Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quilt #5 - Allie's blanket

pink and green focused quilt for a girl

A friend of mine was having a baby girl and I wanted to make a blanket baby Allie could grow into.  With that in mind, when my friend Dionne and I went shopping we looked for girlie fabrics, not necessarily nursery patterns.  Also, I didn't know what colors my friend would be choosing for Allie's room so I went with a mix.  The back is done in a nice light green flannel.  Also on the back, I made hearts using two of the fabrics from the blanket and hand embroidered Allie's name and birthdate, then appliqued it on.  Since the blanket was finished before she was born I had to hand stitch the applique.  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the hearts.  Next time.  :)

border fabric used for a girl quilt
rail fence designinner border of rail fence quilt for a girl

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Summer-y Dessert

To go along with my theme of a quick, light, fresh dinner tonight here's dessert.  Since we've had summer temps, I thought this would be a perfect pairing.  Pound cake from Costco, topped with lemon glaze and blueberries.  Mmmm, YUM!

Lemon Glaze:
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
1 Tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Put all together in a bowl, mix or whisk until combined and free of lumps.

~ Enjoy!


This was just one of those days when a quick, easy dinner was what I needed (think field trip to downtown Seattle with 6th graders).  Rather than turn to boxed or frozen meals packed with preservatives and sodium, I make something fresher with ingredients I always have on hand.  There are a few different variations of this meal, it just depends on what's in the fridge (and someday there will be a Bowl-O-Pasta II post showing pasta with more of a sauce).

While I normally like to do this with homemade pasta - tonight was all about quick, and stuff I already have available.  Here is the start:

Boil whole wheat pasta to al dente in salted water (enough for 2 dinner sized portions)
While boiling:
  • warm about 1/8 - 1/4 cup light olive oil with approx 1/8tsp - 1/2tsp crushed red pepper and 3 cloves chopped fresh garlic.  When it's warm and you can smell the fragrance of garlic, turn off heat and let sit;
  • chop olives and red pepper (I use Mezzetta Napa Valley Bistro), put into large mixing bowl;
  • grate 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, set aside;
  • Gently toast 1/4 cup pine nuts
When the pasta is done cooking, strain from water and place directly in mixing bowl.  Pour oil/garlic mix, 1/2tsp - 1tsp Italian seasoning, and parmesan over the top (doing this now will allow the parmesan to melt and cling to the pasta).  Mix with tongs.  Divide into 2 serving bowls and lightly top with extra virgin olive oil, grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts.

  • Add fresh chopped basil or basil pesto (fresh or jarred), omit Italian seasoning from above;
  • Add crumbled goat cheese (may need to use a bit of pasta water so it doesn't get sticky and allows the goat cheese to become slightly creamy as it melts);
  • Top with sliced pepperocini from the Mezzetta jar.

Notes: To toast pine nuts, place in skillet over low heat and stir every few minutes so they don't burn.

Oh, and I did enjoy the field trip - a lot - but I was tired and not in the mood to make a big or complicated meal.  :)

Feel free to share your ideas for variations... and if you try this, come back and let me know how you liked it!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Camping Meal: Chicken & Asparagus

Camping season is approaching and often we eat better than when we're at home!  The main reason is that I carefully plan our meals and prep the food before we leave.  This past weekend I brought skinless, boneless chicken breast and aspargus.  Before we left, I prepared both sides of the chicken with a little bit of light olive oil, and a modest to heavy dose of Kirkland Signature Organic No Salt Seasoning.  To that I added a bit of sea salt, some crushed red pepper and a pinch of turbinado sugar (which is basically coarse ground raw sugar).  I put it into a ziploc and packed it for the trip.  I did this on a Wednesday and cooked it Friday, so the flavors had plenty of time to develop and 'get into' the meat. 

For the asparagus, I cleaned it, drizzled it with a little olive oil, and a small amount of sea salt and pepper.  I grilled it for about 5-6 minutes and it was perfectly cooked.  Oh my, what a fabulous meal ...

Delicious food can be had on the road.  A part of camping that I look forward to is finding more great meals I can whip up in an outdoor kitchen.  :) 

Are you a camp cook?  I'd love to hear your meal ideas! 


Merry Merry Snowman - Block One

I know it's been awhile since I posted... I have been working on some sewing projects for a client, and I finished one blanket that I can't post yet because it hasn't been given to the recipient.  I will get back to quilting soon, my projects are piling up! 

In the meantime, I did join a quilt block of the month club.  Pacific Fabrics in Everett, WA is doing one that doesn't involve going to a class every month.  This quilt will be made up of 9 blocks and includes embroidery and applique.  This is my first time doing either.  Thanks (again) to my friend Judi who helped me through the first block. 

The snowman, hat, cupcake holder, table and sign are applique.  The words, sign string, arms, eyes, and nose are embroidered.  I used a padded satin stitch for the eyes and nose.  I used a basic backstitch for the lettering.  I learned how to do both from videos on the internet!  Now I'm anxious to get started on the second block, which I will post when I'm finished.  :)