2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Monday, March 21, 2016

February 2016 Recipes

We tried a few new recipes in February, including our first recipe from the videos that go across Facebook seemingly all day now (mostly thanks to my mom!). It was a pretty well balanced month, with online, cookbook, and magazine recipes. 

Mongolian Beef, the recipe from Facebook, was a little hard in the prep stages, as I had to substitute a cube steak this time of year. This was an easy one to prep and it smelled great as it cooked. It tasted delicious and the whole family liked it, so we will be putting this into our normal rotation. Just fair warning though - it made a lot! If you're cooking for a smaller group, you might cut the recipe in half. 

Blueberry Pound Cake from Cooking Light was made for my bee. It turned out beautifully and we enjoyed every last piece! The kids really loved it (and were very happy my bee friends didn't eat all of it!). 
Spaghetti with Bartolino's Meatballs from Midwest Living was paired with a pasta sauce, which we haven't made yet. The meatballs were good, but not any better than the ones I pick up in the freezer section at Traders Joe's, so we will probably let this one go. 
I dug a little deeper into on of our cookbooks early in the month and found several more recipes to try from the Fix it and Enjoy it Cookbook:

Shrimp with Ginger and Lime - this was a great fast and easy recipe that was made while the rice cooked in my favorite new appliance, the Rice Cooker. It was a solid meal and we will probably repeat when we need an easy meal on a busy night. 
Poppy Seed Chicken - this is the second poppy seed chicken we've made. The first on was baked strips breaded in poppy seed, and this one was a "fill the dish with chicken and sauce, then cover with poppy seed topping." We liked this one just as much as the last one and it is a good way to use up the jar of poppy seeds I bought! 
Hot Cheese Dip - I also made this for my bee and it was really good. It is  made from a base of mayonnaise, and I wasn't sure how I'd like that, but it tasted great and was a big hit with the bee and also with my husband when he arrived home that afternoon! 

It was a great month of new recipes!  I won't have any to share for March - between a trip to Mexico for work, a trip to Illinois for quilting, and a trip to DC for spring break, we are focused on easy meals this month, which means going back to things we've made many times before. Hope you have a great month of dinners and let me know if you try any new recipes! 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

February 2016 Recap

I really had only one critical goal in February - to get the George Washington t-shirt quilt finished and ready to gift by the end of the  month.  In total, I spent 17 1/4 hours quilting this month and I got a few other things done too: 

- Made back for and quilted Beth's quilt
- Made and attached binding to Warm Winter Wishes, which is now only waiting for a label
 - Made 4 Sweet pea pods with the remaining pieces from Bendy bags made last year
 - Finished the George Washington quilt 

I didn't even touch my APQ Challenge #5 UFO. Well, I touched it enough to move it around the studio about 5 times, but I didn't get the back made so it isn't quilted yet. I plan to get back to it on another month when the project doesn't take me the full month to finish.  

On the stitching front, I finished my February ornament.

On the crochet front, I had a great month - I finished two projects!  
- Mantella Cape, which I started back in August. I plugged away a few rows at a time and finally got it blocked and then the button sewn on. (I still need to get a good picture of this one.)
- Cable Stitch Jenna Headband - This involved some new stitches for me (which isn't hard since I am still learning) and I had it almost halfway done when I realized that it wasn't creating the cable pattern. I ripped it back to the start...twice, actually! I finally got the hang of it and then finished it the same week I started it. 

As it relates to my personal goals, I had great luck with my swimming - I went every week in February, twice a few weeks and I wound up with either 5 or 6 sessions swimming. I am getting better at swimming without stopping too. 

On the house front, I got the first estimate for our bathroom renovation and it was double what I'd planned to spend, so I am back to the start to get another estimate, and maybe adjust the plan.  While we could spend the higher amount, I still have way too much work that needs to be done around here to blow the bank on the first project! By the end of March, I hope to have another estimate and also a plan B. 

Hope you had a great February!