Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Supper Series #4

Week of April 1-7
Monday - Grilled Chicken and vegetables
Tuesday - Tortellini and Spinach Soup
Wednesday - Chef's Choice
Thursday - Easy Chicken Pot Pie
Friday - Chile Lime Fish Tacos
Saturday - Take Out
Sunday - Ham Steak with Black-eyed Peas and Greens

Tortellini and Spinach Soup

1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach

2 tsp olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 tsp minced garlic

2 cans (14 oz) chicken broth

1 can (14 oz) diced tomato

1 tsp sugar

2 cups frozen cheese tortellini

3 Tbs grated parmesan cheese

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 egg


1 Remove the spinach from its packaging and place it in a microwave-safe dish.  Microwave uncovered on high until defrosted about 5 minutes

2 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 4 ½ quart soup pot over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic stirring until the onion is tender 2-3 minutes.  Add 2 cups of water and the broth; raise heat to high and bring the soup to a boil.

3 Remove the spinach from the microwave and drain it well, squeezing out the excess water.  Add it to the pot.  Add the tomatoes with their juice and the sugar.  Stir to mix well.

4 Add the tortellini and bring the soup back to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium, maintaining a slow boil, and cook until the pasta is just tender, 4-5 minutes.

5 In a small bowl combine the Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and egg. Stir vigorously with a fork and set aside.

6 When the pasta is tender, slowly drizzle the egg mixture over the soup, stirring constantly.  Cook stirring for 2 minutes.  Then remove the pot from the heat and serve hot.

This recipe is from my favorite cookbook Cheap. Fast. Good! by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

1 cup cut up cooked chicken

1 bag (16 oz) frozen peas and carrots

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup

1 cup original Bisquick mix

½ cup milk

1 egg 


Preheat oven to 400 F

Mix chicken, vegetables, and soup in a 2-quart casserole dish

In a separate bowl mix Bisquick, milk and egg and pour over chicken mixture

Bake uncovered about 30 minutes

Chile Lime Fish Tacos 


¾ cup Lawry’s Mexican Chile & Lime Marinade with Lime Juice

1 lb tilapia fillets

½ cup sour cream

1 medium ripe avocado

½ tsp Lawry’s Garlic Salt

8 corn tortillas

Salsa (optional)

Shredded Mexican blend cheese (optional)

Shredded cabbage (optional) 


1 In a large re-sealable plastic bag, pour ½ cup Lawry’s Marinade over fillets.  Close bag and marinate in refrigerator 15 minutes

2 In small bowl combine sour cream and 2 Tbs Marinade.  In another bowl mash avocado with garlic salt. Cover and keep chilled until ready to serve

3 Remove fillets from marinade, discarding marinade.  Grill, turning once and brushing with remaining 2 Tbs marinade about 6 minutes until fillets flake with a fork.

4 To serve, evenly spread avocado mixture on tortillas, then top with crumbled fillets and sour cream mixture.  Garnish with salsa, Mexican blend cheese and shredded cabbage.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Children's Books Baby Shower Theme

Need some ideas for a baby shower you're planning?  Well, yesterday I attended the very cute shower for a very good friend of mine.  She and her husband have been married 14 years and are expecting their first little miricle in May!

The shower was decorated in the most adorable way with children's story books as the theme.  I especially loved the cupcake table!

We all brought our favorite book from our own childhood instead of a card with a special message inside.  I gave her the story of Mr and Mrs Mallard and thier search for the perfect home in the town of Boston.

Each table was cleverly decked out with it's own book theme.

And of coarse we all gave other gifts as well.  This is the quilt I made her.

The sign in table had a book for us all to sign and the invitation was even in story book form.

Hopefully these picture have given you some ideas for a baby shower you might be planning too.  If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below.

Monday, March 18, 2013

My Herb Garden

I love this time of year when the trees start to show buds of new growth, red buds and crab apple trees start to color the drive home from work, and the dirt is just begging to be turned over for spring planting.  This past weekend we broke 80 degrees here in Texas and I couldn't wait to my hands dirty!

My poor neglected herb garden needed some serious TLC.

First I had to get all the leaves out.
 Merlin thought this was great fun!

Then off to the store for new annuals, potting soil and mulch.

Yumm!  I couldn't resist!  Warning! keep mint in its own container or it will take over your garden!

Pruning really should be done in the fall but these perennials are hardy and will come back this early in the spring.

I don't seem to ever have enough fresh basil so I bought 4 plants this year.

Leaves gone, herbs pruned and replanted and garden mulched!  Ahh I can almost taste the delicious fresh dishes I'll be using these herbs in this summer!

Even Merlin agrees!



Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Supper Series #3

For the week of March 18-24

Monday - Chicken Cacciatore
Tuesday - Easy Minestrone
Wednesday - Chef's Choice
Thursday - Olive Linguine with Tuna
Friday - Taco Night
Saturday - Chef's Choice
Sunday - Beef Curry

Chicken Cacciatore



Salt for cooking the pasta

8 oz angle hair spaghetti

1 lb skinless boneless chicken cut into bite size pieces

2 tsp olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 chopped bell pepper

8 oz fresh sliced mushrooms

1 tsp minced garlic

1 (14 oz) can Italian style stewed tomato

½ tsp Italian seasoning

½ tsp Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup tomato paste



1. Cook pasta according to package directions

2. heat the oil in a n extra-deep 12 in skillet over med heat add onion, pepper and mushroom.  Cook until the mushrooms release their liquid and are tender, 4-5 minutes.

3. Add chicken and garlic.  Cook, stirring until the vegetables are tender and chicken is no longer pink in the center about 5 minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes with their juice, Italian seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce.  Stir well.  Add the tomato paste.  Stir until the tomato paste is completely incorporated.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until ready to serve.

5. Serve over cooked pasta.


This recipe is from my favorite cookbook Cheap. Fast. Good! by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross




1 (14 oz) can chicken broth

1 (14 oz) can beef broth

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

1 (14 ½ oz) can stewed tomato

20 frozen meatballs

1/3 cup broken angel hair pasta (1-2 inch pieces)

1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans

1 tsp Italian seasoning

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese



1. Pour the two broths in t a 4 ¼ quart soup pot and place it over high heat.  Add frozen vegetables, tomatoes, meatballs, and pasta.  Cover the pot and bring it to a boil.  About 10 minutes

2. Rinse and drain beans

3. When soup comes to a boil, uncover it and stir well.  Add the beans, Italian seasoning. And garlic powder and reduce the heat to medium, maintain boil.  Stir frequently until the pasta is tender about 3 minutes.  Serve at once garnishing each bowl with Parmesan cheese.


This recipe is from my favorite cookbook Cheap. Fast. Good! by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross

Olive Linguine with Tuna and Tomato Sauce



8 oz uncooked linguine

1 (4 ¼ oz) can chopped ripe black olives, drained

2 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

2 (14 ½ oz) cans diced tomatoes with garlic, oregano and basil, drained but reserve ½ cup liquid

1 (12 oz) can water-packed solid white tuna, drained, and flaked



1. Cook linguine according to package directions

2. In small bowl, combine olives, oil and vinegar: mix well.  Set aside. In medium saucepan, combine tomatoes, reserved tomato liquid and tuna; Mix well and cook over medium-high heat until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

3. Add olive mixture to cooked drained linguine in saucepan toss to coat.  Arrange linguine mixture on 4 plates and top with tuna mixture.


This recipe is from Pillsbury 30 Minute Meals.

Beef Curry



2 ½ cup 5-minute instant rice

½ tsp vegetable oil

Onion cut in long strips

10 baby carrots

1 bell pepper

1 tender beef steak, such as New York strip (1 inch thick about 12 oz)

1 can (14 oz) unsweetened coconut milk

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp grated ginger root or bottle ginger

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp coriander seed

1 tsp crushed hot  red pepper

½ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp ground cardamom

¼ tsp ground turmeric

¼ tsp salt



1. Bring 2 ½ cups water to a boil in a 2 quart saucepan.  Meanwhile, begin steps 2 and 3.  When the water boils, add the rice cover the pan, and remove from the heat until ready.

2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Peel the onion and cut into strips about ¼ inch wide, adding them to the skillet as you cut.  Reduce the heat to low and cook while you prepare the remaining vegetables, stirring occasionally to prevent the onions from browning.

3. Cut each carrot lengthwise into 4 strips, adding them to the skillet as you cut.  Seed the bell pepper, cut it into thin lengthwise strips, and add them to the skillet.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally.

4. Meanwhile, trim the excess fat from the steak and slice it thin. Add all of the meat to the skillet at the same time and raise the heat to high.  Stir-fry until the steak is pink only in the middle 2 ½ -3 minutes.  Add the coconut milk and stir to mix.

5. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, ginger, and all the remaining seasonings.  Stir well, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3-4 minutes to blend the flavors.  Serve over a bed of rice.


This recipe is from Desperation Dinners! by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Supper Series #2

My second week of meal planning and recipes are ready!
March 11-17
Monday - Homestyle Chicken Dinner
Tuesday - Lima Beans and Ham Bone
Wednesday - Left Overs or Take Out
Thursday - Fancy Franks and Beans
Friday - Salmon Over Roasted Asparagus and Lemon Caper Sauce
Saturday - Left Overs or Take Out
Sunday (St. Patrick's Day) - Corned Beef and Cabbage

Home-Style Chicken Dinner

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp Seasoned Salt

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp pepper

2 Tbs olive oil

4 boneless skinless chicken breast

6 small new potatoes cut in quarters

2 med sweet potatoes peeled and cut in bite size pieces

1 green bell pepper cut in bite size pieces

3 Roma tomatoes cut in quarters


Preheat oven 400 F

Spray 9x13 baking dish

In a small bowl mix first 5 ingredients

Spread a small amount of mixture on chicken breasts

Toss the remaining mixture with vegetables

Spread coated vegetables in bottom of dish and place chicken on top.

Bake uncovered 45-50 minutes

Lima Beans and Ham Bone


1 lb frozen lima beans

Ham bone with plenty of meat or 2 ham hocks


Place ham bone in soup pot and fill with water and inch or two over the bone

Bring to a boil and add beans reduce and simmer at least two hours

Serve with hot buttered cornbread

Fancy Franks and Beans


½ lb ground beef

½ lb kielbasa cut in ¼ inch slices

2 tsp vegetable oil

1 can (28 oz) baked beans with onion, and brown sugar

1 can (15 oz) black beans

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce


1. Heat oil in an extra deep 12 inch skillet over medium heat.  Add the beef and cook, stirring often, until the meat is crumbled and half browned.  Add the sausage pieces and cook stirring often, until the beef and sausages have completely browned 7-8 minutes


2. Add the baked beans with their liquid (remove and discard any large pieces of pork).  Rinse and drain the black beans and add them to the skillet.   Add the garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce.  Stir to combine, gently so as not to break up the beans.  Bring the mixture just to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.  Simmer for about 5 minutes to combine the flavors.


This recipe is from my favorite cookbook Cheap. Fast. Good! by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross

Salmon with Roasted Asparagus and Lemon-Caper Sauce


2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

2 Tbs minced red onion

1 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs drained capers chopped

1 tsp fresh chopped thyme

½ tsp grated lemon peel

1 lb skinless salmon fillet

1 lb asparagus

1 Tbs olive oil


1. Wisk together first 6 ingredients in a small bowl to blend.  Season sauce with salt and pepper.


2. Preheat oven to 450 F.  Cut three ½ inch deep slips crosswise in top of salmon as if cutting into 4 pieces but do not cut through.


3. Arrange asparagus in even layer on rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and turn to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place salmon atop asparagus, sprinkle with salt and pepper.


4. Roast until salmon is just opaque in center, about 20 minutes


5. Transfer asparagus and salmon to platter.  Spoon sauce over salmon.  Cut into 4 pieces along slits and serve.


Recipe from Gourmet Magazine February 2001

Corned Beef and Cabbage


3 lbs corned beef with season packet

10 small red potatoes cut into quarters

5 carrots peeled and cut into 3 inch pieces

1 large green cabbage cut into small wedges


1. Place corned beef in Dutch oven or large soup pot and cover with water. Add the spice packet.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound until tender (about 2 ½ hours)

2. Add potatoes and carrots and continue cooking for 20 minutes

3. Add cabbage and cook an additional 15 minutes

4. Remove beef and let rest for 15 minutes

5. Place vegetables in a bowl and cover.  Add as much broth (liquid from pot) as you want.  Slice meat across the grain and serve

Friday, March 8, 2013

Easy How To For Mitered Borders

When working with striped fabric mitered borders look so much better than traditional log cabin style.  At first I thought it was going to require difficult sewing skills but I was so wrong.  With measuring and marking it is as easy as can be.

The first thing you need to know is that the fabric you cut for your border needs to be longer by at least 10 inches than the desired finished measurements of your quilt.

Example:  If you want your finished quilt to be 45x45 then you need at least 55 in long strips for the borders

Second thing is to remember not to cross over seam allowances.  That is where the measuring and marking come in.

So let's get started

1. cut your 4 border strips the width you desire and at least 10 inches longer than the desired finished dimentions of your quilt.

2. pin the borders to your quilt top right sides together being sure to center quilt top on border length.  Sew border starting and stopping 1/4 inch away from quilt top edge.

3. Keeping border and quilt top right sides together fold at the corner (right side of quilt top showing) and mark a sewing line that is at a 45 degree angle from the seam line and from where the seam line ended (remember not to cross seam lines).

4. sew on marked line, open, press and trim excess frabric

 And now you have a very nice clean mitered border.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Newborn Photo Props

Some of my favorite projects to work on are the adorable newborn photo props that are all the rage these days.

These are a few that I've made this past year.

The Very Hungry Catapillar
Baby Bunny
and a Football.
I just had a request for a ladybug and can't wait to get started!

Are you a professional photographer?  Or do you have a friend that is?  I would love to make some photo props for you too.  Just contact me through the comments below or click my Etsy Shop button at the left of this page and let me know through email that way.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Happy 1st Blogiversary!

I can't believe I've had my blog for a year now!

It all started with the opening of my Etsy Shop and they said you should start a blog.  What's a blog? I said.  And so started the journey of learning

  • which blog host to use ~ I picked because it seemed more user friendly
  • how to create a great looking blog ~ I spent many hours reading how to's and I'm still changing things
  • thinking of a catchy title ~ The title of my shop was taken so I used synonyms in the wording to alter it
  • what to blog about ~ first it was about the projects I completed and I just went from there
I am still learning of course but looking  back I sure am glad I started it.  It started off as a place to promote the products in my shop and has grown to include all the interests and discoveries in my life.

One of my great enjoyments in life is cooking. At least 4 nights a week I fix a homemade meal for my husband and me.  I have posted a few recipes complete with how to pictures on my blog but I want to make my meal planning a more permanent part of my blog.  So to kick off my second year here at Blogger I'm starting a Sunday Super series.  Every Sunday evening I will post my weekly meal plan complete with recipes. I'm kind of excited.  It's a big commitment but since I already do the planning it will just require putting my plans on the blog in an easy way for people to access it.

So with no further ado I introduce...

March 4-10
Monday Brunswick Stew
Tuesday Black Bean Soup
Wednesday Left Overs or Take Out
Thursday Chicken in Wine over Rice
Friday Left Overs or Take Out
Saturday Red Beans and Rice
Sunday Brisket and Vegetables

Brunswick Stew


2 tsp vegetable oil

1 ½ Cup cubed, frozen hash brown potatoes

1 Cup chopped onion

1 Can (14 ½ oz) chicken broth

1 Cup frozen corn kernels

1 Can (15 0z) Lima beans

1 Can (15 oz) black-eyed peas

1 Can 14 ½ oz stewed tomato

3 Cans (5 oz) white chicken meat

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp dried basil

½ tsp dried thyme



1. Heat the oil in a 4 ½ quart Dutch oven or soup pot over high heat.  Add the potatoes and onions.  Cover and cook for 4 minutes, uncovering to stir about every 30 seconds.   (the potatoes will stick to the bottom)  Add the chicken broth and stir and scrape the brown bits from the pot bottom.


2. Add the corn, then cover and cook while opening the cans.  Rinse and drain the Lima beans and black-eyed peas and add them to the pot, then add the tomatoes and the chicken with its juice.


3. Stir in Worcestershire, pepper, basil, and thyme, then re-cover and bring to a boil, uncovering occasionally and stirring.  Reduce the heat to medium-high and continue boiling, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes.


Serve with hot, fresh from the oven buttered cornbread.


Recipe from Desperation Dinners! by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross


Black Bean Soup


1 tsp olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 cans (15 oz) black beans

1 can (14 ½ oz) chicken broth

1 can (15 ¼ oz) corn kernels, drained

1 (14 ½ oz) Mexican style stewed tomatoes

3 bay leaves

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

½ tsp ground cumin



1. Heat the oil in a 4 ½ quart Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until slightly brown, stirring occasionally.

2.  Meanwhile , pout 1 can of beans and their liquid into a large cereal bowl  Using the back of a serving size spoon, mash the beans against the sides and bottom of the bowl until the beans are broken up and pasty.

3.  Raise the heat under the pot to high and add the chicken broth, mashed beans, and the can of whole beans and its liquid.  Stir well.  Drain the corn and add to the pot, then add the stewed tomatoes, bay leaves, garlic, thyme, vinegar, and cumin.  Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil.

4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer to let the flavors blend, 8 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.  Remove from the heat and serve.

Recipe from Desperation Dinners! by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross

Chicken in Wine over Rice


2 lbs chicken breast

10 ¾ oz can cream of mushroom soup

10 ¾ oz can French onion soup

1 cup dry white wine



1. Put chicken in slow cooker

2. Combine soups and wine Pour over chicken

3. Cover and cook Low 6-8 hours.


Serve over rice


Recipe from Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook by Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Good

Red Beans and Rice


2 tsp olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 chopped bell pepper

2 tsp minced garlic

½ tsp thyme

½ tsp basil

½ tsp oregano

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp Tabasco sauce

2 bay leaves

1 can (14 ½ oz) chicken broth

1 lb turkey kielbasa sausage

1 ¾ cups “instant” (5-minute) rice

½ cup water if needed


1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large deep skillet that has a lid.  Add chopped onion, celery, pepper and cook until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in garlic, thyme, basil, oregano, black pepper, Tabasco and bay leaves.

2. Raise the heat to high, add the broth, cover the skillet, and bring the broth to a boil.  Meanwhile, cut the sausage in slices about ¼ inch thick, rinse and drain beans.

3. When broth boils, stir in the sausage, beans and rice.  Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook until the rice is tender, 5-10 minutes.

Recipe from Desperation Dinners! by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross

Brisket with Root Vegetables


1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 medium turnip, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 parsnips, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces

3-4 lbs beef brisket

Salt and Pepper

1 ½ tsp onion powder

1 ½ tsp garlic powder

1 cup beef broth


1. Arrange vegetables in bottom of slow cooker.

2. Rub brisket with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.  Place brisket on top of vegetables.  Pour broth into cooker.

3. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

Recipe from All You magazine April 2013