Saturday, February 23, 2008

Yee-Haw!

I've had the great joy of discovering a new-to-me blog: Homesick Texan.

I say "new-to-me" because judging from my Bloglines, as well as the number of comments that her blog generates - I am one late pixie to *this* party.

But no mind - better late than never...
I'm just glad I found it, because I can tell that it's a keeper.

And even if it weren't, I would still be forever in debt to the Homesick Texan, for it was she who introduced me to the supreme awesomeness that is the Texas Nacho.



OK - first of all, you need to tot over to Homesick Texan ASAP, and read her post entitled Nachos 101.

Go ahead - scoot now. I'll wait...
[[[humming quietly to self. waiting for you to come back.]]]

OK, see now why I wanted you to read that for yourself? There's no way that I could do that justice, not even in a summary.

And I don't know about you, but I've got to tell you that I was intrigued. Because my experience with nachos? Totally the big-pile-o'-chips-with-stuff-dumped-on-top one.

Don't get me wrong, I have a great appreciation for the "pile o' stuff" kind. But to learn there was a different kind out there? Very, very intriguing.

Plus, honestly, they didn't sound that difficult. And it's been icky, cold and wet here lately - so a shakeup to the usual routine seemed called for.
(I know that Georgia's in the middle of a scary-serious drought. Therefore, it seems churlish to complain about the rain. But let me just say that the novelty of seeing wet stuff fall from the sky has totally worn off....)

For starters - the Homesick Texan says that you really should make the chips yourself.

What?

You can *do* that?
Really?

Who knew?

OK - so maybe everybody but me knew this. But I honestly had never given this any thought at all. Tortilla chips come in bags in the grocery store, and in a basket at the restaurant. But I'm willing to give this a try...



Corn tortillas, cut into sixths, chunked into oil, cooked for a minute or so on each side.
(This is supposed to be 350° oil, but I have no idea if I had that or not. The only cooking thermometer I have is a meat thermometer, and I suspect it's not the same thing at all...)

Making Tortilla Chips



Removed from the oil, drained on paper towels, sprinkled with salt.

Homemade Torilla Chips



Want a closer look?

GlamourShot.


At about this point, Schecky comes wandering into the kitchen. He suspects that I am making popcorn, because "it smells like you're making popcorn!"

After the initial "there's no popcorn" disappointment, Schecky asks to try a chip. So he and I sample one each.

Sweet cracker sandwich! These things are GOOD!
I mean really, Really, REALLY good!
They are much thicker and heartier than a regular chip - which I think will be good for holding up to toppings. I am already impressed beyond all belief with this.


But I'm not stopping here...
I set up a "Nacho Making" bar. I have visions that everyone can top their own nachos, exactly the way they want.

The Texas Nacho Preparation Area


Except that didn't happen...
The prevailing attitude was "we don't care, just make them how you want them."

Hmph. Ingrates.I'll teach them not to care... mutter, mutter, mutter...



So - bean and cheese it is. Everyone will eat that. I'll leave salsa and jalepenos for the table for additional doctoring. Into the oven they go.

Ready for the Oven



Five minutes and 350° later, this is what I spy...

(drool)



And dinner is served...

Dinner is Served...


Yes, you're seeing that correctly, I only ate three.
Well, three at a time...

The result?
This one knocked it out of the park, folks. It was unanimous - we all LOVED them...

Schecky declared: "This is my favorite thing that you've ever made, EVER!"
(Then he looked a little guilty and added "that's important, Mom, 'cause you make lots of good stuff." He's a sweet one, that boy of mine.)

Bubba was dumb-founded - he kept asking me "You made these chips? For real? You made them?"

And of course, I was all like "Uh, yeah! I totally made them..."*
(And I would love to say that I will never buy the pre-made kind in bags ever again. But we all know that, sadly, that's not true. Sigh. Sometimes it sucks to be this lazy...)

So - I guess what I am trying to say here is that I highly recommend Texas Nachos.
They's good eating.



*Sadly, that's pretty much exactly what I said. It's embarrassing, really - somewhere along the line I've turned into a cross between 1982-era Moon Unit Zappa, and Lola.
Except with a kind of Southern accent. I must really work to sound less like a parody or a cartoon character...

(and don't you love the way that I'm not admitting that only a few short hours before that *I* had no idea that you could make chips??? I'm all sly that way....)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Best NPR Interview EVER!

Forgive my lack of a "real" post - there's not a whole lot going on at The House That Crazy Built today.

Well, technically, there's lots going on, but all of it is boring - laundry, vacuuming, pathetically attempting to repair a bad gutter by ourselves. Therefore, I'm not going to ramble on about any of it. Mainly because it's not just boring-boring, it is mega-├╝ber-boring...





But you want to know what's *NOT* boring?

THIS <---- the best NPR interview. Ever.

Nom! Nom! Nom!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Because Nothing Says "Happy Valentine's Day" Quite Like....





Wishing you all a Very Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Y'all Tired About Reading About Vermin, Yet?

'cause I'm obviously not tired of writing about it...




Ah, yes - all is back to what passes for normal here at the House That Crazy Built*.

Another day, another thing in the house that is not supposed to be in the house.

You all remember that first there was the mouse.

Then there was the 'possum baby.

Then there was the bird.

And today, a repeat: another mouse.
(Stupid 100-year old house that obviously has lots of entry points for small beasties...)

The good news?
I seem to be getting braver. I "trapped" this one with a piece of cardboard and a piece of Tupperware - and I managed to get it outside and released in the nearby park without any squealing at all.

It helped that this little guy was the cutest thing ever.

Mouse


eeek, a mouse...


This is him on the cardboard, once I de-Tupperwared him.
Too bad I didn't have the presence of mind to put a quarter or something down beside him to give you a sense of scale. He was wee-bitty. Smaller than my thumb...
(but, in the interest of full disclosure? I've got big ole thumbs...)

The cardboard and the Tupperware were both promptly and sadly relegated to the trash can.
(Mostly because I'm sure that no amount of dishwashing/bleaching/sterilizing is going to get Hanta virus cooties out of plastic...)

It's kind of sad to admit that to my mind this indicates a return to "normalcy"...

Lately things have felt off kilter here - seems like there's been too much going on, and not enough time in the day.
I won't bore you with all the details - it's nothing you all aren't already familiar with (PTA, sick kid, sick self, car trouble, etc.) You've all been there, done that.

Yesterday, I finally got a small break and thought "Yay! I can do some blogging!"
Only to sit in front of the computer for about 5 minutes before realized that I had Jack to say...

So thank you, tiny mouse!
Thank you for being so cute.
Thank you for giving me the impetus to sit back down at the computer and dip my toes back into the blogisphere.

And I thank you in advance for staying down in the field, and NOT coming back to The House That Crazy Built...




*Although, not wholly normal - I set off on my walk this afternoon, and had only been walking for a few minutes when it started *snowing*! That's NOT normal for Georgia.
It continued to snow for the entire duration of my walk....

What was more typical? About 3 minutes after I got home, it stopped snowing....
So basically, the snow lasted for the length of my daily constitutional, then disappeared. Welcome to my world...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Goody Two Shoes!

What's this peeking out from under the cuffs of my stupidly-too-long* jeans?


Goody Two Shoes



Only the CUTEST SHOES EVER!!!

OK - maybe it's been too long since I treated myself to anything new - but there are not words to tell you how giddy I am over these. I'm like a kindergartner with a shiny new backpack filled with brand-spanking new Hello Kitty school supplies on the first morning of school.
That is how twitterpated I am over these shoes.

And can you blame me?
I mean, really... they're baby blue.
With bright red laces.
So cute...

Not convinced?

Did I show you the little birds on the sides?

New Shoes


Still not convinced?
OK - you're forcing me to bring out the heavy artillery here.

Little Red Riding Hood.

Perhaps the cutest shoe ever....


'Nuff said?

Thought so.

(And if you can stand it, there's one more neat thing... These shoes are part of the (Product)RED initiative. So I'm feeling cute and like a humanitarian...

Want your own pair of happy-making shoes? Visit here.)





*I'm going to trip and hurt myself one day because of jeans like this. It's just for so many years I *never* had a pair of jeans that was quite long enough, much less too long. I'm 5'9" - and it seems that most of that is legs.
Now, thanks to how ginormous teenagers get these days, finding long enough jeans isn't a problem anymore. But I still tend to wear them too long, I guess to compensate for all those years of wearing Urkel-pants...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Punxsutawney Who???


I make it a point to pay no attention to the prognostications of Yankee Groundhogs.

I mean, really - who are you going to put your faith in: the groundhog who started off his morning with an order of "scattered, smothered and covered" from the Waffle House, or the one who didn't?

It's a pretty easy choice to make, in my opinion.

Georgia's own Beauregard Lee declared that we'll have an early spring this year!

WooHoo!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Proud.

It's totally silly, but I am utterly, completely and way-out-of-proportion proud of this:

January.



I set a goal that I would walk 1 mile* every day in January.

I was inspired by something I once read that was attributed to Jerry Seinfeld (although for all I know, it's not original with him.)

Basically, it all about creating an unbroken string of Xs.
Pick a goal, and then just do it.
Every day.
Without fail.

It's all about creating a chain - and then not breaking it.
You can read more about it here...

So anyhow...
I did it.
Some days I did it willingly. Some days, not so much.
And some days? I hated ever single step of the 2,000 steps that I had to take to get it done.

But now?
Now that I see a whole month of Xs?
I'm feeling pretty happy about it.
It was all about getting up, and out, and moving. Getting me closer to that goal of "losing weight and keeping it off..."

On that front, for the month of January I've lost 5 pounds.
In the old days, that news might have really upset me.

That's because in the old days, I could drop that in a week, pretty easily.
Not so much anymore. Pushing 40 is rough!
These days, I'm actually OK with the slowness of it. (which is like meeting both of my goals for the year!)

In the past, it's been about taking weight off as quickly as I can - and really depriving myself in the process.
And no surprise, the weight has always come back.

This time around, I'll be honest... I'm still pretty much eating whatever I want.

The key is that I'm not eating whatever I want every time I want it. And I'm not eating as much of it as I want.
Moderation - what a concept...

This time around, I'm pacing myself to be the tortoise, not the hare.
(Besides, if I drop 20 pounds quickly, then that's just that much longer that I have to maintain it. Which I think is the hard part...)

Hey - if I only lose 1.6 pounds a month, then I'll meet my goal of 20 pounds off *and* maintained at the year's end.
Hee!
Maybe I need to go even more slowly...




*And just so you know, I do realize what a ridonkulously tiny goal this was. But one of the things that I do like about me (not a phrase you see bandied about often here at BFC) is that if I set myself a stupidly tiny goal, not only will I meet it, but I often feel stupid at how attainable it was, and I force myself to keep going. Most days I walked 2 miles or more. But on those days when it was 19°, or when it was raining? I was so glad that all I had to do was a mile...