2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Monday, June 12, 2017

A few new recipes - Spring 2017

The number of new recipes we try has really started to dwindle given how many great ones we have discovered. On a typical weekend, I will now start with the existing book or folder and see what we haven't had in a while vs. looking for something new to make. Every once in a while, I get the itch to try something else, so here are a few of the ones we've made over the past few months. 

I'll start with dinners, then move on to the fun stuff! First up is ham loaf, a meal I never realized existed until we went to Shipshewana and saw it on a menu. My two Illinois friends talked it up last year and I recently found a recipe for it in my Fit it and Enjoy it cookbook. It took me a few weeks to find ground ham, but once I did, we made it right up and it was delicious! I think we've had it three times since then! 
Next up is a recipe I may have posted a long time ago, but it's so good, I thought I'd share it again! It is from my neighbor and originally came from Cooking Light. It is called Basil Shrimp with Feta and Orzo (otherwise known as all of my favorite ingredients in one dish). This one takes a little prep work, so isn't an easy weeknight meal, but is worth the effort when you do make it.  
We tried Spinach Artichoke Elegance on a night when we had friends over for dinner (the kids ate chicken tenders!), and it was very tasty. It take a lot of prep work too, so won't be on the menu very often, but it was very tasty, so another one I'd pull out again when we have time for it :) 
When we found ourselves with a little bacon and a little chicken, we made up Creamy Chicken with Bacon and Penne on the Kraft website. This is another one that was really tasty, and the prep work wasn't hard on it, so we will see it again next time we have a partial package of bacon left! 
As the weather started to warm up, we started to look for meals that didn't take a lot of heat in the oven. This recipe for Shrimp Tortilla Pizza is in our Mr. Food cookbook and it was great. The kids had theirs without olives and we all liked it. This is an easy dinner for a busy night. 
The last dinner recipe is one that's been in the folder and I've looked at many, many times since we started this challenge. I always thought I wasn't a big fan of curry, so it never made its way out of the folder until after a recent trip to an excellent Indian restaurant. I was feeling adventurous so put this one on the menu and it was great. The kids even enjoyed it, which was a surprise to me. It didn't have a really strong curry flavor, but did have the right amount of spice. It is called Fusilli with Curried Chicken and Vegetables
Now, on to the fun stuff! I've shared before that my daughter really likes to bake. For Easter, she picked out an angel food cake to make and it was absolutely delicious! It is Key Lime Coconut Angel Food Cake from Betty Crocker, and it starts with a box recipe. Jenna enjoyed making the icing, cutting the cake to make two layers, and especially decorating it with jelly beans! 
Next up for Jenna was another round of Strawberry Shortcake. She decided to make a large shortcake this time rather than individual biscuits, but it was just as good as the last version she made. The Better Homes and Gardens cookbook was the source for this one. 
Last up is the cake my husband decorated for Jenna's 12th birthday, a Stampy Cat themed party. I picked up all the fondant (which we've never tried before), and he rolled them out and shaped them correctly, and she was thrilled! Stampy Cat is a character from Minecraft, and was the perfect mascot for a cat-loving, Minecraft loving girl. 
 Hope you enjoyed all the new recipes and find one that you'll want to try! 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

May 2017 Stash Report and Accomplishments

May was a banner month for me - I dedicated a bit of time to retreat prep, then had four great days at retreat. You can see my whole retreat report in the previous post. 
Retreat prep - cutting out the Plus table runner
I did add a little fabric at retreat - we went to Lolly's, a great quilt shop, and they have this big boat of fat quarters, and they give us a couple for one free fat quarter. So, I sat down by the boat and started pulling out all the fat quarters that were good blenders, mostly tone on tones. I kept pulling and before I knew it, I had 12, and the deal is better when you buy 12, so I did! Add my free fat quarter and two they gave us at retreat, and I came home with over 4 yards of new fabric. 
Fun Fat Quarters and a couple patterns from retreat
I also did a good job of using fabric this month. Some of the retreat pre-cutting was counted in April, but I also had usage in May for the Plus table runner, mini-pumpkins, the back of my cascading triangles top, the mini pop-up, and the sit and stitch. 

The cascading triangles was my UFO for the month. I got the back made, loaded, and quilted it all in one day, then took it to retreat to put on the binding. This is going to be a Christmas gift this year and I look forward to gifting it as I think the recipient will really like it.  
Quilting on Cascading Triangles

Finished table runner all bound
I wound up with 27 hours of quilting time and a pretty coincidental stash report: 

Fabric added in May: 4 1/4 yards
Fabric added year to date: 10 3/8 yards

Fabric used in May: 4 1/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 18 1/2 yards

Net fabric used: 8 1/8 yards

On the cross-stitch side, I finished up Lady in Harbor, one of my planned kits for the year.  This was given to me at a stitching day and there is no picture with the kit, so I wasn't quite sure how she'd look in the end. I think I will look for a frame so that I can try framing her myself. If anyone is interested in the pattern, I will be happy to put it in an envelope and send it your way. I did highlight parts of it, so it might be somewhat challenging to follow, but I am happy to pass it on to another stitcher. 
My second finish for the month is called Christmas in Ohio, from the 2016 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments magazine. I will probably finish this one as a flat fold. I have a few waiting to be done so need to plan a finishing day soon! 
Hope you had a great May - thanks for stopping by to see what I've been working on!