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Handmade for Woman and Home
Posts in in the kitchen
Plum Pillows and a Green Smoothie

Well, they are complete! My three plum pillow covers have taken over and the others have been officially retired (yay!). As I mentioned before, I don't really think this is THE fabric for my living room so I made these super simple. I did, however, add a zipper this time because I was so tired of seeing the white pillow forms peeking out of the overlap closure every time one of the old ones got flipped around. Here they are snuggling together in our cozy big chair...three plum pillows (2)

and here is one doing a little afternoon sunbathing on the front porch... plum pillow on the porch (2)

So nice to have completed something!

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And in other news, I posted this photo on Facebook yesterday...

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There were enough questions that I figured it would be a good idea to post here and include the recipe source for those who are interested. One of my favorite blogs is Beauty That Moves. Heather, the blog's creator, has often posted about her green smoothie habit and her recipes. Check out this post for the recipe I used for the smoothie in the picture. I made a couple of minor changes: I used rice milk instead of almond (because that's what I had on hand) and I used brown rice syrup as the sweetener. For my fruit I included one small apple, frozen mango and frozen pineapple.

Not sure where I am headed yet with these smoothies or how often I plan to make them, but I must say that the repair of our long-busted Vitamix coinciding with the New Year could be a sign of things to come.

in the kitchen, sewingJennifer
Gluten Free Friday - Chicken Enchiladas

So with my Dad and Step-Mother in town, my sister and I decided, that rather than go out to dinner which offers little opportunity for visiting and is always tough with kids, we would instead have a potluck at her house.  I offered to bring the entree and, of course, I wanted to make sure it was something gluten-free.

Thinking...thinking... well, enchiladas of course!  This is a recipe I got from the wife of one of Mr. Spilly's business associates years ago.  I don't use it often, but when I do, I always wonder why I don't make them more often.  I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I assure you that on the outside they look like regular old enchiladas.  On the inside, however, they are uniquely delicious!

FYI - Naturally, if you want to make sure these stay gluten-free, be sure to check the ingredients in the enchilada sauce and tortillas you choose.  You never know and believe it or not, my local market carries corn tortillas that contain wheat flour so, be careful.

Fiesta Chicken Enchiladas

2 cups chicken breast

1 cup chicken broth & 1/2 cup water for poaching chicken

2 cans (10 ounces each) mild enchilada sauce

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilis, undrained

1/3 cup green onion (I always use a little more)

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, divided

10 corn tortillas (7-8")

1 can sliced black olives

 

Pre-cook the chicken as follows:  Season 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast with salt & pepper.  In a large skillet, place chicken along with 1 cup chicken broth and  1/2 cup water.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the chicken is tender and no longer pink.  Turn about halfway for even cooking.  Drain well.  This yields about 2 cups of chopped cooked chicken.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Chop the chicken well and place in a large bowl.  Add sour cream, chilis, onion and salt.  Stir to combine.  Stir in 1 cup of Monterey Jack Cheese.  Pour 1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce into bottom of 13x9 baking dish.

Tricky part: Warm a pan on the stove - preferably non-stick.  Place a tortilla in the pan and warm slightly on each side.  Place about 1/3 cup of chicken filling in the warm tortilla and roll I use my 1/3 cup measuring spoon to ensure I divide evenly).  Place seam side down in prepared pan.  Continue until all 10 enchiladas are rolled and lined up in your pan.  Warming the tortillas as you roll is essential! Otherwise they crack and your enchiladas will fall apart.

Drizzle the second can of enchilada sauce over the enchiladas evenly, spreading if necessary to make sure tops of enchilada are covered.  Sprinkle sliced olives over enchiladas, followed by the second cup of Monterey Jack Cheese.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and bubbly.  Enjoy!!

 

this is not a doughnut...

 

Not a Donut

 

oh, but I am considering getting a set of little Bundt pans so I can make this cake a little more doughnut-like next time.  Two friends had birthdays this month and we celebrated at book club.  I made this cake and it was a hit.  I had loved a similar cake one of these friends made several months before, and then I saw this Design Sponge post that included a recipe for Country Style Chocolate Chip Cake.  I had to make my own version using chocolate cake mix (rather than yellow) and adding that super-rich cream cheese frosting - my new stand-by.

Chocolate 2x Chips

 

Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Note: If you plan to frost your cake, the frosting needs to be made ahead of time.  Read recipe below before proceeding.)

1 box chocolate cake mix

1 box instant chocolate pudding mix

1 cup sour cream

4 eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup water

1 cup (or more) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a Bundt pan.  Using a hand-held or stand electric mixer mix together all ingredients except the chocolate chips.  Once mixed, fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula or wooden spoon.  Poor cake batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for one hour or until tester comes out clean.  Turn out onto rack to cool.

This cake is delicious without the frosting just dusted lightly with powdered sugar.  However, if you want to go completely crazy, frost it heavily with the following cream cheese concoction.

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

6 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

With a hand-held or stand electric mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth.  Add butter and mix until smooth and blended with cream cheese (about 2 minutes).  Add powdered sugar and mix at low to medium-low speed until smooth and fluffy (several minutes).  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight.  This frosting should be cold while you are working with it - it will spread easier.  It is also perishable so if you plan to frost your cake far in advance be sure to refrigerate the cake until the festivities begin - it can probably sit out for about an hour safely to bring the cake to room temperature.

in the kitchenJennifer