Saturday, September 07, 2013

Flour Tortilla's

I've been doing a lot of things lately to find ways to save money.  One thing I've been doing is a lot of cooking.  Instead of buying a lot of mixes or pre-made food, I've been making stuff from scratch.

Since my son started school, we've have breakfast burrito's almost ever morning.  So, this week, I decided to try my hand at making some flour tortilla's.

I told one of my friends at work about it, and he gave me the recipe that this family really likes that he got from the Homesick Texan.

They're very good.  They're not thin tortilla's but they're a bit thick, but they tasted very good.  My family really enjoyed them.

Today, I decided to try a recipe I got from The Pioneer Woman's site.

These are much more along the lines of what I buy when I go to the grocery store to buy flour tortillas.  They're thin and seem to roll up well.  We've had several of these as well, and we've enjoyed these too.

I asked my wife, what she thought, and which she liked the best.  She liked them both.  She thought that depending on what you were going to have them with would determine which she'd want us to make.

So, there are 2 really good recipes for you.  1 thick, and 1 thin!  Take your pick, but you're winning either way!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Refrigerator Problems

Several years ago when we moved into this house, we bought a new Refrigerator.  We got a GE bottom-freezer refrigerator with water/ice in the door.

It's been a good refrigerator, but earlier this year, we started having a few minor problems with it.  I'd never gotten around to messing with trying to solve them till this weekend.

Water under produce bins

We've had problems with water collecting under the produce bins to the point it comes out of the fridge and either down to the floor, or into the freezer.  It has been annoying, but not a lot.  We'd pull out the bins, and clean out the water.

Ice maker not working properly

Well, it didn't completely stop working.  But it might only make 1 tray of ice a day, if that.  This has been more troublesome.  We've had to start buying ice and either fill the bin or just leave it in the bottom freezer to scoop out.


Today, I had some time, to I've attempted some repairs.  First on tap:

Water under produce bins

Initially, I thought it was related to the ice maker as I thought it started about the same time.  But after I did some research, it appears that it's almost always related to the evaporator coil drain.  I had read several board were people were describing the problem, but it wasn't until I found this video that I decided to give it a try.

Though the video talks about, as did the message boards, having ice in the drain hole, I never found any.  I made sure I had good drainage, cleaned up other ice buildup in the area and put the fridge back together.

I feel pretty comfortable that I've corrected the problem.

Ice maker not working properly

After tackling the drain problem, I moved on to see what I might can find with the ice maker.

I pulled out the ice tray in the door, and looked closely at the ice maker.

There was a lever under the ice maker, a test button, and that was about it, and a tab at the top of the ice maker.

I started with the tab.  I pulled it down and was able to slide out the ice maker, but only a couple inches because of the water supply lines.  I turned the ice maker a bit trying to look at it, but didn't have much luck.  So, I slid it back in till the tab locked into place.  I have found a site that explains how to remove the ice maker.

I looked at the lever next.  It pulls down several inches and immediately goes back up.  I was able to push it up just a fraction of an inch.  I believe this arm is what tells the ice maker to stop making ice.  When it gets full, the ice pushes up on the arm stopping the ice maker.

Last step, I took a look at the test button.  I pushed it a few times and nothing seemed to happen.  I did some more research and found a video that didn't really help too much, except it said to push and hold the test button for 5 seconds to "reset" the ice maker.  I did that, and little bit later, I heard the ice maker empty.  After that, I'm feeling a bit more confident.  However, while typing this, I found another article that said if pressing and holding the test button for 15 seconds, I should hear the ice maker cycle and that if I don't, I may need a new ice maker.

So, it appears that the jury is still out on whether or not I fixed the ice maker.  I'm hoping so as I don't want to buy a new one.

I'll update more as we see how well (if at all) these repairs work.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

First Day of Eight Grade!

Well, it's that time of year again... School Time! 8th grade!  Big dog on campus and last year of middle school!

As usual, you can click on the pictures to make them larger!

8th Grade

7th Grade

6th Grade

5th Grade


4th Grade

3rd Grade

2nd Grade

1st Grade



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cutting the cable

A few weeks ago we decided to drop our Dish Network.  We enjoyed Dish.  I wasn't displeases with them, but we were spending over $110/month.  That money could be used in many other places.  And in my opinion we just didn't spend enough time watching it to justify the expense.
So, a couple of years ago, I found an interesting YouTube video on making an antenna to pick up the over the air signals.  So far it's not too bad.  But we've still not watched a lot.

Besides over the air, we have Netflix (disk and streaming) which helps a lot.  There are so many shows and TV series that I've either never watched, or never watched all of them.  Netflix alone can help fill in a lot of the gaps.

We also have a Roku.  A Roku 2 XD actually.  With it, there are tons of free programming we're able to get.  There are also pay channels we can get (like my MLS package which is great, but only if you like soccer).

Because I have a Playstation 3, I watch You Tube videos on our TV as well.  You'd be surprised at what you can find on You Tube.

Both the PS3 and the Roku allows access to Amazon on Demand.  Another great way to get movies or TV series that you might want to watch!

Several years ago, I had bought a piece of software called PlayOn.  It's a server that runs on one of my computers and will stream movies to it from websites (like ABC, NBC, Syfy, etc.), then serve them back up to a machine that can connect to the media server (PS3 and the Roku both can do this).  I've never used it much, but hope to now take advantage of it much more.

One other option is my laptop.  It has HDMI out which will allow me to stream TV shows from my laptop and watch them on the TV.  Which I plan on doing for Duck Dynasty if all goes well!

While the Roku and PS3 both cost money (one time fees), as well as some of the channels you can get (like my MLS channel which is a once a year fee).  I already had spent money on those items on top of our Satellite bill!

So, we're just a few weeks into it, and I like it.  And I love the money I'm saving!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Family Pictures

I love to take photo's.  Usually, I love scenery photo's the best, though my wife loves friends and family.  Well, this year I decided to take my son's photo that we try to buy every year.  Normally, we get them from the school, either in the Fall or Spring.  This year, his pictures were horrible.  He was wearing his big, puffy blue coat during the Fall and some ratty old t-shirt for the Spring.

Anyway, my photography has been getting better, so we decided I'd just take pictures this year.  And personally, I think they came out great.  I took pictures of my son, my grandson, and my wife.  My bride even took some of me and the boys.

We took them on Easter, and had a great time doing it.  I expect to take more in the future!

Picture Details
Focal length 40 mm
exposure 1/100
ISO 100

Picture Details
Focal length 50 mm
exposure 1/160
ISO 100

Picture Details
Focal length 50 mm
exposure 1/125
ISO 100