Monday, July 23, 2012

The Week Begins

I dusted off the bread machine and made these Cinnabon knock-offs over the weekend. Then, since I had the machine out, I found a recipe for pepperoni bread. It was so good. We ate it for dinner. Nothing else. Just pepperoni bread. We're dieting. Ha! I grabbed the ice cream maker out of the pantry as well. I want to make blackberry sorbet. All these silly appliances I rarely use are going to get a workout this week. I might even bust out the pasta machine. Somebody stop me.

Little Bit was attending a wedding over the weekend and needed a small wristlet to hold her phone. She picked out the fabrics. The coral ruffle and strap matched her dress and white sandals. It took her forever to choose the perfect fabrics. She says she's keeping my wall o' fabric after I croak, because she loves it. She doesn't sew, but she pets fabric. That's how it starts, sister. Been there, done that.

See, no dieting here. Roasted chicken, sweet and regular potato mash with pan sauce, pepperoni bread, ratatouille and baby green lima beans. There are not many foods that I won't eat, but frozen green lima beans make that list. But if I make the dried version, I absolutely adore them. The frozen beans are too much like plastic and have no flavor. Inspector Gadget had no choice to eat sweet potato if he wanted potatoes. I'm getting tricky like that. Now I need to figure out how to get eggplant and Brussels sprouts into something everyone will eat.

It's Not All Black and White, 7" x 8"
I had to miss our guild's Sew Day due to prior commitments, but I did have some time to finish up another mini quilt for AAQI. Our lake community had a huge charity event on the lake Saturday and it was a complete zoo around here. So nice to be back to our quiet little community.

Monday, July 16, 2012


A couple of years ago, I got involved in the online quilting community's butterfly craze. All the cool kids were making these striking butterfly quilts. I made blocks here and there and the flimsy still resides in my box o' quilt tops. I really should quilt it or get it quilted. It will make a bright and happy quilt for someone. I love how it turned out. Scrappy and fun.

That summer, I also showed off my vintage butterfly quilt I picked up somewhere. I fell in love with this quilt the minute I saw it. It's hand quilted with big clunky stitches, but the blocks are interesting and colorful. It almost has a modern feel to it with the white sashing.

The nice folks at Quilt Inspiration noticed my vintage butterfly quilt and kindly asked me if they could feature it. The best part is that they also drafted a pattern in two sizes and included a handy layout in case you wanted to make one for yourself. You can download the patterns right here.

Over the weekend I made a few blocks stealing their neato color palette and assembled them into the larger block. Four of these with sashing would make a good sized baby quilt. Now I want to make the smaller blocks and do a scrappy version. Thanks so much to Quilt Inspiration for taking the guess work out of making these fun blocks and showcasing some amazing butterfly creations. The online quilting community is always inspiring.

The bonus trimmed triangles were used for a little mini. More on that later.

My breakfast. Smushed avocado on marble rye toast with a poached egg and cherry tomato garnish. It was delicious. The "lite" avocados aren't nearly as rich as Haas avocados, but they're what I grew up eating. I believe they are mostly grown in Florida. I had a neighbor that had a gigantic avocado tree and they all ripen at the same time. You're eating avocados until they come out of your ears. Unfortunately, the tree succumbed to a freeze one year. Luckily, avocados are easy to find year round. I really love them.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Love

Too busy to make a proper breakfast most summer days, so I improvise with a slice of buttermilk blue and Triscuits. Good thing I work alone, huh? I am so sorry I discovered buttermilk blue cheese. I could eat it at every meal. I do not need to be eating cheese at every meal.

I was very pleased with my first Homegrown Co-op season's best vegetable box. I had it delivered, so it was really convenient. There are two heads of buttery Bibb lettuce, cherry tomatoes, various eggplants, zucchini, one sweet potato, radishes, and garlic chives.

Then we went to a local farmer's market/food truck event. It was dark by the time we got there and most of the vendors and trucks were packing up, but I snagged some tomatoes and peppers. The stand's owner gave me the cherry tomatoes as a gift with purchase. I hear they have a cheese tent each week too. We will have to go earlier next time. I see plenty of tomato sandwiches in my future.

I received some free olive samples. I used one of the packages in a chicken dish and they were delicious.

College Boy gave me my camera back. We were sharing it, but mostly he used it. He got a new camera, so I can resume practicing with the Nikon. I put my "girlie" camera strap cover back on and am ready to roll.

Speaking of bad poor house snake is injured. I'm not sure if a lawn guy got him or something else. He's lying on one of my shrubs either trying to die or heal. Inspector Gadget checked on him this morning and he tried to strike at him. I did my snake scream from the safety of the pool deck and scared the Inspector and half the neighborhood. Guess that saying "madder than a snake" holds true. If I get braver, I'll try to get a better picture, but don't hold your breath.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday Waiting and Whining

Did you see this hilarious Ron Swanson quilt? He's a character on the television show Parks & Recreation. Monica is having a quilt along if you want to make one. The first three blocks are posted.

Played with a few solid scraps and made this 9" x 12" quilt for AAQI. It's okay. I need to get back into the creative saddle. This real job and real family keeps getting in the way. I'm currently on a 30 minute or longer hold with the IRS to request return transcripts for everyone in the house. College boy's transcript was the only hiccup, the rest were easily acquired online. Why do the colleges suddenly need this stuff? My kids earned their scholarships fair and square. Cough up the funds, pretty please. P.S. The IRS has irritating wait music.

Made some buttermilk bread the other day. It was okay. I won't bother sharing the recipe, but the loaves did turn out pretty. Inspector Gadget likes it because it has a soft crust. Apparently the crusts on my artisan loaves are too tough. Hmmph. Okay, enough whining. I am super excited to receive my very first Homegrown Co-op vegetable basket today. It's being delivered. I can't wait to see what's in my mystery basket.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Stash #53

Big sale at Jo-Ann's, so I picked up some Denyse Schmidt prints. The second photo is a neat yard that has four different prints. You just cut them apart to make four fat quarters. Hollywood got a little craft project too. Wish that kid would sew. I could hook her up with some fabric.

A little 8" x 9.5" zoo-themed mini quilt for a swap. Fun and easy. I wimped out and quilted everything with my walking foot. Even the tiny applique pieces.

My little baker made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing to take to a Fourth of July barbecue. She had fun decorating them.

Then she whipped up the ingredients for macaroni and cheese balls. Her dishes were a hit. She wants to make chicken piccata next.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The South of France

Ha! I wish I was in the South of France. I'll just have to settle for Salad Ni├žoise and fried green tomatoes. The salad is a go-to recipe around here. Even landlocked raised Inspector Gadget puts up with the tuna. He's lived in Florida longer than he lived in Indiana, and I've done my best to get him to like seafood, which he now does. That first raw oyster was sketchy, but he ate it. Fried clams at Howard Johnson's and tuna noodle casserole were his only childhood seafood dishes. Both are delicious, but nothing compared to the fresh (and frozen) seafood you can get in Florida.

The fried tomato recipe was new to me. My mom prepared them by dipping tomato slices in seasoned flour and frying until golden. The buttermilk, corn flour, cornmeal and flour were a nice change and gave the juicy tomatoes a nice crust. Hollywood is in heaven. It took two grocery stores and a trip to two produce markets to score some nice green tomatoes. I can usually find them year round, but I'm not sure why they were so elusive this week.

Miss Southern Thing was also craving boiled peanuts. Is that kid from the South or what?!

I also found some fresh and pretty radishes at the produce market. I went with a French preparation and simply sliced them, buttered the slices, and topped with pink Himalayan sea salt. Leave it to me to make vegetables fattening.

It's America's 236th birthday today. She's just a youngster compared to most countries. I think she looks wonderful and I'm proud to live here. I'm not sure what activity is planned today but you can be sure I'll be cooking up a few thing. Happy Fourth of July.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fourth of July Tomorrow

I've been pinning so many things on Pinterest. I wish blog surfing paid money and had an affordable insurance plan. Maybe even a pension. A girl can wish. These brown sugar cookies were the bomb. I don't normally eat sweets, but I had to try one. Delicious. Soft and chewy. I usually have the simple ingredients on hand, so you don't have to hit the grocery store just to whip up a batch. I did use light brown sugar versus the dark brown, but it worked. Inspector Gadget was making ice cream sandwiches with them with a tiny scoop of Starbucks coffee ice cream.

Yumi sent another care package from Japan as well as three more quilts for AAQI. After the holiday and mini vacation, I need to get these beauties registered. I hope I can find some minis of my own to send.

Kyoto Pinwheel
Free Wheeling

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