Making tortillas

Growing up we lived all over and my mother was always big on trying local recipes. When we moved to California, of course she had to find a good tortilla recipe. I’m not a huge fan of the store bought tortillas, as a result, and decided I was going to make those for dinner tonight. Not only are they simple to make and taste better than anything you can buy in the store, but it’s much cheaper too.

Tortillas all have the same base ingredients: flour, salt, oil/fat/shortening, baking powder, and water (as hot as your hands can handle). 

The ingredients I used this time:

2 cups flour
1/3 cup shortening (diced)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2/3-3/4 cups hot water

Place flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl, add shortening and mix (I used my pastry blender) until crumbly and it looks kind of like wet sand. Add in hot water, I didn’t add all, but ended up using almost all of it. Mix this by hand until you can form a ball of dough. Let dough sit for 20 minutes. After the dough has rested make 12 equal sized balls of dough and roll these out into your tortilla. It’s best to roll them out one at a time (meaning roll one out, throw on skillet, and while that one cooks start rolling another one). Heat up a large skillet to medium-high (I set my mine to 7.5 on a scale of 1-10) and place a rolled out tortilla (8-9 inches in diameter) onto it. Cool for 30-45 seconds and then flip and cook for another 15-20 seconds. It’s best to do this with a helper, but is doable alone. I place a dish towel on a plate and then cover each tortilla as I work through them, but if you’re making these in advance it’s ok to just put them on an uncovered plate.

I’ll post pictures shortly, as I was so focused on making them that I forgot to get some shots.

  

Does anyone else do this?

I am very big on making certain my kids get every major food group at every single meal, some days they’re interested in everything I make for them and other days they don’t touch a darn thing. And before you say, “well, are you sure you’re letting them pick?” I give them a few choices each time, based on whatever we have in the fridge and pantry. Now, MMC is not like this at all, he offers cereal for breakfast and would offer hotdogs for lunch every single time. It’s not that he doesn’t mean well, he does, he’s just not as “convinced” that a well rounded diet matters. So, in order to make meal planning easy on him I stress variety and healthy options more on the weekdays than I do on the weekend, why, because 1) he has a right (and duty) to help take care of the kids and 2) it makes the weekends easier if I don’t have to plan everything (plus I know that they’ve been getting balanced meals during the week, so one day isn’t going to hurt them). 

And what, dear readers, does a weekend look like. Well, Saturday morning we usually have music class (late morning to lunch time) and I only take one kid, which means the other one gets “fed” by daddy. I leave it up to him, but it’s usually something I wouldn’t normally offer, is something the kids get overexcited about, and probably doesn’t fit into a particularly healthy food group. I try to make certain they do get a healthy breakfast, but lunch is whatever. Weekends are usually pretty non-eventful but I’ve also been going to WeightWatchers (since November 1, 2015 (down 40#) and still going) every Sunday morning. I’m gone from 8:45 to 10:30, and sometimes later, because I’ll stop at the grocery store. This means breakfast is up to MMC, which is usually some bowl of sugary cereal that they eat all of. MMC is usually proud of himself that they eat all of it and doesn’t understand why I don’t offer it to them during the week and why I can’t get them to eat.  

 

Sugary cereal, at least he asks about the letters
 
This all ties in nicely to the events from a weekend (two weeks?) ago where my son got a haircut (he goes with daddy and he gets a toy and a lollipop, it’s a kids cut place). MMC was supposed to take him to Chuck E Cheese’s, a place I really have no interest in ever going to again (after taking his nieces a few years before we had our own kids). For some reason MMC didn’t want to go there, so he took our son to Burger King. Both came home and MMC proudly announced that our son ate all his chicken. Grrrr. Do you wonder why? I don’t! It’s loaded with sugar and other things that make you want to keep eating it, gross. The following Tuesday we had to take our son to get retested for his allergies and we went to Burger King (again) as a treat for him doing so well. He ate his chicken and his sister’s (who only ate her fries). MMC again proclaimed how impressed he was with our son that he ate all his chicken.  
Bananas, he asks for them like they’re candy, as if I’ll ever deny him one
 
Now, I have to honestly admit that we have, in general, had a very hard time getting our son to eat, so him eating everything is indeed impressive. I just wish it wasn’t crap (I mean fast) food. His palette is pretty selective and he’s got a few go-to foods he will eat (milk, cheese sticks, strawberries, egg whites, raspberries, veggie sticks (the chip sticks), chicken, meatballs, jelly sandwiches, bacon, broccoli, pickles, bananas, and noodles) everything else is just a struggle and he claims everything is yucky. 

But, the moral of this story is that it gives my husband confidence with the kids, that they’ll eat what he puts in front of him… So I’ll continue to do so.

Airplane at 4yo… Why not?

For the last 3.5 years we’ve had to “struggle” with getting our son to eat. I’ve always offered a variety of foods and when he wants foods he usually asks for healthy options (though from his perspective he knows no different). We do have marshmallows and a few other sweets in the house, but for the most part he will ask for bananas, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelon. Veggies are not his favorite, but we’re working on it (I should say I’m working on it, because Mr. Man Cold is convinced that the meat is more important and I’m the one who’s responsible for about 90% of the foods he eats). My son is not a fan of “combined” foods and will pick everything apart and claim it’s gross before he’s even tried anything, relatively normal for this age, I’ve been told.

Mr. MC’s approach is very old school (basically punishment for not eating), however the threats don’t work well on my son (they may have initial impact, but often present themselves later, nightmares or accidents in his pants (mostly number 2, but recently number 1 as well)). Mr. MC, tonight, was in rare form and the threat did not go over well with me. So what did I do, to get my son to eat… Why, airplane, of course. Did I make myself look like an ass? Probably, but I managed to get him to eat most of his dinner and he was happy while doing it. 

  
I don’t want my kids having an unhealthy relationship with food and certainly don’t want them to have horrible memories, like Mr. MC has, about sitting at the table for hours on end, because he didn’t want to eat something his mother made. There are certainly more foods my husband refuses to eat, than ones that he’s willing to eat and I honestly believe the way he was forced to eat impacted that greatly. I don’t ever remember being told to finish the food on my plate and if I didn’t want to eat, that was okay, but my mother wouldn’t make a separate meal for me either and when I was old enough I could make my own food. At four he’s certainly not able to, but I find it worthwhile to allow him to trust his instincts on when he wants to eat or not, barring any food aversions. He always gets hungry at some point and then he can eat what’s been made for his most recent meal. 
I’m sure there will come a day when we’ll be spending an insane amount of money to keep the fridge stocked for a hungry teenager, but for now he seems to subsisting on the quantities he does manage to eat. I’ll forever be concerned that he’s not eating enough or the right thing, but he’s growing, he’s healthy, and he’s pretty darn adorable and sweet.