Thursday, May 31, 2007

King Ranch Casserole

My husband get the news magazine The Week. I like it, but I hardly ever have time to read its articles about international and U.S. news, BUT I never miss its Leisure Section which always has a great "Food and Drink" section. They usually have recipes from famous restaurants. I haven't tried to make any of them since I've pretty much not cooked anything worth mentioning all year. Russ thought we should made it when our pastor came to dinner tonight. He went and bought all of the ingredients, and I did the cooking. Success! It was an easy recipe and was delicious. Everyone had seconds. The artice said that King Ranch Casserole "might be the most famous casserole in Texas." Now something tells me that most Texans don't use Wolgang Puck's chicken broth in their version, but I can see why Texans love it. It is sooooo bad for you but tastes sooooo good!

Not much left!

King Ranch Casserole

12 (6 -inch) corn tortillas
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 jalapeno chilies, minced
2 tsp cumin
2 (10 -oz) cans Ro-Tel tomatoes
5 tbsp flour
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lenthwise and
cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
4 cups Cojack cheese
21/4 cups Fritos, crushed

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Lay tortillas on two baking sheets, lightly coat both side with cooking spray, and bake slightly crisp and browned, about 12 minutes. Cool slighly, then break into bite-size peices.

Heat butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onions, chilies, and cumin until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until most of liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add cream and broth, bring to summer, and cook until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in chicken a cook until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Off heat, add cilantro and cheese, and sitr until chees is melted. Season with salt and pepter.

Scatter half of tortilla pieces in 13 by 9 inch baking dish set over rimmed baking sheet. Spoon half of filling evenly over tortillas. Scatter remaining toritlla over filling , then top with remaining filling.

Bake until filling is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle Fritos evenly over top and bake until Fritos are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool casserole 10 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

School's Out! School's Out! Teachers Let the Monkeys Out!

Yay! I'm free I'm free! I....Oh! Oh! I do have a few things to take care of. We're having our pastor over for dinner tonight. I suppose I should think about getting everything ready for that. We're also leaving for Yosemite for the weekend tomorrow morning. I guess I'm not quite ready to relax just yet.

I love pink. Half of the clothes in my closet are pink. I ordered some pink Rowan yarn from Woodland Woolworks to use to knit Gayle Bunn's Surplice Lace Top from The North American Designer Collection No. 4.

I thought I was careful about what type of yarn I ordered, but, typcially of me, I wasn't that careful. The beautiful Rowan yarn I ordered is way too thick, so I'm knitting Deborah Newton's Eyelet Cropped Cardigan. I was feeling like doing something a little more complicated, but oh well. It will still be pink.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Down to the Wire

Your Vocabulary Score: A

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!

You must be quite an erudite person.

OK, I have to admit that I cheated, kind of. My first score was an A- The only word I wasn't positively positive about was peruse, so I went back and changed my answer. I initially chose "to read quickly" as the answer, but their answer was "to read carefully." Huh. I just asked Russ, and he said "To kind of look it over." Paige also thought it was "like scanning something." I think we're right.

I have done very little knitting during my "blog" absence. I have also done less writing than I had planned. Two weeks ago I bragged that I thought I could be done by last Sunday afternoon with my thesis. That was my downfall. I've gotten a lot of gardening done though! I think I'm ready to finish for real this week, and I'm really not embarrassed that I've procrastinated. Writing isn't just something that you decide to do, and then everything falls into place. I can sit in front of the computer and produce nothing or I can recognize that I'm stuck and plant some flowers. I'll go with the flowers.

Here's a picture of Josie Kitty sitting on a pile of laundry. I don't fold laundry when I'm having writer's block either. Anyway, school is out in two days, so I'm starting to get happier and happier. I am teaching an inservice to a bunch of fellow teachers on webpage design and then three weeks of summer school, but I'm still feeling the stress fall away. My summer school class is an html class and only has six kids in it. It really shouldn't even fly, but people with the power seem to like me. Besides, they know that I'll work on our school's webpage with those kids, so it's a deal for them too.

I did knit one more bunny in the last couple of weeks. Russ has a "prize" box in his classroom for kids who read at home and bring back cards from their parents, and he used my other bunnies as prizes.He said the girls loved them. His school is in a really poor neighborhood, so I like that they got something special like a handknit rabbit. I'll try not to think about the fact that they'll probably be left out in a sandbox somewhere. At least they won't get rained on this time of year!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Eight Random Things

Laura tagged me for my first meme ever. I wasn't even going to check my blog today because I have fifty million things to take care of, but oh well, this is much more fun.

First, the rules:

Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules.
At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.
Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
Here you go:

1. I swam six miles in twelve hours as part of a relay to raise money when I was in high school.
2. I have completed four half-marathons but haven't run more than five miles at a time for at least three years.
3. Immediately after my daughter was born, I thought to myself, "I could do this again," but three years later when my son was being born, I screamed to my husband, "I'm never doing this EVER again!".....and I haven't.
4. My older brother once won a case before the Supreme Court, and I'm really proud of him.
5. I love pickled herring, but only at Christmas time.
6. I teach at the high school I graduated from
7. I'm crazy about my kids....and usually am crazy about my husband.
8. I used to be able to speak Danish fluently but I've never been to Denmark.

Consider yourselves tagged, girls:
Janice, Wool Winder, Julie, Tracy, Cheryl, Marit,
Happy Yarns, Kitty Cafe.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Some More Bunnies

I have fifty pages of my Master's thesis now complete, which is good; I was never even called for an interview for the college job that I was so rushing to finish my thesis to qualify for, which is....not that bad. I'm glad that I had a reason to push myself to finish, and I'll have other opportunities to teach at a community college. My friend, who works at the college where I applied, thinks that I was probably screened before anyone who would have beem impressed even saw my stuff. The job description said you must have a Master's in English. Some secretary who doesn't even know me may have seen that I didn't have the Master's yet or that my degree will be in Humanities and didn't understand that Humanities includes English, and pulled me before the official screening. Or maybe I just sucked. I don't have a terrible job now, so I'm not that disappointed. I would have liked working nearly a month less and fewer hours though!!

I have not been growing as a knitter lately. Bunnies are so easy to knit, and I love seeing how they turn out. I knit a little white one and gave him a purple jacket, and I'm finishing a blue jacket for my latest one. I'm going to give him to my neice for Christmas with a Peter Rabbit book since he has a blue jacket like Peter wore.

Why do I have a picture of a tree on my knitting blog? No reason other than I'm so proud of this tree. It is a peach tree that has produced a real crop of peaches maybe twice during the ten years we've lived in our house. I gave the tree an ultimatum this fall. I told it (really) if it wasn't interested in producing peaches, it would be cut down. My husband, who usually carefully prunes it each year according to our fruit tree book instructions ignored it this winter in preparation for its new job as firewood. And you guessed it, it has loads of peaches on it. I'm not counting our peaches before they're...ripe because we do have these annoying Japanese beetles that sometimes get in our other fruit trees, but I am quite amazed.