Wonky Log Cabin Finished!

Just before leaving for break, I finally finished the top of the Wonky Log Cabin quilt I had been working on over the past several years (see blocks here, here, here, here, here, and here).  As I was looking to finish it up, I was hoping it would be an oversized lap quilt and oops, it turned into a queen-sized quilt.  Needless to say, adding some sashing greatly expanded my need to have 54 12 inch blocks as some quilting chart guides suggest.

wonky log cabin 9 patchesI started with the wonky log cabin blocks and when I realized I would need more fabric (or would have needed to approach the way I used my fabric differently), I decided to add some “solid” fabric blocks as well from some of the fabric lines I had chosen.  This particular quilt has a lot of Andover Folklorika fabrics in it, so I chose fabric from those lines to be a major component of the quilt.  Although I didn’t have the right amount of fabric (length) to complete more wonky log cabin blocks, I was able to make as many 9-patch blocks as I needed for the sashing.  Those were almost as much fun to make as the wonky log cabin blocks were to make.

wonky log cabin sashingOnce I added the sashing and the fill blocks, I tried to lay it out and the only place I could put it and see the whole thing was my queen sized bed.  So, now I need to sew some backing together — does anyone have great ideas for what the back should look like?  I think I’ll have this one quilted and am excited to get this on my bed!

Wonky Log Cabin top

Christmas Egg Bake

I’m just now catching up on the holiday baking and crafting that occurred, so watch for a few more posts coming up.

Somehow, perhaps because I’m not a fan of bread in an egg bake, I’ve become the egg bake maker in the family.  We decided to celebrate Christmas this year by hosting my aunt and uncle and serving fruit, veggies, egg bake, ham, and other items, to keep it somewhat low-key and relaxing for everyone.

Knowing that the holidays can be full of a number of different snacks and sweets, one of my goals was to have some veggies and not going over the top with cheese and other items in the egg bake — that stuff will all make its way into our diets when we’re spending time with family, so this seemed like a good way to have some protein.

Egg Bake post-baking

Christmas Morning Egg Bake

1 bag frozen shredded potatoes
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 green pepper, sliced and diced
10-15 cherry tomatoes, sliced
diced ham
12 eggs
1/2 c milk
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp parsley
1 c mozzarella cheese
1 c cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 glass pan and spread the hashbrowns along the bottom of the pan.  Next, sprinkle the cheese over the hashbrowns.  Layer the vegetables (feel free to adapt and add as you would like).  Whisk together eggs, milk, parsley, salt, pepper, and basil.  Pour over the vegetables and potatoes.  Place in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the eggs have set.  Let sit 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Egg Bake pre-baking

Fantastic Bread Pudding

I’ll be the first to admit.  Bread pudding is not my favorite thing in the world.  It’s a texture thing for me.  I like my bread dry.  When I make an egg bake, I use potatoes.  But, I love a gooey cinnamon roll or monkey bread, so when my uncle started talking about bread pudding on Christmas Day and my mom mentioned my aunt Kathy’s recipe in the family cookbook, I thought this was probably the opening for which I’d been seeking.  Maybe making my own bread pudding would make a difference.

So, after family had left, I found the recipe in the cookbook and was delighted that we had most of the ingredients.  When we went to the grocery store, I picked up the remaining ingredients and moved forward.  I did make a few modifications, based on the way that some of the restaurants in the area make their bread pudding, and I’ve noted the changes to the recipe through my edits below.

bread pudding

Fantastic Bread Pudding

6 oz loaf French bread, with crust  5 cinnamon rolls
2 c milk
2 eggs
1 c sugar
1 stick margarine/butter, melted
1 Tbsp vanilla
¼ c raisins I also added: ¼ c craisins + ¼ c golden raisins
1 ½ Tbsp butter/margarine, melted

Bread should not be fresh.  Break bread into 1 inch pieces, and place in a large bowl.  Pour milk over and allow bread to soak it up.  Add eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, and raisins.  Mix well.  Butter a dish that will allow pudding to be about 1 1/2 inch thick.  Bake at 350 degrees about 45 minutes, or until firm and golden brown.  Cool and pour sauce over each serving and place under broiler until heated a bit.  Serve with Whiskey Sauce or Lemon Sauce.

Whiskey Sauce:

1 c sugar
1 egg
1 stick butter, melted
2 or 3 oz whiskey

Stir first three ingredients until sugar is dissolved, then add whiskey.

Lemon Sauce:

2 Tbsp butter
1 c sugar
¼ c white corn syrup
Juice of 2 lemons
1 c water

Mix all ingredients together and boil about 15 minutes or until thickened.  *Either sauce will keep several days in refrigerator

Are there family recipes you’ve never tried baking before?  Any that are on your list to explore differently in 2015?

Wonky Log Cabin returns

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been pulling out old quilts that I had started.  Here’s an update on another one that I’ve been working towards.  My wonky log cabin has several blocks completed (see here, here, and here).  I’m using the instructions from Quilt Dad – who does some amazing work!  I’m debating whether to use sashing in the finished product or use the blocks as-is.

Here are the blocks I’ve finished in the last week:

Block 18 Block 19 Block 20 Block 21 Block 22 Block 23 Block 24

 

Maple Brussels Sprouts

Last post about food I made for Thanksgiving this year (I think…).

As we discussed the Thanksgiving menu, my parents and I came to the conclusion that we were missing a vegetable.  So, I volunteered to make something.  After scouring pinterest for awhile, I decided to go with my favorite vegetables (see here, or here) of the past few years: brussels sprouts.

There wasn’t room left on the stove, so I knew I needed to find a recipe that could be done in the oven.  Ultimately, I wrote down three or four recipes and combined them to create a recipe which would work for us.  I like how it turned out, although in the future, I think I would roast them a little longer or do this on the stovetop to caramelize the brussels a little bit more.

maple brussels spruts

Maple Balsalmic Brussels Sprouts

6 slices of bacon
1 lb brussels sprouts, cleaned and quartered
1/4 c maple syrup
1 Tbsp balsalmic vinegar
sea salt

Heat oven to 425.  Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and put bacon on it.  Bake until the bacon is crisp — 15-20 minutes.  While the bacon is baking, clean and quarter the brussels sprouts.

Remove the bacon from the pan.  Reduce heat to 400 degrees.  Add the brussels to the pan and mix together maple and balsalmic vinegar.  Pour over the brussels.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the brussels are firm, yet soft.  While they are baking, cut the bacon into small pieces.  When the brussels are done, stir together with the bacon.  Serve warm.

Cornbread Stuffing

Of all the items on the Thanksgiving table, stuffing/dressing is one I could take or leave.  It’s not my favorite.  A few years ago, I made wild rice stuffing for either Thanksgiving or Christmas and I liked that quite a bit, but overall, stuffing is less exciting to me.  And, since we were a small group around the table, my dad decided to make Trader Joe’s Cornbread Stuffing.  He jazzed up the dressing with a few additional ingredients, which really made it taste more homemade rather than made from a box.

cornbread stuffing

Cornbread Dressing

1 box Trader Joe’s Cornbread Stuffing
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 c dried cranberries

Before making the stuffing according to directions, saute the carrots, celery, and onion.  Set aside.  Make the stuffing according to directions.  At the end, stir in the carrot, celery, and onion mix, and the dried cranberries.  Serve warm.

Nice, easy, and flavorful. Yum!

Prayer Flag Quilt

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been slowly getting back at sewing, making some progress on my Wonky Log Cabin quilt blocks and other things.  Perhaps it’s the cold weather bringing me indoors and wanting to curl up.  Perhaps it’s my wanting to get rid of things in my house and use them up.  No matter what, I’m feeling like I want to gain some closure in general.

That being said, just before Thanksgiving, I sent a text message to my mom asking if she had her sewing machine set up at home.  And, success, she did.  So, I grabbed my prayer flag layer cake and charm pack (I still love this fabric line) and took it to my parents house over Thanksgiving.  I decided to use the Meandering Path quilt pattern from Moda Bake Shop.  This is the same quilt pattern I used to make my Christmas quilt a few years ago, and I remember sewing that together in a snowstorm, so I knew it sews together fairly quickly — not too much cutting with this pattern and a great showcase of the variation of fabrics in the layer cake.

So, on the day after Thanksgiving, rather than getting up at the crack of dawn to go shopping, I woke up and started to cut the fabric for the quilt.  Then, I spread the quilt out and walked away.  Friday night I went to start sewing it together and my mom stepped in to assist me.  How lucky am I that she was willing to do that?

Saturday morning I woke up and finished sewing it together — an experienced quilter could pretty easily put the top together in half a day.  An inexperienced quilter could easily put it together in the course of  a day or two — the pattern takes so little cutting — after the initial cutting of the fabric, you’re done!

This was an excellent return to quilting.  And, I left there with a top that is finished :)

meandering path prayer flag quilt