Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Stash #85

College Boy is trying to kill me. Like I don't worry enough as it is.

Tried a little curved piecing with Sew Take a Hike's undies block. I need to make more of these.

I think I got my fill of the pineapple block. Fun, but not all that exciting. Maybe I'll come back to them.

I had a little fun at my LQS. They always have the best sales.

Happy November! Turkey Day is coming up. I made a turkey breast last week to have sandwich meat. I brined it first and then roasted it. It was really good. Our favorite sandwich is turkey, cranberry sauce, and mayo on toast. We call them "Uncle Eddie" sandwiches because guess who told us about them?

Have a great week! I'm off to sew!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Weird Weekend

Never a dull moment around here.

Saturday, Inspector Gadget saw a hawk dive bombing something across the street in our new neighbor's yard. Turned out it was a Green Amazon Parrot. He called me out and we spent 20 minutes trying to scare off the hawk as he swooped down and tried to attack the parrot repeatedly. The crows were up above cheering on the death match. The hawk was not very afraid of us. During one swoop, I was close enough to feel the air move from his wings. Aaack! I hate birds about as much as I hate snakes. And that hawk was huge and relentless. Apparently parrots are a delicacy.

I brought Bones' crate out to see if we could lure the bird inside so the hawk would go away. I brought crackers too, but the parrot didn't seem to be in the mood for a snack. The hawk did get a poke at the poor parrot at some point. Finally, the parrot hopped on the crate and we dragged it across the street to our house.

That's the Inspector with his snake stick and crate riding parrot. Note the hawk gloves. I think the Inspector is afraid of birds like I am. I played parrot decoy while we transported birdy to our covered pool deck.

She hung out by the pool until we located her owner (our new neighbor). Apparently, he thought the bird would be fine in this backyard while he ran an errand. Guess he hasn't seen all the birds of prey around here. The parrot is only six months old and says "hello" and "uh oh." Uh oh, is right! It had a gash in its leg, but wasn't bleeding a lot. I think she'll make it.

And then this morning, we're drinking coffee at 6 am and a car alarm goes off. A band of idiot thieves hit our neighborhood and robbed several cars. The Inspector's truck window was smashed and they snatched his GPS before they took off. We ran out just as they were pulling away. I guess our local law enforcement is on the case as these idiots have been making the rounds. We think they left their cell phone in one of the cars they robbed. Dumbos.

I made the Inspector herbed buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy after the car break in, but I had a healthier breakfast yesterday. I'm going to continue the sausage theme and try this sausage, squash, and kale soup tonight. Squash and kale aren't big favorites with the peanut gallery, but I'm serving it anyway. I'm also going to try this fraudulent easy sourdough bread recipe. The haters can have ramen if they poo poo my soup.

I've been working on a pineapple block using Crazy Mom Quilt's pineapple block tutorial. I'll add a few more rounds to get it to 16" square. Fun and easy! Let's hope the rest of the weekend calms down. Hope yours is going along swimmingly!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sleepy Sunday

Just flew back from the west coast. It was my first visit to California. Too bad it was for work and I didn't get to sight see. We did walk to the Lure Fish House the first night we were there. The seafood was some of the best I've ever eaten and ceviche to die for.

I enjoyed seeing all miles of desert on the way to LA. Beautiful. Not a bit of green anywhere. So interesting. Now I know why my lips were chapped the entire time.

If I had to work all week, at least it was at the Four Seasons hotel in Westlake Village. Here's the view from my room. The hotel was gorgeous and they took such good care of us. Great food, pampering, and luxurious accommodations. There was a chandelier in my room and a telephone and TV in my huge bathroom. I could definitely get used to someone tidying up my room during the day and turn down service at bedtime. I spotted Katie Holmes in the hotel lobby (we made eye contact and smiled, then I privately freaked out in the elevator). Yeah, I'm cool. And I heard that Britney Spears, a Kardashian, and someone from the Bachelor were also in residence, but I didn't see them.

One of the only other times I ventured off property was for an event at Ventura Farms. Ventura Farms is a private, 2,000 acre farm specializing in horse breeding, botanical gardens, and exquisite monolithic boulders found at the River Kwai and transported to the property. Our company hosted a "Night on the Lawn" one evening and we were able to stroll the grounds, eat a delicious dinner, and end the night with a spectacular, musical light show among the boulders and orchid house. Amazing.

While I was off gallivanting working, I added one more toy sewing machine to my collection. This one came in the original box with all the bells and whistles. I really love this one!

Instructions booklet, needles, and I have no idea what that metal thing on the right is? Screwdriver thingy? Maybe I figured it out!

It also came with this pre-printed fabric for making doll clothes. Look at the fox collar at the top center! Too bad dolls scare me or I'd have to whip up some clothes for them. Hmm...wonder if they would fit Bones? Halloween is coming up.

Just a little baked goat cheese, roasted red pepper and garlic I whipped up for lunch. It really couldn't be easier. I didn't have fresh thyme, but it was still delicious. I used a dried Mediterranean spice mixture in place of the thyme.

The best part about this dish? These garlic gloves roasted in olive oil. Not only mild and yummy, but a wonderful air freshener for your home. Yankee Candle, call me. I have lots of ideas.

Lunch is served. Pretty sure the parsley counts as a vegetable. Right?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Perfect Day

In your pajamas, preferably. I made it until 10 am Saturday in pj's, and then Bones decided he needed to go outside. I was up early and dressed today, but I'm hoping to nap later when the rain starts.

My perfect day also includes cooking. I made this Panzanella salad using an old baguette. I never thought I would like this salad because I thought the bread would get mushy and fall apart, but since you toast it, it holds its shape and texture. Yummo!

Since the baguette went stale, I baked a loaf of bread for dinner. I messed up the yeast amount, but it still turned out okay.

Homemade bread has no preservatives, so you have to use it quickly. Cinnamon toast (the right way) for breakfast and possible grilled cheese for lunch.

New Orleans inspired barbecued shrimp. The sauce was perfect to dunk bread in. It has been a carby weekend! I'm making more bread later today.

Meet Lisa, my new Featherweight. I've been stalking eBay for eons looking for the perfect affordable little Featherweight. I used to see these at estate sales for next to nothing, but of course I didn't want one then. Lisa runs beautifully and is one of the last Featherweights made in the late 60s. She came from a machine repair shop, had a tune up, and runs like a dream. Quiet, too!

I used my spider web blocks to get to know the new machine. I'm piecing rows together and hope to finish the top today. It's high time for a new project.

Happy Sunday! Hope you're having fun.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Stash #84

Whee! Did I ever have fun. There were sales, pretty fabrics, no will power. And I have plans for every piece I bought. Yeah, right.

Have you ever ordered from Form & Fabric? They wrap everything up so pretty. I almost kept everything wrapped up, but I wanted to pet it.

Monsters and orange, what's not to love? The green fabric has words and monsters. Also a winner!

Bold and beautiful.

Echino love. I've been collecting little snippets of this fabric line for a while now.

 Kaffe. Swoon.

Don't those muffins look yummy?

Cameras and ties.

 Gingham and polkas. I'm weak.

Batiks are so pretty. I can't resist them. Especially when they put giraffes on them. What? Stop that fabric people. How about wiener dog?

I found a boatload of fresh green beans at the produce market. I decided to try to pickle some. These are just refrigerator pickles. Boil vinegar, water, and salt and add spices. Cool mixture and pour over cleaned and trimmed beans. One day I might learn to can. It looks like fun.

Ooh, they are good. That little habanero pepper made them a bit spicy. Very tangy and crunchy too. Bet they would be good in a Bloody Mary.

I roasted the rest of the green beans with onion, red pepper, and bacon. The icky looking things on the right are raw chicken livers. I love grossing everyone out with those. "So what are you making us for dinner, Michele? Oh, just some chicken livers and ham and bananas hollandaise. Actually, I've been meeting more people that like chicken livers. And there are recipes galore. So many more I want to try. And if you want an easy, breezy hollandaise for your ham wrapped bananas, this one is excellent and doesn't require a blender.

I was smoking/grilling chicken wings on the grill with apple wood chips, so I threw these babies on the hot part of the coals and grilled them. They're marinated in soy sauce and tossed in a lemon, garlic, butter, parsley sauce after they cook. Here's the recipe if you're game. They were delicious. I ate the leftovers cold. Bones liked them too.

Happy Fall!

September Silliness

Look at this patient doggie. Bones would eat someone, or definitely run away.

The summer tomatoes are fading fast. That was quick, but it is fall. I even felt a little cool in the air this morning. We're having a rainy weekend, so I'm enjoying inside time. My kids inhale pico de gallo. I make huge batches of it and they eat it on everything. I like to mash an avocado and add some pico for quickie guacamole. One kid will eat guac, but the picky eater would rather die. I keep holding out for him to get over his picky stage, but so far, no good. Eat a bean, for crying out loud!

Hollywood's charge came over to swim last weekend and we made cookies afterward. Hollywood told him he could only have one cookie, so we solved that little problem by making a cookie bigger than his head. Besides, oatmeal raisin cookies are practically health food. Except for the butter and sugar. I didn't let him eat the gigantic cookie, but he thought it was hilarious and took it home to share with his family.

Picky eater does like spaghetti and meatballs. The meatballs were the size of tennis balls. I get bored making meatballs too! Much quicker to make 12 large meatballs versus 36 small ones. I hate frying stuff, so I always par-bake my meatballs on a broiler pan until they're brown. Then I drop them in the sauce and let them simmer.

Do you eat your salad touching other parts of your meal? I always have. I think it's a French thing. We ate salad every night growing up and no one offered me a salad bowl. Even Inspector Gadget has graduated from pre-dinner salad bowls to adding his salad to his plate. I like when the vinaigrette mixes with everything.

Spider web block progress. I think I'm done piecing these. I can't remember how many I needed, but I think I did the math correctly. I really enjoyed the haphazard scrap piecing on these. And they busted my scraps quite a bit.

Stack 'em up. Now to violently tear the foundation papers off of them. It'll be a fun mess. I used a shorter stitch length, so it shouldn't take too long. I'm guessing a couple of "Snapped" episodes or one Lifetime movie.

I have paper piecing paper I've purchased, but this ancient onionskin works well too. I think I bought this huge box of legal sized Strathmore onion skin at an estate sale years ago. I use it for tracing paper and small sewing patterns too.

This paper is probably older than all of us, but it's still bright white and works like a charm. Off to rip...

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