Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Recipe & Review

I received two cookbooks for Christmas to add to my already vast cookbook collection. What can I say I love reading cookbooks. I love the pretty pictures and I love imagining just what the ingredients will taste like together. If I'm hungry I can read a recipe and it's almost like eating the food. Weird right? So I was thrilled to get two more without even asking.


Let me say right now that this review is my opinion alone and has absolutely nothing to do with anything or anyone else. I love all things Paula Dean but didn't have any of her books so was really pleased to get Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible. What a disappointment :( No pictures always a no no in my opinion and the recipes themselves are very hard for my eyes to follow. Something about the type or color or the way the ingredients are listed makes it such that key steps can be easily missed unless you read over and over and over.

I also received a  real popover pan for Christmas so I tried her Brunch time Popovers first. Now I've made popovers a million times in regular muffin tins so this should have been a slam dunk for me. Paula's method is different from mine so I thought I'd give it a try her way. Epic fail. Brunch time hockey pucks was more like it. The dogs and chickens were thrilled. I'll go back to my method which always works.

Cinnamon Toast Muffins
Next up was Paula's Cinnamon Toast Muffins. Now here's a recipe I can get behind. These are pretty dense but really delicious. They taste like cake doughnuts, what could be bad about that? I shared with my family down the road and they asked me to make them again with a little more nutmeg to enhance the doughnut quality so I'd give this recipe a thumbs up. 

Cinnamon Toast Muffins
adapted from Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible
 Muffins
3 cups  all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tbsp buttermilk (this is a ridiculous amount in my opinion either have buttermilk or don't in the recipe but I did it anyway. I know you need the acid of the buttermilk but really is this the best way with this fussy little amount/)
8 tbsp butter(1 stick) plus 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) butter at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
2 lg eggs
Coating
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
8 to 12 tbsp (1 to 1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted

Lovin' from the oven
1. To make the muffins: Preheat the oven to 375* grease 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and dust with flour.
2. Sift together dry ingredients in med. bowl. In small bowl whisk together milk and buttermilk.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until thoroughly combined. 
4. With mixer at low speed beat 1/4 flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in 1/3 milk mixture. Alternate dry and wet ending with dry. (Don't over mix this is what makes baked goods tough.)
5. Fill muffin tin with batter to the rim. Bake until golden about 20 minutes. Let the muffins cool in pan about 5 minutes then remove to wire rack.
6. To prepare coating: In a small bowl combine cinnamon and sugar. Brush each muffin top with melted butter. (I dipped mine) Then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. (I rolled mine around in it)

Before topping
So a mixed review. One recipe fell flat and one was delicious so I think overall the recipes are probably fine. If I were buying this cookbook instead of receiving it as a gift I'd have to give it a pass because of the difficulty reading the recipes (to me) and because there are few/no pictures.

Until next time,

Monday, February 25, 2013

DWM/Blogger Girl BOM February

I'm all caught up and just under the wire for the February blocks for the Blogger Girls BOM.


I like these blocks. They came out straight believe me even though they don't look like it in this picture and I learned a new piecing technique on this one that I previously struggled with on my Memories of Provence quilt. I won't even begin to try to explain what that was. I'll just say that if you go to the Open Gate Quilts page and download the FREE block instructions there are very clear directions for how to piece those tricky looking corners.



Remember the idea is to take the first block and make it look completely different by changing the fabric placement.


How do you think I did this time? Same block different fabric placement.

And now for an epic fail! I got so excited to get going on this block that I chose my fabrics, got down to cutting and sewing and had the first block made in no time at all only to discover that I had chosen the totally WRONG background fabric! The background in these blocks needs to be all the same so that they blend in the end. What was I thinking?


Oh well! A nice practice block before I got down to business. Now I really know how to piece those corners. Today is Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times so head over and see what other super creative people are up to.

Until next time,

Monday, February 18, 2013

I'm Catching Up/Blogger Girl BOM

I told you I was jumping in on the Blogger Girl Block of the Month and I am always mostly true to my word.


Here are the January blocks. See, I'm only a month behind! Technically I'm not behind at all until the end of February when I'll be behind if I don't get the February blocks done. Which isn't going to happen since I have those all cut out and ready to sew. Is all that clear??


I'm using a fat quarter bundle of Double Chocolate fabric from Moda that I've been saving with some left overs from the Memories of Provence quilt and I'm loving the way these colors play together. The idea is to take the exact same pattern and change the look of the block by changing the color placement. I had a little trouble at first getting my brain to twist this without drawing it all out but after a bit of puzzling I managed to do it.


See what I mean? Exactly the same pattern just different color placement to create a completely different look. Of course I can see all my piecing mistakes in these photos so please don't look too hard, OK?

If you'd like to join in go to Open Gate Quilts and get the FREE pdf patterns/instructions and join me. I'm also joining the Flickr group where other bloggers are showing off their blocks as they complete them. Maybe I'll see you there.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Until next time,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sharing the Romance


February 14,1968
  Today is my 45th wedding anniversary so I'm sharing MY day with all of you - Happy Valentine's Day! Chris and I are so pleased that you all are joining us in celebrating our day with flowers and chocolates and mushy love notes. We are excited to spread the good vibrations around.


This past weekend we were in San Diego for a family celebration honoring our youngest grand daughter Paige as she was baptized. It was a sweet day spent with family and friends. We dreamed about such days 45 years ago and we cherish those dreams come true now. Give your sweetheart a kiss and hold each other close. Each and every day is a gift.

Until next time,

Monday, February 11, 2013

Design Wall Monday/Finished at Last!

Here it is finished at last! Memories of Provence my LQS block of the month for 2012. 


 I was determined to get this baby done before I started on another thing and I'll bet you all as tired of hearing about it as I am of working on it but.. didn't it turn out great? I just love it. It measures 96 x 108 and I had to hang it off the back deck to get a full picture. I'll be sending this one to my friend Karen Parker in Billings, Montana to be quilted. She does a wonderful job and I want it to be special as it's going to be a keeper for my bed (hope the bats will like it). Patchwork Times has lots of eye candy and inspiration so go and see.

 

Until next time,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bats in My Bedroom


Well, only one bat actually. But one bat is one too many as far as I'm concerned! Living in the country is full of surprises-  giant spiders in the bathtub, bears in the chicken coop and now bats in the house! 

Last night I walked into my bedroom and turned on the light and a bat was flying around in there. I let out a squeal that could be heard up and down the road. Now I like a bat just as well as the next person as long as it's where it belongs - OUTSIDE! Doing what it's supposed to be doing - eating bugs. Not in my bedroom flying around doing God knows what. Chris came running assuming a serial killer had been hiding in the closet. After he quit laughing he calmly opened the French doors to the deck and the bat happily flew out. The dogs were not impressed I don't think they even woke up.

End of drama. We have no idea how the creature of the night got in there but now I'm completely spooked and it's nowhere near Halloween. Just another day in the country.

Until next time,

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Blogaversary







It's my Blog Anniversary and I'm celebrating by giving my followers a gift. 

 The Give Away is closed and these wonderful red fabrics from Connecting Threads are going to a new home - 


I have no affiliation with Connecting Threads.
 My husband graciously agreed to dip his hand (with his eyes closed no less) into the magic bowl and pick the name of our winner and... The lucky person is CONNIE from Freemotion by the River!! I can hardly wait to see what she'll do with these. 

I truly wish I could gift every one of my followers, those of you who have been with me from the beginning and those of you who have just joined me. You all me so much to me. I appreciate your comments and your feed back. I've learned a lot over the past year from all of you and hope you've learned something from me. Let's keep hanging out!

Until next time,

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I'm Jumpin' In

I may be a day late and a dollar short as the saying goes but I've decided to jump in anyway and join the Blogger Girl BOM. I just could not resist after looking at and drooling over all the wonderful blocks others are sewing on the Flicker group pages.



As you can see I have just the fabric for it too. This is Double Chocolate from Three Sisters by Moda. I've been saving this for a special project and I can just imagine this quilt in these fabrics. Fabulous. I seldom buy a fat quarter bundle but I couldn't leave this one in the store and as you can see I had to have just a little yardage to go along with it in case I needed it don't ya know.



Why don't you join me? I don't see why I should be the only one to fall. It's not too late this BOM only started January 1. We can catch up easy. Just look at this beauty. Go to Monique's blog for the details.

Don't Forget - - - -
Blog  Anniversary Giveaway


Have you been drooling over those luscious  red fabrics that Connecting Threads came out with recently? They sold out almost as soon as they hit the market. I fell hard for those and I was able to score some for my very own. Here's the fun part - my blog anniversary is coming up on February 3 and I'm going to share some of these wonderful fabrics with you, my readers. I really want my followers to know how much I appreciate them.

If you would like some of this Connecting Threads red fabric all you have to do is:
A - Become a follower.
B - Leave a comment. Have you participated in an online BOM? How did it turn out?

Simple. I'll be picking the winner on February 4. You can enter more than once so check back and enter whenever I post until then.

Only my followers can win this one but I promise you'll be glad you joined this give away. 

I'm linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times so give it a look.

Until next time,

Friday, February 1, 2013

Culture Week

C

Can you even begin to imagine what's going on in this photo?
Last week my quilting friends the Needle Nellies went on a field trip to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento to view the Norman Rockwell exhibit. What a wonderful show it was. The exhibit spanned his entire working life from the early 1920's to the 1960's and included many of the iconic works we all know and love. It also included every Saturday Evening Post cover he ever illustrated. They did not allow photos in the exhibit but they very cleverly set up a photo op outside where one could pose as the artist just as Norman Rockwell himself did for a famous self portrait. Loved the day out with friends and loved seeing these works close up.

 5X25ROCK.JPG

The very next night Chris and I had tickets for the Community Center Theater production of Rock of Ages. In case you are unaware I'll quote this description from the Sac Bee theater review of the show:  "A jukebox musical based on the songs of such legendary Broadway composing teams as Poison and Whitesnake, "Rock of Ages" celebrates the whiskey-soaked debauchery of rock clubs on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip in the 1980s." We are season ticket holders at the Community Theater so we gamely filed in and buckled up. Oh my! Two words for you LOUD and RAUNCHY! The entire audience looked a little shell shocked by intermission and quite a few seats were empty for the second act. But we soldiered on. By golly we paid for these seats and we're gonna sit here til the last dog is hung! The Sac Bee reviewer gave it a thumbs up by the way and I will say the musicians and actors gave it their all. My ears are still ringing. In my defense I didn't like this music when I was younger either.


Blog Anniversary Giveaway



 Have you been drooling over those luscious  red fabrics that Connecting Threads came out with recently? They sold out almost as soon as they hit the market. I fell hard for those and I was able to score some for my very own. Here's the fun part - my blog anniversary is coming up on February 3 and I'm going to share some of these wonderful fabrics with you, my readers. I really want my followers to know how much I appreciate them.

If you would like some of this Connecting Threads red fabric all you have to do is:
A - Become a follower.
B - Leave a comment. Been to any good plays or movies lately? Do you have a recommendation for us? Or what's the worst show you ever saw? We usually remember those. 

Simple. I'll be picking the winner on February 4. You can enter more than once so check back and enter whenever I post until then.

Only my followers can win this one but I promise you'll be glad you joined this give away.

Until next time,



Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/01/25/5136465/theater-review-rock-of-ages-surpasses.html#storylink=cpy