Monday, July 28, 2014

Golf Widow

I got up at 7:15 to freezing (maybe not, but in the 50's) conditions and decided to go right back to bed.  Bella must have felt the same way because she joined me.  We stayed in the huddle until G came up and got ready to take off with 16 guys to go golfing in Michigan for two days.  His ride was to pick him up at ten minutes to nine.  They got here three minutes ago.  We were floored that a golfer would be late.  They are anal; even G was shocked.  That was 25 minutes late.  G thought that they maybe forgot him.  Thankfully they didn't and he is gone.  Oh, I mean, that's sad that he's gone.  Or not.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Last Nights Dinner

 I have this notebook that is reserved for recipes that catch my eye, in magazines or on tv or the internet .  Maggie and Evan were the perfect patsy to serve these questionable dishes.  I look back at them and wonder why I thought they were worthy of sleeving and adding them to my notebook.  There must have been something so that's why the whole dinner last night was out of it.

First up was the frozen lettuce salad, courtesy of Masaharu Morimoto.  It was just okay.  The coldness of the lettuce (and chilled bowls)
sort of made my teeth hurt.  The dressing was fabulous but included such things as boiled garlic, anchovy paste, miso and other things that aren't always on your pantry list.  I am 86ing it from the 'Not Made Yet' book to the recipe book.

The biggest hit of the night was the cauliflower and caramelized onion tart.  OMG!  I will post it in a day or two to Tommy Cooks.  I still have company or I would do it now.

The stuffed chicken marsala had a great taste but they were massive and G was hard pressed to finish one.  I think that splitting the breasts  and making two out of one breast would work much better.  It went together very easily and was great, if not too large, presentation.
The drippings, along with mushrooms, wine, stock and a slurry, made for great mushroom gravy.
The most disappointing was the peach cobbler I got from last weeks "The Kitchen" and was Katie Lee's grandmothers recipe.  It sucked.

Not even french vanilla ice cream and whipped cream (we couldn't decide on what one to use so we chose both) could bring it up to sub par ratings.  It's getting tossed.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Bit Of This And That

I accidentally opened the blog (pushed the wrong button) and realized that I didn't get around to posting this this morning.

Maggie and Evan are here spending the weekend. It's always a treat to have them. On the menu tonight for dinner is Frozen Iceberg Salad, (yes, you freeze the lettuce; it's Morimoto's recipe), a gruyere cauliflower tart, stuffed chicken marsala and peach cobbler. I'll let you how it goes,

I used up all the overripe bananas for my favorite Mrs. Fields banana bread.  Yum.
Now, I ask you, is this supposed to happen to my fingers when I am wearing a thimble? The needle (I use straw needles) went through my black thimble (I think it's teflon). Anne and I bought the things at Houston a couple years ago and they were supposed to be the bomb. Not so much.

G takes Bella on the beach every night.  It's their bonding time and G is always looking for beach glass for me.
This was last nights sunset.  Pretty amazing.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Antique Bedding

I have taken my time but I have been gradually going through cabinets and closets, organizing, straightening and purging. The upstairs hall closet, which is very big, was yesterdays task. Wow, the stuff I keep!! I ask myself why? The stuff I keep, some for 12 years since I moved into the current location, has no use that I can now see. Out it goes.
I didn't even know I still had this comforter.  I made it for Peter's big boy bed when Maggie was getting out of the bassinet (actually a drawer out of a dresser) and into the crib.  That would have been 35 years or so ago.

The animal band on the comforter was taken from wallpaper that was in his room.  You can click on the picture to see a bigger viewI sent it to work with G today to give to Peter to keep or toss.  It's about time I got rid of some of the kids stuff.
In that same closet was this bargello quilt I made for Peter's high school graduation.  It was my first and only bargello.  He never took it to college.  I guess quilts aren't as important to some people as they are to others.  That also went to Peter today.

My the label, I can see that it was exactly 19 years ago.  How time flies.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Finished To The Core

I have had a very sedentary week so far. It's been mostly sitting on my rear binding a 103" square quilt. Except for Tuesday, which was hot, the other days have been barely 70º and perfect for having the windows open and a large quilt (and a dog) on my lap.
It's not something you can just pick up and work on like knitting project or something small; it's heavy and awkward.  This quilt was more time consuming because of the curved bias binding. Having said all that, it's done and ready to go upstairs and onto a shelf.  Phew!!!!  Five years and it's done!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BLT And The Light

It seems as tho' we are getting in somewhat of a routine with having a pizza each week. I stocked up on those ultra thin crusts that have a minimum shelf life of six months. It's relatively simple to have the necessary fixings on hand; we always have cheese and bacon and pepperoni so adding a touch of this and that make it the simplest dinner ever. It takes less time than it does to look at a menu and decide what to order in a restaurant.

Gordon takes the standard pizza sauce, diced tomatoes, pepperoni and cheese (mushroom too if I have them).  I like to mix it up.  Last night I made this pizza that doesn't look like much but I wolfed it down in nothing flat.  I used mayonnaise for my sauce and added diced tomatoes, bacon and cheese.  Right out of a 430º oven I covered it with shredded lettuce.  It was amazing.  Maybe it will be a Monday thing, Pizza Monday.

When the air conditioning went on I decided to bundle up under my mega newly quilted quilt and start to tackle the binding.  It's gonna be very time consuming, due to the curves but I have nothing but time.
The binding is all clipped on

and I tried out a gadget that my pal Peggy gave all of us at our last get together.  It's a little light that you velcro around your finger to do close work.  Isn't it adorable?  I ended up putting it on my right thumb (I am left handed) because it shines on the work area perfectly if I do that.  The right hand is always involved, holding the work in place so the left hand can sew.  Cute, huh?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Apple Pickin'

After ripping out all the bad stitching, we put the apple core quilt back on the long arm.  I worked on this quilt for probably five years, sewing each one by hand.  When I started the arduous task, I also pieced the backing and made the binding.  That was years ago.

The quilt ended up being bigger than the first plan so the backing was no longer large enough,  That called for a trip to JoAnn's.

My sis suggested an apple as a quilting motif , thinking I would dismiss the idea immediately but I loved it and didn't nix it and so we went with the apple and 'apple core' overall design.  There is even a little worm in the design for good measure.

Because I wanted to have the apple core shape on all the outside finished edges, I sewed on a length of muslin around all sides.  Having muslin around the edges would have been fine if I had doubled it but as it was, it was too thin to hold up to the quilt top and so it gave us all kinds of trouble.  

When the quilt top was done and off the machine I removed the muslin (easy to do because I basted it on),

After all was trimmed away I pinned the outside perimeters  in order to attach the 'new' binding.  The original binding wasn't on the bias and I didn't think that would work around the

curves, so I cut out some more.  This was a little more time intensive because I had to pin it on and with binding I rarely do that.  It worked fine though

and now it is almost complete and ready to do all that hand sewing down.  It's been a long time coming.
And to think that this was all because I needed a hand project to do in the car.  What was I thinking?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Dog's World

My sis is here for the weekend. She is helping me on the long arm. We kinda screwed up yesterday on a hand pieced quilt and so I spent the second half of the day ripping out stitches that ended up in the wrong place. Oh well, I got to sit on my butt to do it. G took us out to lunch and we ordered these fantastic breaded mushrooms. We liked them so much that we sent him back to the restaurant to get more for our dinner. We thought we may have to pay for it today, but so far so good. They are dream worthy. Here is Bella's cousin, little Chai laying on her bed downstairs having a milk bone teeth cleaning treat. It's in her mouth as you can see. Bella and those treats didn't seem to work well together but she definitely needs teeth cleaning help so I am gonna try to cut them in half and give them to her that way. I'll do that today!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pizza Party

We went to a dinner party last night, given by my friend Barb and
her hubby Chuck.  It was a perfect night for just such a get together.
Can you guess what the main course was?  Yep!  Pizza.

Barb is like me and loves her toys.  She has a magnificent outdoor kitchen
complete with her very own commercial pizza oven.  Here she is, using what looks
like a monster big curling iron, to get the fire piping hot.  I think she cooks these
pizzas over 500º.

While Barb was busy with the special from Italy flour dough, we
feasted on stuffed anaheim chilies.  They were stuffed with
turkey sausage and other stuff and they were divine.  She cooked
them in the pizza oven too.

I can't even remember what all was on these pizzas.
This one wass a margarita  pizza, with cheese, tomatoes and basil.

This one had artichoke stems and pistachios.

This one had pear, prosciutto, and brie.  She also made an italian sausage pizza and blueberry
cobbler done in the pizza oven as it was cooling off. The dough is so good that after it is cooked, I just wanted to take off the crust and slather it in butter.  It was that good.   I don't even want to think of the calories.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Last Nights Dinner

I got my Kitchen Bouquet and I can't believe how it colors the gravy perfectly

I probably had two cups of gravy and added less than a teaspoon and it turned out unbelievably beautifully.

I also made scalloped potatoes, using up five dinky little potatoes left over from some meal.  I took this picture half way through the baking process (when I was to take off the lid) because the camera was making a battery failing noise.  They were just like mom used to make them.  I don't know why we don't make these old favorites any more.

I actually wanted to thin slice the potatoes with a new

mandoline my sis gifted me.  She saw me using my Cuisinart 25 year old one and threw it in the garbage, all the while going on line to get me this plastic one.  It worked perfectly after I spent some

time trying to fit all the components together so I didn't cut myself.  I have it mastered now and I love that it is white so you can see every place where it gets dirty.  I am in love.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

TV News

I know I watch too much Food Network.  It's just a lazy thing.  I like the noise and I just don't care if I have seen it before and so I just keep it on, hour after hour.   And speaking of that, I noticed that lots of pizza places I have seen on D,D and Dives like to top some pizzas with an egg.  The other night I made G a pepperoni pizza and I opted for mushroom, cheese and an egg.  I used those real skinny pre made crusts and then cooked it at 430º for a few minutes and then turned on the broiler for less than 2 minutes.  The egg turned out perfect.  And it looks pretty good too, right?  Try it; you'll like it.

My summer goal is to catch up with the following:
The Bridge
Modern Family
Master Chef
Drop Dead Diva (done)
Good Wife
Orange Is The New Black
House of Cards

And more that I just can't think of right now.  I got my work cut out for me.  And difficult?  You bet ya.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gone Girl Is Thankfully Gone

I can't remember the last book that threw me for a loop, except for Cold Mountain and I think that was twenty years ago. Gone Girl? Wow. I don't even know what to say.

I loved it in the beginning.  It was well written and clever and I couldn't wait to see what came next.  That is, until I realized that it wasn't getting better, just more maniacal.  I was three fourths through it yesterday and as I got to the end, and Nick was writing his own version of the story, I was somewhat relieved that the sociopath/psychopath Amy was not gonna rule the day and then three pages later, yeah, she ended up getting just what she wanted.  It was not my favorite book by any stretch.  I almost wish I didn't read it.  I didn't like the overall book at all.

I read Sharp Objects by the same author and can't recall being so anti book after completing it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sweet Stuff

My goal today is to finish up 'Gone Girl'. I am dying to see how it turns out. I had lunch with my girlfriend of 30+ years, Martha, yesterday and it was wonderful to catch up on what her kids are up to and all. I thought I would share something that was so simple to make, easier than hopping in the car and running to the grocery store that is less than two miles away. I was serving the last of the spring rolls I made a month or so ago and realized that I was out of sweet and sour sauce. So I went online and got the recipe on allrecipes and in less than five minutes, with ingredients that we all have in our pantry, I made this sweet and sour sauce. Here goes (and I will put it on Tommy Cooks too).

Sweet and Sour Sauce

3/4 c. sugar (I used Splenda)
1/3 c. white vinegar
2/3 c. water
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 T. ketchup
2 T. cornstarch

Place ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
 Stir continuously until the mixture thickens.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Weekend

We got home late on Saturday night and left early on Sunday morning.
This is yesterday with Laurel and Barb after we hit all the booths at the Krasl Juried Art Fair in St. Joe, MI.  We are having a martini (they are) and of course wine for me for starting off lunch.  The sun must have heen in the way because we are all dark!  It was a great fair and I got myself a few things.

Saturday night at my niece Dana's wedding the pastor started with a 30 second gap in the proceedings
for everyone to do a selfie with the bride and groom in the background.  Unfortunately, the lighting and their heads were one in the same.  Cute idea tho'.
Here is Dana and Ryan as they exit the ceremony.

Flower girls Ella, Paige, Grace and Chole stole the show along with the ring bearers

Jack and his first cousin

Javi, who preferred the floor to the chair.
Here is the adorable, newly married couple.  It was a great wedding.

These were some of the table arrangements

and these were the ones on our table.  We were with the brides
parents (G's sis and husband).

The cake was simple yet beautiful  Great time had by all.