Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Vowed Never to Do Piping Again

But then my friend asked me to make some bumpers for her nursery, so I attempted it once more. It really is a sweet story. They adopted two little girls, and they recently found out they were expecting their first little girl. So exciting for them.

The friend who I made them for is quite thrifty herself, so she actually found some really nice boy bumper pads at a yard sale and bought them before she found out what she was having. I ripped the whole thing apart and I used the existing piping and ties and recovered the pads to come up with this. It really cut down on the work (and the cost).

I basically just sewed a huge tube of fabric, added piping and ties, on one side, and voila. 

She loved them. As in, almost went into tears when I gave them to her at her baby shower. It's always nice giving something away when you know the person you're giving it to really appreciates it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Onsie Dresses

I'm posting this for Jalee because it was really all her idea! At Mesquite Days there was a booth that had these cute onsies with ruffles that were just sewn into them. Jalee thought they were so cute and quickly thought I can do that... (with the help of mom of course)! A few days and four cute onsies from Wal Mart later we convinced mom to leave the computer and come "help"  or do most of the work for us and create some sewing magic. And these are what we came up with! 

 Abby modeling her moms new fashion.

 These are Jalee's creations.

 Madison modeling her moms creation too.

 These are my creations!

They were so much fun to do we spent the next day in St. George buying more onsies and fabric to create many more DIY dresses! Thanks mom we love how handy you are on the sewing machine and how much patience you have with us!  And thanks Jalee for the fun new idea!
Get ready for another onsie dress making day!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Oil impasto painting

I finished a painting yesterday, and thought I'd share it.  I painted it to match the colors in our bathroom, so that's where it's headed once it dries.

It's my first attempt at this impressionistic style (my normal style is painfully life-like,) so I'm not really sure how it turned out, but it was fun anyway.  This was also my first time painting the whole thing with a palette knife instead of a brush.  I loved that.  :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Nellie's Recipes

Sooo... I fail at the everyday thing, but here is a list of some of my favorites:

You Need: New Potatoes (or other small, round potato), Olive Oil, Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, and whatever herb you like. I’m using Rosemary.
1. Boil Salt Water
2.Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make, and cook them until they’re fork-tender.
3.Generously drizzle olive oil on a sheet pan.
4.When the potatoes are tender, place them on the cookie sheet.
5.Give them plenty of room to spread out.
6.Grab your potato masher and gently press down on the potato until it slightly mashes.
7.Then rotate the masher 90 degrees and finish flattening it. Of course, you don’t want to absolutely smash it into the pan—you want it almost to resemble a cookie.
8.Brush the tops rather generously with olive oil.
9. Salt and Pepper to taste.
10.Now, you can grab some chives…or thyme…or whatever herbs you have available.
11.Throw them onto the top rack of a very hot (450-degree) oven, and cook them for 20-25 minutes… or until crispy.
12. ENJOY!


These were super easy and super nummy!!! I know mom has the best recipe for this but, I found this one to be pretty awesome too. Plus they freeze beautifully.

Mix and let sit for 15 minutes:

3 1/2 c. warm water

3/4 c. sugar

1/2 c. oil

6 T. yeast (4 1/2 Saf-Instant)

Then add:

1 T. salt

3 eggs

10 1/2 c. flour

Mix together for 10 minutes, then sit for 10 minutes. Oil cupboard, dump out dough. Divide in half. Roll one half out into rectangle. Spread with ¼ c. melted butter and then with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll up tight, but not too tight. Divide into 12 rolls and place on greased cookie sheet. Repeat with other half of dough. Let rise. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 400.


1c. sugar

1 T. cinnamon


1 cube butter

2 dashes salt

2 t. vanilla

6 c. powdered sugar


Orange Rolls: Add orange concentrate to regular frosting

Chocolate Rolls: Add baking cocoa and a few drops of water to regular frosting

Cream cheese Rolls: Add cream cheese to regular frosting

Creme Brulee
So, Shane's favorite dessert is Creme Brulee and I have learned to make it for special occasions or just days that I feel I have the time. I have come to love it as well. I learned from trial and error and found this guy to have the BEST recipe, so far. Sorry it's a video, but it really helped me to understand it. and to get the best consistency.


Maureen's Spaghetti

Okay so this is the BEST spaghetti recipe for enhancing a bottle of Prego. I love it, it just gives the bottled stuff enough pazaz and is SUPER EASY.

Lightly brown 3 cloves if raw garlic and 1/2 onion in skillet with olive oil. (Don't skimp on the olive oil)
Add 1 pound of Spicy Italian sausage (we found a non-Johnson's kind at walmart that is really tasty)
Cook until pink is gone.
Once this is ready put in crockpot.
Add: 1 jar of Prego sauce/ rinse jar with about 1/2 cup of water- pour water into crock pot as well.
Add: 1 tsp of each: Garlic powder, Sugar, Onion Powder, Italian seasoning, and Parsley.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Let it sit in crock pot all day on low. (Shane usually adds extra sugar just before eating, about 1 tsp-1Tbsp)
Cook pasta and serve!

If I think of any others or if you have anything that you have seen me make that you want the recipe for just ask and I will add it. Love you!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Potato Corn Chowder

10 Potatoes
1 Cube Butter
1 Lb Bacon or Ham, cooked and crumbled
Milk or Half and Half
1 Medium Onion Chopped
Salt and Pepper
1 Package Frozen Corn

Peel and cube potatoes. Boil with chopped onions. Once the potatoes are soft drain off water and mash with butter. I like to leave them coarsely mashed so there a few larger pieces of potato. Add milk or half and half until it covers the tops of the potatoes. Add bacon/ham, corn, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer and serve.

This is one of my favorite soup recipes! When I lived in Cedar I would make it all the time on cold winter days. It makes a huge pot too, so it's great to share.

Sausage Dip

1 Package of Jimmy Dean Sausage
2 Cans of Rotelle Tomatoes with Green Chili's (or mexican style), not drained
2 Packages of Cream Cheese

Cook sausage then combine all ingredients in a crock pot and simmer. Serve with tortilla chips.

This is a really simple quick recipe to throw together. If you like more spice you can always use hot sausage as well.

Smoked Turkey Club Panini

*Note: You can use any type of artisan or sourdough bread in this recipe. Boule loaves (a rustic 8-inch round loaf) works great. I used a honey wheat/multigrain loaf and it was delicious, also.
*Makes 4 sandwiches
8-12 slices bacon
(I think this is optional. Rob loves it of course)
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, rinsed, patted dry and minced (if you're lazy, you can run them through the food processor. I like more, so its extra tomatoey)
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
8 slices thick-cut crusty bread
1/2 pound thinly sliced deli Swiss cheese
1/2 pound thinly sliced deli smoked turkey (Don't get the cheap cheap stuff. Get it sliced at the deli)
3 cups baby spinach or arugula
Cook bacon until crisp. You can use a skillet or use the microwave, placing the bacon in a single layer on a paper-towel lined plate, cover with paper towels and microwave for about 5 minutes (repeating the process if all the bacon doesn’t fit the first round). In a small bowl, combine the sun-dried tomatoes and mayonnaise.
Lightly spread butter over one side of each bread. Lay the butter-sides down on a cutting board or work area. Spread each slice with the sun-dried tomato mayonnaise. Layer half of the cheese on 4 slices of bread then top with turkey, bacon, spinach (or arugula) and remaining cheese. Top with remaining bread, butter side up.
Cook the sandwiches on a panini press, skillet or grill pan heated on medium heat for one minute prior to cooking. I use an indoor grill pan for my paninis but a skillet would work just as well. I place 2-3 sandwiches (depending on the size of the sandwich) in the grill pan and weigh the sandwiches down with a heavy pot (you can also use a foil-covered brick or similar object). Cook the sandwiches for about 4-5 minutes per side, until they are golden brown and the cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Serve immediately.
Recipe found here, of course.

Food Blogs

My daughters (that includes daughters-in-law) are always teaching me.  
They told me about a food blog that is now one of my favorites:  Mel's Kitchen Cafe.
You will not be at a loss as to what to make for dinner (or anything else) again.

Another one I like is Pioneer Woman.
It is just as much fun reading her hilarious blog posts as it is trying her recipes.
Just subscribe in your Google Reader and you will get their new posts.  [If you haven't heard about Google Reader (another cool thing my daughters told me about...), you should learn about it and try it out soon!  It will change your life.... your days of constantly checking blogs will be over!]

 Yesterday I tried grinding plain popcorn to make fresh cornmeal.  It was easy, fun, and the taste really does make a difference.  Just set your wheat grinder to the coarsest setting and you're good to go.
Mel's cornbread recipe is next.  I like using a little less sugar than the recipe calls for--yummy!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Banana Carrot Muffins/Hulk Drink

Thanks Paige for posting a need for recipes! This will be fun to see this week :)

Banana Carrot Muffins

1 cup (~3) ripe bananas, mashed (like disgustingly ripe. beyond recognition)
¾ cup unsweetened apple sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar  
2 eggs or 4 egg whites+1 tsp oil
2 cups whole wheat flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon (maybe more? try 3/4 tsp... can't remember :)
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup finely grated carrots

Combine bananas, brown sugar, applesauce and eggs. Combine dry ingredients and then stir the banana mixture with the dry just until mixed. Fold in carrots. Double the batch and freeze for a quick snack grab.

For muffins, cook at 350 for 18-20 min.
For a loaf, bake at 350 for 45-50 min.

Green Smoothie/ aka The Hulk Drink (to little boys)

1 frozen ripe banana
2 cups fresh spinach (not frozen)
1-2 cups frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup almond milk or reg milk
1 tsp ground flax (optional)
honey or sugar or agave to sweeten

Throw in the blender and gobble down. Change up the amounts to your liking if you wish. Convince your 4 yr old that the Hulk drink really will make them strong and repeat convincing as many times needed.

One Minute Salsa

I love, love, love this salsa. It's my go-to. The best part is that it only has a few ingredients. When I make it, I put in a drained jar of tomatoes instead of the can. It calls for canned pickled jalapenos. I just buy a huge can and drain the liquid, then I freeze it and pull it out when I need it.

*Note: This salsa is unbelievably good with a couple diced avocados mixed in just before serving.
*Makes about 3 cups
1/2 small red onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup drained jarred pickled jalapenos (I usually put 2 jalapenos. More if you like it spicy)
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
In the bowl of a food processor (or a blender), pulse the onion, cilantro, jalapenos, lime juice, garlic and salt until coarsely chopped.
Add the drained tomatoes and pulse until combined. Don’t overprocess in this step if you want your salsa to remain chunky – just give it a few good 1-second pulses until everything is mixed. Place the salsa in a fine mesh strainer or sieve and drain briefly. Transfer to a bowl and serve. (The salsa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.)
Recipe found here.

Yesterday we had the blessing of Matt and Kat's new little baby girl, Elayna Katherine Brown.  We did it at the house and though it was crowded and a bit crazy afterwards it was great.  Matthew did a wonderful job on the blessing. Elayna is a little sweetheart and Matt and Kat do a great job as her parents.  Life is good!
Appetizer idea from the Brown's:
Kristin makes this great Corn Salsa, she served yesterday at Elayna's blessing. It is great!!

Kristin’s Corn Salsa 

1 can shoepeg corn  (this can be found on the vegetable isle)
1 can black-eyed peas (or black beans)
5-6 medium tomatoes
2 avocadoes
2-3 green onions
½ bunch of cilantro
1 pkg of Italian dressing
2 limes squeezed
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp oil

Mix together and chill, serve with chips.

Cheese Ball

This is my favorite cheese ball recipe. I could eat this all day long. It's super easy and fast!

Cheese Ball
1 pkg 8oz Cream Cheese
1 container Old English (found by the cheese whiz and squeeze cheese)
1 pound shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon parsley

Mix it all together and roll into a ball. You can put almonds on the outside but I usually don't.

Who can resist cream cheese and crackers! I also love plain cream cheese with jalapeno jelly or chipolte raspberry jelly from Costco.

Recipe: Snack

Carrie taught me this quick, healthy snack:

yogurt + quick oats 
simple & yummy snack

Pour yogurt, add oats on top. 

It's great because it makes yogurt go farther and it allows for more whole grains and a good source of protein. If you haven't already heard of it, try Greek yogurt. Lower sugar and higher protein, but make to watch out because fat content can vary.  Enjoy!

About an Ox and a Mier

This weekend we blessed Madison Jo.  It was a great weekend with everyone here.  (Nellie & Shane surprised us)  We really had a wonderful time.  Saturday the ox was in the mier.  I was incharge of Madi's blessing dress.  I had bought the fabric prior to her birth, but again, the ox wasn't in the mier until Saturday.  But I put myself together, gathered all the strength I had, (and the attention span) and went to work.  I love to sit at the sewing machine.  (I remember boxing up my sewing room and making it a work office years ago.  It was one of the hardest things I have done.)  Anyway,  I sewed for a couple of hours and came up with a beautiful blessing dress for Madi.  She truly looked so beautiful, but that wasn't the dress it was her.  Paige is a great mom and I am so proud of her and the willings she has to be a  "Mother in Zion".

  Just a side note.... Grandma mentioned how much she loved this blog soooooooooooo...... if you haven't posted you may try to make it a goal for the week.

Paige had a great challenge for recipes.  So try really hard to find a favorite recipe and post it according to the outlined week schedual.  Today is ....Appetizers.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

We Did It!

On Saturday, May 5th 2012, Camille and I graduated from SUU. 

Camille graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Family Life & Human Development. 
I graduated with an Associate of Science in General Studies. 

I was so happy to run into her so I could snap this picture to share it with our family.
Go T-birds!

Draperies- A New Passion

I was talking to mom the other night. I was in crisis mode. I am sewing draperies for a lady and I had somehow got a spot on the fabric. Well it went clear across the 4 widths of completed drapes. I took it into the dry cleaners and they were able to remove it. Anyway back to talking with mom. I was concerned that the sizing in the fabric felt different after dry cleaning and had asked her to come over and see if she could see or feel a difference. Anyway we felt that things would be okay but she said to me..."Janet, you love to learn." And I truly do. I just with both feet into what ever I am learning at the time. I try to do my best and then it becomes a passion. Just like photography or graphic arts, I loved learning nursing skills. I love to quilt, cook, sew and I feel so accomplished after I finish. This is a skill my parents have taught me though. I love to learn because our home was always a learning home. From playing Rook on Sunday night and counting cards to bottling fruit in the summer. We all learned.

Well back to my drapes. I have been filling my spare time with sewing from a real fun lady. She sells and designs I sew. She called me and asked if I could do pinched pleats. Well years ago when Paige was(3) and BettyJo(1) I sewed a set of pinched pleats with Aunt Donnetta.
Well not quite an expert but I felt I could try. I called Betty because she is soooo smart and asked her to help. She came down for a week and together we finished 6 panels of pinch pleat draperies.

I went to Las Vegas and installed them last week and they were absolutely amazing, beautiful, fun and the lady was so pleased. So here are some pictures of them:

It was so fun working with Betty...I hope she will come help again.

Here are a couple of sets of windows I recently completed. I am learning lots and love doing it. The homes are mainly high end and alot of retirement people. It is really great.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Humor Me!

I am in an incredible cooking slump! I am in need of some great inspiration and thought who better to ask than all you lovely family members. I was thinking it might be fun to add a recipe a day for a week. I know you are all very busy but just take a minute a day and share with us all (especially me) your favorite recipes. So I was thinking maybe to help keep things kinda organized we could do:
Monday: Favorite Appetizer or Snack
Tuesday: Favorite Salad of Sandwich
Wednesday: Favorite Main Dish
Thursday: Favorite Muffin or Breakfast
Friday: Favorite COOKIE or Dessert
If we all added something each day we would have meal plans for a month! I think we all could benefit from a new great recipe or a well mastered old one. Love you all and please share!