Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fancy Pants


 are a gift

from the Lord;

they are a reward

from Him.
Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pico Guac

You remember this yumminess from last weekend?

Yep, that was the Rustic Chunky Pico.

Now I'm gonna show you how I made Pico Guacamole using the Rustic Chunky Pico.

I love avocados.  I really, really love avocados.  I could dive in the big bins of them they have at the Stuff Mart and fill my pockets, shopping cart (in the South it's a "buggy" but I haven't ever caught on to that one!), and all the bags in the produce section.

But I refrain.

On the day I decide my life would be richer for having eaten one of the berries (did you know an avocado is not a vegetable but actually a berry?)  on that day -- that day I only purchase one of the tasty little guys.

And I cut it in half.  Well, when I get home I cut it in half.  I don't think the Stuff Mart produce guys would take too kindly if I started hacking up the avocados in the store.  They already give me the evil eye when I taste a grape to check for sweetness.  One can only imagine the anarchy I would cause by making guac al fresco!

After cutting the avocado in half, I whack my knife into the center of the pit.  (Careful, that knife is sharp!)  Twist the knife and the pit will pop out attached to the knife.

Now you can take that pit, jam four toothpicks around it's side and hang it in the top of a jar that has been partially filled with water.  Let the bottom part of the pit touch the water, and shortly roots will begin to grow.  I remember my aunt having an avocado plant forever that my Kissin' Cousin and I had started when we were just wee ones.  Or at least that's how it all played out in my head...

But, the GHM was more intent on eating the guac than I was on a science project for the kiddos.   So I tossed the pit when no one was looking.

Then I scooped out the beautiful greenish yellowish yum and put it into a small bowl, retrieved a fork and began to mash.

I don't mash my avocado too much.  I like my guac chunky.   I'm a chunky dunker.  Not a skinny dipper.  Face it girls, you don't get a figure like mine by being timid around the guac!

Then I dumped in a bit of the Rustic Chunky Pico and mixed it up.

Then I taste tested.

And tasted again.  And reveled in the glory of the colors.  Of the taste.  Of the fact it was ALL mine as nobody else in our house will eat it!  Yay!

Don't judge me by the height of my guac tower.  It's that good!

Avocados have good fats, phytochemicals, and lots of other good junk in them.  And they taste good.  So, get yourself up to the Stuff Mart and getcha one.  And if you attempt to sprout the pit, send me a picture!!

Love and great guac,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Rustic Chunky Pico

It was a glorious day today and we spent most of it outdoors.  After having a record cold and wet winter, we basked in the sun and warm breezes today.

And after we were done basking, I felt we needed something fresh and really yummy for dinner.  So I whipped up one of my faves...

It's Rustic.  It's Chunky.  It's Pico.  ("It's a home run!  The crowd goes wild!")

One of the reasons I love this stuff is because it tastes so fresh and healthy.  The other reason is because I don't have to chop things to perfection in order for this to look good or to taste good.  And that, my friends, is why I love me some Pico!

First I chop up a bunch of tomatoes.  I prefer Romas.  They're small, tasty, and you can always find them.  Plus they're easy to chop.  That's a big plus to me.

After chopping, throw them in a big bowl.  

At this point I'd like to mention that I'm not putting any measurements in this recipe because said measurements are dependent on a couple things:  
(1) The number of people you'll be serving your Pico to.  
(2) The amount of Pico you would like to present in the bowl to serve to other people after you have had your fill of "taste tests."  
(3) Your personal taste preferences.
(4) That's all.
(5) Thank you.

After the toms, chop up an onion.  I usually use a Vidalia or Sweet onion.  (Is that the same thing?  You'd think I'd know being so close to Vidalia, but alas, I do not.)  Just use a yellow onion, sweet or whatever the store has on hand.  Not a red one.  Don't like that color in my Pico.  I know, I know.  Picky, Picky, Pico.

So, chop up an onion.  The store didn't have any sweet onions, so I only used half of this one.  Probably coulda cut that back a bit, but it was still good.  Good and oniony.  Is that a word?  Oniony...

Throw that in the bowl too...

Then comes the jalepeno.   These babies will either make you smile with delight or cry with pain.  Depends on what kind of woman you are.  Personally, I'm a lightweight when it comes to heat/spice.  I don't like my taste buds to feel like they're attempting to detach themselves from my tongue.  Just a personal preference.

So, I cut my jalepeno in half.

And then I take that half and take the seeds out.  I've been told that's where the heat is.  In the seeds.  I'm not going to test that theory.  

And then -- then I cut it into REALLY tiny pieces.   And sometimes, if I'm not careful, I might cut off a fingernail with my super sharp Ginsu knife.  But only sometimes.  (And don't freak, y'all.  I didn't bleed and I DID find the fingernail!  It's not in my Pico.)

By now you know the routine:  toss it in the bowl.

Now comes my mostest favoritest part.  The cilantro.  Ahhh, cilantro.  I love to say the word.  I love to smell the herb.  I love to eat the leaves.   I. LOVE. CILANTRO.  There.  I said it.  And I'm not ashamed.

I do have a cilantro chopping trick for you, though.  I learned this one from a Pampered Chef lady years and years ago.

Lop off some of the top of the cilantro bunch.  Careful!  That Ginsu is sharp!  Dump the leaves into a small bowl.  Get some kitchen scissors.  Point scissors down into the bowl and snip.  

Snip again.  And again and again.  Snip until your cilantro is chopped to your preference.  Don't snip it too small or you won't be able to taste it.   This is Rustic Chunky Pico, so chant that if you need to remember not to over snip. ("Rustic Chunky Pico.  Big bits."  Snip.  "Rustic Chunky Pico.  Big Bits."  Snip.)

Then throw it in the bowl.  
Stir to combine all veggies.
Looks good, doesn't it?

Now it's time to add the seasonings.

I use a liberal sprinkling of Kosher salt.  Not because I'm Kosher.  Or that I eat Kosher stuff.  Or even that I really know what it means to be Kosher.  Only because I like the big chunkyness of it.    Fits in well with the whole theme of this Pico.

Then some garlic powder.

And a little lime juice.

Stir it well so all the spices mix with the veggies.  Your veggies should be getting really juicy and that makes it all mix a lot better.  And taste better.  

After all the stirring, taste test time!  You know you want to!  Grab a chip and taste.

Adjust the seasonings to your preference.   

Depending on what chips you use, you might want to go easy on the salt.  Seems as if store bought tortilla chips are saltier than the sea.  At least to my taste buds.  

Sometimes, when I'm feeling really frisky, I make my own chips.  I use corn tortillas and cut them up into wedges.  I spray a pan liberally with Pam and spread the tortillas on the pan in one layer.  Spray the tortillas with more Pam and sprinkle with Kosher salt.  Bake at 425 until golden.  These are really good if you have the time.  But plan on making about 4 times as many as you think you'll need.  It's amazing how quickly they disappear.

Enjoy your Rustic Chunky Pico.
The beauty.
The aroma.
The taste.  Oh, the taste!
And if you think this is good, wait until you see what I did to another recipe using this Pico.  (What was left of it after I had "taste tested!")

Friday, March 19, 2010

Inventive Infection

Being sent home with a 102 degree fever is not fun.  Unless you are CraftyGirl and you get to watch movies all afternoon. 

And draw. 
And draw.
And draw.
That's a good day off from school, my friends!!

And then your mother makes you tell all about your drawings so that she can blog about it. 

Greyhaired Momma (GHM):  Tell me about what you've drawn.

CraftyGirl (CG):  If a drip comes from infector and on you, you are infected.  

GHM:  Tell me more than that.  What are these things?  

CG:  Umm.. There's a spot coming out of it's spout.  And that has poison in it that could kill you or make you have infection.  

GHM:  What else?

CG:  Hmmm.... There's a tail at the bottom with spines that poke on yoru skin and then the germ bites you with it's sharp teeth at the top and then puts the poisionous on you.

GHM:  And why did you draw that?
CG:  I drew it because I wanted you... I wanted you to look at it.  Or to show you that it has not very spikey teeth at the bottom, but it has very spikey teeth at the top.

GHM:  Do you think that's the bug that made your body feel yucky today?

CG:  Yes.  Maybe it's the sick germ or the killing germ.

GHM:  So tell me about that other picture you drew.  What is it called?

CG:  A killing germ.  And if a drop comes out of it's spine on the top, then it will kill you.  But if you see a germ like this, run.  Because it will infect you or kill you if it -- if it -- if it  -- if a drop comes out of the left spine, that will infect you.  But if a drop comes out of the right, it will kill you.  There are other types of bugs that I made, like the Sick Germ.  And once Momma showed me a picture of germs on the computer.

GHM:  Where did you get your ideas for your drawings?

CG:  You.

GHM:  From me?  How?

CG:  From when I told you I was curious about germs and you showed me pictures of them on the computer.  And you read stuff about them to me. 

GHM:  (Note to self... She listens when I speak.  And learns.  YIPPEE!!)  Anything else you'd like to say about it?

CG:  Ummm... The Sick Germ, on the top, there is a little spine on the top that is so sharp that it can suck up your blood.  And after it sucks up your blood, it will put poison juice on you that will make you sick.

GHM:  What are you going to do now?

CG:  I'm going to draw The Infection Cow.  And that's it.  That's my story about Infection Germ and Infection Cows... Wanders off with MY pad of Post-Its...

Tune in next time for more on Mad Cow Disease, I mean, The Infection Cow here on Tales from a 6 year old's Infected Mind...  Wait, wait, wait.  That sounds so wrong.  Lemme rephrase...

Tune in next time as an infected six year old tells you what goes on in her mind.

Not much better.  But you get the picture.  Germs and all!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blessing O' The Irish

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.

May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.

May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.

May all life's passing seasons bring
the best to you and yours.

~ An Old Irish Blessing

Monday, March 8, 2010


After much waiting and hand wringing, MotorMan received his next set of orders. 

Looks like we're heading back to P'cola.  We're both very excited for this new adventure.

Thank you to the many, many, many of you who have been diligently praying for us and our future.  We are thrilled to see how God works in us and through us in our new home.

We'd still appreciate prayer for some clear answers on our house here -- we'll continue to attempt to sell, but are open to renting too.  Anything before we leave...

God is good, and His timing is perfect.  We're resting in that...  And buying sunscreen by the caseload!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lookee Here!

I have been eyeing my new camera's strap with disdain for about a month now.  (Yes, I finally got my new camera, and am trying to be patient as I learn all of it's bells and whistles.   All the pics I've been posting are from the new camera and I love most of 'em!)

So, back to the strap.  The boring, black strap.  With the brand, NIKON, stitched across it in a screaming, annoying yellow color.  

I'd looked online at several places that make funky, fancy, frilly and fantastic strap covers and replacement straps.  I was thrilled with the choices, the colors, the variety...  What I wasn't thrilled with was the price.  Especially since I usually just bunch the strap up in my hand as I'm carrying the camera.  It's not like it's a necklace or anything.   I'm not really into the whole camera-around-the-neck-Hawaiian-shirt-white-knee-socks-with-sandals-look.  

After looking closely at the pictures for the strap covers sold online, and after letting the idea simmer in my brain for a while, I decided to give it a whirl.  

I bought some funky, pretty material at Walmart.  Total cost for material:  $.50   Yes, you read that correctly -- fitty cent!

Then, using my Greyhaired Momma super duper brainpower, I stitched up a slipcover for my strap.

Luckily for me, the length of the fabric was long enough to create a gathered slipcover.  And, I'd purchased a 1/8 of a yard of the fabric, so that was perfect for the width.  As I see it, it all worked out smashingly, as I don't like fiddling with measuring the width and then trying to figure out how to cut a straight line.  And, don't even begin to mention a quilter's circular roller cutter thingie.  I am still suffering PTSD from the attempts at quilting I did during college.  Excuse me now while I go deal with this quilting-induced eye twitch...

I began by folding the ends of the cloth over to the wrong side and sewing a 1/4" seam.  

Then, I folded the fabric the long way and stitched a 1/2" seam, stopping about 2" from the ends of the fabric.

I then pinked the edge.  Oh, I love pinking.  I love the name of it, I love the zig zag edge of the fabric and I love the little ziggy zaggy ribbons of fabric that are left over after the pinking has concluded.  Oh, pinking, how I love you!  Hmmm... what else in this house can I find to pink???

I digress.  Again.

After pinking (ahhhh!), I finger pressed open the seam.  Who needs an iron when you've got a fingernail?  Not this girl.  
Then came the tricky part:  Sewing the pocket/canal/channel around the top in which to hold the ribbons that would close the ends of the slipcover.  I had thought to sew a nice little three sided rectangle -- ugh, can it be a rectangle if it only has three sides?  So, I thought I'd sew a three sided rectangle a "U" shape around the top edge of each end, flip it to the inside, and sew the pocket/canal/channel.  Only problem?  The little tube of fabric was too small for me to do that on my machine without sewing the whole schebang together.  

You might ask how I know that it was too small.   Did I eyeball it and know?  Did I put it on the machine and know?  No.  And no.  I tried to sew it.  Then I reintroduced myself to my friend, my CLOSE friend, Miss Seam Ripper.  She and I go way back.  She, too, is a part of my quilting past.  And pretty much anything else I've ever tried to sew.   In my defense, most of her use has been a direct result of my sewing machine throwing a tantrum rivaling any three year old and making a big mess of whatever project I'm sewing.  It certainly doesn't have anything to do with my, ahem, skills.  (Un-skills?  Lack of skills?)  At least that's my story.  And I'm stickin' to it...

Out came a needle.  And thread.  And a lot of negative thoughts.  I'm not a big fan of hand sewing.  But, for the sake of the craft, I sewed the pocket/canal/channel by hand.  It wasn't so bad.  But, I'm sure it's like childbirth -- the memories fade over time!

Then I flipped the whole thing inside out.  And threaded the ugly stock strap through my new, funky, pretty slipcover.  Added some ribbons through the channels on each end and tied little bows.  

Then I stood back and patted myself on the shoulder.

Cost of fabric:  Fitty Cent
Time of labor:  About one hour...give or take eye twitching episodes and Miss Ripper's involvement.
Beautification of the standard, stock, black, and boring camera neck strap... Yeah, you know what's coming... wait for it... wait for it...PRICELESS!

I'm thinkin' that I could become a camera-around-the-neck-Hawaiian-shirt-wearing-white-knee-socks-with-sandals kinda girl.  Except without the Hawaiian shirt.  Or the knee socks with sandals.  But with, definitely with, the camera around my neck sporting a cute slipcovered strap!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

1 John 3:1

How great... the love...


...the Father...


...has lavished...


...on us...


...that we...

...should be called...


...children of God.


And that... what...


...we are!