December 31, 2009

belly fat...

maya: mom, you have belly fat.
me: uh, well, yes i do.
maya: would you like to lose that belly fat?
me: um, yes i would.

we've had variations of this conversation for a year. damn those belly fat commercials. it's bad enough i have to watch them but then i have to have my 6 yr old reminding me every couple of days that i also need to listen to them. so this is the year of the belly fat removal. no, i'm not going in for surgery...i wish i was...i'm going to have to do it the old fashioned way. wish me luck.

December 30, 2009

chile verde...yummy yum yum...

hola! there is a little mexican restaurant that only exists in cedar city and st. george, utah. unfortunately i live about 3 hrs. from cedar and a good 4 hrs. from st. george. it is called pancho and lefty's and i literally crave their pork chile verde. it is also the only mexican restaurant that my dear sweet husband will walk into. damn the luck. so i decided the other day that i would try and recreate what they do so well and i ran across a recipe over here that is pretty darn close. i'll jot it down and you can try it if you like. it's a sunday dinner type of thing because it takes some time but it oh so worth it if you like a good chile verde.

pork chile verde

3 lb. pork loin cut into 1/2" chunks (i got 4.19 lbs and had the butcher cut into chunks for me which i then brought home and cut all the sinewy yuckiness out of and all the fat...after i got all that out it was about 3 lbs, i think.)
1 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
4 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 c water

chile sauce
2 anaheim peppers, seeded and sliced or poblanos
1 1/2 lbs. tomatillos, cleaned and cut in two
1 lrg onion cut into 8 equal pieces
4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dry oregano
1/4 tsp sugar

Start by cutting your pork (if you didn't have your butcher do it, which you should because it's sooo much easier!) into 1/2" cubes and add to a large ziploc bag. quick tip: put your big ziploc freezer bag into some sort of bowl, i use my pyrex measuring cup, and pull it down over the sides. it's a good way to keep it upright while you have pork covered hands. add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, water and olive oil to your bag. close the bag leaving a little bit of air in it and 'smoosh' it around to thoroughly mix the seasoning into the pork. set this aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

while your pork is marinating, peel the outer shell of the tomatillos and wash them to remove the sticky residue. cut them in half and slice the onion into 8 equal pieces. slice your chili's in half after seeding them. transfer your tomatillos, onion and chilis along with the 4 cloves of garlic into a baking dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1-1:15 hrs. remove from the oven and let it cool slightly. add to a food processor or blender and add the salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder and sugar. pulse to get it started and then blend it really well. set aside.

after your pork has marinated, add it and the marinade to a large deep skillet preheated to high. you will want a pan big enough to hold the pork and the sauce. a good way to know if your pan is hot enough is to add a few drops of olive oil and when it starts to smoke, it's ready. cook your pork on all sides, stirring often. this will take about 20 minutes. once the pork is cooked, stir in your sauce along with about 2 1/2 cups water. i did this differently...i put it all in my big crockpot and reduced the water to 1 1/4 cups. then i cooked it on high for about 4-5 hrs. taking the lid off the last hr. and stirring occasionally. if you don't want to use a crockpot then do this: bring all ingredients to a boil in the pot and reduce heat to the lowest possible setting and cover. your looking for a low simmer, it should barely even bubble. cook for about 1 1/2 hrs. stirring occasionally. you could also transfer your covered pot to a 300 degree oven and bake for about an hour. try a piece of meat and it should be tender when done.

now the recipe suggests that you use corn tortillas...we didn't. i spooned some of the chile verde into a flour tortilla then rolled it up and put it in the same baking dish i used for the veggies. then i spooned some of the sauce over the top, put some cheese on that and broiled for a minute or 2 until it melted. then we put sour cream, shredded lettuce and some avacado on top. so yummy!

i also made mexican rice and black beans and i'll put those recipes down too.

mexican rice

2 tbsp vegetable oil...i used olive 1 tbsp ground cumin
1 onion, chopped 1 c uncooked long or short grain rice
1 tsp minced garlic 1 3/4 c chicken broth
1 tsp chili powder 1/4 c tomato paste...i used tomato puree

preheat the oven to 350. heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. add the onion and garlic, cook and stir until onion is translucent. stir in the chili powder and cumin, and cook for about 30 seconds. add the rice, chicken broth and tomato paste and bring to a boil. transfer to a casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil or a lid. bake for 35-40 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender.

black beans baby

1 16 oz can black beans...i used a big one 1 tbsp fresh cilantro...left this out because big d
1 small onion, chopped doesn't like it
1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste

in a medium saucepan combine all ingredients except seasonings and bring to a boil. reduce heat to medium-low. season and simmer for 5 minutes.

well there you go....a mexican fiesta from mi casa to su casa.

December 29, 2009

oh fur the love...

this is what happens
at our house when a
funny hat shows up...
the camera comes out
and the goofiness

December 28, 2009

and other gifts...

so my girl that's 18...she gives good gifts.
last year she gave me a cd case with cds she had made for me. compilations according to genre. they are my favorite cds ever. she did good.

this year she saved her change in her piggy bank and cashed it in and gave me a mp3 player. i've wanted one forever and she bought me a nice one! i love it when they get older.;D

the man...he does a good job too. some years. one year i got a shotgun and a bright yellow parka. he uses the shotgun and that bright yellow went back and traded places with a nice green one. sometimes he forgets that i'm not a bright yellow kinda girl. he had a bad year that year. in his defense though, he bought the shotgun hoping that i would want to go hunting with him. hasn't happened yet.

last year he did a wonderful thing. i brought home an old medicine cabinet during the summer that i had bought at a yard sale for $3. of course he asked me the question he always asks me when i bring something home like that...'what the hell are you going to do with that thing?' to which i gave my standard reply...'i'll figure out somewhere to put it and you'll love it when i'm done.' well it sat and sat and he showed nothing for contempt for it because it was taking up precious space in his shop. then christmas morning last year he came in from the shop with a beautiful jewelry case made out of that medicine cabinet. it's awesome and amazing and i love, love, love it. every morning when i get my jewelry out i smile because he does love it.;D

this year i got a special little gift....we have some cool old drawers that he made a bunch of different things out of and i got a sweet little cabinet. inside that cabinet were certificates that he made himself, cut into snowflakes with honey do's on them. one was for a back rub...always a winner! for an installation of a door i've been wanting to put in...and one was for a movie date with no phone, that's a problem with him. all great gifts and well thought out. bravo big d!

i hope that you all got everything you wanted
for christmas and maybe some things
that you didn't know you wanted but you
love just the same!;D

December 25, 2009

the greatest christmas present of all time...

my girl...the oldest one.
she's turning 18 today.
that's a scary number.
next year at this time she'll be coming home from college for christmas.
which means she'll be away from home before that.
that's a scary and sad thought....
wrapped up in a happy thought for her.

18 things that make mady special to me:
her smile
her sense of humor
that she will dance crazy with me and the two little ones.
she's loyal
she's incredibly smart that is.;D
strength...lots of it
her sense of self
to know her is to love her
her hair...when it's all curly
that i got to carry her for 9 months
she makes me proud in some way everyday to be her mom
she loves her family
her tenacity
that she comes home after school and talks to me about her day
her courage
the goals she has set for herself
her morals
she's my friend as well as my daughter

so happy birthday mady sunshine...i love you with all of my heart!

oh and i guess i'll also wish all of you a very merry christmas! i hope your day is amazing!

December 11, 2009


it's been a hectic month. getting ready for the dickens festival and then getting there and setting up...for 8 hrs...and then sitting and sitting and sitting for 4 days. 9am-9pm. those.are.long.days. i'll post some pictures of the booth later.

the thing i want to tell you about is this...

by this amazingly talented man. we try and go see this every year. every year that we go i get all excited to buy the tickets when they come on sale and then when it's time to actually go my little home body soul kicks in and i don't want to go anywhere...let alone salt lake in the freezing cold, it was 3 last night! that's it, 3 degrees. brrrr. so yesterday i started in with the oh no i'm going to have to leave my house thing. of course we went and like every other time i'm so glad that we did. we took the middle one for the first time this year....i'm thinking that 6 is not quite old enough yet. maybe 8 is the magical number.

this play is the spirit of christmas in a song. i cry every year. every.dang.year. music just touches my soul. it makes me feel things that i forget i can feel. michael mclean does an amazing job of reminding me what the season is all about. christ. pure and simple. and family and memories and goodness. it's so easy to get wrapped up in all of the stress of christmas and forget that it's about those things. so thank you, once again, mr mclean for putting my heart in the right direction. my compass was shaky and needed to be firmly planted in the direction of home.

this cd is our favorite at christmas time. if you've never heard it i would greatly encourage that you hop on over to amazon and get it on its way to your home. your whole family will love it and i dare you not to cry when you listen to those 'forgotten carols'. there's a book too!
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