Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mexican Bean Chicken recipe

Another recipe! If I'm not careful, I'll have to change the theme of this blog. This is another really tasty meal and so easy! Just combine all the ingredients and put it in the oven! I found it in a MasterChef mini magazine that was in the Sunday Mail a while ago. I've changed it a bit - the original recipe has coriander and lime.

Mexican Bean Chicken
(serves 4)

600g Chicken breast fillets (sliced into cubes)
400g can four-bean mix, drained
1 Onion (thinly sliced)
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red capsicum, sliced
35g packet taco seasoning
2 tbs tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 180c. cut 2 x 70cm sheets of alfoil.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Spoon mixture down the middle of one of the foil sheets, leaving 10cm at either end. Place the second sheet of foil on top and gently mould around the mixture. Fold in the sides to create a sealed parcel. Place on an oven tray and bake for between 45 mins to 1 hour until chicken is cooked through.
4. Stand parcel for 5 minutes, then carefully open to allow steam to escape.

* I serve this with rice and corn on the cob! Yum!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chicken and Chorizo Hotpot recipe!

This is a little bit off topic, but I really love cooking. Pottery and cooking seems to go hand-in-hand and it seems that most potters also share this love. So I thought I would start posting some nice recipes when I come across them.

A couple of weeks ago a friend invited us over for dinner. She had cooked a pasta bake using an Italian Sausages called a Chorizo. I’ve often seen them in the deli section of the supermarket, but had never tried them before and had no idea how tasty they are! So the next time I saw them, I bought a couple. They’ve just sat in my fridge ever since. Tonight I was trying to think what to make and saw them there. So I Googled a recipe, which turned out really nice and was SO easy! I thought I would share it with you (I’ve changed it a bit from the original):

Chicken and Chorizo Hotpot

(Serves 4)


1 Chicken Breast Fillet (cut into cubes)

2 Chorizo (cut into 1 cm slices)

3 cloves garlic (crushed)

1 medium onion (sliced thinly)

1 red capsicum (sliced)

410g can crushed tomatoes

¼ cup white wine

2 Tbs tomato paste

Salt and pepper

3 tbs Olive Oil

All Purpose Seasoning (to taste)


Pre-heat oven to 200C.

Use a baking dish that will comfortably hold all the ingredients. Add chicken pieces, sausage, garlic, onion, capsicum, tomato and white wine, tomato paste, season with salt, pepper and All Purpose Seasoning, toss to mix. Drizzle over the olive oil. Cook in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

* I mixed it half way through cooking, because it was getting quite brown on top.

* I served it with pasta (cooked separately).

I love recipes where you just combine all the ingredients and then let it cook! So quick and easy. Hope you enjoy it too!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bad Weather and Landfill Dilemma

A windy day!

Well, now that we're into Spring, winter has finally hit! Might have something to do with the Adelaide show starting yesterday (it rains every year without fail). The thunderstorm yesterday was awesome. Today the wind has been so strong that Lake Bonnie actually had waves. Ok, not big enough to surf or anything, but still!

Hmm, I wonder what would have happened if I had turned our porch light on?

With all this bad weather, I really haven't felt like working in the studio much, so I've spent most of the time unpacking boxes. I've been rather overwhelmed discovering how much ceramics I've accumulated over 9 years! I'm sure I can't be the only potter in this situation... I seem to have a habit of boxing things up, thinking I'll deal with them later. I don't think a lot of the work has seen the light of day in maybe 5 or 6 years. While most of them are 'usable', they are quite hideous! I've been left with a bit of a dilemma as to what to do with everything.

Some of the pieces are fine, but have a small fault - making them unsaleable. Some have sentimental value, because they are the first pieces I made. Some are exhibition pieces that didn't sell. Some are just really, really bad, but were experiments/tests. Others I thought were good at the time, but now that I've had more training and experience I realise 'no, they're bad'...

This is just one box I unpacked the other day! Most of this stuff was from 2002/3. All made at TAFE while I was learning to wheel throw. Most of my pieces back then were in stoneware. It was more about practicing the technique of throwing and also glazing.

This piece was made while studying in Cairns in 2004. My husband just asked 'What would you use that for?' - Every potter's favourite question! But no, seriously - what would you use that for???

And this set of four bowl. Made in Sydney in 2002. My very first set! I remember it was so daunting when the lecturer set this project. I was the first in the class to make four that looked slightly similar and was rather proud of these things! And now... ?

And then we come to this jug. Also made while studying in Sydney in 2002. My very first jug. Hmmm...

What to do?
This is the dilemma I've been having:
- I was contemplating having a big smashing session! Greek style. I'm sure my husband would be quite happy to get involved in that! But I'm concerned about just adding to landfill.

- I could give some to friends and family. And I'm sure I will. But not the hideous pieces. I already cringe too often when I notice an old piece that I gave someone years back. I sometimes ask if I could replace it for them, only to discover that it is now their favourite mug/ plate/ vase.

- I could donate most of it to the Goodwill (second-hand shop). But that's not a good career move, to donate hideous pieces that are going to be out there - somewhere, lurking. Plus, if you are selling pieces in designer shops and then customers also see your work in the second hand shop, that's not a good look either.

- I could box them up and deal with them later. No! That's not an option this time. I've decided I'm going to deal with things and not put them off.

- I kind of ran out of ideas. However, my friend Angela gave a great suggestion - make a sulpture out of all the sentimental pieces and save a couple for the cat (hmm, don't have one) and the rest bin. I like that idea! While I was in China I saw a really cool wall made out of hundreds of different pottery pieces. If I had my own property, I could build an interesting garden wall, or something!?

Pottery wall at Son Bao, Jingdezhen

But I'm renting!
So... where does that leave me and all these pots? I so wish I could finish this blog entry with a solution, but I'm just going to have to leave it hanging there!