Saturday, February 26, 2011

Recipe Day! mmmm... Chicken!

Well, it's Apron Strings Friday again! Don't we just love Friday's?!

It has been an interesting day to say the least. I went into my son's playroom (my previously formal dinning room) this morning to discover a soggy carpet, the size of the mess more than 5 square feet! great! What could this be? I immediately considered spilled drinks, but we dont drink anything in there, even water, perhaps a leaky faucet in the bathroom on the other side of the wall? no signs there, but still searching...well 3+ hours, 5 sopping wet towels and a little space heater on high later, we still dont know where the water came from or if its still coming in. The plumber is coming around this afternoon and my husband is on his way home from work, coincidentally he had an early finish today, so it worked out well. He already decided that he will be ripping up the carpet to dry it out! Yikes! Wish us luck ;)

Well, with that taking the front burner of the day, I am now ready to sit down for a moment and decide which delectable dish to share with you today!

Last night I made some super yummy chicken that was a take on a recipe that I had found in one of many cookbooks I have collected over the years. After buying all the ingredients and being ready to make it as written, I got to thinking, this would be so much easier and just as amazing if I just ... One thing led to another and I kind of created a totally new recipe with some of the ingredients and some others and it turned out absolutely great!! So here it is. It was so easy and it received great reviews from my most discerning critic, my husband, so it must be great ;)


Proscuitto & Mozzarella Chicken
Serves 2 (double or more as needed)

3-4 pieces boneless skinless chicken thighs
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp italian seasonings
1/2 C shredded Mozzarella cheese
4 thin slices of proscuitto
1-2 T shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. F
Oil 8" square glass baker
Place chicken thighs open in the pan
Season with salt, pepper and italian seasonings
Sprinkle mozzarella over top
Place slices of proscuitto over chicken trying to cover meat completely
Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top of that
Bake for @ 30 minutes until golden and bubbly! Enjoy!
I served this with a side of baked sweet potatoes and a side of sauteed spinach

Oh, last minute update on the water leak...

When the house was being built, one of the sheetrock hangers put a screw through a copper water pipe. It managed to wedge itself in so well that over the past 3 years it has been fine, but slowly rusting over. Now after repeated water usage through the sink, the rust has been getting washed out and caused a large enough hole in the pipe to finally leak...all over my dining room; walls, floor, carpet, baseboards. Oh joy. At least it will all be covered under warranty and not be an out of pocket expense, but seriously folks, way to pay attention!! Now I have a gaping hole in the wall and the room is out of commission until at least the beginning of next week! Great! Especially considering that this room has been converted to the little one's play room. Now my living room looks like an explosion in the toy factory. Just thought you would love to share!

Have a lovely weekend

Warm wishes,
     ~ Alicia

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Where do the days go?

Well I did again, didn't I? I missed yesterday! Well, I guess I have a few good (?) reasons... I was making a custom apron for a client over at my lovely little apron site Gingham & Cherries and was thrilled to get it done in one day! I also took the little one to a play date at a nearby coffee shop and had the most wonderful time visiting with other mamas and getting to take some time off. Then I met my husband at the gym for some training for my upcoming obstacle course/fun run. I think it was a pretty jam packed day.

So today I have been running around like a headless chicken trying to catch up from yesterday. So far I am still behind, but I have managed to go grocery shopping, prep snacks and lunch add ins for the coming week (yes, my week goes mid to mid as far as food is concerned, it just works best for me to grocery shop mid week). I am also in the kitchen making vegetable broth from celery leaves and stocks, carrots, mushroom and green onion seasoned with a little white wine, garlic and bay leaf. It smells heavenly in here! once I have finished this post, I am going to make a huge batch of chunky applesauce with cinnamon and I cant wait!  I love cooking and baking and spending time in the kitchen. Now to get the actual chores done! urgghhh that is not what I am looking forward to, but it must be done, so off I run.

I will post more crafts soon. I have not managed to finish the baby gifts yet. Nearly there, so very close in fact, but just couldn't get it done today. I do want to share with you though a lovely site that I found today through SITS, see side bar for the button. It is called A Subtle Revelry and she does the most inspired things with ordinary, every day objects. I assure you, there will be a craft there that you will fall in love with, no matter your tastes. I have spent the past little while just sipping tea and browsing her site. caution, it will pull you in and mesmerize you for a while. Enjoy!

Until tomorrow then, have a lovely day!

Warm wishes,
             ~ Alicia

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

10 Interesting Historical Things that took place today

Today's list is going to be a little bit fun, a little bit educational!
I have done a search and found the things that happened on this day in History and compiled a list of 10 things I have found most interesting or thought that you might find interesting. I hope you agree! Enjoy a moment of history with a little coffee break, come on in and sit down.

In year order:

1) 1630 - Indians introduce pilgrims to popcorn, at Thanksgiving

2) 1775 - 1st US joint stock company (to make cloth) offers shares at 10 cents

3) 1821 - Spain sells (east) Florida to United States for $5 million

4) 1860 - Organized baseball played in SF for 1st time

5) 1888 - John Reid of Scotland demonstrates golf to Americans (Yonkers NY)

6) 1923 - Transcontinental airmail service begins

7) 1924 - 1st presidential radio address (Calvin Coolidge)

8) 1935 - Airplanes are no longer permitted to fly over the White House

9) 1956 - Elvis Presley's 1st hit in Billboard's top 10: "Heartbreak Hotel"

10) 1959 - 1st Daytona 500 auto race-Lee Petty wins (135.521 MPH)

Have a lovely Tuesday.
Warm wishes
      ~ Alicia

Monday, February 21, 2011

Shop Item ~ Doggie Biscuits Ready to treat

Hi there,
Happy Monday y'all! I hope you had a lovely weekend. Forgive the kind of mish-mashed week last week, I am trying to put myself onto a new schedule at home for cleaning, blogging, baking, workouts and play dates and it is taking a little fine tuning to work it all out. Please, bare with me while I get the kinks worked out. That is after all one of the hardest parts; balancing a life with a new small business, a family and a home. I am so excited to be going on this adventure and I hope you will join me. I look forward to making new connections and learning new tips for blogging, business and life!

Today's New in the Shop feature is the Pre-made Doggie Biscuits! They have been a huge hit with my dog. He thinks he has won the puppy lotto and gets super excited when he spots his "cookie jar"!

Each jar comes with a baker's Dozen doggie biscuits, all bone shaped and ready to treat. I top the jar with the same adorable dog print as the mix gets and the matching ribbon. What a great little gift. This also looks so cute on your counter and wont need to be re-packaged or hidden away in the pantry.

Click below to check out all the details.

Have a wonderful day.
Enjoy the sunshine if it has come your way!

Warm wishes
       ~ Alicia

Friday, February 18, 2011

Two for One Day ~ Craft day and a Recipe from the Kitchen

I missed writing yesterdays post so today you get two for one!

Thursday's Get Crafty Day:

I have been working over the past few weeks on and off to make some baby welcome gifts for our niece and nephew who were, until last thursday, still little buns in the oven. They have since been born on my husbands birthday no less and we are thrilled!! Of course that means that I really need to get finished making their gifts. Today I wanted to share with you the collection in progress for these gifts and hope, hope, hope that by next Thursday I am done and can share the finished product with you.

I will, when complete, have for each twin, 3 swaddling blankets, 6 burp cloths and 1 snuggle crib blanket. Yes that does come out to 20 items, but as it is for family and a sewing project, it is not what I consider a chore. Besides, it is a break from all the hard work, and pure fun for me!

The color pallet for each is based in browns and greens with some modest (read; not very baby) pink added for the little girl. The patterns of the fabric for hers are leaves and circles, for him they remind me of a somewhat Mayan or Aztec print. I decided on these as there was no actual theme chosen for the nursery just mahogany wood and a green mobile above the cribs. This also fits better with the parents preference for decor and their home. I hope they will be well received. Let me know what you think so far.

sewing the strips together for the girl snuggle blanket 
the last panel to go on.

sewing the edges together all around the blanket

the fabric that will be the centers for the girl burp cloths
and a rick rack edging

the three girl swaddling blankets

each is detailed with different edging

the pink details

the brown leaf print and detail stitch

The boy burp cloth fabrics

the boy swaddle blankets

also each with different detail stitching

the green and details

the brown print with detail stitching

Friday's Apron Strings Day:

Today I would like to share with you a brand new recipe that I tried out this week. I have been combing my recipe books for some fun new entrees so as not to have us so stuck in a rut. I found some great looking things and can't wait to try them as the week progresses. But the one that had me most skeptical as well as intrigued was a recipe for Sausage Crepes. I know it sounds interesting but strange at the same time. Of course this could just be me and y'all out there are thinking oh, sausage crepes, we have those every week. Well, if that is the case, then I have been missing out, because these were fantastic! & very easy! Two huge bonus' as far as I'm concerned. If however you are more like me and have never heard of such a thing, or at least never tried it, then please, please do!! You will not be sorry!

Without further ado, here is the recipe. Please let me know if you do try it and what you think of it.

Sausage Crepes

Adapted from The Texas Experience, a cookbook from the Richardson Women's Club. A recipe by Jean Zinser

3 Eggs beaten
1 C milk
1 T veg./cannola oil
1 C flour
1 T herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp salt

Combine eggs, milk and oil add flour herbes and salt. Beat until smooth. pour 1/4 C batter into greased 6 inch skillet swirl to coat bottom of pan. Cook on one side. Stack and cool slightly between paper towels.

Sausage Filling
1 pound plain pork sausage meat
1/4 C chopped yellow onion
1/2 C shredded Colby cheese
3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp herbes de Provence
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of garlic powder

Brown sausage and onion and herbs in a greased pan (I used same as crepe pan once finished, no need to clean out). Add cheese and cream cheese.

Place 2 T filling along un-browned center of each crepe and roll up. Place in greased square glass baker. Chill until ready to bake. Can be wrapped well and frozen at this stage.

Cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
sour cream

When ready to bake pre-heat oven to 350 F. Mix together topping, equal parts of each, and spoon over crepes (please note here that I had enough crepes to fill 1 sq. pan and 1 half size rectangle pan, just based on what we would eat that night. The rectangle pan I froze for later use along with half the topping). Bake uncovered for @ 40 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

I hope you enjoyed today's double feature. See you again soon.
Have a lovely weekend

Warm wishes
      ~ Alicia

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In the Canning Room ~ baking Doggie Biscuits

Here are some snapshot in the "Canning Room", also know as my kitchen. This is where the magic takes place. We spend most of our time here and it is truly my favorite room in our home. In these pictures I am preparing and baking doggie biscuits, a new product I have recently added to the shop. I have the biscuit mix up for sale, but thought it might be fun and more instant to have pre-made biscuits available too. Our dog is thrilled to be the taste tester, though truly, there isn't anything in these that I myself wouldn't eat. These are made in bone shapes and turned out really cute. I made the first batch in chicken flavor and if they turn out well (read as; are devoured without a trace), perhaps beef, cheese, bacon... you never know! 

some of the ingredients pre- mixing

mixing bowl & spoon. My partner in crime: coffee cup.
Without which, I might not make it to the end of each day ;)

biscuit cutting in progress.
Be sure to have a well floured countertop for these if you are baking them at home

aren't they just darling?!

the tray filling up quickly

I ended up with 31 & a bit biscuits

flour, tray, rolling pin
All part of the process that is baking

1 of 2 ovens, yes, I am in love
my cute hand appliqued and embroidered tea towel (shameless plug - order one today)

baking to biscuity goodness!

Here are just some more fun shots of the kitchen. Since this truly is the heart of our home, It is filled with some of my favorite things and the colors that inspire me each day. 

stand mixer I could not live without...ok maybe I could but it wouldn't be nearly as fun ;)

utensils, baking ingredients and wine, of course

my stove top station, my must have go to's for cooking

aren't these colors fabulous?!

A little piece I love, handmade by my grandmother.
Brightly colored chickens over the ovens

Well, there you have it folks, the first look into where I spend my time and create the goodies for y'all. Each week I will show snapshots of projects in the works, bring you new ideas, mixes, and cute items. I will also share how things are going with the process' good, bad and ugly. Stay tuned for the fun!

Happy Baking

Warm wishes
     ~ Alicia

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Top 10 attractions in Austin TX

Good morning y'all!

Let's start out with a great local top 10. Since I live, work and play in the greater Austin area, here are the top 10 things to do in Austin as compiled by the Austin convention and visitors bureau.

Austin, Texas:
Top 10 Things to Do in Austin

1. Completed in 1888, the pink granite Texas State Capitol stands 302 feet high and is 14 feet higher than our nation's capitol. Guided tours are offered weekdays, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; and Sundays, 12-3:30 p.m. Free admission. 512-463-0063

2. Relive the pages of Texas history at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Interactive exhibits, artifacts, an IMAX Theatre and the multi-sensory Texas Spirit Theatre bring the myth, legend and fact of Texas all together under one roof. Open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sundays, 12-6 p.m. 512-936-8746

3. The University of Texas is home to the Blanton Museum of Art, recognized for its European paintings and modern and contemporary American and Latin American art.  Open Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sundays, 1-5 p.m. 512-471-7324

4. Enjoy the spectacle of the Congress Avenue bats, the largest urban bat colony in North America, as 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats depart nightly at sunset, April through October, from beneath the bridge. 512-327-9721

5. See the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where planting areas, wildflower meadows, exhibits and observation tower pay homage to Lady Bird’s devotion to native landscaping and preservation. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sunday, 12-5:30 p.m. 512-232-0100

6. Visit the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum to see copious volumes of presidential papers, a scale replica of the Oval Office during his presidency, and a First Lady's Gallery devoted to the work of Lady Bird Johnson. Open daily, except Christmas, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free admission and parking. 512-721-0200

7. Swim in the constant 68-degree waters of Barton Springs Pool, an artesian spring-fed swimming hole in Zilker Park. Open daily 5 a.m.-10 p.m. Closed Thursdays, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Nominal admission charge. 512-476-9044

8. Take in all the sights on The University of Texas campus, one of the largest public universities in the nation. Tours are available of the UT Tower by reservation only on Saturdays and Sundays, 2-6 p.m. 512-475-6633

9. The heart of Austin is found along the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail, a 10.1-mile path bordering the lake on its flow through downtown. 512-974-6700

10. Head to South Congress Avenue to discover eclectic shops, trendy restaurants, unique accommodations and popular music venues. On the first Thursday of each month, merchants keep their doors open until 10 p.m., playing host to an array of events and activities.

So get outside, have some fun and see all there is about this amazing city. Not from Austin? Well, perhaps this will inspire one of two outcomes... Come for a visit!!! Or take a look at your own city for the top things to do around your town!

Have a lovely day

Warm wishes
       ~ Alicia

Monday, February 14, 2011

New today! Doggie Biscuits and Pennies!

Hi there and welcome to the very first post in our weekly menu!

I am so excited to be bringing this to you today, albeit a little late in the day, but better late than never, I always say.

Today I have added 2 new products to the shop.

The first is a Doggie Biscuit mix, complete with bone shaped cookie/biscuit cutter.
Top the jar with the most adorable doggie print and it is an instant gift for any dog lover!

Here is a peek and the link to see the full details!

The second is a great gift for any baby you may know that is turning 1 this year! 
A Jar full of shiny new 2010 pennies! 

A great gift for someone you love and perfect for a co-worker or friend as well.

Take a look below.

I hope you enjoy today's additions and you enjoy a little look~see around the shop. You can access the shop at any time on the shop tab for your convenience as well.
I would love to know what you think of the new items! 

Until tomorrow

Warm wishes,
         ~ Alicia

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cooking up something good

Hello there, come on in.

I am in the kitchen a bit and blog~land a bit, cooking up some wonderful things to share with you here on In a Mason Jar's blog. Head on over to the about page for some tid bits on what's what, then stop over at the shop and have a little look-see at the first few things on the shelf. If you would like a little peek at where the canning takes place, pop over to the canning room.

There are a lot of great things to come. Please make yourself at home and come back often. Let us know what you think about, well, just about anything. Let us know if there are things you love, and things you'd love to see. We love to hear from you.

Have a lovely day.

Until next time,
Warm wishes