Thursday, March 5, 2015

Giveaway, Giveaway, Giveaway!(…and a recipe too!!!)

Hi peeps! 

I'd like to extend a warm welcome my new sponsor, Connecting Threads.

Connecting Threads has graciously offered this 27-piece fat quarter bundle of their brand-new Luminescence fabric line as a giveaway to one of you!!! 

…and it's primarily purple…mmm! Wish I could enter this giveaway myself!

Here's a little bit about them:

Connecting Threads offers quality cotton fabric, designed specifically for quilters. Connecting Threads is an online and catalog retailer selling quilting fabrics from some of the industry’s most popular manufacturers like RJR Fabrics, Cotton + Steel, and more. Connecting Threads also sells our own exclusive fabrics, with limited-edition designs that you won’t see anywhere else. Each of our exclusive fabrics are created according to our exacting standards and finished with our top-secret formula to create a flawless and amazingly soft finish.
We are proud to offer our exclusive fabrics at a price that fits within most budgets without sacrificing quality one iota. How do we manage this? We go directly to the mill, taking the middleman out of the equation. By sourcing and selling our fabrics directly, we are able to offer our customers wholesale prices on fabrics that won’t be found anywhere else. We believe that convenience shouldn’t cost extra, so we never charge for cutting. This means that our charms, strips and other precut fabric bundles have the same per-yard cost as our normal yardage cuts. Because affordability is one of the core values at Connecting Threads, we also do our best to offer fabrics from outside manufacturers at the lowest prices possible.

I love, love that their in-house lines retail at $5.96(US$) a yard…and they have Cotton & Steele basics at only $9.96 a yard! They also have an amazing Clearance section with deep discounts on Fabric, Books, Tools and Patterns…so many deals to be had! 

Connecting Threads often has excellent sales with up to 40% off regular retail prices. For example, right now they are offering 30% off their EssentialPro polyester thread and 40% off specialty rulers and pressing tools! WOW!!!

They offer free shipping within the continental US with any order over $50. Shipping to Canada is only $7.99 with your $60+(US$) order. They also collect any duty and taxes owing so that we Canucks don't have to pay Canada Posts's onerous $5 "collection fee"..a personal pet peeve.

I have been shopping at Connecting Threads for YEARS, since before they had their beautiful website! As a matter of fact, I always have an open shopping cart and wish list to dream about!

To find out how to enter the giveaway…read on, McDuff!!!

Photo: Vancouver Sun website

Do you remember when I mentioned making vegetable stock(or broth) in this post? Well, there was a feature article and recipe in yesterday's Vancouver Sun about just that. They said there are studies where it's been shown that homemade broth has extremely good restorative properties and can help mitigate many medical conditions. Sports doctors regularly recommend drinking broth to help heal injuries faster and cut the length of the common cold and flu.

The young guys above have a shop which specializes in making/selling their homemade stock which they simmer for 4-5 days!!!

Photo: Vancouver Sun website
There are even "broth bars" popping up around Vancouver where you can buy a steaming cup of homemade broth to enjoy…watch out Starbucks!!!

I decided to give the Hubs a break from cooking and made a big pot of chili con carne yesterday. I can't give you a cost-per-meal on this one as I had everything in my pantry. I do know that the cans of beans were $0.99 each, the paste was $0.75, and the tomatoes were around $1.25…just can't remember what I paid for the juice. The lean hamburger meat was also on sale and I had the spices in-house.

When specific canned goods(like the ones above) go on sale, I grab the limit allowed to stock my pantry.

My 'secret ingredient' is Clammato juice, but we didn't have any and I wasn't going to head to the grocery store for one thing that was probably not on sale. So, I subbed in the V-Plus juice.

I browned 2 pounds of lean hamburger meat then placed the cooked meat on a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb the excess grease. Then I caramelized 2 medium, chopped onions in the same pan. While I was sautéing the onions I was dumping the contents of the canned goods into my large pot…making sure to rinse the goo off the beans in a colander beforehand. I added generous portions of cumin, chili powder, dry mustard and black pepper as well as 5 cloves of well-chopped garlic. I forgot to add red pepper flakes!!!

Then I added the drained meat and cooked onions into the large pot and heated to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. I love how the above photo shows the steam rising!!! Then the hard part…turn the burner down to medium and keep stirring for at least a half an hour. Then I just leave it to cool on the stove.

About a half an hour before suppertime, I crank up the heat to rolling boil again and continue stirring for about 30 minutes…this allows the chili to thicken and the flavour also intensifies.

The end result…a steaming bowl of chili to knock away the winter chill! There is enough in the pot for 3 suppers for 3 people.

Now, for the giveaway!!!

-Leave me a comment telling me what you would make with this lovely 27-piece bundle of Luminescence!

-For a second entry, follow this blog and indicate how you follow(i.e.: by email or via Bloglovin'). The Follow windows are on the upper right sidebar of this blog. 

Please note: with the follow by email option, they(Feedburner) will send you a confirmation email…you have to click the link they give you in that message to become an actual follower who receives my blog posts in their inbox.

*Two entries per person please.*

*For Canadian and USA residents only.*

*Giveaway closes at NOON, MONDAY MARCH 9, 2015

Connecting Threads and Jacqueline Frances are not responsible for lost or stolen mail.

Feel Free to share with your friends, post to Facebook, pin to Pinterest and Tweet away!!! There are little grey sharing buttons in the box at the end of this post.

Thanks for reading and have a great day! 

Quilty Huggs,