Sewing Class

Next week I will have my first sewing class for our neighborhood. I am not a professional by any means but I can make a few household items. Our first week we are making a pillow. It is a pretty simple project. But in the spirit of sewing I wanted to share this great video that shows how to make piping. It only takes 18 inches of fabric and it makes 18 feet of piping.

I was shown this video when I took a sewing class from a friend and it has changed my pillow making a lot. I can really customize my decor and home. The video is a little dated but the finished product is great! This video has a part one and two.

Part One:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTWbRPv9HZo

Part Two:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRmMEsto6ks

I am not sure if it will load from this post. If not just copy and paste to your search bar.

I was surprised at how easy it was to do. The first time I tried this I used a old piece of fabric from a previous project in case I messed up.  If you can sew, you should try this.

Here is an example of my last project that I made my own piping for:

Thank you Jenni and Jenny for teaching me how to sew!

Coconut Cake

This recipe was on Facebook a few weeks ago. When I saw it I knew I needed to make it! Talk about a great dessert for Easter…! Wow! The flavor is amazing and if you don’t like the shredded coconut on top, leave it off. If you took this cake to a family Easter party there would be NO leftovers.

CREME OF COCONUT CAKE

1 box yellow butter cake mix
1 14 oz can creme of coconut
1 14 oz can Eagle Brand condensed milk
8 oz. Cool Whip
1 pkg. of coconut 

Bake yellow butter cake mix by directions on box in 13x9x2 pan. While cake is hot, pierce with fork. Combine can of creme of coconut and can of Eagle Brand milk and pour over cake. Cover and refrigerate. When cake is cool, spread with 8 ounces of Cool Whip and a package of frozen coconut (thawed). Store in refrigerator.

You will love it!!! Happy baking!

Cold Weather=Taco Soup

With the forecast of more snow on the way it makes me want to make a warm cozy soup! This soup is full of flavor and textures.

Ingredients:
  • 4 uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package frozen corn (about 14 oz)
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of half and half or heavy whipping cream (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • corn tortillas
  • cooking spray

Directions:

Boil the chicken breast for about 20 minutes and chop or shred the meat.

Add all other ingredients in a large pot including the chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes so the flavor have time to marry.

I add a few topping to our soup but it is totally optional:

I took tortilla’s and brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled a little garlic salt on them and broiled them for 2 minutes in the oven. It gave the dish a fun look because they puff up! Spray your pan so they don’t stick. And watch them carefully. I burned the first pan of tortillas.

Enjoy this delicious, easy and fun meal! Happy cooking!!!

Baking and Snow Days

It is probably a really good thing that I live in the South! When the weather turns cold and it starts to snow, my baking switch turns on. I start making cookies and cakes! My husband loves it! He can eat anything, anytime and still wear the same size jeans since high school. Sick, I know! I take bites and taste things and that size 4 that I wore in high school is long gone. So, if I lived in the North…..there could be trouble. I would be baking all the time!

Today I am going to bake a yellow cake with chocolate icing. Mike says he doesn’t really like yellow cake but we will see. I will let you know if he eats it or not. It really looks and sounds beautiful. This is the recipe that I found on Pinterest:

Old Fashioned Butter Cake

 This beautiful cake recipe is a 100 year old treasure and a keeper!

Old Fashioned Butter Cake
(from Reeni’s Cinnamon Girl blog)

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1  1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease and flour two 8 inch x 2 inch baking pans and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Add butter, milk, and vanilla.  With a hand mixer, beat for  2 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Add eggs and beat for 2 minutes more.

Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally between the pans.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven.

Cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn cakes out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Frost with your favorite frosting.  I used my favorite chocolate frosting, the one on the back of the Hersey’s cocoa can.

“Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
2/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
1/3 cup milk  (plus an additional few drops to make a nice consistency)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa.  Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency.  Add more milk if needed.  Stir in vanilla.  About 2 cups frosting.

Happy Baking!!!

Comfort Food

With the news of snow coming to the Piedmont I have been thinking about dinner tonight. I always like cozy, comfort food when the weather is cold and snowy.  I asked my husband, Mike, what he would like for dinner tonight and he responded, a salad with grilled chicken…YUCK!!! I told him that was not good “snow food”. Since I am the chef, I win this one and we are having Chicken and Dumplings!!! I love this Chicken and Dumpling recipe because it is so easy.

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My Chicken & Dumplings:

4 Chicken breast boiled in water

  • 2 cups Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 cans Chicken Broth ( 3 more cups if you rotisserie chicken)
  • 3 cans Cream of Chicken soup
  • 3 cups chicken broth from boiling chicken
  • A pinch of garlic salt
  • sprinkle of parsley for decoration

Boil chicken in water for about 20 minutes. Take chicken out of water when done and chop.

Save 3 cups of broth water for soup. Put 3 cups of broth from chicken, 2 cans of chicken broth, 3 cans of cream of chicken soup and a pinch of garlic salt in a large pan and bring to a boil. Wire whipping the whole time so there are no lumps. Add veggies at this time if you want veggies in your Chicken and Dumplings. Turn way down while you make your dumplings. Bring back up to a boil when you are dropping the dumplings in. After dropping all dumplings cover and reduce heat.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender. Stir in the milk, mixing with a fork until the dough forms a ball.

Heavily flour a work surface. You’ll need a rolling pin and something to cut the dumplings with. I like to use a pizza cutter. I use a small spatula to lift the dumplings off the cutting surface.

Roll the dough out thin with a heavily floured rolling pin. Dip your cutter in flour and cut the dumplings in squares about 2″x2″. It’s okay for them not to be exact. Just eye ball it. Some will be bigger, some smaller, some shaped funny.

To cook them, bring the broth to a boil. Drop the dumplings in one at a time, stirring while you add them. The extra flour on them will help thicken the broth. Cook them for about 15-20 minutes or until they not doughy tasting. Add the cooked chicken to the pot and you’re done!

Stay warm and dry!

Baking!

A few weeks ago I  made the Southern Living Triple Chocolate Pound Cake. It was on the cover of the Southern Living magazine. It spoke a challenge to me the very first time I laid my eyes on it. Chocolate …..and triple chocolate at that! Well, I have to say it was wonderful!!!! The taste was out of this world!!! If you like chocolate of course. You can go to the Southern Living website and get the recipe. It would make for a great Valentine dessert.

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/triple-chocolate-buttermilk-pound-cake

Black Bean Quesadillas!!

With the new year we are trying to eat a few meatless meals a week. I found this recipe to have tons of flavor.

Black Bean Quesadillas:

Servings: 2 folded 8-inch quesadillas

 

Ingredients

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

6 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for brushing the tortillas

3/4 cup minced red onion

2 Tablespoons minced garlic

1  1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 cup black beans (drained, canned)

2 tablespoons lime juice

Kosher salt

6 plain flour tortillas, 8-inch

4 cups Pepper Jack cheese shredded

Instructions

  1. Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until kernels begin to brown and pop, 3 to 5 minutes; transfer corn to medium bowl.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering; add red onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minutes; stir in beans and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
  5. Return corn to skillet and toss to combine; gently press mixture with spatula to lightly crush black beans.
  6. Transfer mixture to now-empty bowl, stir in lime juice, and season to taste with salt.

I made a small salad and cut up and avocado with some Greek plain yogurt and salsa! A very good vegetarian dinner.

Happy Cooking!!

It’s That Time Of Year Again….All Things Pumpkin!

The air has begun to cool, the leaves are beginning to change, football has started, the days are shorter and the sweaters have come out! Yes, fall has arrived! It is that time of year for pumpkin patches, costumes and warm soups. Here is a pumpkin muffin recipe that is wonderful with a hot cup of coffee, while reading on the porch with the coolness in the air.

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Pumpkin Muffins w/ Streusel Topping

1  1/2 C Flour

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger

1 teaspoon Allspice

1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

1 cup Pure Pumpkin Puree

1 1/4 C. Sugar

1/3 C. Oil

2 Eggs

Whisk together dry ingredients, except the sugar, in a medium bowl. In another medium sized bowl whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, oil, and eggs. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Do not over mix, once it seems just combined, STOP. Let rest while you make the crumbly topping.

Streusel Topping

1/2 C. Flour

1/3 C. Sugar

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 Chopped Nuts (I didn’t have any this time around. But I’d use either pecans or walnuts)

3 Tbl. Butter, cut into small pieces

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl with your fingers. Try to work the flour and sugar into the butter. It will eventually all combine and you’ll have a crumble topping!

Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non stick spray or line with cupcake liners.  Pour 1/4 C. muffin mix into each muffin tin. Now top each with a small handful of the streusel topping. Have any leftover? Nope, not ok. Find places to squeeze in every last bit of that topping! You won’t regret it!

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in muffin tins for 5 minutes before removing to finish cooling on wire rack.

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The Burlap Wreath…Let’s give it a try!

The look of the Burlap Wreath on a front door is very pretty, chic, modern but also traditional. I am more traditional and my daughters are more cottage but the wreath works for all of us.

I think making it was more difficult than I thought it was going to be but once you have the hang of it, it’s a breeze.

What you will need:

A 18 inch wire circle (Michael’s Craft Store)

A letter (optional)

30 feet of burlap ( more or less, depending on fullness)

1 pack of pipe cleaners

Wired ribbon for a bow

Wire cutters for cutting pipe cleaners

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The pipe cleaners that are the same color as your burlap work best because they do not show. I also cut the pipe cleaner into 4 pieces.

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To get started you need to weave the burlap through your metal frame and attach the burlap. Pull your loops as big or small as you would like them. Attaching the burlap to the frame along the way with the pipe cleaners.

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When you get a few loops on push them together to make your wreath look full.

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Continue the same thing until you have completed your wreath. Attaching the burlap to the frame by weaving the pipe cleaner through the burlap.

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Choose your bow style and make bow. You can glue it on but if you use pipe cleaners you can change your bow and use your wreath for different seasons.

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And then add your letter (optional). We added twine by using a glue gun to the back of the letter and attached it to the frame. You could glue your letter on. You can also put your bow and letters in different places. We just chose the top and middle.

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The finished product:

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Fall Decorating

Yesterday, at our house we had a spontaneous pumpkin painting party! Amy, Amanda, Kealee and Joy came over to paint pumpkins. We had all bought our pumpkins the previous week and I always have paint so it was a perfect day for the job.

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Amanda and Amy have great handwriting and they are both perfectionist. I used to be a perfectionist but now I have lighten up a little in that area. I did free hand.

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All you need to do this project is :

pumpkins

wire ribbon

paint

brushes

glue gun

You can write your words with a pencil and fill in the letters with paint or free hand you pumpkin. Next, take the wire ribbon and wrap it on your finger or around a pencil about 6 or so times. Remove it from your pencil and pull it apart. Glue the ribbon to the top of the pumpkin.

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Amy used ribbon without wire. It looks beautiful too! I like that she used orange and white pumpkins.

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Amy used tape and free handed a design on one of her pumpkins. Looks beautiful!

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This is Amy’s front porch:

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Amanda did a great job on her pumpkins too! This is Amanda’s style on her front porch:

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And here are mine:

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We all have our own style but it all works together! It was a fun morning having the girls here doing our projects together. We all have different styles but they all look great!

While they were here I did my inside decorating too. I used the same stuff that I had last year but it looks a little different. I try not to use too many “Halloween” type things on my tables and mantel so it lasts through Thanksgiving. Here are a few pictures.

Dining Room Table:

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Kitchen Table:

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When decorating tables and mantels, remember, it is all about layering. Keep adding layers until your happy. Always add height to your decorations. You can hid books, use wood pieces, cake plates etc. . Just add height.

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