Sew, Jenn-O….

A little bit of this and a little bit of that.

I wanna be a Princess… January 27, 2013

Filed under: Children,Uncategorized — Jenn-O @ 10:28 am
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The other night my son said to me ” When I grow up, I wanna be a Princess”.  Surprised by this I asked what  a princess could do that he couldn’t. He got a confused look on his face and didn’t answer me. Then I asked if he liked their hair or their dresses. He started to get mad and I couldn’t figure out why.  I couldn’t figure out what exactly it was about a princess that  he liked so much that he would say he wanted to be one.

A few days passed and I really didn’t think much about it until I came home a little early from work one day and this commercial came on Disney Junior. (Ignore the advertisement)

We sat there watching the video and it clicked just as my son said “Mom!” I looked at him and asked, “Is that why you want to be princess?” “Uh huh” he said. I just smiled and said ” You don’t have to be a princess to do those things.”

I loved this commercial and the message it sends. I love the fact that it focuses on what a person can DO to be a princess and not what a person has to look like to be a princess. The

Then, after this, we were watching Sofia the First.  The princesses had these beds that lined were lined up outside on a patio in the castle. He said “See, Mom! That’s why I want to be a princess, so I can sleep outside on those beds!” I guess camping in the yard will be in our future.

 

Tasty Tuesday – Pumpkin Sage Sausage Sauce over Pasta November 13, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — Jenn-O @ 12:51 pm
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I’ve never really cared for pumpkin. It’s not a flavor I particularly care for, or at least I thought. Living in Italy during the fall you will see a lot of restaurants making recipes with pumpkin. I kept hearing people talk about the wonderful pumpkin gnocchi, pumpkin tortellini, and pumpkin pasta was at different places they’ve tried it. So, I decided to give it a try. Wow! It was delicious! I converted and would look for different menu items with pumpkin when it was that time of year. My favorite pumpkin dish is pumpkin gnocchi topped with smoked cheese. And the best place I’ve had it was at the Cordenons Festa della Zucca (Cordenons Pumpkin Festival). That gnocchi just melted in your mouth!!

A week or so ago a friend of mine sent me a link to a pumpkin pasta recipe. I couldn’t wait to try it. Right now we are staying with my MIL and she has a garden with quite a few pumpkins. My husband insisted that he did not want to try a pumpkin recipe, even though he loved the pumpkin gnocchi in Italy. He’s  stubborn, what can I say. So, the other night he went to the Huskies football game and I stayed home and decided to make this dish so there wouldn’t be any huffing and puffing over it.

It took a little while to cut up the pumpkin. It wasn’t something I had done before besides the annual ritual of carving a jack-o-lantern. I wasn’t sure of the best way to go about it so I just went at it. I sliced it in half and pulled out all the seeds and guts. Then I sliced it into smaller pieces and used a paring knife to  peel it. I chopped it up into bite sized pieces and realized I had way more than I needed. So, I saved half and used the other half.

The pasta came out really good but I think next time I’ll try it over gnocchi.

This recipe is from About.com and is linked below.

Pumpkin Sausage Sauce over Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 pound bulk pork sage breakfast sausage ( our sausage didn’t have sage in it so I just added some)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 pound (about 1-3/4 pounds whole pumpkin) pumpkin flesh, peeled seeded, and diced ( I think I ended up using about 2 lbs)
  • 1 cup strong chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (since I had more pumpkin I used a whole cup of cream)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 pound pasta, cooked in salted water

Preparation:

In a deep, heavy skillet, saute onion and sausage over medium heat, breaking up sausage, until no longer pink. Add garlic and saute 1 additional minute. Drain excess oil and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring pumpkin and chicken or vegetable stock to the boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Add cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Smash pumpkin with the back of a large spoon and stir until almost smooth, leaving some small bits of pumpkin. Stir in sausage mixture, and gently reheat, adding a bit of the pasta water if it is too thick.

Stir parsley into the pumpkin sauce and serve over hot pasta.

 

I see improvement! -Quilts for Kids November 12, 2012

Filed under: Craft,Sewing — Jenn-O @ 11:29 am
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I finished my QFK quilt yesterday! I really impressed myself on how well it turned out. Big thanks to Jennie for introducing me to quilt basting spray.  Boy did that help! I’m not sure how the rest of you start off your quilting but what I did the last 3 times was quilt directly down the middle  and then across.  Then I quilted each of those sections in half. Make sense?

After that was done I decided I was going to quilt it a little differently this time. I’ve noticed that I really like A LOT of quilting. So, I decided to do a spiral design on the full blocks and then a stripes on the 4 block squares. The thin border has thin quilting strips. For the outside border I decided to go a little crazy and try my hand hat free motion quilting. With the little planets as my guide, I started sewing little circles.  After a while I got the hang of it and realized it didn’t have to be perfect to look good.

It was pretty time consuming so I broke it up into two days. After I was done I realized that it would have been really cool to follow the galaxy design on the back. Eh, oh well. Now that I know I can do the free motion quilting I’ll have to remember it for next time.

This time I decided to bind the edges of the quilt. I had left over fabric  from the back that was just enough to use around the edges. I tried out a different technique that I found on Pinterest and I really liked it. You can check it out here.

If you haven’t made a quilt for Quilts for Kids, yet, you really should! It’s a fun way to get some practice especially if you’re on a budget, like me. The kit is sent to you precut ( you can see this one here) so all you have to do is sew and a small amount of cutting when you’re piecing it together. The only thing you’ll need to purchase is the batting and pay to send it back.

 

Got another kit!! November 7, 2012

Filed under: Children,Sewing — Jenn-O @ 12:50 pm
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I received another kit for Quilts for Kids!!

Outer Space Kit

 

I love this cute outer space theme! I was hoping that I would get a different pattern this time but it’s the same that I had the first time. But, that’s o.k. because I pieced together the quilt top much better. I made sure everything was lined up and even. Taking the extra time to go back and measure the pieces I had sewn together really made the difference. Apparently, I can’t sew a 1/4 inch seam to save my life so I had to go back and take off about 1/4 inches from the precut 6.5″ squares.

 

This time I’m attaching the back a little bit differently. Before I just attached it pillowcase-style and didn’t use binding. This time I’m going to bind it with a thin strip of the back fabric. I’m also going to take my friend, Jennie’s, advice and use quilt basting spray. Tomorrow, I will be off to the fabric store to buy some and then, hopefully, finish it up!

 

Tasty Tuesday- French Garlic and Wine Chicken (and a chance to win an iPad Tablet!) November 6, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — Jenn-O @ 10:30 am
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Doesn’t this look delicious?!!

Is your mouth watering, yet? If you’re a garlic lover, like me, then this is a recipe for you! This recipe is from my friend, Rachel and is a simpler version of a classic French dish. You probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry already!

This dish is part of the Just BARE Chicken – Just 5 Cooking Challenge. Basic ingredients aren’t included so the 5 ingredients are: Just BARE Chicken Thighs, garlic, chicken broth, white wine, and dry thyme. How simple is that?!

There’s also a chance to win an iPad Tablet!! They are giving away 5 tablets in all. All you have to do is head on over to the Just Bare Chicken – Just 5 Cooking Challenge and vote! If this recipe looks great to you then please vote for Rachel C’s dish. They are listed in alphabetical order according to last name. You can enter every day until December 5, 2012.

INGREDIENTS
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Package Just BARE Chicken Thighs
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 head of garlic
1 can chicken broth
½ cup of dry white wine (like Sauvignon Blanc or pinot grigio)
1 teaspoon Thyme
DIRECTIONS
Place butter and olive oil in a deep skillet, when warm add chicken thighs and season all over with salt and fresh ground pepper. Brown the chicken on both sides on high heat for about 5 minutes each side.
Peel garlic cloves, but leave whole and place them around chicken thighs. Add the chicken broth and wine. Sprinkle the thyme leaves over the top. Cover and let cook for 30 minutes on medium heat. Remove chicken and keep warm. Turn heat up to medium high and reduce the juices for about 5 minutes.
Ladle sauce over chicken and serve.

 

Envelope System Wallet October 23, 2012

Filed under: Craft,Sewing — Jenn-O @ 4:37 am
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Can you tell I just love this fabric??!!

I am so excited that I finally finished my project! If you have ever heard of David Ramsey then you know what this is already. If not, then let me explain. The “envelope system” is a way to budget and save your money. Usually one would use paper envelopes and write on each one what the money inside is to be used for. Well, instead of using paper why not have a cute one made out of fabric??!!

Not only will it hold will it hold your cash but you can use it as a functional wallet! It has slots for cards and an ID in the front.

And a spot for a note pad or checkbook and a pen holder! How cool is that! Plus it’s really pretty and bright.

Since I still haven’t been able to find a job up here in the Pacific Northwest I’ve decided to make a few of these and sell them on my Etsy page. So, if you’re looking for a fun gift to give that can also help your loved one save some money go on over and check out my store!

I had a lot of fun making these but unless I get some orders I’m going to play with my son and cozy up to the fire. Did you know that it was 60 degrees on our house this morning?! Felt really nice to sleep in but I just didn’t want to get out of bed. When my hubby got home from fishing he started a fire. My dog has been laying in front of it ever since.

 

What’s it going to be??? October 20, 2012

Filed under: Craft,Sewing — Jenn-O @ 5:36 am
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Here’s a glimpse of the fabric I’m using for my next project. It should be finished tomorrow or maybe the next day. I can’t wait! I love all of these fabrics and it’s turning out cute, so far. Meagan and Angie, don’t give it away if you read this. I made them each one. I’ve figured out that it takes me about 3 times to make something from scratch before it comes out exactly how I want it. So, I offered to make them a prototype. Ok, well I’ll see you all back here tomorrow!! (or Sunday) 😉

 

Shirt Refashion October 18, 2012

Filed under: refashion,Sewing — Jenn-O @ 1:10 am
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My hubby bought a shirt a few weeks ago and if yours is anything like mine then you know he didn’t even try it on. What’s up with that, anyway? I always have to try stuff on!! Lol. Well, it ended up being too small and, of course, he already pulled the tags off. He said I could  have it because it would be super comfy. I tried it on and it was way too big but I thought I could work with it to make it fit.

Now, I’m a Saints fan at heart but if they’re not playing at the same time as Seattle then I will definitely sport some Seahawks gear. I should have checked my photos because this was the only one that came out remotely clear. You get the idea, though.

I grabbed one of my other shirts and laid it on top and traced it. I cut the sleeves off and set them aside. Then I cut up the sides and around the shirt. I sewed the sleeves back on just as they were. Then, I sewed the sides of the shirt back up. Be sure to use a zigzag stitch so that the shirt can stretch a little without the seems ripping.

After that I loaded my elastic thread onto my bobbin and sewed one line down the side of the shirt. Since this shirt is super thin it only needed one line.  But, if it was a thicker shirt I would have done it a few more times.

I repeated the same thing with the sleeves. Next time I would probably angle the sleeves more so that when it scrunches up it’s not so long underneath. All in all I think it came out pretty cute!

 

Chicken Puffs October 10, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — Jenn-O @ 12:26 am
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Today I want to share with you a recipe that I grew up with. Mine is only slightly different than the way my mom used to make it.  It’s fairly easy to make but the first time can be a little time consuming. My husband loves it and it’s definitely a comfort food in our house.

Start off with a table spoon of olive oil and half an onion. You can use whatever kind you like. Red onion is my favorite. Dice it up and cook on medium high heat until they begin to soften. While onions are cooking slice about 8 oz of mushrooms and 3 – 4 cloves of garlic (we love garlic!).

We bought our mushrooms presliced this time so I didn’t bother showing them. Don’t add the garlic, yet!

Once the onions just begin to soften add the mushrooms and cook until they just begin to lose their liquid.

So, I made a little mistake here, but it’s not a biggie. First add your garlic and cook until you begin to smell it (about 1 minute). Then add 1- 1 1/2 lbs diced chicken. We used breasts and thighs this time because that’s what we had. Be sure to cut them in bite sized pieces. Season well with whatever seasonings you like. I mostly use salt and pepper.

This time, my husband had the idea to add some frozen spinach to the puffs. If this is something you like, then I would recommend adding it. If you don’t like it just leave it out. Cook, until well combined.

Add 8 0z of cream cheese (At least, I think this is 8 0z. It’s one whole block). Sometimes I use the whipped cream cheese because it melts easier. But, I think the regular makes it creamier and not as runny. Just play with it to see which one you prefer. You can even use the cream cheese with chives or experiment with other types of cheese! We added some Parmesan to this one.

Mix until well blended and remove from heat. Now comes the fun part!

Flour your surface so that the dough doesn’t stick. I usually flip a large wooden cutting board over and use that side. Then put a little flour in a small dish so you can access it easily. Or you can just put a small mound on the cutting board if there’s enough room.

Remove one biscuit at a time from the container and flatten with your hands. It helps if you put a little four on each side of the biscuit and on your hands. Then, it won’t stick to you. It also helps if the biscuits are not straight out of the refrigerator. If they are still cold they tend to shrink right back up after you flatten them. Just take the roll out of the fridge when you first start and you should be fine.

Now, get your rolling pin out and spread some flour over it. Then, roll your biscuits flat. Turn and flip them as you go to keep them circular. You might need to add a little more flour so that it doesn’t stick.

Add about 2 tbsp of mixture to the middle of the biscuit. Fold in sides over the mixture and pinch together. Keep folding in corners until mixture is completely enclosed inside of the biscuit.

Once the sides are pulled up, twist the biscuit to seal it, and flip it so that the seam is down. After you have finished  making all the puffs spray the tops with a spray butter of your choice then top with bread crumbs. Bake according to directions on your biscuits, about 375 until golden brown.

This recipe is so versatile. You can use many combinations of veggies, cheeses, and meats to create different meals.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1- 1 1/2 lbs of diced chicken (your choice)
  • 1/2 onion, diced (your choice)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 8 0z cream cheese (sometimes we buy an extra small can, with 4, just in case there is extra of the chicken mixture)
  • salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste
  • 1 can Grand’s biscuits (8 count)
  • Spray butter
  • bread crumbs
  • *spinach is optional. I probably used about half a small bag of frozen spinach. I think it would have been good with the whole bag, too.

Directions:

Remove biscuits from refrigerator and set on counter. Preheat oven according to directions on biscuit package. (375 F)

Heat oil in pan and add onions. Cook until they begin to soften.

Add mushrooms and cook just until they begin to lose their liquid. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add chicken and season with salt, pepper, and whatever other seasonings you like.

Continue cooking until chicken is cooked all the way through. If you want to add spinach do it now. Cook until heated through.

Add cream cheese and any other cheese you would like. Cook until melted then remove from heat.

Flour your work surface. Remove one biscuit at a time, sprinkle a little flour on each side and flatten out with your hands. Then place on work surface and roll out with a rolling pin, flipping and turning as you go. Add more flour as need so that it doesn’t stick to your work surface or rolling pin.

Once it is to you desired size, put a spoonful or two of the chicken mixture into the center of the biscuit. Bring in four sides up around the mixture to enclose it. Keep bringing in the corners until it is completely enclosed. Pinch together and twist to seal. Place puff upside down on your baking sheet. Repeat with other biscuits.

Once all your biscuits are made into puffs spray the tops with spray butter and then sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake at 375 F (or according to package directions) until golden brown. Let stand for about 5 minutes then enjoy!!

 

I’m back! And I made a wallet! October 7, 2012

Filed under: Craft,Sewing — Jenn-O @ 11:34 pm
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Yep, it’s been a while since I posted.

I went to visit my family in Florida for a month. I was met with Hurricane Isaac which, luckily, didn’t cause any damage where we were but, it sure put a damper on trying to get a tan. One of the best parts was I got to stay with my best friend. She pretty much took off the entire time I was there so I got to spend a lot of time with her and her daughter, which I just met for the first time. We also got to spend some time with my mom and the rest of my family. Hopefully by next year my mom will, also, be living in Florida so I will be able to see her even more. Her and my brother were the only one’s (in my family) to come and visit us in Italy. Even though we’re across the country, we’re a little closer, so I’m hoping to get more visitors. Seattle is a great area and once we’re settled in I know I’m really going to like it.

So, now on to the wallet! I’m super excited about this project. I kept telling myself I wanted to make a wallet and I finally sat down to do it. 3 was the magic number of how many times I had to make it to get it right. The first actually came out pretty well.

First wallet.

Do you see the first problem?? Lol, I put the closure on the back in stead of the front! Ooops!! Even when I was figuring out where to put it I knew it was going on this side. My brain just didn’t register that it was the wrong way. And, it’s a little crooked. But, I wasn’t worried about that. I like how clean the lines came out and the fabric looks really smooth.

Inside wallet

The second issue I had was making the slots too small. I had to get my seam ripper out and undo the right side. They were also a little crooked. I made this wallet by putting the outer layer over this one and then flipping everything out. Too much work, too thick to top stitch through, a little too big, too much for my brain to handle. I really liked this fabric though. I decided to give it another try and this is what I got…..

Inside wallet. Left slot is a little crooked but much better than the last one!

This one I left off the closure and made it a little shorter. It is more of the size of a men’s wallet and the slots came out straighter. This time I just put a bias tape around the whole wallet instead of turning it out. SO MUCH EASIER! The only thing that I left like needed fixing was that if you have a bunch of credit cards and a bunch of money it didn’t close so well. I’m keeping this one for myself. 🙂

And the final wallet!

I remember seeing this on another wallet and wondering why the hole was there. Then I realized it’s there to add a little extra room when the wallet is full!

This one was made exactly like the last one with one minor change. The other piece of the wallet I made a small hole at the bottom and made it about 1/2 inch longer. I lined up the edges so that it pokes out a little in the middle. It gives just enough room for it to close if the wallet is full! The only other thing I might add to the next one I make is fusible vinyl. I’m not sure how well the cotton fabric will keep up if you’re pulling it in and out of a pocket. A purse would probably be fine.  Plus, I think adding the vinyl would help it stay a little cleaner. You would be able to just wipe it down.

Would  you like to see a tutorial for this project?? I’m thinking about posting one. It would be my first tutorial so I’m a little nervous. This wallet was so fun and easy to make and I really like to see what you come up with!

PS, not sure why all of these pictures are different sizes. I have them all set to medium. So, if anyone knows how to fix that let me know! 😉

 

 
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