Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mom's Birthday 2013, Biscochos and Chile Colorado

Several years ago (2010) for my mom's birthday we decided to make Biscochos and it turned out that everyone in our family somehow made time and was able to show up and celebrate mom's birthday and make Biscochos with her and I took lots of pictures And shared them on THIS BLOG POST.

For anyone who doesn't know what a Biscocho is it's a delicious little cookie made with a spice called Anise that gives it a very distinctive flavor. You can find the recipe HERE.

Here's a picture of the ones we made this year. They are almost the texture of shortbread but with a cinnamony anise flavor.

We decided to try it again this year and sent out an "Open House" invitation for everyone to come from 11am until ??? to help to celebrate Mom's Birthday. We sweetened the pot by letting everyone know that mom would be making her world famous Chile Colorado. It's to die for! No recipe for that one, only mom knows the secret!

Here's mom and I again! We are always the first to show up!

We got up early and she actually tried to teach me the secrets of making her Chile Colorado but she had already prepared the Chile mixture the day before, so I was left out of the loop! By accident or by design Mom??? Hmmm!

Not to be left out Lisa arrived to help us with the prep work, so we paused first for a picture. Mom hates it that we stop to take so many pictures! Once she gets going she's all business!

Soon my brother and his gang arrived and the festivities began! Here's my brother Jaime, sister Lisa and Mom of course. What a great picture!

My brother Jaime actually likes to cook with his kids. One year he and his baby Clarissa made homemade soap for everyone. Here you see him overseeing his son Gabriel as Sarena and Clarissa watch from the side.

Next it was my time for my sister and her family. Unfortunately Sean had to work and so Baby J wasn't there, but Lisa and her son Isaac and her husband Sean still managed to have fun!

Then it was time for a Selfie. By this time mom was having fun taking pictures so we got her to smile a bit!

As you can see in this next one Mom really starts to get into the act and you see her here with my daughter April, pretending to take the rolling pin away from here while April very calmly just smiles for the camera! and me. Both of us are old pro's at making Biscochos, so we just pose for the camera!

Next, Lisa's turn for her picture with mom!

After beginning this day so early and after so much work Lisa and I were a bit thirsty and we happened to have a bottle of one of my favorite wines. What kind of cook cooks without wine? Not us! Sometimes we even add it to the recipe, but this time is was just for US!

By this time it's getting late, you can see outside the window that it's dark. We've had a great day and my son Jim shows up to roll out a batch of cookies with his Nana!

But we weren't done yet, my brother Fred showed up after work with his family and they each took a turn baking with Nana!

Here's mom with her youngest granddaughter Melissa. Melissa had just come from her soccer game, which they won! Yay Melissa!

Next up my brother Fred supervises his son Freddie while Melissa looks on.

Here's a beautiful picture of all my brother Fred's family. The only one missing was Beatriz as she was at work. Isn't this a beautiful picture? It's Christmas card worthy!

Freddie enjoyed it so much he's thinking of becoming a Baker! He did a great job!

Mom was exhausted after all the activity but she was so happy that we all did this for her and gave her this beautiful day! It was our pleasure. Happy Birthday Mom! 


Thanksgiving 2013

My sister and I have realized that my blog is a great way to keep track of what we did the previous year for the holiday, so I'm going to update my blog to keep track of this year, 2013. So this is mainly just photos.

Thanksgiving was very low key, spent it with my sister Lisa and her family.

The day started with mom and I heading to Thanksgiving Day Mass.

By the time we left our turkey was in the oven and stuffing was made!

This was a semi-sad Thanksgiving for us because my dad passed away in July, but we were blessed with a new family member in this year and I know my dad was smiling down on this little angel, happy that she was here to lighten our hearts. 

Introducing, Jaelynn, or as I like to call her, Baby J!

She is my sister Lisa's first granddaughter and she is the sweetest most adorable baby ever! Look at that face! She is the perfect mimicker, make a sound or a face and she mimics it! Check out this video!

We spent a lot of our afternoon just watching Baby J play! Baby J is not only my sister's first granddaughter, but she is also the very first great grand baby for my mom!

Here's my sister Lisa, Baby J and my mom in the top picture. Baby J's daddy, Sean keeping a watchful eye on his little girl in the bottom left picture (he is just enchanted by her!) and then Nana showing off her great granddaughter in the bottom right picture!

Later on all the boys showed up, here's a picture of the men in my sister Lisa's life. From the left, her husband Sean Sr, then Baby J's daddy Sean Jr and the baby of the family, Isaac.

Then it was time for the cousins to get a picture. From the left, my son James, his cousins Sean and Isaac.

Apparently no one wanted to take a picture of me, so I had to do a selfie! All in all it was a very nice way to spend time giving Thanks. I'm thankful to have all the people pictured above in my life!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Football Sunday Food!! Bacon Cheddar Burger Balls!

I was wondering this morning what I could eat that would be low carb, that my family would like and that would be easy to munch on while I watched football since there were three really good games on the schedule!

My facebook page had a post from djfoodie for Burger Balls! I just happened to have all the ingredients. Here's the picture that caught my eye on facebook...

Photo Credit: djfoodie
Don't those look yummy? Don't let the simplicity fool you, these are labor intensive. They aren't hard to make, just time consuming and there are a lot of steps, but they are good! You can find the recipe right HERE.

I followed it exactly this time, didn't made any changes. I think next time I would like to try them with pepper jack cheese and not bake them for as long as I did. They seemed a little dry. Oh..and I used ground beef, but I think I would prefer ground turkey. I love ground turkey!

Here are the meatballs ready to be seared in the pan. But before you get to this part you have to dice onion and garlic and caramelize it in a pan with oil. Then mix the meat, one egg and the carmelized onion/garlic and make the meatballs. 

You have to flatten the ball and then put a little bacon bits and a cube of cheese and then gently roll the ball back up.

Then you sear them in a pan and it should be an oven proof pan, but I didn't have one so I just put them on a baking sheet all together. 

Here they are, all seared and ready to go in the oven. You can see there are three with toothpicks in them...those are special for my mom as she won't eat any onion. Just searing them they start oozing cheese if you didn't form them correctly, which obviously I didn't!

I baked mine at 450 for 10 minutes, I should only have done the 5 to 7 minutes suggested as I thought mine were a little overdone. Here they are straight out of the oven, you can see they oozed quite a bit more cheese. You have to really seal them well. 

Here they are, ready to "come and get'em!"

I made a quick cole slaw using an angel hair cabbage slaw I found recently at WinCo. I like it because it's a lot easier to chew and it's pretty! 

As you can see, even though a lot of cheese came out during the process there was still plenty inside...yum! Low Carb and delicious!

So the Chargers won...Yay! And my Cowboys won...Yay! Yay!  Now I'm watching the Broncos and the Patriots and it looks like it's going to be an easy win for the Broncos, but we shall see.

How was your Football Sunday? Any great snacks you had while watching?


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wouldn't it Be Great to Have a Magic Genie and What One Thing About Yourself Would You Change?

There's this thing known as NaBloPoMo or National Blog Posting Month. Traditionally November is the National Blog Posting month and unfortunately I didn't sign up in time...and actually I don't know that I would have anyway as it's a pretty tall order to have the commitment to write every day for a month!

But I do like to look at the daily blogging ideas that they give to get your creative juices going. 

This one was from yesterday: 
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? 

 It would be so easy to list 10 things, 20 things, 50 things…but just one? That makes it so much harder because if you can only change one thing…just one…what would you choose? 

The obvious choices would be cosmetic choices, change my weight, my height, the size of my lips, and perfect my vision so I wouldn’t need glasses…those kinds of things. But shouldn’t you choose something greater if you can only change one thing? 

 Maybe change my job? Find a more challenging career, something that makes me excited to go to work in the morning. Maybe become a dance instructor, but then you have to learn to dance and have some rhythm without tequila and Long Island Iced Teas! A race car driver? Yeah, that would be great! I can totally see myself doing that, but that would mean being gone from home for months on end. And then there’s that crashing thing that doesn’t really appeal to me. See…that’s the thing, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up! 

 I guess if I could change one thing it would be to have been a better mother. Being a single mother means that you are torn in a million different directions. Because I had to be mother and father to my kids I did neither job perfectly. I know that no one really does, but if I had to do my life over again I would have been a better mother. 

I wouldn't have allowed the daily stresses of work and bills and groceries and dishes and laundry overwhelm me. I would have spent more time with my kids and been more patient with them.

Sometimes at the end of a hard day it was all I could do to use my last remaining bit of energy to make dinner, do dishes, help with homework, give baths, supervise tooth-brushing, read bed time stories and tuck them in. Yeah, I would change that. 

But if my magic genie gave me three wishes then definitely I would wish myself to have a perfect metabolism/body and a super great, interesting job that paid well! 

 What one thing would you change? Think about it…it’s not easy!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Love your Neighbor as Yourself, But Don't Take Down the Fence!

"Love your neighbor as yourself; but don't take down the fence."
 Carl Sandburg 

I gotta tell ya...I'm not loving my neighbors today!! Last night was Halloween night of course. We didn't get many trick-or-treaters so we expected an uneventful night. Unfortunately that was not the case.

Around 11 pm some kids in a car decided to drive like maniacs down the alley on the block adjacent to ours. They came out of the alley at a high rate of speed and lost control once they got on the street and they came crashing through the fence into my backyard!

My son happened to be outside with the dogs and was quick enough to move out of the way before they could mow him down as well. He remembers hearing the car's engine and seeing the headlights and thinking "Oh crap, they're not stopping" and moving out of the way.

They broke through the fence...the fence that my daddy built! I think that is the worse part, that dad built this fence and now part of it is destroyed and will have to be rebuilt by a stranger, someone that didn't put his heart into it.

I'm grateful that no one was hurt. I know that is numero uno! But now that my son is safe, and our doggy's are safe, I can grieve for the fence and the memories of my dad putting it together and his opening the gate to park his RV.

The stupid kids put the car in reverse and fled the scene. My son said he heard the passenger yelling, "Put it in reverse, put it in reverse!" Hopefully they were not hurt, I wouldn't want them to be hurt. Hopefully it put the fear of God into them and they won't ever be that reckless again! And hopefully their parents will see the damage to the car and do the right thing...hopefully.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Omelettes! It's Whats for Breakfast!

I know I've been A.W.O.L. It's been hard to get my blogging mojo going after the passing of my dad in July. But everyday gets better.

The good thing is that I've stuck with my low carb way of eating through it all and lost 21 pounds! Yay me!.

Love low carb and hopefully now with the weather turning cooler I will start cooking again and posting my recipes and sharing pictures.

This morning I made a yummy low-carb Jalapeno-Avocado Omelette with shredded cheese and one slice of bacon. It was delicious.

Got a busy day ahead of me, hope everyone has a great weekend!


Friday, September 20, 2013

A Jewelry Store? A Bookstore? An Art Gallery? Yes to all!

It's no secret that I love to read! I've mentioned many times in previous posts that I like to go to a special Goodwill Store that we have close by that has books, books and more books! The best thing is that most of them are 80 cents! You can't go wrong with that! Even buying online books at 99 cents can't beat my bookstore. I've also mentioned many times that someday I was going to take pictures of this store and write a post about it. Today is that day!

A little background...the reason for my title to this post is this bookstore has many faces. It's a bookstore, true, but it's also a nick-knack store, a jewelry store, an art gallery and much, much more! 

Here you see books! What I love is that the employees that work here have this store super organized. They have signs posted above each section that says whether it's Fiction, Non-Fiction, Education, Health, Parenting, Religious, Cooking, etc, get the idea, right? The books are all alphabetized by author in each section!

And in little nooks and crannies, like on the shelf at the bottom of this photo, they tuck little treasures, like dolls, candle sticks, looks like there is even a Santa Claus cookie jar down there! Darn, wish I had seen that!

Here's the front entrance and they have a bookcase there facing the outside with some of their newer inventory of books. I usually grab about three or four books the second I come in!

And I forgot to put in my title that this is also a Hallmark Store!! Well not really, but see that nice, neat little section of different greeting cards? Nothing goes to waste once donated to Goodwill!

Also look carefully and you will see lots of other goodies, see some purses hanging on the wall behind the cashier? They also have some vintage jewelry back there too!

Another shot of books and they also sell boxes. I've bought some of these boxes many times to move and sometimes just to store some of the books I've bought and read and need to return to Goodwill so someone else can benefit from them!

I could spend hours in this place, which is why it's nice that they have created such a nice little reading area. All of this is donated stuff and almost all of it is for sale, but these tables and the little couch and a few chairs on the other side are not for sale but for customers to just sit and relax and look at books. 

The store has regular customers that come in and sit on weekends and just pass the time, just like a Barnes and Noble Bookstore...except without a Starbucks. 

Another shot of books! As you can see there is a never-ending supply of books coming into this store constantly! Can you also see those posters and pictures set alongside? There are treasures to be seen everywhere!

Another shot of books! When you read as much as I do it's really a nice option to be able to have such a huge selection for such a great, when I finish I donate them back so the Goodwill continues to profit from the books and someone else gets the pleasure of reading these books over and over again! Win-Win!

I thought this was an interesting little corner to share because this is all their vintage books. I've been looking for a first edition copy of the book, The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney. It was a book I read over and over as a child until it fell apart. I always check out this section and hope that one day I will come upon it. That will be a happy-happy, joy-joy day!

And say you come with someone that is not into books...well they won't be bored, just tell them to stroll over to the Art Gallery! I love this section!!!

Here's a shot from the entrance, this room is located at the back of the store and there's lots of natural light which is perfect to show off all this cool artwork you can buy. It's all for sale! Someone that really loved ballet must have recently donated!

More artwork! Isn't this fabulous? And all hung and displayed so nicely. And the store is so clean!!! 




Can you see why I love this place and constantly rave about it and devoted a whole post to it? And I'm still not done!!! Yes...there is more to see!

I probably should have started with this photo as this is the front of the store. 

Where to start! Ok, so on the shelves to the left you see magazines. Yes, they even salvage magazines, lots of Oprah's and Southern Living and others. More artwork of course, probably their newest arrivals! And lots of little nick-knacks on the shelves and even on the floor! You can see in the background what appears to be jewelry, it is!


This is a very cute section too. They don't sell the little bookshelf itself, trust me I've asked because I love it, but it is always filled with lots of cute little treasures!

And because I was so busy taking photos I wasn't really paying much attention to what was on the shelf and now I see that little angel blowing a kiss!! Love it! Shoulda bought it!


And favorite section in the whole store...oh c'mon....who am I kidding, the whole store is my favorite. But you know how you save the best for last? Well I always save looking at the jewelry for last because it is my favorite part.

I have found tons of cute bracelets and necklaces here for great prices! And the great thing is the pieces I find here are unique one of a kind items that no one else has!

And I didn't leave empty handed. Along with all these great pictures, look what's in my shopping cart?


I think that book in the front is one my mom or sister threw into my cart because I just looked around here at home and I don't have that book and I know it's not a book I would have been interested in. But the low-carb cookbook and the Atkins book behind it I will love going through.

So this is why I don't own a Kindle. Owning a kindle would keep me from the pleasure of visiting this great place filled with books and treasures and jewels and artwork and would probably put Goodwill out of business considering that I visit this place almost every weekend...but wouldn't you if you had it in your home town?