Variation on a theme of Poblano Mole

Mole_IbarraI got it stuck in my mind and couldn’t shake it free. Chocolate sauce. Not just any chocolate sauce, It had to be a specific kind of chocolate whipped into a special kind of sauce that involved chilis. What does one do with this sauce once it’s prepared? Spoon it over chicken, of course!

I surfed the interwebs for recipes. I figured I could find a standard recipe on the Ibarra website. No such luck. However, I found four recipes I thought were interesting, so I combined them, morphing them into the one I figured would come out similar to what I had envisioned.

Mole_PanMost of the recipes called for using dried chilis, and I wanted to use fresh. I wanted to focus on mild chilis so my kids wouldn’t be put off by the heat.


I am pretty pleased with how it came out, and

I will definitely try this recipe again, modifying it a bit based on what I learned today.




Kat’s Chicken Mole

3-5 lbs chicken Smoke for about an hour
5 Anaheim chilis and 6 pasilla chilis, Roast over flame, remove seeds and stems, chop and set aside

1-3 tablespoons olive oil, heat in large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat
1 large onion, chopped, add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 18 minutes

Add the following, sauté until nuts and garlic begin to color, about 2 minutes
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1½  teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
½ cup slivered almonds, heaping
One ½ -inch cinnamon stick
2 cloves
12 black peppercorns

Reduce heat to medium and add chiles. Stir until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes

3-5 cups Chicken broth, gradually whisk in and simmer until hot

1 disk Mexican chocolate, chopped, add to pan and stir until dissolved.
Let simmer for 20 minutes

Working in small batches, transfer sauce mixture to blender and puree until smooth; pour into crock pot. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Coarsely shred chicken and add to crock pot; stir to coat. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes.


  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sesame Seeds

Can be made 3 days ahead. Rewarm over low heat before serving.

Butterfly footwear

ButterflyFloralVikkiMy dear friend heard my plea, and sent me shoes on which to doodle. Without activities that I can do while recovering, I will surely go stark, raving mad. Well, perhaps a degree or two crazier than I already enjoy, and we wouldn’t want that, now would we?

My friend made a request to include a butterfly somewhere in the design. I can’t draw. Really. I can follow tangle patterns, and I have fun with those, but drawing an image and having it resemble anything like the original is not my forte. So, I cheated. I used rubber stamps to help me get an outline, and then went from there. Now, the image never went on exactly right, mind you, but it was close enough to get me started.

I hope she likes them as much as I enjoyed making them.



Mira in technicolor

20150225_212230I am sad to report that the first pair of Mira shoes had a run-in with a can of Scotchgard. My intentions were good! I wanted to protect the art for as long as possible. While the integrity of the shoes are still intact, the design is now muted. I think it looks kinda cool, but I prefer the stark contrast of its original state. Lesson learned: Sharpie pens and Scotchgard don’t mix.

The aforementioned experiment just gives us an opportunity to design another pair, right? Of course, right! This time, my colorful and creative younger daughter wanted the bamboo design in green. Well, okay.

It was cheaper with a coupon to purchase a set than it was to just buy a single green pen, and what are you to do with all of those color just screaming at you to use them? Well, d’uh, color savvy girls pick their favorites and her mom uses them. I’ve never Zentangled using a color palate before, I usually stick with the standard black and white. I must say, these are pretty exciting and I’m quite please with how they came out.

_WearingNewMiraClearly, my youngest daughter loves them, as she donned them this morning paired with her signature mismatched socks.

She’s a colorful person, without a doubt!

Yarn of yore

20150206_064525My youngest daughter is gearing up for her sleepover on the Californian, the field trip for a cool history unit her class is studying. Last week, her blue eyes dripping with wistfulness, she asked me to knit her a hat. Well, yeah! What color?

She chose this gorgeous hand spun, hand dyed, yarn I bought a couple of years ago. I didn’t use a pattern, but how hard is it to make a hat, right? I wanted it to be slouchy, and I guessed at how wide to make the band, and when to increase and decrease stitches to give it that slouchy shape, but I think it came out okay. Not bad for my third hat (and no pattern).

I’m positive that she’s pleased with it, as she slept in it last night, wore it to the breakfast table, and occasionally reaches up to run her fingers over the stitches. It’s quite satisfying when someone shows such pleasure in a gift you’ve made for them.


Life’s too short to wear boring shoes


A co-worker wears these amazing shoes she finds online at She saw a notice encouraging artists to submit their designs — and mentioned it to me. Maybe because I have lots of doodles of the Zentangle variety pinned in my cube.  I never got around to submitting art at bucketfeet, but I thought that it’d be fun to draw on shoes. I mean, why not? It’s a canvas, right?

I offered to doodle all over a pair of sneakers for her. She looked around for a comfortable pair, and then delivered them to me.

I thought about them. I worried about them. What if I made a mistake? I didn’t want to ruin a good pair or new shoes! I reminded mysel20150121_075011f that there’s no wrong way to do art, and I eventually broke it down to one section at a time. I could do one section, right? I was pleased enough with my first attempt that I moved on to another, then another. Until I got stuck and put them away.

Another coworker with whom I work also Zentangles, and while in a meeting I was surreptitiously watching her add lines to a doodle in the corner of her notepad.  Seeing her design develop, I felt that jolt of inspiration. Last night I completed the project and brought the shoes in to work for my wild-shoe-sporting coworker.

20150121_075002They are currently adorning her feet, and the story of the shoes and laces told many times over. I am enormously flattered that she likes my work well enough to want to wear my art on her feet.20150121_075125

My son donated the shoelaces and taught me the vertical bar method of lacing shoes.


Looks like I’m now on the hook to create a pair for both my son and my youngest daughter.  What fun!

Enchanted Oasis

Earlier this summer, my youngest daughter began planning her Halloween costume. One can’t start too soon with concepts and reminders to mom, because what if mom forgets? Constant an continual reminders are a must! She showed me pictures and videos of what she envisioned, and we talked about what mediums we’d use to accomplish this forest nymph- or sprite-like creature.

EnchantedCompositThe mom in me thought the outfit a bit skimpy for a 10-year old. Yet the idea that my daughter wanted to create a costume rather than buy something pleased me greatly.

Shopping day arrived, and we visited a local craft shop for inspiration and DIY tips. She took charge of the shopping expedition, explaining in great detail to the staff her vision. The ladies who help us were quite charmed by my daughter’s enthusiasm, and within thirty minutes we had everything we needed to assemble a no-sew costume. (Woot! ‘cuz I can’t sew.)

The following day she help prep the tulle but took command of the antlers. Together we added tulle, bits of silk leaves, and a few more pipe cleaners. But wait! “Mom, I need butterfly wings!” The following week I scored butterfly wings at the dollar store.

The morning of her school fall festival dawns bright yet cool. We had volunteered to help set up the event. My youngest daughter, son, and his friend helped me set up the graveyard. My oldest daughter and her friend worked on the haunted house. Their father filled in where ever he was needed. My soon-to-be-tree-nymph and I skipped out to grab lunch and get her ready to debut her costume.


FFtreeShe is quite please with her costume and couldn’t wait to show it off.  Her delight clearly showed in her face and spoken in terms of “awesome,” “epic,” and “amazing.”

I love it when a plan comes together.

FFjumpy FFgravestones

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I has rawrs!

I has roars!

I saw the dots and circle motif somewhere and decided that I wanted to replicate that look. I’m very please with my results. The paw prints are from a Darice embossing folder, I used the smallest Spellbinder circle die for to cut them out. The adorable lion is Lester, from Inky Antics.