Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Look what Santa brought me!

A Kindle ebook reader! It's awesome. I've been very busily listening and reading books for the last few days. I've also joined an audiobook service called Audibile and a the library service called Overdrive. It's so cool to be able to tuck the thin little tablet in my purse and take a virtual library along with me while I'm out and about. And the text to speech feature is super cool, even if it does sound oddly like Stephen Hawkings. But the coolest thing I think is the fact that you can put pdfs on it. I've downloaded a ton of sewing and knitting patterns, no more trying to keep up with a paper pattern. Woo Hoo! Love the Kindle!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday's Meal

Growing up in Texas it is traditional to have tamales during the holiday season. I've been jonesing for some real Texas flavor and I came across the recipe to make my own delicious tamales. It's a bit of work, but the results are so worth the effort.

The meat filling
1 (4 pound) chuck roast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/4 cups diced green chile pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 (small bottle hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Tamale Dough
2 cups masa harina
1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup lard
1 (8 ounce) package dried corn husks

Trim the roast of any excess fat, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer it to a slow cooker, and sprinkle the onion over meat. Season with chile peppers, chili powder, cayenne pepper, hot pepper sauce, and garlic powder. Add enough water to cover 1/3 of the roast. Cover, and cook on High for 6 hours, checking to make sure there is always at least a small amount of liquid in the bottom. Reduce heat to Low, and continue cooking for 2 to 4 hours, or until meat is totally tender and falls apart.
About 30 minutes before your meat is done soak the corn husks in a bowl of warm water. In a large bowl, beat the lard with a tablespoon of the broth until fluffy. Combine the masa harina, baking powder and salt; stir into the lard mixture, adding more broth as necessary to form a spongy dough. Drain the water off the corn husks and then spread the dough out over the corn husks to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Place one tablespoon of the meat filling into the center. Place tamales in a steamer basket. Steam over boiling water for approximately one hour, until masa is firm and holds its shape. Make sure steamer does not run out of water.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A little light reading

I have to admit it. I got sucked in...I broke down and went to the movies and saw "New Moon". I can't say that I actually liked it. In fact I thought the acting was pretty bad. Nonetheless, I have a borrowed copy of "Eclipse" that I've been reading. I'm still not sure what the appeal is. I find Bella to be immature, self absorbed and annoying. Edward seems very controlling in a creepy kind of way. Jacob? Well aren't there any other girls around La Push or Forks for him to lust after? But, I have to confess it's been kind of nice to spend a little time in Forks away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Work on it Wednesday

I'm taking a brief hiatus until after the new year. Not to say that I won't blog from time to time, but I know that I have tons of other distractions right now with the holidays upon us. I want to spend this time focused on my family and enjoying the season. I hope you're enjoying the season too and I'll be back strong in the new year. See you in 2010!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Work on it Wednesday

Working on getting back into the swing of things. The holidays really have me spinning, but I'm making my list and checking it twice. I only have one more item to purchase and my shopping is done. Next up I'm doing a top to bottom winter clean so we can decorate the house. Also I need to start sewing up O's dress. I'm planning to either make the Feliz dress from farbenmix or my friend Dawn's Annika dress. I'm heading over to the Patsy Aiken's sale tomorrow to see if there's any Christmas fabrics for sale. I haven't been doing much stitching lately (more knitting) but I will definitely get back to it since I miss it.