Monday, January 30, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Korrina's Tamale Bake

I'm back! (Finally!)  Can anyone say chaos?  7yo dd fell and sprained her ankle last Sunday and has been on crutches ever since.  Tuesday, I fell on the ice and bruised up my whole left side (and I'm left-handed).  I've been re-vamping one of my websites and designing another one for a client.  Oldest dd decided that public high school (even part-time) wasn't worth all of the drama and she's gone back to homeschool full time.  We're behind in school and on housework and I'm afraid KaelMijoy has been sorely neglected since Christmas.  Did you really need to know all that?  Probably not.  Hopefully, though, the worst is over (for now).  But, all of this means that my blog posts will be off a day this week.  Sorry.

On to the reason you're here! :-)

I love homemade tamales!  So I learned to make them.  Do you know how long it takes to make enough tamales to feed 8 people?  I don't either - after looking at the recipe, I decided I needed to find a shortcut.  This is it.  It's not quite as good as the real thing but it's close enough.  If I had to do it the old-fashioned way, I'd never make them.  Oh, and plan ahead because the filling is done in the crockpot, the cornhusks have to soak and the casserole has to bake for up to two hours.  (You might want to halve this one 'cause it makes enough for my family of 8.  Ooh, or you could make two from this recipe and freeze one without the corn husks and before baking.  Just thaw, add the soaked corn husks and bake.

Korrina's Tamale Bake 
1 2-3 lb pork roast
1 cup salsa
1/4 package (2 oz.) dried corn husks
2/3 cup lard or shortening
4 cups masa harina flour, (mexican corn masa mix)
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups broth from filling, or water
1/3 cup lard or shortening, melted
1 can red enchilada sauce
sour cream
Put the roast in the crockpot with the salsa and cook on high for 3-4 hours.  Soak corn husks in warm water for at least 1 hour or until softened and easy to fold. Beat 2/3 cup lard in large mixer bowl until creamy. Combine masa harina and salt in medium bowl. Alternately add masa harina mixture and broth to lard, mixing well after each addition. Gradually add melted lard, mixing until consistency of thick cake batter (masa).  Scatter filling in bottom of large casserole dish.  Spread masa mix over filling.  Lay corn husks over filling.  Cover pan with foil.  Fill another oven-safe dish with hot water and place in 350 degree oven.  Put casserole in oven and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs or until baked through.  Add water to dish as needed.  Serve with enchilada sauce and sour cream.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Linguine A la Anne

I know this is a couple of days late but - well when one person in a small house of 8 people gets sick, we all get sick.  But I'm back now, and while there won't be a tutorial this week, hopefully I can get back on track next week.  Meanwhile, enjoy this yummy recipe that, years ago, I got out of a cookbook that I probably don't even own anymore.

Linguine a la Anne
1/2 pound linguine
3 cups cooked diced ham (1 lb)
1/4 cup margarine
1 can mushrooms
1/8 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
6 fluid ounces evaporated milk
1 chicken boullion cube
1/4 cup grated romano cheese
1 green pepper, sliced
1 cup croutons
Cook linguine and drain. Melt 2 T. butter in saucepan. Blend in flour and salt, liquid from mushrooms, water, milk and boullion. Bring to boil and stir till it thickens. Toss half of sauce with linguine till mixed. Put in 8x8 casserole, pushing up sides. Toss ham with remaining sauce and spoon into hollow. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 20 min at 400. Saute peppers in butter til soft. (I skipped cooking the peppers 'cause my family likes 'em better raw.) Garnish casserole with peppers and croutons.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What I've Been Working On

I told them to look at the goodies like they wanted to eat them.
What have I been working on?  Christmas, Christmas, and more Christmas!  I made a black and pink quilt for my oldest daughter and she and I made a playhouse (a fabric thing that goes over a table and they play under it) for the two littlest girls.  The kids helped me make about 30 simple clay ornaments to give away and we all spent a day making goodies.

I made this quite a while ago but realized I still hadn't shared it.  This was my first real attempt at sculpting a rose.

This will eventually be listed in one of my shops.

I never make stuff for myself so I decided I would make me a pendant to match my favorite black and white skirt.  Um, yeah.  DON'T bake polymer clay at 400 degrees for 10 minuntes.  Unfortunately, I don't own a black and dirty brown skirt.

I wanted to try something new in a flower sculpture.  I used pink skinner blend slices for the middle two rows, lace cane slices for the next one or two and black skinner blend slices on the outside.  It's kind of unusual but I think I like it.

So there you go... which one do you like best?


Monday, January 9, 2012

Polymer Clay Tutorial: Striped Pen

This is a really quick and easy way to cover a pen that can be quite striking in the right colors.  It's also a good way to use up any strings you have left laying around from your last filligree project.  You can find out more about covering pens in this blog post and more about extruding polymer clay strings in this one
Supplies Needed:
1 Bic Round Stic pen or similar
Several colors of clay strings (about 6-7 feet altogether)

Tools Needed:
Round-nose pliers
Extruder (unless you've already made your strings)
Sharp craft knife (a tissue blade will work but I prefer my X-acto knife for more precision)

Extrude your clay (if you haven't already).  I'm using strings leftover from a filigree project.  You won't need near this much, it's just my leftovers.

Figure out what in what order you want your stripes.  (Keep in mind that the two outside colors will be touching each other as well.)  Lay the ends together on the table and gently press them together.

Keep arranging your strings and pressing them together until you get to the other end.  Don't squish too hard, this is just to make it easier to wind the strings around the pen.

Use your pliers to take the barrel out of the pen.  Leaving a tail about 1-2 inches long (mine should have been longer), start winding your striped ribbon around the pen.  Try to get all of the strings flush with one another.

If one of your colors runs out, you can add another string.  Cut the end of the finished string at an angle.

Cut the end of the new string at an angle as well and put the two together.  This makes it a lot easier to not have a gap.

Keep winding until you get to the end of the pen.  Carefully trim the excess clay from the open end of the pen.  Try to cut in the direction the strings are going.  For instance, I cut the excess of this one in a clockwise direction.

Now go to the other end of the pen and wind the excess clay around the exposed part.  

Like this:

Now unwind a couple of the strings back to just before they came up above the rim of the pen.

Trim the ones that are still wrapped flush with the end of the pen.

Roll the hanging strings into a spiral and press them onto the end of the pen.  (I should have left my end a little longer - had to flatten the spiral a little to get it to cover.)

There you go.  Now, you can bake it as is or...

You can roll it flat a little or a lot.  I rolled mine sort of flat but still with grooves in it to cover up some imperfections I didn't like.

Bake it and use your pliers to put the ink barrel back in the pen and you are finished!


P.S.  If you ever make a project from one of my tutorials and want to share pictures, I'd love to see them!  Post in the comments or on my Facebook or you can email me:

Recipe of the Week: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

It's been a little over a month since my last post.  That's not too long, is it?  Okay, so I'll try to do better... :-)

This is my mom's noodle recipe and my own soup recipe.  She's been making these for as long as I can remember.  When I was little and there wasn't much money, she used to brag about how she could make a whole chicken last an entire week.  This is one of the recipes she did that with.  I know it doesn't look like much but when my kids saw on the menu that I was making this last week, they all started jumping up and down and cheering.  I think I could safely say that this is the most popular dish in our house.  It's that good.  In fact, I usually triple it so there's enough.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
1 cup flour
1 egg
2 quarts water
1 cup chicken, diced
2 carrots, chopped
2 packages chicken gravy mix
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 chicken boullion cube
1 pinch salt and pepper
2 cups mashed potatoes (optional)
Boil celery, carrots, onion, chicken, and boullion in the water until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, mix flour, egg, and enough water to make a soft (but not sticky) dough. Roll out thin on a floured surface and cut into noodles. Add noodles and gravy mix to soup and cook 10-15 minutes or till noodles are tender and broth has thickened a little. Serve over mashed potatoes if desired.  (We never ate it with the potatoes in my family but hubby's family did, so we always just make it an option.)

You can substitute turkey for the chicken if you are trying to use up holiday leftovers.