Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Inspiration, failure, and other musings

I have been inspired by this blog from the Pleasures of Homemaking and this one from Happy Foody to create more meals from what we have on hand and waste less. I hate waste. I try and compost and recycle and it still seems we waste. The worst for me is when you buy fresh produce and then because of poor planning it rots in the refrigerator before you can finish it. I certainly do not have money to burn and am resolved to do better in the fresh department. Anyhoo... along these lines I created a Shepherds pie of sorts last night. It was not on the schedule of meals I had planned out before shopping but carpe diem and all that.
We had on hand...a mass amount of leftovers from KFC lovingly sent home with us from the in laws. The chicken, for all intensive purposes had been dutifully consumed, it was just all the sides hoarding space in my icebox. I also had half of a red onion not used from last week and a pea/carrot combo. I sauteed the chopped onion in a little butter and then added some ground beef. Then I dumped in the peas and carrots, some green beans, and a wee bit of KFC gravy. For good measure I threw in a can of cream of mushroom soup - which any good southerner will tell you we always keep on hand. I sliced KFC biscuits in half and lined the bottom of the pan with them. Then I poured the meat/veggie mixture over the bicuits. For the grand finale I topped it all with the leftover KFC mashed potatoes. My crew kept asking what was for dinner and I kept saying SURPRISE CASSEROLE! My son announced before dinner he was NOT eating any of it and Ewwwwww... and then he proceeded to eat two bowls at dinner. Not the healthiest recipe on the planet but resourceful n'est pas?

This morning I tried incorporating some more leftovers into breakfast. I had some steel cut oatmeal from yesterday's breakfast leftover. I found a recipe for scones using cooked oatmeal and whole wheat flour. However the scones never perked up much in the baking process. I think perhaps my baking powder has lost its potency or I added too much flour as the recipe got rave reviews from others. I still have a wee bit of oatmeal left. I might try a batch using yucky self rising flour just to see what happens...maybe throw in some dried cranberries...ohhhh my I'm getting hungry.

Other less edible inspirations include the marvelous stories and drawings found at tollipop. I'm like a kid opening a present every time I see she has posted a new one. If you haven't popped over to her blog you really should. Tres amusing.

Here on the home front I have been busy straightening the nest before chaos returns like the cyclone it is to our peaceful sleepy home. I start back on Thursday as a full time student. I am working desperately to complete my degree in Early Childhood Education. My nerves are all a twitter as I have to go before the Board this semester. I know it will be fine it's just the act of doing one more thing that seems daunting. I felt this same mix of dread and anxiety just thinking about returning to school. Alas I must summon my best little engine that could..."I think I can. I think I can. I think I can."

Projects here include covering the beast of a man chair my husband dragged home (love you babe!). I will concede, the chair is delightfully comfortable, but that does little to detract from the horrendous eye sore that it is. I made a slip cover for it, and the accompanying ottoman from some grey fabric I had purchased on clearance years ago and had never done anything with. The result is a hulking, grey, slip covered mass now instead of the aforementioned behemoth. Not much better, only slightly so. It really has to do with the lines of the chair (yes, honey I am obsessed with the lines of everything...dancers and furniture). But it is a small price to pay for his cute little bootie to be all snuggled up in it every night. I love having him around more!

Other projects include creating chair cushions for the kid's dining chairs, a case to keep my new phone in, and an art piece for my mom's birthday this week. For me, creating art always starts in my head. I have these ideas, it's just getting the visual to translate from what I see in my mind's eye to an actual piece of art. The project I am working on for my mom, I am not quite sure how to put all the elements together yet. Today I will hopefully work it all out. Below is a pic of the phone case. I moved all of my sewing supplies after Christmas and I could not find my embroidery thread, so I just improvised. It is soft and will due, again not exactly as I had envisioned. I have a thing for birds...

Hope your nest is feathered and full today!

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