Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tea Towel-Part 1

I am so excited to actually be blogging about a crap, I mean craft, project rather than just another dinner. I was all set to start working on this last Friday night after the little people went to bed, but as it turns out dinner, a trip to Wal-Mart, and a trip to JoAnn by myself with the little people after a week of working and being sick just wore me out. So, I watched tv instead.

But last night I was set. This is my first attempt at decorative tea towels. At first I wasn't real sure about my fabric choice but once I got going I thought it was going to be cute.

Here are my supplies:

A set of plain white kitchen towels from Wal-Mart

Decorative fabric-this is black with cherries on it if you can't tell

Coordinating rick rack

Coordinating thread (I didn't use the thread because as it turns out I already had red thread. Why, I don't know, but it matched and I like that thread better so I used it) I did use grey for the bobbin because I didn't have white. I use grey for almost all my sewing when I need something neutral, it works great.

And a can of cider. I went with this instead of wine. I admit Crispin isn't my favorite and I didn't drink it all, but it was still a nice treat.

I cut the fabric into a strip 4 inches wide and the cut it the width of the towel plus 1/2 inch. And as it turns out I wasn't being careful when I cut the fabric so the ruler slid so I had to fix it and the strips ended up being more like 3 3/4 inches wide. Whatever.

I folded each end of the fabric over 1/4 inch and pressed it to make a nice edge.

I figured out where I wanted the strip and put it in place. Great news, I didn't have to pin. The fabric just stuck to the towel like storybook characters on a felt board at the library.

I cut a strip of rick rack about 1/2 inch wider than the towel and was ready to go.

I lined the rick rack up along the raw edge of the fabric and got ready to sew. Things were looking great. I was actually liking the fabric once it was all together on the towel. Zip zip zip a straight stitch along the middle of the rick rack and I was ready to turn the ends under. I removed my towel from my sewing machine and found it to be an EPIC FAIL!

My tension was all wacked out and it totally didn't sew together right. And no, I didn't check part way through. And yes, I know I should do this. So, I had to engage in some antisewing.

At this point, I was done. Defeated. Finished. I didn't want to do any more. So, I put the stuff down to work on another night. Hopefully tonight. So, there will be more to this story, just not now. But rest assured, as with the rice, I will make this towel mine. No, I'm not going to use the naughty blog. Sheesh people.

Oh, as for the tension. I think I know what happened. I keep my sewing machine in my dining room under a plastic cover, not a case, more like a plastic bag. Well, Little Man likes to touch things. I'm pretty sure he found the tension dial and moved it. We'll see tonight when I check to see if it was moved. You might be thinking poor Little Man, getting blamed when he might not have done it. Well, he probably did, and if he didn't he probably did something else that he didn't get caught doing.

Monday, February 27, 2012

This just in...

I have 7 followers!! Let's make it 10 people. Wow, if I had 10 followers I would feel super popular. I need to get out more.

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

Ok, so first things first, I totally wasn't planning on blogging about dinner tonight. I really wasn't. Then I sent Susan a text to tell her I made a great Pinterest dinner and she said she couldn't wait to read about it on 52W. Great, no pressure there. But since I only have 5 followers I probably shouldn't disappoint one or I'll only have 4. And since 4 is less than 5, that would make me sad. BTW 6 is more than 5 and that would make me happy, so tell a friend. Apparently I do blogs on request.

The only picture I have is of half a pan of casserole. I'll post it later as an update, I honestly just don't feel like dealing with that right now. I'm tired and I'm watching Yo Gabba Gabba, a girl can only handle so much.

But anyway, let me share my casserole with you. The original recipe was found via Pinterest and can be found at

The main difference was that I used spaghetti instead of rigatoni because that is what I had on hand. I also forgot the salt and pepper.

So, here is what I did.

I cooked 4 chicken breasts in the crock pot yesterday. When I got home today I put on a big pot of water to boil and put about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 9x13 pan with 1 cup of chopped onion (I love the bags of frozen chopped onions) and baked at 375 until the onions were soft. Ok, they got a bit brown. Next time I would use more onions, I didn't measure and I don't think I had a cup. So, by now the water is boiling and I cook just about 1 box of spaghetti. Next time I think I would use 3/4 of a box, or maybe even half. Then you mix the chicken which is chopped, 1 box of thawed frozen spinach (drained well), the onion, a container of garlic herb cream cheese ( I used Aldi brand). At first I couldn't get it to mix, then I microwaved the cream cheese until it was soft which helped a lot. Oh, I also added a can of Italian chopped tomatoes-drained. Dump it into the pan and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake covered at 375 for about 20 minutes, uncover and bake until the cheese is melted.

Like I said, I really liked this. My husband did too. Don't know so much about big brother, he had a band thing so he had a grilled cheese since dinner wasn't done. I doubt he'll like it, but you never know.

Ok, that is all I have to say. Susan, I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If it were a video post you would all see me trying to keep the little people from helping and hear the great songs about not playing in the road provided by the talented crew of Yo Gabba Gabba. And I don't care what the lyrics say, I'm pretty sure that they say Foofa, she's freaking happy not pink and happy. Seriously, check out the intro on Youtube sometime and tell me that isn't what it sounds like. Oh, and also, it really bothers me that you can see the zippers in the Yo Gabba Gabba costumes,

Alright, enough about YGG. Make this casserole, it is good.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Well friends, it is Lent. If you are Catholic it means giving something up. Sacrificing like Jesus sacrificed for you. If you aren't Catholic means trying to figure out why Catholics think giving up candy is a sacrifice even remotely similar to what Jesus did. And here in lies my dilemma. I was raised Catholic but now I consider myself Lutheran. So, to give up or not to give up, that is the question. (And here you thought the question was "What's for dinner?")

So, here is what I have decided. I'm going to have several Lenten goals that will hopefully help me to be a better person. Here they are...

1. Be the better person (note, not a better person; the better person)

2. Be healthier

3. Be more organized

4. Be more spiritual

Great you say, but what did you make? Well, I made fliers for two of my goals. It is much easier to have Lenten goals if they are on snazzy fliers, Susan said so. And she is smart so I believe her.

I plan on putting a flyer for each on my refrigerator as a daily reminder of what I'm doing. I will be making a flyer with a quote from Mother Theresa (thanks Susan) that I will probably have as my desktop background.

But here are my fliers.

I tried to come up with snappy names, heck I even went old school and got out my thesaurus, but I couldn't come up with anything, so it is what it is.

Whatever your Lenten/Spring plans are, I hope they work out for you. And remember, things are easier to do with a snappy flyer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Craft Hope

I usually share a funny project or meal that I've been working on on this blog. I will continue to do that but today I wanted to share something that someone else is doing.

Today I came across Craft Hope Craft Hope is a project that shares handmade gifts with those in need. The posts I read brought tears to my eyes.

I wanted to share this site because today, on Valentines day I realize how lucky I am to have three little people and a husband in my life that I love so much and that love me back. I also realize how lucky I am that they are all very healthy and happy. Unfortunately, this isn't true for everyone.

Craft Hope's current mission is to provide handmade bags and beanies for children undergoing cancer treatment.

Please visit the Craft Hope website to see if you can participate in their mission.

I'm hopefully going to make a football beanie (or maybe a couple) and a t-shirt bag or two to send along. If you aren't a big sewer but want to help anyway, check out the t-shirt bag, they look very easy to make (No sewing option) (this one requires very little sewing)

You can also find videos on making these bags on Youtube.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cookie Cups

Anyone with children knows the danger of a car ride. No, I'm not talking about an accident, no, I'm talking about something much worse. The not a nap, nap. It happens when it is right around nap time and you have to get from someplace home and the kids fall asleep for a very short time. No matter how hard you try, you can't get them into bed without waking them up. And then they are up. You know the truth, they didn't really nap, but to them, that nap was just the refresher they needed.

Saturday Susan and I went to Boone and were coming home right around lunch time. The plan was to stop at McDonald's so the kids could eat and then if they napped on the way home at least they got some sleep. Well for whatever reason McDonald's was really crowded so we were just going to eat at the one at home. This change in plans meant that the kids were going to ride in the car for about 20 minutes right around nap time. That would be death to any nap that afternoon and we were having a play date so they needed naps. My solution was to stop at the gas station and get the kids some cookies so they would eat their cookies and stay awake. Brilliant! One problem, the gas station didn't sell the cookies in a cup. I knew that just giving the kids a handful of cookies could only end in disaster so, I did what any desperate mom with a pink Swiss Army knife would do, I made some.

When I got to the car I think Susan was a little worried because I turned the car off and started attacking some empty cappuccino cups with my pocket knife. I was too busy to explain what I was doing so she was just going to have to wait a minute. After I finished cutting the cups up and put some cookies in them my madness made more sense.

And it worked. The kids ate their cookies and stayed awake until we got to McDonald's where they ate a surprising amount of food. They did have the rest of their cookies on the way home (keeping them awake across time). I think Catherine was excited because when she left the van she only had 1 cookie left but when she got back in there were 2. Little did she realize we just switched sides of the van so she was actually eating Carter's cookies.

Here are the very fancy cookie cups and some little people enjoying their treats.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Frosting Fudge AKA Pinterest Fudge AKA...

Two Ingredient Fudge AKA Was This Really That Easy Fudge AKA No Freaking Way Does This Really Only Have Two Ingredients Fudge.

I think you get the point.

The Pinspiration for this fudge was this blog post

Sorry for the delay in posting the link. I had to look it up on my Pinterst board and well, you know what happens when you sign onto Pinterest...time escapes.

While I really like the concept of the strawberry fudge and thought it was super cute, I just wasn't sold on the strawberry part. Sometimes artificial fruit flavor just isn't my thing. But sometimes it is, I can't explain it so I'm not going to try. Anyway, I thought I this could be a way of combining three things I love and always make me happy peanut butter, chocolate, and Pinterest. I filed that thought away until I could make some fudge.

Well, my friend Susan came over the other night for a very exciting dinner of crockpot ham and potaotoes and asked what she could bring. Now, the usual response is either wine, cupcake vodka, or dessert. This time I said "Hey, how about we try that Pinterest fudge I pinned and you repinned. Want to bring the stuff for that. Well, since it involves three things she also loves (peanut butter, chocoalte, and Pinterest) she was on board.

We ate dinner and paitently waited for the kids to go to bed (seriously, just go to bed already we have fudge to make) and then got to cooking...if you can call it cooking.

Here are the supplies:

A bag of peanut butter chips

A can of chocolate fudge frosting

2 glasses of Big House Naked Chardonay

(the only Chardonay I like)

Now please note, we used store brand supplies and it didn't matter. You don't have to go all fancy pants and buy the expensive name brand stuff. You could, but then you would just be showing off. If you are going to do that you should probably just go ahead and buy expensive wine and wear diamonds while you make this stuff. And then you should probably call it "Fancy Pants Fudge" because you were being fancy pants when you made it.

Ok, I'll stop now.

All you do to make this great fudge is melt the peanut butter chips in the microwave. Now remember 30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds, stir until it is all melted. Chips won't look like they are melted when you use the microwave, you have to stir. If you just keep microwaving you will end up with a burnt, nasty, smelly mess. Not good.

Once you have the chips melted stir in the frosting until it is well blended. Pour into a greased pan and let set for about 30 minutes. Or, put it in the freezer until it is set enough to eat. Please don't ask what size pan. I think the recipe calls for a 9x9. I couldn't find my 9x9 or 8x8 but I did know where the approximatly 8x6 was, so I went with that one. I think just about anything smaller than a 9x13 would work-it just depends on how thick you like your fudge.

And here it is:

Please note the lovely cake plate. I started cutting squares to put all nice on the plate so I could have a pretty picture. Then I found the fudge wasn't really set up so it wasn't coming out of the pan in nice neat squares, it was taking long, and well we didn't want to wait. So, Susan had the brilliant idea of just putting the pan on the cake plate. That way I still get credit for trying.

I love this fudge. The peanut butter was very subtle but still there. You could use any combination of chips and frosting to see what would happen. And if you wanted it to be all fancy pants you could add nuts, or chips, or whatever. You could also line your pan with parchment or wax paper so it would come right out and you could cut it in nice squares. Yeah, I know, pretty fancy pants.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ham and Broccoli Casserole

Ok, so I know what you are thinking. "Another food post. Seriously? I mean this is supposed to be 52 Weeks of Crap, not 52 Weeks of What I Make for Dinner." And I agree, when I started this blog I really had intended for more of the posts to be about craft project. But then reality set in. The reality is that I don't always have time to work on my craft projects but I always have to make dinner. And if you ask my children they will say that sometimes dinner can certainly be considered crap. I usually don't think so, but sometimes it is true. We aren't going to talk about my attempts at baked mac and cheese. But I will say this "Someday mac and cheese I will win!" But for now we aren't talking about it.

This casserole is really good. However, I do admit it isn't a meal you can feel good about feeding your family if you are really concerned about nutrition. Which I am, but sometimes you need to make things that you can feel good about because your family actually ate it. Plus, this has broccoli so it is kind of healthy.

I must say that I did not come up with this recipe, but for the life of me I cannot figure out where I got it. I had it posted as a note on my Facebook page and it just took me 10 minutes to find it with the new timeline view. But I found it, phew. It would have been a sad day if I had lost this one.

Here is what you need:

2 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

3 cups chopped broccoli

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 cups cubed cooked ham

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tbl dried onion

1/2 tsp pepper

2 cups crushed potato chips

Cook the macaroni. In a large bowl combine the broccoli, soup, ham, cheeses, milk (now this is funny I'm copying the recipe which calls for milk but I have no milk on the ingredient list...well, skip the milk, I didn't use it this time), onion, and pepper. Drain the macaroni and add to the ham mixture.

Place in a greased 9x13 pan and top with chips. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes (just until it is hot and bubbly-this will depend on your oven).Ok, so when I made this I doubled it, so the recipe you have is doubled. If you double this you will have A LOT of casserole. Which is fine if you want to freeze one or have teenager boys in the house. I use frozen broccoli and pour the hot water over the broccoli to thaw it. Also, I add a bit of cheese on the top before I put the chips on. Who doesn't love a little more cheese? Finally, last time I made it I think I added an extra can of soup because it didn't look wet enough. Maybe it was because I didn't add the milk.

Once again, this is a casserole not rocket science, so don't make it too difficult. Coming up with ideas for dinner is hard enough, actually making dinner shouldn't be.

I'm pretty sure there was something else I was going to share, but I can't remember what it was. So, it couldn't have been too important, right?
Oh, I remember! I wanted to confirm that I didn't say this was a healthy dinner :)