Thursday, June 27, 2013

Garden Spotting

Morning y'all!

Well my intent today was to show you some more quilt blocks and I wanted to make a little coaster for my desk at work (since my mug is attached to me at all times and leaves little circles everywhere). Caffeine is good for you, right?

This isn't the greatest picture, but do you see all the tiny 'maters growing? you can see, that didn't happen.

I was not feeling too well last night, so there was no sewing...maybe tonight, friends, maybe tonight.

Instead I will leave you with pictures of tomatoes and cucumbers growing in my garden.

I think these are Patio Princess?

These might be Better Bush Boy, although I didn't think I planted any out front. Oh well! 

More Patio Princess nestled in among Petunia.

Cucumber a'growing.

Another cucumber.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Works in Progress Wednesday 4

Here we are at Works in Progress Wednesday again.

And, look! No baby quilt this week!

You know what that means...

Tune in on Friday for the final reveal. (Mr. Gardener has been commissioned to help take pictures tonight.)

Now onto the next....

Bloom Bloom Pow Quilt-Along at Freshly Pieced

So, there actually is a baby quilt this week, but this is a different one.

I'm finally back to my Bloom Bloom Pow this week. 

The color choices are a little different for me and I'm pretty nervous about them. I hope it all ends up looking good together. There's a story behind them, but I can't share it yet. While I'm sure the mama-to-be has probably figured out that this is her quilt, there's still a chance for a surprise.

I've made four of the...well, I'm not sure what to call them. They're not the actually finished block, but the first step of the block, then I'll cut it, rearrange the pieces, and sew them back together.

Sound confusing enough? 

I guess I'll call them starter blocks? 

Well, either way, I've finished four of them. I have 10 full-sized ones left and 4 half-sized ones.

They sew up real nice and easy. 

I've actually almost completed six more. One last step.

Which really only leaves four more full-sized blocks and four half-sized blocks!

This one might be finished before this baby arrives. :)


In other news, I have a request of y'all.

Our friend, Todd, was in a very serious car accident yesterday. Thanks be to God, he is alive, but there is concern, that he may be paralyzed. Can y'all be in prayer for him, please? And for his family? He has a wife and a daughter and they are obviously under a lot of stress. They could all really use your prayer.

Because our God still works miracles today.

Sometimes in ways we can't or don't see and sometimes in ways we do. 

He is in this and every situation until He says it's finished.

God is good. All the time.

I really appreciate your prayers.


Linking up with Freshly Pieced 


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, June 24, 2013

Recipe - Chicken Bobs

So I made these things that, for a lack of a better name, I will call Chicken Bobs. 

Because, you know, bobs are a good name for anything for which you don't have a name. Works for me, anyway. :)

I made them as an experiment a couple of weeks ago, semi-inspired by this recipe, and I must say they turned out pretty good. That time I made them with ground beef and tomato sauce. 

This is kind of a willy nilly recipe. Everything is pretty much to taste and substitutable. If you're looking for very specific instructions, I'm afraid you won't find them here.

I am, however, something of a veggie fanatic. I am all about Strive for Five, which comes from the food pyramid/MyPlate, which recommends about five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Five servings sounds like a lot. And when you first start out, it is, but if you really consciously work fruits and veggies, into your day, it's quite easy. For example, I have some form of fruit for breakfast, a mid-morning snack of an apple or celery with peanut butter, some veggie at lunch, an afternoon snack of a veggie with some hummus or other kind of dip, and veggies with dinner. Sounds like a lot of food, but eating small meals throughout the day keeps you and your metabolism going. Instead of reaching for some junk, you grab some healthier, instead.

(Although, I'm not gonna lie, chips are my weakness. is disgusting how much I love cheese curls... Everything in moderation, right?)

Plus, I've found that a good deal of main dishes can easily accommodate extra veggies. Often, without people even noticing.

I have to say, I feel so much better since I've worked more fruits and veggies into our day.

So, off the soapbox now, but onto how you can work veggies into your main dish...starting with chicken bobs. :)


This season's first zucchini!
I grabbed a zucchini (this season's first!) and some kale from my garden. (Really, you could use anything...carrots, eggplant, beets, spinach, peppers, broccoli...your options are endless.)

Kale and lettuce were really my only cool season vegetable successes.

A can of Pillsbury Grands or other refrigerated biscuits. My next goal is to find a whole wheat alternative, but these were good for now.

Shredded chicken. I just threw a chicken breast into the crock pot the day before with some water, shredded it and put it into the fridge until I was ready for it. Easy peasy.

A can of mushrooms and two cans of tomato sauce. Brands don't matter...these are just what I had on hand.

Plus an onion and some spices - I used basil, oregano, garlic powder, rosemary, and white wine vinegar.

This is a very versatile recipe. Switch around your spices and veggies to taste.

How to:

Dice your onion and cook over low heat until softened. You can use a little olive oil or some cooking spray so the onion doesn't stick.

Add your kale (or veggie of choice) and cook. Just let it wilt a little.

If using canned mushrooms, rinse them to reduce the sodium. Add to the onion/kale mixture.

Add the chicken, tomato sauce, and spices to your taste. I recommend adding a 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon at a time. You can always add more, but you can't take it out.

If using zucchini (or similar veggie...carrot, eggplant, etc.), shred it (I used the food processor - how did I cook before I had one?) and add to your mixture.

Let it come to a boil and thicken a little. The amount of time kind of varies depending on what type of veggies you add. Zucchinis are more water-based, so it took a little longer, but I would say around 10 minutes or so.

Take your refrigerated biscuits (I used Pillsbury Grands) and flatten them out. This is a highly imperfect process. Just smush with your hands/fists.

Spoon about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of filling in each, fold it over, and press the edges together with a fork.

It will probably get messy.

Practice makes it a little better.

Because you made all that yummy sauce, you will have a good portion leftover.

You could get a second can of biscuits and use it. Or you could freeze it and defrost to use another night (then you only have to assemble and bake and you have dinner!). Or you could make pasta or rice or couscous tomorrow night and serve the sauce over it.

Bake at 375 for about 11 minutes. Just watch for the tops to brown.

Now you have chicken bobs! I put a little parmesan cheese on top.

You can serve with salad or some other veggies (see? more veggies, easy right? Versatile and good tasting - they don't have to be boring!). We had them with smashed red potatoes and steamed green beans.

Do you love veggies, like me? Or, if you don't, do you think putting them in something, like this, might make them easier to eat?

Linking up with Molly & Carly for Funday Monday.
still being [molly]

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I love Cheerios

I love me some Cheerios. 

I always have and I venture to say I always will.  mmm...original...even better...multigrain. I will pass on the frosted, though. Yuck.

Now, I love Cheerios even more.

I am way behind the curve on this. I think that the majority of the hubbub over their new commercial is over, but I've had these thoughts bubbling around in my head for a bit and I just need to share them.

Now, if you don't know, Cheerios made a commercial featuring a ::gasp:: bi-racial family. And it created such a stir, in a bad way, that they had to disable comments on YouTube for this commercial.

Which is insane.

Cheerios made no commentary in this commercial about the family. It just featured them. That's it.

If you haven't seen it, you can watch it here. It is a ridiculously cute commercial.

Last week, I posted the link on my Facebook wall and I got the following comment. "I just didn't think it was a big deal."

And I get where they're coming from. For some people, it's not a big deal. And that's totally fine.

But for me, it IS a big deal.

It is a HUGE deal.


See, here's my family:

We don't "fit" the family mold in a lot of ways. I am going to call a spade a spade here and insert the commentary: Obviously.

What may...or I've also found, may not, be so obvious to you (especially in these pictures), is that we also don't all "match."

My mom's family is German. Very German. As in 100%, pure German. 

I know that for 100%. If you were raised by a fiery, red-headed German woman, you would know, too. :)

My dad is...well...a lot of stuff. A real European mishmash....on his dad's side.

His mom's? Japanese.

My dad is a product of the American occupation of Japan post WWII. 

So, we are a racially mixed family.

My dad, my brother, and I are all what I like to call "Wasian." And my mom is what I call "Patient." Although, not because we're Wasian, just because we're weird.

And I love it.

What I don't love is that, in mainstream culture, it's like we don't exist. I watch tv, movies, advertising, whatever and I look at the couples and families depicted there and, oh, well, I guess they have to match.  White and White. Black and Black. Asian and Asian. And so on... The U.S. Census, for example, only starting allowing people to identify as "two or more races" in 2000.

Because everybody matches, right?

You find somebody who looks like you and then you have a bunch of babies that look like you. That's just how it's done. Right?

Sorry. No.

So, for me, this commercial was a REALLY BIG DEAL. Because, for once, people like me exist. 

And I'm not "not enough" of one thing or "too much" of another thing. (Yes, I have been told that I'm not "Asian enough" to count. What does that even mean? Who appointed them to define my racial identity?)

So, thank you, Cheerios, for acknowledging that not every family "matches" and that's okay.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Works in Progress Wednesday 3

So here we are again with the baby quilt. :)

Y'all are probably so tired of this. I didn't get any sewing done this weekend...lots of other things (errands, saw a friend in D.C., farmer's market, you know), but no sewing.

But I am making progress!! Woohoo! We are getting there, people!

I have quilted on the bias on one whole side and now I just need to quilt in the opposite direction so that it forms something of a little cross hatch. It meanders in some places and there's definitely places where the quilt dragged a bit or I pulled it, so there's a touch of uneven stitching, but overall, I must say that I'm pleased.

The nice thing about quilting on the bias, especially on a square quilt?

The first line (since I sew from the middle out, of course), is the longest. And they just get shorter and shorter after that.


So, all that's left is quilting in the opposite direction, squaring up, and sewing on the binding.

Which is not much!

I doubt I'll finish by Friday, though that would be supremely awesome, but I think I should at least be able to finish this weekend.

So y'all can see something new on Wednesdays. :) 

Probably this:

Fabric for the Bloom Bloom Pow Quilt
Which has made no progress, but it's next on the docket.

Linking up with Lee @ Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tomato Tuesday 1

Actually, this post is not really about tomatoes.

But I thought it was cute alliteration. Anyone have anything better?

I do much better with routines and schedules, so Tuesdays shall be garden updates on the blog. And perhaps other days, too. :)

I do have some tomatoes growing. Ripen, babies, ripen!

But I also have some gorgeous zinnias growing!

Purple Prince is magnificent. And huge. But he makes a big impact. I'll have to take a picture that shows his height. He's maybe 3 feet tall? I'll stand next to him and then he'll look really tall.

But my dwarf zinnias are also a-blooming and look really great.

I am a sucker for zinnias.

And how cute are these peppers.

I do want to put a sign next to them, though, that says, "Ripen, dammit!" They're adorable, but they've looked like this for weeks.

Don't tease me.

Petunias making a nuisance of themselves all over the place.

I love them, but they have these great arms just reaching out everywhere!

Kinda frisky little guys.

More zinnia preparing to bloom. I think this is another Prince.

Such a royal garden I have here.

More Prince. Shamelessly stealing the show.


Please don't rot! I've had a lot of blossom end rot so far. I actually ripped out most of my summer squash plants, split their stems looking for squash vine borer, but didn't find any. I replanted and salted the earth with sevindust, just in case.

It's okay. Squash plants grow like rabbits.

Those borers are some terrible so-and-sos. (I am trying to reign in my tongue on this here blog.) We are in the midst of a war, people.

I am hoping that this has just been a case of non-fertilized fruit. I did see a bee out here just loving on my flowers, so hopefully this won't continue. <--- always="" and="" coexist.="" flower="" gardens="" is="" p="" should="" this="" vegetable="" why="">

That prince.

And some huge marigold. Reminds me of a lion's mane.

Marigold is a gardener's best friend.