Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dull Girl aka Plant Killer

I made this layered Greek dip for Inspector Gadget's work barbecue. Everyone asked for the recipe. It's complicated. Ha!

Greek Dip
Spread one container of hummus in bottom of pie plate (or make your own).
Top with finely diced cucumber, red pepper, tomato, scallions, kalamata olives, feta cheese and fresh dill.
Serve with pita chips.

Anyone want to guess how quick I can kill this dill plant?

For dinner last night I tried this crock pot tomato soup recipe. It was delicious and made a huge vat. Good thing I love tomato soup. My mom tried to pawn off that canned stuff when I was little, but I hated it. Too sweet. I didn't have diced tomatoes, so I used crushed. I also used skim milk, but it would be even richer with whole milk or half and half. This morning I filled a ramekin with soup, topped it off with an egg and baked that baby. Buttered and toasted baguette slices for dipping. It was heaven.

So no sewing for the past couple of days. Real job was busy and Hollywood needed help restyling her room. I need to sew today or I'm liable to get grumpy. And we don't need that.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

We're All Adults Here

I'm not going to talk about anything racy...well, not today. My littlest turned 18 over the weekend. We're all adults now. The poor dog will be 84 next month.

I showered my baby in pale pink grocery store roses and a store bought Oreo pie. The pie was her choice. I offered to make her anything her little heart desired. She wanted a frozen pie. From the grocery store. I love that kid.

I made the guys a blackberry pie so they wouldn't feel left out. Hollywood is the only Oreo pie fan here. Now if I can continue to talk her out of getting a tattoo. I was so hoping that tattoo fad went out of fashion before my kids could get any. So far, I'm doing so good. Of course I told her the story of the woman needing a liver transplant after innocently having her husband's initials tattooed as a wedding gift to him. Yeah, it was a Fairly Legal television episode, but still.

Biscuits, baby! Every Southern girl knows a biscuit recipe. And it's fun to see variations on the theme. My grandma taught me to make biscuits, but never gave me a recipe. I don't think she had one. She just added stuff and handled the dough gently. Gentle dough handling is the key. You can use whatever ingredients you want. I loved this easy three-ingredient recipe from Rachel.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Break!

It was such a beautiful spring weekend. We received much needed rain early Sunday morning, but it was gone by the time everyone was up and ready to roll. I'm hoping that heavy rainstorm washed a bit of the pollen away.

I tried this crock pot macaroni and cheese recipe. It's nothing like my traditional baked macaroni and cheese, but more like the blue box stuff my kids adore. The only thing I changed from the recipe was only using two eggs and replacing the whole milk with skim milk. I rarely buy whole milk, so I didn't have it on hand. The reviews complained about the eggs, but I wanted to include them. The end product was creamy and rich, but I prefer the traditional stuff.

Also served these mustard maple chicken thighs. They smelled amazing cooking and the sauce was nice and tangy. It gave the boneless, skinless thighs nice color.

I'm sporting a new messenger bag too. I used Diary of a Quilter's 32-minute Messenger Bag tutorial. It was nice and easy sewing. My baby turned 18 yesterday and we've been doing a little retail therapy. I've been looking for messenger bags, but haven't found one I liked (or could afford). The bag took me a little more than 32 minutes as I couldn't get my head around how to place the inner pocket. There was unsewing involved. The sideways flowers weren't planned either. ;) Now that I've made one, I'm all clear on the process.

Happy Monday! I'm off to get a coffee maker. Mine sprung a small leak last night. My track record with coffee makers is awful. I've bought expensive ones, mid-range models, cheapies and different brands. I once called a repairman to fix our new, under warranty refrigerator because I smelled plastic burning. Turns out the coffee maker had shorted out and burnt a hole into my counter top. It's kind of sad these appliances are so disposable. I imagine a land fill chock full of broken appliances.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Stash #47

Some freebies from my friends! Yay! Happy Sunday ya'll! It's been such a beautiful weekend. Spring has sprung!

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's the Weekend!

Oh my, try this Cheese Bread real soon. It tastes just like the Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay biscuits. You know the ones. I tried to give half of the loaf to our neighbor, but Inspector Gadget wouldn't let me. He wants the entire loaf. Wonder what the bread would be like toasted with a poached egg on top?

I made this pillowcase at our February Sew Day and promptly forgot about it. I used Heather Ross' adorable doggie print. I found the pillowcase kit on sale and planned on using the doggie print for something else, but I decided to try the tube pillowcase pattern and practice my French seams. It's all washed, pressed and ready to donate.

My favorite little dogs.

I found a great deal on some Pyrex containers with lids. Goodbye sour cream containers and butter bowls. My Tupperware cabinet is a hot mess. I call it the Tupperware avalanche area.

I started streaming Gossip Girl as my background entertainment while I mess around in my studio. What a bunch of mean girls and boys. Ha! I never knew what the show was about, but I am clued in now. Aren't there a bunch of seasons? This stuff is worse than Melrose Place.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's Spring!

I had some T-shirts to upcycle, so I found a few tutorials to play around with. This Recycled Mooshy Belly Bunny is by the clever Chez Beeper Bebe. She makes all kinds of cute things and shares a variety of tutorials. My bunny looks like a child made it, but my daughter loved it. She saw me making it before she left for school and begged for the finished bunny.

I also tried making a skirt from a T-shirt, but that was a total fail. The concept looked good, but it didn't quite work out. Too bad an Abercrombie shirt had to die, but it was in the poor kids box anyway. Now I have a fancy designer dust rag. Hollywood probably wouldn't have worn the skirt anyway, but I had to give it a try.

I decided to give the Granny Square block another try using a much quicker strip piecing method. And check out this oversize Granny Square block using colorful nine patches. I really have enjoyed seeing all these Granny Squares popping up in blogland. Such a darling block and I love the bright colors the others have used.

My attention span (and scrap stash) was good for about four of these blocks. They will work perfect for a mini quilt. And maybe I'll get brave and do some free motion quilting.

Chicken wings for dinner last night. I like to bake them on my oven broiler pan. Put foil on the bottom part for easy clean up and spray the top part with cooking spray. I bake them for an hour at 350 degrees, then crank the oven up to 425 degrees for the last 10 minutes. The wings we get are pretty large. Those chickens have serious guns. The result is fall-off-the-bone, perfectly cooked wings.

And because I was feeling lazy, I only served a crudite platter with the wings. I stuffed those mini peppers with a cream cheese and feta mixture. Tada, easy dinner. And plenty of leftovers for lunches.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I was awarded the prestigious Liebster Blog award for my blog ramblings. A big thank you to Dree who blogs at a lotta bit fun and Sharon at Indigo Threads. Both have fun and colorful blogs, and it's always nice to find new friends in blogland. The Liebster Blog award is awarded to blogs that have less than 200 followers. Now I get to award five blogs. It's kind of like a pyramid scheme for blogs, except that you don't have to invest any money.
  • Check out this local food blog called E.A.T. by Tim. Awesome food photos and delicious recipes.
  • Jill from cre8fmom quilts loves selvages just like me. She recently made a really neat scarf.
  • Rumi at 3patchcrafts is a new-to-me blog I stumbled upon. She makes such fun things.
  • Molly at Country Hill is a delight. I had so much fun making blocks from her and Sarah's free piecing study.
  • And speaking of Sarah from the House of Krom, she hasn't blogged in a while. Maybe this prestigious award will entice her to show us some pretties!
Stolen Quilt Alert! Breaks my heart to read these stolen quilt stories. I'm crossing my fingers all stolen quilts get returned to their rightful owners.

That's all the news I have, now let's go goof off.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dark Shadows

I saw the preview for the movie version of Dark Shadows which comes out in May. I remember watching that soap at my babysitter's house after school. We baked brown edge cookies and ate cold roast beef and mustard sandwiches on toast. She was elderly, but let me watch her stories and Merv Griffin. Johnny Depp is playing Barnabas Collins, so I can't wait to see the movie. It looks hilarious. The Hunger Games looks good too. My aunt got me hooked on the trilogy.

This is the cast iron skillet that belonged to Mrs. Clark (the babysitter) who was also our next door neighbor. She was always good for a stick of butter or a cup of sugar. And she knew that we would return the favor any time. She taught my dad how to make corn bread in this skillet and let him keep it. I earned the honor of keeping and using this beauty. It's a Wagner and was probably made sometime in the 1940s. It cooks like a dream and is one of my most prized possessions.

This old rolling pin was given to me by my paternal grandmother who taught me to make biscuits. The story is that this pin was used in a restaurant kitchen to prepare biscuits for George Washington. I don't know why they didn't get him to autograph it. I don't use this pin preferring my long French rolling pin. Besides, it's an family heirloom and probably worth a trillion dollars. It is carved from one piece of wood and quite hefty. Hopefully, none of my relatives were ever hit on the head with it.

I threw a corned beef into the crock pot before Sew Day yesterday. I made the boys corned beef hash for breakfast. That should cover our corned beef ration until next St. Patrick's Day. Wasn't St. Patrick the guy who banished all the snakes from Ireland? I saw another huge black snake this morning. It was hiding in a bush ready to strike and kill me and the dog. Just kidding, it was sunning itself, but it still made me scream. I was very close. My neighbors probably think I'm crazy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Snake Season

There's my "buddy" alive and well on the side of the house. The cable guy was not impressed, but Inspector Gadget thought I'd like a picture. He's thoughtful that way. Now if Mr. Snake can stay on his side of the house we'll all be just fine.

Inspector Gadget had a picnic potluck at work and signed me up to make deviled eggs. Nice and easy.

I spotted this color palette in Better Homes and Gardens and decided to whip up a couple more cathedral window pin cushions.
 I like to sleep with my feet outside of the covers too.
And on the couch with a comfy quilt. Bones has such a rough life.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Yep, It's Monday.

Pistachios. I like nuts of every kind, but these are my favorite. They're the lowest calorie nut, so I eat double.

Did you spot my new mouse pad in the nut photo? I finally decided to cover an old mouse pad with some Florida fabric. I was using the AOL pad, but I kept falling off of that odd shape. That AOL pad might go for big bucks on eBay. It's vintage! Love the bottom tag line, "the future now available." Boy, they were right about that. Computers have changed our lives in so many ways. I wonder when I'll be able to maneuver a touch pad? I'm a mouse girl from way back.

My second bottle of Fabric-Tax that dried up. And leaked. I did have it upside down to try to get some out, but I finally trashed it. I wish I could find smaller bottles. This stuff is kind of like Super Glue, once you open it up, it only lasts for a little while. I found a tube of Unique Stitch that may last a little longer. I see that the Super Glue people have figured it out. They sell a package of several small tubes.

Whipping up some chicken stock for risotto tonight. I used onion, celery, carrot, garlic and parsley. The onion peel gives the stock nice color. See how pale that celery is? Making stock is a good time to use less than perfect veggies. I don't even peel the carrots. Just scrub everything well.

This is all our leftover chicken parts. Wing tips, necks, gizzards, backs. I freeze these in sandwich bags until I have enough to make stock. I like to brown the chicken parts in olive oil and cook the livers for Bones. You could roast the chicken or even use it raw. After browning, I added white wine, lemon juice, bay leaves, salt, pepper, rosemary, veggies, and lots of water.

Here's it is ready to simmer for a couple of hours. Simply strain and store in containers. Discard everything else; it's tasteless at this point. All the flavor from the chicken and veggies is in your broth. The stock will last a few days in the fridge, but also freezes nicely. Skim the fat off the top before using. The stock makes a great base for soups, stews, sauces, and risotto.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Stash #46

I could not resist these Richard Scarry prints. I have always loved the detail of his illustrations. And so fanciful too. Check out that pig in the pickle car.

Still loving that Echo line by Lotta Jansdotter. The other two fabrics on the right were in the sale bin, but I had ideas for both of them.

More of Malka's fabric line. They had fat quarters cut this time. Dangerous!

Some blue chevron blocks for our charity quilt. I think these are going to make a great patriotic quilt. Our guild's charity is the Camaraderie Foundation which provides counseling and support for military personnel and their families.

I finally found some time to try the Lone Starburst paper pieced block. I decided on a creamsicle theme. I've always hated creamsicles, but I do love the color orange.

Let the paper removal begin. My favorite part. Not.

But all that flippy floppy sewing, un-sewing (ahem), paper picking, and pressing did result in a pretty block. You have to love that about paper piecing.

The paper carnage.

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