Thursday, September 17, 2009

Although I spend a lot of time on other things, I spend my days with my 2 most important projects. My girls. Here is a slide show of Maggie's first year. I hope to get one done for Gwen too.

This slide show is very easy to do. You just go to

and upload your photos and videos. They automatically put random transitions between each photo and you can make changes from there. They have a lot of free music to use, allow you to upload your own music, or buy music. But it does take a while to upload all your photos.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Today I made a shirt out of Kwik Sew Pattern # 3179. It went together VERY quickly!!! I cut the paper pattern out before Maggie nap and I was able to cut the fabric, and sew the whole garment before she woke up!!!

  • It is baggy around the arms, (That seems to be the intended style.)

  • But the waistline fits beautifully and shows off your shape.

  • The neckline is not too low and an underpinning is not needed, even when you bend over.

  • It is a little short waisted. I think it will work well with a highwaisted skirt, a coverup for a dress. Or length could be added with a flounce or ruffled trim around the bottom.

What I did differently/would do differently next time.

  • I didn't like the baggy short sleeves, so I gave them the same elastic treatment I did with the dress I posted about a few days ago.

  • I had some trouble turning under the curve on the hem around the neckline. Next time I will need to either use bias tape or make sure to stop stitching about a quarter of an inch from the end of the fabric at the shoulder seems.

Another little bit of pattern info I thought I would share is this website.

I found it very helpful in choosing this pattern. I look forward to researching my future pattern purchases here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Spinach artichoke pasta
Today for dinner we made a YUMMY Rachel Ray recipe
Spinach Artichoke Whole Wheat Penne

It was SO good and I'm assuming healthy with the veggies and whole grain pasta.
Sam said he liked it okay, but then it must have grown on him because he laughed about taking seconds of a dish he labeled as only "Okay"
I LOVED it, especially how the flavors really soaked into the chicken we added to it.
Gwen didn't seem to give it much of a chance and decided before she tried it that it was yucky.
Maggie loved it and scarffed it down.
Making it our own:
We did alter the recipe just a bit.
  • We cut the recipe in half and there was still plenty left.
  • Also, we added 1 cup of cooked cubed chicken. That is what I loved so much about it. The chicken really soaked up a lot of flavor. In fact, we liked it so much that next time we will add 2 cups of cooked, cubed chicken. Because the chicken soaked up so much, I think we will need to add some more chicken broth or something.
  • And we put the artichokes into the food processor also.

What we didn't like:

  • The pasta didn't soak up much of the flavor. I am hoping that adding some more broth to the sauce and allowing the noodles to absorb the sauce for longer on the stove will help with that problem.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Here is the cook book from my last post. I decided that I would do a review of the items that I try. Normally I just post the recipes that I like so I have an online recipe box, but decided that the publisher probably wouldn't appreciate me publishing all their recipes, especially if I post them exactly as seen in the book without making any changes.

Recipes we liked:

Applesauce with crispy scoops- these are the cinnamon sugar chips we made yesterday. We LOVED Them!!!

  • Crispy cheese chips-I liked these, Gwen said she liked the cinnamon sugar chips best. I think I will try the cheese mixture on french bread also.
  • Honey Crusted Chicken- We all liked these, but I wished I could have tasted more of the flavor. I think next time I make it I will let the meat marinade in the sauce overnight or something so the flavor will come out a little stronger. Also, I forgot to cut the chicken breasts in 1/2, so I had to cook it longer. (Thank goodness for meat thermometer :)
  • Parmesan Potato Coins-Sam liked these, Gwen did not, and I thought they needed some more flavor. I think next time I will buy an Italian seasoning blend instead of making my own, and I will add some garlic. If that does not improve them enough then they are getting bumped to my don't make again list. But the things we liked about them was that they were cooked just right. Not too soft or too hard and the leftovers could easily be put into a new dinner.

Recipes that we decided we wouldn't make again:

  • Morning Glory Muffins-they were not yummy enough to make the work of shredding the carrots worth while. But if you are desperate for your kids to eat veggies, this might be a good one to try. Gwen said she liked them and thought they were cupcakes.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cinnamon Sugar Chips:

I found a kid's cookbook at the library this week and am excited to try a bunch of the recipes in it. today Gwen and I made a variation of a recipe they called Applesauce with cripsy scoops. The book is called

Kid Favorites Made Healthy
by Better Homes and Gardens

2 tortillas
softened butter
cinnamon sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spread a thin layer of butter on the tortillas.
  3. sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the tortillas.
  4. Cut the tortillas into 8 triangles each with a pizza cutter.
  5. cook the chips for 7-9 minutes
  6. allow to cool on a rack and eat with applesauce.

Personal note:

  • We LOVED these!!! they reminded me of some baked cinnamon treats I'd had before by Quaker.
  • I thought that for our next party we could get a cookie cutter to go along with the theme and make cute shapes like flowers, heart, Christmas trees... then, if the scraps don't burn, I could let Gwen graze on them before the party.
  • We cooked ours for 7 minutes because I was afraid of burning them. But they were not as crispy in the center as the edges, so I think next time i will go for the full 9 minutes.
  • They made the house smell SO good!!!