Monday, May 30, 2011

Winner and Memorial Day

It seems weird to say "Happy Memorial Day," so instead I'll say that I am very grateful for those who fought and gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. I hope all of you who have lost someone in the armed forces find peace.
And now for the second-chance winner of Gooseberry Patch's "101 Easy Everyday Recipes!" My son chose number 5 this time, and that's Roxanne! Roxanne said:

Count me in for a chance to win the cookbook. And not having to match seams is a pleasant relief from the drive we quilters have to do perfect work.

Congratulations!! Please email me your address and I will mail out your cookbook this week!!
Take care and have a safe Memorial Day!

♥ Jen

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Contest redo and happenings

Hey all! How are you? Gosh it's been over a week since my last post, huh? Sorry about that! First things first...the winner of "101 Easy Everyday Recipes" never got in touch with me...why I'm not  sure, I emailed her twice, but oh well. Good news for you, I will hold a second-chance drawing. Comment on this post if you'd like to win the cookbook. I'm not going to draw from the old list because I want to make sure a regular reader gets it. Enough of this "hit and run" commenting. LOL I'll pick a new winner on Sunday, okay?
I have been working on Mason's quilt, so I have something to show! I'm using a layer cake of Wee Folks by Moda, it's such a cute line!
I got a book of layer cake patterns out of the library, but honestly nothing seemed to float my boat. Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts had an awesome tutorial though...not necessarily for layer cakes, but I adapted it. She named the pattern "Easy as Pie," which is always what I'm looking for. Don't tell the Quilt Police....and you know they're out there.
Anyway, here's one row I made...I love the little gnomes!
All I did was slice the 10" squares in half. I took a few of those rectangles and cut them in half again. At the start or end of each row, there's one of these quarter pieces. So now none of the seams have to match. Brilliant! Should be done in no time. SHOULD be. I still  have to get backing fabric for Rose's quilt...I'm kind of putting that on hold until I need to back this one. I figure I can order for both at once.
Today is my cats' birthday! They are three years old. Annabelle made them each a toy which they love.
I got them a new scratching post at Walmart today. Thinking of baking a cake too. I've got a hankering. LOL Take care buds!

♥ Jen

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cookbook winner!

Good morning! I wanted to get this post up early this morning so the suspense can end! :-) I had almost 200 comments, including the ones that Blogger lost but I saved. My son picked the winning number, 87, who is...

Anonymous: I am loving it...such a fun blog!! Thank you..Can't wait to try the cc cookie pie!! e-mail:

Congratulations! Please email me your snail mail address and I will send you your copy of "101 Easy Everyday Recipes" right away! Thanks to everyone who left me such nice comments, I loved reading each and every one. We will have another giveaway before you know it.

♥ Jen

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The show must go on!

Just wanted to make sure everyone has commented to win an advance copy of "101 Easy Everyday Recipes," generously provided by Gooseberry Patch! Blogger had a major goof last week, and although they promised missing comments would be restored, I have yet to see them. Not to worry! I have them all saved on my email, and there's still time to comment if you haven't already. The drawing will go on as planned tomorrow! Be sure to come back then to see if you won!
lilacs picked from my garden

Have a great day!

♥ Jen

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Two fabrics and a quilt

I've been working hard on the 4 OT quilt for my niece, and I wanted to show you my progress. This is the original pattern...
And while I love the color combinations that Carrie used, I wanted to make a bright, 30's repro version. I got some of the blocks sewn together the other day...
 As you can see, the top and bottom rows weren't together, nor were the ends of each row. But I've gotten that done and now I'm in the process of sewing all seven rows together. The home stretch!! I like how the big pink and yellow stars are popping out!

I went to a local quilt shop today...I'm running dangerously low on Best Press so I needed to restock.
I didn't find anything else there that I wanted. I can rarely find fabric there anyway. But that's okay, when I got home, this was waiting for me in the mail!
I had reserved the book at the library and it was ready for pickup today, coincidentally. Mason asked for a new quilt, so we picked the Wee Folks fabric out together. Isn't it cute?
Green Fairy Quilts has awesome prices, by the way, and very reasonable shipping! The Bunny Hill layer cake will be for one of a couple baby quilts I'm making soon.
So when I get some time later, I'm going to sit down with the book and pick out some patterns! Can't wait! Have a happy day! Don't forget to enter my giveaway on yesterday's post!

♥ Jen

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"101 Easy Everyday Recipes" review and GIVEAWAY!

Hello friends! I recently had the privilege to review an advanced copy of this new cookbook from Gooseberry Patch.
This is the first time I have tried one of their photo cookbooks, and I was very pleased with it. I love to see a photo of the dish I'm cooking, don't you? This book is divided into five sections: Easy-Breezy Breakfasts, Toss-Together Suppers, Dinner's in the Oven, Sides in a Snap, and No-Fuss Desserts. I tried out three recipes so far...two desserts and one main dish. Shall we get started?
The first one is Joyce's Chocolate Chip Pie.
 You will need: 2 eggs, beaten
1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/3 Cup sugar
1-1/2 Cups brown sugar, packed
1 Cup chopped pecans
1/2 Cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 Cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
9-inch pie crust
Optional: whipped cream, additional mini chocolate chips

In a bowl, mix eggs, flour, sugars, pecans, and melted butter until well blended. (I didn't have I used walnuts, and only maybe 1/2 cup. You know the no-nuts policy here that the kids have. But I figured it needed some, at least.)
By the way, do yourself a favor and wear an apron. If you're anything like me, your shirt may end up looking like this...
Sprinkle chocolate chips in unbaked pie crust. (I made mine from a box mix.)
Pour egg mixture over top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until golden.
Pie will become firm as it cools. Garnish as desired. Serves 8.
RECIPE REVIEW: The children have declared this their Favorite Pie Ever. It is sweet, chocolatey, gooey...everything a kid could want. It's not firm like a typical chocolate chip cookie's more like a pecan pie with extras. It's really good, super easy and I will definitely make this again!
Ok, onto the next one! This dish is called Sunday Meatball Skillet.
You will need: 3/4 lb. ground beef (forgot to put this in the picture)
1 Cup onion, grated
1/2 Cup Italian-flavored dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/4 Cup ketchup
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 Cups beef broth
1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup sour cream
8-oz. pkg. medium egg noodles, cooked (although I used extra-wide)
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

In a bowl, combine beef, onion, bread crumbs, egg, ketchup and pepper. May I say something here? Ok, have you ever tried to grate an onion? What a mess! I ended up with a little bit of onion pulp, and a lot of onion juice. I even squirted some in my hair and my eye. Ick! So I gave up and went with a Tablespoon of this...
My son doesn't like the texture of onions in meatballs so I figured this was a win-win. Anyway, let's continue!
Shape into one-inch meatballs.
Spray a skillet with non-stick vegetable spray. Cook meatballs over medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove meatballs and let drain on paper towels. In a bowl, whisk together broth and flour; add to skillet.
Cook and stir until mixture thickens, about five minutes.
Stir in sour cream. Add meatballs and noodles; toss to coat. Cook and stir until heated through, about five minutes. Garnish with parsley. Serves 4.
Recipe Review: Really really yummy. I didn't stir the noodles into the meatballs; I just spooned the meatballs on top. The flavors are really good togther and it was a quick meal on a busy evening. Definitely not just for Sunday!
All righty, the last one is another dessert...Coconut Cupcakes.
 You will need: 2/3 Cup sweetened flaked coconut
1-1/4 Cups powdered sugar
1-1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 Cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
5 egg whites, beaten
12 raspberries (I used strawberries, we like them better)
Vanilla Frosting (see below)
In a bowl, combine coconut, powdered sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder.
Mix in melted butter.
Ugh, this stirring by hand is too hard for my lazy self.
Ah, much better! Stir in egg whites until well combined.
Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners; fill liners with batter 2/3 full. (My tip: use a nonstick cooking spray-coated ice cream scoop. You might not get 12 but still, it makes life easier.)
Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, until firm.
Let cool. Make the frosting.

Vanilla Frosting: 1-1/2 Cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 to 5 tsps. hot water

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Beat to desired consistency, adding more water or sugar as needed. Spread Vanilla Frosting onto cupcakes; top each with a raspberry and let set. Makes one dozen.
RECIPE REVIEW: Delicious! A nice little treat that we all enjoyed. The combination of vanilla, coconut and strawberries is great. They don't keep long so don't make them too much ahead of time, FYI.
I hope you enjoy these sample recipes! 101 Easy Everyday Recipes is a fantastic cookbook, I know you will enjoy it! If you'd like to pre-order it (it won't be available until mid-June), you can do so here. But I hope you enter my giveaway for a free copy! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post (with a way to contact you, please), and I will draw a random winner next Wednesday, May 18th. Good luck and thanks for visiting!

♥ Jen

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sitting room

Good morning! Hold onto your hats...the SUN is shining today! It's been awhile around here. It's chilly but I don't care! The rain has been unreal. It's nice to see that the sun does still shine every so often.
Check out this little pillow I made the other day!
It's a cutie, don't you think? The pattern couldn't be's from an old issue of Quilts and More. It took maybe an hour. Of course I didn't make a patchwork center, I cheated and used one print. The main fabric is from French General, and the dot is from Robyn Pandolph.
Since there's some natural light today I thought I'd take a few pictures of my newly updated sitting room. If you recall we've been waiting and waiting for a perennially-backordered chair. It finally arrived yesterday. I think it was worth the wait...the colors really go well in this room, and it's comfy.
Ok, now I'm going to get out and enjoy the day...I hope you do too!

♥ Jen