Monthly Archives: October 2009

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Monsters

Holy Cow!  Can any of you explain where this month is going?  We’re almost half-way through the month already.  How depressing — I have a bunch of Halloween projects I’d like to do and there’s no way I’ll get to them.  Maybe I should just throw in the towel and move on to C-C-C-nope, I just can’t say it.  Sadly, I guess I’ll just wrap some of those UFOs back up until next year.  I wish I could remember how many years I’ve  unpacked them, missed the deadline and then packed them back up.  ???  It’s a sickness!

I meant to post last night but I was busy making a few Halloween snacks.  Our public school system has a voluntary tutoring program where they partner with local businesses that provide tutors.  Once a week they bus kids to our workplace and we have an hour to work with them.  Today was my day to bring snacks.

Monster Cookies

Fortunately, the awesome Rachel at OnePrettyThing posted these Rice Krispy Monster Cookies from Woman’s Day last week.  I had started to wonder what I would bring for my snack day and when I saw these, I knew they were perfect.

Monster Cookies

If you remember, I’ve mentioned here before that Rice Krispy snacks are one of my all time favorites.  And smear icing all over them?  H.E.A.V.E.N!  Mmm…mmmm.  They were yummy.

Monster Cookies

I have the cutest little guy for my study partner.  We always get our snacks right after the children arrive and then we study while we snack.  The snacks are usually healthy, but we agreed that once a month, we’d relax the rules a little and have something a little more fun.  It was really fun watching my little guy munch on his monster while he read me his homework about Christopher Columbus.

Monster Cookies

If you have a Halloween snack need this month, these are really fun and easy.  They’re a little unruly though.  They squirm a lot when being stuffed into their little bags — you have to be careful … if you bump their scar, they bleed all over.  And we had one escapee.  I put them in the refrigerator last night and apparently he jumped out.  We found him tucked into the back of the fridge when we got home last night.  He only avoided his demise an extra few hours.  ;-)

XOXO,
Anna

Amy’s Quilt Show

Well, sadly, if you’re following the links to Amy’s quilt show, it means you’re one of us deprived kidlets who isn’t at quilt market this week.  Leave it up to creative bloggers to keep us all entertained as we wait for reports from those who were able to attend (Thanks Amy!)

We’ve had two or three days of gloom and rain here in the heartland, and when you combine that with the fact that I don’t get home until after 6:00 p.m., most evenings, you have a recipe for poor lighting.  Please excuse the sad, gray quality of my quilt pictures!  My entry in the quilt show is my favorite quilt that MeMum has made for me.

Dresden Plate

It’s a Dresden Plate and each “plate” has been made from fabric scraps from clothing that either MeMum or I made for MyDadLovesMeBestSister and me.  So, as you can guess, it’s very sentimental.  MeMum made this quilt in the late 70′s/early 80′s when there were hardly any quilt shops around and it’s all beautifully hand quilted.  She’s always hated the sashing on this quilt because it’s not 100% cotton — it’s a blend.  I love it though — it’s a reminder of how hard it was to find good quilting fabrics 30 years ago.

Probably more than you care to know about a few of the plates:

Dresden Plate

Dresden Plate

Dresden Plate

Dresden Plate

Dresden Plate

Dresden Plate

And, once again, a kitty approved quilt.  I laid this quilt out on the bed just to take one simple picture and before I could even get it straightened out, TheEmptyNestChild was up there in a flash.  Bad Kitty!  We don’t allow our kitties on the hand quilted quilts in this house!!!

Dresden Plate

If you click on the quilt show button at the beginning of this post, it will take you to Amy’s blog where you’ll find a huge list of quilters participating in the quilt show. Thanks again for hosting Amy!

Happy Quilt Surfing!

XOXO,
Anna

A Chili Cook-off

Well, how’s the week going so far? Are you all busy? I hope those of you going to the fall quilt market have a super time. When you’re in the middle of all that frenzy, try to think of the rest of us back here in blogland, just sitting around, twiddling our thumbs waiting for your reports!

We had a good weekend here in ThimbleannaLand. I cleaned and scrubbed and cleaned some more, for two days in the kitchen.  Even the dome had a bath in a towel covered sink to protect it from breaking.  Now everything is all sparkly clean, including uglygreentile.

CleanKitchen

On Saturday night, I took a break from the cleaning.  I’ve been wanting to find a good white chili recipe, so MeMum, MyDadLovesMeBestSister, and I decided we’d each try a new recipe and test them all together.  MyDadLovesMeBestSister lives in a 90+ year old house and they’ve recently added an addition that includes a beautiful new kitchen, so, what better way to break it in than with a chili cook-off?

Kitchen

My favorite part of the kitchen is the beautiful new stove.  The middle section of the stove contains a grill and a griddle.  Be still my heart.  It’s so brand spankin’ new, they haven’t even had time to install the tile on the back wall yet.  That didn’t stop us though, we got right down to mixing and cooking.

Kitchen

Of course, there was a funny wine bottle involved.  Don’t worry though, no chili was harmed during the event.

Kitchen

Skinnyb*tch MyDadLovesMeBestSister even wore her birthday apron — notice how it matches the wine bottle?

Kitchen

We cooked and stirred and laughed and had a good time.  After the cooking, we passed out a ballot to everyone and we put the chili in little numbered sample cups for everyone’s tasting.

Kitchen

Did I get any pictures?  No, we were too busy.  That would have been a good picture though — just imagine all those little sample cups all lined up and ready to taste.  We even dragged the drywall guy (who was working in another area of the new addition) into the kitchen and made him taste and vote.  This chili (recipe brought by MeMum) was the prettiest.

Kitchen

But, this chili (recipe brought by me) won, hands down.  Everyone loved it.  That’s because it’s the only one that has cream and cheese in it and it will probably cause your heart to sieze up.  It’s soooo worth it though.  I found this recipe courtesy of Ms. Farmhouse.  She always has wonderful recipes – her oatmeal cranberry cookies are one of my all time favorite cookies!

Kitchen

Anyway, we did change this recipe just a teeny, tiny bit. The other two recipes had shredded chicken and we decided that we liked that better than chicken cut into chunks. We also like the addition of cilantro.

Creamy White Chili

2 – 3 baked chicken breasts, shredded
1 Tbsp oil
1 onion chopped
14 oz. can chicken broth
2 – 15 1/2 oz. cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
2 – 4 oz. cans chopped green chiles
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
8 oz. container sour cream
1/2 pint whipping cream
8 oz. bag shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 package Fritos corn chips
Chopped, fresh cilantro

Heat oil in large pot or dutch oven. Saute onions until tender. Add broth, beans, chiles and seasonings and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add shredded chicken, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add sour cream, whipping cream and cheese and mix well. Pour into soup bowls and top with partially crushed Fritos and cilantro and enjoy!

Thank you SO much Ms. Farmhouse for posting this delicious recipe — it’s sure to be a new family favorite here in ThimbleannaLand!

XOXO,
Anna

Banana Bikes

One week ago today I was blissfully sewing with the quilty peeps.  (In sharp contrast to the pantry and kitchen drawer cleaning I’m doing today {sigh}.)  One of the highlights of my day with the quilty peeps, was being able to see the banana bike collection that Junie and her fabulous hubby have started.

4 Bikes

Junie took the picture above — I was so busy taking pictures of all the bike parts, I didn’t get any good pictures of all four of the bikes together.  (Thanks Junie!)

Seats

JunieHubby is an amazing guy.  He rebuilds all kinds of really nifty old jukeboxes, coke machines, arcade games and probably lots more.  He’s rebuilt all of these banana bikes except one — was it the red one?  I think that one is a reproduction.  Don’t hold me to that though.  JunieHubby told me lots of really cool facts about these bikes (I remember gasping at the prices of some of the little parts) but I have a terrible memory, so I don’t trust myself to recount any of those facts.

Handlebars

Besides, I was too excited about being in the presence of  relics from my childhood.  Aren’t these the cutest bikes ever???  And LOOK at these fun colors.  The red bike doesn’t have speeds and I think the reason I didn’t take a picture of the red handlebar was because it doesn’t have handbrakes — it has a plain handle.  I liked the crossbar on the red bike though — without the shifter, there’s room for that pretty Schwinn logo.

4 Frames

My very favorite part of these bikes is the chain guards.  Feast your eyes:

4 Frames

I mean really.  How cool are those names?  Oh.  My.  Gosh!  I loved our pink banana bike when were were growing up, but I think I’d be in a real pickle to have to choose between pink and one of these adorable fruity bikes.

Chain Guards

Junie and I had lots of fun taking pictures of all the little bits and pieces of these bikes.  JunieHubby has spared no attention to detail — just look at those little racing flag valve stem covers on each of the tires.  They’re on the rear tires too and they’re color-coded to match the bikes.

4 Tires

I love the pretty speedometers too.  And the shiny brake drums.  Hmmm.  That’s not what you call it — the brakes are around the rim of the tire on a bike.  Help JunieHubby!  I love that pretty shiny part that’s in the middle of the bottom row of the picture below.  Whatever it is, it’s pretty slick.  Oh — and that fun coil-y part that’s under the speedometer.  Pretty, pretty, shiny, shiny!

Parts

You’d all be very proud of me — I didn’t get any drool on any of the bikes.  And when we were all done taking pictures, we grabbed Jewels and Gurney and took the bikes out for a spin.  A very short spin.  And we laughed a lot.  ‘Cause you should try to set the timer on the camera and then run and hop on a banana bike with a cross bar and then hold hands.  That’s why my tail light isn’t shining!

Happiness

Thank you, thank you, thank you Junie and JunieHubby for sharing your super exciting hobby!  {Smooches}!

XOXO,
Anna