Next Steps and Maple Dijon Chicken

I have been pondering what to make next. I have a couple big walls that would love a quilt. Actually, to be honest, I have several quilts in the closet that I never got around to hanging. Tsk.

So I looked in my "inspiration folder," and some things caught my eye. I am drawn to cubism, but I researched it and a proper cubist drawing has shading. I'm not keen to paint shading on my quilts anytime soon.

I was thinking something more like this. Doable, colorful, but....meh.

I like the lines of this, but there's that shading thing again. So hard to achieve with fabric unless you have infinite values. Not impossible, but challenging and fiddly.

On the hillside in front of my house there are bunches of these giant aloes ("mexico aloe vera"). I took some photos and fiddled with them, and I kind of like this composition. Mine would be multicolored, not just green.

Oh-- one more, I still have the original drawing from Carpe Vinum, a quilt I made for my son, and I wouldn't mind having a copy, but doing something twice is kind of boring. But it's a contender.

In other news, it seems JJ and I have lost our taste for beef lately. Who knows why. We both crinkle our noses at the steak display case and move on to good ol' chicken. I have a million ways to prepare boneless skinless chicken, which we call "rocky chicken" (long story and I can't remember how it started). Here is a new one. It's called Maple Dijon Chicken, and it was terrific and super simple.

These are the supporting cast. Missing from the photo is the star of the show, Rocky Chicken. He's in his dressing room getting ready...can't be disturbed, you know how diva chickens are.

Salt and pepper, olive oil. sriracha, maple syrup, mustard (Dijon or grainy), garlic, and parsley, which is in that green blob in the back.

It's a cool tool, the kids gave it to me for Christmas. Why is she grating herbs onto a cutting board?

Put the chicken in an ovenproof dish. In a small bowl you prepare the sauce, which are the ingredients you see in the above photo. I don't give you amounts because you have to make it to suit your own tastes, but essentially it's equal amounts of mustard and syrup (honey is good too) and the other ingredients to your liking. We like the kick from sriracha, you might not. You might like it sweeter, you might be allergic to garlic. It's your thing, do what you want to do....hey that sounds like a song from the 60s.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake.

In the original recipe they used olive oil and cooked the chicken at a very high temperature (450!), which burned the garlic and laminated the sugars to the baking dish. So here's my spin:

Preheat the oven to 375°. Melt 2 TBS butter in a small skillet over medium heat, add the garlic and other ingredients to taste. Cook the liquid down until it starts to thicken a little. Pour over chicken and bake 40-45 minutes, or you could just add the chicken to the skillet and put the whole shootin' match in the oven.

This is what it looked like when it was done.

You can see the garlic is kind of burned (still tasted good) but the dish was a bitch to wash, I had to soak it overnight in "magic stuff" (dishwasher detergent) despite the fact that I sprayed Pam on the dish. Reason #2 to cook it at a slower temperature.

See you next week, we have a dinner party tonight and we're going to a thing tomorrow. I'll try to remember to take pictures.