Sunday, February 04, 2007

Multiple Trains of Thought!

I have multiple things, as I sit here at my laptop, that I would like to blog about. Who knows if you readers will find them interesting or not, but I felt the need to blog-and yes, inform. :)
First, my youngest daughter got an ant farm for her birthday. When I thought of ant farms, I assumed they had a queen, were an ant colony, etc. After some research, this is not so. When you receive an ant farm, it comes ant-less. You must send in an order form and order them. However, they won't send you a queen, because you are across state lines (unless you live in ID, I believe). They fear the queen might escape and "cross contaminate" the ant kingdom, creating havoc in the bug world, such as the ash borer went crazy here in the United States. Also, the queen produces thousands, if not tens of thousands, of eggs, so your tiny ant farm couldn't hold all of them. So, you can 1) order these live ants, receive a package of 25-30 live ants in the mail, and have them only live one to three months 2) go out in the spring and try/hope to catch a live "princess" (fertile female on her way to start her own colony as queen) and begin a colony, or 3) dig some up out of your yard or garden, keeping in mind that you will be destroying the colony which you took them from. So, we opted for number 1. We received the ants, which came with a paper that read, "DO NOT TOUCH THESE ANTS!" It went to so far as to say that if any escaped, not to try to save them but to kill them with a spoon or other utensil immediately! So, the ant farm didn't travel up to my daughter's room, it stayed in the kitchen so she didn't knock it off and scatter these "poisonous" ants everywhere. :) So, I learned quite a bit about ants. We are now about to the end of the three month period, seeing them die off a few each day. My family mocked my learning about ants, but I say you learn something new everyday and keep your brain active. This may even prove useful in the future classroom! :)
Next, we went to the chili cook off party last night. We didn't win any prizes, but we had an ok time. :) Our soup was the best with the additions we provided, but most judges (other cooks and guests) said they didn't want to put in the effort to include the ingredients. They just wanted to plop the soup into the bowl, taste, and be onto the next sample. Bummer, because with avocado, cilantro and lime juice (you wouldn't think this would be good in chili, but it is!) it tastes superb. :) Here's the recipe:
Taco Soup
makes 4 to 6 servings
olive oil cooking spray
1/2 pound ground beef round
1 cup chopped onion
1 can (14.5 ounces) Mexican Style diced tomatoes with liquid
1 can (15.5 ounces) light red kidney beans with liquid
1 can (11 ounces) corn kernels with liquid
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 package (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning
1 avocado, peeled, sliced
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese blend
1/4 cup fresh cilanto sprigs
1 lime, cut into slices
tortilla chips

Spray saucepan with cooking spray. Place it over medium high heat. Crumble in bee and break it up, cooking for 30 seconds. Add the onion, and continue to cook, stirring until the beef browns all over and is cooked through and the onion softens, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, and corn with their liquids, tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Fill the tomato sauce can with water and add that liquid to the pan, then stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover the pan and simmer 15 minutes. Ladle soup into serving bowls and pass the avocado slices, sour cream, cheese, cilantro, lime wedges, and tortilla chips separately.
Note: We doubled the recipe last night, using one can of black beans instead of two kidney beans, and only one can of corn. Also, the rules state that you can't use prepackaged seasoning, so I looked on for a taco seasoning.

The past few days we've been researching treadmills, which I have found very fun. I tried several and researched them. Today we ordered the sole f80. Free shipping and no sales tax! :)
I am very excited to be able to run at home. It's still dark here, the only morning time I can run and I don't feel comfortable on the dark bike path by myself. I also don't have a lot of time I can run, unless I go to bed at 8pm and get up at 5am, so this will be good, to run at home! :)

My husband found a site: where you can catalog your books, so I'm going to do that. I'm excited to catalog my books for a classroom, and books I have here, too!

That's all for now. Have a good week!


Donna said...

The sounds great. I have been keeping an old fashioned pen and paper journal too of the books I read. I started it just over a year ago.
The taco soup sounds yummy especially with all the add-ins. I had contemplated an ant farm too for my oldest but ummm...maybe not!

Molly said...

Visiting from Isabelle. Your recipe sounds yum! I may make it tonight. I would definitely take the trouble to add the lime juice and cilantro...I also recently discovered library thing--it is so neat!