Roasted Asparagus

To help with our Easter meal on Sunday, I volunteered to make a vegetable.  Wanting to make sure that I made something that had an appropriate nod to spring, I took note of the sales the grocery store was having on asparagus, and I could not think of a better thing to make.  I looked online for some different recipes and came across this one from Food, Faith, and Fitness.  I followed the instructions on the dressing for the asparagus, but decided to make some adjustments to cooking the asparagus itself.

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Cheesy Hashbrowns

I’ve posted this recipe before, a few different times, but I haven’t had a photo of the baked cheesy hashbrowns with their delicious cornflakes on top…and so it was time to do that.  We had them on Easter with a couple of my mom’s sisters.  And, because I find them nearly impossible to not eat when I have a chance, I love sharing the recipe.

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Hoppy Easter

Happy Easter!  Today my dad showed me a photo of something he had seen in a magazine and suggested we recreate it for our Easter lunch table.  So, below you will see our bunny rabbit made from fruit.

It wasn’t too challenging to make, so I’m not going to write out the instructions.  Suffice it to say, core the pineapple, slice it, and spread fruit around it.

So, if you celebrate Easter, I’m wishing you a happy one!  If you don’t, and need a rabbit for a party, check this out as well!

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My First Tote

I am a quilter.  I know people sew things that are much more complicated that quilts, but that’s not me.  I can do wonky stars, wonky log cabins, match corners to perfection, but if you want me to move into the three-dimensional, I run hiding.  And, not for a lack of desire to want to make things that are differently complicated.  Instead, I buy the pattern and the fabric, make the plans to create a purse, and then get nervous and don’t make it happen.

So, last week when I went to purchase fabric for the binding for the baby coin quilt, I asked if there were any purse classes coming up for which I could sign up.  It was in this process that I found myself in a tote class at Inspired to Sew in Cedar Rapids.  I was joined in the class by a young girl whose mom was taking another class and then another young woman who was in elementary or middle school.  So, the three of us spent two hours together sewing our first tote bags.

I’m pretty happy with it and look forward to future sewing classes.  Better yet, I think I am willing to try sewing another (and slightly more complicated) purse in the future.  The Joel Dewberry fabric was a great collection to make my first tote!

My First Totebag

Baby Coin Quilt

Good friends of mine are about to welcome an addition to their family.  They are having a baby next month.  As I was contemplating different possible baby gifts, I knew I wanted to use this opportunity to make a quilt.  I had ideas for quilts in mind, but decided do to a coin quilt adaptation.  I’ve made one other coin quilt a few years ago, and this one was exciting to explore.  I know their nursery is decorated in gray, so I used a dark charcoal gray as my base.  I found a really vibrant charm pack — Simply Colorful II — by Vanessa Christenson.

Baby Coin Quilt

I think it turned out great!

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Pi Day

Have I mentioned how many small town festivals my small town has each year?  We often joke that if you are familiar with Star’s Hollow and Gilmore Girls, Mount Vernon could easily compete.  We are a couple of months away from Chalk the Walk, but yesterday we celebrated Pi Day.  You know, 3.1415…as seen here:

Well, across the world yesterday was Pi Day: March 14.  Our Community Development Group decided to celebrate through a fundraiser by asking folks to make pies and then the group sold them for donations.  Our grocery store even had a sale on milk to help support the sale, which happened in our grocery store parking lot.  I made a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, from the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cookbook.

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This weekend has been a weekend of UFOs…and not the flying kind.  Since finishing my doctorate a couple months ago (and finally having it accepted by the graduate school last week), people have asked me if it feels good to be done.  And, it does.  I have a few colleagues for whom I am cheering along and anticipating their completion, including a couple of my best friends who are a couple years behind me.  But, in a lot of ways, I do not feel like I’m done.  Instead, I am acutely aware of the things that I have started, but not completed over the course of the past five years.

Clearly, you have seen that I have been able to do more cooking over the past three months than I had for a long time.  I have also wanted to work on some other projects.  With the time change and nights having more light, I am hoping to be able to do more quilting and other items in the evenings.  This weekend, I finished a couple of UFOs — Un-Finished Objects.

First, I cleaned out my garage, used my smoker for the first time this winter, and used the grill.  I made a pie for our town’s Pi Day sale tomorrow (watch for a post coming for that).  I finished a 2,000 piece puzzle on which I had been working:


And, I took an assessment of my unfinished projects for quilting and ordered backing so that I can move forward with quilting these together:

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Most excitedly, I am thrilled I remember the name of most of the fabric lines and was able to identify the only one I could not remember by the end of the weekend.  So, look forward to more posts about these quilts as I finish them up over next several months.

The final project I wrapped up over the weekend is a surprise, as it is a gift I have been working on for some great friends of mine.  But, here’s a little sneak preview of the quilt I wrapped up this evening:

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Winding the bobbin. #sewing #100hoursproject

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I hope you also enjoyed your weekend and are able to work on some of your own UFOs over the past week or so…