Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eating Our Way From Paris to Barcelona

Well, not quite.  But it was good anyway. 
Have you heard about these?  Parisienne or French Macarons.   Yum.  We found these at Bennison's Bakery in Evanston.  Vanilla, Strawberry, Lemon, Pistachio, Chocolate, Lavender and Caramel!  Aren't they pretty?

Playing with your iphones again?  Or enjoying  a snack? 

How many will actually make the trip home?  If you ever have a chance to try one of these - you must indulge!  Who knew that just a little flavored egg white and sugar could be so addictive.

Next meal - Tapas Barcelona

Paella Vallenciana anyone?

The closest we'll get to a European vacation this year!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Last week's photo challenge

How do you get a photo of all  three little grandsons under the age of two ?  It's not easy!   But this is the closest I could come.  This picture pretty much tells the story of my visit to St. Louis last week. The little peanut (blue shirt in the foreground) came with grammie and his mama to see the newest little man (in magic infant bed) and his big brother(and their parents!).  Little D was in awe of all the toys and boys, Little W was happy just to eat, p**p, and sleep, and his Big Bro kept busy keeping an eye on mom - or maybe it was the other way around!

But we had fun anyway!  And guess who else we found in St. L - Aunt E! 

Despite a minor back injury, Uncle J did his best to give lessons in how to walk!

"Oh no - there's Grammie with that camera again! Can't a boy even have a bath"  Sorry, little J, you're just too cute!

When you're this little you are the  easy photographic subject of the week!
We'll be seeing these two little guys again next week so maybe I can at least get a photo of the two brothers together.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Amy's Quilt Festival

Amy's at it again!  She's hosting another online quilt show.  If you're interested in seeing some pretty quilts, be sure to check her blog out and even join the rest of us at her Spring Quilt Festival. Just click on the Quilt Festival icon on the sidebar and you'll bounce right over to Amy's Creative Side for the fun.

I couldn't decide which quilt to show but since it is Spring, I'll share this bright little lap quilt.  I'm not sure if I've even posted a photo of this one before but it was made mainly to practice my machine quilting skills and to experiment with the disappearing nine-patch pattern. 

Thanks for checking out my entry to Amy's Creative Side's Spring Quilt Festival!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Scenes from the Weekend

I'm trying to quickly get a blog post up tonight before I leave again!  It seems as though I might have missed blogging about my nice Mother's Day trip to Churchill Downs so I guess I'll have to save that for a week when I've got blogger's block.

For tonight I'll share a little about our latest motorcycle trip.  D is a member of the CVO Harley Owner's Group and they have a few events every year.  If you were here last year, you'll remember we traveled to Eureka Springs, AR then on to Georgia for two of their get togethers.  This year the Rib Fest hosted by one of the members was held at Lake Barkley Resort near Cadiz, KY. 
Scenes along the road.  I quickly shot this photo of a barn quilt (though it's a little hard to see) as we traveled some pretty back roads on our way down.
Lake Barkley from our room at sunset.  The water levels were way up due to the recent flooding in Nashville.
Sunrise on Lake Barkley.

We've made some good friends through these events.  This is Brad and Val.  They traveled all the way  from Pennsylvania to attend Rib Fest.  But they came as far as our house, spent the night and drove the rest of the way with us.  We had a great time and enjoyed their company. They will ride all the way to the next event - which is near San Diego!  We'll not get to that one.   If we didn't have some other trips in the works, it might have been fun,  but what a long way that would be for us to attempt!

This was just a portion of all the ribs they cooked for the hungry crowd.

And just a few of the hungry riders.  Unfortunately we didn't get to do much riding while there.  The thunderstorms kept everyone off the roads.

At least we were able to keep the bikes dry by parking them under the covered walkway outside our rooms. 

I'm back on the road again tomorrow.  But looking forward to seeing ALL of my little grandsons and ALL of my kids too!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day Pie


I never see a coconut cream pie without thinking of you! 

So today I baked one, from scratch,  then enjoyed a big, gooey, still warm, delicious piece just minutes ago.  It was worth every calorie and every memory!  Wish you were here to share it with me.

Last week, Anna over at Thimbleanna blogged about making Snickerdoodles.  The very same day, I had made Oatmeal Crispies and baked a portion of the dough and froze the rest.  Anna and I have something in common.  When a recipe calls for butter, we use half butter and half Crisco.  I think the cookies turn out with  just the right crispie-ness this way.  Anna had experimented with the difference in using the Silpat or parchment paper so today when I was ready to bake the remaining dough I took the Silpat vs Parchment Paper challenge!   Who would have thought it would make a difference?  Granted, only a slight one, but the cookies on the left were baked on parchment paper and the ones on the right on the Silpat.  I don't think there's any difference in taste, but the parchment paper ones seemed to be a little crispier.  I still like the Silpat though, especially for sugar cookies but the parchment paper cookies look a little more "homemade" and in my book, that's a good thing!  So now Anna and I have something else in common.  (Thanks Anna, for the cookie blog inspiration!) 

Here's Pioneer Woman's Oatmeal Cookie recipe with my variations.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Crisco (butter flavor preferred)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
1 teas. vanilla
1  cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teas. salt
1 teas. baking soda
3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
(B's favorite option - 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips)

Cream sugars with butter and shortening, add eggs and vanilla.  Mix dry ingredients and add gradually to creamed mixture.  Add oats and pecans.  Place dough on waxed paper and roll into log.  Refrigerate or freeze then slice (1/2 - 3/4") and bake.  350 for 11 minutes.  Cool on pan slightly before moving to cooking rack.  Enjoy!

This is not my Mother's Day present.   It is D's birthday, Father's Day, Christmas and Valentines day gift all rolled together in one.  It should be able to do magic to just about any piece of wood!  I'll post more about it when he gets it set up.  For now, all you need to know is that no middle aged men (it took four of them!) were injured in the moving or installation of this machine!  Thank goodness!  (edit - I guess there was one minor injury and blood was lost, but he survived! They just didn't tell me!)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

On a Roll and a Slide

I'm on a roll!  Not just one quilty project finished this past week, but two!  I'll not mention how long it took me to get to this point, but the Block of the Month from Among Friends Quilt Shop for 2009 is finally finished and ready to go to the quilter.  I still need to pick out a backing fabric.  Any suggestions?  The fabrics are Juliana by Clothworks, and of course out of stock at many places.  I'm thinking about taking a little jaunt over to Among Friends tomorrow to see what they've got left. 

My other project finished this week is this little square table topper.  It was kind of a spur of the moment thing.  I'm hosting our neighborhood Bunco/Girls Night Out next week and decided I needed a spring/summer topper to put on my kitchen table.  Thank goodness for my stash and the leftovers from a jellyroll of Soiree' by Lila Tueller.   This pattern on Moda Bakeshop was my inspiration.   I'll keep this one on file for a larger quilt sometime.

It's a good thing there was no video camera in my kitchen last night.  Yesterday I had my carpets cleaned.  And the guys were following company policy by placing these little signs on the hard floors near the wet carpet to avoid lawsuits by clumsy customers.
If you think you see what's coming, you're wrong.  I was extra careful and didn't slip ..... here.  Being in spring cleaning mode, I decided to take my energy outside and spray off the deck.  (Nope, didn't slip there either!)  Once that was done and it was supper time, and with hubby busy with a work related dinner, I grilled myself a  hamburger and prepared for my little supper alone.  Since I'd washed the deck, I'd placed a towel near the back door to wipe my bare feet as I went in and out.  (See it coming now, don't you!)  As I stepped in on the towel, plate of grilled hamburger in one hand, my foot slides out from under me, I do a modified splits(I've never been able to do any other kind!), scrape my other foot on the brick outside the door and scare the cat, who knocks over a chair and runs from the kitchen with his tail fluffed out.  But.... the hamburger remained on the plate and never came close to the floor! 

I'll live, but it proves that one can never be too careful, even with the best of intentions and the best of hamburgers!