Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wrapping up the Week.... or I'm a Happy Camel!!

Gentle Friends today is my Friday, I took off Thursday and Friday so coupled with next Monday it will be a loooong weekend.... and the big plans so far are to shampoo the carpets!!!  WooHoo, life in the fast lane, watch out!!  I am though, very excited an feel that since it's Wednesday that I am the.....

Happy Camel!!!

I did want to show you a Thrifty Thursday snaperoo - since we did run around to a few Thrift/Consignments Shops and a couple of Estate Sales last Saturday and I found a few things....

I picked up the small 9" spring form pan (it looks brand new) to have another choice to bake with.  The two books, first the John Steinbeck, published by Collier, is from a set of JS books they put out in the mid 30's, I have a couple of other sets of Collier books by different authors and thought this would be a nice set of books to look for, and the "Ladies of Liberty:The Women who Shaped Our Nation" by Cokie Roberts, was only a $1 and since I have been watching the reruns of CSPAN's "First Ladies:Influence and Image" I am just fascinated by the conversations about the First ladies and am finding out just how much I didn't know and how influential these women behind the men were.  They Second Season starts up on September 9th and begins with Edith Roosevelt.  You can click to the CSPAN site and watch any of the programs that have aired so far.

Since I will not be here on Friday I think I'll post a snap of last Sunday afternoon........
....  the Smokie after playing grab-ass with the other Who-hounds, as you can see he has one of the 100's of toys the who-hounds drag all over the house.  This is one of 4 raccoon "Skinnnez" in the basket.  We have all of them and double and more of each.  We get the smaller size and the squeak (when new) can drive you crazy - the squeaker bit usually is the first thing to go, but they love them even when they stop squeaking.

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks again for stopping by, 
do stop again and have a wonderful labour day Weekend!!!!

Take care,

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Hallowe'en Finish and a Christmas/Wintery Start

Gentle Friends I finished up the Lizzie Kate "Hallowe'en Mystery" piece over the weekend and started up on a Christmas stitch.  Here's a completed snap of the LK piece...

July 23, 2013 - August 24, 2013
Lizzie Kate, 3 Piece Hallowe'en Mystery "Very Scary"
30ct WDW Tin Roof - recommended WDW + CC Black Coffee

Well, here it is, the finished product, using the recommended floss, except I ran out of the WDW Onyx about half way through and had to pull out all my over dyed blacks to find a match, and CC "Black Coffee was a match, so I stitched about half or more using that.  The actual change I made was not using the "Honeysuckle" for the flowers in the lower third.  I thought that was just to bright/light of a colour. 

 I attached all the bits - the two black and single silver stars, the key and all the silly little beads so I couldn't really iron the piece.  Overall it was a great piece to work on and I'm glad I did - I liked the colours and the design - I didn't like having to use two piece of floss, and the low count linen, but that's just me.

I started up a Christmas/Winter piece after I rolled up and tossed the LK piece on the finished pile. 
 Here's a snap of my start... 

... doesn't look like much, yet....  it's Heartstring Samplery's "Baby, it's Cold Outside" - it was released a year or so ago I think and I have been wanting to get at it since it arrived at my house.  It's a great looking piece and a wonderful song that was its inspiration.  I am stitching it on the recommend 36ct PTP "Ale" which is a great piece of linen to work on, colour count and feel.  However that's where the recommendations end.  I loved the idea of using an antique frame, so I dug around in the pile of old frames I have collected and found the perfect frame, almost.  I have had to add two more diamond bits to the height (if you look closely at the right side you can see where I frogged a bunch of them out to add the extra bits) so that it fits the frame better, which means I will be shifting everything around to fill out the space, I'm not to concerned about that - I also shifted all the floss recommendations from the over dyed cotton to my favorite silk.... Belle Soie...  so that was my stitching weekend.

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks again for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Monday, August 26, 2013

Movie Monday

Gentle Friends I have seen quite a few pretty terrific films lately and here are three of them.... in chronological order....

First up will be "Red River" - 1948 - 

Starring Jon Wayne, Montgomery Clift and Walter Brennen - the story is of the first cattle drive on the Chisholm trail from Texas to Abeline, Kansas.  There are Indian attacks, cattle rustlers, stampedes, dancing girls and the usual western movie tricks, but overall a really fine film with a good story.

The second film, another john Wayne western... "Rio Grande" - 1950 - 

Starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara was the third installment in John Ford's "Calvary trilogy" films.  The other two are "Fort Apache" 1948 and "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" 1949, all three were made at RKO Pictures.  The story for "Rio Grande" appeared first in the Saturday evening post in 1947.  It was shot in Monument Valley. Utah.  The story is basically about marauding Apache Indians on the Texas frontier - there are other complications within the story arc, an overall very good film.

The third film I wanted to mention, a non-western film - is "My Sister Eileen" - 1955 -

Starring Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon and Betty Garrett - this is the second film of the same name and story made, the first was filmed and released in 1942 a non musical starring Rosalind Russel, Brian Aherne and Janet Blair.  This musical 1955 version is just as fun with the same basic story of two girls from Ohio coming to New York to make their fortune, one a writer the other wants to be an actress.  The meet lots of New York characters, they live in a run down studio apartment in Greenwich Village and both pursue their careers - the film culminates in a giant musical number with Brazilian Navel Cadets.

All three films are really good and worth a look.

There you go sports fans - thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wrapping up the Week - Thrifting and Stitching

Gentle Friends we've made it to another another Friday and the weekend is here.  We really have no plans - just the usual running around, stopping off for breakfast somewhere, dealing with the grocery store and then on to the thrift/consignment shops.  I got emails for at least two Estate Sales I may have to stop in and check out.  Today let me catch you up on last weeks Thrift/Consignment/Estate Sale buys....

.... at an Estate Sale there were a few shelves of DVD's that I couldn't resist.  Most of them were of the "Horror/Comic Book Action/Thriller" Genre so I passed on the bulk of titles, but the ones I did pick up I am happy with.  I also found a book and a cookbook from the great Masterpiece Series "Upstairs Downstairs."  It is written as if Mrs. Bridges wrote them, there are little antidotes from the show, a fun little book - and Rico found the nice Icon of St Paul - over all a pretty good haul.

I took part in an HOE Ornament Exchange and my partner, Lynn - from over at OK Stitching News That Counts - The only parameter in the Exchange was that it be a Prairie Schooler Design, and Lynn picked a wonderful design.....

... this is the Church from Book 14 "Holiday Homestead" - it is stitched on a piece of stash linen using the recommended DMC thread, and filled with the most delicious lavender from Lynn's on garden.  What a super piece and it will look great with all my stitched ornaments.  Thanks so much Lynn!!!!

...... and I thought I would leave off the week with an quick update snap of the LK "Hallowe'en Mystery" sampler.....

... as you can see I made a slight change in the flowers, they are supposed to be done in the light "Honeysuckle" floss, but that was not working for me so I just frogged the pale yellow and then finished them off with the "Bullfrog" that the main stem was done in - and now they don't pop off the linen.  it looks like I am getting down to all that satin stitching and attaching the bits and pieces, it wont be long before I have this sucker all wrapped up.

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again.... have a super weekend!!

Take care,

Thursday, August 22, 2013

"Pecan Tassies" Delicious Two Bite Pies

Gentle Friends I am so happy that you all enjoyed yesterdays post, I am often concerned that I'll yap about something only I am interested in or that a Post will be dull as ditch water - I'll keep trying to mix things up.

Today I'm going to post about a little baking I did last Sunday afternoon - as you know I like make something for Monday mornings and since I was all nostalgic last week - my Mom's bridge Quiche - I dug around and came across another recipe that reminds me of my Mom.  There are lots of variations of this  recipe on the Internet - and they are all about the same - and here's the recipe from another hand written card from the recipe binder.....  I'm not sure where or when it came from, as there is no identifying name or date.  I'll make a note of the changes I made....

Pecan Tassies

1 Stick Butter - room temperature
3 oz Cream Cheese - room temperature
1 Cup AP Flour

1 Tbls melted butter
1 Large egg - room temperature
3/4 Cup Packed Light Brown sugar (I used dark brown, I like it better)
1 Teas Vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2-3/4 Chopped pecans

Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.  Add the flour and beat until fully combined.  Wrap this very soft dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven 325 degrees, spray the mini muffin pans with cooking spray ( I just wiped the cups with a little oil since I was out of Pam)

In a mixer beat together next 5 ingredients until well combined....

  to this mixture add the chopped pecans...

... set aside this filling mix.

Take the dough from the refrigerator and you can either shape into 24 equal balls - or do like I did and just pinch off about a Tablespoon - flatten this in the palm of your hand then press into greased mini muffin cup - spreading evenly up the sides -  repeat until all the cups are lined with dough.  Work quickly as the dough warms up fast and is very soft.  Into each cup you will spoon about a Tablespoon of the filling making sure that each cup has an equal amount of filling....or so...

... here are the cups ready for the oven - not the neatest job, but I was distracted and ready to get these going.  Bake until the filling is set about 25 or so minutes.....

... cool these in the pan and then "knife them out" - a quote from the card....

... they really do not just pop out and you have to use something to get them out of the pan.  I really like these little tarts/cookies the crust is deliciously crumbly and the filling is tasty like Pecan Pie - so there you go little two bite pies!!

They are great with a cup of tea or coffee.

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Picking Up Food in SF

Gentle Friends in keeping with my Wednesday is SF day - I thought I would talk about a couple of places we recently visited.... first up would be Holey Bagel....

....  it is right down on 24th Street..... so within walking distance of home, and they have some of the best bagels in SF - we stopped on the way to Mass on Sunday and picked up these....

... a sesame bagel for Rico and a Bialy for me.  I knew to stop before Mass as they run out of bialy's very quickly and since we go to the early one, 8 am, we were stopping by at 7:30 am and even that early they only had 3 left in the case.  What prompted this stop was the hunk of cream cheese in the fridge for what I was baking later in the afternoon (more about that tomorrow) and I just couldn't see all that creaminess going to waste!!  BTW they were delicious and hit the spot when we got home!!

Yesterday on the way home we got a wild hair about dinner and stopped at....

... Lucca Ravioli Company on Valencia Street.  They have been around since 1925 and have been doing great Italian food for 75+ years.  We knew they had pre-made pizza dough, sauce and cheese already to pick up and that's what we did.  I got some snaps...

... these paper signs in the window change all the time depending on the specials they have going...

... the ceiling has a big mural of Italy that I couldn't get in a single photo - the store is small and there are many shelves and when we were there were quite a few patrons waiting to get to the counter, so getting a good picture of the ceiling was kind of out of the question.... you can see all the salami's and sausages hanging behind the counter along with the gorgeous prosciutto's....

 ... this is the meat counter.....

... and at the other end is the cheese counter....

... all along the back wall is the "wall of wine"  this is only a small section... door is is the area you can see them make all the ravioli and dough for the shop, this was taken from the street and you can see my reflection in the glass....

... we got home and Rico got to work rolling out the dough and slathering on the sauce... (in a past incarnation many years ago he Managed a Straw Hat Pizza joint in the Valley so he has that "pizza know how")....

..... I like onions he likes green peppers and we both like pepperoni and black olives.....

... just before going into the oven.....

... and hot out of the oven...  a really nice pizza for a lot less than ordering out and just a little effort.

Lucca's is a great store with tons of imported Italian edibles, I would recommend as you walk in getting a number as that is the only way you will get waited on, and go as early as possible, this place sells out of everything, dough, sauce, all the various ravioli's they make - and just about all the fresh daily salads they have.

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks again for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hallowe'en Mystery Update

Gentle Friends I'm still stichin' away on my LK Hallowe'en piece and thought I would show an updated snaperoo of where it stands at the moment...

... it is odd to see the windows and roof sort of floating in and empty background, but I like to stitch the bits first and then do the fill stitching last.  I am still waffling in my mind about the new LK "Holly and Hearts" Christmas Mystery piece soon to be released.  From the little bit that has been shown it looks interesting, but I think I will hold off until I see the whole thing to make a decision.

That's about it for today sports fans - thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Monday, August 19, 2013

.... and We Have a Winner....

Gentle Friends I had Rico pull a name from the BoD  - the who-hounds were running around somewhere and where not too interested in the drawing, which is odd as anything near to their level usually gets the attention of all of them quickly....  

well, the name he drew was.... Margaret from over at "Days of a Sampler Lover" -

 she has a super Blog and does some beautiful stitching, check it out!!  

It was a lovely Saturday here by the Bay, by Sunday the weather had changed up a bit and it had gotten to a sweltering 80 or so degrees with little to no breeze....  I had to put a fan in the door to get some air moving around and I had to change to my light weight sweats.....    I know I am totally spoiled with the gorgeous weather, and a little warmth was a nice change.  

I think that's about it for today sports fans - thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Friday Who-Hound Group Shot

Just a quick Post - Rico sent me this picture of the Hounds to post so I'm a posting it.....  enjoy!!

From l to r - Miss Peach, Smokie, Lolly and the Humpster....  ready for bed and all trying to crowd on a single warm heating pad.....

Makin' a Quick Week-night Dinner

Gentle Friends since today is Friday and I have already showed my progress on the Hallowe'en piece I didn't want to let today go without a post.... I was even thinking about it yesterday wondering what I could share or talk about today.  Last night - or I should say on the way home from work I usually get the question from Rico "what's for dinner?" or more precisely  "what are You making for dinner?" - the you being me and what am I going to make.  I usually have some smart-ass remark to make in return and then start thinking about ... what am I going to make for dinner.  Well, he came up with a dinner suggestion, his quick and easy week-night chili - and I could make the easy cornbread.  What a good idea!! We basically had all the stuff in the house to make it so why not.... and I took some snaps along the way......

... for weeknight chili - here are the basic things needed - Rico starts off by browning a pound or so of hamburger from the freezer (we always have some packed up read to go) and got out the most important piece of equipment....

... to the browned meat he will add the TJ chili and the drained can of summer crisp corn.  Although he can make an all day type of chili with deep resonate flavours, in a pinch or for weeknights this easy chili is quite good!!

The easy cornbread I made starts off with the measured mix from TJ  - I jazz it up a bit with a large chopped onion, the largest jalapeno I can find (with the seeds and white membranes removed) chopped up...

I also use 4 cloves of garlic chopped...

Now, I get out my deep chicken frying skillet and melt a tablespoon or so of bacon grease, and then toss in the garlic first - to flavour the grease.....

... it browns up fast, so I toss in the other vegetables quickly...

... turn the heat down quite a bit to saute...  while that's working on the stove I get to mixing up the batter.  The box calls for 1 egg ( I use two) 1/2 C oil and 3/4 C milk.  We don't keep milk in the house as neither of us like it - I will only buy some if I am going to use it baking and then only small amounts - so I improvise this ingredient.... I take a cup measure and fill it half full of sour cream (we always have sour cream) and then thin it out with water to a full cup measure - and it this works for me and this recipe.  You mix all the eggs oil and "milk" together and then pour it over the dry mix....

... you mix this till it just comes together then add the cooked vegetables......

.... I don't clean the skillet (why clean when you can re-use) - I plop another tablespoon of bacon grease into the pan ....

and then put the skillet into the preheating oven to melt the grease and get really hot.....

Once the skillet is hot and the batter is ready and mixed thoroughly, I take the skillet out of the oven and immediately pour the batter into the hot pan....

... the skillet immediately goes back into the hot oven and bakes for about 50 minutes or so until done.....

... hot out of the oven and crispy around the edges - it's moist and flavourful, I hate dried out bland cornbread!!  I let it sit for a few minutes while the chili heats back up.  Then turn it out of the skillet and hack up some slices....

....  with a bowl of chili - on a cold SF Summer evening - it's a treat!!  And, there is plenty left over for the weekend, eliminating the need to cook at least one night!!

 With both of us working at it dinner was on the table in about an hour - 
now you can't beat that with a stick!!

That's about it for today sports fans.  Have a super weekend - 
and I'll announce the winner of the Gift-a-way on Monday morning!!

Take care,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

"Mystery" Stitchin' and Planning a Trip

Gentle Friends so sorry to leave you hanging yesterday without a word or email or anything, but we had two call outs and work was a bit overwhelming so something had to give.....

I have stitched a bit on the LK "Mystery Hallowe'en" piece and here's and updated snaperoo...

I was trying out some different lighting on my camera and flash options and came up with this snap, although it is wrinkled to death it does come very close to showing the actual colour of the linen.  For some reason a heavy flash washes the grey out of the linen and turns it more yellow/tan.  I would love to get this sucker finished up and move on to one of the two Christmas stitches I have kitted up ready and waiting.  I am waffling between which to start first, an older piece from last year or a new design from this year....  one is very traditional in colour a feel and the other not so traditional.....  I'll have to chew on this for a bit longer.

Now, to the trip.... I have been simmering on the back burners of my mind taking a trip this Fall - since I'm turning the big 50, I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate - so I narrowed down what I wanted to visit and was getting all my ducks in a row...... and into my lap plopped a huge opportunity.  Some really good friends of mine are taking a house in Perros-Guirec, Brittany for the month of September and have invited me to come and stay there for the last part of their vacation.  

Now, I had already decided I was going to the North of France, I've been all over the south of France a few times and really found it gorgeous!!  But, I had never gone north of Paris, no reason, just never thought about it until I got to thinking about this Fall.  My friends are renting a car and so we'll be driving all over the place visiting and seeing different things... especially looking forward to seeing Mont Saint-Michel.  I have tacked on a few days for myself in Paris after Brittany but before I come home.  I have been to Paris a few times and have always enjoyed the City of Lights!!!!  I will certainly make time to visit this beautiful place...

......The Sainte Chapelle - I have been here twice before and it is my Number one place to see in Paris!!  Like, whenever I have been to London I have always made a space of time to visit Salisbury Cathedral, and will always make the time. 

Here's a question for you, after seeing the Big Sights... La Tour Eiffel, a goodly hunk of  le Mussee du Lourve, Mussee d'Orsay,  Musee National du Moyen Age, and most of the great Churches in and around Paris, what would you make time to do????  I am open to any suggestions.  Thanks.

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks for stopping in, do stop again.

Take care,

Let's Stick to the 1840's

 Gentle Friends, I finished up Miss Sarah Barker 1840 here's an old snaperooo of how she looks... "Sarah Barker 1840"  from Ne...