My Grandmothers Holopchi, sort of

While visiting my brother in Chicago, we got to talking about my Grandmas Holopchi recipe(Stuffed Cabbage Rolls).  She was born in Czechoslovakia and came to live with us(my parents, brothers and I) in the 1950’s.  The upper floor of our home was hers and I can still recall she made the best foods!

As I did not have her original recipe, I looked online for ideas and modified/combined ones that I thought  best fit from what I remember hers was like and here it is:

1 (4-pound) whole head of cabbage raw(or 2 smaller if you like smaller rolls)
1/2-cup white rice
1 finely chopped medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1-2 T grape seed oil instead of butter called for
1-1/2 lb. ground chuck/round/sirloin(I used sirloin)
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 tsp. pepper
paprika to taste….I used 1/2 tsp.
1 large egg
1 lb. sauerkraut drained
8-ounce can tomato sauce
1-1/2 C water (you can use the drained sauerkraut water and/or the water from the boiled cabbage)

Remove a couple large outer leaves from cabbage and discard. Remove core from cabbage. Place whole head in a large pot filled with boiling, salted water. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes, depending on size of head…or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves. You will need about 16 -18 leaves. You may have to put the head back in the water as you get towards the center of the head. Keep this hot water available.

When leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to cut away the thick center stem at the base from each leaf, without cutting all the way through.

I used about an 8 qt sized pot to cook the rolls in. Use about half the sauerkraut and line the bottom of the pot with it. You will then be placing your rolls on top.  Also what cooked leaves you don’t use to roll, can also go into this pot.

Saute chopped onion and garlic in OIL in a medium skillet until tender, and let cool.
In a large bowl mix rice, cooled onions, beef, pork, pepper, egg and paprika. Blend thoroughly.

Determine how many leaves you have and divide your meat in sections in equal parts to fill all the leaves. Some larger leaves will use more of the meat. Place a dollop of meat on each cabbage leaf at the base. Roll away from you to encase the meat. Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle, then flip the left side. Then keep rolling away from you till the end of the leaf. Place in prepared pot.
Top with all the remaining sauerkraut. Combine the tomato sauce and to start 1-1/2C water. Add enough water to almost cover completely. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer 4 to 5 hours.
I also made a loaf of rye bread to go along with this meal and I must say as I was eating, I pictured my sweet Grandma and said, yes, this tastes like hers <3

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New sewing idea

I was laundering all my Christmas towels, potholders, etc and tucked those away for another year.  I then had to replace my stack of potholders with my year-round ones, which I had already laundered and waiting in the cabinet.

I was looking at a couple of them and discovered they are really pretty worn and threadbare.  Well that won’t do when you’re trying to hold on to a hot plate or pan.  Then I got an idea.  I have tons of fabric scraps and also some binding scraps from when I made THESE: My Adult Mealtime Coverups.

I am so excited……here are all the new potholders I can make with my scraps:
IMG_3199My old ratty one is at the top of the photo along with the cotton batting I am going to place in between these cotton prints you see here.  I was also doing some research online and found THIS.  Its called Insul-Bright.  I had read some reviews about hearing a crinkle noise, but it does have metalized poly film insert so that makes sense.

My current potholders are just thick cotton batting, so do I really need that?  The site recommends putting a layer of cotton batting on both sides as well as its polyester.  It might make these too bulky.  Ah what to do.

But at any rate, anyone interested in some??? :-)

I need to get to the store and see what I can find and I will do an update when I get one sewn up!

Happy stitching!


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Wool Shirt Update #2

So with the holidays thrown in there, my progress on the shirt has been slow.  But we are getting there!

Here is what I have completed so far.  (Sorry about some of the lighting in the pics.)

After sewing the cuff openings, I sewed the cuffs on to the sleeves and here I am slip stitching the lining of one of the cuffs in place:
7slip stitch sleeve 8slip stitch sleeve complete
Here is a photo of the edge stitching on the cuff….so much nicer!
9close up sleeve
The next step was to sew the  bands on the shirt front. Here I am slip stitching the band front facing in place:
10slip stitching front band
Oh, an action shot of the edge stitching in progress on that front band :-)
11edge stitch front band
A close up shot of the completed pocket and shirt front.
12close up pocket and front band
Here I wanted to take a pic of the completed sleeve cuff, bottom hem and front band to show the edge stitching. I used a white thread rather than the heather gray and I think it accents nicely.
13edge stitch sleeve & hem
Full shirt before collar addition:
14full shirt before collar
The next 4 pics are the collar and I have to say that was a royal pain in the b…
I used my serger thank goodness and that helped with the fullness of all those layers, but I just had a hard time with the collar band laying flat/nicely with the front band of the shirt. Luckily when I slip stitched the collar band lining, I was able to get it to lay flat.
15collar 1 16collar 2 17collar 3 18collar 4
Good that part is DONE! Now onto the finishing touches….buttonholes. I love my babylock buttonholer. It is so easy to use.
20first button hole on shirt front band
Sleeve buttonholes are done and the first button hole on the front band done and guess what? I ran OUT of thread.
21shirt button hole
I will do another update as soon as I can get to the store to buy more thread.
Until then, Happy stitching to you!

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Wool shirt progress #1

So far, I have cut out all the pieces to the pattern and marked them up as well.  On those that needed interfacing, I cut them out and adhered to fabric.

Here is my first actual step in sewing:IMG_3100

IMG_3101The all important pocket!

Next I moved onto sewing the seam in the sleeve, and creating an opening at the bottom of the sleeve, where it will eventually be sewn to the cuff:

IMG_3103I am using my serger as much as I can for clean seams, but sometimes, you just have to use your good ole sewing machine!

I will keep you posted on the progress.  Oh yes, here is the pattern I am making:IMG_3104


Happy Stitching to you!


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New sewing project

I am about to embark on a sewing project with THE most expensive fabric I have ever sewn in my entire life and I have to say I am a bit nervous.  I am making a shirt, for my husband using Pendelton’s Whisperwool.  It feels wonderfully soft and with it being wool,  it should keep the hubby nice and warm!IMG_3097 IMG_3098 IMG_3099Wish me luck and happy stitching to you, whatever your project may be!

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Stitching and, well, Stitching

I just finished with a couple different types of stitching projects.

One is of the sewing kind, where I made an adorable little bonnet for a special little delivery that will be soon:IMG_3077

IMG_3078The other is of the crochet kind.  Here I made a cute little hat for another special delivery!

I need to acknowledge the creator of this pattern. I found it HERE.  I did however, have to use a larger size up hook for the yarn I was using, but I think it turned out great.

Happy Stitching to you!

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My first knit scarf, ever!

Since I did quite well learning to crochet all on my own, looking at websites, patterns, understanding the language and of course YouTube, I thought I would give knitting a try as well.

Well, it definitely is NOT as easy as crochet.  You have so many stitches to worry about, not just the one on your crochet hook.  The holding of 2 needles and letting go and wrapping the yarn around….ugggghhh I was VERY frustrated.

But I was able to, after about 3 tries of ripping out the project make this and I am quite pleased with the way it turned out!  I was able to fix my mistakes but I think there are still a couple in there!

first knit scarf II
The yarn I used is by Berroco, a Nylon/Acrylic blend and it’s so soft.

I would love to be able to graduate up to the knit/purl stitch and even making socks, but at this point, I may just retire my needles for good, we’ll see.

Until next time, happy stitching!

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Another handmade baby blanket

I remembered sometime last month, that I never made my second grandson his blanket for his birth back in March.  What a terrible Nana am I.  So in carrying on the tradition, he will receive this for Christmas:

zach blanket 1 zach blanket 2

I like the way the piping turned out on the edge, rather than use a lace this time.zach blanket 3

I did however, have to spend an additional hour and a half ripping out my basting as well as stitching, because of this error…can you see what I did???   I cannot believe I was not paying attention.zach blanket 4
Obviously, when I started to turn it right side out after sewing, I noticed the batting should be BETWEEN the layers on the INSIDE, not on the outside of the blanket….duh!

I am also including a look back on my other posts about baby blankets HERE and

Happy, and CORRECT stitching to you!!

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Tiered apron

I just finished making this absolutely adorable(I think) tiered apron as a gift for someone.

I bought the fabric HERE a long time ago(like 2 yrs?) and I loved the way Randi combined the colors/patterns.  It caught my eye, just for this project.  I just needed someone special to make it for and I found that someone :-)

photo 1

I added a ribbon at the top gathered row to hide the unfinished gathered edge.  The other layers are hidden by the next layer up!

photo 2

I put a layer of interfacing along the top edge of the waistband for more 3

photo 4Until next time, Happy Stitching!

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Crochet socks for myself

I haven’t posted in a very long time.  Guess I have been busy with projects!

I just finished these:
socks made with berroco yarn

I used Berroco Comfort Sock yarn.  I decided to mix it up a bit and add some solid color, along with the multi-color.  Comfy indeed!!

I also see I never posted my completed counted cross stitch snowman stocking, so here it is:


And finally, my current ongoing counted cross stitch project, in honor of my sweet Boxer, Clare:

boxer project1 boxer project2

avatar 1

I bought this counted cross stitch pattern HERE years ago, but am changing up the coloring a bit as Clare is so much darker than what the pattern calls for.  Its a bit of a challenge, but fun!

Happy stitching!

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