Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blackie the Sewing Machine

Big thanks to my dear darling sweet husband who made my Vintage Thingie Thursday post last week! I should have him post more often.

I have done a couple of posts on my sewing machines, but this old girl belongs to my mom.

Let me introduce you to Blackie!


She's no wimp, I think her motor is bigger than my car's engine.

Blackie's Guts

I did a little bit of reasearch and found that she was manufactured 1937. If you have an old Singer machine that you'd like to know the manufacture date of, go to the Singer Website and enter in your model number.

Blackie's Badge

You can also download a PDF form that indicates the month of manufacture, the number of machines made in that batch and the plant it was produced in. Blackie was made in a group of 5000 machines. I assume that this lower number was due to the fact that she's an industrial machine and not a "home" machine.

I must say this is THE best sewing machine I've ever stitched on... well, after I decided she was safe to sew on. When my mom first brought her home I was pretty sure I'd sew my fingers off if I even attempted to stich on her. Martijn might very well STILL think that, although he did a rather spiffy job on the small project he used her for.

Stitching on Blackie

If Blackie didn't weigh approximately NINETYBILLION POUNDS, I probably would try to figure out how to get her here... she can run on 220v afterall!

Full shot

Check out more fun Vintage Thingie Thursday over at Coloradolady's blog!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mega Easy Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I found a recipe for peanut butter cookies that called for only 3 ingredients- eggs, peanut butter, and sugar. Most of the people who made it were raving about it, but it seemed like everyone was making some minor modifications. Here's what I came up with!

1 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar (or 1/4 cup brown sugar Splenda)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix all ingredients well and drop by tablespoonfulls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten with a fork or the bottom of a drinking glass. Bake at 175 C (350 F) for 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet. Enjoy with a tall glass of VERY COLD milk!

Yield: 16-18 cookies

These are SO good and SO fast to put together! I bet they'd be good if you threw some chocolate or peanut butter chips in them too.

Now for the tip: If you spray your measuring cup with a teeny bit of nonstick spray, the peanut butter will slide right out instead of sticking to the sides! If I'm making something with milk or oil, I'll measure those out first and then reuse the cup since those will help the peanut butter slide out better too.

As always, be sure to check out Tasty Tuesday @ Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday @ Blessed with Grace for more yummy recipes.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Martijn

Happy Birthday Martijn

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- May 25, 2009

I started falling off the menu planning wagon even before I was gone for a month, so I'm trying to climb back on!

click the banner and "Menu Plan Monday" for more menu planning ideas

Tortilla Pie

Tuna Balls

Chicken with Cornflakes- This is served with pasta, but I think I'll ditch that and do it with something or use WW pasta, not sure yet.

Corn Dogs- I am going to see if I can bake these instead of frying them. I've seen a couple recipes for baked corn dogs but they had muffin mix batter and I think this looks way tastier. Hopefully I can find some wooden sticks to make these on!!

It's Martijn's turn to cook for his dinner club this week, so I'm taking the night off that day.

Won Ton Tacos- This is just a backup incase we don't have leftovers one night!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Vintage Thingy Thursday: Commodore SX-64

Hi! This week's installment of Mub's Vintage Thingy Thursday is brought to you by her loving husband. In other words: Me. Before she left on her trip, almost a month ago, Mub asked me to do a Vintage Thingy Thursday on her behalf, and she even chose the topic for me:

No Pyrex dishes this week. No cute coat hangers either. Not even an old sandwich maker. Instead, I'll be venturing over to my geeky side. I proudly present you: The vintage Commodore SX-64 my lovely wife gave me a few years ago.

Having grown up in the 1980's, my first computer ever was a Commodore 64. Not this one, just a regular run-of-the mill breadbox. It had a huge impact on me, and years later I started to collect the whole series of so-called "home computers" sold by Commodore. A few years ago you would find these by the dozens on flea markets; these days they're getting scarce - ebay has taken over, and most of them probably ended up in a landfill, unfortunately. Nonetheless, I got most of them, but there was one glaring hole: The "portable" version of the C64, called the SX-64.

It never was overly popular over here in Europe. It was too expensive, too big, too bulky, and not really that portable at all - it weighs 27 lb and doesn't include any batteries; you need to have access to a power outlet. They were slightly more common in the US - but even there, the intended market (traveling businessmen) wasn't overly enthusiastic; there were better options available elsewhere. As a result, these machines are quite uncommon (especially in working condition), and I never really found one that was within my budget.

Mub found this one for me for cheap on ebay. It didn't work at first, but thanks to some very helpful people out there on the internet and some kind of cave where time seemed to have stood still for at least 15 years called "The Computer Bargain Store" we got it working!

It's in great condition. One of the keys has partly broken off and is a bit finicky, the spacebar has an ugly yellow discoloration and somewhere in its life someone replaced the ROMs with those of a regular C64, but other than that it works great!

Thanks, Mub!

See more fun vintage goodies for Vintage Thingie Thursday over at Coloradolady's blog.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dutch Goodies Winner


It looks like the winner is lucky #7, the lovely Noodle! Lucky for me too, she's local! Congrats Leslie, I'll make arrangements to get this stuff to you before I head back to The Netherlands.

I got some great suggestions for posts and when I get back to The Netherlands I'll compile them together and start working on some response posts! Thanks to everyone who responded, I have a couple other ideas up my sleeve for giveaways in the next few weeks too.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fish Sloppy Joes

So I know the picture of this makes it a frighteningly vibrant shade of red, but I promise it's quite tasty!

Fish Sloppy Joe

2 filets of some white, mild fish- tilapia, catfish, pangasius (which strangely I found IS related to catfish)
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (I used a red one, but any color works)
1 tsp paprika
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp prepared mustard
salt, onion powder, and garlic powder to sprinkle on the fish

Season the fish with a little salt, onion powder, and garlic powder and dice into small pieces (1/2" or so).

Heat a little oil in a skillet and toss in the onion and bell pepper. Saute until they begin to soften (approx 3 minutes), and then add in the paprika. Saute another couple of minutes, stirring frequently.

While the veggies are cooking, mix together the ketchup, garlic powder, brown sugar and mustard in a small bowl. Set aside.

Add the fish to the pan and cook for a minute or two. Stir frequently so that all sides of the fish touch the pan.

Pour in your sauce and bring it to not quite boiling. Drop the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes or until your sauce thickens. Serve over toasted buns!

Check out Tasty Tuesday @ it's new home- Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday @ Blessed with Grace for more yummy recipes.

Monday, May 11, 2009

LDS Eighth International Art Competition Exhibit

I had the opportunity to go see the Eighth International Art Competition Exhibit at the conference center in Salt Lake last week. This competition and exhibit is held by the LDS church every three years and gives members the opportunity to share their talents with the world. This year there were entries from over 40 countries!

My good friend Melanie entered a masterpiece of stained glass that I watched come together over the years so it was really neat to see it all together and on display for everyone to see. At one point she talked about finishing it off before it was truly "done", but I told her I didn't think she would be happy if she stopped at that point. I know that wasn't what she wanted to hear at the time, but she did tell me thank you and that I was right afterall when she did get it DONE done. Now the joke is that I was the "creative consultant" on the job.

Sacred Grove Stained Glass

There were some absolutely stunning pieces of art there. One person had made a "desktop" with a lacy tablecloth, a Book of Mormon, a feather and other desky things entirely out of wood. I didn't even realize it was all wood until one of the docents pointed it out to us. There were quilts and sculptures and paintings and carvings and on and on. I loved the broad range of styles and different mediums that people worked with. It really showed a broad range of talents.

If you're in the Salt Lake area or will be before October 11, 2009 you REALLY ought to check out the exhibit. It's open Monday-Saturday from 10 am until 7 pm and on Sunday from 11 am until 7 pm in the Conference Center and you enter through door 15. You can also view the exhibit online, but it truly is one of those things where being there in person is better!

Since we were right across the street from Temple Square and I had left The Netherlands before the tulips came up, we went over and walked through so I could see the flowers.


It was a good day.

P.S.-- If you haven't already, don't forget to enter my Dutch Goodies Giveaway!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Dutch Goodies Giveaway

I haven't really stopped to breathe since I got here. Between tearing down the basement, sorting through boxes upon boxes of stuff and figuring out what to do with it, making this evil dress for the wedding I'm participating in tomorrow, and trying to visit with people when I have a chance between all the other stuff (which sadly hasn't been much to this point) I am feeling a little bit worn out. I had a bit of a meltdown this morning, but I'm feeling better now and have something to giveaway to make someone ELSE feel better too!


It's an assortment of goodies from The Netherlands. I've got some snoepjes (chewy candies), stroopwafels, een gember koek (ginger cake), anijsblokjes (anise flavored blocks to make warm drinks with), koninginnensoep (Queen Soup), peer (pear) Sultana's, and chocolade (chocolate) to share with one lucky person.  I forgot to take a picture but I've also got a little Dutch "wooden shoe" to toss in with it!

What do you need to do to win this assortment of goodies? Leave me a comment on this post and tell me something that you'd like me to post about in the future or a question you'd like me to answer in a later post. You need to make sure your e-mail address is visible in your profile or leave me a way to contact you in your comment.  That's it! I'll take comments until 10pm (MST) on May 13th, 2009 (next Wednesday). I shall employ the random number generator to pick a winner and I'll ship anywhere.  If you are IN The Netherlands and win, I strongly urge you to share the wealth with someone who doesn't have easy access to these goodies!
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