Sunday, June 26, 2011

More Recipes

Can you believe it is almost July? The weekend of the Fourth should be a 3 day weekend for most of us, and I bet you are thinking about picnics and potlucks, etc.

Here is a quick and easy Summer pasta salad. I blogged about this earlier,  but it bears repeating. Tortellini Salad with Fresh Veggies. Want to make some?

I bought 2 16oz packages of Butoni Cheese Tortellinis and cooked them with about 1 1/2 cups of broccoli tops. 7 to 9 minutes in salted or olive oiled water, per package directions.

Combine 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, 1/2 a large red pepper and 1/2 a green pepper (both finely chopped),one 6 oz can of medium pitted black olives, drained, and 1 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese. Toss these with most of a 12 oz bottle of Lite Caesar dressing and the cooked pasta/broccoli. This is so tasty, you'll have trouble waiting for it to chill. That's okay, though. It takes great warm too!

This can be jazzed up with cooked chicken cubes, grilled shrimp, canned tuna, hard salami chunks, turkey, grape tomatoes or whatever floats your boat! It makes enough for 10 people.

Next up is a constant family favorite: Salsa Pollo Con Frijoles. Translation: Chicken with Salsa and Beans. Tired of tacos and burritos, but you still want Mexican food for dinner? Looking for something that looks impressive and complicated, but isn't? This could be your family's next favorite too. (this is one of the few things I make an exception for, since I am not supposed to have tomatoes in my diet.)

Oven preheated to 350 degrees. 13 x 9 pan.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded to 1/2" thick. (do the best you can. I used a ziploc bag and meat mallet)
1 1/2 tsp cumin, divided  . 1/2 tsp salt (optional) . 1/2 c pinto beans (drained and rinsed) . 3/4c salsa + 2 TBSP  .  1/2 c chopped scallions  .  3/4 c shredded Jack cheese .  1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro, stems removed. Strong wooden toothpicks.

Mash the pinto beans with a fork. Add 2 TBSP salsa, scallions, salt and 1/2 tsp cumin and mix well.

Sprinkle remaining cumin, and some salt if desired, on each side of chicken breasts. Place a large spoonful  of bean mixture in the center of each flattened chicken breast and roll the breast up, securing it with a toothpick. Spread about 1/4 cup salsa in bottom of the pan and place chicken seam side down. Pour remaining salsa over the chicken and bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 5 more minutes. Serve with fresh cilantro on top and your favorite sides, like salad and refried beans or Spanish rice.

Sorry that I don't have a fancy "print the recipe" button!

I hope to hear back from you if you try this!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I have too many irons in the fire lately and not a lot of free time.

  • Island Chain is almost in rows, but not a completed top yet.
  • Split Decision has become just that. Do I like it, or should I bisect the blocks and make it more "Bento Box" looking?
  • Of course I started another quilt project! I have so many other things to do, why not? I have had a stack of Al Fresco fabrics for about 2 years, so I started working on a new, modern (uncomplicated) design.
  • I am making a kimono style robe for my dad for Father's Day. It has only been waiting 8 YEARS. No kidding. The Fabric Traditions selvage says 2003! 
  • Knowing that the 4th of July is around the corner again, I have silently shamed myself for letting it sneak up on me again without completing a nearly complete UFO, America's Sweetheart, that I started a few years ago.
  • Hokey Pokey is back from the long arm quilter's so I can add binding that gigantic quilt to my list of things to do.
Since I can't show any newly completed work, I will show a few things that never made it to the blog. Kim Brackett of Magnolia Bay Quilts asked what we do with those trimmed off triangles, and here is what I did with some of mine. She calls them folded corner triangles.  These finished at 2" and it hangs in my dining room. I wanted to make a schoolhouse block for fun, and thought framing it with leftover half square triangles would help me empty the flower container I keep them in. I even quilted it myself! Try not to faint about that.

This is a scrap quilt I made for my MIL last year for her birthday. Simple pattern. There are antique looking buttons sewed in the center of each pinwheel. It is a very generous size, more of a small twin than a lap quilt.

That's it for now. I hope you are enjoying the end of Spring. Summer is almost upon us!

PS. Tomorrow, June 17th, is the 7 year anniversary of my move to Pensacola! My daughter and I made the drive from So Cal in 2 1/2 days - just in time for Hurricane Ivan. Let's hope there are no hurricanes this year to mark this anniversary.