Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chicken BLT Salad

Yesterday, I was really craving a BLT.  Have you ever had cravings for a sandwich like that?  I knew I had some cherry tomatoes I needed to use up and three slices of bacon left in the package; that would make a perfect sandwich.  Yep, it would if the bread hadn't molded a few days ago and I had to throw it out.  It's really hard to have a sandwich with no bread.  So, my mind starts going through what I have here at the house - I really don't want to go out at lunch time here in town - waaaay tooo many people trying to get lunch at the same time.  I go ahead and cook the bacon in the microwave and dice up some tomatoes.  If nothing else, I will have scrambled eggs with tomatoes and bacon.  Sounds pretty good, but just not the same.  What else can I do, hmmm.  I have a can of chicken that the label is half way off, maybe I can mix up a chicken, bacon and tomato salad and serve it over fresh romaine lettuce.  YUM!!!  It was delicious!! Here is what I did, in case you want to make your own. 

Chicken BLT Salad

1 can of chicken, drained and shredded
about 10 cherry tomatoes, diced
3 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and chopped
1/2 - 2/3 c. mayonnaise
1 t. spicy brown mustard
2 T. blue cheese dressing - just because I love it and it adds some flavor

Mix all of the above together along with a little bit of kosher salt and a generous amount of black pepper.  Serve over torn Romaine lettuce and top with a little bit more blue cheese dressing. 

I also sprinkled some tomato crunchy almonds over the top - (get them from naturebox) or you could do some toasted pecans, regular almonds or sunflower seeds.  The bacon is crunchy, but that adds a little bit more crunch. 

It was delicious and I will be making this again.  Matter of fact, I had some leftovers for lunch again today and it was still wonderful.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.  If you don't like the blue cheese dressing you can eliminate it from the salad mixture and use your choice of dressing - ranch, thousand island, etc. over the top when you serve it.  If I had thought about it at the time, I would have chopped up some black olives and put them in there, too  Enjoy!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Red and Mom's Quilts - second posting of the day

Scrolling through some quilt blogs, I decided to check in with Abby and see if she had posted something new.  Surprise, surprise.  There on her blog were two of my mother's quilts.  One of them, is my Sudokitome pattern.  I have all my blocks made, just need to put it altogether.  Here is a picture of the quilt I borrowed from Abby's blog:

I am so excited to see I quilted.  I didn't see it when I went to Arkansas last month so this was a surprise.  We had our monthly Bee meeting yesterday and I finished up my red quilt top. I thought it was finished prior to going to Arkansas, but my mother made a suggestion about splitting the strip section (it was all one piece at one time) and then sewing it to the other side.  I immediately said no and then thought about it.  Okay, I will do that - this was a playing around quilt anyway, let's see how that looks.  So, below is my red quilt:
Someone asked if I was going to add borders and of course I said, "no".   Then I started thinking, hmm, borders, but the answer is still no.  I am going to have to re-measure this one to figure out my backing - I had already done that with the previous version.  I like how the bottom singlet is touching the strip section.  I kind of wish there was one touching the other side, but since very little of this quilt top was planned, I really like how it turned out. 

Apple Cobbler

Sitting at Volleyball can sometimes get quite boring.  Thank goodness for Coach Danley sometimes coming up to the front and keeping me company.  The other day she was telling me about an apple cobbler she had made using those sugar cookies that come already pre-sliced in a package of 24 for the topping.  I had a bag of small granny smith apples that I didn't know what to do with and thought that would be a fun recipe to play around with, so I did.  I had to run to Wal-Mart for a few things - didn't want to get totally dressed and go to HEB and knew no one cared at Wally World what I was wearing - or not wearing.  (makes you wonder, huh)   Anyway, I really was going to get sugar cookie dough when I spotted the oatmeal butterscotch cookies and I immediately thought of a rolled oatmeal crust on pies and cobblers and knew that would be wonderful.  So, I am going to share with you my made up kind of recipe for apple cobbler so you can make it yourself and taste the awesomeness.  I am sorry I don't have a picture to share with you, but the pan (8" X 8") is almost empty right now.  I should have taken a picture (story of my life) when it first came out of the oven, all bubbly and hot. 

Apple Cobbler

6 small granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced small.  (about 2 1/2 - 3 cups) (2 - 3 large ones)
4 T. cold butter - diced
2 T. sugar (white, granulated - regular sugar) (about)
2 1/2 T. brown sugar (about)
1 t. cinnamon (about)
1 package of 24 squares of oatmeal butterscotch cookies

Sorry for the about measurements - I really didn't measure - just sprinkled things on and in. 

Put your diced apples in the bottom of an 8" square pan.  sprinkle with the butter making sure it is evenly spaced around on the apples, sprinkle with the sugars and cinnamon.  Evenly space the cookies over the top of everything and bake at 350 (whatever temp the cookies say on the package - it may be 325) for about 20 - 25 minutes.  I may have even cooked them up to 30 minutes.  You want your cookies to be done and the apples cooked.   Eat plain or top with whipping cream or ice cream.  A butter pecan ice cream would be lovely.  You could also put a sprinkling of pecans or raisins over the apples.  Play around with this and let me know what you think.  It's a quick and easy dessert that I think will impress your family.  (or heat it up for breakfast the next day - yum!)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Jenny Doan and The Stocking Swap

I had the opportunity to see and hear a trunk showing from Jenny Doan and then the next morning take a class from her.  For those of you who are not familiar with her, she is THE Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt tutorials.  Below is a picture of my sister, Paige, Jenny and Me in front of the quilt, Exploding Block, that she was teaching that day.  Thanks to the help of my sister, putting the fabrics together and cutting the blocks, we got a lot of blocks made and even started putting them together in rows, until we found one that wasn't completely sewn - oops!  After Jenny left at noon, we also packed up and headed back to my mother's to check on her - shoulder replacement surgery or she would have been with us.  I haven't gotten back to these blocks, but having my  boxes of 4 and 5 inch squares sure helped make this a fast and easy scrappy quilt top. (well, it will be once I finish putting it together)  Since I didn't use a layer cake, mine won't coordinate as well as hers, but it will be a fun and scrappy quilt top. 

Recently heard from another person wanting to participate in the Stocking Swap.  How are you doing on making all your goodies?  Me - horrible!  It was on my list of things I need to do this summer and I haven't made one single item!  Here is the list again for anyone - like me - that hasn't seen it in awhile.  Okay, I am not doing as bad as I had thought.  I am only 3 months behind.  I have bags already made that I can throw in the mix, so that makes me only 2 months - April and May to catch up.  Not as bad as I thought. 

January - a mug and coordinating mug rug
February - Pillow cover for a 14" pillow form (just the cover, not the form)
March - 2 matching pillow cases (for a standard bed pillow)
April - a pin cushion and a package of your favorite pins
May - 4 place mats
June - a bag - any type and size
July - an ornament and Stocking (Christmas in July)
August - a travel sewing kit
September - a journal cover and a nice pen
October - Pot holder (be sure to use insulation)
November - a book - reading or quilting doesn't matter
December - candy and nuts (no stocking should be without these on Christmas morning)

It's not to late to join in the fun and have all your Christmas gifts made by the end of OCTOBER!!! Everything doesn't have to coordinate - mine don't, but I do know that Kathy chose a color scheme for all of hers. Whatever is easiest for you, just join in the fun.  If you make everything and then decide to keep it all for yourself, that is okay, too - not as much fun, but okay.   

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New Blocks from an E-Bay Win

Got a box from an e-bay purchase I made.  I put in a low amount - because that is all I was willing to pay, thinking that they shouldn't go for lower than that amount and expecting to be out-bid, but I won!  I think there are 18 - 18" blocks in my favorite pattern (may not be 18" - I can't remember and I didn't measure them and I don't want to go do it right now, so we will stick with the 18" for now). 

They are all hand pieced and really nice.  They smelled like they had been put away for awhile - not bad, not musty, just kind of an oldish smell.  I have sprayed a bit of febreeze on a few and they are sitting out in my studio airing.  I haven't looked at all of them, but the ones I did look at seem to be in good shape.  I can't get to them yet since I am working on another quilt that I played around with last Saturday.  I only have one more seam to go to have it finished.  But, since I am yawning a lot and heading off to bed, that is for tomorrow's list of things to do.   We had a storm roll through here dropping rain in a hurry with lots of thunder and lightening, so of course I was snuggled up on the couch with the scardy dogs this evening and didn't get anything accomplished.  (I tried doing some stuff in the kitchen, but kept tripping over dogs, so I moved back to the couch and they were happy)  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Busy Cooking Day

I is only 1:00 and I have accomplished so much!  I knew this week that I had to cook a lot of different things since I participated in the Bountiful Baskets last weekend.  (okay, I was lazy over the weekend and didn't cook - I just prepped and put things away for this week)  Here is how my morning has gone:
  • Went to sleep at 12:45 a.m.
  • got up at 6:0 0a.m. (one hour before my alarm was to go off and even though I tried to go back to sleep, it only lasted about 5 minutes. So, I got up)
  • took the dogs outside (Fiona first by herself and then I got the others out - she is shy and doesn't like to go with the boys out there - silly girl)
  • fixed a cup of coffee, heated up a blueberry muffin and cut up a peach and sat down to breakfast.
Kind of like a twitter account, huh? 

  • Decided to get started on all that cooking I needed to do.  Put in the frozen pie crust to cook
  • cut up, mixed up everything for a Quiche. Baked that
  • cut up an onion and threw it along with some rosemary and thyme into a dish with some small white potatoes.  Cooked them about 30 minutes and decided I really wanted them sliced instead, so I sliced them up and put them back in the oven.  (they are really delicious!)  Oh, yes, some EVOO, S and P. - I totally forgot the garlic, but they are great anyway.
  • Before the potatoes were due to come out, I sliced up a red onion, some tomatoes, an orange bell pepper, some garlic cloves and a couple of carrots. Dumped them in a dish along with EVOO, (don't you love Rachel Ray's short cuts?) rosemary, basil and thyme (all fresh) and turned down the oven to slow roast these for a couple of hours.
  • Oops, forgot that while the potatoes were baking I mixed up a pink lemonade pie and put it in the fridge and mixed up the rest of the lemonade in a pitcher to drink. - into the fridge for it, also. 
  • Got out the hamburger patties I got at HEB on Sunday - wrapped them up in packages of two each and put them in the freezer, cleaned up the cabinet around the George Foreman grill - also cleaned up the grill itself, then I cleaned behind the Kurig and the side of the microwave and . . . anyway, got on a mini roll there - cooked two hamburger patties, added the last two slices of Swiss cheese - from the quiche batch, put those on top to melt down. 
  • sliced up an avocado and pulled some fresh Romaine lettuce for my hamburger - "toasted  couple of wheat berry bread slices in the George and fixed me a lunch hamburger.  DELISH!! 
  • Put away the extra patty that I cooked for a later meal, pulled the tomatoes out to cool off before I pulverize everything together for a pasta sauce. 
  • Watched some Price is Right, Ellen a little of the Chew and some World Cup Soccer along the way! 

WHEW!!!  It has already been a busy, busy day and I am not even half way through!  Sorry there are no pictures.  As you all know, I am the worst at remembering to take pictures.  You will just have to use your own imagination of what everything looks like (and smells, like - Hmmmmm,  garlic, onion, rosemary, basil!  That is what my house smells of right now.) 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Great Chicken Dogs Ride Again!

I was woken up this morning at 5 AM! to the dogs barking.  I was semi-alert and knew right away what I needed to do.  I grabbed my pillow off my bed and headed down the stairs to the couch just as a streak of lightening lit up the windows and an extremely loud clap of thunder erupted resulting in more barking.  I have the worst chicken dogs there are in the world! 

 As soon as I lay on the couch, Taegan jumped up and snuggled with his head on my shoulder turned into my neck and was wiggling and wriggling trying to get as close to me as he could.  His fear of thunder and lightening goes way back, many, many years when we had a large cell sit over the house one night.  He and Irish were only dogs then and slept upstairs in my bed with me.  When all of a sudden BOOM!!!  So loud that it shook the entire upstairs.  It scared me, woke us all up and put the fear of thunder into his bones.  When it begins to even sprinkle around here (which doesn't happen often) he starts quivering and waiting for the thunder.  He knows they often go together. 

Then up came Finnagan.  He comes by it naturally, too.  I found him running in the streets about 3 years ago after a major thunderstorm.  He was sopping wet and would not get out of the street to let my car go by.  I finally got out, said, "come here." and he ran and jumped into my arms.  He was sopping wet and scared.  Poor baby.  He doesn't like to get wet and has a major fear of storms, also.   

I think their fears have rubbed off on the other two.  My nervous Nelly dog, McCallum, doesn't need much to get him going and he is the one doing all the barking at the storms.  Usually the only one.  The others are too scared to even bark.  While I was snuggling with the other two, he was having a hard time settling.  He would sit on top of the boxes covered with quilts and then jump on me to the back of the couch.  Then use me as a springboard from there back to the quilts. Then it would thunder and he would bark and watch the back door and would start all over again.  Fiona, on the other hand was sitting on the arm of the sofa by my head.  Not quite touching me most of the time, but just within reach in case she needed to. 

As the rains moved on, so did the dogs onto other parts of the couch snug up next to my legs or back or on the floor right by the couch and I finally caught a few more zzz's.  I woke up with Finnagan laying on top of me and snoring.  Him, not me. 

When I got up, I tried to take them outside - it's not raining at this time - and open the door to the back porch and it's flooded!  The water is about 5 inches from the back door.  This shouldn't be like that, so I wade out and look over the fence to see what is happening with the lake and it isn't flooded.  Just my back porch.  I kennel all the dogs, go back out to the porch, unlock the back gate and whoosh, the water all begins flowing out the doorway.  The bottom piece on the fence had gotten waterlogged and swollen so the water couldn't run out off the porch.  I swept it out the rest of the way, re-locked the gate and made note of the full to the brim flower beds (minus the flowers) and forced the dogs back out onto the porch.  Of course this took some doing, but they all came out and two (Fiona and Finnagan) immediately went to the chair - the not getting wet thing includes the feet!

It has been a busy morning since then.  I zested and juiced all the limes I got in my bountiful harvest basket, (almost 2/3 cup of juice - frozen in 1 T. cubes and am drying out the zest for future dishes) Cut up and froze most of the pineapple.  Made a variation of Mimi's Mini Cini's - delicious and not as much work, but I still love the mini cini's.  A couple cups of coffee, a load in the dishwasher and now it's time to work on adding binding to a couple of quilts. ( I look out the window and notice that all that water in the flower beds has been absorbed our ground here is so thirsty it soaks up any rain we get quickly.)   I finished the binding and label on a quilt for my aunt last night (pictures next week when I can take them up at school) I hope to get the binding finished on these two other quilts this week, also.  Here comes more rain!! 

These last few weeks have been busy ones.  I made a pillow cover, a mug rug and two blocks for the KF Block exchange (I really need to re-do those) and learned to tat - I need a lot more practice on this new skill. At school we catered a luncheon, made 14 dozen cookies for one order, made appetizers for 300, had another order of 13 dozen cookies and 5 pound cakes and planned our last catering of  cake, punch and finger foods for about 40 - that will be made Tuesday and Wednesday) WHEW!!!  I will be glad when things slow down for that last week of school, except it won't be real slow, we will be pulling everything out and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning oh, yes, planning for next year's program  and taking a test, also. 

I am looking out the window at the lake, the sun has come out in the last 30 minutes and the sidewalks - which were all wet when I started this post and got rained on while I was typing - are now 90% dry.  There are only a couple of small puddles on them.  Wow!  It's going to be a hot and muggy day today - another rarity along with the rain. I predict that within the next couple of hours - if it doesn't rain again - any current standing water (flower bed, streets, sidewalks, etc.) will be all gone.  This parched land is just sucking it all up.  Yea!!  We needed this rain.