Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sewing Retreat 2011

Every year Joshua's aunts and cousins
get together for a week of sewing.
Some piece quilts, some sew dresses and some
create crafty things- all done by the hands God has blessed us with.
When I was down there sewing with them I thought about all of the 
talent- but without hands it would be impossible to create these things.
Thank you Jesus for the blessing of hands.

I spent my evenings this week sewing at my in-laws, which is where
the sewing retreat took place. It was a fun time of fellowship
and catching up on stories of days gone by.

Dear Grandmother, the reason for all the sewing sisters.

Grandmother pieces these velvet, doll blankets for her grandchildren.

Aunt June with her beautiful, velvet fans.

A close up of Aunt June's intricate work.

Aunt Coleen cutting out a comfort.

Aunt Julia multitasking.

More of Aunt Julia's bright creations.

Aunt Polly piecing squares for the lovely, velvet comfort behind her.

Mom cutting out her comfort squares.

Nothing a picker can't pick out. I had a wonderful time
sewing beside mom at the sewing retreat.

 Mom's squares laid out to be sewn together.

Aunt Emily's creative baskets.

Clair Bleu's crafty purse.

Aunt Barbara's intricate quilt. 
I think it should be named "Amish Grace"

Aunt Cheryl's cheery sunflowers. She is making them into
a wall hanging for her laundry room.

Another photo of Aunt Cheryl's handiwork.

Myself and the four things I sewed.

I used fabric paint and stenciled some of the squares.

I also made a few rosette's. They are very easy to make.
Just cut circles to form a flower and melt the edges.

Just hand sew the petals together and top with a glass bead.

One half of the sewing room with busy workers.

The other half set and talked.

False, they worked too.

Speaking of working- does this look like work to you?

It was a fun and relaxing week!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Blog Worthy

I made up two recipes this week that
were not "blog-worthy". Both of the recipes
where good, but just not good enough to post.
I don't want to post recipes just because they
look good, I want them to taste delicious too.

Peach Rum Shrimp- the grill ran out of gas so the sauce was runny.
The sauce was good but needed that grilled taste.
 I will try this one again and post it for you. 

Chicken legs rubbed with cajun and orange marmalade.
The seasoning remained on the outside of the skin-
which is the part I do not eat. Uggg.

So no recipes this week- hopefully next week will be better.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Timeless Toys

Yay! I can finally tell you folks the great news!
Wes Dunlap, Josh, and I are opening a
toy store in the Heritage Farmers Market.
A toy store filled with wooden toys, educational toys,
trikes, wagons, rocking horses, lincoln logs, tractors,
marble rollers, doll houses, dolls, and much more.
We want to carry toys that spark creativity in children.
Toys that are timeless, like blocks, they
have been played with for centuries but have
never lost their creativity.

Help us with toys ideas.
What toys did you play with as a child?

As a child I remeber a green wagon we received for Christmas.
It went with us everywhere. 
We hooked it behind the four wheeler, used it as a car,
hauled our pumpkins from the patch to our roadside stand,
and even covered it with burlap like a covered wagon.
It still lives today but is in dire need of new wheels.

Our beloved wagon.

I would love to hear your story.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Triple Chocolate Tiramisu

Need an idea for a Valentine's dessert?
If you like coffee and chocolate this recipe
is just what you need.

Layer ladyfingers in dish and drizzle with half of the coffee.

Whip your marscarpone cheese, whipping cream, 10x sugar and vanilla.
Beat in coffee liquor until blended.

 Top ladyfingers with half of the cream mixture and sprinkle with chocolate.
Repeat layer.

Enjoy with your sweetheart.

 Triple Chocolate Tiramisu

20 lady fingers, half regular and half chocolate
1/4 cup of espresso or strong brewed coffee
1- 8 oz. carton of marscarpone cheese
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup 10x sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup coffee liquor
White and regular chocolate pieces.

Line the bottom of a 9x9 inch baking pan with half of the ladyfingers.
Drizzle or spoon half of the espresso over ladyfingers.
In a bowl beat marscarpone cheese, whipping cream, 10x sugar
and vanilla just until stiff peaks form. Beat in coffee liquor just
until combined. Spread half of the cream mixture on top of ladyfingers.
Sprinkle with white and regular chocolate pieces. Top with another
layer of ladyfingers, remaining espresso and cream mixture.
Sprinkle with chocolate pieaces.

Cover and chill for 2 days. This allows the ladyfingers to soften.
This dessert gets better with age. Josh ate some last night
and he says he wants tiramisu for every birthday instead of cake.
And he really likes chocolate cake.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chicken Cardinale

Our local Italian restaurant has the best
chicken cardinale, and I wanted to try and
make it myself. It didn't taste exactly 
like theirs but it was still very good.
This recipe is similar to the chicken Marsala I posted in August.

Ready to cook. (p.s. I didn't use the two garlic cloves.)

Sprinkle first side with salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and oregano.

 Flip and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Remove chicken from skillet and make sauce below.

Top with ham and mozzarella cheese. Cover until cheese is melted.

Accompany with pasta.

Chicken Cardinale

5 chicken thighs
Melt a lump of butter in a skillet. Add chicken and sprinkle
the first side with salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and oregano.
Turn when underside is golden brown. Sprinkle the other side
with salt and pepper. Fry until juices run clear. 
Remove chicken from skillet.

Add 3/4 cup of red wine to your pan drippings and reduce
to half. I usually smell it and when the wine doesn't smell strong its
ready to go. Add 1/2 lb. of sliced mushrooms and saute until soft.
Dissolve 1 tsp. of cornstarch in 1 1/2 cups of half and half.
Add to mushrooms and cook until slightly thickened.
Taste for salt and add to your liking. 
Place chicken in the sauce and top with ham and mozzarella cheese.
Cover until cheese is melted.

Serve on a bed of Penne pasta.
Go here for the recipe- scroll to the bottom of the page.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Valentine's Cookies

I went to mom's yesterday to decorate
Valentine's cookies. There is nothing
like biting into a soft, iced, sugar cookie.

"No Sawyer, it will hurt your chubby fingers."

"But it looks so good, Aunt Hope." 
I'll take the credit for the hair.

Austy cleaning the sweetness off the beaters.

Sweetness at it's finest.

Add a drop of food coloring and swirl it with a toothpick.

The real way to devour a cookie.

Make them now and stick them in the freezer!
You'll be ahead of the game.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I was hungry for lasagna but didn't have
enough time to make the kind with uncooked noodles.
So I created a quick version.

  Components ready to layer.

Layer items as listed below.

Top with calories.


Cook 6 lasagna noodles until soft.
1 lb. of hamburger, browned
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 of an onion, minced.
Saute until soft.
Then add-
1- 29 oz.can of tomato sauce
1/4 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Simmer on medium for 10-12 minutes. 

Use two noodles per layer. Then spoon a third of the sauce
over noodles. Spoon a third of a 16 oz. cottage cheese on top of sauce.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and repeat layers 2 more times.
Top with mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

To complete your meal, I suggest you add this easy, garlic bread.

Grab garlic powder, pepper, parsley flakes, Parmesan and grated cheese.
Butter your bread and sprinkle these ingredients on top.

Place on a baking sheet and turn your oven on broil.

Broil until toasted and eat with your lasagna.
It's almost better than real garlic bread.