Archive for January 2012

Oven Fried Onion Rings

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This is going to be quick because Jim needs the computer for work but I wanted to squeeze this post in. I often make oven baked onions rings as a low fat side dish. They aren't the same as fried rings but then again, you can't take the fry out and keep them the same. But we enjoy these too!

Here's how you do it.


Onions (tonight I used 2 yellow ones but most times I use 1-2 large sweet ones)
a few tablespoons of milk
seasoned breadcrumbs
salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne or paprika (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 425 F. Peel your onions and slice into thick rings. Separate the rings. I leave two rings together if they are thin layers so there is a decent amount of onion in each ring. Set aside rings.

2. Mix egg and milk in a medium, shallow bowl. Mix the breadcrumbs with the seasonings to taste in another. You're just setting up a breading station.

3. Use about a tablespoon (more or less) of olive oil to coat a baking sheet and set aside.

4. Dip each ring in the egg mixture to coat and then toss in the breadcrumbs. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

It's best to have them in a single layer but
I couldn't find my large baking sheet.

5. Bake for 20 minutes or so, flipping the onion rings over half way through or when the bottom is golden and crispy.

6. Chow down.


Easy Ballet Cake

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We broke 100 link ups this week!!  I'm so excited!  Thanks to everyone who linked up and is making Latest and Greatest Fridays into such an awesome party each week! 

I keep meaning to post about this and finally remembered. When Molly turned 3 we had a ballet birthday party and I made the cake myself. I wanted to do something that would be easy but look pretty without buying a lot of decorations. So I frosted the cake and then frosted two Twinkies to look like ballet shoes and propped them on top. How cute!  Of course I'm not a cake decorator but that's ok because I don't mind if it looks homemade since it is. 

Ballet shoe coookies are an easter egg cookie cutter that I
sugared and frosted. I'm not quite sure why I put them in the tray
toes up. Why would I do that?  Weird.

Super simple centerpieces!
I used the colored M & Ms for the bottom
and then just clusters of lollipops from the party store

Anyway, I think the whole Twinkie-as-a-shoe thing is great and you could make all sorts of things. You could put some mini donuts on and make roller skates or roller blades. You could make skis by adding some licorice to the bottom and some donuts on top to make a boot and then frost. You could make a pair of running sneakers for your friend who just ran a marathon. The shape lends itself to all sorts of stuff!

In other news...

The stomach flu has come for a visit to our house!  It's a really cruddy houseguest. It makes a huge mess but never helps to clean up. It occupies our bathrooms without thought to other people's needs, and tends to make meals miserable. I'm really tired of it and wouldn't mind if it would pack it's bags and move on. 

When it first came to visit Ellie, I thought that it would leave before visiting the rest of us. But no luck...we were roommates Friday and Saturday (bed partners if you must know) and then it bunked in with Molly yesterday and today. And if that isn't bad's kicked me out of my spot next to Jim on the couch and is spending tonight and probably all of tomorrow with him. You'd think with all the Lysol sprayed around the house it would take a hint! Dumb flu.

Anyone have any other great and easy cake decorating ideas??


Adding a Ruffle to Slipcovers

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I tzujed up some store bought slip covers with some ruffles. Did you know that is how you spell "jujj?" I looked it up. It's true. Anyway, I have these slips I bought years ago when I married Jim and his kitchen set. The chairs are sturdy and well made but not my style at all. So I bought plain white cotton slips to go over them and so we lived with them for a few years before they ended up in the garage when we bought new chairs.

Fast forward to now and we are using our newer chairs in the dining room and Jim's are back in the kitchen with the slipcovers. But they annoy me because they don't reach the floors and the chairs are wearing floods. So I ruffled them this week and now their pants, or I guess skirts in this instance, reach the floor!

Here's how I sewed on a simple ruffle:

I measured around the bottom of the slip and added an extra yard for the gathers. I should have added a hard and a half to 2 yards because I would have preferred fuller gathers. I bought very basic white cotton fabric at Walmart that cost me a total of $8.91.  I hemmed one of the long sides.

I made a simple ruffle using my sewing machine (set on the longest stitch, highest tension).  I pinned it to the slip to size it around but then I took the pins out and sewed it into  a loop by putting right sides together and sewing the short ends together.

Pinned to size

Right sides together and sew the short ends

Repin and sew the ruffle to the bottom of the slip, making sure the right sides are together. The ruffle will be upside down but when you turn it onto the chair it will hang properly.

So I went from this

Cute and easy!  I was thinking about adding a ribbon around the bottom. We'll see.  And I know I'm ruffling everything nowadays but it's so easy to tszuj stuff up with ruffles. I'm so excite I know how to spell that word.

Love to see what you are tszujing up this week!  Keep tszujing! 


Latest & Greatest Friday Link Party #16 and Features

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We almost reached 100 link ups this week!  You guys rock!  I hope we break 100 this week!  Here are the top viewed links!

Tattered and Inked took the first spot with her living room tour!

Alderberry Hill wowed us with her Valentine's Day tree. How cute!

The Velvet Door showed off her beautiful ASCP Chateau Gray cabinet!

I am so excited to see what you've got cooked up this week!  And if you would or could spread the word maybe we can hit 100 this week! 

Valentine's Day Apron Tutorial from The Petite Sewist!

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Have you met Stephanie over at The Petite Sewist?  She creates incredible sewing projects and blogs with super detailed and picture filled tutorials. As a novice sewer, I'm in awe of the things she creates. I'm so excited to have her guest blogging today and sharing another great project with us!

Hello, Days of Chalk and Chocolate readers!  A special thank you to Jenny for allowing me to post today!  I am Stephanie and I blog over at The Petite Sewist where I show off my sewing creations, share pattern reviews, tutorials, petite alterations and style tips.  I would love it if you stopped by and said 'hello'.

Today I am here sharing my Roses are Red Apron Tutorial.

I love the fact that aprons are in style now and I think every lovely lady should have one.  This retro-style apron was inspired by Valentine's Day and would make a great gift for a friend, or you could use it as a reception apron for a bride-to-be.  You will need two coordinating prints. 

For the apron front, get some tracing paper and cut out a pattern that is 11 inches wide on the top and 13.5 inches long on the right side.  Freehand a curve from the left top to the right bottom sides.  Place the 13.5" side of your pattern on the fold of your fabric and cut out.

For the ruffle you will need a strip 70"x2.5".  Most fabric is 44" to 60" wide so don't worry if you can't get an entire strip in one piece.  As you can see, I had to sew two pieces together.

For the side ties, cut a strip 33"x5".  For the top band you will need strips 27"x3", 2 of fabric and 2 of fusible interfacing.  Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of your top bands.

You will also need 1 1/8 yard of rick-rack trim.

To sew the apron ties, fold them right sides together and stitch a 1/2" seam , as shown with the dotted lines.  When finished, grade the seam allowances and turn the ties right sides out.

Take your ruffle piece and finish one of the long edges with your rolled hem presser foot.  If you're thinking, "Rolled hem presser foot, what the what??" visit my tutorial and your worst fears will subside.  This is one darn cool piece of metal!  If you don't have a rolled hemmer foot, finish the edge with a narrow hem.

Take the unfinished long edge of your ruffle piece and run 2 rows of gathering stitches (stitch length 4-5) at 1/2" and 3/8".  Make your gathers and pin them around the curved edge of the apron front piece, right sides together.

At regular stitch length, sew a 1/2" seam.

When you are done, finish the edge with a serger or zig-zag stitch and press the seam toward the apron front.  

Take your rick-rack trim and sew it to the apron on top of the seam.

Now it's time to attach the top band pieces.   Take the first band piece and pin it right sides together, to the top apron front.  Allow the band to go past the ruffle 1/2" on each side, as shown.  Sew a 1/2" seam.  Press the seam one way, towards the top.  Attach the other band piece above it and press it open.  

Fold the un-sewn top edge towards the wrong side of the fabric at 1/2" and press.

Pin the unfinished edges of the apron tails to the right side of the lower band.  Stitch at 1/2".

Fold the top band to the bottom band and secure the apron tails in place again, this time incorporating all of the layers.

 Grade the top and trim the excess off the corners.

Give your apron tails a good ~YANK~ which will bring everything right sides out.  Iron the seams you just pulled out so everything is nice and crisp.

It's time to secure the back edge of the top band to the apron. Carefully pin from the front because this is the side you will stitch on...

...but pay attention to where the pins catch on the back because you want the stitching to catch. are catching that fold from the back while you topstitch.

And there you have it...the perfect half-apron!  Stand back and admire your hard work!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Girly Ruffled Curtains and Inspiration

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I finally completed a project I've been working on since we moved in!  I wanted ruffled, feminine curtains for the girls' playroom and it took me forever because I kept getting sidetracked. I finally got them done last week and I'm pretty happy with them. I am VERY unhappy with  my picture taking of them. I couldn't get the lighting right at all!  So frustrating. So while I'm going to post what I have, I'm going to try again tomorrow after reading some tutorials for tips.  If anyone has tips on how to take pics of curtains that have sunny windows please let me know!

I used a pink polka dotted fabric for the main part and then a few colorful fabrics for the ruffle. I used some leftovers to make some pillows for the  kids to sit on while they watch TV, play, draw, etc.

So while I was thinking about this playroom I was browsing Pinterest and found some great inspiration!  I will say though that I don't like to post pics without the original source and so many don't link back or list any original source!  Quite frustrating!

Source Unknown

LOVE the furniture and the serene colors
Pottery Barn

How cool is that ladder/loft?  I can imagine many trips
to the ER though.  I used to use the clothes line
art display system in my classroom and I think it's
the best yet.
Land of Nod

Love the map motif.

Tablecloth Playhouse  Etsy

Decor Made Simple
Ok, who wouldn't want this??  I mean I want this.
In my room. Molly and Ellie can visit me as I swing
in my room.