Just Like Goober

A working suburban mom, a curious baby boy, and a whole lotta life

Make Your Own Qdoba/Chipotle January 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 7:30 am
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This one helps to address To-Do List items #5 (Make dinner from scratch 2x/wk), #23 (Try a new recipe once a week), and #24 (Bring my lunch to work 95% of the time). I love, seriously LOVE, eating at Qdoba and Chipotle. I’m not too picky about which one, but I love the concept: fresh ingredients, quick meal, no fries. If they had an indoor playground for my kid, I’d probably eat there 5 days a week. Which would be no good for my wallet and probably not for that ass shelf I’ve been growing these days. Recently I’ve seen several recipes on Pinterest claiming to replicate that Tex-Mex goodness. Last night I decided to try it myself to see how it compared. I chose to make tacos since I already had corn tortillas, but you can create any of the dishes, tacos, burritos, nachos, etc, with the basic ingredients. Just change your platform (chips, tortillas, taco shells) to change your meal!

First: the chicken. If I would have thought about this prior to 4 pm yesterday, I would have defrosted some chicken or thrown some chicken into the crockpot. Unfortunately most of my dinner ideas occur to me at the last minute. So on the way home I picked up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. I know this sort of cancels out the “dinner from scratch” idea, but I did save all the bones to use for stock, so I think that restores me to good standing. I simply shredded the chicken when I got home and threw the bones/carcass (nasty word) into a zipper freezer bag to make chicken stock some other day. Chicken done.

After reviewing several recipes for the cilantro lime rice, I ended up just winging it. I make all my rice in a rice cooker because rice is one of two dishes that always fails for me (the other is pancakes). I threw 1.5 cups of rice into the rice cooker, added the water as specified by my cooker, and turned it on. I used brown rice because it’s all I had. I do wish I had white rice because I think it would have been fluffier, but it was good enough. Once the rice cooker finished doing it’s thing, I threw in about 2 tablespoons of butter to moisten the rice (I don’t think this would be necessary if I had used white rice), a bunch of cilantro leaves and squeezed in the juice of a small lime. Rice done.

While my rice was cooking I opened a can of black beans and a can of diced chiles and heated them together in a small sauce pan. I smashed a couple of the black beans with a fork to make it a little more saucy. Beans done.

Other toppings I put out: shredded cheese, sliced avocado, salsa and sour cream. I heated the corn tortillas by heating a small omelet pan on the stove and then placing each tortilla in the pan for about 30 seconds on each side. You want them to get warm enough that they become flexible, but don’t leave in so long that they start to dry and harden. Dinner done.

I made Goober a regular burrito bowl with out the tortilla since he doesn’t quite grasp the taco concept and Hubby and I each had 3 tacos. I had enough leftovers for a burrito bowl lunch today and there is still some shredded chicken in the fridge.

The verdict: Really really good. It was an easy meal, not a lot of prep work, very filling, and much cheaper than going to the actual restaurant. This will definitely be a repeat meal in our house!

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2012 To Do List January 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 9:18 am
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Last year I got this idea from Jennie and I love it. Rather than resolutions, which tend to be only a handful of large vague goals (get thinner, workout more, be more organized!), I made a 2011 To Do List, a list of things I wanted to work to achieve. They range from vague to ultra specific. I’m a little ashamed to say that I didn’t look at mine that often over the past year. As I dusted it off for this post, I’m happy to say that a couple things I can actually check off. Here is last year’s list:

2011 To Do List

1. Run 2 races

2. Make 5 crafty things (Here, here, here, here, and here)

3. Finish knitting Goober’s baby blanket

4. Lose 20 pounds without “dieting”

5. Go on a real date with my hubby twice a month

6. Make dinner from scratch at least twice a week

7. Create an efficient spice storage solution

8. Replace all my spices with Penzey’s fresh versions.

9. Spend a weekend away with just Hubby

10. Spend a weekend away with just girlfriends (Mamapalooza 2011!)

11. Throw a fancy dinner party

12. Throw Goober a great birthday party at our house (well, it wasn’t our house, but it was great)

13. Finish our basement (at least, we got started before the end of 2011!)

14. Build better storage in the basement

15. Do a load of laundry every day

16. Send thank you notes for every gift we get this year

17. Travel to somewhere new (South Carolina!)

18. Take a week off from tv

19. Drink more water

20. Eat more veggies

21. Own a good pair of real leather boots

22. Print out pictures of Goober and put them into albums

23. Take more pictures and video

24. Get a good haircut at least every 8 – 12 weeks

25. Be a better, more frequent housekeeper

26. Try a new ingredient every month

27. Try a new recipe every week

28. Bring a lunch to work 95% of the time

29. Update my passport

30. Train the dog

31. Walk/play with the dog at least once a week

32. Finish the baseboards

33. Buy one new nice piece of furniture

34. Bring Goober to visit my grandparents at least once a month

35. Give someone $100 charitably

36. Have better conversations with my husband

37. See a movie in the theater by myself

38. Get back to school and get a 4.0 for the year

39. Be less critical and nitpicky

40. Purge my house of everything (non heirloom) that we haven’t used in the last year.

41. Use reusable bags more frequently

All the bolded items are things I actually accomplished, some of them I even documented here. As I read through these, it’s interesting to look at where I was at this time last year, what I felt was important. Some of that stuff isn’t important to me anymore, but a lot of it still is. With that in mind, here is my big 2012 To Do List:

1. Run a 5K

2. Finish knitting Goober’s baby blanket

3. Lose 20 pounds without “dieting”

4. Go on a real date with my hubby twice a month

5. Make dinner from scratch at least twice a week

6. Create an efficient spice storage solution

7. Replace all my spices with Penzey’s fresh versions.

8. Spend a weekend away with just Hubby

9. Spend a weekend away with just girlfriends

10. Throw Goober a great birthday party at our house

11. Finish our basement bathroom

12. Build better storage in the basement

13. Travel to somewhere new

14. Take a week off from tv

15. Drink more water

16. Eat more veggies

17. Research and implement the best way for us to organize and store our photo/video files

18. Print out pictures of Goober and put them into albums

19. Take more pictures and video

20. Be a better, more frequent housekeeper

21. Learn more DIY skills

22. Try a new ingredient every month

23. Try a new recipe every week

24. Bring a lunch to work 95% of the time

25. Update my passport

26. Carve out more time for just our family of three

27. Train the dog

28. Walk/play with the dog at least once a week

29. Make 2 pieces of furniture myself

30. Bring Gabe to visit my grandparents at least once a month

31. Give someone $100 charitably

32. Have better conversations with my husband

33. See a movie in the theater by myself

34. Finish my degree

35. Seriously, be less critical and nitpicky

36. Purge my house of everything (non heirloom) that we haven’t used in the last year.

37. Hyper organize the basement

38. Make our space efficient

39. Use reusable bags more frequently

40. Carve out time for crafting/sewing

41. Do at least 3 things a week that can be considered “exercise”

This year my overarching goals are to be more organized, keep a cleaner house, improve my relationship with my husband, improve my health, and explore my own hobbies. Here’s hoping for a successful 2012! How about you, do you have resolutions or goals for the new year?