Monday, October 16, 2017

Barn Quilt Class part 1

Saturday I got to take a barn quilt class up in Lancaster KS. 

Step one was to pick out the pattern you wanted to make. I had three I had wanted to make and it was hard settling on one. 

Next you draw out your design. You were given a drawing of the design and some basic instructions. It wasn't hard once you wrapped your head around it and figured how to divide the board. 


Then you tape and paint your first color. 


Notice my dark grid lines! I drew more lines than necessary, but that's how I rolled. We were given erasers and had the instructors had their way, I would have erased all the lines I hadn't needed and my notes to myself on colors.  Not how I roll! Of note, if you ever get to do this yourself, draw as faintly as you can. 


See my mistake? Even with all my grid marks, I messed up and squared off the ends of two red stripes. I've taped the area that needed to be filled in here and painted them in. 

There were 12 in my class and an intro wasn't given. I think that was in part due to the fact that more than half of the class had already attended another class and this was their second or third quilt. Another thing I learned afterwards is that you really want to press down on the tape edges to make certain paint doesn't bleed under the tape. Having painted enough in my house to have already learned that lesson, I didn't have any trouble, but others did. You also want to paint nice long strokes and per Dede, paint one coat one direction and the second coat the opposite direction. As if you were painting a cross. I didn't paint this way with most of the colors and up close you can tell that, but from a distance you can't. 


Starting my second paint color. I painted 4 coats of each color, though some got away with only 3 coats (probably hadn't marked all over their board!). 


Third color going on. You can see a little of the instruction graph in the above lower right corner. 


Between each coat, we used our hair dryer to dry the paint. You dried extra long after the final coat right before removing the tape. Paint that hadn't dried could peel when the tape was removed. 


Fourth color going on. I made a few mistakes. Three actually. All were corrected and you might still be able to see where the corrections were made up close, but not from a distance. 

My third mistake is shown below. See above right of the red center. The white strip is too short. I needed to trim the tape about a quarter of an inch at the bottom. The tape was wider than my strips and had to be trimmed with a razor blade. 


Here's my final piece. 


The mistakes aren't visiable. I'm very happy with the end results and hope to make some more soon. Stay tuned and I'll show you some pics of the other barn quilts that were made in my class. 


Friday, October 13, 2017

Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake

My mother likes Mr. Goodcents, but it's never been a place I'd pick to eat at. When we've eaten there, I normally get their chicken alfredo. This dish reminds me of Mr. Goodcents chicken alfredo and I think next time I make it I'll use precooked, frozen (and thawed) fajita chicken strips. 

I had gotten turkey ham at Aldi several weeks back and was looking for a recipe to use it in. This fit the bill, was easy, fast and I had everything but the half and half on hand. 


You won't use the entire ham and you might find it easier to get cubed ham from the grocery store or use left over ham. Or, as I'm going to try next time I make this recipe, use cooked cubed chicken. 

To start, boil 16 oz of pasta for 7 min or until al dente.  I used mostaccioli as I had it on hand. 


Drain and dump into a 6 qt crock pot. Add;

16oz cubed ham
1 16oz jar of alfredo sauce (I used a 15oz jar)
2 cups half and half
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Stir and cook on low 3-4 hours or high 11/2-2 hours. I cooked it on high for an hour and half and it was perfect. 

I used this alfredo sauce. 


Comfort food perfect for a cold night. 


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Crockpot Apple Sauce

This recipe appeared in my Pinterest newsfeed and the bloggers remarks made it sound good enough to try. 

Start by coring, peeling and chopping 5-6 lbs of apples. I used Granny Smith, galas, Fuji and a few Jonathan's. 


Stir in 1/2 cup of brown sugar, a Tbsp of cinnamon and 3/4 cup of water. 


I ran out of light brown sugar and had to use dark. 

Transfer to a crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. 


Mash until you get the desired consistency. Cool and freeze in freezer safe containers.  

I left mine chunky. It filled 4 pint containers 3/4 full. It's very good and I'd make it again. 


It was cold and gray here today. I told the cats we were going to suffer through was it was going to warm back up. Lyncoln and Homer spent much of the day under covers, while long haired Josey enjoyed the cooler temps. 


He's not spoiled much. 


Sunday, October 8, 2017

You Can Do It!

And you can save yourself some cash by doing it yourself! 

Today I changed the filters in my Honda Element on my own and for a lot less than what I'd have paid to have it done. 


The first two are behind the glove box. 


They were disgusting. 


I'd just had my oil changed a few weeks ago and they were to check these. Guess they hadn't. 


New filters on the top. They weren't hard to remove or replace. 

The last filter is under the hood. 


There are 5 clips holding that chunk of plastic on. Remove those to find the filter. 


Dirty too. 


Yep, gross. 


All done. 


There are You Tube videos if you need instruction. You can also replace your own vehicle light bulbs. All parts can be purchased at an auto parts store for less than they'd charge you for them at the dealer. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Pumpkins from friends Dede and Steves garden! 


I love all of them, but especially the orange, white and green pumpkins!


So pretty! Sadly I'm sure the squirrels will eventually find and sample them. 


Two itty bitty pumpkins I've got sitting on my kitchen window sill to enjoy. So cute! 

Friday, September 29, 2017


I love cards. I love sending them and receiving them, especially if a note is included. Once a week I pull out my boxes of cards and send out 2 or more.  I pick up cards at thrift stores, estate sales and occasionally garage sales.  A couple years ago Joanns discontinued carrying cards and I got several for 70% off.

My favorite are the old cards, which I still occasionally find for sale at estate sales.


Its rare that I need to visit a store for a card, but if you find yourself needing to, I recommend Dollar Tree.  Some of their cards are 2 for $1, others $1.  They have great cards, especially holiday cards and are stocked right now with Halloween, Thanksgiving and some Christmas cards. 


Not all of my cards have matching envelopes as shown below.  I don't care and hope that the recipients of my cards don't notice.  (I love the hidden pictures card in the lower right.)


The boxes are stored in my coat closet. 


I make a list of friends and family I want to send a card to, pull the appropriate boxes and go through them to find the card I want to send.

Love these old cards!

In addition to a card or two to a friend or member of my family, I send "Love in the Mail" once a week.  Love in the mail is group I belong to that sends a card or note and $1 (or more if someone desires) to someone in need of encouragement.  A lot of times it someone facing significant medical concerns.  People in the group submit the names of those we mail to. 

How about this week you send a card to someone!  Have kids or grandkids, have them draw a picture or color a coloring page and mail it to an unsuspecting relative, friend, neighbor or shut in.  I know they'll love getting a surprise in the mail. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Stitchers Luncheon

The day after Cookbook Club, I had seven women come over for a day of cross stitching. I made Sonoma Chicken Salad.  I've made it before and its so good!  You can find the recipe HERE.  I also made a coolwhip fruit salad that wasn't very good and corn salad.

This recipe came from the same Gooseberry Patch cookbook the Hot Chicken Sandwich recipe came from.

Shoepeg Corn Salad

In a bowl mix;

1 15 oz can shoepeg corn, drained (the only can I found was smaller than that)
1 14 1/2 oz can French-style green beans, drained
1 15 oz can tiny garden peas, drained (you can fin these at Aldi)
1 2 oz jar diced pimentos, drained
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 c red onion, chopped

In a sauce pan bring to a boil;

1/2 c oil
3/4 c white vinegar
1 c sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground garlic 

Cook and stir until sugar resolves. Allow to cool slightly before pouring over vegetables. 


It looks pretty, but didn't go over well.  I don't guess its everyone's thing, corn and green beans.  It actually wasn't my thing, but just something quick and easy to make.  The other stitchers brought chips, cookies, meatballs and butterscotch bars.

So, what do we do at a stitch in?  We stitch, visit, share show-and-tell and Eat! Here are a few pieces that were shared during show-and-tell.  I love the colors in this pattern.  

Cats!  Check out the cat on the left side of the pattern!  See his outstretch nails and claw marks!

I love, love, love this pattern and I'm sure I could alter it so that it looked just like Lyncoln!  Look at those cute little mice!

I worked on my Halloween Line Up.  I finished all the stitching and just need to go back and add a pumpkin charm and 37 knots or itty bitty beads for the eyes in several of the owls, ghosts, bats, witch and kids at the bottom.


Monday, September 25, 2017

The return of Cookbook Club!

The fourth Friday in September marks the return of Cookbook Club and its supposed to be cool. It wasn't. I had guests coming over the next day and had wanted something easy and that didn't require I turn the oven on. I found the recipe in the Gooseberry Patch Church Potluck Favorites Cookbook.


I wasn't certain how many were going to come and had wanted a recipe that served 8 or more. This dish will reportedly serve 16. I actually thought it sounded gross and asked coworkers what they thought of it. Those asked thought it sounded great and that they'd eat it. So, I ignored my concerns and went with the recipe for Hot Chicken Sandwiches.

I used a rotisserie chicken from Sam's Club for the meat. If you have a Sam's membership, their chicken is something you should be buying. $4.98 is a dollar or more less than you pay at Walmart or Dillons for their rotisserie chickens and the Sam's chicken is much bigger and better tasting.  Once you've compared a Sam's chicken to say one you get at Dillons, you'll never go back.  

One of the reasons I picked this recipe was that it couldn't have been easier to make. Shred chicken, throw in 1 1/2 cups cubed Velveeta cheese (I prefer store brand, seems less salty to me).


Stir in one can of cream of chicken soup and one can cream of mushroom soup. I hate mushrooms and normally I'd substitute the cream of mushroom for cream of chicken. Recently I went to some friends for dinner and ate stroganoff. It was really good even though it had cream of mushroom soup and canned mushrooms! Since then I've decided to not substitute cream of mushroom in future recipes, especially recipes where there's already one can of cream of chicken.


Now throw in some chopped onion and celery. I used a red onion. The recipe hadn't specified and I had a half red onion needing to be used.


Stir and transfer to a greased or lined crockpot and cook on low 3 1/2 hours. My crockpot runs on the hot side and I turned it to warm after 2 hours and 20 minutes.


Serve on slider buns, I used regular hamburger buns. 

We also had quinoa stuffed peppers, savory rice and pop overs. I'll try to remember better pictures next month!

Hot Chicken Sandwiches
Serves 16 (if using slider buns)

6 c. shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 c Velveeta
1 c. thinly sliced celery
1 c. chopped onion

Stir all the ingredients and add to a lined or greased crock pot and heat on low for 3 1/2 hours. My crock pot runs hot and I turned it to keep warm after 2 1/2 hours.  Serve on slider or hamburger buns.