Sunday, February 27, 2011

Time for spring gardening.. at least from sewing room

This quilt I began using a pattern called Nana's Garden, but it grew to be more monotonous, and mundane, therefore, stopped making it, and created this quilt using the same fabrics, and scraps.. I've called it " Spring Weeds" since it doesnt have a pattern name to it.. But I loved the springy fuscia colors, and the scraps inside the individual blocks( see the second photo up close with scraps ), all make me smile at thinking how every garden I have ever weeded, has individual looks to the weeds..

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Glazed Balsamic Chicken

This easy chicken recipe is cooked in a skillet, and then baked with a yummy tasting glaze. With rice, and a green salad, its a dinner you will go running to over, and over again.. Enjoy!

4 to 6 thin chicken breast halves (thinly sliced or pounded to about 1/2-inch thickness)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon spicy mustard
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Wash chicken and pat dry; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Put flour in a plate and press chicken into the flour, just to coat both sides lightly. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in the oil for about 2 minutes on each side. Heat oven to 350°.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the vinegar, orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, mustard, and green onions. Pour the mixture over the chicken, turning chicken to coat both sides. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, turning once, or until chicken is glazed and cooked through.
Serves 4.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stained Glass doesnt just belong on windows..

This quilt top, made by one of my dear friend's daughters, is called simply, " Stained Glass".. not hard to see why it is named that, is it? Anne's careful choosing of her fabric colors just pops this beautiful quilt , and coupled with the black sashing strips, it just is amazing eye candy for those that love creativity in quilting. Anne has created even more quilts for her family, and friends, and as she uses the creative spirit designed inside her, I am always excited to see what other things she makes, or will be making .. A lovely quilt sewn by an even lovelier young woman.. Just love to showcase pretty things, and Anne's is no exception!

Asian Beef ( or Chicken ) Noodle Bowls

Ok, so I am a confirmed Chinese food junkie, and I love anything with veggies, and noodles.. I am not much of a meat eater, but occasionally I will eat it in Chinese recipes, or things that can use very little meat. This recipe came in my email box this morning, and as I saw the first glimpse of the photo, it made me drool in anticipation of Chinese, here at home. I wanted to share the recipe with those of you who might also like recipes such as this one.. Enjoy!

4oz uncooked angel hair pasta (capellini), broken in half
8oz fresh sugar snap peas
5teaspoons vegetable oil
1 lb boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
1/2cup teriyaki baste and glaze (from 12-oz bottle)
4medium green onions with tops, sliced (1/4 cup)
1/2cup chopped honey roasted peanuts

Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, snip off stem ends of sugar snap peas and remove strings if desired. Drain pasta; cover to keep warm.

In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 3 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Stir-fry beef in oil about 2 to 3 minutes, until no longer pink.
Remove from skillet; keep warm.

In same skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Stir-fry peas and carrot in oil about 3 to 4 minutes, until crisp-tender. Stir in pasta, beef and teriyaki baste and glaze; toss until well blended.

Serve in bowls; sprinkle with onions and peanuts..
Beef is easier to cut into thin strips if partially frozen first for 30 to 60 minutes.
Teriyaki baste and glaze has a thick, syrup-like consistency and shouldn’t be confused with teriyaki marinade or sauce.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Sequin Bible, all Dolled up.

" The Sequin Bible " ,in the Childrens International version, was one that captured my eye with its pre-teen "girly-girl" cover, and jewels on the front. From baubles of bead work, and designs creating flowers, and heart shapes, they sparkle, and shimmer, I immediatly thought of little girls from maybe 10 years of age, and on up to maybe the teen years. It was not the ordinary black, or other color of the Bible, which for young people would be something not really conversation worthy. Yet, the Sequin Bible, in bold colors of pinks, and other beading, speaks the language of little girls..
I am sure this Bible would bring them into an easy conversation about " where'd ya' get your bible! which for children, would be amazing way to get them involved in reading God's Word "...

I found, as soon as I opened the cute pink box it arrived in, that I would not necessarily want to keep reading it - not because it was to complicated for a young person, but honestly, because the smell assaulted me right off. I will say my nose wrinkled in the confusing scent , whether it would be normally like this, all the time - or if it was because it was new, and the smell of the fabric cover was not worn off. I do know, if I had to purchase The Sequin Bible, as it was, I would not, especially if it were to be a gift for a young person.
I did like however, the print, not to large, and not to small. I liked the easy reading, and the size , although maybe for the smaller girl, 8 years of age or so, it might be a little " large" to carry around. But for a great conversation piece, it would be perfect for those little girl slumber parties where anything girly would be the focus.

I recieved this The Sequin Bible, ( in Pink ) free from Thomas Nelson, Publising, as part of the Book Sneeze blogging program. I gave my honest review in participation.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Life,In Spite of Me

In readng various genres of reading, I have not come across one as powerfully written, in an honest and forthright way, as the book,"Life ,In Spite of Me", by Kristen Jane Anderson ( and Tricia Goyer) ..

Life,for Kristen, as a 17 year old teen, was anything but normal. Having lost 3 friends, to suicide, or accidents, she herself fell into depression so heavy, and painful that she herself, laid down on train tracks to end her life. Needless to say, " God had other plans " for this brave, and courageous young woman.

As Kristen recuperated from her devastating injuries, she found the will, and the Hope to continue on in her life. Undergoing mental health treatment, with two very different doctors, she understood the need for knowing God in her life, in order to see light, instead of the deep blackness of despair. She found God in that search, and as the book which so powerfully demonstrates, in her quest to finding and recieving hope, she ministers in little notes written throughout the book, snippets of encouraging truth to those who read this honest, but straight forward true story.

Life is not about being fair, but it is about finding real lessons of faith, and strength in life in the unfairness of situations that come up as you read . From being raped as a young teen, to the deaths of Kristen Anderson's friends, life was not about being fair, as it was about being real. And with real, and candid way of communicating to readers, Kristen points the way to healing, and to getting on with Life now as she ministers to groups, and individuals at how they , too, can find hope in the darkness that she once experiences.
I hightly, HIGHLY, recommend this book - for those who face such despair. I highly recommend this book , for those that need a reminder that even in the darkness, there is God waiting to surround those in pain, and depression.

I recieved this book free to read, for my honest review from

Sunday, February 13, 2011

" Indivisble ", a Book review

Author, Kristen Heitzmann, delivered in the book,
" Indivisble",
various forms of emotion as characters, "Jonah Westfall", police chief, " Tia ", his childhood friend, turned love interest ( though taking many years to develop that relationship ), " Lucy/Lizzy ", two complex characters that both made me want to know more, and both scared me in thier mysteriousness throughout the course of the book. Both, which made me want to know more in reading this book, myself, being a twin , though not conjoined.. And my favorite characters ," Piper and Sarge ", two souls united by his anger at the world, and her need to feel wanted/ loved.. All these characters make up a small town where mysterious animal deaths take place. As these animal cruelty situations take place, many instances happen where each character become entwined with each other, whether good or bad..

Even as gruesome as that may be, there is a plot that drew me into finding out why each of the main characters acted in the ways they did. A read that, in all honesty, started out slow for me, in which I didn't know if I would have continued on. But, wondering how in the book a wild animal, part coyote, part dog could bring out something good, I stuck with it, and was glad I did.
This is a book not for those wanting a love story, or, even easy reading. It was difficult to get thru in a good sort of way, but hard on the emotions for someone who loves animals.. I would recommend to someone who likes the mystery, and pyschological suspence genre.. For those looking for romance, this is not really what you will find in the book material, nor will you find bad language..that is a Plus in my recommending this book.

"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review"

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Don't Hush these puppies - they are that yummy!

This is one of the menu items I am making for a snack for tomorrow's Super Bowl Game..

Pepperoni Cheese Puffs

1 1/4 cups of water
1/3 cup of shortening
1-1/2 cups of flour (all-purpose)
4 eggs
3/4 cup of pepperoni (finely chopped)
3/4 cup of Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (finely shredded)
2 Tablespoons of snipped parsley (fresh of course!)
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
garlic salt (to taste)

What to do:
First things first, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

Then, grease 2 baking sheets (use large sheets). Then, in a large saucepan, combine the water and the shortening and bring it to a boil.

Next, add the flour all of it to the boiling water, stirring vigorously as you do so. You'll need to stir while you are cooking until the mixture starts to form a ball.

Remove your balled mixture from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes. At this point, add the eggs, 1 at a time. Using a wooden spoon, beat each egg into the mixture very well. Then, stir in the pepperoni and cheese, the parsley, garlic powder, and the pepper.

Just like you would with cookie dough, drop your pepperoni dough by using a rounded teaspoon about 2 inches apart onto your prepared baking sheets.

All that's left to do is bake these puppies for 15 to 17 minutes or until they are a beautiful golden brown. Then, transfer them to a wire rack and serve warm.

This easy appetizer recipe makes 48 delicious Pepperoni Cheese Puffs. You may want to double the recipe!

Here are a couple of variations you can try:
- brush the top of the puffs with garlic butter - right before you take them out of the oven. Yummy!
- Serve with a side of ranch dressing
- Add sauteed onions and garlic to the dough before baking
- For a decidedly more Italian flavor, add Italian seasoning to taste and add some parmesan cheese to the dough. mamma mia!
- Dip in spaghetti sauce. I love this one...

" An Amish Love"

A Travel Back in Time..

Living along the Oregon Trail, here in north eastern Oregon, I often see the ruts of old wagon trail from when settlers came this way to Oregon. Running through my town, it is a culinary delight to dream about the Oregon trail, and those that journied this direction.

In recieving a chosen book from, who only asks that I give an honest review, I was taken on another sort of historical journey as I read the book, " An Amish Love", by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Long..

This book, with it's simple, but descriptive cover, caught my attention with the " kapp" , othewise known as a prayer covering or cap".. It is a word, in the historical sense of the Amish language,which many words we "Englisch", or " non-Amish person" might not speak, or even understand.
Yet, in the preface of the book, are words with their definition to help the reader as you go along in each chapter, and story. I found that most helpful as I read thru these stories compiled in "An Amish Love".

I am not one on reading much in the line of Amish history, yet this book of fiction was more than just a book to read.I found it enjoyable, captivating, and most of all , especially in the first of the three stories, a " REAL" and engaging story line where I was kept in wonderment as to how it would end..

I can say the other two stories were good, kept interest, and for the most part, stories of that time period that I would have commended anyone who traveled those time periods, for a job well done in spite of circumstances..

I do recommend this 3 story book of fiction to those who want a simple, yet heart captivating read.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Super , Bowl , Football

Yes, it is that time again, where three words dominate the vocabulary..

Super - to an extreme degree

Bowl - a large structure for open-air sports or entertainments

- any of various games played with a ball (round or oval) in which two teams try to kick or carry or propel the ball into each other's goal

Super Day Meatballs!

Anytime I am making appetizers for a gathering or for a light dinner snack, these meatballs are always part of the menu. They are nothing fancy, yet they taste amazingly like "good ole comfort food" .. I have been asked over the years to share the recipe.. haha, the recipe I found from a magazine, so I can not call it my own. Yet, in my mind, I own it, because I know it from memory!!! So good.. wanted to share it today in recognition of the Super Bowl coming up !

1 pound hamburger
1 cp soft bread crumbs
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 TBL milk
2 TBL minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

1 TBL veggie oil

2/3 cup grape jelly
2/3 cup Heinz Chili sauce

Combine first 8 ingredients, forming into bite sized meatballs. Brown meatballs lightly in oil . Cover , cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Drain excess fat.

Combine chili sauce and jelly , and pour over meatballs. Heat, stirring occassionally, until jelly is melted .. Simmer 10-12 minutes until sauce has thickened,basting occassionally.