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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Here is my Christmas tree- digital photo swap. All my life I always wanted a real Christmas tree. My mom and dad would always say no or its too dangerous. Well, in 2005 I bought my first real Christmas tree. Now I can never see myself getting a fake one.

It smell so nice. Its like have a really BIG plant or flower in the corner of my living room. It's always fun to see the look on my sister's face when she open her gift and there are pine needles on everything. This year's tree is smaller. Small living room = small tree. I really hope you enjoy the pictures if this years tree.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Pasteles: Puerto Rican Savory Cakes.

Here's another recipe famous in Puerto Rican households during the hoildays. This is the first year I made these yummy pasteles. Of course, Grandma took the recipe with her to puerto rico. I made pastels three times in the last two weeks. The first two attempts, I got the recipes from different sites and they didn't taste right. So I created my own. Third time was a charm. It tastes just like Grandma's. So here is the recipe.

There are two products that go into a pastels; the masa (dough) and the filling.

Ingredients for masa:

6 green bananas, peeled and shredded
2 green plantain, peeled and shredded
1 medium sized yuca, shredded
1 russet potato, peeled and shredded
salt, to taste
1/4 cup milk

Ingredients for filling

1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
12 oz jar of sweet pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
4 oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup water
2 lbs of pork butt or shoulder, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons oil
salt & pepper, to taste
oregano, to taste

For Assembly:
Parchment paper, 30 sheets. 2 sheets per pastel
kitchen string, about 36 inches per pastel

30 olives, 2 per pastel
Masa
1- As you shred the ingredients for the masa place into a large bowl of water and salt so it doesn't turn brown.
2- Drain the water and puree ingredients in 1 cup batches in blender. Add a little milk to masa to smooth mixture. It should look like hot oatmeal. Chill in frig while you make the filling.
Filling
1- Heat oil in a large saucepan or pot. Add the filling and simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

Assembly
Gather the masa, filling and assembly stuff on a large enough area.
1. Layer two sheets of parchment paper. Brush the center of top parchment paper with achiote.
2- Scoop up about 1/2 cup of masa place on the achiote part of the parchment paper.
3- Scoop about 2-3 tablespoons of filling in the masa. Place olives in masa.
4- Fold the top of the paper over the pastels. Flip over and fold end over. Repeat with second sheet.
5- Tie kitchen string around it like a package.
6- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Gently boil for 1 hour. Remove string and paper. Serves 12- 15.

Goes great with rice and chick peas. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

WEPAAAAA! COQUITO TIME!

You can't have the holidays in a Puerto Rican home with out Coquito. Coquito is the puerto rican version of eggnog. It's been some time since my family had this creamy drink.

When my grandmother moved to Puerto Rico three years ago, she took the recipe with her. After searching and searching for a good recipe, I found it. I did a trail run for Thanksgiving. Now I have been given the job of always making it for the holidays.

Since my search for the recipe took forever to decided to post the recipe here.


Ingredients:
2 egg yolks, beaten
12 fluid ounce can of evaporated milk
14 ounce can of cream of coconut (Coco Lopez is the best)
14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup white rum ( Bacardi )
1/2 water
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions:
1- In the top of a double boiler, combine egg yolks and evaporated milk. Stirring constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (for us type A people, until it reaches 160 degrees F)
2-Transfer mixture to a blender, and add cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, rum, water, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla. Blend for about 30 seconds. Pour into glass bottle or a heat resistant plastic bottle and chili overnight. Serves 10-12. Coquito is best on the second or third day.
Serve in a small glass. Some prefer a little cinnamon top. Wepaaa! Feliz Navidad.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Another Swap

Something Red - Crocheted this hat and scarf to match my sister's cell phone.
Food - Onion volcano
Child- Big Bea on our way downtown
Natural- Bronx River
Animal - American Bald Eagle Tea - Green Tea in my fave. mug.


I hope my partners enjoy my pictures.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Mission: Organization

Since being home on Workers' Comp. I have created a mission. My mission is to organize everything in my tiny apartment.
For today's mission I focused on my wall unit is full of books. Small apartment and working in a library for five years doesn't help. It also has game systems and players. O the wires! O the horror! I moved all of the book out of the center part of my wall unit and moved in my craft supplies. I love the library look for my books. So do the kids.
On the my next mission... the bedroom.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Five Random Things About Me!

Here are five random facts about myself and five random pictures from Thanksgiving.


1- The first time I camped I was 24. I never has the chance to camp or be a girl scout as a child. My mom (like most Hispanic moms) was very overprotective.
2- When I was an infant, my sister stepped on the back of my head. My brain is fine, but I have a flat spot where she stepped. So I can't sport the bald look if I wanted to. Thanks, Katrina.


3- I love playing sports. You look at me now and most people think that I never played a say in my life. My loves are Softball and Volleyball. I played 4 seasons of high school school. As for Volleyball, I played three season in high school (city champs in 1997) and one season in college (NCAA III). O how I love sports. If I had more time I would join a team.



4-I have a lot of hair. I mean a lot. Not in length so much but in density. I have enough hair on my head for three people.


5-My mom, sister and I had our first child at the age of 21. That's coo-key!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Baby Amy!

My latest swap. When I was baby swap. Enjoy! Woolworth, Brooklyn 1982
Sofa & Bottle, Brooklyn 1981
Driggs Ave, Brooklyn 1982
Sunburn, Brooklyn July 1981
Grandma's house, Brooklyn August 1982
Uncle, Mom and Me, February 1981

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Big Bea's Teacher


This is Big Bea's drawing of her teacher. My little artist.
Today was Parent- Teacher Day. As always, Big Bea's report was awesome. She is one of the top kids in her class. RIGHT ON!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Growing Big Al.

Today, Big Al turned 15 months. Happy 1.25th Birthday! I was scrolling thru my gigs of pictures when I saw this one below. OMG! He was super chubby. I took this picture Jan 25, 2007. And look at him now. He is two inches shy Big Bea's shoulders. It's like he stretched. He is going to tower over Big Bea any day now.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

In the mean time...

I will do some crafts.

In the last couple of day, I have been doing swap after swap. In total, I've done four swaps in two days. I have two featured on this blog. I am sure I am not supposed to be using my hand so much. What is a Mom to do when Big Bea's in school and Big Al is napping. I am not big on T.V. Also, whenever I pick up a book my hubby wants the T.V. to be extra load. So crafts it is. This is my very first 'zine. I learned about this swap from blogger buddy and fellow swapper Wanda. If anyone would like a copy of my Winter 'Zine drop me a line at xbebswirex@aol.com. Put "Winter 'Zine" in the subject line and you'll have a copy in no time.

This in my limited edition Sharpie ATCs. Limited edition just means they are special to me. I called them Aston & Amy. The center graffiti piece is of my husband name. I created this piece earlier this year. I color copied it and color it in again. Then attached it to card stock. I tagged up my name on the ends. Fun stuff.Today, I began some sort of formal instruction with Big Al. I started with primary colors. I showed him how to mark the paper. He joyed himself. I am happy that he didn't color his face but he came close a few times.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Day One of Physical Therapy

Today was the first day of physical therapy for my sprains. I was hooked up to this machine. I took a picture of it with my cell phone. This machine sent electrical pulses to my muscles. They put a warm compress over the pads of the machine. It felt so good. Then when I was done 10 minutes passed and the pain came back. I can't wait for the next session.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

One Skein Challenge & My W.I.P.

I am done with my swap for the One Skein Challenge. I finished it on Halloween night. I made Little Red this royal blue handbag with scrap white yarn as an accent. Good thing I finished when I did. I sprain my right wrist and right shoulder the next day. It happened at work, so bring on the paperwork and the drama.
Before the sprain, I was working hard on my ex large sofa blanket. So I wouldn't get bored of making such a big blanket I only crocheted four to five rows a night. I only have 26 rows to go to complete my pattern. I started this project this summer and I was so happy that the end was near. BOO! I can't wait until I get better. When I tell people that my blanket is not done, they are shocked. When I am done it should be the same length as my sofa.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

S-U-C-C-E-S-S Spells Success!

I am done with my 60 Consecutive Days of photos. You can see all 60 pictures here. I am super excited that I completed this task on my list.
I am going to write a little about my last three pictures.

This picture is of the Bronx Tour Trolley. This trolley is a replica of an early 20th-century trolley car. The tour travels thru my neighborhood. I live in the Belmont. You ask anyone who lives in this area they will tell you that this area is the City's true Little Italy.


Everyday is always a craft day. Big Bea loves cutting, pasting and creating. Here she is making her very own inchies. This is my desk. The never ending mess. I clean it and clean it and its never clean. This is where I am creative. I alter pictures, create Atc's and learn new crafts here. I just learn how to make a zine.