Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chicken Quesadilla

I have to admit.... this is one of my favorite meals at the moment! Totally hits the spot if you are looking for a tasty Mexican meal.
  • 2 lbs of Boneless Skinless Chicken
  • 10 oz. package of Saffron Rice
  • 1 package of medium flour tortillas
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1 can of Mexican Lime and Cilantro Rotel
  • 2 tbs of Taco Seasoning
  • 3 oz. of Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 8 oz of Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • 1 tbs. melted butter
 Onto the pictures! 
First off, start the rice per the instructions on the package. Once that is going, dice up the chicken. Two lbs of boneless skinless chicken was three chicken breasts.
 Closeup of what the pieces look like.
 Cook on medium heat. When the chicken is about halfway done, add the taco seasoning and the Rotel.
 Yay! Rice is done!
 Finely dice up the green pepper. I do not cook the pepper because I enjoy that fresh crisp in the mixture. Adds to the texture.
 Once the chicken is done, put the chicken mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the green pepper and 1 cup of the rice. The rest can be used as a side dish.
Once mixed,  you can add the cheese and cream cheese. I know, it may not look very pretty, but believe me- it's tasty!

 Butter one side of two tortillas, then place about 1-1 1/2 cup of the mixture on one of the tortillas. Butter sides will be facing out. (Secret: use low carb tortilla shells to help on the carb front!)
 Place on a Panini Press for a minute or two.
  Other great additions to this would be black beans and onions.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I'm gearing up!!

It's going to be a shopping extravaganza this weekend! Down here in little 'ole Alabama there are certain shops that we do not have such as Macy's, Jo-Ann Fabrics Superstore, Whole Foods, the Coach Outlet, antique stores and one of my favorite restaurants Penn Station East Coast Subs. Oh my gosh, I'm so excited that my Mom and I along with my precious daughter are going to be visiting all of these places in Nashville. Ah, my old stomping grounds!

I am making up a list of all of the things that we have to get and gathering up as many coupons as I can get. FYI- Macy's facebook page is offering a coupon for up to 20% on certain items expiring July 23rd. Stop over there and grab that offer! There is also "Coupon Commotion" at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and there are several 40-50% of coupons there. And their policy is that if the coupons have different codes on them, they can be used during the same purchase. I just want to pass on the info for you guys. Hope it's helpful!

I'll be sure to share the fruits of my shopping efforts with you all next week, and I plan on getting some great crafting posts from it. Gotta find a way to share my shopping excitement with all of you!

So what stores are a must have for you? Are you lucky enough to have them near you, or is it a curse to have them close by?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sewing Tutorial- Mitered Corners

I am very excited to be writing out my very first sewing tutorial! Project Runway was definitely the catalyst for me wanting to learn how to sew, bloggers tutorials and you tube videos have been the method that I have used to do that. I am hoping that I can add my bunch of tutorials to the wonderful collection that exists on the web already.

This tutorial will show you one method of making a mitered corner. For this example, I will be using fleece material and a satin ribbon binding for the edging.

Materials needed: Fleece and satin ribbon binding, coordinating thread, pins
(For this example, I am using a red topstitching thread so that it will be clearly visible to you.)
Step 1: On one side, pin the binding in place. You will notice that the binding does not have equal sides. The longer side of the binding is the bottom part of the "sandwich". This is to ensure that the stitching catches the bottom piece.
Step 2: Center the edge of the binding in the middle of your sewing machine footer. Begin stitching with a zig zag stitch. This is a good hearty stitch that will stand up to a heavy blanket. (Read next step before completing)
Step 3: Before you get to the edge, stop stitching about the same distance as width of the binding. Remember to backstitch.
Another perspective.
Step 4: Take the fleece out from the sewing machine. Open up the binding on the side and align the side of the fleece at the crease of the binding.
This is what your corner should look like.
Step 5: Following the arrows, tuck that corner binding underneath the top binding and align it with the edge.
Step 6: Keep rolling that fabric under until you get the corner like you see below. Pin in place.
Step 7: Place back in the machine to complete the stitching. Remember to backstitch.
Yay! You have mitered corner!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Toddler Lunch- Spinach Grilled Cheese with Homemade Fries

I can now relate to mommy's who struggle to get their toddlers to eat healthy meals. The biggest battle that I fight now is that she won't eat fruits. She loves fruit purees, but she won't eat them otherwise. (I will gladly accept any ideas)

I have found a way to sneak spinach into her sandwich and I am pretty ecstatic about that. Along with that, I have made some homemade French fries because my daughter loves the potato in all forms. At least this way, it's baked and not fried.
 Ingredients: One russet potato, olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, Italian seasoning
To get a cut similar to a French fry, I used a mandolin slicer. If you have never used one before, they are EXTREMELY sharp. Please use the hand guard you see below to make sure you do this safely.
Nice looking fries!
 Place the fries in a bowl and drizzle a little olive oil on them. About two teaspoons, it does not take much. Then I would season them with a little salt and pepper, and finally a pinch of Italian Season for a bit of flavor.

 Spread out on a cookie sheet lined with Parchment Paper and pop in the oven 400 for about 45 mins until golden brown.
For the spinach grilled cheese, I wouldn't start it until the fries are 5-7 minutes out, this does not take long to cook. I used a honey whole grain bread, organic spinach and provolone cheese.
After I washed a few leaves (about 5 or so) and removed the stems, I chopped them up pretty fine. That is so she can bite through it and not pull out a full piece of spinach. 
 Sprinkle the spinach on the cheese.

Place the sandwich on a Panini press. I do not add butter to the bread, no need for her to have that greasy fat. Watch carefully, this doesn't take more than a minute or two to cook.
 Minus the crust, of course.
Lunch is done! You will notice the fries are not real crispy. I pulled them out earlier because my little one is teething and I didn't want her to have anything real super crunchy. (Not shown is this cut into toddler bite size pieces)
 A face every mother likes to see!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Washing Stuffed Animals

My daughter loves her stuffed white kitty cats. She sleeps with them and carries them around everywhere by the tail. Sometimes there is a cat in each hand as she runs around the house. It is quite a cute sight.
In fear that something would happen to these beloved creatures, I have purchased several of them. I have backed up the back ups. Presently there are five cats, and I still wonder if that is enough! These little guys are well loved.
I panicked when websites said to surface wash stuffed animals. There was no way that would get them clean enough knowing what trauma my daughter has put them through. The issue had been the polyethylene pellets inside. I have found out that putting an animal in the dryer with these pellets will ruin the toy because the pellets will melt. But if the animal was in good condition there was no reason why it wouldn't make it through the washer.
So I took the plunge and tried it, and it worked! At first I was putting the animals in a mesh laundry bag (after a spray or two of a stain remover) and tucked the animal in the center of the washer. No problem, it made it just fine. Since then I have forgotten about the bag and just put them in the center of the washer. Again no problem.

Since the dryer is the issue, these lovely little guys air dry. Problem solved, and I can report with confidence that your child's stuffed animals can be washed in a washer even with these pellets. And yes...I did show you my laundry!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fourth of July Wreath Tutorial

Let's get festive! I had a lot of fun with this wreath, it is very simple and a great craft night project.

Here are the materials that I used:

  • We have two fabrics, a navy blue corduroy and a white bottomweight fabric. I got a 3/8 of a yard and had plenty of extra, so you can get away with 1/4 yard of each. I purposely chose two different textured fabrics just to make the strips more interesting. But you can easy use any two fabric you would like.
  • 12 inch Styrofoam wreath
  • One spool (30m) of red topstitching thread. This is important because I wanted that stitching will really show.
  • Precut felt star stickers
  • Loose Star sequence
  • One 4x6 American Flag
  • One package of craft pins
Step 1: Cut 1/4"-1/2" strips of the white and navy fabric. (Disregard the red fabric, it didn't make the final cut!) I cut seven strips of each color and that was a 45" bolt. It seems like it is too much fabric, but it is actually about right.

Step 2: Stitch the ends of the white fabric together so that you have one long continuous white strip. Do the same with the navy fabric.  You should have one long strip of white fabric and one long strip of navy fabric.

Step 3: Now you are going to stitch the navy and white strip together. Slightly overlap the navy strip on the white strip. ZigZag stitch down the middle so that it catches both fabrics. You should then have one long strip of fabric.

Step 4: Wrap the wreath with your fabric strip, slightly overlapping the edges as you go around. Use craft pins to finish off the strip.

Step 5: Using craft pins, attach the American flag.

Step 6: Decorate with the felt Star stickers. If the stickers do not stay down, add a couple of pins to hold them down.

Step 7: Take a craft pin and place in the center of the sequence and decorate as you see fit.

Step 8: Hang and enjoy!
Something that I would like to share is how much this wreath cost. Especially when you are a one income family like we are, I want to make sure that my crafting ventures are not taking us under. I like to think that I am the master of Joann deals, so I want to share with you how much the project is. And that way for you all, you will know upfront if this is project worth your time and money.
  • 12 Wreath (Reg. $4.99), I had 50% off coupon, spent $2.50
  • 3/8 yd Navy corduroy fabric (Reg. $8.99/yd), Sale (50% off), spent $1.68
  • 3/8 yd White Gabardine (Reg $7.99/yd), Sale (50% off), spent $1.50
  • Craft pins $0.99
  • 30m Red Topstitching thread $1.80
  • Silver Star Sequence $0.79
  • Felt Star Stickers $1.99
Total cost: $11.25




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