Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day

Yesterday I attended the 83rd Annual Memorial Day Service at Mt Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth, TX.  It is an event my chapter of the DAR participates in every year.

 It really is a beautiful ceremony complete with bag piper and dove release!

This year our keynote was the Mayor of Fort Worth, Betsy Price who gave a good speech about the importance of the day tying it into the history of our city.

Mayor of Fort Worth, Betsy Price

Then each organization comes forward and places a wreath at the Dough Boy Statue followed by a 21 gun salute by the paralyzed honor guard.

I especially enjoy the ceremony because it’s an opportunity for me to show off my dad in his dress blues.   He retired from the Air Force, Lt Col serving during the Vietnam War and I am very proud of him.

Lest We Forget

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weight Watchers Week 2

I had a very successful week! I’m down 2.8 lbs!

WW takes all the guess work out of tracking food and exercise.  And now with technology it’s even easier.   I track all my progress on the WW website in addition I have the WW app and bar scanner on my phone.  I put my phone up to the scan bar on an item of food and it gives me the nutrition and points value.  I love it!

My favorite product this week is the Aloha!  Almond Bars.  They don’t melt in the car!  Even my Texas car!

At this week’s meeting we talked about ways to spice up our cooking.

Some ways to explore spices to enhance your cooking:
One of my favorite spices for the grill is Tony’s Cajun Seasoning. I put it on almost everything.

Here are some others from the group:

Allspice in meatballs

Cinnamon on peaches on the grill

Chili on pineapple on the grill

Horseradish in mashed potatoes

Nutmeg in cooked carrots

Sage in egg dishes

These were just a few suggestions.  Our challenge is to try a new spice this week.  I’m going to the WW community board to see what they are suggesting too.

So until next week - Shake! Shake! Shake it up! Add some flavor then go savor!

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Texas Quilt

I finally finished the top to my Texas quilt!  After attending the machine quilting class yesterday I realized it will be many hours (months) of practice before I can feel confident enough to quilt my own top so Im taking it to be quilted in time for the quilt show in July.  It's my first Irish Chain and I call it "Lone Star Lariat"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Machine Quilting

I just got back from my first machine free motion quilting class.  I was so intimidated when I first thought of tackling this way of quilting.  When I saw my local quilt shop was offering a class on it I signed up thinking it would be much easier for me to learn from an expert than try to teach myself.  I was right.  My instructor was very patient and easy to understand.  She even helped me put my darning (free motion) foot on.

The book she used to help learn all those years ago is Diane Gaudynski’s book Guide to Maching Quilting and so I bought my own copy plus a few other things including more fabric.  I mean I was in a quilt store after all.

Here is some of the work I did today minus the simple shapes in the middle of each square.

With practice and patience I hope to feel comfortable enough to actual free motion quilt some of the baby quilts for my Etsy shop!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Weight Watchers Week 1

The weight loss journey begins again.  How many of you have started a diet, lost a few pounds, got bored, quit and gained the weight back?  Me too.  Besides the fact that I can’t fit into my spring or summer clothes right now, I also have my step daughter’s wedding coming up in a year.  Now I know I’m not morbidly obese but I am overweight which equals unhealthy.

So I went to a Weight Watchers meeting last week and thought I would use my blog to track my journey.   The topic for this week is grocery shopping.  One thing I found interesting from the discussion was that all the good healthy stuff is on the perimeter of grocery stores and all the bad unhealthy stuff is down the center isles.

They gave us a list of things to avoid such as:
Potato chips

Regular soda

White bread

Pre-made” lunch” packs

Canned fruit in syrup

Granola (even low fat is high in sugar)

Frozen tacos

100 calorie snacks bags (because they don’t satisfy and you eat again)

Prepared chicken wings

Fill your grocery cart with these instead:

Fat free Greek yogurt

Whole grain reduced calorie bread

Fresh fruits and veggies

Peanut butter

A treat or two in easy to control portions


Fat free salsa


Canned beans

Quinoa, barley, bulgur and other whole grains

Skinless, boneless chicken breasts

100% bran cereal no sugar added

 Some other tips WW suggests are:
*Plan your week’s menu ahead of time, then create a shopping list (include a treat); write the items in the order on your route through the store

*Eat a healthy snack before you go so you’re less vulnerable to bakery aromas or appealing-looking items on the shelves.

*Shop alone so you’re not swayed by requests, especially from the kids.

 By sharing my journey I’m hoping to inspire those of you out there who also are need to lose a few pounds to get back to that healthy weight. 

Weight Watchers Week 1

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sewing on Sunday

I just couldn't stop sewing yesterday!  Don't you love it when the creative energy just flows and flows?  Here are a few things I worked on throughout the day.

This is for my cousin's granddaughter

This is for my quilt show entry.

I did take a break from the machine to get some sunshine and stretch my muscles.  I planted the herbs I bought last week

and read while enjoying the beauty of my labors.

 It was a very peaceful Sunday.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Just Hangin'

Is this not just the cutest fabric! It is an Alexander Henry Fabric called "just hanging"

My newest quilt for my shop started out as a traditional pinwheel quilt

until I went to the fabric store to find a backing fabric for it.  I knew I had to do something to show off these adorable critters.  It was my first attempt at setting blocks on point.

Next time I'll allow more seam allowence so as not to cut off the tips of the pinwheels in the middle.  But over all I love the way it turned out.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Before I say anything, this is NOT Mexico Independance Day.  That is Sept. 16

So why do we celebrate the 5th of May?  Though I am not Mexican, I am American and Scottish and I am very proud of my freedom!  After the Mexican American War 1848 and Mexican Civil War 1858 the French, Napolian III, thought they could come in and take over.  The 8000 strong French army attacted a very weekened Mexican Army of 4000 near Puebla and yet on May 5, 1862 the Mexicans managed to decisively crush the French.  Cinco de Mayo is a celebrations of underdogs. It was Mexico's Lexington and Concord of the American Revolution and Scotland's Battle at Bannockburg.

Why make such a big deal over one victory? The win at Puebla was a huge deal for Mexico because the Mexican Army went into the battle as underdogs. They had no training and no equipment and were vastly outnumbered against the well-armed, well-disciplined and well-funded French, who up until that point had defeated them at every turn. Yet, they prevailed. In the word's of  Mel Gibson, FREEDOM!

I have guests in town this weekend and thought I would get on the band wagon and bring out the margaritas and guacamole too!  And here is my recipe for the Chicken Enchiladas.

Preheat oven to 350 F


2 lbs shredded chicken (I use rotissary chicken from the deli section of the grocery store)
16 oz shredded Mexican style cheese
8 oz sour cream
10 small flour tortillas
2 cans enchilada sauce (this is where you can choose the spiceyness level) this Texan from Boston likes mild

First I get all the delicious chicken off the bones

Set aside 1 cup of cheese for topping

Mix together remaining cheese, chicken, and sour cream

Cover bottom of 9x13 dish with enchilada sauce

Roll tortillas with chicken mix

Place seam side down in dish
pour the rest of sauce over all enchiladas and spread reserved cheese on top

Bake 20 min covered then uncover for last 10 min

Happy Cinco de Mayo!