Monthly Archives: July 2011

Boxes, Pinterest & Generation Q

Boxes.

Picture lots & lots of boxes.

Helping my sister move (that’s the “working” part of this vacation).  So my days are full of boxes, tape & packing paper.

So no sewing for me.  And just a little knitting before I fall asleep (not knitting the doomed project I posted earlier, but another project I’ll write about when I’m not dosing off).

In the meantime though, I discovered this great website I thought you all should know about!  http://www.planyourroom.com/!

It’s free, user friendly & I still can’t get over how much fun it is to move around the furniture, testing new layouts.  It’s like a quilting design wall!

Also, some of you might know I’m a huge Pinterest fan.  Generation Q Magazine did a great article explaning how it works.  They also quoted me at the end!  So read it, sign up for Pinterest, & check out Generation Q.  They are a new quilting group & I’m excited about their energy & perspective.  Grandma’s quilts not allowed here!

Have fun playing with these new sites!  I’ll be here with boxes, movers & other fun things I can’t wait to discover!

Reasons Why I Shouldn’t Start A Project On Vacation


1. I brought the wrong size needles- again. They are waaaay too big for this project & last time the needles were too small! Sheesh! I can’t win!
2. Not enough yarn for said project (so I guess having the wring needle size is a moot point)
3. No matter how easy the pattern looks under normal circumstances, once in vacation my brain will leave me & even doing garter stitch will be difficult.

Not to mention I’m on a “working” vacation in a place that’s hot as hell on a good summer day, so it looks like I’ll be reading the incredible fluff novels I brought! (I actually brought 4- I think my conscience knew knitting wasn’t going to happen 😉

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Bacon Cheddar Cheese Scones!

I’ve had some requests for my Bacon-Cheddar Cheese Scones.

Beware though, these are quite addictive :)

4-5 slices bacon, chopped
3 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick butter, cut up
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 c. heavy whipping cream

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Cook bacon & drain
3. Mix flour, baking soda, sugar & salt
4. Cut in butter with pastry blender
5. Mix in cheese & onions- mix until small clumps form
6. Add bacon
7. Add cream until sticky- don’t overmix!
8. Turn on floured surface & pat until it comes together
9. Form 2 circles, about 3/4″ deep
10. Cut into wedges
11. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown

Enjoy!! :)

Oh!  & here’s a pic of Rizzo for you!

Spring, Daisies and a Pinwheel Quilt

This is an oldie that I recently finished.  Pieced it back in high school one spring break actually!
It was a kit from Walmart of all places.  It was a badly manufactured pre-cut kit, before pre-cuts were done well.
It was during my “yellow” phase- when I loved sunflowers, daisies & the Beatles.
The piecing isn’t the best- it definately matches my impatient 15 year old self!  Although I wonder what I was thinking about that yellow plaid…….
Anyways, I picked up the perfect yellow backing & binding at a quilt shop in Seward, Nebraska & decided to finish this up with a great pantograph from Intelligent Quilting.
As soon as I saw the daisies, I knew this was a perfect match.
Doesn’t it remind you of a perfect spring?
It kinda makes me want to pack a picnic lunch & spend a lazy day at a park.
Anybody want to join me?

 

Roast Pork Loin with Tarragon Cream Sauce

I finally tried cream sauces!

They’ve always intimidated me & recently, I finally got up the courage to try one.

This was the one to try too!

Roast Pork Loin with a Tarragon Cream Sauce.  It’s savory, yummy, light & delectable.  What else could one ask for?

Ingredients: (from an Epicurious recipe with a few slight changes by me)
– 1 bone-in pork loin, 2lbs
– 3 large cloves garlic, minced
– Salt and pepper
– 4 tbsp unsalted butter
– 3 tbsp finely chopped shallot
– 1/2 cup chicken broth
– 2-3 tbsp Dijon mustard
– 1 c. heavy whipping cream
– 2–3 tsp dried tarragon
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
2. Cut slits 3/4″ deep all over the pork loin. Insert the garlic into the slits. Sprinkle the meat generously with salt and pepper and place in a dutch oven, be sure to cover.
3. Roast for about 30 minutes, until internal temp is around 140 degrees. Remove from oven & let rest while you make the sauce.
4. In a sauté pan over low heat, melt butter. Add the shallot and sauté slowly until soft, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the broth and let cook until almost totally evaporated, about 5 minutes.
6. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the mustard and the cream and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more mustard or tarragon. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
7. Serve & spoon the sauce over the chops.
8. Enjoy!

Sorry I don’t have any pics to share, we ate it too fast for me to photograph!  But here’s a pic of Rocco for you!

Tie Dye Quilt

Some of you might wonder if I’m still quilting what with all these posts about recipes & knitting!

Here’s a quilt I made up a bit ago- I had a charm pack that didn’t quite make a large enough quilt.  Found the border fabric at a LQS.

I’m really happy with the quilting.  I wanted to keep a “modern” feel, so I did some ruler work to focus on the hard lines.  Nothing fancy, just some simple light quilting.

Overall, I have to say I’m very happy with this little quilt!  It came out better than I anticipated.

Isn’t that a great surprise?  :)

Scones for You & I

Like scones?
I adore scones.  All kinds.  Bacon/Cheddar, Apple, Cranberry/Orange, but most of all, I love the plain ol’ regular raisin kind.
Perhaps it has something to do with my love of England.  Perhaps it’s related to my baking obsession.
At any rate, I’ve spent the last 10 years or so perfecting my scone recipe & I thought I’d share it with ya’ll.
Ingredients:
2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
7 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 c. or so of raisins (I actually use 3 handfuls)
1 egg
1/2 c. full whipping cream (plus some more, I’ll explain below)
Directions:
– In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder & salt.
– Cut in butter with a pastry blender until butter is pea sized.  Using a pastry blender is important- if you don’t have one- run out to Target NOW & get one.  Doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, you just need one.  (I’m still using the one I bought in college- which either came from Target or the utensil aisle of the grocery store.)  It’s also important here to keep working the pastry blender until the butter is in little bits.  You might think you can skimp, but I can tell you from past experience- spend time here!  It will be well worth the time!
– Add in raisins or cranberries or any other dried berry.  I don’t measure very precisely here- I just throw in a few handfuls until it looks good- not too few, but not so many that it overpowers everything else.
– Mix in the egg.  Yes, it will look strange- the yolk covering the raisins, just go with it.  I’ve tried switching the raisin/egg order & it doesn’t come out as good.  If I enjoyed science more, I could probably explain exactly what’s going on here, but since science is one of my least favorite subjects, you’ll just have to trust me!
– Add cream.  Yes, use the full fat stuff.  I’ve used everything from cream to skim milk.  (Yes, this was my version of experimenting in college.)  The “fattier” the liquid, the richer taste.  The skim milk scones aren’t bad, they’re just more like biscuits with raisins.  (Note, this is as close to being scientific in baking as I get.)  Ok, so once you’ve poured the milk in & mixed it in, you might notice that you have a nice scone ball & then there are lots of flour bits at the bottom of the bowl.  This is where I add more cream- just about a tablespoon at a time, until all the flour bits stick to the big scone ball, but not so much that the scone ball wants to stick to your spoon.
– Then I plop it on my stoneware, where I knead it there.  Not too much- you just want to mold until it’s a nice big circle about 3/4″ thick, being sure to work in any leftover flour bits.  Cut the giant scone into 6 pieces & then spread apart for baking.  The rationale of kneading on the stoneware is twofold- 1st, it’s one less dish to wash; 2nd, the scone should still be a little “crumbly” so having it already on the pan where it’s going to bake on can prevent potential disasters when one transfers the scone from kneading area to baking pan.  (Not that I’ve ever had scones fall apart on me……. :)
– Bake at 425 degrees until tops are golden brown.  This takes our oven about 20 minutes or so.

– Serve & drink with beverage of choice, if there are any leftovers, store in a airtight container.

Enjoy!

A Weekend of Little Bits

As most of you know, I do a lot of knitting. I’ve also been knitting for a very long time. Mostly this means that there’s a lot of yarn wherever I live. There are also lots of ‘little bits’ of yarn leftover.

Thus weekend I decided to use up ‘some’ of those little bits.

Here we have a doll’s hat made from some lace weight yarn:


From that same skein here’s A pair of doll slippers:


(I swear made 2, but I forgot to put them in my knitting bag when I went to sleep, so 1 has become a cat toy. Grrrrrrr)

This headband was a nice refresher of Entrelac knitting (as well of a reminder of how much I dislike Noro Kureyon yarn):


Here’s another dolls hat & slippers from some Australian yarn:

And finally, I kitchnered the heels of my Dr. Suess socks:

So that was 3 skeins used up in one weekend- not too bad, but i will need a long time to make a dent in my stash!

But now my fun weekend of goofing off is over & back to quilting I go!

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