Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

How do we celebrate these holy days?  In a few different ways.  Some of the kids dress as saints and some dress as their favorite characters or with their favorite dress-ups.  It's all good.  Our pendulum has swung back and forth regarding Halloween.  We've organized and attended All Saint's parties and Halloween parties on this night.  One year we decided just not to do anything.  This is what we've come to in terms of a conclusion...that I'm sure will change over the next few years.

We love to watch A Charlie Brown Halloween thanks to TX Grandpa.


We also love to watch old episodes of the Munsters...Daddy loves the 60's surf guitar in these old shows!


We also love to dress up so here are this year's chosen get-ups.

Darth Vader & St. Juan Diego (complete with an iron on transfer of OLG)

A Flamenco dancer, St. Joan of Arc, and the boys

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton & St. Clare

St. Lucy (complete with a wreath of roses & a plate of eyeballs!)

And right now to wax a little nostalgic while I pass out candy, I'm listening to Scary Sounds off a You Tube download which includes Chinese water torture!!  Do you remember that?  I sure do!!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Cutie & A Cutie

Nick is a cutie pie.  His knit hat is a cutie, too!



Here are a few more close-ups of the hat.



We had a fun little photo shoot in the front yard today.  The weather hasn't turned bitterly cold YET!  Daddy was doing his darndest to get all the leaves up or mulched....lessons in futility.


Ditch the mittens!


He loves his wagon, and he loves running up and down the tiny hill between our yard and the neighbor's.  He's a very happy boy!








Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sibling Rivalry

They decided to practice their duet while Molly was practicing piano!

Kids naturally fight.  They may fight all. the. time. about various things....who gets to tell Dad what happened today, who gets to tell Mom what happened while they were with Dad, favorite toys, favorite pencils, movies to watch, who gets to go where.  Then there is who gets to play the PIANO!

Molly insists on continuing.

Never did I think the kids would fight over the piano, but they do.  The older, more experienced girls require more daily practice time.  Plus with two new instruments in the house (flute & violin) now they want to play duets together.  The younger kids get short-shrifted for piano time quite a bit.

Waiting

We've had schedules posted, assigned times, sticks, name cards, etc.  Nothing seems to work.  When one of them starts to play, they all want to join in the fun.  I'll be so glad when they all finish their courses of study and can play together in harmonies or at least in unison....piano duets and the like.

Molly needs help so Monica tries to get a few notes in.

For now, it's a bit stressful to endure the constant bickering and the clanging of keys to make a point!

I finally tell the girls to practice in another room so Molly can finish.
Now they're fighting over which board game to play, and which piece to be, and who gets to go first, and....Ugh!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yarn Along: Nick's Hat

Here's a peek at a hat I started knitting for Nick to match his little green mittens.  It's working up very quickly.  Love that!  The temps are going to dip in the next few days so I need to get moving on this little project.  Do you see that possible snow shower on Thursday?  Yikes!
TonightOct 25Wed26Thu27Fri28Sat29
CloudyCloudyAM Snow ShowersPartly CloudyMostly Sunny
CloudyCloudyAM Snow ShowersPartly CloudyMostly Sunny
--High52°High52°High48°High51°High
37°Low34°Low36°Low30°Low37°Low
Chance of Precip:
20%
Chance of Rain:
20%
Chance of Snow:
30%
Chance of Rain:
10%
Chance of Rain:
10%
Click for more weather info
I took the pattern from here.  It will have earflaps and a "nubbin" at the top.  I may have to work some purple striping into it because I don't have another ball of yarn of this color.  I only bought one skein.  Rats!  I also started to read Holling C. Holling's book Paddle to the Sea to the kids.  They love read-alouds, and I'm getting better at reading and knitting at the same time.  Score!


See more Yarny Creations over at Ginny's.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Enchilada Sauce Using Rajas

Translation:  Raja /rah hah/ - n.  the pod of a variety of chiles grown in the Southwestern United States and other Latin American and Asian countries.

I received a call from one of my sisters asking how to make enchiladas the way our mom used to make them.  I was happy to oblige her and was alternately frustrated that I haven't made a tutorial on this.  I put the recipe in a cookbook years ago, but putting it here on the blog can help my sisters, me, and the girls in our family in the future.

A session of enchilada making can give all of us females (and males) the technique used in order to produce the final, yummy product.  What I wanted to focus on is the sauce.  This very elusive sauce is usually bought canned (yuck!) in a grocery store's fake, Mexican section usually entitled, "Ethnic."  (eyeroll!)

Daddy loves chiles from the Southwest because he lived there for seven years and loves to tip his hat to my Mexican heritage.  He loves the look of a ristra of chiles hanging from a doorway and the sweet fragrant smell of them freshly dried.  I didn't grow up using dried chiles to make our sauce.  Mom just used Gebhardt chili powder found in our grocery store.  The technique is the same just skipping all of the steps of the dried chiles.

After my sister's call on Saturday, I found a bag of Mesilla Valley Chiles from New Mexico that Daddy bought back in May when we went down to see my parents.

The Mesilla Valley.  Isn't that gorgeous?

I started with these:  about 15 chiles which was half of the bag I had.

Dried chiles and 2 cups of water
 Then I rinsed them to get the dust and any other particles off.


I placed these in a stock pot with the water and brought it all to a boil.


I brought the heat down to low and let this simmer for about 20 minutes just to soften and rehydrate the chiles.


Then they needed to cool.  I placed the hot, rehydrated chiles on a cutting board, covered them with a paper towel, and headed off to confession!  That should be plenty of time to cool them down.:)


I strained and reserved the water from the rehydrating process.


When I returned I removed the stems and seeded the chiles.  These are not hot so I didn't need to use gloves.  In dealing with fresh chiles the use of gloves would be imperative!


I placed all the skins in a large bowl and rinsed off any leftover seeds.


All of the skins then were placed in my food processor.  Mine has an 11 cup capacity so all the skins fit nicely.


About 1 minute of processing started to yield a nice paste!


I then added the equivalent of 3 cloves of garlic,


1 T. of oregano,


and 1 t. salt


I also added half of the reserved liquid.  This made a nice, thick pasty sauce.


Now that the sauce/chile part was ready.  I started on the roux.  A roux is basically a combination of lard or shortening and flour that is browned to create a sauce base.  This is what is used to make Shrimp EtouffĂ©.  The only difference is that butter is used instead of shortening or lard.  I started by melting 3 T. of crisco in a saucepan.



Then I added 3 T. of flour


and mixed it.  You can see it start to sizzle and boil.


There goes the color to a nice, saucy brown.


To this you add ALL of the chile paste.  And heat it to a boil.


Take the other half of the reserved liquid and add it to the pasty sauce.


Boil the sauce adding any more water (I added another cup of water) to your desired consistency.  I like a sauce that you can dip softened corn tortillas into just to coat them for color.  So I looked for my sauce to just coat my spoon but still slide off nicely.


After assembling each tortilla rolled up with meat and cheese, ladle the sauce over the enchiladas.  Garnish with more cheese and serve!



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wa, Wa, Wa

I'd like to award the following to a few people who really get on my nerves lately.  I won't mention names.  One finger is pointing outward and four are pointing back at moi!  Lord knows I cry enough over my own choices and problems of my own making.  Can someone give this to me whenever I "cry" too much about LIFE?

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