Thursday, January 11, 2007

announcing the start of my "set of 4 placemats on sale all winter" campaign

i listed one of my very favorite sets of placemats today to kick off my winter sale. all sets of 4 placemats AND all 30" long patchwork runners/wallhangings are on sale for $28 [reg $32] at my etsy shop now through 3/31/07. i took three hundred and seven pictures today [!], and will be steadily listing the sale items all winter. if you want a set that isn't listed yet, contact me and i will list it especially for you.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

13 things i make for dinner

here's my fourth ever Thursday Thirteen

1. skillet macaroni and cheese - cook 3 cups dry seashells. melt 2 cups mild cheddar in 3/4 c. milk, in a large skillet - do NOT let it boil! when it's all melted and combined, stir in the seashells and turn up the heat a little to thicken it up a bit. serve with raw baby carrots, raw broccolini, or green olives.

2. spaghetti - buy paul newman's sockarooni, brown 1 lb. ground beef and combine. if husband wins coin toss, serve over mostaccioli, if you win, over spaghetti. with whatever frozen garlic toast was cheapest.

3. salami and cheddar sandwiches with mustard, with raw baby carrots and either chips and dip or sun chips.

4. tangy fruity chicken - i got this recipe off one of the online recipe sites. i get chicken pieces with the skin on and bone in, but then i remove the skin. i put 2 breasts, two thighs, and 5 legs in a casserole pan. get two cans of sliced peaches in heavy syrup, and one small can of halved apricots in heavy syrup. pour the syrup into a bowl and arrange the fruit around the chicken. mix 1 tblsp of vinegar and 1 or 2 tblsp of curry powder into the syrup, then pour it all over the chicken. sprinkle crushed pistachios over the top. bake at 350 degrees or so for about 1 1/2 hours until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. i serve this with "seeds of change" brand moroccan lentil rice, and per the suggestion the back, i add dried apricots and slivered almonds, and sometimes raisins. i also serve steamed broccoli. this is possibly my favorite meal.

5. santa fe chicken pasta a la red robin - saute chicken tenders, onions, red and green bell peppers in a sauce made from store bought alfredo sauce doctored with about a tblsp or two of pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce [buy a can of chipotle peppers in adobo, puree them in the blender, and keep the puree in the fridge for a pretty long time]. serve over mostaccioli and sprinkle with fresh diced tomatoes. mmm...chipotles.

6. the chipotle-kissed sweet potato chili from robin robertson's "fresh from the vegetarian slow-cooker". but i use chicken broth instead of whatever liquid she has on the recipe, and i add a package of chicken tenders.

7. the farmhouse fricassee from the same cookbook, but i add a package of chicken tenders.

8. pot roast - baby carrots, big chunks of potatoes, an onion, possibly one or two celery stalks in the crock pot. use an english roast. i cut it into about 4 pieces so it will fit in my crock pot, dredge it in a bit of flour, and brown it in the skillet. then i put that in the crock pot and pour in about a half cup of beef broth. cook it on low for about 8 or 10 hours, i think. i serve this with crusty bread and green beans "sauteed" in olive oil with pine nuts, or boiled brussels sprouts, depending on the season.

9. chili - i use a mix or brooks hot chili beans, add beans if using a mix, add 1 lb. ground beef and sauteed onions and green peppers. serve with saltines and thinly sliced mild cheddar on each cracker.

10. nachos - i brown ground beef with a bunch of chili powder. on a sheet pan, put a layer of corn chips and shredded cheese, melt the cheese. this is my husband's idea. then add more corn chips. put globs of canned refried beans all over. sprinkle the ground beef, green pepper sliced length wise, you could do onions, too, canned black olive slices, fresh diced tomato, victoria jalapeno slices from the mexican food section of the grocery store, NOT from the pickle section, and more cheese. bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

11. enchiladas - brown ground beef. mix in a big tuppy - a can of refried beans, a sauteed onion, 3/4 can of hot enchilada sauce, 1 cup of shredded cheese. i would mix the beef in, too, but husband wants some with no meat. put either beans or beans and some beef in about 10 corn tortillas, wrap, and put in a casserole. pour the rest of the can of hot sauce and another whole can of mild sauce over the top. sprinkle a bit more shredded cheese. bake for about 20 minutes at 350. i serve mexican rice from a box with this. i hope you got lots of veggies at lunch on this day.

12. chicken salad sandwiches - cook a package of chicken tenders. cut up really small. add chopped celery, a little onion or scallions, dried cranberries, toasted almond slivers. mix up with some real mayo. serve with baby carrots or other crudite, and cheddar goldfish crackers.

13. whew. sauerkraut and polish sausage. peel and slice 3 or four apples. i like to use sweet mild apples. i think other people like to use tart apples. not. put the apples and the sauerkraut in a skillet and cook until the apples just start to get soft. then stir in 1/4 to 1/2 c. brown sugar, and a package of polish sausage cut into chunks. cook for about 10 more minutes or until the kielbasa looks appealing instead of gross. i serve this with a totally plain baked potato to counter how strongly flavored everything else is. haven't really found a veg that i like with this... any suggestions?

put a tossed salad in front of any of these for more vegetables. :-)

Monday, January 08, 2007

two birds pendant necklace

brand new pendant on etsy, it's a nice one: