A post in which I promise not to mention my adorable child.

We are living in dirt.

Some friends did some digging for us while we were on vacation in the Wild Wild West, and, since returning, we have been living in dirt. The basement needed insulation around its entirety which left us with 20 feet of dirt surrounding the entire house. Abe thinks its fantastic… absolutely fantastic. Digging and rolling and mud and dust clouds… fanTAStic. And the chickens! The chickens think they’re in heaven. Chicken heaven… they scratch out little bath pods and fluff themselves like there is no tomorrow. You can almost see them smiling. Curt is thrilled because this brings us one step closer to a front and back porch before cold weather comes…AND he gets to use big machinery. Oh, the joy in this boy’s face.

The only person not enjoying this– I don’t even have front steps, people!- is me. I’ll be the first to admit I’m no saint when it comes to cleaning. Country living, having a child, and being married to me has taught Curt to re-evaluate his expectations considerably…but I’m no slob. Major cleaning/picking up happens at least once a week- usually on Saturday mornings (the result of childhood brainwashing). This whole situation has driven me to my wits end, which wasn’t far, I know, but I am there.

All this to say, there is dirt everywhere…sand and grit and dust everywhere.
And I have decided I don’t care.
Because I’m getting a porch and a screen…someday.

So, please do come over.
But, as I told Jo and KMoore once, “Make sure you wear shoes.”
Everyday, my brillance astounds me.


And now…oh, man, are you gonna love me for this one…

The Ultimate Enchilada Recipe as published by Texas Monthly and introduced by my sister-in-law Sarah. It is now a Mulder favorite. The green sauce is fabulous all by itself for dip.

*Don’t be scared by the ingredients…I promise the peppers and tomatillos can be found near the green bell peppers in the produce department. They’ll be labeled and everything. It’s super simple.*

Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde
aka Ode to Joy
salsa verde:
2 #s tomatillos, dehusked and washed
(They kinda look like green tomatoes in a corn husk.)
1 medium yellow onion
6 serrano peppers or 3 jalapenos
(We use 4 serranos for medium heat.)
2 T. canola oil
¾ cup fresh cilantro
salt to taste

Place tomatillos, onion, & peppers in a skillet and drizzle with 1 T. of canola oil. Roast for 10 minutes. Add skillet mixture to blender with cilantro & salt. Heat remaining 1 T. of canola oil in the skillet. Add blender sauce to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside.

chicken enchiladas:
2 ½ #s chicken (Buy a nice roasted one at the grocery deli and be easy on yourself.)
¼ cup butter
1/3 cup diced green pepper
1 1/3 cup diced yellow onion
¾ cup diced fresh tomatoes
1 t. minced garlic
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 ½ t. cumin
¾ t. oregano
¾ cup whole tomatoes, pureed with juice
¾ cup canola oil
16-20 corn tortillas (6” round)
1 # Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Boil chicken and shred. In a 2 qt. pot, melt butter. Add bell pepper, onion, and diced fresh tomatoes. Cook until soft.

To pot, add shredded chicken, spice mixture, and pureed tomatoes. Cook for 15 minutes.

In a skillet, heat canola oil. Using tongs, place tortillas in one at a time and cook until soft. Stack on a plate with a paper towel in between each one. (This is so the tortialls don’t break and it totally works. You must use corn tortillas at least the first time…they’re so good.)

Assemble enchiladas. Pour verde salsa and shredded cheese on top. Bake until cheese melts. Of course, this freezes beautifully, so freeze half for another day.


Happy Labor Day weekend to you all!

Be safe and eat good food.

See? I didn’t mention her and her cute adorableness once.

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

13 responses to “A post in which I promise not to mention my adorable child.

  • miss christine

    Oh my goodness! When I came here, the library picture on the side of your site was featuring ‘If You Give a Mouse a Cookie’, which was one of my absolutely favourite books as a kid! I’m so glad you’re raising her right… 🙂

  • The VanderPloeg's

    Kate – you are a saint to live with the dirt. I, on the other hand, couldn’t do it. period. I’d have to move out or something. Bless your heart – and way to stay focused on the prize…a porch!!!

    Can’t wait until we are ready for a trip out to Texas North – perhaps the middle of the month or so.

    For now, we are trying to rest.

  • The VanderPloeg's

    Kate – you are a saint to live with the dirt. I, on the other hand, couldn’t do it. period. I’d have to move out or something. Bless your heart – and way to stay focused on the prize…a porch!!!

    Can’t wait until we are ready for a trip out to Texas North – perhaps the middle of the month or so.

    For now, we are trying to rest.

  • The VanderPloeg's

    Kate – you are a saint to live with the dirt. I, on the other hand, couldn’t do it. period. I’d have to move out or something. Bless your heart – and way to stay focused on the prize…a porch!!!

    Can’t wait until we are ready for a trip out to Texas North – perhaps the middle of the month or so.

    For now, we are trying to rest.

  • OurMrsMikrut

    Um…I for one, am missing Rylie today.

    Also, I am on vacation this week with no agenda…may I invite myself over for a brief visit to personally inspect the dirt situation? And to SEE this TexasNorth of which you speak?

    I realize that I’m seeing you on Saturday. I do. But I’m trying to make the rounds to all my babymama friends on the outskirts in town, which includes a set of brand new twin boys in Clarksville.

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    ummmm is your house red? cause i think i love it, our is so plain and bla

    why no rylie, i agree w/ mrs. mikrut and miss her prescence, i wsill just go watch her play in abe’s water again…

  • KatieKate

    My house IS red! Red metal siding…it’s fabulous. I love it. Rylie did make a new video for YouTube- I am glad you are enjoying it.

    Laura…you may come over ANYTIME. We’re on Montcalm smack halfway between 6 Mile and 7 Mile. Lincoln Lake is the funnest way to come…and you can stop and get watermelon at the road side stand on the way!

    Dirt, Jo. Dirt. Just think of it. Dirt EVERYWHERE. You mop- and there’s dirt. You sweep- and there’s dirt. Abe comes in… DIRT. You would die.

  • Becky and Jeremiah Swann

    i have never been the clean organized person either, it always amazes me when that side shines through and I get picky about messes, I guess adulthood brings it out…so weird…adults…who are we kidding?! 🙂

  • sunday

    oh man katie you are a much better person then i. dirt, where is my swiffer! i might just have to swiffer my house b/c of the dirt at yours! i miss rylie.

  • Shanna, Adam and Gracen

    mas adorableness, por favor.

    we also live with dirt. really it’s sand. the grass refuses to grow in the appropriate areas, yet takes over where it should not. the particulates are sanding down my hardwood floors. i’ve been at war with the cleaning of them, but am losing dreadfully. i’m working on teaching gracen how to handmop the floors. so far, she’s very good at it.

  • CortneyTree

    Ok, I have a technical question on the enchiladas, since I usually use flour tortilla when I cook (I’m going to make these for my in-laws next week). When you’re assembling the enchiladas, do you tuck all the ends so the filling is secure like a burrito, or do you leave the ends open and just roll? Since they’re all cooking in a big pan together, I figured it wouldn’t matter if the filling oozes, but I wanted to get this recipe right, being the world’s best and all!

  • KatieKate

    no tucking on enchiladas…

    you’ll buy the small round ones (like 6″) so there won’t be room anyway

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    I am seriously trying to figure out how WE can get red siding on our house. then we have to re-do our roof but I LOVE the red…

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