf then shouts out a color... any kid with that color as his/her secret color runs to the end of the yard and back. If the wolf catches someone that kid becomes the new wolf... if not he/she remains the wolf for another round.

Anyone else remember this game?

I went on a school picnic with my daughter yesterday and I was surprised to hear the number of rhymes and clapping games that they have that are exactly the same or similar to the ones I remember.

What are some of your favorite rhymes from childhood?

Speaking of colored eggs...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Coming Soon - Makeover Monday!

On Monday, April 25th there is going to be an exciting event here at Worth a Fig. The Zany Housewife and I will be hosting a makeover party. We are hoping to make this a weekly event. So feel free to take a button and come back on Monday to link up and share all your favorite beauty secrets.

I will be writing about beauty treatments that you can whip up in the kitchen. Wives tales and folk remedies designed to improve your complexion, hair, or body. I hope to learn fashion tips, make up hits, and anything that has to do with creating a happier, healthier self from other bloggers out there. I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I haven't posted in a full week. We got a new computer last week and I have been spending most of my computer time transferring data and getting it ready to use. I'm very happy to finally have a machine that doesn't blue screen daily. Here are some photos and a recipe from last week's menu... and now that I'm back in business I should be posting regularly again.

Every week my daughter asks for it, so I thought it was about time that she learn how to make it. My girls LOVE spaghetti and meatballs and while I have posted about it in the past I looked back and realized that I've never given my recipe. So here it goes.

First you mix together the ingredients:

1 lb of ground beef (I use lean sirloin 90/10 or the natural hormone free beef. To me good beef is the most important part of making great meatballs)

1/2 C. breadcrumbs

1/2 C. Parmesan cheese

2 eggs

optional add-ins: minced onion, minced garlic, minced herbs such as parsley, oregano or basil. You can add any or all of these in, but be careful not to add too much. You don't want your meatballs to fall apart.

Next form the meat into balls. Add them to your skillet and brown them on all sides. I like to cook them until they are almost cooked through.

Add your favorite pasta sauce (homemade or from a jar) and simmer until the flavors meld and the meatballs are cooked all the way through. This step can also be done in the crock pot or oven if you'd like.

Cook up your favorite pasta and there you have it... Spaghetti and meatballs! My daughter swears that they are the best meatballs in the world.

While the meatballs were simmering and the pasta was cooking my daughters made up this lovely fruit tray. We also served a nice tossed salad with our meal. I try to include fresh fruits and vegetables every night.

They also set the table and filled it with all the necessary condiments and dressings. My girls did such a nice job last week with their meal preparation that I have them down for making tonight's dinner. Tonight we are going to make tostadas.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kids in the Kitchen--Carrot Salad

Asian Carrot Salad

2 cups matchstick carrots

1/2 of a bell pepper (1/2 C. diced)

2 t. sesame oil

2 t. vegetable oil

juice of one lemon

1 T. soy sauce

1/2-1 t. minced fresh ginger

1 t. sugar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T. toasted sesame seeds (I toasted them in a skillet on top of the stove)

First I got the kids busy putting things in the bowl, grating ginger and crushing garlic while I toasted the sesame seeds and cut up the vegetables. We put the carrots in a medium bowl. We would have added the diced bell pepper at this point but we were waiting for the Mr. to get back from the store.

My helpers then mixed the remaining ingredients in a bowl (except the sesame seeds). I then pulsed it in the blender to make it nice and smooth. Add the seeds and it's a wonderful sesame dressing that will go well with just about any salad.

There was, of course, tasting going on at this point. I've just convinced my oldest that she likes carrots by explaining to her that they improve night vision. Apparently this little bit of folk wisdom is merely lore, but hey, if my daughter believing that carrots will help her gain super-human eyesight gets her to eat her vegetables I'm all for spreading wives tales. Sadly the wives tale does not extend to sesame oil and both children turned their noses up to the dressing.

Despite their strong feelings about the flavor of the sesame oil, they still poured the dressing over the carrots and stirred it in. We covered it and refrigerated it for a couple of hours and then got busy cleaning up the kitchen and setting the table for dinner. My little one sorted the silverware while my big girl washed up the dishes we made while preparing the salad. I've decided that I'm going to get them to help out more often. It isn't the easiest way to get dinner on the table... but it beats fussing at them for being underfoot, it is a wonderful way to teach them new things, and it encourages them to try foods that they might not otherwise be willing to try. They may not always like it... but hey... at least they try.


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