Archive for January, 2009

Improvisational Fun

pinkorangebirdblock

This is my first attempt to make a block for the Project Improv charity quilts. I started with a fussy cut of some bird fabric that I adore. The orange wing seemed like a good place to start for the pink/orange colorway. Because of this, I want to love it unconditionally but I’m not sure. I mean, I do love it but I’m not sure I hit it the first time out. It was loads of fun to do and I’m more than willing to give it another go (or two).

January 30, 2009 at 7:26 am 3 comments

Foodie Hits and Misses

I haven’t posted about food in a while. Maybe overload on the holidays. I have had a few successes… and failures. And of course, I never remember to photograph them.

My mother-in-law gave me this booklet and I was excited to try some new recipes.

bakingwsourdough

Let’s start with the good news first. I made sourdough bread without additional yeast for the first time. It was a sandwich bread which had a softer crumb. The recipe indicated a 5-6 hour cycle from start to finish. Mine was over 11 hours. I barely got it out of the oven before I went to bed. I was really surprised because I put the dough to rise on the wood pellet stove, nice and toasty warm. It was a good loaf.

The next quasi-success was a sourdough skillet biscuit. It had great sourdough flavor but was quite dense, a little more than my family liked.

The abject failure was sourdough chocolate cake. I have never in my life thrown away three quarters of a chocolate cake. It saddened me to do it. The instructions were specific on the order of ingredients but I’m sure that’s where the problem was. I was to add flour and sugar to a half a cup of starter. This made for a thick, lumpy mix. A thick, lumpy mix that was not remedied by the addition of the wet ingredients. It formed small, dense balls of dough within the cake. The taste wasn’t that objectionable but the consistency and appearance was awful. Even the kids wouldn’t eat it. I actually have a picture of the cake but it’s so unappetizing that I don’t want to post it.

Another winner (not from the book) was Butternut Squash Risotto. I used brown basmati rice instead of arborio and it was great. Even better the next day. (Watch the salt if you use store bought chicken stock.)

The insanely addictive Christmas appetizer (which I made for two gatherings) is Buffalo Chicken Dip. If you really like chicken wings and blue cheese and have self-control issues, don’t read further. I may make it for the Super Bowl but then I have to lay off it. Of course I changed things after reading the reviews as I often do. Here’s my version. Mix one 8 oz. block of softened cream cheese with half a jar of Marie’s Super Blue Cheese salad dressing. Add chunks of real blue cheese if you really want to go crazy. (Who doesn’t like lots of stinky cheese?) Spread in an 8 x 8 pan. Shred one cooked boneless chicken breast and toss with Texas Pete’s hot sauce to moisten, more or less to taste. Top with a handful of shredded cheddar cheese and heat in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Serve with celery and carrot sticks, dipping crackers or just a spoon (when no one is looking.) Enjoy!

January 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm 3 comments

New Blocks

marysfirstblocks

These are the first blocks for my sister-in-law’s wonky square in a square or courthouse steps quilt. Call it what you will. All the blocks will have off-white sashing in between. That should set them off nicely.

January 22, 2009 at 2:53 pm Leave a comment

Blooming Nine Patch Top Done

blooming9topnoborder

Almost. I think I’ll add a narrow border of the green in the outer triangles. Piece the back then it’s done, for me anyway. This one is going off to the longarmer.

January 20, 2009 at 10:38 am 4 comments

Back in the Saddle Again

It’s sooo good to have my sewing machine back. It’s runs so smooth now it’s like buttah. And quiet. I’m horrified by how out of whack it got. Never again.

I should have started on some of the older projects but I had to go for some instant gratification. I sewed up some of the Urban Couture blocks. I’m really pleased. But now I can go back to the older quilts that need my attention. I’ve got about half of the top done on the Blooming Nine Patch and that’s going well. So happy to be sewing again!

ucblocks1uc4block1

January 16, 2009 at 11:27 am 2 comments

Traffic Jam with UFOs

ufos

Oh happy day!! I’m getting my sewing machine back today. I’ve had a pileup of projects that will need my attention. In addition to the two quilts I still have to finish, I’ve cut the fabric for two more. I’m not sure I know where to start. Oh and I’m dying to start on Project Improv. It looks like people are having so much fun.

The new quilts are the Urban Couture lap quilt that I’ve posted on before (all those triangles on a roll pinned and ready to go) and one that my sister-in-law has requested – a wonky square in a square (centers and strips cut, ready for wonkification). These are her fabrics.

marysfabric

Off to go get the machine. The kids are at Grammie’s and I’m going to sew! Oh happy day!

January 15, 2009 at 10:17 am 1 comment

I think I’m in love

tgfabric2tgfabric1

with Tina Givens fabric. The colors are rich and lush with a splash of the unexpected, the designs are graceful, elegant and at the same time, somewhat whimsical. All the things I like. I’m not sure what I want to do with these yet (I already have four quilts in progress). It will have to be spectacular to live up to these fabrics.

January 9, 2009 at 3:34 pm 2 comments

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Hi. This is my blog about fabric, food, family and fancy. Welcome. I'd love to hear from you. Peg

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