Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Got Milk?

We are in round two of sleetpocalypse here in A-town. I went to the store yesterday and all the bread, milk, yogurt and eggs were wiped out in the pre-it-might-get-cold-enough-for-firm-rain panic.

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
Accessories: Iron, heat gun, Derwent Inktense Pencils, Melon Mambo Ribbon

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.
Pin It
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.


  1. Oh! What a beautiful card! And the enchiladas sound mummy glutin free too so I won't have to make any dreaded adjustments.

  2. Oh! What a beautiful card! And the enchiladas sound mummy glutin free too so I won't have to make any dreaded adjustments.

  3. What?! You don't love stamping enough to use crushed bugs?? But do you HATE bugs enough to use them this way? LOL.

  4. My Texan husband's favorite dish is what he calls "Green Enchiladas" - he insists that it can only be made properly in Texas and I have tried and tried. He is getting less picky. I fear the Bolner's will prove to be mythical here but am optimistic a substitute can be found. This will be the next thing I try because frankly, the 16 oz of crema makes me want it RIGHT NOW! PS. I think 4WD is the root of all bad drivers in bad weather. They think "I don't need to be careful, I have 4WD!" and then end up in a ditch. Why anyone in Texas would have 4WD or AWD is beyond me (I don't even have) but blame it on the SUV.
    PPS. Two great cards. I will not be busting out the milk anytime soon but I sure enjoyed your post.
    PPPS. Enjoyed Melanie today, Takashi too. But we both missed you!

  5. Milk? You cooked milk on your card? Does it smell?

    And YUM! The cooked chicken sounds very much like Libby's green chili chicken. I might try your recipe without *gasp* the tortillas, as I don't do bread products much. It'll be like a stew for me. :D

  6. Cannot wait to try this method.

  7. I really like how the milk looks on the second card. So pretty. Your enchilada recipe sounds really yummy. Too bad I can't buy a lot of those ingredients in Iowa.

  8. we're having a snowpocalypse here in the ATL, and my Starbucks is even closed--hallelujah for common sense by our district manager!

    what i'm wondering is if regular, not the special kind of watercolor paper you specify, will work. and how does this project SMELL??? i'm wondering about a scalded milk aroma.

    they're beautiful, though!

  9. Those cards are stunning! I would have never guessed milk.

  10. As dairy farmers, we appreciate finding yet another use for milk Lydia!! :) Seriously, I love the look, and appreciate the tutorial. I'm going to have to try this!! Gonna pin it for inspiration too!!

  11. Amazing!! I never would have thought to stamp with milk :) Except now I have to go buy a new iron... (ssshh - don't tell!)

  12. I so hear you on the taking responsibility for your own actions - seems to me that common-sense isn't so common. I love the look of the milk stamping, but I'm picturing it in our heat and humidity being green and fuzzy rather than golden and shiny.

  13. wow...gorgeous cards Lydia....milk!? who would have thought!

  14. Trying your delicious enchilada recipe for dinner tomorrow - where do you use the Bolner's Fiesta Spanish Rice spice - when cooking the rice?

    1. Oops I need to edit that. After you toast the rice, add it when you're adding the chicken broth! Thanks for telling me that - enjoy - this is my absolute favorite recipe!

  15. We can't wait to try it! It does look delicious and we also have a gluten intolerant family member so we are thrilled to have something else to add to our menu choices when she's home!


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