June 28, 2009

Bomb Oatmeal cookies

As much as I would like to be I am not much of a baker. I do keep trying and some things work and some do not. The other day I decided to make oatmeal cookies. the recipie was really easy. I got it from the Joy of Baking. I love this website. They have so many things that look so yummy and they have lots of info and pictures.

I started by letting my 3/4 cup butter sit and warm to room temperature which did not take long and added my cup of brown sugar. I got to use my "new to me" electric hand mixer. This is actually my late grandma's and I love the idea of baking treats with the same equipment that she did. Any way....
I whipped the butter and sugar and added 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and mixed gain.

In a 2nd bowl I put 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda, salt and cinnamon. and mixed them together. I then added that to my wet ingredients. I would have added nuts, raisins or dried fruits but I did not have any and they were still great.

after mixing the dry ingredients with the wet I added 3 cups of oats. I did not have any parchment paper or even spray for the cookie sheet so I just tried my luck. They did not stick to bad.

I used a 1/4 cup scoop and made little balls and then pressed them slightly. They turned out great. They were really tasty. I cannot wait to make them again.

June 16, 2009

At home composting

After living in Oregon, a very eco friendly state, I am having a hard time adjusting to Tulum, Mexico. For one the town itself JUST became a city so the basic services that one would expect to find are just now coming in. One of the services that I cannot wait for is recycling in Tulum. I have heard that there is or was a recycling center but no one to run it. And you have to bring your items there. So with no pick up, no people at the center and very few people with cars you can imagine how much trash (and much of it recyclable) gets thrown on the floor. And this drives me especially crazy because Tulum is supposed to be this whole super eco place. It is part of its whole shtick.

Anyway. Since I am not currently recycling I needed to do something to offset my guilt. So I started composting, much to the dismay of my husband. Now, we live in very close proximity to a lot of people and have very limited space. The last thing I wanted was a stinky mess. I saw some various designs for garbage bin composers on many websites. The one I liked the most was this one.

I did not want to purchase and materials so I used what I had. In my case it is our old kitchen garbage can that has no lid be cause it broke and so I used the bottom half of my cats carrying case with a brick on top. When I make my next one, I will use a can that is round on the bottom so that it is easier to roll.

I took my husbands drill and drilled a bunch of little holes in it. If I had to do it over again, I would have cut out larger fist sized whole but lined the inside of the bin with fine screen and mesh wiring. I think that would let the air through better. But it is so hot here that it is doing just fine.

I have a little bowl on the counter and I throw it in every night or so. I also throw in all of the leaves that my husband gets when he rakes. We have to be careful though because there are a lot of weeds and i do not want those in the bin. I do throw in our tp rolls, cereal boxes, and egg cartons. That helps a lot for the dry part of the compost.

Even after a few months, I still have not filled up the bin and it is a small little container that comes up to my about my knees. I am trying to turn or mix it but it is really hard. I think that if I did a larger and round one it would be easier.

I went over to my friends house the other day and he had just started composting recently as well. He has already put the first layer on his garden. I hope that mine is ready soon. I might ask him to come and take a look at mine and see if I am doing it okay.

My garden has definatly not been going well. There seem to be more weeds then anything growing. Something about living on the beach has been hard. Oh well. It is a learning curve. I am not much of a gardener at all and learning to do it in the sub tropical climate of the Caribbean is proving to be challenging. I really took the environment in Oregon for granted. Things grow like mad there.

June 8, 2009

Oven roasted Chicken w/ home veggies & low fat gravy

Okay, so this recipie was inspired by one of my favorite places in Paris. It sits on a perfect corner on Rue Cler. It was called Cafe du Marche. My ex-husband and I would go here all of the time and I always had the same dish (and then ate half of his while he ate the other half of my favorite.) That way, if we hated the other dish- we knew we would be leaving happy with mine. It was so simple, roasted chicken, potatoes with a simple gravy/dressing and a small salad. But many of the best recipies are always the ones that use the simplest of fresh ingredients and prepare them well. No wonder I loved Paris, and all of France for that matter.

Anyway, this was a simple roasted chicken. I let Ruben wash it up inside and out while I got the veggies ready. Just a few cut baby potatoes, sliced carrot, white onion and garlic. I threw in a little water so I had pleanty of gravy. A little salt, pepper and Pappy's and we were on our way.

We let it cook up for and hour and a half and it was perfect. I could have taken out all the chicken and veggies and then thickened the gravy... but no thanks. That is just another dish and I was set. I did not even really make a full salad, just a little lettuce and it added a great crispness to the meal. It was great. We ate a little for lunch and a little more for dinner and then we are making tacos tomarrow.

The kids loved it, I loved it, it used very few dishes and it is a usefull leftover. That is one of my favorite meals ever.

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