Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Taco Tuesday Tortillas

Recently Terri shared about making tortillas. Making these has been on my mental list of things to do for a very long time. Since my friend, Brianna, talked about making them on FB several years ago. What can I say except it sometimes takes me a while to get my act together. *smile*

Having Terri post about the ease and the taste, along with a tasty looking picture, is all I needed to finally push these to the top of the list.

First you mix the dry ingredients together. 3 cups all purpose flour, 1 t baking powder, 1 t salt. 
 Then you add 1/3 cup oil and 1 cup water. Mix until ball forms (scraping sides often). Once ball is formed mixed an additional minute. 
 Turn out onto lightly floured surface (light is the key as I had too much flour). *smile* Then divide into 16 equal pieces. I used my handy dandy scale but you can certainly eyeball this. 
 Roll into balls and flatten slightly. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes. 
Roll out to make a 6 to 7 inch circle. This dough was easy to roll out. I worried as I have issues getting noodle dough to roll thin enough. Cook over medium heat about 30 seconds on each side. You may need to adjust your heat after the first one. 
Fresh tortilla shells ready for taco Tuesday. Yum!

May your day be filled with joy in the journey! 

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Day in My Life #10

Thursday, March 23rd

Chuck's alarm went off at 4:30 this morning. Generally I sleep right through it. This morning I was wide awake. I tried to go back to sleep and ended up resting until 5:30. I hopped onto the computer to take care of some things. I entered receipts into Quicken. Update our everydollar budget, check out blogs and file. It seemed like I was doing this forever. 
I headed to the kitchen a little before 7 and whipped up some muffins. 
While they were baking I started to empty the dishwasher. 
I was distracted by the sunrise. I wasn't out long as it was only 30*.  Brrr
I finished putting the dishes away and checked the menu. I pulled some chicken out of the freezer and by this time the muffins were done. 
It is now getting close to 8. I wake Megan up and then hit the shower. After I shower we sit down to eat and for some scripture reading. 
When breakfast is finished Megan goes to take a shower. I fold and put away the laundry left from the day before. 
A load of towels is thrown into the washer and housework is started. Megan is sent to make her bed and tidy her room. I make my bed and then do a quick tidy of the house. Once that is done it is time to clean the bathroom.
When that is complete I vacuum the house and then we take a break until lunch. 
Lunch is served about 11:45. Leftover pizza and peas. 
After lunch we sit down to play some games. Trouble and multiple hands of Go Fish. 
I fold towels and Megan says Feet Feet is open. She will sometimes give me a "pedicure" which consist of rubbing lotion on my feet and sometimes she will paint my nails. A girl would be crazy to say no to a little pampering!
I watch TV and get on the computer for a few. Megan heads to her room to play. By 3 it has warmed up and we headed out for a walk/bike ride. 
When we return I plant some pansies. 
When that is finished I go in to marinade the chicken. 
When I am finished I bring a book out to read while Megan plays. 

It is still a little cool when you aren't moving. I walk to the garden and take a peek under the frost cover. 
It is now almost 4:30. Megan hasn't had a snack and asked to make something. She makes a fruit kabob. 
Megan watches a cartoon and I continue to read until it is time to start dinner. I get dinner going about 5:30. Chuck is suppose to be home at 6, but is running a little late.

Chuck is home about 6:20 and we sit down for dinner.  He is on mandatory overtime and has been going in at 5:30 and trying to be home for dinner at 6. 
 Dinner is cleaned up by 7. We watch Wheel of Fortune and then play on the Wii. 
At 8 we have devotions and Megan goes to her room to settle down. At 9 it is lights out for Megan and we are right behind her. 

May your day be filled with joy in the journey! 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Joy in the Ordinary

Look around, really look around and you will find joy... joy in the everyday... joy in the ordinary things.

Bringing some Spring indoors. 
 Creating a shelter out of fallen branches. She said a boat left her on an island and she was surviving. Oh how I love her imagination!
 "Planting" items for a science fair project on decomposition. 
 Chuck surprised us one morning by leaving donuts on the counter before he headed off to work. I prettied them up to make them even more special. 
The best sink cleaner. Ever. I love how she will say your sink is dirtry, would you like me to clean it. You'd be crazy to say no to that!
 Leftover breakfast muffins. Just because they look super cute stored in a glass jar. *smile*
 Saturday will be a girls day as Chuck is working.  His overtime is suppose to end this weekend. He isn't hopeful as it's still busy. He's had OT on every check this year and in the last four weeks he has worked close to an additional 20 hours each week!  The extra money is nice, but my guy could use some rest.

A quick trip will be made the grocery store to stock up on a sale item and then we are heading over to my parents to plant potatoes.  Oh, what an exciting life we lead!  Enjoy your weekend. 

May your day be filled with joy in the journey! 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Handmade vs Kitchen Aid

Megan loves to make butter. I will often find heavy whipping cream added to my shopping list. :) I bought some recently and Megan was delighted to make butter. She got a jar and got busy. While she was shaking, shaking and shaking some more I decided to make some myself.
I poured the rest of the whipping cream into the Kitchen Aid and let it do its thing.

It took the mixer longer before the whipped cream turned back into a liquid. Megan finished her butter well before the mixer. Once we poured them out we noticed that butter made in the mixer was firmer. Had Megan continued to mix the butter in jar longer it might have become firmer also. We'll have to test that another time.
I have heard many times "I can't do that. I don't have the right equipment."  Our grandmother and great-grandmothers made most things from scratch without fancy gadets. We can do it too! Don't let the fact that you don't have a noodle maker or a fancy Kitchen Aid mixer stop you from trying. Sure those things might make it easier, but anything worth having is worth the work it takes to get it. Roll up your sleeves and try. You'll never know what you might be able to do if you never make an attempt. Okay, that's my pep talk for the day! *smile*

Megan tired the buttermilk for the first time. She stated they are "both equally disgusting!" That made me laugh and laugh. 

Our conclusion is that making butter either way will work just fine. It is certainly a little more labor intensive to make it in a jar.

Regardless of the method chosen you will end up with the same result... delicious tasting butter!

May your day be filled with joy in the journey! 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Tuesday Tackle #7

Cleaning the oven has been on my list for far too long. The day had come to tackle that beast. No pictures before I ran the cleaning cycle. No way, no how, was I going to air that little bit of dirty laundry. *smile* This is the door after the cleaning cycle ran. 
I began my cleaning with the door. It has been bad for a long time. Even with regular cleaning it wasn't clean inside of the glass. After almost 16 years of constant use it needed more then the normal self clean and wipe down. It was really hard to get good pictures. Can you see the yuck on the door glass? This is after I had cleaned it. 
We looked at some sites about cleaning between the glass and Chuck thought we could handle it. The first thing to do was to take off the door. It wasn't hard. In fact this made cleaning the inside of the oven so much easier. I said I felt like Hansel and Gretel with my head stuck in the oven while cleaning! 
A couple of screws were removed and the front of the door came off. There are four pieces of glass: the front door, a piece that you can remove and then a double pane that is the inside of the door. 
After the glass was clean everything was re-assembled. 
Look how well the glass cleaned up. 
I am very happy with the results. 
Now that we know how easy this easy we won't wait 15+ years to tackle this if the need arises.

What projects have you tackled in the last week? Tune in next Tuesday to see what homemaking debt I tackle. 

May your day be filled with joy in the journey! 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cooking without an Oven

It seems like it's going to be one of those years where things break. I could get upset and pout and say "Why does this keep happening to us?" Nope, I'm just going to keep rolling on with this great life I've been given.

After blowing the budget on eating out I had been great at cooking and even sticking to my menu. Enter a Friday evening. I was prepared. I hit the grocery store that morning and was meeting up in the afternoon with my parents and aunt. I knew the day was going to slip away so I planned ahead and whipped up a homemade pizza to pop into the oven.

All was going well until I keep checking it and the cheese was barely melted. In a little longer and still it wasn't done. That is when I called in Chuck and we realized that even though the oven was heating it wasn't heating to the set temperature.

By this time it's almost 7pm. We are all hungry and I might have been getting to the point of grumpy. We hopped into the van and headed out for Chick-fil-A. Now I love myself some Chickie Lay! It was delicious and we enjoyed ourselves. Although I wasn't happy that once again we were blowing the budget.

Saturday Chuck did some trouble shooting. Our stove is almost 16 years old so we knew it wouldn't be smart to put a ton of money into it. After some other large expenses (hello septic!) we didn't want to buy a new stove! Thankfully Chuck tinkered around and found that it could be repaired with a part that is under $30. Yes, we'll take that!

He called to make sure the appliance part store had the part and headed out to get it. He arrive there at 1:15. Can you guess what time they closed? If you said 1 o'clock you are the winner!!

I was able to pick the part up Monday. Due to all of his overtime, Chuck didn't have time to get to this right away. The menu had already been made for the week and I didn't feel like changing it. The solution/challenge was for me to figure out how to stick to my menu without an oven.

Sunday beef stew and homemade bread was on the menu.  Since the stove top works there wasn't a problem making the stew. Now the bread was another issue. I did a little research and decided to try making bread in the slow cooker.
Sadly, I don't recommend this recipe. I found it to be heavy. I do love the idea and it is something I might play with in the future.  We'll see. 

Tuesday lasagna, salad and garlic bread was on the menu. Hmm... now this could be a problem.  I had never made lasagna in the slow cooker, but why not?
This is where I got the idea, although I didn't use her recipe.  I used my own recipe. I sprayed the crock pot with cooking spray and it made clean up super easy.  She suggested you cook it 5-6 hours. I found that it was ready at 5 hours.

I imagine I will use the oven to bake it most often. The reason for that is that when you bake it you remove it from the oven and allow it to set before you cut and serve. In the crock pot that wasn't possible so it fell apart when I plated it. The taste was great.  The ease was great. I can see myself doing this in the summer.  I won't have to heat up the house by turning on the oven and I can throw it all together before we head out for an afternoon of swimming. This is a keeper!

As for the bread I pulled out my trusty griddle and grilled it. I would be fine without the bread, but when I mentioned that to hubby you would have thought I was suggesting something criminal. *smile*
Cubed steak was on the menu for Thursday evening. I generally cook it slowly in the oven. Not happening this week. Can you guess how I cooked this. Yup, the slow cooker.
Very, very good. Super tender and flavorful. Both Chuck and I agree that this will be the go to method for making cubed steak.

I'm happy to report that the oven has been repaired and is back in service. However, it was good to challenge myself and to know that no matter the circumstances I can continue to serve a hot, hearty meal to my family.

When life gives us a lemon lets not make a pucker face. Instead take that lemon and create lemonade, lemon custard, and lemon cake!

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!