November, 2013

  1. Christmas table runner

    November 26, 2013 by Angie

    I just finished a Christmas table runner which is great because it’s almost time to decorate for Christmas! Yesss!

    Pinwheels for Christmas

    Christmas Table Runner

    Even though it’s small, this table runner is the quilting project I’m most proud of so far. I’m pretty sure this is my most accurate piecing to date. Not to toot my own horn but the pinwheels are meeting up really well and my borders are equal all the way around. I like that I can compare this to earlier projects and assure myself that my skills are improving.

    Red trees pinwheel

    Just look at those pinwheel points meeting so nicely in the center!

    This runner is the first thing I have ever free motion quilted, which is a big deal to me. It was so terrifying! I practiced on a few scrap quilt sandwiches first but my heart was still racing the entire time I was quilting. I really, really, really didn’t want to completely ruin this after I was so happy with the piecing.

    Blue deer pinwheel

    The other two pinwheels

    I definitely made some mistakes (I think they’re more obvious on the back) but I’m very proud of it overall, especially for my first time doing this kind of quilting.

    Back of the Christmas Table Runner

    The less-forgiving back: white thread on mostly red fabric

    For the pinwheels, I used eight charm squares from A Merry Little Christmas by Riley Blake charm pack and eight Bella Solids Snow charm squares. I was really excited about this charm pack but when I finally opened it I was kinda disappointed. It only comes with 27 squares! I love the eight squares I used but the rest are just okay or not very Christmasy. Anyway, I think the fabrics in the pinwheels are precious.

    Here are the “stats”.
    Finished size: 11″ x 34″
    Table runner top fabrics: A Merry Little Christmas by Riley Blake; Bella Solids Snow charm squares and yardage
    Backing fabric: Red with white polka dots fabric from my stash
    Binding: Bella Solids Christmas Green yardage
    Batting: Warm & White
    Quilting: Free motion quilting in a meandering pattern

    Christmas Table Runner

     One more shot of the whole table runner (next to my Thanksgiving table runner)

  2. loaded baked potato soup

    November 23, 2013 by Angie

    I saw this recipe for slow cooker loaded baked potato soup on and I couldn’t wait to make it/eat it. I followed her directions exactly and even used some of the same toppings: sliced green onion and grated cheddar cheese. My slow cooker runs hot so I’m pretty sure mine was much more cooked than hers. It was very mushy at the end of the eight hours. I added some extra vegetable broth to try to get it to a soup consistency. That didn’t really work. Alas, it was the best tasting bowl of mashed potatoes I’ve ever made!

    Loaded Baked Potato Soup

    Here are the converted ingredient measurements for us ‘Muricans.

    5 medium potatoes
    2 cups of vegetable stock
    1 onion, diced
    4 cloves of garlic, minced
    about 2 ounces of cheddar cheese
    1 ounce of butter (I used Earth Balance margarine)
    salt, black pepper, and toppings of your choice to taste

    I got to use my snazzy immersion blender for this. I can’t believe people use real blenders to make soup! I barely had to use it though due to the overcooking. The onion, potatoes, and broth mixture had become a big mush on its own. The recipe tasted really great but I don’t think it could be called a soup – again this is probably due to my overactive crock pot. I really do think I will adapt this and make mashed potatoes this way in the future. It was a lot easier than the old fashioned way.

  3. Outback Steakhouse copycat bread attempt

    November 16, 2013 by Angie

    Ever since the success of the Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuit copycat recipe I’ve been wanting to try to make the delicious bread they bring out before your meal at Outback Steakhouse. Apparently the bread is called honeywheat bushman bread. There are several copycat recipes out there but this one by Chef Pablo sounded the least insane so I tried it.

    Outback Bread Attempt

    It was good but doesn’t taste much like the Outback Steakhouse bread at all. It has a strong molasses flavor which I don’t remember from the original. It’s a little sweet for my taste so I probably won’t make it again. If I’m going to eat a sweet bread I prefer to eat a quick bread like banana or pumpkin. I may try a different copycat recipe though because I really do love that bread with the whipped butter and I don’t see myself going to Outback Steakhouse uhhh probably ever again.

    Trailer Park Thanksgiving with Outback Bread Attempt

    We had this bread as part of what I’m calling our Trailer Park Thanksgiving. The bread was the only thing I made from scratch. The mashed potatoes are Publix brand from the box which I realize is pretty disgraceful but they actually weren’t bad. For our “turkey”, we tried the gardein savory stuffed turk’y with gravy we found in the frozen section at Whole Foods. It was good but not amazing. I give the gravy two thumbs up though.