Thursday, May 26, 2011

Coconut Milk

Yum! I turned a coconut and the coconut water from inside of it, into some yummy coconut milk a while back!

It's not hard to get the water out of the coconut at all. And not quite as hard to open it as you may think. But getting the coconut meet off of the shell... ugh!!! That was a LOT of work! And my hands were really hurting after that. But I did it. It got done and I was able to put it all in the blender and make some milk out of it. It was really good milk too!

Oh man, was it good! I drank a glass that night before it even had a chance to get cold. LOL The rest of it was used for baking because the kids didn't really like it to much. I think it's becasue they expected a cow milk taste thought. I bet they would get used to drinking it after a while.

Want to know how I did it? I used a nail and hammered it in one of the eyes of the coconut. Then I took it out and listened to the suction breaking loose. lol Then I took a drill bit to open the hole a little more so I could poor out the water. Then to open it I held in in one hand and hit it with the hammer around the middle of the coconut, turned it a little in my hand and hit it again. I kept that up until it broke open. Then I pried out the coconut meet with a knife. I suggest you search for ways on doing that. ;) I have now used two ways out of 4 that I found. I put in about half of the coconut meet into the blender with all the coconut water. Then I blended it until it was nice and smooth! Then I took it out and strained it through several layers of cheese cloth. (there are bags made for this sort of thing, I just haven't bought one yet) Then I put the rest of the coconut meet into the blender and added the milk I had just strained. Now the fist time I made this, I used the whole coconut at once and had to add water to make my blender work(it's a cheep $10 one though). That time it tasted to watered down to me though, so I used the milk from the first half to make it thicker and more tasty. I liked it WAY better that way. After lots and lots of blending I got about 3 cups of coconut milk out of one small coconut. I used some of the left over pulp in some cookies and some of it I threw into a meatloaf that I happened to have been making on the same day. It's not sweet, so no one even knew the difference!

I need to look into more uses for the left over pulp though. I hate to just throw it all away. Seems like such a waist! If you have any ideas please leave me a comment.

I'll talk about a similar experience making almond milk next time!

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Weekend

So I think I'm going to try to keep this blog updated more often. We'll see how that goes. LOL

One thing I hear a lot from people in Corpus Christi is that they are board and there is nothing to do here. While there is certainly room for improvement in this town, there is plenty to do. You just have to get creative and look around for new things to do. Few people from here actually rent the paddle boats or surreys(4 wheel bikes with a roof top), or take the fairy from down town to North Beach. These are things that "tourists" do. We live here, so we don't need to do them. Boy is that the wrong way of looking at things!

There are so many places around town that I have never been. And I've been living here for more than 15 years now. I am not going to say I am going to try them all, because lets face it, some of them are not my type of seen. I do not go to clubs or bars becasue I don't drink. I may have a fruity drink of some sort while hanging out with family or something, but that's few and
far between! So naturally the down town area has always been a no-go for me. After all, it's for the night life and tourists. LOL

This year, with out trying to set goals or anything, I have been finding more things to do and new
places to eat. Can I just say, Facebook is awesome! One of my inspirations for all this is 40 Things To Do In Corpus Christi 2010. The title of the page says 2010, but they are still showing new and exciting things to do in Corpus for 2011!

Back to my weekend now... On Friday we had planned to get up and go meat the in-laws on Saturday morning. Which is what we always do because they always want the boys to spend the night with them. So we planned on dropping off all the kids and heading down town to rent a bike
and ride them on the sea wall. Things rarely go as planned though.... But sometimes it makes things better like that! My SIL graduated last week so we meat the in-laws for lunch at La Playa. Then they invited us to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Which was a nice time since we don't really go to the movies anymore! After that it was already 5:00 PM and we had the baby with us since they only keep the ones that can get up on their own in the morning. lol So I was sure that our day was over and we didn't get to go do our fun date night. :'( I was all upset and almost in tears. lol Then instead of turning the way to go home, he kept going and we headed down town to have some fun!
We stopped and parked on Shoreline Drive by the Seawall. First we walked down to to T-head and rented a paddle boat for $10 for a half hour. Fun Time Rentals is where we spent our money! We only made it for 15 minutes though. That's hard work to paddle so much and only go a few feet. lol But it was fun and Keegan was quite upset that it was time to get off! But he didn't have to do the foot work... So we walked back up tot he sea wall and rented a
surrey from the same people as the paddle boats. Lots of fun! Not as hard to peddle as the boats, but not all that easy either. This time we kept it for the whole 30 minutes and we rode down towards the American Bank Center to check out what our little splash park looks like. Thinking we may go there tomorrow which is Christian's last day of school and last day to be an elementary student! Ugh... that's another story though. ;) So after that we were supposed to use a certificate I got a while back for the Black Sheep Bistro. But it was already late and that would have taken to long to drive to since it's on the island and we were down town. So instead we went to the Railroad Seafood Station that's kind of hidden down town. It was all good food, but maybe a little higher priced than I would have liked. ;) Service was great too. Jason had been there with people from work, but I hadn't been there ever. Never even knew it was there! It sure is nice to find some new places around town! After that we headed home. It was late and little man was tired. So off to bed he went and Jason and I watched Little Fockers before we went to bed ourselves. What a nice day it was!!! I haven't had that much fun in a while.

Since we didn't get to use our gift certificate to Black Sheep Bistro, we decided we would go have lunch there and have the in-laws meat us at the beach with the boys when we were done. Sunday comes... I went to a secret meeting (shhh... yarn bombing coming to Corpus Christi soon) at Barns & Noble and Jason went to the office during that time. We met back up at home then decided to head on out to the island! On the way there I decide to look up the restaurant on my phone for the hours. No luck at all! The place closed at 2:00 on Sundays and it was already 1:50. We were not going to make it in time. :'( The certificate expires today(Monday) and guess what... they are closed on Mondays. >.< (more on that later though) We looked and looked on the main strip on the island. Couldn't find anything that looked open out there! I couldn't believe that the island didn't have many good places to eat. We found a little burger joint though. It was called the Island Burger Company. lol How original and unique! It's mainly a bar with a patio, and I must say the burgers were NOT good! Plus it took 45 minutes for us to get them!!! So service was not good either. And the prices for a plate were to much for burgers. I paid $13 for my plate, and Jason's was like 11 or 12 or something. So that place was a bust! The beach after wards made up for it though! The kids had a blast. Keegan proclaimed right away that he was scared of the water. That didn't last but 5 minutes though! After that I couldn't keep him out of the water and I had to do some major entertainment to keep him from trying to go deeper. LOL

Now back to the Black Sheep Bistro... remember I had the groupon deal from back in December and it expires today, on the day that they are closed. Well, I decided to vent a little and post on their page that I was disappointed in myself for not making it over there before it expired. I have to say that so far I have very good customer service experiences with them and I haven't even been there yet! They told me that they would extend it for one more week so that I could come on in. :) That made me a happy camper! I have been looking at their menu online for weeks now and seeing the pics of food they post on their FB page makes me want to go even more! So Now I need to find a sitter, or find someone to go with for lunch one day this week. I will report my findings later on that. ;)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'm so bad at keeping up.

So another year has come and gone and I'm still here. In the past couple of years I have changed so many things in my life to cut costs or be a little "greener." I've used cloth diapers, although I've gotten to where it's only part time now. But the little one is starting to learn to use the potty more, so that'll be gone soon any ways. I no longer use paper towels, paper plates or plastic cups. Even during the summer when I have all 5 kids here! I use free and clear laundry soap, biodegradable stuff when possible money wise. No more fabric softener(and I don't miss it at all). I use natural house hold cleaners like vinager and baking soda now too. I also use the no-poo method for washing my hair. The kids don't do that though and neither does my husband. Basically all it is is baking soda to wash my hair and a little vinager in some water to shampoo it. Works great and my hair looks 10 times better now! No fly aways which I always hate and it just looks healthier now. I used regular shampoo for a couple time in a row and I hated it!

So, now my newest thing is to start eating healthier and find alternatives that I like better. I have started cooking at home every day now. Of course we do go out every so often still, and I still get that cheep crap from McDonald's every so often. The kdis love that stuff and sometimes I just don't have time to cook after a busy day(like tonight).

I go to the farmers market now and get lots of locally organic grown stuff. It's only once a week though. But I have also been baking like mad lately! I started with what I know, cookies! LOL But now it's from scratch, not from a box mix. ;) Chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, sugar cookie, and the latest... sweet beet cookies. Which were a hit with the little guy! I also enjoy making breads like pumpkin, zucchini, carrot cake... My oldest loves these for an after school snack! The hardest part of all of this is finding stuff that my 6 yr old likes. He likes cookies(but not the beet ones) and he likes the cakes and cheese cake I made, but not the breads at all, including muffins. :( He's such a picky eater. I am going to try some Zucchini Raspberry Cupcakes next. I'm hoping that the chocolate and the chocolate chips in them disguise the zucchini in it and make Kaleb like them. I'm always on the look out for something new to hide some veggies in! I'm also up to making some coconut milk soon. Jason said he likes that! And Christian has requested a pina colada(virgin of course) with some of it, which means now I need to get a pineapple again. Man, we have gone through more flour, milk, eggs, and fruits and veggies than ever before! But I am loving it all the way along!!!

I'm also reading a lot up on healthier eating and alternatives to some things. It's so much fun trying out new recipes and what works for us all and what doesn't. If you have any tried and true stuff you think I might like, please don't hesitate to let me know about them! The almond milk I made today wasn't bad, a little watery, but not bad! I know to use more almonds next time though. ;) I'm looking forward to using them in my recipes too.

I started a garden this year too. So much fun and so fun to see my 6yr olds face when he notices how much the plants have grown! I can't wait to get some stuff out of it! I know we will get tons of okra since I have like 10 of them. And I"ve got 14 corn plants, 4 cucumbers, 2 banana peppers(they aren't doing so well though), 2 garden beans(the rest didn't come up) and out of the 24 carrots I planted, I only have 5 of them. But I am learning and having fun along the way.

I still have the lemon tree and we now have oranges producing on the other tree in our back yard! :) The lemons are wonderful!!! Not to sour, but just enough. They are pretty sweet ones. But the oranges, they are sour! I have no idea what kind they are but they are nice and juicy but a little to sour. But... when life gives you sour oranges, make orangeade! It's just like lemonade only made with oranges. I sweeten mine with some local, raw honey instead of sugar. Mmm... the perfect summer drink! Can't wait for all those little green balls in the tree to turn into some fruit!

Oh, one thing I had forgotten about, is the carrot salad I made the other day! Most people put raisins in theirs, but I never have done that. Some people even put mayonnaise in theirs. Yuck... sorry, I just don't like mayo that much. I like mine more natural I guess. I shred all the ingredients and toss it all together in a bowl! The one I made the other day was carrot, beet(left over from the cookies) and pineapple. The pineapple adds just enough sweetness. ;) That's it, nothing more than that is needed. If you leave it in the fridge over night is tastes even better the next day! I also like to make it with jicama, cucumber and carrot. On that one though, I add a little lime juice and a tiny bit of salt. Two totally different tastes, but both equally delicious.

This blog attempt is totally random and pretty much just me rambling. LOL Sorry, I'll try harder next time. ;)