Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Crockpot Chicken! WooHoo!

ok, ok...  I'm always a little leery of chicken in the crockpot, and when I saw this recipe for Simple Crock Pot Chicken, I figured it was too good to be true.  I was wrong!  This was good.  Really, really good.  no pics, sorry- as it was gone before I could even think about a photo.

I prepared this for the three of us, which gave us 4 servings (1 each for Darin & I, 2 for the kid)  with a long grain & wild rice.  Apparently they were disappointed I didn't make mashed potatoes...  I make mashed potatoes often enough, and they love rice, so I wasn't sure why the complaining.  but I digress...

Into the Crockpot for the day, on low:
3 large, bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, seasoned (I used a little salt & Cajun seasoning, you could use Italian)
1 can chicken broth
1 onion, wedged
2 or so cloves of garlic - peeled and whole

to serve:
1 package chicken gravy mix

Prepare gravy mix as directed on package- I used some of the liquid from the crockpot   Shred chicken off the bone, stir into finished gravy, and serve over rice, potatoes or noodles.

Adjust for family size.

This one is going into regular menu rotation!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Frosting Fail and Other Sunday Mishaps

Snowy Sunday morning, nothing going on.  so what do I do?  Decide to cook.  Cupcakes, Cinnamon Bread, and a one-pot supper in the oven .  Easy Peasy.

I'm starting a quest to find the perfect frosting- the whippy kind you get from the grocery store.  Sure, I can make buttercream, and that's needed to decorate cakes & cookies, but sometimes I want something different.  Something even worse for you than buttercream.  I think what I probably need to find is a recipe using marshmallow cream, but yesterday I went with a stabilized whipped cream version with unflavored gelatin.  It took two tries to get the gelatin dissolved (the first attempt smelled like a dog walker's shoe, and I was not putting that into my frosting).  and then, because I was making a sprinkle-y cupcakes, I added sprinkles to my whipped cream.

and then I put the frosting it my improvised decorating tip.

 and then I realized that sprinkles do NOT come out of a decorating tip.  

if you want to know, it comes out looking like this:

Lesson learned.

 In the mean time I'd thrown together Ree Drummond's cinnamon bread recipe, which I've made probably 20 times in the last 2 years.  It's simple to put together and turns out well.  Every time.  Except yesterday.  When I took it out of the oven before it was done (WHAT?  I KNOW better!).  It was completely NOT cooked inside and went into the garbage.  Yay.

It LOOKS good, doesn't it?  HA.

Supper was a recipe I'd seen on Pinterest about a year ago and finally got around to making - a casserole with veggies & sausages.  I bought some nice country and Italian links from the butcher.  Except for the fact I came within 5 minutes of overcooking the potatoes into mush, it was pretty tasty.  I will definitely  make this again.  The recipe calls for fennel bulbs- I couldn't get any, and used some ground up fennel seeds instead.  and more sausages, because life is better with more sausage, right?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Scrapbook Stash... Busted

Family Weekend in Indiana
Yikes!  It's been almost a week since my last post.  This not-a-spring weather is just not inspiring, is it?   Anyway - I've been cleaning out my scrapbook stash.  again.  Let me re-wind here...  over the last 2 years, including a giant yard sale & a move, I've been tossing scrapbook paper left & right.  And using it.  All with the plan of buying new stuff to re-stock.

and here is what really, really should be the last of the old ....

Some of that is - um- seven or eight years old.  

I'm also pretty much out of any embellishments....   guess it is about time to go shopping!   With the move, though, I've lost my Archivers store.  yes, there are other stores around here- I haven't been to any of the yet.  and I noticed one was closing.  of course.  We'll have to see  what's out there...

But I did get 3 sets of pages done.  YAY for me :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I LOVE this Fabric!!

As soon as I saw this Nancy Drew themed fabric (by Moda, found here), I knew I had to own it.  Of course, I had no idea what I would do it it.  It would make a great tote bag  or a cover for your Kindle, or lots of things like that...  but I decided to make a cover for my sewing machine.

Yes, I realize there is nothing that screams 'sewing room' about this fabric, but it's my sewing room & craft room, and I can do what ever I want to.

Yes, my sewing machine is old.  As old as I am.  But it works pretty well, and until I can actually justify getting a new one, I may as well treat this one nicely.

I used a tutorial by the Crafty Gemini (here).  Except for the fact I hate using iron-on fleece, it turned out cute. I really wanted to add a row of yellow pompom fringe to the bottom, but the only fringe I found was being sold on clearance by the bolt.  I really, really didn't need $9 and 10 yards of yellow pompom fringe.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ironing Board Diva Part 2

Inspired by a Sew4Home project, I set out to make a little caddy to hang from my ironing board to hold stuff.  Since I didn't really want to follow directions, I just started by cutting & laying it out.  If you want real instructions, you can start here.  

I used an iron-on fleece for the batting.  If you think it looks crooked, it is.  On purpose.  I'm completely nuts and use my ironing board backward.  I like to use the big square end for stuff, and leave the pointy end alone.  so- I needed this to hang at the pointy end.  Which meant in order for my pocket to hang straight, I had to make it crooked.  Get it?  

I made a little pincushion for the top- if I'd been thinking ahead, I'd have sewn velcro to it before I put it together, but I never work like that.  So instead it got this cute rickrack to hold it down.  It also leaves the pincushion removable, so that's not so bad.

Finally, I needed a little thread catcher.  I'm sure there are all kinds of ways to do this.  I ended up cutting 2 squares, 9x9 and sewing right sides together.  Then I cut a little 3" square of cardboard, laying it in the middle,  and pressing creases all around.  I sort of just ad-libbed it, folding all the ends together & stitching across.  It turned out cute, was very simple, and I think I'll make a few more.  

All in all- a quick project.  Especially considering I was making it up as I went!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Burlap Mantle Re-Do

I  picked up these REALLY  CUTE burlaps at Joann's last week ($9.99/yd - I bought 1/4 yd of each & had a coupon, so less than $2/piece). Maybe 'burlaps' isn't a word, but it should be.  So you know - Burlap STINKS.  actually.  smells nasty.  and, it made me a little itchy.  

The plan:  to freshen up my fireplace/mantel area.  I dug out some of my candle holder stash, a ruler & a hot glue gun & went to town.  I covered 4 glass containers simply by wrapping a piece of burlap & running a line of hot glue down the back.  I figure I can pick the hot glue off later when I'm ready to un-do the burlap.  Some of them got at cute little wrap of  grapevine wire, some got a stripe of a different burlap.  

I love my animal print decorator balls, but they are pretty beat up and chipped, so I decided to cover them, too.  They aren't perfect, but it's burlap, and rustic, right?  They look pretty good if you don't get close :)

I did buy the yellow vase at Hobby Lobby ($22).  

see my very, very special dried hydrangeas?   I cut those
the day we moved last summer.     

I'm really happy with the way it all turned out.  Now I'm ready for summer, right?  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wait, are those.... Homemade?

and Grandma's biscuit cutter!

Worst question of the day:  'What's for supper?"

Right?  and it doesn't matter if I have a plan for supper or not, it's an annoying question.  So when I said (to husband) I was making Guinness Beef Stew, he immediately perked up. He almost fell over when I said I thought I'd try to make biscuits.  for real.  not from a pop open can.

I'm not sure I have EVER, ever made biscuits.  Maybe  a long time ago, from Bisquik.  and I think a few times I've made biscuit-like things when making chicken & dumplings.  

and because I usually trust her recipes, and I actually had all the ingredients (even the powdered milk, because I made hot cocoa mix this winter), I went with Ree Drummond's recipe.  I even used my cast iron skillet.  

They were yummy.  Really, really, yummy.  

and the first thing youngest son said?  you guessed it.  

"What's wrong with this biscuits?", followed by "Make the regular kind next time."


Monday, March 4, 2013

Weekend Update

WHEW!  Busy weekend here!  No big projects, lots of stuff done though.  Melanie & I visited the Bead Store for a make & take.  Making jewelry is a new thing for me, and it may be the first creative endeavor I am completely confused by.  I can usually visualize anything - fabric, scrapbooks, paint color (remember, I'm the girl that painted her kitchen super bright green - green like my logo here - and it was fabulous) - but beads and jewelry options make my head spin.  We were super thrilled with our bracelets though.  I think I will just stick with taking classes for now.  There is another class this week I may go to...  we'll see.

Middle son was how for a few days of his spring break before heading to Boston for a writer's conference (see how I threw that proud mom stuff in?).  Deciding what to make him for dinner is easy.  Beef.  I cooked a gianourmous Prime Rib Roast which was incredible.  Yeah, it's not really doing anything, but it sure looks like I did.  Yum.

Youngest Son has a 6th grade castle building project we are working on.  Being who we are, we pulled out the Castle Eyewitness book & he picked one to reproduce.  This is our first family try at a castle - the walls are up and we are pretty happy so far.

My sewing machine is calling.....  hopefully I'll get some good stuff done this week to share!