Archive for January 2010

What If I Run Out of Titles?

January 25, 2010

Is it bad to start off a posting talking about garbage?  Really, I was reading about reducing your environmental  impact and stuff you can do and so forth…one of the things I read was about reducing your garbage amount…so, off I went to the garbage – don’t worry I didn’t touch it 😛  Anyways, what I found was all food packaging, most everything else is either recycled, composted or given to the chickens.  All but this food packaging waste (and we don’t even eat much for preprocessed foods).  But there was the bag from the spaghetti noodles, and the plastic safety seal off the salad.. well you get my point… is it possible to get away from those items?  Even shopping at the Bulk Barn you come home with plastic bags (yep, we asked, you can’t bring your own containers to fill), at least their bags are biodegradable – apparently.  Well, thats enough about trash – just something to think about :-}

Speaking of preprocessed foods we did some baking and cooking this weekend!  Yum.  Nothing like homemade lasagna and fresh muffins.

The lasagna we made using the veggie chili I had made earlier in the week and the muffins I tried out a new recipe, and they are very good (ya, I’m a little surprised…you never know when you make a new recipe).  Its an apple spice muffin, and there is no sugar – sweetened with honey.  Oh, and we made oatmeal raisin cookies and chocolate chip muffins too…

Apple Spice Muffin Recipe

1 1/2 cups oats
3/4 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour  (don’t forget to add this or the recipe is really runny 🙂
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon (I used 2)
2 medium apples, grated or finely sliced
2 cups milk
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg, beaten

Mix first 9 ingredients. Combine “wet” ingredients together, mix, then combine with first 9 ingredients.
Put them into muffin trays, bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

So easy and so good.  You could probably add nuts or raisins if you wanted, but I didn’t.  Oh, and I wouldn’t recommend putting them in the muffin liners as they don’t come out so well.

Earlier this week there was this stunning look to all the trees, they were covered in a white snow/ ice type stuff.  Maybe it was the fog sticking to them…anyway we went for a walk and I took some photos to share, just in case you weren’t able to get out and enjoy it.  Currently its raining here…then it snows a little and rains some more – yuck.  I think I will put the rest of the pictures into a folder off to the side – that way if you are on dial up (like me
😦 you don’t have to wait for them to load if you aren’t interested…Now if only I can remember how to make a new page…There we go…Winter Walk Photos

Remember how I was looking at doing some different block of the month designs and such?  Well I found this really great one, its barn quilts.  You have probably seen the barns with blocks painted on them (I’ve only seen them in magazines, never in person), and that is what this BOM is about.  January has been the barn block.  Of course, gosh forbid if I was to actually make a pattern the way it was designed!  I’m not too keen on her actual barn, so I made some modifications…hey, its going to be my quilt right 🙂  The big white square in the center is where the mini-quilt blocks will go each month (they are only 4″ square – yikes).

I took yesterday (well part of the day anyway) from housework and did some sewing.  I sewed together some cat quilts I had here, and interspersed them with Puss in the Corner blocks.  The cat blocks were from a sewing group swap were we each made one block for each of the other participants, We ended up with 13 blocks from it.  I was very happy with how the blocks lined up, the corners were beautiful!

Another thing I did yesterday was learning how to put downloadable patterns on the website .  There is only a few of my designs on there at the moment, but my goal will be to eventually get them all into that format.  Its so nice to purchase a pattern and ta-da there it is for you to use!

Well, I guess I should start thinking about something for dinner…its almost a day that warrants thick stew, hearty soup or maybe Boerenkool (if only I had Kale)…

Happy Quilting!

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Have You Noticed?

January 15, 2010

So, have you noticed?  Yep, the days are getting longer…well maybe not longer yet, but its lighter later!

While browsing around the internet I found some great blocks (and free too).  This one site is in German (I think), but there is some really nice designs
http://www.sulky-international.de/scripts/clsAIWeb.php?seite_id=173  The 2005 BOM is nice too (in th menu on the left) a bunch of different leaves.

Maybe in my spare time I will make one of each of those too…

Here is the English version of the site, but they don’t have as many designs listed…
http://www.sulky-international.de/scripts/clsAIWeb.php?seite_id=203

This week I also got a new-to-me popcorn maker!
For the last little while I’ve been making it in a brown bag in the microwave (I don’t care for the chemically prepackaged bags of microwave stuff),
unfortunatly I’ve been having a hard time getting just the right amount of popping without burning it.  So, home I came with my new gadget…

Kinda looks like a spaceship

Sounds easy enough…add some oil and some kernals

Put the lid on and watch the kernels fly!

The best part…yummm

Its hard to eat popcorn while quilting 😉

A new project, or two?

January 10, 2010

It was so frosty the other morning my evergreen hedge, wasn’t so green…

I’ve decided that this year I would like to decorate for Christmas.  But, that means I need to make some decorations!

There is a block of the month available at Bunny Hill Designs that is all snowman!  How perfect.  And, even better, its free.  I’ve downloaded the first block, now just need to make it.  My goal is to make each block before the next one comes out, we will see how that works out…

I found another quilt too with snowman, and penguins and santas…its a row-by-row quilt…I kinda signed up to make that one too…

While looking for some patterns I found this site that has a list of a whole bunch of Block of the Month designs.  From what I could tell most, if not all, are free for personal use.  There was some really nice ones, but didn’t figure I should start too many at a time.

I don’t have any new patterns to share, but how about some recipes?

These are the best Tea Biscuits, nice and buttery.

1 cup Flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp butter (at room temp)
1 tbsp oil
1/4 cup +2 tbsp milk

Mix Flour, sugar, b.p together.  Add butter and oil, cut butter into mixture.  Add milk.
Stir and knead a few times.  Roll out onto floured cutting board – I use an empty soup can to cut them into circles.
Bake for 12 minutes at 450 F.  This doesn’t make very many, only about 6, so double or triple to your needs.

I also love Quiche – broccoli and cheese of course.

I never realized it was so easy to make, the hardest part is not over or under cooking.

Pie Shell – I cheat and use pie shells from the grocery store.
6-8 eggs (if you are using a deep dish shell use 8)
2 tbsp milk
1/8 cup  Cubes of cheese – whichever is your favorite, I had mozerella.
1/2 cup  cut broccoli – You can use frozen, but I would recommend precooking and draining it.

Prepare pie shell as directed on package (some I think need to be pre baked a little).  Sprinkle cheese and broccoli in bottom of pie shell.
In seperate bowl mix eggs and milk, pour into pie shell.  Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  I generally “jiggle” the pan, if it is still jelly in the middle
I leave it in a few more minutes, the center is ussually still soft, but not jiggly – be careful you don’t overcook or your quiche will be chewy.

And of course you need desert!  One of my favourites is Upside Down Chocolate Pudding Cake…done in the microwave, so its quick!
I didn’t want you to have to imagine what this dessert would look like so figure I should make some up to take some pictures…(ok, maybe that is just a good excuse)

Cake
2 tbsp butter (softened)
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tbs vanilla

Topping
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup water

Cake:
In microwave safe dish mix together cake ingredients.  Once mixed flatten/ smooth top.

Topping:

In separate bowl mix together 3 topping ingredients.

When all the sugar is dissolved gently pour on top of cake mixture.
Cover with a paper towel and microwave on high for 10 minutes (variable time).  Be sure to keep an eye on the mixture, sometimes it tries to
get out of the dish.  The top will be cakey, the bottom will be puddingy.
Yum.  Its best when warm and would be fantastic with vanilla ice cream.

Happy Quilting!

All I’ve Done is Sew This Year

January 2, 2010

Since its only the second day of 2010, it was really only one day of sewing, but thats ok 🙂

I was finishing up a project I have been collecting fabric for for awhile now.

Have a look!

Ella seems to like it too…

Happy Quilting!