Monday, February 21, 2011

A new food blog!

I have a tendency to become infatuated with food blogs.  First it was Pioneer Woman.  Then it was Noble Pig.  And I will always and forever have a love affair with Wandering Chopsticks

Confession: the Pho Bo broth is cooking on my stove right now.

The only downfall is that most of the food blogs don't cater to healthier eating.  You might occasionally get a light recipe thrown in the mix but the vast majority of the recipes do nothing for your health.  That was until I discovered Skinny Taste

Gina is out of this world awesome!  I have a group of friends on Facebook who share my appreciation for ST.  We have a group and post reviews as we try each recipe.  It is nice to get a friend's perspective on recipes and not have to try every recipe yourself.

I have made a few of her recipes but tonight's was by far the best.

Peruvian Roasted Chicken with Aji Verde

Don't let the title fool you, this was simple.  I did split the whole chicken in half.  Save yourself time and buy a whole chicken cut up or ask your butcher to cut a whole chicken up for you.  Make sure you have a roasting bag or some other vessel that can fit a whole chicken and marinate overnight.  You can also make the sauce the night before. 

The day of cooking, all you need to do is throw it in the oven and your done, besides occasional basting.  I cooked the chicken skin up in a metal baking dish. I basted every 15 minutes or so. Probably a bit more frequently towards the end. Basting is KEY in this recipe.

There is beer in the marinade.  I used a St Arnold's Spring Bock because my husband is a beer snob and that is what we have in the house.  I think a Corona would be great too.  If you aren't a regular beer drinker, check your grocery store for single serving bottles.  I know that my local HEB has single Coronas for sale.

The Aji Verde.


The Aji Verde. 

Even if that shouldn't be capitalized, I'm capitalizing it. 

If you do nothing else, make this sauce and put it on grilled chicken breast, eggs in the morning, tacos, a tortilla chip, or a spoon and drink.  The sauce was the highlight of the meal.  And it isn't spicy.  My 18 month old son ate it.  It is garlicy though, so eat it with people you love and that love you.

I used 3 cloves of garlic instead of one because that's just how we do things in this house, when it comes to garlic.  Also, I used FF Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

Here is how I served it:

(excuse the smudged lens)

That would be the thigh/leg combo and sauce on top.  It is a beautiful color of green.  I served it with red quinoa and steamed vegetables.  I then proceeded to dump more sauce on my plate.

Next time your grocery store has whole chickens on sale or even split breasts (HEB has them for $1 a pound this week), buy one and make this.  You won't regret it!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

E-Book Clutches

My biggest seller right now is the e-book clutch.

I was lucky enough to have a friend ask me to make one for her. I took the project and ran with it. Trusting as she is, I had the freedom to make anything for her as long as her Kindle 3 fit into it. Looking online for patterns got me no where. No one seemed to have exactly what I was looking for. So, I threw together a few different patterns and came up with this e-book clutch:

(Pretend there is a funky orange button on there, I didn't get a picture with it before sending.)

The best part is when you open it.

My friend is a HUGE Beatles fan. To quote her, she "squealed like a little kid" when she opened it and saw the inside. I have to say I was scared. You never know if your vision for someone is the same vision they have for themselves.

She loved it though. The outside and inside fabric. It really was a HUGE confidence boost for me. I absolutely love when I'm given the ability to paint a person's personality through fabric. It truly makes my heart sing, when I get it just right.

I have since made 2 more for friends and have another 4 to go. I bought some fabrics that just scream clutch. So, expect to see many more. You can see the e-book clutches I currently have for sale here.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Quilter's Confession

Now, I'm going to do my best to not generalize too much. I know there must be one or two neat quilters out there. However, for most of us, when knee deep in 10 projects, we tend to be a little messy. And heck, when aren't we knee deep in 10 projects? I have more projects now than I do life left.

So, here it is. Here is my dungeon, room of madness, laboratory, where the magic happens...

(Feel free to ask me what anything in these pictures is and how it may or may not relate to quilting.)

As a quilter, we really do stress neatness and perfection in our work. Seams must be sewn straight! A quarter inch allowance MUST be a quarter inch. We use 40 rulers and a ruler lined mat to make perfect cuts. Neatness and perfection is a MUST....except when it comes to the room in which we work.

It isn't on purpose. This mess comes by accident. There are so many loose threads, flying pieces of fabric and the 20 minutes of digging through your perfectly ordered stash because you just *know* that perfect fabric is there somewhere.

Eh, er....I never found that fabric. It is either in that other stack or I used it up.
I need to re-organize. I need to move some things around and add a few more shelves in some sort of fashion. I have quilted more in the past 3 months, than I have in years and the mess is showing just that. I have come to the point that I can no longer work effectively.

I bought some of this:

That would be two pieces of 4 ft by 4 ft corrugated plastic. I am going to cut them down to 6 in by 12 in pieces and finish up a project I already started over the weekend.

Look at how beautifully that fabric is folded. I will arrange by color/pattern, etc later. I just need to get it wrapped first. As I get that done, I can figure out exactly what my storage needs are going to be. I need to be done by next week. I have lots of projects to get started and to finish.

So, I'm on a quilting hiatus for about 5 days.  I'll try to take pictures as I go and give you more detail, as to how I ended up organizing everything.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's of Yesterday...

Valentine's Day is very different from what it used to be, for me. Heck, every day is different from what it used to be. Kids just do that. It isn't a bad thing. It isn't horrible. It just is. I saw a couple today walking through the store hand in hand. They were young and, I'm assuming, college age. It took me back to when Rick and I were first dating. I remember those days so fondly. We met in college. We would walk around the store hand in hand, all sorts of lovey dovey. Our Valentine's Days were surrounded with as much sappy sweetness as expected. Flowers, chocolates, love songs, slow dances, and on and on and on.

And while those feelings are just as strong now, as they were then, we just don't have the time to display them like we did. *If* we are in a store together, there are usually two small children with us. Instead of walking hand in hand, one of us is attempting to control the children and the other is trying to quickly throw things into a cart and get us the heck out the store, ASAP! There is no more wandering around, gazing deeply into each other's eyes, and dreaming of the day we are married with kids. That day has arrived like a thousand galloping horses!

And while it never quite turns out just like you expect, I have to say Rick and I ended up pretty lucky.

We have this sweet boy who just smiles non-stop:

This incredibly talented little girl is going to do a kick ass job decorating my nursing home room, when I'm old:

Sometimes I feel bad that Rick and I aren't still those two college kids anymore. I definitely long for the pre-kids Saturdays, where we slept in, laid in bed til noon and watched way too much MTV Room Raiders.

Friday night is our date night. Maybe I can find some Room Raiders on DVD or something and we can recreate those Saturday mornings....

NAH! I'm not turning down a kid free meal for lazy bed time.

I did get these beauties this morning:

The colors are perfect. I love purples mashed with yellow and orange. They are quilt inspiring.

And Emma and I turned this:

into this:

We used a Tasty Kitchen recipe. You can check it out here. I used semi sweet/white chocolate swirl chips and coconut creme pudding. And I refuse to admit how much has been eaten.

My Valentine's Day definitely are not the Valentine's Day of yesteryear. And I couldn't be happier about it.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Binding, binding, binding....

What else is a girl to do when it is beyond frigid outside? This is Texas, right? Because it feels like the North Pole right about now.

So, I'm going to put in a steamy love story.

And bind my night away.