Sunday, January 3, 2016

Christmas Cactus in the New Year




I've had this plant for at least 25 years... it usually blooms in October. This year, it waited till December.


Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry/Happy

Wool collage, 2015. Thrifted (Value Village) wool, bracelet beads, and charms. 


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Savory Cornbread Stuffing Cakes withCranberry Sauce Syrup



My sister and I got together early for Christmas this year so that meant a pre-Christmas meal including one of one of our favorites, cornbread dressing. Our Nana made the best. (I keep trying...)


With some leftovers, a remake was in order. And Chobani invited me to include yogurt in my recipe.
This is a bit like a potato pancake, but cornbread dressing takes center stage. And no potatoes.

The savory surfing is balanced with a bit of apple sweetness. I also used leftover cranberry sauce thinned with apple cider for an additional nod to seasonal color and flavor.  These are a great side with leftover ham or turkey. Enjoy!

Savory Cornbread Stuffing Cakes with Cranberry Sauce Syrup
3-4 Cups of prepared (leftover!) cornbread stuffing
1 Apple, cut into chunks
5 Scallions, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
1/2 tsp. crushed dried rosemary
1-2 eggs
1/2  Cup Chobani Greek Yogurt (plain)
3/4 C. Flour
Oil for frying. (I use avocado oil which can handle the higher heat.)

Cranberry Syrup
1 Can jellied cranberry sauce
1/4 C. apple cider

To make syrup: Combine ingredients in food processor. Pulse to blend, adding more cider if desired for a thinner consistency.

To make pancakes: Combine stuffing, apple, and yogurt in food processor. Pulse to blend. Add one egg. Pulse, and depending on consistency, add additional egg if needed to make a soft but shapable dough.
Place flour in shallow bowl. Shape dough into egg-sized balls, dredge in flour and flatten with hands into small patty.

Heat oil in frying pan. Add patties and fry until golden. Turn and continue cooking until golden.
Serve with cranberry sauce syrup and green scallions.


Merry Christmas! (And make sure you check out the great recipes over at Chobani.  We use yogurt almost every day, and I'm looking forward to trying some new recipes soon! #chobani greek yogurt)

No compensation received, all opinions my own.






Sunday, October 4, 2015

Friday, October 2, 2015

Wild Horses and a Quilt


Not a new quilt, but one I love. Made a couple of years ago.


And horses. These are some of the 13 wild horses that were rescued and that are looking for a new home. Some friends have loaned their land as a temporary haven. 

(Moses, the standard poodle, checking out the quilt)
The quilt was made from leftover green bits, sewn log cabin style and then squared and framed with shot cottons. My friend Terry did the meandering machine quilting for me.



Each block started with a black and white print crumb of fabric, no bigger than a 2-inch square. It's so relaxing when there's no measuring, just sewing, two blocks at a time to chain piece, adding a scrap, pressing and building without any worry about matching seems. Once the blocks were squared, the strips of shot cotton were added to contain the organized chaos. Like little modern abstracts, framed so you notice each composition.







Make it a Wonderful Day!



Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Scrappy Works for Me





 We finished a few quilts one morning for Project Linus. This was my favorite. I love scrappy randomness that has a bit of order to it. Just like life.




Make it a Wonderful Life!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Independence Day Dresden Plates


Happy Independence Day!
Here are a few dresden plates I've made for American Hero Quilts. (Surprisingly easy to make!)
We're making red, white, and blue blocks every month and we'll have a sew day to put the quilts together sometime in the fall or winter. 


Our quilt group continues to support the efforts of American Hero Quilts to give quilts to injured service men and women. I look forward to the day when we won't need to make any more. Yes, that is my hope.

Make it a wonderful day!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Oh My Cherry Pie

(We couldn't wait for the pie to cool!)

Fresh cherry pie is right up there at the top of my favorites list. Along with most fresh fruit pies. Especially blueberry. Or deep dish, single crust peach. Ah, summer fruit.



We picked cherries from a very old, very tall tree... which meant we wished we had taller ladders. We cleaned out the lowest branches but I'm sure the birds are happy that most of the fruit was way out of our reach.


Fresh sour cherries are best used very soon after picking. I made a pie and used the rest in a chocolate cherry smoothie the next morning. You can freeze the fruit too, if you pick enough to have any leftover. Wash, pit, bag, and label in freezer containers.


Dave and I worked together on the picking and the pitting. (He used our pitter, pitting 4 at a time. I used a knife one at a time, which was almost as quick.) Time consuming, but worth the work!

Here's a classic cherry pie recipe. Nothing tricky. Adjust the sugar depending how tart the cherries are and your own taste. Enjoy!




Oh My Cherry Pie 
Filling:
6 Cups washed, pitted tart cherries
1 1/4 Cups white sugar
5 Tablespoons cornstarch
Pie Crust:
2 2/3 Cup sifted flour
1/2 Cup shortening
1/2 Cup butter
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Sugar
5-7 Tbs. cold water

Sift flour into bowl. Add salt and sugar. Mix with fork. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Cut in butter, leaving butter in pea-sized bits. Sprinkle with water, one tablespoon at a time. Gather dough into ball. Divide dough in half. 

Roll one ball of dough on a generously floured pastry cloth. Line pie dish with rolled crust. Set aside.

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. In saucepan, cook cherries over medium heat for several minutes to release juice. Add the sugar mixture to the hot cherries and mix well. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring gently and constantly. Remove from heat and cool. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
Fill prepared pie crust with cooled cherry filling. Roll top crust. Cover fruit filling with top crust. Seal and flute edge. Lightly brush top with melted butter or lightly mist with cooking spray. Sprinkle with sugar. 

Slit or prick top crust to vent.

Cover edge with foil or pie crust shield ring. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove ring and cook another 25 minutes  or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. 

Cool and serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream. 




Friday, May 8, 2015

Art Teacher Still Life (Clean Up Beauty)



 I guess I see beauty in most things. Even clean up. We spend time at the end of Art Club with everyone helping clean up, but I do a second round at home with brushes and supplies that might be wrecked if not cleaned completely. (Let's just say a first-grader's idea of clean might not be the same as mine…)







These are some thrifted cookie cutters (Value Village) we used to add a printed layer to this year's freestyle painting we did on cardboard. (Here are some older examples. We use up the paint on our pallets after painting our annual paper mache- so much fun to paint just for the joy of painting!)



Yes, I lined up the paint-stained sponge bits on the stripes of the towel to dry. Like houses on little lots and parallel roads.


 I cut open the tube acrylics to scrape out every last bit of paint. I put warm colors in one squeeze bottle, cool in another, Black and white together because the white on a kid's pallet always has some color mixed in. We'll use the mixed paints on future projects where the marbling of colors is a plus.


 I don't save the dried bits from the lids, but I couldn't just throw them away without a photo.  Or two.





I remind my students all the time to see like an artist. Look for line, shape, space, texture, color, form, and value. Pattern and repetition. Light and shadow and contrast and all that. The world (even clean up!) is full of visual treasures we don't want to miss.


Make it a Wonderful Day!