Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Ever-changing Wesner Kitchen

There are now 2.  Two Wesner kitchens, that is.  One in NC and one in IN.  This is because we have one household in Indiana, with my Hunk O Man's job and the twins who live with him while they go to college -- and then there's me and the Kid, who's finishing high school in NC before heading off next August to college here in NC.

And then there are the two other ones in NC, at their respective colleges.

This is a hard separation.  It makes me appreciate those families who have a member in the military, who is gone for a length of time.  It's just difficult to be away from the ones you love, especially when it's your husband!

The two main kitchens, in IN and NC, are unpacked.  But some of them remain in OH, in storage.  This is starting to sound like some kind of riddle, isn't it?  I'm starting to think I'm a woman doesn't have real a kitchen.  I just have kitchen appliances and gadgets spread all over the midwest.

One thing I can say for sure, however, that the kitchen in NC (where I am) currently smells of burned noodles.  I tried chicken and rice casserole using noodles.  Not a great idea - there is a reason why tuna noodle casserole is made the way it is.  You have to cook the noodles before you put them in the oven.  You just can't do the same thing with noodles that you can rice.

I hear that the IN kitchen had chicken enchiladas last week.  Apparently they were fabulous.  Not that I think they weren't -- I just think that things usually taste better when it's the first time you've made them from a recipe your mom gave you.

So that is the state of my kitchen.  I'm hoping to make it smell really good with caramel apples in a few minutes.  We'll see how that goes.  I'll keep you posted.

Tortilla Chicken Cassarole

You know, I realise that I haven't written anything in here since 2010.

HOWEVER . . . my kids keep calling me to get recipes.  It is so easy to just direct them here!  Ah, technology - give them a link, do as little work as possible.  I am very spoiled.

Anyway - here's a great recipe I found on Pinterest and tried.  Yum!  I kind of played it by ear, adjusting the ingredients so that it would only feed 2 of us.  It still made a lot.  It's a lot like lasagna, which means you can increase or decrease the ingredients as you like.  It's also kind of like Tortilla soup, which I love -- perfect for a cold day.  Enjoy!

Tortilla Chicken Casserole

8 flour tortillas (big enough to cover a round cassarole dish or pie plate)
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped (I used a roasted one I got in a jar)
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn (the mexican corn is great for this), drained
1 tsp. chili powder
3 cups salsa
1 1/2 cups sour cream
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a casserole dish with your choice of non-stick spray.  My dish looked kind of like this:

It's nice because it has a lid, and you'll need to bake this dish covered.

However, you can always use a deep quiche dish, or a  nice  heavy pie plate.  Your choice.

In a small saute pan, heat olive oil.  Cook the onion and red pepper until onion is translucent.  Add the chili powder.  Then add in the black beans and corn.  Simmer a minute, and then remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream with the salsa.  Set aside.

In your casserole dish, layer your ingredients:  Place a tortilla in the bottom.  Cover with the salsa/sour cream mixture.  Top with the veggie mixture, and then cover that with the
cheeses.  Repeat this process until you reach the top of your baking dish.  Finish the last layer with cheese.

Cover and bake @ 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Then uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving for ingredients to finish cooking and set.  Add chopped fresh cilantro over a dollop of sour cream to garnish.

Serve in pie-shaped wedges.  Makes enough for at least 6 people with leftovers.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The War Rages

OK, just how fast do YOU type?

We are so lazy at our house that we often text from upstairs to downstairs.  We also use Facebook quite a bit.

It's ridiculous, really.  I promise you that we do speak face to face more often than not.

This time, we used the fridge.  Here's a glimpse:

There was a spirited debate as to how fast JB and Babydoll typed.  JB was proud that she could type faster.

However, my mom types faster than all of us, at a screamin' 120 wpm.  I think she also knows shorthand.  She was a secretary back in the day.

JB reminded us that God created the computer in the first place.  I'm not sure why exactly that was important, but she felt she needed to remind us.  I guess she meant that God can type the fastest.

So I reminded her that Grandma was right up there with God and Jesus, and drew a diagram to let her know just where those people who typed less than 120 wpm are.

The Bug concluded "Y'all are weird."

In the end, I told them they were all just jealous that their Grandma could type faster than they could.

The grocery list is never that exciting.  Not sure how we'll top this one.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Babydoll Learns to Edit Video

Oh, the things that happen in my kitchen.

I make video tutorials for my sewing blog (which, by the way, has Chinese readers!  How cool is that?).  So since I am sewer/teacher and not a video editor, I have enlisted the help of my technological genius of a daughter.  She's also your run-of-the-mill genius.  However, the technological genius really does come in handy.

So here's her second venture into iMovie editing:

Like she said, more to come!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer Vacation. Or Not.

Holy cow I'm tired.

We've been on vacation all week.  Ha!  Vacation, what a misnomer!

We drive 10 hours from NC to OH.  We usually get in late and get up late the next morning.  This one day, when we do nothing and go nowhere, is what fools us all into thinking this is a vacation.

The next day we go up north 3 hours to visit Mammaw and play at the lake where Hunk O Man grew up, and see his sister, and come back that night (that would be 6 hours driving that day).

Then we leave the next day for IN.  We spend the next 6 days there -- but some of us are in Indy, some in Bloomington, some in Bloomfield.  And when I say Indy, I mean sometimes Castleton, sometimes Noblesville, sometimes Carmel, sometimes Westfield, sometimes Fishers, and sometimes downtown.  Sometimes several in one day.  Bloomington is an hour south of Indy.  Bloomfield is an hour and a half south of Indy.

Every day is different.  Every day is a scramble to see who has which car and which part of the city or state they'll be in, and who's staying where.  Thank God we have free Sprint-to-Sprint or we'd owe Sprint an amount which would rival the national debt.

Then we drive back to OH (which is now 3.5 hours from where we are in IN).

And we have ice cream and then go home the next day (that would be the 10 hours back to NC).

So the question here is simply this:  was that a vacation?

Well, all I know is that the food has been good, the friends priceless, and as long as I get in a visit to Hobby Lobby before we leave, I'm happy.

And my mama cooks.  THAT, my friends, is a vacation.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pau d'Arco

I stopped into the local health food store with the Bug early last week.  She wanted something to clean her out, get her insides working again.

I know -- really technical healthspeak.  Shows you how often I get into the health food store.

Anyway, The Bug was too embarassed to ask about this stuff because it involves pooping.  I, however, cleaned poop off her very bottom between 16 and 19 years ago.  I have little trouble talking about (other people's) poop.  So I was elected to speak to the store's Lady Who Knows About That Stuff.

She told me all about these expensive colon cleaning kits.  I asked about what you're supposed to take after you're all cleaned out, to kind of maintain a good balance in your system.  She mentioned probiotic yogurt, which I knew about.

Then she mentioned Pau d'Arco, which I'd also heard about.  But she said this:  it's an anti-fungal.  This caught my attention immediately.

I've had sinus problems my whole life.  In my refusal to believe that this is somewhat chronic and incurable (they can cure everything these days; are you kidding me?), I ran across some research that indicated that fungus can be a contributor to sinus infections.  They may develop over years of sinus trouble.

Now I doubt this means green nastiness growing in your nose.  It might, but I'd rather not thing of it like that.  It's gotta be something that looks entirely different than the green moss growing on trees in the forest.  Of course, then again the snot that comes out of your nose isn't particularly appealing, so maybe it is green nastiness.  Well, at least it's MY green nastiness that my body is producing.  Yeeee-aaaauuuck!

(repeat:  we come from the earth, we are made of the earth, we cannot be grossed out by the earth.  We come from the earth, we are made of the earth, we cannot be grossed out.)

I've also noticed this creeping crud on the knuckles of my fingers.  I never had that before.  It's like dry spots.  I've been rubbing athlete's foot cream on them, because Hunk O Man has had this stuff -- probably gave it to me at some point in our 24 years of marriage -- and a dermatologist gave him an anti-fungal prescription, which cleared it up.

So anyway -- back to the Pau d'Arco -- I bought a little bottle of the tincture and have been drinking 2 dropperfuls with a bit of water 2 times per day.  It's a little bitter, but tossing it down with about 1/4 cup of water, cold, isn't too bad.  I don't mind it.

Amazingly, what I've noticed is that the creeping crud has gotten worse.  BUT . . . the guy at the register (husband of Lady Who Knows About That Stuff) said that it would likely get worse until my body got rid of it altogether.

So it's working!

Call it whatever you like.  Maybe those health food nuts are onto something after all.  I'm just about out of the tincture and I'm going back for more.  And next time I have a problem, I think I may go to them and just see what they think.  Hopefully it will not have to do with green nastiness or poop.


Making Due

OK, so I saw this recipe in Better Homes and Gardens.  It's a winner from Lisa Speer of Palm Beach, FL:

Fresh Corn Cakes with Garden Relish

2 T. olive oil
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup quick-cooking polenta mix
1/2 cup flour
1/4 t. baking powder
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 recipe Garden Relish

I won't go over the rest of the recipe, because you can find it in the July 2010 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, just like I did.

I thought this looked appealing.  I thought 'hey, that would go with the meatloaf I am making tonight - frozen meatloaf muffins from the last big freezer cook day.'

So I went to work.  Here's how it went:

Olive oil?  Nah.  These things get fried.  Where's the Canola?  I used enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

2 cups fresh corn?  Who has that this early in the year?  One can of corn from the pantry.  Check.

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion?  I don't want pieces of onion in my mouth.  Let's try a nominal amount of dried minced onion.

Buttermilk?  Are they kidding?  Who has buttermilk in the fridge?  Well, I have evaporated milk and some butter.  I'll just use both.

An egg.  Well, finally something I actually have on hand.

Quick cooking polenta?  Doesn't that have corn in it?  OK, I am NOT going to the store.  Here's some Jiffy Cornbread Mix in the pantry.  That should work, right?

Flour.  Hah!  I have flour!

Baking soda/baking powder/salt:  now here is where I am a genius, thank you very much. My Jiffy cornbread mix already has all that.  So there.

So I whizzed it all up in a bowl and made a batter.  Then I tasted it.

Then I added some sugar and a shake of crushed red pepper.  And salt.

I tasted it again.  Then I dropped it into the hot oil and fried'em right up.

Garden relish?  No thanks.  Too much trouble.

Now I am decidedly NOT a cook, let alone a good one.  But these were quite good with some butter.  I was shocked.

Gourmet?  Not me.  Throw it together with what you have?  Well, there you go.