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Friday fill ins (and the swap package got here!!!)

oh! I just received my package from Libby!!!!! Thank you so much!!!

Two lovely skeins of bamboo! a big bar of chocolate and SEVEN patterns!!!!



And...here we go! Friday Fill-ins!

1. It's time for breakfast and a new start.

2.
WDW's Epcot Center; it's not a bad place for living!!!.

3. I must be
stark raving crazy!

4.
Forgiveness is the best thing I have ever known.

5. My
husband is simply gorgeous and good to fight with!.

6. The last time I laughed really loudly was
five minutes ago.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to
watching "Singing in the Rain" with my hubby, tomorrow my plans include sewing,crocheting and a walk in the park with my family and Sunday, I want to finally finish cleaning the house!


hehehe! this is always fun! don't forget to sign up for the Xmas+yarn swap! just leave a comment in the post below!

Oh the Joys of swap! (now with deadline for signup date!)

(image from splityarn's flickr gallery)
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Hello peeps! how have you liked the swap so far? have all of you sent your packages?

Good!

now get ready, cause I'm next in line to host a swap. I'm gonna tell you about it with plenty of time, you'll see why...


This will be another yarn swap, so if you are hankering after a particular kind of yarn, this is the time to ask for it! The deadline for sending the package to your swap partner is August 31st.

"But that's over a month away!!!!!"

E-zacly! but you are going to need some time to get ready, because with the two skeins of yarn you will send to your swap partner you must also send... drumroll please....

A Christmas decoration/ornament!!!!

...and it must be made by you! It can be anything, but if your partner has certain predilections (color, for example... a friend of mine sets only white decorations at that time) and makes them known it would be nice to go that route.

So, if you are up for it, leave a comment!

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EDIT: I forgot to let you know, the deadline for signing up for the swap is the 5th of August (tuesday) so I can collect all the info and let you know who your swap partner is going to be in time for you to be able to craft your Xmas decoration!
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Fun with food


My dad hates fish. He loves red meat, devilled shrimp and beans. But he has some kidney problems, so he should not eat red meat, devilled shrimp (cholesterol issues here) and beans. And he should eat lots of fish and veggies. See the irony here?

But if you make battered fried fish tacos, he'll eat and ask for seconds and thirds! he even asked this to be established as the Friday's meal from now on... and if we make it twice a week, he'd be more than pleased... So, here's my dad's fave. I think I've already given the recipe, so now I'll show you the photo:

Fish tacos:

You start with a good white fish filet, preferably with no fat (catfish is usually very fatty!). Cut it in strips and place on a paper towel to dry. Then you can transfer them to a bowl.


The batter consists in beer (lager) and flour. You just mix them until you get a batter similar in texture to pancake batter. Then you add some chicken stock powdered and pepper to taste, or you can add salt, dried parsley, dried onion flakes (crushed) and pepper. It should be thick. Now, don't add egg or milk, because this way it sticks better to the fish. You can even skip the flouring step and dip the fish sticks directly in the batter.


I'm not going to show photos of the frying process because, well, you all know how messy it is and I could not fry the fish AND hold the camera... you just fry them to a golden crisp.

Once they are fried, get some soft tortillas (not shells, please!). Chop the fish sticks and put one or one and a half in each tortilla. If you like, make them double: two tortillas for each taco.

The garnishes are what make this very simple tacos just burst with flavor in your mouth. Shred some carrots and slice some onion the day before. Open a can of jalapeño peppers and don't throw the vinegar they are in. Pour everything in a container and you can either leave the chiles in with everything or you drain and put the carrots and onions in the vinegar overnight. Either way is ok.


This is what we call a "salsa huevona" (lazy salsa), "salsa picada".(chopped salsa) or "salsa borracha" (drunken salsa, dont ask me why. I guess if you add enough salsa to a taco and give it to a drunken man, it'll make him snap out of it !). It is only diced onion, diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, diced green hot peppers. You mix all that and squeeze a lemon on it, add some sea salt and you are done!



Oh! and if you can get fresh nopales, please please make nopal salad! you just slice thinly the nopales (that have been washed and their thorns cut). Nopales are a very very good source of fiber, and have no fat, so you may consider adding them to your diet. Once the nopales are sliced, throw them in a pan with water, a bit of salt, half an onion and a fork. Really. A fork. I don't know why or how it works, but if you don't put a fork the nopales get all slimy.

Once they are cooked (they will turn from bright green to a more muted, olive green and go a bit limp, but they should still have some crunchyness to them) add half a diced onion, a diced tomato and salt.


You serve the tacos and put the garnishes so everyone can add what they want. The photo doesn't show, but you should bring some lemons to the table and maybe a bit of mayonaisse. Yes, you read correctly, Mayonaisse. The original way of eating them includes coleslaw, mayonaisse, lemon, salsa and the shredded carrot. I think it tastes better with the nopal salad than the coleslaw, but it is up to you.


Enjoy!

Oh!!! OH!!! OH!!! and did I tell you I made my first sale in my Etsy shop???????


YAAAAY!

and Alessandra just created a fan page in Facebook! go check it out! tell your friends!!!!

Joining the Friday Fill Ins!

1. Financial debt up to my ears is not the end of the world.

2. Sitting here, listening to the sound of rain falling, I
want to go out and run.

3.
A cup of coffee in the morning tastes so good!

4. Sometimes, putting others first is
plain trying.

5.
Watching my girls grow is breathtaking, really.

6. Well, maybe there is
a silver lining.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to
a strong session of yoga, tomorrow my plans include working and Sunday, I want to win the Melate at last !


Lol! this was fun! Thanks, Gloria, for the inspiration!

EDIT: I just sent the package to my swap partner!! yaaay! so Libs, check your mail box in about a week and a half or two!!!

Your opinion needed

I was thinking about listing the yarn I use in the cotton things I make for sale in Etsy. The yarn is 100% mercerized cotton, made in Mexico. The colors are vibrant and it is oh so easy to work with! but I want your opinion. Please vote in the poll on the sidebar! Thank you very much!

Our weekend


When I was in college, I used to live in the state capitol. It is a big city, and on weekends I came back home. After I finished my career, I still made the trip to the city once, sometimes twice a week. I was there fairly often. This past weekend, we went to the city to see the Harry Potter movie. Want to know how long since I'd gone there?

The last time I went, it was April and the scenery was brown because the plants were still dry from the winter months...

Three months later, the whole road is green. Luxurious, fresh smelling, damp green. I was like a tourist, taking photos to show it to you (by the way, does it happen to you, that you live something or see something and you immediatly think "oh this would make a great post entry!"? or is it just crazy lil'me?)

The mountains were green, and the road looked like it had just been washed, which it was, because the day before there was even hail! But not today...

It was easy to drive through such roads... so clean and crisp!


We stopped by a town I'd not been to since I was a little girl, and sort of "discovered" this church. It was dedicated to Our Lord of Mercy... seems He's looking for me, cause I keep bumping into Him...

On a side patio of the church, there was this stone cross... it had beautiful native motifs.

On closer inspection, we found this inscription: "Made in 1687. Placed here in 1887". Wow!


Seems like this town has a thing for antiques. This gas pump was on display in the gas station we stopped at. You can see a bit of my little car in the reflection behind it... yup, that bright little thing is mine!


That evening, we went to the movies... I should have remembered that the movie had premiered in Mexico only the day before! the lines were insane! we had privileged tickets, thanks to the generosity of my brother, so we still got great seats...



We went shopping the next day, but Julia wasn't used to going around in the sun all the time and she got tired, so she stayed with her daddy to take a nap.

And we found a tree house...


And I scored some great colors of yarn in a place I had previously not found any nice yarn at all! It seemed like they had ordered what I was looking for, good quality cotton, and they had it ready for me! the owner was so nice he took note of the colors I didn't find and promised to call me and if needed send me the skeins I wanted! YAAY!


And I've started a project that took hold of my mind ever since I saw the variegated violets and pinks of this cotton sportweight yarn...

Sigh! it was such a great weekend! Now if I only had won the Lotto...

Happy hooking, peeps!

Woohoo!!! and a recipe




I got my partner at the Summer Yarn Swap, my good friend Libby!!!! I'm very very excited about it!!!!!

Yesterday was a belated surprise dinner to celebrate my eldest brother's birthday. I could not take any photos for a very simple reason: there was a storm and a blackout.



We were already at my brother's when the blackout came, so we had a candlelit dinner... wanna know the menu?

- Shrimp Sushi
- Yakimeshi (with chicken, beef and shrimp)
- Chow Mein
- Spring Rolls
- Fried Cheese Wraps
- Fried breaded Shrimp
- Sweet and sour pork
-Garlic Bread

Now, I did my best effort to eat some of everything cause my SIL and my nieces and nephew had worked so hard on the menu, but I had this for lunch:

Shrimp cocktail
(serves two adults and two little kids who squirm and
jump and pretty much never eat while sitting down)


1 pound of shrimp, your choice of size, washed. I like to get the ones without head because my girls freak out if they see them whole in their soup bowl, but I leave the skin and tail.

1/2 pound fresh peas (in the pod. Yes, you will have the extra step of shelling them but they taste so much better than the canned type!)

1/2 pound Chickpeas (if they are dry, soak them in water since the day before. At morning change the water and leave them soaking again)

Garnishes:
1 tomato, diced
1/2 an onion, diced
2 cucumbers, seeded and diced
1 avocado, cubed.
2 lemons, quartered

Ketchup
Chiplotle sauce if you like it

Here's how to do it, super simple and tasty

About an hour and a half before dinner, put the peas and drained chickpeas in a deep pan with lots of water (if you like it stocky... I like all kinds of soup, and usual ly add lots of water so I can have lots of shrimp stock) to boil, then lower the heat to medium. Add just a little salt, because the shrimp tend to be salty.

While the peas are cooking you can dice the garnishes.

Ten minutes or so before you serve dinner, bring the heat back up and add the shrimp. As soon as the shrimp turn pink, lower the heat again and let cook for a couple of minutes, no more, or the shrimp will turn chewy instead of crunchy. Taste for saltyness. Try to leave it just a little salty (a little!) cause with all the garnishes it will change the flavor a bit.

Serve in bowls. Add garnish to taste.


Isn't it yummy? We had BIG BOWLS of the thing!
Can you tellme how could I possibly eat after having shrimp cocktail? and a lot of it??

Someone is trying to sabotage my diet, and that someone is staring at me in the bathroom's mirror!! LOL!

Happy crafty weekend, friends!

Diet? what diet??


The day started rainy. And cold.

I woke up sore today and in need of comfort (food).

It had been about a year since I had Atole

My husband loves birria


This is a rare photo of my hubby... he doesn't like to have his picture taken
(just like me!) but he was happy eating his jocoque so I ambushed him!


See how clever I am? There are at least four reasons for me to cook these two very mexican, very fattening but oh so comforting foods!


Have you heard about them? Atole is a drink made of maize that you can drink hot or cold. Birria is sort of like a stew with beef and pork and lots of stuff! well, it can be made of goat or lamb, and it will taste yummy too!

As it is becoming a trend with me, I did not think of taking photos to show you the process. It is quite simple though. I guess since it is so normal for me to cook all day long that I don't deem most stuff picture worthy... but I promise I'll correct that. Oh and Michelle, I promise I will post some recipes with chipotle, but you have to try the birria too if you like the flavor of the smoked jalapeños!

Well, I'll start with the atole. There are going to be a LOT of ingredients you'll have to get at specialty stores when I cook traditional mexican dishes, but this one has only one "exotic" ingredient necessary: tortilla dough.

The raw tortilla dough is placed in water and then diluted until it is a thin mixture. My favorite way to have it is white: no sugar, no flavors but the maize flavor... and have a drink of atole and a bite of panocha, which is the compressed form of molasses...

To make plain white atole you strain the dough and water mixture over a pot with water, and cook it stirring often. Easy, right? when it is thick, sort of like pancakes batter, and the atole doesn't taste raw, it's done.


But you can also flavor it in so many different ways!!! add cinnamon sticks to the water before you add the dough mix and some sugar (substitute a quart of water for milk) or add vanilla instead of cinnamon. Or in the case of this particular pot of atole, fig leaves.





Fig atole is my second favorite. Dad's is cashew. Hubby loves pineaple atole, and my little brother likes his with strawberry.

Oh! and did I tell you I finished crocheting the top??? here it is!!!

Whey too good!



This weekend the weather was so crazy (very cold in the morning with very very hot days) that I wanted to make a traditional mexican food: jocoque. From the word Xococ, which means sour, it is basically sour milk... ok, don't make a face just yet! cause this is soooo yummy!

You need only the milk I am such a dunce that I did not take photos from the beggining of the process, but the start is quite simple: you need the best quality of milk you can get, freshly milked. I like the morning one, cause it is thicker.

You start by NOT BOILING IT. That's right, just cover it with a cloth and leave it in the kitchen counter. Hot weather makes for a quicker, less sour jocoque. After a day and a half, the milk will have separated in three strata: on top a dull beige layer, then the curds, then the whey.

First, you need to carefully scrape off the top layer. It is very thin, about an eight of an inch, but it's very sour, so you don't want that mixing with the curds.


Ok, now that you've taken that layer off, it is time to fish up the curds!!! you want to let them rest a little in the coleander before you dump them into your blender.


What's left in the bottom is whey. It is very protein rich, so you would be able to use it in soups if you like, or boil it with a little salt and get something very much like pannacotta, that we call requesón.


You placed your curds in the blender, now you have to add a teaspoon or so of salt per quart of curds... whizzzzz! blend it until it is smooth, then taste it. I like to add my salt little by little, so I don't make it too salty.

Once blended, you get something like this:

It is fresh and cool and delicious! add some mint leaves to a bowl of jocoque, or maybe freshly cooked beans, or a chunky salsa and tortillas, and eat up!

Now, for the photos of my top: here's the first rows, last week


This is how it looked Saturday night, when I could not load the pics to blogger:


AND... this is how it looked this morning!! yaay! I'm almost there!

Happy crafty week, friends!

I promise I really am crocheting



Hello there!!! time for a little update

Well, blogger didn't let me upload one photo, the one that shows how far I've gone in the lovely top that my yarn is knotting into, so I'll try to post it tomorrow. Here it's the first photo I took some days ago...




Do you know what this is? I'll give you until tomorrow to guess... but I was taking photos of it to show it to you and my little one wanted to be in them...


She kept moving, though... hard stuff, this modeling business...

She wants you to know that you must not touch it... cause it's hot when it's in use...


She's serious about it!

Good and crafty weekend, peeps!

YARN SWAP ALERT!!! and then some stuff

hello there! I have been neglecting to tell you about a really cool thing happening at Just Be Happy's!

There's a yarn swap being held, and it's still time to sign up for the swap! check out the details HERE.

Oh and the Phoenix shawl? it's a No Go. The yarn told me in no uncertain terms that it did NOT want to be a shawl, would not be subject to being converted into a shawl and would I please look up another project for it.

Hence, it is becoming a top. Don't you hate it when stuff get a mind of their own? altough I must say, it looks so much pretier now... I guess it was right in not letting me hook it into a shawl, as pretty as those turn out. Oh well!

Happy and hooking!

But before I show you how my stuff looks on a very cool, very nice SIL of mine, here's a pic of my very goofy, very adorable Lil'J, aka Little Helper... she's wearing a very battered old hat of mine that they use to play dress up. I couldn't make her leave it at home, but I love the whole "Paddington bear" look of her!


hehehe! so here you go, some photos from the "Photo Session" last night at my SIL's (you rock!!!!)


And she claimed she did not look good in photos!!!







We had a lot of fun, as you can probably tell from her expressions. :D I swear, I don't know how that woman does it! everything she wears looks good! LOL!

well, check out my Etsy shop where I have listed these items... more soon to come! I'm addicted!!!

Crafty weekend! (picture heavy post!)


I had a very fulfilling, crafty weekend... here's the summary. I didn't have my "big" camera with me so this are phone photos... I'll take others for Etsy, but I couldn't wait to share these with you :

I finished my corckscrew scarf. The colors are Purple and beige, and the beige yarn is a bit furry, I think it looks like a modern version of a royal mantle :D This is the only item I did not begin and finish this past weekend, I only finished it.


My seashell headband! the lenght also allows it to be worn as a choker. Made in variegated cotton (love how it looks!!!! I'm having some issues here!!!!)



Detail of the flower pin for the Sea Foam shawl, also in mercerized cotton




The Sea Foam Shawl at lenght! I must confess, I'm a bit reluctant to list it in my Etsy shop, I love how it looks on!!
A shawlette, Sweet Spring

Sweet Spring shawlette flower pin



And these are the items from the Christening gown set, once washed!! arent' they lovely!


Happy crafting, everyone!
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