From My Carolina Home

Quilting, cooking, reading books, gardening, crafting, sewing, photography and more


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Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Cooler days and nights, combined with busy schedules means the slow cooker is coming out of the pantry to take care of dinner.  While I usually think of this cooker as the best way to a hearty meal ready when I get home, I wanted to make a low fat dish.  Over the years of using a slow cooker, and watching cooking shows, I have learned (and confirmed with experience) that the most flavorful meats need a bit of extra care.  Certainly throwing everything into the cooker and turning it on is one way to go, but a few extra minutes on both ends will give you a meal to savor as slowly as it cooked.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

This time I started with chicken thighs.  I think the thighs stand up to long slow cooking well, although you could use the breast.  The key is to leave the skin and bones intact (we’ll remove them later), so their flavor is added to the cooking.  The boneless, skinless chicken breasts tend to become tough and dry, plus the bone in skin on pieces are usually less expensive.  A bone in piece of chicken just has more flavor.  I gathered onion and spices, chicken broth, bourbon and mushrooms.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Set a frying pan on the stove to heat with a bit of olive oil.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Season the skin side of your chicken.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Place in the pan skin side down and season the other side. Sear on high heat.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Turn the chicken over and sear the other side.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

While the chicken sears, cut a large slice of onion and break into rings.  How much is purely a taste issue, a bit more or less doesn’t matter.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Spray the slow cooker crock with no-stick spray, then place half of the onions inside, top with the chicken pieces.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Slice the mushrooms.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

This is the underside of the seared chicken, look at the lovely color on the meat.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Measure about 1/2 cup of broth, about half of the can, give or take a smidge.  Put the rest in the refrigerator, we will use it later.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Top the chicken with all the mushrooms.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Add the remaining onions, and pour the chicken broth over, along with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of bourbon to taste.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Doesn’t this look good? It will get even better with just a few more steps.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Remove the chicken and vegetables to a plate. Remove the skin, gristle and bones, and discard. This is a fat separator, and it works wonderfully. Just pour the hot liquid left in the pot into it. The sieve at the top will catch any large bits left, the liquid goes to the bottom. The fat floats on top, and the broth will pour from the bottom, effectively and quickly de-fatting the broth.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Pour the broth into a saucepan, and heat on high to boiling.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Mix two tablespoons of flour with the remaining chicken broth until it is smooth.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Add to the boiling broth in a thin stream stirring continuously, until a thickened gravy forms, about one minute.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Replace the chicken and vegetables back in the cooker, and pour the gravy over.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Warm the chicken in the gravy for 5-10 minutes, until nicely hot.  It can hold in the slow cooker for an hour at this stage if needed.  Serve over rice, if desired, or noodles would work too, or even mashed potatoes. For a low carb meal, just serve it plain with roasted vegetables, or maybe spaghetti squash. Sorry this pic is a bit blurry, but it looks even more scrumptious with the seared side up.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Eat it up!!  The bourbon lends the chicken an aged, smokey flavor.  The alcohol burns off leaving this wonderful flavor behind infused into the meat.  Use the 1/4 cup amount for a light flavor, go up to the 1/2 cup for a stronger flavor.  Yum!!

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken and Mushrooms

3-4 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on (or breasts, or a mixture of light/dark pieces)
Garlic salt and lemon pepper, enough to lightly sprinkle all the pieces of chicken both sides.
1 tablespoon olive oil (or just enough to lightly film a saute pan)
one large thick slice of onion
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 can low sodium, low fat chicken broth, divided
1/4-1/2 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons flour

Set a frying pan on the stove to heat with a bit of olive oil. Season the skin side of your chicken. Place in the pan skin side down and season the other side. Sear on high heat until nicely browned. Turn the chicken over and sear the other side. While the chicken sears, cut a large slice of onion and break into rings. Spray the slow cooker crock with no-stick spray, then place half of the onions inside, top with the chicken pieces. Measure about 1/2 cup of broth, about half of the can, give or take a smidge. Top the chicken with all the mushrooms and the remaining onion. Pour the 1/2 cup of chicken broth over, reserve the rest for later. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of bourbon to taste.

Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Remove the chicken and vegetables to a plate. Remove the skin, gristle and bones, and discard. Using a fat separator, pour the hot liquid left in the pot into it, de-fatting the broth. Pour the broth into a saucepan, and heat on high to boiling. Mix two tablespoons of flour with the remaining chicken broth until it is smooth. Add to the boiling broth in a thin stream stirring continuously, until a thickened gravy forms.

Replace the chicken and vegetables back in the cooker, and pour the gravy over. Warm the chicken in the gravy for 5-10 minutes, until nicely hot. It can hold in the slow cooker for an hour at this stage if needed. Serve over rice, if desired, or noodles would work too, or even mashed potatoes. For a low carb meal, just serve it plain with roasted vegetables, or maybe spaghetti squash.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Enjoy!! Do you use your slow cooker a lot?

 

Creative-Goodness . FoodieFriday . My Flagstaff Home

Ms Helen’s Full Plate Thursday

 

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A Note About Bloglovin’ and a new header

Do you use Bloglovin to follow From My Carolina Home?  If so, please make sure you are actually following my blog and not me personally.  I do not know how readers find this Bloglovin page instead of my blog page, but I have 197 followers on my personal profile account, which I rarely post to.  I have 176 followers for the blog.  This means 21 of you are not getting my blog posts because you followed me and not my blog.  Recently, I have had notices of four more followers to the profile page and not the blog.  Here’s how to check – sign into Bloglovin’, then go to this link – https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/from-my-carolina-home-11659021 –  and be sure it says ‘following’.  Below is a screen shot of my blog page prior to this post.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 5.49.34 PM

Here is my personal profile page that I don’t usually post to or save much to.  You’ll want to click on the blue blog link to get to my blog page.  Mostly what is here is my saved posts from other blogs.  If you want to see this too, that’s great.  I just don’t want you to miss my blog posts, which some of you are, so I am going to save this post to it in the hopes of reaching those readers.

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 5.20.22 PM

Thank you for following!  I appreciate each and every reader!

In other news, I changed the header to an autumn scene from our veranda taken last year, gorgeous color and I am looking forward to an even better season of color this year.  Come by and see the new look From My Carolina Home.


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Autumn In The Mountains Car Show

Yesterday was our big event for the British Car Club, our annual Autumn In The Mountains car show.  It is the last big event for me for a busy September.  I am president of this club, so the workload for me was increased this year.  Our car is the one on the right, a TVR.  The tents behind are the Silent Auction.

British Car Club AITM 2015 - 18

It was the worst weather for a car show, drizzle and rain all day.

British Car Club AITM 2015 - 7

We started off pretty slow, but did manage to get a fair number of cars to see before the day ended.

British Car Club AITM 2015 - 16

Two of our club members own DeLoreans.

British Car Club AITM 2015 - 9

More cars showed up later in the morning, a couple of intrepid souls came in from Tennessee.

British Car Club AITM 2015 - 21

The drizzly rain continued, and everything was wet by midmorning. We had some later entrants with some really neat things to see.

British Car Club AITM 2015 - 33

British Car Club AITM 2015 - 34

It was hard to bid on any items in the Silent Auction because all the bid pages were wet. But we did manage to get a some money raised for Meals on Wheels. All those tents had items for sale or bid.

British Car Club AITM 2015 - 22

I was happy to end the day early, hand out awards, help clean up and get home.  The good news with this rain is it should help keep the leaves on the trees so the fall color will be nice.  I’ll show you some of that soon, our area peaks in mid-October.


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Using a Directional Print in Stacked Bricks

I am still on my plan to make more boy’s themed quilts for our charity quilt goal with the quilt club.  I found this really cute Winnie the Pooh fabric, but it is directional.  The print has a fairly large repeat, so bigger pieces will show off this print better than cutting small ones.

Pooh Stacked Bricks - 1

I decided to use the Stacked Bricks pattern, and use the Pooh print for the 7 inch squares. I made a nine-patch with five-inch squares in colors that went with the print. Then I did the cuts, turning the upper left and lower right.

Pooh Stacked Bricks - 2

Next, I sewed the two top pieces together, and the two bottom ones together. The sewn pieces were offset to allow the Pooh squares to be added.

Pooh Stacked Bricks - 3

Continue sewing in rows, and press toward the Pooh print.

Pooh Stacked Bricks - 5

Here is one brick done.

Pooh Stacked Bricks - 11

I began making rows of bricks, being careful to keep the Pooh print right side up.

Pooh Stacked Bricks - 8

I had four bricks stacked, and decided I could do eight to make a larger quilt for an older child.

Pooh Stacked Bricks - 9

So I made more bricks.

Pooh Stacked Bricks - 10

This made a nicely sized quilt.

Pooh Stacked Bricks - 12

A matching green border was added, and then it was loaded up for quilting.

Pooh Stacked Bricks - 16

I used a cloud pantograph for this one, echoing the clouds in the print.

Pooh Stacked Bricks - 18

I had several pictures of the quilting, but it is actually easier to see on the back.

Pooh Stacked Bricks - 21

Binding is the same green print. Some of you may remember this print from the Elizabeth House quilts, and I am happy that I have used the last of it between this quilt and the next one.

Pooh Stacked Bricks Finish close

All done and just needs a label and it will be ready to deliver.

Pooh Stacked Bricks Finish

I am a bit ahead of schedule, as the kid quilts are due in November. So, next month I’ll show you another quilt with the same directional print, but used in a non-directional way.  I have put this Stacked Bricks pattern in my Craftsy store for free.  I am  hoping if you like that one, you’ll consider buying my Amazing Value Play which gives you two complete sets of instructions for two different quilts from the same pattern.  The Scrap Dance Mystery Quilt pattern is now available on Craftsy, too.  Just click on the Craftsy link, or on the sidebar to see my store.

If you are visiting from Fave Quilts, please stay a bit and have a look around, my tutorials are gathered at the top in pages to make them easy to find.  Lots of fun is had here!  My blog is a variety of subjects, quilting and sewing, tablescapes and recipes, book reviews and hand stitching, crafting and mountain living. I love to have new followers, too!  See the buttons on the sidebar to follow by your favorite method.  My third mystery quilt is in progress, click on Scrap Dance Two Step on the sidebar for the first post.  Click on the Home page to see the latest posts on the blog.

And one more thing to add, my How to Serge Perfect Napkins tutorial is being featured on the All Free Sewing blog Seams and Scissors today!  Happy National Sewing Month, and Happy Quilting!

Sharing with the parties on my sidebar, and….

Fresh Poppy Design . Sew and Sow Farm


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Draw String Pouch

Did you know that September is National Sewing Month?  You would think that I didn’t know, with the few actual sewing projects I have done this month.  So to make up for it, here is a project can be done in under an hour.  Read all the way to the end for a chance to win a Bernina sewing machine!

Draw String Pouch - 20

Isn’t this sewing motif fabric cute?  This one looked nice with the red print as a contrast for the inside. All you need for this project is two squares of fabric and a yard of string.

Draw String Pouch - 1

I started by cutting a 10-inch circle from both fabrics. Pattern weights make this fast and easy.  You can play with the size to fit your needs.  I have made them as small as 8 inches, and as big as 15 inches.

Draw String Pouch - 2

Measure in one inch from the edge and mark a line for a buttonhole.

Draw String Pouch - 3

Sew the buttonhole.

Draw String Pouch - 4

Carefully cut open the inside of the buttonhole with a pair of scissors.

Draw String Pouch - 6

Place your two circles right sides together and sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance along the edge, leaving a space for opening. I use my 1/4-inch foot for accuracy.

Draw String Pouch - 7

Turn the pouch right side out.

Draw String Pouch - 9

Use a chopstick or something similar to push the fabric out to the seam.

Draw String Pouch - 11

Pin the opening closed. Don’t worry, no hand work here!

Draw String Pouch - 10

Press the seam into a smooth circular shape.

Draw String Pouch - 13

Now topstitch 1/4-inch away from the edge. This will close the opening you used for turning, and allow a little ruffle on the finished pouch.

Draw String Pouch - 14

Your next sewing line will be about an inch farther in, be sure to go on the inside edge of the buttonhole. This creates a channel for your draw string.

Draw String Pouch - 15

Using a bodkin, thread the string through the buttonhole, around the pouch and out the same buttonhole.

Draw String Pouch - 16

Pull up on the strings to create the pouch bag.

Draw String Pouch - 17

Draw String Pouch - 19

Tie into a bow. You might also want to add knots to the ends of the string to keep them from raveling. Ready to gift with whatever you like inside. Maybe a couple of spools of thread for a sewing friend.

Draw String Pouch - 22

A knitting friend will find it valuable to keep her yarn ball from running away.

Draw String Pouch - 21

It stands up on its own, and would be an ideal thread catcher too. Just tie the bow with the top open.

Draw String Pouch - 23

There you are, quick, easy and handmade with affection for anyone you choose.  It is the same basic design as the Christmas Candle Wrapper I made last year, except the ruffle is smaller and uses a string instead of ribbon.  This same basic pouch is used for a jewelry keeper for travel or a sewing kit too with the addition of an inside piece for pockets and a stabilizer.  Would you like to see how that is done?

Now, for the giveaway, just go to the All Free Sewing Website at this link –  BERNINA 215 Simply Red Sewing Machineand enter to win this machine donated by BERNINA with a value of $999.00.  One lucky winner will receive a BERNINA 215 Simply Red Sewing Machine! The deadline to enter is October 6, 2015 at 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

The B 215 Simply Red is ideal for price-conscious beginners who value quality and sewing convenience.  It’s a user-friendly machine that can easily handle thick layers of fabric, perform a multitude of creative techniques, and can be upgraded with a wide range of accessories.  Features include a built-in needle threader, thread cutter, backlit LCD, and direct-select keypad for accessing 11 stitch patterns including a buttonhole.

Check out the All Free Sewing blog on Sept 25th for my Serged Napkins tutorial too!


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September in the Garden, the Deer Visit

Temperatures cooling off last week have ended the flowering of some of the plants.  All the veggies are done, what little I got from them.  I picked up another soil test at the Fair, so I’ll be doing another one to see if something has changed that might explain the lack of produce.  The plants flowered, but didn’t produce the veggies.  The thing that is unusual is that the double begonia apparently loves the cooler weather, as it is now blooming its head off.

Early September Garden

Gorgeous yellow double blooms!

Early September Garden

Early September Garden

The yellow should look nice with an orange pumpkin, maybe it will continue to bloom for a bit more.

Early September Garden

The pink geranium had a final burst of blooms.

Early September Garden

The torenias will likely keep blooming well into October. Amazing aren’t they? The baskets now trail down to the railing.

Early September Garden

This is the amaryllis that has bloomed for two years now. I am hoping it will do so again, so it will go into dark storage in a cool place soon. I am hoping it will bloom for Christmas.

Early September Garden

These little guys will get moved to the other side of the door to replace the lobelias that are done.

Early September Garden

The wildlife living in the woods surrounding our home is a continuing source of wonder for us. These deer aren’t often seen, so this visit by a doe and her fawn was so special. Can you see them? The doe is to the left of the tree across the driveway, the fawn is on the right side of the tree.

Early September Garden

We watched quietly, careful not to startle them as they will bound away quickly.

Early September Garden

I was holding my breath as they moved slowly into the sunlight across the driveway. The doe is on the far right, that is the fawn in the sunlight.

Early September Garden

She followed quickly after, you can just see the little tail of the fawn in front of her.

Early September Garden

I cannot wait for autumn, I am looking forward to the changing leaves.  I want to go buy a pumpkin!


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Fun at the Mountain Regional State Fair 2015

The Mountain Regional State Fair is in its last weekend, and it was a blast to both enter competitions and attend the fair.  This year I went twice, and yes I had to get a corn dog both times.   I enjoy so much about this annual event, the heritage crafts, the fun food (no I didn’t get a fried oreo, but I did think about it, LOL!), seeing all the winners in the giant pumpkin contest, and of course the wonderful quilts!

State Fair 2015 -35

I don’t ride these crazy things, but I do enjoy the chair lift that takes you over the whole fairgrounds.  That is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.

State Fair 2015 -40

This year we got to the fair early on a grey day, just in time to see the rabbit competition.

State Fair 2015 - rabbit judging 3

Did you know that the judging for these cute guys is more stringent than the average dog show?

State Fair 2015 - rabbit judging

They were cute lined up in their bins waiting for their turn.  I could have done a whole post just on these little guys.

State Fair 2015 - rabbits in bins

More waiting patiently for their competition, happily munching on hay.

State Fair 2015 - rabbits

We watched the llama competition too, the kids have to take them through an obstacle course.

State Fair 2015 - llama judging 2

No chickens this year, due to the state trying to limit the exposure to the bird flu.  We did see the little pigmy goats, adorable!

State Fair 2015 - 13 pigmy goats

The clogging competition was that day too, but I didn’t get any pictures.  I think I was just so captivated by the kids and how well they danced.  We went over to the competitions building to see the quilts after that.  I was thrilled to see a second place ribbon on my Sudoku quilt made of sewing fabrics. I already showed you the third place on my applique Spotted Hen, also in this picture.

State Fair 2015 - Sukoku

I have a new purse pattern that I’ll be publishing soon.  It won a ribbon too!  It has a beaded embellishment that is from the upholstery department in the home dec department of the local fabric store.

State Fair 2015 - Carole purse

I also received a second place on my Autumn Table Linens Set of table runner, 4 place mats, 4 napkins and 2 potholders, in the quilted crafts division. It was a real thrill to also receive the Judge’s Choice ribbon!

State Fair 2015 - Quilted linens Judges Choice

The real surprise was a first place ribbon in the amateur photography competition, in the category of Fair pictures from last year.  I had taken a photo of some of the vegetable competition with the quilts hanging overhead.

State Fair 2015 -Photo First

The quilts hanging from the ceiling were all spectacular. The winners were well deserved, beautifully pieced and quilted masterpieces.  A couple of my friends won in two categories, and I am thrilled for them.  The black modern quilt ended up oriented this way, and I liked it.  It was hard to get a good picture with the lighting.

State Fair 2015 - Quilt black 1

Back outside, we had to get some food. Chicken and waffle! My first time, and I liked it!

State Fair 2015 -Chicken and Waffles

We took the food to a table down the row and around a corner to hear Leon Jacobs, Jr. do his one man band. Always a treat to hear him play oldies and tell jokes. It is a fun show I like to see, if I can get there at the right time. He only plays a few times a day.

State Fair 2015 - Jacobs

After that, we hit the Heritage crafting area, where I bought some pottery (on both trips, LOL), and we got to watch the blacksmith in action making a metal leaf key ring.

State Fair 2015 - 27 Blacksmith

I took so many pictures! And we did so much more on those two visits than I can put into one post, things to see and do, the little newborn calves at the Mooternity ward, more competitions, beautiful woodworking and a chain saw artist. The floral competition was spectacular as we got there just after all those beautiful blooms were delivered for judging. So many gorgeous roses, orchids and more.

State Fair 2015 - Flowers

I’ll pick up all my entries on Monday, then on Wednesday take three quilts to Asheville for their quilt show coming up the first weekend in October.  Then I am done with shows until next year!  Three shows in less than 30 days is a lot of running around.  Plus it is another weekend of the Friends of the Library book sale, with box-of-books day next Friday.  I hope to get some time to sew in October!

Do you enter competitions in your local fair?  Do you go to the fair?