Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Paper Piecing BOM 2014....

Jennifer from Sewhooked (also from Talk To Me Tuesday videos, which I have not done one in quite awhile) is having a block of the month for vintage paper piecing pattern. I can't wait to start! The pattern will be available monthly on craftsy.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Whats On Your Plate This Week? 12/16/2013

This week I wanted to make several new items, especially since I have plenty of time to cook. Here is the menu for this upcoming week (I might not make all of the main dishes if we have quite a bit of leftovers):

Main Dishes

So what are your plans for meals this week? Share with us below with Mr. Linky.

A Talent For Trouble Review....

Product Details

I received a copy of this book for free, for my honest review from Bethany House Publishers. I had never read anything by Jen Turano before. A Talent for Trouble takes place in the late 19th century in New York, and focuses on Felicia a wealthy woman who believes she is in love and heartbroken. Her mother and friends try to have Grayson, an aristocract from England who has forgone his title, to cheer her up. Trouble always seems to follow them along the way though.

My Thoughts: Overall, I liked this book, even though a few events were a little predictable. Parts of the book with Felicia's shenanigan's were hilarious, especially with the "investigating" a business. I don't want to give out any spoilers. I did find it hard to believe though, that Felicia wouldn't have been more chaperoned considering she was the only daughter of a wealthy family. Her brothers weren't in the book that much, which I figured that they would have been in Felicia's life more. I almost forgot she had a father, as he was always gone in the book until the very end, so never privy to anything going on, which seemed weird to me. Throughout the book we learn that Grayson isn't as polished as people would believe, as he has some dark secrets unknown to people. However, I felt that the secrets were always in the background, and I forgot about them until towards the very end of the book. All, of the secrets that came out, even unbeknownst to Grayson, I was not expecting in the least. I did think the ending was rushed though, especially for all of that information to come out at once. I would read another book by this author.

Rating: 3.00 out of 5

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Whats On Your Plate This Week 12/09/2013

I know that I got a little bit behind in posting last week, but we mainly just had leftovers.

Previous Weeks:

Turkey Day

Of course I went all out for Turkey Day, but it was pretty simple since I cooked our turkey breast in the slow cooker. I have used the same recipe for quite awhile in just cut all of the ingredients in half (see previous post for the link). I made smashed sweet potatoes, and just put in a little bit of butter and brown sugar, just enough for a little extra sweet taste but not overpowering. I made the veggie herb dish (I froze the leftovers for a meal later on), which is just cut up vegetables with a little bit of olive oil and quite a bit of basil. Of course I always have to include rolls with a Turkey dinner. I also made a cheesecake type brownie dessert. Everything came out good, except we were disappointed in the dessert.

Past Week:

This past week we had leftovers of soups, sandwiches, etc., so nothing that I really made from scratch except for the Roasted Red Bell Pepper Basil Soup (which I have previously made and shown on other posts). This time though I added some mozzarella cheese to it, and it made the soup even better. The soup is better after allowing it to marinade for several hours or until the next day. It has much more of a roasted red pepper taste to it. 

This Week:

This week our meals will be easy and quick to make, as it will be a hectic week. Plus, with the weather who knows if the electricity will go out (which happened yesterday for several hours, and then went off and on), and I don't want to be cooking a huge meal if that occurs. We have quite a bit of leftovers from the roasted red bell pepper basil soup, so we had enough for about 3 meals. We will have smoked sausage sandwiches with just some chips. I have frozen leftovers of the veggie herb dish, enough to make its own healthy meal with rolls. Macaroni and cheese with some frozen green beans. Then another meal is pasta with pesto sauce. Perhaps tomorrow I will get to the grocery store if the storm lets up with the ice and snow. 

Next week though, I want to try a few new recipes, including soups and using the slow cooker. After all, it is no doubt weather for a hearty soup to keep warm and slow cooker weather to have a easy meal yet delicious without a lot of work. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Any good projects?

Have you purchased or started any good craft projects lately? I recently purchased this one, and plan on starting it later this month. It will be for one of my grandmothers who love's birds. I thought it was pretty cute, and it is a small counted cross stitch project only 6 inches by 6 inches.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A to Z Book Survey

I saw this book survey over at Joyful Bookcase blog, and couldn't resist participating.

Author You've Read the Most Books From:

Hmmm...especially from when I was a kid. Lurlene McDaniel, L.M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Jane Austen, JK Rowling, Alison Weir, Georgette Heyer, Philippa Gregory, Wanda Brunstetter, Jean Plaidy, SE Hinton,Beverly Lewis, just to name a few that I can immediately think of.

 Best Sequel Ever:
Too many to think list!
Currently Reading:
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • A Talent for Trouble by Jen Turano 
  •  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Drink of Choice While Reading:
I am not picky; tea, coffee with creamer, water, tea, etc.

 E-reader or Physical Book?
A real book even though I do have an E-reader. I can always take a regular book with me, and pass it on to family and friends. Most of my friends and family do not have an E-reader.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
I have not a clue, hhmm...this took me a whole to think about, Charlie from The Perks of Being A Wallflower.

Glad You Gave This Book a Chance:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Hidden Gem Book:
Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta
Important Moment in your Reading Life:
As a kid pushing myself to learn more words, so that I could understand books I wanted to read (especially books that were more than 100 pages), that were beyond my reading level at the time. I spent a summer working on it, and it was well worth it; loved books even more, a little more confident in my reading skills, and especially in pronouncing words.
Finding like minded people who loved books as much as me.
Just Finished:
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Kinds of Books You Won't Read:

Longest Book You've Read:
Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix by JK Rowling
Major Book Hangover Because Of:
War and Peace, trying to keep all of the characters straight!
Number of Bookcases You Own:
Two floor to ceiling bookcases, and then two half bookcases. I have books also on a window ledge.
One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
Only one book? The Outsiders by SE Hinton. Throughout my life of reading this book, depending on what age I was, I would either relate more to Pony or his older brother Darry, then later on seeing both sides.
Preferred Place To Read:
Anywhere that is quiet and peaceful. Or that I can tune at noise to read.

Quote That Inspires You From a Book You've Read:

"We ought always to try to influence others for good," LM Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Reading Regret:
 Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, ugh.
Series You Started and Need To Finish:
 The Hunger Games
Three of Your All-Time Favorite Books:
  •  The Outsiders by SE Hinton
  • Harry Potter series
  • Grapes of Wrath
 Unapologetic Fangirl For:
SE Hinton, JK Rowling, Beverly Lewis, Jane Austen
Very Excited For This Release More Than All the Others:
 Sequel to Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta
Worst Bookish Habit:
Starting and wanting to read too many books at once.

X Marks the Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper (I have never read any of his books before)
Your Latest Book Purchase:
The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla
 Zzz-Snatcher (last book that kept you up way late):
Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Whats On Your Plate This Week 11/25/2013

Last Week:

I ended up making three out of the four items I listed last week for meals. All of them were new to us, here are my reviews:

Marinated Teriyaki Chicken with Herbed Potato Pancakes and green beans:
 I forgot to take a picture of it. We really liked the chicken, which I marinated for about four hours. This will definitely be made quite a bit in the future!

Winter Squash Soup with Sausage Sandwich:

The soup was very good! I used smoked gruyere instead of just regular and used less chicken broth. I found a new smoked sausage brand called Curly's and it was pretty good. The soup made quite a bit, so we had it for several meals.

Chicken Tortellini Soup with Turkey Sandwich:

We were not fans of this soup, I ended up leaving out the chicken, but I still don't think it would have helped. It was way too watery and even with all the herbs all I could taste was chicken. So if I made this again I would replace the chicken broth with vegetable and use less.

This Week:

So what are you having for this week?

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Spin book is.......

The Classics Club has picked number 10 for the winner of the Spin List. So I will be reading Persuasion by Jane Austen! It should be a fun read, and I think it will be finished before the deadline of Jan. 1st. If you are participating in the Classics Spin, what book will you be reading?

What's On your Plate This Week? 11/17/2013

Last Week:

The previous week since was pretty busy so we had a lot of frozen leftovers. I did end up making the following:

None of these meals are new to us, and I do make the meatloaf about once a month or so. The vegetables I used was butternut squash, parsnips and carrots with a little bit of rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Enjoy the pictures!

This Week:
Everything this week I am making, except for the herbed vegetable dish or turkey sandwich, will be new recipes for me. The herbed potato pancakes and Sausage Sandwich I do not have any recipes, but think I should be fine without them. I haven't decided yet if the sausage sandwich will either be Italian or another type.
I have a few ideas on how to use leftovers for the meatballs and herbed vegetable dish next week. Please share any recipes or what you will be eating this week by using Mister Linky below.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Classics Club Spin 4 List

The Classics Club is having another Spin! In the past previous Spins I have participated in, I had picked mostly a mixture of books I wanted to really read, so-so, or "scary" books. I need to read a good enjoyable and relaxing book, so I will only add books I want to read on my list. After all there isn't any official "rules", so it is all good. =0) I will find out on Monday what I will be reading and need to finish it by Jan., 1, 2014. Here are the choices it could be:

  1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  3. Wives & Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  5. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  6. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
  7. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  8. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  9. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  10. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  11. Larkrise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
  12. North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  13. Five Little Peppers & How They Grow by Margaret Sidney
  14. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  15. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
  16. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
  17. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
  18. Little Dorritt by Charles Dickens
  19. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  20. Private Yankee Doodle by J.P. Martin

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Whats On Your Plate This Week? 11/12

As you can tell I didn't post yesterday, so far this week has been busy, and will be so until about Thursday. So we tried a few new items last week, some winners and some not.
Last Week
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a lot of pictures, but I do have at least some. I didn't make the Rosemary-Dijon Chicken or the new Herbed Veggie Skillet, those will end up being part of this weeks menu.  
Spiced Chicken: This was not a keeper by any means, it was way too sweet, and did not taste good at all. I only took about two or three bites, although my husband did eat about half of a chicken breast.
Rustic Italian Tomato Soup: Have you ever started making a recipe,  everything starts to go wrong in the process, and you end up making your own version or at least something completely different? That is what happened with this recipe. Our grocery store didn't have just a frozen bag mixed bell peppers, so I ended up getting one that was just roasted red bell peppers. I put the required ingredients in our food processor, when it started leaking, so much so that it barely had any of the chicken broth or sauce from the can of diced tomato. I apparently had filled it too much. As I wasn't sure how much of the chicken broth was actually left over from the leak, I ended up just guessing when I put everything into the pot. I ended up putting to much basil into the soup, as I used dried instead of fresh, however it was REALLY GOOD. However, did it taste like a Tomato Soup? No, more like Roasted Red Pepper Basil Soup, because of the ingredients I used instead. It was even better a day or two later, as the roasted red pepper taste was more flavorful. This is a very easy soup to make (make sure you don't overfill your food processor like I did!) and would be great to freeze. I do like recipes though, that with just a few changes you have another type of meal. Eventually, I will need to try just the original recipe, if I can find just frozen bag of mixed bell peppers. I ate over half of my soup before I remembered to take a picture.
Shepherd's Pie Pictures (From Mama's Table to Mine cookbook)

I made this last night and the few times I have made it is always good. I know it looks like it is mostly just mashed potatoes, but it does have ground turkey, carrots, rosemary, etc.

This Week:

As this week is really busy, I am relying on a few quick meals.We still have some leftovers of the Shepherd's Pie, and frozen leftovers from Potato-Lentil Stew. I didn't make a few meals from my list the previous week or two, as we had quite a bit of leftovers, so I will make them this week. They will be:

What's On Your Plate This Week? Join me in finding new recipes and sharing your thoughts on dishes by using Mister Linky below.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Whats On Your Plate This Week?

Last Week:

 The Goulash was ok, I couldn't find the recipe that I used last time. So next time I will just change it a little bit.
 The Chicken Tikka Masala was good, but the sauce I purchased was a little spicy. I plan on adding some vegetables next time.
The potato Lentil Soup was good. The picture is of leftovers that I ended up freezing.

This Week:

Last week I didn't end up making the Veggie Bean Casserole or the Mac and Cheese, we either had leftovers or delivered pizza.

This week I want to try a few dishes I have never made before, either as a main meal or side. So I hope they taste good! You will just need to wait until next week to find out, what we thought of them. I have made the Shepherds Pie quite a few times from the past couple of months, and it is really good. Also, from the same cookbook I make a healthy Turkey Meatloaf that rarely is there ever any leftovers, it is that good.

What Is On Your Plate This Week? Share below what you will be eating this week, so we can all get inspired for other meals.

Monday, October 28, 2013

What's On Your Plate This Week?

I am so excited to be starting this weekly Monday blog post, and I hope that lots of people will share what they eat in the week for dinner. FYI this is a long post. In case you did not see my post from last week, here is a little recap; every Monday I will post what we ate last week plus what I plan on making this coming week as well. I hope to include pics, reviews, recipe links when available, etc. Now if you just want to talk about what you made without pictures or links, short post, long post, only want to post once a month etc that is fine.Whatever you want, just as long as you have fun! I thought also it would be a great way to find new recipes, if people share theirs when posting on their own blogs. At the end of this post will be Mister Linky so that you can link up to your own post to share with all of us.
What Did We Have Last Week?
Tuesday Baked Chicken and roasted vegetables:
The roasted veggies were potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, rosemary, thyme, and pepper. It was pretty good, as you can see I left out a few ingredients that is in the recipe, which I either didn't have or didn't want to use. Unfortunately, the baked chicken got a little dry (I didn't put enough sauce on it) but otherwise was good.
Wednesday: Smashed Potatoes with Turkey Chipotle Taco Seasoning and roasted veggies (recipe different from Tuesday's roasted veggies)
I remembered a quick meal my mom used to make as a kid but I changed it a little bit. My mom would always use baked potatoes with hamburger meat that just used regular taco seasoning. I didn't have big enough potatoes and really needed to use the leftovers from the day before (I had had them for awhile). So I just peeled and boiled the potatoes (you will need more than normal as you don't add milk, etc), drained, smashed them and put them on a plate with turkey meat with chipotle taco seasoning (I also put on top some cheese). As the chipotle taco seasoning was a little salty, so with the smashed potatoes didn't need anything else. Besides that I used the rest of the potatoes, leftover sweet potato from the night before, 2 parsnips, 2 carrots, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme for some nice roasted veggies. As you can tell I usually change some things on recipes that I make. I only used enough veggies to cover half of a baking sheet, so it was just enough for one meal. We both really liked this dish, so I will make it in the future. Here is a picture of the leftover Smashed Potatoes with the turkey chipotle taco meat.

Thursday: Curried Pumpkin Soup and baguettes with gouda cheese

I had made this recipe only once before. The changes I made were; I used more pumpkin, chose to use the vegetable broth, added nutmeg, added cumin, and used more evaporated milk, salt, and pepper. I just added a little bit at a time until I liked the desired taste. It was good and I plan on making it more during the coming winter. It takes little time to make as well.

Friday: Slow-Cooked Bean Medley

I have never had this before as never tasted some of the beans used in this recipe. I love to use slow cookers/crockpots and that I just need to put in the ingredients and it cooks by itself. I added more brown sugar than what was called for in the recipe, as for me it was a little tangy. So, in the future when I make this I might just put in a little less Italian dressing. There was quite a bit of leftovers, so I decided to freeze some of it.

Saturday: Leftovers

It is just a smorgasbord of leftovers that were from several previous nights meals from Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Sunday: Leftovers

We still had some soup and bean medley left over so we had that. We added some smoked turkey sausage to the bean medley.

Meals This Week:

Monday: Leftovers

We don't have very much leftovers and I will be at an event tonight. So what doesn't get eaten tonight will be thrown out.

Tuesday: Potato Lentil Soup with rolls

I have made this a few times and it is pretty good. I usually cut down on the amount of chili powder used. It makes quite a bit, so I freeze some of the leftovers.

Wednesday: Velveeta Queso Blanco Mac and Cheese with green beans

Velveeta has a creamy version of mac and cheese that is really good. Even if your not normally a fan of Velveeta, try it. I usually get two packages so we have leftovers. They have the regular mac and cheese but also a queso blanco version too.

Thursday: Leftovers

We will have the leftovers of the potato lentil soup and mac and cheese.

Friday: Chicken Tika Masala over rice

I just use a store bought version of the Tika Masala Curry sauce and follow the instructions.

Saturday: (American) Goulash with Veggie Dish

I know lots of different people have names for this dish; hodge podge, American chop suey, goulash, etc., and all put a variety of somewhat different ingredients in it. My family just put in the hamburger (although I will substitute that with ground turkey), sauce, macaroni, and we usually added corn. I will also be making a veggie dish that consists of; frozen French cut green beans (although regular frozen green beans can be used), frozen corn, onion, sweet red bell pepper, olive oil, and dried basil (I just add it until I like the taste) until cooked through. The veggie dish is quick to make and freezes great.

Sunday: Veggie Bean Casserole with rolls

I make this a few times during the winter when we want to have a hearty meal with veggies. It also freezes well.

That is it for this long post. So what is on your plate this week?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Mah Jongg

I recently started playing Mah Jongg with a group of ladies I know this month. I am told the tile version is quite different compared to the computer game. It is a lot of fun though, even if we do not keep score, although we play by the national league rules. Has anyone else played? Below is the set I got.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Scary October Reads Check In #4

Where has this month gone? Only one more week left in the Scary October reads event, and I am not even half way through my choice of reading War and Peace. Although, I wasn't sure if I would be able to finish the over 1,300 pages in one month, but I was hopeful. Nevertheless, I am enjoying it, and even though it is a long book, it doesn't seem so scary since I started reading it. What about everyone else? Are you almost done reading your "scary" book, or like me and not even close to being finished? Are you liking it or is it too "frightening" as you feared? Let us know!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Idea for a weekly post What's On Your Plate This Week?

So starting next Monday, I plan on posting what dinner meals I will be making for the week. I will include recipe links (when available), pictures, reviews, did we like the food or will we revise it, did we freeze the leftovers, etc. I have found that it helps immensely if I have meals already scheduled, even if they are just leftovers. Otherwise it is really hectic and we eat really late. I thought a regular blog post on every Monday, would be beneficial to me to ensure that I always know what meals we will be eating, and perhaps others will share on their own blog, thus getting even more ideas for meals. On Monday I will post what we ate this week and upcoming meals as well. Included in my post will be Mister Linky, so that anyone who wants to post about their own meals can. So, will you join me next Monday?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Whats On Your Nightstand?

What's On Your Nightstand  I guess that I must have missed last month, so this will actually be for both September and October. I have read several books, so I will start with those first.

Books Read:
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For a few of the books I have done reviews, below are the links to them:

Born of Persuasion
For Every Season

Below are the books that I have continued to read from last month, just started this week or will be starting this week:

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What is on your list?

Monday, October 21, 2013

It's Monday! What Are you reading?

2a  I have been reading a little bit this past week, but not as much as I would have liked too. Isn't that always the case? At least I accomplished reading one book though. Here is what I am currently reading:


Product DetailsOrphan Train by Christina Baker Kline this book was pretty good.



Still Reading:

Product Details
War and Peace, which even though it is slow going, I am enjoying it. I only wish the characters didn't have such long names, and that Tolstoy wouldn't shorten them sometimes and other times not, it gets a tad confusing with so many characters.
Product DetailsJane Eyre, I am almost halfway through, and still trying to figure out the mystery of who Mr. Rochester appears to be, plus any secrets he may have. He seems to be a very complex person.

Just Started:

Product Details
  I am still on the first chapter, so definitely haven't read too much of this book yet. I will be reviewing this book for Bethany House Publishers. I have never read anything from Jen Turano.


Product Details This book is a historical fiction book that takes place in Vienna in 1938. A Jewish family and several others decide that they need to leave and go to Shanghai for their safety. However, after WWII starts to heat up with America entering the war, will they have to leave again because of the Japanese army? I haven't gotten to far, but really enjoying this book. 
So what are you all reading? Anything good? Any books to stay away from or hard to finish?

Upcoming Book Reviews...

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I will be reviewing this three books in the next month or two. I just requested Dear Mr. Knightley from Book Sneeze which will be out on Nov 5 for the public. I can't wait to read it.

I have never read any books by Jen Turano, and will review it for Bethany House Publishers. It looks to be interesting. It is currently available to the public.

In My Hope is Found, is the last book in the Cadence of Grace Series by Joanne Biscof.  I got this book from Blogging for Books. I really enjoyed the first book, and need to read the second one first. I have heard though it is a good series. This is available to the public already.