Thursday, August 30, 2012

First Contest for me...

Hello, all!  I entered the leaves, flowers and trees contest over at the Quilting Gallery.  Please stop by after tomorrow and vote for your favorites - hopefully MINE!

This is my entry.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday: 8/29/12; Sarah's Quilt Blocks are DONE!

Hello, all!  It has been a little slower than I planned on the sewing front.  But I finally got the blocks for Sarah's quilt completed.  I auditioned several layouts and tried them out on her and my son via text messages.  I have to say that all the constant contact annoys me sometimes but others it is great.  I don't have to guess.  I know which she likes best!

I apologize for the quality of the pictures but my only option was laying them out on my living room floor.  I live in a log home and other than a few minutes in the morning when the sunlight hits the sky light just right, the lighting is poor at best.

This one is called Zig Zag and is actually my favorite.

This is called Fields and Furrows and is what I thought I would like best.

This one was called Sevens.  It really isn't bad but I like having a secondary design.

The winner is.....

This is called Mountains.  The kids both like this best.  If it looks different than the others it is because this is a cell phone picture.  I realized after the fact that I had changed arrangements without a picture of this one.  So....the cell phone pic.

The fabric is the Cattails and Clovers collection by Kansas Troubles from last fall/winter.  I have three borders to add and have changed my mind about what I am using.  Fortunately, I really like the fabric and can use what I have already bought for another project.  So, it is off to the quilt shop tomorrow (darn my luck!) to find the correct borders.  I think I know what I want now that I have seen it all together.  Wish me luck!

So, which did you like best?  Please let me know.  I think I may make another of these at some point but right now I have to move on to baby stuff and a Christmas gift.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Keep Stitchin'!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

I promised a few months ago I would publish this recipe.  But life happens and I kept forgetting.  That could be my age.  I keep seeing these commercials....Anyway... I made it again last Friday and on Sunday I FINALLY remembered to take a picture of the last piece of it!

Probably could have displayed it better, but I was sleep deprived!

The past two times I have made this I have used the no cook noodles.  To do that requires more liquid but is a lot quicker than cooking the noodles.  I am including both versions here.  That way if you are a traditionalist, you can precook your noodles!

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

10 lasagna noodles
2 jars of White Alfredo pasta sauce (I don’t recommend Ragu.  Too greasy)
1 cup of milk (1/2 cup if using precooked noodles)
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken breasts (I just use 3 of the oversized breasts currently available)
½ cup chopped bell pepper (red looks pretty but green works fine)
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 to 3 gloves of minced garlic
3 cups of shredded cheese, mozzarella is fine but I mix in parm if I have it
8 oz of ricotta cheese
4 to 6 ounces of fresh baby spinach
Lasagna pan or a 9x13 casserole dish

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Mix together ricotta, mozzarella, chopped chicken breast, pepper, onion, and garlic.  In a separate bowl, mix together sauce, milk and oregano.

To assemble the lasagna, spread about a third of the sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Top with a layer of noodles, slightly overlapping the edges.  It may be necessary to break a few to get good coverage.  Layer half of the spinach leaves over the noodles and then half of the chicken mixture.  Get your fingers involved.  It will probably be in lumps that you need to pat down to make a decent layer.

Repeat starting with half of the remaining sauce.  End with the remaining sauce.  It will be a tight fit but should work.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 0 to 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes.

This is a VERY rich dish.  Don’t leave out the spinach.  You can't taste it and you need the moisture from it to get it all to cook correctly. Besides, most of us can use the iron and vitamin D it provides.

If you have a Kitchen Aid or other large stand mixer, use that for shredding the chicken.  Just cut it into a few pieces, put in the mixer with the flat beater and mix for a minute or two to shred.  Easy!  Add the cheeses and vegetable and mix right there in that bowl.  Less mess.

Just came off of nights this morning and I don't have much more to offer.  This recipe reheats well.  I always need a balance of a salad or broccoli with it.  The boys like it just as it is with some garlic bread.

Keep stirrin'!


Linking up with Cole at All the Small Stuff for Tuesdays at the Table.

Friday, August 24, 2012

FIUF: August 24, 2012, Tetris QAL week 6

I am pretty jazzed.  I have my Tetris quilt all pieced!  It is awaiting borders.  This picture didn't turn out the best but it is done.  

I ran out of some of the colors and substituted in orange which I had plenty of for some reason.  I floated the last piece so it would look as if it was still falling.  

Then, I realized I did NOT take a picture of the week 6 block.  I couldn't have because I was so intent on getting it done it was never a block on its own.  I added the next three rows on to it.  Because I sewed those in black, I did some weird stuff as far as order.  So....use your imagination.  This is week 6: 

I really enjoyed this quilt along and I am going to use the idea for a Christmas throw with friends.  Last year we did a block exchange but I think a QAL will be fun.  We are starting with a fat quarter fabric swap.  If anyone wants to play along, let me know and I will post on here, too.  I am using a Facebook group for the IRL friends.

I am adding a couple of borders to this.  First is a narrow - one inch I think - light blue/silver.  After that I am  not sure.  Probably a dark border. Maybe even black.  I haven't decided what color to quilt with.  Any ideas out there?  I am thinking "organic lines" would work well.

I am just so glad to have this done. It will make a great Christmas gift.

Linking up with Melissa for the Tetris QAL and The Fabric Addict for a Whoop, Whoop!

Oops...forgot about Richard and Tanya's linky party.

Thanks to all the hosts!!

Keep Stichin'!!!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday: 8/22/12

Hello, all!  I know, I know.  Two posts in one day.  No, I am not trying to make up for my "down" time.  Just too much stuff to put in one post.  I am going to link up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.  And, boy, do I have a lot in progress!  

First up is my BOM.  I don't know when I last posted about this.  Looks like last month when I finished for July.  Long month.

This month's blocks were yet another basket.

I am about sick to death of baskets!!!  It went together okay.  I could have done better, I think.  I was quite surprised to have it together and find there were still a few pages of instructions.  It was telling me how to join the last three months together.  I was very confused.  See, most people are doing this in Civil War fabric.  So, when she is telling them all the substitutions I kind of zone out.  I decided I must have zoned clear to Mars last month.   I dutifully put the blocks together.  See them across the top?  There is a mirror image to go beneath the center section.

I still wasn't convinced I was quite right.  So, I trimmed nothing.  It looked awful when I arrived at class....where I found no one else had done this part.  She used MINE to show all the little "tricks" to do it correctly.  Nobody have me any tricks.  I just figured it out on my own!!  Good news is I am a wee bit ahead for this month.

Okay, what else has been in progress?  I have sewn every day.  I posted about the Tetris QAL Monday.  Yesterday and today I finished up forty five 6 1/2" 9-patch blocks for an exchange on Homesteading Today.  I only needed 41 but this morning when I went to my sewing room I found two that apparently the drunken monkeys had made and another two someone had bled on.  Probably me.  I cut myself twice with the rotary cutter yesterday and decided to stop

When I picked fabrics to wash I was having a green and orange moment.  I don't know.  I think I like them but....maybe it is the drugs.  I couldn't find my darn labels.  So, I ended up sewing labels on 20 pairs of them by hand.  People baste them on by machine but I hate that.  I always have such a time removing the stitches. I really like all these ladies but each time I do an exchange I swear it is my last because I HATE to prewash fabric.  I confess, I mix unwashed and washed fabric when I sew these blocks together to make a top.

What else?  Oh yes...

This is the Orion's Star I have been working on all summer.  I have 9 blocks done and am on the final round for the other 11.  I so badly want this done!

I have been making a baby quilt as my leaders and enders.  It is a D9P.    It is for a coworker's granddaughter.

I think I am caught up!  I need to be canning but not happening today.  I don't think I will sew anymore today, either.  What have you been up to?  Be sure to check out the others at WIP Wednesday.

Keep Stitchin'!!


Pinterest Started it.....

Scroll to the bottom for the cake recipe, please!

ETA:  I am linking up with My Repurposed Life....8/25/12


I may never have to leave the house again.  I can get antiques on eBay.  I can order most of my sewing supplies at various websites and now there is Pinterest to give me ideas.  Because I don't have enough already.

Earlier this summer I saw a coat rack on Pinterest that was made from old insulators.  It gave me an idea.  I had always loved those old insulators and I thought it would make a great towel rack.  I needed one in my upstairs bathroom, aka: The Boys' Bathroom.

I thought we had several in one of the barns.  I was sort of right.  We HAD several.  My FIL gave them away.  We did still have telegraph insulators.  Driving home from my son's one day my husband spied some of the electrical insulators at a junk antique store on the side of the road.  That man has a heck of an eye.  I was going 60 mph when he hollered.  We turned around and bought four.

I wanted a shelf above them and after trying to hang towels on them we found the smaller telegraph insulators worked better.

I still liked the blue green of the electrical insulators.  So, we used one in the center. I love how it turned out!

This wood was from a tree on our property.  I am not sure if my husband sawed this one or if it was so close to the house we had a tree trimmer do it.  It was milled on our property, too. We are so friggin' green I expect a Nobel Prize at any minute.

Hubby was reluctant to use these boards because of the bug holes in them but I felt it added character.

So, it started with Pinterest but we added our own touch.  Still gathering junk antique items to put on the shelf.  Fortunately for me it is high enough I can't see that it needs dusted.  So a few dust collectors are okay.

One of my other Pinterest finds was a recipe for a Buttermilk Skillet Cake with Praline Topping.   That is what I started with.  This is what I ended with.

It was good.  VERY good.  I tweaked the recipe slightly.  The main changes I made were using maple flavoring instead of vanilla in the cake and using powdered buttermilk.  I just added it to my dry ingredients and the water where the recipe said milk.  I also baked it in a 10 inch iron skillet.  Worked perfect!  So, I called my new version a Maple Buttermilk Praline Cake.

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 6 TB  butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 3/4 buttermilk or 3 Tablespoons dry buttermilk and 3/4 cup water

  • Praline Topping:
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (or walnuts if that's your thing)
  1. Preheat your oven to 375' F. Grease and flour an 10" over safe (ie: cast iron) skillet, along the bottom and up the sides. 
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, dry buttermilk,  baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, with a stand or hand mixer, cream together the granulated sugar and butter until fully incorporated, about 3 minutes. Use the full three minutes.  It really makes a difference.
  4. Add the egg and yolk, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between the two.
  5. Beat in the vanilla and maple flavoring.
  6. Now....with the mixer on low, add half of the flour. Beat until incorporated. Add the buttermilk (or water if using dried buttermilk), and beat again until incorporated. Finally, beat in the remaining flour until almost fully incorporated. Stop beating and continue with a spatula to fully incorporate the flour.
  7. Pour / spoon the batter into your prepared pan.
  8. Smooth the batter in the pan evenly. (Put a pan on the bottom rack. Just in case.) Bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. While the cake is baking, make the praline topping: Combine the brown sugar, butter, cream and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a soft boil and let boil for 3 minutes.  Mine was a little grainy so I think I will cook for 3:30 next time.  It may tend to froth.  If it does just stir it down.
  10. After 3 1/2 minutes, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and nuts. Allow to set for about 20 minutes to thicken up a bit.
  11. Once the cake is out of the oven you can add the praline topping in the skillet or remove the cake, and while it's still warm pour the praline over the whole thing. Either way be sure to add the topping while the cake is warm.


Okay, finishing this post.  Linking up with Nicole at All the Small Stuff.  Probably link more later.

Keep stirrin'!!


Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm Baaaaccckkk! (Tetris QAL week 5)

Hello, all!  I have been taking a bit of an unplanned hiatus.  I have worked a ton of hours the past two weeks and we canned and froze stuff both weekends.  Part of this was precipitated by a failing freezer.  I currently have about 5 gallons of peppers waiting to be processed and a ton of tomatoes but I am burnt out.

Tonight is my quilt club.  So, I am trying to play catch up in the sewing room - where I have NOT been for three weeks!  First up was my Tetris QAL.  I did not get Week 4 done until about 15 minutes ago.  Here is is.

Too late to enter in the weekly drawing but still done.  I forced myself not to skip ahead.  They go super fast. I was just in a funk after all the physical work and couldn't bring myself to sew.

I did week 5 simultaneously with week 4.  I did finish it in time to enter this week's drawing!  Yay, me!!

This is all five weeks laid out on my "design floor".  As you can see, I am carrying over from one week to the next.  I am some how short one red tile.  I looked in my sewing room but it seems to have been taken hostage in an unknown location.  Probably by one of the other WIPs I have in there!  I do have more of that fabric, so I can just cut another tile.

I am enjoying this project and I love how it looks in real life.  Thanks, Melissa, for letting me play along!

Going to sign off, grab a shower, run to the PO and then back to the sweat shop to sew more.

I have to go to the PO this morn because my son (29 years old) once again left from his visit and left things behind. I wonder if that boy thinks I won't let him back in if he doesn't have something here.  He and his wife both have keys to the house!  He needs part of what he left before the weekend.  So, Mama is going to go ship it to him.  I try to do my part to keep the PO in business locally!

As Tigger says, TTFN!

Hope to be back posting more later today.

Keep stitchin'!


p.s.  Forgot to say I am linking up with Melissa for Week 5 of the Tetris QAL.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tetris QAL: Week 3

I posted on Monday about getting caught up on my Tetris QAL.  I was so excited.  Even though I was to work nights on Tuesday, I was like a kid at Christmas and got up at 6:00 to get the blocks for this week......They weren't there.  I went back to bed for a couple of hours and when I got up again there they were!

So, I made this week's block and then things went nuts around here.  I couldn't stay connected to the internet.  The power went off several times.  Things blew and rumbled and it seemed like we would have rain but we did not.  Since the first of May we have had less than a quarter of an inch here at the farm.  What that storm DID give me was a massive migraine.  I can't remember yesterday at all.  I HATE that.  But, when I looked at my camera I found I had finished my blocks and taken pictures!  Apparently the past two days weren't a total bust.

They did laugh at me at work.  I managed to work but I am a little brain damaged from the meds.  So, I had post-it notes stuck every where to remind me what I was doing there and what I needed to do.  Ever see Grey's Anatomy?  Remember when Derrick removed Izzy's brain tumor and she had no short term memory?  It reset every 10 seconds or so?  That is what the past couple of days have been like for me!

Back to the block.

I love how these are turning out.  I decided to make this one fit beside week 1.  I really wish I had let some of the tiles of weeks 1 & 2 stick out to the side.  Live and learn.

Here are the three weeks together.

(I have no idea why there are rubber gloves laying on the floor in my sewing room.  They are new but I am not sure why they are there.) I really like how it is coming together.  I am playing the game and letting the tiles go where they fit without fussing about the color.

I think this would be fun to do with Christmas prints and my do it again like that.  I think I would use smaller blocks so that it is a wall hanging or table topper size.

Can't wait for next week's but I won't be able to sew them until the following Friday!!!

Linking up with Happy Quilting Week 3.

Keep Stitchin'!