Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What's for Dinner Winner!!

Congratulations #5, Jill!

This loverly prize will be winging it's way to you.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 5 - The What's for Dinner Solution

Today we wax poetic about our favorite kitchen appliance and how it works to help get dinner on the table.
My first favorite kitchen appliance is the phone..can you say take out? LOL This whole project has been an exercise to make family meals fun, affordable and better for your family....so easy on the take out it is.
I think my favorite appliance is my stove. My real favorite is a heavy cast iron pot, but that is not an appliance. LOL
I braise, fry, saute`, boil, sear, simmer.....it's how I get supper on the table. I am lucky enough to be a domestic goddess (housewife) and I cook almost everyday, sometimes more than once. 

How did this week of meal planning go for you? I actually didn't fret one single time about supper. I know, right! I always fret, but I posted the menu and stuck with it....yes, even when my taste buds were screaming for a Round Table pan pizza. I think I just may plan out next week's meals too. 

Wednesday night's supper:

Your project, tell me about your favorite kitchen tool, gadget, appliance; anything that helps you get supper on the table for you and yours!! 

All comments get your name in the drawing for this great little book and fantabulous bookmark!
You have a few more days to leave your comments...I am doing 7 days of meals to give those of you that can only check your blogs once in awhile, a little extra time to play catch up.

Monday......a padded envelope could be headed your way....c'mon......play along!!

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sewing Progress

I've been pretty much doing this menu planning challenge....and believe me, it's been a challenge! AND, it's surprisingly nice to know what's for dinner. Who knew?
Started a couple of projects this week and this is where I'm at.

The disappearing 9-patch is pieced! 
I think I am going to add a narrow pink border and a scrappy binding.
The back will be something fun and soft!!

I am participating in a Steampunk Valentine's Blog Hop. 
This is the beginning of my background. Gears are a bit cliche`, but I love them anyway! 
My embroidery skills should improve with all this teeny, tiny detail work. 
Trust me, my back stitch is not fabulous. Not. Even. Close.
I wonder how I will do when I have to fill in a large space??? Will it look satiny smooth or like a cat's scratched up the furniture? Only time will tell.

Happy creating!!

Day 4...The Go to Meal

Does your family have a meal that satisfies everyone? Chances are you have one or two.
My family has such a varied taste profile, it's not easy to make everyone happy at one meal. My daughter and hubs, spicy, spicy and more spicy. Me and the boy, simple and flavorful, but easy on the herbs and spices. I am probably the plainest eater. I could eat a very boring menu and be perfectly happy 98% of the time. 
Our go to meal is: TACOS. Giant burritos...pretty much just a tex mex meal.
I am suppose to post a recipe, but I don't really have one. I'll just tell ya what I do, k.
My son prefers seasoned ground beef. I use the Taco Bell brand seasoning packet for that.
*The rest of us can go shredded chicken, beef or pork. If I am making this kind of meat, I totally plan a L.O.O.P. meal. Pot roast one night, season, shredded meat the next.
*Corn and flour tortillas. Yes, lightly fried into a taco shell shape. Not too hard, not too soft...jjjuussssttt right.
*The extras:
cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, avocado, hot sauce, hotter sauce, hotter even still sauce, seasoned rice, refried and/or whole beans, lemon or lime wedge and a tall glass of iced tea. Okay, the tea is optional but it is really refreshing. 

Your project: tell me your family favorites. 
You can also buzz on over to Kathi's Blog for a sweet little ecookbook surprise!

Okay, now for a book tease.

This recipe is in the book. S'more Brownies
All you have to do to get this recipe and the rest of the book is play along!! Ah heck, you could just go and get one at a brick and mortar store or online. It really is handy dandy and a fun read.

Happy cooking!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What's for Dinner, Day 3

Can you find what you need? If you are like me, you have a place for just about everything and the other people in your house never, ever seem to put things back where they find them. 
I keep trying to teach them about organization, but so far...eh.

Your project for today......it's soooooo easy!!

What are your favorite organizing tips? what it it that you do that is really workin' for ya?

Guess that means I do the project too!
  • I use large glass jars for things like pasta, tea bags and the like. They are old Vlasic pickle jars....so they are affordable free too!! Up-cycling is green!!
  • I have two silverware sorty containers...one for the pretty, matchy stuff and one for the "yes, you can put it in your lunch pail or dig in the dirt with it" stuff.
  • My kitchen has almost no storage, so all my baking supplies are kept together in the dining room buffet.
  • My big freezer has dedicated shelving: meat on one, sweet on one, etc..
  • My cookbooks stay together...always (can you say anal? Sure, I knew you could. Don't EVEN mix the big forks with the little forks either.....I have no words, really!)

Remember, every project (comment in this case) gets you one step closer to this awesome prize!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let's get LOOPy!!

Day 2 of the What's for Dinner Solution challenge.
What is a LOOP meal?
You make a meal and plan to use the leftovers later in your weekly meal plan.
Mine this week was my 5 bean chili. Last night we had it with cornbread and tonight it will be wet burritos. (one of my faves) You get a slotted spoon and scoop out the beans, place them in a warm, ginormous, flour tortilla, add cheese and other fixins, roll it up then top with the chili sauce and some cheese to make it all pretty. I am drooling thinking about it.

Update: dinner pic!!

My recipe:
  • I can each (approx. 16oz), drained and rinsed:black beans
    white beans
    kidney beans
    cannellini beans
    pinto beans
    petite cut tomatoes(undrained)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped or you can use canned green chilis
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (I use a lot more cuz I really like cumin, so use this as your baseline for flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons chilipowder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, I use mexican oregano...but regular will do
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a small wedge of lemon
  • (opt)a small can of taquera sauce (very spicy thin salsa, not tomato based)
  • chicken broth ( or veggie broth or beef broth or any combo of the three)
Put a little oil in a dutch oven
add onions, garlic and peppers. saute until soft and mostly cooked
Add everything else.Use only enough broth to make your ''soup'' and thin or thick as you like. I use a lot so I can have ''enchilada sauce" the next day.
Bring to a boil, turn down heat, simmer for 30 minutes.....longer doesn't hurt it a bit.
Serve with grated cheese, cornbread, tortillas, tortilla strips, avocado....whatever makes your tastebuds smile. Yes, you can add meat too.

Let me know, in the comments section, your favorite way to use leftovers. Remember, each comment gets you one step closer to winning your very own book!!

You can also go to kathi's Blog and see her favorite was to use chicken as a LOOP meal.

Monday, January 23, 2012

* * * The "What's for Dinner Solution" Challenge * * *

My friend, Kathi Lipp, author, speaker and wild woman, is hosting a blogger challenge designed to help all of us who provide the evening's repast (din-din, supper, tea, grab and dash) with some tools and tips to keep a little stress out of our evening rush. This challenge is as much for me as anyone, because I am VERY guilty of not knowing what I am fixing until 4:00pm lol

To quote the infamous Barney Stinson, "challenge accepted!"

A short, publisher written, intro:
For many women, dread turns to panic around 4:00 in the afternoon. That’s when they have to answer that age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” Many resort to another supermarket rotisserie chicken or—worse yet—ordering dinner through a drive-thru intercom.
   In The “What’s for Dinner” Solution, popular author and speaker Kathi Lipp provides a full-kitchen approach for getting dinner on the table every night. After putting her 21-day plan into action, women will
  • save time—with bulk shopping and cooking
  • save money—no more last-minute phone calls to the delivery pizza place
  • save their sanity—forget the last-minute scramble every night and know what they’re having for dinner
The book includes real recipes from real women (one from me!!!), a quick guide to planning meals for a month, the best shopping strategies for saving time and money, and tips on the best ways to use a slow cooker, freezer, and pantry. With Kathi’s book in hand, there’s no more need to hit the panic button.

This book, replete with custom made bookmark, can be yours!!

How, you ask?
Follow the challenge directions each day on my blog. That's it! At the end of the week, I'll put all the comments in a jar and pick a winner. Check out Kathi's blog or facebook page for more information.

On to the challenge...
Project One:
In the comments section, post your menu for the week
If you'd like a menu guide, you can find one here and here are some dinner ideas.

My menu--
  • Monday: Multi bean chili, cornbread and a big ol' salad
  • Tuesday: LOOP meal (left overs on purpose) Use the strained, leftover chili in a burrito and use the juice as enchilada sauce for a ''wet'' burrito.
  • Wednesday: Chicken Fried Steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, two veg and some homemade biscuits.See my tutorial for biscuit making here.
  • Thursday: Leftover night. We are all over the place this day and we all eat a different times, so this is "eat it before it goes bad night" here. LOL
  • Friday: If the kids are home, chicken and rice and warm flour tortillas, if it's just me and the hubs, breakfast for dinner.
  • Saturday: BBQ Burgers, it's a tradition. The hubs can't get enough BBQ - ever!
  • Sunday: Hubs choice, usually something on the BBQ

Saturday, January 21, 2012

FNSI for January and mini tutorial

I actually got a lot done!! 

First, I made 8 burp cloths

A close up of the fabric. 
I HAVE got to find some that say " I love my grandma and grandpa!"

Next, I worked on a baby quilt
Look at those corners!!

This is my friend Denise's favorite block. It's called a disappearing 9-patch 
You start out with a basic 9-patch.

Then you cut it in half one way

Then you do the same thing the other direction.

You get blocks that look like this - - 4 blocks per 9-patch

Then you get to play with the layout
I still need to fiddle with it a lot more, then border it and quilt it and bind it.
My daughter just informed me that I need to make this exact quilt for her possible, future, child that she may or may not have. LOL  I can wait....a long time!!
Yes Denise, this one is yours...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vintage, honest to goodness, real, live vintage!

Today I got one of the best little surprises ever! The hubs does some yard work for a vintage lady and she sent him home with a tin of buttons.......a tin that belonged to HER MOM!! The tin dates to the 40's and Miss Mardy is in her 80's and I KNOW some of the items are from WWII era.
It's so fun! I just want to play in the buttons for awhile, ya know?!
Now for some pics:

The tin. 
It says Dixie Mix. 
Guess what? 
It held Camel Brand Cigarettes in it. I know, right!

My first peek at all the buttony goodness

Of course I dumped it out. helloooooo

As you can see, most of the buttons are pretty utilitarian. Some were store bought, some from old clothing, some with lots and some with just one or two. 
Heck, there is even one ugly, plastic, daisy button from the 70's in there!

Some Bakelite buttons and belt buckles. I'm pretty sure the shell buttons are real shell!

Can you say late 50's/60's tweed? Sure, I knew you could.
There is one lonely little rhinestone button and one lonely little etched glass button too.

And now....

are you ready? 

A mending kit for silk stockings!!
Complete....all there!! Squeeeeeeee

Read the directions....awesome sauce!!!
I can't believe how good this still looks after all these years!

The big question: do I use them? 
I know I will some of them, but some are just too fun. I saw a shadow box all prettied up with buttons on a blog somewhere....maybe I can do that for some of the more interesting buttons? Hmmmm
Looks like a fun project!!
What would you do with a box of buttons??

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Finished Files and a Giftee

First off, thank you Amy for my lovely mini Christmas quilt. I just may keep it out as a runner for my smaller table.....for the rest of the month!! It's fab-u-lous!!!

Nice, right? She also tucked in a couple of fat quarters and some chocolately goodness!

Now the finished file: 
I made this apron for Anita. 
We are trading some hand crafted goodness. 
She is knitting me some fingerless mittens. I can hardly wait!! I

I've got several projects just waiting for my attention. A quilt for my soon to be born granddaughter (my first grand!), a steampunk valentine and a quilt for me!! Loves me some circa 1934!!
So far, I have been a great finisher this year. In part, I am encouraged by the sew along at sewmuch2luv. All kinds of peeps working together for a common goal: finishing stuff!!!
What can I finish next????  More Valentine's perhaps?

Friday, January 13, 2012

OOooooing, Ahhhhhing and Planning

     There are some days when all you can do is look and marvel at all the possibilities; fondle fabric; look through books and blogs and try and picture, in your mind's eye, your next project. I love days like that!
     Yesterday was such a day! The UPS man was my bestie for a just a little while..at least for the time it took for him to walk to my door, ring the bell and leave me two boxes of fabric! Ohhhhhh, the fabric. Let me show you.......

A fat 1/8 pack of Reunion by Sweetwater. Ahhhhh.
I've preordered Lucy's Crab Shack already. Bad me!!

Some Riley Blake (6 charm packs and a jellyroll) for my upcoming grandmahoodness in late May, early June. I can hardly believe it....still.

 A charm pack of Circa 1934 for fondling purposes so I can use my layer cake and not feel like I will never see this fabric again. I know, I know......
Am I the only one who falls for a fabric and doesn't want to ''mess it up" by actually using it?

This Circa 1934 quilt kit. LOVE it times two!

 The whole kit and kaboodle

      Now that I see it all together again, I just want to daydream away. I recently read an article that sometimes the best part of sewing is the planning and the possibilities; the expectation more than the fruition. For some projects, that is absolutely true. It's always nice to keep one dream alive and fulfill all the rest.
    What dream do you want to keep?  So you can dream and play and plan,  ooo and ahhhhh, marvel at all it can be.......
    What dreams do you want to see in your "been there, finished that" pile?

My circa 1934 charm pack will stay in my dream pile. As for the rest........I want to oooo and ahhhh over lots and lots of little dreams come true!!

And thanks to my friend Amy, I can Schnibble my day away.....Bad Amy, but Great Amy!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Finished Files

I am almost finished with the stuff I started earlier this week.
Baby burp cloths...done!
Apron.....ran out of the right color thread, will finish tomorrow.
Valentines....d o n e!!

And here they are. I have some more fabric on the way because I plan on making a bunch more, only heart shaped and with a pocket. I am loving Sweetwater fabrics and labels and patterns.

Here they are stitched and labeled

Instead of machine stitching, I decided to do a big running stitch.

My colors are a little irregular so I had a hard time finding ribbon I liked

So I made my own in the right colors

I laid out the ribbon, then zig zagged it on

After the first one, I decided I liked it going the other direction.

Kinda cute, eh?

This kinda stuff makes me wish my kids were still little and they needed a boatload of Valentine's for their class. I really enjoyed this project and am looking forward to the rest of the Valentine's.
Then, I get to hand them out!!!! Fun stuff!!
Yes, I am a big ol' kid!

Monday, January 9, 2012


Well, today I got quite a bit done. 
The pictures don't show the whole progress, but I should be done by tomorrow!!

Some valentines. I'm a member of the sweetwater label crew and this is the January project.
Right now, they all all sewn and trimmed and turned and awaiting embellishment.

Pieces of an apron. Hopefully, the person who this is for is madly working on my fingerless mittens!! Hint, hint. Just need to attach the pocket and sew, turn and attach the ties.

Something finished!! Burp cloths. 
I know the baby shower isn't for months, but what's a first time gram-gram to do....wait? 
I think not!!

I have bunches of stuff in the wings and I plan on being a finisher this year, not just a starter!!
I hope a few of you keep me honest and on my toes!!
Happy Hobbying!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I wanna sew.............soon

Prepping today, hopefully sewing tomorrow and then stuff to show and tell!!!!

Made 144 mini snickerdoodle cupcakes yesterday

The Dot decided to help me out on the last tray. 
I think she got more on her than the cupcakes. LOL
Yes, that is a plate of ''seconds'' on the left. I'm afraid they are all gone. (snicker, snicker)

 To quote Crocodile Dundee, "Now that's a piping tip!"