Thursday, March 28, 2013

Kid-Friendly Food: Cheesy Tomato Beef and Noodles

This recipe is old.  I don't know how old, but one day I found it in a box, in a drawer, written on the back of a receipt. From my pre-marriage days. 
It looked easy.  Yessssss.
It looked kid-friendly.  Possibly.  But, you never know with my kids. 
 I decided to give it a try.
And I am glad I did, because it was an instant hit with all my boys - the little ones and the big one.
I am always looking for things that are easy and kid-friendly, like say, Hamburger Helper, but that aren't actually Hamburger Helper.  Because I'll be honest, Hamburger Helper is kindof gross to me. 
This one fit the bill.  And it gets gobbled up every. single. time.

Cheesy Tomato Beef and Noodles

Cheesy Tomato Beef Casserole

1 c. dry elbow macaroni, cooked
1 lb. ground beef
1 T. oil
1 small onion, diced
½ green pepper, diced
1 t. salt
¼ t. pepper
1 t. basil
1 T. parsley
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 c. shredded cheese, plus some for topping
Up to ½ c. milk (I use evaporated)

Cook macaroni in a large saucepan.  While macaroni is cooking, sauté the onion and green peppers in oil.  Add ground beef and brown.  Add cooked, drained macaroni and remaining ingredients, except milk, and simmer 10 minutes.  Add milk to desired creaminess.  Top with additional shredded cheese to serve.
*NOTE: For those avoiding condensed soups, I have made this successfully by substituting an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce mixed with 1/4 c. cream (to equal 10 oz.), and a packet of Splenda (or about 2 t. sugar).


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

WiP Wednesday - Blocks and a Baby Quilt

I finished the last of my March blocks this past week, and while these two blocks look like they should belong in the same quilt, they are actually for two different QAL's!

The one below (called Origami Star) is the second block in the Virtual Quilting Bee hosted by Amy at Diary of a Quilter. (You can see my first block HERE.) 
This one has been especially fun because I am doing it with two of my sisters - one in Tennessee, and one in Utah.  We have been texting photos and Facetiming each other all week as we have been finishing up our blocks.  It's the closest thing to actually sitting in the same room sewing together!

Sampler - Block 2
This one is the March block for the Sister's Ten BOM hosted by AnneMarie over at Gen X Quilters.
I'm finishing this one a little late in the month mainly because I wasn't thrilled with the design, and just didn't know how I wanted to do it. I spent a lot of time pulling fabrics an trying out different combos until I came up with this, and, as usually happens, in the end I loved it!
This one is called "School Girl's Puzzle".
Sister's 10 Modern BOM (March) - Schoolgirl's Puzzle
I also finished the top of the quilt for my nephew, due late next month. 
baby boy top

To be totally caught up for March, I have to finish my applique block for the month. I have it all fused to the square, but haven't started appliqueing yet.
And my Love baby quilt is still only partially quilted. I started having problems with my machine again about 2/3rds of the way through. I am going to take my machine in soon...but until I do, I'm afraid the quilt will have to wait.
WiP's -
Sister's 10 March block - done
Virtual Quilting Bee block - done
Applique Quilt March block - fused but not appliqued
Baby Boy quilt - top done
Love baby quilt - not worked on 

Linking up @
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I've Made the Switch

Switching from Google Reader to Bloglovin was painless!  You can follow me there, too!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Some Blocks

I haven't posted in awhile for a bunch of various reasons, but I am back today with a few blocks I have finished in the meantime.
I joined the Virtual Quilting Bee over at Diary of a Quilter.  My sister, who lives clear across the country from me, wants to learn to quilt, and when I saw this I thought it would be a great way for her to learn.  Amy has a lot of great beginning quilting posts and tutorials on her blog that I can direct my sister to, and with me doing to QAL with her (AND the awesomeness of Facetime!), I can answer any other more specific questions she might have.  Plus, the fact that she is coming out for an extended visit this summer doesn't hurt.  We should be about half way through our blocks by then, and we can work on them for a bit together.
Anyway, here is the first block, which was posted last Friday.

Sampler - Block 1
The next two are the applique BOM I am doing from my LQS.  It is a pattern by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.
I wanted to try my hand at applique to see if I liked doing it.  And so far, I do!  It is definitely time consuming - each block has been taking me about 4-5 days to finish - but it is fairly easy.
The top one is the January block, and the one below is the February block.  I am doing a machine buttonhole stitch for my applique, and while I definitely did a far better job on the February block than the January block, I still have MUCH room for improvement.  All those curves and sharp points are killers!
However, by the time I am done with this quilt, I will probably be an appliqueing expert! (One can hope, anyway...)
Spring Bouquet BOM - January Spring Bouquet BOM - Febuary