Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Happy New Year, and Chicken Soup!

Okay so I know it's not exactly NEW Year's anymore but...hey, we're only ten days in, so it's still pretty new.

It's been a crazy couple of months here - with holidays, ice storms, snow storms, working retail, then WOOHOO getting a icky yucky cold. I hate being sick. Who doesn't!

A few quilt finishes for gifts - one super bright Holiday theme for my Mom; to brighten up her room. Institutions are so drab and grey ( and don't even ask about the smell....ack) so I found  some super bright cheery Christmasy type fabric and did a quick Bricks and Sticks....
 
Before trimming and binding. Just the top.

She really liked it. So did I actually. :)

One quilt was a finish from the summertime; for one of J's sisters; it's super cute and

it's done up of various vintage fabrics I've salvaged and a charm pack of Ruby & Opal. It's Vintage Chic and I used the ever faithful Disappearing 9 Patch.

The last quilt I haven't quite finished yet....um....It's cut, the blocks assembled, it just needs to be sewn together into a top. I found this super awesome Autism Awareness fabric (a cause near and dear to our family) and am making two quilts; one for Sister #2 to keep, and one to donate to auction off for Autism Awareness later next year.

I shall leave you all with a recipe for some seriously kick ass chicken soup. I made a pot and ate a pot in like, three days. (Not the pot. I ate the soup. The pot is fine.)



Kick Ass Soup You Can Make Even When You Feel Like Death Warmed Over


6 qt Stock Pot
4 stalks of celery,  chopped
half bag of baby carrots, chopped
one large onion, chopped
6-10 cloves of garlic, chopped up
1 box chicken stock, 
4 cups water
1 chicken bouillon
2 boneless chicken breasts, chunked/filleted
black peppercorns
bay leaf
powdered ginger
fresh thyme (or dried)



Chop all veggies and set aside. 
Put chicken in pot & add stock; bring to a boil, cover.
At a rolling boil add all veggies and spices.
After 15 mins at rolling boil, top up with bouillon and water.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 mins.
After 30 mins, skim off any fat.
use a slotted spoon to pull up pieces of chicken and shred replace into pot.
Let simmer for another 20 mins or so ...then enjoy!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Maple Syrup & Sweet Onion Chicken

Uh....what's for dinner???

I have a shortish commute; usually around half and hour. So I like to think up what's for dinners on the way home. But sometimes....I get nuthin'. So when I come home I open the fridge doors and take stock of what's hiding in there....and some experiments work better than others!

Here's one that worked really, really well. I didn't take pics, sorry. This dish wasn't around long enough!

Maple Syrup Chicken with Sweet Onion and Rice

Ingredients:

Rice ( I used basmati)
Chicken bouillion cube

2 Skinless boneless chicken breasts, filleted
1 large vidalia onion
1 large shallot (or two small)
Cooking sherry
Butter
Olive Oil
Seasoning salt, pepper
Flour, Garlic Powder
Maple Syrup




First thing:

I started the rice cooker cookin' with a cup of rice and two cups water with a bouillion cube (chicken).

Fillet your chicken, cut your onions and shallots into thing rings.

On med-high heat, add olive oil, enough to cover bottom of pan. Add in onions, shallots and a good chunk of butter. Maybe two tablespoons worth. Let cook down for about 3-5 mins, covered.

Remove lid and splash in the sherry. Stir in, reduce heat to med-low. Add in some seasoning salt and pepper.

Dredge your chicken in the flour and garlic.

Add chicken to pan, stir well to mix in with onions and get it all combined. Add a dash more olive oil to pan, and turn heat back to medium. Lightly drizzle some maple syrup in. Add rest of flour (Not more than 3 tablespoons) stir to combine.
Replace lid, let cook.

Every 5 mins or so; check on chicken, stirring gently to make sure cooking evenly.

After about 20 mins splash in more maple syrup, a handful of brown sugar, seasoning salt and pepper and replace lid. Turn heat to low-med and simmer for another 20 mins or so. Keep the lid on it.


This should be ready after 40 mins cooking time, nice and creamy. Add more syrup to taste, do NOT  use regular pancake syrup!!!

Serve over rice. The salty of the rice works really well with the sweetness of the chicken.

We added a bit of hot sauce to the rice and it was even better the next day for lunch!

Enjoy.


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Annnnd it's HOLIDAY time again!!!

Unbelievable how fast time moves.

What with the move and the new job; I simply haven't had time to sew. And also it doesn't help I haven't even really unpacked my sewing room....but I have found time to acquire new fabric...:D

Crappy pic; I used my puter cam. There's my arm!
I have been working on knitting some of those 'infinity' scarves for Christmas gifts; I've been using the Lion Brand Homespun Thick & Quick so I can get 4 or 5 finished before Christmas.
I'm adding in a skein of Patons' Sequin Lace to make it extra soft & sparkly; and if I have time might sew in some extra sparkly beads I have kicking around somewhere.







 Today also started my test baking. I test out new recipes or mess with my old ones; and I just like to try them out before I give them out. Heh. Today was peanut butter fudge...omg. Sugar rush!

I tried Sally's recipe and it is SO good. And SO easy you won't beleive it. I've tried so many of her recipes and haven't gone wrong ever! I've never met her but I love having her (in blog form lol) in my kitchen as we cook.

Oh dear....someone's been muching
Here's the link: Sally's Baking Addiction Blog.   I added Reese's Pieces to mine; so yummy!

That's all in my world...dishes are done, movie is on, kitty is purring....couch potato time!


***

WIPS:  New Christmas quilt to brighten up Mom's room at her home. It's pretty dull in there.

Top secret gift for someone who may (or may not) read this; and so, it shall remain a secret. But there will be one to keep and two to give.

Um...there's a few other WIPS that I haven't unpacked yet so....

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Summer Strawberries!

I love summertime. It's my favourite, for many reasons. One of which not the least of which is STRAWBERRIES!!!!!!!!!!



 I love love love strawberries. Love them. Could eat them everyday (and I have been.)
And I don't mean the shipped-from-California or Florida ones that have sat on truck for 5 days after being picked and processed etc etc.  I mean the grown 10 minutes from my house kind that you get in the local market for those three magical weeks late June to early July.
The smell of fresh strawberries...that 'pop' when you first close your lips around one...there just isn't anything like it.




When we were kids, we had a giant garden. Mom grew everything.....from parsnips to squash to potatoes to rhubarb, you name it, she could grow it. Dad would be out there labouring away and when I was a teenager I *hated* to work in the dirt. Hated it. Now, I can't wait to get diggin' and growin.

One of my favourite things my Mom used to make was something she called "Rhubarb Stew". It was always cooked on the stovetop and served warm with a lot of sugar on top.

I was surprised years ago the first time I made it, how simple and easy Rhubarb Stew was to make. You cut up a bunch of rhubarb into inch size cubes, dump it in a giant pot, add a cup of sugar and let it cook down, down , down until it's a gooey yummy sludgey rhubarby stew. Simple, easy, delicious.

I'm big fan of the Slow Food Movement   and in the summer, try to grow as much as I can, and freeze and can (when possible). There's a FABULOUS market in my home town Briwood Farm Market that I visit when I'm home to visit. Almost everything is as local as can be, and so fresh and so good...can't say enough wonderful things about it. Even if I still call it "Giffords" from time to time. I'm old. I forget.

So..... having bought 4 pints of strawberries, they needed to be used. I ate a bunch, froze a bunch, and used a bunch in my lovely New Rhubarb Stew!

Rhubarb Stew



Clean and prepare 1 solid bunch of rhubarb stalks. Cut ends off, cut into 1 inch cubes. 
Clean and hull strawberries, cut into quarters.
In a large stockpot (I used my canning pot as you can see here, because I did a double batch. Usually I use my 6 qt pot).
Add 1 half cup of white sugar, and 1 half cup of orange juice.
Place on burner at medium-high heat, bring to boil.


Keep an eye on the pot, stir with a long handled wooden spoon occasionally.
It will cook down, slowly, about 2o mins .....


And after about 30 mins it should be boiling and look something like this:
Reduce heat to med-low and simmer another 15 mins or so
 
This is the finished stew, I usually like to stir it up some and mush up any pieces of fruit that are still kinda solidy. Let it cool for a bit, this will be WAY to hot to eat.......so be patient!! (I speak from experience here.....avoid the scalded tongue!)

Enjoy over really good vanilla ice cream.....this is also yummy cold, too.






 
 
 I hope everyone is enjoying their summer safely and happily, and eating as much local produce as they can fit in their bellies!



By the way, Thanks to Mr J for the wonderful present that has enabled these amazing pics!!!




Sunday, 23 June 2013

Change

Sorry for being offline for so long.... Mom had a terrible fall in January and FINALLY we have her settled in place in a wonderful long term care facility.
It kills me to say that but, well, bottom line was I couldn't care for her properly and she is happy, safe and cared for. And I was transferred for work, promoted and moved back to the GTA!

Again lots has happened; the Quilt Cave has now been relocated to a lovely second floor room (the Quilt Tower? I dunno) and will soon be re-set up and ready to go!!



Friday, 30 November 2012

Weekend Sale!

Hi everyone!
To celebrate my mom's 70th birthday December 1st, I'm offering 15% off everything in the shop!

Coupon Code: MOMSBIRFDAY
Here's some of the NEW items in store now!






Thursday, 22 November 2012

Craft Show Countdown

How did this year fly by so fast!!
Oh; where are my manners...?!?!?  Happy Thanksgiving to all my American pals! Yay! Eat, drink & be merry; I miss you all! (Sorry ...translated for my LA family, I miss all y'all!!!)

So yeah. Craft show time. The Second Annual Crafty Creations Festival. Yay. Here's hoping this year is as fun as last year! But no midnight sewing sessions for me, oh no. Not again. (Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh right say all the sewists out there.)

Here are some photos of where I'm at today and stuff I'm working on:



More later, going down to the Cave to sew!