Monday, February 27, 2012

Apple Squash Soup

I haven't posted a recipe in a long time.  I make this soup a lot --  it's one of my husband's favorites.  I thought I'd share it with you.

Apple Squash Soup

I love the combination of apple and squash.  We get a crop share of veggies with a local farmer every summer and fall and I always look forward to the variety of squashes we get.  For this soup, I typically use butternut squash  -- but it can be made with any variety.  I've used acorn squash and some odd and beautiful ones from the farm (which I have no idea of their name).

OK, you'll need:

Butternut (or other squash)
Apples, 2 large, peeled and sliced
Onions, 2 medium, chopped
Chicken Broth (enough to cover)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by preparing the squash.  Cut off the ends of the squash - cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.  Place face down in a shallow pan with a little water.  Bake the squash at 350 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes.  Allow to cool.  (Note:  If you're short on time, you can do this step ahead of time or simply remove the skin of the squash and dice the uncooked squash -- you can add this directly to the soup, but increase cooking time.)

Butternut Squash

In a large stockpot, add a little olive oil and saute your chopped onions until they are soft and somewhat translucent.


Scoop out the flesh of the squash and add this to the stockpot.  Add your apples that have been peeled and sliced.  Add enough broth to cover.

Apple Squash Soup 2

Add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.  Season with salt and pepper.


Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until the apples are soft, about 20 minutes.  When the soup is done, puree with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender in batches.

Apple Squash Soup 1


Friday, February 24, 2012

Simple Potholders

pot holders 6

I finished up these little pot holders today.  Nothing fancy.

pot holders 1

Got to practice a bit of free motion quilting.

pot holders 7

And use up some little bits of fabric  -  even scraps of seam binding.

pot holders 4

There wasn't quite enough  -- so I improvised adding a loop in a different print and some buttons.

pot holders 3

I added a pocket to make them easier to use.

pot holders 5

Now they're hanging in my kitchen -- ready to go!

pot holders 2

Monday, February 20, 2012

Four's a Charm

Four's a charm

When my good friend Annik over at Mini Mushroom started a quilt-a-long for her Four's a Charm quilt, I quickly joined in.  Another friend of mine had just had a little baby girl and it seemed like the perfect gift.

Top detail

I chose rich colors for the quilt to match my friends' living room.  I also tried out a bit of free motion quilting on the center blocks.  I think I'm getting the hang of it.  (I only had to rip out one section and redo it.)

Meandering Quilting lines

The finished quilt size is 40" x 40" so I could use one piece of fabric for the back.  This pretty green floral came from my stash.  The charm squares are from Domestic Bliss by Moda.  The brown sashing is Kona Cotton in Chocolate Brown.

Corner detail

The quilt was very quick to make up (especially with the use of charm packs).  I think I spent more time planning out the layout than the construction of the top.  I love how it turned out -- now to deliver it to my friend and meet her little baby girl!!

Four's a Charm

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Valentine shirt 3

Hope you're all having a great day.  It's beautiful here -- fresh snow on the ground (finally) and the sun is shining.

Valentine shirt

I finished up a little Valentine's tee for Gwyneth this morning.  I just took a cute striped tee from Target and added an applique to it.  I made the applique using my Sweet Little T-shirt Applique tutorial (but used the negative image) -- to make it a little different.

Valentine shirt 2

Gwyneth enjoyed her shirt (and the sunshine too).  Her daddy gave her some pink tulips for Valentine's day.  She loved them too!

Valentine shirt 4


Hope you all have a great day!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Owl Valentines

Owl Valentine

Gwyneth and I had fun yesterday making these little Valentines.  I thought I'd share them with you (with some downloads).

Owl Valentine 4

There were pretty quick to make and Gwyneth had fun.  We made enough for her preschool class plus some extras. 

Owl Valentine 3

Start by printing out this Valentine sheet on cardstock (we used pink!) and cut them out.

Owl Valentine 14

Take the owl template and cut the pieces from some scrapbook paper.

Owl Valentine 12

I like to take the template and trace it onto the back of the paper to cut it out (that way any ink is hidden).

Owl Valentine 1

Have your helper help glue the owl together.  I made one for her to see how it would look, so she could follow the pattern.

Owl Valentine 11

Add some eyes and a beak with a sharpie.

Owl Valentine 9

Next have your little one sign their name.  She worked so hard at this!!  Writing your name 32 times is quite a bit of work when you're four!

Owl Valentine 8

Owl Valentine 7

Using glue dots, we added some heart shaped erasers (we picked them up at Target 20 for $2).  You could also add some hershey kisses or write a little note or write your to/from here.

Owl Valentine 6

And we're done!!  So simple but super cute.

Owl Valentine 2

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Matching Dresses

Matching dresses

I've put aside my knitting for a bit so that I can sew.

Matching dresses 3

I fell in love with this knit fabric from Moda (Oliver + S: City Weekend) and have been holding onto it for a bit.  It's so pretty, very delicate and feminine -- perfect for Gwyneth.

Matching dresses 2

I made a simple A-line dress (pattern from Lil Blue Boo) and matching doll dress, of course.

little dolly dress

Now .. . back to my knitting!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Queen's Guard

Sometimes I feel like I have a strong connection to the British Isles. Although my ethnicity is primarily German and French, I do have some British in me.  Perhaps I feel more of a connection to Great Britain because my great-grandfather was born there and lived there for 21 years of his life. (Before you say, well, she probably didn't know him, hold on. I did!   He lived to the ripe old age of 101, so yes I actually have some very vivid memories of him like how he could put his (false) teeth into a glass.  I recently found out that his first wife's (my great-grandmother's) brother was in service (i.e. for all you non-Downton Abbey watchers, he was a servant) and worked at one of the royal residences polishing doorknobs . . . . but I digress...

So when I wanted to make some little peg doll soldiers for the kiddos' castle, well those dapper footmen of the Queen's Guard in their bright red coats, bright brass buttons and black bearskin hats was the perfect answer!

Queens Guard Peg Dolls

This tutorial is posted over at EverythingEtsy so go on over and check it out. In the meantime, here's more pictures.

Defending the castle

Queens Guard 1

I had way too much fun setting up the soldiers to guard the castle.

Queens Guard 2

Guarding the castle

Here's the changing of the guard.

Changing of the Guard


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Knitting in Progress

I've been busy knitting lately.

Knitting in progress

I think I've been bitten by the knitting bug.  Every so often I get the urge to knit again (especially with all the knitting going on over at luvinthemommyhood right now).  However, I'm a slow knitter.  Perhaps it's due to the fact that I don't knit that much, but honestly I think it has more to do with me watching TV while I knit -- which is more accurately knitting a little while I watch TV.  Right now I"m catching up on the first season of Downton Abbey -- so you can see why there's not much knitting going on and mostly TV watching. 

Don't worry . . . I'll be dusting off my sewing machine soon!!  I have a friend expecting a baby so you'll see some tiny baby things soon!


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