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Hi y’all!  I wanted to share a little of what was going on at Casa Baca this holiday season.  My family will be coming out to Santa Fe for Christmas and I am so excited to get the house decorated for them!  I’ll admit, it has been a lil’ bit of a whirlwind of paper crafts, hot glue and pine needles, but I am pretty jazzed about our “orange” themed decor around here.  I like the decor to be different every year and since we recently acquired an orange tabby cat named Simon, we ditched the traditional red and green and decided we’d pay a little homage to his warm hue!

I LOVE skinny, scrawny trees.  I must have been scarred when I was little because we only ever had the spindliest “see though” trees.  I was always jealous of my friends that had beautiful full-boughed Noble Firs.  When it came to getting my own trees, I tried that for a while and then had to come back to the good ol’ Charlie Browns.  I just adore how well they show off my ornaments!

Speaking of ornaments, since orange isn’t the most obvious holiday color choice, I decide to make my own danglies out of strips of card-stock.  A little rolling, a little hot glue, voila: quilled pretties.

By they way, these are super easy and super cheap ornaments- a perfect DIY to do while watching your favorite Christmas movie!

Since we’ll be joined this year with extra family members and I wanted everyone to have their own stocking, I decided to sew them!  But, don’t be fooled, these stockings are made of paper and filled with my favorite old-school candies.  Even Simon has one filled with kitty treats!

Here’s the lil’ booger that inspired all this orange.  He’s been eyeballing the Christmas tree but has been very good not to get all “jungle cat” and climb up it!

I went with a VERY simple candle centerpiece this year, accented with citrus and white Amaryllis.

I absolutely love the smell of cloves and citrus…do they make a perfume that is a good match?

My Paperwhite bulbs are ALMOST ready to pop.  I’ve been singing Christmas carols to them in hopes they will be cajoled to bloom by the weekend.  Well at least they are a nice backdrop for my handmade clay manger from Jackelope!

There will also be some serious eats at Casa Baca this weekend.  I am super excited for a tamale making party on Christmas Eve- wahoo!  I am also thrilled to be dabbling with a few recipes from some lovely ladies.  Katixa has shared an amazing Green Chile Stew (with Kale and Quinoa) and Johanna has offered the most bomb Huevos Diablitos recipe (these puppies are made with truffle oil and I can take out a whole tray myself!).  It’s your lucky day, because I am going share with you too!

MUY GREEN CHILE STEW

1lb ground turkey
1 cup green chili, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh kale, julienned
1 zucchini, sliced
1 can corn, drained
1 red bell pepper, diced (optional)
1 cup quinoa
2 qt chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tbs gluten-free flour
3 Tbs butter or oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbs salt
1/2 tsp oregano

First, make yourself a drink.

In a stock pot, saute onion, bell pepper and garlic with butter/oil; increase the amount of butter/oil if necessary, it won’t hurt it.  Saute until onions are translucent, add GF flour, coating the contents well.  Add ground turkey and brown.  Once the turkey is browned, add salt, cumin and oregano; mix thoroughly. Toss corn, kale and green chili in the stock pot- remember that you have a cocktail- and pour the stock into the stock pot.  Be sure that all contents are well submerged, adding water if necessary.  Let it cook on the stove over medium heat for as long as you can stand it!  At least 1.5 hours, the longer the better.  

Now, if you want to cook the quinoa in the stew, add 1 cup of quinoa 30 minutes before you plan on serving it.  If not, cook the quinoa on the side and cook the stew as long as you’d like, spooning in the quinoa as a finishing touch.

The last time I made this, I added chickpeas and shushitos and really loved it!  Feel free to deviate and add ground pork/beef, more garlic/green chili, potatoes or anything else that sounds good to you.  It’s stew!

Buen provecho!

Thanks Katixa!

HUEVOS DIABLITOS

1 doz eggs
2T of vinegar
Salty water
1/3 cup mayo or so
1/3 cup good Dijon mustard
S&P
Capers, chopped finely (if you have them)
1tsp truffle butter or oil
red chile powder, or red and green if ya wanna be festive!

Put the eggs in a pan with cold salty water and vinegar so they are submerged. Bring to a boil, cover the eggs and turn off the flame. Wait fifteen minutes and run under cold water.
Peel them. Or make someone else do it, this part sucks.
Slice eggs in two and take out the yolks. Save the egg boats.
Mash the yolks with the mayo, add the mustard and the chopped capers, salt it, pepper it, truffle it. Whip it and make it fluffy.
you probably have a pastry bag…perfect time to use it!
You don’t? use a plastic bag with the corner cut out. Fill those egg white boats up with the mixture; kinda like a soft serve ice cream.
When done sprinkle with chile powder. eat all in one sitting, before your guests even know you made ’em. 

Thanks Johanna!

I do have to share one of my favorite gifts to be giving this year…and mention something wedding-y…since this IS a wedding blog after all!  I often encourage brides to purchase beautiful fabric runners to adorn their reception tables.  This way, if they have a crafty friend or relative, they can have the runners sewn together to make a duvet or beautiful quilt.  Well, my brother was married this summer and at the end of the night I snatched up the teal cloth squares that had been placed on the tables.  I’ve been busily sewing a quilt for them mixed with some adorable Japanese linen prints I found to match.

It was an amazing project to work on!  I even pulled out the ol’ embroidery hoop and stitched on their names and wedding date.  I’m hoping this will be a wonderful keepsake for them to remember their wedding day!

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