Friday, June 21, 2013

Recipe : Horchata

Have you ever had Horchata (pronounced - or-chata)? 

I recommend you try it.  I had never had it, ever, in my life.
Until now.

I enjoy watching cooking shows on PBS Saturday Mornings (when I am not out and about doing anything else), and there is was Mexico One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless show on.  (I see now it is on the Live Well Network

At any rate, I saw an episode a long time ago, where Rick talked about how fabulous Mexican Horchata is.  It goes great with a spicy carnitas burrito he said.  I was like whatever dude, you are a crazy nut berger.  Basically what it was that he had described, was a sweetened almond/rice milk. 

A few weeks later I ended up seeing a post on the America's Test Kitchen Feed, and was like.. well, what do we have here?  Sounds simple enough!

And it was.

So, basically what you do, is you take slivered almonds, rice, vanilla, cinnamon and water and combine them.  Let them soak 12-24 hours, pulse it in a blender until smooth-ish, and then strain it, mix it with some evaporated milk and sugar. 

And WHAM-O!  Throw it in a glass over ice, maybe an extra sprinkle of cinnamon, and you have a delicious glass of Horchata!


It was quite sweet with the amount of sugar they said to add, they noted you could add 2 less tablespoons if you do not like yours quite as sweet, but I am thinking like maybe cut the sugar in half, and it might be more adequate. 

I may have had it in the morning while I sat outside eating cinnamon-sugar toast.

DIY Horchata (Adapted from America's Test Kitchen)
Makes about 5 cups
  • 1 1/3 cups Slivered Almonds
  • 1 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 cup Long Grain Rice
  • 4 1/2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar

  • Take the first 4 ingredients and put them in a blender, and put the lid on. Shake it around a little.  Let it sit for about 16 hours - up to 24.  (Please note I did mine for 24 hours, and it was about 70 degrees out - if it is warmer, you might want to shorten the time.)

    Line your strainer with some cheese cloth, put it over a large bowl and set aside. 
    After your almond rice mixture has set out long enough, turn on the blender, and blend that stuff up!  (You could probably use a Cuisinart, but I am not that fancy.) Blend the mixture until relatively smooth.  It took me almost a minute or so.
    Then pour the mix into the cheesecloth strainer set up you have going, let it strain itself out.  Once it has pretty much done it's work, take up the edges of the cheesecloth, and twist the cloth in a pouch to squeeze as much as the almond rice goodness out as you can.  Then toss the pulp packet out.
    Stir your almond/rice water mixture, evaporated milk and sugar together in a pitcher/bowl until the sugar is dissolved.  (you can add more sugar if you would like, or leave out a sugar bowl when serving it for individual tastes.)
    Then chill it for about 2 hours, and enjoy! 
    You can store leftover Horchata in a jar with a tight fitting lid for up to 3 days in the fridge.

    I will admit, I am pretty impatient, and I automatically put it in a glass over ice, tossed a little more cinnamon on it, and loved it up.

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    Words for Wednesday : How do you want to be remembered?

    On the Facepage someone shared a link.
    I clicked it, read it, thought about it, and 'shared it'.  

    I hope people understand what the writer was intending. 
    Those photos people take all the time, they will be your legacy, no matter how pretty (or ugly) you are in that moment.. 
    And if you are always waiting for that moment to come... It might be too late.  
    My Grandma died a couple of years ago, I gave some photos to my younger sister for the 'Celebration of Life' displays.  My sister wanted to know how I was able to get such nice photos of her. 
    Here was my trick- 
    1. I would remind my Graham Cracker that she knew she was having people over or that she was coming out to an event.
    2. I told her I was going to take a picture of her anyways, did she want me to take a picture of her with her mouth open, or one where she was smiling?
    That these are going to be around long after she was gone, how did she want to be remembered, or did she?

    She would smile for at least one or two, and then say 'Oh that's enough! I have to get back to XYZ.'
    I am always going to wish I wore a different outfit, had a better hair day, spent more time on my makeup, weighed less, had clearer skin, etc.

    But if I keep waiting for that perfect moment, I will never be able to enjoy the moments I am experiencing.

    If you do not pose for or let people take photos with/of you, then people will take a photo of your dead body in a casket so they have something to remember you by.  

    Is that what you really want? 

    I mean really, ask yourself, How do you want to be remembered- or do you?

    (My Graham Cracker was cremated, there are no photos of her dead body in the event you were wondering.)

    RIP Graham Cracker, I do miss you dearly.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    Words for Wednesday : Ouch. That stings.

    My little sister stopped by yesterday with her son after they were done doing the aquarium at the Mall of America.

    I honestly do not know what our conversation was about, but in general, I am someone who does not like things done wrong.  Something my dad would say as we were growing up, "Anything worth doing, is worth doing well."  And I was probably talking the Hubster doing something wrong, and being annoyed with it, and then talking about when we went camping and his friend's parenting style.  And wrapped it up with how we sat through my step-son's high school graduation ceremony, and if I ever have a kid, I might try to talk them out of walking across that stage.   (For 320 kids, it was almost 2 hours long.)

    After I make those remarks, she says, "Amy, you really shouldn't have kids. Seriously."

    Oh, well, good thing that I have not been able to maintain a pregnancy, any my current cycle time is going on 41 days.

    Sunday, June 2, 2013

    Manicure Monday : French Tips with a Gem!

    I wanted to pant my nails something classic.  I had my toes done with my sister and did a French on them, they look so pretty, I decided to match my fingers!

    When I was younger I would put tape across my nail and then paint the tip that was exposed.  As I grew older I saw that they basically make the same stuff I was using.  I bought it once, and then went back to the old masking tape.  It is wider, so I did not have to worry too much about how neat I was being, the smile strips they sell were just too thin for me.

    Now days I just free hand them with white nail polish.  I used OPI's Alpine Snow on the tips.  I do not drag the nail polish brush across the nail, rather I just sort of make short swipes on the nail tips pulling it off the edge.