Wednesday, January 12, 2011

homemade whole wheat tortillas

I think there is somewhere deep inside me and my friends dna that makes us love mexican food. Maybe it was in the water at WAHS. Or maybe it was (and is) our undying love for "the guad" here in cville. But whatever it is, it's beyond a craving, it's a need. I need Mexican food and it makes up about 2 out of 7 meals we eat here at my home.

So making mexican food has become a passion.

But let's be honest. The stuff they sell in stores and market as "tortillas" are hardly such. So I decided to make my own:) And I probably can't do them justice...well maybe if I actually make them with pork lard (yum). But here's my recipe. I have modified it from a recipe from How to Cook Everything.

So go ahead make your own. Not only will they taste better, but you will save a pretty penny as well.

Whole Wheat Tortillas:
1 1/2 cup flour
3 tblspoon coconut oil (or butter)
1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp salt (or more)

Mix together. If you have a stand mixer. Mix well on a high speed w/ a dough hook for a good 5 min. If kneading by hand you might want to use this as your work out for the day and give it a good 10-15 min. Then leave a let rest in a semi-warm place for a couple hours. I like to make mine at lunch and let sit on the counter wrapped in foil until I am ready to make dinner.

Now the part that takes some work. You will want to pinch off small balls of dough. Maybe golf ball or ping pong ball size. And roll out as thin as you can. Heat up a nice big cast iron skillet and lightly (or heavily) butter. Brown on either side. They will puff up a bit and then deflate.

Eat at once. Make them into Enchiladas or just store them in the fridge. Maybe they will be good for a week. But chances are you'll eat half the batch when you're cookin' them up!

Monday, January 10, 2011

one of those moments

This picture doesn't do it justice. I woke up late (thank you husband). I didn't feel well. There was a lot of crying (not from me, but I kind of wished I was able to be the one crying). Things just weren't going well.

Until I put on a little music...coldplay of course. That always calms me down. And what do you know? Apparently, it calms down toddlers too!

I was already holding Jude and Stella decided to join in. I had both kids on my lap for all of ten minutes for quite possibly the best snuggle ever.

Refreshed. Thankful. Blessed.

It was one of those moments that you never want to end. (thankfully my sister walked in the door right before it ended and she was able to snap a pic so that I could have proof)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

my little boy

If you haven't used lucy @ you should. look at these pictures! Why do I even bother taking pictures of my kids when my rockstar, photographer sister takes these...

and I think (finally) we are starting to look alike? book her today!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

fabric, thread,needles & time

That is my recipe for a quilt. And that is my new project for the week (well...year?)

I'm not big on new years resolutions. I think we should always be looking at our life and working towards making it better. In particular, the husband and I like to look at our life week to week and make changes (resolutions, you may say) to keep our life on track. So, on a long and snowy drive back from Pennslyvania on Christmas we took a look at our life.

And what did we find? Well for one, I spend too much time online. Hmmm go figure:)

So my resolution? Since I love to make things homemade. I decided on a couple new projects. First, a quilt. Since my most favorite quilt (from pottery barn) was so worn in that my feet keep getting caught in the holes.

You may say...when did you learn how to quilt? Well, I didn't. I started by rummaged around my moms sowing closet for old fabric and I just kind of went at it. My mom helped me with some simple math to make sure my edges lined up and I started cutting, then I started sowing...

And what I found is that when you don't watch television and play online, you get a lot done!

My husband loves to read to me and so he loves my new hobby of quilting. For some reason I listen a lot better when I am sowing then when I am looking at pictures on facebook...oh well

For those who sew...I'm probably not doing quilting justice. But for my first project I am working on a queen-ish sized quilt. The pattern is a simple 7x7 block of mismatched old fabrics. Here is my first pic:
now I will get off the computer, I promise;)

Friday, December 24, 2010

the advent letters

It may be hard to believe, but my husband and I hardly ever exchange gifts. Not for Christmas, Valentine's Day or even our anniversary. Don't get me wrong, it's not that we don't like stuff, but we would much rather spend the money on a trip or a really fancy dinner. Our love language is food and some good wine of course;)

But this year we decided to do something a little different. I was inspired by this post. In a nutshell, she made a plan to write her husband a little note or letter for the month leading up to Thanksgiving to show him how she was thankful for him. And since I had read it after Thanksgiving.... I decided to morph it into an Advent tradition. (I love starting my own traditions) After discussing with Chris, we decided to write each other a letter each day of Advent as a way to prepare for Christmas and as a present to each other. So this year we will exchange a nice, fat bundle of handwritten letters on Christmas day. How sweet is that?!

Not only does this make for a really special gift, but it was an amazing way to prepare our hearts for Christmas this year! Each day I got to share my heart with my husband by telling him how much I loved him, or how hard my day was with the kids, or a fun memory from the past or a prayer for the Advent season. It helped me remember what I loved about him on days that are hard. It made me laugh when I wrote about silly things we did when we were in college. It made me cry when I realized how I didn't do a good job loving him that day. It brought me joy, it made me thankful and dang... it put me in the Christmas spirit!

What I realized though is that when I started writing these letters I was excited that I would give him something special. But as it turns out the most special part of writing these letters is how much more I grew to love my husband. Not only did these "advent letters" (as we so named them) prepare my heart for Advent but they prepared my heart to love my husband better. You better believe this is one Advent tradition that will stick around for many years to come!

So I encourage you (even though it's technically the last day of advent) take some time today to prepare for the coming of our Lord at Christmas by writing a letter to the one you love. It might just be the most special gift you give:)

This is what I will be doing with my hubby if only we had a fireplace to enjoy these by;)Cheers!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

coffee and family

some of my favorite things in life. I'm drinking my coffee and watching this:)
I've vowed to not cut her we just have to get through the shaggy phase
stella loves her bible. She walks around saying "amen". She's my little missionary in the making
My not so little one. Happy 3 months Jude!
My mom made this hat for me when I was little and now stella loves it! She just likes the flaps in the front:)
now back to life: coffee, toys everywhere, wrapping paper thrown around and my husband singing carols to a screaming baby:) Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

diy advent calender

I don't know about you but the advent calender was one of my favorite things that got pulled out every year in preparation for Christmas. My sister and I used to argue everyday about who got to move the star one day closer to Christmas.

I thought it only necessary to bring that fun tradition into our home this year. Advent is a beautiful time of preparation and waiting for the coming of Christ at Christmas and the Advent calender makes for a fun way (especially for kids) to count down the days!

So, in the spirit of being frugal for Christmas this year, I decided to make my own Advent Calendar. After scouring the internet for ideas and diy projects I really could find what I wanted or should I say anything in my price range.

So...I winged it.

I gathered up all my old religious Christmas cards, holy cards or sacred images (I even cut some out of old calendars) and I used these as my inspiration. I tried to focus on images of The Christ Child, The Holy Family or Mary and Jesus. Then, I simply added numbers to the different cards (25 in all) and then punched holes and used a thick piece of yarn to thread them all together. I even sent my husband on a hunt for a nice large branch that I could use to hang them all together.

And tada! It came together very nicely. It may not stand the test of time, but it's a great way to reuse old Christmas cards and makes for a pretty child-friendly advent project.

Each day you can say a different prayer or even read a part of the Gospel leading up to Christ's birth as a way to prepare our hearts for Christmas.

Happy Advent!