Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dear Broccoli, I'm sorry for all the mean things I've said about you.

I admit it, I am a broccoli hater. Truth be told, there aren't many vegetables that I do like. Corn, potatoes and the occasional raw carrot, that about does it.

However, a couple Christmases ago, while at my grandmother's house, I tried a tiny helping of her broccoli salad. This was following my trip to Europe where I tried several weird foods. I didn't die from any of that stuff, so I figured a little broccoli at my grandma's house wouldn't kill me either.

To my surprise, I actually liked her broccoli salad, which also included broccoli's ugly cousin, cauliflower.

So lately I've decided that I have GOT to start eating healthier. I'm about 50 pounds heaver than I need to be and as much as it irks me to say, at 41, I'm not getting any younger. Yeah, yeah, I know you think a 41 year old shouldn't be such a wiener about eating her veggies. But I am.

Anyhow, I am trying to cut way back on the amount of meat and dairy that I eat on a weekly basis. I'm not going full on vegan mind you, just cutting back. However, in order for me to eat healthy, I have to learn to tolerate--if not like--veggies. I remembered trying this salad and asking my grandma for the recipe. I figured if I could get used to eating broccoli & cauliflower prepared like this, that perhaps it wouldn't be so bad in the next dish.

And tonight, I actually enjoyed eating a bowl full of broccoli and cauliflower! Alright, so the fact that the dressing includes mayo(fat free, thankyouverymuch) and sugar helps. Baby steps, people, baby steps!

Here's the recipe!


What you need:

  • 5 cups broccoli florets
  • 5 cups cauliflowerets
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup sunflower kernels

What you do:

  1. In a large salad bowl, toss broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, onion and raisins. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Pour over salad; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Sprinkle with the bacon and sunflower seeds when ready to serve.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Robot on the Loose

In addition to trying my hand at straight line machine quilting, I really want to learn to do free motion quilting.

Here's a little block that I used to practice on. Would this be considered a mini-quilt? Or a practice block? Whatever you call it, I call it Robot on the Loose. The cat appears to appreciate it.

Baby Pinwheel Quilt...FINISHED!

I thought I'd go nuts. I thought I'd toss my sewing machine out the window...but I finished it!

This is the quilt that I finished for a friend& co-worker's baby last weekend. I used a pattern from the Moda Bake Shop and machine quilted it myself. It's far from perfect, but my friend seemed to truly like it and it did receive a few "oohs" and "aaaahs" at the baby shower. I have to say, I am proud of how it turned out and I'm proud of myself for not giving up!

This was not actually my first attempt at machine quilting. Back in 2007, I made small lap quilts for my sister and my brother. Those, however, were complete straight lines sewn other than trying to keep my stitching straight, they didn't give me too much grief. Photos in this post.

For this quilt, I also used straight lines, so I really didn't think it would be all that difficult. The hardest part was having to shove so much fabric through my sewing machine on the diagonal. This is a baby sized quilt, I can't imagine how people work with anything bigger!

A few of my random thoughts as I was working on this quilt....randomly presented.
  • Slow Down!
  • "Straight", for me, is a relative term.
  • I should have taken the bindings class I took two days after sewing the binding on this, before I sewed the binding on this.
  • Longer stitches look better than teensy ones.
  • I ♥ the walking foot.
  • How in the blankety-blank am I supposed to stop and start a line of stitching and keep from getting knots on the back OR the thread from pulling out?
  • I prefer sewing to seam ripping...besides me, who'll care if my points are perfect anyway?
  • Aaaargh!
  • Why is it that I am nearly finished before I finally start to figure things out?
  • I hate basting.
  • I will NEVER attempt this again. Ever.
  • Hey, I CAN do this!
  • The quilt police aren't really going to come after me. After all, the fashion police have yet to find me and I've been committing crimes against fashion for years!
  • That wasn't sooo bad, maybe I'll give it another go!