Susie Homemaker I am not. Nor will I ever be. But I'd like to think I can create a version of Susie... a frugal, crunchy, often-impractical-but-darnit-I'm-trying! hybrid. I'm avoiding the housekeeping aspect like the plague, and in doing so I have found myself spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately. We've started meal planning and freezer cooking thanks to the inspiration of many different blogs out there. We make bimonthly trips to various farmers' markets in the area in order to eat more nutritionally, support our local economy, and try new things. And on that note, here's a new recipe we tried last night with fresh tomatillos and peppers from this farmers' market.
Chicken-and-Cheese Enchiladas
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time:15 min
Serves:4 servings
• 1 small red onion, halved
• 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and rinsed
• 1 to 2 serrano chile peppers, stemmed and seeded
• 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
• Kosher salt
• Pinch of sugar
• 8 corn tortillas
• 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
• 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella and/or Monterey Jack cheese
• 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
• 3/4 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
Preheat the broiler. Slice half of the onion into thin rings and set aside. Place the other onion half, tomatillos and serranos on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil until the vegetables are soft and slightly brown, 7 to 10 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer the vegetables and any liquid to a blender, add the broth and puree. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the sugar.
Meanwhile, stack the tortillas, wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave just until warm and soft, 1 minute; keep covered. Toss the chicken with 2 cups shredded cheese in a bowl. Spoon a portion of the chicken mixture down the middle of each tortilla. Add a few cilantro leaves and roll up. Place the enchiladas side by side in a lightly oiled 9-by-13-inch baking dish and brush with the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Broil until crisp and golden, 3 minutes.
Pour the tomatillo sauce over the enchiladas and top with the remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Return to the oven and broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Garnish with the onion rings, queso fresco and any remaining cilantro.
Per serving: Calories 626; Fat 32 g (Saturated 13 g); Cholesterol 98 mg;
Sodium 1,056 mg; Carbohydrate 46 g; Fiber 6 g; Protein 47 g


I'm constantly thinking of all that I want to write down somewhere. The wisdom (haha!) I have to bestow upon others. Then I sit down to write and this is what I get: "Dangit! What was I thinking about earlier?" Turns out that as life floods in, my thoughts fly out... before I get to paper or a computer. Hmph.

I've heard many people talk about how different their pregnancies are from one child to the next, but the actual pregnancy aside, being pregnant is different after you have a little munchkin in tow.

- Drinking water all day doesn't work as well because you can't pop into the bathroom at Target with a toddler.
- Naps are restricted to nap time only...

The plan is to keep adding to this list as I realize new intricacies of the 2nd pregnancy. Anyone else have any to add?

So we've been trying to be better at a variety of things related to food: eating healthfully, eating at home, eating what's in the pantry/fridge - rather than getting new, fun stuff at the grocery, etc. Tonight we had a most-delicious (and easy!) dinner, so I thought I'd share. It's not rocket science, but maybe it'll give others a new idea.

Shrimp Stirfry
- We had a TON of cooked rice in the fridge from a party last night. It was white rice. In the future, we'll use brown rice.
- Frozen veggies
- Mini-Shrimp
- Peanut oil
- Sesame oil
- Mushrooms (I'm SO NOT a cook, and don't even know what kind I bought! Haha)
- Coconut oil
- White pepper
- Garlic salt

Because my little one is under 2, and I think he's not supposed to have shrimp and my husband doesn't like mushrooms, the order in which I cooked things, could be made easier. :)

I put a little sesame oil and some peanut oil in a deep, large skillet on medium. I added the frozen veggies and let them cook awhile. Meanwhile in a smaller skillet, I sauteed some cooked mini-shrimp in coconut oil. After a couple of minutes, I added the cooked rice to the veggies and mixed it all up. While all that cooked on medium, I chopped up my mushrooms. When the shrimp looked finished I added them to the rice and veggies to cook together. I added some water so it wouldn't dry out. To season the mixture, I sprinkled some white pepper and garlic salt. Then I sauteed some more shrimp and my mushrooms in more coconut oil in the small skillet. After that looked done, I added that to my serving of the rice. It was a delightful dinner, Munchkin ate his, and hubby said it was one of his favorites that I've made. A winner all around!

When we moved into our current house a few months ago, my husband and I bought a reel mower. Can I tell you? I LOVE IT! We still have a lawn service come every 2 weeks because we aren't good at keeping up with the lawn, but I mow on the off-weeks and my husband does the weed-eating. Why use a reel mower, you ask?
1. It's good exercise. I work up a sweat, but not so much that I'm sore the next day.
2. No air or noise pollution. See this post at Crunchy Domestic Goddess.
3. We save money by doing it ourselves. I'd love to work up to doing the yard every week, but one step at a time. :)

Well, school's out and that means I might stop neglecting Compounding Interests. I don't have anything interesting to post at the minute, but know that there's more to come. :)

Yet another fabulous contest! I didn't even know you could embroider an Ergo!

Check out the adorable blankets at Bubblecakes! Penny Pinching Parent is giving one away here. How can you resist??

I can tell you as a teacher, there are a lot of responsibilities that were once considered prime domain for parents that now rest on the shoulders of your local educator. Just in: paying students to succeed. A pilot program in DC (and Chicago and 1 other city) are paying kids to meet the school requirements: attendance, wearing their uniform, grades, behavior.
- It shows kids that we value their education enough to pay them for it.
- Maybe those who drop out or skip class because their family situation is such that they have to work, will be able to stay at school... maybe...
- It might help some motivated students how to manage money.
- It exposes kids to banks who might otherwise only manage their money through Checks Cashed type establishments. (I certainly hope that the bank they are using is fee-free, other than maybe for overdrafts.)
- What happens when they want more money?
- Not all are buying dinner out like the article suggests.
- Can you undo a program like this? What happens if the program fails? THEN we expect the students to take their responsibilities seriously again without the cash incentive?
- Bad grades don't cancel out the money they earn just for showing up. I'm pretty sure that if all I do is show up to teach and then play on my computer all day that the money will run out...

So many other questions about this.
What do you all think?

So I was thinking... (always a gamble)
While television is certainly at fault for drawing families away from the dinner table, as are our overly planned afternoons of sports, scouts, and lessons, I think cell phones and email also should shoulder some blame. I talk to my husband everyday on my way home after I pick Baby Boy up from day care. We talk about our days and anything else that wasn't covered in our daily emails. So, when it's time for dinner, there's not always something to talk about. I've actually found myself holding onto information so there's something to discuss at the table.
Agree? Disagree?

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