Friday, July 30, 2010

orange camera

This is my point and shoot camera. It is a Casio Exilim. I love this camera. It is pocket sized, it has fun settings called best shots and you can do some pretty advanced things for such a basic camera. I even tricked it out with some parchment paper and tape to diffuse the flash. I carry this camera with me always and bring my Cannon SLR when I know I will need it.

I took this pic from the Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy with this camera:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chicken Gyros

A friend of mine was talking about making her own pitas and tzatziki sauce.  Less then a week later, Jen over at Beantown Baker posted recipes for chicken gyrospita bread and tzatziki sauce.  That was a huge relief because I was dreaming about warm homemade pitas. I didn't follow the chicken recipe (it looked delicious) I just didn't have the ingredients in the house to do it.  I just grilled mine with garlic powder, fresh lemon, black pepper and oregano sprinkled liberally on both sides. My husband makes the best grilled chicken, so I let him work the grill.

It was a very easy meal to make.  I made the tzatziki sauce the day before and made the pitas in the oven while my potatoes cooked.  My hubby sliced the chicken really thin so one chicken breast filled both our pitas.  
That leaves the other 2 breasts in the pack for a quick meal!

Monday, July 26, 2010


I was watching 5 Ingredient Fix last week and the whole show was based on chocolate ganache. YUM.

I learned that a ratio of 1:1 chocolate to creme and
a few hours in the fridge is all it takes to make truffles.

 So that means you can make a little...

... but it's more fun to make a lot.

My favorite part was picking the toppings to roll them in:

salted pistachos,
and salty peanuts.

 I just rolled some in graham cracker and 100 calorie pack Oreos, and it was delicious!

Friday, July 23, 2010

orange purse

This is the first of many orange items in my house. I chose to start here because this is my favorite orange accessory. I got this purse when my husband and I were in Italy a few years ago. We took a road trip to San Gimignano and I just happened upon this bag, I wasn't even looking for a purse. I walked in one store that sold purses and this was on the display. I think it was meant to be. Sadly since I had my son this bag has been sitting patiently on my closet shelf waiting to come out and play again.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

zipper bag: tutorial

I love the zipper aisle in the craft store. I love all the subtle colors and that is what inspired this bag. I know what you're thinking, but it's not orange!! Don't worry, this one was for my sister-in-law who loves pink, you can see my orange one at the end of this post.
The size of the bag you want will decide how many zippers you need. I used 7 zippers, 4 different colors. The zippers were 16" long.
Line up the zippers with the zipper heads in alternating directions.
Sew the zippers together with a 1/4 inch overlap.
Keep overlapping the zippers as you sew them.
All the zippers sewn together.
Unzip 3 of the zippers about 3 inches.
Fold the zippers in half so the zipper heads are on the inside.
I pin the zippers, it makes them much easier to sew.
Sew around the 3 sides.
Do a couple of backstitches over the zippers to make sure they are going to hold together.
Trim the extras. And use one of the unzipped zipper holes to completely unzip another zipper and turn the bag right side out. (wow, say that 3 times fast!)
The best part is you can unzip any zipper to get into the bag!
The pink bag with my orange one. I used shorter zippers for the orange bag.
I made the orange bag a few years ago. It was my going out bag, now it holds my son's toys.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Enchilada Lasagna

I love Mexican food! I am always trying to think of ways to eat Mexican food more often. I made lasagna for dinner a few nights before and it was so good I thought why not make it with enchilada sauce.

I was fully prepared for this to be a cooking fail, but I have to say, it was delicious!

The spinach, beans and chicken layers with the enchilada sauce worked perfectly together. Even my little peanut butter thought so, he kept stealing some off my plate :)

Enchilada Lasagna- serves 4- recipe by me!
5 oz fresh spinach
2 cloves garlic
1 rotisserie chicken shredded
queso fresco
7 tortillas that fit your oven safe pie dish
1 can black beans
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t mexican oregano
1/2 t salt
3T olive oil
16 oz enchilada sauce store bought or homemade
handfull shredded cheese

In a frying pan heat up the cloves of garlic in the olive oil. When you can smell the garlic, add the spinach and cook it down. Drain the spinach and remove the garlic and set aside.

Drain the can of black beans and blend or smash the beans with the cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, mexican oregano, and salt. make sure the spices are well blended. Set aside.

Spray your pie dish with cooking spray. The layers go as follows:
1. Completely cover the tortilla with enchilada sauce on both sides and place on the bottom of the pie dish.
2. Spread half the beans on the tortilla.
3. Take the next tortilla and completely cover the tortilla with enchilada sauce on both sides and place on top of the beans.
4. Cover the tortilla with shredded chicken.
5. Layer the next tortilla that is completely covered in enchilada sauce on top of the chicken. (see a pattern?)
6. Half of the spinach goes on the tortilla along with the crumbled queso fresco.
7. Tortilla covered in enchilada sauce.
8. Beans.
9. Tortilla covered in enchilada sauce.
10. Chicken.
11. Tortilla covered in enchilada sauce.
12. Spinach and queso fresco.
13. Tortilla and top with the remaining enchilada sauce.

I know you are thinking "that's a lot of layers!" If I learned anything from my trip to Italy, more layers is better. It is true for lasagna and it is true for this dish too :)

Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes covered in aluminum foil. Uncover and sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake uncovered for 5 more minutes. Slice like a pie and serve hot.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Enchilada Sauce

When I was pregnant and visiting my Mom in AZ we went to a magical restaurant called Si Senior. I was craving spicy, crunchy, melty and my meal more than covered my craving.
enchilada, tamale, taco, and chili con carne with red hatch valley chili sauce

It was so good we had to go back again the next day for lunch. I was so happy eating it and then so sad that this restaurant was not down the street from my house. So that started my quest to make my own enchilada sauce. I have made this sauce a few ways and this is my favorite and not too spicy. I go back to Si Senior every time I visit my Mom and I think my sauce can hold up to their sauce.

Note: This makes a lot of sauce. It is work, so I like to make a lot and dirty all those dishes less often.

Enchilada Sauce- makes many meals of sauce to freeze- recipe by me!
4 bags dried New Mexican Chilies
2 large jars salsa i use store brand
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic
medium onion
mexican chili powder
mexican oregano
chipotle chili powder
ancho chili powder
garlic powder

Rip the stems off the dried chili peppers and discard. Place peppers in a large pot. Cover the peppers with just enough water. Bring the water to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Don't worry about the seeds, we will be straining the sauce. Place a small lid on top of the peppers to weigh them down and keep them under the water. Simmer for 40 minutes or until peppers are soft. Take the lid out and let the peppers cool for 15 minutes.

Using tongs and a ladle place a few peppers with some of the cooking liquid in a blender. DO THIS IN VERY SMALL AMOUNTS. IF YOU FILL THE BLENDER TOO MUCH THE HOT LIQUID WILL SPIT OUT AND BURN YOU! Blend all the peppers and keep them in a separate bowl.

Return the now empty large pot to medium heat. Melt butter and olive oil. Roughly chop onions and add them to the pan. Add the garlic and simmer until onions are soft but not brown. Turn off Heat. Add salsa and stir everything together. Using a ladle add small amounts of the salsa and onions to the blender and blend until smooth. Place blended salsa/onions in bowl.

Put a mesh strainer over your pot. Strain the blended peppers and blended salsa/onions into the pot. Stir a spatula in the strainer to make the sauce strain faster. You will need to scrape out the pepper skins and seeds from the mesh strainer every so often to make it go faster.

Now that the salsa and peppers have been strained into the pot, return the pot to medium heat. Once the sauce is at a simmer add the spices. I start with about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of each of the spices and then add more to taste. If your sauce is still on the thin side, cook it down a little it should be the consistency of BBQ sauce, but not too thick.

Separate evenly between 4-5 containers and freeze.

Sorry there are no pics. The next time I make the sauce, I will update the post.

the beginning

I have been thinking about starting a blog for a while and I decided that now is the time. I really wanted a place I could share my crafty ideas and all those recipes everyone is always asking me for. I also have an alarming amount of orange objects in my house, it's something that people comment on when they come over the first time. After like 10 minutes I hear, "you really like orange, don't you?" Well I do, I love orange, I love to make things and I especially like to make things for the people I love.

Being a stay at home mom is so much fun, but I need something that is just for me. I need a space that is mine where I can post my recipes, my crafty ideas and to see just how much orange is in this house. I am sure there is no such thing as too much orange! I'm not sure what my future holds, I definitely see myself going back to teach art because I really love it. But for now, I'm going to enjoy my time at home with my little peanut butter and post some ideas to this space while he sleeps. I am going to take advantage of the naps while I still can!
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