Monday, June 30, 2008


This is a great dessert given to me by my missionary friend in Mexico while I lived there! YUMMY! You do need a flanera to make this which you should be able to buy at Wal-Mart or order on the internet. Worth it!!

1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
5 eggs
1 T vanilla (Mexican is best)

Blend all ingredients in blender.

Brown 1/4 cup of sugar in flanera on top of stove.

Pour milk mixture in flanera and close. Bake in pan filled halfway with water for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees F.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

From a nurse:

I'll never forget the look in my patients' eyes when I had to tell them they had to go home with the drains, new exercises and no breast. I remember begging the Doctors to keep these women in the hospital longer, only to hear that they would, but their hands were tied by the insurance companies. So there I sat with my patients, giving them the instructions they needed to take care of themselves, knowing full well they didn't grasp half of what I was saying, because the glazed, hopeless, frightened look spoke louder than the quiet 'Thank You' they muttered. A mastectomy is when a woman's breast is removed in order to remove cancerous breast cells/tissue. If you know anyone who has had a Mastectomy, you may know that there is a lot of discomfort and pain afterwards. Insurance companies are trying to make mastectomies an outpatient procedure. Let's give women the chance to recover properly in the hospital for 2 days after surgery.

If you're receiving this, it's because I think you will take the 30 seconds to vote on this issue and send it on to others you know who will do the same. There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It's about eliminating the 'drive-through' Mastectomy where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.

Lifetime Television has put this bill on their Web page with a petition drive to show support. Last year over half the House signed on. PLEASE!! Sign the petition by clicking on the web site below. You need not give more than your name, state, and zip code.

Sign the Petition

Familia Part Two...

Here are some additional family vocabulary terms to add to last week's terms. There are still others which you can find at the site below. Hopefully you are keeping up with la familia and can now call your hijo or hija.

hermana - sister
hermano - brother
tía - aunt
tío - uncle
primo - cousin - male
prima - cousin - female
sobrina - niece
sobrino - nephew
abuela - grandmother
abuelo - grandfather
nieta - grandaughter
nieto - grandson

Pronunciation Guide

Monday, June 23, 2008

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

I'm not sure if this is officially "Mexican", but when I'm in the mood for it, IT COUNTS! There are a lot of recipes for this out there. This one is pretty easy and fast. Plus it's very tasty! Serve with beans and tortilla chips.

1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 4 ounce can of Ro-Tel
2 1/2 cups boiled chicken breast chopped
10 corn tortillas cut into fourths
12 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese

Mix together and heat the soups, Ro-Tel, and chicken. In a 3 quart buttered casserole dish, place a layer of tortillas, a layer of soup mixture and a layer of grated cheese. Repeat. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Familia Activities

These are great activities for working out the vocabulary.

Family Activities
Family Worksheet
Family Quiz

Another way to practice with your little one is to go through pictures of your family. Point to each member and say the Spanish word. For example, show a picture of their grandmother and say "abuela." Remember that your pronunciation doesn't have to be perfect, as long as they are hearing Spanish spoken and getting those connectors in their brain. This will make learning the language easier when they take it in school! I hope your lessons are going well.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Familia Part One...

Let's start today with a few essential vocabulary words for family. I will add some more next week. To hear pronunciations, please go to the links below as I couldn't get them to paste too.

padres - parents
madre - mother
mamá - mother
padre - father
papá - father
niño - child - male
niña - child - female
hijo - son
hija - daughter

Pronunciation Guide
Family Tree -- Put your mouse over each picture and hear the correct pronunciation of each family member on the family tree! This has a ton of great vocabulary for family!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sopapilla Cheesecake

A teacher I knew made this for a luncheon once. SO YUMMY!!! Enjoy!

2 cans crescent rolls
1 1/2 c sugar
1 8 oz. cream cheese
1 t vanilla (Mexican is best)
1 t cinnamon
1 stick butter

Open first can of rolls. Roll out into bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish. Press out making sure all perforations are closed. Cream 1 cup of sugar and vanilla with the cream cheese. Spread over the dough in the pan. Open second can and roll out on wax paper pressing out the perforations. Lay dough on top of cream cheese. Melt butter and pour over the top. Mix 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle over all of the rolls. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F in the oven. Serve warm.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Fiestaware is awesome! I have been a collector of Fiestaware for a number of years and have got quite a collection in many different colors. I have vases, plates, bowls, coffee mugs, tea cups, pitchers, and many other kitchen accessories. I have never had a problem with it and I think it holds up great! I love it because it's so colorful, looks nice and is a great quality! I also love that it is not very expensive compared to other everyday plates. They also have a collection of Christmas/holiday plates and glasses that are very cute. Recently I bought a plate that we'll use for special celebrations that says, "It really is all about you!" and has dots all over it in many colors, so it will match everything! Check out my Fiestaware squidoo page to start a collection of your own!
I guess the only connection it has with Spanish is its name. Maybe that's why I love it so much!
Check this out: Fiesta Kitchen

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Deals this week

Thankfully I was checking Money Saving Mom the other day and noticed she had some deals for Wal-Mart right before I was heading there. So I sat down, clipped the rest of my coupons and got them organized. With my list in hand, I headed out and saved 66% of my bill! It ended up being $10 for some stuff we needed, but I got a lot of it free--plus overage! Thanks MSM!
Then I headed to Kroger with no list. I was able to save 59% just by looking through the ad and my coupons. I got some milk for free because I bought 2 things of cookies and Pop-Tarts (which I was out of)! What a deal!! I still haven't tried CVS... I don't get the Sunday paper any more because double packs are now $3 instead of $2. I might start that next week...

Take a hike!

Take the bus! While I lived in Mexico, if I needed to get somewhere quickly (or if it was farther than I could walk), I would take the bus. Taxis will charge a lot of money. I once paid $70 (pesos) to take a taxi to a school that I could ride for $8 (pesos) taking 2 buses. It was a lot quicker to take a taxi (most of the time), but worth it to ride the bus and save money. Yes, it does take a little while to learn the bus system, so if you're only going to be visiting for a short time, it would be worth it to ask someone to help you figure out what exactly to do.
The Metro in Mexico City is also really cheap. You could ride it for around 20 cents and get anywhere in the city! When you're down there, you don't have to pay for connections as long as you don't come back outside. I would advise against riding it late at night, but I never had any problems riding during the years I lived there. If you have on a backpack, put it on your front and carry your purse in front of you. There is a ton of traffic during "peak" hours, so I would avoid that too! I once was riding with my brother (a rather non-Spanish speaker) and it was during the "peak" time. A man behind me decided that he was going to get on the next car that came through, and it was PACKED! He put one arm on either side of me and started pulling me in! Out of fear of being separated, I started yelling, "NO" and he finally stopped. We took the next, less-crowded car that came!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Basic Work


Here are some sites to check out for basic vocabulary work. Some of the sites use more vocabulary than was listed yesterday, but most of the words are pretty easy to pick up! I hope you find some activities you can enjoy doing! Remember to keep practicing colors and try to add this new vocabulary. -- has many extra vocab words, but you can click on the link and it will show the words and their meanings

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Basic Vocabulary

Here are a couple of VERY basic vocabulary works to get you started! More to come!

hello Hola
good-bye Adiós
no No
friend Amigo (m), Amiga (f)
thank you Gracias
where is the bathroom? ¿Dónde está el baño?

Once again this site from last week should be very helpful: Basic Spanish

Monday, June 9, 2008

Mexican Wedding Cookies

One year I was teaching, the students made food for a project. This is one of the recipes I kept because it was so good! Enjoy!

1 c butter, softened
3/4 c sifted powdered sugar
2 c all-purpose flour
1 t vanilla (Mexican is the best)
1 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
powdered sugar

1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add 3/4 cup powdered sugar, beating well. Add flour, mixing well. Stir in vanilla and pecans.
2. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool slightly. Roll warm cookies in additional powdered sugar. Cool completely on wire racks.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fiesta Friday

Today I am really having a fiesta!! I am officially done least for now. I've been a Spanish teacher for 6 years (with a 2 year break in the middle to do mission work in Toluca, Mexico). I've really enjoyed teaching, especially these last 3 years. I found out I was pregnant in January (due in September), and I've always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, so it wouldn't work to continue teaching next year! Finals were this week and yesterday was my last day of in-service. Today is summer day #1!
I am so excited about the baby coming...and any future children (which will make my teaching break longer)! Life is going to be so different! I'm going to have time for my coupons, CVS trips, sewing, scrapbooking, getting organized, decorating the baby's room and everything else I've had to put off until the summer! Sure I'll miss my students and the teacher-friends I have, but the future is more exciting right now!!
The only Spanish thing on my mind right now is...SIESTA!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thrifty Thursday

I have done a little traveling while I lived in Mexico and Spain. I have also been to El Salvador and Costa Rica for vacation. There are tons of ways to save money in Spanish-speaking countries and I'd like to share those on Thursdays. I also would like to share my deals for the week (if I have any). If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment!
I have not traveled with a child (since I'm pregnant with our first). While I lived in Mexico, I learned that it was way cheaper to buy where the locals buy instead of going to Wal-Mart or another chain. That meant I would head to the market on market day. What an adventure--tons of people, crowded areas, crazy smells and sights, and pick-pockets. Just make sure that you know what you're looking for and what "section" it might be in. Vegetables are the best to buy here cheap! Even if you're visiting for vacation, make sure you check out the local market just to experience it!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Workout Wednesday

Keep up your skills from yesterday's lesson by going to Colores to practice. Then point to various items that are around your child and ask them "De que color es..." If they are too young for this activity, then point to an item and tell them what color it is in Spanish (review pronunciation from yesterday if you need to).
If you are self-conscious about speaking in Spanish, don't worry about it! If you're saying something wrong and say it in front of a Spanish-speaker, they will probably just be excited that you're trying to learn their language. Your kids won't know until they start taking Spanish in school that they're pronouncing words wrong and that can be corrected easily. Keep trying! It is a slow process, but you'll find that it is worth it.
It is important to be introduced to a second language early. Studies show that the earlier a person tries to learn a language, the easier it will be for them to acquire it (that's why kids can pick up another language faster than adults). Can you imagine when you're driving down the road and your son says, "Verde" when he points to the grass outside?! How exciting!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Translation Tuesday

Since I'm pregnant and have many friends who have little kids, I wanted to start off with some basic vocabulary you can use with your kids. If you have any suggestions, please leave me a comment and I'll make sure and get to them in a future post.

amarillo — yellow
anaranjado — orange
azul — blue
blanco — white
plateado — silver
dorado — golden
gris — gray
marrón (or cafe) — brown
negro — black
morado — purple
rojo — red
rosado (or rosa) — pink
verde — green

Here are some great sites to help you pronounce the words correctly: Learning Spanish
Study Spanish
Basic Spanish Vocabulary

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mexican Dish Monday

Usually I'm trying to keep my cooking time and cost to a minimum. I have a few favorite recipes that I cook pretty often that don't require much time and taste pretty good. I plan to include some of those here as well as some that are new that I haven't tried (but that I plan to try).
Here is an old stand-by in my family--it can be made for 2 or 20.

Crushed Chip Taco Salad
tortilla chips
lettuce and tomatoes
beans, jalapenos or anything else you want to add!
ground beef or turkey browned
Taco seasoning packet (follow directions on packet)
In my family, we crush the chips on a plate, add the seasoned meat and top with whatever we want. It is pretty cheap and can be made quickly for last minute guests. Enjoy!
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