Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sewing: Coin Purses

Yesterday he asked if I could make two gifts...

Yes, you heard correctly...yesterday!

They needed to be little..only big enough to hold a silver dollar.

And one had to be teal and one had to be pink/purple.

So today I was a sewing fairy...working all afternoon on two little coin purses.

It's a good thing I went to Sew Modern last Saturday..I used some of the Birds and the Bees from Tula Pink  for the pink/purple purse that I had picked up...with a pink hummingbird lining.  And the tree almost stands perfectly center!

I had to dig into my Japanese fabrics for the teal. I love this print, practicing my fussy-cutting skills again to show off the bright green bird.  As for the lining, it's a teal dot...perfect for this bag.

For a first attempt at coin purses, I think I did pretty good...I only stuck myself once with the needle while sewing the bag to the frame, and now they'll sit on the table overnight while the glue dries.

I think I need to make myself one now....

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey...

The season three finale was last Sunday....

I prepared....with a large Diet Dr. Pepper and a bag of Hershey Kisses.

I sat...on the sofa nearest the television so I wouldn't miss a word.

I watched...with Edgar on the floor beside me.

I wept....because some awesome things happened, but then again some things were downright sad.

As always, though, I loved the Dowager Countess...she had the best quote of the night:

Robert: "I'll do it on one condition – no, two. First, Matthew must agree . . . Second, you will both admit it when you realize you were wrong."
Violet: "Oh, well, that is an easy caveat to accept, because I'm never wrong."

Doesn't that sound just like me?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sewing: Ruffled Hobo Bag

I need another project...a filler if you must.

You see...I'm a few strips short of fabric on my Scrappy Trip Along Quilt...five to be exact.  I've scoured the internet and have found a few that will work, so now that project is in wait mode...hopefully no more than a week.

And I haven't done a bag in a while...since before the holidays...and Dylan's hobo bag needs to be done.

It must be teal...and the majority of my teal stash is Japanaese fabrics..
   The ruffles will be the teal bird.
   The outer bag panels, zipper panel, and exterior handle will be the teal dot.
   The panel around the bottom will be the teal/purple/pink stripe.
   The inside handle fabric with be the chocolate teal dot.
   And I'm not sure what will be leftover to do the interior...but it will be teal with a few pockets.

While I'm at it, I might just make a bag for me...but mine will be more pinks and grays, using the fabrics I picked up at Crimson Tate in Indianapolis.

Now I just need to find my teal thread and I'm ready to start.  Anyone done this bag before who could share some hints?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Recipe: Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cake

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cake.

I found the recipe a few years back in The Cake Mix Doctor cookbook by Anne Byrne.  I knew I needed to make it right away, and it was an instant hit with the family.

Over the years I've morphed the cake into a one-bowl recipe...probably because I'm way lazy and don't want to use my mixer unless absolutely necessary, as it requires handwashing all the parts. 

Last night I made a Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cake...

Now there is only one piece left...

To tempt me all night long...

Might just need to eat it, right?

Original Recipe from The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn


Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
One (1) package plain devil's food cake mix or devil's food mix with pudding
One (1) can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
Two (2) large eggs
One (1) teaspoon pure almond extract

One (1) cup sugar
One-third (1/3) cup butter
One-third (1/3) cup whole milk
One (1) package (6 ounces: 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly mist a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray.  Set the pan aside.

2. Place the cake mix, cherry pie filling, eggs, and almond extract in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for one minute.  Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat two minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed.   The batter should look thick and well blended.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula.  Place the pan in the oven.

3. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and it starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack while you prepare the glaze.

4. For the glaze, place the sugar, butter and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips.  When the chips have melted and the glaze is smooth, pour it over the warm cake to that it covers the entire surface.  The glaze will be thin, but will firm up.  Cool the cake for 20 minutes more before cutting into squares and serving.

Cake Notes:
 1. I just throw all the cake ingredients into a bowl and stir by hand until well blended.
 2. Optional: add in one cup of semi-sweet mini chocolate chips to the cake batter.

Glaze Notes:
 1. This cake tastes great without the glaze; however...
 2. Most of the time I'll use chocolate frosting instead of the glaze as it's quicker.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Recipe: Sam's Pasta

Because my daughter asked for the recipe....

Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic Chicken's original name.

My family loves it...

Unfortunately so did Sam!

Sam was one of our dogs many moons ago...who loved to counter-surf whenever we weren't looking. Anything on the counter was fair game to him.

One night I was making the sauce...

Pushed it to the back of the stove to go pickup the daughter from volleyball practice...

Pulled the pasta sauce back to the front burner to warm when we got back home...

And noticed a great big SNOUT imprint in the front of the pan.

Needless to say we had take-out that night...and I never again made this recipe when I needed to leave Sam alone in the house.

Ingredients Needed
One (1) jar Sun-Dried Tomatoes
One (1) pound Bacon (because everything's better with Bacon)
Garlic Powder (to taste)
Two (2) packs PreCooked Chicken Strips
Chopped Garlic (to taste)
Two (2) pints Heavy Cream
One (1) bunch Green Onions
Two (2) boxes Pasta, cooked according to package directions


1. Drain sun-dried tomatoes on paper towels, using a heavy weight to compress for extra oil.

2. Fry bacon in heavy dutch oven, removing to paper towel to cool.  Once cool, chop into bite-sized pieces.

3. Drain bacon grease from pan, leaving approximately three (3) tablespoons in bottom of dutch oven.

4. Add chicken pieces to bacon grease.  Stir to coat.  Add lots of garlic powder so you don't see the grease in the bottom of the pan and the chicken looks as if it has a heavy breadcoating.  Add as much chopped garlic as you can stand.

5. Turn down heat to medium.  Add both containers of cream, bacon pieces and sun-dried tomatoes, and let simmer (not boil) to reduce cream and meld flavors...approximately 30 minutes, but preferably an hour. not boil the cream!

6. Just before serving, add green onions to the cream mixture and stir lightly.

7. To serve, ladle cream/chicken sauce over cooked pasta.