Then today, controversy erupted because one of our school districts didn't cancel school until some kids were already on the bus on our icy roads on their way to school. Other people, who for some reason are unable to determine that ice is slippery, just poured onto Austin's roadways and started killing each other and flipping their cars over.
I remember a simpler time when people were able to determine dangerous weather conditions for themselves, by walking outside, and deciding with no governmental intervention whatsoever that it might be a good day to sit on the couch with a book. Now, they panic and freak out about what the city/school/whoever did or didn't tell them to do, the absence or presence of which caused them to disregard the sheet of ice on their driveway and in the street and just drive at 100 MPH to work/school/coffeeshop, wreck their car and kill people and then be all mad that they got bad advice.
It's entertaining, I'll give you that.
I decided to use my inside time today to hunt around for inspiration for my next Mix-Ability challenge on Splitcoast. Man did I find some fun stuff. I think I have enough ideas for a while now.
But one thing I found I had to try today because it reminded me of invisible ink tricks I did in Brownies when I was a kid, and that thing is stamping with milk.
Actually the sample I saw was writing with milk, not stamping with it, but hey - I am who I am.
So here's what I did.
I folded up two paper towels into quarters and put them on a paper plate. I use those coated paper plates for all my crafty endeavors, so you don't have to worry about the plate getting soggy.
Then I poured a little 1% milk on the paper towel - sort of like you would do with bleach - to make a makeshift ink pad. I think whole milk would have worked fine too. Next, I tried stamping with it a few times - you may need to add more milk or more paper towels until the stamp picks up the right amount of liquid.
After you stamp your image on your card - I used the big flower from Peaceful Petals and stamped it several times on hot press watercolor paper (this paper has an ultra smooth finish which I needed for this technique) - then dry the milk with your heat gun. It will still be invisible at this point. Make sure it's completely dry before moving on to the next step.
To transform the milk into a lovely, warm, antique brown color, you need to iron it. That's right - the iron IS useful after all! I turned off the steam, turned it on high and just held it on the paper until the images turned that yummy caramel color. I love it because it actually has a gold sheen after it's heated - it's super beautiful in real life! Note - I tried my encaustic iron before I tried the clothes iron and it didn't get hot enough.
On my first sample, I was too timid with the milk, so it gave me just a faint outline, which I watercolored with my Derwent Inktense pencils.
Ink: Basic Black, Milk
Paper: Watercolor Paper, Whisper White
BUT - on my second try, I got beautiful detail with the milk. In areas where it pooled a little I got a rich, irregular, deep color. In areas with less milk I got perfect petal details, and a pretty, pale yellow color.
I love the sepia tone.
I think this would be a fun project to do with kids.
Ink: Basic Black, Milk
Paper: Watercolor Paper, Whisper White
Accessories: Iron, heat gun, Pool Party Seam Binding
What's really fun, speaking of kids, is to ask people on Facebook to guess what you stamped with using just the photo as the only clue. Nearly 800 guesses later, and after a hilarious game of 20 questions, Lyssa finally guessed milk! I had some people get close - a few condensed milk guesses - which I think would be too thick - and some people guessed other dairy products like yogurt - but we were well into the high 600s before the correct answer came. And holy heck were some of the guesses funny. One person guessed crushed up bugs. I gotta tell ya - I don't love stamping enough to use a crushed bug as a craft supply! :D
But anyone who is stuck inside during the polar vortex might want to investigate their refrigerator for a fun distraction from the cabin fever! You never know where your next pretty card is coming from.
Now I have a few Blue List items for you - I haven't added anything to the Blue List in a while!
I went to a lovely restaurant in Wimberley with my neighbor and my friend Sue after a morning of hiking in a state park, and the soap in the restroom smelled so good I had to ask the waiter what it was. He knew it was Meyer's Clean Day, but didn't know the scent, so I went to HEB and smelled every one until I found it! THIS is the delightful soap.
But while I was sniffing all of them, I also found THIS ONE, which I might love even more.
Onto the Blue List they both go.
Then, I searched and realized that I've never shared one of my favorite recipes with you - my unbelievably delicious green chile chicken enchiladas suiza. This is truly in my top three recipes.
This time when I made it, instead of using plain chicken, I put four chicken breasts, salt, a jar of Herdez Salsa Verde and 1.25 C chicken broth in my crockpot on low for 8 hours. Then I shredded it and let it reabsorb some of the liquid before using it in the deliciousness below:
Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas Suiza
Okay - no substitutesky's, because this is really good!
White Corn Tortillas from Central Market (El Milagro Blancas or appropriate local brand)
Shredded Chicken cooked in one jar of Herdez Salsa Verde, broth and salt (see above)
1 onion, finely chopped (zenchop)
16 oz. Mexican Crema
8 oz. cotija cheese, crumbled
1 can evaporated milk
16 oz Herdez salsa verde
1 cup rice
1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube (the big one)
4 tsp. Bolner's Fiesta Spanish Rice Seasoning.
Metric tons of finely shredded colby jack - (4 cups)
Cook rice as follows:
Microwave the Knorr cube in 2 C water till it dissolves - like 2 minutes. (you have to kind of smash it) Brown the dry rice and 1/3 C. of the chopped onion in a little oil in your rice pan. When toasty, add 1/2 cup (use a dry measuring cup, not a liquid measure) of the Herdez salsa verde, the Bolner's and the chicken bouillon water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to Low, cover & cook 20 minutes or until done.
Saute the remaining onions in butter until heavenly. Set aside.
Clear your mind of all negative thoughts. Negative thoughts and dairy products produce carcinogens.
Heat the oven to 350.
In a saucepan, heat the crema, evaporated milk, cotija and remaining salsa until cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth and warm. Add the heavenly onions.
Put a little sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish. Put down a layer of corn tortillas, tearing pieces to make an OCD person happy that it's all perfectly covered. Follow with cooked rice, chicken, cheese and the sauce & repeat till you get to the top. the top layer should be tortillas, cheese & totally covered with sauce.
Bake for 35 minutes or until all bubbly and fun like me.
Eat and then send me a long email about how these are the best enchiladas you've ever had in your whole life, complete with pictures of happy dinner guests.
Rolled enchiladas are for losers. Stacked are totally cool.
I really hope you try this. It freezes beautifully as well.
Stay warm. Loveyameanitbye.