Friday, February 29, 2008

there'll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow

Saw these on the walk home from work yesterday--it's officially springtime in Atlanta. Must go camping this weekend.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

new JOB!!

I will still be a librarian, but at a different school with a better paycheck. Hooray!

Actually, my title is now "Resource Center Manager." I'll probably still go by Librarian, though--old habits die hard. I will miss the faculty, staff and great students that I've worked with for the past three years--I wish them all the best in their endeavors!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

spinach enchilada-ish and other Friday night activity

That warm spell we had last week in Atlanta? It's over. So in order to coerce people over to Tavo's and my unheated house we have to warm it up. Preferably with food.

Are you ready?

Friday night dinner party!

First things first, have to get the enchilada sauce going. This recipe is adapted from recipezaar as I wanted to try out the addition of cocoa powder. I pretty much stuck to that recipe, except I used a whole 15oz can of tomato sauce instead of 8 oz. eez good.

Enchilada Sauce:
-3 T chili powder
-3 T flour
-1 t cocoa powder
-1/2 t garlic salt
-1 t oregano
-3 cups water
-1 can tomato sauce (I used 15 oz)

While that's cooking down, we start on chips, salsa and guacamole. Since its winter, I don't even bother with the sad "fresh" tomatoes--nope, I'm canned all the way. Herdez is my favorite brand of salsa. Its salty, but consistently good. The cans are great for camping, too.

But avocados are on sale right now--and they are delicious. Could not pass up the opportunity to make some homemade guac--recipe follows.

-1/2 can of tomatoes with chilis, drained (reserve liquid & other half for rice)
-3 avocados, peeled & diced
-juice of one lime
-1/2 onion, diced (other half for beans)
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-2 jalapeños,minced (keep the seeds in there, wuss)
-cilantro-I err on the side of lots

mash and eat-keep the avocado pit in the guac to preserve color

Now its time to put the enchiladas together and get them in the oven. I admit it--I HATE rolling up the tortillas in the sauce and getting my fingers all dirty. Just can't stand it. Plus, the tortillas usually fall apart in the cooking if I do them in a casserole dish, so I cheat.

Spinach Enchilada-ish:
-sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish
-layer of 4 tortillas (corn)
-more sauce
-bag of frozen spinach (or two boxes) boiled/sautéed with garlic and salt, drained
-cheese (we used cheddar and monterey jack)
-four more tortillas
-more sauce
-more cheese

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

The key to any good meal is good music. Here are the DJs of the evening, Joseph and Tavo!

Onto the rice. I like to wash and soak my rice before cooking. I've always used room temperature water, but a friend told me to pour boiling water over the rice and let it sit for 10 minutes. Sounds good to me! Here is the finished product--recipe follows below. With mexican rice, you can pretty much add whatever you have in the cupboard. I just did simple tomatoes, onions and jalapeños.

Mexican Rice:
-drain 1 cup rice and sautée in saucepan with 2T vegetable oil
-add a small onion, minced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
when rice starts to brown, add
-1/2 can tomatoes and reserved liquid
-2 cups broth (I used veg, most recipes call for chicken)
-diced jalapeño (or 2)
-cook until rice absorbs liquid
-cover and remove from heat, let set 10 minutes

And of course we need beans.

There really isn't a recipe--we eat these multiple times every week. Sautee the reserved 1/2 onion for 5-7 minutes, add some cumin, garlic, coriander, cayenne and drained can of beans. Add a little water, broth or beer and cook down for 20 minutes.

How do they taste?

well, some people like beans more than others...

All right, let's eat.

No! Don't eat the food!

that's better

and its time to head out


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Brunch

Colder today--went for a jog and the rain started 2 miles in..of course I was still two miles from home as well. It eased, but I came home ready for a hot shower and some do blueberry pancakes sound?

Blueberries have been on sale at all the stores here, so I grabbed a few packs to eat and freeze for smoothies.

Mix the batter and let it set up for a minute--necessary for consistency--batter thickens.

First pancake blues--the trick here is to make sure your pan is hot enough. No one ever wants to wait, I always do a lone, tiny starter just to ensure correct temperature.

all good--let's get serious.

The maple syrup sticks!!!! Hooray for Tavo's Super Strength :)

Here' Tavo's plate--he's a purist. Maple syrup and butter.

I put yogurt on mine.

Time for another cup of coffee and our day begins...(hey Buffalo--I'm wearing a Wayne State sweatshirt--there's some Michigan pride for you! My alma mater)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday brunch

I'm borrowing this one from Doggybloggy's
Omelet Post Here is my take on the omelet--maybe not better, but it is pretty damn good.

It's beautiful in Atlanta today--partly cloudy, mid 60's. Ran four miles with my friend early this morning and was super hungry and ready to eat when I got home. Started out with potatoes.

Is it cheating to make onion soup potatoes? I like roasting them with herbs and salt and pepper too--but something is so tasty about onion soup potatoes.

Pop those in a 425 degree oven for about a half hour and drink coffee with Tavo on the back deck. Then its time to start the omelet. Eggs are already out as they cook better when room temperature. I use eggland eggs. Cage free and superior texture. A coworker of mine has no sense of taste, so she puts her meals together completely based on texture--and she swears that eggland has superior texture. What do you think?

Here's the veggies--ready to be sautéed.

Tavo wants scrambled eggs and cheese--that can be done.

Potatoes are done as well.

Colby cheese

and the veggies

a bit more cheese,some green onions and we're in business

Back porch breakfast with a book.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

so ready for spring time...we went to the beach

Last Sunday, Tavo didn't have to report to USMC drill, so we decided to have a day by the beach. It wasn't balmy, but it was definitely not cold--that is good enough for us! We packed up some beer, some snacks, our lawn chairs and headed to Lake Lanier for beach reading and hiking on some of the trails nearby.

The drought is very evident here--the water used to come all the way up to the tree line. This is the lake that the Chattahoochee flows into, and that Georgia, Alabama, and the wildlife in Florida are all clamoring about. It has risen, but is still at its lowest level since the Buford Dam went up and formed the Lake in 1956. It's interesting, because tree stumps, etc. are visible now. Rumor has it that they flooded the valley, and full houses, bridges and other structures still exist in the lakes depths.

Here is our beach paradise. Apparently we were the only ones who decided it was warm enough.

Let's hope for some Rainy Nights in Georgia.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

a pensacola mardi gras

Went to Pensacola over the weekend to celebrate Mardi Gras and to run a 5K with my friend Jennifer. Here are some quick pictures from the longest parade I've ever been to--we left after 2 hours, but I heard that it continued for almost 4. Laissez les bon temps roulette!!

**okay, I used photobucket and my pictures are all cut off. I'll reload them, one by one, tonight. I think if you click on the pics you can see the whole, if not just be patient. Darn size restrictions....**

King of the Sea

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These were big dolphins!

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Car full o' Britneys

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Live band playing on a moving float

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This tree was better at catching beads than I was--better assets??

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I was impressed by the mermaids--it was not THAT warm out!

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Pirates were a big theme

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Do you see the Mario Bros?

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Here's one mid-catch!

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Happy Mardi Gras!