Monday, September 28, 2009

Next on our Book List...

The next book my club is reading is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  I bought this book when it came out in hardcover and I am so excited to finally read it!  We'll meet in November to discuss the book.

We also added a couple of books to our list of wanna reads :: The Help by Katheryn Stocket {my BFF Theresa has already loaned me her copy} and The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.

What are you reading?  Can you make any good book recommendations?

So Saturday, I swept, did windows, bought mums, and decorated my window boxes for fall.  This morning my leaf garland and fake pumpkins that were in the window boxes were all over the neighborhood. We've had a little wind here in central Indiana.

I think the fall has arrived!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Book Club with Olive Kitteridge...

I hosted Book Club at my house today.  We read Olive Kitteridge (2008) a Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Elizabeth Strout.  The book is actually a series of short stories all held together by one character... Olive.  We really had a nice discussion.  Everyone read and liked the book.  I loved the book and although this might not be the popular answer, I like Olive. I began to see traits of myself in Olive.  I have a sweet, loyal, well-liked husband,  I have a son, an only child.  I have been known to be plain-spoken (remember, my husband calls me Anne Frank).  I am partial to donuts and brownies.  I also saw traits of those in my family, and some of my friends.  I was so absorbed by the lives of these people that I had a difficult time putting the book down.  Even though the stories were incredibly sad, I was drawn in, wanting to know more.  The club all wondered... what was Olive's childhood like???  I would definitely recommend this book.

So what "theme" food did I serve at book club?  The book takes place in New Englad, so I served a shrimp platter, and Hot Crab Dip.  I made an Olive Pecan (dare I say Nut) Spread to serve with crackers.  And just to add a vegetable I made Caprese on a Stick.  The girls loved the food so I am sharing the recipes.

Ok, food stylist I AM NOT

Caprese on a Stick
(Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray)

1 pint grape tomatoes
24 small leaves fresh basil
1 container marinated bocconcini , bite-size mozzarella balls in olive oil with herbs
1 package 6- to 8-inch skewers

Skewer grape tomato, basil leaf and bocconcini ball and repeat until you have 12 skewers.  (Could not be easier!)

Olive Pecan Spread

This spread recipe did not sound good to me, but it got rave reviews on-line.  I mixed it up the night before book club and it was a hit.  Again, very easy to whip together.

8 ounces cream cheese, softened  (I used reduced fat cream cheese)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 (5 ounce) jar sliced green olives, drained
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, olives and pecans in a bowl. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. 

Hot Crab Dip
(Sorry, I found this recipe on the internet, but did not keep my source.  Do you know how many Hot Crab Dips there are out there???)

2 cups crabmeat  (duh, I only bought one cup! Still OK.)
1 cup sour cream
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup buttermilk  (substituted  with 1 T vinegar + 1 cup milk)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup white Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup capers, drained  (first time I've ever purchased capers)
2 (8 ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried dill, or to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning TM, or to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x8 inch square baking pan. In a large bowl, combine crabmeat, sour cream, cream cheese, buttermilk, mayonnaise, Monterey Jack cheese, Cheddar cheese, capers, artichoke hearts, garlic, black pepper and dill. Stir until well mixed. Spoon dip into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and Old Bay Seasoning TM. Bake in preheated oven until top is crusty, about 15 to 20 minutes.

For dessert I made Blueberry Cake, hopefully just like the one Olive stuffed in her purse at her son's wedding.

Blueberry Cake

Streusel Topping:
1/3 cup (45 grams) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (56 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Cake Batter:
1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (56 grams) (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1/3 cup (80 ml) milk
2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, an 8 x 8 inch square pan or an 8 inch round cake pan.

For streusel topping: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and ground cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside while you make the cake batter.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.  In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the flour mixture, alternately with the milk, and beat only until combined. Spread the batter onto the bottom of the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Evenly arrange the blueberries on top of the cake batter and then sprinkle with the streusel topping.  Bake for about 40 - 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Makes 9 servings.

Stay on this channel to see what we are reading next.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thanks, I needed that...

I was in a snarky mood this morning.  I tend to get that way when I feel like my schedule is getting too booked.  I am busy this week and the house is a cluttered mess. I have bookclub here Sunday and I have hardly made a dent in the book.  In addition to that, I argued with the husb about going to work today.  The four broken ribs and punctured lung can't keep that man down.  I think a little more time off is in order. 

Anywho, I had a Calgon moment as I read the post Perfect Timing on Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts.  Amy's Daybreak shawl pictues took me away.  Look at this little lovely...

For more pictures, grab a cup of coffee and visit her blog.  Amy was sweet enough to share the link to Daybreak Shawl from Westknits.  After I jumped over to Stephen' s blog {inspration abounds} I checked Ravelry and found 5 pages of delicious Daybreakness.  Go here to see for yourself.  I am in love with thislazylady's version. on page 2, but it's all good

So thanks Mrs. Schmenkman, for me your timing was perfect.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I want to Ride my Bicycle...

You know how I said in my last post that there are few things my husband would rather do with his spare time than work on Habitat houses? Well one of those things is cycling. He loves to bike.

Yesterday Brad got home from work at 2:45 and decided to go for a quick ride before the start of the Hawkeye game at 3:30. At 3:08, I got a call from him requesting I come pick him up. I could tell he was in distress as he was breathing shallow and he couldn’t tell me exactly where he was located.

I hopped in the truck and when I found him 3 other people had stopped to help him. They helped me load him and his bike in the truck and we headed toward the ER. For those of you that don’t know me, I don’t do blood or anything the least bit “medical”. I leave that up to Brad. I tend to get anxious {read a nervous wreck}. As I drove I wondered why we didn’t call an ambulance. 

Brad directed me to the closest ER, he was sure he had broken ribs and a punctured lung. The x-rays proved him right with 4 broken ribs and a pneumothorax all on the right side. He also has a mean case of road rash from head to calf. He stayed the night at the hospital, heavily drugged, and he came home today at noon. He let me take these pictures tonight.

Road Rash

Brad says he hit the ground before he even knew he was going down. He was turning a corner after a hill at 20 mph. Thankfully, he always wears a helmet.

The remains of his gloves and beloved Hilly Hundred jersey.  He asked if I could work it into a quilt.

He says he is going to work tomorrow.  He forgets he is no longer hooked up to a morophine pump. 

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like
                           Queen 1978

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Building More than Homes...

My husband and son have been volunteering for Habitat for Humanity again this summer.  I think there are few things Brad would rather do in his spare time and Charlie... well he is learning a lot!  But what is really neat is when this...

can turn into this...

Brad sponsoring Alaine, last year's Habitat house homeowner, as she is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost by Pastor Scott Mauch.

Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.    1 Timothy 4 :12

With a happy heart,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It is Jelly Roll Week...

Head on over to Missouri Star Quilt Company where they are giving away a jelly roll of your choice. It is Jelly Roll Week - full of ideas and inspiration using the beloved precut Jelly Rolls.

Missouri Star Quilt Company has a forum, a blog, tutorials...and a store! They also have a daily deal -  today the daily deal was a Nostalgia {April Cornell} Jelly Roll for just $15.95!!   And because this week is Jelly Roll Week all Jelly Rolls are on sale. Plus shipping is a flat $5 in the US, no matter how much you put in your cart! Can you say Retail Therapy?

It's a Sickness...

And I’ve got it bad. The first symptom presents itself  as you find yourself on your laptop Googling “Knit Dishcloth Patterns” for hours. Then a week or two later you have this…

It’s not all that bad. Aside from the obsessive compulsive desire to make these little goodies non-stop, you end up with the satisfaction of completing something {anything} and some nice hostess gifts for your non-knitting friends. It is also a great way to test different stitch patterns and use up that cotton yarn you've hoarded collected in your stash.  {Are you buying any of this?}

I am finishing up my 3 Button Shawl.  I was worried about my button hole, but upon further inspection of this picture, mine looks the same.  Exactly the same, I did not vary from the lovely red Cascase Venezia bulky yarn used in this sample.
I purchased this pattern and yarn at The Yarn Basket while at the Lake Okoboji last summer. Check out this cute shop...
... and no, that is not my car parked as close as you can get to the front door.  Probably some other desperate knitter.  Anywho, the plan {read validation for purchase} was to make the shawl for my skinny {only} sister but then Eva Kay {Mom} spotted it. Won’t they be surprised if I just keep it for myself?

So… whatcha working on?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Super Cute MBS Project and Giveaway...

Have you seen the new {Super Cute} Moda Bake Shop project by Nicole from Our Cozy Nest?  Her tutorial gives complete instructions for making this adorable Ribbon Blanket and Block.

And to celebrate Nicole is having a little giveaway!

You could win a Charm pack of Hushabye by Tula Pink
a Charm pack of Odyssea by MoMo
batting for block and ribbon for block or blanket!

You know the drill, just go here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sweet Giveaways...

Vanessa over at V and Co. is having a giveway sponsored by The Quilt Shoppe
Look what you could win!!!
There are LOTS of chances to win so go check it out here.

If that isn't enough to make you smile the Pansy Cottage Girl
is giving way this TOO CUTE reversible apron.
and take a look see.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Emme Cakes...

Thank heaven for little girls for little girls get bigger every day!
Thank heaven for little girls they grow up in the most delightful way!
Meet Emerson Kay, my niece and Godchild.  She is sporting a new dress made by Grandma Eva Kay.

Proud Aunt,

Today and Everyday...

Prayer for Peace

“Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth.
Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust.
Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace.
Let peace fill our heart, world, our universe.”

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In Need of a Makeover...

With a chill in the air, I was in the mood for a blog makeover.  Bear with me as I hack away at my blogger template and attempt to create a new header of my own.

Monday, September 7, 2009

They Say it's Your Birthday....

In my quilt group, the Rockin' Bobbins, when you celebrate your 70th a certain birthday,  you are given a quilt made by the group.  We've had 3 birthdays to date, and here is our most recent. 

 Happy Birthday Kathy!

Kathy has been rather secretive about her age, believing age is a state of mind. Hey Kathy... your secret is safe with me.

The Youngest Rockin' Bobbin, 

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway...

Run and check out the Fat Quarter Shop Blog for a fab giveaway.

Mill House Inn precuts. Quick Go Now!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Whisper Words of Wisdom, Let it Bead....

A few years back, my sister Jeanne got me into beading. We were shopping at a local boutique and it went down like this...

Boutique Owner I love your bracelet.
Skinny Sister Oh thanks... I made it.
Boutique Owner Would you be interested in making them and selling them at my shop?
Skinny Sister Oh well I am not from around here but my sister is... she could make them... she doesn't have a job.
me {WHAT just happened? And hey, I work INSIDE the home....sorta.}

Okay, that was fun for a while, but those crazy caterpillar bracelets took hours to make. And when you take on a new craft, in my book that means a new stash. After a long beading sabbatical, I've dug into my bead stock pile and made a couple necklaces.

This one was for my dear friend Cindi - who celebrated a special birthday over the weekend. Happy Birthday Cindi!

The weather has been great here in the midwest and I've found myself knitting... nearly non-stop. I am working on 2 projects and my dishcloth production is in full force. I LOVE knitting dishcloths - the instant gratification is good for me. Again, I am trying to put a dent in my cotton yarn stash.

Of course, yesterday at work I had to buy 3 skeins of Cascade 220 because it is almost beanie weather. And when you work at a wonderful yarn shop... well at least I support my habit.

Cast on my friends!

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