Monday, December 31, 2018

My Quilt...

I'm so excited to piece this quilt! Last Summer before we moved from Colorado to Massachusetts, I visited my favorite quilting store and bought some coordinating fabric for a beautiful fabric I bought at Spoonflower. It's called "Swedish Folk Art Birds, by Rebecca Reck."  This was the fabric I chose for the "inspiration" for the quilt I'm finally making for myself. My ancestry is half Swedish, and I love the blues and whites found in Scandinavian prints, so I went looking for something that would reflect my heritage and colors I love. I found it in this Swedish Folk Art print...

 The scale on this folk art fabric is pretty large, so I went with smaller scaled fabrics for the coordinating prints. Here's what I came up with...

Two of my favorite colors together are orange and blue, and I think the plain orange and blue fabrics will make a beautiful frame for the quilt (border). The other two fabrics, dot and tan, will be in the body of the quilt along with the birdies. I'm starting the piecing process today! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Merry Christmas and a little quilt...

Merry Christmas on the off-chance that any of my blogging friends are still following this blog! My hope is that you and yours have a wonderful holiday season. I haven't published a blog post for forever, but we are alive and well, and we have spent the last six months getting acquainted with our new home in Massachusetts and even some of the surrounding states! It has been such a fun adventure moving at this stage in our lives {pre-retirement, but getting closer every day}. We absolutely LOVE this part of the country! We are having a home built right along the border of Massachusetts and New Hampshire -- beautiful country. We've picked out all the interior furnishings, and the foundation and walls of the house are almost finished. To be honest I didn't feel the sewing or crafting bug for months after the move, but just recently I've felt a few twinges to get on the sewing bandwagon again.

This little quilt took me fooooreeeeverrrr to finish. I don't really like it when projects take a long time because I lose interest really easily and then it seems like it's a chore to finish, but finish I did. It's another little girl quilt. The fabric is found at Hobby Lobby...

I love grays and pinks together and the little bit of navy and cranberry pretty much make my heart sing.

More and more on my baby girl quilts I've been using fabrics that aren't necessarily a traditional children's fabric. Sometimes I'll find one that I love with little bears or some other woodland animal, but generally speaking I love floral fabrics for little girls.

This quilt is a 45 inch square, which makes a nice size quilt for an infant and toddler.

The back is a darker gray/taupe coordinating fabric, and it has a strip of the other fabrics that make up the front of the quilt.

I've ordered some more fabric for grandbaby #23 who is scheduled to arrive this March. I'm excited to get that quilt planned and made, and I still have fabric that I bought for a quilt for myself. After making quilts for all the members of our family last year for Christmas, I decided last May that I should make myself one too. I'd like to get around to doing that in the next few weeks. In the meanwhile here is a closeup of the back of the quilt. I love the little bicycles on the darker fabric...

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, September 07, 2018

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Eggplant and Butternut Squash Parmesan...

I don't know what's wrong with me, but ever since our move to Massachusetts I've been cooking up a storm. I must have a fever because that isn't the norm the last few years. We've been living in a cute little apartment, so I have more time on my hands with a smaller home and no yard work. I guess that's where this spurt of culinary creativity has come from. In any case tonight I made an Eggplant and Butternut Squash Parmesan. I was luscious and so easy to make. It takes about a half an hour to prepare this and 45 minutes for it to cook. It was delicious, so I thought I'd write down the recipe for future reference. Here it is...

Eggplant, small to medium in size
1/2 small butternut squash
3 - 4 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp. milk
Italian bread crumbs
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
2 - Classico l lb. 8 oz. jars pasta sauce
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

{You can choose to use two 8"x8" pans or one 9"x13".}

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

It's best to buy an eggplant on the smallish size because older, bigger eggplants can be bitter. If you have a large eggplant, you might want to follow these instructions before cooking it.

Peel your eggplant and dice it into one inch cubes. Salt and pepper. Combine 3 eggs and 1 tablespoon milk in a shallow dish. Put bread crumbs onto another shallow dish. Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in bread crumbs. Brown the dredged eggplant in a little olive oil in a frying pan. Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and add the cooked eggplant to the pan.

Peel and dice the butternut squash into one inch cubes and cook in microwave about seven minutes. Drain. Salt and pepper. Put squash in egg mixture and dredge in bread crumbs. Lightly cook the squash in an oiled frying pan till brown. Place squash over the eggplant in the 9x13 pan.

Cook the Italian sausage in the frying pan and place on top of eggplant and squash in pan.

I usually make my own pasta sauce, but this time I used a couple of jars of pasta sauce to save time. When I do use store bought, I love the Classico brand. I usually choose two jars, most often differing flavors of red sauce, and mix the two jars together.  Poor those over the ingredients in the pan.

Grate the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle over the top of the pasta sauce. Sprinkle a little grated Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

There you have it. It tasted so good. The butternut squash and sausage toned down some of the acidity in the sauce to make a perfect combination of flavors! I paired this with a tossed green salad and it was the perfect meal!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

BBQ Chicken Pizza...

A couple of years ago a favorite food establishment in our hometown closed down. I cried a lot during that time because their BBQ Chicken Pizza had become a stand-alone food group for my husband and me. We loved it. Since that time we've tried many different BBQ Chicken Pizzas in Colorado and even a few in Massachusetts where we live now, but none came close to our favorite.

The other day I decided to try my hand at making a BBQ Chicken Pizza knock-off to the Schlotzsky's version we loved so much. I knocked it out of the park. Seriously. I've never gotten so close to copying a recipe, so I was thrilled. Since I made it I realized that on the Schlotzky's website they basically give you the recipe by listing all the ingredients. Check this out! I'm proud of myself for remembering all those ingredients on my own, but then again I'd eaten it about a billion times so it was clear in my memory and taste buds.

Here's my version. It's so easy to make. I even bought a ready made pizza crust, but I would suggest you buy one with a little added flavor like I did. Also, the jalapeno peppers I suggest give it just the right amount of kick, but it's manageable. These "tamed jalapeno peppers" are a cross between a jalapeno pepper and green pepper. They are the perfect thing when you want the texture and taste of a jalapeno, without the knock-your-socks-off spiciness.  For those who like more heat, add fresh jalapenos. I'm suggesting brands so you know what I used to get the flavor that we loved.

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Jalapenos
12 inch pizza

12" Rustic Pizza Crust, Old World Flatbread, Sea Salt and Basil Ciabatta
2 chicken breasts
1/2 red onion
Prego Pizza Sauce
Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet 'n Spicy BBQ Sauce
3 oz. mozzarella cheese
6 oz. cheddar cheese (medium sharpness)
Mezzetta Deli-Sliced Tamed Jalapeno Peppers
Black olives

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Slice chicken against the grain of the meat to make thin slices. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Cut red onion into thin slices. Add a little oil to a frying pan and cook chicken. A couple of minutes before the chicken is cooked add the red onions and cook all till done. Remove from heat.

Spread a  thin layer of Prego pizza sauce on the pizza crust. Place the cooked chicken and onions on the crust. Add cheeses -- a thin layer of mozzarella, followed by a slightly thicker layer of the cheddar. Add jalapenos on top of cheese. (This enables people to pick them off if they don't care for jalapenos. Even if they don't like to eat them, the jalapenos leave a little flavor when removed!)

Put BBQ sauce into a squeeze container like this one...

Drizzle BBQ sauce over the pizza in thin lines. The container enables you to control the amount of BBQ sauce, which is important.

Reduce the heat to 425 degrees in your oven and place the pizza on the center rack.  Bake pizza for 10 - 12 minutes. 

There you have it!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday, July 06, 2018

Salmon Patties...

I've been in my kitchen a lot lately. The month before we moved I didn't cook much because I had to pack up my kitchen first for the move, so since we've arrived at our new home I've been taking advantage of the cute kitchen I have.

The other day I decided to change up the salmon fillets I had bought. I'd seen a picture of salmon patties somewhere and they looked yummy, so I looked up a recipe and tweaked it a bit, and this is what I came up with...

I absolutely loved this recipe. It's not a healthy as a salmon filet because of the bread crumbs and frying, but it does stretch the salmon, and it was delicious!

Suzanne's Salmon Patties
serves 4 people

2 salmon fillets
2 eggs
3 green onions. diced
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
1 lime juiced
olive oil

Wrap salmon fillets in foil and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool. Remove the skin. Crumble salmon fillets and mix in the eggs, green onions, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and lime juice. Form the salmon mixture into four patties. Place the patties in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up the patties so they are less apt to fall apart when you fry them.

Warm skillet and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Fry salmon patties on each side till brown. Serve with a lemon wedge and some tartar sauce. I paired these patties with couscous and a green salad. Best when served immediately!

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Avocado Stuffed Taco Salad for Two...

I love Taco Salad, but I haven't made it much since we've been empty nesters. The recipe I used for years makes enough for a crowd, but yesterday I tweaked a recipe I saw on Pinterest and it was perfect for two! (You'll have enough meat mixture left over to put in the freezer to use on another night.) I also like the idea of this recipe having avocado, instead of corn chips. It makes it a little healthier.

Avocado Stuffed Taco Salad
Start by making this ground beef mixture:
1 pound ground beef
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
4 ounces tomato sauce

Add the ground beef to a medium sauce pan and cook over medium heat until browned. Drain grease and add all the seasonings and the tomato sauce. Stir to combine and cook for about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Other ingredients needed:
mixed greens
avocados cut in half
green onions
shredded cheddar cheese
salad dressing
sour cream (optional)
black beans (optional)

I used a mix of romaine and iceburg lettuce...

Then I added some green onions, tomatoes and cilantro...

I cut an avocado in half, peeled it, and nestled it right in the middle of those greens...

Then I topped those avocados with the yummy ground beef mixture...

A bunch more for good measure...

To that cheddar cheese, more tomatoes, and cilantro were added...

Then a little Catalina Dressing and a dollop of sour cream finished it off! Of course by then the avocado was totally buried with a ton of deliciousness, but you get the idea.

There it is.
Taco Salad for two with enough meat mixture to put in the freezer for another night! 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday's Fabulous Finds...

In the last few weeks my husband and I have packed up all our belongings, sold our home, traveled almost two thousand miles from our home in Colorado to our new home in Massachusetts, and settled in our new digs. It has been quite a ride -- figuratively and literally. I miss our friends in Colorado, but I love our new home. My sewing machine has been neglected for a month now, and I'm itching to sew up something cute, so I'm sure I'll start blogging again on a more regular basis.

In the meantime I found these cute blue and white treasures. I've always been drawn to the colors of blue and white together -- maybe because of my Scandinavian ancestry...

I spy with my Etsy eye something...

Clockwise, starting top left:

Peg Doll Family
Nordic Style Tablecloth
Striped Linen Sheets

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Beautiful Baby Quilt...

A couple of weeks ago I posted on my Facebook page a photo of the beautiful quilt that my daughter-in-law Stephanie was making. Here's the picture I posted. It's the back of the quilt.

When the back of the quilt looks like that, you know the front is going to be pretty special. Take a look...

Isn't it gorgeous?!? I simply love the front design of plain fabrics with that gorgeous floral print on the back...

You can find the floral fabric at Spoonflower -- here. Those beautiful blossoms remind me of the peonies I picked from my garden last week. So pretty. She finished it with a navy binding...

Their baby is due in the next few weeks! I can't wait to see the baby wrapped up in this beautiful quilt.

Oh, and if you think Stephanie's skills are all in the "sewing department," take a look at this cake she made their two-year-old for her birthday last week. Stephanie is multi-talented to say the least!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday's Fabulous Finds...

Some of you might not be aware, but I started my blog primarily to sell some totes I was making at that time. Soon after Etsy came on the scene and I created a shop there, which was so much easier than marketing my totes on my blog. Anyway, I've always had a thing for totes, purses and pouches of any kind, so today I'm featuring pouches you can find in my Pinterest board called "Purses and Pouches". Most links have patterns you so you can make one of these lovelies for yourself!

Friday, June 08, 2018

Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday's Fabulous Finds...

I spy with my Etsy eye some...
time at the beach!

Clockwise, starting top left:

Beach Blanket
Picnic Basket
Seagull Painting
Driftwood Sign 
Beach Bag 

Wishing you a sun-drenched weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Little Girl Golden Quilt...

Here's the last quilt I'll finish before our move. Man alive peoples -- moving is not for the faint at heart. It's stressful! That's why I'm taking a few moments to relax by writing this post. I love these golden baby quilts I've made recently. I posted about a little boy quilt a couple of  months ago and now I have this little girls one...

I love this golden yellow color with gray. Once again I used the flower and bee quilting pattern. The little bee is particularly adorable with the gold thread.

This pattern is so simple. They are 11" half square triangles trimmed down to 10 inch blocks.

I added a 1 inch gray and a 4 inch golden print frame around the edge.

For the back I used one of the florals and some scraps from the front! Whaaalaaa!