Thursday, December 31, 2009

Troysie Tamales Part 2

Troysie Tamales part 2
Assembling the Tamales

I like the masa to be flavorful so I add a can of green enchilada sauce to it, I will be using the same masa for both kinds of tamales I am making tonight.

Cut the whole Ortega chilies into one inch strips and slice the cheese into generous portions about 3/4inch wide

You need a corn husk that is about 12inches wide, since there are not many husks this size you usually have to put two together, when you do this, overlap the husks two inches or so.
Spread about 1/4 cup masa in the center of the husk leaving about three inches on the bottom

Add the filling which in the case of the cheese was a piece of cheese and a chili, for the meat it is about 1/4 cup.

Roll the husk around the filling and fold up the end forming a pocket.

Put about 3 inches of water in the pot (mine has a water line) and place the tamales in the pot standing up. Soon your pot is filled and you are ready to steam for at least an hour on medium high heat.

You Can do it!!! Tamales!!!

My husband LOVES the chili and cheese tamales and is in pure heaven that he can eat all he wants... It is the ultimate make him feel special thing.

I have tried making Tamales to sell and it was way too much work for me, I have also tried making tamales with red sauce but I have not been able to duplicate Aunt Delia's so I gave up and make the Chili Verde version shown here.

Happy New Year and enjoy!

Troysie Tamales part 1

Troysie Tamales part 1

First of all remember:
#1 I am only 1/2 Mexican.

#2 My mother was not a tamale maker so I am completely self taught.

#3 I do not like spicy food.

(I feel like I am living on the wild side when I select "Medium" salsa.
I do however,like a lot of flavor and make my tamales with as much spice as I can handle, but slather them with your liquid lava if that is your cup of tea, I will not be hurt.)


Let us begin...

Now, all of this stuff can be made from scratch but that is not how I fly, I am more of a Semi-Home-Made kind of gal so I use packages and cans whenever possible.

Ingredients- I am making two kinds of tamales, cheese and meat. The batch is relatively small just for us and not intending to sell or share. Larger quantities require many more hands much more ingredients and a much larger pot.

Prepared Masa- 6 lbs made by the little ladies at the Mexican store and purchased warm. I tried making Masa once, slaved over it, almost blew out my mixer and my arm, threw it out, went to the Mexican store and bought it.

Meat- 5 lbs-For my meat tamale I am using pork, normally I buy a picnic roast but Winco had this really cool boneless Pork loin pieces on sale to that is what I got.

Tamale Pot, I got a new one cause my other one is so huge I could put a blanket over it and use it as an ottoman. This is the smallest one they make and it was only $10!!
Pepper Jack Cheese 1lb
Ortega Chilies 4 small cans cause they didn't have larger cans
Green Enchilada sauce 3 large cans
Minced Garlic 4 cloves
Onion 1/2 large
Dried Corn Husks 2 packages
Seasoning for meat, I want to try to mimic this really great meat my mom used to make, all she used was pickling spice, garlic and season salt and boiled it all day. I got this cool spice mix at the Mexican store that has tons of stuff in it and a big dried chili which scares me to death. It is called "Para Tamales Centro Americanos"

Put all the meat onion, garlic and spices in the crock pot on high with a cup of water.(I only used 1/3 of the big scary chili)

Put the Corn Husks in the sink to soak

Phase 1 is over, this meat should cook for awhile 4-6 hours until it can easily shred.

On to the cheese tamales.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I Celebrate The Day

I Celebrate the Day

Isn't it funny how you "listen" to music then one day you "Hear" the lyrics?
I have enjoyed the Relient K Christmas CD "Let it Snow Baby" for a couple of years but this year the song "I Celebrate The Day" has entered my heart. I wonder when Jesus knew he would be the savior? Was it right away? I hope he got to be a little kid and experience the joy of childhood. I celebrate this day, and I am grateful for my savior who knows my name and loves me.

And the first time
That You opened Your eyes
did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever

To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
That you were born so I might live

And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die so I could one day pray for You to save my life

Pray for you to save my life.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cookie Memories Lost and Found

I haven't made them since before Cameron was born but I can still remember the little recipe folder we kept in the can of dried Shields Date Crystals. I also remember Chip loved them so I decided yesterday I would make Dream Bars. They are a chewy Date cookie with a shortbread crust. I had bought some dates awhile ago and thought I was ready to go. I was sure the recipe card was in my cookbook but alas it was not. No worry, I called my go to girl Penny thinking the recipe was on her famous "Yellow Tablet" of mom's recipes but she didn't have it. My other go to gal Sydney didn't have it either so the search was on... I thought the Internet was supposed to have EVERYTHING! Well, no recipe site has this recipe posted and I became so sad thinking a little bit of my Mom was lost.

I tried to re-create the recipe from memory but it was not right so I scrapped that idea really quick.

I baked away but my heart was sad, I wouldn't have special cookies for my brother Friday and I can't make Dream Bars again... It was a really sad and strangely final feeling that weighed heavy on my heart. (This is where Gloria stepped in with my ribbon tree and brightened my day)

Pen suggested I contact the Shields Date Company directly and sure enough on their website was an email so I sent a request for the vintage recipe, not thinking anything of it. I even forgot to pray for it.

But God knows the desires of his Troysies heart and sure enough FIRST THING this morning in my email box was the recipe. Thank you Ann from Shields for restoring a little piece of my heart, and for the yummy cookie recipe.

"There's just one wish on this Christmas Eve (Actually Christmas eve,eve)
I wish I were with you...
Merry Merry Merry Christmas... Darling"

****************DATE CRYSTAL DREAM BARS*************

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some Crafty Lovies

Years ago our friend Lucy took us with her to an ornament exchange that she had been attending for years in the hopes that our excellent craftiness (you know it) would inspire the other women to improve on their ornaments.

One year we got 20 amazing (you don't see me making the gag symbol sticking my finger in my mouth) ornaments including...

Strawberry basket snowflakes plastic covered with glitter!
Popsicle stick sleds (broken)
pine cone skiers (mine was missing an eye)
handmade sleds which were also hand painted by Junior. (Funny how the handmade sleds were the same ones our friend Jane got at Michael's)
But my favorite was the eyeglass lens (shaped like and eyeglass lens) with a Christmas card cut out glued to the back.

You know how ladies are, of course we made all over Juniors wonderful painting skills (refer to above gag symbol) and how easy it would be to glue the broken ornaments back together. We LOVED EVERYTHING!!!

Until we got back in the car and Dusty piped up... "Do you like ANY of this stuff?" We laughed so hard all the way home...

Then we decided to start our own craft exchange where we would give nice crafts to each other. We did it for a couple of years and really did bless each other with wonderful handmade items for our homes that we all still treasure. You can tell who was in the group cause we all have the same decorations in our homes, that craft group is a special memory in my life that makes me smile.

One year as a joke Lucy tied pipe cleaners to her old broken watches just to see our reactions, of course we were polite and accepted the watches, I took the one with the abalone heart band until she could finally stand it no longer and spilled the beans. That watch ornament has become our Christmas Pickle and is always one of the first to go on our tree.

Tuesday I went to Leigh Ann's for a little Christmas coffee, I walked in and admired her always lovely home (do you have a friend like that?) and I quickly noticed a beautiful ribbon tree on top of her fridge behind figurines. It was like I had craft radar. She said her mom had made it for her, my reaction was "What? She didn't tell us" (cause we always share craft ideas) Lucy walked in and had the same immediate reaction to the tree I did and we all decided we will go shopping for after Christmas sale ribbon to make the trees next year.

This morning I was in the middle of baking when my doorbell rang and it was my dear friend Gloria (Leigh Ann's mom) and SHE BROUGHT ME A TREE!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
I was so excited and kissed her so hard I almost nibbled her ear.

Funny, cause I was a little teary missing my mommy today and this was just the thing to get me out of my funk. I Love so much when I get an unexpected lovie, I will always treasure it and doesn't it just look wonderful next to my Mary Engelbreit Nativity.

Thanks Leigh Ann, Susan, and Dusty for sharing your mommies. You bless me so.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New and Improved

My 15 year old Eric has always had a little curl in his hair, but his gift from the puberty gods a year ago was what we call "A White Man Fro"

This is what I look at every day. He loves his long hair but we colored it black back in his "goth" stage and it was ruined, he had about four inches of black and the rest was his natural brown... Lovely, but he still loved his giant hair and I just kept purchasing every dry/damaged hair product I could find...

Sunday he said he was ready and wanted a hair cut. YOU BET I jumped on that wagon, called our friend Cindy and quickly made an appointment... He was excited to shock his friends, so he decided his haircut would be a secret.

Here we go!!!

First went the black ends


The pile was so huge you could have stuffed a pillow with it. Eric actually thought about it then decided that would be gross...

almost done, real men sit under hair dryers

Ta Da!!! The new and improved Eric... He said "I feel fifteen!"

Thanks Cindy!!!

He revealed his new haircut at school to rave reviews. It was a big step and we are really proud of him. He thinks he may grow it out again but this time no color. He really wants to donate his hair to Locks of Love...

Eric you rock!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just when you think you're good...

This June Mom and will be gone 14 years and Dad will be gone 7. I will never get over how much it Stinks (really it sucks)to not have them here anymore but like God promised me so many years ago, my heart has grown stronger and I can face the days that used to bring me total heartache with joy and hope for the future.

I have reached the point where I can talk about the experience of losing them without crying and also like God promised, I have helped others through this especially tough time in their lives and I am grateful.

So, for the most part I would say I am good, I go along living my life thinking all is well, I am strong,then suddenly something like today comes out of left field and knocked me off my feet.

Ours is a very musical church and today we were going to have a guest male quartet. I was really looking forward to it, I love listening to male quartets because it reminds me of the music Dad loved to listen to. His music was not gospel but country western but the harmonies were still the same. The gentlemen were so handsome in their matching suits, they got up to the stage and began singing in harmony just like I expected but what I didn't expect was for one of the singers to look just like my dad, white haired with glasses and I would bet he even used Brylcream.

Without warning,I completely lost it, I was crying so hard and it was just their first song. Steve tried to comfort me but suggested I step out of the sanctuary to collect myself and I agreed so I left teetering on the brink of hysteria, I ran into my friend Carol in the lobby and pleaded for a hug "RIGHT NOW" Of course she obliged. I then ran into my dear friend Judy who was having a cup of coffee and collecting herself because she has just this week lost her own sister. We consoled each other and listened to the music and talked about days gone by and I hope did each other a world of good.

God is so good that he blesses us with wonderful memories and good friends to get you through the bumps that being a parentless grown up present.

Dad,I am glad you loved Sons of the Pioneers and Roy Rogers, I am glad you introduced us to the world of musical harmony, I am so glad you loved playing the guitar and making up your own lyrics to entertain your loved ones.

"Because You're mine... I walk the line..."

Love you Daddy, and I love that your picture smiles at me every day.

Friday, December 11, 2009

When I come back

When I come back I want to be a Miller pet...

They make sleeping an art form...


Yogi with his head on the table

Yogi and Papa Cheek to Cheek

Seriously, He loves to sleep wrapped in a blanket

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Me Me Me Me

I received this one via Facebook and a girlfriend so I decided to take her lead and post this here

Here we go!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping Paper with real ribbon bows. I love getting the giant rolls at Costco. But my favorite tie is really thick yarn, it is really hard to find though.

2. Real or Fake Tree?
Fake. We get it put up with much less arguing than a real tree.Got some great "tree scented spray from Jane" love it

3. When do you put up the tree?
As soon as possible, but sometimes it is later than sooner.This was our best year ever! We were fully decorated by the first week in Dec. We rock!

4. When do you take the tree down?
Again, as soon as possible but usually sometime early January because I love my decorations so much.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Yep, I even like it with a little "Nog" in it but not like my Dad's I think it was mostly Nog.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I really loved my pretty doll and stroller I walked her around the block with pride.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
I have a beautiful Costco one Dad got me but this year we have a new one The Little Drummer Boy Nativity. That and my Mary Engelbreit one. Love it!.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
My Brother. But this year I love what I got him.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
Me. Just kidding... I Love buying for the women in my family.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever got?
Don't want to go there.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?
I have good intentions but don't always get them mailed. I Love getting them though. MAIL ONLY.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Muppet Christmas Carol and A Christmas Story

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
August or September.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Not sure but probably did.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Cookies and tamales.

16. Colored or clear lights on the tree?
Clear and Colored.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
This year I am a Johnny Mathis fan.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Both depending on who's year it is to host.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Let's see... Yep
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
My Handmade Angel but this year we have Cameron's baby hat.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas Eve with family.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
"Happy Holidays" We say Merry Christmas! and Elementary Schools with no decorations

23. What do you enjoy most about Christmas?

24. How did you find out about Santa?
It was just an evolution, no big reveal.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Memoirs of A Kitchen Lady

Comments from the line...

I don't know if it is the season, my holly jolly apron, the cold weather or what but the kids these days are just plain cute...

"You silly silly Tawni, I know your name, it's Tawni"

Troy- "Sounds good to me".

"And that's how Zombies are made... By Chemicals"

Troy- "Is that so?"

My I wish I had a Camera Moment...

Important items in a little boys lunch box... Apple, Crackers, and of course... Blue Vampire teeth...

Gotta love em...

Ten On Tuesday in the World of the Kitchen Lady

Memoirs of a Kitchen Lady

Ten things I LOVE about being a Kitchen Lady at Christmas time...

1. 1st graders singing warped Christmas Carols with the pride that they just invented the song themselves...

2. I just say the word "Rudolph" and the line begins singing

3. Kids love giving me advise on what games to buy for my sons

4. I get to wear my Holly Jolly Apron

5. We actually got cold weather for a change and I LOVE seeing the girls in all their cute hats, scarves, and gloves...

6. Little girl fur coats SOOOOO cute

7. The little Fahrenheit girl who always knows what the temperature is... God I Love her.

8. When Christmas falls on a Friday then we get off on vacation an entire week before and I get plenty of Cookie baking time...

9. Watching the kids practice their performances. Last year they learned every verse of several Carols and I was greatly impressed.

10. But Most of all, I love when I over a child correcting another child that Christmas isn't about presents because Jesus Is The Reason For The Season... Amen...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Love These Girls

Just got back from our annual Bunco Christmas party and I realized

We forgot to take a Christmas picture...

Isn't this a great bunch of gals. I sure do love them

Merry Christmas

Debbie, Lucy, Leigh Ann, Eve,Shirley, Barbara,Jane,Carol,Rhonda,Jackie,Carmen and Sue.

Love, your Troysie

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ten On Tuesday December Week 1

December is HERE!!!!and I am already busy YIKES!!!

10 Wonderful fun things going on this week

1. Christmas Decorating- I love our decorations and all the wonderful memories that go with them.

2. Christmas BUNCO party!!!! Yippee!!! We get to reveal our secret pals!!! Bunco and getting together with these gals always refuels my happiness levels.

3. Cookie Baking- I feel the need, the need to knead...(not a very good rhyme but it'll do)

4. Baby Shower preparations- Gotta put 60 pacifiers on 60 necklaces... who has more fun than me Hee Hee Hee (you know I love doing the games!!!)

5. Shopping for gifts- Gonna hit the dollar store for this

6. Cooking for a crowd- Looking for just the right recipes...Easy but yummy

7. Game Night Christmas Party- BINGO!!! It will be so much fun and I am so very blessed by my friend Sylvia who gave me all the goodies

8. Sewing- Baby shower gift and costume YIKES!!!

9. Baby shower for a great couple... Excited!!!

10.Fezziwigs Christmas Party!!! Steve and I will look so 19th century

And this is just week one!!!!


The Advent Calendar starts tomorrow. We keep it in the house separate from the Christmas decorations because we never decorate this early, but this year we are so excited to already have the lights and tree done.

Lights on Sunday and tree tonight, Eric put up with all my pickiness and I have to tell you he did an excellent job on the tree.

With one exception, instead of the beaded handmade angel I made a long time ago we placed Cameron's baby hat he wore home from the hospital on the top of the tree, it looks cute and is especially memorable because this year our baby turns 21.

Time flies when you are having fun.

Blessings everyone.