My Fabric Arrived!

I went to the post office this morning and found out that I had a package waiting for me. Woohoo! I love mail!

Fat Quarter Shop sent my fabric for the Postage Stamp Quilt Along and it has arrived!!!!!!

And, thanks to the #talknt folks who encouraged me to finish the cutting out for my current quilt. If you quilt, sew, or otherwise, you should explore Talking Tuesdays. It’s a great way to meet other folks who do so, win some fabulous prizes, and explore questions around quilting. And, totally inspirational!

Okay, gotta get back to work…I’m just so excited about the fabric! More updates over the weekend!


Baked Ziti and Bubble Bread

Campus has been quiet the past several weeks. Students (for the most part) have been gone on break and we have been here working. Mostly, January is a time to catch up on projects, spend time getting some meetings out-of-the-way, and prepare for the start of the semester. With students returning, this has kicked into high gear in several ways. The last three days have been spent in meetings almost back-to-back.

What does this have to do with cooking? Well, yesterday we were having lunch when it suddenly occurred to me…we haven’t done any cooking with the oven we have access to when students are gone. I imagine this is for a couple of reasons… 1. We forgot we could use the oven…we tend to remember in the summer, but forget over breaks. 2. People were pretty sporadically around over break.

But, with today being the last day before the students returned, I wanted to make something delicious. So, today, I share with you, Baked Ziti. Because I still love the crockpot, I make it that way. I’ve done it with both crockpot and oven, and both work well. Crockpot just works easier for me. To use the oven downstairs, I’m making Bubble Bread! Delicious.

Baked Ziti

1 pound dry ziti pasta

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork sausage

1 1/2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce

salt to taste

1 (6 ounce) package provolone cheese, sliced

3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup cottage cheese

1 (6 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook onion in oil until tender. Stir in rosemary and garlic. Transfer to a small bowl.
  3. Place ground beef and sausage in the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Stir in the onion mixture and the spaghetti sauce. Season with salt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. In the prepared dish, layer 1/2 of the cooked pasta, provolone cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, and a little less than 1/2 of the meat mixture. Then layer the rest of the pasta, mozzarella cheese, remaining meat mixture, and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until heated through and cheeses are melted.

*If making in crockpot, proceed through step 3. In step 4, layer in crockpot as directed. When mixing up this morning, I put the crockpot on warm when I got to work and will turn it up to low for the last two hours. It’s all pre-cooked, so it just needs to heat through.

Bubble Bread

1 loaf frozen bread dough

1 stick butter

2 tsp Italian seasoning

Thaw frozen bread dough, but don’t let it rise. Melt butter and mix in Italian seasoning. Cut bread dough into bite-size pieces and then dip in butter mixture. Place in the bottom of a bread pan (I’m using a bundt pan today) and let rise for a few hours. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

Postage Stamp Quilt Along

I keep finding that although I plan to not purchase any fabric unless it’s a necessity, I find projects/quiltalongs/things to do which require just a little bit of fabric here and there. One such finding was a basic grey jelly roll in Eva. I don’t remember when I got it or how I got it, but I’m trying to identify key projects for each of my different sewing possibilities so that I can work to cut down my stash, but also have a “next” in my identifiable projects list. When I came across Eva a few days ago, I decided to look online for some jelly roll patterns and was absolutely delighted to see that Rachel at P.S. I Quilt was doing a jelly roll quilt along! It seemed like fate! So, I’ve ordered my white jelly roll and am awaiting it’s arrival to start sewing my strips together. I think this will be a lot of fun and a great way to keep me motivated towards continuing my project. Thanks, Rachel! I can’t wait to see everyone’s finished project. Mine is coming along. Seems like a great project between preparing for transfer orientation this weekend and machine quilting Jenny’s Wedding Quilt!


Linguine with Alfredo

This week I’ve been eating a lot of pasta lately. My goal of the moment is to use what is in my place before going and purchasing more. It seems to be a theme of much. I feel like there is so much that I have which I don’t need or use, so I am, in essence, trying to get rid of things and live more simply. Really, who needs all that stuff, anyway.
A few months ago Laughing Cow came out with some new cheeses and I picked them up to do something with them, but I have yet to do anything. Yesterday I decided it was going to be the day to try something. It tasted delicious, but didn’t look very pretty, so I didn’t take a picture.
But, here’s the recipe I used:
Laughing Cow Alfredo Sauce (from my mom – it’s a Weight Watchers recipe)
8 wedges Laughing Cow Cheese (I used the new Light Queso Fresco and Chipotle Laughing Cow)
1 Tbsp parmesan cheese
¼ c I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray
1 c fat free half and half
1 tsp cumin
Put on low heat and stir until completely melted. Mix into pasta.
I used it with whole wheat linguine and ½ c corn, with 1 c chopped chicken.

Thank You and An Opinion Please…

Thank You and February Bee Suggestions?

Hello, Friends!

It’s National Thank You Day! So, first and foremost, to anyone who reads, thank you for doing so. I am so utterly grateful for your presence in my life, whether it is an online presence, a physical presence, a phone presence, or an otherwise presence. I often think to say thank you but rarely do so. Let 2011 be a year in which I am externally grateful for all that others bring to my life.

On that note, I’d like your opinion. As I’ve shared about my various quilting bees, I am part of a solid bee and picked up my fabric for it several months ago when it was on sale at a local fabric store. February is my month, and I need to make my sample block and post instructions, but would like to have you help me pick the quilt design. Would you share your opinion? Using Kona solids in yellow, purple, blue, and khaki (not necessarily the actual names of the colors), I am coming up with my pattern. And, I’ve narrowed it down to the following blocks. What are your thoughts?

Mondrian, such as the one here or here


Dinner Date, such as seen here


So, your thoughts? Please feel free to add more via the comments section! 

January Blocks

This weekend I went home to celebrate my sister’s birthday. She turned 24 years old! I can’t believe she is already 24! We celebrated her birthday in style, with sweet potato chips I made in the oven, birthday cake, and meatloaf. But enough about the food.

I also saw my mom’s current quilt projects, showed her my quilt projects, and stole some of her fabric to finish the Harry Potter blocks I’d been meaning to do for months! So frustrating! I’m so sorry to Kristin, who is getting her blocks a couple of months late. But, my mom had the right shade of rust for Harry’s scar.

These two blocks were my second and third attempts at paper piecing. The first time was using the flying geese tutorial over on the sometime’s crafter’s blog. She has a fabulous tutorial that takes you through paper piecing. It was one of those experiences where you just need to trust that it’s going to work. The paper piecing will turn out the way you need it to turn out. Do not be concerned. Just keep trying it.

For Kristin, she is using these great paper piece blocks to create a Harry Potter quilt. Since this was only my second (and third) time paper piecing, I chose a few easier blocks, but I’m starting to feel a bit more confident and believe that at some point in the future, I’ll be ready to do a little more intense paper piecing. I still have to rip out at least one seam on each block I do for a variety of reasons, but it’s getting there.

The other block I did over the weekend for this month is for the Solid Block Bee. Using a variety of different solids, we are creating blocks and Natalie sent out instructions asking us to be inspired by some paper art with different triangles. I picked one of the blocks, traced it on freezer paper and did paper piecing again. It went pretty good and it was fun to be inspired/create my block. I think it turned out pretty fun. I continue to waste a lot of fabric in my creation of paper pieced blocks, but I’ll keep working on it and see what else can come up.


Last week I had made the blocks for my Sew and Bee Happy Bee. I have to go back and make a couple of corrections on it, but luckily the recipient is in the process of moving, so she is not ready for me to send stuff until later, so I’ll be able to go through and fix the two blocks which are troublesome before I sent it off to her.




Just as I had a December for one of my bees, I have January for one of mine as well. I’ve asked folks to use scraps to create 12.5 inch blocks. They can have as many block-within-a-blocks as they want to use to ultimately create their block for me. As few as one or as many as 100. My sample block included 9, because I had seen a block I really liked that inspired me. I’m going to make a few more blocks up, but was glad to have finished the sample block.

I also have February for one of my months and am torn between a few different possibilities. I will post tomorrow to get your opinion on which block design to use. Can’t wait to get your opinions!


Upcoming Projects

I’ve slowly been catching up on my January blocks for the different quilting bees, but thought I would start my list of upcoming projects to work on. Goodness knows there are enough of them. As I shared, my mom is big on quilting kits, and I’ve picked up a few as the result of this. When we were down at Calico Hutch, I picked up the Woodstock pattern kit. It’s in some great neutral-ish colors and consists of several different squares.

I’ve also cut out the fabric from a quilt kit I purchased over a year ago and haven’t moved forward on called Wildflowers, which consists of squares within squares. It should be a lot of fun to put together…I’ve only got the start of it cut out, so now will be time for the sewing and rows.

I started a wonky log cabin over a year ago and haven’t moved forward on anything beyond my five initial squares, so I need to move forward on that, as well.

And, I still have the fabric for the quilt I want to make for my bed, with which I haven’t done much. So, a few project son the waiting line…and a bunch more fabric to go beyond that.

I’m trying to use down my stash before purchasing any significant fabric, so here’s hoping it will all work okay!

Photos and projects coming next week…