Sunday, August 23, 2009

When The Moon Hits Your Eye

I found this recipe in a magazine a week or so ago. I wrote down what I needed and then lost the magazine. I likely put it in the recycle bin but it means that I cannot give credit where credit is due. The original recipe called for ground beef, but seeing as how cows and KK don't get along well, I used my old standby of ground turkey instead.


Pizza Pie

Ingredients:

* 1 lb (or 1 pkg) of ground meat (turkey, beef, chicken, etc)
* 1 bag frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
* 1/2 bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed and dried
* 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
* 1 bag shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups)
* 1 can or bag of pre-made pizza crust (or make your own)

Directions:

* Brown meat in pan on stove top. I added in onion powder, salt and pepper to taste but you can do whatever makes you smile. Drain liquid from meat.
* Place meat on the bottom of your largest pie pan. A tiny pie pan will not do- this is a lot to go into one pan!
* Next layer on the bag of broccoli and spinach. Then add the cheese layer. Then the sauce on top of that. Then the pie crust.
* Slice three air vents in top of pie crust with sharp knife or kitchen scissors.
* Place in pre-heated oven (check directions on can of dough but I believe it was 375 or 400) until golden brown on top (about 20-30 mins).


This is a super simple, all in one meal! Very delish and heats up well the next day as lunch!





Saturday, August 22, 2009

Snap Tape Question

Has anyone used snap tape before? I cannot figure out how to sew it with any of the feet that I own. The back of the zipper foot catches and the regular feet are too wide and catch on the metal/plastic snaps. I've googled and everyone seems to have the same question but I've not found a solution that works for me yet. It can't be this complicated. I know there is an obvious solution that I am just not seeing at the moment. Any thoughts or ideas from my sewing pals would be GREATLY appreciated!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's Here, It's Here, It's Finally Here!!



Tonight. Lifetime. Old favorites. New cast. I am so there! Cheers to season six of Project Runway!!

Presents

Before I headed down to Florida, I needed to finish up several projects for my little love, Jack. Both of his parents and several other family members went to FSU so some FSU gear was naturally in order. Just my regular stuff (bib, burpee and diaper and wipes case) but in cute Florida State fabric. He's all set for fall football season in a few weeks.















And of course his capes - a onesie cape and then a larger one for when my little superhero gets big and strong. His auntie wrote him a book (Not just a story but a full fledged book that she illustrated and published. If it ever makes it to mass market, I promise to divulge details!), with Jack the superhero as the main character. The night before his birth she told me about the book and we decided I would make him a coordinating outfit.

On Saturday there was a large "coming out" party for Jack at his grandmother's house and a presentation surprise for Jack and his parents with the book and cape. They were shocked and touched to say the least. Jack's daddy loved the cape so much that I'm thinking of making a daddy size cape and mailing it down to him for Halloween. Don't look at the "J" though- it's all wonky but of course I waited to do this until 10PM the night before my 7AM flight. So I decided a 6 week old tot would likely forgive me for a less than perfect letter or two.








This is the toddler cape. Like the onesie cape, it's backed in red and white polka dots. I'm pretty pleased with how it all turned out. I would change a few things next go-round, but for the most part I think it looks pretty fabu.







Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Perfect Lilly!



This is hands down my very favorite piece of Lilly Pulitzer clothing!! The fit, FABULOUS! The length, refreshing! The bows down the front, classic! The pockets, perfection! It comes in a patch print too and I make no promises that it won't eventually (sooner rather than later) come to live with me. Do you see in the third picture that the white lining is trimmed in the dress fabric? Such a small touch that only I will see but it so makes me smile. I love love love this dress! The Florida Shift Center Front in Classic White Beach Buns is my perfect Lilly!!





Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Meet Jack...

My plate is full this week. It's nearly midnight and I still have so much left to do today. But I am exhausted so it's just not going to happen. The list will still be there tomorrow, right?


I don't usually share personal photos on this blog, but I just love this photo so I had to post it. It's from my visit to Florida last week to meet my six week old Godson, Jack. You can probably guess that I made this outfit for Jack. It's his baby superhero suit. There is an awesome story behind it but you will just have to take my word on that. Most of the other photos can be seen on Facebook (if we're not FB friends and your life is just feeling incomplete, let me know and we can probably remedy that). Look at that tiny hiney- have you ever seen a tushy more adorable? Oh and I'm wearing my newest Lilly dress and I am obsessed with it. It fits better than any Lilly dress in my collection. It is also a bit longer than shifts, which I appreciate. More on that tomorrow, when both of my eyes are open and I am not super tired.



Monday, August 17, 2009

Headed Home

I'm so sad to leave Hometown today. This has seriously been one of the best visits of my life!! I met Florida's baby Jack, my nephew. I am head-over-heels IN LOVE with this baby!! He has completely stolen my heart and I am already crying at the thought of leaving him later today. He's just so brilliant and perfect and handsome. He's also 6 weeks old- so I know the bit about being brilliant might be pushing it. I have spent the better part of my week simply starring at him. I'm in love!! And the best part...I found out that I get the honor of being his Godmother!! Actually, I found out similar to how I found out I was to be MOH in Bestie's wedding. A funny story for a day when I am not Blackberry blogging.

I owe several of y'all an email- this coming week, I promise. But until I have to leave, I plan to spend every possible moment loving on my Godson, Jack!! Oh he is just perfection!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm Not Sure If America Has Talent

I've only watched parts and pieces of America's Got Talent, but I have concluded that, no America does not. So far I have seen a guy juggling chain saws, a guy throwing frisbees to his dog, and an old lady trying to dance hip hop. Bad. It's just bad.

I've also made an observation regarding the judges on America's Got Talent. Two are from Great Brittan and the one American judge is only popular in Germany. Just sayin'...

Driving Again

Thanks for all the kind words, y'all! I had my dad take my car in yesterday AM (because there is just a different price if a boy takes it in vs a girl ... or this girl anyway) and I got it back today. The thingy that fell off actually wasn't super important. So that's fabu. But my car will need to be inspected in the fall and they noticed the "Check Engine" light was on and that needed to be fixed. (And also general tune up and oil and such that I never got taken care of a month ago because I don't like doing car stuff.) Good golly that was expensive as all get out! Now the thing is, that light has been on since I bought the car in 2002. It went off for a short period of time, I can only assume my father had the car people fix it, and then it came back on again. My father insists this is not the case- that the light was not on for a long time as I claim. I'm like, until a few years ago you and I didn't even live in the same state, Dad. How the heck would he know and why on Earth would I fib on such a dumb topic? Whatever, it's fixed now. And Gracie (that's my car's name- yes, I name inanimate objects!) is happy as a clam.

Not that this was my goal but her price to get fixed (you know, to fix something that never bothered me in the first place) was about the same amount that I made selling my old stuff on eBay. So I guess that worked out. Would have been more fun to buy a fun new fall wardrobe item and a pair of Revas. But I am so happy that I was only without a car for one full day. That is a serious relief!

***

Oh, so I never updated y'all on my eBay situation. I didn't mention this earlier because I didn't want to jinx my luck. But you know how they refuse to let me sell my Kate Spade bag? Well what I didn't say was that I had another Kate Spade bag for sale, as well as a Coach and Dooney too. All of those sold just peachy. They were all posted within minutes of each other. And all three buyers gave me very nice feedback comments. I am still going back and forth with eBay and they are being very jerky, if I am being honest with y'all. Still refuse to tell me why it was taken down. Continue to give me different reasons/comments each time. And continue to tell me "we don't judge the items" and then attach a link about how eBay will take down illegal and counterfeit items. Which quite frankly, only serves to tick me off further and make me more determined to get a gosh darn "I'm sorry" from the company. I'm sure they don't care about me. They've made that quite clear. But it is just a thorn in my darn side and I am less and less inclined to pretend it didn't happen. I am nothing if not patient and persistent, eBay!

Also on the ebay topic, I have a question for the seasoned sellers out there. Of all the things I sold, everyone has paid within a day or two and I of course shipped right away. Except one person. They bought something from me a full eight days ago. I sent them an invoice via Paypal as a reminder and then two notes via eBay. I've been very nice in all my notes, thinking perhaps they were OOT and forgot. But what do I do now, more than a week later? I don't want to be mean and leave negative feedback. I just want the person to pay and I will happily ship ASAP. Do I go about this another way? Do I contact eBay (because you know they love me so much at the moment!)? Do I wait a few more days? What do y'all do when this happens? I mean, everyone else has been so nice to work with. There was even this sweet woman who didn't end up buying anything from me but she told me the neatest story and I told her about our preppy blogs. Hi new friend, if you are reading! See, nice people! You know, except for the buyer who is ignoring me altogether at the moment. Hmph....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Do You Think That Was Important??

This evening I ran out to do one quick errand. But half way up the road, I hear what sounds like a metal somethingoranother under my car. So I pull into the first available parking lot - at a funeral home. Fitting. Turn off the car, get out of the car, get on the ground on all fours to peer under the car. I see a pipe thingy dangling from the front center and fluid of some sort leaking out. Hmmm, that's probably not good, right?

I called my Daddy-o and thank goodness he answered his cell phone. It's not a guarantee he will have it on him. But he did, thankfully! So he came to my rescue as usual. He told me what he thought it was, but of course I don't remember. I am soooo not a car person. I don't know what parts are called or what they do or how to fix things. I know how to call a male and have him figure it out for me. I am a rather self-sufficient person - I own a drill and know how to use it, baby. But when it come to cars, I know nothing! And I am sad to say that I have zero interest in learning.

He drove my car home and I followed behind in his truck. Half way home, the dangling metal pipe part thingy fell off. So I am trying to wave my arms and dig in my bag for my phone to tell him. He concluded that we should just let it go and not worry about it. I certainly hope it wasn't important!!

So I have a zillion and one things to do in the next two days before I leave for Hometown again and they all require use of my car. It is also sooo not in the budget this month (or any month really) for expensive car parts and fixing car parts situations. So please cross your finger or say a little prayer that this issue is easily resolved tomorrow morning. What do you think the chances are that the car fixing people will tell me that the car is just fine and I didn't need it in the first place? I know, I know....slim to none. But a girl can hope, right?!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lilly In Saratoga


I will be stopping in on Saturday to view the pink and green delights. If anyone else will be there, let me know so we can plan to meet up for a cup of coffee or ice cream cone or something. I love that polo season brings all the preps to town!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Cool New Hobby Or A Desperate Cry For Help ... You Decide!

I swear that if I don't get out of my kitchen this summer, y'all are going to quit being my friends! I'm losing followers right and left lately. But I'm just so into kitchen experiments these days. They are all really working out too- only egging me on to play more with my food!

So as I was eating breakfast on Tuesday morning (I often stand in the kitchen to eat toast), I mixed up two more batches of bread. (That's how fast it is to make!) In one I tossed in herbs- just eyeballed it but probably about a teaspoon or two of oregano, rosemary and thyme. I used dry because I was in my pj's eating breakfast and not in the mood to walk outside for some fresh. I'm all kinds of lazy like that. In the other I tossed in a handful of (probably about 1/4 -1/2 cup) dried cranberries, shredded coconut and a cap full of vanilla extract.

I baked both last night. This time I tried baking them in loaf pans- worked great! I didn't add any extra flour- I just had a bowl with water and kept dipping my hand in as I balled up the dough. I made a mini loaf of each flavor to keep and taste and a large loaf of each flavor to give away (because hello I am trying to not gain weight here- well actually I am trying to lose weight but seeing as how exercising for months is doing nothing my new goal is to just not gain- so far that's working out just fine. I'm all about low expectations at the moment.) to friends. Both are incredibly delicious!! The coconut is so subtle but makes the bread super-duper yummy!




But what's bread without jelly, right? Actually I don't eat a ton of jelly. But I found a recipe for wine jelly and was intrigued. Had to try it out. Jelly, I've recently realized, is very easy to make. The most challenging part is skimming off the foam. Really that just takes patience and a little wrist action. I bought some cheap-o blackberry Merlot for this experiment, just in case it turned into a royal disaster. I thought it was going to make five or six jars but it actually made eight and a half. So everyone I know is getting a jar of jelly from me this year because there is just no way I will consume that much. It is very, very good though! The only change I would make next time would be to use less sugar. I mean, I have a huge sweet tooth but it is VERY sweet. You can actually taste the wine too- which is fun and different. Don't worry, it's family friendly as the alcohol was cooked out of it. These pics are terrible and don't show off how pretty they jelly turned out. They all popped right away and jelled too! I was so excited. Apparently I am getting pretty good at canning! Next on my canning to-do list is dill pickled green beans.




So what's the verdict....fun new hobby or desperate cry for help?!! I mean, I'm having a ball. But playing around in the kitchen is not exactly "cool."


****Update....the Easiest Bread Recipe Evah that requires zero kneading is found two posts down. Make some and tell me how it turns out. Because it is crazy easy and sooo yummy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stupid, Stupid eBay!!

So to follow up on my post two days ago....

eBay finally emailed me back tonight. They said that due to security reasons, they were unable to tell me why they removed my listing. But also included a link about how it is illegal on eBay to list counterfeit items.

So when it first happened I was annoyed. But now I am mad and really beyond offended!! I bought the damn bag, myself, from the damn Kate Spade store. And it's pre-owned. It not like I tried to pretend its new or something. And hello, can't tell me why because of security reasons?! It's not like I was selling US Military secrets or official, classified information of some sort. I was selling a damn used bag at a cheap price.

I will probably try to sell it on here tomorrow. But don't think I am letting this slide. I feel like the eBay peeps have accused me of cheating somehow. Now it's personal, my peaches! I'm highly offended and fully intend to see this throw down to the bitter end. It's on eBay! I want a big fat "I'm sorry" or I'm not letting the issue go. Nobody puts baby in a corner!

Bread For A Buck



Get ready girls....because I promise you are going to get addicted to making your own easy-peasy bread after just one little loaf! The flavor is just incredible and the possibilities are endless. Add chocolate chips or cinnamon and brown sugar for a sweet loaf. Add rosemary or thyme or any other herb for a savor loaf. Or just toss on a few oats as an after-thought as you are popping it into the oven like I did last night. Regardless, this is mighty fabulous and crazy easy!

I originally found this recipe on this awesome blog. But have since read variations on a number of other blogs too. Obviously I missed the boat on this no-knead bread recipe. But I'm on board now!



Easiest Homemade Bread Recipe, Evah!!

Ingredients:

* 2 cups All Purpose flour
* 1 cup whole wheat white flour
* 3/4 teaspoon yeast
* 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 cups warm water

Optional:
*herbs or grains or nuts or chocolate chips or ...

Directions:

* Dump all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Yup, they all go in at the same time. Don't be nervous, I promise it all works out just peachy in the end. Mix well- it will be sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and stick it a dark, draft-free spot (my kitchen is sunny so I just covered the plastic with a kitchen towel too). Let it sit there for at least 8 hours. Mine sat from 11PM until I baked it the next day at 6PM. Don't touch it or punch it or knead it at all.

* When you are ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. I cannot for the life of me find my baking stone so I just used a parchment covered cookie sheet. I dusted the parchment with flour- not sure if it was necessary but I did it anyway for good measure. I used a floured spatula to gather the dough into a ball. I floured my hands and finished balling it and placed it on the parchment. Pop that puppy in the oven for say 45-55 mins and then get ready to fall over from the deliciousness that will surely ensue!



Mine looks very "rustic" but if you want it to look prettier I'm sure you could put your dough into a loaf pan. Some recipes said to use a baking stone (I cannot find mine at the moment) and some said to use a cast iron pan/pot. I used a very old sheet pan and all was well in the world. So I'm thinking just as the recipe is flexible, the cooking surface is too. Oh and I figured out that it is less than $1/loaf! How's that for value?! If you come up with some fun flavor variations, be sure to let me know so I can try them out too.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Having A Blue Day

Do you ever have one of those days when just about any and everything brings tears to your eyes. I call them "blue days" and they pop up a few times a year for no known reason. Usually if I am overtired. I have been having very strange dreams lately- like wackadoodle dreams- so I don't think I have been getting a very restful sleep the last few weeks actually. A day or two later I will look back at my blue day as an emotional cleanse. But today is one of those unexpected blue days for me. Just like every other time, I have no idea why. I was turning into the grocery store and suddenly started bawling. So I had to keep driving until I finished my mid-drive crisis before I could go grocery shopping. I'm not even crying over important things. Actually, come to think of it, this all started last night. I was flipping channels and caught part of Kendra's wedding on E (talk about dirty little secrets....watching crappier than crappy TV is my middle name apparently!), and got misty-eyed when she talked about having a baby and being married. So maybe that's my problem. I'm not jealous- I just want that too. Well, not the give birth to a baby part. But the hub and family part. Sheesh, is this a rambling post or what?!

So to avoid making it all doom and gloom around here, I'm including a few pictures of my baby girl. Isn't she just the cutest! She was "helping" me in the garden by sitting there just looking purty. That's her speciality.





And here she is taking a nap on the den sofa. "This pillow and blankie are for me, right?!" (I made that ugly blanket in high school home-ec. My dad was going through a box of something and found it and thought Sadie needed it. Because the baby needs a cushy spot to rest her princess head, of course!!






Come back tomorrow because I made bread tonight. And you are not going to want to miss learning about the world's easiest homemade bread recipe that requires almost no work at all! Oh and did I mention it is make-you-weak-in-the-knees fabulous?! I promise to have dry eyes tomorrow, sweet friends!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Stupid eBay!

I listed a Kate Spade bag that I bought several years ago and never use on eBay earlier in the week. And this afternoon eBay removed my listing. The note said that it was because I do not have a selling history. Which is true, I've only ever purchased from eBay. But I was completely honest in my write up, took my own photos (thus did not steal photos from an online site), and was clear that it is pre-owned but in good condition. I mean, it's your very basic write up. I was just trying to clean out my closet of things I never use but take up space.

I emailed the eBay peeps to ask for clarification but they have yet to respond back to me. So I cannot sell on eBay unless I have a selling history, which I can never obtain apparently as I am not allowed to sell??? What the heck?! Has anyone else had this problem too? Like I said, this was my first time selling. But I do have a gold star thingy for being a good buyer. I don't get it!! Clearly I am way ticked off!

I Can Make That....Berries Round 2

So what did you do on Friday night? Go out to dinner with friends? Meet a date for drinks? Catch Harry Potter on the big screen? Or anything more exciting than me? Probably. But I had a ball anyway.

Before I decided to freeze most of my berries, I was going to can pie fillings. I was worried that they would go to rot if I didn't do something with them. But then I froze them and that worked out just peachy keen. I still however, really wanted to try canning pie fillings.

I'd canned exactly twice before in my life. Once when I was a very little girl and visiting my grandmother. She had lots of raspberry bushes and on the way back of her property there were wild blackberry bushes. So we picked buckets of berries and made jam. I LOVED it! I've spent my entire life talking about that single day with my grandmother and aunt and cousins. The second time I canned was several years ago when I live in DC. Little and I made red pepper jelly and raspberry jam. They all popped but neither of them jelled. So in reality we made red pepper and red raspberry sauces. Some we used and I think eventually some we both threw away. There's only so much one can do with an endless supply of red pepper sauce.

So back to my Friday night. Realizing my less than solid canning history, I was now unwilling to possibly waste any of my freshly picked and currently frozen berries. Those are for eating just as God made them in all their berry perfection. So as I was also not wanting to spend a mint on this project that had a high probability of failing miserably, I came up with what I felt was a brilliant plan. Several weeks ago I popped into a Dollar Tree store for packing tape I think. And noticed that this particular store had a fairly large food section. Including about eight freezer/refrigerator cases in the back. I perused the case and saw bags of frozen mixed berries. I use berries for everything- smoothies, crumbles, and more. So I bought one bag to see what a bag of berries at the $1 store might be like. Turns out they are exactly the same as the $4 bag from the grocery store. So on Friday evening, I went back to that Dollar Tree to see if they had more frozen berries left. They did. I bought eight bags! My neighbor also gave me a bag of peaches from his tree that needed to be used immediately. So I set off to make more pie filling than I will ever use in a lifetime (I'm sure some will be given away at some point).

It took a rather long time. And made a mess about five times over. And required me to mop the floor on Saturday because of the mystery stickiness. (I hate mopping!) But the end result was very little $ spent (for sure less than I would spend on dinner out) and SIX huge jars of ready-to-use pie filling. They include; 1 jar of strawberry, 1 jar of blackberry-peach, 1 jar of blackberry-strawberry-peach, and 3 jars of blackberry-strawberry-blueberry. And guess what? They all popped!! I was so nervous that they would go to waste but they were all a success!! I'm thrilled to bits with my efforts. They look so pretty, too!






And this my friends is likely why I will be single for-flippin-ever!! Because I actually had a great time spending my Friday night in the kitchen canning berries. What the heck is wrong with me? Dear Lord, please bring me a man who likes pie!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Baking Berries Round 1

I'm sure y'all are on the edge of your seats wondering what I decided to do with all of my berries. Simmer down, I'm happy to report that I figured it all out. Dad and I ate a good many berries before I figured out what to do with them. Then I froze about half of them. I didn't think I would be able to freeze so many but once you get them frozen and then bagged up, they really don't take up that much room. And since my favorite way to eat berries is simply by the handful, freezing them really made the most sense.

I did however want to bake something with them. So the remaining 4 cups of raspberries and 3 cups of blueberries went into a berry tart. I'd never made a tart like this before but it was extremely easy. I foresee many tarts in my future!! They just present themselves so beautifully. I will not be giving you the recipe that I used though for the berry filling. It didn't set up properly and is just liquid. So in the future I will be seeking a different recipe for that part of the tart. Have no fear though, it does taste out of this world so it has been consumed without hesitation. And the crust, a new to me recipe, was fabulous! It held up really well even against the pool-o-berry-juice. So that recipe is all yours. It made a lot though and I had enough to make another smaller tart with it that is currently in my freezer for a last minute need.



Fabulously Tasty and Sturdy Tart Crust Recipe

Ingredients:

* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
* 3 tablespoons sour cream
* 1/3 cup ice water

Directions:

In a food processor, pulse the 2 1/2 cups flour with the sugar and salt. Add the butter and sour cream and pulse until the mixture resembles small peas. Sprinkle in the ice water and pulse until the pastry just comes together. Transfer the pastry to a sheet of plastic wrap and pat it into a disk. Wrap up the pastry and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.



It's excellent!! I was so pleased with how well it turned out- both flavor and texture. Almost has a shortbread flavor to it. A nice balance to the tartness of the berries.

Here she is, my drippy, runny tart. Excellent flavor but terrible eye appeal as the juice just runs out of the cut slice. Oh well! Can't win 'em all.








See the slice. Juice that did not gel up. But clearly I ate it anyway.










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