Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Winners! 3 TNT recipes

I have to post these because I don't want to lose them. First of all, I've been wanting to make some dinner rolls using my bread machine but I was so scared because I'd actually have to take the dough out and do something with it. Making bread is one thing...just put all the stuff in, wait awhile, and you have bread! My son, Anthony, and I are bread fiends in the house...though I think he's even more of a bread addict than I. Problem was, he would never even touch my bread machine bread. I searched high and low for a recipe that gave me instructions that made me want to try it. I found it here. Can I just tell you that they were perfect? When I got home from knit nite last night, there were about 4 (of 15) left and when I told him I didn't want any, he took those 4 and inhaled them! Winner! Since we're having Thanksgiving dinner at the firehouse, I was thinking that I could bring a bunch of these and some deviled eggs (hubby's favorites). I wanted to try a whole wheat roll today and I did. Not 100% whole wheat, but I substituted 1 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour for the white flour in the recipe and they were delicious!

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 1/4 to 3 1/3 cups flour (start with 3 1/4 c first)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp active dry yeast

Put ingredients in the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. For me, it was in the order above. Set the machine to the "dough" setting and start. As the dough ball formed, I used a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides. If at the end of the mixing/kneading cycle, your dough looks too wet, add more flour 1 Tbsp at a time until it is just sticky but not wet. Let the machine complete the dough cycle. Then remove the dough with lightly floured hands to a lightly floured surface. I had to pat the outside of the dough with a small amount of flour to make it workable. Place a sheet of foil in a 13 x 9 inch pan and spray lightly with cooking spray. Break off pieces a little bigger than golf ball sized and form them into smooth balls. Arrange the balls (you should have 15 of them) about an inch apart in the pan. Cover the pan with a sheet of plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray so the dough will not stick while resting and a kitchen towel over that. Let the dough sit for about 40 minutes and it should have doubled in size by then. Yesterday I had to take my dough into the living room where it was warmer. When doubled, uncover the pan and place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. I like to finish them off by brushing them with butter as soon as they come out of the oven.

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I made a big pot of beef/meatball vegetable soup for dinner and the rolls complemented it perfectly.

Beef/Meatball Vegetable Soup

1 lb ground beef
20 frozen pre-cooked beef meatballs, Italian flavor
1 can diced tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano (15 ounces)
3 cans chicken broth (14.5 ounces)
2 small cans tomato sauce (8 ounces)
1 can corn (14.5 ounces)
1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables (I used a zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower, carrot, & broccoli mix)
1 cup dried elbow macaroni pasta
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp. dried, minced onion flakes
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Brown ground beef and drain. Then add all the remaining ingredients and simmer until macaroni is tender, adding water if necessary, about 25 minutes, I think.
Too easy, huh?

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I made the mistake of mentioning fudge to Chris and he pestered me to let him help me make it until I relented. I had heard of a fudge recipe made from premade canned cake frosting about 10 years ago and hadn't thought of it again until today when I came across recipes for it. I had chocolate chips, I had frosting. Why not make fudge? I'm looking for easy Christmas gifts to make, after all. It couldn't be easier. Are you ready?

Easy Peasy Fudge

1 - 12 oz. bag milk chocolate chips
1 can Betty Crocker cake frosting, Chocolate Fudge flavor
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Empty bag of chips into a microwave safe bowl and melt them for 90 seconds on high. Stir in the entire can of frosting, vanilla, salt and nuts, if using them. Stir to make sure chips are totally incorporated. If they're not completely melted, put back in microwave for 30 seconds at a time. When completely incorporated, turn out into a buttered 8" x 8" pan, cover with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour or until firmer. It was yummy! Chris said so!

You can play around with different flavors of both chips and frosting. I read that the cream cheese frosting/chocolate chip variation was delicious but one set of instructions said not to use "whipped" frosting and that was the only kind of cream cheese frosting that I had. Oh well, next time! It really couldn't get any easier than this!!

On the sewing front, I made two pillowcases today with another one to be done tomorrow for Anthony and his two friends. They're in the school colors with one fabric in paw prints. They're the Wildcats but I'm pretty sure these were puppy prints. Close enough. Picture to come soon. They're heading up to Reno, Nevada this weekend to play against McQueen HS. The winner of this game advances to the State Championships. Las Vegas HS has won State for the past two years and I can't wait to see them do it again. Bernie and I are still debating whether to go up for this game or not. All of the cheap airfares are gone and it's about an 8 hour drive. I sure hope we go. I've never missed one of Anthony's games and I don't want to start now.

Off to bed. It's been a long day.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Roll-Up Pillowcase









The pattern for this pillowcase was a free hand-out at Nancy's Quilt Shop, however, I felt that the instructions were difficult to understand so I Googled around and found this one, which is easier to understand. I found another site that gave measurements for both standard and king sized pillowcases. That one said that you need 29" x WOF (width of fabric) for a standard pillowcase and 39" x WOF for a king sized pillowcase.

The one I made today for my youngest son is standard sized and it is a very generously sized standard. I like that you can't see the pillow peeking out of the opening, like the one currently on his pillow. That just drives me nuts. I will definitely make more of these. I want to make my older son one with a football themed fabric, if I can find one I like. I think it will be great to take to camp or sleepovers so they can easily tell which pillows are theirs.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yay! Some quilting and crocheting done!

Last Thursday, Pat and I started on the Quilt Shop Hop here in Las Vegas. We were able to hit 3 of the 6 quilt shops that first day. While at Fabric Boutique, I saw a beautiful quilt done in Asian prints and set on-point with narrow black sashing. I am not comfortable setting anything on-point just yet but fell in love with the Asian print/black sashing thing. I bought some Asian fat quarters at Quiltique on the second day of the Shop Hop to play with but before I cut, I wanted to see how well I could do without a pattern. I came up with this table runner using some 4" squares won on eBay. Unfortunately, it doesn't go with my decor but I love looking at it anyway.





While looking around on Etsy.com this afternoon, I was inspired to try a crocheted coaster. The ones on Etsy weren't exactly like this, but they were pretty, too.


I'll be making more of these coasters for gifts because they're so dang easy. I know Thanksgiving is next week, so I might not have time, but I'd like to try this table runner in Thanksgiving/Fall printed fabrics and make some coasters to match.

Happy crafting to all!