cleverchickadee


Everything old is new again by quornflour

I am one of those people who do not like clutter, but also has some guilt around not fully using things that can easily be used again.

One such item is the container that kitchen wipes come in. While I do not often buy them for home, I do keep them in the car and at work. Here is a great, easy project that you can do to give those containers new life.

Lil’ who lives in my building gets the paper, each day it is delivered in a plastic bag that is perfect for picking up dog poop. So each morning I take Umlaut out, I grab the paper, remove the plastic bag and toss it in the house. There are days that for one reason or another I do not end up needing the bag so I stick it in my pocket, at the end of the day when I empty my pockets on to the entry table so goes the plastic bag. They can sometimes pile up and just look messy.

Then I realized that the bags + the wipe container were a perfect match, but who wants to look at a wipe container. So I beautified it.

All you need:

  • an empty rinsed wipe container
  • a sheet of scrapbooking paper (12″x12″)*
  • a pair of paper scissors
  • a 15″ ruler (or sufficient size paper cutter)
  • a pencil
  • rubber cement (or similar glue)
  • tape
  • newspaper, bread, or other poop scooping bags

Assembly:

  1. Start by removing the lid and carefully cutting the original label off of the container and set aside
  2. Cut the sheet of paper into two even rectangular halves
  3. Glue it back together 6″ end to 6″ end by putting rubber cement on the two pieces you are joining to make one long sheet
  4. Use a piece of tape to reinforce the back side of the seam
  5. Measure the length of the label and add ¾”
  6. Cut the strip of paper down to this size
    1. The container I used was a generic wipes container and the length I cut was 14¼”
  7. Put rubber cement on the two joining sides, wrap around the container and press
  8. Slide the paper back off the top of the container and tape the inside of the seal and slip back on to the container
  9. Replace the lid, fill with bags and ta-da! No more eyesore!

If you do not have a dog, this container is also great for pens, broken crayons, plastic grocery bags and other small items; makes a great gift for someone with a dog. I would not advise using this for food storage.

* You can also use a cool print from a large format magazine, a printout of a favorite picture on legal size paper or some wrapping paper.

Advertisements


Binding by quornflour

I am not going to sit here at lie to you and tell you how much I love binging, how easy it is and how I jumped head first into the crocodile pit.

Fact is: I feared it. I let it consume me.

Fear or not, it makes a quilt look so much more finished than one without.

So one day I tried it out. It turned out ok. I learned a lot. I tried different methods, asked people and a lot of trial and error.

That said, the one I just finished was the first after numerous attempts, some better than others that I sat back and said. “Wow that was easy.”

So to spare you all of the failure that I had to endured let me share with you the easiest way to bind.

First. Skip the pre-folded binding you find in the craft store, I still do not understand that stuff. Besides, if you make your own, you can match the fabric with the quilt.

After you have finished piecing, basting and finally quilting or tying off your quilt: trim off all of the uneven edges if there are any and set it aside.

Next with the fabric you want to use to bind, cut it into strips, fabric is usually between 45″-52″ wide so take note of this when you are determining how many strips you will need. Don’t cut the long way, that’s tacky.

I use 3″ strips, it makes a nice thin binging but is also easy to use. For a long time I was using 2″ until I realized that doing that was making me a crazy person.

After you are done cutting get out your iron and iron each piece down the middle (the long way) right side out and then open and iron the sides in so it is ironed into quarters. Fold it up on the ironed seams and re-iron. (I love ironing). You can see the completed ironing in the picture above.

Next you want to attach all of your binding to make one long strip. To do this, take the ends of your binding end to end perpendicular right sides together and sew along the diagonal to make a mitered seam.

Cut off the triangle and open. Repeat this until all of your biding is one piece, if you find that your seams are crooked, take it out and do it again.

Starting in the middle of one side with a tail of about a foot so that you can join the ends when you get near the end, pin If you’re into that) or hold the binding on, and sew in the middle, if you are lined up correctly you will sew both sides at the same time. I like to go around a second time, but that is because it is just sewing straight lines.

To go around the corners fold into triangles and sew, leaving your needle in the down position when turning the corner.

Make sure it is folded evenly on both sides… the back sometimes likes to get a little squirrely.

When you get close to the end, stop about 12″ near where you started. This is the part that gets a little tricky and I forgot to photograph because I was concentrating… basically you are going to overlap the two ends so that they overlap the equivalent length that is the width. If you are using 3″ strips, then it would be a 3 inch overlap. Join the ends the same way you joined the strips earlier. Finish sewing. Easy peasy!

 

 



Red Chili Pepper Jam for your FACE! by texaskillet

Okay people!  Let’s get this party started…

First take about 5 cups of whole red chili’s and wash em up.

 

Then set them out and let them dry off a bit.

 

After they have had a little rest, split and deseed.

  

Give another rince, set back on the board and then dice.

  

Add diced peppers, 2 cups sugar and 2 cups of water to a pot and let boil for 20 minutes.

  

 

Next, please please let this cool a smidge, put it in a blender or food processor, whatever your preference.  When I did this straight from the pot, I think I had some issue with pressure build up and well.. I had a little geyser of sorts force its way through the top of the blender.  FUN!  Fortunately I was fast enough to flip the switch and save the greater mass. 🙂  But it did result in a healthy session of foamy soapy water clean up.

After a few turns in the blender to the texture of your choice, return the mixture to the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.  Shut off the pot.

 

Put in sterile jars, seal and store in the fridge or give freely to friends who like a little kick!

 

Another way to “warm up” when the snow gets too deep and the snow plows won’t stop dumping their loads at the bottom of your drive.  Cheers!!



Warm up by quornflour

Yesterday it snowed. It snowed a lot. Or enough at least to make it on to the top 5 January snowfalls in recorded history since there were records, or something.

Snow = shoveling. Shoveling = sore back.

A sore back that calls for a heating pad, which reminded me, I had told a friend I would make her a heating pad, so I did. Boy was it easy!

All you need is some scrap cotton, I used some extra cotton muslin I had laying around from one quilt or another, and some corduroy or similar.

You’ll want two pieces so that you can make a cover that is washable since you’ll be filling it with rice or flax seed, and well putting that in the washing machine would be gross.

You will also need 1 ½ Cups of dry rice or flax seeds, a sewing machine, scissors or rotary cutter and a ruler.



  • Cut the cotton to 11″x10″
  • Cut the corduroy to 16″x10″
  • Fold the cotton in half (right sides in if patterned) along the 10″ side and sew with a ½” seam around two open sides
  • Turn it right side out and sew around the same side using a ¼” seam
  • Fold the opening down 1″
  • Fill with 1-1 ½ cups of dry rice or flax seeds
  • Sew opening twice
  • Set aside
  • Take to corduroy and put in a 1″ hem at one end
  • Fold right sides together “hot dog” and sew two sides, leaving one short end open and turn right side out.
  • Put the rice bag in the corduroy bag and fold the extra length in to hold bag in place

Tada! You’re done. Heat for a minute in the microwave, or on a steam heater, I don’t advise heating on a baseboard heater, because that could start a fire. You can also keep this in the freezer for an icepack, but I will show you how to make a much better icepack another day.

 

 



Black Bean Soup by texaskillet

So, the bummer is that I didn’t really remember to take pictures of the items before I combined them… so you’ll have to turn on your minds eye for this one.

Shopping list:

Smoked Hamhock, Bag of dried black beans, some kind of sausage, rice (any kind you prefer)

Directions:

Soak the beans overnight with plenty of water, no fear in overdoing it, but underdoing it could suck.

In the a.m. before you head out of the house, say around 8:00am or so, place beans in a crock pot after you have rinsed them and drained them.

Place the smoked hamhock in with the beans and then cover all with new water, turn crockpot on low.  Leave the house or do those million other things you have on the list.

at 4:00pm, no sooner, start thinking about when you want to serve this bad boy.

When you have decided, 45 minutes prior to serving time, cut up your choice of sausage and add to the pot.  Then put the rice in the rice cooker.

Walah!  bust out the hot sauce if you want, sour cream and cilantro also work if you are into the more South of the border flavors. 🙂

Next time I make it.. I shall augment this post with photos.. not sure how well it will shoot, but I’m willing to try.

Happy EASY Eating!



A Nugget of Goodness by quornflour

Dinner for one or many:

Making dinner for one person uses about the same number of cooking dishes as it does for a family, which is why so many single people go out to eat so much. I prefer to cook at home, instead of making a single serving; I make extras so I have it for lunch at work and dinners at home.

I do not have a microwave.

Yes, I can afford one. No, I do not need you to buy me one. No, I do not want the spare from your cellar.

This can be a challenge when it comes to making foods that can be reheated. Some I just set aside for lunch where I use the microwave there to reheat, others I find ways that I can reheat at home using the toaster oven, oven or stovetop.

The nugget:

One of the things I enjoy making that is easy to reheat in the toaster oven is nuggets. While they take a little while to prep and make, it is something you can make in abundance and freeze for later.

What you need:

1 lb chicken breasts/thighs (this recipe also works great with salmon)

1 egg

½ C bread crumbs

1t salt

¼ C parmesan cheese

1T Italian seasoning

1t cayenne pepper (optional)

½ C peanut oil

Cook it up:

Cut your chicken or fish into nugget size pieces using your kitchen scissors, (put the tray aside to be washed, you’ll need it later).

Combine: bread crumbs, salt, parmesan, Italian seasoning and cayenne peppers and place in an 8×8 baking dish.

Beat egg into a bowl.

On medium high heat, heat oil in a large frying pan, be sure the oil is ¼” to ⅓” deep.

Dip chicken into egg and then bread crumb mixture to cover and cover completely.

When all of the chicken is covered the oil should be at temperature.

Place chicken in the oil using tongs and cook.

While your chicken is starting to cook, clean the chicken tray and the 8×8 baking tray.

Line the baking tray with 2 or 3 layers of paper-towels.

Flip the chicken, when the chicken is brown on both sides it should be cooked through.

As you remove the chicken from the oil place in the 8×8 baking dish, when you have covered the space available place new paper towels down and continue.

When all of the chicken is complete serve what you are going to eat and put the rest aside, by covering in plastic and placing in the fridge or freezer.

Freezing:

After you’ve eaten and done the dishes, take the remaining nuggets from the freezer, this is where you will need the tray. Place a freezer bag on the tray and lay the nuggets out so they are not touching each other, use the tray to help lay them flat. Close the bag and place it in the freezer, this will keep the nuggets from freezing n a clump and make re heating later easier. When the nuggets are completely frozen (usually after a few hours), remove the tray.

Enjoying later:

When you want to enjoy your nuggets later reheat in an oven at 450⁰ for about 15 minutes or until fully warmed.

Whenever you enjoy them, try them with some of TxK’s BBQ sauce!



Quilts to be made…like soon. by texaskillet

Kelli’s Confessional-

Yesterday I went shopping.  Yay for fabric shopping.  I bought an entire quilts worth out of the remnant bin.  With the surfacing of the word Mantique I figured that I might as well contribute to the legacy of Manly items by creating and this time FINISHING a manquilt.  I still have to come up with something coinable as a term but, I’ll get there.  First things first.  The fabrics:

   

 

Now… while I was there, I couldn’t possibly stop at that.  So I decided to perhaps for the first time EVER, make a quilt for my etsy shop.  No intended recipient, no newly hatched babies, no freshly married couples in bliss, no single guy friends that just need a special blanky, no kids who demand personal attention from their mother at every turn.  🙂 Here’s the fabric stack I chose(that I bought a YARD each of).  It was based in brown but for those of you who know me, Zis Iz Nawt a Zurprise!

  

  

  

A few additions that I found while stacking in the store for the quilt… I have opinions and one of them was that I must have these.

  

Ordered the two following beauties from Fabric.com .   This is the first order I have put in with them and I did it through Amazon, mostly for guaranteed easy returns if I hated it.  Interestingly enough I didn’t get what I thought I was getting, but I am still happy with it. 🙂  I blame the ADD and my inability to read anything in a room where there are other goings ons.  My curse, I am okay with it.

   

  THEN THERE’S THIS LIL’ SLICE O’HEAVEN:         

 

And on that note… I shall return with directions on creating the quilt, whichever random brain pattern I decide to go with. Now onto catching up with my programs.




%d bloggers like this: