Thursday, December 14, 2017

Just Peachy

I had all these beautiful peaches from Michigan that I lovingly peeled and sliced and froze and brought them to Florida with me. I was asked to bring something to a brunch last week and I thought this would be a good time to showcase my gorgeous peaches and originally I thought of a peach bread pudding but then I thought, why not make everyone their very own peach galette. And that is exactly what I did.


There seems to be one gone, as there are 12 girls in this group and that was exactly how many 3.5" Lodge individual cast iron skillets.  Oh yeah, I let G be the tester to see if my regular galette recipe cooks the same temp and time as the wee ones.  Plus one of our gals is in Australia.  He sacrificed and with a dollop of whipping cream, he gave them a thumbs up.  You know how I love a mini!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

This Years Pillow

This is the finished and delivered pillow of 2017.  I made them and wrapped and labeled them in the summer.  G took them to work ready for UPS and my son mailed them out last week.  I couldn't blog it until my friends from California got theirs.  Once I just guessed that everyone got theirs and blogged and I was reprimanded for it.

Here is half of them in production, no bells yet and I can't remember but they probably need me to slip stitch the opening that the pillow went in.  There is a difference in these pillows and those in the past.  For sure the size has changed; this one was 8" square instead of the normal 14" square.  They were mailed in the same size box I have been using for almost thirty years, so that was a little deceiving.

I also try to make the card to have something to do with what the pillow is like.  My sister in law


Claudia, helped me with the 'jingle'.  Are you seeing something going on?


The cards are done and

so are the annual Christmas pillows.   Oh yeah, I didn't show you the back of the pillow yet, did I!


Here is the last one arriving in sunny Danville, California.  Now I have to think of how I am going to spend that free time I will have each year.  Napping?  Maybe.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Another View

My friend Linda was always commenting on the colors of this quilt called 'Skyview'.  I said go into my fabric room and get yourself some hand dyed fabric and make yourself a quilt of your own using colors close to the original.  So she did.

This is what she finished up with.  It's another bias strip petals.  It is sewn on various kinds of linen for the background.  I think it turned out grand!

Here is a closeup of her quilting.  It's quite big, around 60" square.  Delightful.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Farm to Table

Just got back from a start up farmers market that is to get bigger each week. The time of day is odd tho; 3 to 7, which means half the time, at least this time of year, will be in darkness. I bought an empanada to sample (spicier than I like) and fresh tomato garlic linguini.

 Each week they have boxes of fresh vegetables from a CSA which is Community Supported Agriculture.


For $35 each you can get a box filled with that day fresh from local farms. I think it is a great idea and it can make you got a little outside your comfort level as far as ingredients are concerned.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

To Pick An Author

These are two books made up of short stories by my favorite authors and their series characters.


 So far, these thriller writers have had several compilations since their becoming a group called
Thrillfest. It's a great way to


try out an author without investing your time in a full sized story that you may or may not like.  It also gave me some new authors to peruse.  Try it; you'll like it!!!!

Monday, December 04, 2017

Old Dog, New Tricks

I decided to try to spray my quilt sandwich together.  Unless it is a small quilt sandwich (as with the 12 inchers), which I don't secure at all, I use the bent pins.  After having taken a couple classes where both instructors use spray adhesive I decided to give it a shot.

The brand I used is not necessarily for fabric alone but for all sorts of stuff.  It worked very well.  I put a plastic tablecloth on the driveway pavers and sprayed the backing, folded it onto itself and carried it into the house and pinned it on the design wall.  Then from the center I placed the batting and spread out to the sides and top and bottom for a smooth fit.  Then I took the top fabric outside and did the same, spraying the wrong side of the fabric, folding it onto itself and taking into the studio where, from the center once again, made it smooth on the batting.  I then ironed it from the center out on both top and bottom of the sandwich.  It stayed together perfectly.

Believe it or not this photo is of the finished quilting (curved lines done with a walking foot) and is solid BLACK fabric.  Not light black but pure black.  Why it turned out grey in the photo is not something I can answer.  I am now taking the quilted black square (about 44 inches square) and doing the sashiko flower on it to hang in my master bath.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

15 Seconds of Fame!

I just went on line to find out where the traveling show, Circular Abstractions, was and low and behold they have three quilts on the Kalamazoo Michigan Institute of Arts, to announce the art exhibit that runs from Sept 23rd to Jan 21st. My quilt, Orbicular I, is the third in the line of three. I am pretty proud.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Pizza Possibilities

We had another pizza night for dinner.  G has been playing around with dough but we can never get it thin enough so I prefer to use these six incher ultra thin pre cooked pizza dough.  If I make the thicker dough I just eat the toppings off of it, so what's the purpose?

We found the crusts on line and ordered a case of them to share.  They also have 12' crusts.

They come five to a package for little ones and I think 2 or 3 for the larger size.

I made a brie, pear and pine nut pesto pizza and a regular one of sauce, italian sausage, mushrooms and mozzarella .

They are ready to come out of the pizza oven after about a minute.  Yum!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Japanese Sashiko

I decided to get the Sashiko machine off the floor and onto a work table.  I need to master this.  I reread the material that came with the machine.  I then sandwiched fabric and batting and did some

preliminary stitching, deciding that I like a longer stitch as apposed to a shorter one.

It is gonna take some work but I am feeling that this too can be mastered.  Now, back to the machine.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

CatchUp Time!!!!

I am very remiss in doing the blog.  I realized that I committed to doing a Michael Miller challenge with five fat eighths fabrics from the line, Our Yard, and all of a sudden I got the email that it was due in two weeks and I had not even given it an iota of thought, plus, all the fabric has to be Michael Miller fabric (which I love) and I hadn't done squat about that.  Oh, dear.   My head went swimming; I had a full plate of other obligations, least of all, a commitment of being on the board of the Welcome Club for a year, and learning to do a spread sheet as part of the job.  There was no comfort level there whatsoever.

I have succeeded in partially learning my job for the club, ordered additional fabric for the quilt, due on Wednesday (phew!) and done the quilt top.

This is done with the same bias petals I have been doing for a couple weeks.  It measures about 60+ inches across and 30+ inches tall.  I need to finish it up, facing and all, but I am very pleased with the look of it.

As for Thanksgiving, I hosted a small group of six, including me for a very traditional feast.


I did a three day brine on a turkey packed with herbs (Anne Burrell's recipe).


I made a springform pan of andouille sausage and cornbread on the bottom and mac and cheese on the top (Eddie Jackson's recipe).

Nummy Carrots was a favorite of our family growing up so I just had to make it.


Ree Drummond's green bean casserole hit the spot (no canned soup here!!!!)

Oyster and bacon stuffing, courtesy of Food Network Magazine,  was expensive and not my favorite so that recipe went in the trash.


But Food Network Magazine's mashed potatoes with sage was the bomb!!!!

Friends brought wonderful rolls (made from scratch) and a pecan pie and a chocolate cheesecake for dessert.  We were stuffed!!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Drinks With The Neighbors

I had a small epiphany yesterday. I had decided awhile back that I was doing my going away party for myself wrong. I was so busy getting things in and out of the oven that I did not mingle as I would have liked. I talked it over with a couple people and decided to change my menu's to have apps that are easily room temperature. I have been scoping them out on line and in cookbooks.

Last night I had a small cocktail party for neighbors and decided to try out my new non stress entertaining. I decided on only four appetizers, along with celery sticks and blue cheese, and the mandatory chocolate covered almonds and mixed nuts. I had everything completely done and for once, enjoyed the ring of the doorbell. It was amazing. I just looked up if the way I used epiphany was okay and not religious like I normally think of it and the last of four descriptions was a moment of sudden revelation or insight.   I think this qualifies.

Two of the four recipes I used last night were Brie Puffs, which I make all the time and Bruschetta, which I make when tomatoes are good and/or in season.  They are both on Tommy Cooks.

This is the Blue Cheese Savory Cheesecake with the pear preserves and pecans.

This is a Ree Drummond recipe called Ham Salad in Endive Cups.  Click on them for a closer look.  Once again, sometimes the photo's come out so tiny and I have no idea why.  My sister is coming the end of the week and bringing me lots of stuff I forgot from home and one is my Nikon camera.  I am going to start carrying it around again.  Anyway,  the appetizer tasted great but there is something that get's tired looking a short time after they are plated.  It's like the endive kinda melts up a bit when it hits air.  I will have to thing long and hard about making it again.

I would love to hear from all of you and I would like you to send me your recipes that do not need to be heated up to stand on their own at a cocktail party.  I am waiting to hear from you!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Post Party

We all had a cocktail party on Sunday evening in an antique mall. Everyone was to bring a appetizer or a dessert. I decided to try something new that didn't have to be served hot and came up with this recipe from Ree Drummond called Tiny Tomato Tarts.


It's very simple.  Thaw and roll out puff pastry and cut it in rounds the same size as your sliced roma tomatoes.  The pastry needs to be docked (lots of fork stabs).   Onto the top of the round is pesto and on top of that the slice of roma with a touch of olive oil.  I baked them for 15 - 20 minutes at 400º until golden.  They were yum.

When I saw this photo I didn't know what it was for a minute.  My friend was gonna buy this mirror and I took a picture of it for her.  I didn't even realize that they were my legs.

We spotted this dress and it gave us an idea for a dress notion for us to make for the Carnivale the welcome club has in February.  We have tons of silk swatches from someone who donated them to

the modern guild and the bottom would be great looking somewhat like this.  People were eating and drinking and shopping!  What could be better; I know,  things not quite so old!!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Playing With Pears

I made this very adorable blue cheese cheesecake in the instant pot a couple days ago.
I had tasted it at Linda's recent Cause A Stir Kitchen Club when she did the instant pot meal.  I wanted to make the cheesecake littler so I made them in a 4" springform pan.  The recipe calls  for pear preserves and pecans to top it off.  Pear preserves didn't make my local Publix, but


pears did, so I bought then and when they were ripe I hunkered down and made preserves.

While I was doing the hated peeling, I put my jars in boiling water to prep for canning.


I cooked them down

and cooked them down a little more and

canned 12 jars.  It was like making music when I picked them out of the boiling water.  Their 'pop' was as if it were synchronized.  Music to my ears!!!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Hello Fresh

I have decided to try some of these home chef companies that deliver all the ingredients for a healthy and fun dinner. I am gonna try them all and decide what I will occasionally use as my service. I have done it twice so far and it's been pretty cool as G is getting involved. We started out with Hello Fresh.  I was originally disappointed because I got three dinners and one had rice and the other had sweet potato.  I loved the rice dish sans the rice and G was more than happy to have it. Apparently when I picked out what I wanted, they either ignored it or it didn't go through.  I have to admit I give G the job where he can't mess up or hurt himself, but it's been never in my 45 years of marriage that we did anything together in the kitchen, except maybe clean up or fight for turns at the Keurig.

Tonight we made Meatloaf a la Mom.  Here were the ingredients.  I minced the garlic and shallot and took the time off the stems and chopped them.  I had G peel the potato because I can no longer do that without effecting me the next day.  He was a trooper.

I large julienned the carrots and potatoes and tossed them in olive oil and s & p.  They went onto a foil lined half sheet pan and into a 450º oven.  In the mean time

G took the ground beef, along with panko breadcrumbs, thyme, shallot, and s & p.  He mixed that up and made small mini loaves.


The end result was as good as I think meatloaf can get, which is not the best because I would way rather have a thin hamburger wit all the fixings .  I made a light gravy out of shallots, thyme a beef base and flour and butter for the roux.  It was lively and good.

Next up is something that G and I don't like.  Unless it's great fries, I don't like sweet potatoes.  But we are gonna muddle through it, kinda like if I came to your house for dinner, I am the queen of pushing food around like it is the best thing I ever ate.  Ask my daughter.  She as pointed that out a time or two.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

The Petal Dance

This piece was made for a particular spot.  Click on it to see it bigger.  For some reason it came out real small.


 It measures 34" x 9 1/2".  I think it's very fun.  It's kinda like dancers!

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Miss Bella

Let's get back to Bella. She spent a good month of constantly
wearing her inner tube. I told people that she was loving the pool and the balls in it and I wanted her to be comfortable floating around. She fell in the pool when she was four months old and it was catastrophic. She has never had that problem for the next 11 years. She needed it, as a better method of not chewing on herself, due to a hot spot. It was supposed to be two weeks while on medication but she could not help herself.

 After a month we took it off her for her walks and when she was constantly monitored.


It's been a day and a half and so far so good.  She does want to be very, very close to me tho'.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

A Habit I Have

After completing 25 small bias petals, I decided to make a couple more 12 inches, one for my daughter and one for my sister.
They are very similar.


While catching up with Project Runway, I managed to get them faced and finished.  Now I am tackling a 36 inch long by 9 1/2 inch high quilt using most of the remainder of the petals.  I am making it to fit over the entrance in and out of the studio.