Saturday, April 27, 2013


I found this recipe for Muffins for 2 from the Minimalist Baker.  I will need to spend more time checking out her blog as she’s got interesting ideas there… like these Boozy Pecan Pie Bars… which I’m thinking could be made using coconut rum instead of bourbon… I have a 4 year old bottle in the china cabinet – that stuff doesn’t go bad does it?  I could be easily talked into getting a bottle of Kahlua – that would work right?

Back to the muffins… being lazy someone who needs to change things up - I decided to pre-mix the dry ingredients and store it in small mason jars so that all I needed to do was mix and add the wet ingredients and be done with it.  You see - I am back to getting up at 4 something god awful in the mornings to make my husband his breakfast and lunch before he leaves at 5 something still dark in the the morning.  Please hold your applause… it’s not all that noble… he works outside the house (and a good drive from here) and I’m basically here loafing everyday… really I’ve got loafing down-pat. 

Yesterday I measured out the dry ingredients for 4 mixes.  This morning I used one and we were quite satisfied with the end results.  I did use a gluten free flour mix (we choose to eat gluten free when we can as we just feel better) and almond milk (I don’t use cows milk) but since I’m not hardly a vegan I used real butter and egg.  I could see my throwing in some cinnamon and using chopped apple & walnuts in this instead of the blueberries.  You could easily use a regular flour and milk.

This recipe says it makes 2 muffins in ramekins or 4 in regular muffin tins.  I had this vintage 4 cup tin and it made 4 nice muffins.  Since I had divided it into 4 muffins I set the timer for 20 minutes rather than the 25 and that worked out perfect.  Since it does take 20 minutes to cook I’ll probably pre-mix the wet ingredients the night before and then warm it in the morning to melt the butter before mixing the batter.

Minimalist Baker Muffins (2)

This morning I scrambled up a few eggs with some spinach and called it breakfast!

Minimalist Baker Muffins (1) 

Oh and Nancy… I found this recipe via Pinterest… If I ever figure out how to really use the site… you’re going to be in trouble for enabling me…

Friday, April 26, 2013

What’s On The Needles 4-26…

Let’s see…. I’ve got lots of stuff on the needles… but not everything is being worked on.  Let’s have a parade!

These socks have seen no work in the past several weeks… I’m at the point of working on the heel… and I haven’t felt like concentrating long enough to work on them.

2 Up Socks 4

I only knitted a few rows on the Multnomah Shawl while I was visiting in MA last week… so it pretty much still looks like this.

multnomah 3

I did start and finish a really pretty Feather and Fan Scarf using yarn that looks like this…Louisa Harding Grace Hand Beaded yarn… so pretty with a lovely sheen and with the beads it has a nice weight to it.  I forgot all about getting a picture of the scarf so I’ll have to get my daughter to take a picture and send to me.

I did however start a new project.  This is another pattern via Ravelry.  It’s a “Just Maryse” pattern called Gathered Scarf.  The yarn is Plymouth Yarn’s Baby Alpaca DK in a pretty blue - that I picked up at Webs in Northampton last week… in the Sale ROOM!

Gathered Scarf 1

This will be quick I think – just knits and purls, knitting 2 together to decrease, and knitting front and back to increase and swapping between 2 needle sizes.

Check out what others are knitting this week over at Judy’s Patchwork Times Blog.

Oh before I go…

Please take a minute to watch this video.  It was made by wounded EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) Warriors to support the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing.  Please share with others if you have a means.  I am so impressed with these young men who stood and served in the Military – voluntarily walking towards bombs and IED’s in order to protect others...  now reaching out to the innocent civilians recovering from the same kinds of injuries they have suffered.

We Stand With You

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Refresh…  You know… you want to refresh your browser page you hit the F5 key.

That’s what I’ve been – Refreshed!

Back in October I had set a date to teach a couple Four Patch Stacked Posie classes at Southampton Quilts… my old Home Sweet Quilting Home!  Last week was that week.  I left here on Tuesday, had classes on Wed., Thur., Sat., and Sunday…. then had a little bit of a girls day on Monday and headed back home on Tuesday.

Friday was suppose to be a day out with my daughter… but I had heard it was suppose to rain off and on thru the day so after breakfast out and some errands we sat at her place and I taught her to knit while we watched the day long news coverage of the manhunt going on in Watertown.

You know it’s still hard to wrap my head around what has happened out there.  Hopefully the story will unravel and we can come to understand the why and how… but in the end – I think the simple answer will be that this is what happens when people hold on to hate and resentment and want retribution.  And what they do – hurting innocent people – only feeds the cycle of hate and misunderstanding.  This hate is not limited to any one ethnic group, religion, or country… history is a testament to that.

Anyway – I am refreshed and energized mentally.  I liked that I was able to visit with some quilty friends (yes – teaching too) while hanging out at the quilt shop and I was able to spend some much needed time with my kids!  I’m going to try and work this into my agenda a little more often.

As I said I taught a couple Four Patch Stacked Posie Classes… here is just a sample of some of the lovely quilts in the works… not sure how but I didn’t get a picture of everyone’s work.  Trust me when I say they were all stunning!

This tumbling block layout has beautiful soft grey blue fabrics…

4-13 blue tumbling (1)

Bright colorful blocks with a simple sashing and cornerstone setting

4-13 Bright w-cornerstones (1)

A lovely poppy fabric in a tumbling block setting.

4-13 Gail tumbling (1)

I wish I had gotten a picture of the other lovely fabrics for this log cabin layout.  I love the strips!

4-13 Iris log cabin (1)

A beautiful soft log cabin setting for this beautiful pink and green fabric.

4-13 Judy Log Cabin (2)

Very pretty oriental print again in the log cabin setting.

4-13 oriental log cabin (7)

A pretty red/green paisley & floral in a log cabin setting.

4-13 Paisley log cabin (2)

Lovely rich print for the blocks softened with the pink & cream for the tumbling blocks!

4-13 paisley tumbling (1)

These were the blocks I made from the same fabric for the posies.


These blocks were from a large Dahlia print – so pretty with the blue and purple logs.

4-13 peony log cabin (3)

I love teaching this class – everyone does a wonderful job and with offering the optional layouts the quilts are all different and fun!



I had picked up this CNT “A Little Somethin’ Jacket” back at the Lancaster Quilt Show along with a pretty rayon batik.  I took everything up with me and the “Master Clothing Artist Louise” made my jacket… she got it done so quickly I smartly purchased some other fabric and left it with her too.  This will get lots of use this summer with a crisp pair of capris and a tank top!


I made a trip up to Webs in Northampton, MA with Nancy and Maureen… that yarn shop has more yarn than you can shake a stick at!  After I got the nickel tour from a helpful salesperson – I headed right back to where he pointed to the ‘room’ of sale yarn.  And room was right – every bit as big I think as the store front which was huge and already had everything a knitter could want.  The sale area had rows and rows of yarn marked down.  The good news was that I only had 2 patterns printed off with me… so I got the yarn I needed for those two projects.  The bad news was that I ONLY had 2 patterns printed off with me… I could have spent all day shopping!  I picked up a couple other things for projects… but I’m being good and only buying things for specific projects now… otherwise I’ll end up with more yarn than I know what to do with.

While I was going through quilt pictures the other day I found this one of my first grand child Miss K with the Baby Honu quilt I made for her.  Oh those cheeks and that strawberry blonde hair!!!

Keao Honu quilt (1)

Here she is at a recent surf competition in South Carolina!  Sweet!

Keao surf 4-13

And because I just can’t leave them out… here are the two boys.  The older one had some minor surgery and has band-aids by his ears.  The little one wanted him some band-aids too… and cried until he got them!

Kai surgery after

Keanu bandaids

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


78 to 80 is the temperature forecast for today!

Today I’m going to go out and rake out the raised beds to stir things up a bit and tack down the weed cloth that the wind has played havoc with.  I also need to try and get rid of some wild onions (garlic/chives?) that have scattered themselves around the front garden areas… I’m going to loosen things up with a pitch fork and then hopefully the bulbs will pull out.

I bought a couple 4 packs of butter crunch lettuce so I’ll stick them in the front herb garden.

A couple years ago I put some vinca vine in a front bed… but it’s gotten out of control so I need to try and pull that out… I hope to get rid of it without using a weed killer… wish me luck!

I saw these little guys out front…


and I love this little ‘odd man’ hanging out on the opposite side!


Monday, April 8, 2013


In all honesty – I had not eaten Kale until just a few short months ago… like maybe 5.  Really – I have been missing this wonderfully nutritious veggie all this time!

My daughters have each been making and eating Kale chips for a couple years now I think… so it was always one of those things I wanted to try.

The first time I cooked it was when my daughter was still here – I just sautéed it in olive oil and sprinkled parmesan cheese on it and served it as a side dish.  Yum!

Since then I’ve been cooking it up with other veggies and adding a Serrano Chile Honey Balsamic Vinegar at the end… ooooh what a lovely sweet hot kick that adds to the dish.  Add some chicken and serve it over rice or pasta…. mmmmm, mmmm, good.

I’ll sauté some onions, red peppers and kale and add to my scrambled eggs for breakfast.  I’ve used it in quiche as well instead of either broccoli or spinach.

But one of my favorite uses this chilly spring has been in soup.  I make about 2 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock, add in some Costco Meatballs and a bunch of cut up Kale.  I’ve been known to shred up a zucchini and throw that in as well – I don’t think there are any right or wrong additions (my daughter added garbanzo beans when she made it).  Heat it up and serve it with brown rice or even pasta if you have it…

My daughter and grand kids called last week and wanted to “Facetime” with me while the kids were all sitting down to their lunch (helps to keep them in their seats for a few minutes).  I was heating up my lunch as well – so we all had lunch together.  They wanted to know what Granny’s soup was and since they had liked other soups I had made while they lived here they pestered their Mom to make them some of Granny’s Kale Soup later in the week.

What I’ve been doing the past couple weeks is buying a couple bunches of Organic Kale at a time, steam blanching it, and freezing it so that I always have some on hand.  I buy ‘organic’ because Kale is listed on the “Dirty Dozen” list because of high pesticide residue… doesn’t seem to make much sense to eat healthy and then have that healthy food be loaded with toxins!

Wash the leaves


Pull leaves off the stems


Steam for 3 minutes


Ice water bath to stop the cooking


Spin the excess water out with salad spinner


Pack in plastic containers for freezer


I packed one 1.5 pint and two 1 pint containers. 

I always wondered why people had to blanch produce before freezing it… well the short answer as I understand it is that briefly heating it stops the growing enzyme action and your product last longer.  Since this was a leafy item I figured steam was suitable – other denser items would need to be blanched in a pot of boiling water.

For dinner I’m going to use some of this to sauté with zucchini and onion to eat with a few leftover ravioli…

Friday, April 5, 2013

On the Needles 4-5…

I started a new project the other day in anticipation of having a couple of days to do nothing much more than sit and knit…



Multnomah is another free shawl pattern from Ravelry.

I love Ravelry!





I am using Nuble from Araucania which is a fingering weight yarn of wool & silk.  Love the earthy colors.

Be sure and check out what others are knitting on this week at Judy L’s Patchwork Times

Why so much extra time to knit?  Because we are making dust around here for a couple days… Noise and dust!


Now I’ll tell you that my standard operating procedure for dust is – “Don’t write in it!”  It’s just way easier to ignore if you don’t see it… hey – you know I’m right.

But this dust yesterday… well not only could I see it but I could feel it, hear it being made, and taste it.  They were jack-hammering a hole in my basement and digging a big hole along the side of my house.  I even opened the windows and put the fans in blowing out… Thank goodness it was almost warm out.

We’ve had a very minor issue with water in one corner of the basement when it rains really hard during the wet season.  Because we have a stone foundation as well as a stone house we figured it was better to deal with it before it becomes a foundation problem.



They dug along the side of the house – nearest isn’t as deep as that part of the house (laundry room) is set on a slab so the footer only goes 3-4’ deep – beyond that is the part that is deeper that matches up with the basement wall.  This will all be cleaned – cemented over (parged is the technical term) – then coated and a layer of some sorta film is applied. 






Here in the basement you can see the corner wall that has moisture issues.  The door way on the right use to lead to stairs up into the laundry room which is the room set on a slab.






Those stairs are now gone as they were rotting out at the bottom from the moisture.  The bottoms 3 or 4 stairs were easy to remove… they had to work hard on all the others.

The wall behind the stairs is sloped.







They jackhammered the cement  to make a channel to catch any water.  The walls will have all the damaged areas removed and then everything will be parged and a sump pump put in that hole in the corner.  My husband will rebuild stairs after the sump pump and drain system is finished. 

You know for a house that was built in 1856 and completely renovated in the late 40’s (which is when the original dirt basement would have been dug out more and cemented in) – she’s not doing too bad.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


All I can say is “It’s About time!”

I finished this Stormcloud Shawl last night – it’s actually the second one that I’ve made.  I told you about the first back the beginning of March.  I still need to weave in the ends and block it.  The first shawl used only 40 Stormcloud 2 Shawlgrams (of 100 grams) and I used up the rest with this one – so it’s a bit longer.  I’ll send it along to my daughter in SC so that they will have Mother – Daughter shawls to wear out.  This picture shows it folded in half.  It’s so light and airy.   As far as knitting I’m working on the second felted clog… when I have them both done I’ll do some pictures on the felting process.  Otherwise I still have those blue socks… they got set aside when I started the heel and I have not gotten back to them.  I do have a new shawl I’ll start soon… pictures to come on that project.

I have errands to run today… knee appointment, visit the tea shop Teavana at the Mall, run down to the yarn shop out that way (my reward for going into the mall), I should stop at the Natural Foods Store on my way home but we’ll see…

I do have plans this weekend to go see Jurassic Park in IMAX 3D.  I don’t know about you but I loved that movie!  Actually I LOVED the Michael Crichton book and had certainly read it 5 times by the time the movie came out in 1993.  I think had I had the opportunity to get a degree I could have easily ended up as a Paleontologist… I’ve always loved dinosaurs and earth sciences.  As is common in Hollywood – the book and the movie are two different things… but I understand the reasoning in making it as they did.  Special Effects entered a new era at that time - I know I sat in that theater with tears in my eyes the first time I saw those dinosaurs come running across the screen – what movie magic that was!

Nowadays we regularly enjoy all sorts of mind boggling things via movie magic… Zombies anyone?  LOL  I recently read that the AMC show “The Walking Dead” is the favorite ‘scripted’ show for adults between the ages 18 – 49… Hmmm I’m about 10 years out of that demographic… but I love that show.  Oh yes - I cringe at some (most) of the graphic graphic effects – but I’m loving the story line and characters.  Now that Season 3 has ended… I can’t wait for October!  Silly huh?