My latest contribution to Huffington Post is up. It describes five ways for you to put aside your excuses to get yourself cooking. I admit, sometimes it is really, really hard to get cooking. In my opinion, getting started is often the hardest part… Although there are other steps along the way where I often get derailed.
Check it out at:
I am often amazed and inspired by the home-making abilities of those around me. My sister-in-law stopped by my house and in 2 minutes (with 2 children running around) managed to solve a storage problem that had been lingering for months. (The answer: put the box of bocce balls behind the television!). My boyfriend’s sister-in-law sent us Christmas gifts so beautiful we took pictures of the gift-wrapping before opening the gifts themselves. My sister can whip up a batch of cookies in 20 minutes flat. My parents can, with their powers combined, put together brunch for 30 of our closest relatives with 30 minutes notice.
I’m not there yet. I’m the one with a box of bocce balls sitting by the back door because I don’t know where to put them. I aspire to be able to whip up cookies in 20 minutes flat. I may make my own tortillas, but “from scratch” doesn’t necessarily mean “easily from scratch” or “quickly from scratch.” It’s more like “awkward and messily from scratch.”
As I attempt to grow from messy to graceful, I find inspiration in those around me, including other blogs. Most recently, I’ve begun to enjoy Hallowed Be Thy Home (http://www.hallowedbethyhome.com/), written by the aforementioned gift-wrapper. She shares her wisdom on wreath-making and other projects, as well as tips on green living that can be sustainable, healthy, and supportive of local endeavors.
Okay everyone, I just have to share my latest exciting discovery: an electric tortilla press!
Several months ago I had an allergic reaction that was mild but still scary to encounter, and it was due to cross-contamination. I found that my usual burrito/tortilla shells were now situated in the grocery store next to the brand new jalapeno shells, and I can only imagine that my new reaction might have been due to the shared equipment. As a result, I started making my own tortillas.
I did not exactly have the knack for it. I was covered in flour and perspiring a little from rolling out each tortilla. And frustrated, with the delicate balance between undercooked and smoking tortillas. After a few scorched attempts, I managed to get the process figured out, but even so it involved making the dough, rolling it out, carefully frying each one for the precise amount of time with a precise amount of oil on the stove… and this all before even making the stuffings for the burrito! Since these burritos are a staple for travel and healthy lunches for me, I needed another solution.
And thanks to a little online searching and a wonderful birthday gift, the solution came my way. The other night, I tried the electric tortilla press for the first time. It was amazing. Mix the dough: check. Knead it a little and divide into equal, smaller balls of dough: check. Place the dough in the center of the tortilla press and close the top to squish it out: check. Hold it down until the escaping steam makes a funny-sounding squeal: check. Raise the top lid to find a perfectly pressed tortilla ready to be filled with deliciousness: CHECK.
It was easy, quick and delicious!