Sunday, March 30, 2008

My first quilt

It's my first quilt! Made for my dear friend Heidi, who is expecting a little girl in a couple of weeks.

The nursery is purple so it will go perfectly with that. You can't see the top two rows in the picture here, but they're identical to the bottom two (I gave it to her at her shower yesterday, and meant to take a picture with it hanging on the line beforehand, so I could get the whole thing in, but I ran out of time so you get the idea).

I haven't decided yet if I enjoyed making it or not. I certainly enjoyed parts of it, but as for the overall experience, well, the jury's still out on that. I must say I did love the final product though!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Top o' the mornin' to you!

Anyone have any big St. Patrick's Day plans? I'll admit I kind of forgot about it, except for a brief conversation with friends last week, until my mom mentioned yesterday that she and my dad have my nephews for the whole day today. I wondered why, and Mom reminded me that my sister-in-law is playing at the Irish festival today (she plays drums in a bagpipe band). Oh yeah, that! One of these years I'm going to get down there to see her play...

I didn't even buy a corned beef this year. Hubby won't eat it anyway. My friends and I are going out for Mexican food for dinner tonight. Guess I'll have to find something green to drink!

I just did a quick scan of my closet, and I don't even have anything green to wear. You know, for someone who could possibly be 1/8 Irish (it's either that or Scottish, there's some family confusion), I'm sure not very good at celebrating the wearin' o' the green!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Garden is Ready!

WOO HOO!!!!! I am SO excited. We went and got a load (3 cubic yards) of compost today. Filled four half barrels, filled the garden bed (and I mean FILLED - we are now officially raised bed, because the soil is to the top edge of the cinderblocks). We didn't even till because it ended up being so much soil.

I planted the peas and beets in the garden itself, and I planted a lettuce mix and some assorted salad greens in two of the half barrels. We'll get strawberries for the other two half barrels.

I've decided to try something different this year. Instead of planting in rows, I'm going to plant in chunks. We're going to get some more cinder blocks to make a sort of path down the middle of the garden (one cinder block wide).

While we were shoveling dirt out of the trailer, we had a long conversation about year-round gardening and how we could get by with buying as little produce as possible. I think we're going to give it a shot. In the fall we're going to expand the garden (we were going to do it this spring but it's been too rainy and the one weekend we actually could have done it, we were both sick). That will help a lot.

The one type of vegetable we haven't had success with is the brassica family (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, stuff like that). They grow fabulously well, but they end up COVERED in aphids and we can't get them off. We've killed the grass around the garden this year, so hubby thinks if we stay on top of keeping that dead (and maybe I'll get get some organic aphid spray) we'll be ok. So I'll just buy a single broccoli plant this year and see how that does. Broccoli is hubby's favorite vegetable, and it would be wonderful if we could grow it ourselves.

In the meantime, the seeds I started inside are doing fabulously. The tomato plants are HUGE (for those of you who live near me and have a garden, I'll have some tomato plants to give away this year), and the celery root is actually starting to look like a celery plant. Soon I'll move the tomatoes to a different container and start some leeks. I need to give the onions a hair cut - they're getting awfully leggy.

I am so excited about gardening season this year! Now, I just need to maintain that excitement, through all the weeding, and watering, and harvesting, and prepping before eating...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blog, Blog, Blog

It occurs to me that it's been a while since I blogged. I guess it's because I haven't had much to say - nothing exciting is happening, except I'm working on a new crafty project that I can't talk about here in case the person I'm making it for happens to be reading the blog, as she does from time to time. You'll find out more about it next month (or if you see me you can ask me and if you're not that person I'll tell you all about it...).

I'm madly trying to hunt down yarn for a needlepoint project I inherited from my grandmother. She had it halfway done, and I got the canvas but not the yarn. So if any of you happen to have Dimensions Needlepoint kit #2364, Seaside Morning, sitting in a pile of "to be worked" projects and you are willing to part with it, I'll buy it from you. The pattern has been retired so I can't get replacement yarn, and it appears that their needlepoint kits now use embroidery floss, not yarn, so that doesn't help me either!

Other than that, I'm watching way too much television - anyone seen the new show "New Amsterdam"? EXCELLENT show. Jericho is also supremely excellent this season. Too bad there are only two episodes left, and I'm guessing even a ton of peanuts won't save it from the chopping block this time.

So, as you can see, nothing new going on around here...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Stuffed Flank Steak

Golly, it's been a long time since I posted a recipe! Apparently I've been falling down on the job...

Anyway, I made this tonight for dinner and it was pretty good. Not spectacular, but a keeper, I think. No measurements for the ingredients because it's all dependent on how big your meat is (those of you who need to can go take your Beavis and Butthead moment now and return when you're ready to proceed!).

Flank steak
shredded parmesan cheese
baby spinach
shredded fontina cheese
steak seasoning
bamboo skewers

Soak the bamboo skewers for at least 20 minutes before proceeding with this recipe (that way they won't burn when you cook it). Prepare your pan by spraying a cooking sheet with nonstick spray and then sprinkle it lightly with steak seasoning.

Using a very sharp knife, butterfly the flank steak, without cutting it all the way through (you want to be able to open it up to make a larger steak). Cut with the grain (the knife blade should be parallel to the grain of the meat). Open the meat. Put on a layer of shredded parmesan, then a layer of baby spinach, then a layer of fontina. Roll up the meat very tightly and secure it with the skewers.

Make small steak rolls by cutting the meat in between the skewers. Lay each roll flat on your prepared pan. Sprinkle the tops with steak seasoning.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until it reaches desired doneness. Remove from the oven and cover the pan with foil. Let stand for five minutes, and enjoy!