Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dinner With Friends

It is nice to have friends over and even better when you don't need to make everything. Amy and Cheri came over last night for dinner.

Cheri brought Cowboy Caviar Salad. She open a bag of fresh greens and a pint of Cowboy Caviar, a southwestern vegetable salad. Toss them together and you have salad magic.

Amy brought the meat. Nice thick hamburgers! Perfect when they were grilled.

I made Parmesan Potatoes. They were super easy. I didn't plan my time very well, so we had cocktails while they finished cooking. I modified the recipe a bit. I probably double the cheese and added about 1/2 to 1 tsp of garlic powder.

We started the night with 10 potatoes, and as you can see we finished with just a few leftovers. Cheri thought the potatoes would be great for breakfast and I totally agree. Now I just need to find a breakfast to bring the potatoes to.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Two Paws Way Up

Steve and I have what seems to be a strange assortment of vegetables coming out of the garden. Eggplant, potatoes and tomatoes. Wouldn't you know we found a recipe using all three.

Moussaka Cottage Pie!?

You might not be familiar with moussaka, but I'd describe it as a Greek shepherd pie with eggplant. I love the unique flavor of meat with cinnamon and cloves.

Steve and I modified the recipe a bit. We made our own mashed potatoes. We blanched our own tomatoes and chopped them instead of using crushed tomatoes. We grilled the sliced eggplant instead of cooking them with the broiler.

Steve and I loved it. We spilled a bit, so the kitties got to enjoy some too. They licked the floor clean, so I think they liked it too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

From Retreat to Baskets

I just have to say that I had quite a weekend. Friday I picked up Judy and we headed to Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center for a quilting retreat.

On the way to Lanesboro, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to shop, especially with 20% discounts. Now I know I was going to try not to buy new projects and I didn't, but I did buy some fabric.

I got my back for my recently completed Mystery by Mail #43 quilt. I also got some border fabric to go with a layer cake that I bought in Montana with Cheri. I also bought some fat quarters for a project that I've been collecting for.

We met Cheri and Amy down there. I have to say I'm so glad for such good friends who share my love of quilting and will put up with my snoring at night.

I sewed all weekend on the quilt for my parents. I posted a picture of the fabrics for the quilt earlier. I'm making Scrap Basket. I made really good progress. I almost finished all the baskets on the weekend. I also finished the setting corners for the blocks, the sashing and got the pieces cut out to make the nine patch cornerstones.

I was questioning my choice of background, but the ladies at the quilt shop and the retreat seem to think that it worked. It is much easier to see now that I have the baskets pieced. I think they look great. Thanks everyone for the encouragement!

I'm hoping to finish the rest of the piecing for the quilt in the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Year of the UFO

It is time for Scrap Tamers at Glad Creations (GC). I've made my goals and completed my inventory. It is not as bad I as thought and every bit as bad as I thought it could be.

Above is the list of projects I would like to complete this year or work on during the year. Two projects are ongoing, Sylvia's Bridal Sampler and Star of the Harvest. The rest are UFOs and the Red and White Ohio Stars quilt is for the New Year's show at GC.

You will notice at the bottom of the spreadsheet above that I'm organizing my inventory differently. Thanks, Alice for the helping me come up with my categories.

I have UFOs (Unfinished Objects), Purchased Projects and Finished Tops. UFOs are projects that have been started but not finished, Purchased Projects are bought but not started and Finished Tops are finished/quilted tops.

I'm not doing too bad on the UFO's. I do have to confess that I dropped a UFO and donated the fabric instead. I highly recommend it as a way to decrease the length of your list. I have 10 UFOs, so I think that finishing them off this year is doable.

Now the bad part. I have way too many projects that I have bought. I'm choosing to ignore these 43 projects this year, except I don't want to buy any more. My other goal this year is to see how long I can go without buying a new project.
I figure I can move a project off the UFO list to Finished Tops when the top is finished. As you can see I have a few projects that I need to finish.

So there you go. 10 UFO's to finish and buy no new project for as long as possible.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Steve and I planted kale in our garden and we now have a row of it waiting to get harvested and eaten.

I found a very tasty recipe that uses kale, Winter Vegetable Hash.

As you can tell my hash doesn't look quite as nice as the one on the website.

I really like the mix of vegetables. I used fresh garlic instead of powdered garlic. I told Steve that I thought bacon would make it better, he likes it the way it is. Cheese might be nice addition as well.

Try it you will love it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Little Bit of Spice

I seem to be doing a lot of cooking, because all my postings have been food related with no sewing related posts.

I have been sewing on Mystery by Mail #43. I have to say it is turning out great and I can't wait to see the finished product. I'll post pictures once it isn't a mystery any more.

Now back to the mysterious picture above. Steve and I had extra basil from making pesto. We came across Spicy Basil Chicken.

It worked out great because it used up some of the left over hot peppers from making salsa. I do feel like I need to warn you that the oyster sauce is going to stink and smell very fishy, but the finished product tastes great.

It is just spicy enough to add to the flavor without being so hot that all you taste is the heat. Yum!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Made In Minneapolis

Does any one else remember the Pace commercial? Made in New York City?!

Well, this salsa is tastier and comes to you from Minneapolis from people who really know how salsa should taste.

My sister, Martha, has bragged about her salsa recipe for years, and I guess she was right. It is good.

Here is her recipe.

16 Cups chopped tomatoes
2 Cups green peppers, chopped
2 Cups onions, chopped
2 or 3 hot pepper, finely chopped
5 Tbsp salt
5 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp pepper
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Cup vinegar
3-4 Tbsp sugar
6-9 Cloves garlic, finely minced

Mix all together and cook 20 min. Thicken with cornstarch ( ½ cup mixed with ½ cup cold water) Pour hot into clean jars and can using hot water bath method for 15 min. pints and 20 min. quarts. Makes about 10 pints or 5 quarts.

Steve and I modified the recipe a bit. At my sister's suggestion, we decreased the salt to 3 Tbsp. We also only did 14 cups of tomatoes because we ran out. We like our salsa a bit hot, so next time we would do more hot peppers.

Try the recipe! You'll love it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lunch for 1

Anyone for lunch? If you are on your second day of leftovers, I recommend jazzing it up with popcorn and a favorite soda.

I've been wanting to make broccoli and cheddar soup forever. Well I finally did it.

Steve and I were at farmers market and we bought cheddar cauliflower and broccoli. I found a recipe, Broccoli Cheese Soup.

I read the reviews before making the recipe, so it ended up being more of a guide. I don't like fake cheese, so I replaced it with white sharp cheddar.

I also used half and half instead of milk, doubled the cheese, added grated a grated carrot and left out the water.

It ended up way too cheesy, but it was still yummy. If I did it again I would only used the called for amount of cheese. I'm definitely making it again.

You know, practice makes perfect!