Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lone Star Baby Quilt Finished

This is the second baby quilt I've made using this pattern by Amy Smart.

You can find her free tutorial here: Lone Star Baby Quilt Tutorial . This is now my 'Go To" baby girl quilt pattern. I've already pulled fabric for another one. For this one, I just pulled fabrics from my stash that I thought would make a cute quilt:

And I used this green for the backing that has a pretty white swirl running across it and bound it in a pink I had in my stash:

And Jackie quilted this sweet flower design across it:

I love the way the morning sun accentuates the quilting:

It measured 38 x 38 and will soon be wrapped around a sweet baby girl.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Plus Quilt Using a Jelly Roll

Seems I am always drawn to the Plus quilts that have been floating around for the past few years. I've made one and gave it to my Mom and have been hankering to make another. That, combined with leftover jelly rolls strips that were begging to be used, turned into this today:


It's just baby sized now and I'm debating on whether to make it bigger. I do have another jelly roll of this Moda Breath of Avignon. It's an older line that I still really like, but need to use. Those jelly rolls have got to go and it's awfully tempting to just sit here all day and sew:

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Fun Day in Town

Yes, you read that correctly. I did use the word "Fun" in conjunction with a trip to town. :) I had ordered some baby chicks and that required a trip into town last Thursday. DH was helping the neighbors work and he was going to be away all day, so I went in early and met up with a dear friend who also happens to be a ranch wife and a co-worker AND a quilter. :) I adore this gal! Apparently we were having too much fun together to remember to take any pictures.

She's recently started up an Extension Service quilting club and if she's involved, it's bound to be an adventure! She's just such a joy.

We stopped at Hobby Lobby and the little local quilt shop before enjoying a good visit over dinner. ie: lunch and made plans for a road trip to our favorite quilt shop in a tiny town 75 miles from the ranch. I helped her coordinate some fabrics and choose a pattern for her next project. I only bought some Kona Snow for a background for yet another baby quilt and this pink polka dot for a backing:


I also bought this half-hexi ruler. I've got a project planned that includes these fabrics from my stash and a bit of shopping for a few more pieces:


We then parted ways as she had an appointment and I had a date with these darling things at the local seed store:


For now, they are in my sewing room. I hope they don't mind the hum of the sewing machine because with cute company like this,  I may be spending some extra time in there.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Gathering and Sorting Bulls

The crew gathered bulls on Friday. They loaded up:


and I hauled them to the west side of the pasture:


Who wouldn't want to be horseback on a morning like this:


Making a plan:


This fella has a plan alright and it always includes mischief. LOL


I had to scootch back to the house but I couldn't pass up just one more shot of that incredible New Mexico sky:


Gathering bulls makes for a slow, easy pace as the bulls just lumber along, bellowing their displeasure at being told what to do and where to go.

While they ran them through the chute and poured them, I had things to tend to in the kitchen, but I was putting the lawn mower away when I saw them funneling the bulls into the pens:

We've got a good crew and it's fun to watch them work together. We missed one friend who was hurt recently in a horse wreck. Things just aren't the same without him helping. He'll be OK, but prayers are appreciated. I always send these boys out covered in prayer.

  DH rode through the bulls                    

 pulled old ones that will be retired and sorted the others into groups as they will be distributed to the various pastures this next week:


These boys work so well together:

Good weather. Good company. Good horses. Yep, there was a lot of smiling going on:

These boys love what they do and they do it well:


It was such a pretty morning and it was all I could do to drag myself back into the kitchen

I'm thankful everyone stayed safe this week and I'm thankful for a fridge full of leftovers because my kitchen is closed for the weekend. :)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Morning Greetings From the Kitchen Sink

It's 7:30 as I'm writing this. The crew has been filled with hot coffee, biscuits, gravy, eggs, bacon, and fruit and they have jingled out the door. The dishes have been washed, the counters have been wiped down, and bread is rising in the bread bowl. I contemplated sneaking in a nap, but chose to plop down here with you for a moment.

The boys loaded up and trailered out into the thick foggy morning about 7. They dawdled at the breakfast table hoping the fog would lift, but they were restless to get started and finally headed out. Finding cattle in this made for a challenging morning.

Monday was a long day and it was 7:30 before I got home from the sale barn. The crew had survived dinner without me. I felt un-needed. :) But all my prep work paid off. I even left the glasses filled with ice in the freezer:

This morning, while I was cracking the 24th egg, I found myself grinning. I had to buy eggs this week. I have 6 chickens and that's plenty, but 2 of them are old and I only get 4 or 5 eggs a day, once in a while I get 6, which suits our needs, but when I've got a crew, I have to buy eggs. I bought large eggs from Sam's.

They look tiny compared to the eggs my chickens lay. I think my feathered friends deserve some leftover biscuits this morning.

I've had some requests for recipes, but I didn't make anything new this week. Some of you asked for the Tabasco Pickle recipe. It's not even really a recipe, but I posted about it here a few years ago. Here's the link to that:

Tabasco Pickles

Yesterday evening I was released from my kitchen duties to pull the lawn mower out for the first time this year:

I mowed for an hour and a half and finally had to quit when it became too dark to see. I was too tired to even put it up before heading into the house and yes, I have an assistant. On Tuesday afternoon, I drove west 2 hours to pick up Harvey. Our girl had to attend a Ruminant Nutrition Conference out of state and asked us to doggy-sit for a week. The crew was bringing in bulls and they were bellowing up a storm. Harvey wasn't sure what to make of it.

So, duty calls and I'm off to pop those rolls into the oven. If I continue to sit here, I'll forget they're in there and they'll burn. I speak from experience. DH had to save the cranberry bread last night because I forgot about it while I mowed. :)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Kicking it Into Gear

Next week I'll be chained to the kitchen for 5 days of branding, but the preparation begins days before. Menu planning and grocery list making began on Thursday:  


I put my handy dandy pressure cooker to work cooking 3 big roasts. As soon as one was done, I started another one:


They will be turned into barbecue sandwiches for dinner on Monday. I'm needed at work and this is something I can leave warming in the crockpot. I'll make coleslaw, salsa, and a double batch of cookies and 5 gallons of tea on Sunday and hope that keeps the boys from going hungry.

Breakfast is at 5:30 and I ought to be able to get everything cleaned up and set up for dinner before I leave for work. I just hope its not another 12 hour day at work, because my feet need to hit the floor at 4 the next morning.

I also cooked up 6 pound of ground beef and put together a batch of Tabasco pickles yesterday:


Today I hope to be in town by 7 in order to knock out the grocery list, get my baby chicks ordered, and pick up medicine for the cattle.

Saturday's already spoken for because we have a special Rancher's Select sale at the sale barn and on Sunday I'll be trying to get a head start on the rest of the week and possibly meet college girl in a town 2 hours from here to pick up dear grand-dog for a week while our girl attends a bovine nutritional convention out of state.

As crazy as things are right now, life is good and this time of year is one we always look forward to. I just feel my age a little more now than I did 20 years ago! :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Chicken Milanese

Today I thought I'd share one of our favorite summer recipes. I was looking up another recipe from Bobby Flay and stumbled across this one. I had a craving for this the other day and didn't remember if I had ever shared it here. There's something about the fresh, peppery salad, thin crispy chicken, and tangy light dressing that makes this the perfect summer dish.

Chicken Milanese

1/4 c olive oil
4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
freshly ground pepper

Mixture of arugula, radicchio, spinach, and romaine - I think the original recipe called for just arugula and radicchio, but I usually add spinach and romaine or whatever happens to be ready in the garden.

cherry tomatoes, halved
1 shallot, thinly sliced
a few basil leaves
red pepper flakes -  We also sprinkle some of this on top of our chicken just before serving.
freshly grated Parmesan - sprinkle this on top of the chicken as well

4 chicken breasts, pounded into thin cutlets
1 C flour - I add pepper here
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 C bread crumbs - I add pepper, seasoned salt and cayenne pepper

Dredge chicken in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Cook and brown in canola oil. I didn't have any so I used olive oil. Drain on paper towels.

The chicken breasts I bought the other day were HUGE. I don't know what kind of chickens they are raising these days, but good gravy, these are not your average chickens. I ended up only using 2 of the chicken breasts and splitting those in half. This is 2 chicken breasts and that is a 16" platter that they are sitting on


I made enough for 2 meals and we could hardly eat the one cutlet on each of our plates. but my, it was good!


Sunday, April 3, 2016

My Sewing Sabbatical Has Been Broken

I haven't a clue as to why I abandoned my sewing machine for over 3 months, but it seems as if we have been reunited:


And after a couple of hours this weekend,


a baby quilt top was born:


This is a tutorial from Amy Smart for the Lone Star Baby Quilt. I made one last year for a co-worker's first grand baby


and I think this is going to be my go-to quilt pattern for a baby girl. At first I thought it might be kind of small (it's 38 x 38 once it's been washed), but my co-worker said it's their favorite gift, the perfect size, and it gets used every single day. That's a winning combination in my book.

It's been a long dry spell, but I've got more baby quilts to make so here's hoping the stitching continues!

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