Family Favorite – Homemade Ugly Tortillas

Today, I will be sharing how I make my homemade Ugly Tortillas. Now, if you have never had homemade tortillas, you are in for a real treat. They are well worth the effort. As for me, I grew up with my mom making homemade tortillas. I have fond memories of her in the kitchen in the early morning rolling out a huge pile of tortillas. My favorite part about making tortillas is when you put them on the comal (griddle) and they start to blow up like a balloon. You can’t help but stand there and watch, wondering if they are going to pop! Now my kids enjoy watching the tortillas.

The tortillas my mom used to make were made with lard. Mine are not. You could substitute the butter for the lard if you wanted to make traditional tortillas. (Just so you know I never use shortening.)

Kitchen Supplies need: Large mixing bowl, wooden spoon, measuring cups, 1 cup liquid measure, measuring spoons, rolling pin, flat work surface and comal (griddle)

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Here is the ingredient list:

6 cups All Purpose Flour

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

2 Teaspoons Rumford Baking Powder

2/3 cup of melted Unsalted Butter

2 Cups of Warm Water

Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients in one big bowl. The dough will look shaggy.

Next you need to flour your work surface and knead your dough for 4 minutes. You want to make sure all the ingredients are well mixed and you don’t see any butter spots.

Now portion out your dough and roll it into balls. Your dough balls should be a little bigger than a golf ball.

Time to get rolling!

Before you roll your first tortilla, you will want to warm your comal or griddle to a medium low (this will depend on how hot your griddle cooks).

I like to roll my tortillas on an oversized wooden cutting board; you can use your counter top as long as it is not tile. My mom use to roll hers on the kitchen table because that was the only flat surface she had.

Now flour your work space and your rolling pin and start rolling and cooking!

You will develop the perfect rhythm of rolling, and flipping, rolling and flipping the tortillas. Once they are cooked, I put mine between the folds of a kitchen towel to keep them warm. I like to make a large amount so I can use some tortillas the next morning for breakfast burritos. Don’t forget, breakfast burritos freeze well for those busy mornings!

You may store your Ugly Tortillas in a 1 gallon size ziplock bag on you kitchen counter for next day use, or stick the bag of tortillas in the freezer for future meals. I personally, I freeze food in my kitchen refrigerator and eat it within 30 days.

And there you have it! My Ugly Tortillas!

Rosalia

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Organic Living – Homemade Face Cream

As I continue my quest for homemade skincare and products in my home. I have discovered that a lot of the essential oils on the market are not pure and have been altered. Lot of them have fillers or synthetic chemicals that make them not as effective or even harmful. For this reason, I have done some research, I don’t want my efforts of going organic to be futile. So, I ended up with Young Living oils. These oils are organic and are quality, Therapeutic grade, pure essential oils. They even have a Seed to Seal  quality commitment you can read about here.

Now that you know why I have chosen Young Living, I will continue with my basic homemade skin cream recipe. I am still using coconut oil for my face but, I have now added 10 drops of Young Living Lavender Essential Oil and 10 drops of Young Living Thieves Essential Oil to 3/4 cup of coconut oil. Mix ingredients and apply to clean face.

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The Lavender Oil works as an antiseptic, anti-fungal, and combats excess sebum on skin. it also promotes tissue regeneration and speeds wound healing. Plus, it just smell delicious.

Thieves is a oil blend of Cloves, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata and Rosemary. making it the most amazing blend of antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-infectious essential oils.

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By using this blend my skin has felt clean and refreshed and smells so good. The best part is, I have noticed a great difference on my skin. Mostly on my chin. I am one of those woman who get the hormonal chin breakouts. Since using my homemade cream I have noticed very few pimples and they fade within a day. The other huge difference is the little spots of discoloration from past pimples are fading away too.

I am very pleased with my new skin care. I can’t wait to share more of my discoveries with you on my little journey to a more organic life.

Rosalia

Valentine’s Day Craft – Valentine People

I am so happy to share with you this super easy craft. This is one of those crafts we make every year, just because it is fun. The best part, is watching them give the Valentine people character. I love to laugh with my kids as they experiment with the final look of the faces.

This is where we begin. Paper.

Pink construction paper

red construction paper

black construction paper

scissors

heart shaped punch (optional)

glue sticks

straight edge

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So, I started with a green piece of construction paper to make a heart templet to start with, little did I know my son was going to use it.

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So, to start, I trace the heart on to the red construction paper. 1 per person. This is the face/ body.

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If you happen to have a little heart puncher, feel free to punch out lots of little hearts. You will need 5-6 for this project. But since it is Valentines day I cut out lots to save and use later for our Valentine cards.

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Next, I use a straight edge to make lines on pink construction paper about equal widths. Each child will need 4 strips. 2 for arms and 2 for legs.

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Fold all the strips accordion style.

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For the black construction paper, I use the glue stick as the template for the circles. These will be the eyes for the face.

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I also like to use the black construction paper to make eyelashes for the Valentine girls or eyebrows for Valentine men. The size can be anything you like but mine are about a 1/2 inch wide and 1 1/14 inch long. As you can see from the picture I cut little slits in the paper to make the lashes. I do nothing for the eyebrows.  You can even use the same eyelash idea to make a bushy mustache.

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Here are all the supplies ready to go!

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Here are my sweet little puddle jumpers I craft with.

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Let’s begin!

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I am glad the green heart has made Little D happy.

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I am finding my kids are always bringing the markers to the craft table…

and crayons.

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Coming together!

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Little hands hard at work…love it.

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See what I mean! Super silly but cute too. As you can see you glue little hearts to the ends of the accordion fold strips. This makes the hands and feet of the person and you just glue them to the big heart face.

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My idea was red, my son had other plans. But it turned out GREAT! I love this one actually. I couldn’t help but laugh with joy.

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There you have it!

I hope you enjoy making these with your little loves.

Rosalia 

Crafts For Boys – Recycled Toilet Paper roll Race Cars

toilet paper race car

 We had another fun week over here with our Crafts for Boys class. We kept it simple, and recycled some toilet paper rolls along the way! I really do enjoy these recycled projects, they open up your mind to look at things differently. It makes life all the more fun.

So, here is today’s adventure!

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These is all the supplies you need:

Toilet paper rolls

black foam paper 

hole puncher

brass fasteners

paper plates, to work on

tempera paint and paint brushes

black permanent markers

scissors

Tacky glue

     So, now begins the preparation.

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Find a round object that would make a good size tire on a toilet paper roll car. In my case I used a small duck tape roll. After I made a few circles on the outside circumference. I made some circles using the inner circle too. I thought it would be fun to make cars with the big wheels in back and smaller wheels up front like a hot rod.

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Cut them all out and have them ready for the boys. I like mine is stacks, so mine are in stacks of 4.

Second, punch holes in the toilet paper rolls on opposite ends.

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Keep the holes even if you are using all the same size circles for tires. If you are using small tires for the front be sure to make your hole punches accordingly.

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Make sure the holes match on opposite sides of the roll. This will be the place you put your black foam circles with the brass fasteners to make the tires.

Once that is all done, then it is time to get the boys ready to paint.

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As you can see, the paper plates make an excellent place to work, keeping clean up minimal.

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I love listening to the boys chatter as they work. I get a little insight to the boy world.

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I was amazed how much they know about football.

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The tires are starting to go on and so are finishing touches.

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Such sweet boys.

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Here is a completed car with big wheels. We even added a windshield, cut out from another toilet paper roll.

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Here is one that has the small wheels in the front making it more of a hot rod style.

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Then there is the basic model.

But all are fun to make. The brass fasteners easily go through the foam paper, making it super easy to work with. It gives the kids a different texture to work with too.

I hope you enjoy our recycled toilet paper race cars as much as we did.

Rosalia

My Homemade Granola

I am super excited to share this recipe with all of you. After trying different ways of making a tasty granola without using vegetable oil, and yes I even tried making a few fat free versions. Once with pureed re-hydrated prunes. I know that totally sounds gross but it was pretty good for being fat free. It was just a lot more work.
Now, I think I finally perfected my granola recipe. Okay, perfect for my taste. And I think the ground ginger sets it apart from some other granola’s.

So here it goes;

8 cups Rolled Oats
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
8 oz. of melted butter
1 cup slivered almonds (better than sliced)
1 cup sunflower seeds

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients listed above.
– mix with a large spatula until fairly well mixed then roll up your sleeves and finish mixing by hand. to ensure that there are no brown sugar balls and that everything is really well blended.
– Spread mixture onto 2 baking sheets.
– Bake for 25 minutes. Switch sheets from top rack to bottom and bottom rack to top and stir with a spatula after 10 minutes. Then stir again after another 10 minutes.
– After the last 5 minutes remove from oven and let cool.
Make sure it is golden brown and still soft to the touch. It will harden as it cools.
If it is hard when comes out of the oven it will be to hard once it cools.
– While granola cools, in a large mixing bowl you can add; 1 cup raisins, 1 cup craisins, 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, or really any variety of dried fruit you want.
-Then once granola is cooled pour in to large bowl with dried fruit and mix well with a spatula. Then store in a air tight container
Ready for you to enjoy!
And smells so good too!
I hope you enjoy my recipe!

My Top 10 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

As you know, I love to spend time in my kitchen cooking and making new things. So, I though it would be fun to give you a little tour of my favorite kitchen things. Honestly, I like to keep things pretty simple and I tend to enjoy some of the simpler tools. However, I do have 2 big items that are a must in my kitchen, I will introduce you to them first.

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1. This is Emma, my Kitchen Aid. Yes, I do like to name some of my favorite kitchen appliances. Maybe that makes me a little strange but that is ok. I can handle being a little strange.

So, it may surprise you to learn I don’t use her to make bread, I do prefer to knead my bread by hand. But I do use my Kitchen Aid to make cakes, and muffins, frosting, whip cream and stiff like that. It is the perfect tool to have my kids baking in the kitchen.

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2. This is Beulah, my food processor. As you can tell she is old, hence the name. She is another of my favorites. I use her to puree soups, make pie crusts, make emulsified dressings, chop oatmeal and nuts, and many more delicious things.  My kitchen would not function well if it weren’t for her.

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3. Meet Chunky, my french oven. She is my secret to a great stew and pot roasts.  I love that I can go from stove top to oven with out even thinking twice. She makes a great chili and baked pasta dishes. Really the perfect pot for winter soups as well as a fabulous summer minestrone.

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4. This is where my kitchen love affair begins, my cast iron skillet. It cooks up great bacon, omelets, apple dutch cake, upside down caramelized apple cake, crisps, corn bread, pasta bakes, etc. It is even fabulous on a camping trip. This skillet that can be used for just about anything and can go from stove top to oven without a problem.

I must say it is very important to know how to take care of this pan for you to use it with success.

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5. This is my bench knife or shall I say pastry scraper. I love that it does not have a sharp edge and I can use it to cut and divide my refrigerated dough. It is also great for scraping your kitchen counter clean after rolling tortillas, cookies or pie crusts. It is even great for scooping up your chopped vegetables to put in you stew or sauté pan.

All in all it makes clean up easier.

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6. Here is another simple but handy tool, a pastry blender. If you like to make biscuits or have a recipe where you need to cut in the butter. This would be the tool you need, it will allow you to blend in the butter while it remains as cold as possible for your recipe. No more cutting butter into little cubes and blending with your hands.

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7. Here is my trusty old baking sheet. I must say, I recommend getting a restaurant or professional quality baking sheet. The baking is way better than the home brands. I use this for baking cookies, cinnamon rolls, pizza, bread, short bread, even baked bacon, plus many other things. it is a true work horse.

Also, because of the 1″ lip it allows you to bake a pie over it or a quiche and catch any dripping with out spilling on your oven floor.

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8. A quality chef’s knife is a must have in a kitchen. This is my 14″ chef’s knife. It makes chopping a breeze. No need to have a chopping gadget when you have a good knife and know how to use it. I can slice, dice and chop everything with it. It’s D-shape blade allow you to rock the knife back and forth making chopping easy.

You will know a good knife because the blade goes into the handle and ends with the handle. To familiarize yourself with the variety of knifes on the market, I recommend going to a good knife shop. Some are made with a heavier metals and others are made of a lighter metal, it is really important to hold the knifes in your hand to find the right knife for you. It is also important to learn about the care of you knife and to learn how to hone it before each use.

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9. Yes, another knife. This would be my bread knife. We love bread over here and I really don’t like it when my bread falls apart when I try and slice it. So, a real bread knife is key. It allows your bread to keep it’s integrity during cutting. It is fabulous on slicing garlic bread too. Yum!

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10. Last, but not least, my metal spatula or flexible turner. It has a thin flexible spatula that allows you to get right under your baked cookies without breaking them to put on your cooling rack. I even use this with my Un-Fried Baked Chicken.

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of my top 10 favorite kitchen items. I hope this helps you if you have been on the fence about a few of the items on my list. Until next time!

Rosalia

Kids Sunflower Craft – Activity for the letter S

Toddler time at our house is always fun. I always try to create lots of hands-on activities to help them remember the sound of the letters. My youngest so far has proven to have the greatest challenge. She has not shown any real interest in learning the sounds. But that is okay. She will get them when she is ready. In the meantime, she will have fun doing hands on activities and will be learning something in the bargain.
Last week we worked on the letter S. This is the first of the S series.
I hope this idea helps you and inspires you to explore new ideas. I do hope to post weekly ideas as we move through the alphabet with my preschooler.
For our first project we made the Sunflower.You will need these items per child;
1 sheet of brown construction paper cut into a circle. I used a dessert plate as my template.
1 paper plate
A few sheets of yellow construction paper cut into petal shapes- as many as your toddler desires.
1 glue stick
Then have your toddler get to work!
Gluing the petals one at a time around the paper plate.
Let your child decide how many petals they would like to use for their sunflower. My 3 children each wanted to make one. So my oldest used many petals, making a full flower, while my 3 year old used a minimal amount of petals.
After you have glued your desired amount of petals, glue the brown center down in the middle.
This is my 5 ear old son’s flower.
My 3 year olds flower.
My 7 year old’s flower. You may need to remind them that the glue will take a little while to dry.
Feel free to glue sunflower seeds in the middle with Tacky Glue. Or do what we did, glue a recent picture of them in the middle for a frame for your wall!
A fun simple project!

I hope you enjoy this one!

Rosalia