2/1/15

A Method to My Madness

With this being Super Bowl Sunday, the day has been devoted to trying some new recipes for finger foods. I saw all of these on a show Giada DeLaurentiis did recently, and they looked good. I figured I would give them a try for Mike's Super Bowl viewing pleasure.

The first recipe I tried was this one for Mini Twice-Baked Potatoes.


These were really delicious. I was using baby Yukon Gold potatoes, and so I was able to do the whole thing in my toaster oven. I thought the amount of bacon was excessive (I know...hard to believe), and so I only used 2 oz. instead of the 6 oz. the recipe called for. Also, it was easiest for me to scoop out the inside of the potato using my one teaspoon measuring spoon. Other than that, I made them just the way the recipe said. They disappeared quickly.

Next, I tried this one for Roasted Mushroom and Kale Pizzettes


These too disappeared very quickly. They are a good side kick for the potatoes and they taste completely different. I had a little trouble assembling them because everything wanted to fall off of the little crust onto the baking sheet. I was worried that the melted cheese would cause them to stick to the parchment, but that turned out not to be a problem at all. Knowing that, I'll worry less about keeping them all stacked up neatly. I used the Pillsbury Pizza Dough from the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

Finally, I tried these Sticky Baked Chicken Wings. And these were super simple too.


I was able to do these in my toaster oven as well, but there was quite a bit of grease in the baking pan. When I took them out to brush them with the sauce, I drained the pan first, just so they would roast rather than boil in their own juices.

So it's been kind of a fun day of cooking. The game got under way about an hour ago. Last I checked, Mike was watching it through his eyelids. All that food made him sleepy, I guess.

Earlier today, we hung our new cordless Levolor shades. One went in the guestroom, and one in our bedroom. This was so simple to do. We ordered them online, and there are instructions for measuring your window. They are guaranteed, even if you measure them wrong! Anyway...it's looking pretty good, I think. The color is a sort of storm cloud gray, and it looks good in the room.


There it is halfway up. And see? No cords! Don't you suppose that makes the beastly little beast with snapping jaws and chewing teeth mad as a hornet? Oh yes, and there's the Shine On quilt. It found a home in the guestroom, and it looks really pretty in there.


Also on the sewing front, I have most of the middle of my embroidery piece done today. When I rehooped it this morning, I was reaching out to the far right there. Of course, I'll still need to do the left side when that's finished. It's going faster than I expected.


Also, I traced out the next block for Lisa's Retirement Quilt. (That's probably not its final name, but it works for now.) The next block was created by Lisa's Mom. Her Mom is a fantastic artist, and this block doesn't even begin to show off her talent.


She gave me instructions about what color fabric and floss to use, although I'm not sure she knew I would be embroidering it at the time. She asked for a light green fabric. The fabric below looks a little lighter in person. She wanted the scroll work done in white, and so I couldn't choose a color too light or else the white wasn't going to show up. Anyway, it's all traced out now, and I'll work on that for now until it's finished. It shouldn't take too long.


Then today the third challenge theme for Project Quilting 6 was announced. 

Project QUILTING


The theme this time around is "orphan blocks and UFO's". I don't really have any orphan blocks, and all of my UFO's are bound for finishes. It didn't seem right to just choose a project that I was getting ready to finish and use that. Where's the challenge in that? Besides, the website says this:

You are encouraged to make something different than you had originally intended. 
Right. Otherwise, you're really just finishing up a WIP. So, the only thing I really had that was suitable was this sad attempt at a table runner. I made these blocks when I attended last year's workshop by Lura Schwartz Smith at the 2014 Stitches in Bloom quilt show. I blogged about the class when I made these "roses" right here. When I was finished with the class that day, I'd made three roses. I didn't really have a plan for them, but I decided to use what I'd learned to do curved piecing and piece them together into a table runner.

Well. I worked on that while my friend Marei visited last April, and it didn't go well at all. Marei made a flower while I tried piecing these together. They were together, but there was no way that runner was ever going to lay flat. I finally gave up on it, and it's been sitting in my closet ever since.


So, when I got it out today, I considered separating the blocks by cutting them square. It was a nice thought, but it simply wasn't going to work. The sizes were off, and there were going to be all kinds of problems with that. I tried folding them, stacking them, and at one point, I even wadded them up and threw them away, figuring I'd skip this challenge. 

Then in a wild moment of madness, I pulled them out, cut the blocks apart, stacked them on top of one another, and cut them into little rectangles, thus:


Okay, well that's an improvement over the trash, I thought to myself. They sort of remind me of those nautical signaling flags. Then, I got an idea, and started putting it into action. Here's a little peek at what I've done so far.


As I've been sewing them together, my mind has gone wild with possibilities, and I'm still not sure how this is going to end up. I do have an idea, however. It's evolving as I go. As someone who rarely colors outside the lines, this is something new for me. Wish me luck on this quilting adventure.

So, I guess I'll go eat some of that food before it all disappears. Last I checked, Gracie was helping Mike watch the Super Bowl. She's rooting for the Seahawks, of course.


14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Aw - poor Smitty, no more cords to chew - no fun. They do look great though. Yummo food - I did pizza & wings (order/delivery) but no game watching for me. OK, you intrique me with the chopped roses. Hey, if it wasn't working - take it to another level and have fun with it.

Marei said...

As someone who rarely colors INSIDE the lines it's nice to see you breaking out and doing something wild and free!

Colleen Yarnell said...

Love the free piecing/cutiing up! It can be really fun and creative!

WoolenSails said...

You amaze me with all that you do, delicious looking food and beautiful projects.
I like how the quilt looks on the wall, perfect place for it and nice for your guests.

Debbie

Brown Family said...

THe food looks good. I might try the potatos! I agree that cutting it up and putting it back together differently is a good and novel idea! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Lyndsey said...

Mmmm that food looks good. As to the blocks I fascinated by what you have done. I can't wait to see what happens next and how it all turns out.

Doreen Auger said...

Although I'm reading this in the early a.m., those little nibbles are getting to me!!!!!! Love the "woody" stitchery and your last bit of piecing adventure is going to be a 'winner', I just know it!!!! Sometimes 'coloring outside the lines' is quite invigorating!!!! Awaiting the next "report"..........

Dana Gaffney said...

I love those blocks! It is so freeing to just do what you want, no rules, whatever you come up with it will look good, the colors are great. Tell Gracie I'm so sorry about the Seahawks, it was a depressing end to a good game.

gpc said...

Amazing, as always. I love your faux orphan block project -- it is going to be gorgeous!

KMSC said...

Your food looks delicious! I'm definitely trying the chicken wings! So sad about the Seahawks. I thought they were going to pull it off again.

Dar said...

Your Super Bowl food looks yummy. Thanks for the links. I may have to try some of these next weekend. Your cut up roses are looking pretty good as rectangles or flags. Can't wait to see what they become. I know I will like them because of the bright colors.

quiltzyx said...

Yummy looking food as usual! I cooked some chicken legs in the crockpot with chili powder, salt, pepper, cumin, some sort of chicken rub spices & a small jar of green salsa. When they were done & took out the bones & shredded the meat up, then put it back into the juice & put all of that into a baggie. Took it over to my friend Marlene's house where she & Sara had chips, guacamole, cheese, olives & some other poisonous stuff & we each made our own chicken nachos. DEEElicious! I got 30 different 2.5" squares cut out to go along with the 6 batik squares for my block for the new President's quilt. Just have to sew them together now.

Junebug613 said...

Oooh! I will have to tell Bruce about the potato recipe! Looks Yummy! Those shades look pretty spiffy. I didn't even know they made them without cords. Very smart and something I will be looking into for our home. My kitties don't chew them, but I worry about them getting caught in them, so I try tying them up high out of their reach (if there is such a thing). Shine on looks great in it's spot on the wall. Your project looks interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing what your creativity produces!

Kate said...

Hope Mike wasn't too disappointed in the outcome of the game. We watched the last 15 minutes of the game because Drama Teen wanted to be able to follow the conversations at school the next day. The food looks great. Looking forward to seeing where you end up with those rose blocks. You've made an interesting start.