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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Sampler Block #6- Arkansas Traveler


I finished the sixth block on the summer sampler tonight. I like the way it turned out but it is about an inch smaller than all of the other squares- so I will have to figure out how to adjust when I go to put them all together!

Swim, Bike, Quilt

The tutorial for this block- Arkansas Traveler is over at Freshly Pieced.


The plan was to get all caught up on the series this weekend but I don't see that happening- I had a lazy day Saturday and slept a LOT! I did finish a couple projects which I will share later.

Thanks for stopping by, Happy Crafting!
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Friday, July 29, 2011

New Food Friday #1- Almond Crusted Chicken and Black Bean Jicama Salad

Welcome to the first week of New Food Fridays. This week I tried two new recipes that I have been wanting to try for a while. I also used an ingredient that I have never cooked with before.


Almond Crusted Chicken and Black Bean Jicama Salad




One of my rules for the summer is that I try not to make dishes that use the oven. It helps keep the house a little less hot. So for this week I decided to make Almond Crusted Chicken which is done in a skillet and paired it with a cold salad (It also helped use up some of the garden produce!).

I loved both of these recipes. The chicken was flavorful and crispy. My favorite part was smelling the rosemary as it was cooking. I think my husband went back for more 3 times. The salad was refreshing- I really liked the jicama texture in there- added a little crunch. I will definitely add these to the make again list.

I used my Pampered Chef food chopper to chop the almonds up.


Almond Crusted Chicken: From BHG May 2009
Prep: 25 minutes Cook 8 minutes

4 small skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. buttermilk
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 shallot, chopped
8 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/4 tsp salt
Black Pepper

1. Place one chicken breast half between sheets of plastic wrap. With flat side of meat mallet, pound chicken to 1/4-1/2 inch thickness. Repeat with all breast halves.

2. In shallow dish whisk together egg and buttermilk. In another shallow dish combine almonds, panko, rosemary and salt. Dip chicken breast, one at a time, in egg mixture, turning to coat. Allow excess to drip off, then dip chicken pieces in almond mixture.

3. In 12 inch skillet cook chicken, in hot oil over medium heat for 4-6 minutes, until no longer pink. Turn halfway through cooking. Remove chicken from skillet, keep warm.

4. In same skillet cook shallot in drippings for 3-5 minutes until just tender, stirring frequently. Add spinach adn 1/4 tsp. salt; Cook and toss about 1 minute, until spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with pepper.


This next dish uses an ingredient I have never cooked with before, the Jicama. I have tasted it before, but never cooked with it. The jicama is a root vegetable with a crisp texture like a potato or a pear. The flavor is more sweet though and I think it tastes exactly like fresh sweet peas. Mostly eaten raw, jicama is good in salads, coleslaws and fruit salads.

Here is the Jicama I bought.


And what the inside looks like.


Black Bean and Jicama Salad Prepared- Yummy!


Black Bean Jicama Salad:From Chef Alli's (www.ChefAllis.com)

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1 cup diced, peeled jicama
2 roma tomatoes, seeded & chopped (I used 8 cherry tomatoes from the garden)
2 green onions, minced
2 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. salsa
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1. In large mixing bowl combine beans, corn, jicama, tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro.

2. In seperate mixing bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients; pour over vegetables and beans. Let season for 1-2 hours before serving.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Photography Challenge Week #1- Self Portrait


Posting for my Thursday Photography Challenge- This week's challenge was a self portrait.

I had a little bit of difficulty with this one- first off I am not too comfortable with taking pictures of myself and felt a little bit like a dork sitting outside doing this. But I had a few come out nicely. Also, getting good lighting with my old point and shoot camera is hard. Either you have the flash on and it is all washed out or it becomes very blurry easily without the flash on.

The other hard part was that I don't have a tri-pod or any remotes so these were do the old fashioned way- holding the camera up in my face!

I think my favorite part of this was the editing. I enjoyed playing with the images, fixing colors, doing cool effects.

Here are a few of the pictures I got for my self portrait this week.



This one is my favorite- I love the frame of it and how it looks like I am behind a rain drop covered window. I also really liked the soft focus and colors of this one, even though I look a little pinkish!


Here it is in a different effect- I like it like this too.

A few more that I liked how they turned out. Once I got over feeling like a dork this challenge was kind of fun.


This one was taken with the flash- I like the composition but I had to darken it quite a bit to keep the lighting from being too harsh.

On this last one you can see how without the flash it got a little blurry- but I like the color and softness so much better without the flash. I guess I will need to keep working on it!

Linked up at A Step In the Journey- Head over there to see all of the self portraits.

Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Crafting!

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cutest Thing Ever!!

Last weekend my husband and I went to the county fair to see all of the exhibits. While strolling through the livestock barns we saw a mama pig and her 13 babies. I got to hold one of these sweeties and they are CUTE!!  The girl who owned the pig told me they were only 3 days old- so sweet!



Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Crafting!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Sampler Series Block #5- Star



Finished the 5th block from the summer sampler tonight. Now I am only 2 blocks behind- until the morning :). I. LOVE. THIS. BLOCK. It is definitely my favorite so far. And the paper piecing was fun- if you don't count the couple mess ups at the beginning. To get the tutorial go to Fresh Lemons.


Swim, Bike, Quilt

Thanks for Stopping By!!
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Jewelry Organizers From Old Frames


I love taking things I already have around the house that are sitting in drawers and turning them into something that can be useful and pretty.

I started with some inspiration via Fawn's Blog- Always Chasing Life.



Then I took a couple old frames I had been saving up for some project- I think I bought these to use for signs at our wedding- hadn't found a perfect use for it yet. I love the rustic barnwood feel. I grabbed some craft paint I had on hand and started mixing. First try was a no-go- I thought a pretty lavendar would work and look great by my dresser. Nope- it turned out almost pink when spread over the wood. Then I mixed up a lovely green with some brown and watered it down.


Then took a paint pen and made some flourishes on the corners. The picture shows the green a little brighter than it is- it is actually a foresty green. Then I screwed the hooks in- a little off center to give it a bit more interest. I can't wait for my husband to get these hung up and start hanging my necklaces and bracelets on them!



Linking Up:















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Monday, July 25, 2011

Free Bandana Dress Pattern Giveaway for This Week at Jame!

Jame is giving away her pattern for a bandana dress. So cute and would be a fun gift for any little girl. I plan to make a few for baby shower gifts. Check it out over at Jame.



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Sunday, July 24, 2011

TV Stand Inspiration

So much inspiration, so little time.  We moved in May and we have been working hard on getting our new house decorated. Owning and decorating a home takes a lot of time and big decisions. I am thinking we are going to redo an old dresser to use as an entertainment center. Here is some inspiration for the paint style that I have been thinking about.

I love the color and dark undertones of this one. 


Love the color and knobs on this one.



Example of what we want to do- dresser turned entertainment center.




Another example, dresser turned entertainment center.




Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Crafting!


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Friday, July 22, 2011

New Food Friday Challenge- Join Me!



I have been wanting to start a challenge for myself for a little while now and I decided this would be one that would be good for me and my husband will be happy about.

Lately I have been in a cooking rut- they are pretty easy to get into but I want to get out of it now. I am a dietitian and I love food so I collect recipes constantly: from magazines, from nutrition conferences, online, all over the place. A couple months ago I got them all together and organized them into my own personal cookbook. But they still are just sitting on the shelf, not really getting used. So this challenge will help me get out those recipes, try new things and share them with my readers.

How the challenge will work-
  • I will start the challenge next Friday July 29th.
  • I will post every Friday for the rest of the year about a new recipe I tried that week.
  • I will vary the recipes- entrees, side dishes, desserts, breads.
  • Every month I will try a recipe with an ingredient I have never used before.
I would love for you all to join in- whether it be posting once a month, posting every Friday, or even just watching from the sidelines. I am sure you have some recipe books that could use some loving! Just leave a comment below letting me know if you want to participate and grab a button and link it to this post.







Thanks for Stopping By!!
Zoe

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Sampler Block #4




Swim, Bike, Quilt

I finished block #4 for the Summer Sampler Series. It is called Flower Garden Path. It is a beautiful square and I loved how it turned out, but it was very time consuming. I got off a little bit in the middle on the right side, but for the most part I am really happy with how this square turned out. For the tutorial go here to Swim, Bike, Quilt.




Here are all 4 of my squares so far. I like them together. I haven't looked too closely at block 5 but I did see that I will have to pick out another color to add to it- luckily I found 2 patches of fabric that will work from my stash!

I have some exciting news coming on Friday!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

First Quilted Hexagon ever!

Hexalong

Tonight I finished my first hexagon for the Hexalong. I have most of my templates cut out and I picked out some of the fabrics I will use. I made a rule for myself that if I was going to be doing these challenges I had to use fabric from my stash and not go and buy new fabrics. I am not sure how well I like the fabrics I picked for this block, but we will have to see as the other hexagons come together. I will probably raid my mother's stash sometime soon to see what I can add on!




I was surprised at how easy the English Paper Piecing technique was. I am eager to try more of these blocks but I am so tired!!

Thanks for stopping by,

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