Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Just Had to Do It

It's all Mandy's fault.  She posted on Facebook that she made sugar cookies and, well, I just had to bake some.  I don't know what recipe she used, but I had one in mind that I wanted to make.  I haven't baked in a long time.  It wasn't that I was craving the cookies, it was that I needed to bake.  So I gave in.  And I know I'm trying to lose weight.  And I only had 1/2 cookie and a spoonful of dough.  But I shared an apple with Cort and promise I'll eat well the rest of the day.  And I'll exercise extra. 

Go make some of these now.  They are fast, big, and delicious.  Joy the Baker sure knows her stuff, huh?
Giant Vanilla Sugar Cookies

The recipe made about 18 cookies (19, I guess if I hadn't eaten a spoonful of dough).  I made them really big - 4 or 5 inches.  I thought about rolling the dough into a ball and then rolling the ball in sugar, but I just got a big dollop in the spoon and plopped it on the cookie sheet, flattened it with my fingers, and sprinkled some sugar on top.  Soooo yummy.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Oh Fransson quilt

I am back from Spring Break in Texas and am ready to get sewing!  My mom always does that - motivates me to get busy when she shows me all of her latest projects.  We didn't have time this go-around to actually do any crafting, but we did get to make tamales (a success!) and plan Brad's Harley t-shirt quilt.  I also borrowed a few patterns from her for future makings.  For now, though, I want to show you the fabric I chose to make Oh Fransson's latest project, the New Wave Quilt.  I've been wanting to do something with black and lime green, so this will be it.  I know it will be lovely.
If you haven't explored her site, go look when you get time.  She has so many helpful tips and beautiful quilts.  I love that her blocks are very traditional, but in modern fabrics and colors.  And that girl cranks out a quilt almost every day, it seems.  She must not have any short people in her life.  Oh, well, I wouldn't trade mine for anything, so I will just get done what I can get done. 

I'll be back in a couple of days with some progress on this and other projects, Lord willing.  I have to keep chanting, Harley quilt, Harley quilt, Harley quilt.  Maybe I'm not motivated to work on it since it's not pretty colors - just black and grey.  But I will get it done for my honey - and soon.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Things I Really Want to Eat -- or -- How I Came to Look the Way I Do

At least I can laugh about it, right?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today's Nothing Much

Not much going on today, but I wanted to post the new recipe I tried Tuesday night and something I made recently that I forgot to post.  What, me?  Forget?  Noooooo.

The fish tacos were yummy.  Brad loved them and my kids even ate the fish.  That surprised me.  We kind of have a what's-on-the-table-is-all-you-get policy.  I never make anything completely out of the realm of what they like, so pretty much everything is something they should eat.  We might have one of their un-favorite veggies as a side now and then, but they manage.  I think it's a good rule.  We can't choose everything in life - sometimes you gotta do what you don't necessarily want to do.  When Cid was little and went to preschool, the teachers would say, 'You get what you get and you don't throw a fit.'  Much to her chagrin, I still tell her that at times.

Spicy Marinated Fish Tacos

1 lb. Tilapia fillets, cut into chunks
black beans
mozzarella cheese
olive oil, to fry tortillas

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. vinegar
1 1/2 t. honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. fresh lime juice
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. chili powder
1 t. seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1 t. hot pepper sauce, or to taste

1 (8 oz.) container light sour cream
2 T. fresh lime juice
1/4 t. cumin
1/4 t. chili powder
1/2 t. seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay

To make the marinade, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, honey, garlic, cumin, chili powder, seafood seasoning, black pepper, and hot sauce in a bowl until blended.  Place the tilapia in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the fish.  Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours.
To make the dressing, combine the sour cream with lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and seafood seasoning.  Add salt and pepper in desired amounts.  Cover and refrigerate until needed.
To fry tortillas, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet and fry tortillas until golden (about 2-3 minutes over med-high heat).
After frying the tortillas, place fish in the pan and cook until easily flaked with a fork, turning twice (about 9 minutes).
To assemble tacos, place fish pieces in the center of tortillas with desired amounts of tomatoes, black beans, and lettuce; drizzle with dressing.  Garnish with cheese, if desired.

You can really garnish with whatever you like on your tacos. We added avocado and onion and left off lettuce because we didn't have any. We used white corn tortillas and sprinkled fresh lime juice over the taco after it was built. Very delicious and light. And light matters for us lately - Brad and I lost 4 lbs. each this week in our Let's Get Skinny challenge at church. Yea us!

And now for Thursday's craftiness - some new pillow cases I made for our bed.  They don't necessarily match anything, but they don't not match, either.  *double negative much?*  I just loved the pretty bird fabric and found a coordinating plaid to use for Brad's.  Ha!  Plaid for Brad. 

Anywho, like I said, nothing much for today, but at least I posted.  My goal was to do every day this week, but I didn't get around to it yesterday.  But I will be back tomorrow with tonight's dinner recipe, Lord willing.  Green Chile Stew for my crew.  Should be a slam for my fam.  A big bang for my gang.  

Ok, I'm done.   

See ya tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Finally Finished

I've been working on these aprons on and off for about 3 weeks.  The pattern is called the Four Corners Apron from Vanilla House Designs.  I think if you could sit down and devote time to make one, it should only take a couple of hours.  Very easy - although I despise turning skinny things like the ties and neck strap right side out.  That took me longer than putting the rest of the apron together did.  Fiddle dee dee - 'tis done now.

One of these is for a gift, the other I just made because sometimes it's just as easy to make two and then I'll have a gift to give sometime if I need it.  Cid doesn't need one because her darling Memaw made her two and sent them to her last month.  Here they are:

I just love the half apron.  One of my favorite Alexander Henry fabrics. 

Ok, I guess I better get going on tonight's dinner - Spicy Marinated Fish Tacos.  Yum-o.  Will post the recipe and pics later. 

Monday, March 8, 2010


I know, I know.  I disappeared for a couple of weeks.  I have a whole list of excuses for why I haven't blogged in so long.  Conner got RSV.  We were getting ready for vacation, then we left for vacation.  We came back from vacation early, which meant Brad was home, which meant I was hanging out with him and just being a little lazy.  Don't think I haven't thought about blogging, though.  I think I just needed things to be back to normal so I could get back into the groove.  So now Brad is back at work and I'm trying to clean up my house from the last couple of weeks.  I have so much sewing I want to do and cleaning I need to do.  I have a whole pile of new recipes I want to try, too.  And I want to share it all with you!  I just have to get my head back where it needs to be. 

So here's my plan:  I am going to try and clean something every day.  Doing laundry counts.  Vacuuming the floor counts.  Major cleaning, of course, counts.  Organizing something can work, too.  I am also going to try to make something every day.  Make a card, sew on my latest project, sew on a new project.  I'm even going to try and think about gifts I might need in the next months and work on that if my current project is boring me.  I even think trying a new recipe could be my 'make' project for the day if I haven't gotten to something else.  I've been trying to make my meal plan for the weekdays and grocery list for those meals on the weekend, so I'll try to continue that.  And I'll share the recipes I make with you - new or old.  Really, these goals are just going to make my life easier and that will make everyone happier.  I'll keep track of what my weekly plans are on my weekly to-do list that I got at Michael's for $1.  Here's a picture of that if you want to look for one like it.  You can find them anywhere. 

As a family, we have committed to a couple of new goals, too.  Among them, being more active as a family.  We'll take a walk or go outside and play.  With the weather getting nicer and time changing soon, these will be easier and more fun for us.  Also, we're going to start having a Bible study or story every night.  And not so much TV!!  We made a list for Cidney of our expectations for her, so she knows what she needs to do without us harping on her.  Isn't it nice to try and better yourself?  I know we'll fall off the wagon at times or we'll get busy and our routine will be off, but we'll try to jump back on and do what we have been doing because we know it will make us all happier.  If you have a busy family like we do, this may be worth a try.  It definitely keeps the stress level down.  Let me know if you try it and maybe along the way we can compare notes. 

On another subject, I've been wanting to share these sweet Valentine cards that my mom made for us.  She sent them along with some yummy Valentine cookies, but sadly, I can't show you pictures of those because, well, we ate them.  That same day.  Oh, cookies.  How I love you.  But I can't have you anymore because I'm too fat and I'm trying to take care of that, too.  Anyway, here's the cards:

Don't you love them?  She's so awesome.  She's my inspiration for many things.

Ok, tonight's dinner recipe coming up.  Lots of veggies in it because we're trying to lose weight.  But even when we weren't trying, it's sooooo good.  Usually we have it with cornbread, but you know, we're fat, so no cornbread for us.  Here are recipes for both:

Hamburger Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 c. chopped onion
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans
1 c. sliced carrots
1 c. sliced celery
1/4 c. uncooked regular rice
2 (18 oz.) cans stewed tomatoes
3 1/2 c. water
5 beef boullion cubes
1 T. parsley flakes
1 t. salt
1/4 t. dried basil
1/8 t. pepper
1 c. green beans

Cook ground beef and onions in large saucepan until beef is browned.  Drain off fat.  Add remaining ingredients except for green beans.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer covered for 40 minutes.  Add green beans and simmer another 10 minutes.


1 c. flour
1 c. corn meal
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. sugar
1 c. milk
2 eggs
4 t. baking powder
1 t. salt

Mix all ingredients together.  Pour in greased 9" cake pan and bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

There you go!  For the soup this time, I used ground turkey and lots more vegetables than the recipe calls for, thus more water and beef boullion.  I've become the cook that doesn't measure much unless I'm baking, so I couldn't tell you how much of anything I put in.  Just use your best judgment based on your preferences.  We like more hearty than broth-y soups, so that's what I make and I usually make enough for us to have leftovers at least one night.  The cornbread is the best I've ever had and is so easy, you won't miss using a store-bought mix.  Just try it and you'll never go back to cornbread in a box.

Happy Monday!