Showing posts with label Goodie Swap 2011. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Goodie Swap 2011. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Look Who I Had Breakfast With...

Mug Rug made by Zina for me - front
Isn't he lovely?  Oh but look on the back....
Mug Rug made by Zina for me - back
Had breakfast with him too.  All courtesy of Zina, my Goodie Swap 2011 partner who lives maybe a mile from me.  A mile!  Goodie Swap 2011 was an international swap (hosted by Cindy from Fluffy Sheep Quilting who lives in Ireland) with many gals from the UK participating so how funny is it that Zina and I somehow got paired together.

Not only did I receive the above mug rug but she also sent me the coolest bag...there was no photo I could take that would do it justice.  And she threw in a couple of fall colored fat quarters.
Please go visit Zina's Flickr page to see some of the other creative things she has made.   Thank you so much Zina for making my first swap so successful!  By the way I had seen this mug rug on the Flickr group and so when I saw who the package was from after I returned home from school last night about 9:30pm I squealed!  I knew right away that I was receiving one of her lovely fireman goodies.

A Work In Progress Update:

This is Supernova being based on the only solid surface in my house wide enough....just wide enough at 64 inches!  So glad I thought of doing this instead of the carpet as now that I am in the quilting stage, the back looks so much better.  I purchased the binding fabric and hope to get going on that by the weekend.

What's left on my WIP list:
Italian Sorbetto
Sliced Coins
School Yard

Lastly, it feels like Fall around here so I baked up a two loaves of Pumpkin Bread.

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday #45 with Lee.  Please go visit her at Freshly Pieced to see what she and others are working on this week.  

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday,

Saturday, September 24, 2011

UPS Delivery Excitement & Chicken Piccata

Online shopping is great for someone like me who doesn't really like to shop.  One of the things I like the most about it besides the fact that it is delivered to your that you know when your items will be delivered to your door via UPS/Fed Ex tracking.  It's like stalking your package - I love it.  

About 6pm last night two packages that I was stalking across the country arrived via UPS....not fabric, but flour.....twenty five pounds of flour.  
The mug is you a sense of how big the bag is.
Yes I ordered a twenty five pound bag of flour and a 32 ounce size bottle of Vanilla.  Obviously I bake a lot.  The vanilla I have purchased before and have room for...but the flour?  I'm going to have to get creative to find a spot for that huge bag.  

Amid my flour/vanilla delivery I was making Chicken Piccata for dinner for the family.  My favorite recipe comes from Cooks Illustrated which I have adapted here for you:
Chicken Piccata (adapted from Cook's Illustrated)
Serves 4
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 or 4 skinless chicken breasts, rinsed, dried, sliced diagonally
3/4 cup of flour
5 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cups Chicken Stock
3 or 4 tablespoons drained capers
4 or more tablespoons unsalted butter
fresh or dried parsley to sprinkle on 
1. Turn on oven to 200 degrees - this is for the chicken to remain warm while making the sauce.
2.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken slices with salt and pepper.
Chicken slices with S&P
3.  Dredge each chicken slice in flour and shake off excess.  
Chicken dredged in flour
4.  Heat up your electric skillet or use a 12 inch pan over medium high heat.  Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil together. 
The olive oil helps keep the butter from burning

5.  Lay in the chicken slices and saute about 2 minutes on one are looking for a nice browning on one side. The chicken kind of starts to pucker on the sides....use a spatula to look under one to see if it is browned.   
Nice sizzle going on in the pan
6.  While you wait for that two minutes on the first side...dash over to your sewing machine and finish putting the binding on a mug for for the Goodie Swap 2011.  Ok you don't really have to do this step.  :)
Mug rug for Partner #2 - hope it doesn't smell like chicken
7. When done on the first side, turn over and cook for only 1 minute.  Then remove from pan to an ovenproof plate to rest and keep warm in the oven.  
Cooked chicken ready for the oven
8. Look inside your pan....see all those brown bits sticking to the pan?  That's flavor - umami waiting for you to unlock with chicken stock and lemon juice.  
Umami - Japanese word for savory
9.  Add the chicken stock and lemon juice to the pan and use a wooden spoon(one of my favorite tools in my kitchen) to scrape the bottom to loosen the browned bits.  Let simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add in the capers.  Turn down the heat to low.
This probably smells really good
10.  Now it is time to thicken the sauce.  Add in about 2-3 tablespoons of butter and let melt into the sauce.  Now for the tricky part  - Use a small strainer with your left hand to dust flour into the sauce while whisking the sauce with your right hand.  Of course if you are left handed, please reverse.  I don't use a flour or cornstarch slurry as it seems to make the sauce to pasty...I just keep adding in the dusting of the flour until I get the exact consistency I want.  Sorry no photo...I only have two hands.  

10.  When the sauce is to your liking, add back in the chicken that was keeping warm in the oven and turn up the heat to bring the chicken up to the same temperate as the sauce.  

11.  I serve with lemon rice and a few lemon wedges and a sprinkle of parsley.  
Bon Appetit!
Enjoy your Saturday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Goodie Swap Mug Rug

Yesterday I posted photos of the two pouches I have made for my partners in the Goodie Swap 2011 and today I give you my first mug rug for Partner #1.  Partner #1 was generous enough to request anything the maker wanted so I decided to go with some of my beloved Anna Maria Horner fabric in both quilting cotton and voile.  Sure hope Partner #1 likes it.
Mug Rug for Partner #1
Next up is a mug rug for Partner #2 which I plan on working on tonight.  These little mini quilts are so fun to work on as they give me instant gratification.  In two hours I had this perfect little (almost) 8x8 mini quilt perfect for a cup of coffee or tea.  One of these days I need to make one for myself.

Other WIP's:
       Supernova hanging over my son's Papasan Chair.    I maps.  
Supernova ready to be basted
Backing fabric for Supernova
What's left:
Sliced Coins
School Yard
Italian Sorbetto

Lee is not hosting the WIP at Freshly Pieced this week as she is working on designing fabric for her Connecting Threads fabric collection.  How exciting is that?  Go by and give her some encouragement.  :)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Swap Intimidation

I am participating in the Goodie Swap 2011 hosted by Cindy from Fluffy Sheep Quilting and until two days ago I had not started on my projects.  I've had a whole month to figure out and work on these projects but I kept putting the process off, choosing to work on other things.  WHY?  I was intimidated by the thought that what I would be sending to my partners would not be good enough.  

A very motivating e-mail from Cindy last week knocked me out of my discomfort zone and got my creative juices flowing.  I used the Little Glam Bag pattern from Pink Sand Beach Designs that I used back in July to make myself a pouch.  After posting the photos on Flickr last night and receiving many positive comments from other swap members I learned a good lesson.  
What is my lesson?  Don't be intimated. What's the point?  

So here is what I have completed so far:  
Goodie for Partner #1

Goodie for Partner #2
So the goodies are done and now it's on to the mug rugs.  Will I coordinate the mug rugs with the pouches or not?  Not sure as I have seen others on Flickr (do visit the Goodie Swap 2011 Flickr group) do both.  

I'm linking up with Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory - just noticed that there were quite a few Christmas themed items linked for this week....are we supposed to be thinking about Christmas already?  

Felice Martedi,