try it out Tuesday

LinkSo, by far, the most active boards on my Pinterest profile are the two that house the recipes that I want to try and those that I have tried and enjoyed. Of course there are a number of other boards that have projects I'd love to get around to "some day," ahem, but a girl's gotta eat.

I'm a tinkerer though so I rarely follow a recipe to the letter. I thought I'd start sharing some of the recipes that I've pinned and made along with the modifications I've employed. And maybe, on occasion, I'll actually have a non-food related Pinterest project (no promises.)

A few months ago, Carlos and I went on a little one night get-away to Ann Arbor. While we were there, we ate at a vegetarian restaurant called Seva. It was delicious and my first taste of Indian (inspired) food. After drooling over recipes all over the internet, I ordered an Indian spices sampler from Amazon (spices are expensive, yo, and Indian food uses a lot of them!) and finally tried my hand at a cheater samosa recipe inspired by the ones I had at Seva. Here's my mash up of this recipe + this recipe + this recipe.

Samosa Puffs & Parsley Chutney

Samosas (makes about 15)
frozen puff pastry (defrosted for about 45 minutes and cut into squares - 9/sheet)
2 C diced potatoes (I use yukon gold but anything would work)
2 diced carrots
1/2 C frozen peas
3 T oil (I use grapeseed or olive)
medium onion, diced
1/2 can diced green chilies
1/2 T minced garlic
1/2 T ginger (I use the minced ginger that comes in the tube in the produce section - I'm sure fresh is better!)
1 t coriander seed
2 T lemon juice
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t garam masala
1/2 t red chili powder

1. Boil the potatoes and carrots until fork tender.
2. Heat tho oil and cook onion, diced chilies, garlic, ginger, and coriander seed until onions are tender and slightly browned.
3. Mix lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala and chili powder in a small bowl. Add to the pan once onion is done and stir thoroughly.
4. Add the potatoes, carrots and frozen peas and mix until the vegetables are coated.
5. Lightly spray a muffin tin and gently push the puff pastry into each cup. Spoon filling mixture into pastry and bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes.

1 bunch parsley
2 T diced red onion
1/2 T minced garlic
1/2 T ginger
more of the diced green chilies remaining from the samosas (I eyed it and probably used about 1/2 of what was left but adjust to your liking)
1 t ground cumin
1/4 C lemon juice
2 T oil

Pulse everything but the water in a food processor. Add water a little at a time to reach desired consistency. The chutney in the photo isn't very loose - I actually like it with more liquid but this was what was leftover from dinner last night so it was a bit dryer than how I usually prepare it. Still, completely delicious!

Sketchpad winner!

Thanks to everyone that commented - I hope you'll all take the opportunity to check out Kelly's class! It really is wonderfully inspiring. But there can only be one winner! And according to random.org, that winner is:

Please email me your contact information Anso. And congratulations!


Sketchpad from Kelly Purkey

I was fortunate to be asked by miss Kelly to contribute to her most recent Sketchpad class and she is generously allowing me to share a class giveaway with one of you! Simply leave a comment on this post and I'll announce a winner on Tuesday the 8th. Good luck (I've seen the class and it's amazingly inspiring!)

Sketchpad is a brand-new class from Kelly Purkey, spinning off from her series of successful Sketchbook classes. Sketchpad is a downloadable, self-paced class featuring 12 original sketches, 35 exclusive layouts from Kelly + and her talented contributors, 35 MORE sketches made from those layouts, and 12 amazing cards based on the sketches from the talented, Kristina Werner... all in a full-color 75 page PDF. Visit Kelly's blog for more details on the class and how to purchase.


missing this...

One more from our CA trip. I took this one when we were driving through Pacheco Pass on our way from Fresno to Salinas to visit Carlos' grandma. Isn't it funny how the light looks a bit different depending on where you are? Amazing light here bouncing off the water!


California Adventures

In early August, Carlos and I put on our brave faces and took the kids to California to visit family for 10 days. Only Jake had flown before (ahem, when he was about 18 months old) so needless to say, it was quite the adventure.

It was completely exhausting and wonderfully touching to introduce our kids to so many people that have such great love for them. We squeezed as much quality visiting in as we possibly could have and spent a lot of quality time together in a tiny little rental car bonding. And despite a handful of the usual sibling rivalry situations and some pain in the ass hotel employees, we had a fantastic trip.


traverse city

Last weekend, my mom and I hit the road together and spent a couple of nights in Traverse City.

I can count on one hand the number of people that I can spend 48 consecutive hours with without rolling my eyes once (it's actually fewer but I don't need the people in my life to start placing themselves on or off that list) and without a doubt, my mom is on it.

We walked a ton (and crossed the bridge this photo was taken on a number of times,) did a little shop exploring, a little more winery exploring, enjoyed some good food (she went vegetarian with me for the weekend...and contrary to my step-dad's opinion, there was no coercion involved ;) some great weather, large hotel beds, a little knitting and so much great conversation.

It's been more than 10 years since we got away for a bit but after this trip, we're both convinced that it needs to be a yearly occurrence.

I am so grateful to have such a close relationship - FRIENDSHIP - with my mom. Everyone says how similar we are and to me, there is no greater compliment. I guess this is my belated Mother's Day ode. Because I have the best one in the world :)


SBE Craft It Forward

I rarely post about scrapbooking on this blog anymore but I think this is such a cool idea (and a great opportunity to win $500 for yourself *and* the charity of your choice!)

Craft It Forward is a special program that BHG Scrapbooks Etc has launched to encourage scrapbookers, cardmakers, and papercrafters to craft for a cause and make a project to give to a charity or someone in need.

Each month, they offer a special project at craftforward and ask people to upload their creations on their web site for a chance to win $500 each for themselves and their charity. You can use the suggested project or come up with something appropriate for your selected charity on your own.

You can see a sample of the April project to the left. For detailed instructions on the project, ideas for possible recipients and details for entering the monthly contest, be sure to check out the craftforward site.

(wouldn't this be a fun seasonal service project for a classroom, scouts troop or church group?)

And just as an added incentive to play along, I'd love to send a goody box to a randomly selected participant. Just link me up to your project in the SBE Craft it Forward gallery by April 30th for a chance to win. I'll select and post the winner May 1st!


very happy

  • that c and I got away for a night ALONE on Saturday. yay for free hotel nights (one benefit off a job that requires a lot of travel) and vegetarian restaurants (delish!) boo to an internal body clock that drove us from the hotel bar where we were enjoying some live jazz at 10 pm and maids knocking on the door at 9 am.
  • I finally broke Izzy of her night time light requirement. now to work on Jake.
  • baseball season starts in 9 days.
  • she shares her amazingness
  • that I discovered this gem of an add on for my gmail
  • to have carved out some knitting and reading time lately (also happy to live so close to our wonderful little library!)
  • that I knew better than to jump on the "yay! spring is here!" bandwagon. Since we have a winter storm warning for tomorrow.
  • parent teacher conferences are tomorrow and I never have a need to worry about how they will go. my kids are rock stars at school. wish it would carry over to home!
  • my yearly physical is Saturday. not happy to have it. happy that soon, I can forget about it for almost a year. and happy that we have insurance that pays for it and lowers our rates because we get it.


9 years

I was totally remiss in not wishing my husband a very happy 9 year anniversary yesterday :) Hopefully, if all goes according to plan, we'll be in Maui a year from now!

This is my very favorite picture of him ever, ever, ever and I wish I had taken it myself. (You'll forgive me my momentary lapse into mushiness for this one? It doesn't happen often)

Happy anniversary C!


yesterday, after school

I had this waiting for the kids as a treat. It was much easier than the Nutella cupcakes I had planned (that I WILL be making this weekend - yum!) Can you believe they've never had a Twinkie? Tragic.

On a somewhat related note, Zack came home with a certificate and new book for constructing the "sturdiest Valentine mailbox" in his classroom - am I the only one that finds that hilarious? I almost feel like we cheated as I couldn't find a shoebox and used an Amazon box instead. Is it cheating if I didn't realize there even was such a contest?

Hope y'all had a lovey-dovey day :)



  • marveling at the fact that jake is old enough to be learning multiplication and cursive and that zack is old enough to be writing short stories in school.
  • izzy smells like pickles and is watching an arthur dvd from the library.
  • finishing up a classic that I hadn't read before.
  • thinking about ordering some of these (I can't kill these, right?)
  • steeling my nerves to try sewing a fabric backing on the knitted baby blanket I made for zack's teacher...due with her first in less than 3 weeks.
  • waiting patiently for the new laptop I had to order - grrr :(
  • thinking I should go pick up a gift for the birthday party zack is going to on saturday.
  • happy that the sun is out! even if it is butt-ass cold.
  • looking forward to our roasted veg and salad dinner as I eat my ramen lunch.
  • thinking I should print out the mini valentines I made to sneak in the boys' lunches this week...I made one for every day this week + monday and have yet to include them. want them? download here.


you see?

how she just grew up *snap* like that?

The long hair and sassy attitude. She spent the night at my parents' house last night and wore that backpack all morning in preparation for their arrival. Doesn't miss me a bit. Nope. Not one iota! Ungrateful monster. Hmph.

So, hey. I want to start a garden. We kind of loved our CSA last summer but the winter CSA has been less than spectacular and has kind of turned us off of it. I love that it introduced us to some new stuff that we wouldn't have used otherwise but there was also a fair amount that I don't' want to continue using. Tell me what to do. Seriously, don't laugh at me or tell me how woefully lazy I am for even considering it but tell me, is this a fairytale solution?

OK, short post as I've been alone, ALL ALONE, for the past 4 hours and have just 2.5 hours left. Off to find something to do that can only be done when I have the house to myself! Not sure what that will be just yet but there must be something!


sayonara numero dos

Do you see what I did up there? How I mixed my languages? Just trying to keep you on your toes, my friends.

And the best part? He didn't SWALLOW it this time (we never did locate the first lost tooth...would you have searched for it?)


made me happy

Just organizing and backing up photos today and I ran across this photo. I took it in June of 2009 and I just think it's the sweetest thing. I don't remember seeing these birds last year...I wonder if they broke up? Probably, he cheated on her. Or her, on he. Or maybe one of them kicked the old bird bucket. Maybe they retired together and took up permanent residence in Boca.


Just made me think about relationships and what makes them work and not work. Carlos and I work. We have our disagreements but we resolve them with respect. And we're stronger for them. And they are few and far between.

Mostly though, we share things. Interests. A strong belief in our children and their potential and how to guide them. A desire to spend time together. And apart.

We appreciate each others strengths and compensate for each others weaknesses. He has an uncanny ability to step in with a hug or a diversion or some sugar just when I need it. I hope I do the same for him.

Guess I'm feeling a little weepy missing him while he's traveling for work. I'll be better tomorrow when he's home again :)

So anyway, I hope the birds are happy. We do have some rather frisky (and fat!) squirrels that seem to have taken to the place. We welcome non-destructive animal pairs of any type here in casa de hernandez.


adventures in vegetarianism

So, I know we haven't talked much in the past year+ but I've been eating a vegetarian diet now for close to a year with the rest of my family joining me for the past 8 months or so.

I'm not some crazed advocate so I'm not going to bore you with the details of the hows and whys but I know a lot of people like to do a meatless meal once or twice a week so maybe on occasion, I'll share a meal that we particularly like.

For the most part, we don't eat a lot of meat substitutes. We mostly stick to a large variety of vegetables, grains and beans. When we do eat "meat-like" we don't really go for tofu based substances but those made with vegetable proteins and the like. I'm trying to be very responsible about this because it's my kids' health and I don't want to cause any deficiencies that will hurt their immunity or health. So far, we all seem to be holding up pretty well ;)

THIS meal though - yum. It looks like meat, it has the texture of meat and it tastes like meat. It's not vegan, it's not low sodium, it's not low fat. It's probably the LEAST healthy meal we eat but it's still better than the real thing in a lot of ways so I don't feel at all guilty working it into our meal plan every couple of weeks. It would work in any recipe you use meatballs in. Everyone loves it (except for Zack, who has been subsisting on a steady diet of sandwiches and yogurt and fruit for years anyway.)

(apologies for the less than stellar photo)

I've adapted this from a cooks.com recipe - a few changes that make them much better ;)

1.5 C italian bread crumbs
1.5 C almond meal/flour (I use bob's red mill - I buy it in bulk from amazon - much cheaper than the grocery store usually!)
1.5 c. grated colby cheese
1 chopped onion
1 t garlic powder
4-5 eggs
a couple of shakes of worcestire sauce
1 pkg. (1.5 oz) pot roast seasoning

Mix everything together and form into balls (I get about 35 1" balls) and brown in a pan before baking for 20 minutes at 350.

I make a simple gravy from onion soup mix, low sodium/low fat cream of mushroom soup and water to pour over them while they bake but like I said, you could easily substitute these into any other recipe that calls for meatballs.


sharing of a crafty nature

I went perusing my blog last night at some older (I mean baby Zack era) posts and got all verklempt. I simply love that glimpse of what our life was like in past years. So why is this so hard for me to continue? I'm trying, really. And seriously, I HATE visiting favorite blogs and seeing all of the "sorry for the lack of blogging, I'll try harder" posts. Just DO it - don't tell me about it. But here I am doing it. More as a reminder to myself that anything.

So, digging into the photo archives, I thought I'd share a couple of things I made for Christmas...since the gifts have been gifted and the photos taken :)

First up, some yarn that I dyed for my mom. In *my* favorite colors - green with just a hint of blue. I'm dying to see what it looks like knitted up (go mom, go!)

And a shawl knit for my aunt/best buddy Jaimie...in the softest tweed imaginable.

And a scarf for my grandma.

I feel like I'm forgetting something but my photo editing mojo is kaput for now so, we'll call it good :) Have a great Tuesday!


so, to sum up

We're halfway through the first month of the new year. Just like that.

Over the past month we've had flu and earaches galore and sinus issues and a finger lancing [blurgh] and lots of fights and lots more good times. We've lost a first tooth (and promptly swallowed it...don't worry, there are two quickly following the brave leader) and spent a very first night away from home and mommy and daddy (she did wonderfully well and asked daily to spend the night at grandma and grandpa's AGAIN.) We have karate (ahem, pardon, Tae Kwon Do) and tennis lessons and daily homework x2. We're picking up speed and I'm fairly certain I don't really like it.

I've tackled 365 and amazingly enough, am 14/14 so far (go me!)

I still love parentheses and ellipses.

I still have lots of weird and random thoughts but have yet to stumble upon the formula that allows me to share them here on a regular basis.

Once again, it's January which means I have a serious boner for purging and organizing. (that word still makes me giggle like a 12 year old. sorry I'm not as sophisticated as I may appear :p)

I'm still knitting and occasionally sewing and reading lots and scrapbooking once in awhile (pretty much all digital now...that stash of scrapbooking goodies is high on the purge list in lieu of the yarn and fabric stashes which sadly, can't be stored on a hard drive.)

Me and my camera were on a break for awhile when it was out of commission with a serious case of broken-shutteritis and now, even a month or so after reuniting, we still haven't rediscovered that comfortable groove we inhabited once upon a time. So, my photos have a heavy tendency to be blurry and over/underexposed and there is just only so much our therapist, Photoshop Elements, can do to help us out. I'm wondering if the super talented Allison will be able to permanently resolve our intimacy issues and allow us to be comfortable together once again.

So, just saying hi to the blog.

(I do have other kids too but I so rarely see them during the daylight hours - oh, and this one is a ham!)


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