Friday, November 28, 2008

Crazy busy with sewing

I been in a crazy sewing mood. Usually after the halloween costumes I am good until the next year. This year is different.

I made my friend Donna's two boys a Transformer apron each.

Then I made another little project. It is a decorate box out of posterboard and fabric. This was fun to make.

My last project was making some "nice" looking grocery bags. I have a few of the store brand that you buy for $1.00 but they do seem to get that worn look. So I had bought some pillowcases from Walmart and used them as my fabric for the bags. I would like to

make a few more of these bags. They are pretty large so hopefully I won't need too many more.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Stomping of the Grapes

Well I finally got a couple of pages scrapped from our day at the grape Harvest. The journaling reads as:

Have you ever seen the episode of I Love LUcy when she went to a vineyard and was put to work in the wine vat? I just saw it for the first time this morning and thought the faces were hilarious.

Well the Stomping of the Grapes is a tradition at Flag Hill during their Harvest. Kathy and I decided why not get into the spirit of the tradition. Where do I even begin to describe this experience. First of all it was a chilly morning, so those grapes were quite cold. The squishing under your feet and between your toes was slimy and gooey. I had to try the Lucy technique of stomping even though I almost slipped. Oh good grief can you imagine that. When we were done stomping the grapes we had to step into a bucket of water to clean off our feet. Ya, that was cold too. After you stomped the grapes you had the opportunity to get your feet painted and stamp them onto your Harvest Fest t-shirt, if you bought one. I thought the t-shirt was too nice to ruin. The experience was quite different. Would I do it again? Oh ya!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Winter Comfort

What could be better than a hot chicken pot pie for dinner on a chilly night. My boys absolutely love chicken pot pies. One doesn't care for the veggies. So next time I will have a Build Your Own Pot Pie Bar.


1 package 3 chicken breast
1 cup of frozen mixed veggies
3 potatoes
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk

Herbs: I added black pepper, salt, rosemary and thyme to taste.

I started off by parboiling the chicken and dicing them into bite size chunks. I also peeled the potatoes and boiled for about 15 minutes at a lower with cover on. Then I cut them into bite size chunks. Put those aside. Melt the butter in a sauce pot and then add your flour to make your roux. Slowly add your chicken broth, whisking as your pour. This will make sure you don't get any lumps. Add your milk after the broth. Bring to a slow boil until it thickens. Add your chicken, potatoes, and veggies.

As for the crust, I used a pre-made crust. I place my ramekins on the crust and cut around the ramekin adding about 1/2 inch. I poured the filling in the ramekins and place the crust over the top (make sure you put a couple of slits in the crust for ventilation).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Snack Time

A few months ago when I was doing the South Beach Diet I came across a recipe for Hummus in the book. I decided to make the recipe. I loved the recipe the moment I was done and "had" to test it. Steve really likes it over the store bought hummus.

South Beach Hummus

List of Ingredients

1 can(15 ozs.)chickpeas
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup tahini(sesame paste)
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
3 cloves garlic,chopped
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Chopped fresh parsley(optional)


Drain the chickpeas,reserving 1/4-1/2 cup of the liquid.

Combine the chickpeas,lemon juice,tahini,onion,garlic, oil,cumin,pepper,and salt in a blender or food processor.

Puree until smooth,adding the chickpea liquid if needed to thin the puree.

Refrigerate for 3-4 hours before serving to blend the flavors. Garnish with parsley,if using.
5 servings

Revamping the old sewing desk

When Steve bought our old house about 20 years ago, there were a lot of things left in it. See the house belong to an elderly man who didn't have any family around the area. The house was left in shambles, ie old horsehair plaster walls cracked and peeling. It was in bad shape. There were several pieces of furniture that was left. I found upstairs an old sewing machine desk. The desk had some water damage on the leaves that fold out. It housed a 1930's White sewing machine (white is the brand of those real old metal machines). I don't think the machine is in any condition to be refurbished so I decided to keep the desk to place my sewing machine on, unfortunately it won't fit in the opening where the old one was.

I asked Steve to help me carry the desk to the area above the garage so I could start sanding it. I had managed to sand the larger sides in a short time. You can barely tell that there was any water damage to the leaves, which I was so happy about. I need to apply a coat of stripper to the detailed areas and sand with some steel wool. I bought some Minwax stain called Bombay Mahogany. I love the dark richness of the stain color the store had shown, however on the website is looks nothing like what I saw in the store. So with fingers crossed I will still apply the stain.

So I'm back to update this post. It is November 13, 2008 ~ I have applied the first coat of stain. I really like how it is coming out. In a few hours hopefully I will be able to sand it with some steel wool and then apply the second coat. I am loving the richness of the dark stain.

Well it is done. I have applied the second coat of stain and love the color. I don't think the pictures show you the richness of the stain color. Here are couple of the after photos of the desk in it's new home in my craftroom.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sketch Challenge 201 - Rockin' Out

While the boys were getting ready for school I decided to give this sketch a whirl. I had bought this patterned paper at the Creating Keepsakes Convention back in May.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Gourmet Hamburger Buns

Just a few months ago I bought a new bread machine. I have been trying to make more homemade breads for dinners. A couple weeks ago I made some dinner rolls and ended up with a small ball of dough leftover. I decided to bake as is. The next afternoon for lunch I ended up using the rest of the chicken salad on this roll. It was delicious. I told Steve that I wanted to use the same recipe for hamburger buns, especially since I always for get to buy the buns. Last week that is exactly what I made for dinner hamburgers on homemade buns. The following recipe is actually for dinner rolls/breadsticks.

Basic Dinner Rolls/Bread Stick Recipe

7 1/2 oz of water, 90-100 degrees F

3 cups of Bread Flour

2 tablespoons Dry Milk

3 1/2 tablespoons Sugar

1 teaspoon Salt

3 tablespoons butter/margarine

1 1/2 teaspoons Bread Machine Yeast

Add all the ingredients into your bread machine and select the Dough setting. Let it do it's thing. Take out of pan and form into balls (large enough for a burger). Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes.

What smell's good????

Every weekday morning my husband packs the usual items in his lunch box. A granola bar, fruit bar, cereal & milk, or muffin if I have it and his lunch. He has gotten to the point where he just doesn't care for it all (I would after 20+ years). So while I was grocery shopping this morning I bought some frozen blueberries and made Blueberry Oatmeal bars that a friend from SplitcoastStampers (LaurelW) gave us. Well I seemed to have misplaced my recipe but found one on-line similiar to hers.

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

2 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cubed
3 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
Filling: In saucepan, bring blueberries, sugar and orange juice to boil; reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Whisk cornstarch with 2 tbsp (25 mL) water; whisk into blueberries and boil, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Place plastic wrap directly on surface; refrigerate until cooled, about 1 hour.
In large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, sugar, orange rind and salt with pastry blender, cut in butter until in coarse crumbs. Press HALF into 8-inch (2 L) square parchment paper–lined metal cake pan; spread with blueberry filling. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture, pressing lightly.
Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven until light golden, about 45 minutes. Let cool on rack before cutting into squares.
(Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or overwrap with heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.).
Canadian Living Magazine: August 2007.