May 10, 2012

Cosmic Burst Quilt DONE!

I'm so excited to have completed this quilt! And I have to admit, it turned out SO much better than I ever expected. After I purchased my fabric, cut it and piled it all together, I just didn't really care for it. I kept looking at other people's color combination and wishing I'd done something different. But, I sallied forth and quilted along and finally finished it up this weekend.

Now, I actually LOVE it. I love the slightly country feeling it has. I love that it's bright & happy without being too cutesy or contemporary. I'm not much into modern fabrics or designs, I like looking at them but I don't really feel like they are "me."

I think the most exciting part of making a quilt is when you first wash it and that moment that you take it out of the dryer. Somehow in the dryer, little flaws disappear and it transforms into something so warm and cozy and quilty and wonderful. I may or may not have hugged my quilt and danced a little happy dance after taking it out.

It's definitely not perfect. The backing is nothing special, I pieced a row together to join the two larger pieces of fabric and it's just kinda...blah. And there's some rather large puckers that found their way into the back during quilting :( Here's a little peak, I dare not show the whole thing.

I'm a binding cheater. I don't have the patience to make my own binding or take the time to hand-sew it on, so I just use the wrap-around method, folding the backing over the front and sewing it into place. I know that knocks my quilting credibility down a few notches. But, if it weren't for that method, I'm not sure I'd have any finished quilts.

Whenever I'm in the midst of making a quilt, I think to myself, 'this is too much work and it's not really coming together and I think I'm just not meant to quilt.' Then when it's done, I fall in love & can't wait to start on another!

Thank you Julie at Distant Pickles for this quilt along. I hope to join you for another someday!

May 07, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Flatbread Sandwiches

After my last post I decided I just had to make some more of that flatbread. I can't say enough about this bread. I think it's going to be a new staple in my kitchen. It's so fun to make and it's just so dang good, even by itself! So, for tonight, I decided a very easy & very yummy dinner would be buffalo chicken sandwiches on the bread. I just tossed a few chicken breasts in the crockpot with hot sauce and let it cook for a few hours. We piled the chicken, some lettuce, blue cheese dressing and more blue cheese crumbles on top. Can you even spot the chicken under all the toppings?

They were sloppy, drippy and delicious. And great with a side of roasted green beans.

HERE again is the original recipe for the bread, and here it is in half batch form and with a couple changes I made.

Naan (Indian Flatbread)

1.5 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 T white sugar
1.5 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
2 c white flour
1/4 c wheat flour

1 T melted butter

In a, dissolve sugar in warm water & add yeast. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in milk & egg. Place flours & salt in bread machine, then add the yeast mixture. Let the dough go through one rising cycle. Punch down & knead then divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll into balls, and place on a pan. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Heat an skillet to medium, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil pan. Place dough in pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan, and continue the process until all the bread has been prepared.

Make this bread NOW!

Some Good Dinners!

I made this Thai Coconut Soup a couple weeks ago. It was amazing and so easy too. Next time I make it I'm going to use even more ginger & jalapeno, since that's what really gives it its kick.

I made a batch of Asian Mango Slaw to go with it and I felt all fancy serving such an exotic dinner to my family.

Then last week I decided to make a nice meat & potatoes dinner for my husband since he's been suffering through a lot of 'light' dinners (not his thing) lately. So, I made some meat loaf, green beans, mashed potatoes and some dinner rolls made from my favorite bread recipe.

Everything was delish and it provided a weekend full of leftovers. Hellooooo meat loaf sandwiches!

Next yummy dinner...I LOVE middle eastern food. It's my food of choice for my birthday dinner every year. There's a particularly wonderful restaurant here in town that Mom orders from for me and gets gyros, tabbouleh, hummus and the whole lot. So, after stumbling across this post, I decided to get ambitious and give it a go for myself. Instead of chicken, I used beef. I don't know my cuts of beef very well, but I found some stew meat on sale and it worked great. It was cut up nicely and rather lean. I marinated it then just cooked it in a skillet, but I'm sure it would've been even better grilled. And the bread...oh the bread. It was SO good. I didn't use the flatbread recipe on the blog, I found a recipe for naan on allrecipes that I thought looked better. It was so fun to make. I mixed up the dough in the bread machine then I experimented with "baking" it a couple different ways. I did some in my iron skillet and some in the George Foreman grill. I think I prefer the skillet method, but they both worked great. Here they are stacked up and ready to go. I made a half batch and it made plenty, about a dozen.

The leftovers we used for our breakfast wraps. YUM!! I'll be making that bread again very soon.

I made the tzatziki and some tabbouleh to go along with it and everyone loved everything. Here's the meal:

(my tabbouleh had tomatoes of course, but I had to add those after the fact since I'm the only tomato lover in this house).

I made some awesome desserts to go with two of these meals, but those will have to wait for another post. I've got to get to meal planning for this coming week!