Friday, January 29, 2010

BEST-ever brownies

At least, that's what it said in my Goosberry Patch book. And really, they are!! If you're a fan of the gooey brownies then you'll love them too. If you're one of those, "I like my brownies fully cooked and cake like." then not so much.
Here's the recipe:
12oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c butter
2 eggs
3/4 c sugar
1c flour
1/8 tsp salt
1tsp vanilla
1/2 c walnuts
Combine one cup choc chips and butter in small saucepan. Melt over low heat until smooth; strirring often.

Whisk in sugar and eggs. Stir in flour and salt until smooth. Fold in vanilla and add walnuts.

Transfer to greased 8x8 dish and bake at 350 for 23-25 minutes. After removeing from oven, sprinkle remaining choc chips over top and let sit for 1 minute. (The chips will start to melt.) Using a knife or spreader, smooth out melted chips over top of brownies to create a frosting.

The recipe says to chill for 20 mins to firm up the frosting but we like to eat it right away when the frosting is still gooey and the brownies are still warm!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

farmgirl boots

Lookie what followed me home from the feed store today!

How cute are these? And they were on clearance! This spring in the garden is going to be way cleaner (for my feet that is.) Walking out to the chicken coop in the rain is also going to be a lot more comfy and dry. I do have a pair of these muck boots in the regular knee high size from working at the ranch- these are lower though and much more garden friendly......not to mention, they're PINK! I will say that my black pair has held up extremely well and is super comfortable so these should do the same!

why? oh why?

Why did I have to see this quilt that I just had to make? Why, oh why did I then find this online quilt shop that made me think I'd died and gone to heaven? (They specialize in reproduction fabrics.)

What made me think that I must have this fabric and make this quilt for our bed? As if I don't have enough irons in the fire (i.e. UFO's) right now with quilting. As if I don't have enough fabric in my stash to last me the next 3 years of quilting. Well, not enough reproduction fabric to last that long, but enough of all the other stuff.

Maybe a better question is why am I so addicted to fabric? What causes that illness? Really, if you gave me $2000.00 to spend on fabric, I could do it (from the comfort of my home computer) in probably 1 hour. That's insanity! Note to yourself- never give me that much money to spend on fabric. Not that you would anyway.
And apparently, I need to spend some time reorganizing my stash. You never know how messy things look until you photograph them.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

in the works

I'm working today on a super cute quilt for spring. It always amazes me how Etsy quilters have to think ahead- I mean way ahead. Want to have a Christmas quilt in your shop to sell? Start thinking in......wait, no, start thinking NOW. Yes, I know it's only January and December is still 11 months away but if you want the fabric, and you want to make the quilt, and you want to have it up in your shop by October, now is a good time to start. Here's my fabric for this Christmas. 12 Days of Christmas from Moda. SUPER CUTE.
So I guess I'm actually a little behind for a spring quilt! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

generosity and creativeness

I have been blessed over the last month- winning 2, yes 2, giveaways from 2 great ladies!

The first was from my friend Erin. She had a giveaway for 3 fat quarters. When she sent them to me she also generously included her left over scraps from the same collection!! They're from the Sweet line from Moda and will be used for a quilt for Timber.

Next was a giveaway that Carly hosted. I won 2 of her patterns! I have had my eye on one of them for a long time and I can not wait to use them!! I already have the fabric in mind too (as if that should surprise you.) For her MB pattern I will be using the Happy Campers fabric from American Jane. For her DP Pattern I'll be using Happy Trails from Benartex. These patterns make me want to stay up all night and forgo the little sleep I get to use them!!

And last, but certainly not least, is some cute creativeness from my cousin Lynette. She made these for Timber and I for Christmas. They are soooooooooo cute! I told her she needs to open an Etsy shop and sell them. Come on girl, get on it!! :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

a new look

I'm in the mood for change (which isn't often!) so I thought I'd freshen up my blog! There are still a few kinks I'd like to work out so it may be changing a little more in the next week or so.
Today is Monday and I'm going to try and:

Go to town
Bake bread
Do laundry
Entertain my kiddos
Work on business stuff/finances
Keep the house from turning into tornado alley
Try and stay sane

What do you have planned for today?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday dinner

Tonight I made a chicken/mushroom/cheese filled shells in Alfredo sauce dish. (That's a long name for a recipe huh?) I have made it once before but tonight it tasted so good that I had to share!
First is the Alfredo sauce, which is great on this or could be used on any other pasta dish!
1/2c butter
2 c heavy cream
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c parmesan cheese
Melt butter in saucepan. Add garlic and cook on medium heat for 1 minute. Add cream, cook for 5 minutes. Add cheese and stir until thick.
Yep, that's it- who knew it could be so easy?

1 1/2lbs chicken, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
16oz mushrooms, chopped
1 package (12 ounces) jumbo pasta shells
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg, beaten
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown chicken in 1 tablespoon oil. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, saute mushrooms in remaining oil until tender; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the egg, ricotta, 1 1/2c parmesan, mozzarella and seasonings.
Drain and rinse pasta with cold water; stuff each shell with about 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture. Place in a greased 13x9 dish. Top with chicken and mushrooms.
Pour alfredo sauce over the casserole. Sprinkle with 1/4c Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until bubbly.

making do

Mason's quilt top is done and it needed a backing. I am trying to live up to the MJ Butters motto of, "Make Do or Do Without" and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
I went through my stash and came up with this:The hard part was that I wanted it to be flannel. Apparently my stash does not runneth over with flannel. This was all I had. And I had to piece it to make it work because I didn't have enough of a single fabric.

This is a whole 'nother issue:
My poor roll is dwindling and I have a feeling that I'm going to have to spring for a new one in the next few months. Batting is one thing a quilter can't do without.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

what best describes me

I noticed today that this one little area of our house pretty much is me in a nutshell. Funny how that is.


Finally! I've been trying to perfect Kim's recipe because for some reason, it just wasn't working for me. Here's what I did; I used ALL white flour. (I know, I know, not as healthy as the wheat but it's working for me right now.) I increased the leavening to 1 1/2 tsp. I let them rise only for 30 mins and out on the cool counter. I think part of my rising problem was that I associate "rise" with "someplace warm" and that is not the thing to do with my muffins. They rose out instead of up. I'm still working on getting my skillet to the right temp for these though.
Anyway, they were great with our over easy eggs and bacon this morning!

Friday, January 22, 2010

a little help here

I'm making a half apron and I need some opinions. I want to add some eyelet to it- just to girlie it up even more than it already is with all the flowers! But I can't decide which to use.
There's this one:It's new and white and large.
And there's this one:It's smaller and tea stained.
Here's a close up of the tea stained one.Which should I do?
Really, I'm no seamstress. Aprons are about as far as I get toward clothing. I would like to start sewing more for Timber though and maybe a skirt for me? But since this is sort-of clothing and I am a quilter, I made the apron tie patchwork so that I could incorporate some type of quilty look. I'd love to make an entire patchwork apron someday, ya know, like when the kids are 20!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


When I was a kid my dad would make whole chickens for dinner and he would always cook the heart with the chicken. I remember my brother and I "fighting" over who would get to eat it. I think we'd trade turns or split it...I can't remember. Anyway, organ meats are the best meats for you (nutritionally, that is) and I hope that my kids enjoy them as much as my brother and I did.
And on another chicken note, remember how I said we were going to be getting a couple more chicks next month? Well, in trade for those 6 or 7 chicks, I'll be getting rid of 3 of our current hens. I usually take them down to the feed store where I sell them for $3 or $4 each. But I was wondering how good my hens would be to just eat? I haven't eaten laying hens before and am not sure whether it's worth the trouble of processing them or not. Have any of you eaten one of your hens before? How did it turn out?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

does this ever happen to you?

I decide to make a quilt top.
I think I'll make a child sized one. Maybe 35x45.
It turns into 58x72.
I decide to go with the rail fence pattern.
After sewing all the little rail fence blocks I decide that I don't really like that and have to figure something else out.
The border I had in mind is not the border I end up with.
Pretty much the entire finished quilt top is something completely different than what I had planned.

Does that ever happen to you?

And um, the oatmeal has to wait, I did a stew in the crock pot instead. Sorry about that.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Here are a couple shots that Gavin's grandma sent to us this evening of the weather we've had today!

The last shot is my favorite.

We've had quite a bit of rain and some very windy weather!

random tuesday

Welcome to Tuesday. It's storming here today; lots of rain and very high winds. We haven't had any thunder yet but it's in the forecast. I have a bunch on my mind today so we're going with "random" here.

1. Did you know that if you could give up one item that you usually buy at the grocery store that isn't that healthy for you (i.e. those Chips Ahoy cookies, those bags of cour cream and onion chips, those granola bars, that sugary cereal, etc.) you could afford to buy something organic? Like a gallon of milk or some butter?

2. Did you know that you could probably find organic produce for the same cost, if not less (or just slightly more,) than conventional produce? Case in point:

Safeway Fuji Apples- $1.49/lb....... Safeway Organic Fuji Apples- $.99 (on sale)

Safeway Organic tomatoes- $3.99/lb .........Health Food Store Organic tomatoes- $.99/lb

Safeway 5lb bag of Russet Potatoes- $2.50..........Health Food Store Organic Russet 5lb $2.65

If you do some searching you actually CAN eat healthier for less! :)

3. Here's what I'm working on right now......
Hope to have this top done by tomorrow.

4. I'm ordering my seeds from here next week. Gotta start thinking about gardening! Do you know that I only have 90 days until I start planting??!

5. Cuteness on a couch.
6. I made these the other day and they turned out good. Not great but good. I did use WW Flour though so maybe it was just a little too heavy. I used 6 of them and made a great Eggs Benedict Casserole (which I forgot to take a photo of.) Next time I make it, I'll take a photo and share the recipe! It was super easy and yummy!

7. Today I am, making bread, baking cookies, doing tax preparations, quilting, laundering, and hanging out with my family.

8. I made an Oatmeal in the crock pot last night and we ate it for breakfast this morning- yum! and oh so easy. I'll share that recipe tomorrow!

9. I'm making a list of the way we are self sufficient/green living already and a list of what we could do to become more.

10. Baby chicks will be here in less than a month so I need to get on figuring out their temporary accommodations (i.e. get Gavin to build me something.) We haven't had chicks that didn't have a mommy hen, in 5 years so we'll have to come up with something. We're getting 6 Buff Orphingtons

And maybe one or two of these Cuckoo Marans to try out.They look so much like Barred Rocks (Gavin will like that)

Well, that's about as random as I get today! :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

bread- from the starter

"Isn't this blog supposed to be about quilts?" you ask. Well, yes, yes it is. The trouble though is that cooking and baking only take a small portion of my day where quilts take up quite a bit. And since I've had Mason I hardly have a bunch of time to quilt. I am currently working on 2 quits for the shop but they tend to only see about 1/2 hour of time devoted to them each day- which isn't much. I'll be previewing the tops as soon as they're done.

O.k.- back to the bread. Using the starter I have growing on my counter, I made these loaves last night. They were a little too late for dinner so we cut into them this morning. YUM! I am certainly making spaghetti tonight so that I can turn one of these into garlic bread! No more store bought sourdough for us; this is not only cheaper but healthier! No preservatives or yucky ingredients!

If you're making the starter from here and you'd like to make a couple of these, here's the recipe:

4 3/4 c bread flour

3 T white sugar

2 1/2 t sea salt

2 1/4 t dry yeast

1 c warm milk

2 T butter, softened

1 1/2 c sourdough starter


In a large bowl, combine 1c flour, sugar, salt and dry yeast. Add milk and butter. Stir in starter. Mix in up to 3 3/4c flour gradually. (I used about 3 1/4c flour)

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 mins (Now that's a good arm work out!)Place in a greased bowl and cover. (I cover mine with a warm, damp dish cloth.) Allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm spot. It should double in size.

Punch down and let rest 15 mins. Shape into loaves. Place on greased baking sheet. Allow to rise 1 hour, or until doubled. A good trick for rising bread, if your house isn't super warm, is to turn your oven on for a couple minutes, then turn it off an allow your bread to rise in the oven. If you can comfortably place your hand on the inside of the oven then it's not too warm.

Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg, beaten) and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. I don't have one of those brush things to use for "brushing" so I just use my fingers.

Maybe I should rename my blog, "Mountain Home; Quilting and Baking at the Homestead" ;)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Today I started a sourdough starter for making breads. I'd love to re-create the great kind of sourdoughs that we eat with our spaghettis and clam chowders so I'm off to try my hand at it!
Here's the recipe:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar (optional)
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) of active-dry yeast
2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
Mix the flour, sugar, and yeast together in a clean, 2qt capacity container (I use glass but you could also use crockery to hold your starter. No metal or plastic.) Gradually stir in the water and mix until it forms a thick paste (don't worry about any lumps, as they will disappear.)
Cover the container with a dish cloth and let it sit in a warm, 70 to 80 degree, draft-free place.

Once your starter starts bubbling, then start feeding it daily with flour and water.
Daily remove one cup of starter (use this starter in a baked item or give it to a neighbor) and replace it with one cup of warm water and one cup of flour.
Or you can keep it refrigerated. Your starter should be fed daily if left sitting on the counter. Every other week, if refrigerated.
**Update- I have not been removing starter unless I'm using it. I feed daily with about 1/4c flour and a little less than 1/4c water. I find that it sours nicely feeding it that way. It also builds slowly by using that ratio. I actually have 2 going on my counter now so that
I never run out!**

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

and the award goes to...

A huge thank you to Leslie who nominated me to be part of the list of blogs that she thought should get a lemonade stand award. It is to be awarded to bloggers that show great attitude and gratitude.
Now I get to nominate my favorite 10 blogs! These are the rules of accepting the award.

•Put the Lemonade logo on your blog or within your post.
•Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude or gratitude.
•Link the nominees within your post.
•Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
•Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

1. Carly of Quiltville (because Carly always has the cutest quilts!)
2. Fish Fam (because Jerilyn has fun stuff to read every Friday!)
3. Jabez Farm (because Kim has a fantastic sense of humor in her writing!)
4. Making More with Less (because how could you not love a blog that tries to live up to it's title?)
5. Quilting on Turtle Hill (because Cathy is on of the most generous quilters I know!)
6. Thistle Cove Farm (because Sandra is just a downhome sweetheart!)
7. Why Not Sew? (because Erin is wonderful and super creative!)
8. Life with 4! (because Lisa is one of my greatest "internet friends!")
9. Jo's Prairie (because Bobbie Jo's kids are adorable and she's a sweetie!)
10. Cluck Cluck Sew (because Allison is a quilting mom that blows my mind with the things she gets done!)

Now these blogs were both easy and hard to choose. I have a very few select blogs that I actually follow. I'm kinda picky and really don't want to waste my time filling up my list of followed blogs with stuff that doesn't interest me or things I don't really read. So from the list of blogs I do enjoy, I selected these as my top 10! Check them out- I hope that you enjoy them too! :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

little logger

Saturday Layton insisted on wearing his suspenders to his Nana's house. And last night while we were eating dinner, Layton took his broccoli, stood it up and then said, " The trees are falling down!" as he knocked it over. Yep, he's the spitting image of his daddy! :)In more self sufficiency news, I got all the stuff to make my own laundry detergent (instead of buying it.) I also was in the market for a stick blender. Wal-Mart had them for $20 but I scored mine at the second hand store for $5. Yahoo!
And on a side note, I made some yummy homemade caramel corn yesterday using Kim's recipe. It is fabulous! I used raw peanuts instead of almonds becuse it was what I had on hand. Thanks for sharing that Kim!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

just 1/4 acre?

Has anyone read this book? I saw it in a reputable seed catalog and was curious. It says you can homestead on just 1/4 acre. I find that really hard to believe. The description talked about raising vegetables, bees, hogs, and even a cow. On 1/4 acre???!!
Do we personally have the room on our property for a cow? Sure we do! Can we put up a barn for it- yep, no problem. Would our cow be on green pasture? Nope. It would be eating hay and stuck in a barn with a small area for it to go outside and walk around in the mud. No thanks. Keeping it (the cow) would cost more than buying raw milk from cows that graze on lush green grass.
What type of garden is the book proposing? One where all your veggies are so crammed together that they are basically nutritionless since they're all fighting for the nutrients that the ground can't support?
O.k., someone tell me that this book is good- has some good ideas and worth reading because I am still interested to know how you can homestead on 1/4 acre. Or better yet, do you do it? Do you homestead on a little piece of property? I'd love to hear your ideas or your practices. :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

this little cutie

This quilt is for a friend of mine at church who had her little, 10 months ago!!!?? I feel awful that it has taken me this long to get it done. I planned on doing it even before she gave birth so it's certainly been a long standing UFO! So glad to get it done and I so hope that she likes it!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

meeting goals

O.k., I'll admit that it is just one day into my "self sufficiency" adventure but I'm pretty proud of my achievements thus far. Today I; looked on Craigslist for a used (and cheap) item- instead of looking at buying new, made a batch of soap and baked a loaf of bread. Not too bad for a day one!
Oh, and if you were confused, that's the soap in the shots, not the bread. ;)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

is it too late?

So today is January 6th and I'm just starting to think of a few resolutions for the new year. Usually I don't make any. Why do I need a January 1st to change things? I actually don't like change much but I think that this year and for the rest of my life I would like to make one resolution. I'd like to be more self sufficient in 2010 and from now on. So that's what I'm going to do. Along with that, I'd like to try and "do without" and "do with less" this year. If I need something- and I mean NEED it, then I'll first look at a thrift shop or a second hand store. I won't just go online and buy- with the one big exception of fabric! I will however, try and use my stash as much as possible this year and not buy new.
I'd like to grow more this year, bake more this year, sew more this year, create from scratch more this year.
What did you resolve to do?

updates and a few quilts!

Blogging with a 12 year old, 3 year old, almost 2 year old and 2 month old doesn't come easy for me, obviously. I don't know where the day goes, but it does..... go, that is. And fast.
Mason is getting so big. We had his 2 month appt yesterday and he is 14lbs 12oz. He is in the 96th percentile for weight and the 90th for length. He's got a couple nicknames already but I think we could certainly add "Moose" to the list of them.

My folks were here for a week and a half and just left yesterday. While it is nice to have our small home back to "just us." I already miss all the help they provide! My mom always keeps things picked up and the kitchen clean. She takes the kids for walks (when it's not raining) and plays card and board games with Wyatt. My dad helps with the little ones, does odd jobs around the house that have needed done for some time. He helps Wyatt with homework and runs errands in town. It's like having 3 of me to go around! I so appreciate it. But, my "vacation" is now over and it's back to the ol' grindstone!
While my parents were here I did get some quilting done. I finished this quilt for my friends little girl.

I completely cheated on this one because although it does look like patchwork, it's just a print. But such a cute print that I have more of it to make one for Timber!

Remember this quilt? (I know, it's been a while.) Well, it's amazing how quilting, binding and washing a quilt can make it grow on you! That never ceases to amaze me. Here it is, finished and ya know what? I actually like it! :) I was going to list it in the shop but my mom "stole" it for my cousin who is due to have her first baby next month!

I also got to finish the top of Mason's little quilt using the Goodnight Monkey flannel fabric I bought. My kids always end up with a quilt for their beds but they have to also have one of those "blankies" that they tote around or always have to have when they sleep. This one will be Mason's. As soon as it's done I'll share some photos!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 in quilts

A look back at the quilts created this year...

What a great year! I hope you all have a terrific 2010!

Related Posts with Thumbnails