Thursday, April 28, 2011

Something pretty just for me

So a month or two ago I found this great top on "sale" at JCPenney. *This is not a paid advertisement, they have no idea who I am, I just need you to have a reference for what I'm dealing with and they don't let you copy pictures from the website.*  I wanted it in a deep purple, but they only had a yellow or the "Royal Blue", which is more like a blueish lavender.  So I got the lavender top.  I just knew it would be perfect for Easter.  However, it requires a camisole or some other type of clothing underneath as it is completely sheer, and lowcut, and has REALLY big arm holes. Oh, and I say "sale" as it was the same price for 3 months, which was marginally less than the quoted original price, but not anything near where it's listed now.

Anyway, I needed a camisole , but wanted something prettier than the plain numbers in my drawer, so I decided to use my splurge fabric.  I found this fabric at Wal-Mart for $5.94/yd which is far more than I prefer to spend.  It's a high quality line that I've used before, so I splurged and bought 1 yard.  Roll your eyes, I know.
 It turned into this lovely little tank.  I didn't have a pattern, just used an existing cami to eyeball the size.  Then had my husband help me measure for the straps. It is quilting weight cotton, so it's quite sturdy, and doesn't have the give of a regular camisole.  It's not perfect, but it fits me pretty well, as long as I don't grow.

This is the back.  It's pretty simple really.

And here it is under the blouse.  See what I mean about the low neck and HUGE armholes?

Even with the new tank I felt quite exposed, but it worked beautifully.
This is on the body, which doesn't look quite as bizarre as on the hanger.
I have to say, I'm quite proud of this endeavor.  I imagine I will be wearing this little tank quite a bit.  Oh, and I'm not usually a print gal when it comes to my clothes, so this is very out of the box for me, but I love it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Colors

This top is finished, just waiting to be quilted.  The picture is upside down.  Oh well.  The only reason I say it's upside down is if you look closely at the bottom row in the picture, the middle block has some dead looking birds.  That's a problem.  I don't want my cheerful spring birds to look like goners. So stand on your head and see how lovely it looks! ...kidding.  (blogger won't let me turn it around and I don't want to take the time to find it in the file, make changes, and upload it again) So just pretend.

These are 5" or 6" squares with a triple border.  I know it looks similar to the postage stamp quilt, but it's not the same. 
Well, this is technically a right side up picture, but I can tell that I didn't take the picture right side up and it looks funny.  Oh well.  I try.

Monday, April 25, 2011

So this happened

 What is this you ask?  Well, it's a brand new bag of sugar that fell off my counter onto my clean floor and busted open just as I was about to transfer it to it's appropriate container.  And yes, I was barefooted.  I am always sans shoes at home.  Sugar on bare feet is uncomfortable!  It was a horrible mess, at least half the bag went out onto the floor. 
Note: The Dyson Vacuum works wonders. 

On a happier note;
I made pork chops for the very first time.  No recipe, just wanted a 'mom' meal(something my mom made for us growing up that I haven't had in forever).  I have to say it turned out awesome, and even my husband who doesn't care for pork loved it!  He also informed me I had confused his digestive system at creating such a complete meal on any day/time other than Sunday lunch.  Usually I make one trick meals...where most everything is in one dish.  This was a HUGE treat for us in the middle of the week. Yay me.  He even said I could fix it again; not very often, but again.
How I made it;
Pork Chops, no bone, slightly tenderized.  I got the really thin ones. 
1c. flour
1-2 eggs slightly beaten
1-2Tbsp. Lawry's seasoned salt
1tsp. ground black pepper
1/2-1tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4-1/2c. vegetable oil

Mix dry ingredients really well.  Dip chops into egg, then dry mix.  Cook in hot oil on stove for 6-8 minutes per side.  Serve with spinach salad, green beans, and black eyed peas.  If you wanna. :)
They still needed a knife to cut, but they weren't too tough to chew.  I think I'll tenderize a bit more next time.

* The package of chops I bought came with 5 in the pack.  Adjust ingredients according to how many chops you are fixing.

Friday, April 22, 2011


 Easter is very important at our house.  We believe it is just as (if not more) important than Christmas.  Not for the eggs and candy, but for the message which is the real treasure.  We couldn't have the resurrection without the birth, but the resurrection is what makes the birth so significant.
I don't usually decorate, but this year I decided to pull some things out that we had stashed away.  It's more SPRING than Easter, but it's what we had on hand.
 This is our table.  Some lovely egg trays with ceramic eggs yet to be painted. 
And some cute little ceramic birds in a looking glass(a glass salad bowl turned upside down).

And then there is this little lovely.  I've had her since I was a little girl.  It's a sock bunny!  I don't know who made this for me, but I love her floppy little ears and yellow pindot dress with eyelet lace.  We found her hidden away in a closet with some other childhood treasures.  I decided spring was a great time to let her have a spot in the front room.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Colorway Postage Stamp Quilt

This is something that's been up on the wall for a while.  The picture is turned the wrong way, but you still get an idea of what it will look like.  The pink at the top is actually on the left side of the finished piece, not that it HAS to face one direction or the other.

This is really just a sneak peak.  It's come a long way, but you won't see that for a while.  These are 2" squares pieced together one at a's a long's been on the wall since the first week of 2011.  It's still there.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Well, it was more like winter cleaning.  After many months of piling fabric on my shelves in the sewing room it got pretty bad.  I decided to do something about it!  This is what it looked like...



and After;
Now It is going to stay this way!...I hope.  Organized by color, aside for some pulled fabrics for upcoming projects on the fourth shelf along with some binding.  The bottom shelf is scraps...semi organized.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tequila Lime Fajitas

I'm ready for lighter flavors and fresh vegetables.  So, this weekend I made Tequila Lime Shrimp and Chicken Fajitas.  Yum!  I thought you all might be looking for some fresh dinner ideas too, so I'm sharing.
*Sorry I don't have a picture.  I wasn't thinking fast enough, and we were really hungry so they disappeared pretty quick.*

Serves 4
For the meat;
1lb. chicken tenders or shrimp(de-veined and de-tailed)
1/4-1/2c. gold tequila**
2-3 fresh limes, or 2Tbsp. lime juice
1tbsp. olive oil
1-2tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

8-10 Flour tortillas
1 Large Green Bell Pepper Sliced Thin
2 Large Red Bell Peppers Sliced Thin
1/2-1 Large Sweet Onion Sliced Thin
1/2-1 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Shredded Cheese and Sour Cream

Start by marinating meat.  To prepare the chicken, let soak in tequila and lime juice for about 1-2 hours in a covered dish or sealed freezer bag.  For the shrimp only do this about 15-30 minutes; it's more delicate.  Both meats will become slightly cooked from the acid in the lime juice, but you still need to cook through on the griddle or skillet.

When you are ready to cook, start with peppers because they take the longest to cook.  Put pepper strips on griddle with a little olive oil and let cook at 250 degrees Fahrenheit, or medium heat for 10 minutes.  Then add onion strips and Worcestershire sauce.  Let cook until very limp.  Move them around on griddle with tongs so they get some color but don't burn.  Add salt and pepper if desired.  Move pepper and onion mix to the side in a glass bowl.
Take meat out of container and put on griddle or skillet(throw out the juice) with olive oil and Worcestershire sauce.  Let cook until done, about 5-10 minutes.  I like to let my chicken get really brown on the griddle.

Serve in tortillas with cheese and sour cream.  Enjoy.  Can also sprinkle some extra lime juice on top and add guacamole.

**I used Jose Cuervo Gold.  It has a great flavor for cooking.  If you don't keep alcohol in the house just do these without it.  They are still good with just the lime juice, or you can soak them in orange juice.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Do you know about this?

So, all my life I've heard people talk about this product.  My husband talks about having grown up eating this on peanut butter sandwiches regularly.  I finally broke down and bought a jar. 

Marshmallow Creme

First I tried it in a recipe, and the recipe turned out pretty good, but I still didn't really know what all the hype was because it pretty much acted just like melted marshmallows...without the mess and cleanup...which is worth it.
So then I bought another jar and tried some on a peanut butter sandwich.  It was okay...but nothing special.  So then I thought I'd break down and just dip my finger in to see what they hype was about.  I couldn't believe my mouth.  It's AMAZING!!!!!  Pretty sure I ate a spoonful (much to my husband's chagrin) right out of the jar after that.  Then the closed jar fell in the trash can.  Several times.  I think somebody was trying to tell me something, but I also think this will now be a staple at our house.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Coconut Shrimp

Servings; 2
1lb. shrimp (frozen or fresh, both work well)
1/2 c. all purpose flour or biscuit mix
2 eggs (whisked)
1/2 c. coconut flakes
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
orange marmalade

To make;
If using frozen shrimp, thaw under running water, pat dry.  For fresh, rinse quickly under running water and pat dry.  Place flour and eggs into separate shallow bowls.  Mix bread crumbs with coconut flakes, and put into another shallow bowl.  Dip shrimp in flour, 3-4 at a time, coat well. Then dip into egg wash, letting the excess drip off.  Move to bread crumb mixture, and press crumbs and coconut into shrimp until well coated.  Place onto greased cookie sheet.  Continue this process until all shrimp are coated.  Bake on middle rack at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, or until coconut is lightly toasted and shrimp is cooked through.

Serve with marmalade and enjoy.

Note: This is a VERY messy process, and you will need to rinse your hands repeatedly.  I try to use one hand for wet, one hand for dry, but eventually they both get icky.  Just rinse your hands and keep going. 

Portabello Pesto Wrapini

Well, I think my body knows it's spring...I'm ready for fresh vegetables!  So, here is something new on our menu; the Portabello Pesto Wrapini (similar to something on the Jason's Deli menu).  It is easy, filling, and nutritious.
Servings: 2-4
I say it can be 2 servings if you don't add any side items, but if you serve some fresh fruit with it it could easily serve 4 people, if they are the kind of people who can turn down food even though it's difficult to resist one more bite.
1pkg. Portabello Mushroom Heads (they are packaged in 2's)
2 Garlic Herb Wraps (Mission Brand is great, come in packs of 10)
2-3 Tbsp. pesto sauce (I use Biutoni)
1/2c. alfalfa sprouts
4 slices Provolone Cheese
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1Tbs. olive oil
fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

To Make;
I set my stovetop griddle* to 250-275 degrees Farenheit.  Place mushroom heads on griddle (gill side up) and drizzle with olive oil and salt/pepper.  Very little oil should be on the griddle, just a few small drops.  Turn after a few minutes, then slice mushrooms in long strips about 1/2" thick after 5-7 minutes cooking.  Let cook about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender and cooked through.   Put on paper towel to rest.  Place wraps on griddle to heat about 5-10 seconds on ONE SIDE ONLY.  Remove and place the heated side up on your plates.  Doing so keeps the messy bit to a minimum.  Heat Pesto slightly in microwave about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Spread about 1/2-1 Tbsp. Pesto on each wrap, straight down the middle.  Then place your cheese, sprouts, and spinach.  Lastly put mushroom slices on wrap.  Fold two sides in and roll (look at instructions on wrap package).  Place rolled wrap back on griddle, and put heavy pan on top to flatten slightly.  Grill for about 1-2 minutes either side to let it crisp slightly.  Place on plate and cut in half to serve.  Enjoy!  Goes great with fresh fruit or orange juice.

*Can be done in skillet as well, but using the griddle gives more space for heating the wraps.