Advent Calendar?

For years, I have planned to have an advent calendar. As a quilter, I have looked at several patterns for a quilt. I have a list that I intend to try. But I always manage to look up mid-November and realize that I forgot again this year.

I really want to give it a try, so I'm giving up the quilt obsession this year and going for something (hopefully) simpler. I've been inspired by ideas here, here, and here. In addition to activities, I'll include daily Biblical readings. I'm still trying to decide if I'm going for the daily candy.

If I can follow through, I intend to post daily in December.


Another fabric book

My schedule has been so hectic, that my sewing machine and I are becoming strangers again. But I've been trying to steal a few moments here and there to relieve stress.

I started on another fabric quiet book. I wish I had thought to take pictures along the way so that I could make a tutorial. Maybe next time. I used a fat quarter to create the pages. I fold it like it's paper to that I don't have to do a lot of cutting and hoping that I get pages the right size.

During Scrap Buster Month Sew,Mama,Sew posted some tutorials that I wanted to try, so this was my excuse. I made the butterfly by following these instructions. The idea for the flowers came from here. And I found the pinwheel instructions here. I wanted my pinwheel to move, so I followed instructions from this book.

Obviously, the edges still need to be finished off, but I'll do that after I've completed all of the pages. There are two more page spreads, so maybe I can finish one about every other week or so. I'll keep you posted.


Freezer Cooking

I was inspired by Money Saving Mom's days of freezer cooking, so I checked out this book from the library. I intend to buy it, but I went ahead and tried some recipes to see how it worked.

One great feature of this book is that some recipes involve cooking everything and then freezing and others, perhaps the majority?, are about putting the ingredients together and freezing. I chose six of the second type to try today.

While the book doesn't encourage marathon sessions, I had meat that I wanted to do something with before freezing. Following the recipe as written means getting three packages of the same item. Due to the size of my family, I would get two packages of the same thing. I chose to half the recipes that I used so that I could try more.

The result is that I ended up with six different entrees in an hour and a half. I think that's pretty awesome. All I will have to do is take an entree out of the freezer the night before and throw it in the oven when I get home (or put it in the crock post as I leave in the morning). By the time I check homework and make sides, dinner should practically be done.

I think I could get used to this.


Review: Fix, Freeze, Feast

I'm probably late to the party, but I just found Fix, Freeze, Feast. I've tried freezer cooking before, but I found myself tired of the same old thing, and I lost interest.

This book is full of recipes that sound interesting, and it contains tips for easing your way into the process. I don't currently have a membership in a warehouse club because I tended to allow things to go to waste. But these recipes sounded good enough to make me reconsider.

The book is divided into sections for Chicken, Beef Pork, Meatless, Sauces, and Breakfasts. Recipes are geared towards the purchase of  a large tray of meat at a warehouse club from which 3 meals are assembled. Since ingredients are mixed together and distributed among 3 freezer bags, you get three of the same meals. You could either serve the same meals 3 times that month or over three months. I like that several recipes have similar ingredients so that I can utilize bulk ingredients without a lot of leftovers.

For my family size, I would likely divide between two bags. For recipes that I want to test on my kids, I think I might divide in half and make one recipe the first time. I think I'll start with a couple of recipes and see what I think. Since I don't have a club membership, I'll go with what's on sale at my grocery store and work from there.