Monday, July 18, 2011

Things I'm Lusting Over...

So, I've been a busy little bee making some pretty cute crocheted items, but I'm waiting for the time and energy to take proper pictures of them for the in the meantime, here are a few things that are definitely on my to-craft/to-make list!

Dottie Angel's 'lo and beholdness' Stool Cover
This is so adorable, and turns any lame stool into a cute little masterpiece. Love this chick<3 

We Are Not Martha's  Cinnamon Toast Crunch Homemade Ice Cream.

For real! I'm totally making this this week.

A Bitchin' Kitchen's Homemade Oreos! 

Yes please! These look amazing.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Holy Homemade Frijoles!

The other day I tried some refried beans at a baby shower at work...then I tried some more...and some more...until I was ashamed of myself. I asked my coworker why her beans were so amazing because mine are always...well...not this good!  She said her secret was instead of pinto beans, she uses Peruano ( Ped-U-wano) beans.

Native to South America, Peruano beans, also called canary beans, are one of the most common beans sold in Mexico City today and are a staple in traditional Mexican cooking. They are rich and buttery and more yellow in color than pinto beans. Her English is about as good as my Spanish, so through a translator I was able to get some sort of recipe, because of course, amazing cooks don't use recipes, they just know what it should look and taste like.

So, I'm trying these beans out for the first time and seeing how they stack up to my normal pinto refried beans--if your grocery store doesn't have these beans, you can use Northern beans, which are equally as yummy. The key, according to Maria, is to boil your beans with a whole onion and a few cloves of garlic, then flavor your oil with dried Arbol chiles...Gawd, my mouth is watering just typing this! Seriously, these beans will make you ooze back into your chair while your eyes roll to the back of your head. Anyone remember watching the show "Family Matters"? One of my favorite moments from that show is when Urkel is eating something delicious and Laura tries to ask him something; then he exclaims "Shhhhh! ...Not while I'm chewing!" This will inevitably be how you react when eating these beans and someone tries to get your attention. Okay, you've waited long enough! Here's the recipe:

Holy Frijoles
1 pkg dried Peruano beans (or Northern Beans)
1 Onion, cut in half
4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in halves
2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1 dried Chile de Arbol, or 2-3 dried serrano peppers
salt to taste

Rinse beans and pick out any deformed ones or rocks...yes rocks, it happens. Put in a large pan and cover with water, add onion and garlic and about a tbsp salt. Cover and boil for 2 hours, until beans are soft.

Meanwhile add the oil and your chile to a large skillet and heat on medium high for about 10-15 minutes. Be sure to turn on your vent fan as your chiles will start to smoke--this is where the flavor comes in! turn to low heat.

Once your beans are soft, drain excess water, you will need some water in your beans, but if it looks like more than a cup, best drain it. Now it's time to transfer your beans to the skillet. Make sure your oil is not scalding-hot by spritzing a little water in. if it pops and splatters, then wait for your oil to cool a little longer. You want your beans to simmer in the oil, but not burn and smoke.

Add your beans and everything else that was in the pot (onion/garlic) to the oil and begin mashing with a potato masher until beans are nice and smooth, add a little water if your beans look lumpy. Enjoy!

If you really want to go all out, make my Arroz De La Weda and Bacon Tortillas and I guarantee you'll be in a food coma!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Retro Glama...and Retro WTF

Imagine a time of innocence, a time of naivety, where women wore heels in the kitchen with made-up faces and A-line dresses. Imagine a world where political correctness was never necessary and where people kept their problems behind shut doors, a world before Entertainment Television and tabloid drama. Thoughts like this stream through my head as I flip through articles from the past stashed away in a file box and left for decades. The above pictures were my favorite WTF treasures I found, along with my absolute creepy fav on the right. Seriously, I think I saw this guy in the Megan's Law website! Oh! And Ken, with the crocheted outfit, including sure are dreamy too.

First, I have to thank my  hubbz' grandma for giving me some pretty amazing treasures! I was given a box full of crochet magazines and patterns dating back from the 1940's to 1980's. It was so much fun looking through all of these treasures. Just to think some of these patterns haven't been made or even glanced at since the Forties just boggles my mind!

Oh, and the ads! You should see the ads in these pamphlets, hilarious! So many, work at home selling greeting card ads, "Learn Shorthand!", "Become a Christian Writer!", and my favorite "Reduce! Keep slim...use Electric Spot Reducer!"- yeah, nice cover, this is like the retro version of the "back massager" shaped like a rod we all see in the back of Women's magazines today. Yeah honey, we know what you're going to do with that, and it's not being used for your belly...Wink, wink.

Oh dear, here are a couple examples of the lack of political incorrectness I referred to!
         Lucy was in heaven as soon as she pried
the lid of the musty old box from my hands.
She has a weird addiction to musty things.
Above are some of my favorite ads. Besides laughing at ads all day, I found so many cool patterns! Once I figure my way around a video camera, I may post a tutorial for a few of these, they are WAY too cool not to share.