Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another outfit for Miss Priss

My weekend sewing convention getaway with Mom last week was absolutely amazing! I learned so much, but the real fun was in spending so much time with Mom, just the two of us. I cannot remember the last time we were able to do that! After getting so many cute ideas, I had to put them into practice this week, so I fired up my machine and made Charlotte another little outfit. I am hooked on these ruffled skirts and matching tops! The little peacock here turned out a bit than I had originally intended, but I think it's pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself. I finally had to cut myself off from adding extra "touches"...designing these shirts is so much like scrapbooking!

Here's Miss Priss in her new duds...I am fairly sure these grins mean it got her "fancy" seal of approval. :)

I love this shot of Jack.

And Charlotte's (very accurate) Mama impression! Here I am this week, at 27 weeks (now in the third trimester...gulp!). This shot was taken post-workout, so you'll have to bear with my lovely hair. ;)

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Made by Mama

There is something so incredibly gratifying about dressing Charlotte in something I made for her myself. I was given the tip to check out this adorable ruffled skirt tutorial a while back (thanks, Donnell!), and with a few adjustments in the measurements, I was able to make one for Charlotte lickety split! I even fancied things up a bit by adding some ric rac to the top tier. This one was so easy and fun, I have fabric in mind to make another very soon!

I am off in just a few minutes for my sewing convention getaway with my mom in Dallas. So excited!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Everyday Treasures

My scrap table has sat by its lonesome for many, many moons, and I am embarrassed to admit that I finished this page up well over a month ago and only just now got around to scanning it in! I wanted a page to document the little things Charlotte was doing around the time I took these precious photos of her in her pretty Easter dress, and this is what I created. I had fun mixing and matching lots of different products on this one, with some new things (the American Crafts stickers in the title are so fun to work with) and some old (I managed to use up the very last of the Chatterbox felt stickers I've had such a love affair with since they arrived in my Scarlet Lime kit eons ago!).

Journaling: You won't go anywhere without your baby in tow ~ You give me your pouty, pursed-lip face any time I tell you to look at me ~ You say "hold you" instead of "hold me" when you want to snuggle ~ Your version of the ABC's skips from ABC to HIJ, then repeats ~ You love to do a twirl in your dresses to hear how pretty you are ~ You say "ho-ho" instead of hello ~ You never finish a meal without being covered in the menu du jour ~ You have just enough baby-fine curls for a little ponytail right on top of your head.

Thanks so much for stopping by! A.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Spicy Pinto Bean Soup with Bacon and Jalapeños

Until we happened upon them at the farmers' market this weekend, I had honestly never considered cooking with fresh pinto beans. I will certainly seek them out from now on when they are in season! I came up with the following recipe tonight to utilize as many of the fresh ingredients we'd purchased at the market on Saturday as possible. I was so pleased with the end result! The drizzle of balsamic vinegar at the end was just what the dish needed to add a tangy finish to the lovely spicy flavor. If fresh pinto beans are unavailable, I'm sure this recipe would work fabulously with black-eyed peas. Enjoy!

Spicy Pinto Bean Soup with Bacon and Jalapeños
3 slices thick pepper bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. fresh pinto beans or black-eyed peas
1/3 cup dry red wine
3 cups chicken stock
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped (or less, depending on your heat preference)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Balsamic vinegar

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pot to drain on paper towels, pouring off all but 1 Tbsp. of drippings. Reduce heat to medium, add onion, and saute until translucent and golden, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and pinto beans and saute until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes more.

Add wine to pot, using a wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan. Stir in chicken stock and next 6 ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat slightly so soup comes to a steady, but not rolling, boil. Cook until beans are soft and liquid is thickened, about 1 hour. (If you prefer your beans on the softer side, I recommend an additional half hour or so of cooking time.) Stir in reserved bacon. Drizzle each bowl of soup with a touch of balsamic vinegar just before serving.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Menu Monday

I'll be out of town Thursday through Sunday to attend a Martha Pullen sewing convention in Dallas with Mama Reita (wahoo!!), so a lot of our menu this week revolves around leftovers and things Matt can put together easily for the kiddos on his own. This will be his first-ever time with both kids overnight. He's petrified. ;)

I am loving planning recipes around the delicious goodies we're buying each week at the farmers' market! Tonight's recipe was 100% locally grown or produced, and Tuesday's dinner will be the same. Nothing tastes better than ingredients from just down the road.

Monday - Spicy Pinto Bean Soup with Bacon and Jalapenos and Cornbread
Tuesday - Veggie night: Squash Casserole, Skillet Creamed Corn with Bacon (I dream about this recipe!!), and Fresh Green Beans and New Potatoes with Brown Butter Soda Bread
Wednesday - Lasagna with Salad and Bread using my Marinara Sauce found here
Thursday - Spaghetti and Marinara Sauce with Broccolini, Salad and Bread (I am doubling the sauce recipe on Wednesday so this will be a quick throw-together for Matt)
Friday - Leftover Lasagna
Saturday - Bratwurst with Red Cabbage, Apples and Onions (Matt knows the only time he can get away with cooking red cabbage is when I'm out of the house - lol!!)
Sunday - TBD

I'll be sharing quite a few recipes from this week's spread over the course of the next few days, so be sure to stay tuned!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

Growing up, when I was asked about my favorite food, I never responded with typical kid fare like chicken nuggets, pizza, or ice cream. Oh absolute favorite thing in the world to eat was Mama Reita's chicken pot pie! This recipe is a breeze to prepare, and it is so easy to adjust depending on the ingredients you have on hand. Enjoy!

Mama Reita's Chicken Pot Pie
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 tbsp. butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups frozen veggies (you can use any you like, but I find the carrot, pea, corn and green bean medley works fabulously)
1 can chopped green chiles (optional - but the New Mexican in me can't help but put green chile in everything ;)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 (8 oz.) package crescent rolls

Saute onion and celery in butter in a sauce pan; stir in soup and sour cream. Blend in chicken, veggies, green chile (if using), and seasonings. Pour into 12 x 8 greased casserole. Top with unrolled crescent rolls. Bake at 375 until browned and bubbly, approximately 20 minutes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Card Sketch #1

It's been ages since I last shared a sketch with y'all. I have to admit that my scrapping table has sat completely neglected for the last little while as my sewing obsession has taken over. I have, however, managed to put together a few cards, so I thought I'd post a card sketch today to fill in the gaps until I finally get to scrapping again!

Have fun!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Menu Monday

First week on June - how on earth did that happen!? Here's our spread for the week:

Monday - Vegetable-Quinoa Pilaf (didn't get around to making this last week) with Salad and Bread
Tuesday - Pecan-Crusted Tilapia (based loosely on the recipe here) with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Farfalle and Broccolini (so excited to make our first pesto of the year - yay for basil!)
Wednesday - Pork Chops with Leeks in Mustard Sauce with Baked Sweet Potatoes
Thursday - Sausage, Fontina and Bell Pepper Strata with Salad
Friday - Beef Brisket with Lemony New Potato Salad and Corn on the Cob (brisket recipe to be posted later this week)

Happy Monday!