Friday, April 28, 2006

I love taking pictures and I'm learning to love to cook.

This is Katie Marie- sister to Jessica, daughter to Ruth. My story is that I hate to cook. In the past, I've wiggled my way out of cooking because my Mom, Dad and Jessica did most of it. Now with Jessica gone and married off, Mom informed me that I'm going to start cooking. I love taking pictures and I'm learning to love to cook. we go!

Tonight's Menu:
Cream Cheese Spaghetti (recipe courtesy of SpunkyJunior)
Cucumbers and Tomatos

Homemade "Squeaky" Cheese
French Bread
Ice Tea

The Cream Cheese Spaghetti is a new recipe from a friend I decided to try out. It basically is a layer of angel hair pasta, a layer of sauce, a layer of a cream cheese/sour cream mixture, and another layer of spaghetti sauce-- all baked for about 30 minutes in a 9x13 dish.
To start off, I made my home made spaghetti sauce this afternoon.

Making the sauce:
Chopped up onions:

Browning the ground beef:

Mixing it all together:

Italian we season our sauce:

I also made a vinegar mixture for some cucumbers and tomatoes. This included powdered mustard, garlic powder, vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. :-)


No, I didn't make the bread. I picked it up from the grocery store this morning.

French Bread, warmed and buttered in the oven:

Finally, the finished product:

All in all, it was a pretty good dinner. I didn't get pictures of the ice tea or the home made cheese, which my mother had made earlier this morning. I wasn't sure how much I actually like the cream cheese and sour cream mixture in the spaghetti, but most of my family seemed to like it. Yum yum!

Now, Clean up time!....

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I am ready to sew again....

...but first I need an iron!!! The fact that I have survived for 5 weeks now with out ironing my clothes is surely a astonishing surprise to those who know me really well. At first it was ok, because most of my clothes were still pressed from when I moved them, but now, as I've washed some of them, they are wrinkled beyond wearing. It's not fun to wear wrinkled skirts to church.

What is so frustrating about the whole situation is that I'm ready to buy an iron, I'm wanting to buy an iron, I'm waiting to buy any iron... but the one I want is out of stock at Target...and has been for several weeks now. And I really do have to buy the iron at Target because of their silly return policy that requires that I buy a single item from the home department with the money from a return without a receipt...and I don't really need any other kitchen item that costs $40 or more, and I do need an iron. So frustrating. I may just have to go to OKC and check out the Targets there.

I'm looking at the Rowenta ActiPress. Has anyone used it? It doesn't have the anti drip feature that some of the higher ones do, but I'm not sure I want to pay any more extra then I have too, because I still have to buy an ironing board too.

A couple days ago I bought some really cute fabric to sew an apon out of. I'm such a messy cook and I really need an apron. I can't wait to start! (once I get an iron...sigh).

My other up and coming project is this couch. Isn't it cute? So vintage! It was an amazing garage sale find. ($15!!) I simply adore it, but although the fabric is the right colors for our living room, the pattern is too much for the stripes on the rug, don't you think? So it needs recovered. I've never done anything with recovering or upholstry, but I have to start somewhere, right? Right now I'm in the research stage. There is no way I'm going to start ripping it apart before I know what I'm doing.

that's all for now!

Gardening days

Just around the block from my house there is a charming little landscape nursery. The people are very friendly and Annie (my dog) and I have enjoyed taking walks down there. We keep coming back with more little plants... Today we got some dianthus flowers to put in a little bed by our front porch steps.

Justin and I decided not to break ground for a garden this year, because we're so new and inexperienced in gardening and we don't want to overwhelm ourselves. Still, I'm doing quite a bit with what I have. The yard is already full of established bushes and trees, and there are several nice flower beds already made for me to plant in. The previous owner left a lot of her birdhouses and even a birdbath.

These are my peppers-- I'm hoping to make salsa this summer.

I have 3 tomato plants (in the red pots). They are so small right now. I hope they grow fast!

In this bed I planted flower seeds, (Bluebonnet, Marigold and Morning glory) Bell pepper plants, a corner of Okra, and 2 hills of Squash. I know that the plants are going to be really crowded once they start getting big...I'm going to have to thin them out I'm afraid.

Every day I check my "babies" to see how they are coming along. So far I have lots of little sprouts. Pretty soon I'm going to have to start weeding, because I can already spot lots of little grass sprouts!

This little birdhouse hangs from the arbor in the flower bed. It has been so much fun to watch two tiny sparrows arrive and take up residence. They fly back and forth all day long even when I'm out there, and several times I have seen the mother one sitting in her little nest. I am hoping for baby sparrows!


Another Tiered Skirt Tutorial

I came across another blog about tiered skirts, (thanks for mentioning it, Beki!) complete with photos and instructions on making one.

Ellen's tiered skirt is not yet made, but I'm still thinking about it.

My sewing room is slowly getting a little more cleaned and organized. I put all my serger thread on a shelf and they look so pretty there. I decided that I can't do a whole lot of organizing until I get some shelves put up in the closet area. But I am trying to clean up. Why, oh why, did I tell my husband that I wanted carpet in my sewing room? (Because I'd rather vacuum than sweep!) The thread and fabric scraps all over the carpet are a nightmare.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Spinach Quiche

Quiche is one of my favorite things to cook--I love to eat quiche!

This is a new recipe that I really liked. It is a little harder then a lot of other quiche recipes because it requires a pastry crust, but I think it was worth it. I really liked how it used cream cheese instead of a traditional chedder, and I loved the input of spinach--much better then broccoli. The end result was very creamy, moist, and so yummy.

I know it doesn't look that wonderful in this picture, but it really was beautiful. The lighting wasn't very good in my kitchen, and I discovered that yellow food doesn't look that good on a green countertop.


Spinach Quiche

1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese softened
4 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 pkg (10 0z) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup diced ham or chopped onion
1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust

Using an electric blender, mix cream cheese till creamy, about 1 minute. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add evaporated milk and red pepper. Mix in the spinach and ham until well combined. Pour into prepared crust and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 350 for 55 to 65 minutes until knife instered in the center come out clean. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Birch Street "Walking Shorts"

This post is written in response to a comment from happymama who asked if I knew of a good culotte pattern.

When I used to make culottes for my girls I most often used the walking shorts pattern from Birch Street Clothing. The "Walking Shorts with 30-second pockets" pattern is quite easy to make once you figure out the pocket instructions. The pattern comes in children's sizes, girls' sizes, and ladies' sizes. The girls and ladies' patterns have more flair to the legs than the children's pattern, and the legs can be lengthened as long or as short as you want. To get more fullness through the hips I would sometimes make a larger size than usual and then just fit the elastic to the recipient's waist.

Now days my older girls don't wear culottes. Some days, though, you can find Ellen wearing some that I had made years ago for the older girls.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Tiered Skirts and Trifles

It is so hard to find modest clothing that is appropriate for a 10-year-old girl. Most ready-to-wear dresses are either very immodest, or the style is just not suitable for a young girl. Although I don't like following the fashion trends of the world, I am glad to see the feminine and flowing skirts that are so popular today. I can't quite see myself wearing a "Bohemian" tiered skirt, but I do think I want to make one for Ellen. I've been planning this for a few months now, and really, I need to quit thinking about it and just do it.

A few days ago, in my inbox I received Londa's Sewing Newsletter and in it was a free pattern for making a tiered skirt in any size with any number of tiers. You don't even need a pattern... just do the math calculations and cut out the pieces. Londa even gives a handy little chart to help determine the measurements for the tiers.

On another note, yesterday I made a yum-delicious strawberry trifle dessert in the new bowl that Jessica and Justin gave me for my birthday. It came out so pretty that I just had to take a picture!

happy day,

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Spring flowers

For our 1 month anniversary Justin sent me these flowers. Aren't they pretty? I love how they brighten up our dining room with color and the fresh feeling of spring.

Well, I'm back! I'm ready to start blogging again but I'm not in the middle of any exciting sewing projects, so today you're going to get a recipe! Justin and I have enjoyed cooking together and one of our best meals was Chicken Parmesan. I never knew that it was so easy to make and SO yummy.

We made this the first night that we had real plates and real silverware. We had eaten off of plastic ware for what seemed like ages, so we had reason to celebrate! We had candles, music, and sparkling grape juice with our chicken parmesean and salad. It was fun!

Parmesan Chicken
1 cup dry bread crumbs (needs to be a pretty fine consistency. We ground ours up in the hopper chopper)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3/4 cup melted butter
2 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken but into 1" cubes or strips

Combine the dry ingredients in a shallow bowl. Dip the chicken in the melted butter, then roll in crumbs. Place in a greased 15 by 10" sheet pan. Bake at 400 degrees 15-20 minutes.

Serve with pasta topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese and a good salad!


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Facing Reality

Last week I made a lot of progress on cleaning the sewing room, but in the process it actually looks messier now than it did before I started cleaning.

I've decided that messiness is part of being a sewist. (Is sewist a word? It just looks so much better than sewer). For me, when it comes to sewing or crafting, messiness is reality.

Having arrived at this conclusion, does that mean I can sew now? Or do I have to wait until the room is completely cleaned and organized?


Monday, April 10, 2006

State of Disaster

My sewing room is a Disaster. It is disorganized with sewing paraphernalia thrown everywhere. How I managed to get any sewing done these past few days is beyond me. (I won't tell you about the fusible sticky-stuff mess that I made all over my's been a looong time since I've done that!)

(Jessica, do you want to come over and help me clean the sewing room?)

Today I finished a skirt for Katie that I started yesterday. Afterwards I started a skirt for me, but by the time I changed my serger thread and searched the Messes for the invisible zipper that I bought Saturday I didn't get much done. I found the zipper, but I spent another 20 minutes searching for the fusible stabilizer on a roll. Please, can anybody tell me what that stuff it called???? I suppose I could use strips of fusible interfacing, but I know I have a roll of Whatever It's Called somewhere. I want to stabilize the seam allowance where the zipper will go because it is cut on the bias and has a lot of stretch to it.

The fabric for my skirt is so cool. It is brown striped like the picture, but what is neat about it is that the stripes do not run on the lengthwise grain or crosswise. The stripes run on the bias! How cool is that?! Okay, I'm silly to get excited about bias-running-stripes, but it's just that I did not notice this when I bought the fabric.
I chose the fabric because I like the brown color, it has a nice hand (it's a rayon-linen blend), and it was on sale. I prewashed the fabric, and it wasn't until then that I noticed the direction of the stripes. I rummaged through the aforementioned Messes to find a suitable skirt pattern and now I'm waiting to find my roll of the aforementioned Whatever It's Called so that I can proceed.

HOWEVER....drum roll, please.... I have decided that I will not sew another stitch until I get my sewing room cleaned up!!!!!!! Now you all need to hold me accountable, please. I am in the mood to sew. I am ready. I am willing. I have patterns. I have a fabric stash like you wouldn't believe. But no.... I am NOT going to sew one more stitch until the Messes are in a more organized and accessible state of being. Organization tips would be greatly appreciated!

And in case you don't believe it, I will humble myself and post before and after pictures of the State of Disaster of the Sewing Messes, starting here with the "before." This is quite humbling....I'm baring my Messes to the world....

Whew, maybe I should start cleaning.....

p.s. Jessica, I found your Gingher scissors with the red ribbon looped through the handle.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Jessica and Justin
March 18, 2006

For more pictures, go here.