new mexican stuffed sopapillas

I went to Albuquerque to take a course with American Clay.  I am now a certified American Clay plasterer.  I learned a bit of new things but nothing extraordinary.  I do admit that I really liked the New Mexican food.  The green chile sauces, flat enchiladas, and stuffed sopapillas were just yummy.  I have actually taken to making this type of food at home and last night I put together two different types of beans to stuff sopapillas.  

The recipe for sopapillas is actually fairly straightforward.  It is a biscuit dough:

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tarter

1 teaspoon salt

4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/4 cup plain hempmilk

vegetable oil for frying.

This recipe makes 16 fairly good size sopapillas.  I usually cut it to a quarter for two.

I put about an inch of oil in a small cast iron pan and start to heat it.  I put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together.  I dust the counter with flour and knead twelve times.  Then roll out the dough and cut into sixteen pieces (four if you quarter the recipe).  

The oil should be about 400 degrees Fahrenheit when you are ready to fry.  Drop the dough into the oil and count to 30.  Flip, count to 30, and remove from the oil. If the sopapilla is too brown or does not puff, the oil is too hot.


I take one of these pillows of goodness, cut it in half, and fill it with a savory filling.  I made a bean filling from leftovers that were in the refrigerator:  about a quarter cup of black beans, a partial jar of chiliaquilla, a little chopped onion, chopped garlic, salt, a pinch of ground chipolte, and a pinch of smoked paprika.

I did save two for dessert.  When the sopapillas are warm, they are just lovely with honey or honey, cinnamon, and powdered sugar.  Or actually any combination that you wish.

We had happy tummies after dinner but the dinner was scarfed so fast that there was no time for pictures.  There was a starfished Russell in the house.


napkins finished

I was able to finish all the raw edges on the napkins yesterday and am putting on the applique strips.  It is really an easy process.  

Cut the strips the width you wish but make sure you have a seam allowance on each edge and the end.

Figure out where the strip should be appliqued.  I usually put it about two inches from the edge.  I then fold under the seam allowance on each edge and pin.

I stich around the edges, fairly close but not too close.

And there is a napkin.

Napkins have become a standard wedding and house warming gift for me.  As well as for any family members that have not received a set yet!  Takes a bit of fabric that I usually have left over from other projects and flour sack towels.  I am considering making the towels myself soon as well except the fabric is much cheaper this way.


napkins to be made

I like to sew.

I like to make presents.

We are going to a house warming on Saturday so I am making napkins.  These are what I make for every day around the house and basic wedding/house warming type presents.  We use them all the time around here.  I even put them in my lunch bag when I go to work.  That way I do not have to use paper at work and I never buy paper for the house.  It is always so interesting when you have company and they ask for a paper towel when there is a spill.  They look at the cloth towel very strangely.

What I do for these napkins, is cut a flour sack towel in quarters.  My favorite are actually the ones from Sur La Table.  They are the best quality I have found so far but also the most expensive.  I keep looking.  

I then finish the raw edges and applique a fabric strip to them.  I keep thinking of other ideas and I know I will get there but these are fast and easy.

These are the best sewing scissors I have ever owned.  I have two sizes and these are the smaller.  I believe they are six inches long.  They are the Japanese brand ´╗┐´╗┐Shozaburo and we got them from Carter Cutlery.  Yes, they are expensive but I highly recommend them.

Here is a picture of the raw edges getting finished.  I usually get to sew for about ten minutes a day.  Today will be a better day because I will get a few more.  That is a good thing because I find sewing relaxing and this week has been a tad stressful.

It is not over yet.  More pictures to come of the finished napkins.  There will be a dozen when I am done.


When the heat index is over 100

There is a need to feel like it is a different time of year.

I made pumpkin pie brownies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  They are fabulous!

I think they got richer after they sat over night but Russell did not.  And it did help with trying to be in a different head space.  


losing a toilet!

Saturday, I walked into our main bathroom and there was water all over the floor.  I have to admit that I was not surprised because this toilet has always been a bit finicky but this was an excuse for Russell and I to have a composting toilet instead!  We have only been wanting a composting toilet from our first natural building workshop but how to put it in a stick house and maintain it is always an interesting proposition.

On last week, there was a video for the Pee and Poo show:

We were obviously talking about it when the toilet decided to rain on our parade and this video was enough to get us started.

So Russell took out the toilet on Friday night.  He cut off the outlet and capped it.  He also covered the floor with a piece of plywood.

The main piece for a composting toilet is a 5 gallon drum and you just do not wish to be seeing that.  With my assistance, Russell built a box out of birch half inch plywood, attached a toilet seat, and cut a hole in it.





Is it not beautiful?  Every time you use the toilet, you add a scoop of sawdust.  We still need to get a urine diverter and a 55 gallon drum for the backyard so it is about 80-90 percent done.  I know it is not everyone's cup of tea but this means we are not on the city sewage system and adding to the sewage problems.  After composting for one to two years, the compost can go directly in the yard.

It just makes me smile!