Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Finished Baby Quilt!

So in between working on spring sampler blocks for Cora's Quilts, I have managed to get the quilt for my cousin's sweet new baby finished... finally!

I love this pattern... mostly because I created it myself. :) I am contemplating making the pattern available for sale on my Etsy Shop, so if there is any interest, definitely let me know!

So I was told the nursery colors were light blue and kelly green, but I had to throw in some darker blue, too, so that it looks like Seahawks colors!

I love the fabrics in this quilt, too... kelly green for the stripes, but the green/white polka dot with the blue/light blue polka dots, and the soft chevrons with the "loud" chevrons... and then the little alligators, which are so stinkin' cute!

I did a simple stitch in the ditch quilting on this one, and used more of the soft chevron for the binding. I just love how it turned out!

So this week I hand-stitched the quilt tag in the bottom right corner of the back, and shipped it off to it's new home. I hope it gets lots of love, just like the little guy that owns it now!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring Sampler Block #2

I have finished my second block in Cora's Quilts Spring Sampler quilt-along. I am really enjoying playing with the batik fabrics!

Block #2 is called "Beacon".

I know it isn't the most fabulous photo, but at least I managed to hide the mess that is my sewing room!

So now I have blocks 1 and 2, and next week will be block 3... I can't wait!

Okay - this one was short and sweet but I will have more for you shortly, I promise!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Paleo Baked Chicken Enchiladas

I am so excited to share this one with you! I did some kitchen experiments today and created a recipe for Chicken Enchiladas that is 100% Paleo. It is not completed Anti-Inflammatory friendly, since it does use chipotle peppers, but if you are okay with the peppers, this dish does not disappoint!

I used my crockpot for the first part of this recipe because I find that when I cook my chicken breasts on low for 6 hours in the crockpot, the shredding becomes really easy! The chicken stays moist and tender and doesn't dry out. Plus, it slow cooks in the enchilada sauce, which infuses it with flavor. Yummo!

 If you are paleo or gluten-sensitive, make sure that the brand of chipotle peppers with adobo sauce are gluten-free and sugar-free. These differ by brand, so definitely read the labels! Chop a couple of the chipotle peppers.

Add the chipotle peppers and a couple teaspoons of the sauce (depending on how much of the rich adobo flavor you want) to your tomato sauce (again, make sure yours is sugar-free!), and add garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and ground chili pepper. I used adobo chili pepper 'cause I like it!

Stir it all together and pour it into the crockpot over your chicken breasts. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Remove the chicken breasts from the sauce and shred. I use the two forks method... I think it goes pretty quick and easy that way.

Take a head of cauliflower and cut it up into florets. Put them in the food processor and pulse until it forms a rice-like consistency.

Voile! Set aside... we'll get to that in a minute!

You know me... I added an onion, 'cause that's what I do with everything I cook! Then I added the onion to about a tablespoon of olive oil and sauteed it until translucent. Then I added some spices (more cumin, oregano, cilantro, black pepper, more garlic) and sauteed for a couple of minutes.

This is where the rice comes in. Take the rice and mix it with about 1/2 cup of the reserved enchilada sauce in your crockpot. Then spread it in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Use a spatula and tamp it down. This will serve as the base for your enchiladas.

Add the shredded chicken and the remainder of the enchilada sauce from the crockpot to your saute pan. Stir it all together.

Pour it into the baking dish on top of the cauliflower "rice" and spread it evenly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and let it bake an additional 30 minutes.

It comes out absolutely delicious!

I served mine with avocado slices. Mike had his with sour cream, cheese (you can tell he doesn't have any dairy issues!) and some tapatio (because he puts that s*it on everything)!

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Paleo Baked Chicken Enchiladas

2-3 small chipotle peppers, chopped, plus 2-3 tsp. adobo sauce (make sure you use a gluten-free brand)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp. ground chili pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
pinch sea salt 
3 C tomato sauce, no added salt or sugar

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 head cauliflower, riced
Fresh cilantro, chopped (garnish)
Avocado, sliced (garnish)

Place the chicken breasts in the crockpot on low. Mix the sauce ingredients together and pour over the top of the chicken. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.

Remove the chicken breasts from the crockpot and shred. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Dice up the onion and add it to the olive oil in the pan. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add spices. While these are sauteing, cut the head of cauliflower into florets and "rice" them in your food processor.

Mix the riced cauliflower with about 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce in the crockpot. Spread the rice in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. 

Add the chicken to the saute pan and pour the remaining enchilada sauce over it. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. Then pour the chicken mixture over the cauliflower, using a spatula to spread it evenly.

Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook an additional 30 minutes. 

Put whatever toppings you desire on it, and enjoy!

Nutritional Information:
  • Calories: 162.7
  • Total Fat: 2.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 46.8 mg
  • Sodium: 711.4 mg
  • Total Carbs: 15.8 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4.6 g
  • Protein: 20.9 g

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Quilt Along, Getting Caught Up, and Some Random Giraffes

I'm back... with a quilt finish, a quilt-along started, and a lot of catching up to do! I apologize for my absence (again!). I have been meaning to write and share some updates, but my father-in-law passed away in March and things have been a little off kilter lately. So here is my getting caught up:

Paint Nite:
We went on a Paint Nite for my friend Chana's birthday. I don't know if you have ever been on one of these, but they ply you with alcohol, give you a canvas, some brushes and some paints, and then ply you with more alcohol. They also give instructions, but depending on where you are sitting and how much alcohol you have had is whether or not you pay any attention to those instructions! In any case, the night that we went, the theme was giraffes. I am sharing this because I truly have no artistic talent at all, but with enough wine, even I can paint (well... kind of)!

Quilt Retreat:
I went on a quilt retreat with my friend Chris. This is the annual retreat to the Wild Rose Quilt Shop in Orting, WA. This year I took two projects with me. The first project was a quilt for a grade school in my area. Each year they do a history section on Colonial life and settling in the Americas. Each child is given a fabric square and asked to create a picture of something that they learned. The teacher then gave the squares to me, and I put them in a quilt.

This quilt went up for auction to raise funds for the school and brought in $300! I feel lucky to have been a part of that.

The second project that I brought is for my cousin, Sam and her new baby boy. I still need to finish the hand-binding, so you will get more pictures when it is all done and shipped to her, but here is the sneak peak:

Quilt Along:
I am currently taking part in a Quilt-Along through Cora's Quilts. I have done pattern testing for Shelley with Cora's Quilts before, and I am excited to be doing this quilt-along. I am learning some new techniques for flying geese, and am playing with colors in some beautiful batik fabric. The pattern is called Spring Sampler and is made up of 9 different blocks.

I have finished my first block (Block #1 - Pyramids), and I am excited to share it!

Thanks for being patient with me... I will try to get some more posts out soon!