Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Busy Day in the Kitchen

I know I've been slacking on my posts, but I've especially been slacking on my food posts for quite some time. Today, was a busy day in the kitchen for some reason. It started about 8 AM with a salad I prepared for my lunch with Jessica. BJ's Brewery used to have this watermelon salad on their small bites menu and it was my favorite thing to get there. So, of course, they took it off the menu. I got a recipe in the mail from Kroger with this watermelon salad that had some of the components of the BJs salad so I proceeded to create a mash up of recipe ideas and came up with this fantastic Watermelon and cucumber salad with fresh mint and feta. Here it is.

Does that look amazing, or what? It's pretty simple to make: diced seedless watermelon and a seeded cucumber, finely minced red onion, minced fresh mint, crumbled feta, lime juice, salt. That's it. The flavors are so fresh and summery and delicious. The melding of the cucumber and mint and feta gives it a bit of a Mediterranean taste. Very good. I'll definitely make it again.

So, that's how my cooking day started. Next came happy hour. I have been planning to make a white sangria for the past few weeks and finally got around to it. Last week I made an amazing fruit salad with an extraordinary array of fresh fruits that took me forever to cut up: oranges, pineapple, apples, grapes, strawberries, bananas, blueberries, peaches, nectarines. I made a huge bowl of it-- far more than I knew we could eat. But, I had a plan. Freeze the leftovers to use for sangria.

After eating all we could for a couple of days, I put the rest into zip lock bags and froze them. I freeze everything. There are few things that don't freeze well so, when in doubt, freeze it and see what happens. I'm also famous for reincarnating leftovers--add something new and then make a new dish out of it. So was the case when my fruit salad met my sangria this afternoon.

I took one of my zip lock bags of fruit salad from the freezer and put it in a pitcher. I peeled and cut up a couple of fresh peaches-- I am talking really good, fresh off the tree, juicy, sweet peaches! I added a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, 1/2 cup of triple sec, about a cup or a cup and half of 7-Up, and about 1/4 cup or so of chopped fresh mint. (I'm so glad my mint is growing like crazy!). OK, I really love red sangria and love to order it every time we go to Pappasitos. I make it at home and it's amazing. Y'know what? I never, ever, ever tasted a sangria as fantastic as this white sangria I made today. You have to try it! It's just perfection. A great summer drink, but great any time. I'll make it again even thought I'm not always going to have a complex fruit salad on hand, but I'll just cut up whatever fruit I do have. I think the peaches are important.

So, while I was drinking that fantastic concoction, I decided to whip up an old standby for dinner that I hadn't made in a long time: beef stroganoff. To me, this is just one of those great comfort food meals that I don't make enough but I love it every time I do. When Jackie and Jessica were younger I made it more but as they become teens, they started complaining they didn't like it so I never made it much. I love it, though, so it's back in the rotation. 

I know. Beef Stroganoff with rotini? I didn't have noodles, I had rotini. Same thing. I usually use sirloin or round steak cut into thin 2 inch strips but today I used a chuck roast cut the same way. (It's no secret to anyone who knows my eating and cooking, I absolutely can not stand fat on my meat. Yuck! Please, no lectures about how much better it makes the meat taste. I hate it. That's it.  So, trim the meat well because no one wants a big mouthful of fat. Ugh.) Brown the meat-- about 2 or 3 lbs-- in a large skilled coated with a bit of oil-- your choice. I use an electric skillet because I have a big one and it works well for this. As meat nears full browning, add a thinly sliced onion. Add 3 or 4 TBS of finely minced garlic and cook til slightly browned and until onions begin to soften. Add about 1 lb of sliced mushrooms, stirring to brown slightly. Add 2 beef bouillon cubes and about 2-3 cups of water (enough to cover all the ingredients in the skillet). Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup red wine (optional-- sometimes I add it, sometimes I don't), stirring to loosen bits that may be in bottom of pan. Add 3/4 cup ketchup. Stir, cover, simmer for about an hour or an hour and a half until meat is tender and can be cut with a fork. Thicken sauce with slurry of 2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in water, using more or less as may be needed to make a thick sauce, like stew. Serve over noodles or pasta of your choice and add a dollop of sour cream on top of individual servings.

So, that's what I whipped up in my kitchen today. I hope you'll give these recipes a try. If you do, let me know what you think. Do you want me to write the recipes in a more formal way? If so, let me know. I'm more of a "a little of this, a little of that" kind of cook but I can do the recipe thing if you need it. Enjoy!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Collegiate and Gameday Dresses for Graduation

As senior year comes to a close, the excitement of college is on the minds of many, and orders for my collegiate and gameday dresses start rolling in like crazy. Many take senior pictures in them and they're very popular as graduation gifts. Order early. I can make something for just about any school so don't hesitate to ask. $48.95 and up. Maxi dresses also available.

Visit my Etsy store or my Facebook page to place your order or email me. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hello Olaf!

Isn't this design so cute? He looks great on a colored tshirt. He look great on this pink shirt but I like him even more on grey (which I forgot to photograph). Check out my facebook page if you'd like to call him your own for just $25.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rent a Sewing Machine

I have sewing machines available for rent. Specifically, you can rent the Brother CS6000i for $35 per week. I have a one week minimum. Each additional day is $5. A deposit is required and other terms apply so email for more details if you're interested and I'll be glad to provide them. This is a great deal if you're not sure you want to buy a machine yet or if you just have a project or two you'd like to do. Of course, I still have machines available for you to use free of charge when you come for lessons.

For those who know me, I am a huge fan of Brother sewing machines. I own several and my recommendation list is full of them. As I feel inclined to repeat from time to time, Brother does not even know I exist. I have no relationship with them. I am not compensated by them or anyone else for recommending and using their machines.

Through 4/11/14, Get free baby socks

Through 4/11, buy any onesie dress or boys onesie with shorts and get the matching socks for free (an $8.50 savings!). Dresses $32.95. Boy outfits $28. Don't see your team? If it exists, I'll get it for you.

Follow me on Facebook so you'll always be up to date on sales and coupon codes. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Baby boy boutique

Something new for little boys. Countless team fabric options available. I have lots of teams already in stock, too, including Clemson, A&M, UT, Michigan State, N.O. Saints, Texans, Giants, LSU, Alabama, Cowboys, Eagles. What's your team? I'll make it for you. Introductory price $28 for the outfit. Go to my facebook page to order. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Silhouette Cameo, My New Favorite Toy

My husband bought me a Silhouette Cameo for Mothers Day because I really, really wanted it. It was almost 2 years before I finally opened it, though. I never seemed to be able to find the time to take it out of the box and invest the time in learning how to use it, but, when I finally did, I was hooked! (This is exactly what I did when I got my first serger, too.)

This is it-- it's a die cutting machine, like the Cricut but way better.

My original hope was to cut fabric for appliques and to make rhinestone designs. But it's ended up being the vinyl I'm crazy about. You can put it on clothes or any fabric items, on just about any smooth surface and even some that aren't entirely smooth, and there are both indoor and outdoor vinyls as well as heat transfer vinyls for fabrics.  I'm making vinyl designs on shirts, on plaques, on my walls, on my cell phone, on iPads and tablets, on baby items. Look how much fun this is.
Here's my cell phone case. I love it!

 Here are some baby bodysuits with pink camo and gold glitter

 Here's the plaque I made for my kitchen

And I love this plaque I made as a baby shower gift. I still have to add ribbon to the top as a hanger.

Aren't they fun? I love that you can create these amazing things yourself and it's fairly easy with just a little bit of practice. Pinterest and YouTube have many helpful ideas and tips for learning how to do things, products to use, and ideas. I know that's not the best for everyone so I'm going to be offering beginner lessons for Silhouette Cameo users. Maybe it's a case of misery loves company, but I was happy to learn of quite a few people who have had these for a long time but never took them out of the box. So, now I want to take the fear away and replace it with excitement but unlocking the mystery of how to enjoy this fun, fun hobby.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sewing Lessons 2014

Before you know it, summer will be here and the kids will be out of school. It seems to all just fly by after Spring Break, doesn't it? If you've been meaning to schedule sewing lessons before the kids get out of school, now is the time. Take some time for yourself and relax, have some fun, and learn a hobby (or even a way to make money) that will provide you a lifetime of enjoyment.

For the kids, as many know, my summer schedule gets very full with so many booking regular time slots each week, plus I take vacation, too. It's not too early to reserve a spot for the kids for summer. It's also a good time to get a group together so you can save money by having several kids (or adults) come at the same time so you can get the group rate.

Here are some of the places my students have come from:
Clear Lake
League City
Texas City
Missouri City
Texas City
San Leon
Santa Fe
Deer Park
Galena Park

Yes, people come from everywhere and that's why the calendar fills up fast! Be sure to check out my "Classes, Private Lessons, and Parties" section click the tab above to get more detailed information about sewing lessons (or sewing classes as some prefer to call them.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Everyone Loves Elsa!

Have you seen my latest addition? Get more info on my Facebook page. Available in sizes 2- Adult. Like Maureen Makes It on Facebook and you'll always be able to see when I have coupon codes available for my Etsy store, too. What little girl wouldn't love this shirt?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Deal 2013: Sale on Private Sewing Lessons

One day only! Buy a five pack of classes for $145 (that's a $185 value). Buy them for yourself,  buy them as a gift. It's up to you.

This makes a great gift! I will send you a coupon for your purchase via email. If you prefer snail mail, let me know.

All lessons are in League City, TX. My hours and other information are posted under the "Classes, private lessons, parties" tab above. All lessons must be taken by 5/30/2014.

If you're in League City or the Clear Lake area, or willing to travel here for lessons, you can't beat this deal. Share it with a friend.

Click the Buy Now Button below to purchase the Five Pack for $145. In doing so, you acknowledge you are aware the lessons are in League City, TX and must be taken by 5/30/2014. No refunds for unused lessons. Individual lesson cancellations require 24 hours advance notice to receive a refund. Sale ends at midnight tonight.

Questions? Please email me at maureen[at]

Price good on 11/29/13 only!!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

French 75 Cocktail Maureen's Way

My take on the French 75 cocktail doesn't stray too much from most traditional versions, except for the addition of St. Germain Elderflower Liquer. Make several in a shaker at once because it's inevitable that someone else is going to ask to taste it, then they're going to ask you to make them one too. They're irresistable: a bit sweet, a bit tangy, a bit fizzy. They're deceptively strong, though, like a martini, so pace yourself!
French 75 Cocktail

Maureen's French 75 Cocktail

3 shots Tanqueray gin
1 1/2 shots St. Germain Elderflower liquer
1 1/2 shots simple syrup*
1 1/2 shots fresh squeezed lemon juice (use bottled if you don't have fresh)
1 1/2 shots cold champagne or sparkling white wine
 sugar poured onto small plate to use for garnish (like salt on a margarita glass)

Fill a shaker with ice and add everything but champagne and sugar. Shake well so all the ingredients get very cold. Wipe rim of champagne flute with lemon juice or water then dip into sugar. Strain contents of shaker into flute but don't fill glass. Fill remainder of glass with champagne. Garnish with lemon peel if desired.

 Let me know what you think!

 *You can buy simple syrup already made but it's so easy to make. Just add equal parts sugar and water (I usually do a cup each) to a saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved then remove from heat and let it cool. That's it. I store it in a container in the fridge for whenever I need it.


Related Posts with Thumbnails