Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fish Tacos

This treat I am sharing with you today is one of our household favorites.

It comes as twist on the fish tacos we used to eat at a place called Rubio's in Phoenix.  On Tuesday was $1 fish taco night.  Those babies went down great with an ice cold Corona.

Here in Oregon, there are no Rubio's.  So I had to figure out how to make them on my own.

I have been playing with the recipe for a few years now and this is how we like to eat ours now.

Now for this meal, I had Cod, but any fish you like will work...even shrimp...especially shrimp!

I used corn tortillas.  I like to put black beans on them too.  This time I didn't feel like making salsa, so I bought some, I's cheating and I am going to hell.  (All the reasons I am going to be going to hell for, this salsa is just the tip of the ice burg!)  The cheese I could do without, but my family likes it.  Oh...I almost forgot, the cabbage is key, don't forget it! And don't use lettuce, that would send you to hell for sure.

 The most important ingredient in these delectable tacos is the sauce.  The baja fish sauce.  Oh my god...I could eat it with a spoon...I do eat it with a spoon...when no one is looking.

I have fooled with this enough times that I think I finally have it just the way I like it.  Ignore the creepy looking ceyanne pepper bottle, I am trying hard to be "Eugene" and reuse stuff...hence the creepy re-used spice bottle.

And all of these items must be present to make the sauce just so.   I like things just so.

I use these and every time I kitchen smells so good, I think I have died and gone to heaven.  Or at least to a beach in Mexico drinking cold beer and eating crab tostadas...which is pretty much the same thing.

And I wanted to show you this because it had revolutionized my life.  Get some, your life will never be the same, I promise.

Incase you want to make's 1 part mayo, 1 part sour cream, juice from one lime, 3 garlic cloves, salt and cayenne or whatever hot sauce you like.  The most important thing is to taste it and adjust it to how you like it.

I get everything ready ahead of time.  The cabbage has to be really thin, or the earth might spin off it's axis.

Now I wanted to grill the fish, but Marcus, who had jumped in to help out, insisted on the traditional frying method.

Either way is good.  I have even bough frozen battered fish when I wanted to make it really easy.

I warm my tortillas up on an oiled cast iron skillet.  Just like my mother, my grandmother and all the Mexican woman in the world.

After all the hard work...

every bite is a little bit of therapy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Jewelry for Sale

I may have mentioned, actually, I know I mentioned it, that whilst in the Hollywood state, Marcus and I spent some time making jewelry at my dads house.

It's true we did.  I have pictures.

Now this is the very first time I have done any sort of silver smithing.  Which is just plain silly since my parents were silver smiths.

Marcus did a little smithing when he first met me, and learned from the best, my mother.

I have only ever done beading and stringing work.  And some silver wire wrapping I have been doing since I was knee high to a grass hopper.

Like this.

But this silver smithing is a completely different beast.

It involves toxic chemicals, sharp tools, high heat flame and oh...will.  Will as in a strong and focused will.  It is on a small scale, forging like iron workers, sword makers...beating swords into plowshares...that sort of thing.

It really does take a certain fortitude to take raw metal, have a vision and then use your hands to create something that matches your vision.

I guess that it is the same fortitude that any artist uses.

I have worked and continue to work with many mediums and they all have their different qualities.  I guess what struck me as so different this time is that metal, silver, is so very different than wool.  The last series I worked on was wrought from soft gentle and ultra malleable wool, and the series of pieces I created in CA were rough, sharp and crisp.

Henry Matisse said, 
"Much of the beauty that arises in art comes from the struggle an artist wages with his limited medium."

That dude was right on the money.

Whether food, wool, paint, ink, silver, wood, rocks, words, song, stage or simply breathing and going about our lives...our interaction with the medium in which you are working asserts it's will.  

And we as artists and human beings, must observe, adjust and meet that will with our own.

This is what my will made the silver do.  

I did all of this with the help of Marucs.  He handled the fire and the toxic chemicals.  I did the designing and the prep a souse chef/executive chef. 

I did have him teach me how to do all the other stuff, but in an effort to be efficient, splitting up the tasks seemed optimal.  And fire and chemicals scare me.  Marcus fearless.

After two days of me pumping out heart pendant design after heart pendant design...Marcus asserted his will and said...Enough with the damn hearts!  Can't we do something else?

So we did.

I am certain Marcus would like me to mention that this piece is his baby.  It was his idea and his execution.

They may not be swords into plowshares...but it's a start.

Now that we have all the pieces home and there are no toxic chemicals or fire,  I am sitting around doing this.

All of this is currently sitting on my dining room table and we have had to eat dinner in the backyard or on the front porch for three days now.  

All these things will be/are for sale, and I am in the process of purchasing a very expensive violin for a certain youngest girl child of mine, so I am willing to negotiate.  Really.  Let me know if you see anything you like.  And pass it on to all your friends and relatives.  Did I mention that the bow and the case for the violin are not included in the purchase price...they are extra?  Oh and all purchases will come with a free pair of earrings and a thank you.

Blessings on your day...go out and use your will!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Huevos Rancheros

I am really into the South of the Boarder cuisine right at the moment.  Something about really good tomatoes that makes this happen.

I am also really into Indian food, but I want to perfect those dishes before I share them...they are so darn complicated!

 I wanted to share something I whipped up for my family the other morning.

Try might have to marry it, or at least have a torrid affair with it!

I started with all this stuff.

I coated my tortillas with oil and then broiled them.  You could fry them if you wanted, that would be yummy too.  I just didn't want the mess.

During the broiling, I flipped them half way through.  So they would be toasty on both sides.

I cooked the eggs sunny side up.

Then I spread the beans on the tortilla, (after I mashed them a bit) and put the sunny side beauty right on top.

While the eggs were cooking...I did this.

Then I loaded it up with these goodies, popped it back under the broiled till the cheese was melted and the egg was cooked on top.

And then VIOLA, gorgeous breakfast or brunch, or lunch or dinner for the whole family.

I made 7 of them, 1 for me, 1 1/2 for each Marcus and Sophia and 3 for The Football Player.

Send provisions...I may not make it through football season.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I left my Heart in San Francisco

When Kai was three and Sophia just under a year, Marcus and I lived in San Francisco for about 8 months.

Marcus had been assigned a project there and the company paid for the whole thing.

We got a rental car, a two bedroom apartment, (with garage parking, a pool, two different courtyards with trees and lawn) in the upper Fillmore and food money.  The very best part is that there was maid service once a week.  The company forked over a pretty penny for this place...$4000 a month!  And this was 12 years ago.  I would have stayed forever had they not court ordered me out.

But alas the project was completed and we moved back home to Auburn, to our little $700 a month apartment without maid service.  And I cried every night.

That stint in SF has forever endeared the City by the Bay to us.  We love it. I would live there right now if someone else were footing the bill for a place with maid service, and there wasn't that court order.

Both my children want to live there and have careers, find partners and then move back home to Auburn to raise their families on my dad's property, which he has so generously been preparing for them to inherit.

Okay...that is just Sophia's plan.  she also wants to have a garden wedding in the currently under construction organic garden, plus she has all the names of her children picked out.  Evidently her future husband has no say in the matter.

Kai said that he would rather live like George Clooney in the movie Up in the Air.  Single, traveling to different cities and countries all time, no commitments, nothing keeping him in one spot, San Francisco serving as home base.  I could see it.

Anyway...long story family loves SF.

We got to visit our beloved city this summer with Marcus' brother Peter, his wife Sarah and Lucky Little Lily, our niece.

Marcus, Peter and my kids wanted to go to a SF Giants game because they are all gaga for baseball.

Sarah and I wanted something less boring...I mean kid friendly and less expensive.  (Marcus bought the kids lunch...three hot dogs, two fries and two drinks...$50.  For that price there better be a foot massage included and some cuddling afterwards!)

So we went to the beach, Stow Lake, and then Chinatown.

As you might have foreseen, there was an issue about who gets to take the camera to which side of the city.

Clearly it should have been me, since I am the one who take pictures and shares them with people.  But in some sick asymmetrical twist of fate, Marcus won out and took the camera to the game with him.

He took about a billion of the most boring baseball pictures ever bestowed upon man kind.  I know he is gaga for baseball, but really?

But then he took these ones too.  I am considering forgiving him for taking the camera and taking all those boring pictures...I'll let you know what I decide.

It was Kai's birthday shortly before we went to CA, and that's all he wanted for his birthday, was to go to a Giants game.  Oh...and a new Giants hat.  He got both. And because uncles are awesome, Kai got a Giant's jersey for his birthday too.  Thanks Tio Pedro!  Kai was in Giant's heaven!  See...look how excited he looks?!

They were so glad the sun finally came out.  They had dressed improperly...just as I had warned!  See...I am always right.

After the game, Sarah and I were still in Chinatown grubbing yummy chinese food and buying cheep things, so they had to wait for us to come pick them up.  They took the time to walk a little.  And Marcus got all creative with the camera that I should have had in Chinatown.

The kids were so excited by this sign that it was one of the first things they told me about.  It says...FAMILY KIDNAPPED BY NINJAS NEED MONEY FOR KARATE LESSONS.  Kids are so easily amused.

The Giant's have a rivalry with the LA Dodgers.  It just wouldn't be a game without the sidewalk non-official Giant's BEAT LA vendors.

"I hate all these people."

Marcus switched over to black and white...he often does that.  We have issues about it.

 Wind in her hair, outrageously  expensive fries in her teeth...what more could a girl want?

Tio Pedro.  He is really a secret agent for the Union Pacific Railroad...that's why we can't show you his eyes...they would give him away for sure.

Marcus took this last one as we were on our way out of town...people honking at us and giving us dirty looks.  Then we sat in traffic for an hour and a half just to reach the bridge so we could go home.
I love the City!