"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Busy, Busy

Just wanted to check in with ya'll!  I am making a dress, I hope it turns out.  I am almost done, Just need to add the elastic, bottom trim/hem, and the trim and ruffle on the sleeves.  I love to sew, but am not very fast with it.  My friend Chrystal and I have started teaching sewing to my helpers from the quilt.  They are making the same dress, just scaled down a little.  Chrystal made her dress in one day, she is a super sewer!
Baked and decorated a cake yesterday/today.  I went a surprise birthday and retirement party, combined for two people. (Hence the cake)
I am going to a TOGA treadleon gathering academy on April 14.  It is about one and a half hours from here in Lone Oak, TX.  I can't wait to go!  It is April 13 and 14 but my husband can't get Friday off, so we will just drive up there early on Saturday.  I am going to learn a lot about my treadle there.  I am taking the head with me.  They will also have a couple of quilting demos there.
I promise to share pictures and some tutes for ya'll later.
Meanwhile, have blessed Lord's Day tomorrow!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Potluck Broccoli Casserole

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a recipe for broccoli casserole that does not have canned soup in it?  I like to control the ingredients that goes in my food from start to finish and if I am using canned soup I can't do that.  (I'm going to chase a rabbit for a moment here:  My husband read today that the FDA allows a certain number of maggots and mites in canned mushrooms?  GROSS!!!http://fitbie.msn.com/slideshow/5-grossest-things-youre-eating?GT=50002  )  I took a couple of different recipes I found and combined them together to make my own version.  It is a big recipe since I made it for a potluck at church, but it is easy enough to make smaller or make it this way and freeze portions for later.

Broccoli Casserole

  • 4  tablespoons butter, 
  • 1/2  finely chopped onion
  • heaping 1/4 cup  flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 - 3 cups grated sharp cheddar (depends on how cheesy you want it, I needed more cheese.)  
  • If you want to, parmesan cheese would also be a great addition to the cheddar.
  • 40 oz bag of frozen broccoli, quickly steamed
  • 1 tbs salt and 1 tbs pepper
  • 3 cups cooked rice  (I had used 4, but I felt like it was more rice than broccoli, but if you need it to go farther, than use 4
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • (I was thinking this would be good with either some cauliflower or cooked chicken added also)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt butter in your dish to coat the dish.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in medium saucepan (I used a deep cast iron skillet)  over medium high heat. Add in onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Whisk in flour and stir to coat onions.  fKeep whisking while you slowly add the milk. Add the sour cream.   Bring to a simmer, continue stirring (I switched to a big spoon here to keep the cheese from sticking in the whisk).   Stir in cheese by the handful. Simmer until melted. 
Meanwhile, cook your broccoli in boiling water for about 3 minutes, then drain.  Make your rice also.

Add 4 cups cooked rice to the broccoli.  

Add 3 beaten eggs (this helps to bind it all together) I used my dutch oven to bake the casserole in, but it might fit in a 9x13 casserole dish too.  Stir in cooled cheese sauce.  If you stir it in hot, it will scramble the eggs.  If you have enough cheese, you can sprinkle cheese on top too.

.  Bake until bubbly and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

For the potluck, I had made everything the night before and just cooked it the next day.  If you do this, you will have to bake it for 40 minutes instead because the ingredients will need to come back to room temperature.
I loved this cheese sauce, I think I will be using it as a base to a lot of casseroles.

Please note, brown rice would be a lot healthier than the white rice I used, and it would probably taste better too.  I just had to use what I had at home.

And of course you have to love Alton Brown, watch his video on broccoli casserole.  I thought the ramen noodles was pretty gross, though.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I have!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cleaning my treadle

I have been working on my treadle.  To see what it looked like when I first got it, go here:  http://missyscakesandaprons.blogspot.com/2012/01/treadle-sewing-machine-and-winner.html
 She was pretty dirty, but only $25!
I have not had a chance to work on her much since I got here because  have been so busy.  The other night I got my cleaning supplies out.
I was told to use naval jelly for the rust, Murphy's Oil soap for the wood (which has always been what I use for cleaning wood), and dish soap for dirt.

 For those who are not familiar with treadle sewing machines, the above is called the shuttle/bobbin winder.

She was pretty rusty.  I'm worried about the decals though.  They are mostly off anyways, so do I just scrub over them (except for the Franklin names) or do I try to keep what I still have intact?
I took some towels and wrapped the cabinet to keep the rust remover away from it.
I started by rubbing the naval jelly on with a toothbrush, everyplace I saw rust.
 On the front plate, needle and foot.
Then used a washcloth dipped in water to wipe off the naval jelly.
 I put it all over the wheel, shuttle winder and base of the arm.
But I don't understand why there is still rust in some places?

 I scrubbed under the plate, you can really see the serial number now.
I finished up by cleaning it all with a toothbrush dipped in dish soap/water and then buffed it dry with a towel.  She looks a lot better, but still has a lot to go.

I am getting very antsy about using it, but I really don't know what I'm doing!  I am getting a lot of information from treadleon.net and their yahoo group.  If anyone has any tips on what to do next, please share!
Keep treadling!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It came!!

 Remember when I won my Janome sewing machine?  http://missyscakesandaprons.blogspot.com/2012/01/new-sewing-machine.html  Well I also won a mystery bag.  I got it today, there was so much stuff, I could not get it all in one picture!  All I can say is "wow"!
 Of course the cats had to investigate everything!
 Muffin loves his new box!
 See that material?  The bright green is flannel.  I'm seeing that as a rag quilt!  The navy blue is a jersey and I'm thinking maybe a maxi skirt (I know, all my skirts are maxi skirts!)  That beautiful orange is so soft, maybe a skirt or a quilt - I'm not sure yet.
 I got a lot of books and magazines.  Two Thread and Bobbin by Alison Newman and Kaitlin Witte, "Quilting Trends" magazines, "The Quilter" Magazines,

 "Novelty Quilts" mags, "Machine Quilting" mags, "IQ, International Quilts" mags, "Quilts and More" mag, "Sew Scrappy" mag, "Antique Quilts" mag, "Perfect for Precuts" mag,
 A free motion slider, The Modern Quilting Bee, Block Party by Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks, Quilting, The Basics and Beyond by Jeri Simon  
 Your Guide to Quilting from JOANN, Curves Ahead! by Susan Nelsen and Loraine Manwaring, Better Homes and Garden new cookbook (my husband already has recipes picked out for me to try!
 "Where Women Create" and "Where Women Cook" mags, Where Women Create - Book of Inspiration  by Jenny Packman and Jenny Doh, Where Women Cook - Celebrate by Jo Packham and the publishers of Somerset Studios, Where Women Create by Jo Packham
 Creative Sewing Techniques by Machine by Nancy Fiedler, "Create and Decorate" mag

 and Nancy Spolar sent me two of her fabric collections and 12 quilting patterns!  She even included a sweet note on a card that looks like her quilting patterns!  Do you see the penguin in the corner?  I can't wait to make that one!  Here is her website http://quiltpoetry.com/
I don't know the names of who all donated my prizes, but would like to say a huge thank you to them and Janome for my awesome prize!  I am going to be taking some of it to church to share, after I browse through everything.  I'm thinking of having a pattern giveaway for one of Nancy Spolar's patterns for Easter. (Sorry, but it won't be the penguin, but I'm sure you already guessed that!) I just got everything so I still need to sort and decide on what I'm doing.  I'll be doing reviews as I have time to peruse everything (this will take a while), I can't wait to make a new quilt, unfortunately I already have three quilts ahead of them!
Thanks for sharing!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Ideas

 I wanted to share some old posts from a baby shower I gave last year.  "His eye is on the sparrow" was the theme and there are a lot of ideas that can be used during this time of the year.
   One of my favorite things was the boiled eggs in a nest from the shower.  I just filled a trifle bowl with boiled eggs and it fit perfectly in a grapevine wreath to look like a nest of eggs.  The children loved this!  Here is more information on the "bird food" and this nest  from the shower:  http://missyscakesandaprons.blogspot.com/2011/04/his-eye-is-on-sparrow-food.html
 I also made these cute little nests from clearanced Christmas ornaments.  The eggs were gold, but I painted them with glue and covered with blue glitter.  For more ideas about the birdy (Google says that is not a real word, but I'm going to use it anyways) decorations and theme go here:  http://missyscakesandaprons.blogspot.com/2011/03/his-eye-is-on-sparrow-baby-shower.html

The cake was one of my favorite cakes and cupcakes.  I used a smaller grapevine wreath to set the cake on.      This was not what I had in mind when making this cake, but my IMBC was too wet, so I airbrushed it which made it look like a tree.  If you want a tutorial on how to make this cake with the nest, birds and babies go here:  http://missyscakesandaprons.blogspot.com/2011/03/his-eye-is-on-sparrow-cake.html

If you want the recipe for lemon meringue cupcakes go here:

I hope you don't mind my cheater post today, but I really thought ya'll might be able to use some of these ideas for upcoming festivities.

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fudgy Brownie Cookies

I know that I usually post healthy recipes, but there is nothing healthy about these cookies!  They are absolutely delicious and every once in a while I get a craving and just have to have some.  You can't eat them without a fresh glass of milk!  Just think brownie in a cookie.

Fudgy Brownie Cookies

1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips (8oz)
4 TBS butter, cut up
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 (12 oz) pkg milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Heat the oven to 350°F.  Line cookie sheets w/parchment paper or butter the cookie sheet.  Combine the dark chocolate chips and butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high in 20 second increments, stirring every 20 seconds until the chips are almost melted. (be careful not to burn it!)  Stir until smooth.  Set aside to slightly cool.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in another small bowl.  (For a different element add a tsp of cinnamon)
Beat the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl on medium speed to low and beat in the melted chocolate.
Beat in the flour mixture just until blended.  Stir in the chips.
Drop by 1 1/2 tbs (I used my cookie scoop)onto baking sheets.  Bake, one sheet at a time, for 9 minutes or until the tops are shiny and cracked and the centers are soft.  Place the cookie sheet with cookies on a cookie rack and let sit for 3 minutes to allow the cookies to firm slightly.  Remove the cookies to the cooling rack and cool completely.
These cookies are even better the next day!

I got the original recipe here:  http://janicecole.net/recipes/something-sweet/chewy-chocolate-brownie-cookies/  I changed the chips and added pecans.

Enjoy your brownie cookies, I know I did!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Phone Cases Update

 I made two more phone cases for friends.
From the same website I also found a pattern for an ear buds case.  http://erinerickson.com/2011/11/circle-zip-earbud-pouch-tutorial/  It was really easy and quick to make, as long as you don't sew it together backwards and have to seam rip it!

For my pattern for the phone case go here:  http://missyscakesandaprons.blogspot.com/2012/03/cell-phone-holder.html  I had made a mistake in the measurements when I first posted it, but have since corrected it.
I used ribbon for the tabs, which is a lot easier than using material.  On the ear buds case, I used a piece of felt instead of batting, and I really like the texture and extra padding it provided.  I'll use that in both cases from now on.  Not to mention it is cheaper!
Tomorrow I'll start sewing a new dress, I can't wait to have a new dress!

Remember Pippi?  Here she is all curled up with her big brother, Muffin.  Doesn't she look innocent?
I've been praying and asking God to help me and my husband to keep stuff picked up off the floor.  In answer to my prayer, he gave me Pippi!  She likes to eat socks!  My husband does not leave socks on the floor anymore, I sometimes will leave my socks in front of the drawer when looking for a pair of socks, but no more!  I have never seen a cat eat socks before!  She does not limit herself to socks either, she likes the bows on shoes.  I went to put on my white Keds and the bows on both sides where chewed off!  I caught her chewing the bows on some of my dress shoes and another pair of tennis shoes.  Goofy cat!  Hopefully it is just a phase!

 The moral of this story is, be careful what you pray for, God just might answer it!  At least I don't have a pile of shoes in front of the front door anymore, they are all put up!

What have you been up to lately?  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Reader's Homemaking Tips and a winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway!  I wanted to share some of the homemaking tips that were shared.

OhioMomPatriot said:  " I have found the one thing that keeps me from finishing my housework is the computer. I get caught up in inspirations and stay on too long...LOL! I have a timer set by my laptop, and I set it for 15 minutes. When it goes off I can't come back for an hour. It has worked very well and Hubby has commented about how much I have accomplished while he is gone. "
(I did this for a while, don't know why I stopped, I need to start again)

Carla's Inspirations said: "Homemaking - I try to do one small thing each day - spend 30 minutes sewing or crocheting or cooking. I like the idea of the timer.  I think I need to try that"
(good idea, maybe I could get more sewing done that way!)

Michelle said:  "Learn how to take apart your vaccuum cleaner to unclog it? Keep your own screwdriver hidden for taking the vaccuum cleaner apart? "
(I always make my husband unclog my vacuum.  You should see all the long red hair that gets wound around the brush.  I think I shed more than my six cats combined!  This is a good idea though so that I don't have to wait for my husband to get home, and I do have a small hammer hidden in my desk drawer)

Rhonda D. said:  "A housekeeping tip that I do, is devote one hour each morning to picking up around the house. This does help me to be more organized, and things don't get out of hand so fast."
(What a good idea, I usually do my computer stuff first and then I don't always get to my cleaning duties)

XO said:  "Homemaking tip: I prepack snacks & veggies in ziplock bags for the week for my kids lunch. It minimizes the time for making their lunch."
(I do that sometimes for my husband when I make a batch of cookies, then put them in the freezer to keep them fresh)

Angie said:  "My favorite housekeeping tip is to recycle everything. Worn out clothes become new quilts, quick wipes, or other clothes. "
(I do this some when I'm sewing, my friend was going to trash an old skirt because it was too tight, I told her to cut it down and make a skirt for her daughter with it!)

I just got home from being gone all day.  I numbered the comments from 1-9 (one person got an extra entry for mentioning the giveaway on her blog).  I put the numbers on pieces of paper and mixed them up and had my husband pull a number out (he thoroughly enjoyed swishing the papers out of my hand, onto the floor, until I only had one left in my hand).  He picked #1!  Connie from Quilting by the River won my giveaway!  Congrats, send me your shipping address and I will send you the apron.

Happy Spring everyone!

Pippi's homemaking tip is to always unroll the toilet paper and leave it in a pile on the floor!

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Rulers and some blogs I like

I just wanted to share a couple of new rulers I got.  The only quilting ruler I have is  a long 6 inch by 24 inch and I need to expand my tools.
I have been wanting to get a dresden ruler for a while to make a dresden plate block.
dresden plate block
I have a pinterest board full of ideas!   http://pinterest.com/missyshay/dresden-plate-quilts/  I am going to start a Dresden plate quilt after I finish my skirt so that I can use the scraps from my skirt.  My goal is to start it in May and hopefully have it done by September.
The great news is that I won a Dresden ruler/template!  Yeah!  I won it from the Barrister's Block here:   http://barristersblock.blogspot.com/  I really enjoy her blog and tutorials be sure to check it out!
The other ruler I got is a triangle shaped strip tubed ruler from The quilting Lodge.

I won it from Quilting by the River http://conniekresin.blogspot.com/  This is another blog that I have enjoyed following also.  I  can't wait to use it, she shares a couple of patterns on her blog on how to use it, so be sure to check her out!
Now I need a hexagon template/ruler to make hexagons, I want some hand sewing projects to carry while I'm traveling this spring..
I'll announce the winner to my giveaway tomorrow!

"Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him." Psalm 34:8