2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Sunday, February 15, 2015

January 2015 Accomplishments

I had a great January of 2015.  The year started by working with my mom on a comfort quilt for one of the girls who was in our girl scout troop, and I also made a little progress on my year of the kits resolution.  I didn't spend a whole lot of time in the sewing room because I was also doing a lot of cross-stitching. Here's what I did in January: 

In the quilting arena, I put in about 16 1/2 hours of cutting, piecing, and quilting time and finished the following projects: 
- Red cash and carry bag (a kit!)
- Fleece scarf for Jenna
- Made top with my mom, made back, and quilted comfort quilt for fellow Girl Scout

- Made my first two string blocks
- Cut out and pieced Winterberry Lane (another kit!) top
- Messed with my machine tension until I couldn't mess with it any longer...and subsequently wound up sending my machine to the shop where it is getting a new tensioner. 

In the cross-stitch arena, I am not tracking time, but I am tracking finishes: 
- Evergreen Sampler (a kit!)
- Wee Snowman by Heart in Hand

I am moving along in February too - but with more stitching than sewing time, at least to this point in the  month!  

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Recipes from January 2015

We tried some new things this month and also revisited some that we've made over the past few years.  Since I don't have a specific challenge this year, I am mixing it up and anything is game - internet, emailed, cut out, or cookbook recipes. 

Here's what we tried in January, plus one carryover from December that I left out! 

Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo - this was easy to make - I love it when you can actually cook a recipe like this and just dirty two pans.  The taste was okay - not as good as some other similar recipes that we've tried, but the easy part really sells it, so I think we will likely make it again for a weeknight meal. 

Tandoori Chicken Thighs - I have never cooked with chicken thighs before, but thought I would follow directions for this. The flavor of this tandoori was subtle but good. I would probably use chicken breasts next time as I prefer the texture of them, but this was another easy one - I think we'll pull this recipe out again in the summer when we do more of our cooking on the grill (we used our indoor grill for this and made a mess of it!). 
Italian Pork Sandwiches - This also called for a meat that I hadn't bought before - pork cutlets. When I found it on sale, I knew I needed to try this one.  These sandwiches were delicious!  We liked them so much that I tried the same thing a week later with beef cutlets - on those the flavor was good, but the meat was  tough, so we will return to the pork as our first choice. I jokingly told Mike that I was going to keep buying cutlets of different meat each week to see what else worked, and I just might keep an eye out for chicken or turkey - I bet they would be almost as good as the pork! 

Chopped chickpea salad pitas - I made this for a weekend lunch because I was tired of eating boring lunches and it didn't disappoint!  Not only did I enjoy the pita, but the filling was the right blend of savory and lemony.  I would make a double batch of this next time! It also ages well as the flavors all meld together in the fridge. 

One-Dish Chicken and Stuffing Bake - I guess this was my month to try Campbell's soup recipes!  This one was also good, but not great. Another very easy meal to make, and it made a good amount of food (enough for almost two full dinners for our family of 4).  There is another chicken and stuffing dish that I have in my recipe book which I prefer, but it also calls for a lot more prep and about a stick of butter, so this one is probably a little more healthy!
The next two recipes were in a cookbook that a friend from bee gave me - it is a compilation of recipes from members of her quilt guild.  I tried two recipes from it this month and managed to find both of them online! 

Broccoli and Cheese Puffle - I made this for a pitch-in at work and it was easy to make (which was really nice since I made it the morning of!) and it tasted really good. I thought it would have a puffy top, but that didn't matter once you got a bite. I would definitely make this again for a pitch-in. 

Asian Roll-ups - These are wrap sandwiches filled with salmon mixed with some spices an a dressing, which you can also dip them in.  This one was tasty and would be a good recipe for the summer when we don't want to cook as much since it just requires mixing.  The recipe didn't make much, so we would need to increase it in the future. (Sorry - must have been too hungry to snap a picture!)

And our carry-over from December - Chicken Tortilla Soup from a Pampered Chef magazine. This was the best tortilla soup I have ever had!  Mike had it ready for me on a night when it was super cold and I got home from work really late, and it hit the spot! I will put this into our rotation for the winter months for sure! 

Hope you saw something that sounds good!