Thursday, March 11, 2010

A quick, easy and delicious Mexican-Spanish Meal!

Ahh, it's Foodie Friday again.  I am enjoying participating in this wonderful party each week.  It is hosted by Michael Lee West and her ever gorgeous blog Designs By Gollum.  Once you're done here, do go over and see all the wonderful treats there.  You're sure to find something you'll just love! I haven't been let down yet!

This is such an easy, easy meal and it is, as my Ethan would say, sooooooo tasty.  It’s also quick and requires so little preparation.  With six children always on the go it’s nice to have some really quick and tasty meals.

Cheesy Chicken Chorizo w/ Spanish Mexican Rice and Mexi-Salad

Remember I usually cook for eight so you may want to ½ this recipe.  We had a guest and I cooked for nine tonight and there were leftovers. 

3 packages Chorizo sausage (I used 2 pork and one beef)
9 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into small chunks or bite sized pieces (you could use tenderloins too and leave them as strips)
1 tblsp butter (optional)
About 8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Add chorizo and chicken to a non-stick (preferable) skillet and cook on medium to medium-high until chicken is cooked through.  Garnish liberally with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.


I admit, I used store bought rice here…I’ve sprung and prepared homemade Spanish rice before but this is sometimes just too easy…especially when the kids are coming and going to their various jobs, school, sports and music activities.

2 packages Knorr Fiesta Sides Mexican Rice
1 package Knorr Fiesta Sides Spanish Rice
(Mix and cook according to package directions, it’s just water and a tad of butter)

We all decided that plain rice would be just as delicious, especially if you want to serve the chicken chorizo mix over it as it creates juice and is somewhat spicy. Another idea may be to use 1/2 plain rice and one package of the flavored rice...just suit your taste.  This rice mixture as I made it was a bit spicy.

Mexican Salad

I mix this up a lot when we have Mexican food because generally there are not many greens with Mexican and I like getting them in whenever possible…plus this is really good!  All my kids and Shawn love it.

Romaine or Iceburg Lettuce
Fresh Spinach leaves
(really whatever greens you’ve got on hand)
Ranch dressing
Mexican seasoning (found in the spice section at the grocery store)
Shredded Cheddar/Jack Cheese
Crushed tortilla chips

I make homemade Ranch dressing (bottled is fine too) and add that to the greens to toss.  I then sprinkle generously with Mexican seasoning, toss in the shredded cheeses and chips and you’re ready to go.
You could also add tomatoes, corn, green onion…whatever you like.  It’s the Ranch mixed with the Mexican seasonings and crushed tortilla chips that give this basic salad a Mexican flare.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Missing Mimi: A sentimental tablescape

I had already taken photos of another table-scape to use tonight and decided I'd get ahead of the curve and do another to have ready to go.  With this second table setting I used a table cloth I inherited my Great Grandma, Mimi, hand crocheted.  Fond memories of my Mimi were brought to the forefront of my mind as I took out her tablecloth and laid it over the table.  I've been thinking of her non-stop and have decided I'd like to share this with you instead of what I'd originally planned.  Mimi (her name was really Ona) was a talented woman and I miss her arms that squeezed me tight when I'd see her.  She passed away when I was a little girl.

To Mimi, I love you and know that it would make you so happy knowing your Great Granddaughter is showing off your work today.

I mixed a vintage Copeland Spode transferware pattern, Royal Jasmine Marina, with some of my Cottage ware.  I love the creamy background of the plates with the brown transfer of roses and flowers. 

I'm really thinking that I want a full set of this pattern...just what I need, another set of dishes.  It's so hard to decide on just one set...what I am talking about??? I've never had only one set of dishes!  I can be faithful to one man, but one set of dishes?  Now that is just asking too much.

For a centerpiece I took a metal topiary frame in the shape of a bowl and added ivy and ivory roses, weaving in and out and leaving some to loosely drape over.  I placed a brown crackled glass candle holder in the center.

I don't remember where I purchase the Cottage Ware (something else I could easily collect more of).  It is by Price Kensington of England.  I only have these few pieces.

Close up of the Teapot

Coffee Pot

 and the salt and pepper shakers

I have a couple of these basket shaped houses and thought one would be cute on this table.  
  The roof opens up and when lined with a cloth or napkin it is wonderful for serving rolls or bread.

Close up of the tea cup and saucer (Purchase here) 

I used two napkins, a white lace overlain with a plain brown napkin...I like the lace peeking out.  I tied them with a drapery tieback of a shimmery, gold organza with amber, brown and gold bead work.

I added a crocheted pillow to the dining chair to help tie it together

Here's a close up of Mimi's tablecloth.  I think it is beautiful and looks particularly beautiful with these dishes.

The platter is a large one, suitable for serving a Thanksgiving turkey.

Each of the pieces in this Spode Copeland pattern have a slightly different rose bouquet.  It's just a beautiful pattern.

I'm finishing with a picture of Mimi and me when I was about 6 or 7.  (My Mom painted all those paintings on the wall!)

 A Poem for your Thoughts:

While we honor all our mothers
With words of love and praise
While we tell about their goodness
And their kind and loving ways
We should also think of Great grandma
She's a mother, too, you see
For she mothered my dear mother's mother
As my mother mothers me!

I hope you enjoyed this post.   I'm linking to Susan's Tablescape Thursday which she graciously hosts from her beautiful blog at Between Naps on the Porch, Cindy at her absolutely beautiful & Romantic Home  and to White Wednesday at Faded Charm, another lovely blog.  Please join these three for lovely table settings,  pretty white things, and show and tell Friday!  

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tea, Taxes and Transferware

In 1784 the import tax on tea was reduced.  This was wonderful news for the middle class and less wealthy people as it made tea drinking affordable to them.  Unfortunately, the tax on silver was increased at the same time.  The combination of these two factors substantially increased the demand for ceramic tea services.  Transferware had just been invented and was in the very early years of production.  Some of the most beautiful and collectible transferware teapots were made during this period and well into the 20th century.

Today I am joining Lady Katherine Tea Parlor for a tea, Blue Monday hosted by Smiling Sally, Rhoda at Southern Hospitality,  Rondi's Tea Party Tuesday,   Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life and The Gypsy's Corner for Three or more Tuesday.    I'm serving a spiced tea and cinnamon swirl bread with honey butter. 

I served my tea in an English transferware teapot by J & G Meakin in the Gainsborough pattern.  It's a pretty blue transfer with fruits and flowers. 

I chose the Charlotte pattern by Royal Staffordshire to compliment the teapot and teacups.  Charlotte is a lovely pattern depicting a Victorian basket filled flowers.  On the tray below, I've used a Charlotte creamer and open sugar bowl.

I used a vintage white table cloth with white flowers and blue embroidery.

I don't have fresh flowers so I put some pink silk roses in an antique silver, double handled vase.  I love the look of these old silver pieces, even when they obviously could stand to be shined. 

Isn't this a lovely toast rack?  It's also in the Charlotte pattern and holds two slices of toast and has small bowls attached at each side for jam and butter.   These are also great for bill sorting and holding small office supplies like paperclips.

I bought the crystal lamp at a garage sale a few years back for $1.50!  

A Quote for your Thoughts:
Much of the character of every man may be read in his house. ~John Ruskin