Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Insptections: 2 Down, 1 to go ...

I found a cute house inspection clip art, but blogger is not loading it so, on without a "photo" ...

Yesterday was inspection #2 on our new home, the house inspection.  The inspector found only 2 issues that the homeowner will need to address.  While there, the homeowner phoned my realtor to ask what time they could return home.  While on the phone, they happened to also inquire about how the inspection was going and my realtor told them about the 2 issues.  The homeowner immediately agreed to address them.

HooRay!!!  We are clicking along in the process.  The water well inspection should take place within the next couple weeks and the appraisal is also scheduled.  However, the appraisal will not take place until next month.

While at the house, the littles and I had an opportunity to choose bedrooms.  These decisions were, of course, guided by me and based on the best fit for our furniture.  I can honestly say I am so very excited and eager for things to move forward quickly.  The coming weeks will certainly be a test of my patience.

Which house did we select? hint:  There are quite a few trees on the property.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday's Super Supper

As previously mentioned on this blog, we really enjoy Mexican food.  Today was a fairly lazy day around the B house so, I decided to spend some time in the kitchen preparing an authentic Mexican meal.  Unfortunately, up here in the North I do not have access to many of the traditional Mexican ingredients that are readily available in Texas.  Thus, I had to improvise with the ingredients I could find.  Today's supper menu included, Guisado de Carne y Chile Poblano (Beef and Green Chili Stew), Mexican Rice, Pico de Gallo, homemade Four Tortillas and Flan (custard).
Here are my improvised recipes for Guisado de Carne y Chile Poblano and Flan:

Guisado de Carne y Chile Poblano
serves 8

2 tablespoon bacon grease or vegetable oil
2 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 pound grilled stew meat
2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
12 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 large ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4 cups chicken broth OR 4 cups water & 4 chicken bullion cubes
5 4oz. cans diced green chilies
1 teaspoon. salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
lime wedges

Heat the oil in a large stewing pot over medium heat.  Heat and cook the onion, stirring until it begins to brown.  Add the grilled stew meat, celery, garlic, oregano, cumin, tomato, and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until stew thickens.  Add the chilies.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook an additional 10 - 15 minutes to blend the flavors.  Serve hot with lime wedges & flour tortillas.

serves 8

1 cup sugar
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 cups whole milk
5 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Warm 8 6oz. ramekins on a cookie sheet in the oven.  In a heavy saucepan, cook sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently, until melted and golden brown, 6-9 minutes.  Quickly pour equal amounts of caramelized sugar into the warmed ramekins.  Set aside.
Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees.  In another saucepan bring 2 - 3 cups water to a boil.  In a blender, put the sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, eggs, yolk and vanilla.  Mix on low speed 1 minute.
Pour equal amounts of custard into the ramekins.  Place them in a larger pan and place in the oven.  Carefully pour the boiling water into the larger pan until it reaches approximately 1 inch deep.  Bake the flan 20-25 minutes or until the custard is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the water bath and cool completely on a rack.  When room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight before serving.

These recipes are adapted from Marge Poore's, 1,000 Mexican Recipes.  If you and your family decide to try them, I hope you all enjoy them as much as we do!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday

A couple weeks ago I was perusing my cookbooks and decided to try Ree Drummond's, author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Spicy Pulled Pork recipe (pg. 94-95).  On shopping day I scouted out the meat section of the local grocer.  Food prices are significantly higher up here than down in S.E. Texas, thus, I ended up paying $22.84 for a 6 lb. pork roast, that's nearly $3.81 per pound!  I knew I definitely didn't want to waste a single bite of this roast.

Good news!  Not only is Ree Drummond's recipe fantastic - the only change I'll make next time is an addition of red pepper flakes - but, I used this pork roast as the foundation for FIVE meals.  Reducing the cost per serving to $1.14 and keeping all 5 meals under $2.50 per serving.  Also, using the the left over roast in four of the meals was a real time saver.

Here's what I prepared:
Spicy Pulled Pork w/ corn tortillas, pico de gallo, sour cream, avocado slices and pinto beans
Dinner, aka lunch, of the above left overs
Pulled Pork BBQ sandwiches w/ sliced onions, bread & butter pickles, macaroni salad
Pulled Pork enchiladas, Mexican rice and charro beans
Pulled Pork smothered in gravy over mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and green salad

What's your Waste Not Want Not Wednesday tip?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Inspections: 1 down, 2 to go ...

Yesterday, the county sanitarian went out and inspected the waste water system on the house we are in the process of purchasing.  He gave it a thumbs up!  So now we will proceed with the the water well and house inspections.  After that, the property will be appraised.  If all continues to go well, we should go to closing on our new home in early August.
I am cautiously excited and praying that we do not run into any snags.  We appreciate your prayers, too.
Hint:  The house we selected is in a very peaceful location.