Tuesday, December 6, 2011

JJ's Caterpillar Years..

 "Remember, just like a butterfly, Kids too will spread their wings and fly some day. Enjoy their caterpillar years" (by Michael Mitchell)

My boy turned 8 last week, and to tell you the truth I don't know what was more scary to me:
 1. The fact that he is growing so fast OR  2. The fact that I'm getting older.... 
Either way he went from a tiny baby in my arms to an 8 year old in a blink of an eye. Fast.. VERY fast. 

So since this was a very special birthday I throw him a very special birthday. The day started with his favorite breakfast, and a scavenger hunt that took him to the keys of his ninja chest.. (Dad's Idea) 

He had to go all over the house looking for clues. When he finally found the key all his presents where inside his ninja chest..  He had a blast the whole time so I think we started a new tradition.. 

And then it was the party.. and this one was a fun one to plan. 

Everyone got a headband and a black belt, after that the Sensei aka  The Hubby took the kids down for some marshmallow training. They each build their own marshmallow gun and got to practice some shooting at my walls  balloons that we had set up for them.... 

And what Ninja party is good with out candy sushi? Thanks to a friend of mine that showed me the ways of the sushi, I was able to make sushi and wasabi for the kids to snack on! The sushi is rice krispy treats and roll ups and the wasabi was buttermilk frosting, Pretty cool...

We ate, got shoot at, but most importantly we had a BLAST!! The kids left my house with a belly full of candy and a happy face, And that my friends takes some ninja skills ;)
 Although it took 2 weeks to plan the party, 2 days to put it together but only seconds to have a house full of marshmallows,  I can truly tell you that I am enjoying my kids caterpillar years, and I hope they are enjoying their time with me. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Colombia and One Great Recipe

Yesterday we celebrated Colombia's Independence Day. Happy Bday to Colombia! It's been 12 years since I left my country with my parents so I'm really excited to go next week! Colombia is so full of colors and happiness. I mean whats not to love in a place where you are force to slow down your pace of life to enjoy your beatiful surroundings, a place where running late = on time, if not early (don't belive me? ask my brother) and you can get your nails done for $5. Yes I heart Colombia! 

But what I miss the most (besides my mama) is the food!! Fresh markets every where = fresh produce all the time! This recipe is my version of the empanadas.  Usually empanadas are a snack in Colombia but eat 3 and you are set for the rest of the day!!
This will make around 15 empanadas. I always like to recruit my husband and have some fun with him while we make them. 
For the dough you will need: (keep in mind my fellow Colombians that masarepa can't be found every where so Im working with what I have)
1/2 Cups of yellow cornmeal
1 Cup of maseca (Found in Walmart in the hispanic aisle)
2 Cups of water
1 tablespoon of Sazon Goya
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of oil
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large boll. Slowly add the wet ingredients forming a dough. Knead for 5 mins if you dough looks like its a bunch of crumbs (like feta cheese), you need a little more water.

If your dough is soft and makes one big ball (picture below) is ready, Knead for 5 more mins and let it rest.

For the filling you are going to need:
2 peel russet potatoes
1/4 cup of chopped onion
1/4 cup of green onions
1 cup of chopped tomato
1 clove of garlic
1/4 chopped red pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of sazon Goya
1 lb of ground beef
Put your potatoes to cook until fork tender, Drain them and  mash gently, set them aside
In a sauce pan brown the onions with the olive oil, add the tomatoes, garlic and red pepper and sautee to low heat until they form a paste.Add the chicken bouillon, cumin, sazon Goya and the ground beef and cook until the meet is no longer pink. Add the mash potatoes to this mixture and you are going to end up with something like this:

Yummy. Now take a sip of your favorite drink and get ready to assemble your empanadas. First open up a ziplock bag on both sides and oil it well so your dough doesn't stick to it.

1. Make a ball about 1 1/2 inch diameter around the size of a golf ball
2. Close your bag and softly roll out very thinly to form a circle
3. Spoon your filling to the middle of the dough
4. then using the bag underneath, fold the dough over to form a half circle and secure with your hands.
5. Close your empanada with a plate giving it shape (picture #6) repeat to make the rest
Fill a large pan with oil and heat it to 360 or until bubbly and fry 3 or 4 empanadas at the time until golden.

For the aji (sauce on the side) put some onions and cilantro in your food processor. Put you mixture in a very small bowl and add the juice of a lime and salt and a squirt of tomato paste and some sriracha or any other hot sauce you have at hand.
I hope you like them, as much as we do! Buen Provecho!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My New Favorite Place..

I always thought of myself as a big city girl. Buildings and busy people walking down the street didn't bother me, lots of things to do, better opportunities to make new friends and of course... tons of SHOPPING!! That's why San Antonio was high up in my list of favorite places.
So when I was told we were moving to Fort Drum NY, I was in shock, and it didn't help that my husband was in shock with me. And then the comments " So and so said it was hell on earth", " I heard you only have one month of summer and it rains all the time" I lock my self in the bathroom and I cried..
I was doomed to live in this horrible place, far away from home, and there was nothing I could do about it... So when I got here with no expectations other than to make the best of it, something happened, summer arrived and everything ( I mean everything) turn green right before my eyes! REAL grass and trees everywhere, animals walking down the street, perfect sunsets and wonderful people 
   But the best is the view out side my house


And then there is the lakes...

Beautiful everywhere we go!! 

My house is located in a little village just outside Fort Drum. Just peace and quiet and I am loving it.
 So I learned that there is no need to have a big city to have tons of fun! Just a picnic basket, a cute little family and the right attitude will do it. Home is where ever the army wants us to be and right now home is here in wonderful upstate New York 
Now you are going to ask: What about winter?  I really have no answer to that. I moved to Utah in the middle of October 12 years ago from Colombia and I survived. Went from hot and humid to cold and snow in a matter of hours so I think I will answer that question when time comes.   
Again its all in the attitude...  And think I'm in the right track!! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

First Post Ever!!

Well add me to the list of bloggers! After a long time playing with this idea I have finally set up my own account and for now I am just trying to figure this all out! Mostly  I want to share some of my culture with you. The adventures and the craziness that come from being a military wife. Look forward to seeing my posts and a lot of cute pictures of my kids! :)