Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pond Challenge

I just finished a great project with the help of my friends on Quilt With Us, Love of Quilt Arts Group. I challenged 11 other friends to make a section of this photo:

I divided the photo into twelve 10"x10" sections and randomly drew names for each section and sent them to each woman. No one saw the entire photo until the end. 
Rules were simple, they could use any form of fabric plus embellishments, such as beads, angelina fibers or thread painting that they desired. They had to add 1/2" seam allowance on all sides, to allow for fudging adjustments when I put it together. They had to keep 3 dimensional adjustments away from the seam allowances to make sure I could sew it together.
One woman used caboshons for the bubbles, another used Inktense pencils to enhance her block. Several used angelina fibers, beads and fancy thread painting.

It turned out so wonderful!

Here are some detail photos:

I printed the label on Electric Quilt's printable fabric, using the original photo and placing each woman's name over the section they designed. It measures about 7"x9".

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Chicken

Here is a recipe that I modified from Moms With Crock Pots. I first found this while looking at Pinterest. Someone had pinned that recipe and it looked so good, but I can't eat canned soup. So, I decided I could make this without gluten. I forgot to take pictures and it wasn't too beautiful to look at either, so here is the recipe without a lot of fanfare!

GF Slow Cooker Chicken

4 Chicken breasts, bone-in or boneless
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups chicken broth
½ cup gluten free flour blend (Carol Fenster’s: sorghum, potato & tapioca starches)
1 cup sour cream
½ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup sliced black olives (optional I didn’t have these this time, but they would be really good!)

1 pkg gluten free pasta of choice. (I used spaghetti, because it was what was in the cupboard, but any shape would do.)

Place chicken breasts in bottom of crock pot, drop bacon evenly over top. In medium sauce pan, bring 1 ½ cups of chicken broth to a simmer. Remove from heat temporarily. Blend ½ cup of chicken broth with gf flour until smooth and whisk into broth. Replace on medium heat and stir until thickened (It should be very thick, like canned soup). Remove from heat and whisk in sour cream.  Pour mixture over chicken in crock pot, don’t stir. (The sauce formed a kind of seal over my chicken and kept it moist) Turn pot on high and cook for 2-3 hours, depending on how hot your pot gets.

When chicken is almost done, cook pasta until almost done. Remove chicken from crock pot. Drain cooked pasta and pour into sauce in crock pot and stir. Replace chicken for 10 minutes and prepare other side dishes (broccoli or green beans go well with this). Serve!

The thickened chicken broth seemed strange and gummy to me, but after it cooked with the chicken, the chicken put out more juice and the sauce got a lot thinner.
Putting the almost cooked pasta into the sauce lets it absorb the flavors and finish cooking. I use corn/rice pasta, I think it is good (my family had no idea it was different), but you can use whatever works for you.
I used the leftover pasta and sauce for soup by adding more chicken broth and milk, leftover chicken and leftover or frozen vegetables. Peas, corn and green beans went in, but broccoli or carrots would have been great too.
Leftover chicken can be used in casseroles or whatever. 

Let me know if you try it and how you like it!