Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

May your day
be full of treats
with no tricks.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Channeling Goldilocks

The very chilly, very windy days we're having in KC right now almost demanded comforting soup. This recipe, which is a compilation of several in the recipe box, is my absolute favorite potato soup recipe.

Peel and cube 1 very, very large potato or 2 medium. Put in a dutch oven. Throw in about a cup of chopped yellow onion and about a cup of chopped celery. Cover with lo-sodium chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook till the veggies are tender, then mash a little bit--right in the dutch oven. Add 8 ounces sour cream and 1/2 pint heavy cream and 1/2 cup grated Vermont cheddar cheese. Add a pinch of Kosher salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Cook on low heat till well mixed. (If too thick or dry, add more chicken broth. I always need to.) Mmm..mmm.. yummy. It was just right. And like Goldilocks, we ate it all up. Double the recipe for a family of more than two!!!
The perfect accompaniment was this delish Parmesan Pine Nut Bread (from the Better Homes and Gardens Bread Machine Baking book).

In the bread machine pan put 1 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 T EVOO. On top of that add 3 cups bread flour, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, 1 t Italian seasoning, 1/2 t salt, 1/4 t sugar and 1/3 cup pine nuts. Kinda spread the dry ingredients with your finger to cover the liquids. Make a little well in the center of the dry ingreds and add 1 t bread machine yeast. Finish according to your bread machine instructions. Mine takes about 3 hours and 50 minutes for this 1 1/2 pound loaf, set to "extend rise". So tasty.

Yesterday here in KC we lived that lyric from "Oklahoma" that went....'the wind comes whippin' cross the plains.' The umbrella on our deck table was lifted up and carried to the ground below, ala Mary Poppins. Leaves were blown so hard that they clogged up the pond pump box. Neighbors' Halloween decorations in their yards looked pretty frazzled.

I love how the local grocery stores have gotten into autumn with their store front displays. It almost makes grocery shopping fun to be greeted with all this color and whimsy.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tinges and Twinges

Wow, long time, no blog--again! My bad. After a delightful sisters weekend in Branson, I came home to visitors I dearly love--older DS and his Significant Other who were in town for a couple of days! So the eating and hilarity that began in southern Missouri continued right here at home. Tinges of autumn color were spotted along the way home from Branson to KC--so welcome. Twinges of guilt were felt for all the calories consumed in just a few days LOL!!! DS's SO decided that we needed to decorate my front porch plain-jack pumpkins. Since it was still a bit early to actually carve them (stinky sunken jacks for Halloween night? No thanks!) we opted for painting them.

Such fun! Hopefully they are far enough out of the weather on my front porch to avoid paint runs in the rain!!!

Younger son is now in town for a business meeting and we'll see him later today on his way to the airport. A mom's delight--getting to see both sons in the same week!

Still no progress on the quilting front. I have, instead, been doing a bit of knitting. Nothing finished to show yet but it is so-o-o relaxing to work those sticks and strings together. Just to keep this blog a teeny tiny bit quilty, I pulled out this little Itsy Bitsy Spider doll quilt for a rerun. Maybe that's just what the quilting doctor is ordering--a new fun fast doll quilt! But for now, I am off to concoct some of the homemade soap balls from 2 Old Crows Primitive Craft. Thanks, Libby, for pointing us to that wonderful website!!! I tried to link to it but they were on AOL Journal which has been closed down. Maybe a search could bring it up. Sorry.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Ruching We Will Go

Such a fun, fun guild meeting we had yesterday! Every few years we have, as our program, a little "schoolhouse" provided by our own members. Eight gals were set up at stations demoing a technique. We could visit all or some of them to watch and learn. So fantastic. We had a demo on using bits of fabric to embellish, called Confetti Embellishment. We had a lesson on using glue to tuck in the final binding strip. We learned how to thread play using the bobbin thread. We were shown how to paint on fabric. We saw how to paper-piece using a light box. We got a look at the No Waste Flying Geese method ( Our "resident crazy quilter" taught silk ribbon embroidery. My favorite was the instruction on using the Anita Shackelford Circular Ruching Tool. Just look at these amazing little flowers!!! Of course, I immediately had to come home and order the circular tool as well as the strip ruching tool AND the book on combining types of quilting, A Modern Mix. Anita's amazing tutorial can be found here: What wonderful embellishing ideas! The circular tool even allows the making of a tiny little ruched flower that would look adorable in a bouquet or on a Baltimore Album quilt.