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.