Sunday, November 28, 2010

Putting up the Tree

I decided to make my life easier this year and bought a 4" tree to put up rather than trying to move things around to accomodate the big tree. The kids had fun helping me to put ornaments on, although they still want to put all the ornaments on in the same spot. The tree is now on the shelf between the TV room and the kids play area.

Alex and Abbie loved setting up the little people nativity just to their liking. Some day I will be able to setup my Willow Tree nativity again, but for now this one works.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey Day Take Two, 2010 version

Since the kids were at their dad's for Thanksgiving this year I took advantage of the hospitality of my friends an relatives rather than cooking. I did make cranberry sauce though and like every other year I was the only one eating it. No worries I had plans for the leftovers. This morning I made up a batch of cranberry bread. I changed the recipe slightly by mixing the cranberry sauce in with the batter rather than layering it like the recipe instructs. It did not work out too well, the bread looks terrible and didn't rise like it should, fortunately it still tastes good. For the rest of the cranberry sauce I plan on making up a batch of slow cooker meatballs. To save time (and so I could have meatballs in the freezer) I just made up a big batch of meatballs and set aside enough mixture for tomorrow's dinner. Here is the meatball recipe I used:

Basic Meatballs:

1lb ground beef
2 TBSP milk
1 egg
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup onion finely minced
1/3 C dry bread crumbs
1/3 C Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic finely minced
1/2 tbsp parsley
3/4 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together, shape into balls (I find the medium pampered chef scoop works great for this) Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

I also have another recipe that would be perfect for leftover turkey, but that I am making with chicken I cooked the other day. This is one my friend Suzy gave me a while back. I will give you the basic chicken recipe, but you could modify it by using leftover turkey and adding some of the spices to that when you mix it with the cheese and enchilada sauce.

Chicken Enchiladas ala Jessica

1 – fryer chicken
2 – 15 oz can STOKE’s Green Chili w/ Pork Enchilada Sauce*
cumin powder
garlic powder
onion powder
12 oz (3 cups) mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 oz (2 cups) Colby-jack cheese, shredded
12 flour tortillas (8”)
1. Place whole fryer in crock pot. Cover with water. Add A LOT of all dry spices**.
Cover and cook chicken in crock pot at low heat for 6-10 hours.
2. Remove chicken and cool so it is finger-touchable. Shred all the meat.
3. In a bowl, place the shredded meat. Add about 1 ½ cups broth from the crock pot.
Mix more of all dry spices into chicken until it suits your tastes. Add one can of
enchilada sauce, plus all mozzarella cheese. Mix well. Taste again. Add more
spices if necessary.
4. Preheat oven to 350 F.
5. If your pans need it, butter them (seasoned stoneware won’t need to be greased).
Pour a little enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan(s)***.
6. Roll chicken mixture in tortillas. Place, seam side down in pan.
7. Once all enchiladas are rolled, cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle Colby-jack
cheese on top.
8. Cover with foil.
9. Bake 23 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking 8 minutes more.
10. Remove from oven and let sit about 10 minutes before serving.
6-9 Servings

Suzy’s Notes:
** You may use fresh garlic cloves (2-3) and onion (½ – whole) in the crock pot in the
place of dried powders of the same.
*** I put a dozen enchiladas in two pans (9x9 or 9x13).

1. Add green chili peppers.
2. Add scallions.
3. Add black olives.
4. Add sour cream (in mix or on top).
5. Substitute leftover turkey for the chicken, add a little more seasoning if desired.
6. Cut tortillas into strips then layer like a lasagna casserole instead of rolling.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Birthday Dress

When I was in Albuquerque visiting Suzy I picked up some darling strawberry fabric and a coordinating green fabric to make Abbie a dress. Well by the time we got home Abbie decided that she no longer wanted to wear dresses so I put the fabric aside with the intent that I would use it for Abbie's annual birthday dress. A week or two ago I let Abbie look through my patterns and decide which dress she wanted for her birthday dress. Nothing much happened with the dress between then and today because I was just too busy to work on it. Today I decided that the tradition of making Abbie a birthday dress was just to important to miss and I got to work after church this morning. Luckily Abbie picked a really easy pattern and I was able to get the dress done in less that 2 hours. The dress doesn't look that great in the picture but I hope that it will look cute on her. This was my first time using the jumbo rickrack and I am not sure I like how it looks. Abbie seemed to like it when I showed to to her and that's all that matters. This is another of the Oliver +S Popover sundresses that I have made before (here). I love this pattern it is so quick and easy, can be worn year round and can be embellished in many different ways.

My Abbie turned 4!!!!

It's hard to believe but today Abbie turned 4! It seems like just yesterday that I was anxiously awaiting her arrival (ok, maybe crankily was more like it). Like Alex she decided to take her sweet time and was a week late. No matter the late arrival she is dearly loved and I enjoyed being able to bake her a cake and wrap a couple of presents for her to have when she got home this evening. I will have a larger friends and family party for her and Alex next weekend but this one tonight was just for the three of us.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Yummy dinner salad

I recently bought a new cutting board from Pampered Chef and this salad recipe came with it. All three of us really enjoyed it, plus it used up a bunch of the Bountiful Baskets produce that I had in the fridge.

Southwestern Salad


¾ cup ranch dressing

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

2 tsp taco seasoning

1 Tbsp lime juice


½ cup pitted ripe olives, sliced

1 cup diced red bell pepper

1 pkg torn romaine lettuce

1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup whole kernel corn

2 cups diced cooked chicken

1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and diced (optional)

For dressing combine first 4 ingredients, stir until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For salad combine remaining ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.

Of course being me I had to change things a bit. I didn't use olives since I don't like them, but did add chopped tomatoes and shredded cheese. Rather than combining everything I put everything in separate bowls and let everyone choose what the wanted. Lastly Alex had regular ranch on his salad, Abbie had no dressing at all and I really enjoyed the dressing from the recipe. One note on the dressing is that I feel it really needs to sit for several hours before using so that the flavors can combine.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Absolutly Insane

Suzy and I have started a little block exchange of 3" finished blocks made with crumbs. I decided to make something a little different and made this little 3" finished log cabin block. The block has 21 pieces. I love it! I will have to make more of these.

An idea I had

Do you have pad locks hanging around the house that you don't use often? Do you have trouble remembering the combo from one use to the next? If so then you are like me. I have two padlocks that I have had for a very long time. I rarely use them and often have trouble remembering the code from one use to the next. I came up with the idea of writing the code on key label tags and putting them on the lock. Now I don't have to worry about remembering the code and when I am using it I can put the key tag on my key chain to help me remember the code.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Help me choose please....

I have made some more pineapple blocks to use as a sample for the class I am teaching on October 30th. Suzy has helped me with some different layouts. I can't decide which one I like the most, please give me my opinion. From top to bottom vote for A, B, C, or D

Monday, August 09, 2010

Public Exposure

Look what's hanging
behind the register at Cutting Edge Quiltworks in Chandler, AZ!

First Day of School

Alex had his first day of kindergarten today. I can hardly believe it. It seems like just yesterday I was registering him for school and now his first day of kindergarten has come and gone. Last night Alex was excited to go and even picked out his clothes for the day and what he wanted for lunch. This morning was not so great. Alex woke up and refused to wear his new clothes and insisted on wearing something else. This was followed by a tantrum and hiding under the train table. After trying to calm him down I ended up carrying him out to the car. Fortunately by the time I dropped Abbie off and got to his school he had calmed down. At first he was refusing to let me take his picture or even to hold his backpack, but after a few minutes on the playground and meeting a boy in his class I was able to leave him happily sitting at his table in class. When I picked him up from his dad's house this afternoon he was full of smiles and told me he had a fun day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better now that he knows what to expect.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Finish

I finished a quilt! I made this Pineapple Blossom quilt for Abbie since she did not have a big quilt yet. The quilt went together pretty quickly since I used precut 2 1/2" strips from my scrap bin. I am very pleased with how this turned out and hope Abbie will love it for years to come. If you are in the Phoenix area and would like to make one of these for yourself, Iwill be teaching how to make these blocks at Cutting Edge on October 30th.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


In the middle of the night last night we had our first really good monsoon of the season. I was loud enough to wake me from a sound sleep. This morning the kids decided to go play in the backyard and found the mud puddle and decided to play in it. I know they were doing it and let them, but I wish I had made them take off their clothes first. The kids got hosed down before I would let them in the house and the clothes are soaking in the tub in hopes that the mud wont stain them.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I Won

I entered a drawing on Making Ends Meet and to my surprise I won! Yahoo! The drawing was a pattern for a very cool Quiet Book. Thanks Making Ends Meet, I'll have to make this one day.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hiking at Lost Dutchman State Park

I decided a couple weeks ago that it was time to get out side and do more while the weather was nice. Today we went out hiking in Lost Dutchman State Park. The hike took about 2 hours and both kids did great. My dad and I both had to carry Abbie for a bit but she did surprisingly well and Alex was practically running at points. Kathy and her husband Chris also joined us for the hike although I am not sure how much fun they had since Alex talked their ears off the whole time.

After hiking we stopped at the Goldfield ghost town for ice cream and then my parents came back to my house to hang out for a bit and have dinner with us. We all had a great time and I hope we can do it again a few more times before the weather gets bad.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A trip to the Zoo

The kids and I went to the zoo today and had a great time. We wondered around for quite a while and then stopped to play at the new play area. On the way out Shamrock Farms was there giving out gallons of milk and coupons for gallons of milk. I picked up a gallon and 2 coupons. I probably won't have to pay for milk for 3 months now! Both kids passed out on the way home so I consider it a huge success.