Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm Stopping Before I Toss My Sewing Machine Out the Window

I'm starting to think that instead of calling this blog "Not So Random Thoughts," I should rename it "I Realize I Can't Make This @#$%& Project." What makes it frustrating is that I thought I could do this one! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

A few days ago, while lurking around on some crafting sites, I came across a pattern to turn an oversized t-shirt into yoga pants.

I thought, this is KILLER! I've got loads of t-shirts and a sewing machine, so this should be a snap.

Yeah, right.

I've cut up three or four t-shirts now. I've lost count. I need to stop, otherwise my t-shirt drawers will be empty, I'll have no pants anyway, and my sewing machine is going to get tossed out of a  second story window onto the neighbor dog below. And I've realized a couple of points not mentioned in the Cut Out and Keep tute linked above.
  1. You should use a t-shirt that is at least one size bigger than what you naturally wear. For instance, I wear a large size. I can wear mediums but they aren't comfortable to me. For these pants, I tried both a large and an XL t-shirt. They each fit fine for length but the part that becomes the waist down to the crotch is a little too short. I'm not long waisted but these would have been low rise pants on me and I don't have the body to pull that look off.
  2.  Speaking of length, I really should have sewn in the side seams on what become the legs to make them fit a little more snugly. My version of the pant had the legs much looser than I would liked. Think gaucho pants. Short gaucho pants. 
  3. I think you'd be better off trying this project with freshly ironed shirts. My shirts, pulled straight out of their dresser drawers, all crumpled and wrinkled, didn't work out so great. I think those wrinkles were part of my problem.
So, the sewing machine will be put away for a while, until inspiration strikes again! I did manage to find a neat pattern for a broomstick skirt out of a vintage sheet that I may try one of these days.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tomatillo Chicken from PBS

While I was flipping channels yesterday, I came across a cooking show on PBS. It was called "Everyday Food." The host was making Tomatillo Chicken and I was hooked. I just knew it was a recipe I was going to have to try.

--2 pounds tomatillos (husks removed), washed and halved (I think I used only about 1 lb for the two of us.)
--1 tablespoon vegetable oil
--1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces (wings reserved for another use) (I had a package of big chicken thighs I needed to use instead of getting a whole chicken.)
--Coarse salt and ground pepper
--2 jalapenos, chopped
--1/2 medium white onion, chopped (I used onion powder because I realized I was out of onions and I wasn't going to make a third trip to the grocery store for this recipe.)
--3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
--1 can (15 ounces) hominy (optional), drained (Yes, yes, yes...add the hominy!)
--1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. In a food processor, puree tomatillos; set aside. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot, skin side down. Cook until browned on one side, 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add jalapenos and onion to pot and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatillo puree and hominy, if using; season with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken, skin side up, in sauce. Cover pot; simmer until chicken is cooked through, 22 to 25 minutes. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and pepper.
That's it. That's all there is to it. Now, I cheated a bit and actually pureed my tomatillos last night, and added the hominy to it so they could sit in the frig together. My God, this was a wonderful recipe! It smelled fabulous and was super easy to make. 
Even with the 1 lb. of tomatillos, we had extra sauce left over. I've saved it because I think it would be a great addition to the turkey (or maybe it's ham) broth I've got in the freezer right now, but this sauce would also be wonderful with shrimp.

Seriously, try this recipe and let me know what you think!