French Onion Burgers

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tonight I made one of my families favorite recipes, french onion burgers. I've been making these burgers for a couple years now and it's a crowd pleaser EVERY time I make them.

Originally, the inspiration for these came from the Campbell's Kitchen website. The first time I made them I went by their recipe and quickly decided that I could make them 100 times better by using my own ingredients instead of a can of Campbell's condensed french onion soup, which is ridiculously salty and the onions in it have the consistency of jelly.  Yuck!


- 1 1/2 lbs. ground chuck
- 4 hamburger buns
- 1 large onion
- 1 cup beef broth
- 4 slices provolone mozzarella cheese
- salt and pepper to taste


Toast buns in a preheated 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, season and shape burger into four patties, about 6 oz. each and chop up onions into strips.

Preheat a skillet on medium high and sear the patties on all sides. When browned, add onions and broth and continue to cook on medium high.

Cook until burgers are done and remove them from the skillet and add the cheese slices.

Reduce broth and further soften the onions. Make sure to get all the goodness on the bottom of the pan while you do this.

When the onions are done place evenly on top on the burgers.

Add any desired condiments. Mayo works good with this recipe but it's such a juicy burger that nothing is really needed... except lots of napkins because this is a messy one :)


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Roll-up Towel Tote Tutorial

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Here it is as promised, the roll-up towel tote tutorial. Packed with lots of pictures and written instructions on how to make both the adult version and the toddler version of the roll-up towel tote for the beach.

You will need..

For Both Versions

- A sewing machine
- Straight pins
- Scissors
- Extra material for pockets and handles
- Velcro strips (not shown in picture)

For Toddler Version

- 2 Hand towels
- Travel size pillow

For Adult Version

- 2 Bath Towels
- Full size pillow

Step 1:
Start by fitting your pillow in the towel.

Then pin all the way down both sides of the towel.

*If you are doing this with full size bath towels you will have extra towel hanging. Only pin the sides to where the pillow case will end. 

Step 2:
Sew down the sides of the towel next to the pins using the edge as a guide.

When finished with both sides take the pins out and trim excess thread. Then fit the pillow inside the towel.

Step 3:
Take the open ends and line up both edges with the end of the other towel, pin and sew. Again using the edges as a guide.

Remove pins and trim excess thread

*With the adult version this is where you will trim your excess material from the back of the towel. Make sure you are cutting the right piece off before you start.

Step 4:
Wrap your towel around the pillow so that you can see where the flap will lay.

Take your extra material and figure out what kind and where you want your pockets to be.

Start by pinning the material at the bottom and sew onto the towel.

The you can fold the fabric over and pin at the top. Sew down the sides to create the pocket.

*try to get both sides straight ;) I did a long pocket on the front and a smaller pock on the back.

Step 5:
Next take your velcro strips that are stuck together. 

Take off the protective cover on ONE side and place it on the edge of the flap where you want it to hit  the other side and close the tote up.

Then take off the cover of the other side and carefully place the flap with both pieces of velcro on the towel closing it up. 

*I added three pieces to this toddled version. I recommend going all the way across the edge of the towel with either version. This is what will keep the tote closed while carrying it on your arm. 

Then carefully unstick the velcro leaving both sides stuck on either side of the towel. Sew all of the velcro pieces onto your towel. 

Step 6:
Make your handles out of your extra material. I used more towel material with mine but you can use anything you want to.

To make them, fold a piece of fabric over and sew it at least and inch and a half away from the fold.

When sewn, trim any excess material and turn them inside out to hide the seam.

Step 7:
With your towel folded up around the pillow place and pin the straps to the towel on both sides of the flap.

Sew on the four ends of the straps.

And you're done. Now pack it with books and drinks and snacks and held out to the beach :)

This tutorial is based on how I made my Roll-up towel totes. As I am not an experienced sewer there may be steps that could be done differently to make this easier. If so, please leave a comment and let everyone know so that other readers can take advantage of the tips :)

Summer of Sewing Project 2: Towel Totes for the Beach

Monday, May 28, 2012

I am sooo excited to share my second sewing project from my Summer of Sewing Ideas. Also, Click Here to see my Summer of Sewing Project one, the Hand Towel Toiletries Tote.

This time I've made his and hers towel totes for our vacation we are getting ready to take. 

I made these out of $5 bath towels I picked up at a Family Dollar store. There are 5 towels between the two totes.

His towel tote

Her towel tote. 

(To save space the pillows in this picture are folded down once. The towel is actually a pillow length longer.)

My inspiration for this project came from Stella Rutherford at The Golden Adventures of a Very Dark Horse. This is her towel tote bag. 

I found this fantastic project on Pinterest and have had it pinned for months now. I'm super happy I made these in time to take to Ohio. 

To make these I followed Stella's basic tutorial from the link above with only a few changes. I chose not to add the bunting around the sides. Also, I made the pockets out of towel material instead of a linen like hers. Lastly I used two different kinds on Velcro, one strip on the pink towel and three dots on the blue. 

I tried to take pictures while I made these but with only two hands, big towels, and a point and shoot nothing I shot came out very good. I'm starting a toddler version made from hand towels tomorrow morning. That post will include a tutorial on how to make these awesome towel totes for the beach.

Until then I hope you like my second sewing project :) Thanks for stopping by!

My Garden Full of Bloom

Sunday, May 27, 2012

In the last couple of days everything in my garden has bloomed, budded, and grew like crazy. So I snapped some pics to share with you and to document the beginning months of this Summer's flowers. 

Here they are...

Foxglove One

Foxglove Two

I was told by a couple of people that foxgloves were biannual bloomers. Since this is the second year I've had these in my flower beds, I didn't expect them to bloom. But they did anyway and they are gorgeous this year. 


Not planted for the flowers but they add a nice little pop of purple to the bed.

Peony Bush

This bush gives white blossoms with dark pink middles. They are so pretty but the flowers don't last very long on them. 

Tiger Lilies 

One of three, these are later bloomers. The buds just popped up and it looks like there are going to be a lot of flowers this year.


Ok not a flower but I LOVE my hostas. This is just two of the ten I have in the garden. There are tons of different kinds of them but I'm partial to this breed with the white on the leaves. They are super hearty shade loving plants that will also grow in the sun. You pretty much can't kill them and mine have doubled in size every year since I planted them. 


This was the first one to come up but all the seeds that I planted have also come up since these pictures were taken. Isn't he cute :)

Morning Glories and Moon Flowers

I've had morning glories planted around my fence posts for a couple of years now. They are awesome vine plants that have circle blossoms that open in the morning and close for the rest of the day. This is just the beginning of these. they grow really fast and will climb anything.

This is the first year I have added moon flowers. They are vines also but have much larger leaves and blossoms. These are the opposite of morning glories. Their blossoms stay closed all day and open in the evening. I'm so excited to see how they look all weaved together.  

The moon flowers are shown in the top picture. They are on either side of the post and have two big leaves. 

I hope you like my garden full of blooms. Check back for more updates on them.

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