Sunny Caprese Pasta

I like to make this pasta in the summer along with my spatchcocked chicken and its great for parties as it tastes good warm or cold and cooks quickly. It was my take on a caprese salad to make it more substantial. Takes 10-15 minutes

Ingredients

Wet Mozzarella also known as Fior di Latte Mozzarella. (just look for mozzarella that is sitting in a brine or a bit of liquid get a fist sized piece of it)

20-30 Cherry Tomatoes

Simple Pesto

2 cups uncooked Rotini

salt

Make the Simple pesto according the recipe (follow the link on the ingredients list).

Start your pasta water boiling add 1 TBSP of salt to the water and wait until water reaches a rapid boil before adding pasta to the water. Cook according to directions on box.

Once you have the pasta water going cut the cherry tomatoes in half and put aside.

Cube the mozzarella. set aside Do not mix with the cherry tomatoes.

Once pasta is done mix in pesto should have enough to coat well. Add cherry tomatoes and mix. Make sure pasta has cooled down enough so that it is not steaming and then add mozzarella cubes. Mix and serve.

Quick and easy right? You can easily scale this recipe. I commonly make this and do not bother to do any measurements as the exact amounts don’t matter that much as long as the pasta gets well covered in the sauce.

 

 

 

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Summer Grilled spatchcocked chicken & BBQ sauce

I love to have my husband heat up the grill and take care of the chicken while I work on a bbq sauce and have just enough time to make my favorite pasta salad. The leftover chicken (If any survives) is great to make into chicken salad for later.  It might seem a little time consuming (it takes 30-40 min) but its a real easy relaxing cook and the chicken and its skin comes out absolutely amazing.  This is the best smelling chicken recipe I have and its great for those hot summer days as it doesn’t heat up the kitchen.

Cut the spine out of the chicken *the side opposite the breasts* turn over the chicken.
Press down on the breasts to flatten it. Season both sides with olive oil salt and lemon pepper.

Heat grill to medium-high. Grill chicken, breast side down, covered with vent open, until nicely charred,
10 to 15 minutes.
Flip; cook 30 minutes more.
Flip again; grill until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees in thickest part of breast, 5 minutes more.
Let rest 10 minutes.

Serve with a tangy bbq sauce.

¼ cup butter
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup ketchup (or use
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup Worcestershire
A dash of Tabasco sauce

Salt, pepper, chili powder to taste (sometimes add garlic or onion for variety)

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it melts. Stir in the remaining ingredients, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the mixture thickens, approximately 20 minutes. Stir frequently.

It keeps, refrigerated, for a couple of weeks. Use as a light dipping sauce.

 

Simple Pesto

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 TBSP goat cheese
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 TBSP pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

To make the pesto, combine basil, garlic, pine nuts and goat cheese in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream; set aside.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

A Burst of patriotism

Back in December my quilting group did a fabric exchange. Its our yearly Christmas ritual. Everyone brings in 3 fabrics and we play a game switching the fabrics around until everyone gets 3 new prints and them we get to use them to make a project that is due the following December. This time it was patriotic prints. I was excited for the exchange because I don’t have any really nice 4th of July decorations *minus the flag* and throw a party every year.

Looking at the calendar this past week, I decided it was already June and I needed to get with the program and finish up. Luckily I already had my tops done. I made a throw quilt for the couch (no one goes into the bedroom during my parties or at least they shouldn’t). and a matching table runner for the table behind the couch. WIN_20170627_18_09_57_ProFor the quilt I went with a 4 patch alternating blue and red with white bars a wide border and super thick size 10 thread for the quilting since I wanted it to show up as part of the design on the quilt. I made the quilt with a 4th of July themed layer cake, a flat white layer cake, mixed in the 3 prints given to me for the holiday challenge, and 60 inch wide print for the back that I also used to bind the quilt.

WIN_20170627_18_11_55_ProThe table runner I made with leftover pieces from the layer cakes and the backing was donated to me by a lady in the guild because it was exactly the right size and leftovers from her projects.

I have been debating making a pillow with the leftover leftovers but to be honest I don’t think I have enough fabric for a pillow. I am debating if the leftover fabric I have is big enough to use for anything. Which in my book is a great place to be. Tell me about quilts you have made for the holidays in the comment section.

tips for preventing or correcting a wavy border

I recently posted my farm girl vintage quilt and pointed out my border came out wavy on the first go around and I was going to correct it. Believe it or not I was true to my word and actually corrected it and learned a few things along the way. Yes correcting it is important because it will not quilt out it will create folds in the quilting instead.

The first thing I learned is if you don’t pin anything else pin your borders. The inner border had bias all along the edges so without pins the inner border just keeps stretching so you will end up with 4 pieces of fabric all different sizes if you didn’t cut the fabric to the right size ahead of time and if you did you will end up with too short of a border.

The second thing I learned was how you pin matters. Were you pinning in such a way that the pin heads were facing out to reduce your chances of being stabbed by pins? That is the wrong way. Ask me how I know. The heads of the pins should face the inside of the quilt.

As you can see from the photo the head of the pin is facing towards the center not the edge. Another important note is I pinned high up went under all layers twice and came out about 1/4 inch away from the edge (where you will be sewing). Finally something important that isn’t necessarily done or perhaps done coincidentally is you have to pick up the edge to pin to make sure that everything is laying flat. If all fabric layers aren’t laying flat when you pin they wont lay flat when you sew. (As long as you aren’t sewing curves but that is a tutorial for another time).

The last important thing I learned is how you stitch matters. I assume most are using a 1/4th of an inch foot to sew if not go get one they are like 5$ on amazon and save you hours possibly months of time is you quilt a lot. When you sit at your machine with your border all nicely pinned together you want to sew such that the stretchy fabric or the fabric with more give is down and the firmer fabric is up. The sewing machine feet will help the side with more give fit. If you are a little overly taunt with the fabric you can try lifting up the fabric for brief periods to create an arch that will also help stuff move along. Just be careful with this because you might be creating an arch in your border if you overdo it.

 

Luckily quilts are somewhat forgiving and my border is now done and completely flat. I hope you have all learned from my mistakes so you don’t have to make them.

 

How to make a folded ribbon border part 2

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I have finished my quilt with the ribbon border. Therefore I now have instructions on how to assemble the ribbon border after you have made the pieces shown in my previous post. Something I need to address in this border is the amount of pieces and direction of the pieces matter. In this quilt the top border is 23 QST wide and 29 QST long with 4 corners.  This made a 2 inch deep 50 inch wide by 60 inch long border. This allowed me to add the corner shapes in so that they lined up. It is important to note that the QST on the top border are doing the opposite direction as the side borders and you have to cut them like that.

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For the corners I put two 2 1/2 inch squares face sides together sewed the diagonal and timed excess and ironed open. to make a complete 2 1/2 inch square I used the background yellow and the red on this side to match the ribbon. To make this ribbon so that it looks correctly the only way to be positive it will work is to lay it out on the floor around the quilt top.  If the ending parts end with the pink going downward to me it ruined the ribbon look and just looked off.

To ensure my ribbon looked as realistic as possible first i made enough for the top border and part of a side (making the QST in the same direction).  I found there was no way to have all sides matching that way. The original pattern had even amount of QST on the sides and odd across the top and bottom. I found the only way to make this pattern work is by making either all sides odd or all sides even. Luckily they are small enough and has some many seams  I was simply able to stretch them a little to fit and pinned like crazy. This kept everything fitting and looking nice.

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Now depending on how your ribbons end you will need to change ribbon directions. Luckily this is easy to do using my method all you do is line up an already cut piece to your fabric the direction you want it to go and make sure you cut the 45 there. Another way to do this is if you made your first cut the way shown here to get your next QST of the opposite direction start cutting your 45 degrees across yellow fabric first instead of the light pink fabric shown in the picture. This will mirror the yellow and light pink fabric.

mirrored image

Here is an example of how the fabrics are mirrored as you can see there is no way to make the top block look like the bottom one. To get the ends the way you  want them I would suggest making a few of each direction and with each background on it and just play with it on the floor until you get the look you want.

As a final note I would like it if you looked at my full quilt top as it is.

Rainbowsandquilts.wordpress.com quilt top

Notice something?

If you notice the yellow outer border does not lay flat it wrinkles. Why? Because when I sewed the outer border I was in a rush and did not pin. It is very important when you sew this border to the inner and outer borders you pin about every 4 inches. Because of how the ribbon border is cut and the thickness of it you have to sew very slowly and pin like crazy. I pinned the inner border to the ribbon to make sure it fit that sits flat I did not pin the outer border. Now I have to get out my seam ripper and resew the outer yellow border on to make it lay flat. Don’t be like me always pin your borders. I hate pinning but ripping is so much worse. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

 

Good luck and if you make this border Please show me a picture I want to see how it turns out.  Also if anything I said isn’t perfectly clear please look at this site ribbon border simple instructions  and QST Quickly youtube video they helped me get started. Note in the youtube video you don’t have to buy anything she goes over how to make the 2 1/2 inch squares and she adds more than one row at a time but I found if you make more than one strip at once it just isn’t accurate enough and you are likely to waste a good amount of fabric. Neither of these show you how to match up your borders or how to have two background colors so I made this tutorial because I feel like knowing how to assemble them is very important!

In case you missed it here is Ribbon tutorial part 1

How to make a folded ribbon border

I have finally finished all the blocks for the farm girl vintage quilt I have worked on for the past year. I will show once its complete in another post. For this quilt I didn’t feel like going with the standard background. of prairie points or flying geese whatever you want to call them.

 

I am talking about the red points the arrows point to.

So I decided to make my ribbon border, out of quarter square triangles. Only I didn’t want to put them out one by one because I am going to need to make over a hundred and ain’t nobody got time for that.

So I figured out how to make them in bulk. I thought I would share what I figured out so you wont need to reinvent the wheel. I highly suggest making one practice piece first. You will need 30 min + to make this and 4 fabrics.

To do this I got out some practice fabric. I wanted to make my ribbon border so that I could use the ribbon to transition the inner border white color to the outer border yellow color. This means on one side of the ribbon I wanted yellow to show as the background and on the other side of the ribbon I wanted white to show as the background.

 This is a photo of my main ribbon colors dark pink with swirls (A), and the back side of the ribbon (the twisted part) will be light pink with white stars (B). For this to would you need to make sure you know which colors you are using for which part or you are going to get confused write it down with a fabric swatch next to it if you have to.

 

For the inner background (think facing the center of the quilt) I want the white with the words love written on it (C). For the outer background (facing the edges of the quilt) I wanted yellow with flowers (D).  If you want the same background on either side just ignore the steps with the yellow fabric and it will turn out.

 

Now a little note on sizing so far I have made 3/4 inch and 2 inch COMPLETED quarter square triangles (this means size after being sewn together. Individual sizes are 1 and a quarter inch and 2 and a half inches.

To make these first you are going to need to cut out strips of one of your background fabrics and your ribbon backside.  As shown in the picture. Each cut strip will be as long as you want and 1/4 of an inch larger than you want the COMPLETED quarter square triangles to be. So if you want 2 inches square sewn you are going to want to make 2 and a half inch squares and 2 and a quarter inch strips. Got all that? I know it’s a mouthful but all fabrics will need to cut to this same measurement so once you got the measurement you are good to go no more measuring.  Plan on cutting out half as many strips from your background colors as you would for your ribbon colors. You will not need your main ribbon color (A) until later so you can cut those and put them aside for now.

So once you finish you should have one giant square of alternating ribbon backside (B) strips and inner background (C) strips and a giant square of ribbon backside (B) strips and outer background (D) strips. Cutting and sewing enough strips together so that you have a square is somewhat important because you will cut these square perpendicular to the strips. So if you only put two together you end up with very short strips you have to sew together and that is a waste of time. Cut both giant squares the same way.

 

The result should look like the picture. I know it doesn’t look like much now but it’s coming. Get out the main ribbon color (A) strips you have put aside and sew one on either side of the alternating colored strips. Here is a picture of what one of the strip sets should look like.

You can create more layers if you want but unless you have a very accurate 1/4 inch sewing line when making these strips I do not suggest as the lower squares may or may not line up and that is a waste of fabric.

Now it is important to note when you are cutting these always cut starting from the same side of the strips.  For example this image shows two strips one starts with white and one starts with pink. After sewing these into blocks such that they were alternating I noticed that the resulting quarter square triangles were facing different directions. Meaning the ribbon would twist in the opposite direction when assembled. If this is something you want then go for it. By all means do this on purpose. I however did not want this for what I was doing. so I made a note to always have my sets assembled so they were in the same direction.

 

Now that your pieces are assembled its time to cut down first cut across the strip at a 45 degree angle such that the cut line went across the opposing corners of the ribbon background fabric as shown in the picture.

 

 

This is what your sub strips should now look like.

Note picture has example of one sub strip containing background fabric C and one example from the sub strip containing background fabric D.


Now that you should have a stack of these we are going to cut them again.  This time 45 degrees along the background fabric in the opposite direction like the little blue lines show in the picture.

 

Here is a picture of what your quarter square triangle pieces should look like. Note how the ribbon background is always to the left and the background fabrics are always to the right.

 

To assemble into a ribbon border like up the pieces such that the inner and outer borders are facing the inner and outer borders on your quilt. They should alternate as in the image. Images have examples of the 2 inch and the 3/4 inch sizes.

horizontal border

vertical border

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what do you think was this more helpful or confusing?

 

If you want to know how to assemble these once you have some cut out and more tips head over to ribbon tutorial part 2