Tuesday, August 31, 2010

So Busy Again!

The second screaming jumpy girl is back and for those of you who don't know, that is really me when I was a little girl. Aren't I the cutest thing?

This week is super duper busy at work as well. I only have one event this week but again the preparation is nuts. Then I am hoping things settle down so I can actually do work that I need to do.

The best part though is I am looking forward to a long weekend. Summer will be officially over. And I await Fall with such anticipation, I can almost burst! I was already eyeing some of the sweaters in the closet and looking for new winter boots online. YAY! I love love love boots.

I am not sure I will do a Wordless Wednesday tomorrow because I haven't had time to take pictures of anything. I only wish I had a car cam because today on my drive there was a sprinkling of yellow trees with a hint of orange. The morning was cool and you can just feel the change in the air. The other day while driving home, I saw one of our neighbors had planted pumpkins and they are all big and orange. I wish I had planted pumpkins.

We have nothing planned this weekend but we might be going into Asheville and that always means maybe a little shopping and always a good meal. Hopefully, we will get some Japanese or Thai food!! This weekend also means sleeping in and doing nothing! Sweet!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fall is in the Air!

The other morning I stepped out of the house and it was really nice and cool. As I took my 45 minute drive to work, I started noticing trees that were bright green last week were now different. Some trees were already turning a lightly reddish or orangy (I know that's now a real word, sue me). **These pictures were from last year!! It isn't that beautiful yet.

The light through the trees on my drive has changed as well. Some places on the drive that had no light are now getting tiny rays of sunlight pushing through. The top of the mountain is now slightly darker on my drive.

I even turned on my car heater because my feet got chilly. When I got to work and stepped out into the foggy morning it was downright cold. I got chilly as I walked to my office. At work, we already have bushes that are red and orange. The trees are already starting to take on the tinge of yellow around the corners of the leaves.

I am excited because if I had to choose my favorite time of the year, it would be Fall. I really have no idea why I love Fall so much. We never had much of a Fall in Los Angeles growing up. When I lived in Miami, we NEVER had Fall or anything close to it.

But when I watched movies or TV shows and they talked about Fall, it always made my heart skip a beat. I would watch the fantastic colors come across my TV screen and dream of seeing them in person. I finally have the chance here. Here in NC we have four distinct seasons.

Fall to me is cool, crisp weather when I can wear my beloved boots and sweaters. It means I will feel the cool wind caress my cheeks and leave a little sting but never a slap. It means that my hair will feel clean and cold when I come into the house. It means that the mountains around my house will look like they are on fire.

Fall means Halloween and Thanksgiving. It means harvest festivals and leaves falling on the yard like orange, red and yellow snow. It means pumpkins and dried corn stalks. It means comfort food and hot tea.

Oh how I love Fall and I rejoice every time it comes around now.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Holy Smokes! It's only August!

The trees are already changing! I took these pictures in front of the school where I work!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So busy!

Work is so super busy and it is kicking my butt. Last week it was crazy and this week it is even crazier!! I have 2 events coming up in the next few days and am preparing for them. ARGH! Plus, I have all sorts of other stuff to do.

So this is just a warning that I might not be posting too much this week. The good thing is nothing is really going on. But if you really miss me, you can always come back and re-read my old posts! ;0) hee hee

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Random WillyNillyness Cooking Presents: Tacos

Okay, I just have to say I LOVE tacos. I could them everyday and never get tired. Now tacos come in all different forms. You can have hard shell tacos, my fave. Or soft tacos. You can use meat, fish, chorizo, chicken or just veggies. You can add anything to a taco. I think I like tacos because they are will-nilly. There are NO rules when it comes to tacos.

Today I am making them with skirt steak. Now you can also use flank steak or a regular steak but I find that skirt steak works the best. I know I am supposed to write up the recipe but as you know, I can't do that.

You can make this in the crock pot but I am using a heavy pot. I prefer this because I can brown the meat first then add everything in. I think browning the meat gives you a little more flavor. I love this pot because it was my abuelita's pot. I remember when she died, all I asked for was her pots and pans. I didn't want anything else because to me cooking and Abuela Gilda go together like rice and beans. And now every time I use her pots or pans, I remember her.

Anyway, I took one large onion, 4 garlic cloves and a green pepper from the garden and minced them. I took the meat and browned it in the pot. I added the the onion, garlic and pepper to the pot. Added salt and pepper to taste. I also had a little added extra to make it spicy.

When I lived in Santa Fe, I found a love for green chile. Now you can't find green chile around here but before I left Santa Fe, I went to the Flea Market and visited the spice guy there and bought like 2 pounds of green chile powder. I still have tons and love to use it when my food needs a kick!

The next thing I did was add a half of bottle of beer. This is only to give it a little extra added flavor. You can add any type of beer. Just don't add too much because the meat picks up the taste and can then have a little bitter flavor depending on the beer you use.

Now I would love to say that I went to my garden and picked tomatillos and made a fresh tomatillo sauce, but I didn't. I cheated and used a bottle of Herdez Salsa Verde (best damn salsa around). If I had more time I might have made my own salsa but not today!

Then I let the meat simmer for a few hours until it was easy to shred. At this point, you could take the meat, drain it and then fry it up and make vaca frita but that doesn't work well for tacos but it does make an excellent entree.

Packaged taco shells or do I make my own taco shells? That is the question. Today, I opted to fry my own taco shells because I knew it would be tastier. Frying taco shells is a pain in the butt though. I so need a deep fryer!! But it is worth it. Make sure you soften the tortilla first. Since I have a poopy flat electric stove top, I must resort to tossing the tortillas into the microwave for 30 seconds to make them pliable enough to fry. I remember when we were little, my mom would put them directly on the gas burners and turn them with her hands.

Now if I was like the freaking Barefoot Contessa or something, I would make my own tortillas but I do not have the proper equipment. I have been eyeing a tortilla making kit over at MexGrocer.com for a few years now. I love fresh tortillas! And let me just say that if you have the time, fry up your own because although I use boxed taco shells sometimes, these are better.

The best part of tacos are the taco toppings. Use whatever you like. I, for one, don't like a lot of bells and whistles on my tacos. I like cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole and sometimes tomatoes. I am not a lettuce on the taco type of girl either. It distracts from the whole crunchy yumminess that are tacos.

That's my Sabroso Saturday meal and it was so delicious! Buen Provecho!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

More California Trip pictures!

This is the final batch of our pictures from our California trip. There is nothing going on around here except work. I have been so busy catching up from our worldwind back to back trips! So luckily I have pictures to post because I have nothing to say.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lake Tahoe Pictures

We had such a great time in Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley. I took tons of pictures so I will be sharing some this week. There are so many I am splitting them up. These are from our boat tour. It was so much fun and I saw the Godfather House! Yeah, yeah I am obsessing about that but it was cool, sue me!