Monday, December 31, 2012

Mmmm, Chips

Happy New Year everyone!

I'm saying it early, because at the actual countdown later tonight, I'm going to be watching movies with our roommate's family. While curled up on a couch or chair, I'll also be stuffing my face with buffalo chicken dip on homemade chips.


These are the best chips ever. Want to know how to make them? Alton Brown showed us how on Good Eats, which might be my favorite television show. It ranks way up there with House, Firefly, and NCIS. Anyway, here you go, with pictures!

You need:
a package of corn tortillas,
limes, or orange juice (I like the orange juice better)

also frying oil, a pan, and a stove

Start heating the oil in the pan. Jamie said to set it on 6 for us, which is just over medium I guess. You might need to test the oil later to see if it's hot enough.
Mix your acidic tasty juice of choice with lots of salt. This mixture makes sure your chips are tasty and not just crunchy pieces of cardboard.
Cut your tortillas into quarters- that makes nice large chips.
You'll dip the tortilla pieces in the juice and shake off the extra liquid. Lay them out to dry a little and soak up the goodness. A plate worked well because the edge was raised- extra liquid ran down a little.
After a minute, put the flavored tortillas in the oil. Flip them when the edges start to color, and remove them when a tasty golden color. Cool and enjoy!

My workstation. The stove is to the left, the stack of tortillas to the right. 

Wet tortillas laid on a plate to rest. Liquid + hot oil = BAD. This plate gets moved around, being held closer to the oil or juice as needed so that I don't tear up the tortillas with my tongs.

To minimize scary and sometimes painful oil splatters, I used the tongs to pick up the tortilla piece and tap the corner that was in the center of the plate (the wettest part) to get off that extra juice. Then into the frying pan!


Looks good.

Tasty chips!

It becomes a pretty seamless continual process. 
I was putting the rested tortillas into the oil, dipping new tortillas into the juice and laying them out, just as the frying chips were ready to flip. Then I was monitoring color until they were done. Remove the done chips and repeat!

These chips taste better in my opinion than the ones you can buy in a supermarket. They are crunchier and stronger for dips. Dunking them in the salty juice mixture also means that while they taste good and salty, your fingers stay much cleaner than if you were eating chips from the store crusted with salt.

Thank you Alton Brown.

Have fun and be careful tonight!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Christmas

Some scenery before winter break.

I didn't get my camera out fast enough to catch them in flight right in front of me, but here are geese landing on the lake.

Standing on a different lake. Isn't that awesome?

Jamie going to work on a snowy day. The snow was still falling.

We made fruit salad for Christmas dinner at my dad's. And then promptly forgot about it in the refrigerator until it was time to leave. We scooped some out to leave with him and mom so they could still have some.

Tree with white star...

Tree with blue star! Led lights are a PAIN to photograph. I had to get my tripod to be able to take decent pictures.

Look what I got for Christmas! Aren't they pretty? Six of these pretty flower bins.

These two green ones. They are Really Useful Boxes.

And a CASE of these small pink ones. That's 22!

Yay I'm organized.

Mammy got me a pretty red bead with a frog crouched on it, and chocolate chip cookie mix.
Mmmm, cookies.

A frog watch! He's awful big for my tiny wrist, but it's ok because he slides completely off the watch band. Or, he may one day decorate my bus, if  ever get a route.

And lastly, pictures from this morning. I rode with Jamie to his work. Some of these were already shared on Facebook, but it occurred to me that I haven't written a blog post in a while. 
(Does posting a bunch of photos count as a "writing" a blog post?)
We made the first bike tracks!

Hard to ride in snow and try to take pictures at the same time...

Poor Chainless, out in the snow. It's melted off now, but this morning there was snow all over her. There isn't room in the hallway to park 3 bikes, though.

How were your holidays?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nothing to See Here

Well, as you may have noticed, I haven't posted recently. There isn't really much to talk about. So, here are the highlights.

I quit my position as bus monitor and have gone back to being substitute bus driver.

I was monitoring on one bus with great kids, but I didn't really get along with the driver. As people we had no issues, I just wasn't happy in general. I really miss those kids a lot. A few are now Facebook friends, although I REALLY need to learn Spanish.

I tried moving from that bus to another one, thinking perhaps a different driver would make things better, someone maybe closer to my age or with a different way of doing things. I was so wrong. For two weeks or so I tried this new bus. On the same day I received that position, I was contacted about a driver position, but it was out East (15 miles from home- I'm a bit leery of committing to a bicycle commute that large, even if Jamie didn't have reservations for me regarding the route and my safety) for much less hours per day. I'm kicking myself for turning it down, hindsight being what it is.

In this second bus, I was even more unhappy. The kids were less able to communicate, and again I had a clashing personality difference with the driver. I guess I'm not really a team player like I thought. So, after giving it what I think is a more than fair attempt to make it work, it was just a simple matter of writing a note and finishing out that day's afternoon run. It somewhat bothers my that it takes so long for me to realize this sort of thing- my husband was the one who supported me in making that decision because I guess I'd been coming home with a bad attitude. Even the office personnel, almost all of whom I admire very highly and already think of as family, told me they could tell that something wasn't right, that my "bubble was burst". I think there's a saying about a heart and a sleeve that might apply here.

My position as substitute driver is a bit more restrictive than others. So far I've asked to only be considered for routes out of the West base, which is the one close to home within an easy 25 minute bicycle commute. Jamie should be promoted to manager soon, so maybe the shifts in income won't be so noticeable.

Thanksgiving break was uneventful other than a group bicycle ride I attended with the Longmont Area Beginning and Returning Cyclists Meetup group. I installed my new cycle computer and light set the day before. I rode 19.05 miles with the group with winds at around 10mph, gusts up to 24. With the trips there and home again, I totaled 26.67 miles on Zoomie. We started and ended at the Lefthand Brewery, and I had a root beer before leaving. Sprecher root beer doesn't have any high fructose corn syrup in it, and it was very tasty- the perfect treat for my first successful group ride, and longest distance ride ever!

And of course, Thanksgiving was great. You can see photos on photobucket in a temporary album HERE.

With all the time off, I've been sleeping too much. I should set a little battalion of alarms to wake me up at a decent hour so that maybe I have some motivation to do something other than sit at the computer and find television shows on Netflix to waste time with. On the bright side, I discovered a great movie called Serenity and a related tv show called Firefly. The bad part is that there are only 14 episodes, because that show is my idea of fantastic. Great effects, great costumes, wonderful characters, humor and excitement and fighting. Spaceships and wild west collide in a perfectly reasonable fashion to make a show I could watch back-to-back for hours. It rivals House and Stargate for my favorite shows ever.

Wednesday I have a field trip, so I'll be pedaling to the office to figure out the details, and see if there are any open routes to bid on. My alarms will be set from now on. Perhaps I can get some sewing done, or spend time getting Grunt used to a bike trailer so we can go someplace fun. We'll see.

Happy Monday?

Friday, November 2, 2012


I didn't post this at the time, but Longmont has actually had two separate snowfalls already. Both were before Halloween. No pictures of adorable pumpkins with snow hats this year, but here are some of the gorgeous scenes that you missed. Included are some autumn photos that I think are especially pretty or cute, so sorry for repeats. Posted in chronological order.

From Zoomie's parking space in the breezeway.

View of a garden at school from the bus door.

Not a bad photo from inside the bus, hmm? White mountains!


We tested my rain cape well.

Second snowfall, a bit thicker this time. Happened two days. 
View from the breezeway parking spot again.

Along the Greenway.

Texture :)

This picture doesn't rightly convey the awesomeness of this colorful willowy tree dusted with snow :(


Slippery bridges.


Making the first tracks is something special. Other bridges had been crossed already, but this one was mine.

The adorable sculpture outside the library.

Doesn't this look so cool? Like a jigsaw puzzle.

And finally, pictures from what is likely my last commute home in daylight. The sunset was gorgeous.

Happy Friday!