Monday, February 15, 2016

Christmas Ornaments 2015

We have a family Christmas Ornament tradition that started in 1977.  You can see the ornaments through the years on my earlier posts.

Here are the 2015 ornaments.

 The ornaments were made using fabric yo-yos that were made by our grandmother and aunt many years ago.  The yo-yos were tacked together to form a bedspread and dresser scarf. We cut them apart and used them as the center of our ornaments (saw the idea on Pinterest).

I have learned recently that they are also called Suffolk puffs. There are videos on how to make yo-yos and ideas for using the in crafts on You Tube.

The larger circles were cut from felt using a Big Shot.  We used embroidery floss to do a blanket stitch around the felt circles. Floss is also used to tack the circles together through the centers and make a bow on the front. 
 We got started on these at a Sisters Retreat in Galena IL in August. Here are the stacks of circles.  We each made a prototype and took our share home to complete over the months.   They really turned out cute. 

 For our Wehrheim Christmas Gathering, our brother, Ron, had made this house to hold the Christmas tree.  This is based on one our Grandmother Wehrheim had made many, many years ago for their tree.  Our parents continued using it through the years. This house brings back many Christmas memories.

 We placed our 40+ ornaments on the tree.  It certainly filled it out nicely.  It's always fun to display the ornaments and then distribute them later in the day.  The younger generation enjoys delivering each ornament to its owner (they all have tags with the names) and it helps them to learn some of the names and faces that they don't see very often.

A closeup of some of the ornaments on the tree.  I think these are one of my favorites.

Valentine's Weekend

Sort of a weekend wrap-up.  We kept both the grandkids Friday night so our daughter and son-in-law could celebrate his birthday and have a night without kids.  It all went well - why wouldn't it with 3 adults catering to a 2 month old and an almost 3 year old.  

Saturday morning I made a Valentine breakfast.  Heart shaped pancakes, strawberries and whipped topping.  Yummy!

It wa this little guy's first night away from Mommy.  He did great!  Went to sleep about 7 p.m.   Woke at 1 a.m. and had a bottle and right back to sleep. Then slept until after 6 a.m.  He had plenty of smiles for us.  Here he is asleep in my arms.  About the only way he will take a nap for his mommy is in a moby wrap.  I held him close and he was doing a lot of squirming so I put a burp cloth over his head and he settled right down and went to sleep.  So of course, I made the sacrifice and sat and held him throughout the nap :-)

On Sunday, we had about 1 3/4 inches of snow/sleet mixture.  I had planned to make chili anyway so it was a perfect day for that.   I started with my mom's basic chili recipe - 1 lb ground beef, 15 oz can chili beans and 15 oz can of tomato sauce -  and added a little extra seasoning.  Tom likes it thicker so I use crushed tomatoes.  Here is my recipe - Crock Pot Chili.  It was pretty good!  
I always like a peanut butter sandwich on the side - like we always had in school.

I did a little prep cooking on Sunday too.  Since I had a doctor's appointment on Monday afternoon and knew I would be rushed to get supper done, I got a head start on some Chicken Cajun Pasta.  This is one of my PREP COOK recipes.  I mixed together all the sauce ingredients and then put it in the refrigerator.  When I got home today,  I planned to cook some linguine and serve with the sauce, but it just seemed easier to heat up the sauce and add a little water/chicken broth and some penne to make a one skillet pasta dish.  It was perfect!   As Tom said, that's one recipe I need to keep.

Pasta and Dancing Hippos

Pasta and Dancing Hippos

I started this post a few days ago and didn't get very far :-) So will finish it up here before posting about the past weekend. 

This is a family favorite - Pepperoni Macaroni.  I found the recipe in a copy of Quick Cooking about 15 years ago and everyone liked it, especially Rebekah.  It is one of my 'comfort' dishes.  

I finished up this quilt square recently.  The theme for a stitch-along was Noah's Ark.  A stitch-along is not for a designated recipient but just everyone who wants to committing to stitch for a specific theme and the squares are all donated to a quilt charity - this one was for Love Quilts Brazil.   The squares will not necessarily be used in the same quilt but will just be kept on hand to fill in as needed to complete a quilt or for an emergency quilt.  
I thought this was a fun pattern - and kind of stretched the theme.  These two hippos thought they were going on a cruise :-)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Retro Baking

Got out my Pampered Chef tube pans last night to make some French Bread for a bridal shower today.  I had planned to just pick up a baguette at the store and slice it thinly to serve with the hot bacon dip but I did not make it to the store.  So thought I would make my own.  Then when forming the dough into loaves, I thought of the tube pans from Pampered Chef (do not see them in their online catalog but did see some other sources when I googled for Pampered Chef tube pans - E-Bay and some kitchen supply sites).

 I hadn't use these in years - probably not for the last 10-15 years at least.   They worked beautifully.
I used a French Bread recipe from my bread machine cookbook with the dough setting then put it into the pans and let it rise for about 20 minutes.  It had already filled the pans so removed some to leave about 2 inches of space to allow it to raise some more - worked beautifully.   It was a nice crusty bread.

Great served with this Hot Bacon Dip.  Mixed this up this morning and while it baked I got ready to go to the shower.  Literally took it out of the oven, wrapped and snuggled it into insulated carrier for my Pyrex casserole and took it to the shower.  Still plenty warm when we ate.  I got several favorable comments on it too.

Thought it was kind of cute with my heart shaped quiche plate and the heart and flower shaped bread slices.  And there was enough left over that we can have some with our Super Bowl snacks tomorrow.