April 25, 2014

Recent Projects

I've been spending a lot of time recently making some gifts for a friend.  My best friend from high school is having her first baby this summer, so I wanted to send her a few things.

I was finally feeling comfortable enough with my basic knitting abilities to try for a bigger project, so I started knitting a baby blanket a few months ago.

I started off with this pattern but didn't stick with it completely.  I felt like the pattern made a blanket that was way too small, so I used the pattern, but added more stitches when I cast on--I've done a few different things since then so I don't remember exactly, but I think I almost doubled the number of stitches cast on, making sure to add in multiples of 16 so the pattern wouldn't change.  And then I kept knitting long after the suggested number of rows  until I liked the size.  And I added a blue border to the top and bottom.

I also used the left over yarn to make a matching hat (mainly blue with an orange stripe).  I used this basic pattern for the hat and I didn't take a picture of it, but there's a picture of all of the finished projects at the bottom

When I was almost done with knitting the blanket, I decided that I really wanted to learn to quilt.  It's something I've wanted to do for a while and since I got a sewing machine for Christmas from Mama Reed, I decided I'd try my hand at it.  I had seen ideas on Pinterest to use parts of a Bridesmaid Dress and make a quilt, so I started there. 

 The bright orange (like the very top left square) patches are from my Bridesmaid dress from Seth&Lara's wedding 4 years ago.  And then I tried to find other coordinating, fun prints that also matched the colors Lara had chosen for their nursery.  Above is all of the squares after I cut them out and had laid out the pattern but before I sewed anything.

I followed this series of blog tutorials called the Beginning Quilting Series that walk through all aspects of quilting from what supplies you need, to how best to cut fabric and lay out a pattern, sewing it together, quilting and binding.  It was very helpful!

 I messed up quite a few times and my quilt didn't end up with all the squares perfect, but I was still happy with the way it turned out and hope my friends will be too

Lara got all of the stuff in the mail yesterday and posted this picture of it all together.  I hope it's a blessing to Her and to sweet Watson on the way!

April 17, 2014

Passover Seder

A couple weeks ago we had the opportunity to participate in a Passover Seder with our Young Adults Group.  Our young adults pastor went to Seminary with a guy named Chris who works for The Friends of Israel and his ministry is based on working with Jewish people in Dallas and helping make connections between Judaism and Christianity.  He is a phenomenal teacher and every time he speaks to us I learn so much.  He was gracious enough to lead our group in a Passover Seder at the beginning of April

Here are a few pictures of our dinner that night

It was even more special to get to share this experience with a few of our Chinese friends.  Our friend Roy has had a lot of questions about how Judaism and Christianity are related, so I had lots of good conversations with him that night about the meaning of Passover and also the Last Supper.  

So grateful that our Messiah came so many years ago and that He came to take away the sins of the World.  It was such a neat evening celebrating together and remembering Christ's life in the midst of it all

April 15, 2014

Recipe Favorite: Enchilada Casserole

So I saw this recipe a few weeks ago and it sounded like something I wanted to try.  We had a new friend over for dinner at the end of March, so we made it that night and we all really liked.  So I made it again this past week to take it to our friends Jon and Sami since they just had a new baby and I thought I'd share it here.

 My new manual food processor is wonderful for recipes like this that call for chopping up onions and peppers.  It helps make them really small with very little work on my part :)

Then you just cook the meat with the onions and peppers.  Once the meat is cooked your add garlic powder and cream cheese (doesn't cream cheese make everything better?) and cook until it's all smooth and mixed together.  And I love my cast iron skillet for meals like this
 Then it's just a matter of layering tortillas (with enchilada sauce) meat mixture and cheese a few times and baking it.  It's a pretty simple dish, but we thought it was delicious

I've been calling it Enchilada Casserole, but when I finally went and found the original source they actually call it Enchilada Lasagna--either way it's wonderful :)  It will definitely become a regular meal around our house

  • 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion- Chopped
  • 1 Green Pepper- Chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper- Chopper
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese- Cubed
  • 1 t Garlic Powder
  • 10 oz Enchilada Sauce
  • 6 Eight Inch Tortillas (Corn or Flour)
  • 1 Cup 2 % Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  1. Brown ground beef with onion and peppers until cooked through.
  2. Drain and stir in cream cheese and garlic powder.
  3. Pour enchilada sauce into a bowl and dip 2 tortillas in sauce and put in the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  4. Spread half of the meat mixture over the top of the tortillas and sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the cheese.
  5. Layer another layer of tortillas, meat and cheese.
  6. Top with tortillas and cheese.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes

April 13, 2014

Year of Dates: Baseball Movie

Since baseball is kind of a big deal in our house, I couldn't let our April date be anything but baseball related.  We technically had this date on March 30, so right before Rangers opening day.  We had another at-home date where we watched a baseball movie, enjoyed ballpark food (hot dogs, drinks in some of our many Rangers cups, and even ice cream sundaes in the helmets), and spent the day together

 We had bought "42" a while back, but neither of us had watched it since it was in the theaters, so it was fun getting to see it again
And I even bought David some Rangers shorts to help complete his Rangers-loving wardrobe.  I figured that he'd get a lot of use out of them this Spring and Summer (and so far he has!)

It was a fun way to kick off baseball season together.  Stay tuned for May--we finally start getting out of the house for dates then ;-)

April 7, 2014

Weekend Roadtrip

 This past weekend we headed to Tulsa for a wedding for 2 of David's friends.  We both took Friday off and got on the road that afternoon.  After a stop at Braum's we headed north with our iPods on in the background
We stayed at the aloft in South Tulsa which was a really nice and fun hotel.  We got there around 4:30 and then headed out to find a few things to do that evening

 We were pretty excited that there was a Dave & Busters in the same parking lot as our hotel, so we walked over there and played some games before dinner

 Then we headed across the street for dinner at Chuy's.  Which is one of my favorite places.  Nothing better than chips and queso for a Friday night dinner date :)

Saturday we had lunch with David's friend Travis and then headed to the wedding.  Here is the happy couple at their reception
 It was a good afternoon of catching up with David's friends and getting to talk to some of them who I had met briefly at our wedding

Saturday night we headed to David's Grandma's house to stay the night with her.  We enjoyed dinner and go to catch up with her as well as 2 of his uncles and his aunt.  It was a good time with family before heading back home on Sunday.  It was a nice little trip to kick off the month of April!