Thursday, May 27, 2010

Crazy Week

Well, what can I say this week has been crazy, crazy. O. was hospitalized. She's doing fine now, but it was definitely stressful. I caught a cold after burning the candle at both ends. I'm starting to feel better now too. I'm incredibly behind on so many things. Namely laundry and housework. Crafting and blogging has fallen completely by the wayside. I think I realized it before now, but blogging requires a fair bit of time. Time that lately I haven't seemed to have much of. Hopefully though, things will settle down and I'll get back to it. Just wanted to stop in a say what was what.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Finito! Teacher's appreciation gift

O.'s preschool teacher is really special. She's engaging and attentive to each child's unique needs and personality. O. really likes her. Even though I'm not a great quilter and wasn't sure I should foist my amateurish efforts off on someone I decided some months ago to make her a quilt as an end of the year gift. I chose a simple pattern and purchased a lovely batik jellyroll from JA's. I don't know if she likes blue, but hopefully she liked the quilt (she seemed to!). It's full of imperfections, but I tried very hard and I think in the end it turned out pretty well. As a preschool teacher I think she'll be able to look past the flaws and appreciate the effort. O gifted it to her and I snapped a couple of pictures. I also made a cute heart shaped label, but forgot to get a picture of that.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday's Meal

Hey, sorry I missed posting last week. There's been a lot going on here and the time just got away from me. But, I'm back to share something yummy with you this week.
Always one for a bargain, I scored a great deal on some chicken recently so it brought to mind one of my favorite dishes from a local restaurant. This is my version. It's slightly different, but just as good.

Penne with chicken and four cheese sauce

4 skinless boneless chicken breast
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, minced
2 tbsp flour
1 cup light cream
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded fontina cheese
1 cup shredded provolone cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 lb cooked penne

Cook the pasta according to package, drain and set aside. In a medium size skillet heat olive oil. Cook chicken breast until juices run clear. Remove from skillet and set aside. In a large saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Add the garlic and onion, cook until soft about 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until bubbly. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cream and milk. Return to a moderate heat and cook, stirring often, until the sauce is at a low boil and thickens, approximately 5 minutes. Add cheese, salt, pepper and cook, stirring constantly until the cheeses melt and the sauce is smooth. Cut up the chicken into strips and add it to the pasta. Pour the cheese sauce to the pasta and chicken and toss well.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dear I love you!

Photograph by Ken Burris,Shelburne, VT, courtesy of the Bennington Museum and the Vermont Quilt Festival

I'm obsessed with the idea of this quilt. I don't know why really. It's really nothing more than a sampler quilt. I think it's the idea of all those bitty blocks. Anyway I think I've talked fellow TMQG member, Lisa into doing it with me. It's one of the projects that is a longterm project that you stop and start, but know you will finish one day. I think I'd like it to be a wallhanging. Won't that be fun?
There's a huge following for this quilt and people who quilt it are called "Janiacs", lol. There's a book and website. I have the book on order. It's really just pictures of the different blocks and I guess in reality I could use any sampler quilt book to get the idea of what to do and design my own. Anyway, it's on my list of things I'd like to make in the near future. Look at me, who would have thought I'd have a to do list for quilting!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday's Meal

Growing up in Texas I'm a huge fan of chips and salsa. Here's a super easy salsa using tomatillos.

Salsa Verde

1 pound tomatillos, husked
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 serrano chile peppers, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 cups water

Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, chile pepper, cilantro, oregano, cumin, and salt in blender or food processor to chop to desired consistency; Place mixture in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low. Add the water to salsa throughout cooking to reach desired thickness (you may only need 1 cup or if you like thinner salsa use 2), and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool and serve.