Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie-- Mmm, Mmm Good!

Tonight I decided to try out a recipe from my new cookbook from my kids-- "The Pioneer Woman Cooks".  This is a great book -- much more than just a cookbook.  I enjoy Ree's style of writing, and all the beautiful pictures she includes in the book.  Anyway, I followed her recipe exactly (well, except that I didn't have any white wine to put in it), (oh, yeah, AND I forgot to add the seasonings -- major mistake -- I was just so excited to get it in the oven), but besides that -- even without the salt, pepper, and thyme included before baking -- it was delicious! My husband is not a huge fan of thyme, and he always adds his own salt, so I don't think he even noticed.  His comment was, "delicious!"  Ree's pie crust -- called "Perfect Pie Crust" -- really was perfect.  It was light, flakey, and so, so, good.  I had my doubts as I was mixing it because it seemed too wet to me, but sure enough, it rolled out beautifully and WAS perfect!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Family Times

Our time of having the whole family together is coming to a close much too quickly.  I'm so grateful for the fun time we could enjoy with our kids.  We've eaten a lot of good food, played many games of golf, sword fighting, bowling, rowing, etc. on WII, shopped, toured a cavern and museums, attended the Schulte family Christmas party, put a puzzle together, talked, laughed, looked for treasures in a few junk drawers, and have just had a wonderful time.  We treasure these moments together.

All of my sewing was finished before Christmas so now I've got a week home before school starts up again, to think about some new projects. I do have a few pieces of material cut out to make some reusable grocery bags.  I like to add my "green footstep" when I can!  My mom received her Christmas surprise so I can post a picture of that now.  For Mom I made an apron and hot pads out of a beautiful Amy Butler fabric.  Amy Butler is one of my favorite fabric designers -- using bright, bold colors and designs.  The last time I was at Mom's I used her apron (because I can't function in a kitchen without one), and saw that it was one I had made for her YEARS ago.  (I think I had made that one).  Anyway, I knew then what I was going to make.  I love aprons -- possibly learned to appreciate them from Mom.  I remember her wearing aprons when I was growing up.  So -- although an apron may seem like a humble item to those who never wear them, to me, they are treasures of the heart -- an instant "basket" to gather flowers in, a "towel" always handy to wipe floured hands on, a corner to wipe a tear on when the onions get to the eyes, a handy pocket for a tissue or stray penny found on the floor, and of course, a cover-up for keeping clothing clean.  So, Mom, for whatever purpose aprons have for you -- ENJOY! You are the best!!
My own Silent Night label

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's finished!

Just a quick note today -- The lap quilt is finished!  While I do prefer hand quilting, the machine quilting was nicer on my hands -- and quicker.  Overall, I'm pleased.  My favorite part it the little label I stamped and added to the corner.  It says, "Silent Night".  Not only is it appropriate for the season, but also for the "silent" night of sewing to get it finished today! :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Snow Day AGAIN!

Christmas vacation has officially started!  Our second snow day of the school year is upon us.  I feel a little sad for the children who anticipated the fun of giving and receiving little gifts, the Christmas Sing-along, Christmas parties, and of course, a day with not quite the same academic rigor as most!  But, here we are -- another snow day, which I will accept with gladness. :)  Here's a sneak view of my project for today.  This one is a lap quilt for my mother-in-law -- who NEVER uses a computer -- so I think I'm okay to post it here.   This is the first project (other than purses) that I've done machine quilting on.  I'm not very pleased with it yet, but I'll finish it and see what I think at the end.  I'm just not liking the way the stitches are stopping and starting.  Hopefully it will all blend in when the quilting is finished.  My mother-in-law loves cardinals, so I think she will think it is just wonderful.   Note to MY mom -- if you are reading this you can keep guessing about your gift!  It is not a purse, it is not a lap quilt -- but it is made with a beautiful Amy Butler designer fabric.  Now -- that should keep you guessing! :)  Happy day!

This is the front side ... partially quilted!

This is the back.  It's the first quilt I've made inserting a strip of  coordinating fabric on the backing.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow Day!

I really don't know who likes snow days more -- teachers or students! The unexpected treat of a day off is pure joy. Today I spent most of my day at the sewing machine. I have had several Christmas sewing projects going this year, and am down to the last one. One of the more challenging ones was to make this purse for a dear aunt (who LOVES horses). She has a cloth purse she has used for a number of years. Last year when I was making a purse for myself she advised me on the fabric placements and mentioned that she preferred purses with zippers and a smaller size. The one I made for myself did not have a zipper, and is quite large. But, she liked that pattern, and commented on how "handsome" it was. So this Christmas -- when I was trying to think of what to give the aunt who has whatever she wants -- I thought of the purse. I found the perfect horse fabric in blue (her favorite color) and made it a smaller size. The tricky part on this was to add a zipper. I'm not too sure I'm happy with my solution, but I managed to create a zipper closure. The finished product actually looks nicer than the photo, but here it is -- a horse purse for our horse collector aunt!
Oh...the word is already out that tomorrow is another SNOW DAY! :)