Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tayler is a Flower!

Tayler's 2nd Grade class put on 'An Insect Play' for all of the parents and families.  She memorized her lines and did a wonderful job! 

Easter Table Centerpiece

 I love the treasures I can find at the Dollar Tree!  I spotted these glittery Easter/Spring decor items about a week ago and was deciding in my mind what I could make with them.  I decided I wanted to make a centerpiece for our table for Easter.  Off to the Dollar Tree I went this morning and picked up these items:
 1) Green Pot (I love green and I can use this over and over again!)  2) Easter Basket filler  3) Glitter Eggs  4) Glitter Butterflies  5)  Flower pot foam
 I put the foam in the bottom of the pot.  Just use one.  Save the other one for another project...  
Next add your glitter decor and basket filler. 
Now you have a cute Easter Table centerpiece and you can easily switch out the eggs for some glitter flowers I also spotted at the Dollar Tree!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kitchen Towel

 I love pretty towels in my kitchen.  I love them more when I know they are uniquely made for my home.  I found these towels at Target (Love Target!).  They come in a four pack and are under $5.  Great quality and wear well through use and washing...a lot!  
 I went to my scraps of fabric and wanted something fun for the Spring/Summer months.  And something cheerful for my kitchen.  I love this orange fabric from the current quilt I am working on (and nearly completed!).  I make sure the length of the fabric hangs enough over the edge of the towel so that I can fold it under and iron it down for pinning/sewing.  The width of the fabric is cut to 5 inches and I fold those edges under about 1/4 inch.  your width can vary depending how how much boldness you want on your towel.  Pin the fabric in place.  Notice that I leave a nice 1 inch or so border at the bottom.  I like that there is a little white hanging out.  It breaks up the towel color.  I think it looks more professional...but maybe that's just me!
 Place the towel under your 'foot' and sew close to the edge.  I used white thread as I like that it doesn't just blend into the fabric.  Though orange thread would have been just as pretty...  Back stitch at the beginning and end.
 Hang it in your kitchen.  This towel is used for drying dishes.  I love the contrasting towels next to each other.  Brings a little sunshine to my kitchen, don't you think!?!
The white thread shows nicely and gives it more depth.

I enjoy whipping these up for me and for gifts! They take about 15 minutes to make, if that. Buy a couple packs of these towels at Target and get some sewn up to put in your 'gift drawer'.  You do have a 'gift drawer', don't you??  Perfect for a hostess gift, birthday gift, housewarming gift... The ideas are endless. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Freddy the Pig

Have you ever read these Freddy books?  They are very fun for our kids!  I pick them up from the Library and get them on a disk so we can listen to the story while in the van driving around to...everywhere.  The animals talk and are so funny to listen to.  Your kids will be entertained for hours!  

What fun stories do your kids like to read or listen to?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Product Review: Fons & Porter Machine Quilting Grip Gloves

I am new to quilting.  I had learned about quilting gloves before I started quilting.  I just didn't really 'get' the reason for them.  Why would someone need quilting gloves to quilt?  Well...I have found out.  I picked up these Fons & Porter Quilting Grip Gloves and was excited to see how much they benefited me.  

I am very pleased with Fons & Porter gloves.  These are light weight.  I was concerned I would feel like I was wearing winter gloves.  But they don't!  Fons & Porter made these easy to pull on, light weight, and with grips to better control your quilt while machine quilting.  

I had to take these gloves off to put a new bobbin in my machine.  When I was ready to start quilting again, I forgot to put the gloves back on.  My hands slipped and I did not have good control of my quilt.  I was even more impressed with Fons & Porter gloves after that.  I put them back on and was able to control my quilting.  

I am hooked!  I love my Fons & Porter Quilting Grip Gloves!

You can win a pair for yourself!  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post about your quilting gloves or anything related to sewing.  The WINNER will be announced on Saturday April 6th!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Amish Bread Starter

 Have you ever made Amish Bread Starter?  I have not made it.  I have been given it before, though.  I decided to start my own starter.  
First, dissolve 1 package yeast (2 1/4 tsp) in 1/4c. warm water for 10 minutes.
 In a gallon size bag, add 1c. flour and 1c. sugar.  Mix well.
Add to the dry ingredients 1c. milk.  Mix well.  Then add the yeast mixture.  Mix well.  

that is Day 1
Days 2-4: stir starter with wooden spoon
Day 5:  stir in 1c. flour, 1c. sugar, 1c. milk
Days 6-9:  stir only
Day 10:  stir in 1c. flour, 1c. sugar, 1c. milk.  
remove 1 cup to make first favorite Amish bread recipe
put 1c each in 2 little bags to give to friends (along with this process).
Store remaining 1c. starter in fridge OR begin 10 process over again.

I will let you know how I like it and what I've made!


Under Fridge Cleaning

After dropping the kids off at school I came home, poured a cup of coffee, checked up on emails and decided to clean under the fridge.  I try to clean under it every couple months, but sometimes the time just gets away.  So, pull it out. Get hot water with cleaning liquid. Sweep. And mop.  Push back into place.  Less than 5 minutes.  And why don't I do that every month since it takes such little time?  That is a mystery.
I like knowing I have a clean floor under the fridge.  I also wiped down the top of the fridge.

So, tell me:
How often do you clean under your fridge?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Carrot Cake

 In honor of the first day of Spring, I decided to make a Carrot Cake.  Here is my kitchen after getting it all whipped up.  Yes,  that white mug with red flowers is my coffee.  A girl needs some caffeine when making such a great recipe!
 Baked and cooling on a rack
Finished with cream cheese frosting and mango juice drizzled on top.  I can't wait to take a taste this evening!

I found the recipe at:
http://www.bhg.com/videos/m/71554165/mango-carrot-cake.htm

Here are the ingredients:
2c. flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 c. butter, soft
1c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. mango juice
3c. shredded carrots

1 cream cheese recipe:
8oz. cream cheese, soft
1/4 c. butter, soft
1 tsp vanilla

carrot ribbons

follow video 
bake at 350 for 25-30 min. 
(until golden and toothpick comes clean)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Quilt Sneak Peak #3

At my Basic Sewing Class on Saturday I asked for suggestions of what color to put for the border and a friend suggested orange.  I was anxious to get to JoAnn Fabrics on Monday to decide on the color.  And orange it is!  I love it!

Rag Wreath Tutorial

 First, find a bunch of fabrics in your fabric stash.  If you want a certain color theme (i.e. all green) then look for fabrics in that color.  I just found a bunch of different fabrics with many colors.  Although, it would be fun to make Holiday ones:  green for St. Patrick's Day, red for Valentine's Day, Red/White/Blue for 4th of July... 
Iron the fabrics and then cut them into 1 inch x 7 inch strips. 
 I took a wire hanger from our closet and  bent it into a circle.  Use pliers for that process...unless you are super strong to bend out all the little kinks...  You can cut off the hook at the top or leave it on if that's how you want to hang it up.  I cut mine off with a wire cutter on my pliers.  Then, the fun part:  start tying the fabric strips on.  I didn't knot it.  One tie does the trick and makes it less bulky.
Hang it up!  I hung ours on our bedroom door.  I like how it perked up our room :)

This is a pretty simple project but so much fun!  
Happy Tying!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Perfect Pancake Topping...


When I was young my Grandma Oyen (Norwegian, can you tell??) came to visit and made us pancakes. She introduced us to putting sour cream and brown sugar on top and mixing it up.  Sounds strange, but oh my!  What a delight to eat!  Give it a try next time you whip up pancakes.  You'll be hooked. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Basic Sewing Class

Today I taught my first ever Basic Sewing Class.  I had these 4 cute girls (the two in the middle are mine) and three ladies.  We made Infinity Scarves and an Envelope Pillow Case.  We had a wonderful time!  I am very proud of all the girls and ladies hard work.  The girls are wearing their infinity scarves and seem quite proud of themselves, as they should be!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Quilt Sneak Peak Part 2

Have I mentioned my love for these colors?!?!  I sewed it together this morning and love it even more.  Now, which color to pick for a border?  Any suggestions?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Key Lime Pie (Recipe) for National Pi Day!

Full recipe is at end of all these fun pics!
 Throw the Graham Crackers in your blender.  I like my Kitchenaide Blender!
 See how fun it is to watch them spin and crumble???
 Melt the butter in a saucepan on the stove.  I've melted butter in the microwave a lot and get so mad when it blows up all over inside.  Finally I realized I should melt it on the stove.  Hmmm...why didn't I think of that sooner??
 Oops...misplaced this pic.  This is of the limes being juiced.  I do love my juicer...
 Pour the melted butter into the Graham Cracker and Sugar mixture
 Here is the Graham Cracker mixture.  Seriously.  I could eat this by itself...
 ...but I don't, so I save a nice spoonful for me to enjoy. 
 I pour the rest of it into a pie plate and pat it up the sides and on the bottom.
 For the Key Lime Filling:  add the softened cream cheese, 1 c. powdered sugar, and juice of 3 limes into your mixer bowl.  Mix until nice and smooth.  Fold in 1c. whipped cream.
 Pour filling into your pie crust.
 After you fill up the crust and look at your pie with your mouth watering, set it in the fridge for at least 3 hours. 
Right before you serve, slice a lime thinly and add some prettiness to your pie.
Pour yourself a nice hot cup of coffee and get yourself a big piece of pie and enjoy yourself.  
My whole family loved this pie!

Now:  for the Recipe in an easier to read form:

Graham Cracker Pie Crust:
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 1 1/2 packages)
1/3 c. sugar
6 Tbsp melted butter
Mix all ingredients and pat into pie pan

Key Lime Pie Filling:
8oz cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
juice of 2-3 limes OR 3-4 key limes
mix those three ingredients in mixer until smooth
fold in:
1 c. whipped cream (made from 1 c. heavy whipping cream whipped with mixer)

Pour filling into pie crust and set in fridge for at least 3 hours.  Garnish with lime slices when set.

So...Where was this taken?

Nebraska! 
Nebraska truly has gorgeous Sunsets.  I was wishing we could have pulled over and just sat there on the hood of our van and watched the sunset.  But, zipping past at 60mph got a pretty good picture, too.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Meatballs, Gravy, and Homemade Noodles

 2 lbs ground beef in a fun bowl
 Add bread crumbs (I make my own by drying out the heals of bread on the counter and throwing them in my blender.  Perfect way to not waist bread!)  Along with the bread crumbs add some seasoning.  I like to use Oregano, garlic powder, and sometimes I add salt/pepper, onion.  Basically whatever you like)  Mix all of this up really well.
 Roll the beef and seasonings into a ball about the size of a golf ball.  Our family likes big meatballs.  You can make them whatever size you want.  Cover them and brown over medium heat.
 This is what they look like after browning.  See the steam coming up...
 For the gravy, I use 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup, some milk (add however much you want to get the thickness you want) and some soy sauce.  I think Worcestershire Sauce would taste great, too, but our oldest daughter has a life threatening fish allergy and Worcestershire Sauce has some anchovies in it.  Trust me:  you find out a lot of strange ingredients when you have kids with allergies.  Who would have thought anchovies are in Worcestershire Sauce.  Not me, that's for sure.  Throw the gravy mixture on the meatballs and bake in the oven at 350 for an hour.  Your house will smell wonderful!
 Now, for the 'to die for egg noodles'.  2 cups of flower.  2 whole eggs.  1 egg yolk.  1 tsp olive oil (or oil you have on hand).  1/2 tsp salt.  1/3 c. water.
 Mix those into a ball.  The dough should be dry, but not too dry.
 Roll dough out into this.  (what is that called, anyway?  A sheet?)
 I use a pizza cutter to cut my noodles to the width and length I want.  Then just leave those good looking noodles right there on your counter all afternoon and let them dry.  When you are ready to make them up for supper, boil some water and throw those babies in.  They don't take long to cook, so stick around and watch them.  Just a few minutes should do.
I just snapped a picture of my plate of scrumptiousness.  Oh. My. Goodness.  You have got to try this recipe out.  Heat up some green beans and dice up an orange or bake up some biscuits (I have an outstanding biscuit recipe, too!)  and you've got yourself a 5 Star meal right at home.  Your husband and kids will love you for it...