Friday, November 27, 2015

Pie In The Sky

I went to my sister in laws house for the Thanksgiving feast and before the car door slammed behind me I was waxing eloquently about my beautiful pie.


I am not kidding; it was beautiful!  It came from the November issue of Food Network Magazine.  The name of the pie is Apple Berry Twist Pie.  I made the pie crust and when I was ready to assemble the pie is was well into the afternoon and because I was cooking all day, I wanted to be done with the standing up and wanted wine and a sit down.  That wasn't gonna happen.  I thought as I made the dough that it was on the dry side but when I took it out of the refrigerator, it was unroll able.  The dough recipe missed the boat.  So, for the fourth time that day, I headed off to the store.  I got myself Pillsbury pie crusts and used that instead of the made from scratch stuff.  I worked like a charm.


The top crust is cut just as you do it for a lattice top only instead of doing the basket weave technique, you just twills the lengths of dough and, starting in the center, spiral the dough


hooking one end to the next strip.  When the crust is done you egg wash the top and put a sprinkle of
that Sugar In The Raw turbinado crystalized brown sugar.  It gives the pie a glistening affect.  And,
it was wonderfully tasty.

I also made 48 mini cupcakes, Chicken Pesto Pasta (these two are always a must to bring) and creamed spinach that was made from boursin cheese.   Another yum!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving!!!  I can't believe that it is going to be 57º today.  This may change what I would be wearing to the festivities, that is, if I gave it a thought so far, which I haven't.

It's official, the holiday season.  G came in from walking the dog this morning and gave me my first holiday card of the season.

It's from my BFF Robbie, and it has wonderful pictures of their year.  On the back is a blurb about
their new 3 year old rescue dog, Gigi.  Very sweet.  I will be making some Christmas cards this weekend with my sis Mike.

After attending a Thanksgiving themed Cause A Stir Kitchen Club and Sharyn dry brined her turkey and it was the juiciest turkey I have ever had, I decided to do it myself.

We got a fresh turkey a couple days ago and I took out all the bags of stuff, the neck, the pop up timer, and the plastic holding the legs together.  I then took off the creepy fat that, for some reason, they leave on the fresh birds. I patted it dry and stuck the wings under the turkey (yes, it's a bit cruel but it is dead after all).

I slipped my hand under the skin or the breast and what I could get at of the drumsticks and separated the skin from the meat. and salted it heavily.  I also threw a couple teaspoons of salt in the cavity.  With a mix of salt, pepper and some herbs (I used dried chervil and thyme- you can change up the herbs any concoction you want).  Salt needs to be the biggest amount.  Then mix it up and massage it into the bird.  I needs to sit in the frig, uncovered, for one to three days.

The rest of the process is the same. You can roast, grill or deep fry.  I will keep you posted as to how it turns out.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Sammie Tutorial.

Today you are gonna get a tutorial on how to make the delicious hawaiian bread roast beef sandwiches. They would be a great little snack for a holiday get together.

First up, when you open the 12 pack of little buns, you do not separate them.  Take a big serrated knife and cut through all the buns horizontally , ultimately having one top and one bottom.

On one of the cut sides (it really doesn't matter whether it's top or bottom).  You slather it with mayo and mustard.   You can mix it ahead if you want but I just squirted them both on, straight from the bottles and then spread them to mix.


On the other cut side you slather on peach preserves and sprinkle some roasted chopped walnuts.


Then on the bottom you place deli roast beef;


and cover that with havarti cheese.


Put the top back on and cover completely with foil and bake at 350º for about 20 minutes to heat through.

I would suggest to not cut them right out of the oven as I did.  I feel like if I had let it rest, the cutting
would be much cleaner and hence solve the solution of a bit messy sliders.  And you will be very happy with the taste.  They were very popular, with girls and guys alike.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Home Sweet

We are home safe and sound. We had to rearrange our schedule because I forgot that I had a yearly doctors appointment on the day that we would be getting home, only we would have been several hours late if we did our usual time frame. As it was, we got home with three hours to spare, and that was good because we got lots of stuff done. And except for the usual blood work, mammogram, and the like, I am fit as a fiddle. What in the hell does that mean?

 I am packing up a couple quilts to go to shows; I hate doing that. It's bubble wrap, wrapping in cloth, placing in contractor grade 3ML bags and all the other little changes that each venue requires. A girl could go crazy!!!

 I can't believe what I just saw so I will have to stop typing and get my camera to show you.


After the first snow, this is what I see when I look out any of my windows facing the back of the house.  And it remains like this, except for lots of occasional icebergs and the like.  But some crazy person decided that it was the perfect weather (just under freezing)

to take out the sailboat.  I can even see a human on the back of the boat.  Wow, it takes all kinds!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Leaving At The Crack For Parts SNOW!

As of tonight:
The season's first snowfall dropped as much as 17 inches across Chicago's northern suburbs, and the total of 11.2 inches at O'Hare International Airport made it the largest November snowfall in 120 years.

We will be in this before we know it.  Yikes!  Happy Thanksgiving.  I may be snow bound and
without WIFI so I don't want to neglect you.  I may want to reconsider the yearly Thanksgiving visit.  Christmas may be just perfect for reconnecting.  We shall see.  

Great Friends!

Last night was my going away cocktail I had for myself. Most of my friends are now full timers in Florida so I want them to miss me. It was a grand time and today is clean up and packing to go home.

 Here is some of the good eats!


This is gazpacho in expresso cups.  There is a bowl of sour cream in the center if the need arises.


These are ham and cheese balls rolled in finely chopped peanuts.

My one non home made addition was the chili guiles I got from our favorite Mexican restaurant.

My version of chicken wings I stole from Sharon Jensen thirty years ago.  They are always a hit.


Bruschetta is always popular.  It's kinda like  you are eating healthy!.

Bacon cheesecake was a first time recipe.  I will do it again.


My brie puffs aren't the most attractive item but they sure are good.

Chicken satay with peanut sauce was a BIG hit with the guys.  It's on a bed of rice,
just for show.

I have had this recipe of Regina's for years and finally made them.  It is hawaiian bread with peach preserves, roasted chopped walnuts, mayo/ mustard mix and havarti cheese and roast beef.   They were a little messy but great tasting.  I am gonna figure how to fine tune the recipe to make it prettier.

I neglected to take pictures of the blue cheese tarts, the crab rangoons,  the puff pastry pillows and the tiny pecan pies.  I had to do a bit of socializing!!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Florida At It's Best!

Have a look see at this beautiful Florida guest room I pass as I go to tinkle in the powder room of my BFF Pattigirl while playing Mahjong at her house.  In the center of the pillows you can spot a long thin triangle of a pillow.

It showcases little square buttons, or maybe it is just the lapis squares that I now see.   Anyway,

it appears to be a lot of work.  Well, Pattigirl has a girlfriend who kinda replicated it for her but

with her own twist.  How much more Florida can you get than to have a delicious row of little tiny

shells in place of the button/squares.  I wanna get to know this friend!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Just A Little Challenge

Last spring four of us (quilters) decided on doing a challenge called 'Crazy Quilt- Make It Your Own'.  There were no restrictions other than the size which was to be 25'square.  We were gonna have the reveal in September when I returned to Florida.  The other three gals are year round Florida lovers.  Well, as luck would have it, one of us, Kathy, had major surgery on her shoulder rotator cuff and bicep, and with only the piecing completed, could not quilt her top.  Therefore, when we had the reveal (right before the screening of Downton Abbey on Monday), we saw Kathy's pieced top but I will not show it until it is quilted.

This is adorable.  A kite always makes me smile.  It is my cup of tea!!  This one is by Lynn and it's
called 'Go Fly A Kite'.


Linda named hers something with Tommy in the title but I can't remember the rest.  It's her first modern quilt and is made up of lots of denim of her son's that she saved.  Very clever and cool.

This is mine, entitled, 'Ace Is The Place" because all my adornments came from the hardware store.  There are washers, chains, screws, big staples, regular staples and springs.  It was very fun to do.  The white is in reality white, but this photo makes it look blue/gray.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

All Caught Up!

What a hoot it was for the five of us to get together to view last season's episodes of Downton Abbey. Did you know there is a Downton Abbey cookbook?


It is where the Sweet Cream Scones recipe came from.  After watching four episodes we sat down to high tea.  There were cucumber sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches along with fruit salad and my scones, accompanied by whipped cream and strawberry jam.


There was even a version of the cucumber and egg salad sandwiches that were gluten free.  Very grand.

We were knitting and watching for eight hours.  My body was sore from non movement but I am now ready for January and the final season of DA.  Rumor has it that the same writer is replacing this story line with another period piece taking place in New York.  Can't wait!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Downton Marathon

Yesterday turned out to be the longest day of my life. We left the house, after kicking Janie out, to go to the club for the 9 hole couples event. So I am thinking three hours, tops. We were at the driving range loosening up when we found out it was 18 holes. Maybe once I did that in 65 years, maybe once, but I'm not even sure about that. It doesn't sound like me. Well, I toughed it out with minimal complaining. I had plans for that four hours (counting dinner and speeches!)eating up my day. All in all, it was seven hours. How does G do it, four times minimum a week?

Today is Downton Abbey marathon and my job for it was to make sweet cream scones. So at eight in
the evening I was combining the ingredients and


popping them in the oven. I am quite sure that they could be neater with more time and willing to put
the time in, but

regardless of the lack of pristine-ness, they taste grand.  It was the golf that made them suffer.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Near Completion

I was pretty shocked yesterday to find out that Gavin Rossdale was carrying on a three year romance with his and Gwen Stefani's nanny. He also had a love child while he was with Gwen and she took him back. What a turd.

I am gonna show the gal across the street, Janie, how to quilt her table runner; the first 'quilt' she will have ever made. I will show her today before golf and then leave the machine with her this holiday season and plan on seeing a completed runner when I return.


I got most f this quilt done but left a bit to use to show her my method. I will still need to go around all the circles; they look unfinished with the quilting coming right up to them. Hopefully by nightfall this will be off my list.

Now I have to worry about meeting a new couple and golfing with them! Busy day!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Plan

The play was a huge success!  It was hysterical!!  Everyone had tons of fun.  I was waiting yesterday to get some photos so I could blog it but they never came so here I am.  Everyone was in costume.  The tables were decorated with vinyl records and all sorts of 50's stuff.  Even the food was good!

I have decided to once again have a going away cocktail party.  It's so like me to put something else on my mind.  The menu is rambling around in my head.  We will be leaving for home (or rather, our other home) a week from tomorrow.

The bucket list of things to finish before I leave it being pared down.  For some reason I found the latest art quilt I have done was not getting quilted because it was a bit daunting to think about how to quilt it.  So, I said to myself, just go for it, like I do everything else.  And so I did.

I started on Thursday afternoon, waiting for show time (the play) and got a start on it.  I continued to
work on it after Friday morning Stitch and Bitch.  My goal is to get it done before couples golf tomorrow (yes, I said it, couples golf).  And adding to that is a complete menu for next Friday's cocktail party for everyone to say goodbye for the holidays!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Play Day! Yikes!

A couple things happened today. One is I got my hair cut once again. After having the cut for a couple weeks I decided it was a little lumpy and thick in places. I went to by new guy, Teig, and he cut it again. I haven't done anything to it and won't until tomorrow when I go out into the public!

The second thing is that I finished one of the two quilt tops I am doing for my tv room off the studio. I have this one done


and my goal is to have both of them done so I can long arm them when I go back up north in another ten days.


Here's a closeup of the fabric.  The other quilt is identical and has the strips done but the time consuming part is sewing and ironing them one by one before joining them together with a 3/4" strip between them.

So, in ten days I have remaining, I plan to quilt the circle quilt, starting tomorrow (a little, because I have 9hole golf and the murder mystery dinner play), finish the other red, white and black quilt top and have fun while doing it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

An Early Thanksgiving

This month our Cause A Stir Kitchen Club was at Sharyn house and because it was in November she decided on doing her favorite holiday meal; Thanksgivng!

 We all helped her with miss en place and that was fun to have hands on what we are going to eat. I did a lot of pear prep, both bartlet and bosc.


We started out with some honey roasted nuts, a wonderful shrimp dip and some boursin cheese and crackers.  That was followed by a wonderful salad of arugula, steamed grapes and pear, all tossed with a lemon shallot vinaigrette.  The preparation of the grapes was to toss them in olive oil (and I would some kosher salt) and place in a 250º oven for 2 1/2 hours.  Yum!

There were two types of dressings, one with cornbread and now I can't remember what else was in it; the other one was regular bread with sausage, pear, nuts and some other stuff.  I have been waiting for the recipes but I haven't got them yet.

Two different types of cranberries too.  I'm not a big fan of cranberries, Thanksgiving style.

Here is Sharyn using the electric knife to slice the turkey.  It was the moistest turkey I have ever had.  She says it's because she uses Dry Brine from Williams Sonoma.  It was fantastic.

The meal was followed by a Pumpkin Cheesecake, which I did not try.  And anyway, it couldn't have topped her turkey.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dress Rehearsal

G and I just got back from dress rehearsal for our Thursday night Murder Mystery Dinner Play. I stink but it lots of fun anyway. My part is pretty physical. I still got a couple days to improve.

I joined the 9 hole golf league here and this afternoon I am going to a new member social to welcome the new golfers to the league. Do I wear golf attire to it? Maybe carry my putter? I'll figure it out.

'Tutti Frutti Alleyway' is a fun quilt to look at.  I love the bright coloring.

Here is a closeup of the black detailing.  The quilter is Susan Bleiweiss
and it machine quilted with raw edged fusible appliqué.

The 'Teapots' quilt certainly caught my eye.  It was done by
Margarita Korioth.  Included in the techniques are appliqué, ink transfers,
painting, hand and machine embroidery, silk screen, paper lamination, beading
and both hand and machine quilting.

Takashi Kasuka did this quilt entitled 'The Thing I Was Looking For'.
It was hand pieced, appliquéd and quilted.

'Look To The West' was done by Leah Gravells.  It was machine
pieced and quilted with the quilt as you go method.

This quilt is made up of 3/4" strips of fabric.

This is another of Heather Preggers tuning fork series, called 'Tuning Fork #22: Dark Waters".

It is improv machine piecing and hand guided long arm quilted.

'Peaks and Valleys 2' was done by Maren Johnston


She too is using the black bias binding to separate her shapes and colors.
It was machine pieced and quilted.

Last up for today is 'Requisite Red' by Maria Elkins.  It too
is improv machine piecing and free motion long arm quilted.