Thursday, May 27, 2010

A "Keeper" -- recipe that is

I like to try a few new recipes every week. I usually get my ideas from magazines although I have a decent collection of cookbooks as well. Sometimes these new recipes are a bust, or just OK, but once in awhile one gets labeled "a keeper" by the family and this is one of those.

This recipe came from the May issue of Sunset Magazine. (I tried to load up the link to the recipe from the website but it doesn't seem to be working so I am going to give you all the information you need to do this yourself...just in case you run into the same trouble.) My pictures could be better still working on that....I did cook the chicken a little longer than pictured so the cheese was completely melted!

Southwest Grilled Chicken and Avocado Melts
Serves 4 Time 30 minutes

2 T vegetable oil, divided
4 Anaheim or poblano chiles
4 boned, skinned chicken breast halves
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne (I didn't have cayenne on hand substituted paprika)
1 tsp. kosher salt
Lime Wedges
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
1 cup shredded jack cheese

1. Prepare a grill for high heat (450 to 550 degrees) Rub 1 tbsp. oil over chiles. Cook chiles, turning often, until skins are browned. (this is easy but allow 10-15 min) Put chiles in a bowl, cover and let cool. Seed chiles in a bowl, and rub off skins. (I rubbed skin off with a paper towel, cut the top off, made a slit down the center and scraped out seeds.)

2. Meanwhile, rub remaining 1 Tbsp. oil over chicken. Combine cumin, cayenne, and salt and sprinkle over each breast. Grill chicken, turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

3. Squeeze a little lime over chicken, then top each breast with a few avocado slices a chile, and about 1/4 cup cheese. Grill covered, until cheese melts, about 4 minutes.

That's it!! It really is very easy. Don't let the roasting of the chile scare you! Or the chile scare you! It is really not too hot.....that's why you take the seeds out.

They served it with a side of black beans. I served it with a can of whole pinto beans drained, combined with 1 cup frozen corn, and a salad.

Hope you try it!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekend Projects--upcycled!!

It was a busy weekend! The "big kids" were in "class" all day 8-5 learning to be soccer ref's. Why you may ask? $25 per game ref'd that's why. Can you believe it? That is good money when you are a teenager. Fortunately they both passed the true form Ben got the high score of the class...too funny, his competitiveness transfers to all things...he won some line flags though so that paid off. Games should start sometime in August which will be especially good for Ben ... he is going to need gas money when he starts driving in about a month. Yikes!

So the projects. We did some IKEA investigation...that is always an outing that takes a couple of hours but needed to be done. We didn't buy anything while there....unless you count a little plate of swedish meatballs!! (they are not bad!)

We started revamping this table. We got this table for free years ago along with 4 parsons chairs. We had it inside for a long time but it has slowly been pushed out. The table itself is a bit wobbly, and smaller than I want for outside; I really want to be able to seat 8 comfortably. So my handy MAN took the table apart, we really only salvaged the legs.
We went to Lowe's and bought some birch plywood, it is 8 feet long and we trimmed the width to 3 1/2 feet. He doubled the thickness and built the is where we are at as of this morning. Now we are trying to figure out the stain/paint combonation we want, and there is still some sanding and smoothing of the edges to be done....but so far I am liking it! I also finished refurbishing these chairs. We already had done the table and four chairs, but then we got the arm chairs and wanted to paint and recover the seats to match the others. The whole table was this honey colored wood....I am not a fan.

So we repainted them white and antiqued them a bit. You can see the table in the background, we refinished the top of the table with a darker stain, with less shine. I recovered the chairs myself with genuine "pleather"! Don't laugh it is economical $10 per yard, so I recovered 6 chairs for $30; and they wipe clean....since this is our everyday eating area and I have a 2, 13, and nearly 16 year old in the house they need to be washable.

So that's it. I also tried two new recipes this weekend which the family called "keepers", I will share those another day as this post has already rambled a bit. Hope you like.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May Gray and a Recipe!

OK I don't know if you know this about "Sunny San Diego" but May is affectionatley known as "May Gray"; June is "June Gloom". This does not always hold true but so far this month we have had alot of gray!! Yuck! (This was taken moments ago...another gray day ahead.) This makes it a little hard to get motivated to get moving (or maybe it is because I was at the gym at 5:30am!)

So I thought I would show you a little update of the patio. We planted some more plants at the end. Two crepe myrtles which when they bloom should look great, some hedge plants, some beach pebbles and stepping stones, Ellie's sandbox (had to find a place for it), an outdoor rug, and my "stick art". We trimmed a tree and I had these big long branches so I anchored them into a large pot with gravel and rocks. I am considering removing the rocks and replacing it with soil, and then planting a plant that can climb up the branches or wrapping little white lights through the branches. It is one of those free projects, haven't decided if I totally like it.

Switching Gears:
I also wanted to share with you a flavored mayonaise. This is great anytime of the year, but basil is in season and many of you may have it in your yard.

Grab about a dozen basil leaves, 3 large cloves garlic and approximately 1 cup of mayo. Blend in your blender/food processor, or you could chop everything by can add more or less basil, or garlic depending on your taste. We use this on hamburgers and sandwiches. The nice thing is there is a lot of flavor so you don't have to use as much on your sandwich. Let me know if you like it!

(I know this picture doesn't look too good but it is hard to make mayo look good, but trust me this is tasty!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hanging Flower Pot Update

Remember when I posted how to make the hanging pots a couple of weeks ago? Well, I know the finished product did not look like much. Thought you might like to see the change in just two weeks!!
Hope you all had a Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo and Coconut Flan

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by getting in the spirit and making some mexican food. OK I am going to cheat and I bought some carnitas and rice and beans from Costco(it is so good and so easy, just microwave and go). That will leave me time to make the Coconut Flan!! I made this a few years ago (ok it has been more than a few years since Heather moved) when I went all out with homemade enchiladas, rice, beans and margaritas. Don't be intimadtaed by the "expert" in the difficulty box, and don't worry about using tuna cans....I made one large flan in a pie shell. So follow the directions in the recipe, but use a pie shell. Don't worry if your carmel congeals a little in the pie shell it will loosen upon cooking. Are you up to the challenge?