10.01.2017

Dinner This Week - October has begun!

I love October! We are generally done with 90 degree temps, the leaves turn pretty colors and harvest is in full swing.

One of late September's highlights is always the Nebraska Junk Jaunt. We have "gone jaunting" twelve of the fourteen years the event has existed. My top five finds of the weekend are pictured below:

  1. A great leather satchel. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but look at that satchel! It wasn't hard at all to pay $10 for it.
  2. Two vintage quilt tops that will make great longarm practice pieces. Both have some technical difficulties that don't make them heirloom pieces so I don't feel bad that my quilting won't be heirloom quality either. The bright circle piece is made of a mix of flannel, double knit poly and some various cotton weights and it is HAND PIECED with beautiful little stitches! Randomly, it has one corner block that is a brown and tan bear's paw. I found a few small pieces of double knit that will blend with the colors in the quilt to make a replacement block. The second is a spider web quilt of great vintage cottons.
  3. A stack of vintage pie plates, some aluminum and some Pyrex. A couple of times a year, I make in excess of six pies at a time and a few other times a year, I prep and freeze in-season fruit so I can have a stash ready for pies, crisps and cobblers year-round. It is nice to be able to mold my Ziplock-enclosed fruit in a pie plate so I don't have to completely thaw it before making a pie. A few friends have asked about my affection for vintage plates. I should probably write a full post, but in a nutshell, I find the vintage metal plates (a couple of specific brands) are a little heavier and bake more evenly. They also don't rust or warp. I haven't typically gotten Pyrex plates, but I inherited a couple lately and these were in nice shape for less than $1 each.
  4. A large stack of fabric. I love the stash of random fabrics I've found at garage sales, flea markets and other second-hand sources. It doesn't have the same emotional tie that some of the fabric I've purchased at my LQS has. When I'm improving or making a donation quilt, I have no hesitancy in cutting into this. I also have found some interesting textures, colors and patterns that I may not have been drawn to in a different setting.
  5. A small stack of WNAX Neighbor Lady annuals. WNAX is the local AM radio station my dad listens to in the shop that has Traidio every weekday morning - the radio version of Craigslist. For many, many years, the Neighbor Lady had a daily show with recipes, household hints, DIY projects and other things for their female listeners. Each year they published a booklet with some of the content from the previous year. Many of the recipes are those of my childhood. I've got about a dozen of the annuals and am always on the lookout for more.
A few more items I found, and only came home with me via photo follow. For more information about Nebraska's Junk Jaunt, visit their website. I'd love to see you next year in Burwell or Loup City!

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This week seems like the first week in awhile that everyone is home all week, and we might actually eat at home. So, for the first time in a long while, I'm going to draft a menu for the week. I really miss this. We've had countless nights of pizza, takeout, pancakes, scrambled eggs and other things that aren't worth writing home about.

Another Junk Jaunt find was a stack of Simple and Delicious magazines from the last two years. I subscribed to this magazine for awhile and thought it had been discontinued. It features menus that can be prepared in under 30 minutes, have less than 500 calories and other busy family-friendly fare like slow cooker meals. This week's menu comes from these.

Sunday
A community church roast beef dinner takeout - I know I said no more takeout, but this is all homemade and supports a good cause. Our area has a lot of church festivals, dinners and suppers, and we try to hit a few.
Monday
Applesauce-Glazed Pork Chops from S&D Oct/Nov 2015, p. 12
Corn on the Cobb - Probably our last of the season
Grapes
Tuesday
Dad cooks - Quilt Guild Night!
Wednesday
Garlic-Ginger Turkey Tenderloins from S&D Oct/Nov 2015, p. 15 - I'll probably use chicken because I have some in the freezer and turkey would require a grocery run
Cheddar Smashed Sweet and Irish Potatoes
Steamed Mixed Vegetables
Thursday
Dinner out - Volleyball!
Friday
Maple-Thyme Chicken Thighs from S&D Oct/Nov 2015, p. 40
Quick Ginger-Orange Squash from S&D Oct/Nov 2015, p. 40
Saturday
Flex night

4.20.2017

Dinner Tonight: Huli Huli Chicken

It's been a bit since I've posted. Life has been its usual crazy with school beginning to wind down, spring volleyball coming to an end, the last rush of classes at work leading into summer construction season, the beginning of planting season and a serious effort at potty training on Henry's part. Whew!

Lately I've been a bit fascinated with some of the video recipes on FB. My phone's web browser has many pages open to the options I've seen on FB. This week I decided to try one ... Huli Huli Chicken from the Recipe Critic. I did make a few modifications as pineapple juice was elusive when I was tossing together the marinade on Tuesday night. I also had a mix of chicken breasts and chicken tenders so I opted to cube and make kabobs for the grill.

arts&craftshome_hulihulichicken

I have enough cheesy broccoli and cauliflower and leftover chicken for a great lunch tomorrow.

Huli Huli Chicken

Adapted from the Recipe Critic and Taste of Home

Marinade:
1 c. Mandarin Orange Juice (subbed for the called-for Pineapple Juice)
1/2 c. Soy Sauce
1/2 c. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Ground Ginger
1 tsp. Garlic Powder

Combine all marinade ingredients in a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag. Add 3-4 pounds of chicken pieces. Let marinade for a few hours (or days).

Put chicken pieces on skewers. Allow the chicken to rest at room temperature while the grill preheats, about 20 minutes. Grill the kebabs over medium heat until an internal temperature reaches 165° F. Because the marinade has quite a bit of sugar in it, watch it carefully to avoid flare-ups or excessive charring.

3.25.2017

#playimprovqal - All Caught Up!

As planned for in yesterday's post, I am all caught up with Elm Street Quilt's #playimprovqal. These two blocks were put off because of other priorities, but I will admit, neither is my favorite type of block ...

Week 5 - Wonky Stars

Wonky stars require too much planning to fall under improv in my book, but I am pretty happy with the outcome.

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Week 6 - Crumbs

This is also a challenge for me primarily because I don't keep scraps less than a few square inches. In general, I'm not really a scrappy quilter. I am far more likely to pass my scraps on to someone else than organize them for future use. Fortunately, I was a bit behind when I saw this prompt so I was able to generate a few small scraps as I completed previous blocks.

ACH_playimprovqal_wk6

I'm looking forward to the last two prompts, and I figured out my setting plan today for completing the project.

I'm linking this post to Sew Can She's Show it Off Saturday.

3.24.2017

Elm Street Quilts' Play Improv Quilt Along - Progress Post 1

I am focusing on finishing UFO's or quilts already planned this year, but the quilt along hosted by Elm Street Quilts was just too tempting. She set-up a quick eight-week quilt along based on weekly prompts to make improv blocks or mini quilts. I am using my stash of mostly solid scraps and have four of the six announced prompts completed. (I did get a little behind as I was trying to finish up a project I'll share sometime down the road.) I hope to finish up the two delinquent blocks this weekend so I'm ready for Monday's second to last prompt.

Week 1 - Log Cabin

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Week 2 - Triangles

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Week 3 - Stack, Cut, Sew

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Week 4 - Wonky Geese

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I am linking this post to Elm Street Quilts' Progress Check-in Linkup.

3.02.2017

Weeknight Dinner: Sheetpan Pesto Chicken Thighs and Potatoes

I'm fascinated by the sheetpan suppers floating around social media and the blogosphere. For the second time, I made Pesto Chicken Thighs and Potatoes for dinner. It takes longer than really works for us on a normal weeknight, but there seem to be lots of not normal nights at our house. Last night worked because Lent started, and it could be in the oven through all of church.

Sheetpan Supper: Pesto chicken thighs and potatoes

Sheetpan Pesto Chicken Thighs and Potatoes

1.5 lbs. cut-up chicken pieces (I use boneless, skinless thighs. Breasts may get too dry.)
1.5 lbs cubed potatoes
1 c. fresh pesto
Optional: 1 lb. IQF frozen vegetables like broccoli florets

Toss all ingredients together. Bake at 425F for 1.5 hours.

What are your favorite sheetpan suppers?

2.25.2017

A Is for Anne

Anne turned 8 in December. Amongst the holiday craziness, we hosted a sleepover for two of her bestest friends. Instead of bags filled with crap, I asked the girls to color pictures using two colors that I would then transfer to t-shirts. We didn't get these done before the girls left and the project got set aside until today. Surprise, surprise, I cannot find their pictures. I do remember they had lots of hearts, so here is my interpertation:

A is for Anne

I used two tones of the same color Circut iron-on vinyl. Each shirt has a heart with the girl's first initial. This was my first attempt at iron-on vinyl. It was easy-peasy. My 4-H club co-leader was sitting across from at the craft day, and we are already planning a club project with pre-cut vinyl shapes for this summer.

Now, maybe it's time to mail my Christmas cards ....

2.23.2017

Friday Finish: Auction Quilt

In a recent post, I showed a work in-progress for a benefit auction. I was able to finish it over the weekend and photograph it while we were having spring-like weather. The weather in Nebraska is a frequent conversation topic because it changes so often and can be very unpredicatble. Until yesterday, we had been experiencing highs in the sixties and seventies. As I am writing this, it is 30 and snowing.

OK, so back to the quilt. This was a fairly quick finish. The pattern, though not really more than a sketch, is simple, and I was able to find fabrics fairly quickly. The prints were in my stash and I found the solid at one of my favorite local quilt shops.

Untitled, 70"x90"

The auction is Saturday. I sincerely hope the weather cooperates!

This post is linked up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict's Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?.

Dinner This Week - October has begun!

I love October! We are generally done with 90 degree temps, the leaves turn pretty colors and harvest is in full swing. One of late Septem...