Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What's for Dinner Wednesday--Recycling (that oughta make you at least read on!)

Haven't done a W4DW post in a while, might be kinda if that title didn't already point THAT fact out to you!!! LOL

My post today is about recycling, it really is..............before you start gagging and carrying on, keep reading!!!

Okay, who out there throws away the last slice or so of bread on a regular basis? Yes I am looking for a show of hands, you're nodding your head, yeah I see you!

In my attempt to not be so wasteful and the frugal-ness of a mother of 4 trying to stretch a budget, I finally figured out in my almost 43 years of age just WHAT I could do with those last few slices and the heal, or is it heel, hmmm not sure..........


The Farmer, my littles and myself are pretty regular salad eaters along with our steaks, roasts and other various cuts of beef. It really bugs me to pay for croutons that rarely last a week at our house (people tend to grab the bag and snack on them, BESIDES their supposed serving suggestion as a salad garnish, who knew?)

Yes I am rambly and wordy today, mostly because I only have a few pictures, the recipe is really short and I am oh so proud of myself for figuring out a 'free solution' to this crouton dilemma that has plagued the farmhouse at H&K for years now.

Ah yes, back to the business at hand, the recipe. I have made you suffer long enough, so here goes:

1 tablespoon melted butter for every 3-4 slices of bread
Season Salt
Garlic Powder
Parsley Flakes

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.

Slice your bread into cubes.

Melt the butter (microwave 30 seconds generally gets that)

Into your melted butter add the seasonings and no I don't measure this..........scientifically, I would say several shakes. Is that close enough?

Pour the seasoned melted butter over your bread cubes. Stir to coat evenly. Spread on a cookie sheet into a single layer.

Bake approximately 20 minutes (--ish) or until your cubes have become CROUTONS and are to the desired hardness/dryness. After cooling, store in a airtight container. (I use a ziplock bag)

Obviously you could season these however you prefer, that's just the combo that my family seems to like the most. I really don't see myself buying them again. In our household of carrying cold lunch to school, there's ALWAYS an abundance of 'the end of the loaf of bread'

JH, my little future farm woman/cooks helper made TWO batches this last weekend. We've only had salad's once this week and the croutons have disappeared. Guess I should employ her to make more.

Enjoying the sunshine and glad it seems that possibly Spring has arrived to stay,

From Tulip~



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Homemade Gifts are the Best---Tutorial, my first!

I have this really good friend who had a birthday recently that is just one of those people who you want to do something special for. My friend Melinda does so much for so many that she inspired me to make this gift. Now the blogger in me actually had it together while creating, and I took pictures, so I thought I would share it with you!
Supplies needed:
2 dishtowels, 3 fat quarters (one will be the appliqued design), double sided double sided interfacing, like this interfacing 1/4 yard Insul-Bright, 'scraps' of quilt batting.

First off, find a simple design you like. I wanted a show steer silhouette. I literally google image searched and traced an outline from my computer screen. There's probably a better method, but that worked for me. (I was out of printer ink and in a hurry!)
Once you have your design, apply the pellon to your fabric. I cut my pattern out on the interfacing, and ironed it to the back side of the fabric, then it was easy to cut out the design, especially since I used black. 
(had to hurry and cut those out some I could flip 'em over and not see white cows!) LOL

Next step is to appliqued them on to your project. I centered them on the dishtowels. Pinned them in place and sewed them on the machine, with a blanket stitch on my sewing machine. 
Once they were appliqued, the dish towels were basically done. The Hot Pad construction begins now.

I appliqued the design onto one corner of each fat quarter. Based mostly on the size of my design and actually going to my kitchen drawer and measuring, I ended up with 8 inch squares for my hot pads. I think you could adjust that based on your needs and the size of the design you pick. 
Cut 2 squares. (I did this after appliqueing, thought the bigger piece of fabric was a little easier to work with.)

I also cut 3 strips of 2 inch wide 'binding' for the edges. (turns out 2 would have been enough, live and learn) 
Next, cut same sized squares of Insul-Bright and batting. You need 1 square of the Insul-Bright and 2 squares of batting for each finished hot pad.
Layer together: fabric, batting, Insul-Bright, batting and fabric; like this:
Quilt it however you like, I was pretty basic and just quilted a straight seam across each corner. 
The next step was to 'bind' the hot pad. The way I do binding is this: I sew together the strips into a long 'snake' (my 4H girls like that terminology) the press it hotdog bun style (another 4H quilt project term) 
I sew it around matching raw edges to the hot pad edge and finish the hot pad. With a scrap from the binding, I made a loop for the hot pad. Did that like this:
I cut a strip of about 3inches (no I didn't measure) I pressed in the ends, then opened the 'hot dog bun' and folded in the sides. 
Pressed it all together flat. Then I 'caught' the ends on the back side of the hot pad as I was sewing the binding down. 
There's how it looked. (yes I probably should have matched threads, sigh...........)
Finished project. 

There they all are again, to remind you. FYI--the black fabric is 'Grunge' from Moda. I like to use it for a solid, has a neater texture than JUST a solid. The brown striped print was a Red Rooster fabric and I am not sure on the red plaid. The Dish towels are Dunroven House purchased at my local quilt shop, Material Girl Quilt Shop and lastly, the cool little 'can' was purchased at a local gift shop, Addie Jane's. both shops have facebook pages, next time you are on there, stop in and tell them I said HI (make sure to LIKE them also!!) 

Well gift made, blog post written, now to listen to my St. Louis Cardinals!

Have a great spring week, I think its finally here to stay,

From Tulip~