Monday, February 23, 2009

Apple Sprouts pt 2

Here's what my seedlings looked like this morning. The tall one is bent over because the plastic was too short! But there's a second one that popped up :) Who needs ordinary office plants when you can have apple trees?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Enchilada Update and Apple Sprouts

The enchiladas were a success! ...with some room for improvement. I thought the sauce was tasty, though possibly lacking in bite. My husband thought it tasted a little too smoky, like BBQ sauce. The sugar could explain that. The texture was just right. I also didn't have the brand of chili powder they recommended, so I used what I had on hand.

I used flour tortillas this time, as last week I discovered that neither of us care much for the corn ones.

So I think I'll try some other sauce recipes, and if I come up with something wonderful, then I'll start making my own from now on. I wonder how long it would keep if I canned it...

The other day I was eating an apple, and when I got to the core I discovered that a couple of the seeds had sprouted! What to do in this situation? (A) Throw them away and eat the next apple sooner, (B) Plant them, (C) Put them on my salad.

Of course I chose B =) I happened to have an empty pot with dirt at my office, so I planted those plus a couple more from another apple, totaling 5. The first one popped up on Thursday.

And the next day it was nearly twice the size, standing taller than the length of the leaves in that picture. I can't wait to see it on Monday! I put some plastic over it with a couple holes to keep it moist. I don't know what I'll do with it ultimately. I know it takes years to produce fruit, and that apples from seed are nothing like the apple you started with. Maybe I'll train it as a bonsai in a couple of years. That could be fun.

Cooking Adventures

Last night I made something I found online and have been wanting to try: Mongolian Beef. It was tasty! And easy :) Now that I've made the recipe as it was, I'll try some modifications next time. One thing I want to try is substituting chicken, to cut down the high calorie count a bit. Then I think I'll cut the sugar by half. Should still be tasty, and would bring it to the low 500s rather than 700s per serving, minus rice. But the serving size is HUGE! 1lb beef for two people. Definitely filling also. I think I'd also only make half, and have another side dish.

All in all I was pleased with it though, and that I made a dish unlike anything I'd done before.

Tonight we wanted enchiladas, but didn't want to leave the house, and the only ingredient I was missing was the sauce. I could've run to the local market to buy their pre-made enchiladas (which are tasty but pricey), or I could've gone to pick up a can of sauce, but I decided to see if I could make it instead.

I was browsing on my iPhone, who's battery was rapidly dying, so I tried the first recipe I found. Also something I've never tried to make before. The sauce was very easy and fast, and I cooked up some chicken while doing it. Now the enchiladas are in the oven, and should be done any minute. I hope they're good!

On another topic: I've seen the Dangerous Book for Boys, and the Daring Book for Girls, but I found this parody the other day and picked it up. It's absolutely hilarious! Anyone who has cats should have a copy. I love the explanation for kitchen cabinets: It's a factory, where you feed it garbage, and cleaning products are made!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Squash and A Chandelier

I finally have my desk set up, although the craft room as a whole is far from functional (or presentable.)

Tonight I felt like cooking autumn-like foods, as it's been raining steadily. I made pork chops with apples and mustard sauce, straight out of the Fannie Farmer cookbook. Then I picked up a half an acorn squash, the $.49 special at the market, which is just enough for the two of us. As I was cleaning it I noticed how many seeds came with it and wondered if you can roast them just like pumpkin seeds.

They're on a salad plate there, and they're smaller than pumpkin seeds. I put them on a cookie sheet in the broiler, with a little pan spray, cayenne pepper, paprika and salt. Chili powder would have been good, but that's probably in a box somewhere :-/ I roasted them for 2 1/2 minutes and they started making popping sounds, so I took them out. I think they could have roasted a little more, but I think they'll still be a good spicy treat. Definitely got my money's worth out of that little squash!

Last weekend my husband and I went shopping for some house accessories. We discovered just how dangerous a trip to Home Depot, Frys, Bed Bath & Beyond, and our local Ace Hardware can be. And we discovered just how small my car is... I had to sit in the back seat, as this thing was in the front seat.

It's a dark picture, but you can see the basic shape and the pretty glass shades. This is hanging above the island in the kitchen (ok it's really a peninsula, but island sounds better.) We decided that a pot rack light would just hang too low. So the pots will hang farther along that beam in the foreground.

The bathroom is the next huge project, and I'll definitely do a "before & after" once it's done, but I couldn't resist this little sneak peek. You can see the color scheme, which I realized after the fact are our wedding colors. Funny that =)