Monday, December 31, 2012

Sweet and Sour Bavarian Supper

Which day are we traditionally supposed to eat sauerkraut? I know it's around New Year's sometime, so I decided to make this today, to bring to work for dinner.

Sweet and Sour Bavarian Supper

  • Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1 (12 oz.) jar Smucker's® Apple Jelly
  • ¼ cup spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
  • 2 pounds smoked kielbasa, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (2 lb.) bag sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (16 oz.) bag frozen onion, red and green bell pepper strips (3 cups)
  1. HEAT oven to 375°F. Spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan or 3-quart ovenproof casserole with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. COMBINE apple jelly, mustard and flour in baking pan. Add kielbasa, sauerkraut, onions and peppers, mixing to combine.
  3. BAKE uncovered 1 hour 15 minutes or until sauerkraut is tender and kielbasa is golden brown. Stir sauerkraut mixture to combine sauce and serve.
  1. SPRAY slow cooker with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. COMBINE apple jelly, mustard and flour in cooker. Add kielbasa, sauerkraut, onions and peppers, mixing to combine.
  3. COVER and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours (or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours). Stir sauerkraut mixture to combine sauce and serve.
I can't tell you how glad I was to bring this dish to the Tidewater, because Tom definitely would not have appreciated it. The girls were very happy with it, and thought it was delicious. I was pleasantly surprised. The peppers and onions weren't overpowering, and even though I enjoy the sour of sauerkraut, it wasn't too sour. Definitely something I'd make again.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

Last night, I asked Tom to come up with an idea for dinner tonight, and this morning he said "Chicken Pot Pie." Here's what I came up with.

Chicken Pot Pie

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can milk
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • ground thyme and rosemary to taste
  • 1 can crescent rolls
  1. Heat oven to 350°. Put all items, except crescent rolls, in pot and warm up and blend.
  2. Pour contents of pot into a casserole dish, and cover the dish with the crescent rolls.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
I think it turned out well. I was afraid that the filling would run out after cutting into the pot pie, but it stayed pretty well. It wasn't overly seasoned, and Tom said he really enjoyed it. His only criticism would be that I should leave it in the oven a little bit longer to brown the crust up some more (I only left it in for 15 minutes).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Eventide Scarf

The day that Mom and Dad left to go home after Christmas, I came down with a cold - doesn't it figure? I've been battling it for weeks, and it finally caught up to me. While sitting around, trying to fight it, I finished a scarf made from Premier's Starbella "Eventide."

The colors are very pretty and springy.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Ours was good. We had family over - Mom, Dad, and Donnie. Overall, I think we had a really nice day. It started with spending time together by cooking fried rice and working on a colossal crossword puzzle. We opened presents, then Tom and Donnie did a little yard work while Mom took a walk and I baked pumpkin pies. We started working on dinner - roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, and broccoli - and after dinner we watched "21 Jump Street." Donnie left after the movie, since he has to work in the morning.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Apple Sauce Cake

Tom's been asking for it for a while, and when he finally found this recipe in his mother's recipe box, I knew it was time to actually make it.

Apple Sauce Cake

  1. Sift together and set aside:
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 tsp soda
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ½ tsp cloves
    • ½ tsp nutmeg
  2. Mix 2 minutes:
    • ½ cup shortening (like Crisco)
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
  3. Then add and mix together:
    • 1½ cups apple sauce
    • ¾ cup raisins
    • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  4. Add dry ingredients a little at a time and mix 1½ minutes
  5. Grease and flour pan (2 loaf pans or Bundt cake pan)
  6. Bake at 350° about 55 minutes
Tom thought the cake should have been browner (if his memory serves him correctly), and that it should be moister. But then again, he thought that it shouldn't have nuts in it either, until he saw the actual recipe.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ravens vs. Giants

The Ravens game today was quite a surprise. I never expected, after the way the Ravens have been playing for the last few games, for them to pull together like they did, but they defeated the Giants, 14-33. It was like watching a whole different team. Both the offense and defense played well, and it was good to see.
For our halftime show, the band played Santa Baby and Let It Snow. We did drill to Santa Baby, and stood still for Let It Snow while the cheerleaders did a routine.

This win clinched an AFC North Division title, and a playoff berth.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Gifts

This morning, I finished the hat for Taylor. I'm happy with it, but when Tom looked at it, he said it wasn't Orioles colors. Well, it's the only orange I had, so it'll have to do!

After that, Tom and I worked on putting together Wanda's Christmas gift to me - two ClosetMaid Cubeical units. They're to help me get my crafting area organized. It took me a few dys to get to putting them together, and who knows how long it will take me to start getting things organized, but it's a start.

Then, at work tonight, I completed a scarf using Bernat's Boa "Nightingale."

While I was finishing it, Mel said she'd buy it off of me as a Christmas gift for her daughter. I was pleased with the colors (black and purple with a little silver metallic), and seeing how the yarn was an impulse buy, I'm glad I was able to sell the finished scarf.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Coffeehouse Cap

This is the hat I finished today, using the Lion Brand pattern.

I'm much happier with this hat, except after Tom tried it on, he thought it needed to be longer, so by adding more rows, the stripes aren't where I wanted them to be. Even after that, when Shawn tried it on a work tonight, he wanted it even longer! Oh, well. I started another hat for Taylor, my Secret Santa partner in the flute section, in Orioles colors. I'll move the stripes down, and see how it turns out.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Head Hugger Cap

A few days ago, a co-worker asked if I could make a beanie for him, in Philadelphia Eagles colors. I found a good color and did some research on what I wanted it to look like - the knit hats that the players are wearing on the sidelines. I decided on a pattern by Red Heart, and here's what I came up with.

I'm not real crazy about it, I don't like how the top isn't smooth, and the fit was bigger than I wanted. I found a new pattern from Lion Brand to try out, and will see how it turns out.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Spring Rolls

At Huber today (my last regular day of work for the rest of the year!), we had a luncheon for our group. I made Cha Gio (Vietnamese Spring Rolls)

I misplaced my recipe, so I had to wing it. Regardless, they turned out well, and were fairly popular. I made them up last night, but took them to the Tidewater to get them fried up, where I left a sampling for my co-workers. They enjoyed the spring rolls, too.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ravens vs. Broncos

What a disappointing game. The Ravens lost to the Denver Broncos, 34-17. I had hoped that with the Raven's most recent personnel change, that things would turn around for them. Not likely. It was still a fairly decent game, and it didn't rain!
For halftime, the band performed our Queen medley, and I think it turned out well. We sounded good, and I don't think there were any huge mistakes in our drill.
After returning home, I completed a scarf that Janet had ordered recently - to match the ones she got for her daughters a while back.

I feel a sense of completion with that, because it means that I have only one more scarf to complete (which is 3/4 of the way done), and all of my orders are up to date, just waiting for payment and delivery. The pressure's off, since now it's not my fault if someone's Christmas gift falls through.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Phew! A while ago, Julie and Mel each ordered six headbands from me, in various colors. Well, this past Sunday, Julie threw a curve ball at me, and asked for flowers to go on them. I asked Mel if she wanted some, too, and she said sure. Headbands and flowers were all completed today, and here's what I ended up with.

Julie asked for flowers with Washington Redskin's colors for the black headbands, and thought that the purple yarn I was using at the time would look good with the grey headbands.

Mel asked for black flowers. I thought straight black flowers on the black headbands would get lost and not have enough contrast, so I used the grey with those flowers. On the purple headbands, I added purple to the flowers to add contrast, but still coordinate.
All of the flowers were made as pins, so that the wearer could attach the pin to whatever side of the headband is most comfortable for them, not use it at all, or even attach it the their coat or jacket as a coordinating accessory. This project was a lot of work, but Julie and Mel both loved what I had to show them, and were happy with the end products.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dessert Day

The fourth day of Huber's Holiday Spirit Week consisted of a luncheon and a dessert contest. I made an old stand by, Turtle Fudge Cake with Caramel Drizzle. I first found this recipe in Chocolatier magazine, and really like how it turns out, so I make it often.

I don't know how I did in the contest, but in my honest opinion, the only competition was an apple pie.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cookie Day

The second day of Huber's Holiday Spirit Week was cookie day. I made Rosettes, an oldie, but a goodie brought to us by Betty Crocker.


  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup water or milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  1. Heat oil (2 to 3 inches) to 400°. Beat egg, sugar and salt. Beat in flour, water and 1 tablespoon oil until smooth. Heat rosette iron by placing in hot oil 1 minute. Tap excess oil from iron. Dip hot iron into batter just to top edge of iron (do not go over top). Fry about 30 seconds or until golden brown; remove rosette. Invert to cool. (If rosette is not crisp, stir small amount of water or milk into batter.)
  2. Heat iron in hot oil and tap off excess oil before making each rosette. (If iron is not hot enough, batter will not stick.) Sprinkle rosettes with powdered sugar just before serving if desired.
I burned a bunch, but eventually, I got enough good ones to take to work. I think they were pretty tasty.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Eggnog French Toast Bake

Today was the kickoff of Huber's week-long Christmas Spectacular. It started with a Holiday Breakfast with Santa! I made an Eggnog French Toast Bake.

Eggnog French Toast Bake

  • 1 loaf texas toast style thick sliced bread (or a loaf of French bread) cut into 2 inch cubes (about 4-5 cups)
  • 4 cups eggnog
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Arrange the bread cubes in a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour over the bread.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, and up to 24 (I recommend refrigerating overnight).
  4. Preheat oven to 350. Bake french toast uncovered for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
I thought it was pretty tasty, but ended up more like a bread pudding than French Toast. The flavor was really good, with just the right amount of spice, and not too sweet.
At breakfast, Santa joined us, and we sang Christmas carols after eating. What a way to start spending my last full week of work before the end of the year!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ravens vs. Steelers

What a crazy game! The Ravens lost to the Steelers, 23-20! The game was a real nail-biter, with the Ravens only barely holding on to a lead for most of the game, but losing it in the last minute.
The band had a good show, I thought. We did a Metallica themed show, playing Enter Sandman and No Leaf Clover. There were, of course, some slight mess-ups, but overall, it went well.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Two Scarves

Before having to head in to work today, I completed two scarves. Kayla had ordered another scarf, this one for her Grandmother in Red Heart's Boutique Sashay "Shuffle."

I finished the second of two scarves for some fellow band members. The first was made with the color, "Peacock," but this second one is in Premier Yarn's Starbella Flash "Tanzanite."

Those are some beautiful colors!