Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Recipe: Rice and Beans with Andouille Sausage

This was such a great put-together recipe that I wanted to share it with you.  Its another one of those recipes for which the ingredients are pretty standard pantry fare, except for the sausage ~ but if you find it on sale, you'll have a healthy and delicious supper in no time.  My girls loved it, although Hannah didn't eat the sausage, and Abigail didn't eat the beans.  Go figure.  The flavors all blend together very nicely.  You could also substitute chicken for the sausage, but the little bit of 'kick' provided by the spicy anduille sausage would be lost.  In that case, add a 1/2 a cup of salsa OR some adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chiles.

Beans & Sausage

2 links of andouille sausage (or chorizo... the andouille links were about as long as my hand)
1 cup frozen (or 1 can) corn
1-2 cups rehydrated black beans (or 1 can, rinsed well)
1 small can (8 oz) tomato sauce
(optional: 1 small onion)

(If onion is used, saute in canola oil first unitl soft, remove from pan and proceed. )  Cut sausage into 'coins' then into quarters.  Cook in skillet over medium heat until cooked through and it begins to brown or crisp on the sides.  Add corn, beans and tomato sauce.  Fill tomato sauce can with water and add it to the mixture.  Cook rice separately and serve under beans and sausage mixture. 

Let me know if you make it and how it went over with your family!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring Beauties

Happy Easter! 


DaddyO and little ladies on the church lawn
 A birthday present for another spring beauty....

Sundress with matching hair clips

Oh,'d that get in there?!
(Abigail in costume for live crucifixion scene at church)

Friday, April 22, 2011

I can't stop sewing!

(This post is for Carol Ann and Loretta :)

I've been sewing lately and have really been enjoying it!  Mostly I sit at my machine in the evenings after the girls go to bed ~ its great for insomnia, because the concentration needed makes me tired after a shorter while than would just laying in bed lamenting my lack of sleep. 

My style of sewing (and life?) is pattern-less.  Last night I worked for 2 hours on a pattern for an Easter dress for Hannah, and fully half of that time was spent ripping out seams where I'd sewed them incorrectly.  I finally gave up when I got to the point where she'd have to try it on so I could make some adjustments.  When I slipped the bodice over her head in the morning, she could hardly breathe it was so tight across her chest.  I'm going to pitch it. 

Below are examples of the "patternless" sewing I enjoy.  The easiest is the skirt-to-t-shirt sewing technique that is described in a couple places on the Internet: and (good crafts, modest dressing, theology - notsomuch). 

The other is the peasant-dress, which is also found on the Internet:

I made this one to use the last of some 'ballerina' fabric I had that Abbo liked, and I trimmed it out with purple polkadots.

This dress is also super-easy and fun to make.  I added a ruffle on the bottom with a cool new sewing tool I bought - paid for with "survey money" that I earned from doing surveys online! - it attaches to where my presser foot would go on my machine and gathers in one of three styles as I sew. 

Here is a dress I made for Abbo last year - I 'invented' it myself.  Its basically an elastic skirt pattern but instead of putting the elastic at the top of the 'waist tube,' I sewed a tube lower for the elastic to go in, giving it a ruffle along the top edge.  I also used a wide elastic.

I crisscrossed the straps to avoid them falling down.  To make the straps, I just eyeballed the length and placement. 

Miss Sassypants walking away from her modeling session - I made this dress last year so its getting a little short.  I'll make another one later. 

And, inspired by Loretta (!), I also made a potholder out of some scraps of calico and an old pair of blue jeans I had in my fabric stash!

Now, its off to work -again- on those Easter dresses.  More pictures to come!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Garden Party

A garden party where NO ONE is invited.  In fact, stay completely away from the area!

Why?  Because of the VIPs....or is it - VIMs.....

Well, hello there!  Always nice to have you!

And its ever-so-nice to see you, too!  I've waited an entire YEAR for your visit!

Why, yes!  Do, DO come and stay for awhile!

Yes, the morels are back.  And they paid us a visit in our own back yard!  So I carefully arranged the chairs and table to protect them from any stray children - and, hopefully it will work - deer/turkeys/bear...

The rest of the guests? 

Um...well...well, they're enjoying the entertainment that accompanies a heavy rainfall. 

Friday, April 8, 2011


SOMEone just had a birthday. 

We celebrated by taking him fishing just below the dam at Lake Moomaw.  Although we didn't catch any fish, we had a lovely time baiting hooks and throwing them out and speculating about 'who' lived in the caves across the Jackson River. 
That red sign reads, "DANGER - When you hear the siren, make your way immediately to shore...." (as water is going to be released from below the dam and the water level in the river will rise significantly and rapidly!)  This is the parking area, the picnic area and Gathright Dam.

There's lots of rocks in the water and Andy was re-stringing his line again...

Ahhhhh, fishin'

Ahhhhhh, fishin'

Uh-oh.  Here comes the Spoiler.  See the stick she's holding?  She was using it to "fish" and beat at the water.  BabyRot.

She won the fight for the pink fishing pole, you see.

Got it back again....

After awhile it was time to head home and enjoy kid-decorated birthday cake....notice the swiped area in front about the size of two 3-year old fingers.

On to the best part...just waiting for Daddyo to blow them out so we could DIG IN!

Happy Birthday, Andy!!!  We love you!!!