Monday, November 30, 2009

Another Giveaway, but not Mine

I know that this makes two posts in a row that are not about what I have done or what I am doing, but bear with me. You have a chance to win a twin size quilt! Head over to Marie-Madeline studio for a chance to win.
Well, I couldn't post a picture, but they have a great twin size quilt with using scraps from Anna Marie Horner (one of my favorite designers and bloggers).
Go check it out. And on Wednesday is Giveaway day at Sew Mama Sew, so check that out too.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flea Market Fancy Freaks

There are some really crazy people who are gag-gag over this fabric! I must admit that I really like it, though I never got in on the first selling of it. I hope they reissue it as I would love to turn some of the flea market fancy fabric into a quilt. Over at Flea Market Fancy Freaks, they are giving away some of this fabric. Go check it out!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Braided Bread

I often make stromboli for a Lord's day evening meeting that allows for much fellowship that our church does once a month. This week I tried something different. The recipe is a Ham and Cheese Braid. I didn't have ham or swiss cheese, so I modified the recipe quite a bit. I used Roast Beef lunch meat, cheddar cheese, and diced onions instead of the filling called for in the recipe. The dough is interesting because it has dijon mustard baked into it. As you can tell, it looks so yummy, and it tastes great too!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Wonky Stars

I am coming along in getting my stars in line. I have 3 more big stars (for a total of 4) and 3 small stars. A layout that I have come up with calls for 21 big stars and 25 little stars. To make roughly a square quilt. I am not sure if I will stick to that or expand it out to make it bigger. For now I have a goal and I am having fun. The vintage sheets are fun to work with. I love the added thought that the quilt will have a history even when it is newly finished.

This and the next 2 stars are 12 inches square:

The next three are 4.5 inches square. They were hard to make than the big ones, but they are really cute!

This is the layout I am thinking about making. This pattern will repeat itself with little stars in the corners of the big stars.

(click on the pictures to see them larger!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Amazingly Moist Choclate Cake

In my quest to find a really moist cake, I came across this recipe for a Holy Cow Cake. I figured there was really no way it couldn't be moist as you pour liquid over it after it is finished baking! In the end, it makes an incredibly delicious cake that isn't too rich, but is amazingly moist.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Avalyn wanted to make owl cookies, so in the middle of our once a month cooking, we made owl cookies. The recipe uses refrigerator sugar cookie dough. These were cute and fun. The girls love them!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Once A Month Cooking

In response to a friend's questions on facebook, I thought I would write at least a little bit about how I do once a month cooking. I started by checking out Once a Month Cooking from the library. I tried their two week plan and thought it worked well for me and my family and gave me more time to do other things around the house, like sewing. Since then I have been doing it on a semi regular basis. I make a ton of meals at one time and use them of the course of the next month to month and a half. (We don't always pull food from our freezer some times we go out, or buy pizza or something like that.)
This month there are 21 different meals. 14 were prepared ahead of time, most of those (8) were doubled, and 1 was tripled. That leaves 8 to be made the day of use. I freeze most of the meals in the large ziploc style plastic containers that are about 6 in deep and 8 in long and 4 in wide. I bought these over the course of several months and just used freezer bags in the mean time. I do use some disposable aluminum casserole pans for some casseroles that need to be assembled ahead of time.
We have a stand up freezer that we use. I know all these containers would not fit into our regular freezer. With the ziploc bags, they stack quite a bit flater, so they would fit more easily into a normal freezer.
The menus change based on what I want to cook and what I know freezes well.
This month's menu is:
(Prepared ahead of time):

2 Colby Beef Lasagnas - I fry the bacon before I do anything. I assemble the whole thing then freeze it. When I want it, I thaw it, then bake according to the direction. (The key is thaw at least over night!)

2 Tailgater Chilis - I let this simmer for a couple of hours then let it cool and freeze. Just thaw and reheat.

1 Hashbrown Pizza - This recipe is not the best, it has some interesting potential, but I haven't found it yet!

3 Bacon Chicken and Dumplings - I add carrots and celery to this recipe and make through adding the crumbled bacon. Then I freeze it.

1 Lentil One Pot Casserole - I have never tried this one before, but I want to incorporate more of this kind of meal.

Autumn stew - this has stew meat, potatoes, carrots, celery, and a little bacon.

2 Honey Mustard Chickens - A friend made this for us and topped it with bacon and cheddar cheese! I usually cook the bacon ahead of time and freeze it in a separate bag, then just thaw cook and serve.

2 Emeril's Beef Stroganoff - This meal is great! It takes some time, but is well worth the results. Once it is put into the casserole dish, it freezes well. Just thaw and cook like the recipe says.

2 Honey Mustard Mini Meatloaves - I make the meatloaves, and freeze them uncooked with the sauce in a separate container. I thaw and cook as the recipe says. I don't make the potatoes, only because I haven't tried freezing those before.

2 Cranberry Chickens - I make this minus the ranch dressing. (The version I have didn't call for that.) The combination didn't sound good to me the first time I made it, but it is REALLY good and the kids love it too!

2 Twelve Boy Currys - This is a great recipe and recommends some fun topping to make it more interesting for the kids (big kids included). I have never really liked curry in the past, but this is now a family favorite.

2 Spaghetti Sauces - This recipe is very good, nothing really out of the ordinary, but good!

1 Pulled Pork (for tacos) - Such an unusual combination (in my mind), but so good! Mix everything together and freeze. When you want to eat it dump it into the crock pot and there you go!

1 Cilantro Beef - Another absolutely amazing meal. Make up through the marinating the meat, then freeze. When ready to eat take out of the freezer and cook in the crock pot. The Pico de Gallo and Citrus Onions are great too, but I don't think they freeze well.

(planned for):

Rice with Pork chops - The version I have calls for a stick of butter, and you top it with pork chops while it is cooking.

Split Pea Soup - I often just mix things together, or buy a mix. Here and here are two recipes that I draw from.

African Peanut Soup - Another unusual combination, but a great soup!

Chicken Tortilla Soup - A recipe where you dump a bunch of stuff into the crock pot and let it go. Good stuff!

2 Aimee's Quick Chicken - Yet another unusual combo, but a good one that everyone here loves.

Chicken Parmesan - This is an old fake it don't make it from real simple magazine (though I couldn't find it with a quick search of their website). It isn't great, but it is different for us and really easy.

Calzones and Pizza - I just use a homemade pizza dough recipe and make either form as I feel the need. I stuff (or top) them with whatever I have on hand. One of the best is just sauce, cheese, and pepperoni.

I hope that helps. THe recipes that don't have links, I can send to you if you want them. I couldn't find these easily available on the web. So the next question (and the one I am currently pondering) is, what's for dinner!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Block Party!

There is a quilt a long starting soon over at Block Party. They are going to be writing a book about the experience of virtual quilting bees, so it should be fun for all. Check it out.