Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Samples and Saving Money

I found this great website, It's All Free Online, which has links to various freebies you can send off for. The site also has a Facebook page where you are more likely to find all the newest offers daily. I think it's a great way to sample products before you buy them. It's also a great way to stretch those budget dollars. Aren't we all looking for ways to save a little money? This is just a small sampling of the items I've received thus far:

It's so nice to receive a package in the mail every day!

The fact is there are actually several sites that offer similar promotions. Some sites are nice to sign up for if you like to clip coupons. I usually clip coupons from the Sunday flyers in our newspaper. I don't want to have to use up our printer ink to print out coupons. For our printer at least, ink cartidges are very expensive. Although now there are some really nifty IPhone apps that allow you to have the cashier just scan the coupons off your phone. Neat! I haven't tried that yet, although I believe I do have an app for that.

It just takes a few minutes to fill out the forms for these samples. I hope the links are useful to others as they've been for me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Nopalitos and Other Ramblings

I finally did it! I actually went and cut some pencas de nopal, or cactus paddles, fresh off the plant, myself! That of course is not the challenging part. Removing the needles is. And really, I have to say that the cactus I have growing in my garden are rather tame compared to those growing in the wild. Mine are what some would call 'finos' or fine because they have few needles. These are the kind which produce the deliciously sweet fruit called 'tunas'. The ones in the wild produce fruit which is only very slightly sweet. I was lucky in acquiring a specimen of the variety I have.

I proceeded to look through some YouTube videos to learn how to remove the spines. Tried to do it just being careful with my left hand, and holding the knife in my right hand to remove the pesky needles. Ouch! They got me anyway! So back again to watching the videos. I saw in one how a young lady was wearing some latex gloves. Lucky for my my Sweetie had some in his briefcase from work. So I wore one on my left hand, and held the knife with my ungloved right hand. I then proceeded to scrub the paddles with the knife at an angle, and the needles easily fell off. Also worked the other side. Then I removed the outer edge along the whole perimeter of the paddle. Done! After finishing my stack, it was merely a matter of carefully rinsing them and putting them in a pot to boil. A few minutes later I drained them and proceeded to use them in my recipe for Nopales with Egg and Chorizo. I know I just recently posted about cooking nopales. But this was extra special for me because I harvested these myself! I learned something new! That's what brings me joy. Learning. And let me tell you, chorizo is good with just about anything, even pasta. Maybe next time I'll show my recipe for that.

I also made a simple side of pinto beans with Mexican Queso Fresco.

Made by simply cooking onions, sliced jalapeno peppers, garlic, and finally a couple of chopped tomatoes in a little bit of oil, to which the beans are added and brought to a simmer. Last some diced white cheese is added, along with a little bit of cilantro. Very nice with the nopalitos. Peasant food at its finest! The chorizo gave us just enough 'meat' to feel satisfied with an otherwise meatless meal. And don't forget how nice flour tortillas go with this!

On a different note, I just realized this is actually my 301st post. It feels nice to see that I've stuck with blogging because many times I've wanted to just close it up and forget about it. I'm going to try and challenge myself to stick with it until at least post #500! We'll see how that goes. So until next time happy blogging!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Ever since I can remember, I have loved the songs by Mexican Composer Armando Manzanero. I was looking through YouTube and found several of them, some sung by other artists as well. I have to say I was surprised to find this duet he did with Placido Domingo in front of the Chichen Itza ruins. What surprised me was hearing him sing a few stanzas in Maya language. He explains in the beginning that his Grandmother never spoke Spanish, and that all his interaction with her was in Mayan. What a beautiful story! What a giant of a man in spite of his short stature! This happens to be one of my favorite if not my all time favorite song. Yes, I'm an incurable romantic! Enjoy!

And this would've been another favorite-oh but there are so many of his songs which are absolutely beautiful! The title is "Somos Novios" which means 'We're Boyfriend and Girlfriend', only it sounds so much more formal and romantic in Spanish.

And back again to 'Adoro' because I like this version better.

This is what happens when you stay up late. You blog because during the day there never seems to be enough time to do so.


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