Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Healthy Eating

I love homemade tacos. Sometimes I like to fry corn tortillas in vegetable oil for a crispy, crunchy shell. Sometimes I like to fry them in olive oil for a soft, juicy shell. Other times, I like to eat them as healthy as possible...in lettuce. 

I buy stalks of romaine lettuce and peel the leaves off for my "shell"

 I cook my meat with Old El Paso taco seasoning. It usually comes in little packets, just enough for 1 lb of meat, and I've been addicted to it for years. And despite my beliefs on buying pre-mixed seasoning, you can imagine my glorious surprise when I discovered they now make it in jar form.

Next, assemble and eat. Despite using lettuce instead of a heavy shell, this meal is actually just as fulfilling. And healthy!!!

 And of course I had to make guacamole. And I learned from my roommate that if you put your avocado pits in the bowl after you make it, it doesn't turn brown!!!

Last summer we ate at Boudro's in San Antonio and had the most delicious guacamole ever, found here. If you're looking on a smartphone or kindle, the link won't work, so I've included the recipe below. The most unique part is the orange squeezed into it. Doesn't sound good, I know, but it is surprisingly a very interesting add. However, I've found that basically if you just chop up avocado and add any number of salsa ingredients, you're set to go. I even threw in some tomatillos last night!

Boudro's Famous Guacamole
Juice of 1/4 of an orange
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 avocado seeded and scooped out of skin
2 Tbs roasted and charred Roma tomatoes diced
1 ea Serrano pepper roasted seeded and diced
1 Tbs medium dice red onions
1 tsp chopped cilantro
coarse ground salt to taste (sea salt is better)

Squeeze juices into bowl. Add avocado and coarsely chop. Add onions, roasted tomato, serrano and cilantro fold into avocado mixture. Add salt (more is better). Result should be crudely chopped not mashed. That's it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

First Degree

I'm a murderer.

And I feel terrible, guilty, regretful, sad, angry, embarrassed, shameful, etc.

See we got this giant tree ON Thanksgiving.
 Or...not so giant.

So anyway, we got it on Thanksgiving which means we had 4 weeks until Christmas. We watered it every day, never letting it get dry. I read all about caring for your live Christmas tree, etc. And apparently I'm google challenged because while researching about how to plant it, I read in several places to plant it in spring. I guess that's just the regular "plant a pine tree" not "plant a Christmas tree sitting in your house". So I planned to plant it in mid March-ish. 

Around Feb 1 I started noticing how wobbly the needles looked. They were like a wrinkly old man, all knotty and withered. Hmm, so we moved it to an eastern window to get direct sunlight. While is sat soaking up the rays for a few days, I began researching again about planting. Every thing was so easy to find this time. 
"Plant your tree IMMEDIATELY after Christmas."
"DO NOT wait until Spring."
"Don't keep your tree in the house for more than two weeks."
"Your tree is probably already dead."
"You've killed a plant, way to go."
"You're worthless."

Not really on those last three, but I mean that's basically how it translated. In a last ditch effort to reclaim my dignity, I planted it anyway. One Saturday it was 75+ outside and had just rained. I borrowed a shovel from the neighbor, put my rain boots on, and buried that tree perfectly (at least I did 1 thing right). 

Here we are 3 weeks later and LO!!! My tree is still alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just kidding.

So the lessons I learned are A. Don't get a tree an entire month before Christmas. and B. Plant it immediately! :(

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fort Woof

The high for last Thursday was a beautiful 80 degrees. It turned out to be an even better 85 degrees! Since my dog is becoming fat and lazy even while on a restricted diet, I decided to take the day off and take him out to the dog park.

We love the dog park...yes, I said we. What happens at the dog park? Its just tons and tons of dogs running around off-leash being crazy and chasing bones and chasing each other and sniff-fest 3000 and slobber and...you get the idea. Falco loves it, but his lack of exercise became apparent when he was exhausted after fetching his tennis ball for only the 4th time. Poor guy. I have big plans for his regimen come springtime!!!!

This guy right here was my favorite. Have you ever seen a 3-legged dog in real life? I hadn't. It was pretty amazing to watch him hop around on that one leg but still wag his tail in complete happiness.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Merry Christmas in February!!!

Last summer, 2011, my boyfriend spent a month in Italy for work. While he was there, he explained to me a couple times that he wanted to buy a picture for his home. Something big and decorative. By the time he finally made it home, though, he had never found what he was looking for.

Well I can be quite crafty when I put my little brain to it. So one day I kidnapped the SD card from his digital camera and took it home. I picked out a couple of pictures.

I chose this one because it was apparent to me he liked the sunset. It was so pretty to him that day that he had to take a picture. It must have been SO pretty in real life, in fact, that he actually said to himself "WOW I need to capture this." I mean, its no award-winning photo of a sunset or anything, but I bet it looked amazing.

I chose this photo because of all the tons and tons he took, this was the most perfectly balanced. He's got a good 3-way weight...the sky, the buildings, and the ground/river (which is perfectly divided). Its got the perfect leading lines that draw your eye all the way to the center. And its really just got a nice array of colors that give it the Italy feel. I was genuinely quite impressed with this picture. This guy is no pro photog but geeze, this is a good snap!

So in comes my craftiness. I cropped the sunset from the first photo, pasted it behind the second photo, and did a little photoshop work to cheat my way to what I thought was a pretty cool picture. May I present:

For Christmas I put it in an envelope, wrapped it, put it in a box filled with tissue paper, and wrapped that. I told him it was his "big present". We saved it for last, and I'm pretty sure he was convinced there was nothing in that box. It weighed like... -3 lbs. He seemed happy, but we still had to get it enlarged, have him pick out the matte and frame, and actually get it all done. After all the steps in the process, and trying to find time together to get it taken care of, I finally picked it up from Hobby Lobby as a finished product last week. It looks absolutely fantastic!!!! So, Merry Christmas!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hello Neighbor

My roommate's dog is this crazy little mutt we rescued from the pound about a year and a half ago. His name is Madden.
Madden refuses to do a trick without barking at you first. Literally, every single time.

   "Madden, play dead."
   "RUFF. RUFF." *rolls over dead*

Madden also LOVES being outside. In the summer we left him outside all day every day. And when we let him in? He'd run around for a little bit, get bored, then sit patiently by the back door waiting to be let back out.
What does Madden do in the backyard all day? I'm not sure, but chatting with the neighbors is apparently one of his favorite hobbies. See there used to be this small knot hole in the fence. My roommate explained to me one day that she'd noticed that hole had gotten much much bigger since she last noticed it. Some time later, she explained that the hole had stopped growing, and she was proud of Madden for not chewing his way out of the backyard.
I took my dog for a short walk around the block one day and discovered this!

It was definitely no escape attempt, he's just a little chatty!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Beakfast forever!

So I was browsing Pinterest the other day...What's that? Pinterest?...You haven't heard?...Oh well, its just this site of EVERYTHING YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

-- Like this page here, which I used to make my sister's (might I say) AWESOME Christmas present.
-- Or this page here, where I have made BIG plans to make amazing curtains.
-- Or this one here, which gave my roommate the best idea for our perfect Superbowl treat. When I asked her where she got the idea, she gave me this jingly little sing-song answer, "Piinntressstttt". I plan on using that sing-songy answer for...probably the rest of my life.
-- And really there used to be a lot more recipes I'd saved, crafts, vacation spots, clothes, etc, that I had bookmarked but tragically somehow deleted from my internet toolbar one day. (Yes, I was incredibly crushed, you have absolutely no idea).

But back to the point. I was browsing Pinterest the other day, and caught site of a picture of frozen breakfast burritos. Since I've given you link-overload today, I'll just show you the pic that caught my eye.

So my sister and her kids stayed the night last week, so I (unbelievably) got up early and cooked the whole house sausage, eggs, and biscuits. Oh, my roommate and her boyfriend left before 8AM to get in line at the DMV? Oh, my boyfriend isn't feeling well and doesn't want to eat much? Anywho, by the time my sister left and I dared venture back into the kitchen, I had tons of eggs and a lot of sausage left. I considered feeding it to the dog, but he's already pretty chubby from his love of bread, sandwich meat, fruit, vegetables, and his loving owner that just knows his heart flutters every time I toss him a snack and therefore can't resist the urge, that idea was not an option. Hmmmmmmm.

In the words of my roommate....PPiinnttrreesssttttttttt. I made 2 sausage + egg + cheese burritos and two egg + cheese burritos and tossed them in the freezer. And of course because I'm an organizational nutcase, I labeled it before it went in.

The instructions said to put it in the microwave for 1 minute on each side, loosely wrapped in its plastic wrap. Mine was pretty thawed out by the time I made it to work and heated it, and the plastic stuck together and probably fried chemicals onto my burrito so I won't be doing that again, but it turned out pretty good after only 40 seconds. I'm truly considering spending a weekend morning cooking up tons of little burritos and freezing them. They're perfect!!!