Monday, January 24, 2011

French Toast, Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Pimento Cheese

After spending the morning doing things on post, I spent some time this afternoon in the kitchen.  Turned old bread into french toast, made some chocolate chocolate chip cookies, and some pimento cheese.  I know that sounds like an odd combination but the bread was taking up space in the refrigerator, today is my husband's birthday so I made some cookies, and I was out of pimento cheese which I love on celery!

Here's how I make French Toast:

2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 T sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 slices bread
1 tablespoon butter

In a shallow dish, beat together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon until well blended.  Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Dip bread in egg mixture and place in hot pan.  Cook on both sides about 3 to 4 minutes each side or until golden brown and no visible liquid egg mixture remains.  Serve immediately.  Syrup, fresh fruit slices, or powdered sugar sprinkled on top are not necessary but are tasty!  This is for 4-6 slices of bread. 

I never have just 4 to 6 slices of bread that need to be made up, so I make a big batch and keep in the refrigerator for breakfast during the week.  That is unless my son is home and then it never lasts that long!  I use whatever bread is old, including cinnamon raisin bread, sourdough bread, sandwich bread, I've even been known to toss in some hamburger buns!

For the cookies, I use the recipe on the package of Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips and add Hershey's cocoa to make it chocolate chocolate chip cookies. 

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups (12 ounce package) Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional, or in our house, never!)
1/3 cup Hershey's cocoa

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Stir together flour, cocoa (if making chocolate chocolate chip), baking soda and salt.  Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until creamy.  Add eggs; beat well.  Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. (forget the mixer at this point!) Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if desired.  Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely.  Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

I add the cocoa to the dry ingredients, usually.  Today I accidentally added it to the wet ingredients bowl.   I don't think it really matters as they turned out fine.  One other difference today was I was out of all-purpose flour.  Who runs out of all-purpose flour?!  Luckily, I had self-rising flour.  So I just omited the baking soda and salt. 

Now, if you're a Southern gal, you already know all about pimento cheese!  It's good for a sandwich, on crackers, and my favorite, on celery sticks. 

Pimento Cheese

1 jar (4 ounces) of diced pimentos, well drained
1 pound to 1 1/2 pound of Velveta cheese
a dollop of Miracle Whip
dash of salt and pepper

Grate the cheese, add the rest, and stir together. 

 (in my MawMaw's glass dish!)

Hope y'all got more sewing done today than I did!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Online Quilt Show

Jenifer Dick, author of The Circuit Rider's Quilt is having a online quilt show every Wednesday on her blog,  My quilt, Italian Marbles, is on this weeks show! 

This quilt was a commissioned quilt for my husband's niece.  She loves all things Italian!  The circles are made of red and green batiks and white on white, the colors of the Italian flag.  I used a red, white, and green varigated thread to quilt it.  As I was working on it, my niece said the circles looked liked marbles, so that's where I got the name, Italian Marbles!  My husband and I had a lot of fun with the blocks.  Some look like planets, one looks like the Death Star, one even looks like a ninja turtle! What do you see? 

I made the hanging sleeve match the backing.

Closeup of the quilting.  I quilted flowers over the circles and a wavy grid line echoing the wavy border throughout the quilt.

Check out Jenifer's blog, and enter your quilt for a chance to be in her quilt show!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Plans, what plans?

Just when I think I've got it figured out, I then realize that I don't.

Wow, that's a heavy statement!  As I sit here on the computer instead of at my sewing machine, drinking my swiss mocha coffee, doing laundry, and listening to the silence of the dogs, ...I think how that sentiment applies to so many areas of my life. (Pause, stare off into space, thinking about life!)  But I'm a simple person and what I meant by it was my quilting design!  I know, a big letdown.  However, there is a lesson learned...not to be so rigid.  Be flexible and adjust to the needs around you.  Learn to let go and not get stuck on one (i.e. my) way. And that's a biggie for me in all areas of my life. 

Enough of that...I thought I had the quilting all planned for this quilt.  Drew it out on paper, really liked all the ideas.  Love my circle of feathers!  I had feathers of one type or another planned for the whole quilt.  But once the circles were done I realized feathers all over would be distracting, at least for me.  So in addition to the circles, I'm doing a feather design over the pinwheels but grid lines through the rest.  I'll save that other feather design for another quilt!  My plan right now is feathers and grid lines in the border, but who knows by the time I get there.  

I found the design for the pinwheels block from this book, Machine Freehand Patterns by Nan Moore from the American Quilter's Society.

I like using the Golden Threads paper.  Trace the design, stitch through the paper with no thread.

Follow the dots.  I'm using variagated thread.  One thing I like about this design is that it's a center out design.  That will make sure that pinwheel center stays flat!

The laundry needs changing out, the dogs are barking, and I'm out of coffee so I guess I'm done with this post! 


Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Quilting Has Begun

Now that I have the quilt sandwich all pin-basted, I'm ready for quilting this baby.  I have my sewing tables and machine set up...

I've practiced with thread...

 I've chosen the motif for the alternating block...

Reduced it to fit... 

Made my paper templates to guide me...(I trace the design on the paper, then stitch without thread to punch holes through several layers of paper.  Pin the paper to the block and stitch following the needle punch dots.)  I'm using paper for this design and block because I want it to be centered and evenly spaced and I'm not that good with free-motion for a design like this.  So this is my controlled-motion quilting!

Stitched the first block...stitched in the ditch and then the motif.

There's a few little wobbles, ran out of bobbin (ugh, I hate that!).  I may end up redoing this one; it bugs me too much.  I'll see how the others turn out.  I know it will look better when it's all done and washed.  As Tony says, the wobbles show that it is not some computer generated soulless quilt!  Now, only 23 of these blocks to go!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My dentist

I had to go to the dentist yesterday and was reminded again of how I found this wonderful dentist. A part of being a military family is the constant moving. That means finding a new hairstylist (I can't tell you how many bad haircuts I've had trying to find a good hairstylist!), a new dog boarder, new shopping places, a new dentist (usually found by word of mouth, ...get it?! Ha, Ha!), and for me, a new quilt shop! When I found out we were coming here, the first thing I googled for was a quilt shop. Found one right a way, minutes away from post, and the best quilt shop in the area! When I needed a dentist, I had to check our insurance list. As I was looking over this huge list, I saw a familiar address...the same shopping center as the quilt shop! I went by and checked him out and turns out he is the best dentist I have ever had! When I told the receptionist how I chose him (his close proximity to the quilt shop), she said that was a marketing strategy they would never have thought of!


First Project

My daughter-in-law and her crochet needle holder

         Before Christmas, my son asked for suggestions for gifts.  After I gave him a few, I asked him what they would like to have.  One of the things he told me was that Crystal wanted a nice crochet holder. While shopping, I found a couple of them, but when I saw them I knew I could do least I thought I could.  I did some research and found a couple of them that I thought would do and then I got busy.  I came up with this design by combining the ones that I had found.   She seemed pleased with it so I hope it works for her and she gets lots of use out of it.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Quilt top is done!

My borders are now on the quilt. I would love to show pictures, but it's a secret quilt, so I have to wait!  It is nicely pressed and waiting for the next step.  I had just enough of the fabric for the border!  I love when that happens! SO much better than having not quite enough! The backing is completed and the binding also. When I get through quilting a quilt, the last thing I want to do is delay the finish by having to stop and make the binding. So I make it before quilting, wrap it up with a piece of selvage, and it's a little gift to myself!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

We've Been Tagged!

How exciting! Diana and I have been tagged!  Fellow bloggers spreading the word about smaller this one!

Jan-Maree has tagged us and we are delighted and appreciative!  We can't wait to meet some new friends!  Why don't you visit Jan-Maree's blog and be inspired as we are by her productivity and creativity!

We want to share this fun and name some fellow bloggers who would love your company and comments also.  If you choose to participate (and the more the merrier!), the rules are:
1) Tell your readers who tagged you.
2) Add a link to their blog.
3) Award 3-5 bloggers who you think deserve this award.

Inform them and post directions to your blogspot. Please don't tag people who already have 300 followers. The goal of this award is to get more publicity to blogs that are good, but not so well known.

So in the spirit of the award, we're tagging Julie, she does everything by hand!  Next is Maureen..  Check out her puppy dog quilt!  How nice her daughter helped with this quilt! Cheri's post on December 13th will make you laugh!  Flo flits from one project to another with such joy!

Please check out their blogs and enjoy them as much as we do!

A Blast from the Past!!!

This past Friday was my birthday.  It ended up being a good day!  I got to visit with a friend that I had not seen in 20 years.  We were friends all during Junior High ( these days it's called Middle School ) and High School.  We lost track of each other over the years and just by fluke (blessing) were able to see each other over her time home for Christmas.  Her husband ended up being a missionary in American Samoa and they were home for a couple of months.  After we got each others addresses, we began emailing. We got to "talking" about sewing / quilting and she said that she had these scraps that she didn't know what to do with.  Sooooo, I told her that if she didn't want them, just send them to me.  A few weeks later, I got a box in the mail.  These were NOT just scraps...they were PIECES!!!  Was I ever surprised and thrilled! I had so much fun "playing" with them. 

This is the fabric that she sent.

Diana and Debbie

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Granddaughter's picks

After I found out about the fabric disappearing from "my" local Wal-Wart, my husband and  I ( with the granddaughter in tow ) went to the Wal-Mart in the neighboring county.  We found out that there were no plans to do away with their fabric in their this time..  What did I do???  I "celebrated" by buying the fabric that my granddaughter would not let me leave. She kept telling me "No, Mimi, the pink!"  She even told the associate that her Mimi was going to make her a quilt!  Here is a picture ( I hope) of the fabric she chose.


First Week

Things this week didn't go quite as planned.  After being under the weather a couple of days, I then had to play catch up a bit.  First thing was tending to the Scotties' nails and hair which had gone untouched over the Christmas break.  What a job.  Now that they are 3 years old, I can do their nails by myself instead of having to use my husband's muscle!  But it is still a workout!  And then their hair...oh my, it was so dreadlocked!  Only a couple of very small mats, but their skirt had become so tangled that it took a very long time to comb it all out.  They look so nice when their hair is combed and then they go running outside!  Which reminds me,...I walk these dogs 3 miles 5 to 6 days a week.  How on earth do they still have the energy to play chase up and down the stairs or out in the yard as soon as we get home from our walk?! 

Even though it is after Christmas, I still like to watch Christmas movies.  I bought the Hallmark movie The Christmas Card this year and I love it!  I have seen it on tv several times, but would miss either the very beginning or the very end.  It is such a sweet movie and with a military hero, so how could I not love it?!

The commissioned quilt that I am working on (can't show pics yet) is now ready for the borders.  The blocks are all sewn together and my points look good, even if I say so myself!  Unfortunately, I sewed one side of the border last night and hated it.  What I thought looked good when I bought the fabrics looked horrible when it was actually on the quilt.  I hate when that happens! I unsewed that fabric and pulled another fabric. It looked pretty good to Tony and me (he has a great eye for color!) so I pinned it up on the design wall and let it stew overnight.  Still looks good this morning so I think it's a keeper.  It has the right tone and intensity that the other fabric lacked.  It's a good balance to the overall quilt.  I'm still thinking about how I'm going to quilt this one.  I thought I had it all figured out, but now I'm not so sure.  I need to go through my quilt designs books and see what I can find.  I am looking forward to quilting this quilt because I get to try out my new table which allows my sewing machine to sit flush with the surface.  Yeah! No more getting hung up on the corners! 

I hope you have a productive day!


Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 Handmade Pay It Forward

This is making the rounds in the cyberworld and I think it's a great idea! 

Here is how it works:

I promise to send something handmade to the FIRST 5 people who leave a comment here.

However, to be eligible, you must repost this message, offering something handmade to 5 other people.

The rules are that it must be handmade by you, and it must be sent to your 5 giftees sometime in 2011.

Isn't this a great way to share with others. So leave me a comment, repost the Pay It Forward and commit to gifting your first 5 commenters.

Here we go!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Black-Eyed Pea Chili

We love having this chili for New Years.  Diana found this recipe from a few years ago.  She passed it on to me and since then we've both had several requests for it.  This recipe was submitted to the American Profile site by Pat Tomme.  So, now that I have all the credits taken care of, here is the recipe:

Black-Eyed Pea Chile

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can diced unsalted tomatoes, undrained
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
2 tablespoons chili powder

1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add sausage; cook until no longer pink, stirring constantly.  Drain sausage on paper towels; discard all but 1 tablespoon pan drippings.  Add onion and celery to pan; cook until onion is translucent, stirring constantly.
2.  Add black-eyed peas, tomatoes, tomatoes with green chilies, and chili powder.  Stir in sausage.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.  Ladle into soup bowls.  Serves 10.

Now, for our changes.  We use venison sausage and pork sausage that my husband has made.  He's a hunter and provides nearly all our meat.  For the tomatoes with green chilies, we use Rotel with habanero peppers.  We use a pound bag of dried peas and prepare them following the directions on the bag.  We usually add more celery, because we get carried away cutting it up!  Then when it's all done, we add hot sauce to our bowls.  Can you tell we like things spicy?!

This is delicious and leftovers are even better!  We serve it with cornbread usually, but this year we had some of Diana's sour dough bread!  Yum!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hello 2011!

Happy New Year's Day!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas celebration and I pray you have a happy and healthy 2011!

A lot of y'all have been extremely busy over the past three weeks!  I'm trying to catch up on my favorite blogs, my, I am quite impressed with all you have accomplished! There sure are some talented folks out there!

We are finally home and I’m almost recovered from all the traveling and visiting. Tony, the Scotties, and I went to central and west Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri over Christmas. That’s all a long way from south Texas! And a big difference in temperature too! I was wearing shorts and T-shirts before we left, but had to wear my winter coat, scarf, and gloves for “up south”! The Scotties experienced their first snow! I opened the door for them at my parents’ house and there was all this snow on the steps. They were very excited to go out, but both of them momentarily paused when they saw all that white stuff on the ground and then they were out running around! I think they liked it, but didn’t like how it clotted up between their feet pads. It was wonderful being with family and friends, but it’s also great to be home.

Here are some pictures from our Christmas:

The puppies love Brandon!

My in-laws making sausage balls

 and blonde brownies!  Yum!

 My husband's family.

 Naptime at my sister's!

The guys busy at the computer...

 while Diana gets a little help!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...