Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas is coming!

Hi everyone! Boy the excitement sure is building, isn't it? Today is my kids' last day of school before Christmas vacation. I got a few last minute things done this morning, so this weekend I can spend with my family and get ready for some happy Christmas travellers. I made my bi-annual trip to the Polish deli to get kielbasa for Christmas morning. We always have that for breakfast, along with eggs, coffee cake and oranges that the kids get in their stockings.
What's for Christmas dinner? We're having a replay of Thanksgiving, pretty much...turkey, mashed potatoes, etc. I was going to make roast beef, but the children don't like it so I'd have to make something else for them. This way everyone will enjoy it. My husband and I went "gluten-free" so it's a little more challenging cooking...not too bad though. We've really seen health benefits from it so it's definitely been worth the change!
I printed out all the months I didn't get to in Shabby Fabric's Country Cottages BOM. After the holidays I plan to finish those and get that quilt made. I'd also like to get some table runners and candle mats done...stuff for around the house. I have the fabric for my next quilt all ready to go...isn't this the cutest line? It's called "Posy."
I just love Aneela Hoey's style. Now to find a pattern to go with it!
Merry Christmas friends...and peace to you and your families.

♥ Jen

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Uh, hi.

I feel really bad that I haven't posted in months! Hello, friends! I hope you are all doing well. I just hadn't had much to post, to tell you the truth. But I recently finished a quilt and I thought you might like to see it. It's a Christmas gift for a certain little girl, I can't say who until after December 25!
The pattern I used is Jelly-Filled by Thimble Blossoms. I also used Camille's fabric for the center of the quilt...a Marmalade jelly roll. I just fell in love with the colors! So here it is:
The red polka dot is from Lakehouse, and the aqua outer border is another favorite from Carrie's from her Fresh Palette line. I used another Fresh Palette fabric for the backing.
This quilt was fun to put together. I did some in-the-ditch and criss-cross quilting in the middle; then meandered in the outer border.

I also made stacks of potholders to include in teachers' gifts. They were soooo fun to make! And super-duper easy, especially if you start off with a layer cake like I did. Thanks to Jen for sending me the link to the tutorial!
Well, I hope you liked checking out my latest projects. Again, I apologize for not being around more often. I hate it when bloggers that I follow disappear! I will post more often, I promise. Take care and Merry Christmas!

♥ Jen

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gooseberry Patch cookbook WINNER!

First of all, thanks to everyone who entered the drawing! I'm so glad you're loving "101 Breakfast & Brunch Recipes." My daughter picked a random number, and the winner is...

JENNIFER (nice name, by the way!)! Jennifer said,

"Looks like I got in just under the wire - Phew! I only own a couple of Gooseberry patch cookbooks but have enjoyed many of the recipes from them - the are so fun and cheery to use, too! I sure would love to win this cookbook this cookbook for my bed & breakfast! I just told Mr. Innkeeper (aka hubby, aka Mark) that I am hoping to win this and he says to give you a message for him..."Pick me"!"

Congratulations! I will email you so that I can get your mailing address. Thanks again for everyone's entries!

♥ Jen

Friday, August 10, 2012

"101 Breakfast & Brunch Recipes" review and giveaway!

It's time for another Early Bird review of Gooseberry Patch's new cookbook!
This one is called 101 Breakfast & Brunch Recipes. It's from their Photo Series of cookbooks, so each recipe has a beautiful color picture. I love the format!
The nice folks at Gooseberry Patch sent me two to review, and one to give away to a reader. So read on and find out how you could win! But first, I tried three of the recipes that I'd like to share with you!
The first one (and my favorite) is called "Hashbrown Quiche."
3 Cups frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
1/4 Cup butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1 Cup half-and-half
3/4 Cup cooked hame, diced
1/2 Cup green onions, chopped
1 Cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In an ungreased 9" pie plate, combine hashbrowns and butter. Press hashbrowns into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.
Bake at 450 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a bowl.
Pour mixture over hashbrowns.
Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees; bake for 30 minutes, or until quiche is golden and set. Serves 4 to 6.
VERDICT: This is deeeeeeelicious. The hashbrowns crust is genius! One of my all-time favorite GP recipes now. The combination of potatoes, cheese, eggs, ham and green onions is to die for. We had this for dinner along with a salad and some crusty bread. Yum!
Recipe #2 is "PB&J Breakfast Bars."
1-1/2 Cups quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. salt, divided
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
6 Tbsps. butter, melted
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 Cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 Cup favorite-flavor jam

In a bowl, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt and cinnamon. Add melted butter and mix until crumbs form. Reserve 1/2 cup of oat mixture for topping; firmly spread remaining mixture in a lightly greased, parchment paper-lined 8"x8" baking pan.
My helper!
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden. In a bowl, beat together cream cheese, peanut butter, egg and remaining salt.
Spread cream cheese mixture over baked crust; spread with jam. Top with reserved oat mixture.
Bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until topping is golden; cool. Refrigerate for one hour, or until fully set. Cut into bars. Makes 12 to 15.
VERDICT: Pretty good! The peanut butter/cream cheese layer is a bit too cream cheese-heavy for me; if I make these again, I will only use half the amount of cream cheese. The oats layer is very yummy.
OK, now for the final recipe in this review! This one is short and sweet and it's called, "Feel-Good Shake."

2 bananas, sliced
2 Cups milk
2 Cups non-fat vanilla yogurt
1 Cup pineapple juice
1 Tbsp. honey

Process all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Pour into a tall glass. Serve immediately. Makes one serving.
VERDICT: The serving size printed in the book is incorrect, unless you want to drink one huge smoothie! I cut the recipe in half and I still had enough for four 8-oz. servings. But besides that, this is a very good recipe. I love smoothies and the flavors of this one blend really well together.
I hope you decide to make these and tell me what you think! For a chance to win your own copy of this book, please leave me a comment on this post with your email address. I will not consider your entry if there is no way to get in touch with you. A random winner will be chosen on Tuesday, August 21st. If you can't wait and want to purchase a copy of "101 Breakfast & Brunch Recipes," you can do so here.
Best of luck and thanks for visiting!

♥ Jen

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fabric time

My Fat Quarter Shop order arrived on Monday! Don't you just love how they package their fabrics? Everything's folded so nice and neatly, and no matter what combination of fabrics you get, they all look so good together.
I got all of these yard cuts on sale!
from Aneela Hooey
Lakehouse ~ can't get enough!
...and more Lakehouse...
...and more...
...and more!

These next three are only 1/2-yard cuts. The first two are from Lynette Anderson, and the last one is from a line called "Dear Mr. Claus." These were all full price, but I had to have them!
Whoopsie, the red one is upside-down! Sorry!
This is my favorite. I usually love anything Cosmo Cricket!
The kids and I took the cats to the vet yesterday for their check-ups. They got great reports! I always worry about them drinking enough water though. Cats are known for not getting as much as they should, which strains their kidneys. The vet suggested a water fountain, so we got them this at PetSmart...
Both have drank from it already, so hopefully it will work out well!
Annabelle loves Hol!
Have a great day, all!
♥ Jen

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Quilty things

I'm all caught up on my Country Cottages fact, I started the July block on the day it came out! I had joined a few months late so it's nice to be on the right month. Feels weird to applique shamrocks in May! Anyway, here's the June block:
Kim had given me the idea to make a block for the kite and trim it to size (it doesn't say to do that in the instructions). That worked out great. You should check out Kim's progress on this quilt...her blocks are just gorgeous!
Here's my July one (I need to press it some more, obviously!):

When taking these pictures, I realized I forgot to do the last step...the embroidered curly design above the door. So I guess I'm not really done. But that shouldn't take long. And of course all buttons and doodads will be added at the end.
I went to Joann's last week and picked up a few things.
I thought the ladybugs and shamrocks would work out great for this quilt. The shamrocks are felt...cute, right? I needed some floss, and new rick rack for the roof trims. Aren't these fabrics pretty?
Man, they were expensive! And neither one was on sale so they were over $10/yard! But I had two coupons, one for Joann's and one for Hobby Lobby that a fellow shopper gave me. I don't have many orange or gray fabrics....I think these are both Denyse Schmidt? I forget now.
I'm starting my next quilt. I had bought the pattern "Jelly-Filled" from Camille's store awhile ago...and when I saw the previews for Marmalade, I knew that was the fabric I wanted to use. Only problem, it's not being released until October. Luckily, I found a seller on ebay who already had some jelly rolls so I bought one. Cheaper than retail too! Now I can get started sooner rather than later. P.S. It's even prettier in person!
 I bought this charm pack from her Cosmo Cricket!
I have a Fat Quarter Shop order on the way, which should be arriving tomorrow or Tuesday. I'll be sure to show you some more fabric goodness in my next post!

Take care, friends!

♥ Jen