Sunday, November 25, 2012

I love Sundays.......

Sunday is probably my favorite day of the need to hurry anywhere just putter about and do whatever, my day to bake and venture out to my studio. I have  bread dough making for the pizza roll, the house is vaccumed and the laundry is done. Lazy me did not go running this morning, just wasn't into it. It's been a few weeks now so another day isn't going to make a difference one way or another. So I managed to get a few photos of the house and still working on getting some others straightened out. May have to start from scratch........

The picture in the background is now wrapped
in gold paper and cream ribbons and bows
And magically its wrapped, the glare from the paper
is apparently something I will just have to live with
in the photos, plays havoc with the white balance and
all that technical word mumbo jumbo.... I totally get it
but I don't think my camera will allow me to get too technical.
mmmm......maybe its time to get a more advanced one Santa!
Red Charger plates from the $ Tree make for a colorful table,
 either Christmas dishes or the cream and gold china.
My PB version of the Poinsettia pillow, and
it turned out so nice, I made one for my Mom too.
The large picture over the fireplace,
was gifted wrapped to go with the color theme
My new skinny I say, the jury is still out
on this small of a tree, but I have put a skirt around the bottom now
so that does help, but I may have to get a little bit fluffier one next time.
Well thats about it for now, I may have better ones to post later but for now, I'm liking the colors and that's the main thing. Well bread dough is done, time to make the pizza roll. Ciao for now. Enjoy your Sunday! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Let the decorating begin.....

December is fast approaching and our American friends are finished with the Thanksgiving turkey, the Christmas season can begin. But to be honest, I started at the beginning of the week, as I knew by the weekend I wouldn't have time. I have most of it done on the inside and now I just have to put some greenery and lights outside. The rain has quit for a few days, so its perfect timing.

I haven't been happy with my camera lately because my shots inside have not been turning out right. Something to do with the white balance and exposure....I don't know why, all of a sudden this happened, so I've been trying to figure it out, but really all I want to do is point and shoot! Is that too much to ask? It all looks good to my eye and then it all goes array when I download them and photoshop isn't helping but hopefully this weekend I will get the kinks worked out.

I have a few projects lined up for my next days off, a couple of infinity scarves, an owl pillow and some little baking ideas that I ran across on Pinterest, of course. I wanted to try a few new recipes out before the kids come home at Christmas, so the Hubs has been through a few experiments this week. So far he's still eating and breathing!

Here are just a couple I've tried:

Chicken Strognaoff
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs or a combination of both, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon sweet paprika or regular paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
8 ounces white button mushrooms or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaf
1/4 cup sour cream
Hot, cooked egg noodles, for serving (about 12 ounces to 1 pound)
Fresh, chopped parsley for garnish

In a medium bowl or shallow pie plate, toss the cubed chicken with the paprika, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour on top of the chicken and toss to coat.
Heat the olive oil in a large 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until rippling and hot. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until golden brown on each side, tossing occasionally, about 5 minutes. The chicken will finish cooking fully a bit later so it doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through. Scrape the chicken onto a plate and set aside.
Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan, if needed, and stir in the onions and mushrooms. Saute the mixture, stirring occasionally and scraping up the browned bits from the chicken, until the onion is translucent and the onions and mushrooms are browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
Pour in about 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and deglaze the pan by scraping up any bits from the bottom. Stir in the tomato paste, whisking to combine. Add the rest of the chicken broth and the bay leaf, stirring well.
Add the chicken back into the skillet and simmer the mixture over medium-low to medium heat, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the yogurt (or creme fraiche or sour cream) and cook for about 2-3 minutes longer. If you would like the sauce to be a bit thicker, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1-2 tablespoons cold water. Add the cornstarch slurry to the simmering mixture in the skillet, whisking quickly to combine. Let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Serve over hot noodles and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

It was very tasty and a nice change from the regular beef version, so this is a definite alternative. then tomorrow I am going to try make a Pizza Roll.......

Pizza Roll
Now I am going to make pizza dough in my breadmaker, but I know there are lots of alternatives out there and then all you do is spread a thin layer of pizza sauce, some pepperoni, and some grated cheese, bake and serve with a salad. It should be good cold for lunch the next day. I'll let you know how it goes!

Well with any luck I will put some photos up tomorrow of some of my Christmas decor and the mini-skinny trees. Not sure if I like having a skinny tree, but it doesn't take up a lot of the livingroom, that's for sure! And all those decorations I have, certainly go a long way in decking those have a great weekend, and let the decorating and baking begin! Did you get all your shopping done on Black Friday?

Whooooooo's this for? Cute isn't he?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Catching up.................

I have to say this week has gotten away on me and here it is Thursday and back to work.......goodness me I don't know what I would do if I had a real job.....maybe be more organized, I don't know but I do know there isn't enough of me to go around these days! And to think I want to start my Christmas decorating , so I started by clearing away all the Fall decor and putting things away and finishing off some projects. My daughter was on my case about posting some crafts so here there are honey..........

My daughter's rag quilt.....bigger than
originally planned but will fit nicely
on top of a double bed
 When I was making Jane's quilt, it was getting bigger, and bigger because I didn't count the squares off quite right so instead of a lap quilt it turned into something a tad bigger, but its a beauty and very cozy.

Kitchen gadget pedestal plate......why you say?

Just because it looks pretty
and I hate things around the sink
and this way they are up and away

A pair of cozy slippers, the easiest pattern ever!
An evening of your favourite shows and

This is a one large skein scarf that works up very quickly,
I love the shell pattern......

Matching slouchy hat

A pair of "little guys" slippers
So now that I am caught up on a few things, time to start Christmasizing the house. My first room is going to be the the front porch, all cleaned up, but I am missing a few things from the move last year, so I've had to re-think my orginal plan, and after much preusing of blogs around the web, I have kinda sorta figured it time to get this show on the road........did I mention how out of shape I am?  Sue and I started a 30 minute workout twice a week.......OMGoodness! What a muscle burner! As a runner, I am about as flexible as a 2x12! So this is going to be good for me, and as I found out last night, there are "ab" muscles in there and they are screaming in agony! But that's a "good thing"......right? So Sue and I are doing this workout and trying to pump up the activity by cross training! Well wish me luck....I'm beginning to think growing old graciously is the way to go! But then I say "heck no''! I'm going to fight it the whole way! I hope you have a wonderful day and you're starting to think about how you're decorating for the season! Catch you later......................

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tell it all Tuesday................

Hmmmmm.......well I just don't know where to begin..................seriously the time goes by soooooo quickly I don't know which day it is anymore! I do know that I have been busy, and a little out of whack. Must be the barometric pressure taking hold of my brain......but no fear its coming back around.............I spent a few days last week, doing some hand sewing, I made a couple of those cute little strawberry pin cushions which we quite enjoyable to just sit and mindlessly sew........Sue's daughters gifts are finished, hat, scarf and a pair of slippers, so she can take those with her when she goes to visit. All the felt petals are cut out for two of the Poinsettia pillows and today I am picking up the pillow forms and can get started sewing them together. We just had a Dollar Tree open and its "awesome" so clean and bright.

I managed to get in 40km of running last week but I am afraid with my buddy taking off this week I won't accomplish that much this week. But hopefully close to it. Janet will still be around for a few of those days and we can head out bright and early. The rain has been incredible the last couple of nights, and amazingly come morning its quite nice.......

I picked up a few Christmas baking supplies and containers and I would like to get started on some of those goodies on my next days off. Thanks to Pinterest, I have many are just a few.

Chewy Caramels

Hot Chocolate Dippers

Ritz Minty Chocolates

Ritz Chocolate Cookie Bars
All these recipes are readily available on Pinterest and I've made the Chocolate Mint Ritz and they are a big hit. Martha's website has this recipe....Yummy!

Well that's my Tuesday.......I am off to see my Mom and do some running around so that I can sit and sew tomorrow in my studio. I hope you had a wonderful weekend and you were able to take some time out of your Remembrance Day and give a few minutes of silence in honor of our veterans in Canada and for all the vets and serving members of the military. Lest we forget...........................

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Its not my fault........

that I have the attention span of a gnat! There are just too many things to do. I think I have too much space in my head and that requires me to always go looking for something to fill in the empty as it nears the Christmas season, I feel its my obligation to go full board for a few months and then peter out come January (then go lay on a beach somewhere and recooperate).........I really should learn to space my projects through out the year and then I wouldn't get such a head rush....... like eating ice cream! Or is that a brain freeze? Either way, I am my own worst enemy.....but boy do I luuuuuvvvve crafting!

So as I said, these are a few things that are teasing my brain right now. I would like to blame Pinterest but I've seen these before and just haven't gotten around to making any of them.................yet!

PB Poinsettia Pillow....I'm sure you've seen them and thought "yikes" I
can make that!

I was going to make this last year and then "poof" we were moving and didn't seeing as I have a few weeks till the festive got it........I will start today! Then I saw this one today..................

Another PB holiday pillow......
could be a little more finicky but oh what the heck!
I've kind of gotten into a sewing jag lately and it's a nice change, as the carpal tunnel from crocheting has taken its toll but that's neither here nor there.....I will these are in progress at the moment............

These were on Martha's website years ago
but they are just so darn cute I couldn't resist

These are of late on Martha's site and
I know someone that loves tomatoes
So I am thinking there is going to be many hours spent out in the studio for the next few weeks.....a good thing the Hubs bought me a heater that makes it toasty warm, and with my tunes playing it is quite a peaceful place to be. Well must run and organize my ideas into a hard copy version before the ol'timers sets in and I forget what I was going to do! Enjoy your day and happy crafting!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hey! I'm Back!

Well its been a lonnnnnnng week! Crikey! No Internet connection for 6 days! Talk about frustrating! OMG! But I tell you, I certainly have gotten many things accomplished! So as soon as I can take some photos I will post all my projects. But today is all about being Wednesday.

Now today is a new day in the United States, the election is over and Barack Obama is back in as President for another 4 years. I can't say that I really keep an eye on politics as that is one of the topics you should never discuss, politics, religion and money.........non of which I am particularly knowledgeable about. But I do love Obama! I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but "first impressions are lasting impressions" and I tend to think I am a pretty good judge of character and there haven't been many times over my life time that I can honestly say I've been burnt going with my gut feelings about someone. So I hope you give Barack your support for the next 4 years, as he has only just begun cleaning up the mess that he was left.

So go Forward.................

I'm luuuvvving having these four days off in a row, I just get sooooooo much done, and now that the clocks have been turned back an hour, its lighter in the mornngs so that means I can get back to running at the crack of dawn. That makes for a happy me! The cooler weather is certainly a nice change, because over heating is not a good thing.

So I am back to work tomorrow and today I need to run around and finish up a few things.....I actually made two Christmas gifts yesterday but unfortunately I can't show you cause my daughters will see them.....but I will tell you this much.......every girl who doesn't live close to their mom needs one of these. And that's all I will say about that! But it is very clever, if I do say so myself.........

Well gotta run as I am actually running this morning and need to get a move on here but before I leave you on this Wednesday morning..............a recipe that is sure to be "yummy"!!!!!!

Pumpkin Fluff
Now I haven't made this yet but the name says it must be delish! AND it's Weight Watchers friendly! So you know it has to be good...................

Pumpkin Fluff
Calories 152 | Fat 0.11g | Carbohydrate 36.66g | Fiber 0.5g | Protein 1.06g (Updated as of 10/29/2012)
Weight Watcher Recipes
Points Plus: 4
serves 4

1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin
1 (1 1/2 ounce) box sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip Free or 1 (8 ounce) container fat-free cool whip
pumpkin spice (to taste)
Directions: 1. Combine all ingredients in order.
2. Chill for 2 hours.

In a cup, between gingersnap cookies, in a pie, yup its gotta taste good. So I'll be making it later today........have a great day!