Saturday, November 3, 2012

Menu Planner Printable

Another organizational tool I've been using lately is a menu plan.

The concept is nothing new, but I love the weight off my shoulders when the old 'what's for dinner?' line comes up. Check the fridge! If that doesn't sound good, skip to the next day!

 I go through the weeks circular, as well as our calendar, and plan out 7 meals before shopping. Usually I try to keep a rotating 'staple' or two on the list, something that I can almost always whip up with ingredients in the pantry, fridge and freezer, no matter when I last visited the grocery store. This helps when we have an unexpected change of plans, something that usually happens at least once a week around here. 

Today I'm sharing with you another FREE printable, click the link below to download, print, and place into a page protector or frame and you are set! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Girls' Shared Room Artwork

About two months ago we moved the girls back into one room together.
mornin' sunshine...nice hair!

 They have previously been together from when M was about 3-6 months old, but because she didn't yet sleep through the night, her cries and my efforts to soothe them often woke K up. In an effort to keep our kids from becoming sleep deprived zombies (like their mother) we moved K downstairs to the guest room/office. It was hard for me. I felt as though she was detached  alone and vulnerable sleeping downstairs with the rest of us upstairs. To go along with my 'mommy guilt' there was also the fact that she continued to wake at least 3 times a week and either call for me from downstairs or creep upstairs in the dark. Both of which broke my heart even more. 

Moving them back in together, while not ideal, seemed to be the best thing for now.

Not only did it curb my guilt over leaving my 4 year old vulnerable at night,
 it was something we need to do because the hubby's new job requires he work from a home office. The downstairs room was our only option for that, well, it was that or the garage. Hopefully I'll get around to a blog post on the downstairs room makeover soon. 

I'll eventually get to the topic of today's post, I promise!!!

The girls furniture was squeezed in together, some taken out for lack of space, and lots of toys were sorted through and given away.

The furniture doesn't match, but I have a feeling that M will be in her crib for another year TOPS. 
(K started to escape at 17 months, which gives me 2 more months of crib confined bliss if M is the same!) 
We will eventually get bunk beds or re arrange the room so M can sleep on the trundle.
That will free up some much desired breathing room in the cramped space, 
maybe, perhaps to be filled with a much desired dollhouse!

Until then, I have done some simple things to decorate the space, and make it more fun for the girls. Both of them LOVE the letters and pictures I have above their beds. 
For the letters, I just grabbed some board letters from Hobby Lobby and 
mod -podged on scraps leftover from M's crib bedding.

I quickly typed up some fun prints for the walls, things I have always sung or said to the girls. 
I'll posting them here so you can grab them if you want!
I used some frames from the dollar store and painted them to coordinate with the room, then used 3M strips to easily(and securely) hang everything on the wall.

M regularly points to it after naps and wants to see her picture up close, 
and K knows that her special letter is there just for her! 
 Kinsey particularly loves the ABC print, 
since she is working hard on learning to write her letters with me lately.

                                                                  Sunshine Download Here

                                                                  Alphabet Download Here

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Homemade Tortillas

On the Agenda today...tortillas! Warm, fluffy, melt in your mouth goodness straight off the griddle. 

This recipe was taught to me by my mother-in-law, a woman who has spent her entire life making tortillas for her family at least twice a week, not including the batch upon batch she prepared as a young lady in her family's restaurant. 

Once you make these the store bought kind will never be the same.

Don't say I didn't warn you!

Step One: Gather ingredients
3 C Flour + extra for rolling
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Salt
1/3 C Vegetable Shortening
Warm water (approx 2 cups)

Step Two: Combine dry ingredients in bowl (flour/salt/baking powder)

Step Three: Add shortening

Step Four: Mix by hand (trust me, it's messy but so much easier than a spoon)
The end result of the shortening/flour mixture should be the texture of sand.

Step Five: Add warm water- start with 1 1/2 C, then work up as needed until you have a dough that holds together but does not stick to your hands.
I usually mix this step with my bare hands as well.
 I'm already a floury mess at this point, so why not?

Step Six: Gently kneed dough (in bowl) until it is soft and not sticky.
You *may* need to add more flour to get it to a non-sticky stage, just play with it until it is easy to kneed without sticking all over.

Step Seven: Cover bowl with kitchen towel and let rest, anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours.
At this point the dough can be put into a ziplock bag and refrigerated up to 24 hours before rolling out.

Now for the process of dividing, rolling and cooking the tortillas.
While you are dividing the dough, set up your griddle, cast iron skillet or large saute pan on medium heat. 

Step Eight: Grab a small handful of dough,
 gently squeeze it between the thumb and forefinger until a ball squishes up.
Pinch off the ball and place it in on clean counter. 
Cover with kitchen towel while you do the next ball. 

You should get about 11-15 small balls, depending on the size you make. 
The bigger the ball, the larger the tortilla.

Step Nine: On a lightly floured surface, squish the ball into a small circle.
Using a floured rolling pin, gently roll in all directions, 
lifting, turning, and flipping the dough frequently to prevent sticking. 
Dough should be almost transparent when thin enough.

*don't worry about perfection here, it's the thick and thin parts and the wonky circles that let your guests know these are the REAL deal!*

Step Ten: Place on pre-heated griddle and let cook until bubbly.
Cook another 30 sec - 1 minute, until bits of brown appear. 

I prefer to place my tortillas between two kitchen towels as they are cooling, it keeps them warm and fresh longer and softens those crispy bits to perfection!

Step Eleven: Top with whatever your heart desires and enjoy!

Pork Carnitas with avocado and tomato on fresh know you want some!


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