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Archive for January, 2011

Giggles and Bubbles

It’s not every day you arrive home from a job covered in glitter glue that doesn’t contain the word “dancer” in the job description but today I was lucky enough to be one of the few.

I just got home a couple hours ago from the Tucson Children’s Museum. A few weeks ago I got a position there to work on creating a nutrition curriculum for Pre-K and Kindergarten students who visit the museum on field trips. I’ve been so excited ever since because having worked with kids through school volunteer programs in the past, I knew it’d be such a rewarding experience.

The tour, lecture and activities will cover very basic nutrition (mostly going over the food pyramid) but requires me to find cool new books for the kiddos and fun activity and game ideas (pssst, if you have anything in mind I’m all ears ;)).

Anyway, I decided I should do a little volunteering within the museum to get a feel for the children, what level they’re at and the type of activities they enjoy most…and I am so happy I did.

The thing about kids is, you can be in the worst of moods, had the worst day and it will all seem so miniscule when you are surrounded by three foot people who say that the color of a banana is “lellow” and their favorite vegetable is “milk.”

Today I sang songs, I read books, I made friendship bracelets, I clapped my hands, I played with glitter glue and stickers, I watched raisins float on bubbles in glasses of club soda and a group of toddlers discover true happiness in the form of bubbles.

It was pure, innocent bliss in the simplest of all forms and it really put a little bit of perspective in my day.

It made me think. At what age do we become so immune to the simplest forms of happiness? How is it that we’re so bogged down on ourselves over such petty, petty things and take life for granted, many of us struggling to find what it is that we want out of life? How is it that we question things over and over and complicate our lives so much, when as children, we knew what we wanted. We knew what made us happy and what didn’t. If we didn’t like something, we’d cry. If we were happy, we’d smile and embrace it, no question. Emotions in their purest of form. Now that’s a lovely thing.

xoxo

MM

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slipping away

Just a silent Thursday night in this casa. Nothing accompanies a cozy blanket and good company better than an Oasis cover by Cat Power. Enjoy.

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Food for the soul

I’ve been in quite the incredible yoga phase lately.

Between every downward facing dog, pigeon pose and savasana, I feel like I’m getting just a little bit more grounded.

A little bit of food for the soul, that’s what it’s all about.



That’s all.

xoxo

MM

 

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4 Ingredient Enchiladas

Fun fact of the day: I’m half Mexican.

…this is going somewhere, I promise…

Having said previous statement, I want to forewarn my mother (and any other fellow Mexicanos out there) that this recipe for enchiladas is far from traditional, far from scratch and far from anything…impressive.

In all honesty, the 4 ingredient enchiladas are much more a “last minute” kind of meal or the perfect meal for a hard-working college student that’s in great need of a warm, homemade dinner (Mom will be quite impressed you turned on your oven this year ;)).

In my case, my roommates and I decided to have our friend over for a little Mexicana-inspired, vegetarian dinner last night and threw this together in the midst of finishing up some homework.

This is what you’ll need:

-Shallow baking dish (feeds about 2-3 with no leftovers)

-Enchilada sauce (1.5 cups)

-Corn tortillas (we used 5)

-Mexican blend cheese (we used reduced-fat but full-fat cheese usually melts better)

-1 can refried beans (we chose Trader Joe’s vegetarian-friendly version with added salsa)

Side note: these enchiladas could easily be made into a 5-ingredient carnivorous dish by adding shredded chicken or beef.

Now, preheat the oven to 350.

Coat the bottom of the baking pan with a thin layer of enchilada sauce as so:


Next, microwave the tortillas for about 15 seconds if they need to be a little bit more pliable and then fill each tortilla with about 2-3 tablespoons of beans. Roll the tortilla into a tube-like shape and set on top of the enchilada sauce.

Cover the tortillas in the rest of the enchilada sauce and top with cheese. We used about a cup of cheese but you can use less or more, depending on your preference.

 

Pop them in the oven for about 30 minutes and then transfer them to the broiler for another 5 minutes or so.

They should look something like zis:

The ladies and I topped off our enchiladas with some freshly sliced jalapeños because we’re frisky like that.

We made some fresh guacamole with chips to go along side with it but rice or any other light side dish would do as well.

Had it been a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, there would’ve been homemade margaritas in the mix.

…Can you tell I am ready for the weekend?

xoxo

MM

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The last couple of days I’ve had three almost-rotting bananas on my kitchen table.

Yummy.

They’ve been staring, longingly at my roommates and I pleading, “Please eat me. Please!”

Sadly, we’d ignore their dying, banana cries and reach for the perky, mandarin oranges in the fruit bowl instead.

We’re slightly discriminatory towards fruit.

So today, during my three-hour long in-between-class break, as I was catching up on homework facebook stalking, I decided to give the poor, rotting bananas one last shot at life.

Also, my arm was having severe muscle spasms after last night’s intense yoga class and I was in dire need of potassium.

*Enter dinging lightbulb above my head*

It had been ages since I’d baked anything in a kitchen. In fact, I was slightly fearing the outcome of these little guys since I really haven’t baked a non-vegan treat in, well…a long time.

This time, I was looking for a recipe that almost reminds you of grandma’s kitchen. The smell of banana bread wafting through the hallways and that rich, moist texture of traditional banana bread. So, I went for the non-vegan version but made a few alterations to boost up the nutrients, cut the fat and keep the flavor of delicious banana bread. I also decided muffins were a better idea, seeing how I only had a muffin pan.

I set out to make this delicious banana bread with just me, my mixing bowls and Mr. Right by my side.

He’s an excellent taste-tester 😉

This is how we did it…

Step numero uno: mix the dry stuff

I used white whole-wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and a touch of salt. The recipe originally called for regular all-purpose flour but the white whole-wheat flour made an excellent substitute without making the recipe dense, lumpy, fugly muffins like traditional whole-wheat flour.

In a separate bowl, I smushed up the three bananas using a…smusher. I believe that is the technical word for it.

It ended up looking like this.

Baby food?

I then mixed in the sugar, 1 whole egg and an applesauce-butter mix to the mashed bananas.

Then, as standard baking procedure, I added dry to wet, slowly folding the mix and incorporating all ingredients.

I used a 12-muffin muffin pan and filled each muffin cup about 3/4 of the way full.

Finally, for a little extra decadence, I added a sprinkle of raw sugar crystals on top and chopped walnuts to half of the batch.

I popped the muffin pan into the oven set at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes and waited until they turned golden brown and sprang back slightly when pushed on top.

Once done, you can let the muffins cool (or don’t and just eat one on your bike ride to class, trying to maneuver your bike one-handedly knowing that you were clearly not born that coordinated while giving the stink-eye to that kid that just passed you using both hands to text) and enjoy!

Oh, and don’t forget to save one for Mr. Right.

He’ll repay you in other ways 😉

xoxo

MM

Mamacita’s Banana Muffins

Derived from this original recipe: (http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/banana-muffins-ii/Detail.aspx)

Makes 12 regular-sized muffins

-1.5 cups white whole-wheat flour (or all-purpose flour if it’s all you have on hand)

-1 teaspoon baking soda

-1 teaspoon baking powder

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-3 very ripe bananas

-1/2 cup all-natural raw cane sugar

-1 egg

-1/4 cup applesauce

-2 tablespoons light butter (which is all I had on hand from good ol’ Trader Joe’s but  regular butter will work just dandy)

-1 tablespoon of all-natural raw cane sugar (optional for topping)

-2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional for topping)

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In separate bowl, mash the bananas and add sugar. Mix well. To the banana mixture, add one egg, applesauce and butter. Once all wet ingredients are equally incorporated, begin folding in about 1/3 of the dry ingredients.

Continue to fold rest of dry ingredients into the mixture until all ingredients are distributed equally but don’t over-mix. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray or use muffin tin liners and add muffin mix to muffin cups until about 3/4 full.

If wanted, top with additional sugar and/or chopped walnuts.

Pop into the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. The toothpick trick always works wonders. Once out, let cool in pan and enjoy for breakfast, dessert or a lovely afternoon snack.

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Sometimes I wonder…

How I ever function in the mornings

Until I get home and realize my underwear has been inside out the entire day and I was most likely still sleeping during the majority of my AM.

This is a true story.

Sometimes I wonder…

…why can’t I look half as cool as the hipster kids riding their bikes to school, with an old school schwinn bicycle, a pair of vintage shades and a “I can’t be bothered by you commercialism-loving college kids while I’m listening to the latest EP of some super-cool indie band” look on my face?

Sometimes I wonder…

what it would be like to drop everything, pack one bag of belongings, my old 1970’s Nikon and just…explore the world.

Sometimes I wonder what life would be like without chocolate chip cookies

…terribly sad, is the answer, in case you were wondering…

What do you sometimes wonder?

xoxo

MM

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1. Dark chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds. Let’s see, little jewels of antioxidant morsels covered in dark chocolate heaven. Need I say more?

(source)

(source)

2. Hiking. Whether it be in Sedona, Flagstaff or the mountains in my own backyard, I’m really diggin’ the whole “becoming one with nature” mantra. Yesterday, my good friend “Seester” (remember her? ;)) and I went for a 6 mile trek up a snowy mountain. Yes, I am talking IN Arizona. We reached the top of our destination, which was a giant boulder sitting next to a waterfall and a beautiful, yellow butterfly came and landed on my shoe. It was a pure, blissful, back-to-nature hike and it sure did put a smile on my face.

3. Foursquare. My boyfriend’s obsession with his iPhone and this app originally made me want to throw his phone into a toilet. Now, I’m using it myself and learning about all kinds of cool, new places around town. Pablo Suave’s iPhone, you win this time.

4. Dutch house music. Tiesto’s Kaleidoscope album makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

example:

5. My oven!! Having just moved into a new, little bungalow-style house near my university campus, I’m completely loving every little inch of my new home. Not only are my roomies the best, but the kitchen is already well-stocked, homemade pizza has already been made and I see a lot of baking in my near future, especially since I have this cute little retro beauty…

6. Calimochos…aaaaand everything European. The intensely strange combination of coca-cola and Spanish red wine takes me back to some of the best memories of my life last year. Good thing my roomies have an affinity for relishing in Spanish memories, complete with nights on end of repeating inside jokes, singing and dancing to European music at every opportune moment (who says you can’t bring your own music to house parties? I happen to think the people like our culturally-eclectic mix of Erick Morillo and french rap), and starting every sentence with, “When I was in Spain…”

Ok, so we’re adjusting. Give us a break.

What are you loving these days?? Anything I am seriously missing out on that you’re obsessing over? Feel free to share! 🙂

xoxo

MM

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