Monday, April 26, 2010

Week #12

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Two quilts off a shelf and quilted! I did the piecing and had then machine quilted.
It sure feels good to have them finished. I need to finish the binding and then
wash the chalk marks off. The larger one that is a combination of pieced
and applique was probably nearly finished well over 8 years ago. Nice that I
still love it even though that much time has passed! It was the first quilt my little sewing group Purple Cats did together. The other little scrappy square quilt is just a throw Camber & Emily helped me piece a couple of years ago. I am really happy to be checking off unfinished projects!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Week #11

What a miracle a tiny seed is!

This week as I was going through a drawer, I found some seed packets that were never planted last year. I'm hoping they still have their get-up-and-go! I planted Sweet Basil and Lemon Basil. We love this savory herb at our house! The basil plant in the background was one I purchased at the grocery store about 4 months ago. It was $3.99 and was just a small little plant. It's fragile little roots were in a dirt pod type thing, wrapped in paper. I thought some fresh basil would be divine at that time and felt it was worth the $ even if for a few dishes. We snipped it, ate it and watered it when it was thirsty and it took off! I had to re-pot it about 6 weeks ago. I can't believe my luck.
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Week #10

We enjoyed a nice spring break last week. Being gone most of the week I wasn't able to do much sewing or crafting, but yesterday - out of necessity, I decided Sunday dinner was coming from the pantry and whatever I could find in the freezer. I had a couple of apples that were well past their prime and few onions that were in the produce drawer. I found a few pork chops that had been in the freezer for about the allowed time - and I cooked up the most tasty little dish ever!

I browned the pork chops in a little bit of butter until they were nice and brown and then removed them from the pan. Then I sauteed the apples and onions in the same pan I used to brown the meat, adding a dab more of butter. I cooked them until they were softened and the pan was de-glazed. I placed the pork chops in a baking pan and poured the onions and apple over the them. I added one cup of chicken broth - covered and baked for about 30 min.

Just at the end I stirred a little cornstarch into some cold water - uncovered the pan and stirred it in carefully at the sides - added some Parmesan cheese and let it simmer while we set the table. I served it over rice with green beans on the side. So fast and so quick and the flavor was incredible!
Think twice before you toss out old produce or meat from the freezer that might have tiny spot of freezer burn. My grandma's words always enter my head - "Waste not, want not.

For dessert I looked through my collection of cookbooks and went to an old Hersey's Chocolate Favorites. I used to make these cupcakes for my kids when they were younger. They are similar to the hostess cream filled but SOOO much better! Recipe is below.

Creme Filled Cupcakes
3/4 cup shortening (I sub butter)
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk

Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs & vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add alternately with milk. Fill paper lined muffin cups 2/3's with batter. Bake about 18-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Prepare Vanilla Creme
Combine 1/4 cup flour & 1/2 cup milk. Cook in a small sauce pan til it just mixtures starts to thicken and comes to a boil - stir constantly with a wire whisk. Cool. Cream 1/4 cup butter& 1/4 cup shortening. Add 2 tsp vanilla and 1/4 tsp salt & cooled milk mixture. Add 4 + cups of powdered sugar til mixture is thick and creamy. Spoon into pastry bag with a large star tip and carefully fill cupcakes. You can squeeze a little of the white cream filling on top or we made a chocolate frosting.

Makes 24 cupcakes.
(I doubled this recipe for a fireside and there was enough of the single recipe of the cream filling for 48 so you can plan on that for the topping as well)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Week # 9

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old sweater = new spring purse

and...a cute little Easter Skirt for Miss Molly.
(I did use a few little pieces of new fabric I recently acquired on a
shop hop last week - along with some scraps from days gone by.)