Search This Blog

Custom Search

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Freshly Ground Taco Seasoning



I'll be honest, the only reason I made my own freshly ground taco seasoning is because I ran out of chili powder on taco night (the most sacred of nights).
     
I had a container of dried ancho chiles that had been sitting around for quite some time though, so I thought, why not grind them up into chili powder?

Since I also have all kinds of dehydrated goodies, like onion flakes and sun-dried tomatoes, I decided to dip into my stash and freshly grind all sorts of things.  I used a mortar and pestle for some ingredients, like the cumin seed, but found it to be too difficult to grind the peppers and tomatoes that way, so I switched to the coffee grinder for those.  I ground some uncooked white rice in the grinder before and after the spices so that my taco seasoning wouldn't taste like coffee, and my coffee wouldn't taste like taco seasoning.

This recipe is great for those who like to preserve their food by dehydrating.  The type of chiles you use in your seasoning will depend on how spicy you like it--ancho chiles are mild, so were a good choice for me, since I have toddlers eating with us.

Freshly Ground Taco Seasoning

2 tablespoons snipped, dried chilis (such as ancho, piquin, habanero)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes
1 tablespoon snipped, dried tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.  Grind until powdered.  Store in an airtight container.

To use:  For every one pound of meat, use 3 tablespoons of seasoning.  Add to cooked meat along with 3/4 cup water.  Bring to a boil; then, reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Friday, July 25, 2014

No-Roll Pie Crust

Ask me to finely dice an onion, and I'll do it.  Tell me I have to strip the leaves off a huge bunch of thyme, and fine, it's done.  Command me to peel five pounds of potatoes, and your wish is granted!  But ask me to roll out a pie crust, and you can kiss my apples.

For some reason, rolling out dough is probably my least favorite kitchen task.  I don't make cut out cookies, perfectly round biscuits (only drop biscuits), or fancy pie crust.  Rolling out dough generally turns into a sticky mess for me, so I avoid it.

But you know, sometimes, I miss pie. My good friend pie.  So now, I make a press-in-the-pan pie crust so that pie and I can spend time together.  It's very simple--I haven't screwed one up yet--and tastes just as good as a rolled out crust.





Sunday, April 27, 2014

Easy Homemade Carpet Powder

A quick and easy way to freshen your home is to deodorize and then vacuum your carpets.  There are many types of commercial carpet powders available for this purpose, by why spend the money when you can easily make your own for pennies?




Carpet Powder

Ingredients:

1 cup baking soda
1 cup borax
5-10 drops of a deodorizing essential oil (such as lavender or tea tree)
     or 1 tablespoon powdered, dry herb (cinnamon and rosemary work well)

1.  Whisk baking soda and borax together to combine.

2.  Add essential oil or powdered herb.  Mix well.

3.  Pour mixture into a shaker (an old Parmesan cheese or spice container works well).

4.  Sprinkle the mixture over carpets and allow to sit for 20 minutes, keeping children and pets off carpet.  

5.  Vacuum carpet thoroughly.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Parmesan Crusted Brussels Sprouts and Fingerling Potatoes

This is a Brussels sprout.



I think they are a beautiful, tasty vegetable, but apparently, it has a bad reputation (especially with children).




I hope you'll give up your preconceived notions regarding Brussels sprouts and just give the poor, little guys a try.  These oven roasted beauties are actually very tasty (especially served with venison steaks).



Roasted Parmesan Crusted Brussels Sprouts with Fingerling Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes
1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 Tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil; preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.  Wash potatoes and Brussels sprouts well.  Trim brown ends off of Brussels sprouts and remove any yellowed outer leaves.

3.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4.  Once the water has begun to boil, add the potatoes.  Return to a boil, and boil for one minute.  Then, add the Brussels sprouts to the boiling water as well, and boil for 3 minutes.

5.  Drain the potatoes and Brussels sprouts well, and arrange them in a single layer on the parchment lined baking sheet.

6.  Drizzle the butter or olive oil over top, and bake for 20 minutes.

7.  Remove baking sheet from oven, and turn the oven to broil.  Sprinkle the potatoes and Brussels sprouts with the Parmesan cheese.

8.  Broil for 2 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts begin to brown.  Serve immediately.



Thursday, March 27, 2014

DIY Baby Wipe Solution (For Use with Cloth Wipes or Paper Towels)

Homemade Baby Wipes Solution for Use With Cloth Wipes


Thinking about making your own baby wipes?  Then do it!

It is easy, cheap, and wonderful for baby's behind.

Besides, if you are using cloth diapers, it just makes sense.  You can sew your own wipes, or just cut up some old t-shirts into squares--any natural fabric, like cotton or muslin will work well.  If you prefer, you can also use paper towels with this solution, but I find they don't do as good of a job cleaning up poopies as cloth does.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Missing Link {June 2012 Blog Link Up}

This here is the missing link folks.  It's a pun.  Not a funny one.
 

We had a big let down in June...


Friday, June 28, 2013

Postpartum Exercising: How to Work Out When You Have a Baby (Or Two)



Woah, get a load of that belly!



That’s me at eight months pregnant with twins.

Before I got pregnant, I was becoming somewhat of an exercise freak, with yoga and Pilates being my favorite.  Heck, I even jumped right into P90X and started getting some real pipes!  But then, our two little peanuts began to grow inside me, and all thoughts of exercise went out the window.  First, there was morning sickness, and by the time my morning sickness had passed, I was starting to get so uncomfortable from carrying the weight of two babies, that most exercising just wasn’t in the cards for me.

I love our babies so very much, but once they were born, I must admit, it felt great to have my body back to myself!  And one of the first things on my mind was getting back into exercising again.