Saturday, January 24, 2015

Snowed in Saturday!

It's no secret, I love to be snowed in with nowhere to go! I don't typically make breakfast for the family because mornings are too crazy but today they get a treat. I am currently obsessed with these fancy parchment cups and lucky for me, my bff at , aka "The Ogre", gifted me with a few boxes for Christmas!
So today we have:

Pumpkin Muffins
Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with paper liners

1.5 cups flour
1tsp baking soda
1.5 cups sugar
1tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp each nutmeg and cloves 
1/2 tsp salt
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl
And in a smaller bowl mix together
2 eggs
1/4 cup Apple cider
Half can of pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Now prepare the topping:
1/2 stick cold butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour. Cut butter in to dry ingredients until it is a coarse crumble. 
Gently fold wet ingredients into dry just until it is incorporated. Scoop batter evenly into 12 muffin cups, sprinkle with topping. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. 

Happy snow day!

Friday, January 23, 2015


I don't think I have ever made this the same way twice. I have no Italian blood (that I am aware of) so this is not by any means an authentic recipe. Traditionally panecotte is escarole, white beans, pancetta, bread and cheese. Today's version has some hot Italian sausage, fresselles (store bought) and I added a few other veggies for added flavor. Note: escarole is very sandy, I chop it into 2" pieces and soak in cold water. Drain and repeat until the water at the bottom of the bowl is clean. 
1-2 bunches of escarole cleaned and chopped 
1 onion diced
2 small carrots diced 
2 celery stalks diced 
4 cloves garlic chopped 
Olive oil
2 links Italian sausage, casing removed
Crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper
Chicken stock
1 big can of white beans
Splash of dry white wine 
1/4 cup Grated cheese
2 ounces Mozzarella sliced or shredded
Half bag of fresselles 
In a large frying pan, sauté sausage in a bit of oil until browned. Remove sausage and set aside.  Add diced vegetables and garlic and sauté until they are cooked down and brown. 
When they are done pour a splash of dry white wine to deglaze the pan. 

Now put that bottle in the fridge because you are going to drink that with dinner. 
Next, add the sausage back in (omitting any grease that drained from it), and it's time to cook the escarole. I put it in wet because I feel it aids in the process, but be careful of splattering. Season with salt and both peppers and toss into mixture until it is completely wilted. 

Add drained beans and a cup or so of stock and continue to cook on medium for a few minutes. Preheat your oven to 350. Transfer everything to a baking pan. Crush up fresselles in your hand and press into the top. They will soak up a lot of liquid so make sure you have enough in the pan 
Next add some sliced or shredded mozzarella and sprinkle a generous amount of grated cheese over the entire pan. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes until brown and bubbly. 
Today we also have mystery dessert from the freezer
In the fall I made a bunch of tarts using jams that I canned over the summer. Simple graham cracker crust and crumble topping with oats and brown sugar, only I didn't label them. 
This might be peach. Or apricot... Or peach apricot. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Soup of the day

Hearty Tomato Red Lentil Soup

Today is grocery shopping day which means that I need to get creative with today's dinner. I work at night so dinner gets made in the afternoon, so yeah dinner is already leftovers when my family eats. 
This soup comes mostly from my pantry and would be even more delicious with fresh tomatoes and herbs. I love tomato soup and enjoy switching it up. The addition of red lentil pretty much goes unnoticed as far as taste is concerned but it is very satisfying because of the protein packed lentil. You can easily adapt this recipe to your liking by swapping vegetable broth for chicken stock to make it vegetarian and also change the flavor with herbs. I love tarragon in tomato soup but basil, cilantro or parsley would be nice as 

3 large onion chopped
3 celery stalks diced
3 carrots peeled and diced
1tbs olive oil
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
2 cups dried split red lentil
1 box chicken or veg stock
1 can whole tomatoes diced
I can tomato paste
Additional water
Dried or fresh herbs to taste

Sauté mirepoix in a large soup pot with oil until just tender at medium heat. Toss in lentils, stirring to coat with oil for a few minutes. Add tomatoes, paste, stock and a few cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes or so, stirring every few minutes so that the lentils don't stick. Adjust seasoning and add herbs. 
I'm going to buy a crusty baguette and serve with a green salad, perfect January dinner!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Jumping on the hexagon bandwagon

I keep seeing all of the beautiful hexagon quilts on crafty blogs and pinterest and automatically fell in love and felt so overwhelmed by the thought of ever making one. I mean, come on, it is all hand stitched! So, I read and read, looked at all the pretty pictures a bunch of times before I said "what the heck do I have to lose?"
I knew that I wanted to have the center hexagon be an embroidered piece so I searched through my patterns for designs under 4 inches... I had way more than I thought! Here is the start of my embroidered work:

embroidery for hexagon centers
 I just ironed them on a solid piece of white muslin, very randomly with no theme or thought of color scheme. Then I made a hexagon template. At first I used a 4" template but realized it was too big for my 5" charm squares that I am hoping to use up, so I just cut 1/4" off each side and had the perfect size. I cut out a bunch from freezer paper, ironed them on to some squares, whip stitched them together and this is what I have:

my first completed hexagon!

Is it perfect? Absolutely not!! Do I love it? Oh my gosh, YES! I love this project. It is perfect for nights when we want to see what is growing in the dvr. I get into a rythm with the hand stitching and it actually becomes addictive. If you too felt intimidated by hexagons, try it, it is so much fun. 

Pot Pourri for 50 Alex...

Golf green carrot cake
Life is just plowing along. My Bumble turned 50 last week and I was completely consumed with his surprise 50th birthday party. This was no easy feat considering I had almost no money and I was having the party in our house...BIG STRESS!
It was a success, a good time was had by all. Good friends, family, food and drinks...what more do you need?

secret recipe sangria

party food

kamakaze's, wine, beer, sangria, YUM.
And because I strive on stress and deadlines, I allowed myself to be nominated costume director for Seussical at Julia's school...a play that I know zilch about! Here are part of my bird girl costumes:

We have Horton, Cat in the Hat, circus animals, jungle animals, kangaroos,monkeys, oh my. I will manage somehow. Right? I have also taken a job caring for my eldery neighbors, Rose and Mary...I thought raising kids was tough, ha ha ha ha. Did I mention that I have jury duty next month? Enough whining already. Take a look at the coolest snowman ever:

He completely freaked me out every time I drove by and I drive by times a day.Bravo to the creators, it was fantastic!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

serial stitching

I just can't stop! Between Beyonce Bowl (which was amazing) and Blizzard Nemo (not so much), I have had lots of time embroidering. I am determined to stitch something from every pattern packet that I have, hopefully I will live a nice long arthritis free life.
Here is one of my favorite vintage Vogart designs, "Bee" Smart #293. Look at the packet...19 cents!

next is Baby Birds #3247. I bought this from Pattern Bee but just noticed that Aunt Martha's has brought it back. Good call Aunt Martha.

I love this guy. The pattern is #268 Day of The Week Apron Bib patterns with cute little animals for babies. I made the animal print towel from a piece of home dec weight cotton that I found in the remnant bin. I love buying up cute prints like that and make towels and/or potholders for gifts.

This is one of my all time favorites from Aunt Martha; #3929 Happy Gadgets. I am such a sucker for animated kitchen things.

this last towel is a combination of my favorite fabric and patterns. So cute! Sometimes I like to add a patch to a towel I love rather than stitch on a plain towel.My towel, my rules.
lastly, here is a picture of my driveway yesterday
not nearly as sweet as vintage embroidery.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Pregaming for Beyonce Bowl

I am excited for the big game tomorrow... as in the commercials, Beyonce, and having hours of couch time!
It is tradition in our family that on Superbowl Sunday that I make some party food and Dave takes it to his friend's party and I stay home and help the girls with their Science Fair projects for the fair on Wednesday. I am so happy that this is my the very last science fair for us! WOOHOO! I figure that we will be done dealing with compost, worms and food scraps by game time, then I am pouring wine and hunkering down for a night of
organizing my tangled bins of embroidery supplies! I am actually looking forward to this. Sad, huh?