Monday, February 28, 2011

Taste of the South

Ever since Jason and I took a spring break trip to visit Gavin and Lindsay we've had a desperate craving for chile of all kinds. We are addicted to the green Anaheim chile pepper.  Commonly grown in New Mexico, it has a  fresh green vegetable taste with mild temperature (comparatively speaking of course. For my sensitive taste buds, these little things can set a tongue on fire!). Almost as good as the taste are the nutrition facts. I am delighted to say that Chiles are rich in vitamins, especially vitamin A, and have twice as much vitamin C as a single orange.  They also give the body good amounts of vitamin B, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, and potassium.  The bright color of a green chile signifies a great amount of antioxidant beta-carotene that can help keep a healthy heart, beautiful skin, keen eyesight, and a strong immune system.
So, in quest for green chile goodness, Jason and I made this delicious recipe. Cheers!

Chicken Enchiladas with Black Beans and Creamy Green Chile Sauce

If you're lazy like me, you can buy canned black beans and just add a couple teaspoons of cumin to give them extra flavor. Also, green chile sauce at the store makes this meal a cinch. To make this recipe less meat and cheese oriented, I also like to garnish with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes.


  • 12 corn tortillas
  • vegetable oil for pan-frying
  • 3 cooked boneless skinless chicken breast halves, shredded
  • 10 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 can seasoned black beans
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 2 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup sliced olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas (one at a time) for 5 seconds on each side to soften and make them pliable. Add more oil to pan as needed. Drain between layers of paper towel and keep warm.
  3. Divide chicken, 10 ounces of Monterey Jack cheese, black beans and onion among the 12 tortillas. Roll up each tortilla and place seam side down in a greased baking pan.
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until mixture begins to boil. Slowly add the broth, stirring with a whisk until thickened. Mix in the sour cream and chiles, heat thoroughly but do not boil, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture over the enchiladas.
  5. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until heated through. Top with remaining Monterey Jack cheese and bake for 5 more minutes. Garnish with chopped green onions, ripe olives and cilantro.  

Return of Space Kitty

We're not sure why it happens, we just wish it would stop.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A rose by any other...

I once knew a person with the most extraordinarily unfortunate name.
Its literal German translation is barefoot which in itself actually seems quite romantic and nice. However, neither this boy nor any other English-speaking person could possibly delude themselves into believing that a dancing foot is the first image to come into one's mind upon hearing this name.
Perhaps in Germany the image is different.

I always considered my last name to be one of my greatest attributes. Certainly, it gets mistaken with the dozens of other Scandinavian derived names that are similar to it, "Christianson" or "Christopherson." And the saved assignments from my kindergarten and even first grade classes prove it is almost impossible to spell-- my name, scrawled C-H-R-U-N-T-E-N-S-O-N in sloppy, childish writing at the top. But neither of these minor drawbacks has ever been enough to cow my immense pride in the fact that there is very little in my name open for mockery. It doesn't rhyme with any obscene words. It doesn't have any tainted similitude with inglorious or infamous stars, like Simpson or Manson. And, most importantly, it certainly does not bring forth any unwanted images of things that elementary-aged children glory in: toilets. Poop. Bums.
It is because of my name that I was able to slip through my childhood unscathed. Being shy and rather timid, I was neither confronted nor bullied. Certainly, I had large glasses that sat too low upon my nose and a secret love of Jane Austen novels, but my name allowed me to avoid the clutches of stereotypes quite beautifully. With a torment-free name, I was able to be myself without attracting any unwanted attention. Free to read my novels in peace, I silently gloried in my name, and dreaded the day when it would change. I was sure that, if ever I did marry, my good fortune would certainly turn on me. I would marry the most handsome man in the world, who would in turn make me the very happy Mrs. Duckworth, or Vasilyevech. I was doomed. Being a girl and very young, I was quick to actualize the thoughts of marriage without understanding what marriage itself entailed.  I was under the strange impression that after one married, if the last name was unsuitable to both the husband and wife, these two could commune together to choose and lawfully change their last name. At this point in time, I already had my name picked, and I would not marry any man who disapproved. My last name was to be cat, C-A-T. Plain, yes. Reproachable, perhaps. But for my undying love of the creature, there was no shame in it. So Joslynn Cat it was to be.

So after Jason married me I was a little disappointed when I realized my lifelong dream could never be. I am, thoroughly and completely now, Joslynn Barton. Looking through my mailbox, however, someone might contest this, thinking there were several Joslynns (Christensen, Christianson, and Barton) living in my home, as well as a Jocelyn and a Jason Barker. Even so, besides being greatly endeared to the Barton family, I am grateful that I have scraped through yet again. I am greatly relieved to know that, like my own dear family's surname, Jason's legacy has as little to do with toilets as mine.

To the unlucky Barfusses of the world, I salute you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday Winston

Space Kitty

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday Winston: a lesson in relaxation

As you sit in the lap of luxury...
.... stretch

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

To the lowest of the low

Jason is the only person on the planet who likes my feet. 
I don't even like my feet. 
The foot is probably the most universally despised of all human body parts-- right up there with the armpit and the inner-nostril. Overworked and undermined, I have seen several girls in my lifetime scream when a boy takes off his shoes to reveal large, unkempt sweaty feet. "Ew your feet! They're so disgusting!"
It's not that my feet are deformed or that they smell bad-- I hope. It's that I have terrible circulation, and all it takes to make them bright red and incredibly unhappy is an hour or so of standing on them. My feet have always been a concern for my mother. Upon seeing me bundled in a bathrobe after a hot shower, she can be heard to exclaim in horror, "Your feet! Your poor purple feet! Oh the podiatrist! I'll call Dr. Royall!" Conversely, Kathy, my stand-partner and best friend, was delighted with my poor circulation. While Mr. Thompson droned on and on about quarter notes and fermatas she would casually reach down with her violin bow and poke the top of my foot, counting how many seconds it would take for the white spot to turn flesh-colored again. "1, 2, 3, 4..." No human foot should refuse to return normal again as long as mine does.
Now venturing down even lower.
I am in the rug business. Well, not really, because the combined effort of both Jason and my employment at the on-campus writing center couldn't pay for any decent rug. Nevertheless, I dream that I am in the rug business. Despite their poor quality and the apparent horror they cause passersby,  I value my feet and am extremely defensive about them. This feeling is intensified given the fact that in the past two weeks they have been entangled in a folding chair, scratched numerous times by Winston and had an iron bed frame dropped on them. As I look down on them in their swollen, painful loneliness, I can't help but think they might like something luxurious to walk on for a change. Rugs are a grossly overlooked source of inspiration-- the intricate patterns, the bold lines, the dyed wool-- it's art! All art! My feet may often be sweaty, or bright red, with chipped toenail polish and nails-- but by golly! They deserve a soft carpet to tread on and a feather pillow to prop them up at night. 
I am by no means a lover of feet. I could never be Dr. Royall and help cut off the corns on the crooked toes of old ladies and trim the yellow toenails of decrepit old men. However, I believe that lovely things should be embraced by every part of our bodies-- even the inglorious foot.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Heart Day

In honor of this day, I would like to introduce my new favorite thing: the paradigm revel. I can't say I love having diabetes, but I do love my pump. It primes my cannula, tells me how much active insulin is inside of me, and formulates amazing graphs. Oh, and did I mention? It's PINK.

And.... as it is Valentine's Day... I should also mention the other things I love that are related to this wonderful holiday.

For warmth, I love this bow-tie bedding from Anthropologie.  

From cold February I love Cambria's snownimal.

For a Valentine's Day treat I love these pretty ice cream bon bons.
Ice Cream Bonbons

Makes 25
1 pint ice cream, any flavor
25 plain vanilla cookies, such as Nilla Wafers
1 pound chocolate, chopped
½ cup chopped nuts
Place the cookies flat side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Top each cookie with one small scoop of ice cream. Freeze until hardened, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a double boiler, heat the chocolate. Once melted, dunk each of the bonbons into the chocolate to coat and return to the baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle nuts on top. Freeze until firm. Keep stored in the freezer.

And for love and love itself, I love Jason.
 And Winston too.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Gluttons unite!

I made up a recipe last night. Well, not really, but I made up the seasonings.

This is what it looked like.

And here is how I did it.

Herbs de Provence Salmon Fillet with dad's famous rosemary potatoes and steamed asparagus.

2 four-ounce boneless salmon fillets
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Brush salmon with olive oil. Cook on grill. Season with herbs de Provence, salt and white pepper. Squeeze half the lemon juice over the salmon while grilling and the other half after the grilling is done.
Meanwhile you will need...

6 small red potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Salt to taste
1/2 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

In a large pot of boiling water cook potatoes until just tender, drain well. In a large bowl toss potatoes with remaining ingredients. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast at 375 degrees for 25 minutes until browned and fragrant. Enjoy!

Steamed Asparagus
This is basically self explanatory. No need to elaborate much.

Do try, and tell me what you think!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

It's in the details.

If I've learned anything from my experiences in decorating, it's that the smallest details matter. A ruffle here, a well-placed flower arrangement there, the right color of paint-- the smallest decorative fringes can make a world of difference.
The sheer hanging canopy over the bed distracts from the lumpiness of the walls. Also, a large painting covers the DOORWAY behind the bed. Yes, there is a doorway behind the bed. It was sealed off when the house in which we live became three separate apartments. However, this does not detract from the fact that we can hear our neighbor's blow-dryer as clearly as if she was in the room.

It is my strong conviction that nothing pretties up a bed better than a crisp, ruffled sheet.

Mirrored boxes, lamps, trays and tables can make a small room look bigger.
I painted and antiqued this ugly, old, beat-up dresser. Glass knobs are chic and antiquey. If they're your style, they'll add elegance to old furniture.
These rosy shower curtain hangers can pretty up any bathroom...
Along with these ruffled towels....
And this floaty shower curtain.

If you love something, embrace it. For instance, birds.

And flowers.

This china cabinet has undergone a mighty transformation. A fresh coat of bright white paint and some new hardware have completely changed it. I stuck the lamp inside because, not blessed with interior lighting, the pretty things inside deserved to be illuminated.

These white picture frames used to be an odd-pinkish gray. I got them on sale at Michael's. Once again, a coat of soft-white paint makes them seem a good deal less bleak.

This yellow couch cover (wrinkled though it may be from Winston playing underneath it) is by far the cutest I have ever seen. A bold yellow print, accented by the embroidered tea cups of my throw pillow-- !! Too exciting for words.