She began her slow descent on the escalator at the airport
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“Could a year really have passed since the last time we saw each other?”
The child she held in her arms a toddler now, with big brown eyes, a fluffy teddy bear, and a very slobbery smile
“Hi, Little One. How are you?”
“Hi,” his smile widened. If you only know one word, I've decided that seems like a pretty good one.
How did I ever find the energy to do all of this when his Mom was a toddler?
Life lesson #9032 – Not all relationships are easily repaired, no matter how badly you want it.
Sometimes life's currents too strong, and you can't simply reach in and pull someone to safety. Sometimes there are more lessons to be lived. Wisdom that can only be gained through experience.
I only wish it hurt a little less
“Hi Sweetie, don't forget your fuzzy green slippers. I'm sure you'll know a few more words by the time we meet again.”
“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth” ~ Sanskrit Proverb
I've become a true believer in the power of breath. At the beginning of each yoga class, we're reminded to breathe in through our nose and exhale through our mouth. I close my eyes, push everything else from my mind, and imagine my breath flowing into all parts of my body, tension and stress leaving with every exhale
The beautiful thing is, the act of deep breathing can be a calming technique wherever I happen to be. If I notice I'm stressed, I'll often find a quiet place in the house, and spend five or ten minutes relaxing my mind.
The day she came home, it was nice to have taco meat simmering in the slow-cooker. The recipe from Cook's Illustrated. It's fantastic.
A couple of keys to a great taco? The meat is really the star of the show and needs to stand up to toppings. Taking a little extra time to make it without store-bought seasoning, will make a world of difference.
The second is a good tortilla. Don't get me wrong; many store-bought tortillas are great, although if you have the time and curiosity, I think you'll find value in making them from scratch. This dough is nice because it requires minimal kneading and a short rest (~ 30 minutes) before being rolled (you don't need a tortilla press, a rolling pin will work just fine)
Top with your favorites
ps: This recipe will work either on the stove-top or slow-cooker
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~ Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
- Beef Filling
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped small
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (more or less, depending on your tolerance for heat)
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 tsp natural sugar (Sugar in the Raw or Turbinado)
- 2 tsp cider vinegar
- freshly ground black pepper
- Shells and Toppings
- 8 taco shells or small tortillas
- shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
- shredded iceberg lettuce
- tomatoes, chopped small
- sour cream
- avocado, diced medium
- red onion, chopped small
- hot sauce
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking (~ 2 minutes)
- Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (~ 4 minutes)
- Add garlic, spices, and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (~ 1 minute)
- Add ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon until the beef is no longer pink
- At this point, if you'd like to finish the taco meat off in the slow-cooker, add the seasoned meat & the rest of the ingredients to the cooker and set on low for ~ 6 hours. If you'd like to finish it on the stovetop, proceed with the instructions below
- Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, coconut sugar, and vinegar and bring to simmer.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat so that no chunks remain and the liquid has reduced and thickened (mixture shouldn't be dry) ~10 minutes
- Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- Whisk flours, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. With a knife cut little pieces of the butter into the flour. Then with two knives cut the butter into the flour until mealy, smaller little bits of butter than in a pie dough.
- Stir in ⅔ cup warm water with a fork until a shaggy dough forms.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 3-4 minutes until smooth, soft, and not sticky.
- Cut the dough into 2-oz pieces for taco-sized tortillas or 3-oz pieces for burrito-sized tortillas. You will have 8 to 9 small pieces or 4 to 5 larger pieces. Shape pieces into a ball.
- Cover with a very light kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Be careful that your room isn’t too hot. Let the dough rest 30 minutes and up to two hours.
- Roll out each ball to about 9 to 10 inches (taco) or 11 to 12 inches (burrito) in diameter, or till you can see the counter start to come through.
- (A tortilla press is nice to flatten the ball into a disk to get things going, but ultimately a rolling pin works best. The tortilla press is unnecessary if you don’t have one)
- Heat a 12 inch non-stick or cast-iron pan (do not add any oil) on medium-high.
- Lay the tortilla in the pan and cook until it puffs and little brown spots on the underside appear. Turn with tongs and cook.
- Each tortilla takes about 45-60 seconds. You don’t really want the tortilla to brown at all.