Taco Tuesday!

I rarely fry food. And I’m certainly not one who is drawn to all manner of quirky fried foods that have gained popularity in recent years (read: fried oreos, pickles, etc). But I will take fried ice cream any day! Ha…yeah.

That said, last week, I stumbled upon a method for making fried tacos, and was intrigued. It just sounds right. I saw the process demonstrated in a video in the latest issue of e-magazine, Nesting Newbies (which previous to this, I had never heard of). I happened to have everything I needed to make them, so I declared it Taco Tuesday!

The recipe section is on pages 12-21, with the demo video on page 14. The chef gives some good tips, so pay attention, if you plan to make them. One thing I learned, is that corn tortillas have a grain. And to help prevent cracking, they should be gently folded against the grain.

While I followed the recipe process, I made up my own vegetarian “meat” filling to replace the beef. I didn’t intend this to be a recipe post, but I suppose I’ll share my version:

Vegetarian Fried Tacos
Inspired by a recipe by Lea Gonzalez McIntosh, published in Nesting Newbies, issue five.
Makes about 8 tacos.

FILLING:

SHELLS:

  • canola oil
  • 8 small corn tortillas
Directions:
  1. Sautée onion in olive oil in a large non-stick pan until soft and clear. Add seitan and chorizo and brown slightly. Add remaining ingredients, and stir until all liquid is absorbed.
  2. Fill a deep fry pan or wok with canola oil, about 1 inch deep. Heat to approximately 350º – 375ºF. To test if oil is hot enough, dip the edge of an extra tortilla into the oil. If the oil bubbles around the tortilla, it’s ready to go.
  3. Spread 1-2 Tbsp of meat filling down the center of the tortillas. One at a time, gently fold the ends together (against the grain), and slowly dip the bottom of the taco into the oil. Hold for 20 seconds, and then gently lay the taco on it’s side in the oil. Fry until lightly golden, and flip with tongs. Keep a close eye on them, I think I made mine a bit too dark. When done, remove with tongs, let excess oil drain, and set on a plate lined with paper towels. If you want, you can keep the plate warm in the oven until the rest are done.
  4. Gently top with shredded sharp cheddar, lettuce, salsa, and low-fat plain yogurt.
Along with the tacos, we had refried beans and a fresh garden mesclun and radish salad with orange vinaigrette.

 

For dessert, I quartered and fried a few tortillas that were left, and let them drain on paper towels. After they cooled down a bit, I tossed them in a Ziploc bag with a few tablespoons of sugar and a couple shakes of cinnamon. They were a perfect compliment to Turkey Hill’s (all-natural) Philadelphia-Style Vanilla Bean ice cream.

Did I say, “Yum”?
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Welcome Home, Ida.

I’d like to introduce the latest addition to our family:

(Getting the typical inspection from Moxie…)

Her birth name is PAC-1 (sounds like a Droid, doesn’t it?). Actually, it was just Herman Miller’s abbreviation of Pivot Armchair with Cast aluminum (or Contract) base and 1-piece upholstery.

But I’ve decided to call her Ida… as in Ms. Ida Blankenship. Let’s pause here for a moment. If you do not know who Ms. Blankenship is, please do not Google her. Rather, I implore you to go and watch Mad Men (starting with season one — no skipping!!!). Like, now. I mean it.

For those of you still with me, based on a little research at the Eames Office, my guess is she’s from the early 70s. So she’s a little rough around the edges, but she’s still got plenty of spunk.

This is a bunch of iPhone shots I took of Moxie and Moo trying her out (okay, so I pretty much forced them to sit on the chair in attempts to get cute pictures… Doesn’t everyone do that???). Well, Moxie wasn’t really feeling it. But Moo has really taken to her. Unfortunately, for him, I’m pretty sure Ms. Ida will be taking her rightful station at the desk. I just hope she can catch on to all that advanced technology…

Missing In Action

I haven’t posted anything in quite a while. And by quite awhile, I mean
over five months
. I am so bad at this.

The last time I posted, I was wearing flip flops…

the Phillies still had a month left in their season…

and the roses in our back alley were more than just a memory.

Tonight it’s going down to 14ºF. Sigh.

Anyway, I actually have a few potential post ideas up my sleeves, so hopefully they’ll come to fruition soon. I’m also thinking about shaking things up by changing my page theme/layout.

Stay tuned, folks. Exciting things to come. Exciting things, indeed.

iPhone? iPhilly.


Corner of 12th & Filbert Streets

I’ve been hearing some negativity lately regarding iPhone photography. I will admit, the quality/resolution is lacking (although, with every new version, that is improving). But my desire here is not to debate. Rather, I’d like to share the title of Chase Jarvis’ book of iPhone photography:

“The Best Camera is The One
You Have With You.”

I’d been having my own bout of internal conflict regarding the artistic integrity of iPhonography (as some have coined it), but after seeing the above phrase, I started to feel released from the shame. Yes, shame.

Not every photo needs to be a work of art — Sometimes you just want to capture a moment; And sometimes it’s just plain fun.

And think about this — Is it better to take a picture, even one with (gasp!) your phone? Or no picture at all???

My phone is my constant companion (I can’t say the same for my DSLR). This allows me to shoot from the hip, whenever the subject arises — street musicians on my jury duty lunch break, a dead bird on my walk with Moxie, the bridge we cross on the drive to my parents, the magic of an ice cream stand in the summer — These are all images that I’m darn glad I captured — with my phone.

I asked Tim to choose ten of my recent iPhone shots to share here. If you’re interested, I’ll likely be uploading more to my Flickr in the near future.

Nifty Fifty’s, Grant Ave.


Girard Point Bridge, 95 South


Simpson Gymnasium, Northwood


Filming of Friday Night Lights series finale, Frankford Stadium


Oakland Street


Coca-Cola Truck passing Jim’s Automotive, Oxford Ave.


H&S Hardware, Castor Ave.


Twistee Treat, Mayfair.

Feel free to comment. Just be nice. :)

PTA On The Road: New Items

There’s something that I love about vintage maps…and with summer arriving, and thoughts drifting to traveling, I present a couple of new PTA projects that I’ve had in the works…

Going Places magnet set:

Cartographic symbols are overprinted on the actual pages of a 1969 Hungarian historical atlas, so each set is unique!

And a new series of greeting cards I’ve been calling Earthly Sentiments:

Red text overprinted on images of late nineteenth-century vintage world maps.

Each card comes with a red A7 (approx. 5 x 7) envelope by French Paper Co.


I’ve corrected the grammar since I took this picture

The new cards and magnets will make their debut at the Olivet Flea Market this Saturday (22nd & Mt. Vernon Sts., in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philly). I will also have my other magnet & pin sets, letter magnets & pins, and the remainder of my natural candles and other greeting cards…oh, yes, and my yummy granola, too! (Phew!)

And mark your calendars, I will be at the OCCCDA Flea Market on June 19th, as well!

Please come out and say hi!

Pimp Their Crib + Baby Grass

Just a quick post to share one of my recent projects.

Our friends, Curtis and Tiffany, who will be having a baby soon (and very soon), asked me to paint the walls of their nursery-to-be with a tall grass motif based on their crib/curtain set.

This is what we started with:


I transferred the design onto the walls with the help of an overhead projector. Tim came to help paint one day. We mixed up a few greens for some variety.

I took this picture with my phone, so I’d have proof that I’d actually done it.

After I finished the walls, the parents-to-be installed new bamboo flooring, shades (nice choice with the brown!), an area rug, pendant light, and a comfy glider/recliner. Nice job, guys!

I couldn’t resist including a picture of the family’s cat, Pepper.

Do not be fooled by her seemingly peaceful appearance. I put myself in harm’s way to get this shot. She is the queen of her castle, and ain’t nobody messin’ with that! Good luck, baby S.!

*

In a semi-related note, our sod out back seems to be establishing itself. Yay! Plus, I over seeded the area with some old grass seed we had in the shed, and some of it has been popping up as well. So, it seems we also have some of our own baby grass!

Our Radishes


Last week, I picked the rest of the radishes left in our little patch. Not only were the radishes full-grown and ready, but the carrots we planted in the same space were begging for more room to stretch out.

Look at all those beautiful greens! I always feel bad about throwing them out (composting, actually). So whenever possible, we wash and save our greens. And tonight, I cooked them in some olive oil with garlic, crushed red pepper, and Gimme Lean (veggie) sausage. Mixed into some thin spaghetti and topped with pecorino romano and black pepper, we all (including Moxie and Moo) gave it a thumbs up!

Our Mother’s Day Brunch

Growing up, our family tradition for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, was to bring the honoree breakfast-in-bed. Although we no longer do the “in-bed” part, we still continue the tradition of making a surprise special meal for the day. So, on Sunday, my sisters and I put together a Mother’s Day “brunch” for our mom. And I have to say, we did a decent job…although she probably won’t appreciate that I’m posting her picture here. Get over it, Mom, there’s another one further down, too. :P~

{ MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH MENU }

  • Mimosas
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Scrambled Eggs with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Feta
  • Biscuits with Creamed Chipped Beef or Creamed Veggie Sausage
  • Turkey, Beef, and Veggie Bacon
  • Salad of Watercress, Spring Garden Greens, and Fennel with Orange Dressing and Almonds
  • Chocolate Mini Cupcakes with Coffee or Almond Icing
  • Biscuits with Berries and Fresh Whipped Cream

And now to the pictures…
pretty in pink hydrangeas and Tim’s painting, “Sheaf”

Momma: “Mmmm, I love cream chipped beef!”
Me: “Yes, we know. That’s why we made it.”

Timmy’s plate

Too busy eating to talk

Andrea’s diggin’ the veggie bacon

Tamarind, Amy, and Jamie gettin’ jiggy with the desserts

One can never have cupcakes too often…chocolate with almond and coffee icings

Biscuits topped with fresh strawberries, cherries, and fresh whipped cream. Yum!

Does your family have any Mother’s Day traditions?
Did you or your family do anything special for Mother’s Day this year?