Thursday, January 31, 2013

Grocery Challenge - Week 5

Week 5:  Jan. 29th thru Feb. 4th

I've started this week's grocery challenge.  It doesn't seem like much, but it's not my big shopping trip for the week yet.  I'm going to go ahead and post the total, so I don't forget to add it later on.

Yesterday, I bought:

1 loaf whole wheat bread $1.59
1 loaf sandwich bread $1.39

Total $3.11

**I didn't end up spending any more money on groceries this week so my total for the week is a whopping $3.11**

**My monthly total for Weeks 1 thru 5 is $302.43.  If you divide that total by 5 weeks, it averages out to $60.486 spent weekly.**


I was pretty busy yesterday, so I didn't get a lot of crafting/crocheting/etc. done.
However, I did finish 2 more owls (Stash Buster Project #4).
 And I was able to pin and sew the lining in Mom's Satchel.
That's a fairly productive day.  :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I wanted to share the difference that a little spray starch and blocking makes.
The two pieces in the top of the photo have not been starched and blocked.
The two pieces at the bottom have been.
Look how much difference it makes.
I wish I had been doing this long before now.
I've sure learned my lesson.

Dinner Menu - Wed. and Thurs.

Tonight (Wed.), we are having Spaghetti and Meat Sauce with a salad.  I'm including a recipe for Basic Pasta Sauce below.

Tomorrow (Thurs.), we are having homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.
I'll include how I make this too.  Check below the Pasta Sauce Recipe.

Basic Pasta Sauce for 8 servings

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
4 (8 oz.) cans of tomato sauce
2 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 c. water

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes.  Be careful not to let these burn.  Make sure the heat is low enough.
Add tomato sauce, oregano, salt & pepper and water.  Lower heat to simmer and cook until it thickens; about 30 minutes.

**Note:  This recipe is not low-sodium. I make it low-sodium by using no salt added or low sodium tomato sauce and I don't use salt.**

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This is a pretty basic recipe.  You can dress it up to suit your tastes.

Vermicelli or Egg Noodles
Seasonings of your choice
Any extra vegetables that you like

First, I cook a few pieces of chicken in water on the stove top.  Then, I remove the chicken, let it cool, and de-bone it.  Keep the broth that's in the pan.  Skim off any fat.  Add more water if necessary and bouillon if you like.  I don't add the bouillon as I'm keeping it low sodium.
Then, I heat the broth back up and add a few finely chopped carrots.  Cook for a few minutes then add the chicken back in the pot.  Add in noodles.  You can use egg noodles or vermicelli that's been broken into pieces.  Cook until the noodles are done. Sometimes I also add fresh baby spinach leaves that I've cut into strips.  My husband I really like this.
You can add any seasonings that you like.  I tend to experiment a bit so you never know what I will put in the soup.
That's it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stars and Snowflakes - Stash Buster Project #5

We were on the road a lot today with doctor appointments for Big Daddy and Small T, so I needed a portable crochet project for the ride as well as the office sitting.
I have been wanting to make some stars and snowflakes, so I took that pattern with me.
I made 6 little white "stars".
 3 little bright yellow stars.
 3 bright yellow snowflakes.
 And 9 white snowflakes.
 Then, when I got home, I brought out the spray starch and my little piece of foam and starting blocking them out.  It will take awhile as I can only fit 1 snowflake and 1 star on the block.  And of course, I starting mentioning to Big Daddy about buying me a bigger piece of foam at the lumber yard.  If I say it often enough over the next couple of days, he'll be home with a really big piece before I know it.  :)  He's like that.
I hope to do these in a few different colors.  I have a big, traditional Christmas tree as well as a small white tree and they would look nice on both of them.
I'm using these little stars and snowflakes as my Stash Buster Project - #5.  Both the white yarn and the bright yellow yarn were from my yarn stash.  I'm not going to label this project as finished though as I plan to make some more of these in the future.  I have to say that I am really enjoying this challenge.  It's inspiring me to make some things off my ever-growing "want to make" list as well as using up what yarn I already have on hand.  I'm so glad I saw this challenge and signed up.

Owl Magnets - Stash Buster - Project #4

Today I broke out my small stash of crochet cotton.  I just bought this cotton in the last month, so I don't think it actually counts as being a Stash Buster Project.  (I was informed that this DOES count as a Stash Buster Project, so I've edited this post.)  Woo Hoo!
  So, with the cotton, I made a couple of owl magnets.
I used this pattern for the owls.
The only thing I don't like about my owls is that I should have used a different color of orange yarn for the beak.  I have 2 shades of orange, but thought the other was too bright.  I'll be sure to try it on the next couple of owls that I make.

Art Class

Yesterday, I subbed for the Art Teacher at school (she has the dreaded flu).
I like subbing in this class.  In fact, I wish I could be in her class as a student all day long.  :)
 Here's something in her room that I love seeing posted.
It's titled "Permissions" and I think it sums up a lot of points in a splendid fashion for the art students.
 Here's something else that I love seeing on the wall.  It's soooo true.  I have a child that has to actually do something before he will remember how to do it.
 Something else that I like is that the Art Teacher saves everything and incorporates a lot of "recycled objects" in the art projects.  She even has a list of items to save and what you can use it for.
 In this photo, go to the bottom right.  See the fish with the paper curls in it?  Some of the students were doing "paper curling" and then using them to create art.  They were very interesting and I loved seeing all the different things they were creating.
Some of the other students were working on Triptych Panels.  I didn't know what they were, so I copied the page that explains it.  I think if you click on the photo, you might be able to zoom it in when it goes to the other viewing page.  It's worth a try, in any case.
Then, I had other students working on Rotational Design.  I don't have anything to show you for it, but it was very interesting and the students were coming up with some really creative projects using this method.
So...that's my day in the Art Class.  I hope you enjoyed my blog post about it.  :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Stash Buster Challenge - Project #3 - Ripple Baby Blanket

I finished the Ripple Baby Blanket last night.
It was my 3rd project for the Stash Buster Challenge.
I used Blue and White Bernat Baby Sport yarn and an I hook.
The pattern is from the Attic 24 blog.

Partial Dinner Menu

I have a partial dinner menu for the week.  I've got to sit down and finish it today.  I'll just keep telling myself that and maybe I will get it done.  :)

Tonight...we are having Roast, Potatoes, Carrots and Onions.  I'm putting it in the crock pot this morning.'s home ball game night plus we'll be running between doctor appt.'s during the daytime.  We'll be having a quick and easy meal...Soft Tacos or Burritos.


Last week, on Wednesday, I took Mom's Satchel to my sister Marie (sister #4) who is supposed to be cutting out a lining for the satchel.  While I was there, her girls were showing me the quilts that Marie was making them.
 Pattycake was quite happy to pose for a photo with hers.
Sassy aka Gumdrop, was not so willing.
Then yesterday, I stopped by to visit with my sister Dea (sister #5).  She is teaching herself to quilt and she's doing a fabulous job of it!  She's shown here....showing off the quilt top that she made for her oldest son.  I absolutely adore it!!!
They both make me quite jealous of their quilting skills!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ham & Beans

Dinner tonight is Ham & Beans and corn bread.  Not everyone in the household appreciates this meal, so I'll have to make a good side dish....maybe some sort of potato or mac & cheese.
(we put the beans to soak last night)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stash Buster Challenge - Project #3

One of the projects on my list of things to make is a baby blanket for the daughter of a friend.  This friend is always helping my family out, in one way or another.  This baby is set to arrive around the end of April and is the first grandchild.  The grandma has been working away on a lovely quilt that is embroidered and hand stitched.  I'm totally in awe of it.  She does not know that I am making a baby blanket for the new baby and I hope she is truly surprised when I give it to her.
 The new baby is supposed to be a boy.  I went through one of the cabinets downstairs to find my stash of baby yarn.  I came up with some Bernat Baby Sport in White and Blue.  I think I'll have more than enough between the two colors to make a decent sized blanket.
(I started the blanket tonight and I have this much done so far.)
I decided to do a Ripple pattern for the blanket.  I love Lucy's pattern on Attic 24 and I've made several blankets with it.  If you are interested in looking at the pattern, just click here .  She has a great tutorial.

Holiday Lights - Stash Buster Challenge - Project 2

Yesterday, I started making these Holiday Lights.
 I made 12 of them and they are all shown in the above photo.
I love the bright colored yarn that I used for these....Spring Green, Pumpkin, Bright Yellow, Pretty 'N Pink, Turqua and Cherry Red.  They really pop with the black connector.  All the yarn was Red Heart Super Saver.  I also used a size F crochet hook.
My photo's are just not doing the lights and their vivid colors justice!
Here's Helles hand model.  She and Small T are headed out to's girls night out.
I have to say that Small T and her friends are real troopers when it comes to helping me take photos of my projects.  :)  They are always willing to help.  Even when they are doing their "duck face" in the photo.
Anyway, this project is the 2nd one for me in the Stash Buster Challenge.  I'm enjoying using up my existing yarn stash to make some of the items on my list of upcoming projects.

Cooking Lesson

Small T wanted a lesson on making Scrambled Eggs this morning.  
She did a good job.  When she was done, she said, "that was easy".  Whew!  You never know.
She also made Cinnamon Rolls.  She invited the young man she's dating over for brunch.  *wink*  I think this is the first boy she's ever cooked anything for.

Grocery Challenge - Week 4

Week 4:  Jan. 22nd thru Jan. 28th

Since I went over budget last week, I only had a small amount for this week's grocery shopping.  I am doing really well with my freezer and pantry getting stocked back up, so I didn't need anything other than a few basics this week.

I went to the store today and here's what I bought:

1/2 Gallon 1% milk  $2.19
2 dozen eggs at $1.38 each
Cottage Cheese  $3.49
2 loaves of whole wheat bread $1.59 each
2 boxes of generic pop tarts $1.00 each
2 (2 liters) of soda $1.50 each
5# bag of Yukon Gold potatoes $1.99
1 bag of chips $1.77

Total with tax $19.63
I bought the chips and soda as the kids already have company today.  

Dinner Tonight

Following along with last night's Breakfast Theme, we are having French Toast, Bacon and Fruit for dinner tonight.  The bacon is turkey bacon cooked in the oven on a rack, the fruit is fresh, and the french toast will be made with 1% milk, Egg Beaters, cinnamon, vanilla and whole wheat bread.  Everything that Big Daddy can have.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Holiday Lights

I'm working on the Holiday Lights today.  Slowly.  It's been a rough day with fighting vertigo and being lightheaded.  I have decided to work up these lights in an assembly line fashion.  I'm making the bottoms or the lights and then I'll work on the connectors or tops.
I'm using yarn from my stash.  It's Red Heart super saver.  I have 2 each (so far) in the colors Cherry Red, Bright Yellow, Turqua, and Pretty 'N Pink.  Spring Green is next.  I'm using a size F crochet hook.
These lights are another project that I've got on my list to make as well as being stash buster projects.

The Christmas Tree

The final touch was put on the Christmas Tree just a few minutes ago.
These two photos do not due justice to the tree or the star.
 This photo is too dark.
This photo is too light.
Anyway, I love this little tree with it's silver star on top.
The 1st project of the Stash Buster Challenge is finally complete.

Today's Crafting Projects

While I'm waiting for my sister to stitch up the lining for Mom's Satchel, I will be working on a couple of different things today.  Here are the two projects:

A Christmas Bauble Tutorial at the Greedy For Colour Blog .

Holiday Lights Crochet Pattern
(I will be making the individual lights....not strung together)

These are Stash Buster projects for me.

**Edited to add.....I have the blocked and starched stars laid out and being glued to a wooden toothpick, which will be inserted into the top of the Christmas tree.  These will hopefully be ready by tomorrow. :)**

Friday's Dinner

Tonight is a busy night in our household.  So, there are several options for dinner since the kids will be in and out all night.  (Game night, Date night)
Option 1:  Omelets
Option 2:  Leftovers
Option 3:  Fend for yourself night - Frozen pizza, Sandwich, etc.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mom's Satchel

Yesterday, my mom called and asked me to make her a satchel like the one I made for my niece for Christmas.  (D-Ray's satchel was called the Artist's Crochet Satchel and I posted about it here .)  I figured my mom wouldn't want the fringe or the diagonal finish across the top.  So I went in search of yarn in my various stashes around the house.  I hit the gold mine in my bedroom closet.  Look at what I found.
 1 skein of Blue Suede, 1 skein of Turqua, and 1 skein of Wildflower.  (All Red Heart Super Saver yarn.)
I chose these colors for the following reasons:
1.  My mom likes blue.
2.  She needs some cheerful colors for the bag since it will be carrying her heart monitor, nitroglycerin pills, and coin purse.
By the way, I'm writing up the pattern for the satchel as I go and will share it with everyone once I get the satchel done.
Here's a sample of what I'm working up.  Of course, I took the photo with my cell phone so I'm not getting a good quality photo that shows the true color hues.
Once I get this worked up, I'm going to ask my sister Marie (sister #4) to whip up a basic lining for the inside of the satchel.  That way nothing falls through the crochet stitches.
On a side note, I'm enjoying the Stash Buster Challenge.  I'm not only making things that are on my list but using up yarn that's sitting around the house.  And the best part is that I'm being totally surprised and thrilled at what I'm finding in the various stashes around the house.  It's like finding "new" yarn since I forget what all I have put away.

Teeny Tiny Stars

I crocheted 2 little Teeny Tiny Stars up this morning.  They were so fast and easy to make.  I used Red Heart Fashion Crochet Thread (size 5) and a size C crochet hook (it stated to use a D but I wanted it to be tighter).  I spray starched them and blocked them out.  This is my very first time of blocking something I crocheted.  Interesting, to say the least.  I'm not sure, but I think I will glue these two to a pipe cleaner, then stitch the sides together, then insert the pipe cleaner into the top of the tree.  I'd like the star to stand up tall at the top of the tree.  Anyway, the pattern is a free one on the blog Attic 24.  You can find it by clicking here .

Thursday's Dinner

(the finished dinner)

Dinner tonight is Crock Pot Sweet & Sour Pork.  We had this back on Dec. 30th, so it's time to have it again.  You can find the recipe here .  We'll have stir fry vegetables and white rice with it.

Allergic Reaction (Again)

Last night, it was back to the ER (again).
But, now we know what was causing the allergic reactions.
I took my blood pressure medication and within 10 minutes I started itching and wheezing.  Then the chest pain and massive headache started in.  And the asthma cough came too.
So, I have to switch blood pressure medication again.  At least this medication didn't cause the unstable angina and slight heart attack that the last medication did.
What's a girl gonna do???

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stash Buster Challenge - Project 1

I have finished the first stash buster project.  Well, it's almost finished.  I need to find a pattern for a tiny star and then it will be finished.  But, I just couldn't wait to share what I've got done with you all.  Could you tell from the "sneak peek" earlier in the week what it was?
Well....the suspense is over.
It's a Christmas Tree.
It's a free pattern on Ravelry.  You can find the link here .
I used Red Heart yarn in Honeydew.  And a size F crochet hook.  The beads were in my sewing box.  The garland is some burgundy Simply Soft yarn.  I had a tiny ball of it.

Edited to add...I found the star pattern that I'm going to use.  (Hopefully)  It's the Teeny Tiny Stars on Attic 24's blog.  Once I get it made, I will need to block it, so bear with me.  Once I get the star finished and attached to the tree, I will post the finished project.

Stash Buster Challenge 2013

Today, I joined up here to their Stash Buster Challenge.
I'm so excited to be doing this.
I am always looking to use up my stash.
I've completed the first two tasks and here's the third...showing a photo of the stash I'm currently working on using up.  I'm already working on my first stash buster project.

Allergic Reaction

I spent a long time in the E.R. last night with another allergic reaction.  We didn't get home until 5 a.m. this morning.  We have no idea what caused the reaction.  This is not uncommon for me.  While there, I had my medications through the IV and when I received the liquid Benadryl, I got very light headed and couldn't breathe.  I sure hope I'm not allergic to Benadryl.  It's my life-saver.  It's bad enough I'm allergic to Prednisone.  That was the anaphylactic reaction in November.  So today I'm recuperating.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wednesday's Dinner

Small T just HAS to have chicken for dinner tomorrow (Wednesday).  In fact, she MUST have the Slow Cooker Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken.  So that's what will be cooking in the crock pot.  The recipe is one I posted earlier in the month.

What is it???

I'm sharing a quick "sneak peek" of my current crochet project.
Any guesses as to what it is?

A Different Type of Scarf

Today, I was browsing a blog that is new to me.  It can be found here .  It's called Lanas de Ana.  I saw this lovely scarf she knitted on there and it inspired me to crochet one of my own.
 This is the finished scarf.
I really like it.
I like the way it lays around my neck.
It has to be the shape of the scarf.  Honestly.
 Here's the scarf laid out on the floor.
See the shape?
This is the center section.
You can get a better idea of the shape in this photo.
If anyone wants to do one for themselves, the other blog gives you a basic idea.  But, this is what I did.  I chained 5, sc in the 2nd st from the hook and in each ch across.  This gives you 4 sc in the first row.  I worked each row in sc and increased one st on every 4th row.  When I got it as long as I wanted, I started to decrease every 4th row until I had 4 stitches left.  Then I worked 4 rows of 4 stitches before ending off.  Then I made tassels for the ends.  That's it.
I used the school colors of red, gray and white.  All of my yarn was Red Heart Super Saver.  I also used an I crochet hook.
The scarf on the other blog was knitted.  And it is a stash buster project.  Which is what I love.  I have some stash that I'm still using up and I used that yarn to make my scarf.

Ribbed Crochet Headbands

Over the weekend, I had very little time for crocheting.
However, I did manage to crochet rose embellishments for 4 of the ribbed crochet headbands.
 For the roses, I chained 40.  Then, sc in the 2nd ch from hook.  Ch 2, sk 1 st, sc in next st, all the way to the end.  Then, *ch 3, in the ch 2 sp work (5 tc, sl st), repeat from * all the way across.  At the end, leave a really long tail of yarn for sewing the rose together and then sewing it to the headband.  When you put the rose together, just start with one end and keep curling it around until you like the way it looks.
This is my box of headbands that I've crocheted. 
There are 12 plain and 4 embellished.
The pattern I used for the headbands can be found here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Grocery Challenge - Week 3

Week 3:  Jan. 15th thru Jan. 21st

This past week, I didn't do very well on my grocery challenge.  I didn't spend any money at all until yesterday, then I did one big shopping trip.  AND  I went over budget.  Yep.  I didn't mean to, but I did.  I shopped at Harter House in the southern Missouri town where one of my sisters lives.  They have great meat deals on a daily basis.
Here's what I bought:
3 pkgs. of Kraft American Singles
2 pkgs. of Shredded Cheese
8 (2 liters) of soda (for my house and my sisters)
16 cans of vegetables
1 jar of Lite Kraft Mayo
2 cans of pineapple slices
6 cans of crushed tomatoes
3 family packs of boston burger (3+ lbs. each)
2 pkgs. of shaved turkey breast
4 (3 lb.) pkgs. of BLSL chicken breasts
4 bottles of ERA laundry detergent
2 boxes of freezer bags
Grand Total $106.32 ($31.32 over budget)  I will say that $17.34 (plus tax) of this was spent on non-food items.

My mom and my sister bought my family some groceries for our Christmas gift (belated).
Here's what they bought us:
5 family packs of boston burger
3 pkgs. of BLSL chicken breasts
various cans of vegetables and fruit (I didn't count them)

Then, we stopped at Wal-Mart to get bread in the town just before arriving home.  NEVER take your family with you when you are trying to stick to a budget.  DON'T DO IT.  Trust me.
Here's what I bought:
2 containers of Sherbet
3 pkgs of frozen broccoli
1 pkg. of sliced turkey
3 lunchables
1 pkg. of low fat block cheese
1 container of egg substitute
1 box of lite margarine sticks
1 box no salt crackers
1 box orzo
5 cans of tuna
2 loaves of whole grain bread
Grand Total $28.18 (Total over budget for the week is $59.50 which will come off next week's grocery budget)


Tomorrow night, we are having Chili for dinner.  I've shared the recipe before, and you can find it here.  This recipe makes a really good chili.  We will also have hot dogs for the kids.  That way they can have a chili dog if they want, instead of a bowl of chili.

**Edited to add....
1/22/13 (Tuesday)....I have the chili cooking and beer bread in the oven.  I am going to cook up a package of hot dogs for the kids and I have a bag of generic corn chips.  So...there's the possibility of chili dogs or Frito Pie if they don't want a bowl of chili.

Homemade Hamburger Helper

I made Homemade Hamburger Helper for dinner tonight.  It was bad.  Seriously....BAD.  Small T, who is the ultimate fan of Hamburger Helper said, "This is gross!".  Big C wouldn't even try it.  The kids have to leave in just a few minutes to meet the school bus for the game and now they don't have dinner unless they grab a quick sandwich out of the refrigerator.  Now....I would share this recipe, but it would be mean of me to do so.  I don't want to hurt someone's feelings when they worked really hard to develop this and even shared the recipe on their website.  With that said, I will be doing further research to find a better homemade version of this.
**Edited to add.....OH MY GOSH....Big Daddy LIKES the Hamburger Helper!!!  NO WAY!!!**

I'm Back...

(my mom's senior picture)

I am so glad to be back home!  I'm sure everyone knows what I mean.  After all, there's nothing like sleeping in your own bed, sitting in your favorite chair, and having your own computer available for unlimited usage.

On the other side of the coin, it's always wonderful to see family members that you don't get to see very often.  There's so much catching up to do, that you get very little sleep because you have a lot of stuff to talk about.  Then, when it's time to go, it's so hard to say goodbye.  I'm not a sappy person and I was actually thinking about crying yesterday when we left.  I hated to leave.  I wanted more time with my family.

We made the trip south on Saturday morning to go see my mom (and the sister and her family that mom lives with).  Mom has been quite ill this past week, most of which was spent in the hospital.  Big Daddy considers my mom his mom as well and it's been very hard on him emotionally this past week.  He's been sabotaging his own health because of worrying about her.  So it was necessary for him to see her and be assured that she will be ok for the moment.  He needed to get his health back on track, and if this was the only way to do it, then so be it.

While we were away, Small T and I made arrangements with one of my sister's friends to go shopping for Small T's dress for the upcoming Sweetheart Dance at school.  It took about 4 hours of serious shopping, but we managed to find a dress (the last one she tried on), shoes, 2 new bra's, a pair of black leggings, and a red chiffon blouse for her.  We also managed to find socks for the cheerleading squad along with Big C for the Pink Out Game that's coming up at school.  The Pink Out Game is where all the proceeds from that game are donated to cancer survivors in our area.  The kids like to wear pink socks, etc. to show their support during the game.  I want you to know that until Saturday, I have NEVER paid $134.90 for socks before.  EVER.  It was a real shell-shocking moment for me.  :/

Before we said goodbye, I made a quick trip to their grocery store to stock up on some meat.  They have tremendously good prices on just about everything.  I will do a post today for the Grocery Challenge and share all the details.  My mom and my sister also gifted our family (Big Daddy and I) with meat as well.  This was part of our Christmas from them.  We were supposed to spend the holidays together but Big Daddy had his heart attack and we had to cancel our travel plans.

This morning, Small T had to be at work by 9, so it was up at 7:30 for the two of us.  Once I got back home, I washed and dried the cheerleading and basketball uniforms because they have games tonight.  (Yes, even though there is NO school today.)  The games are at 7 and 8:30 pm.  Thank goodness they aren't very far away from here.  They are in the next town over, which is about 10 miles.  Otherwise they would be getting home really late and they do have school tomorrow.  I also laid out some meat to thaw.  We will be having Small T's favorite....Hamburger Helper.  But, I will be making my own instead of using the boxed mix.  The rest of my morning/afternoon will be spent washing dishes (we must have a ghost that drinks because I swear I washed all the dishes before we left), crocheting, and planning next week's meals.  I also plan to watch a little tv, starting right now with Alaska State Troopers.  So....I'll catch up with you all in a little while. Have a great day!

Friday, January 18, 2013


Yesterday, I had a retired school teacher approach me and ask if I could take the 2 skeins of yarn she had bought and make her a scarf out of it.  I could choose the pattern and everything.  
The 2 skeins of yarn were Homespun Fiesta.  I looked through Ravelry for patterns and found 2 that I liked.
The one on the left is The Belle Scarf on the Lion Brand site.  Here's the link .
The one on the right is called the Easy and Pretty Crocheted Scarf.  Here's the link .
Each scarf took one skein.  
In fact, the Belle Scarf took just less than a skein.  I had a very small ball of it left over.
I worked on the 2 scarves last night and this morning and was able to give them to her husband today.  He's a bus driver at school, so I knew I'd see him.
I hope she enjoys getting 2 scarves instead of 1.

Ribbed Crochet Headbands

I'm working steadily away on a bunch of ribbed crochet headbands.  
I'm on #16 at this point.
I plan to give a few away, wear a few, and maybe sell a few.
I'm also thinking of adding a flower to some of them.
I haven't decided on it yet though.
The pattern link can be found in a previous post.  


Last night, it was Big Daddy's responsibility to fix dinner since I was away.  He made Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Green Beans.  I'm sure that none of these were low-fat, low-sodium, diabetic friendly foods.  But, beggars can't be choosers.  Dinner was made and on the table for the kids.  That's what counts.

Tonight, it's ball game night.  (yes, again)  We'll be having dinner there.  Pork burgers or hot dogs.  If we don't eat there, then the kids will probably order out for pizza after the game.

We'll be traveling on Saturday and Sunday, so there won't be a dinner menu posted for those days.  We're going away to check on my mother, who is quite ill.

See you all on Monday, or late Sunday night.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Crock Pot BBQ Ribs

Tonight, we are having Crock Pot BBQ Ribs for dinner.  I'm making Cheesy Broccoli Orzo for the side dish.

Crock Pot BBQ Ribs

1 rack of ribs
1-2 Tbsp. ground mustard
1/2 Tbsp. salt (I omitted this)
1 Tbsp. garlic salt (I used garlic powder)
1 Tbsp. seasoned salt (I omitted this)
1 Tbsp. chili powder (Recipe doesn't call for this, but I used it)

Your Favorite BBQ sauce

Season ribs with the spices.  Cook ribs in crock pot on high for 4 to 6 hours.  (I added a bit of water to the crock pot even though the recipe doesn't say to.)
Add BBQ sauce and cook and additional 1 to 2 hours.

Cheesy Broccoli Orzo

1 cup orzo
1-1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I'm using 2% grated sharp cheddar cheese)
2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon butter (I'm using Blue Bonnet Light Margarine)
1/4-1/2 cup 2% milk (I'm using 1%)
salt  (I will omit this)

Add orzo to a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes then add chopped broccoli and cook for 2 more minutes, or until orzo is tender. Drain well (broccoli florets are notorious for holding onto water) then return to the pot. Add cheeses, butter, and 1/4 cup milk then stir well and add more milk if needed. Season with salt to taste.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fettuccine Alfredo

Tonight's dinner will be a "quick" meal.  
We're having Fettuccine Alfredo with steamed vegetables on the side.  
It's ball game night. Go Wildcats!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

This is what we're having for dinner tonight.

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used a 3 lb. bag of them)
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. low sodium soy sauce
6 Tbsp. cider vinegar
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. pepper

4 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
4 1/2 tsp. cold water

Hot cooked rice

Put the chicken in the crock pot.
In a bowl, combine the sugar, soy sauce, cider vinegar, ginger, garlic and pepper.  Pour over chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken from crock pot.  Skim the fat off the liquid.  Pour the liquid into a sauce pan and bring it to a boil.
Combine the corn starch and cold water and mix until smooth.  Gradually stir this mixture into the hot liquid and stir until its thickened.
Serve the sauce with the chicken and rice.

Ribbed Crochet Headband

My current crochet project ... the Ribbed Crochet Headband.
These are really easy to make and work up quickly.
I've adjusted the pattern to make a smaller size as well as the size the pattern calls for.
For the smaller size, just work 61 rows then join together.  
I have to do a smaller size for Small T.  Her head is "small".
Could I use the word "small" enough here?  LOL

Sunday, January 13, 2013

This Week's Menu

Sunday - Breakfast - Crock pot overnight oatmeal
               Lunch - Sandwiches or frozen pizza
               Dinner - Pulled Pork Sandwiches (crock pot meal) with homemade BBQ Sauce, Potatoes & Onions

Monday - Breakfast - Oatmeal, Toast or Cereal
                Lunch - Leftovers
                Dinner - Teriyaki Chicken (crock pot meal), Rice, Vegetable

Tuesday - Breakfast -  Oatmeal, Toast or Cereal
                Lunch - Leftovers
                Dinner - Fettuccine Alfredo

Wednesday - Breakfast - Oatmeal, Toast or Cereal
                     Lunch - Leftovers
                     Dinner - BBQ Ribs (crock pot meal), Cheesy Orzo, Vegetable

Thursday - Breakfast - Oatmeal, Toast or Cereal
                 Lunch - Leftovers
                 Dinner - Sweet 'N Sour Pork (crock pot meal), Rice, Vegetable

Friday - Breakfast - Oatmeal, Toast or Cereal
             Lunch - Leftovers
             Dinner - Tuna Casserole

Saturday - Breakfast - Oatmeal, Toast or Cereal
                 Lunch - Leftovers
                 Dinner - Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Vegetable

**I will post recipes throughout the week.**

***Edited to mother is pretty sick, so we will be heading out of town Saturday morning.  Since I will be gone the entire day tomorrow, Big Daddy will be making Meatloaf (planned for Saturday's menu) instead of my putting Sweet 'N Sour Pork in the crock pot.***

Homemade Beer Bread

I'm making this now.

Homemade Beer Bread

3 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (12 oz.) bottle beer (I'm using Michelob Light)
3 tbsp. butter, melted (I'm using Blue Bonnet Light margarine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 5x9 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.  Add beer and mix until combined.  (Dough will be sticky.)  Place dough in loaf pan.  Pour melted butter over top of loaf.

Bake, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes, or until top is golden brown and toothpick comes out clean from center.

Serve warm or cold.

*If desired, you can substitute a 12 oz. can of soda for the beer.
(I'm not sure how this would work.  But I would probably try something like Sprite or 7-up.)

Pulled Pork with Low Sodium BBQ Sauce

Tonight, we are having Pulled Pork with BBQ Sauce Sandwiches for dinner.  My family likes the BBQ Sauce on the side, so that's how it's being served.  We're also having some potatoes and a veggie.

Home Made Low Sodium BBQ Sauce

1 c. no salt added ketchup
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. molasses
1/3 c. packed brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in sauce pan.  Heat until hot.  Turn heat down to low and let simmer and thicken.

Makes about 20 servings (2 Tbsp. each).

Overnight Crock Pot Oatmeal

Last night, I made the Overnight Crock Pot Oatmeal before going to bed.
The photo shows what it looks like before it's cooked.
Here's how you do it.  (I've posted this recipe before.)

Throw 2 sliced apples, 1/3 c. of brown sugar, and 1 tsp. of cinnamon in the bottom of the crock pot.  
Pour 2 c. of oatmeal and 4 c. of water on top.  Do NOT stir.
Cook overnight for 8 to 9 hours on low.

****Notes:  This morning when I ate a bowl of it, I decided that I should have peeled the apples instead of just slicing them.  I don't care for the skin in the oatmeal.  Also, my oatmeal turned out runny.  So...I'll use a bit less water next time.  (Timna's turned out thick, so I think it's the difference in our crock pots.  Check yours out before you adjust the water too much.)  Also, I didn't stir it up before cooking.  This left a hard crust on the top the next morning.  Next time I'll stir it and see what happens.

Snow and Freezing Rain

Yesterday evening, we had freezing rain and snow.
 The freezing rain came first.
Then the light blanket of snow.
And now, it's very cold outside.