Sunday, July 8, 2012

Showers... Fully clothed and waterless

Baby Paisley must be really loved because this little lady has been partying it up and she's not even here yet!! As of late, we had a nice little low-key, girls-night-out shower at Noche in Brookhaven with some friends from church. I highly recommend the Trailer Park Taco and Spanish Fried Potatoes! Yum! We talked and talked and downed a carafe of Diet Coke. It was wonderful!

I also had another shower with teachers at Garden Hills Elementary before the school year ended. This was especially sweet because I had really only started working there in January. I student taught there the semester before, but I didn't really feel like I knew everyone yet. They were all just so warm and welcoming, so it made me really appreciate the wonderful school and staff that I'm lucky enough to work with!

Recently, we went to California to visit Jeff's family and in an email his mom told all the girls they could "shower me." Jeff told them I was a little too old for that... but they did it anyway! We decorated some cute bibs that will be so fun for Paisley to wear to keep a bit of her California family close. (One sister-in-law is in trouble for sleeping through the shower, though... I won't name names...).

I also had an absolutely precious "Once Upon a Time" (children's book themed) shower with my cohort from Georgia State. There were books everywhere and the food was based on children's books. It was so great! We played some games and I wish I had a picture of the faces they put together of my baby from magazine pictures... Actually it's probably best that I don't. And everyone wrote wishes for Paisley! So, so precious!

My friend-turned-sister-in-law, Kynslie, also threw me a shower complete with famous Sara Snow banana pudding, boiled peanuts, fruit salsa, and chocolate cake. This girl just gets me. We had a competition to see who could guess the closest measurement of my belly with some string. Some people went a little out of control (like a 5 ft. string!!! RUDE). We also played a game where you had to guess whether I would want Paisley to have certain traits from Jeff or me. (We had Jeff fill one out later to compare - man he thinks he's beautiful - it's true, though). She also had a diaper raffle for us and Scentsy prizes for all of the winners. (That link let's you buy some delicious smelling stuff from Kyns - do it!) Thanks Kyns, Mom, and April!

How Jeff and I answered :) 

The "It's a Girl" balloon had the neighborhood thinking I had the baby already!
Two of my favorite things: Lauren and food!
Basically, I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who threw a shower or attended one. It meant so much to Paisley, Jeff, and me!! We love you guys and are so grateful for all that you've done to help us prepare for our little girl! (Only about 1 more week to go!)

Sidenote: Um... yeah... I wore the same mango blazer to every shower... So what?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Topless Strawberries and Such

I'm super picky and the first time someone tried to serve me fruit salsa, I refused. I didn't like salsa (at the time) and I didn't like trying new things. She basically forced me to eat it and I have become a little obsessed with it since! So, thanks, Allyson!

I make this a lot and some people have asked me for the recipe, so here is the way I make it. You can Google it and find tons of other ways with sugar and fruit preservatives and raspberries added. I don't do any of that (isn't fruit sweet enough already?). All you need is:

  1. 1 lb. of strawberries, topless (I got a huller just for when I make fruit salsa and I love it!)
  2. 2 kiwis, peeled
  3. 1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled (don't go trying to throw some red apple in there because it's cheaper. It doesn't taste the same)
  4. 1 package of 10-inch tortillas (size doesn't actually matter, it just depends on how many chips you want)
  5. Butter, softened (NOT MARGARINE - you might as well throw it in the trash if you are going to use margarine) 
  6. Cinnamon sugar (there was recently a debate on whether it should be more cinnamony or more sugary and I may have converted to cinnamony)
Directions without so much jibberjabber:

  1. Chop peeled fruit. Mix and chill.
  2. Butter tortillas. Slice into chips.
  3. Bake for 5 mins (chewier) or 8 mins (crispier) in a single layer.
  4. Dip and enjoy!
Directions with my preferred methods and side-notes: 

After you've peeled and detopped (what would you call that?) the fruit you can either hand chop all of it or throw it in a chopper and call it delicious. I was hand chopping until I got married and was gifted THE NINJA! Now, it takes no time to make this.

About consistency: I was so worried about it being right at first, but really it's kind of how you like your salsa. Chunky? Smooth? Well, do as you choose. Mine usually looks about like this: 

Next, I usually put the salsa in the fridge to chill while I make the tortilla chips. The best way I have found to make them is to butter each tortilla and stack them as you go. Softened butter (I leave mine sitting out in a butter dish all the time) works better than melted butter or butter spray or any other alternative you think would be better. After they're generously buttered, slice the tortillas into chip-sized portions, like so:

Then, I pour some of the cinnamon sugar into either a gallon sized Ziploc, or to save a bag I use the bag the tortillas came in, and shake about 10 chips at a time to make sure they're fully coated. 

About the extent of my eco-friendliness
Before they're cooked - try one. They're delicious then, too!

Then, you lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes (after the 5 minutes I usually broil them for about 30 seconds to caramelize them a bit). They are more chewy-ish chips if you only do 5 minutes. If you prefer crisper chips bake for 8 minutes. That's it! And you have satisfied customers every time!

Satisfied customer