Minggu, 31 Juli 2011

Creative Pasadena: Bead Show and Around Town

Beautiful Pasadena - just a quick drive my home and where my sissy lives - is one of my favorite shopping places.  They have a Container Store (my office is elfa), a giant Forever 21 (I call it forever 40) and some creative finds.

Our first stop was the Pasadena Bead Show.  It was loaded with lots of great items.  We were a little overwhelmed by all the colors and sparkles.  I picked up a small carved elephant and stand of red quartz for my sister.

As you can see it was beads galore.  They had classes and make-and-takes too!

I really fell in love with these bracelets made from WireKnitz.   

I love this one too!  The material is soooo soft to wear and can be crafted into thousands of designs.  The material is copper wire tubular knit.  You can stretch, stitch, roll, bead, braid, weave, layer and shape it - nothing goes to waste!  Really cool.

I love all the colors!!! The fine folks a WireKnitZ have a list of retailers who stock the product.  Have a peek at all the colors here.

Lauren, aka The Chain Maille Lady was busy teaching classes when we popped by the booth for a few snaps. 
This is a signature piece (I think it was called the centipede spine) - It felt amazing on...so slinky.

How about this head-dress!  Wow that is tons of work!  All handmade.

I really need this ring from Cool and Interesting.  It was fabulous and the young lady who was helping me (she was about 8) was so cute and she knew everything about the pieces. 

For foodies....This is a must have ring!  Also from Cool and Interesting.

My sissy picked up the gold petal trio necklace.  Also from Cool and Interesting

We spotted Gypsy Dragon they were a vintage buttons and cabochon dealer. 

This drawer pull was made with Art Glass Clay by Paula Radke

She has lots of colors.  Really fun stuff!!

Love the look of the finished pieces.

Next stop was Zinnia.  A curious creative shop, that is loaded with fun stuff, handmade goodies, awesome cards and inspiring finds.  I will be back!  Oh and they have classes too - see the list here.

Erin is exploring the goodies.

Blush Blush.... I heart Mod Podge and Plaid!

 Next stop Common Thread.  What a fun surprise! 

 They have a cute little gift and book boutique.

I spied my friend's new book!

 They have sewing classes and open stitch labs for those who already know how to sew.

Southwest Rotisserie Chicken Chili: two-time 1st Place winner

 Southwest Rotisserie Chicken Chili
with Fresh Squeezed Lime and Sour Cream

Chili was a world I started exploring a few years ago when I got a vacuum sealer.  (oh how I heart my sealer)  Hubby loved gobbling up a bowl in the winter and I loved experimenting with different varieties. I could make a huge batch and freeze it in 2-people servings.  We could have chili for months with the mess for only 1 afternoon.

Along that same time my sis started hosting a chili cook-off.  She usually has about 12 competitors.  I have taken 2nd palce for my frito-pie chili ((hungry just thinking about it)) and won 1st place with my Southwest Rotisserie Chicken Chili.

Last night we had a chili cook-off to celebrate my friend Rob's return to the USA after being away on a film for 8 months.  We had three entries....Steve P.'s beef chili, Steve K.'s turkey chili, and my Southwest Rotisserie Chicken Chili.  All the chili's were amazingly good.  When the scores were added up......I came in first with 25, Steve K. in second with 24 and Steve P came in 3rd with 19.  As you can see it was a close match!

Let's get cooking!!!!
 Makes 18 servings!

What is the secret???  Salsa Verde and Fresh Squeezed Lime.

Rotisserie Chicken - Large
3 large Onions - chopped
6 Cloves Garlic - crushed
2 Carrot - chopped
6 Peppercorns
1 Palm Full of Italian Seasoning 
8 Cups of Water
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Can Tomatillas - 12oz.
2 Cans Chopped Tomatoes - 14oz.
1 Can Diced Green Chilies - 7 oz.
1 Tablespoon Oregano
1 Teaspoon Ground Corrianader
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Jar Salsa Verde
1 Tub Fresh Garlic Salsa
4 Ears Fresh Corn
2 Cans White Beans (great northern) - 15 oz.
Salt and Pepper
On Hand: 1 Can of Chicken Stock
Toppings: Fritos, Cheese, Chopped Onion, Sour Cream, Lime

Begin with a large size rotisserie chicken.  Remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin and any strings.

 Chop the chicken into small pieces and set aside.

Make the stock.  Place the bones, 1 large chopped onion with the skins, carrots, 2 cloves crushed garlic, Italian seasoning and peppercorns into a medium stock pot.  Cover with 8 cups of water.

Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 2 hours.  Strain the bones and vegetables from the stock.  Let the stock cool for about 30 min and skim the fat from the top of the pot.

 In a large soup pot, saute 2 chopped onions and the remaining garlic in vegetable oil.  Stir and cook until the onions are soft and semi-translucent.

 Chop one can of tomatillas and add to the pot. Discard any liquid.

 Add two cans of chopped tomatoes to the pot.

 Add one can of chopped green chilies. 

The herb measurements are only a start.  I like to taste along the way and add a little more.  If you make the day before (which I suggest) then you might want to add a little more spice the next day.

 Add the 4 cups of the stock as prepared in step 3 and the herbs to the pot.

 Add Salsa Verde and Garlic Salsa.

 Remove the corn from the cob by slicing the kernels downward.  Discard the cobs and add the corn to the pot.

 If you are using canned beans, rinse them twice before adding to the pot.  Once they are added to the pot, carefully stir the chili so you don't break the beans.  Broken beans can make a mushy chili.

Add the chopped chicken to the pot.

Add salt and pepper, simmer for 4 hours on low.  If you are making ahead of time, cool completely before placing in the fridge.  The next day, if needed, add a can of chicken stock to the chili.  Add more herbs and salt/pepper.

Serve with a teaspoon of sour cream and fresh lime.

 Other toppings or chili mix-ins: Fritos, Cheese, Chopped Onion, Sour Cream, Lime.


Jumat, 29 Juli 2011

Kitchen Tools: Hand Juicers

Nothing better than fresh squeezed Orange Juice.  We are blessed to have fruit bearing trees in the neighborhood that produce so many oranges that if you pick them and squeeze them then the juice is yours for free!  We have a huge avocado tree that produces more fruit than you cold eat in a lifetime so we swap avocados for lemons, oranges, figs, plums and tomatoes.  Pretty good deal!

I love my hand juicer!  I have a smaller one for lemons and limes and it is equally as good.  This one I bought at a Mexican grocery store for $9.00.  I have seen them at Sur La Table and Amazon has some too.  The lime squeezer works great for making cocktails.

You can get so much juice from an easy press.

I also heart my Kitchen Aid non-electric juicer.  I can't find this exact style for sale anywhere.....???  Odd cause it is a good one.  Lots of other styles on the market that are similar.  Target has one by OXO.  This style works good for large over-sized oranges.

Oh man.....those sliced oranges are making me thirsty!