Monday, May 31, 2010

BBQ Recipes

This weekend we hit the BBQ party circuit hard,
fitting in three BBQ's in three days.

Here are a couple of our favorite go-to recipes.

Cherry Jubilee...
& a celebration it is!
A celebration of the greatest combination of the tastiest flavors ever!

& the best part is that...

It is seriously this easy:

it is absolutely. amazingly. fabulously. delicious!
I. kid. you. not.
You will be scraping the inside of the crock pot.

2 cans (21 oz. each) cherry pie filling
1 (18 oz. package) yellow cake mix
1/2 cup melted butter

Spread pie filling in the bottom of greased 4 1/2 to 6-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle dry cake mix powder over the top. Pour melted butter over the top. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 hours or on low heat 4 hours.

Makes 10-12 servings, but I could eat the entire thing in one setting.

(just discovered this one this weekend,
but I will be making it for e.v.e.r.y occasion in the future.)


My husband's contribution to our BBQ festivities:

Zesty Garlic Shrimp

Ingredients for Marinade:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

20 jumbo shrimp (about 1 1/4 pounds) peeled & deveined
1 Tablespoon fine dried bread crumbs

To make marinade: In a medium bowl whisk together the marinade ingredients.

Place the shrimp in a large, resealable plastic bag & pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place in a bowl, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove the shrimp fro the bag and discard the marinade. Thread the shrimp onto skewers. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the shrimp.

Grill over Direct Medium heat until just opaque in the center and firm to the touch, 4 to 6 minutes turning skewers once halfway through grilling time.

Serve warm.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Butterfly Mobile Tutorial

Check out Girlfriend's new Butterfly Mobile!
Something about these bright little things makes me smile!
So light and whimsical.
& a super easy project!
First: Punch out a bunch of butterflies in funky papers...
or check out my shop to buy some. : )
Second: Thread a needle with a knot at the end.
Third: Stitch your butterfly with a single stitch.

Fourth: Make a little knot about 2 inches above your last butterfly.
Fifth: Add another butterfly.
Sixth: Repeat for as many butterflies as makes your heart happy!

Last: Hang up your beautiful mobile, step back, & enjoy your work!

IF you don't have a butterfly punch...
just head on over to MadeByChance & pick some butterflies up! : )

The fun doesn't stop here folks!
Check back later for a fish version!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Making A Difference

One of the coolest kids I know has started a project with his dad and his brothers to help wildlife.

He is the only second grader I have ever met who already knew who John Muir was before I started teaching our Important People In History unit.

This little guy's smile will melt your heart, and his compassion for nature is going to move mountains.

Check out their website below & let's help these boys achieve their goal!

Four Boys, One Goal

Friday, May 28, 2010

My First Quilt Festival!

One year ago I never would have imagined I would be sewing in a league of such talented people!

The extent of my sewing was making some very simple valances for our windows.
I was intimidated by the sheer thought of changing the foot on my sewing machine.

I just admired others' work, wishing to be like them...
longing to share this common thread with my mother.

There was a latent desire deep in my heart & these beautiful people inspired and encouraged me to bring it to life:
An Ordinary Life
The Sometimes Crafter

Thank you!
Your inspiration and encouragement have given me the most fabulous gift anyone can share with another....

I have made...
Mimi's Mustard...
Abby Chic...


pieced, quilted, and hand bound one quilt for my son.

The last one for my son is the one I chose to share with you today.
It was my first experience free motion quilting something other than a practice table runner.

I stitched, un-stitched, re-stitched, cursed under my breath, bled from needle pokes,
I conquered it!

A fire has been lit
an obession has been fueled.

So here I am...
five years after I lost my mother, sharing her passion.
I hope she is proud of me.
I wish we could have shared it together.

SO without further ado...
I introduce you to:
AJ's cover quilt!

Blast Off is its name.
(I name everything. Go ahead, make fun of me. I am okay with that.)
I learned...
with Determination...
& Perseverance...
I can be one of the people I so admire.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bugs, Butterflies, & Sea Creatures!

All about exploring nature!
(Girlfriend took a pretty good header with the help of her brother & said hello to the sidewalk over the weekend...thus the lovely nose coloration.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Little Bit Of Whimsy For Girlfriend

I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out...
just a wire hanger & some fabric and ribbon scraps...
I think I like the results.

In other Girlfriend news...

Chicka loves to perch on anything small enough for her little bum and short chubby legs.
The battle over AJ's rocking chair had become quiet intense around these parts...
& we are blessed to be related in a super amazingly talented artist to pretty up a 'lil chair for us.

The squawking has waned.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Help

I love a good book...

one you can't put down...
one that breaks your heart with such intensity you can almost hear it...
one that makes you feel the the bitter edge of anger & injustice like a stinging cut...
one that elicits tears of compassion...
one that makes you feel as though you are there with your cold glass bottle of coke in your hand...
one that makes you grin with the sweetness of revenge...
one that makes you feel a mother's tender love in your arms...

Kathryn Stockett reached inside my heart and mind &
brought me into the heat of the south during the Civil Rights Movement...

Held me captive into the wee hours of the morning until I could go to bed, rest assured knowing that Aibileen, Minny, & Skeeter were safe until I could pick it back up the next day.

Made me feel the warm sun on my skin & filled my ears and heart with a child's laughter playing in a baby pool, capturing the essence of the most precious fleeting moments of a summer day.

Made me value every aspect of my relationship with my mother.

Made me smile and laugh sitting among strangers at the airport.

Made me stop and think.

Made me pick up my kids and snuggle love them harder and tell them
they are smart, they are beautiful, they are important.