Monday, February 8, 2010

Made by You Monday - Taco Soup

Anyone playing at Skip to My Lou? Today's "Made by You" is about quick and easy meals. This one is apparently an old favorite - someone even said it was originally a Weight Watchers recipe - but I just found it recently. Quick, easy, perfect for carpool days and late sport nights. Warm on a winter's night with very little work.

Taco Soup
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef or turkey (I use turkey)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pckg taco seasoning
  • 2-3 C water
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn (I use frozen)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 can green chiles
Brown ground meat with onion until onions are tender. Drain fat. Put all ingredients into a crock pot on high and stir. It's done when hot. My kids love this with some quick cheese quesadillas.

If you are in a hurry, you can just heat it through in a large pot instead of using the crock pot. I prefer to prepare it just before getting the kids so that it simmers while I run carpool and drive back and forth to LAX or football or basketball practice.

My favorite part of this is that all of the ingredients can be kept on hand for a day that turns suddenly crazy. Keep the corn and turkey in the freezer, and all of the canned goods in your pantry for nights when dinner plans seem like one too many chores.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Field Trip with the WannaBees - Red Hen and Little Quilts

Thursday the WannaBees went on a field trip. We started off at Red Hen Fabrics in Marietta. This was very exciting to me, since I had never been before. First of all, can I say how cute this place is? I love the whole theme carried through the store, from the moment you walk in to the back walls.
From the outside and the name, you might expect a store that is full of traditional stuff, but you would be surprised!

I couldn't get over the batiks and fossils and the kits and tools. Lots of samples on the wall for inspiration and pleasure, too! But my favorite thing about this store is this:

They have three longarm machines that you can rent by the hour to quilt your own quilts! All that is required is an introductory lesson ($50 for a 2 1/2 hour one-on-one session) and a $20 deposit when you work. They will also quilt for you starting at $0.025/square inch.

Next we moved on to Little Quilts, also in Marietta.

This is a truly traditional shop, located in a charming old house. If you are looking for wool or reproduction fabrics, try here first.

But that's not to say that they don't have the brights or the latest patterns! Little Quilts has a great selection of the new designers, fabrics, and books. I was thrilled to find the Clover pen that I have been looking for.
I love this little corner in the notions room - it looks like all of the quilt "names" who have visited have been asked to sign the wall. There are so many familiar signatures, from Lynda Milligan and Nancy Smith to Marianne Fons and Liz Porter! (I wonder why they didn't ask me to sign?)

Of course, no day with the WannaBees can end on an empty stomach! We finished up our chilly day with soup, salads, and sandwiches at Panera. Doesn't Jackie look great? I love the cute hat her sister made her!

Hope you have a day full of new adventures, good friends, and lots of fabric!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Going to Guild - Peggy Barkle

Last Monday at guild we had the talented and funny Peggy Barkle as our guest speaker.

When it comes to a speaker, I am looking for two things: lots of quilts and lots of personality! Peggy fulfills both needs easily. Her quilts are pure eye-candy, while also inspiring questions, ideas, and a desire to get back to the sewing room. Perfect! I think we've all heard speakers who may have good information, but are not comfortable in front of a group; you can barely hear them or the presentation is so bland that you feel the need to take notes or tune out. As you can see from this picture, Peggy was right at home, leaning on the huge stack of quilts she brought to show us, and making us feel like we were relaxing with an inordinately talented friend.

But the topic wasn't all fluff and jokes. Peggy shared with us the journey to her "blendable curves" technique. This quilt is a drop in the bucket, but should help you get an idea of her work.

Peggy graciously answered questions and signed books after her talk. I loved that she hung around for the meeting and Show & Tell, and jumped into the conversations.

Check out her book and let me know what you think!

Have a great weekend - stay warm and dry if you can!
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