Monday, January 31, 2011

Meal Plan 10

Here's this weeks meal plan.

Monday- Chicken Tortilla Soup
Tuesday-  Beef Stir Fry
Wednesday- Pork Chops
Thursday- Chicken Tenders
Friday- Shrimp & Pineapple Skewers
Saturday- Date Night
Sunday- Super Bowl

If I pulled the recipe from a website, then it is linked for you to try yourself!  I will also share other favorite recipes throughout the weeks and will link them when used for meal planning.  Bon Appetit!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chick-fil-a CopyCat Carrot Salad

Whoa, that is a lot of c's in that title!

My sweet Daddy loves the Carrot Salad from Chic-fil-a, but it is kinda pricey for that little bowl and the only Chic-fil-a near him is the one near my house, so it is kinda far.  So he was coming up Saturday morning to help me do a couple of things, so I decided to surprise him with a big bowl of carrot salad!  I found the copy cat recipe here.

Here's how you can make your own!

Gather your ingredients:  You will need:
4 cups of grated carrots
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup raisins
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons crushed pineapple
2 teaspoons lemon juice
 Take 6 to 7 carrots.  Scrap the skin off and wash them really well.
Put them in a food processor or grate them with a hand grater.  You want 4 cups of grated carrots.

Mix mayo, sugar, and lemon juice.  I am whisking this in a rubbermaid container so dad could take it home with him.  Why dirty another container?  Just make it in the one you are going to keep it in.
 Once you have that mixed, whisk in the crushed pineapple.
Now dump in your carrots and raisins.  Fold them into the liquid mixture until well coated.
Ta-da!  Carrot Salad!  Cover and store in the fridge overnight to make sure all the flavors meld together.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sewing Saturday

I am working on a few onesie orders and the most adorable baby quilt in my sewing studio today.  But since those are presents and orders that the special folks they are made for have not seen, then I cannot show them to you yet.  But I will share the order that I delivered this week.  It is for the same sweet lady who ordered the nursery set.  She wanted a couple of outfits made so the new baby boy would match his sister.  Too Cute!

First we have an adorable paisley elephant.  This is appliqued to a onesie to match his sister's top.

Here we have a pillowcase top made from an original pillowcase dress pattern bought from Foot Loose and Fancy Free on etsy.  I highly recommend her patterns, easy to follow and she was wonderful to work with!  Thank you so much Sandra for this wonderful pattern.  I have a cousin that is having a sweet baby girl soon and I can see a couple of pillowcase dresses in her future :)

Here they are together.  I think they look great!  I have to give all the fabric choice credits to the sweet mom-to-be!  What a great eye for color combos.  The elephant pattern is another great etsy find.  If you are interested in cute PDF outlines, check out Angel Lea Designs  I just love how great all etsy sellers are!
She also wanted a couple of tie onesies.  I love love love making these!  I think they are so cute and hilarious.  Since we don't know how big little man is going to be when he makes his apperance she asked me to do 2 with the same time pattern in 2 different sizes.  Too sweet.
Not to be left out I did a "pearl necklace" for the sister.  Now they have their choice of matching outfits to wear home from the hospital.  I love the way the pearls turned out, it was my first time doing this.  I think I will be using it again!
Here are the 2 tie onesies along with the pearl necklace shirt.  So sweet!

And here is the whole order all laid out and ready to be delivered!

Thanks for looking!
If you liked this post, I think you would like my sewing blog, CCQuilts
My new business cards!  Can't wait till they get here!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Favorite 9

This weeks Friday Favorite is the best university in the world...
My husband and I went there, and now the torch has been passed to his little brother and cousin.  They got their acceptance letters yesterday and are so excited.  It seems just yesterday that I got that packet in the mail, and those 4 years went by so fast.

From one Mountaineer to another, I am so proud of you both, I know you are going to have an amazing time!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Whole Chicken in the Crockpot

Here's a wonderful midweek recipe... and its affordable too!
Whole Chicken in the Crockpot
Recipe originally from here, but tweaked by me :)

1 whole chicken.  Innards removed and chicken washed
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 onion peeled and quarter

I totally do this the night before, because it is an Olympic event in the morning with how fast I get ready for work!  I have no time to be massaging chicken!  And I checked, because I worry, you can make this ahead of time in the crock and put it in the fridge and then put that in the cooker part the next morning.  The temperature difference will not hurt it at all.  You can read it on Crock-Pot's Website.

Combine all dried spices in a small bowl.  Rub this mixture all over the chicken, inside and out.  Place the bird in the crockpot breast side down.  This keeps the breast meat nice and moist.  That's right, there is no liquid in this recipe.  The chicken juice makes a lovely broth.  Cook on low 8 hours.  The longer you cook it the more tender the meat.  I cooked mine 8 hours on low and then it sat another 4 on warm.  It was so good, very moist, not dry at all!
Now what about all that broth in the crockpot?  We are going to use it!  Waste not, want not!  Now, if you are like me you do not dig crockpot cooked chicken skin, so you probably have the skin leftover, oh and those bones, no one eats those.  So we are going to make homemade stock with them, thanks for the Happy Housewife!  Pick your jaw up off the floor and lets go!

Pick the leftover chicken off the bone.  Put in a freezer bag and freeze.  This makes a great shortcut for soup, chicken pot pie, chicken salad, or homemade fried rice.
Oh the possibilities!
Now take what's left (bones and skin) and put in the crockpot with the leftover chicken juices.  Add 5 cups of water and cook all night on low.
Here's what it will look like, gross right now, great later!
In the morning, strain out the skin and bones and you are left with homemade chicken broth!  Put this in a container and place in the fridge.  After the broth cools it will have a layer of fat on the top, scrap that off and BAM delicious broth from things you were going to throw away!

Stay tuned, I will post that yummy carrot recipe too :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Tip 9

Got cutting board issues?  Does it smell?  Check out Make it Do and read her excellent tip for cleaning a cutting board!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meal Plan Monday 9

Here's this weeks meal plan.

Monday- Salsa Chicken
Tuesday-  Leftovers (we have a play to attend)
Wednesday- Tilapia Fillets
Thursday- Out to dinner with friends
Friday-  Shrimp Linguine
Saturday- Date Night
Sunday- Roast with potatoes and carrots

If I pulled the recipe from a website, then it is linked for you to try yourself!  I will also share other favorite recipes throughout the weeks and will link them when used for meal planning.  Bon Appetit!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy Pie Day!

Today, Jan. 23rd, is National Pie Day!  In celebration, I thought I would share two great pie recipes with you.  One savory Chicken Pot Pie, and one scrumptious chocolate pie!

Click here for the original recipe for Chicken Pot Pie IX
Picture from, I was in such a hurry I did not take a picture.  Ooops!

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves- cubed OR use leftover rotisserie chicken!
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup of sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cups milk

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
In a sauce pan combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery.  Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain and place in a bowl.
In the same saucepan (over med. heat) cook onions in butter until soft and translucent.  Stir in flour, salt, pepper and celery seed.  Slowly add chicken broth and milk to the mixture.  Simmer over med-low heat until thick.  Remove from heat and set aside.
Place a pre-made pie crust in a pie pan.  Place the chicken mixture in the bottom pie crust.  Pour hot liquid mixture over the chicken.  Cover with top crust, seal edges well with a fork and cut away excess crust.  Make several small slits in the top to all stream to escape.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.  Cool 10 minutes before serving.
Hubby says this taste great the next day for lunch :)

Wonderfully Easy Chocolate Pie (from my co-worker, Jessica)
Picture Credit:

1 stick butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix butter and sugar.  Add cocoa powder, then eggs and vanilla.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes in a regular pre-made pie crust.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Run, Run

I've gotten back to running, and I love it!  Last year when I started my 5k plan, I ultimately wanted to run The Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC.  Its coming up, April 2nd but I just can't do it this year.  There is just too much going on for me to spend the money on the race and the trip down there, but I will do it one day!

Other races I am putting on the bucket list to run:
Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon- Oh yes, 13.1 in a tutu... one day!

Krispy Kreme Challenge- Local and hello, Doughnuts!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Favorite 8

This week's Friday Favorite is a surprise!

The Avett Brothers!
Yes, they are my favorite band, but they made the Friday Favorite today because my Favorite Guy (dear sweet hubby) got me surprise tickets to see them in April!  Not only that, he got a group of our friends to get tickets too and we are ALL going!!!  Best Surprise Ever, well second to his sweet proposal  :)  Come on April!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Corkboard Redo

Here's a little tutorial to a corkboard redo I did!

Here's How I Did It!

1. Buy a regular corkboard from Walmart, Target, where ever. This was a large one from Walmart.

2. Gather materials needed to alter boring corkboard

3. Trim your fabric so that you have 1/2 inch more than the corkboard itself (not the frame, the fabric should on cover 1/2 the frame). Lay nice and flat. Lift half of it back and spray the corkboard with glue then press and smooth fabric out. Repeat for other half.

4. Take your paint scraper and press against the fabric, forcing it under the frame of the corkboard. This angled scraper worked much better than a flat one.

5. This is what it should look like when you pull the scraper back out. Continue to do this all around the board.

6. I didn't take a picture of the painting process, I was afraid to get paint on the ol' iPhone... but you get the idea, paint the frame. I had to rough up the frame because it is cheap laminated wood... if this is what you are working with, rub it with sandpaper. After 3 coats of paint it will be fine...

7. Step back and enjoy what 30 minutes and a little work will give you!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday Tip 8: Freezing Cookie Dough

I found this wonderful tip from the website Good Life Eats.  Freezing cookie dough was so helpful when I was doing a lot of baking for Christmas.  One night I would make lots of dough, then when it came time for cookies it was half the work just to bake the frozen dough!

Check out Katie and her step by step for freezing cookie dough.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Meal Plan Monday 8

Here's this weeks meal plan.

Monday- Brown Sugar Crockpot Chicken
Tuesday-  Muffin Tin Meatloaf
Wednesday- Salmon Patties
Thursday- London Broil
Friday-  Baked Ziti
Saturday- Date Night
Sunday- Shrimp Stir Fry

If I pulled the recipe from a website, then it is linked for you to try yourself!  I will also share other favorite recipes throughout the weeks and will link them when used for meal planning.  Bon Appetit!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again...

So once upon a time I was running 5ks and even started training for a 10k.  And then something happened, I can't remember what, oh yes a HOT NC summer.  It was so hot when I would run, I couldn't breath, and I thought to myself... "Self, this is not the best idea..."  So I stopped for a little while.  Well then came a new school year, and I was super busy and I would run every now and then, but nothing like I was doing before (3+ miles every other day).  Then came winter time, and the time changed and it was dark too early.  So it kind of fell to the wayside...

Until today.  Today was the warmest day it has been in a long time.  I put on my brand new running pants, my trusty running shoes, my iPhone with a playlist of great tunes and took off.

I had downloaded the Nike+GPS app to my phone, and I must say I was very impressed with it!  But nothing beats the trusty Couch to 5k app.  I love that app.  I decided that is how I would start back, using that same app again and working up to the Bridge to 10k that comes next.  I didn't start all the way back at Week 1, I started today Week 3, Day 1 and was very happy with how I did.  I ran when I should have and could last the allotted time.  It felt great.  I realized when I was out there pounding the pavement that I missed it.  Here's to getting back into shape in 2011.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Remember Wordless Wed. This Week?

I don't know if anyone guessed what Wordless Wednesday was this week but it is an adorable crib set I made for a friend at work.  She is having her first baby, a little boy, and asked if I would make a crib skirt, bumpers, and a valance.  I added a cute little basket for an extra bonus :)

Here it is in all its cute glory.  What a beautiful crib!  I am proud of this set, as it is my first time ever making baby bedding and doing a box pleat.

If you would like to read more about this sweet little set please check out my quilting blog

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Favorite 7

This week's Friday Favorite is Vinyl Decals!

I had a snow day this week and decided I would put up all the Uppercase Living and other vinyl decorations that I had bought and tucked away.  Lucky for me this was easy because I had already sanded and painted the boards for the ones I didn't want on the wall, so all I had to do was apply the vinyl and put them where they need to go!

 Here is the vinyl decal above my pegboard in my sewing studio.  It says, "Happiness is Handmade".  So very true!  I am sorry for the picture quality, you do not want to know what time I took these photos.
 This cute little bird nest makes me think of the blog.  Got a warm fuzzy yet? ;)  I am still searching for the perfect place to put this one.  I am thinking a little plate stand instead of hanging it on the wall...
 This one hangs above the double door closet that houses my washer and dryer.  I think it is cute!
 This one must really work.  Hung it up and the next day, Snow Day! :)  It is hanging from a knob screwed into the wall.  I didn't care for the way a hook made the frame come away from the wall.
Last, but certainly not least, my favorite board.  It says "When life goes to pieces, Make A Quilt".
Its my favorite color and looks so stellar on top of my bookcase in my sewing studio.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chair Redo

I knew what I wanted to do with this chair from the moment I saw it at Goodwill for only $6.00.  Bonus, the wood was already painted white, one less step!  So I brought it home with high hopes for something better out of that old chair. 

Well that chair set in my sewing room.  It held quilt squares, vinyl expressions, magazines, and other crafty odds and ends but I never got around to covering the cushion...

Until it snowed.

We were stuck inside for days due to the snowy weather, so I finished 2 sewing orders, tons of decorating and when I started putting away supplies and was organizing my sewing studio, I saw the chair.  Then I knew what had to be done next.

I turned the chair over and began unscrewing the four main screws that held the cushion to the chair.
 Here it is with the cushion removed.
I then took the same flat head screwdriver that I removed the screws with and started to pop out the staples... There were a TON of them!
Then I laid the fabric out around the edge of the cushion so I would know how big my fabric needed to be.
 I noticed when I took the dark blue fabric off of the cushion that there was paint on the green under fabric, this chair had been covered before!  So I took some extra white fabric I had in my stash and wrapped it around the cushion and stapled it around the edges as seen below.

Now for the decorative fabric.  I started with the straight back side of the cushion.  I pulled the fabric tight and put one staple in the middle.
I did the same thing with the front edge of the cushion.  Pulling the fabric very tight and putting one staple in the middle.  Then I began doing the same to the side of the chair.  The corners were a bit tricky, you had to fold the fabric over until there are no creases in the corner of the cushion.  As seen below.
Here is a close up of the corner.  It took a little time and patience to get it just right, but when you do staple quickly! :)
Here is what the cushion will look like when all the staples are put into place.  I took my scissors and trimmed around the fabric, so that the pre-drilled holes were visible and there was not too much bulk where I folded the fabric in the corners.
And here is the cushion!  Ready to go back onto the chair.
 Drum roll please...
Here is the finished product!  I think it took longer to upload pictures and do this blog post, than it did to recover this cushion!  Makes me want to go to Goodwill tomorrow!