After staying with one’s parents for nearly a week it can answer so many questions about your own peculiarities and idiosyncrasies, and it is nice to have a source of blame for said. As always when visiting my mom, I cook, then I cook and then I cook some more. This always with my mother reminding me I’m working too hard, but never pushing me very hard to stop. I never mind, she spoils my stepdad to the point of distraction seven days a week so if I can spoil her on the occasions of my visits, that works for me. However, she can be particular about the spoiling which can make me want to pull out my toenails one at a time.
When I load the dishwasher, she reloads it. It she asks my opinion about which outfit she should wear the red or the blue, I pick blue and she appears shortly after wearing the red. After completely setting the table with a fresh cloth, napkins, napkin rings, plates, stemware, salt and peppers, plates, salad bowls and arranging a floral centerpiece, she brings up adding the second leaf for more room. AAAAAAAH, seriously. Do I love her? Immensely. Do I ever question what it would feel like to put my fingers around her neck and squeeze ever so slightly, just for a minute, but not til she blacks out? Often.
It is said that we dislike traits in others that we are blind to in ourselves. Now, I don’t care how you load the dishwasher as long as you’re putting something in it. If you get cleaned up and make an effort to look fabulous, I am never going to fault you for wearing brown socks with green pants, but I do have to say that my carpet lines are top-notch and if you insist on making the sheets longer on one side than on the other I will not berate you, but I will make them even when you’re not looking. There I’ve said it. In many ways, I am my mother’s daughter. Sigh.
So, as much as I love my parents company, it was orgasmic to sleep in my own bed last night with my own well-punched pillows. My other half and I need our space while asleep lest a murder should occur in the middle of the night, so the larger bed made life a little calmer. Boo, the Queen of Cats, however, would not be ignored after our absence so I spent most of the night removing her whiskers from my nostrils because she was sleeping so close to me I was breathing her air. Apparently this is “cat” for “I missed you”. Mouse, the feral adoptee, did a pee pee dance on both back feet to welcome me. This, I am sure more due to the fact I am her chief kibble pourer and litter box screener, rather than stemming from her deep affection for my face. Despite the flaws, it is good to be home.
Friday night my cousin and his wife arrived from Nova Scotia. Also joining us were two of our grandchildren, provided eight and ten years ago by my son and his wife, as well as my son. I don’t get to see them often enough so when I do it is always craziness, which is my favorite variation of ness and much fun. After dinner, my other half’s fabulous pasta, which in the middle of the festivities I forgot to photograph so I could share with you, and chicken nuggets and French fries for the braces set, we took the golf cart out for an after dark run and came back to get reacquainted.
While we were gone my Mother took all the old pictures and albums out of her hope chest to share. OMG. You know the ones where Uncle Fred caught a candid shot of you picking your nose at two, the first braces pictures where your mouth looks like it’s picking up reception from Jupiter, and my personal favorite of me with a hideous frizzy permanent that she got for a deal at a local beauty school when I was in seventh grade. There isn’t enough wine for family moments like that.
Today is Easter, and for us a quiet one. Originally I had planned to have roast leg of lamb but they were asking over fifty dollars for one, so we bought a prime rib instead. There is a lamb somewhere giving a special Easter thanks for our economizing I am sure. Our granddaughter comes home tomorrow so chaos will once again be the word of the day. Today, however, is ours.
I realize burritos aren’t exactly traditional Easter fare, but we had these for dinner last night and they were so good I decided to get a head start on Cinco de Mayo. You can use prepared salsa and quick rice for time constraints, or make your own but this rice is great. I make my salsa in batches like my spaghetti sauce and freeze it.
Chicken Fajita Burritos
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup EV olive oil
1/2 cup canola oil
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts cut in strips
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
2 avocados, sliced
8 burrito sized tortillas
Combine lime juice, oils, jalapeno, garlic, oregano, cilantro, green pepper, yellow pepper, salt and pepper into a resealable bag. Add chicken. Seal and shake to coat. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or preferably overnight turning several times.
Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove from peppers, onions, and chicken from marinade. Add to skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook until nicely browned and chicken is thoroughly cooked 10-12 mins. Remove from heat and allow to rest.
Warm flour tortillas.
Place chicken, rice (recipe below), sour cream, and sliced avocado in center of each tortilla. Roll burrito style and serve with sour cream and salsa.
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 cups long grain white rice
1/3 cup canola oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chunky salsa (your choice of heat)
1 15 1/2 oz. cans petite diced tomatoes with juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro , minced
1 lime cut in wedges
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place diced tomatoes, salsa and onions in food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to measuring cup reserving 2 cups. Discard excess.
To remove excess starch from rice place rice a bowl and cover with water. Let sit for 20 mins. Rinse until water runs clear under cold water. Shake colander vigorously to remove excess water.
Heat oil in heavy bottomed Dutch oven with tight fitting lid over low-medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add rice and stir fry until rice is light golden brown and translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, add garlic. Stir constantly for about 2 mins. until fragrant.
Add broth, pureed tomatoes and onions, salsa, tomato paste, and salt. Increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil.
Cover pan and transfer pan to oven to bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 30-35 minutes.Stir well after 15 minutes.
Stir in cilantro, and serve with lime wedges.