Friday, June 25, 2010

Food Lovin' Friday - Sweet Corn Tomalito

Sweet Corn Tomalito Recipe

Each time my family is in the mood for mexican food we visit Chevy's Tex Mex Restaurant which is a couple times a year. Each time we go there I love getting the Sweet Corn Tomalito on the side. It's a little bit like corn bread.

Just a note - I had trouble figuring out what Masa Harina was so I used masa flour from my grocery store's Mexican food section. It turned out great.

Well I found this recipe online for it and it tastes almost identical to the one at Chevy's.

5 Tbl. margarine, softened
1/4 cup masa harina
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen, thawed, divided
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbl. plus 1 tsp. milk

In a small bowl mix the margarine, masa harina and sugar using an electric mixer for about 1 minute until it is light and fluffy.

In a blender, blend half the corn kernels and the water until smooth.

Combine the corn mixture and the margarine mixture, stirring well. Add the rest of the corn kernels, corn meal, baking powder, salt, and milk and mix well.

Pour the mixture into a 8" square baking pan.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Beware if you use plastic wrap to keep it away from the bottom pan as it will melt.

Steam by placing the square baking pan on top of a medium sauce pan of water on top of the stove.

Bring water to a boil and steam corn mixture for 50 minutes to one hour or until a toothpick comes out dry. Make sure to add water to the saucepan if the pan boils dry.

Makes 9-12 portions.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Crafts - Avoid the Chaos

I'm a craft supplies lover. I love buying yarn, scrapbooking paper, fabric, you name it. The only problem, well one of the problems is that I can't remember what I bought. I go into my room and find that I have 3 of the exact same thing.  Do you have the same problem?

The first thing to do is to take an inventory of all the craft supplies you have on hand. Then look it over prior to going into a craft or fabric store.

Next, organize all the different items - by project or with like items.  Whichever is easiest for you.

Well I do both and that's what works for me. I like seeing all the possible projects that got me inspired enough to buy the items in the first place. I store fabric projects together. For example: quilts, purses, pillows, etc.

As for scrapbooking I store all my supplies together. There are just too many bits and pieces to sort into projects. Too many projects that use the same items for example scissors and brads.

My point is to figure out what works for you. You need a solution that will help you find and remember what you have on hand and also inspire you to create.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Easiest Way to Save Money

Being frugal and saving money is very popular right now. There is talk about using coupons when items are on sale and stockpiling and while there are good ways to save money you still are putting out money.  The problem is not many people are talking about the easiest way to save money which is to stop or cut back on spending. Spending needlessly.

Cut spending. Yes it's simple in concept, but it's not easy for everyone to actually do.

There are many reasons why people shop and spend money. Some are perfectly legitimate reasons such as groceries, bills, housing, auto payments and maintenance. We're talking about the trips through the drive thru, the coffee shops, all the extras that end up in the shopping cart during routine trips for groceries, and food delivery when you're too tired or busy to cook.

Simple things you can cut from your spending.
* Movies - Rent for free from library instead of rental places or expensive pay-per-view fees
* Cut Premium Channels - speaking of movies if you happen to have cable or satellite choose a package without the premium channels. Those channels are usually full of older movies and they play the same ones over and over again. If there is a movie you really want to watch - rent it for a RedBox for $1 plus tax a night.
* Gym Memberships - Take up walking or running, use free weights and do calisthenics such as sit ups, push ups, and jumping jacks.
* Shop with a list - Plan ahead and buy only what's on your list. Look at your week ahead and plan meals, activities, etc. to avoid eating on the run, trips to the stores for 1-2 things and impulse purchases.
* Organize a carpool - Gasoline is constantly rising so split the cost between everyone in the carpool.
* Bag Lunches - Pack lunches for yourself and your family to avoid buying lunch at school or fast food restaurants. This could save you a lot over the course of a month.

Here are a couple easy ways to use what you have.
* Instead of renting a new movie watch one of your all time favorites - that's why you bought it, right?
* Go through your cabinets and refrigerator and make your meals from those foods. Search online for recipes containing the foods you have on hand.
* Cut out extra trips to the store for missing ingredients, try to find substitutions or make another recipe.

The best way to save money is to not spend at all. Try to find little ways to cut costs that won't make much of an impact on your day-to-day life.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Broaden Your Horizons

Have some fun this summer and broaden your horizons. Just like the movie "The Bucket List" create a list of all the things you want to do before you die (or at least over the summer). Be adventurous! Get out of your comfort zone.

There are millions of things you can add to your list. Here are a couple suggestions:
* Go para-sailing.
* Learn a new language
* Swim with the dolphins
* Ride in a boat
* Travel outside the county

Just think, if you were to die tomorrow or in say six month - what would you do in that time? Be bold and have a blast. Live life to the fullest!

Here are just 5 of my Bucket List item
  1. Write a book and publish it
  2. Get down to my ideal weight
  3. Wear a 2 piece bathing suit again and look great in it.
  4. Visit each of the 50 states in the USA.
  5. Visit another country.
What are your's?

Monday, June 07, 2010

Summers Almost Here - Need Kids Activities?

Well summer is almost here and you know what that means. Kids will be home on summer vacation. Then you'll hear those dreaded words "Mom, I'm bored" or "There's nothing to do."

It's all about planning ahead. Make a list of all the things you want to do this summer and then plug them into a calendar. For example: visit a different playground each week on Thursday or go watch a free kids movie on Wednesday morning.

If you don't have time to plan or just don't have the patience then I can help. I've just started another blog called "12 Weeks of Summer Fun" at This site is a day-by-day journal covering 12 weeks of activities that I'm doing with my kids. It includes printables, crafts, sites to visit, activities and more.  I've done all the work for you, so feel free to follow along and use some or all the activities with your kids. 

Have a great, fun, adventurous summer. Thanks for reading  :)