May 18, 2011

More Retreat Fun

The project I worked on for the majority of the retreat were these two bee blocks for Kristy in Bee (A Little Bit) Japanese. She sent each person two different adorable Japanese fairy tale prints and some quilter's linen, and asked that we make two blocks roughly 12.5" in size using Oh Fransson's Mod Mosaic pattern. Mine came out around 13" so she'd have some room to play with when she trims. I really like the final look of the pattern because it's got a cool stained-glass window effect, but I'm not sure if I'd enjoy using it again. Cutting, sewing, and ironing all those little pieces was really time took me about 4-5 hours to finish both blocks...yikes! It made me feel a little bit better about being 2 weeks late with my blocks, because even if I'd desperately tried to squeeze them in during the move last month, I never would've finished in time.

Block #1
Bee (A Little Bit) Japanese Block #2 for Kristy

(sorry about the blurriness in the bottom corner...dang humidity on my lens!)
Bee (A Little Bit) Japanese Block #2 for Kristy

Block #2
Bee (A Little Bit) Japanese Block #1 for Kristy

Bee (A Little Bit) Japanese Block #1 for Kristy

And here's a little something extra from the retreat for you! I made tacos with guacamole & chips for lunch on Saturday, and Kelly & Angela asked me to share the recipes on here. Hope you like avocados, because they run rampant in this meal :)

Kaelin's Taco Spice Blend
(I make this in bulk and keep it in an airtight container in my pantry.)
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp basil
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger

Combine in a small bowl and blend with a fork. Store in a small container or shaker jar.

Tacos & Salsa
I use ground chuck for my tacos because it's a 'splurge' dish for us, and we like the extra flavor and moisture the fat gives. But feel free to use ground round or ground sirloin for a leaner, healthier dish. The salsa is spooned over the beef inside your taco - yum!

for Tacos
1 lb ground beef
1-2 tbsp Spice Blend (see recipe above)
Fresh or store-bought tortillas
Olive oil

Place ground beef in a skillet (I always use cast iron) and sprinkle seasoning evenly over beef. Cook on medium-high until no longer pink. Drain excess fat and set aside.

Drizzle olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and heat to medium-high. Once pan is heated and the oil easily runs around the pan, place 1 tortilla in the oil. Fry for 20-30 seconds on each side. Fold in half and place on paper-towl lined plate. (Note: if you dont' fold it immediately after frying, it will harden and crack when you try to bend it later).

for Salsa
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 avocado, diced
2 plum tomatos, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 Lime
1/2 tsp cayenne

Combine black beans, avocado, plum tomatos, and red onion in a bowl. Grab your lime and before cutting, firmly roll it back and forth against your counter a few times (this makes it easier to juice). Slice in half and juice the lime over the bowl. Gently toss. Sprinkle cayenne pepper over ingredients and gently toss again. (Note: if you get too violent with your stirring, the avocado will start to get mushy...and no one wants that!)

I eat the guacamole with chips as a side, but my husband likes to slather it on his taco along with the salsa. To each their own :)

from "Bride & Groom: First & Forever" cookbook

6 large avocados, roughly chopped (save 1 of your pits!)
4 plum tomatos (or 1 large heirloom), diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (depends on size)
1/4 of a jalapeno pepper, minced (I usually cut two 1/4" slices from below the stem)
1/4 cup cilantro, tightly packed
Juice of 1 lime
1-2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cumin

Place your avocados in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork. Once the consistency is fairly smooth, stir in remaining ingredients. Place the pit you saved from one of the avocados in the guacamole, because it will help keep it from browning so quickly. Serve with tortilla chips.

Happy Eating!


aha! I was just raving over this again the other day and Mike told me to get the recipe. I said that I was waiting for it to be posted. We have a bunch of his home grown tomatoes. He's purchased avocados and cilantro all in anticipation of making this! Yum!

Yum! So excited to try these :) And those blocks are darn amazing! Oh my goodness, the cutting and stitching is just incredible- I know she will love them!

Thank goodness you posted this! I needed that spice recipe soooooo badly! You are the Taco Queen!

I will have to try the pit tip. I make a mean guacamole myself and for years my husband said he didn't like guac (in general, not mine). Once, on a whim, he tried mine and now he'll come home from the grocery store with all the fixin's and I know what he's craving!

Your blocks are beautiful. I agree with you - the stained glass look is pretty but it does take a lot of work - I made some for a Bee not long ago and was amazed how long the block took.

They look great, thanks!

Love those blocks!! Hope I get to see the full quilt one day in flickr land . Im off to a retreat next weekend and cant decided what projects to take. I have to take something quilt simple because i talk too much and dont concentrate! Those recipes look fabulous, great spice combo!

Can't wait to try the recipes. Thanks for sharing!

Cool! I love those fabrics with all the frames, they look really awesome!!

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