Monday, December 31, 2012

Enchiladas, my style

Pin It
OK, we were having lunch together on Sunday afternoon.

I needed to make a main dish and my husband suggested enchiladas.
I have several "recipes" that live in my head,

one from his mother,
one from a dear friend who actually made her own tortillas for them,
and then there is the one that uses chicken and green sauce,
not to forget the one that uses different red sauce...

anyway, you get the idea.
Just chose one and go for it.

I decided that canned enchilada sauce was in order for this time.
I have made my own and it is fairly simple
browning flour in oil, adding chili powder (making a rue)
and then water to the consistency you want.
Or the green one with tomitillos, etc.
I was lazy that day and used Las Palmas red sauce.
(I actually pulled this from the trash to take the picture)
plan ahead, that's me...

I browned about 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, drained it
added in some chopped onion
(notice how laid-back I am with amounts?)
some granulated garlic (because I couldn't remember where I put the real stuff)
and then a small can of chopped green chilies.
I put this all into a bowl and washed out my favorite skillet to heat up the sauce in.
Grated Monterey Jack cheese in a bowl,
olives in another...
In another smaller skillet I put oil on to heat.

This whole procedure makes a huge mess every time and this was no exception.

First, I fry the corn tortilla until it gets a little firmer, flip it over and repeat.
I transfer it into the warm sauce and put another corn tortilla in the oil to start its cooking.
After dowsing the corn tortilla in the sauce, it goes onto a plate to get the rest of the stuff.
A small spoonful of meat, a couple of olives, a pinch of cheese...
fold it over and put it in a greased casserole.

I usually stack them double.
Cheese on top and they only need to be heated.

To add a little color, I will put some chopped green onion on the top when I heat them up.

Well, all of this makes a mess with sauce flying around, landing on the counter,
on me, the floor sometimes. So afterwards, a good cleaning of the stove is in order.
Two people (if they work together well) will make short work of this,
but you won't find me making a measly six or so when I do these,
no, I made up 36, put some in the freezer, some in the refrigerator
and ate a few for lunch.

To make this more interesting...
I got a call that a spaghetti dinner was all planned,
so just bring salad, drink and dessert!
P.S. thank you for those who provided the main dish, it was delicious.

Well, the start of a meal is ready for another time.

Apple Pie in Grandma's Skillet

Pin It
I have to tell you that when I first saw this picture
I was intrigued.

Iron skillets are one of those necessary items that live in your cupboard 
and don't come out unless invited.

They do cook wonderfully,
but I guess they lack the shiny, sparkles of stainless steel
and the warmth of pottery.

Anyway, on to the pie.

I saw this pictured at a gathering/retreat not long ago.
So, I "googled" it

and came up with this.

I tried to make it actually according to the recipe,
but my old nature came out and I had to 'tweak' it some.

When we (me) make apple pie,
a cup of sugar is not enough
(probably because I overfill the pan with more apples than it calls for)
but, this recipe calls for 3/4 cup...

I did not take into account the 1 cup of brown sugar that goes into the bottom...
and... I did not use refrigerated pie crust (mainly because I didn't have it)

To make a long story shorter, it turned out fabulously (is that even a word?)
Apples, peeled with my trusty peeler.
Seasoned with sugar and cinnamon and ready for the pie

The bottom crust is put over the brown sugar/butter mixture at the bottom of the pan,
Then you add the apples...

Then the top crust. To be frank, at this point, it looked so ugly...

But, I persevered, and added the egg white wash to the top and sprinkled with sugar.

Ready to bake at 350' for an hour, then shield it with foil
and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Mr has mentioned several times that it is the best pie he ever had...
that makes me wonder how he "suffered" through all those other pies.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Felted Wool Hat

Pin It

A few years ago, a friend shared a pattern for making a knitted wool hat.
I have made hats through the years, but this one was felted.
It is a curious thing about wool fibers.
When they are wet and agitated, they cling together and make a tight weave of their own.

Well, I started this hat well over a year ago.
Because it uses two strands through the knitting, I measured out what I thought I needed
and rolled it up into a ball and started knitting away.
Just about the time I needed to decrease for the crown,
I ran out of yarn.
I had more, but,
I had put it somewhere,
somewhere safe.
And, I couldn't remember where that somewhere was...

I found the yarn, measured out more to roll doubled into a new ball.

I finally finished knitting it at a retreat/gathering we attended
over the holiday weekend.

There were others working on crochet, some knitting various projects.
And, there was me.
When I was asked what I was working on and replied that it was a hat,
there would be a startled look and then they would look quickly down, 
sometimes glancing to the side at their neighbor to see if they, too, felt like I was working on a
doomed project.
I asked my granddaughter to hold the hat after I finished knitting it
and she pulled it down over her head...

Here she is holding it up.

And, to be fair, it did look somewhat like a doomed project,
I have done these before.

In fact, I sold one just the other day.

When we got home and I had caught up on most of the other laundry,
I put the washer on hot wash, cold rinse and agitated it for about 20 minutes.
It then ran through the rest of the cycle and came out looking like this.

Much, much smaller than when it went into the washer.
I needed to stretch it out over something and used this tupperware container.
It was also very, very fuzzy.

I gave it a "haircut" with some scissors

This is the finished hat
With the same granddaughter obligingly modeling it.

This is another one that was done a year or so ago.
If you do try out some patterns you can find on the internet,
be sure to use 100% wool (no extra fibers)
if you want it to felt.
A fun project, and it will keep your friends wondering if you have lost your mind.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Long Time No See

Pin It
Yep, that's me.

Much has happened, but I haven't written one word.

I did say that we went to Texas to visit family.
But, after that, I sorta slipped off the map of life.

I have been around, but with the busyness of life
(including travel, shows and general arthritis)
I haven't posted anything for a while.

So, til I get more to say,
I guess I will just haunt follow your adventures.

Til, then.