a needed change

Back when I started blogging, I wasn't sure how exactly this would evolve. But I'm feeling a little stifled by the name "The Saucy Kitchen." I want to write about "last weekends" and my current crafty project, our attempts at nesting and our kitchen happenings. But I feel like, with this title, they all can't fit in this space. I know I could continue posting them here, but for me, I feel a fresh start is in order. So, I'll be posting over here from now on. You are welcome to stop over and see what's up (and change up your rss feeds ;). I moved over my more personal and favorite entries over to that site, so it's not a perfectly fresh start, but it's close. Right now, it's a work in progress, but if you miss me here, head over there.

last weekend

Last weekend we headed out to Spring's Preserve for a hot date. Let me clarify by saying that any time the hubs and I do anything that varies from our day to day routine, it is referred to as a hot date. Going out to grab a sushi lunch? Hot date. A bagel and a hike? Hot date. Shopping for something other than groceries? Hot date.

It was our first time going to Spring's Preserve and I didn't really know what to expect. It's a pretty interesting place - they offer tons of classes, activities and demos - so you can really learn a lot while you're there. We didn't take any classes this time around, although we saw a few that we really would be interested in if we end up getting our house *fingers crossed.* This weekend, we just went to tour the gardens and check the place out. (PS Vegas dwellers - it's free admission the first weekend of the month, so um, a ridiculously cheap date.)

They had tons of fun plants, including a lot of desert friendly edibles - something we are very interested in. They also have pretty fun sculptures made from scrap materials (aka junk) scattered throughout the gardens and the rest of the preserve, all from artist Dave Thompson. It's only there until this coming fall, so it was fun to see the exhibit.

Later that day, since it was Cinco de Mayo, we stopped off for some Mexican food. It was sort of overwhelming in portion sizes, but delicious none the less. And, because we're early birds, we still made it home in time to watch the Derby.

The rest of the weekend was spent finishing up some projects. I was really itching to start some others, but ran out of supplies, so I think this week may be a trip to the fabric store so I don't run into this terrible problem again.

FWF: Week 10

This week we did pretty poorly. Food waste was not at the foremost of my brain and so we ended up with more waste than I would have liked. It's frustrating for sure, so next week I hope to do better.

1 avocado

egg whites - I meant to use these in meringue cookies, but I wasn't really feeling like anything sweet. Then the hubs went and made killer chocolate cookies and pretty much sealed the fate of these.

pita - The hubs made homemade pita earlier in the week, but the thing about homemade pita is that they have the life expectancy of a fruit fly, and we couldn't eat them all in time.

2 sweet potatoes - oops.

1 zucchini - from last week. We used up one, but the second never got used up.

a bit of omelette veggies - I cut up a bunch to have omelette veggies cut up to use when making the hubs breakfast (my knife skills are limited at 5 am). But he asked for scrambles and grits more than omelettes this week and messed me all up!

too many strawberries - oh the pain...

adventures in paper piecing

So, remember that quilt guild I mentioned? Well, this past month at our meeting, we swapped strips for our orange challenge. I already had an idea in my mind for this orange quilt but, as ideas always do, it just keeps evolving. Maybe a bit of something here, or there...you know how it goes.

orange strips from the swap

I've been working on it trying out new techniques as I go, one of which is paper piecing. If you haven't heard of paper piecing, it's basically taking a design drawn out on a piece of paper and using that design as a guide in stitching your pieces together. It's a pretty interesting technique and one I hope to master get decent at because it really does open up some really crazy possibilities.

oops again. $&#%!

I'm not to the really crazy yet though. I've been working out some simple lettering. It took me a while to understand the directions - where to sew, what to cut and how to fold. But once I figured out one letter (after some serious screw ups), I was good to go on the rest.

So, this coming week, I'll be busy getting letters done for the orange challenge quilt. And maybe taking some pretty photos of my first completed quilt to show you guys.


Club Baked: Baked Cheese Grits

This latest Club Baked pick had me skeptical at first. First, because I've never in my life had grits, and the only grits I've ever seen were sketchy looking puddles of white mush at southern diners. Looked more like something that you would feed someone with no teeth or taste buds than something I would want to consume.

Also, it seemed like a lot of work. Constant stirring - for 20+ minutes. All I can say is that the thoughts running through my head as I stirred and stirred and stirred some more were "These better be good" and "This better be worth all of this." (I can get a bit cranky if I'm hungry)

Luckily, after all that stirring, and grating and stirring some more I ended up with something that is actually pretty delicious. I get it now, southern peeps, grits are pretty delicious. With all the fat in there though, they better be. Although I'm still skeptical of those white piles of mush at the diner.

I ended up substituting goat's cheddar and another soft goat's cheese for the monterrey jack and sharp cheddar, but I don't think it affected the end result much. I did end up making half a recipe, which I think will still end up being 4 servings for us.

These grits are creamy, cheesy with just a bit of bite from the stone ground grits. I think it's more of a weekend breakfast than a weekday, but I could just as easily see it as a dinner side dish in place of mashed potatoes and the like. I'm pretty glad I sucked up my skepticism for this recipe and gave it a try. Find the recipe over at Lisa's blog and the other baker's results at the Club: Baked blog.