Monday, May 17, 2010

GROOVY GRILLIN’ WEEK

Hey there kiddies! How are you doing this morning? It’s early here and I wanted to hop online and write to you before the crazy day starts. I am sad to report that either a roadside cow or a visiting person discovered the first place I was watching for berries. I was very upset. So it was back home for a sewing and cooking marathon!



I had been using plastic canvas made cow canisters when that was my theme, but now I need something different. Having never seen any lemon canisters, I decided to take this old storage container (for now at least) and spray glue some of those cut out lemons on the sides to match the room. This is just temporary but I thought it turned out pretty cute. I put all my teabags in it and placed it on the shelf by the window.



Remember that Madison’s room is one of the 6 ongoing projects… well today I made 2 complete curtain sets and the closet drape set. Those things were long! 86 inches!! I didn’t realize how tall her windows and closet were til I measured LOL! I have a few things left to do, but I am hoping to have everything ready to redo her room by the end of the week! And it’s a good thing I am almost done too… because I am almost out of fabric! In making all the things for her room, I have eliminated 2 brand new 12 yard bolts… I have maybe 4 yards left!



When you are working with the little black music notes steadily, you tend to go cross-eyed and start seeing spots LOL! So in between each item, I took a break and sewed other things because I value my eyesight LMAO! One of the things I worked on was the BC quilt. I got 4 more rows added to the length of the quilt. I figure 5 on each side of the center will make it about 6.5 to 7 ft. long. Haven’t decided how wide to make it yet. But isn’t it turning out so pretty? I already have 2 offers to buy it for $300 each! Anyone wanna try to outdo them? LMAO! What happens if I just want to keep it?? Oh decisions, decisions!



Another thing I made in between the music note stuff was this purse. Recognize the fabric? Yep, it was the scrap that was left in the green tote after I made my “casino scrub” the other night LOL! Working hard on the fabric challenge!! Anyways, I think this is so spiffy cool looking! I wanna keep this too!



I also made a couple of cell pouches out of the scraps that were left after the purse! I think I might put one for sale with the purse and then one by itself. Not sure yet. Either way, after making these, I totally eliminated this fabric! WOOHOO! Another one bites the dust!



The whole time I am sewing I am also cooking. It was experimental night LOL! First I boiled some chicken legs and once they cooled I deboned them. I added them with some mushroom soup, some cooked rotini pasta, some broccoli, milk, cheese, etc and made a casserole. It was quite yummy actually!



Large Elbow macaroni, a jar of Ragu Double cheese sauce, and some ground meat made for some homemade Cheeseburger macaroni. Hamburger helper ain’t got NOTHIN’ on homemade! LOL! DS14 ate that whole pan almost!



I had some boneless pork that I think sliced and marinated that and some short ribs in some teriyaki sauce. Baked the ribs and stir-fried the boneless with some veggies I had prepped and froze for stir-fry. Placed that over a bed of thin noodles which were sauced with teriyaki as well and OMG drool central!



Behold the Valentine’s Day chicken legs as the kids call them LOL! Actually they are Raspberry Pecan chicken legs. (I told you I was experimenting!!) I peeled the skin off some chicken legs and marinated them for over 2 hours in a Ken’s Fat Free dressing (Raspberry Pecan) in the fridge. I crushed about a cup or 2 of pecans and sprinkled them on top and baked them. They were absolutely superb if you can get past the fact they are pink LOL!

I also made some cinnamon apple dijon short ribs and OMG it smelled like a fresh baked apple pie in the house! I took a second package of short ribs and put them in a bag. Now when I had bought some of those clearanced salad kits, they had an Apple Dijon vinaigrette that I didn’t use at the time, but merely stuck in the fridge for use at a later date. Today was that date! And everyone knows apples and pork are a nice pairing, so I figured- Let’s Play! WOW am I glad I did! I poured the dressing packets and the last of my apple cider vinegar I had (maybe a ¼ cup max) and shook it up and placed the ribs in it to marinate. About an hour or so later, I diced up some apple slices. I put the ribs in the pan. The diced apples on top of the ribs, and poured the marinade over all of it. Then I said HMMM… apples like cinnamon so lets try it! Oh gee was everyone in the house about to gnaw off my ankles in wait! LOL! Sadly I have no picture because they ran off with them all too fast! But it’s definitely something they want me to make again LOL!

As you can see, I was a busy lady yesterday. I started a Tinkerbell purse out of the green crate of fabric too, but didn’t quite get it finished before it was time for bed. So, you will get to see that completed probably tomorrow if I get to finish it tonight! All I have to do is add straps and a zipper and sew it up and it will be done!

OK sew its time to craft… no I am not crafting right now… the sun isn’t even up LOL! But as you know I like to bring you my own creations as well as those of others who I think just are too cute not to mention. Now recently I brought you a doggie toy. I hope you liked it. Now for those of you who don’t have a dog, but maybe a cat (like Mom and I), I have a toy for your little feline friends today! It’s time to go kitty fishing! Make this cute little fish on a string and drive your cat bonkers! Especially when you stuff it with catnip! LMAO!



Craft Idea of the Day: Felt Fish for Kitty

Every kitten loves catnip and batting at strings! Make a quick stuffed fishy toy on a line of rickrack, and you and your kitty can play together.

Materials:

Two pieces of wool felt, each about 6 inches x 4 inches
Pinking shears
18-inch length of rickrack
Small jingle bells, feathers, or other optional decoration
Catnip (optional, but I guarantee your cat will be more interested in this toy if you use it)
Small amount polyfil stuffing
Sewing machine
Needle and thread

Directions:



Print out the template and enlarge it to the desired size. My fish was about 5 inches long by 3 inches wide.

Start by cutting two fish shapes out of your felt pieces with pinking shears. Pin the pattern piece to the felt and cut just slightly outside of the pattern piece. If you don't have pinking shears, regular scissors will work okay, too.

Stack the two fish together, wrong sides facing, and slide about 1 inch of the rickrack between the two pieces as shown. Pin in place. Sew around the sides of the fish, making sure to encase the rickrack. Do NOT sew the tail shut.

Stuff the fish body with polyfil and catnip (if using). Sew the tail shut.

Add a few jingle bells to the top of the fishy to make some noise for kitty. Hand-sew the bells securely in place, and remember to supervise your kitty while he's playing with this toy. You can also add some feathers to pique his interest.

Ok, this week I have decided (as if the title didn’t give it away LOL!) is Grill Week! With the summer coming, more and more people have cook-outs, BBQ’s, etc. Now everyone knows you can just throw on some burgers and such… nothing real “special” about that. BUT what I am going to bring you is recipes for grilling things with a little flare! Unique things that you can do to spruce up that chicken or beef strip… don’t worry, if you don’t have a grill outside, you can also use an indoor grill pan too! So let’s start off the week with a gift of grill from the $5 Dinner Mom and her awesome website! Thanks Erin! (If you haven’t signed up for her newsletter, what are you waiting for? She’s awesome and has tons of great stuff to share with you!) I made this for Mom and Dad this past Saturday for lunch and they said it was delish… and it’s a great recipe for him because the thigh is his favorite part!



Grilled Salsa Chicken

Ingredients

2 lbs bone-in chicken thighs
1 cup salsa
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Toss the garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

2. Separate the skin from the thigh and spoon in some seasonings.

3. Spoon in some salsa. Repeat for all the chicken thighs that you’ll be grilling.

4. Sprinkle any remaining seasonings on top of the chicken thighs.

5. Spread any remaining salsa into the bottom of a shallow dish or baking dish and let the chicken sit on top of the salsa, so the underside of the chicken marinates and takes on a bit of the salsa flavor. Let sit for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

6. Grill.until cooked through. (I garnished with another spoonful of salsa.)

Now what would grilling week be, without some info about grills!? I just happened upon this article yesterday and thought that the timing was so appropriate and I had to share!

Best BBQ grills from Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports rates gas grills in sizes from portable tailgaters to large, free-standing models.

By ConsumerReports.org



(The Char-Broil Commercial Quantum Grill)

Mouthwatering burgers and sizzling steaks are probably the first things that come to mind when you think of grilling. But Americans are also firing up their grills to cook vegetables, fruits, pizza, and even pancakes and eggs.

So which grills are the best? We spent months cooking salmon, grilling chicken, and searing steaks on 46 gas grills. Our tests revealed recommended models that cost between $200 and $700.

We also found a few duds. Want a grill that shows you're rooting for the home team? The Team Grill Patio Series Pro bears the colors and logo of your favorite team. But our tests found that the $800 Pro is a pricey rookie that cooked unevenly and had a low overall score of 45. The futuristic-looking Solaire, $1,800, also cooked unevenly—which means lots of shuffling food around to avoid uncooked portions.



Small-sized and portable grills (shown is the Char-Broil Red)

Infrared is growing more common even among the smallest free-standing models, which cost about $150 to $500 and fit 10 to 15 burgers. The Char-Broil Red Patio 46325021 costs $270 and offers infrared searing on its main burner. Besides very even cooking at high and low temperatures, it also outdid larger grills when it came to low-temperature cooking. Portable grills to go typically lack features common on larger models, such as multiple main burners, stainless construction, and side burners. They’re also less convenient to use. But for tight spaces or tailgating, they can be all you need. The Weber Q 200 396002, $200, was the best-performing portable, and you can add a cart for use as a free-standing unit.

Medium-sized grills (shown in the Char-Broil Red)

The most popular size, these cost $200 to $900 on average and fit 16 to 30 burgers. Our top picks range in price from the Brinkmann 810-8410S, $200, to the top-rated Weber Genesis E320, $700. Both were among the best at cooking evenness. Two other recommended models, from Char-Broil and Kenmore, have infrared for searing meats at the main burner.



Large-sized grills (Shown is the Weber Genesis E320)

Looking to grill for a gang? These crowd-pleasers cost $300 to $1,000 or more and can fit 30 or more burgers. All those we recommended have stainless-steel or coated cast-iron grates and side burners. The Brinkmann 810-1575-W, sold at Walmart, has five main burners and an infrared rotisserie. At $380, it costs less than most grills this size. The Char-Broil Commercial Quantum 463247310, $500, offers infrared cooking, which uses heated surfaces to radiate intense heat to food, not the air, making it good for searing.


Ok everybody, I have to skidaddle quick like today! Gotta take mom to her first therapy appointment today at 9am! So, I hope you enjoyed the blog and I am gonna get dressed, get the kids off to school, and get on down the road! Ya’ll take care and I will meet you back here tomorrow, ok? Until then… HUGS!

3 comments:

  1. Debbie "MOM"May 17, 2010 at 7:52 AM

    Ahhhh...grilling my favorite way to cook meats. Burns off the fats and adds that little smoky taste you just cant resist. My favorite is baby back ribs and you can bet I pick them up every time they go on sale. Veggies are great on the grill too! Even some fruits can be grilled. Try it, you might like it.
    The BC quilt is turning out beautiful. I would make it to fit a queen size bed since thats the size most people have these days.
    Well got to run (LOL). Starting physical therapy today. Probably just paperwork mostly today. Til next time......

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  2. OMG the BC quilt! I can't wait to see it finished. Its beautiful! Your mom is right, I too have a queen size bed. And guess what I did today? I went out and bought one of those small table top grills for my patio so I could grill all the good foods I know you will be sharing with us this week LOL!

    To "MOM"- I hope your therapy went well. It can be very painful, but it will help in the long run. Just keep your spirits up! Oh and one more thing. You'd be proud! On the way back from the store, I stopped by the animal shelter here in town! I brought home a baby kitten and I am calling him Pounce cuz thats what he did when they opened the cage- he pounced on me LOL! The momma passed away in the shelter while having the litter and he was one of 3 that survived. So I have my own rescue kitten now!

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  3. this is my second try
    it is not letting me post

    i am doing well... plugging away

    sorry to worry you Renee.... i dont like to post that I wont be home until I am back LOL
    cant be to careful

    ReplyDelete