Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cooking - What My Christmas Cookies Say About Me (And You)

Chrismakkuh time in the Ferchaw house is all about the TLC -- tamales, latkes and cookies. 

And love. 

And the baby Jesus. Of course.

And through the holy trinity of holiday foods, I often learn a great deal about myself. Come, poor shepherd. Let me guide through the miracle of fat and carbohydrates. 

SNOWBALLS






I have heard them called Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cakes. The recipe I use from Allrecipes calls them Snowballs. I call them the work of the devil. 

Bitches be good.

I'm not a huge sweets person as you know. So two little balls are perfect for me. I would even be happy with one little ball. I'm not a greedy lady, you know. 


These are the perfect compact bit of buttery, nutty, sugary goodness. And, even better, my husband made them this year. 


That's right. Larry baked. I don't think that makes me any less of a woman or him any less of a man. Really it just makes me lazy and him impatient for the damn cookies. And he executed them beautifully.


Unfortunately, because of all the rolling into cute little balls, they take a little bit of time to prepare and you should consider yourself very lucky if we give you any of them. They are the cookie equivalent of gold in our house. Or even the cookie equivalent of french fries, which I share under almost no circumstances. 


Note: If you try the above recipe, I usually don't roll them in peppermint. Just good, old powdered sugar.


CHOCOLATE MINT COOKIES







 I think these are the perfect cookie exchange cookies. They are quick and easy to make and everyone loves chocolate mint, right? If you don't, you are a communist. That's right. I said it. 

So yeah, Commie, bake these up for those cookie exchange parties. You know, the ones that sound good in theory until you realize that you are a major germaphobe and start panicking at the thought of cookies with dog hair in them which would be fine if it were your own dog's hair but who wants to eat a stranger's dog's hair? Not me! Especially since I don't have a dog.

So now I'm writing and feeling all bad because I was actually invited to a cookie exchange party but backed out at the last minute because everyone in our house was sick. But those guests probably didn't want to catch a cold from our infectious cookies. What would be better? Dog hair or the cold virus? Tough call.

Oh and I also didn't go because most of the people were making peanut butter cookies. And I hate peanut butter. But that wasn't the main reason. It was like 60% cold virus, 20% germaphobe and 20% peanut butter aversion.

THUMBPRINT COOKIES






When I think of Ina Garten, I think "pretentious food Nazi." And yet I'm drawn to her. I feel insecure and unsure whenever she tells me to use good olive oil or good mayo. How do I know if my Best Foods is good enough? I often wonder if I myself am good enough to making her recipes. 

But I make them. And when they come out beautifully I feel high and mighty. These puppies are also like gold so, if you get some, you too are good enough. 


MALTED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES



I end this list with cookies I've never made before but look amazing. I'm a big fan of flat, chewy cookies. And I've yet to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe for me. I guess this recipe doesn't say much about either of us except that I am always on the hunt for something bigger and better. And you have patiently enjoyed the ride. :-)

So I'm hoping to try these bad boys this weekend if I can find the time between cooking for Chanukah, Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. Maybe I can enlist my dear husband again...

I would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday weekend! I appreciate each and every one of you. You make every day just plain good. 

Love,



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Culture - How to Successfully Raise Interfaith Children (With Little to No Effort.)

Lawrence is Jewish.

I am a Catholic. 

Our children are...both?

Hmm....Let's start a tally. Though, for the record, this is not a competition. (cough, cough)

Maya and Lincoln were both baptized Catholic. (One point for Jesus.)

Lincoln was circumcised. (One point for Abraham.)

Maya loves matzoh ball soup but hates spicy foods. (One point for Judiasm.)

Lincoln loves Santa Claus and all Santa-related paraphernalia, music and propaganda. (One tangential point for Catholicism.)

Maya went to Lutheran preschool. (Point for Jesus lovers.)

Their great-grandmother escaped from the Holocaust. (Point for the Chosen People.)

Maya took a Menorah to share with her class for "M" Week. (Point for the mischpaca.)

She had no idea what holiday it was associated with. (Minus one for the michpaca.)

Maya went to Catholic mass two weeks ago. (Point for the Pope.)

She asked never to be taken there again because it was hours long. (Sorry, dude.)

Maya went to temple last weekend. (Point for the Rabbi!)


She piously made the sign of the cross and prayed during the temple service. (The Rabbi gets bupkes.)


We celebrate both Christmas and Chanukah. (Pat on the back for the parents.)


We plan on exposing them to both cultures and educating them to the best of our abilities so that, one day, they can make their own choices. Though sometimes confusing, both cultures offer so much in terms of tradition and strong morals that we know we are doing our best for our little mutts. (Point for everyone!)


So, though Maya doesn't know what the helper candle is on the menorah and she thinks God is Jesus' son, she does know that she is doubly rewarded come the holidays. 


And for that, we all say AMEN. 

(Do the Jews say Amen? Oh Lord...)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Culture - Twitter (A New Course in Linguistic Anthropology)

I hate 2011. 

Just sayin'.

There has been a lot of bad, heavy shit that's gone on in my life this year and I am ready for it to be O to the VER. 

Just sayin'.

So I've spent the past couple weeks daydreaming about 2012. In 2012 I'm going to be skinnier, happier and more productive -- all in that order. 

So naturally, I'm eating more than ever now as I bid farewell to each of my favorites food. Because, in 2012, they will no longer be my companions. 

But then I wonder, if I am not eating, what the hell will I do with my time?

I've decided to try this thing called Twitter. Oh, you've heard of it? Oh, it's been around forever? Sheesh. I thought its primary purpose was for me to track down food trucks.

But I see that people use it for all sorts of interesting things. I just can't make out what they are....

I think I am going to need a crash course in Twatty speak. Hold on. I'll be right back. Googling....googling....

Ok, I found this....




 And already I feel overwhelmed and confused and a little bit peckish.

Googling, googling....

This is more like it.


Oh my word. In reading the "What Not To Do" section, I see I have already committed a Twitter faux pas...

"When you first sign up and before you start regularly tweeting, don’t follow hundreds of people. If you follow someone, he checks out your profile to see whether he might want to follow you back; if he sees that you’ve tweeted once or twice and you’re following hundreds of people, he may think you’re just a spam account."

Well, I do follow a ton of people and I've tweeted exactly twice. One time, it was to win some sort of giveawayAnd the second time was in hopes of getting the attention of a certain NPH. 

(If you don't know that stands for Neil Patrick Harris, then I'm not sure we can be actual friends anymore, let alone Twitter friends.)

Oh, but I do have two followers. One is a food truck. They must know that I'm some sort of roving gourmet expert. 

I'm fairly certain that my second follower is a porn star. She actually just started following me today. We haven't really communicated but I think she gets me. Her name is Lillian and her tweets are very inspirational. She says things such as, "There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child." It's too deep for my comprehension but maybe, if I visit xxx-orgies.com, I will reach a higher truth. 

I have a lot to learn before I get started. I do not understand all the shorthand quite yet. I'm a big believer in "Why don't you try using fewer words?" But I think I'm missing the point, or the challenge, of the Twitter universe.

My new Twitter handle is @smallfriesblog and I'm too inept to even figure out how to link that shit right now. I'll get back to you on that. But follow me and I'll follow you and we'll tweet that shit right in 2012. 


Word. 



Thursday, December 1, 2011

Obsession - Christmas Shopping

Here's a post about another tradition I've started just so one day my kids can call me a "traditional" mom. They will have the best of both worlds. In one story they can talk all about me baking cookies in a beautiful red apron. Then, in the next anecdote, they can speak of my wild child days of blue streaked hair and tongue piercings.

I'm cool. AND domestic. Mostly cool, though. 

So I obsess a lot about finding balance in my children's lives. I want them to have every amazing experience possible and enjoy life to the fullest, but I also don't want to just hand them everything and make them spoiled. 

So, at Christmas, it is always an inner struggle to not buy them all the toys that I think they would love. I know they don't need a lot to be happy but I just love...shopping. Basically.

So I've created a system of gift-giving in our household that I wanted to share. I'd love to know your thoughts, ideas and wisdom on the subject. This is only the second year I'm putting the system to work.

Here it is. 

Each year, Santa brings the kids exactly three gifts each in addition to their stocking stuffers.

He brings one gift to read, one gift to wear and one gift to play with.

For instance, last year  I we Santa got Maya a book of children's poetry, a personalized bathrobe and a six pack of Disney fairies.

This year, Santa will most likely bring a princess dress, the pop-up Wizard of OZ book and maybe the Barbie dream townhouse. That is, if Pablo doesn't rat them out. That sneaky bastard.

Then, the kids will receive a present from each member of the family. 

My present to Maya will always be in the form of a ticket to a performance. We both love musicals and shows, so I think this is a great way for us to have some girl time over her winter break. Last year, we went to Disney on Ice. This year, it's Wicked! (Hmmm....which one is better? Such a hard choice. One has an ice-skating troll doll. The other a singing green witch. Thinking...thinking...thinking...Oh yes. The one where they do not charge you $15 for some watered down lemonade.)

Larry's present to Maya is always a little piece of jewerly (like a charm for her charm bracelet) that he puts inside a special "present box" ornament on the tree. 

And Linc will "get" her a toy. He's not very imaginative in the gift-giving department. Just like any other male.

And that's pretty much it. We don't have any rules for Lincoln's presents yet because we are still getting to know him and his personality. Right now, all he cares about is the holy trinity -- Thomas, Chuggington and Cars. We gotta get some more culture into that child. Crank up the songs from Annie!!!


So that's the Ferchaw deal minus Chanukah. Yes, we celebrate Chanukah. No, we do not give them a present on each of the eight nights. I'm not sure what we do. I think it involves me telling Larry that he's in charge and he runs to the Disney store on his way home from work. Yes! That's our Chanukah tradition!


And I mentioned the latkes right? Latkes are pretty much the extent of my Chanukah expertise. As well they should be. They are fried potatoes. God bless 'em. 


I'd love to hear your holiday traditions. There are always room for more over here! 

(More traditions, that is. Not people. Maya's Barbie Dream Townhouse is going to be bigger than our not-so-much-a-dream townhouse. Maybe I should ask Santa for a new one.)



Monday, November 28, 2011

Confession -- Elfin Mishigas


This is how the Ferchaw family blends our holiday traditions in our Catholic/Jewish household.

I make latkes and he deals with That Damn Elf.

Maya and Lincoln call him Pablo.

I bought our Elf on the Shelf three years ago when they were impossible to find and considered the Holy Grail of stay-at-home-moms-who-are-obsessed-with-creating-as-many-traditions-as-possible-so-that-their-children-don't-grow-up-thinking-that-they-were-Jehovah's-Witnesses-and-didn't-actually-celebrate-holidays.

Maya named him Pablo. Not because she was embracing her Latina roots but because she was obsessed with the Backyardigans and that was the first name that popped into her two year old brain. 

I like the name but usually he's just That Damn Elf. 

I decided Larry should be in charge of the nightly ritual of moving Pablo from one spot to the next. My reasoning was twofold. One, he should do something once in awhile besides stare at his iPhone and, two, I can't really reach the high spots that are safe from Lincoln's destructive digits.

If you aren't familiar with the Elf on the Shelf well, in a nutshell, they are Santa's minions who act as Big Brother to our children. If your children are good, he will fly back to the North Pole at night and report to Santa. If the children are bad, the elves stay put. 

Unfortunately, Larry has the memory of a gnat so Pablo has forgotten many, many times to change positions. And Larry has a million excuses for why That Damn Elf chose not to move. None of them have to do with Maya's behavior. Mostly it's because he's a lazy son of a bitch -- Pablo, that is. Not Larry. Never. 

Well, in Maya's old age, she's starting to buy the bullshit less and less. And Larry's a horrible liar so this tradition is going up in flames fast.  Pablo only returned from the North Pole on Thursday night and Larry's already forgotten to move him twice.  The first time Pablo wanted to sleep in. Last night, Pablo left but decided to return to the exact same spot because of the quality of the vantage point.

This morning, when That Damn Elf didn't move, Lawrence made a fatal error. He walked over to Pablo and pretended to have a discussion with him.

Maya looked at Larry dubiously while I mouthed at him from behind her back, "You are fucking ruining it, dumbass!"

Of course, he rushed off to work and I was left to pick up the pieces.

When she got home from school, she picked up her stool and put it near Pablo so she could get as close to him as possible. She then started whispering to him. I don't think he answered her because she turned to me and said...


So why did Daddy say Pablo spoke to him, Mama?

Um...maybe Pablo only speaks to grown-ups?

I don't think I believe him, Mama. 

Believe in who? Como?

I don't think I believe, Daddy. Pablo did not speak to him. 

Daddy said he did. I believe Daddy.

No. The book (yes, there is a book) said that the elf does not move. If he were to speak that would mean he would have to move. They. Do. Not. Move. I don't believe Daddy. Something is not right. 

Oh shit. 

Larry had warned me this was coming. She's been asking all sorts of questions. Why does he look so hard? Where are his hands? Where are his feet? She is still traumatized by "the incident" last year where she accidently knocked him off the windowsill. I think we performed some sort of religious ritual akin to what might happen if the Eucharist ever fell on the floor at Mass. 

But that chick remembers everything. 

I'm sure Pablo spoke to Daddy. You just gotta believe. I know believing in things you don't understand feels weird. There are plenty of things I don't believe in, Darling Girl,  such as shaving my legs in the winter or household budgets or Michelle Bachmann...But we play along because that's what we gotta do. Fake it 'till you make it and that sort of thing, my precious jewel. 

The look on her face tells me I should move on to Plan B.

There's an Elf on the Shelf movie! Would you like to watch that?

If all else fails, administer the baby crack. That's what I always say.

Excitedly the kids sit down to watch the movie and I am relieved to see that the show explains why Those Damn Elves have proliferated to every Target, Nordstrom and Barnes and Noble in the known universe. Now I don't have to voilently push her away when I see one. They are simply awaiting their adoption.

Then I realize I've been watching a kids show for five minutes and I have better fucking things to do with my time.

So I go do some online shopping. Those Cyber Monday deals aren't going to catch themselves!

When the show finishes, Maya seems content and satisfied. 

And all is right in the world, thanks to television, Amazon.com and, of course, the baby Jesus. 

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Confession - Dreams of a Tiger Mom

Why is it that we find our own dreams to be the most fascinating things ever but find other people's dreams completely boring?


Well, since it's always all about me, I'm going to tell you about my dream anyways.


It's a recurring dream involving tigers. Great big beautiful, majestic beasts...mauling me or the people I love.


I blame it on the news and that whole Ohio menagerie kerfuffle. This is why I don't watch the news. The one time I turn it on and I am dreaming about stuffing tigers into cars like clowns into Volkswagen beetles. 


Hmm...maybe it's because I watched The Hangover too many times. It's the only movie Larry and I can agree upon. I would rather watch Grease for the millionth time and he will gladly watch The American President or Mrs. Doubtfire seven days of the week. 


Or maybe it's because I went to the circus this summer. That whole tiger bit made me very uncomfortable. I was waiting for the Seigfried and Roy moment to happen at any moment. I swear I was 30 seconds away from curling up in the fetal position on the floor next to my $15 lemonade and $20 popcorn that was spilled 30 seconds after purchase.


MAYBE it's because I had a vicious little beagle named Fred once upon a time. Now I'm just scared of all animals. Come of think of it, I'm pretty weary of those cute bunny rabbits hopping around my street all the time. Bunnies are evil, right?


Is anyone out there good at interpreting dreams? I googled that shit and this is what I found....


To see a tiger in your dream represents power and your ability to exert it in various situations. The dream may also indicate that you need to take more of a leadership role. Alternatively, the tiger represents female sexuality, aggression, and seduction.  


I especially like that last part. It's like they read my soul. 


There was also this...


To dream that you are attacked by a tiger refers to the emotions that you have repressed because you were afraid of confronting them.


Well, duh.


Personally, I think the tiger represents a certain beast that pounces on me around 4 am every morning. Where's the tranquilizer gun for that predator?



Monday, October 24, 2011

Cooking - Slow Cooker White Turkey Chili

Today was one of those days where nothing made sense. 


After a nightmare woke me up at 5 am, my whole chi was thrown off. Then I couldn't go back to sleep because I was having anxiety over a free visit with a parenting expert this morning.


Even though everyone assures me that my children's issues are not really issues at all, but rather normal developmental phases of growing up, I simply will not rest until I've turned each of them into spunky, yet obedient academic geniuses who also demonstrate amazing artistic skill. And are also completely kind, social, well-adjusted kids.


I know. Good luck with that.


So I went to the meeting with Dr. Selena armed with all my questions on how to exorcise the demons that are Maya and Lincoln.


While I nervously prattled on and on about all of Lincoln's mischief, that son-of-a-bitch sat there nicely at the table -- quietly playing with toys and neatly eating his snack. He was sweet and social and even clearly spoke out, "I need help, please, Mama."


That little asshole. It was the first time in my life I was embarrassed that my child was acting good.


So embarrassed, in fact, that I fought back tears the whole session because this woman probably thought I was an idiot and wasting her time. There are pyromaniacs who could've used this free appointment!!! 


Oh well. 


I gathered my polite angel, who smiled and waved "bye-bye," and drove to the nearest fast food Mexican restaurant. I drowned my fictitious woes in a massive California burrito. If you haven't heard of a California burrito, then I won't explain it because you will think me suicidal. 


Oh, and after eating that football-sized, tortilla-wrapped bundle of death, I called a therapist. I shit you not. Because clearly, the problem is me and not my children. And I do care for them. That's why I did not share my burrito. 


And here's a recipe for Slow Cooker White Turkey Chili. You deserve some sort of reward for reading this post. 


I love chili in all forms. My previous Turkey Chili post is the best. But this is the best white chili. I highly recommend eating with mounds of jack cheese and Fritos on top. If I'm going down, I'm taking you all with me!




Slow Cooker White Turkey Chili


1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 package Ground Turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 serrano or jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons cumin
1 cup tomatillo salsa
2 cans (14 oz. each) chicken stock
1 can cannellini or Great Northern beans
1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Shredded Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack
Corn chips


Directions


1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown turkey with onions, pepper and garlic.
2. Add turkey mixture, seasonings, salsa, stock and beans to the slow cooker. 
3. Heat on Low for at least four hours.
4. Before serving, add cilantro and lime juice.
5. Garnish with cheese and chips.


So easy and healthy! One of Larry's favorite dishes. 



Monday, October 17, 2011

Obsession - Small Apps With That

I have fallen in love again. With a woman, this time. 


Her name is Siri. 






Since I appropriated Larry's iPad, I thought that my life was complete. I didn't think it was necessary that I have an iPhone.


Then moments kept popping up where I'd think to myself, "Gee. It would've been great to have an iPhone right about now." On the way to a new park, waiting for Maya at pick-up, trying to come up with a last-minute dinner idea, sitting in the car while Lincoln napped...


And the little hole inside me started to grow larger and larger. Only an iPhone could fill it.


But how to convince Larry?


An opportunity arose when we were buying my new car. (OMG, how spoiled do I sound?)


I deemed it a necessity to have navigation in my car. "It's a matter of safety!" I explained.


But Larry didn't think spending $2K was a necessity. So I appealed to frugal sensibilities of his ancestors, God's Chosen People.


"Well, you know what would be cheaper than navigation? Having an iPhone."


And the stars aligned in my favor once more. Thank you, Moses....or Jacob...or Abraham. Whoever got me my phone. Amen.


So I've spent the past three days researching the essential Apps to get. And here's my list of my favorites so far.


Forgive me if this list sounds so 2009. I'm new to this newfangled stuff. Just call me Grandma.


Best Apps for Moms


1. Yelp - Of course. This foodie wannabe cannot live or eat with out it.  Ratings, photos, everything else you want to know about local eats and other businesses.
2. Lose It! - A weight-loss app that is helping many people shed the pounds quickly. Not me yet. It's telling me I can only eat 951 calories a day. And I usually round that 1 up by a thousand or so. 
3. Groupon - So I don't have to print out all those coupons I buy because I'm addicted to Groupon and LivingSocial and Plum District and...
4. Paper Town Friends - An adorably designed paper doll app that looks like real paper cut outs. Maya loves this one and I may have played it a few times myself. 
5. MouseWait - Gives you live waiting times for the lines at Disneyland.
6. Key Ring - You can put all those membership rewards cards onto your phone so you don't have to carry them around and keep the salesperson waiting for 20 minutes while you search through your wallet. Bitch, relax! I'm getting it!
7. Price Check - Since I'm also obsessed with Amazon, this app can help when I'm about to make a purchase at some place like Target. I just scan the barcode and it tells me if I can get it cheaper on Amazon. 
8. FoodontheTable - I think this is a great one. If you don't know what to make for dinner, this app will tell you what is on sale at your local grocery store and then suggest recipes to make with that sale item. I think it's brilliant. You can also get the whole grocery list ready to take to the store.
9. Camera+ - I haven't used it much yet, but as an amateur photographer I'm interested in the claim that it boosts the capabilities of the iPhone's camera. I just have to learn how to work it....
10. Evernote - Since I love the concept behind Pinterest, I thought Evernote would also be up my alley. Use it to jot down ideas and notes, to bookmark web pages and to save snapshots of things that interest you such as wine labels or, more likely in my case, kids clothes. 



So that's my list thus far. Let me know what else I should be downloading!









Monday, October 10, 2011

Confession -- Proof That I'm a Good Mother

Ladies and gentleman of the jury....


Although I stand before you today for the criminal acts of making Maya clean up her toys and refusing to give Lincoln a cookie even though he loudly demanded one multiple times....  


I implore you NOT to sentence me to an entire lifetime of wiping butts. I can only serve six to eight months. Tops. 


Let me present the following evidence that I am, in fact, a good mother:


I always know when my children are about to make bad choices. Those moments are almost always preceded by 10 seconds of eerie silence. Once in awhile, I even intercept a catastrophe. You are welcome Target. And Vons. 


Despite temptation, I only use duct tape on diapers. 


I have forbidden Maya from playing with boys at school. If she's going to inherit anything from her mother, it will most likely be the boy-crazy gene. I will not have her follow in my kinder footsteps and recreate the "Kissing Corner."


If given the choice, I'd rather my children listen to Green Day than Hannah Montana. Maybe this isn't a good example...though it does demonstrate my true love for them. 


I did, however, take Maya to see Backyardigans Live On Stage. Haven't I served enough time?


I sometimes look up from my iPad when I hear a loud crash in the other room.


I always look up from my shopping when a child screams, "I am hurt! I am bleeding!" I recently performed triage at a Nordstrom Rack and was still able to leave the store with new ballet flats. 


I did not name my child Adolf Hitler Ferchaw. Consider that community service.


I only buy shoes for my children that Velcro closed so they are always safe from tripping on shoe laces. (It's an added bonus that I don't have to bother teaching them how to tie them.)


And, the number one piece of evidence that I am true mother to my children...


I can tell which fart belongs to which child based on a single whiff


I rest my case. 


I challenge you to find me guilty in the face of this overwhelming evidence. 


Though solitary confinement would be real nice around 4:30 tomorrow afternoon.


See what you can do about that. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Obsession - Giveaways

Last week, Dinosaur Train gave me 30 minutes of peace.


And how did I choose to spend that time, you ask?


Did I clean? Oh, you make me chortle. 


Did I iron? Wrinkles are the new trend right now.


Did I work on my various charities? Please. Maya's wearing the same shirt for a second time. We're practically standing in line for government cheese. 


No. I didn't do any of these motherly, housewifey things. I hit refresh on my email about 100 times and perused the halls of Facebook. 


And I stumbled upon a local blog that had all sorts of giveaways going on!


Giveaways? I love me some giveaways!


For some reason, despite all my bellyaching, I've always considered myself a lucky person. Growing up, I always won contests and came in first place for whatever I set my sights upon.


Larry's company used to have these elaborate company dinners around the holidays every year. I won the grand prize for the raffle two or three years in a row. (That's how lucky I am. I cannot even remember all of my winnings.) Well, I think they stopped having those dinners because they were tired of giving me shit. Maybe it looked bad, with Larry's being the boss' cousin and all.


So last week I entered some giveaways on Tiny Oranges and I won four tickets to the Discovery Science Center! It's a great local children's science museum that I've been meaning to visit for some time now.


Now I know you may not think much of my prize but I see it as an omen. The winds of fall are bringing new karma to my life. That shitty summer is in the past. I'm gonna win me some stuff!


Since then, I've entered more and more contests. I won't reveal which ones because, if you enter too, it totally decreases my odds. As it is, I'm competing with 45,000 other people for some knives from Pioneer Woman. 


No, I don't think I'm that lucky. 


Actually, I kinda do. Even though I have spent hours upon hours of my life mocking The Secret, I really just don't want anyone else to tap into my fortuitous mojo. There's only so much mojo out there in the universe. 


Ok, now I'm just sounding greedy. That's totally unlike me. I heard that snort! 


So, now I need to cut this post short so that I can look for more opportunities to win big. What I really need is a vacation. And some cold, hard cash. 


Big money, big money, big money....no whammies!


If you enter a comment below, you will be entered in a chance to win a gently used children's book of Maya's choosing. Don't be surprised if it's one of Lincoln's. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cooking - Holy Mole Chicken Enchiladas

So I try to make a new recipe every week. I've got ADD like that. Or is it ADHD? Can you have one and not the other? Are they basically the same thing but now it is PC to say ADHD? Do people still use the term PC?


What was I saying? Oh yes, FOOD. 


I'm not one of those people who make the same things over and over again. I rarely make the same thing twice in one month. I would even venture to say I rarely make the same thing twice in a six month span. 


I think this is also causing ADD (or ADHD) in my children. (Or PTSD, for that matter.) They never want the same thing over and over again. Maya always wants new foods, new shows, new toys, etc. She has no real "favorite" anything. What if she never settles down and marries a guy because she wants to constantly search for the next best thing? I want grandchildren dammit!!! 


Maybe I'm reading too much into this. Or maybe it's me who always wants new clothes and new toys. Very likely.


I have a point? Oh yes, FOOD.


So, even though I have a chicken enchilada recipe that I find to be the best in the world, I decided to change it up a bit. 


And, this one was a winner. Notice, I did not say THE winner. There have been many winners but few make the grand rotation. It takes a lot to hold my interest. (Actually it only takes three things -- potatoes, oil and salt. But, besides that, it takes a lot. I mean it takes a special recipe for me to even remember it six months later. Mostly likely because, in addition to ADD, I have a horrible memory. Doesn't eating carrots help with that? No, that's eyesight. Well, that ship has already sailed.)


Shit, I lost it again. Oh yes, FOOD. 


Here's the recipe. Try it and, if you like it, remind me that it's a good one in a month or so.


p.s. This recipe can be halved. 


Chicken Mole Enchiladas 


For the sauce 

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 1/4 cup New Mexico chili powder
  • 1/4 cup California chili powder
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion poder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt to taste
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

For the enchiladas

20 corn tortillas
3 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
6 green onions, chopped
2 cups of cooked chicken, shredded
1 cup of sour cream
oil for frying

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until lightly brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning flour.
  2. Gradually stir in tomato sauce, broth, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and onion powder into the flour and chili powder until smooth, and continue cooking over medium heat approximately 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt. Stir in chocolate.
  3. Mix chicken, green onions, cheese and sour cream in a separate bowl.
  4. Fry tortillas individually in oil for a few seconds each. 
  5. Assemble by dipping tortillas into warm sauce, filling with chicken mixture, rolling, and placing into a 13x9 baking dish. Recipe will make enough for two pans. Bake one now and freeze the second for later!
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Trust me on the chocolate. It gives the sauce a depth of flavor and your love will never really know there is chocolate in there.