Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Two New Quilt Blocks & Dinner

Yesterday was a productive day.  Along with the routine laundry, and slightest bit of cleaning, I was able to sew together two different quilt block patterns needed to send off to a woman in New Jersey as part of a "Birthday Block Swap" I committed to participating in for 2013.

Rules are fairly simple....everyone participating must make 2 quilt blocks that are 12 1/2 inches (once the recipient sews them together the finished size is a 12" square).  We have a document with the birthdays, names, mailing addresses and recipients color requests.  We choose our own patterns.  They can both be the same design or we can make two different blocks.  Everyone tends to send different designs so that's what I did also.

The first block is called Star Checks (designer: Sue Garman from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks)....I made a few variations to the pattern.  It originally had 56 pieces but my changes cut that number down to only 49 pieces within the 12 1/2 inch square. :)

The second block is called Star Puzzle (#87 from the Quick & Easy Block Tool)...

For the most part, I used scraps from a memory quilt I made for my friend Marianne a few months ago.  Other than the scraps, I used two fat quarters from my stash.

Had it not snowed today, I would be able to get them in the mail....but that will have to wait until tomorrow.  I sure hope Mabel in New Jersey likes them. :)

Wouldn't you know, because my birthday isn't until Dec. 20th, I am the LAST person on the Birthday Block Swap list.  Oh well....what can I do about it?  LOL

For dinner last night, I tried a new recipe using my crockpot.  It turned out to be a nice, hearty meal for a cold night.

I made "Steak San Marco" and served it over (or more like mixed with) Wide Egg Noodles and a side dish of steamed Broccoli (always have to have a vegetable or Kirsten thinks I forgot to cook half the supper).

makes 4 - 6 servings
used a 4-quart slow cooker

2 lbs. stewing meat, cubed
1.25-oz. envelope dry onion soup mix
29-oz. can peeled or crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
Garlic powder to taste
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. wine vinegar (didn't have this so I used Rice vinegar :)

1. Layer meat evenly in bottom of slow cooker.
2. Combine soup mix, tomatoes, spices, oil, & vinegar in bowl. Pour over meat.
3. Cover and cook on high 6 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours.

It smelled heavenly throughout the day.  Kirsten and Ray said the Egg Noodles were a wise choice to serve it over (with).  I must say that although Kirsten and I ate it without adding any additional seasonings....on Ray's second helping, he did add some hot sauce to his serving.  Of course, with the noodles we didn't need any other carbs....but I thought some crusty bread would have been nice to soak up the juices. :) :) :)

I will probably make this again some day....especially on a day that I want something easy and quick, that doesn't require much time spent in the kitchen....and is a very hearty, filling, warm meal.  Because of the noodles, I have TONS of I will probably only plan this meal again when the rest of the family will be around to help eat it.

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