Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chicken Fajitas

Just before our family left town for Spring Break, I made my first recipe from the New Mexico cook book.
Chicken Fajitas.
Now, I make fajitas all the time. And I get fabulous reviews.
After making these, I realize I didn't know squat about making a good chicken fajita.
Let me tell you a few things about why these chicken fajitas are so much different than what I made before.
First of all, you pound out the chicken. Never thought of doing that before, and I don't know why. I do it for stuffed chicken, just never occurred to me to do it with fajita chicken. I think the pounding it down makes the chicken more likely to absorb the marinade.
That was the other thing. I'd never marinated my fajita chicken before, either.
And the marinade was what made it.
The fresh ground ginger not only made the marinade fabulous, it made my house and my fingers smell fabulous for the rest of the day.
The marinade also included some fresh citrus juice and soy sauce. (I did think the soy sauce was a little strong, so I might use less next time)
It also had me grill the chicken a little before adding it to the veggies.
I grill all the time. But for some reason, always did my fajitas on the stove.
Never again.
These were fabulous.
Kids loved them.
Husband loved them.
And the friend from church who just brought her brand new baby home- (I was asked to take a meal in to her and her family, and I was thrilled to do it!) she loved it, too! (Phew!)

And, I have permission from Clyde Casey to post recipes, so long as I give him the credit. See my previous post to find out about getting a recipe book. Thank you Clyde!

Here is the recipe:

2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
2 large white onions, sliced
1-1/2 green bell peppers, seeded, thinly sliced
1-1/2 red bell peppers, seeded, thinly sliced
salt to taste
12 flour tortillas, warmed

Side Dishes
1/2 cup refried beans
1 cup guacamole
4 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 cup dairy sour cream
Salsa or chili sauce

1. Place a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap on a cutting board. Place each chicken breast on top and cover with another piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap. With a mallet, flatten chicken breasts to 1/8 inch thick. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine ginger, garlic, soy sauce, orange juice, lime juice, and honey. Add chicken; refrigerate in marinade for 3 to 6 hours.

3. About 10 minutes before cooking, drain chicken and pat dry. Grill or broil. Cook until no longer pink, but still moist, about 1-1/2 minutes per side. Remove from grill or broiler; slice cross grain into 1-1/4 inch strips; cover and set aside.

4. In a deep non-stick skillet, heat oil until very hot. Add onions and peppers; saute. Add chicken strips and toss together. Season with salt to taste. Serve on a very hot plate, preferably a metal sizzle platter.

5. Serve with Tortillas and side dishes.

Refried bean, guacamole, shredded lettuce, grated cheese, salsa or sauce should be prepared ahead of cooking chicken and be served as side dishes. Tortillas should be served hot in covered container.

To assemble fajitas, place a portion of hot chicken mixture in center of the tortilla and top with the side dishes to taste. Fold tortilla, closing one end. Eat as hand food.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Cooking Project

I finally watched the movie Julie & Julia. As a blogger and a foody, I loved it. I'm sure the movie has spurred lots of blogging chefs the world over to launch into cooking quests.
I was no different.
My husband saw the wheels turning in my head, and I'm sure it made him super nervous.
With good reason.
You may have already read that I am the official reigning Queen of Unfinished Projects, but when I went to my cook book shelf and pulled down this book:
I think he actually smiled.
I bought this book a few years ago. It was written by the husband of one of my Quilt Guild members. Justin and I have both perused it many times and said, "mmm, this looks really good, we should make it sometime!"
So far I have only made one recipe. I am entering my 10th year now as a New Mexico resident. I think it's time I learned to cook like one.
I'm not doing anything nearly as adventurous as Julie. I have too much on my plate to put additional deadlines on myself- but, I looked at it this way: I have to cook anyway, why not cook my way through this while I am at it?
So here's the deal. I don't know how frequently I will cook a recipe from this book, I just promise that I will post every time I do. I don't know how long it will take me to get through the whole book, but I will.
I also can't promise to post the recipes. Out of respect to Clyde Casey, I will only do so with his permission. I think the book I am using is now out of print, but you can buy his next book:
at Amazon.com or I'm sure I can get it for you if you leave a comment (I can even get it signed for you)
So, today I am making his Chicken Fajitas recipe. The meat is marinating in the fridge. The marinade included fresh ginger and orange juice, and my hands still smell like it...mmm....
The beans are cooking in the crock pot, and well, I can hardly wait for dinner...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Projects in Process...

Last week at my quilters guild. I was given a very special, and well-deserved award:

Yep, I earned it. I officially had the most unfinished projects in my guild. That's right.
The Most Unfinished Projects- and that's among quilters who are notorious for unfinished projects. I had well over 40.

So, I decided just to give you a peek around my house at some of my works-in-progress.
Top Priority project is this wedding quilt for my brother-n-law (weddings in May, I need to get moving!):

Even my kitchen has projects in process. These are frosting flowers for a future cake:

This is an Easter Decoration I haven't even started yet:

Satin Hair Bows I'm making for my girls:

Poppies quilt hiding under my cutting table:

Desk I am re-finishing:

And, I've also decided to start posting every single little project that I finish! I want to see if I can finish over 40 projects this year!

As I was moving stuff around my garage, I stumbled upon an unfinished project that I had totally forgotten about. And in about 30 minutes, I had finished it!
So, here is completed project number 1. :

With these 2 flag decorations I am ready to go for the 4th of July (and it's still March! Woo-hoo!)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cake Course

Last summer I decided that I wanted to learn how to decorate cakes. Thanks to the Internet, I have been able to see lots of videos and teach myself how to do fondant, but I decided to enroll in the Wilton Cake Courses being offered at our Hobby Lobby.
It was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot of helpful thing. It took me until now to take Course 2. For the first 3 weeks we learned how to make various flowers and borders. (I still cannot make a rose to save my life!) We made the flowers up ahead of time so they could dry enough to transfer to the cake.
Saturday was our final project, putting it all together on the cake.
Here I am doing the basket weave. I was really intimidated by this, but it went on faster and easier than I expected. It was actually really fun, and I plan to use it some more... maybe a chocolate frosting for a brown basket...
I gave my camera to my teacher, and she took these shots of me, sorry the class room at Hobby Lobby has no windows and fluorescent lights (for you Heather, so you can see things in process). I really am concentrating pretty hard here.
Here is the rope border going on.
Basket weave and rope borders done!
Now to add the flowers:
Mine were really bright!
I decided that this cake was going to be for my good friend, Stephanie who turned 40 yesterday! (She's not much older than me, so this was weird for me!) I was afraid I was going to ruin it, because my frosting had gotten so stiff by then (and my hands were tired of squeezing after doing the basket weave) that I didn't think I could write very well.
But, over all, I was happy with how it turned out.
And the most important part is, that I'm excited to do some more.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blog Give-Aways!

I have a few friends that I check in with on an almost daily basis. Those would be my blogging friends. Let me introduce you to two of them. Amanda Herring is my quilting blogging friend. I have never net her in person, but I feel like I have. We are both young mothers who love to quilt. (I am decades younger than all my fellow quilt guild members) but we have similar taste and style, and I even think we have a similar sense of humor. (And we're both over-doers, but she actually gets projects done!) Sometime ago she had a give away on her blog- and check out these patterns that I won:

So never say never!!! She is doing another give away on her blog- so go check it out here

(And I really want that bundle of fat quarters so wish me luck! Then I can use it on one of her cute quilt patterns!)

And my luck must still be holding, because yesterday in the mail I got this fabulous re-usable shopping bag!:

It was a give-away prize over at Your Home Based Mom! She is constantly doing give-aways so be sure to check out her blog. This one is extra special, because she made it herself! Thank you Leigh Anne!

Look how nice and wide it is to hold all my groceries. I's just afraid it's too pretty for groceries!

So Thanks Amanda and Leigh Anne, and remember, people actually do win those prizes! (Next I'm hoping to win the HGTV dream house.)

Friday, March 5, 2010


Welcome to my new blog! I decided that it was time to separate my family blog from one about all my creative endeavors. So, here we are!
This is where I will post pictures of all the cakes I make (successes and otherwise) the quilt projects I finish, decorating projects, and furniture makeovers. I might even post some favorite recipes (once I'm off this awful diet and it won't feel like torture!) Hope you'll join me in my creative ups and downs and leave plenty of comments. Sometimes that's what I need most- a sounding board and some good feedback!