Month: August 2015

www.From-a-Box.com Spaghetti Dinner

Best Spaghetti Dinner

{Best Back to School Dinner}

One of our favorite family meals is Spaghetti!  It’s our tradition to have spaghetti for dinner on the first day back to school.  This year, I want to share your with how I put our spaghetti dinner together.

I love a chunky, meaty, hearty sauce.  My secret ingredient is SPINACH.  I think I am like other moms… I know I am like my mom… I use prepared sauce and then I make it better by adding extra ingredients.  I add ground meat, garlic, and fresh spinach to the sauce.  This is a great way to serve healthy, vitamin-rich spinach – a “super food” to my family.

But wait, check out my clever method to chop the fresh spinach —

www.From-a-Box.com Spaghetti Dinner

First, the fresh spinach must be chopped to go into the sauce.  Whole spinach leaves become stringy in the sauce, and are easily picked out by the kids.  So, chopping the spinach is a must.

Second, chopping fresh spinach is a mess.  It stains the cutting board when chopping.  It stains your hands when transporting from the cutting board to the pot.

To manage these 2 problems, why not chop it inside the bag?

Follow these easy steps to chop the fresh spinach in the bag and get into the sauce:

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And here is our family favorite spaghetti dinner recipe.

{download printable www.From-a-Box.com Best Spaghetti Dinner Recipe Printable}

Ingredients:

1 pound ground hamburger or turkey

3 garlic cloves

1 bag fresh spinach

1 jar or can of prepared sauce

cooked thin spaghetti noodles

fresh shredded parmesan cheese, if desired

optional, but highly suggested, 1 bottle of red wine for the adults

www.From-a-Box.com Spaghetti Dinner

Directions:

In a large cooking pot, Cook the ground meat and drain well.

www.From-a-Box.com Spaghetti Dinner

Add the chopped garlic and chopped spinach.  Add the sauce.  Cover and Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

www.From-a-Box.com Spaghetti Dinner

Serve over noodles with fresh parmesan cheese.

ENJOY!

www.From-a-Box.com Spaghetti Dinner

www.From-a-Box.com Spaghetti Dinner

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www.From-a-Box.com Baby & Big Sister Gift

Gifts for New Baby and Big Sister

My lovely new friend just became a grandmother again.  Her new granddaughter was born on the last day of our sewing class at Sassy Southern Sewing School (read about the sewing school HERE and HERE).  I wanted to thank her for teaching a wonderful class at the sewing school, and to congratulate her for her new grandbaby.  My go-to baby gift is Baby Mitts & Caps.  The tutorial is available HERE.  The mitts and caps sew up really quick.

www.From-a-Box.com Baby & Big Sister Gift

There is also a new big sister in my friend’s family.  When gifting for a new baby, I like to include the big sister or brother too – no reason to leave them out, especially when the perfect little girl gift is a Summer Surprise Dress.  The dress sews up super quick and can be made to coordinate with the Baby Mitts & Caps.

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Both patterns use knit fabrics.  The blue floral jersey knit fabric was bought from Mabel Madison.  This fabric is amazing to work with and it washes up softer every time while still keeping the bright colors.  It is Pink Rosette in Blue made by Verhees.

The dress is the Summer Surprise Pattern by Sofilantjes.  This is a pattern that I have made very often – to see my other versions, look HERE and HERE.

The Baby Mitts Tutorial is featured HERE.  And the Baby Caps Tutorial is featured HERE.

www.From-a-Box.com Baby & Big Sister Gift

I think the little dress and the little mitts & caps are perfect for the girls.

And don’t you think handmade gifts are most special? I do.

www.From-a-Box.com Baby & Big Sister Gift 11

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www.From-a-Box.com A Tween Jacket for Back to School

A Tween Jacket for Fall

{Moto Jacket… Pattern by Jennuine Designs}

Today I want to share the Moto Jacket pattern with y’all modeled by my beautiful niece.

www.From-a-Box.com A Tween Jacket for Back to School

This jacket stitched up so easy and turned out super nice.  I am very proud of this garment.  I will admit that I was intimidated to build a jacket.  It seemed challenging to me with the differing fabric weights, the zipper, and lining up the outer and inner layers.  But, it was simple following Jenn’s pattern.  I had no problems at all.  Her construction and diagrams in the pattern are easy to understand.  The pattern pieces cut out nicely and fit together perfectly.

This makes a jacket for the cooler weather for Fall or Autumn, and can be a Back to School sewing item.

www.From-a-Box.com A Tween Jacket for Back to School

For the Blog Tour, Jenn is hosting a giveaway on her blog HERE… and the pattern is offered at a 25% discount using code “MOTOTOUR” HERE……. but first, read on.

I made the size 12 for my 13 year old niece.  It fit ok when worn as a top over a tank top.  In this style and due to the slim fit on her, this will not be a jacket to keep warm, but rather a jacket to keep her looking good.  The pattern comes in sizes 2T to 12 and best of all, it is unisex!  So boys and girls can enjoy a Moto Jacket.

www.From-a-Box.com A Tween Jacket for Back to School

www.From-a-Box.com

I want to tell you that the pattern instructions are some of the best I have worked with.  The zipper instructions made installing a breeze.  Even the welt pockets, which can be scary, pieced together easily.  Jenn’s diagrams are detailed to help the garment come together.  For example, look at this graphic from the pattern… look at the top alignment, and the zipper placement.  It shows EXACTLY how to piece the fabrics and zipper together.  very impressive, IMO.

www.From-a-Box.com A Tween Jacket for Back to School

www.From-a-Box.com A Tween Jacket for Back to School

The body of the jacket can be made from all types of fabrics including leather, suede, vinyl, or home decor.  I used a heavy canvas for the body in turquoise from Jo-ann Fabrics.  The lining is a quilting fabric from Patty Young.  The pattern calls for a knit fabric on the sleeves and collar – even re-purposing a sweater would work good.  For my niece’s jacket, I used a houndstooth heavy knit on the sleeves, and black ribbing for the collar and pocket welts.

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The zipper is metal.  My husband now knows how to shorten a metal zipper.  It took him about 10 minutes to do this for me.  He said it was simple, especially with the instructions added to the pattern.

www.From-a-Box.com A Tween Jacket for Back to School

www.From-a-Box.com A Tween Jacket for Back to School

The Blog Tour continues with many awesome jackets in some creative fabrics.

www.From-a-Box.com A Tween Jacket for Back to School

www.From-a-Box.com A Tween Jacket for Back to School