Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Work on it Wednesday

Panic time. It's the end of the month and I haven't started on a single block for my swaps. So, guess what I'll be doing today. Thankfully I only have to make 4 blocks and none are super complicated. I had a time with the flying geese blocks last month. I will have to make more of them so that I improve my skill of working with triangles. Anyways, I vow not to wait so long next month, lol. Yeah, right. What would be the fun of working on them right away?
I also have the Ice Cream dress cut out for O. to make as her first day of school outfit. I have some patterns that are similar to it, but I finally broke down and purchased this pattern to save myself the trouble of having to tweak it. I've used her patterns before and they really turn out nicely. Look for a first day a school picture sporting this dress. O picked out the fabric herself. It's from Riley Blake and paired with some Kaufman I had in my stash, super cute.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday's Meal

In honor of last night's season premiere of Mad Men, chicken kiev. Can't you just picture it. You, Don and this delicious dish?

Chicken Kiev

1/3 cup butter, slightly softened
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
6 chicken breast, skinless & boneless (pounded to 1/4" thickness)
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup dry seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
In a small bowl, stir together the butter, garlic powder, pepper and parsley. Spread the butter mixture 1/2 inch thick onto a piece of aluminum foil, and place in the freezer to harden. Trim fat from the chicken breast. If using whole chicken breasts, split them in half. Place each chicken breast half between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper and pound carefully to about 1/4 inch thickness. When butter mixture is firm, remove from freezer and cut into 6 equal pieces. Place one piece of butter on each chicken breast. Fold in edges of chicken and then roll to encase the butter completely. Secure the chicken with small skewers or toothpicks.
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with the buttermilk until fluffy. Put the flour in a small separate bowl, then coat the chicken well with it. Dip the floured chicken in the egg mixture and then roll in the bread crumbs. Place coated chicken on your baking dish and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator allowing to warm to room temperature. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes until chicken is no longer pink, and the juices run clear. The outside should be crispy and golden.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Scrappity DiDo...A block swap quilt

So I almost have enough blocks for my Oydessa quilt top. By combining the blocks from two different swaps I will have 24 12.5" blocks. I think I will arrange them 4 X 6 so that I'll have a nice size cuddle quilt. So far I've gotten some awesome blocks. Take a look. This isn't all the blocks, so this isn't my final layout, but it gives you an idea of what I'm going for. Love them. Some of them are color combos that I would have never come up with myself. I think that's really part of the fun of it. Out of the 24 blocks. I've made 3 of them myself. I'm gets easier each time a make a new block. I don't think I'll ever win any awards, but I can see that my quilting skills are improving. I'm still not 100% about how long I'll be a quilter. Here's my point, how many quilts do you really need? Isn't that a funny question coming from me? She of the massive fabric stash and 20+ sewing machines...oh and don't forget the insane amount of sewing patterns. But, really how many quilts do you really need? I'm not into wall hangings or table runners so I see my quilting career being fairly self limiting. I guess I could always make charity items. There's a thought.

Another thrift store score

I haven't really been doing much thrifting lately, but recently I've had some great thrift store scores. The kinds that are legendary and reaffirm your commit to the pursuit of that once in a lifetime awesome find! I finally got a chance to shoot some pictures. This is one of my most awesome scores EVAHHHH! These chair were $9 each ( I bought all 6) at one of my favorite thrift stores. They are Edward Wormley for Drexel's Precedent line. I could have squealed with glee when I found them. One chair sells on ebay and etsy for upward of $400. They are in awesome condition and although I'm not a huge fan of the fabric it's completely livable for now.
I also purchased yet another sewing machine, lol. I got a singer 15-91. Now that I fancy myself a quilter I need the right tool for the job. After much research I learned that a singer 15-91 is one of the best machines for free motion quilting out there. It was a bit more than I usually spend at $58, but it had a cabinet, a manual, all the original attachments, buttonholer and tons of notions with it. I figured it was probably worth the money just for the cabinet and attachments. I also found a bunch of great vintage crafting books. I love a good book.
I will have to rehab the 15-91 to get into topnotch order, but it's a longterm project and right now it works just fine.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday's Meal

A little vegetable casserole. Not particularly health food, but oh so good!

Spinach Casserole

1 cup onion, diced
3 slices of bacon, diced
2 tbsp of butter
2 lbs of spinach, chopped
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
1 cup cream of mushroom soup
1/2 lb processed Swiss cheese, shredded
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1/2 cup crackers, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a large casserole dish by greasing it, set aside. Place the butter in skillet over medium heat, saute bacon and onions. Remove from heat. Mix all the ingredients except the crackers together in large bowl. Transfer them into your prepared casserole dish, sprinkle with crackers. Cover and bake for about 1 hour.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday's Fitness Wrapup

Confession time, this week wasn't particularly active. I had a lot going on and as someone who doesn't really enjoy exercising, I let that derail my efforts. Must do better this week! Eating wasn't too bad. Minimal snacking, although my addiction to pretzels is still alive and well (will work on that). I also realize I really need to increase my water intake, it's minimal at best. I have made good strides towards meal planning and packing my lunch for work so that's a good step. So my plans for this upcoming week are to increase water intake, exercise 3x week, keep food journal and decrease pretzel intake. I did step on the scale and there's been no gain since I last weighed...but no loss either. I really am going to have to look at how to change my body's set point if I want to lose any weight. I seem to stay right around the same 5 lbs. Something to think about.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In the UFO basket

I've been doing a lot of quilting (or at least making a lot of quilt blocks) recently which means my garment sewing has suffered. I don't have a ton of free time to stitch so it's not hard for that ufo basket to overflow. Anyway, in the last couple weeks I've begun working on my ufo basket sewing again. I just love the hum of my machine(s) and the satisfaction I get when I have a finished project. Here's a list of unfinished projects that I'm determined to tackle. Let's see.
1. a bunch of undies for O.
2. a top for me
3. a dress for me
4. boxers for the boys
5. O's first day of school outfit
6. O's backpack and lunch bag
7. a coin wallet
I'm also getting ready to start working on two special quilt projects. Both my little fellows have requested quilts of their own. I'm making E's out of this great fabric line that features jungle animals. I'm going to make M a Chinese coin quilt (or maybe a fence rail) using primary colors and a few novelty prints. Neither pattern will be terribly complicated or exacting. Just something special for them to snuggle under.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday's Meal

Quick and easy kid friendly recipes

Easy Bow-tie pasta

1 1/2 cups bow-tie pasta
1 pound ground turkey (or your favorite ground meat)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (1 can of diced in a pinch)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot filled with lightly salted water to a rolling boil, stir in the bow-tie pasta and return to a boil. Cook the pasta until it has cooked al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground turkey until browned; drain off excess fat. Stir in garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes. Place the bow-tie pasta into a large serving dish, and pour the ground turkey mixture over the pasta. Sprinkle on the chopped basil. Toss lightly to combine, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday's Fitness Wrapup

Well, so far, so good. I worked out three times this week. I feel like I'm getting a routine started and that seems really essential for me to keep my momentum going. My schedule has been pretty full recently so I think making it to the gym three times is probably an obtainable and realistic goal for me. I will shot for three times this next week and try to add a walk or something on one other day. Since the weather is so warm and it doesn't get dark until so late I will try and take a walk in the evening after work on one of those days. I haven't weighed myself, but going by the clothing fit test everything is moving in the right direction. My diet is hit or miss. I will have to try and get back to meal planning and keeping a food journal. That's really the only way I don't snack too much and follow the food pyramid. Well, hope you did well in your healthy living plan, good luck next week.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Yoga mat for a yogi

So, my little fellow E. likes to practice yoga with me. He takes it very seriously and he's really good at it. Whenever I'd roll out my mat, he'd run and get a large bath towel. Well, I had an epiphany, I could make him a yoga mat. I had tons of cotton yarn I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do with (got suckered in by a good sale!) but it was perfect for a sturdy mat. The pattern is my own and by all means nothing fancy. I just used 2 skeins double stranded and cast on, I think 70 stitches and then knitted it until I got it to length I thought was big enough, wove in the ends and finito. Easy Peasy. E. loves it and can't wait to get to practicing his poses. Oh and his brother M. thought of another use for it, "a flying carpet". Gotta love a child's imagination.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday's Meal

I love kitchen gadgets and one of my favorites in my bread machine. I use it regularly. In fact I had two of them, but one of them recently bit the dust (I'm in the market for another). I love how you just toss all the ingredients and come back later and you have fresh, hot, delicious homemade bread. Yummo! Well, one of the things I haven't mastered is keeping the starter for sour dough going. It seems like a ton of work. So, this is psuedo sourdough bread. You might not call it sour dough, but it's pretty close to the real thing without all the work.

3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/4 tsp of lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/8 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons dry potato flakes
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Add the lemon to the sour cream about 5 minutes before you are ready to make bread to allow the sour cream to "sour" more. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select White Bread setting, and Start.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday's Fitness Wrapup

I almost forgot to report how this week went. I haven't weighed myself, but I did put on a pair of shorts that used to be snug and they weren't, so that's always nice. I made it to the gym three times this week. I hope to make it three times next week at least. I made plans to meet a friend (Heather) to work out on Monday and I'll probably go run on the treadmill Tuesday and do yoga Wednesday and Friday. If I can make it all those days it will be great. The yoga is awesome. I'm horrible at it and it sucks while I'm doing it, but afterward I feel fantastic. I still need to do a better job with my diet, but one thing at a time right? I'll check back next week. Hopefully I would have met my fitness goal for the week and lost a pound or two.