2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Late Spring and Summer Recipes

As I sit enjoying the first day of fall (the temperature dropped 30 degrees overnight!!), I thought it was high time I shared some of the new recipes we tried over the late spring and summer. 

First up - another winner from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, scalloped macaroni and ham. We had leftover ham for this one and it was yummy. Panko breadcrumbs on the top made it extra crunchy. We will revisit this one for sure! 

For this one, you get the plate picture first, then the fun picture! It is the Chicken Enchilada Bake from Fix-It and Enjoy-It, and other reason we love this cookbook! I am not sure why we hadn't tried this one yet, because it was awesome! 
 And here's the growing boy about to devour his! 

The next recipe, Meatball Sub Casserole, is also from Fix-It and Enjoy-It and it actually wasn't a hit...probably the first one from this cookbook that we didn't really enjoy. It has a base layer of bread, then you layer on sauce, meatballs, and cheese - cream cheese and mozzarella. It was okay, but no one was clamoring for the leftovers. Too much cream cheese maybe, or the bread layer, not sure what it was, but we've had lots of other meat/sauce dishes we like a lot better.  
 The third recipe from Fix-It and Enjoy-It is Sausage Tortellini Soup. Jenna is not a fan of tortellini and she didn't disappoint. She took about two bites and then headed to the fridge to find some leftovers :)  The rest of us really liked it, so this will have to go into the file for "make when Jenna is at camp or a friend's house!"
 Ok, I didn't realize when i started to pull these recipes together that so many were from Fix-It and Enjoy-It, but this one is too! It is BBQ Marinated Chicken that Mike grilled for us. It was really, really good and the parts that charred on the grill (you can see the dark edges) were so savory. This will go into the summer grill rotation for sure! I enjoyed taking all the leftovers to eat for lunch!
 The next one is a recipe from All Recipes - Mike found it and made it himself because he loves Fettucini Carbonara, and this one didn't disappoint. We all enjoyed it - it will be returning soon! 
 Next up, my teenage baker was at it again! I wound up with a ton of blueberries and layed out 4 recipes for her to choose from. She picked Blueberry Boy Bait, shared with us by our friend Sara. It's also available on the internet and I recommend you make time to make it now! It's the best, and that lemon glaze on the top is just yum! 
 The hits continue with Sesame Shrimp with Ginger Broccoli, a Cooking Light recipes. Short aside - did you hear last week that Cooking Light is getting folded into another magazine next year? I am so sad! We've found so many good recipes in that magazine. Ok, back to our dinner. The shrimp was great, and I could have eaten twice as much as I did! The broccoli would be okay...but I think I'd be just as happy to have regular broccoli with some seasoning. 
 In the "easy weeknight meals" category, we tried Chicken and Black Bean Tostadas from Mr. Food. I'd had tostadas at restaurants, but had never bought them for home. They turned out great and we all enjoyed them.  The things on the top that look like marshmallows in the picture are actually green onions! 
 Getting close to the end now - these last two recipes were from this past week. We tried the Frittata from Better Homes and Gardens and Mike added ham, cheese, and sauteed onions. It was delicious and also another quick, easy dinner for a busy night (we've had lots of those lately). 
 Last up, another recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, One Pot Spaghetti. You brown the meat, add everything to it, and cook it all in the same bowl. I wasn't sure how it would work, but it turned out pretty well. The only thing I didn't like as much is that there really wasn't any sauce, as it all got absorbed into the pasta and other ingredients. I think we'd be just as good to make up some good sauce, then add it to pasta as normal, but this was a good one to try. 
Whew, that was a lot of recipes - more than I thought I had! As you can still, we're still testing and trying and still finding some new gems and some good go-tos. Hope you've seen something you'd like to try! 

Monday, September 3, 2018

August 2018

It was a really interesting August here in central Indiana. The weather was cooler than normal, which was a real benefit. We really enjoyed having windows open in the middle of the month! 

We started the month fully back into the school swing of things and had to figure out how to adjust back to the school nights, homework, and defined bedtimes. Our son also joined the middle school tennis team, so we've been figuring out how to get in practice and homework. He's had two matches now - won one, lost one - and is learning how to play a little better each week. It is fun watching him learn and grow. 
Jack in the front
We also spend a Saturday at our Indiana State Fair, an event we've enjoyed almost every year. We have our usual stops for specific foods, but the kids love standing/sitting in the huge tractor tires each year. One of these days, I'll need to pull out the pictures over the years - I have a feeling these tire tractors are getting smaller all the time! 

On to the crafty activities. The middle of the month found me flat out with kids, work, and extracurricular activities, so I was really happy when August 17th came and it was the day for the Indy Summer Stitchers retreat. My mom and I decided earlier this year to try our hand at hosting a retreat, and we wound up with 30 stitchers who convened upon Whitestown, Indiana for a weekend. We had stitchers from 6 or 7 states and a good time was had by all. Having never done a stitching retreat, I didn't know quite how it would go, but it is just like a quilting retreat - bring too many projects, don't get nearly enough done, stay up too late, and have a great time! We already have the contract set for next year, and as of this week are already full! We decided not to increase the size, but we will take a wait list as we know sometimes things change over the course of a year. 
The 2018 Indy Summer Stitchers

So, with all that stitching time, I did get two projects finished and one fully finished. We did a fall small exchange, and I made the little green one in the middle/right on green fabric that says Fall and has acorns and a pumpkin on it. 
All the amazing fall smalls from our retreat! 

I got this beautiful basket with a sunflower and it also had some needles and tiny scissors inside. I've also hidden some leftover chocolate inside and so far the kids haven't found it! 
My "win" from the Fall Small exchange
I also finished one other project - actually at the retreat - my second chalk of the month piece. I am not going to do all 12 months, but picked out the ones I really liked, and this was one of them. I was able to buy the backing board at a semi-local needlework shop, so I will need to get going so that I can finish this one! 

I also FFO'ed my Liberty piece that I stitched last year. You can see it here with my other show and tell items from the retreat. I worked on another pillow too, but it isn't quite done yet, so you should see a picture of that one in the September wrap up! 
Some of my show and tell, with the newly finished Liberty pillow.

On the quilting front, I found 6 days with time for sewing, for a total of 6 1/4 hours. I spent some of that time on finishing the pillows, quilted another maple leaf table runner for my friend Kathy, and got my red and orange strips for my rainbow scrap challenge blocks done. 
Red strips (from July)
Orange strips (for August)
As the month neared its end, I moved along two other projects - the first is a french braid quilt that was all kitted up but not started by my friend Lois when she left me her stash.  Jenna loved it and claimed it, so she picked out the thread color for the quilting (pink), the quilting style (large swirls), and the binding (also pink).  I finished it up right as she came down to say goodnight, so she grabbed it and was off to bed with it the night I finished it! Hooray for another UFO done! 

I also loaded another quilt on the frame, this one also for my friend Kathy. I quilted part of the first pass, and then the week got busy.  My goal for today is to get some time down in the basement to get this one done or well on its way. 

In the stash report department, I had a good month - fabric out for the Liberty pillow and a hunk of fabric to my mom to make pet beds for the local humane society. 
Fabric added this month: 0 yards
Fabric used this month: 2 1/2 yards

Fabric added year to date: 20 yards
Fabric used year to date: 35 1/2 yards

Net fabric used: 15 1/2 yards 

I just realized that I forgot to include my birthday gifts and fabric - I'll put them into the September report! I celebrated my birthday mid-month and enjoyed an evening with family, with one of my favorite dinners (Chicken Bruschetta Bake) and desserts (key lime pie!). 

Hope your August went well - see you again soon!