Sunday, March 28, 2010

When life hands you a chayote...

Yesterday, my husband headed off to the grocery store with a list in hand... one of the items on the list? two avocados...

This is what he came home with...

After asking him to check the receipt, we determined he'd actually purchased "Squash Chayo" - our grocery store's lingo for Chayote Squash.

I quickly googled chayote squash and the first recipe that I clicked on sounded pretty easy. We both thought it was delicious! I only used one of the two chayotes, so we'll have a repeat side dish sometime later this week. It took less than 10 minutes, including chopping time. That's my kind of side dish!

1 tablespoon olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1 chayote squash, cut into 1/2-inch strips 1/2 teaspoon salt ground black pepper to taste 1/2 teaspoon white sugar 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add garlic, squash, salt, pepper, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Stir together and cook 2 to 3 minutes.
Add vinegar to the squash mixture and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, until the squash is slightly wilted, but still firm and crunchy. Taste, and add more salt or sugar if needed.

I think I added more red pepper flakes than the recipe called for {we like things spicy around here!} so it had a definite kick to it. After cooking for a total of six minutes, it still had a lot of crunch to it.

I still don't have my avocados, but we learned something new... when the hubby brings home a Chayote, make it into a side dish!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mission Organization

Last weekend I decided it was time to overhaul my craft/sewing room. When we first moved into our home, this room had wall to wall DARK wood paneling. Our home was built in 1928, and almost all of our wall surfaces are either paneling or plaster (imagine painting an english muffin - with all it's glourious nooks and crannies)! In an effort to spice things up, I decided this was a perfect room to paint stripes on my walls. All I needed to do was prime the paneling, and I'd have built in lines without needing to pull out the level or painters tape! My husband lovingly calls this the "Good n' Plenty" room, the colors are very similar to the candy box. We just purchased a miter saw, and crown moulding is near the top of my 'to do' list.

This side of the room is my 'paper crafting' section, the bookcase is organizing my stamps, inks, card and scrapbooking supplies. It's also our mail center - I had to come up with a system for my husband to organize incoming mail when I'm away on trips. I don't know about you, but there's something that I just LOATHE about a pile of mail sitting on my kitchen table!

This is the sewing section. Before last weekend, I didn't have a real system set up for my bookcases. The plastic bins were stacked on the floor, and I had quite a few supplies that I rarely use taking up space. I took the lesser used items down to the basement and dedicated one bookcase just to fabric and sewing supplies.

An unused wine rack is now a perfect storage solution for my cricut expression. The wine bottle slots are perfect for holding my rolls of vinyl and stabilizers! I also love that it's more of a counter height!

All I need to figure out is a way to incorporate a cutting table and ironing station in here, too! I'm still using the kitchen table to cut fabric, and the ironing board has been set up in the guest room... one thing at a time, I suppose!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Understanding a Serger

Today I begin classes at a local sewing store to learn everything you could ever want to know about a serger! I'm actually heading out to purchase my first serger in a few moments, because obviously, I'll need it to bring to the class. I'm pretty sure I've decided to go with a Brother model, (I currently own two Brother machines, my regular sewing machine and my embroidery machine). The Brother 1034D has good reviews for a 4 thread serger at a very low price point. I'm also considering a Singer machine.
Perhaps down the road, I'll invest in a big daddy machine with a 5th thread option, but for now, I think either of these machines would be just fine.

**Update, I did end up going with the Singer machine, as of July I still love it. It does pretty much everything I need, and the price was just perfect!