Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Funday

Give these Crockpot Cheeseburgers a try if you can't get to a grill and want a delicious and different cheeseburger. The recipe makes a ton, so adjust accordingly. Does anyone remember the Rosanne show? Didn't Rosanne and her sister open a loose meat restaurant? Did I dream that? We topped our loose meat sandwiches with romaine lettuce, summer tomatoes, sweet onion, and pickle.

My basil bush was out of control, so I got the Inspector to pull the good leaves from his trimmings and I dried the leaves in the oven. The bush is still going strong, so I'll have fresh basil as well. I wish I had luck with other herbs. I have oregano and rosemary, but they don't do as well as the basil. Our jalapenos are plentiful too.

I started a postage stamp quilt last week between work projects. This section measures 31" x 37" and the 480 squares finish at 1.5". The squares are strip pieced and sub-cut, so it's not as involved as it looks. I dug into my scrap bags for the colored squares and chopped into my black and white fabrics going for a checker board look.

Blah, blah. Love that fabric. I finished up the last few blocks and piecing the top at our Sew Day Saturday. We have a bonus Sew Day Monday. I'm going to ignore work and take advantage of an extra day of sewing, laughing, and eating.

I cut borders to make this approximately baby quilt size. The backing is cut and has chickens on it. And lo and behold, I cut binding strips. I'll even attempt quilting diagonal lines through the squares. Maybe every other diagonal line of squares. Wish me luck.

We were out of non-penicillin bread, so I used this recipe from October Farms. I halved the recipe so it only made one loaf. The recipe is practically foolproof and only used six ingredients including water.

It baked up to a nice loaf. I think I forgot to brush the top with melted butter before baking. Or maybe I did. Seems like it would be glossier.

After cooling, it sliced easily with a bread knife. The bread was great on its own and especially good toasted. I had a toasted, buttered slice topped with a poached egg for breakfast one morning.

College Boy's favorite meal is chicken shish kabobs. I grilled these on my charcoal grill between rain storms. The kabobs had marinated chicken breast chunks, pineapple, red and green pepper, and red onion. Delicious. I served them with baked rice and a fruit salad. The oven was still warm from the bread, and I didn't have time to watch a pot of rice boil over while I grilled, so I baked it. Easy dinner.

Off to the lake today. I need to apply my SPF600 and get my hat. Ha!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Super Saturday

My week started out interesting. The Inspector and I drove down to Miami Monday. He needed to take some shots and survey a few cell tower locations. I invited one of my clients in Miami to lunch, so he dropped me off in downtown Miami while he went to another site to check a roof for leaks. I tried to take artsy shots of the towers, but I was more concerned about stepping on snakes. Many are in remote locations.

Look who decided to nap on the quilt I was trying to bind. This baby is huge, 72" x 86". Definitely one of the biggest quilts I've ever completed. Too bad it's not really my style. I'm sure I'll find a good home for it.

Ta da! All bound. I need to take a full shot, but the weather has been rainy.

Before and after roast chicken. The celery, carrots, onion, and garlic act as the roasting rack and produce very flavorful pan juices. Then I just skim off the fat and reduce to a sauce consistency. Sometimes I thicken with flour, but usually I'm too lazy.

I had a special request for buttermilk biscuits and chicken gravy that night. I have several biscuit gravy dunkers who were in hog heaven.

College Boy brought this home for lunch one day. Panera Bread's macaroni and cheese in a sourdough bread bowl. He ate the whole thing. Is this even legal? Would you like some carbs with your carbs and cheese? I gained five pounds taking a picture of it.

This is why I avoid Wally World. Don't look if you're easily offended. Oh, go ahead, live a little. I'm already thinking of excuses to get out of accompanying Inspector Gadget for his weekly Sunday morning trip there. What are bunions?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Stash #73

Someone tipped me off that food print fabrics were on sale at last week. I found some fun ones. Remember those Bomb Pops? I loved those. The sketchy ice cream man comes through our neighborhood on Sundays, so maybe I'll run out with my dollar. They're probably $5 a piece now. This guy blares "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb" while doing a slow crawl through the hood. Cracks me up every time.

Cute sushi print. Now I want sushi. Our nearby sushi place shut down for some reason. I need to find a new place.

They were practically giving away these cute little ghosts and batiks at Connecting Threads and I might have to do some Halloween sewing soon.

I also found some cute sale fabric at a couple of the local quilt shops. Gotta support the local businesses too. 

I thought this gauzy fabric might make a nice scarf. It was practically free. ;) I love the look of scarves on other people, but I have a hard time pulling them off. 

I finished sewing my color strips for the Heart Strings quilt. Now I just have to add the appliqued hearts and vines.

Kind of like this. Sweet, no? And a great scrap buster. Those scraps are multiplying in the night. Off to goof off some more. Have a relaxing Sunday.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Hello Friday!

This Indian Style Creamed Spinach was good. A little less caloric than traditional creamed spinach, which I can inhale. Mine turned out kind of soupy, so I would drain the cooked spinach next time. And yeah, I went there with the leftovers. Breakfast. Couldn't decide between egg in spinach soup or egg in tomato basil soup, so I had both. I simply put the soup in ramekins, cracked an egg on top and baked. Delicious.

Our guild's BOM for August was really fun. To make your own Pippi Longstocking, go here. It's a great block to use your scraps. I may just make another one this weekend. Those skinny legs were a bit experimental.

I played with some gifted selvages to make a coaster. My selvage collection is impressive and I never tire playing with them. I kind of went with a color scheme for this one. There's a fun canvas on the back side.

The Inspector has contracted some sort of crud. Why are men such whiny babies when they get sick? He's needy as it is, but add in the whine, woe is me factor, and coughing fits and I'm about ready to fly to Bermuda. It's a common cold, dear sir. Suck it up. Compassionate, aren't I? Anyway, I made him popsicles for his sore throat. I didn't tell them they were Dirty Pirate Popsicles laced with spiced rum and Kahlua. Sleep tight.

On a less whiny note, my triangle baby quilt was featured in Sew Mama Sew's Sewing Trends gathered by the talented Rachael at imagine gnats. Rachael found some fun trending projects from all over blogland. What a talented bunch of creators.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Looked who popped out to say hi. Can you see his head in the green bush? This is Junior. His big brother Fred hangs out in the front yard and suns himself on my long row of bushes. I peek to see if he's out there before I exit the front door. If he's there, I go out another way. Because you know that thing will lunge at me and attack. Well, you never know...

One of my guild buddies brought this vintage quilt top to show and tell. I recognized some of the prints from my oldies collection I've been working with recently. I love the blue sashing. Such a happy quilt. I sure hope she finishes this beauty. She is a talented quilter, so she could make it shine. I may have to copy this design with my oldies.

I unloaded donated my sampler blocks to another guild friend. She put them together and added borders to make a nice charity quilt. I remember falling in love with that fabric collection when I first started quilting. Blech, what was I thinking? I do love the Sunbonnet Sue carrying a load of fabric. Some of those blocks look complicated for a beginner. I bet they were a mess! I'm glad they found a home.

I remembered to fill (and bring) the raffle basket to the guild meeting. It was fun shopping my stash for goodies. Today I'm going to work on our block-of-the-month, which is this really cute Pippi Longstocking girly.

Gee, I've been in a beer theft kind of mood. I stole another beer to make this Easy Beer Mac and Cheese. The recipe only needed 8 oz. of the 12 oz. bottle, so there was a swig or two leftover for the cook. The dish was really good. And easy! And you use whole wheat noodles so they cancel out the cheese.

I served the mac and cheese with these Honey-Soy Chicken Thighs. I'm not a huge honey fan, so I only used 1/4 cup versus the full cup. The full cup of honey would have made them really sticky. Everyone loved these. The baking sauce is a winner. I put a squirt of yellow mustard in to thicken it up and used less soy sauce since I wasn't using the full amount of honey.

Here I go again, using a spool of thread to its ultimate death.

Thankfully, six new spools arrived yesterday. I bought that spool on the right last week to give the Aurifil brand a try. Everyone raves about it. My local quilt shop sells it for $9 a spool! Yikes! I hope I hate it. The other spools go on sale for $1.95 each at Connecting Threads and they're larger. My sewing machine purrs when I use it.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer Eats

I've made this watermelon salad at least two times this summer. I discovered it a couple of summers ago. Watermelon, feta cheese, basil, and lime juice. It's really light and refreshing. The watermelon is always at its best this time of year. I've been going nuts at the produce market. Everything is so plentiful and inexpensive in the summer.

Italian parsley is another plentiful herb during summer. I can find beautiful, big bunches for fifty cents each. Hollywood and I can live off tabbouleh. We like it with Triscuits or pita chips. Tabbouleh is another easy salad of soaked bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil.

I made a chunky guacamole for happy hour over the weekend. The avocados are dirt cheap too. It's nice to find some that are already ripe the day you want to eat them. Usually avocados determine when you can eat them. I can't get enough of them.

We ate crab legs on the fourth of July, but someone still wanted barbecue foods. I made the Pioneer Woman's Cowboy Bacon Beans, macaroni salad, and brats. I smushed the chunky guac and added the watermelon salad and tabbouleh to my very full plate. I'm not a fan of brats, but I tried a slice and gave the Inspector the rest. He loves brats. And hot dogs. And sausage. I don't buy any of those, but they land in my fridge on occasion.

I extended the long holiday weekend and spent yesterday at the beach with Hollywood. It was so beautiful and the water was just perfect. Great waves and the perfect temperature. It was nice to take my daily walk in a different environment.

We almost skipped the beach and rented one of these little buggies instead. Might be scary on the road with the big cars. Ha! Okay, off to get more produce. And fried chicken. Isn't that a summer food?!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Stole a beer and made this Cheddar Dill Beer Bread. I had to have that blue Tumbleweeds Pottery bread crock when I saw it and I've probably only used it twice. Need to work on that. I have numerous bread fans in the house and I love baking bread.

Then it got all healthy up in here and I made these Baked Zucchini Sticks with Sweet Onion Dip. Hey now, zucchini is a vegetable. And I replaced most of the mayo in the dip with low-fat yogurt and sour cream. So there's that.

The baked treats were supposed to make up for meatless marinara sauce. My meat eaters played nicely and didn't complain. They didn't even comment on the tiny diced carrots in the sauce. I exercised restraint and left out olives and capers.

Someone come bind this monster quilt for me. This quilt is a Quiltville Mystery called Double Delight. I have no idea when I made it, but I used fabric I acquired from a quilter who gave up quilting. Can you imagine?! The fabrics aren't anything I would normally purchase, but they were excellent quality and perfect for practice. I can honestly say it was pieced after 2007. Eagle Mountain Quilting did the lovely quilting just this year. At this rate, it should be bound by 2020.

Eek! I'm almost out of thread. I have several spools in this condition. Well, not this bad, but with not much thread on them. I guess I grab a full spool when they get low. I use the smaller spools for travel, but they were adding up. I'm using them up while I wait patiently for my thread order. Red, my machine, likes Connecting Threads cotton thread. She's picky that way.

Bow tie city. Up to 91 blocks. I'm already doing math to see how few I'll need for a baby quilt. Told you I would get bored. But it has been fun playing with all the fabric. And I'm conducting very scientific testing for fabric durability. Some of these fabrics are a little crunchy. If I can rip them with my bare hands, they get tossed. There weren't many.

Here are a few of my favorite prints in the old stash. One good thing about this project is the clean out and organization. So inspiring and freeing. Maybe I'll tackle my master closet next. Ha! I crack myself up.

I tried to make a little bow tie block the size used in my inspiration quilt, but apparently I stink at quilt math. Add an imaginary seam allowance and you get the idea. Now back to work before my boss discovers I'm goofing off. Enjoy your day.

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