Archive for April, 2008
Here are a few more blocks for the scrap quilt. Very different color palettes. It will be challenging to layout this quilt. I’m beginning to think that I can’t be happy quilting if I don’t make it difficult for myself in some way. Let’s see… there was the ribbon border without pattern measurements, the half-square triangle math blunder, the crazy Chez Moi blocks. Hmmn, I’m sensing a pattern here. It’s a wonder that I love quilting as much as I do.
I bought a can of almond paste at Christmas time but I never got a chance to make the cookies I had planned. I made these tasty treats the other day. I followed a few of the reviewers suggestions to decrease the butter and use the entire can of almond paste (what’s a few more tablespoons?). They have an almost shortbread quality, especially at the bottom and the outside pieces and a rich, buttery almond chewy cookie texture on top.
I’m a big fan of the online recipe sites that have user reviews. My cookbooks are pretty dusty at this point. It’s nice to know in advance if your sauce might need thickening or the cook time should be shorter. I use Allrecipes for my everyday dishes. Since I like to cook from scratch when possible, my criticism of this site is that I wish I could sort out dishes that use processed ingredients. I’m pretty sure that if I wanted to dump a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup on some chicken breasts, I don’t need a recipe. When I need something fancier for a dinner party or holiday dish, I use Epicurious. These recipes come mostly from Gourmet and Bon Appétit magazines.
As much as I utilize the reviews (I rarely make a dish without at least 4 stars), I never review them myself. Mostly everything has been said before. My favorite are the reviewers who are critical of a dish when they have substituted nearly every important ingredient. My feeling is that you should pretty much keep your two cents to yourself in this case. I read a particularly entertaining one where someone did not have prosciutto so they substituted prostitutes. Bad spelling or just a really bad cook?
A delicious snack. Mmmm. Muffins. Lately, I have been favoring recipes with chocolate chips (like this one) because I tell myself that the boys will be more likely to eat them. But the truth is that I like them too. Sshhh, don’t tell.
Here are the first large blocks for the scrap quilt. As I mentioned before, I’ve so far only used truly scrap fabric. Despite having most of the big blocks either sewn or cut, I have not made the slightest dent in the scrap bag. I truly believe that I can construct this entire lap size quilt from the scrap bag and not so much as touch a fat quarter in my stash. Oh yeah, and I’d probably still have scrap to spare. This is not how I had envisioned it. I have some fun and beautiful stash fabrics that I thought I’d bust out. But I can’t ignore the thrift and practicality of it all, not to mention the challenge. I guess I’ll just have to save my lovelies for another day.
I’ve tried a new oat bread a few times now, Oat Bran Bread from Allrecipes.com. First time was exactly according to the recipe, except of course, I don’t have a bread machine, just my trusty Kitchen-Aid mixer and I doubled it to make two loaves. It was just as described – a light, high-volume bread.
But I was again struck by the white flour guilt so I changed it up a bit the next time. This time I substituted whole wheat flour for half of the white and added some oatmeal. It became dense, still a nice loaf. On the third try, I wanted to return to the light, high-volume but a little healthier. A quarter cup of oat bran per loaf doesn’t seem like it tips the healthy scales. So I increased the oat bran to 3/4 cup for two loaves and added 1 cup of oatmeal to the water to soften it while I proofed the yeast. The result is just what I wanted, more oatmeal flavor and texture but light. I made my favorite sandwich with it yesterday – a tuna melt. Yum.
Bathtime has always been big fun in my house. It’s my husband’s domain. The boys love it. There are screams of “Let’s Get Naked!”, jumping on the bed and sometimes loud raucous hip-shaking music. Shakira anyone?
One night I came upstairs to find the big boy’s underwear hanging from the curtain rod.
Then it happened again.
What is this? Animal House? He’s only three years old for goodness sakes.
The teen years are going to be ugly. I can just tell.
I cut the pieces for 8 out of 9 large blocks for the scrap quilt from my scrap heap the other night. These aren’t stash pieces or fat quarters, these are from the total discard pile. A saner less fabric addicted person would have thrown out these pieces long ago. My thrifty grandmother would be so very proud. This makes me inordinately pleased.