Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Whatcha Working on Wednesday?

We have a store in the small town I work in that sells fabric, foam, sewing notions and more. They also have a table with remnants that I enjoy looking through. There are often one of a kind or unusual pieces of fabric and are $3.49 a yard. My only other choice for fabric is at Walmart. I do buy a lot of fabric at Walmart, but they have the same fabric over and over, it seems to me.

I went to the remnant store yesterday on my lunch break. This was after I had already been to the grocery store, so there wasn't much time! I grabbed these two pieces:

I thought this color would be cute for a pocketbook. I think it will go with most of my outfits, or at least it won't clash too much. I usually either wear brown pants or black pants with a matching top.

The picture doesn't really show the true colors. There is a slight sheen to the fabric.



All of the clothespin bags in my Etsy shop have been sold, so I've got to get busy restocking it! I found some more of this cute laundry themed fabric, so I grabbed it. The checked fabric is for the lining and I already had that in my stash.



These are some clothespin bags I have made in the past from this same fabric:





The bell peppers have been coming off faster than I can use them. So last night I made stuffed peppers, which uses up quite a few. Here they are before going into the oven. I just blanched the peppers for about 4 minutes and then stuffed them with my basic meatloaf mixture. I prefer to cook rice for a side dish instead of putting the rice into the stuffed peppers. I put 1/4 cup of water in the bottom of the baking dish and baked them for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.



So what have you been up to lately? Go to Leslie's blog, My Country Home to see what other ladies are working on.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pocketbooks

I am in the mood to make some pocketbooks!

August arrives Saturday and you know what that means? Time for some transitional wear. Not really Fall colors, yet not spring either. Trust me with the temperatures here in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, you don't want to wear Fall weight clothing either.... argh! But some clothes with a little darker tone that can be worn into fall are in order. We will have hot weather here until well into October.

But, back to pocketbooks. A friend furnished this fabric for me to make her a fall pocketbook. You can't tell from the picture how pretty the fabric is. There is just a touch of gold sparkle around the leaves of the smaller print fabric.



I have searched through my many stacks of fabric looking for just the right fabric to make myself a new pocketbook or two and just don't have what I want. I am going to use a new pattern found HERE. My thanks goes to Rhonda at A Home With a Smile for the heads up for the pattern.

Isn't THIS POCKETBOOK cute that Rhonda made from the pattern? I love it. The pattern promises to be quick and easy. I want to make a couple to carry me through the end of summer and fall. Today at lunch I hope to go to a remnant store to see if they have anything I like. All I need is 1/2 yard, since I have plenty of fabrics that can be used for the lining. If I find anything, I will post a picture tomorrow.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Zucchini Recipe of 2009 Number Three

So far this summer I have made two new zucchini recipes. Well, new to me! First there was zucchini bread and second was chicken cacciatore, which contained zucchini.

Yesterday I tried a new zucchini recipe that I found on Darcy Lee's blog HERE, called Zucchini Boats. It turned out wonderfully and is now one of my favorite zucchini recipes! Thanks so much Darcy Lee.

Here are some pictures of the process.

Zucchini "boats" after the insides are scooped out laying in the greased baking dish:



Chopped zucchini, onion, bell pepper and celery sauteing:



Brown rice cooked in chicken broth:



Zucchini boats before baking:



Finished zucchini boats:



My thoughts about this recipe:

1. Brown rice is REALLY good when cooked in chicken broth. Like a lot of people, we don't really like brown rice, so this gives me another way to make it more palatable.

2. I have a problem with my oven cooking too hot and too quickly. As a result the cheese browned before the zucchini shells were quite done. Next time I will wait to sprinkle on the cheese until near the end of the cooking time, just so it has time to melt.

3. This is a very healthy dish.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

MAKING USE OF A SEWING FLOP

Today is Whatcha Working on Wednesday at Leslie's Blog, My Country Home.

Saturday I tried to make a clothespin bag for my Etsy Shop using some pretty striped fabric. The lining fabric was a perfect match and I was pleased with how it was turning out. But, somehow in the process of trying to match the stripes and not keeping my mind completely on what I was doing, I got the opening too high up on the bag.

Oh well, I really like it, so now I have my own bag for recycling plastic grocery bags. It goes with my laundry room/pantry area too! You can see a plastic bag sticking out the opening, ready to be used as a small trash can liner or lunch bag.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Using Restraint at CVS!

I haven't been shopping at CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid for several weeks now. We even stopped taking the newspaper, so my couponing has slowed considerably. But, I have two people who give me the coupons they don't use, so I'm still in the game!

I noticed that this week at CVS there were several school supply items "free after extra bucks". I also saw that the Colgate toothpaste that I had a coupon for was on sale plus earned an extra buck, so I made a CVS trip on my lunch break yesterday.

But, you know what? I really don't NEED any school supplies! My children are out of school and I probably still have left over school supplies in storage somewhere in the house. I even had the free school supplies in my shopping cart. I decided to put them back so some other mom with school age kids could make use of them.

At one time I would buy anything I could get for free, but I've decided to use restraint at CVS or any store where I am couponing. If its not something we need and use, why bring it home to clutter up my storage areas?

This is what I ended up buying:



I swiped my CVS card at the little machine they have in the store and a $1.50 coupon off the deodorant printed out, as well as a 50 cents extra buck coupon. I already had a $1.00 coupon off the toothpaste. So out of pocket I spent $3.26 for both these items and $3.00 worth of extra bucks printed out for my next shopping trip, making these items free. The great thing about it is that we will really, really, actually use both these items!

Yes, I've reached the stage of using restraint in my coupon shopping. How about you?

Monday, July 20, 2009

A glimpse of Fall



The flowers at the bottom of my mailbox are growing and blooming very well now that we are nearing the end of July. The corn behind it is turning slightly brown. Its hardly noticeable, but a harbinger of fall. If you are a summer person, enjoy it while you can. Fall is on the way!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Debbie's Chicken Cacciatore


I have been on the look out for new recipes to help use up some of our garden bounty. So here's my own recipe that uses up a couple of zucchini, bell pepper and onions. I already had everything else in the pantry! AND it turned out good. I think my son actually ate some zucchini when I served this for supper last night.

DEBBIE'S CHICKEN CACCIATORE

Ingredients:

3 split chicken breasts cut into two pieces each. Use what ever chicken you have, about 2 pounds or more, depending on your family size.

2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
1/2 to 1 whole medium sweet bell pepper, cut into strips
2 medium zucchini, sliced into rings.
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 can or jar of spaghetti sauce with mushrooms (I used Hunts which is less than $1.00 a can at Walmart)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic, chopped
Oregano and Basil to taste (Sorry, I didn't measure the oregano and basil, just sprinkled some in:O)

Salt and pepper to taste

Any kind of pasta to serve the chicken cacciatore over.

You will need a LARGE frying pan with a lid if you make the whole recipe or you can transfer it to a big pot after browning the chicken and veggies.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken pieces on each side until lightly browned. Remove the chicken to a plate and then saute the veggies until slightly cooked, about 10 or 15 minutes. Drain off any excess oil. Return the chicken to the pan with the veggies and add all of the other ingredients. Cover the pan and reduce the heat of the burner so that the chicken is cooking on a high simmer. Stir occasionally. My pan was so full I could hardly stir it, so next time I will transfer this to a large pot for the simmering process! After 30 or 45 minutes the chicken and veggies will be tender. Serve over cooked pasta.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Whatcha Working on Wednesday.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I've been very busy this week, as I'm sure you all are too. Summertime is so busy for everyone. Most of the things I'm up to aren't blog worthy. Just the same old things!

Saturday I made two more clothespin bags:




I also started hand quilting the spiderman quilt this week. I want to quilt some on it every day, even if its only 15 minutes. If I commit to this "Flylady" or "Emilie Barnes" 15 minutes a day plan, it will be done in no time. Emilie Barnes says, "You can do anything for 15 minutes!".

So what have you all been up to?

Go to Leslie's blog, to see other Whatcha Working on Wednesday posts.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Spiderman is ready to quilt!

Here is the quilt sandwich laid out on the floor. In accordance with the demo on The Ulmer Quilter website found HERE, I did not baste or pin baste the quilt as I usually do. I only put some pins around the outside edge of the quilt. Of course, this would only work using the quilting frame. When machine quilting, I will need to pin baste well.



The quilting frame gently stretches the layers so there won't be any puckers. I am using Hobbs Heirloom Cotton Batting for this quilt. I "inherited" three queen size packages of this nice batting from my sister who isn't quilting any longer. This batting will give the quilt an old fashioned feel and when washed will have the look of an antique quilt.

Here it is in the frame.




I have all my quilting supplies ready. Quilting needles, hand quilting thread, small scissors and a quilt marker. I will only need the marker for marking quilting lines on the borders. First I will quilt the spider web lines in the center of the quilt, working my way to the outside. I'm not sure what pattern I will use for the borders yet, but probably a cable design.



This weekend, I plan to start quilting this Spiderman quilt, continue working on the leaders and enders quilts and make some new clothespin bags for my Etsy Shop.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

This and That....

Some carrots with garden soil still clinging to them:



A close call! I have been sitting in this chair with my back literally touching this wasp next!



This is getting ridiculous! This mama cat isn't even the mama of some of these kittens. She is a wimp who just won't say no, I guess.






Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Three Quilts in Progress


Today is WHATCHA WORKING ON WEDNESDAY at Leslie's blog, My Country Home.

This week I am working on three quilts in progress, all of which are on my 2009 Sewing To Do List at the bottom of this blog.

The one up above is a Spiderman quilt for my grandson. I decided to use this Spiderman fabric in a whole piece top with borders added on. The borders are made from matching red and blue solid fabrics. If you look closely at the Spiderman fabric you can see white lines which are spider web lines, of course. I am going to put this quilt in my Ulmer Quilter and hand quilt along all these little white spider web lines. The backing will be the red, white and blue Patriotic fabric shown at the bottom of the picture.

Sometimes when I shop for fabric, the choices just jump out to me, as if God put them there for me that day. This fabric with the quilting lines already printed on there and the patriotic fabric which is sold this time of the year at a good price, are perfect for what I was wanting to do. Also, using the whole piece top will save lots of time and still make a very cute quilt!

My grandson will turn two the end of August, and this quilt will be his first twin size quilt as opposed to the several baby size quilts I have made for him in the past.

This is the progress in the little girl's leaders and enders quilt. The striped green and pink fabric with frogs will be the backing fabric.




For the little boy's leaders and enders quilt, I accidentally overestimated the number of blocks I would need and ended up with enough to make two!

Here are 4 large sections completed:



Lots of 7 inch squares ready to be sewn together



Fabrics to be used for the backing, borders and binding:



Don't forget to checkout Leslie's blog for more Watcha Working On Wednesday Posts!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Butterflies, Blooms and a Boy

Today is Blooming Tuesday at Mrs. Greenthumb Jean's Blog.

Looking for Butterflies!





Here they are Grandma!






A butterfly dance!





One more with the sunflowers and zinnias:



Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Squash Fritters


My mother often mentioned different kinds of fritters that she ate when growing up... apple fritters, okra fritters, squash fritters, etc. Since we have a lot of squash right now I googled Squash Fritters and there are lots of different versions. Here's one I made this week that turned out good.

Ingredients:

4 or 5 medium yellow summer squash, 1 pound
lightly salted water
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg -- beaten
oil for frying

Preparation:

Remove stem and blossom ends of squash and cut into large chunks. Place in a pot, cover with the lightly salted water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook until squash is very tender, 10 or 15 minutes. Drain well and mash. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. You can cover and refrigerate for a few hours or fry right away. To fry, heat oil in a deep fryer or frying pan. Drop squash batter by spoonfuls into hot oil. If using a frying pan, mash the fritters down a little bit so they are flat and turn after each side is golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

Here are my fritters frying in the frying pan:



Do not add any more liquid to the batter, because lots of water comes out of the squash even after you have drained them. I mashed mine while still in the colander so that more of the liquid would drain out. Then after mixing with the remaining ingredients, I even added a small amount more cornmeal.

I sprinkled a small amount of salt and pepper on the fritters while they were frying. You might want to decrease the salt in the batter if you do this, especially if you are watching your salt intake, but it mades them taste really good!

Also, when I made my first batch, I only had about 3/4 cup mild cheddar cheese on hand and that turned out well too. I plan to made this today for one of the side dishes for my Sunday Dinner, using sharp cheddar cheese.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Show and Tell Friday - My Ulmer Quilter

Today is Show and Tell Friday at Kelli's House. Today I would like to show you one of my most prized possessions.

This is a hand quilting frame that my husband bought me for our anniversary early in our marriage while on our annual anniversary trip to the mountains. Every year we try to visit a little quilting shop located way out in the country in Tennessee, called Holloways Country Home. This store is in an old home and is stocked full of every kind of quilting supply or fabric you can think of. The store even has a "husband's room" where husbands can lounge on a couch, watching tv and drinking coffee while their wives shop. (aka - spending money with the owner!) LOL

While shopping there on one of our trips, my hubby spotted these quilting frames, and insisted that I have one of my own. Thanks Sweetie!



Unlike my grandmother's old timey quilting rails, this one is small enough to use in the living room and folds flat for storage like this:



Here it is set up ready for a quilt. If only I had one ready to put in there!



This is what it looks like with a quilt in it.



I'm ready to hand quilt another quilt and intend to leave the quilting frame set up in this spot. The fall and winter will be here before you know it and now is the time to get those quilts ready for quilting, especially during the cooler months.

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