Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Hot Pad

With scraps from the zig-zag quilt. I wanted to try out the swirl quilting style. (There's definitely room for improvement, but it sure was fun!)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Zig-Zag Quilt, Done and Gone

I wish I had more time to write about this. But I'm just too busy today!

Just pictures for now. Maybe I'll get around to writing about it soon...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Almost done!

I'm working on the last step - binding! I hope to be able to show you "finished" pictures tomorrow.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Garden Today

Sorry for so many posts today. I'm trying to play catch-up with so many things, now that the R.S. progressive dinner is past us. I've been catching up on laundry and primary stuff today as well.

This is part of my garden. Those huge leaves are part of the pumpkin plant that is growing way out of the garden... in fact, taking over the garden! I don't know if there will ever be a real pumpkin coming out of it. We have seen a bunch of little ones starting all over the place, under the yellow flowers, but they get to a certain point and then seem to shrivel up.

Here is the view from our grass. In that box, there is a row of walla walla sweet onions, a row of green onions, a row of carrots, a row of cauliflower, and two rows of zucchini. I have learned, for next time, to not grow that many thing in one 4x4 box and also to not grow the zucchini rows so close to each other and other plants. The poor carrots and cauliflower can't see the sun.

Yummy yellow squash. This one's just about ready. We've probably picked about 10 of these in the last couple of weeks. It looks like there are many more to come!

Here we have Roma tomatoes, cilantro and pumpkins. You can barely see cilantro in there. I think half the row is gone now. We used some in our salad dressing yesterday. I need, so desperately, to put some tomato cages around those tomato plants. My wonderful husband bought some for me a few days ago, but they are so huge, I have to find a way to cut the bottom stakes down a bunch to make them fit my garden better. I've got to find my tin snips and try them first.

This may be my favorite vegetable to eat fresh from a garden! I am so disappointed in how these have grown (or not grown). We planted two rows. But more than half of them didn't make it and most of the other half is not growing well. This is a picture of our tallest pea plant (stalk?). I haven't picked any of them yet. Can't you just taste it from looking at it??

Ahh, zucchini! We've made a few batches of zucchini bread, even some with chocolate. We've been harvesting even more zucchini than yellow squash. My 7 year-old daughter goes out every day after school and waters the garden and checks for new veggies to harvest. She also keeps the weeds under control. What a gal!

Some type of lettuce. I haven't been wanting to try this because early on we had some critters stealing a bunch of it. It's been growing back a bit. I don't know much about how to grow this stuff. I need to research it so I'll know what to expect.

Carrots with zucchini leaves in the background.

This is to show how much I messed up, but will learn for next time. Here you can see three veggies growing way too close to each other. There's zucchini, cauliflower, and carrots.

Walla walla sweet onions. I have NO idea how to grow onions. I really need to do some homework here. I guess I could pull one out to see how big the bulb is getting under the dirt.... These are much bigger than my green onions. I was really looking forward to using fresh onions from the garden. I wonder if I'm doing something wrong.

Cafe Rio Spicy Ranch Dressing

Here's another recipe from last night's progressive dinner. {I have one more I really want to post, but I have to get it first. It was the wassail. Ohhhh, YUM!}

I don't have a picture for this one. But, it tasted really good. Confession: I didn't really try it with salad (I tried a spoonful when I was done making it). I heard from others that it was good.

Cafe Rio Spicy Ranch Dressing

  • 3 Tomatillos
  • juice from 1/2 a Lime
  • 1/2 C. Buttermilk
  • 1/2 C. Mayo
  • 1/2 C. Sour Cream
  • 1 pkg. Dry Ranch
  • 1 C. Fresh Cilantro (I used some straight from my garden for the R.S. dinner) :-)
  • 5 Green Onions
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 4 tsp. Sugar

Blend until smooth. (Start with pulsing a few times. Then blend well.)

The salad we had was Romaine lettuce mixed with spinach. We had many toppings to choose from including black beans, corn, tomatoes, red peppers, olives, avocados, fritos chips, red onions, and cheese.

(Wish I had been at the "salad" house to try some...)

Chicken Enchilada Soup

This may be my new favorite soup.

I tried it for the first time last night. This is one of the soups that we served at our R.S. Progressive dinner. They were all wonderful. We had Corn Chowder, Black Bean soup, Taco soup, and Chicken Enchilada soup. This was my favorite.

It's not a good "dieting" soup...

Chicken Enchilada Soup

2 Cans Chicken broth (I used four cubes chicken bouillon and four cups of water)
1 8oz. pkg. Cream Cheese 1/3 less fat (we used regular. I think either would be just fine)
1 large can green enchilada sauce
1 & 1/2 pints half-and-half (The recipe says "fat free". But, how in the heck could half-and-half be fat free?)
1 can corn, drained (You could use about a cup and a half or frozen, instead)
1/2 rotisserie chicken (lemon pepper is best) de-boned and cut into bite sized pieces
1 & 1/2 C. instant white rice (next time I'm going to try it with regular rice, maybe even brown. I'd have to increase the time a bit).

In a sauce pan, heat the broth and cream cheese until smooth. Add enchilada sauce, half-and-half, corn, and chicken.
**At this point you could 1: Heat until hot, then add the instant rice and simmer until rice is soft, OR 2: Add regular rice to the pot, spray a {large} crockpot with non-stick cooking spray, then add the soup into the crockpot, cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 4-6 hours.

{The picture I used is from leftovers today.} This was so yummy. When I got home last night, I passed up the leftover cheesecake and had a small bowlful of soup. And then another. And another. (Yep... that was 3!) Uh huh, I probably gained 10lbs last night. It was well worth it!

Green Smoothie

Yummy Green Smoothie! It may look gross, but it really is quite delightful!

Wondering what's in it?

For this one I filled my blender half full of spinach leaves. Then I added half a can (20oz. can) of pineapple, but all of the juice from it... and only the 100% juice kind. Then I blended it for a bit. Actually, I pulsed it a bit, then blended it until the green really came out and the chunks were all gone. It was really smooth! I added a banana and a scoop of ground flax seed. I could have had it just like that!

Since my 4 year-old son got the bag of strawberries out of the freezer this morning and filled the bag with water, I needed to use them. I then added strawberries, frozen blueberries, and a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt to the blender and blended until smooth. It turned out more brownish/purplish/redish. But, OH-SO-YUMMY!! I love it because I know we are getting some "greens" and my kids just love smoothies anyway!

You can really add anything, in any amounts. We've just been experimenting around here. It's fun. They always turn out a bit different. I liked the one with peaches in it, the other day.

Here's the proof that my kids LOVE it:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I got bored (for a bit) with piecing the zig zag quilt. (I'm sooo slow at quilting. Ugh!) So, I needed a new small project. Over Thanksgiving weekend I decided to use a few scraps from the zig zag quilt to make a Christmas banner. I had some cream felt leftover from making the birthday crown awhile ago. I wanted the felt to be thick so I double it. I then decided it should be reversible. I was going to put another Christmas word on the other side, but thought maybe I should go with a word from a neighboring season/holiday. So, the other side says "Fall" with a fabric leaf on the extra square. I hung it on the mirror in my living room. The only thing I don't really like about that is that you see the fall colors and letters. Oh well.

I free handed the letters on parchment paper and traced them on the fabric. My artistic husband helped me. :)

I used dark green thread to zig zag around the letters (before I attached the Fall letters felt squares to the back).

Easy peasy! But, I thought it would be a two-hour-or-under project. Nope. Not for me. I'm slow! I also broke a needle and stuff like that. When I was done, I was happy with it, but wished I had spent the time quilting instead.