Sunday, February 28, 2016

Block 11, Almost There

We are getting so close to the end of this BOM, and the blocks have all been so amazing! I love working with the gradient-color fabric. Using the fabrics to create a "pop" from the center. Some have been a little trickier than others, but all in all they've been great!

Of course, it helps that pink (this months color) is absolutely my favorite. I keep dancing between blue and pink as my favorite color, but I think this block might have tipped the scale to pink. It's just so amazing!

Look at those hues! Couldn't you just get lost in the depth of color variation?!? Okay, okay, I know. It's just a block. I just love how the colors turned out on this one.

Maybe I'm just finally getting the hang of finding ways to make the colors work. Now that there's only one block left, I guess it's time I figure it out, right?  Once I have all of them complete, I'll include a picture with all of them. I can't wait to see what the last one will be.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Best Mashed Potatoes

It seems silly, right?!? How can you have the best mashed potatoes? I admit, I'm not a fan of mashed potatoes. Over the years making mashed potatoes with roasts and turkey feasts, I forgot how important flavor was. I assumed all you needed was a little gravy and call it good. My husband didn't even like salt in the water, so it kind of felt like I was eating baby food.

This last couple of months however, I have been on a mission to make the boring meal exciting.  Find ways to make my meals feel like you're going to a restaurant, but without the crowds, and expensive drinks.  Enter the Texas Roadhouse Copycat Mashed Potatoes! These truly are the BEST mashed potatoes I've ever tasted, and I totally came across the recipe by accident.

I was trying to find a recipe to try, but everyone likes them loaded with bacon, cheese, green onion, sour cream, etc. I just wanted straight-up mashed potatoes that were flavorful and creamy. I clicked on one of the copycats on Pinterest, but as I read the ingredient list, I wondered if it would really taste good. I scrolled down to the comments to see what others thought of them, and came across a funny (and very informative) comment. Basically, she said she worked at Texas Roadhouse and the blogger was all wrong. Simple...potatoes, butter, half and half, salt and pepper. DONE.

I was curious. Could it be so simple? Why yes, yes it can. I played with the measurements, but it truly is best! Great texture; creamy while still having density. Flavor without overbearing salt, and of course simple; not all the extras that make it too much for us. It's amazing with steak, roast, fish, meatloaf, BBQ chicken, you name it.

I'm telling you, this is a must for a restaurant staple side! A must have with your next steak!

Best Mashed Potatoes 
(a Texas Roadhouse Copycat)

6 russet potatoes (about 3c mashed)
1/4 c butter (I use salted)
1/2 c heavy cream (more if needed)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Partially peel the potatoes, leaving about 1/3 -1/2 of the peel on each potato. Chop them up into small pieces, about 1 inch cubes, and put into a pot. Add water so the water level is about 1-2 inches above the potato pieces, and boil for about 20 minutes. They should be soft enough to mash under pressure with a fork.
Drain the excess water and add butter to pot. Allow the butter to melt, 2-3 minutes. Add the salt and pepper and the heavy cream and mash it all together. I use a hand masher, but you could use a blender or hand wand if you prefer. Try to leave some lumps for texture. Add more heavy cream to make them more creamy (if they seem dry). Serve immediately.

If the potatoes finish boiling faster than the rest of the meal is prepared, add butter and let them sit in a warm place (i.e.: stove top with burner off) until you are ready to complete them for the meal.They do actually re-heat well, too, if you have leftovers. Enjoy!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Sleeping in Comfort

Back in November, my sister asked me if I could make a fleece crib sheet for her son. Living up north, it gets pretty cold and who doesn't like sleeping on fuzzy comfort. So I pulled out some of my stash and fashioned this crib sheet. I mailed it off and he LOVES it!

I figured I'd make a few more for them with some other stash I had, and of course the After-Christmas sales on fleece.

The stash picks included a cloud print, and a red plaid. That was the wild outlier, but it's nice to have variety.

I tried to match the baby quilt I made for him, which is why I picked the solid periwinkle blue and the blue fabric with the anchors and ropes.

I used a Fons and Porter pattern that only uses elastic on the ends, rather than all the way around. It's a lot easier to put the sheet on the mattress and it easier to fold in a drawer.

For the corner seams, I used a straight stitch at 3/8 inch and then used a zigzag on the edge for a little extra security.

Then, I stitched 3/8 inch all the way around, leaving a gap to be able to thread the elastic thru.

Finally, after threading the elastic thru, I secured the elastic ends and finished the seam. All done! Super fast and easy, and seriously the best sheets for a crib E-V-E-R! It makes me wish I had a crib to put them on. :( Oh well, I will send them off to my sister so they can enjoy them.

Feels good to get this off my sewing table. Hope I can keep this momentum going. I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Come check out what everyone's been working on.