Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Time

I always get stuck on ground beef. The child natives hate meatloaf and I don't like need to eat hamburgers. The kiddos would eat tacos for every meal, but I like variety. This Korean Beef recipe was really easy and tasty. I snuck in some brown rice. I mix it with the sticky white stuff they like. Don't tell. Someone mentioned something about dog food, but I smacked them in the head.

Tropical Storm Debby dumped a lot of much needed rain on central Florida. I love the rain when I don't have to go out. Perfect to stay in to cook or sew. I made this artichoke spinach dip and pico de gallo for the littles.

I asked Inspector Gadget to get me a chicken while he was out and he bought the biggest dang chicken he could find. A la Julia Child, I coated it in a compound butter and roasted it for dinner one night. The next day I made stock from the bones. Then I had to figure out what to do with all the leftover meat and stock. Gumbolaya or Jumbagumbo sounded pretty good. First, you start with a roux.

Chop some veggies while your roux is getting the perfect peanut butter color. You really should use green bell pepper, but the Inspector has issues with them (long story). I substituted a yellow pepper and a jalapeno pepper. Once the roux is the right color, throw the vegetables in and saute them for a bit.

Add your rich chicken stock, a can of diced tomatoes, a splash of tomato juice and creole spices. Cover and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.

After the veggies simmer a while, throw in some turkey smoked sausage, cooked chicken meat, frozen okra and simmer some more. Right before you're going to serve, drop in shrimp. They cook quickly.

To serve, ladle the gumbolaya into a bowl and plop some rice in the middle. Garnish with scallions and parsley. Betcha it will be even better today. The sauce is rich and spicy and the roux thickened it nicely.

Not much quilting going on, but I did manage to practice zipper installation with this fun bag tutorial.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Versatility, I Have It.

Well, here goes June. Time flies when you're having fun. Our Saturday Sew Day was a blast as usual. We spend the entire day sewing, eating, and laughing. I finally put together some string blocks I made eons ago. I used a muslin foundation for the fabric strips so this baby is heavy duty. One of my guild friends suggested I use flannel instead of batting so it won't be so thick or heavy. Great idea!

I was craving quiche Monday morning. This one has ham, cheddar, and scallions. Yum.

Another guild buddy, Kathryn, who blogs at Tangerine Key nominated me for The Versatile Blogger award. Very cool! It's a great way to find fun blogs. Kind of like a blog pyramid scheme, but legal and fun.

Rules of the Award
  •  Thank the person who gave you this award.
  •  Include a link to their blog.
  •  Link to the award and list the rules.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
Seven really random things about me:

1. I played the glockenspiel in junior high school marching band.
2. I am the opposite of a picky eater. I'll try anything once, and probably love it thereafter. It's a curse.
3. They're shooting a film in my neighborhood today.
4. My first car was a Pinto.
5. I always wanted triplets after watching My Three Sons.
6. Chocolate doesn't do anything for me. Salty stuff is another story.
7. I've been a snake magnet all my life.

My list of fun blogs to check out:

October Farm 
s.o.t.a.k. handmade
The Pioneer Woman
Betty Crocker Ass
Love Laugh Quilt
Mommy by Day Crafter by Night
Never Seconds
retro mama
A Frustrated Quilter
Old Red Barn Co.
Noble Pig
she can quilt
You had me at bonjour
Handmade by Alissa

As every dachshund owner knows, you must return their ears to their original factory settings at least once a day.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fun Week

I haven't been sewing much this week, but I did get this Scrappy Asterisk block accomplished for our guild's Block Lotto. These would be cute for a baby or toddler quilt and are a great way to use up scraps.

My daughter and I have started watching the television series Lost on Netflix. I didn't think it would be my thing, but my daughter talked me into it. Now I'm way ahead of her and hooked. Yumi in Japan is watching it with her kid too. I'm trying to multitask and do other things while the episodes play, but you really have to pay attention and there are a lot of subtitles and flashbacks. Needless to say, ain't much getting done around here. College Boy says we're going to be mad at the final episode.

My mom brought me an herb garden for my birthday. I've had it a week and it's still alive. There are some interesting herb varieties in the planter. Culantro, rosemary, spicy basil, spicy thyme, and cilantro. I used some of the culantro and cilantro last night for pork carnitas.

Inspector Gadget found a goose decoy lost in the lake. He cleaned it up and put it in our pool. Freaks me out every time I look out there.

Bones isn't buying it either. He is a little apprehensive of it.

At least College Boy is enjoying it as a flotation device.

Surf and turf for dinner one night last week. Steak and crab cakes with red potatoes, salad and a tomato side dish. I love topping big slabs of summer tomatoes with bread crumbs and cheese and baking them. Picking crabs is no fun unless you're eating as you go, but we had leftover birthday crabs, so I picked them for crab cakes. There was a sauce for the steak, but it didn't make the picture.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Stash #52

My friend Wendy sent me these fun fabrics for my birthday. Love the wiener dogs in brown and blue. And I can never get enough Pop Art. Getting a squishy in the mail is always exciting.

A fellow quilter donated her stash to our guild. She provided 15 large leaf bags filled to the brim with fabrics, embroidery supplies, patterns, buttons, and WIPs. We all had a blast going through it and snagging our favorites. Everyone donated money to our education fund and many members plan to use the fabrics for charity projects. Quilters are so generous. Here are some of the buttons I found. The round ones used to be red, but they ran when I washed them. I also snagged some pretty fabrics and a couple of patterns.

Rene', my guild buddy gifted me with some awesome New York fabrics, my first Echino print and a fun tape measure and drawstring bag. I sure had an awesome birthday week. I'm still in party mode!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Yay, Rain!

I forgot to show this Angel fish printed fabric panel I bought at The Quilt Place. It's a print of a painting by Suzanne Egan-Hill. I think it will make a pretty medallion for an AAQI quilt.

These Pizza Muffins are pretty easy and good. I bet little kids would love them. Inspector Gadget has a thing about "burnt" bread, so he made me pull them from the oven before they were done. Or maybe he was just hungry, because he ate five of them. I put pepperoni, black olives, red pepper, and red onion in mine. Serve with a salad and dinner is done in a flash.

And just to keep it real, our garden riches. I love seeing everyone's thriving gardens, I sure wish I could grow stuff. There are some talented gardeners out there. Our two pepper plants (jalapeno and habanero) and half-dead basil are laughable, but they do provide some flavor to our meals. That paper towel wrapped thing on the left is me trying to revive wilted basil. It works.

Playing around with batik scraps and a quilt-as-you-go technique. It's supposed to rain today, so I'm hoping to get some sewing time in. Or at least some fabric petting and playing time.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Stash #51

Our guild took a little field trip to The Quilt Place on Saturday. It was a huge store, filled with bolts and bolts of fabrics. We spent two hours choosing and buying fabric and then lunched in beautiful Cocoa Village.

I found some wiener dogs and scissors. I have a nice growing collection of black and white prints. Now to get a quilt going. I have ideas.

As usual, I was in an orange mood. I found all of these on the sale rack.
1930s reproductions on the sale rack as well.

After lunch, we took a drive over to Cocoa Beach. That's Judy, Jackie and moi. Excuse my pose, I'm trying to use my bifocals to see if we were all in the shot. Jackie is new to the area and it was her first time at Cocoa Beach. We all wanted to stay and lounge in the water. Such a beautiful beach.

Inspector Gadget was spring cleaning the back porch when I returned, so I helped him out with that. We were rewarded with my birthday blue crabs and the best shrimp I've had in ages. More birthday celebrating today.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

What Shall I Name Her?

Found this old gal at an estate sale down the road. Inspector Gadget bought it for me since it was my birthday. She's a Singer 201-2 made in 1948. Her Art Deco cabinet is amazing and I spent some time emptying the stuffed drawers and giving them a good wiping out.

There were treasures galore. This pile isn't really sewing related, but it is pretty clever to use nut picks as stilettos. I did trash a bunch of miscellaneous stuff as I organized the drawers.

Old needle books. Good thing they're rust proof, these have been around a while.
More tools. Light bulbs, thimbles, needles, and more.
Fancy feet. Some of these are so complicated.
A buttonholer, Wiss pinking and regular shears, and the manual to the machine.
Big jars of fun buttons which I've already culled through and saved my favorites. I thought the Durkee's mayo jar was kind of charming too.
Thread galore. I haven't seen many wooden spools in my short sewing career. Now if I can find the craft that I needed wooden spools for, I'll be in business.
Not sure what these scissors do. They have a pinking edge as well as a metal bar. I can't get them to cut fabric.
These old patterns were in the seat compartment.

The machine runs quietly and very smoothly. I had to re-thread the bobbin to get the tension right, but that's all it took. I'm going to have to learn how to oil her and lube her motor. Luckily, there's detailed instruction in the manual. I think she'll be a good machine to learn more about old sewing machines. Now to find her a name. Any ideas?
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