Monday, July 30, 2012

Litte flowers and carnival time

Its not summer unless you hit the carnival scene. In the big city I hardly ever saw a carnival come to town. If they did, never by me. In the burbs each town gets their turn at the carnival. When I was first married, I think we went to 7 carnivals in one summer. So, its not summer unless you hit at least one carnival during the school holiday.

He looks like a giant tinker toy.

And although I crochet more in the winter and fall, I could not help making these rings. The pattern for the little roses are found here at Lucy's Attic 24. I just bought the rings at Joann Fabrics and glued them on.

 And while I watch Oscars Oasis for the umpteenth time with the little one, I came up with this very floppy tiara/crown thingy for Little A. She wears it proud and despite its floppiness, it stays on her head straight and well.

Hope your world right now is as colorful as ours has been lately!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Stumbled upon joy

I stumbled upon joy the other day. I was on the hunt for the above missing bed linen. I found my cover here:
It had been transformed into a wonderful fort-tent thingy via the resourcefulness of a 4 yr old and 8 yr old. 

Under the cover, I mean tent- fort thingy, I found joy:  tea and crochet blankets.
It gives me great joy to see my little ones enjoy my creations.
And, it puts a smile on my face to see my little boy enjoy a cup of tea with his sister and listen to his sister teach him how to be a proper 
gentleman since mom is too lazy to do it. lol. 

Hope you stumble upon joy soon;)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Flautas/Taquitos the Easy Way

My husband is Mexican. Atleast I think he is. His Spanish is lacking and I usually am the one teaching our kids about our ancestors, but he can cook a mean Mexican meal. And, we have his mom to thank. I always hear how mother-in-laws can be a nightmare and I have to thank the good Lord up above that I have an angel in my MIL. She loves and I mean LOVES to cook. I don't. I burn cornflakes and water all the time;).  But suegra (MIL) thought me how to make a semi-homemade meal since there was no way that I could make it from scratch as she usually does. 
So here is my quick recipe for flautas (means flutes in Spanish) or taquitos made my MIL's way.

You will need:
1- your favorite tortillas- here I used flour and corn
2- your favorite frying oil
3- store bought and fully cooked rotisserie chicken- has some spice already in it!
4- your favorite spices or just get Sazon Goya or Sofrito/Recaito Goya (these are usually found in the Spanish section of the food store).
5- jalapeños- diced-optional
6- cilantro, onions and garlic as you prefer
7- pair of kitchen tongs
8- kitchen towel for tortillas
9-two pans- one deep and one shallow
10- a large dish for your made flautas

1) You will need to break down - literally shred- your store bought chicken. This can be a bit greasy, but its ok. The first time I did this I used my cutting scissors, then I got brave and now only use my hands to break it down.
2) Place - without oil since the chicken should have enough oil in it already- the shredded chicken in a shallow pan and add  your favorite spices. I used cilantro, Sofrito Goya and Sazon Goya (which has the onions and other ingredients in it). You can add the hot peppers at this time if you like.

3) Once your shredded chicken is heated and has absorbed the added spices, set aside.
4) In a deep pan, begin to heat your favorite frying oil. I use Canola. You will not need a ton of oil if you continuously watch and turn your flautas.
5) While your oil is heating up, open your pack of tortillas and wrap them all in your tortilla towel (without the plastic wrap).Put them in the microwave for about 2 minutes or less. The idea is to get the tortilla warm and flexible so that it does not break when you set it in the oil.

6) Carefully, check your tortillas that they are not sticking and are flexible enough to work with. PLEASE BE CAREFUL< THEY CAN BE HOT. Wait till they aren't a danger to touch before filling them with the chicken but not too cold.
7) Add the chicken to the edge of your tortilla and roll the tortilla.
8) Place the wrapped chicken in the heated oil with the opening face down. Let them drop slightly if you can or use the tongs.
Notice the broken tortilla- it was not heated thoroughly. 

9) Turn the flautas (tortilla wrapped chicken) as  you see that they begin to brown or become golden.
10) Take care to not let the chicken drop into the oil from the sides. If it does, you will get popping and ouchy oil burns. The minute a piece of chicken drops from the tortilla, get it out.
11) Stack and enjoy w. your favorite sides.
My large 1970's plate- inherited from my dear aunt- que en paz descanse.
 If you use flour tortillas, they can brown up rather quickly- keep an eye on them. These will be crunchier on the outside and quite delicious; however, they don't  wrap together very well and they tend to absorb too much oil.

For his birthday, I made the hubster one of his favorite meals. I told him that I first cooked the chicken, then made the tortillas from corn and even boiled the beans long enough to get them tender. Truth is, that would have taken me over 3 hours to do. Actually about 8 with the way I cook! The above recipe only takes 30 minutes. Honestly, the first time it took me about 1.5 hours because I was so scared of the hot oil. Use a pair of thongs if you need to;)


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gotta read.

Not to long ago the nice lady at Crochet Concupisence emailed me about a book she was working on. Let me rephrase, a wonderful and much needed in my library, must get as soon as its published, book that she was working on. Its about crochet of-course, but with deeper meaning. Her book "How Crochet Saved my Life" is a collection of the stories behind some pretty awesome women and their past-time, money maker, therapy, etc. etc., known as CROCHET. I can't remember if I answered all of her questions given the amount of medication I was on and the fact that my hands and arms looked like sausages about to explode- hence the stay away from the typing thing. But, I am sure the rest of the stories are exciting and in need of some thorough reading and sharing. I will be sharing this book with the women in my craft and crochet circles.

When you check out her website…. you will need to:

  1. Bookmark it
  2. Go back frequently
  3. Read through the archive
  4. Check out all of the fab reviews and links 
And as a result, you will be inspired.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Garden and Crochet headbands

Life is always busy when you are a yarn or craft person. Add, kids, work, a garden, house, hubster, family and friends and there is never a dull moment. 

Been busy at the garden picking the first fruits and...
picking those nasty Japanese beetles…. they are attracted to our citronella candles for some reason.. the wax melts and drowns them or makes it impossible for them to fly ;) Only Japanese beetles, no bees (that's good) , no wasps, only beetles for some reason.
And been busy watching honey bees. This is the first time I see them in my garden in 4 years! Very excited about this since the wasp population has gotten out of control around us and the bees have diminished.
I want to pop these so badly - they are on our tomato plants. See the ski stick- its used as a tomato support;)

I have also been busy make headbands again. This little number was an inspiration from You Seriously Made That? Click here for the excellent tutorial. It works fast and easily for a nap time craft;)

- I think my freckles are more noticeable in black and white-

I am a yarn-aholic, a yarn hog, a yarn hoarder. But I do use every single piece. These are made from left over yarn. I just double crocheted until I ran out of yarn and made these baby sized head bands. 
I like how the cherries will hang on a little girls head. Now to find a little girl. I did cheat on this. After making the first head band shown, I had the glue gun still on. I always hand sew embellishments but got lazy and glued the cherry leaves on. It went by a lot faster than hand sewing. The down side is that this will be one piece you can't  throw in the wash:( But hey, its was cheap, fast and cute. 

The rose on the one below is one of Lucy's creations and can be found at Attic 24.
This one is for a new born, I think. My little G would not stay still enough for me to see if it will fit a 4 year old. Boys! 

Hope your life has been full
Of busy and fun things
Of gardens and family and crafts
And friends life brings

For to be busy for a day
Leaves you rest well at night
And imagine what you have to do
With the first morning light

For to be busy for a day
Means you've produced something great
A memory, a laugh, a craft
A family that is well fed

For to be busy for a day
Means you are living life fully
Not a boring moment in your life
Take advantage of it thoroughly!
 by Gabli