Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Stash #49

I love eggplant. Always have, always will. I ate it a lot growing up. Usually stewed like ratatouille. If the thought of stewed veggies doesn't float your boat, consider this baked recipe, which is out of this world. My version shown above. It's a meal in itself if you add some cheese and crusty bread.

Occasionally, someone in my family would get a hankering for fried eggplant, and slabs of eggplant would be dipped in egg wash, pressed into bread crumbs and pan fried. Delicious. And it usually never made it to eggplant Parmesan, although that is pretty good too. Ever had an eggplant Parmesan sub? Oh. my.

I decided to try this baked version with cheese and tomato. It did not disappoint and was so simple to make. In the past few years, my throat itches after eating eggplant. I guess I've developed a mild allergy or something. This time, my ears and hands started itching as well. Bummer. Oh well, until my throat closes, I'll still eat it. That's what benadryl is for. Ha! Hopefully I'll grow out of this new found eggplant allergy as quick as it came on.

I'm always intrigued by scrap bags or random fat quarter assortments. It's like a fabric surprise when they arrive. I thought this collection of 12 fat quarters had some really fun ones.

I chose these last seven prints. There are too many good sales out there. I can't help myself. I need to sew faster or ditch the day job.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I've had awful insomnia this week. Even caught The Tonight Show and saw a Buffalo Chicken Balls recipe that sounded interesting. I tried to find the original link, but I can't. Anyway, I substituted lean ground turkey for the chicken and served them with a creamy blue cheese dip. The original inspiration was from The Meatball Shop. They're kind of a different take on Buffalo wings.

Buffalo Turkey Balls
1 lb. ground turkey (or chicken)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup hot sauce (I used Frank's)
1 egg
1 rib of celery, minced
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients and shape into small balls. Coat a 9" x 13" baking dish with vegetable oil and place meatballs. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

I served the leftovers today in warmed onion pita bread with melted blue cheese crumbles, lettuce, tomato and the leftover dip. Awesome.

My mom was in town for a dental appointment this week and brought me this beautiful bouquet of fresh herbs. Rosemary, sage, and parsley. She grows it. I made everyone chicken piccata for lunch as Hollywood requested. She's been working and schooling so much that she doesn't get to eat with us much. Poor kid. She really enjoys a good meal and chicken piccata is her favorite.

I managed to get those triangles together into a small quilt top. Stretchy, stretchy. It measures approximately 40" x 42". I found a matching backing in my stash, but had to add a strip of yellow to make it big enough. I believe I am over my triangle fascination. For now.

But these little cake stand blocks peaked my interest this morning. I dug into scraps and went small (4" finished).

I singled one out and made a mini quilt destined for AAQI. Ignore my missing points. I was un-sewing quite a bit. All in all, a great start to a fun weekend. I'm off to barbecue.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ten Little Quilts

Purple Stained Glass
Spring Has Come
Sunny Garden
My friend Yumi from Japan has been a busy bee creating beautiful quilts for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. Her latest batch arrived this week and they are absolutely gorgeous. Yumi loves to hand applique and quilt and the detail in her quilts is breathtaking.

Tiny Trees
Pear Still Life
Purple Power
Mod Garden
Tomato, Tomahto
Here are the five I'm sending. I don't think either Yumi or I will ever tire of making these little quilts. It's fun to try new techniques and practice old and new skills on these minis.

And hey, I'll do anything for Cheezas and soy sauce. Thanks Yumi! ; )

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Salade Niçoise

Salade Nicoise is a favorite go-to dish around here. I used frozen tuna steaks last night, but you can easily substitute the canned stuff. Thawing frozen tuna steaks is a cinch. Submerge the wrapped steaks in a cool water bath for fifteen or twenty minutes. I like to put a dry spice mixture of sesame seeds, garlic pieces, dehydrated onion, salt and pepper. I think I threw some Montreal steak seasoning in there too. I did a quick pan sear and let the fish rest before slicing. The boy ate one of the fillets while I was making the rest of the salad. Apparently he didn't want the salad main dish as he had just finished a huge plate of chicken and bacon nachos, but he easily ate an entire tuna steak.

While you're thawing your fish, boil some eggs, tiny new potatoes, and steam some green beans. I didn't have green beans. Asparagus would be good too. The dressing is a simple vinaigrette. Lemon juice, scallions, smashed anchovies if you're brave like that, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Assemble the eggs, taters, peppers, olives, green beans, tomatoes, etc. on a bed of greens. As you can tell, my food styling skills stink. You could make it really pretty though. I was more interested in getting dinner on the table.

Place sliced tuna on top of everything and drizzle your dressing. Top with fresh parsley if you have it. Salad Nicoise is one of Hollywood's favorite meals. I'm making Chicken Piccata for her today. She had some at T.G.I. Fridays and was miserably disappointed. Who orders chicken piccata at T.G.I. Fridays?! My mom and her husband are joining us for lunch. In fact, I think the whole family will be here. With everyone working and schooling such late hours, we rarely get to dine together.

These peanut butter chocolate chip cookies were well received. I halved the recipe and I still have cookies coming out of my eyeballs. Bon appetit, y'all!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Let the Week Begin

My neighbor's house got TP'd last week. The neighborhood kids must have had a mischievous streak. You wouldn't catch an adult wasting costly toilet paper like that. It was kind of fun to see and brought back memories of my kids' friends hitting our house. Much better than the graffiti some hooligans sprayed on a nearby subdivision's wall. That's not cool.

I love roasting fresh Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. The best part...those charred leaves. Better than potato chips.

Bones likes to use his toys as pillows. If you leave a pillow or laundry basket of clothes lying around, Bones will find it. He likes his life cushy. Don't let his sad expression fool you. That dog is spoiled rotten. He turned 12 this month and is the funniest dog I've ever had.

I've been obsessed with all the gorgeous triangle quilts in blogland. I finally found a template and played around with some solids during sew day. Let's see if I can get this baby together. I had no plan or layout so it turned out pretty random. I added an extra row to make it longer, but I was too lazy to cut more black, so the bottom row is an odd ball.

The sweet onions are plentiful and cheap this time of year, so I whipped up a French onion soup. I had mushrooms, so added those in too. I floated a cheese topped crouton and broiled the crocks for a couple of minutes. The kids have been working a lot, so I'm opting for lighter fare for dinner when it's just the two of us. I had a good time at the local produce market last week. So much to buy and try. I'm making Salad Niçoise tonight with the teeniest new potatoes I have ever seen. They are almost too cute to eat.

Someone has a little fun planned later in the week. Ha! It's not me, but I do get to be the driver. I'll try not to giggle much since I know my time for a colonoscopy is coming. It's Inspector Gadget's second time up, so he knows what to expect. He said it was a piece of cake the first time, so that's always nice to hear. Preventative medicine works for me. I'll make sure to have a delicious dinner for his reward. He's too old for a toy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the Thirteenth

Happy Friday! Check out this eeewww-worthy quilt that Pinkadot Quilts found. You can't say quilters aren't creative or resourceful.

I whipped up some lentil soup using this Carraba's copycat recipe. It was delicious. I didn't add the zucchini for fear I would scare the natives. And I only used a 10 oz. package of sausage, but doubled everything else except for the cans of tomatoes. The nutritional information for the original recipe was freaking me out. You'd think lentil soup would be healthy and low-cal. Hopefully my version was healthier. It's getting harder and harder to maintain my girlish figure. Frying buttermilk-soaked, breaded okra probably isn't helping either.

I dug out a few old handkerchiefs to list on eBay. This calorie counting version is really cute. It says bon Bons are dangerous. Good thing I don't eat bon bons. I'm sure I make up for the bon bon deficit with everything else I stuff in my mouth. I wish food wasn't so fun.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mola Love

Before I collected fabric and sewing notions, I collected Molas. These reverse applique panels are made in the San Blas region of Panama by the Kuna Indians. The Indians made these textiles to decorate their clothing, so many that you find are worn and faded somewhat. The detail on these pieces is amazing. Layers of colorful fabrics exactingly cut and hand stitched to create geometric designs, birds, animals, fish, and more. Most have hand embroidered details as well. You should see how tiny these stitches are. Amazing.

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