DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS & yet we still had to have dinner ~ CHICKEN & DRESSING with CREAM OF CARROT BISQUE

I worked for quite awhile in the studio today and ran across several unfinished projects that NEED to be finished!  Binding for some reason is my least favorite part of quilting though it should be my most favorite since it is the last step to a completed project.  I’m still trying to figure out where to start!  I’m leaning towards starting with the smaller pieces just because there will be a bigger sense of accomplishment as I whip them out, but am leaning towards the larger ones so I can set them aside into the Christmas pile as completed presents.

In the meanwhile we still needed to eat so I reworked a couple of recipes from my “TO TRY” pile that used ingredients I had on hand.  It’s almost June 1st and I try to clean out both the freezer and pantry every 6 months or so.

CHICKEN & DRESSING serves 6

2-3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
4 slices crusty french bread, torn into pieces
3 cups crumbled cornbread
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped small
2 large eggs, beaten
Fresh ground sea salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup butter, sliced thin

  • Put butter slices in freezer while you assemble the casserole.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the broth, eggs and soup.
  • Fold in breads.
  • Fold in celery, onion and chicken pieces.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to a lightly greased 3 quart slow cooker.
  • Dot with butter slices.
  • Cook on high 1 1/2 hours and then low 2-3 hours on low OR 3-4 hours on high.

CREAM OF CARROT BISQUE serves 4

1 pound bag baby carrots, washed and dried
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Pinch of ground ginger
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
Parmesan cheese
Snap peas

  • Preheat oven to 400˚.
  • In a large ziplock bag add the carrots, avocado oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Close and toss until carrots are well coated.
  • Spread carrots in a thin layer on a baking sheet.
  • Roast carrots 45 minutes or until tender.
  • Cool carrots.
  • In a large sauce pan melt butter,
  • Add onion and saute’ until tender.
  • Add broth and simmer while carrots roast.
  • Add carrots and puree with an immersion blender.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with Parmesan crisps and chopped snap peas.

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HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY

WOW, where did this last week go.  I was planning to post more last week, but it obviously got away from me.  I spent the week and weekend sorting through craft items, desk items, old photographs and such – SOOOO much harder than manual labor with emotion connected to each item. It also worked out well with the stormy weekend to be inside.

THE WEATHER OUTSIDE
Still gray and stormy, but that is supposed to clear up tomorrow with temperatures soaring into the 90’s and fortunately the humidity dipping into the 60’s instead of the miserable 80 degrees and 95% humidity we had last week.

AS I LOOK OUTSIDE MY WINDOW
I see the damage from yesterday’s storm in broken branches and flower beds that need their dirt scooped back in which I will gt to later when I trim the roses.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE
Honey nut cheerios with sliced banana and green tea.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE & HOUSE PROJECTS
I see that I made a HUGE mess the last several days trying to sort through the last of the boxes most of which are craft items or small desk type items, but it will hopefully all come together by the end of the week and I will take a few pictures then.

TO DO FOR THE WEEK

  • Monday – Grocery Shopping for the ingredients for recipe experiment week  and Home Depot to pick up a few last minute items to install the new front door.
  • Tuesday thru Thursday – keep sorting through pile in atrium and organize my studio.
  • Friday – maybe go see a matinee and lunch out since we stay home weekends to avoid the traffic and masses of people.
  • Saturday – clean and laundry
  • Sunday – Y.O.Y.O. (you’re on your own) day and do as I please which will probably be working in my studio.

CURRENTLY READING

TELEVISION / DVR
I think there are a few new shows this week, but I haven’t checked yet. There are also a few movies coming out this month that I’d like to see and I might need to go to AMC for a matinee or two on warmer days.

CRAFTS & PROJECTS
I went through my fabric stash and began to organize it. WHEW! What a job! I didn’t realize how much fabric I had accumulated.  Good thing I’m STILL going through my aunt’s magazines and finding some new patterns to try for quilts.  Boy did she like her magazines!  Here are this week’s quilt pattern finds:

  • Altitude
  • Little Red Bird
  • Patriot Parade 
  • Early Birds
  • Spring Forth
  • Garden Glories
  • Play it Again
  • Shades of Fall
  • Maisy Daisy
  • Bevels
  • Magic Stars
  • Warm Breeze
  • Squares Plus
  • Plum Spicy
  • Rainbow Hearts
  • Daffodils for Dad
  • Moon Shadow Stars
  • Blueberry Ice
  • Wavelength

HOUSE PROJECTS
No pictures this week, but we had a productive week moving forward on “little” finish projects.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
I found so many fun new recipes that I’m going to make every night this entire week an experiment night plus an interesting dessert.


MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & FRUIT
SCRAMBLED EGGS & CHEESE
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
YOGURT & FRUIT
MAPLE OATMEAL & RAISINS
EGGS in the CLOUDS
BACON & EGGS
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP & CRACKERS
SANDWICH
OUT
MEAT & CHEESE
LEFTOVERS
SANDWICHES
DINNER
CRISPY RAMEN CRUSTED CHICKEN with ASIAN SLAW
CAST IRON LEMON  CHICKEN and SALAD
C.O.R.N.
BUFFALO CHICKEN MAC & CHEESE
GRILLED CHICKEN with COLA SAUCE
BUFFALO CHICKEN THIGHS and SALAD
APRICOT GLAZED PORK KEBABS and SAVORY BREAD PUDDING
DESSERT


BLACK BEAN BROWNIES




SUCCESSFUL RECIPES and their links FROM LAST WEEK

  • Pineapple Pound Cake (recipe will be up a little later)

RECIPE FINDS TO TRY LATER
I’m STILL going through my aunt’s magazines and boy did she like her magazines!  Here are this week’s recipe finds:

  • Brown Sugar Cinnamon Peach Pie
  • Ciabatta French Toast
  • Pork Tenderloin with Orange Compote
  • Argentinean Pork
  • Salted Caramel Brownies
  • Carnitas Tacos with Pickled Red Onion
  • Grilled Chicken with Asian Pear Slaw
  • Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins
  • Fresh Raspberry Vanilla Preserves
  • Strawberry Chicken Salad
  • Grilled Parmesan Cake
  • Crawfish Bisque
  • Kickin’ Orange Glazed Chicken
  • Apricot Glazed Chicken Thighs
  • Manicotti with Vodka Blush Sauce
  • Pear Tart
  • White Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA
One of the things I ran across this week was “real” photos from when the pups were pups! It made me realize just how old they are and made me sad too!  But I also took this picture of our “OLD MAN” (14) and a treat.  I gently laid it there to see how long it would take for him to notice and LOL it took a long time! When he was young it would have woken him up in a heart beat!

INSPIRATION

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

PINK, NO, REALLY I MADE A PINK QUILT!

Just as I’m starting to get back into a good routine and maybe even getting a little caught up the time has come for my last surgery.  YEP, you heard me right “LAST”, well as far as I’m concerned.  It’s been a very long 2 1/2 years with all sorts of medical issues, but at last I pray the time has come that this WILL BE the LAST surgery in my life.  I should be only down completely a couple days, but then I’ll be back – on the computer at least.


In the meantime this is for my friend Dawna over at Stitches from the Tub.  Proof that I have finally made a pink quilt.  I see you all in a few days.

A LITTLE THIS & A LITTLE THAT

Just as I’m starting to get back into a good routine and maybe even getting a little caught up the time has come for my last surgery.  YEP, you heard me right “LAST”, well as far as I’m concerned.  It’s been a very long 2 1/2 years with all sorts of medical issues, but at last I pray the time has come that this WILL BE the LAST surgery in my life.  I should be only down completely a couple days, but then I’ll be back – on the computer at least.

In the meantime this is for my friend Dawna over at Stitches from the Tub.  Proof that I have finally made a pink quilt.  I see you all in a few days.

TIME TO UNPLUG – PINK & PURPLE HARMONY QUILT

I’ll never completely unplug, but I need some creative downtime away from the computer so decided to start a new quilt.  Those of you that know me well will laugh because you know I’m not a pink person and this quilt will have A LOT of pink in it.  I thought the pattern choice was apropos also, it’s name is HARMONY.

TIME TO UNPLUG – PINK & PURPLE HARMONY

I’ll never completely unplug, but I need some creative downtime away from the computer so decided to start a new quilt.  Those of you that know me well will laugh because you know I’m not a pink person and this quilt will have A LOT of pink in it.  I thought the pattern choice was apropos also, it’s name is HARMONY.

A LITTLE BIT CLOSER TO CATCHING UP

Spent the weekend trying to pull off a surprise party for my brother-in-law that in the end he knew about, but we all had fun anyway.

REX BDAY CAKE

Came home to tons to do starting with laundry and paperwork so I’m staying super busy.  I did get a bit closer to accomplishing a project that I’ve been working on for years – an ARMY quilt for hubby – all it needs now is the binding.

ARMY QUILT

A LOT CAN CHANGE IN 24 HOURS

We’ve been helping my mom and stepdad out doing some projects and this one wore me out!  The tree had to go because it was diseased.  The part we hadn’t planned on was the unseasonably hot day.  It was 106 degrees by noon on the day the guys decided to take out the tree.

Deck Planter 4-30-13We wanted to get it handled immediately before it got any hotter and we leave for a family reunion so we did pretty good for 24 hours.

Deck Planter 5-1-13

75 cent KITCHEN MAKEOVER

Do you want to make something pretty for really cheap too? I had this plain, small and kinda ugly dish on the sink edge for the sponge and scrubbers.  Living with 2 men, I have to tell you they don’t keep it very neat.  Now get your head out of that gutter, one of them is my uncle.
At my house I have a small cake stand that I use, but they are pretty hard to find so I decided to make my own.  So I went to my local thrift store and found these 2 things a mismatched candle holder for 50 cents and pretty salad plate also 50 cents, but on 75% clearance that day.  Then I picked up some of the new Gorilla glue, the clear kind, but still strong as a gorilla, go figure.  I washed both pieces and dried them well.  I put the gorilla glue on the candle holder and then applied it to the back of the salad plate and allowed it to dry well.

And voile’ a new pretty stand that has room for everything!

aprons 3

QUILT BUG WORKS EVERY TIME

~WORKS EVERY TIME~
I just had a conversation with a friend about not being able to choose colors for a quilt pattern. She’s having a tough time with knowing when and how colors go together. So here’s a quick, easy and inexpensive trick that I learned at a quilt show.

Do you know what these are? They’re those little prism toys you can get in Cracker Jacks or as a party favor at a children’s birthday party. I got the lady bug at a quilt show, but the megaphone was from a girl scout carnival.

What you do is put all the fabrics you are thinking of choosing into a stack (bolts work really well) then step back and use this little toy as a kaleidoscope. If any one fabric stands out, remove it and start again. Keep this up until you have the fabrics you need and they make a continuous kaleidoscope pattern where no one color or fabric stands out by itself.

Making something out of nothing ~ A SOAP tutorial



We’re all trying to cut a few corners these days and conserving all the scraps just makes sense.

  • Save up your old bars of soap, making sure they are dry slivers.
  • Use your grater or chopper to make small pieces. Or like me I eventually give up and use an old ziploc and a meat tenderizer.
  • Put them in a sauce pan with 8 ounces of water for every 1 1/2 cups grated slivers and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. They should blend together like a smooth pudding.
  • I added a hint of lemon extract and green food color also.
  • Pour into molds. I like to use an old ice cube tray for a smaller decorative soap for the guest bathroom or this should make about 3-4 medium-sized bars.
  • After they are set up, pop the bars out of the molds. If they don’t come out easily, stick them in the freezer for 4 hours or overnight, or until they feel dry when you touch them. Then they will pop out easily.
  • Air dry them without their touching each other for 2-3 days.

final blog signature.