With the holidays I was very behind in the layer cake quilt along sponsored by Moose on the porch quilts. I am supposed to be starting block five this week, but only finishing block two. Thankfully, I will have time this weekend to finish up the rest of the blocks.
I am very new to quilting. I really have never made a quilt andI probably need to take some classes to really learn how to quilt. It is not perfect. I have trouble matching my triangles when I quilt. This block came out a little different than what I had wanted. I messed up when I cut the pieces, and didn't cut the right amount of fabrics. Since I only have the layer cake fabric to use, and I have sworn off spending any more money on fabrics for a while, I had to work with the mistakes I made. I think the block came out okay. It is a little small, so I may put a border on this block. I really am glad I started this quilt along. It is forcing me to work on something I may not ever had done before.
The quilt I am making is very colorful. It is going to help me beat the winter doldrums. Here in Iowa it is very snowy and cold, although it is supposed to warm up today to 40 degrees.
As a mom and student, I am trying to live as debt free as possible. Over the last year, I have really looked at the grocery budget. We spend about $600 on average each month. Trust me that is one large amount. I must say though, I have not shopped much this month. I have tried to build my stockpile over the last year. The last half of the year, I have seen my grocery bill shrink. I have totally eaten from my stockpile this month. Feels great to have a month of grocery savings and be able to use this on Christmas shopping.
I have found with a little planning, we can accomplish about anything we can set our minds to. My family is no exception. I will be taking next week to work on my meals in my freezer. My daughter has a very rigorous dance schedule and I am gone two nights out of the week. this leads to a very sketchy plan for dinner most nights. Due to necessity, We need to stop the eating out those two nights. With a little planning, I am sure we can do this. If anyone wants to join me in this venture, leave a comment. I may need encouragement a few weeks into this. Good Luck to all who have taken on this challenge. Now I will be off to plan some meals before my Christmas gets too hectic.
Originally uploaded by alwysxstitchn
Not too bad for my first attempt at quilting. I have sewn since I was a young girl, but have never made a quilt. I go into quilt stores and buy material, only to have it sit and wait to be used. I decided to start this quilt along to try my hand at quilting. Perfection is not what I am looking for, but practice yes. This is the type of motivation I need.
After much deliberation, I chose the "birdie" layer cake made by moda. I love this fabric. There are pinks, greens, blues, and yellows. For the first block, I chose the blue and brown combination. I was hoping that this quilt would make a wonderful cuddle blanket for me while watching tv, but my daughter saw this block and claimed it for herself. I may be making another trip to the quilt store this weekend. Oh well. The picture is a bit fuzzy, but still a wonderful block. A few mistakes, but a work in progress.
This experiment started on Thurs. for me and turned into a project that I will most likely repeat more this winter. I made the best batch of beef stock ever imagined. It has the best flavor and my "picky" daughter ate two bowls of the soup I made and asked for more for her lunch. I am very blessed that I will experiment in the kitchen. Never had I imagined that my cooking would end up saving me money. It is a HAZARD ladies because now my husband will not go out to eat. He says that my cooking is better than anything he can have out. Here are my recipes for my simple beef stew and beef barley soup.
2 lbs beef bones with meat attached
2 bay leaves
frest thyme to your liking
Season the beef bones with salt and pepper. Place celery, carrot, and oinion in pan and sweat veggies. I chopped all my veggies, but you could keep whole if wanted. I then heated the oven to 450 degrees. and roasted all this for 45 minutes. After the roasting process, I put the bones and veggies in a stock pot along with the bay leaves and thyme. I then filled the stock pot with water and simmered for 6 hours. This made my house smell so great!!
I then strained the broth and took out all the bits of veggies. I put in a bowl in the refrigerator and cooled so that I could skim the little fat that was there. Now it was ready to use for soup.
Beef Barley Soup
3 carrots sliced
3 celery stalks chopped
1 onion chopped
1 lb. beef for soup cut into little pieces
1 can 18 oz. stewed tomatoes
beef stock to fill stock pot, about 8 cups
1 cup barley
bay leave and thyme to taste
I start my soup by placing carrots, celery, and onion into the stock pot and cooking the veggies. I then place the beef into the pan and brown on all sides. I then add the tomatoes and fill the pot with stock. There you have a very basic beef soup. I let this simmer all day and about an hour before you want to serve the soup, add the barley. There you have the "best" soup according to my family. I hope everyone enjoys this great flavorful soup!!
Poor Man's Carnitas
2 cups leftover cooked and shredded pork shoulder
1 onion sliced
1 package chicken taco seasoning mix
1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup salsa
Condiments of your choice: Cheese, sour cream etc.
Heat a skillet to medium heat. Cook onions until translucent. Add the pork saute until pork is a little crispy and brown in color. Add orange juice and simmer. Add taco seasoning and water called for on package. Place pork in tortilla and top with salsa and condiments. Yummo!!!!
I am joining in on the fun for the 30 day giving challenge. Sponsored by Kingdom First Mom. I hope to make a difference this holiday season. I am trying to not spend much money also in this challenge. I hope to clear out clutter from my home and put these items to good use. Join me along the way. Maybe we will learn some things about ourselves.
I need to plan my future meals for the month this weekend, and I will post my monthly menu here on Sunday!! Now off to make some beef broth from some bones from a cow we purchased.
Frugal Tip of the day: Use a site such as Craigslist to sell your stuff. Don't try to sell it in one day!
Spring is in full bloom around here. I love roses and have three rose bushes. I have this wonderfull purple heirloom rose bush that I love. It smells so wonderful. The scent wafts into my house when I have the windows open. So, when buying a rose bush I spend $15.99. This is a large price, but when you buy roses in the store you spend at least that. Let's take a look at the photo. There are about 50 buds on this plant. I think that is well over my money's worth. I also cut some an placed in a vase on my kitchen table. I am not much of a flower arranger, but I love to have fresh cut flowers. I just don't like paying for them in the store. That is why I have a garden of beautiful flowers I can cut and bring into the house.
Lesson for today: You don't have to go broke when wanting to have lovely items in your house.
Old Fashioned Potato Salad
1 pickle chopped
1 tbsp pickle juice
3/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
Paprika for color
3 eggs hard boiled and chopped
3 lbs potatoes boiled and skins removed, chopped in bite sized pieces
mix together pickle, juice, mayo, sour cream, mustard, and cider vinegar in a large bowl. Add onion, celery, egg, and potatoes. Mix well and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
UH OH!!!! The Iowa State Fair is only a few weeks away. I sent in my entry form this morning. I can't wait for the fair. It is my two weeks of baking and cooking to validate my inner love for the culinary world. I will try to post pictures of my endeavors. I also will be entering pies. This is my specialty. I wasn't sure it would work out in my schedule this year, but it did. Where there's a will there's a way. The first recipe I will be trying is for a french silk pie. I need to find my recipe from last year and try to tweak it a bit. That is my project for today.
I do think though that I may enter some different contests this year. It is time to broaden my horizon's as I say. So, here it is. The next few months of my blog will be devoted to the homemade way of life. I am on a quest to make wonderful food that will be proud to stand at the Iowa State Fair.
I took a little hiatus from cooking last week to make a project for my daughter. I had this wonderful pink sparkly fabric that was screaming to make a dress. So I did it. Here is the picture and the best part was it didn't cost me anything. I had all the supplies on hand.
My menu for this week is:
Monday: Cheeseburger Pie
Tuesday: Leftovers or pork chops on the grill
Wednesday: Beef enchiladas
Thursday: Lemon Chicken on the grill
Friday: Pizza--Greek grilled Pizza
Very simple. I am planning on using only staples I have on hand for these dishes this week.
8 oz. noodles, cooked
8 oz. cooked ham, diced
1 med. onion, chopped
8 oz. sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans of green beans, drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredinets together. Place in a greased casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes.
1 lb beef stew meat
1/2 lb carrots sliced
1 onion sliced
2 cups cabbage sliced
2 cups water
1 can tomato paste
1 envelope onion mushroom soup
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp caraway seed
1 cup sour cream
Serve with Egg noodles
mix all ingredients except sour cream in crock pot. Cover and cook on low until tender. Turn off cooker and stir in sour cream. Serve over noodles
This was a mix between stroganoff and a sauerbraten. YUM!