Monday, January 26, 2015

OH! Happy Day!

Saturday, I popped up like a daisy and was out of bed at 3:57.  I woke the family and we were on the road at 4:30.  THIS is how we all felt:

So where were we off to?
What could pull us from our warm beds without an alarm?
What could possibly cause us to take a 1,050 round trip in one day for? 


Our newest fur baby!  She is precious and a welcome addition to our family.  With all the sadness of the last few years, we needed new life in our household.   We decided on another corgi (she is our third) due to several reasons.  If you know the breed, I have no need to explain.

She traveled like a champ.  Not a bit of motion sickness which is amazing since we had such a long drive.  

She likes this little "hut" my sister gave me for the cats (who snubbed their noses at it.)
Don't worry, that isn't a "worry" face, that is an "I'm exhausted " face.   7.5 hours in a car is tough for ANY baby.

Dean was exhausted, he did all the driving.  God bless this man.  


She likes the patio and begs to go out there over and over.

She got tuckered out and took a 3 minute snooze before setting off again!

We haven't named her yet but have several we are mulling over.  We are waiting to get to know her a little more first.  We want her name to "fit."

Stay tuned for LOTS of annoying puppy posts and videos!!!  Until then, I leave you with this....

Have a terrific week!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January's Craft a long

For this month's craft along, we were to make a lap sized blanket.  Rules were simple.  Keep it small enough to make in January and use this winter.

I got a charm pack and made this one....Matt insisted it have "fluff" inside...

It is very small as I used only the 42 squares that came in the pack.

I was happy.  I hate quilting.  And this wasn't even "real" quilting, just sewing squares into rows and sewing rows together....and tying some yarn to hold stuff in place.
Yuck.  Just not my thing.   Too precise.  Precision....ain't my bag baby.  Good thing I'm not a surgeon.

I swore off ever doing this again...UNTIL....

As I was searching for something in my stash the other day,I found another charm pack someone had sent me (thank you Jill!)

I still had all my sewing "mojo" so decided to seize the day and do another one.   I knew I would hate doing it but loved the colors in this pack and hated to not do SOMETHING with it.

This pack only had 20 squares so I cut some more of another fabric she sent me, along with some from other fabrics. Lucky for me, I had something to back it with.  But this time, NO fluffy stuff.

This one is ME sized...and I have to admit, I like it better without the fluffy stuff inside it.  

The first one will probably end up as a gift (make it monthly, yes?) but I haven't decided just yet...the second one is MINE.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Recipe Box...Squash Casserole

Before I start with the recipe, let me just say that I HATE SQUASH.

Okay, now that I've made that clear, let me go one step further and say, if you hate squash, you will be pleasantly surprised at how good this is!   

But if you like squash, you will LOVE this dish.  

People requested this all. the. time.  So, mom made it for company, for parties and for pot lucks.  

My mom was a great "comfort food" cook and even better baker but she really didn't like anyone in the kitchen with her....well, maybe dad but not the kids.  At least not while we were young.  Mom was a fast mover and we just got in the way. Unless invited to help out or hang out, it was best just to get out of her way.  Daddy used to call her "Hurricane Linda!"

Mom tended to just jot down ingredients with no directions.  After all, it was her recipe.  She knew what she was doing.   The steps are written up by me.
This is what the casserole looks like.  Sorry but someone scooped out servings before I took a photo!!!

Okay, so on to the recipe!  This is super easy and comes together quickly but you will have about 10 minutes of cooling time during this process so plan for it.

Linda's Made Up Squash Casserole (how is that for a fancy name?)

2-3 quarts yellow squash, washed and chopped into chunks
1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped
2 fresh banana peppers, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (any color but green)
1 bunch green onions chopped and reserved.

2 eggs, beaten with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups shredder cheddar cheese

16 saltine crackers, crushed FINE, tossed with 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 

To prepare.

Spray a medium sized casserole dish with PAM.  Note* a 9X13 is a little bit too big...
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Cover and cook the squash, onion, bell pepper and banana peppers over med heat until slightly soft.  Stir it every now and then.  This will take about 10 minutes.  You don't want the squash to get super soft.
Mix the green onions in and then remove from the heat and drain in a colander.  Squash has a lot of moisture and you don't want that in the casserole, mucking it up.

Set the colander aside to continue draining.  You will also need it to cool a bit too so the heat from the mixture doesn't "cook" the eggs.  This takes about 10 minutes.

While the squash cools, mix the seasoned eggs, 2 cups of cheese and soup together.

Once the squash has cooled, press it down one last time to get some moisture out.  Then mix the squash with the soup mixture.

Pour it all into the casserole dish.  Top with the cracker/cheese mixture.   

Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until the cheese is slightly browned and it is all bubbly.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

For the love of yarn...crocheted scarf

Awhile back, I started knitting a shawl with some fabulous yarn called Feza Alp Oriental.

It is a magic ball meaning it has different yarns knotted together.  It is supposed to give a bohemian look and I knew I would love it.  

The lady at my LYS store suggested a shawl so I got the pattern and started knitting it up and was very excited....

Until I got 2/3 of the way done and realized I had knit the first 3 rows instead of doing stockinette stitch.

Undaunted, I went ahead and almost finished it.   And it was beautiful.  But I hated it.    

I hated the way it draped....the different weights of the yarn made it drape differently in different places.  And it wasn't deep enough.  And the tapered edges were just "meh..."  

So, without giving it any thought, I ripped it out.

And I was so HAPPY!

I mean, seriously.  I had been secretly HATING the project the entire time.  The stitches weren't funky enough for me, were so orderly....all those teeny v's made me nuts.  

So, instead, I crocheted a scarf.  I used a "P" hook and a simple HDC stitch.  The scarf turned out scrumptious and crazy, and looks to me just like the yarn was intended to look.  A little unexpected and unruly.  

OH, and the feel is amazing!  Since the scarf is just a big rectangle, the yarn weights don't fight with one another.

And the best part?    It took me a mere 3 hours to make and that was because I pulled one integrated fuzzy strand of yarn out and replaced it with something else in my stash.  (Sorry, eye lash yarn need not apply....)

Beautiful Chaos....

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Hooting!

Yesterday I did my first hooting of the year.

I was driving through our neighborhood and saw some kids standing outside.  I flung this little guy in the yard and drove off. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cleaning leeks...

Okay, here is a tip for you.  If you use leeks, you know that before using them, you are supposed to soak them to get all the sand out of the stem ends,  Well, I never have the time for that so this is what I do....

Cut the ends and halve them, then put them in a jar with water.  

Put on the lid and SHAKE!

Shaking loosens them up and the sand gets washed away....

Pour through a colander and give a final rinse before using.  Works like a charm and takes just a few minutes to do.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Recipe Box: Hot Chocolate

This last week was a seriously COLD one here in Louisiana!   We were down in the teens one night....the rest of the time we were in the mid 20's.  That is unheard of "in these parts..."  Never thought I'd have to run the pipes during the day!!!!

That being said, we bundled up and I made some comfy, hot dinners.  Comfort food is something Southerns do quite well, thank you very much.

I made potato leek soup.
I made kicking chicken chili
I made crawfish ravioli
I made my family HAPPY....

"People" in the house hinted that I left out sugar cookies when baking for the holidays so I obliged on Saturday....better late than never, right?

One morning I made this quiche....super tasty.  

By Sunday I was all cooked out but was craving something chocolately...and warm.  No way was I going into the kitchen to bake...not with those good sugar cookies on the counter.  

Instead, I made some decadent hot chocolate.

Curlygirl's first grade teacher held an annual Christmas caroling event followed by homemade cookies and cocoa at her house.   She was the neatest lady.  Most kids were terrified of her, but not Kaela. She adored her!
Anyway, she had this cocoa in one of those old fashioned coffee percolators and it was so good that I asked her for the recipe.

Believe it or not, I'd never made it before, which is nuts considering I had asked her for the recipe.  So, I pulled it out, made it and felt the need to share it.  It is SO good and so simple to make.  Be warned though, this cocoa is RICH.  As my dad used to say "A little dab-ble do ya."

Fig's Hot Chocolate recipe:

For a small batch:

Heat 2 cups of milk.

In a glass measuring cup you will make a slurry:
Boil: 3 TBLS of water.
Add: 5 TBLS of sugar
         3 TBLS of good cocoa
         dash salt.
*optional, 1/4 tsp vanilla.  I didn't use it.

Mix well until the sugar and cocoa are dissolved and incorporated.  
Add the slurry to the milk and mix well.  I use a teeny electric whisk.

Once the milk and slurry are blended, bring up to the heat you want, whisk a couple times to froth it and then serve.  Top with whatever you like.  We use whipped cream in a can around here.

Thank you to Ms. Figueroa, where ever you are, I hope you are happy and healthy!

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