Saturday, July 31, 2010

Roast Redemption pt. 1- Taquitos

I call this post part 1, just in case I come up with more ways to redeem my kitchen mishap from the other night.  Here's my first creation using the aftermath of my attempt at making a roast:


For those who don't hail from the Southwestern U.S. (or Mexico), or haven't visited the freezer section at your local Wal-Mart in a while, a taquito is typically a small amount of beef or chicken wrapped in a corn tortilla and fried to crunchy perfection. 

Here's how I made these...and bear in mind, I've never actually made taquitos before, so it may not be the conventional way.  

First, I chopped up some of the beef really finely.  If you don't have leftover roast, and you don't feel like ruining a perfectly good hunk of meat so that you can make this dish, this might work with a good quality roast beef from the deli- maybe ask them to slice it a little on the thick side, and then you can shred it at home.

Then I took six yellow corn tortillas and heated some vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  I cooked each tortilla individually for several seconds on each side until it was pliable (I don't know what it is about corn tortillas- but if you don't do this they'll probably break).  Just put them on a paper towel lined plate until you're ready to work with them.  

I put a small amount of meat on the center of each tortilla, and then rolled it tightly, and placed it seam side down on a baking dish.  (I sprayed it with non-stick spray, but this is probably not necessary).  I baked them at 350 for about 10 minutes.  Wait for them to be slightly golden and crispy to the touch- they don't have to be completely crispy- unless that's important to you...I happen to like some of the less crispy parts too.

I served mine with some hot sauce left over from my last trip to the Mexican Restaurant down the street, but you can serve it with any good hot sauce, guacamole or salsa. 

You could also do this with chicken. 

Friday, July 30, 2010

Roast Gone Wrong!

I'll admit it: I really have next to no idea what I'm doing when it comes to cooking red meat!  I don't know anything about the different cuts of beef, how one is different than the other, any of that.  So I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to make a roast last night.  I originally intended to just put it in the slow cooker, where you virtually can't go wrong (except that everything ends up tasting like every thing else- you know, a carrot tastes like beef, a potato tastes like a carrot...) but I didn't thaw the roast soon enough for that to be an option.  So, I looked online to find a recipe...and I'm not going to link to it, 'cause I didn't follow it very closely.  Anyway, here's what I ended up with: 

Looks nice, right?  I thought so!  And I even used a thermometer to make sure it didn't get over-cooked.  So, I cut into it, and was quite rubbery.  Actually, some parts were better than others- half of it was tender, and the other half...not.  

Anyway, so now I have about half of this left over and I don't have any idea what to do with it, other than using it for a door stop (ha ha ha).  I wonder if I can salvage some of it and make it into tacos or taquitos or something???  Does anyone have any tips?  

I guess I'm sticking with poultry from now on!  :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Turkey and Black Bean Tacos

Yum!  So tonight's dinner was Turkey and Black Bean Tacos pictured here:

Here's how I made them:

Brown 1 lb of ground turkey w/1 medium yellow onion, 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced...and about 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt, about 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper, about a tablespoon each of chili powder and ground cumin (just eyeball it).  When it's almost browned, add a splash of chicken stock and let it cook down.  I heated some canned black beans w/about a 1/4 cup of salsa.  Then for the taco shells, I just heated some oil and cooked corn tortillas until they were pliable (maybe 30 seconds or so on each side).  Add the turkey mixture to the tortilla, scoop a little black beans onto it, and add some salsa.  Delicious!   

I love making my own taco seasoning.  It's so much better than those store bought packets that have all that stuff in it you can't pronounce!  Cumin is the key, and I think the chicken stock really adds a lot of flavor. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jesus is My Friend too!

We are totally rockin' this song!  Yes, I am serious.  My family loves this song.  Just had to share!  Enjoy. :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Allergen-Free Diet

You may have noticed my recipes for "allergen-free" food on my blog, and I feel I have some explaining to do.  See, I am not really allergic to anything (that I know of), but the young people in my life are.  My son has a mild allergy to milk and egg (that story is a whole different post), and my daughter is sensitive to dairy, soy, wheat and eggs via my breast milk. 

Baby C started showing symptoms when she was around six weeks old.  She is exclusively breast fed, and in fact has never even had formula.  Anyway, like I was saying, at about six weeks, I really started noticing that she spit up quite a bit.  It felt like I was changing her outfit several times a day, and going through several burp cloths.  At doctors' visits, the best explanation I got at first was "well, babies spit up...sometimes it's a lot...nothing to worry about".   I remember when my son was a baby and he hardly ever spit that was where I got the idea that maybe she shouldn't be spitting up so much.  I didn't feel it was normal.  The other thing I noticed was that she had a rash on her face that seemed to be taking a long time to clear up.   It started when babies usually get that "baby acne" and I expected it to go away within a couple of weeks. 

Well, fast forward a couple of weeks, and she was still experiencing the same thing.  Then one evening, I changed her diaper and noticed some black specks in her stool.  I know she was only eating one thing, obviously was way too young for after some research, I read that what I saw could be blood.  I called the doctor's office and described what I saw.  They asked me to bring in one of her diapers so they could determine whether it was blood or not.  The next day in the doctor's office, sure enough it was found to be blood.  I had already read that it could be a sign of allergy, so I asked if I should eliminate anything from my diet.  The doctor said she didn't advise me to do that.  It was somewhat unnerving that I overheard her calling another doctor to ask what how she should proceed.

Ultimately, she sent me home with a stool collection kit, as she thought it best to test for parasites, infection and a couple other things.   It seemed to take forever to get any results back.  But everything came up negative.  The doctor said, "maybe you should go ahead and eliminate dairy from your diet- and go ahead and eliminate soy, too...sometimes babies are sensitive to both".  And then we were referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist.  

By the time our appointment came around for the GI doctor, I had eliminated milk, soy, and eggs from my diet.  I had been keeping a food journal to track the symptoms along with what I was eating.  After a few weeks, there was an improvement, but I still noticed at times the spit up would increase and at this point I started to see mucous in her stool pretty consistently.  (Sorry to gross anyone out!)  At the specialist, we talked about the baby's symptoms, and we discussed the "big eight" allergens (I think it's something like 90% of food allergies are caused by milk, soy, eggs, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish).  I was already off of three of the foods on the list, plus I didn't really eat nuts or seafood of any kind.  Because the symptoms hadn't completely cleared up, the specialist recommended waiting about another 10 days, and then eliminating wheat if things didn't improve.  I ended up doing so.  

Once I had all those foods out of my diet, I noticed a significant improvement in Baby C's health.  She was hardly ever spitting up...her stools started to clear up, and miracle of miracles, the rash she had cleared up as well.  Some days I felt like I was crazily obsessing over every little thing, and just imagining the symptoms.  But every time I slipped up and ate something I wasn't supposed to, the symptoms returned. 

Now, several months later, I'm still maintaining this way of eating.  I don't think it's nearly as bad as it sounds.  At worst, it's terribly inconvenient, and I really don't miss the eliminated foods that much.  I'm discovering foods that I can eat all the time and certainly have been stretched as a home cook.  During this journey is when my son tested positive for food allergies, so it's certainly been an interesting experience.  

I write all this in hopes of helping another mom that may be going through a similar experience, and hopefully my recipes and other food posts will be useful to families dealing with food allergies.  I know how hard it is to go down that road and still stay inspired in the kitchen.  

Breastfeeding is something that I am extremely committed to (in case you couldn't tell) so I'm glad that I've found a way to continue this relationship with my child even in the midst of dealing with food allergies. 

Spinach and Sausage Hash

Mmm...I had this for lunch today:
 It's Spinach and Sausage Hash.  This is what I used to make it:

Extra-virgin Olive Oil
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1lb turkey breakfast sausage
handful of fresh spinach
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Fresh nutmeg

This is how I made it:

Drizzle about a tablespoon of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil in a large skillet.  Brown the potatoes, leave them in the pan without stirring much at first.  In a separate skillet, brown the sausage (you can cook it part way, and then throw it in w/the potatoes about half way through).  Once the potatoes are browned pretty well on one side, stir them and then add the onion.  You can add the sausage to the potato mixture at this point.  Continue cooking until the sausage is cooked all the way through.  Add the spinach (you can add more than a handful if you like- I probably will next time!) Stir the mixture until the spinach cooks down some.  Add salt and pepper to taste and then add the fresh nutmeg (you can use the pre-ground stuff if that's all you have) (Use a rasp if you have one, or use the pokey side of a box grater if you don't have a rasp.)  

If you feel like sharing, this will probably serve 3-4...obviously, if you want to serve it for dinner you can adjust the amounts of the ingredients!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Couple of Things

Ok, so if by chance you've been following along, you've seen that I've been making some changes to my blog.  I guess I'm just trying to find my voice in this beyond vast blogosphere!  So please bear with me while I try to fine tune whatever it is that I'm trying to do over here!

On a less "flaky" note, I made some delicious soup for dinner tonight, as I have no idea how hot it is outside!  It's bordering on "jacket weather" inside, so it works for us!  Bean and bacon soup was always my favorite growing up, and I haven't had any in ages due to being turned off by some of the ingredients in the canned variety.   So...I used this recipe from "For the love of cooking" and I was seriously impressed.  It was perfect and wonderful in all it's bacon-y goodness.  My husband liked it too.    Here's a picture: 

 I didn't have parsley like the recipe calls for, but it was still really good! 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Steel Cut Oats

Well, I'm posting this just because I'm waiting for my steel cut oats to cook.  According to the instructions it takes 30 minutes for them to cook!   Who ever hear of such a thing?!  Well...I guess the people that didn't grow up in the age of sugary processed cereal and Pop Tarts, that's who!   I'm not sure that I've ever waited 30 minutes for breakfast before...hmm. 

Anyway, I will go and do something else while I wait, and in an upcoming post will report how it tasted!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

All Better

Well, yesterday was my last day of antibiotics. (Woo-hoo!)  I am generally very conservative about medication, so I wasn't such a fan when I was told that I would need to take Amoxicillin for a hideous infection in one of my wisdom teeth.  It ended up needing to be extracted, as two Mondays ago, I woke up with pain in my mouth and a swollen jaw.  That's when all that fun stuff started.

I also learned while sitting in the dentist's chair, I wasn't as spiritually mature and peaceful as I thought I was!  I was actually kind of a baby.  I don't know why I was so freaked out about having a tooth pulled...but the dentist basically begged me to take nitrous.  Lol.  He said he normally sedated people to do what he did to me.  It didn't help matters that the roots of that particular tooth were growing up, kind of like a hook.  There was a whole lot of drilling and such that I didn't expect.  Not fun.  So I guess whenever I have the others extracted I should let them sedate me so they can just do what they need to do and not have me freaking out at the sound of teeth being chiseled out of my face. 

Anyway, thanks be to God, I am feeling much better.  Apparently I had been fighting off the infection for a while, 'cause I had been feeling really run down for the past few weeks.  I have been getting up at a decent hour more recently and am able to do more around the house, and playing with the children more.  So, I guess conventional medicine has it's place.  Now I just need to start on probiotics to get my system (as well as the baby's) back into balance!  

Friday, July 16, 2010


Ok, so I know this is like my third post in one day, but I guess since it's my blog, I can do that.  I know I'm not annoying least not right now as I have no reason to believe that anyone is reading this.  

We had an intruder in our apartment this afternoon.  A nasty roach.  I'm not a fan of that.  I left it for my husband to kill when he got home like two hours after it appeared.  It was really in not a good position for me to get a clear shot at it, plus I used the reasoning that I didn't want to frighten the children when I tried to do away with it.  I screamed when I saw it as it was.   Scared the baby.  Lol.

It's Friday and that means it's bug spraying day at our complex.  That means that our neighbor's bugs come to die in our home.  Ugh.  Gross.  Plus it's 117 degrees outside.  And humid.  Anyway.  Summer will be over soon enough.  

Oat Biscuits

My wonderful MIL brought me some oat flour yesterday.  That was awesome because I haven't been able to find it at Sprouts.  It's been almost five months since I've had something bread-like with the exception of some gluten-free English muffins (I don't know if I'd buy them again, BTW...they were made with rice flour which in my experience seems to make the product a little on the crumbly side).  Anyway, so I had the great idea to try to make some biscuits with the oat flour, and I found a recipe for drop biscuits.  Of course it called for milk, so I just used some rice milk and a little bit of coconut milk creamer.  Here's how I made them:

2 1/3 Cups oat flour (start out with 2 cups- if it doesn't seem "dough-y" enough, add more!)
1 TBSP raw sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup rice milk
1/4 cup So Delicious (brand) coconut milk creamer
2 TBSP canola oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients.  Stir in rice milk, coconut milk creamer and oil.  I used a muffin tin to corral the mixture, as I wasn't sure what it would do, and I didn't want to end up with pancakes.  Divide mixture into 8 muffin compartments and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. 

They turned out very tasty. I took a bunch of pictures, but right now I can't figure out how to upload them onto the computer!  So I will try to add them in later.  I think making these just kind of opened up a whole new avenue of food options for me!  I can modify the recipe to make sweet things like cinnamon rolls or scones. 

These are really good if you're like me and can't do any dairy or the oat flour has lots of protein, fiber and iron.  Yum!


Hi there…this is my first post.  I’m super excited to have a blog.  I don’t really know why I’m doing this, except that I imagine that there’s a grown up on the other side…and I’m speaking to them.  Lol.  I guess this desire just stems from my lack of adult conversation.  I am a stay at home mom, and I love being home with my children…I don’t know that any woman who chooses to stay at home would say otherwise.   I can’t imagine a SAHM saying “yeah, I’m a stay at home mom…and I really hate it”…I just don’t think that probably happens.  At that point, I think they are just considered “unemployed”.  :P

Anywho…I’ve been married for almost four years to my awesome, super patient, very “unruffled” husband (I don’t mean he doesn’t wear ruffles…which he doesn’t- you just can’t “ruffle his feathers” or whatever.  He doesn’t have feathers either, nor is he bird-like in any way.  I have no idea where that expression comes from.  Anyway, he just tolerates a lot.  I appreciate that about him.

I hesitate to be so open with blogging and all…I’ve been told that it’s hard to get to know me…I know I’m quiet, at least initially.  I don’t mean to be.  I’m just reserved I guess, and kind of prefer to hang back in a crowd and observe what’s going on.  Anyway…openness…that’s going to be interesting for me, especially knowing that any person on this planet (with internet access anyway) could be reading this.  Not that I have anything to hide.  Just hard for me to not think “what if so-and-so read this?”  I don’t really want to censor myself…that would just be boring. So, we’ll see how it goes, I guess.

That’s all for now…come back if you wanna know more!