Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thrifty Thursday

Gentle Friends, last Saturday we did a little running around to the shops and an Estate Sale, 
and I found a few things....
....  from l to r - a McCoy "Sunfish" Pitcher in the not very common blue glaze, a cute kitty dish for our neighbors new kitty Hubert, some fun DVD's, the "Forever Amber" and "Monster House" I actually picked up at Amoeba Music down in the Haight.  They have a decent DVD/Blu Ray Section.  The Christmas CD and Book came from a consignment store as did the "Holy Grail" DVD.  

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

Take care,

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stuffin' Shells......

Gentle Friends, how about a dish inspired by the Frugal Gourmet .  I used to make it frequently, and since the mild Italian sausage was on sale this weekend I decided to make a pan of Stuffed Shells.  Here ya' go......

Stuffed Shells

1 to 1 1/2 lbs of mild Italian sausage - browned with some chopped garlic and crumbled
2 eggs
1 package frozen chopped spinach
1 1/2 cups drained large curd cottage cheese or ricotta
1/2 box large shells - cooked al dente
1 jar sauce - or store bought or homemade
Grated Mozzarella cheese

Cook the shells.....

Mix together first 4 ingredients.....

I like to use cottage cheese instead of ricotta, I also drain and rinse off the whey before adding - you can also add at this point some Parmesan cheese to the mix or leave it out ( if I have some I add it)

Spread a layer of sauce in the bottom of your pan and then start filling the shells......

I usually cook the entire box of shells to make sure I get enough whole shells - I use a Corning roaster pan to make this in, as it is shallow enough for a single layer.

When the pan is full spread the remaining sauce over the shells and then cover in grated cheese. 

 I then cover the pan with foil and cook in a 325 degree over for about 30 minutes until it is hot and bubbly - then remove the foil and brown the cheese, that takes a couple of minutes .......

... I let it sit for a few minutes and the serve with a salad - it freezes well and is even better the next day for lunches.


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

Take care,

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Blueberry Scones

Gentle Friends, I was in a total blueberry mood last week and knew that what ever I was going to make on Sunday was going to have some of these delicious berries.  So, as I often do I started looking at the Baking Blogs I read and found a super recipe at Sally's Baking Addiction that would fill the bill.  A super recipe for Blueberry Scones, that came together quite fast and baked up quite delicious!!!!  The biggest problem I have with scones is they are often hard, dry and tasteless - so I was leary of trying to make some - but after reading Sally's Blog for a while I knew she wouldn't lead me astray, and throwing caution to the wind I copied down the ripe and forged ahead.  I only had to get two ingredients to make these as most of the things required I already had stocked in the kitchen - the two things being blueberries and cream (I choose heavy whipping cream, the richer the better!!)  Here are some snaps along the way.......  the dry ingredients....

... adding the grated frozen butter, and great way to incorporate the fat into the dry......

a quick whisk of the wet ingredients....

.... folding in the blueberries...

.... a ball of "scone dough"....

....  flattened out into an 8" disc.... sprinkled with regular sugar (I couldn't find my course sugar) and cut ready for the oven....

hot out of the oven.....

... a little glaze and there you go, delicious scones!!!

I will certainly be making these again - next time using various fruits and nuts and chocolate chips......  

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

Take care,

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Little Stitchin'

Gentle Friends, the weekend was on the warm side, upper 70's with a ton of sunshine!!  Until yesterday late the weather was lovely and then in rolled the fog, the wonderful wet cool fog poured over Twin Peaks and I had to click on the heat in the house - or I'd have had four shaky little who hounds!!  I did get more stitching done on SMS and here's an updated snaperoo of where it stands at the moment......

.... I've finished up the bottom row and now I'm working around finishing up the border - then all I'll have left is the bits a pieces filling in between the rows, and they seem to work up quickly.

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by dos top again!!

Take care,

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Little Cute at the End of the Week.......

Gentle friends, thank you all so much for your kind get well wishes, I just hate feeling crappity - and the weather has warmed up to the high 70's- low 80's so we've had quite a few "hot for here" type of days!! Oh well, life is suffering I guess.  I thought I would leave off the week with a shot of the "country cousins" visit last weekend........

... it's Nitchie and Shunka.  They are two darling little bits of fur and there was a "herd o'hounds" running around my house, with lots of tail waging, barkity barking and butt sniffing - but there were no fights so all was well.

That about wraps up the week sports fans, thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Not Feelin' Well...

Gentle friends, taking a few days off to feel better,  I'm fighting a summer cold. 

 It sucks!!  Stitching a little bit, but mostly laying around with the hounds and sleeping.  I'll be back soon.

Take care,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A "SMS" Stitchin' Update

Gentle friends, the computers were down all morning yesterday and once they came back up I was playing catch up all day, which has followed me into today - but, like I always say "it'll get done when it gets done!!"

I did want to post a snaperoo of where SMS is at the moment.  We had Rico's Mom, two nieces and a great niece up over the weekend along with two extra Chihuahua's, to say it was a house full would be a little understating it......  so I'm not as far along as I would be normally, but still chugging away......

... as you can see I'm finished with the main horizontal elements, and now it is the decorative bits to be done on them and the doo dads between.  I'm still fixing bits and pieces as I go along to either make them look better or fill out designs where I would presume there were missing stitches.  Since my trip is coming up shortly I may start something smaller I can carry along with me.......  I have some ideas, but nothing definite.

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

Take care,

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Gift of an Antique Coverlet

Gentle Friends, I wanted to wrap up the week with a wonderful surprise gift made to me by a dear friend.  Last weekend our friends, who lives down in Monterrey, came up for a break for the heat - since we hover in the low 70's upper 60's a little cool air did her some good.  She has been a friends of Rico's for years, from when they were very young and living down in Merced, in the San Joaquin valley.  

She has visited lots of times before and usually the most we do is exchange books, we both like reading Royal biographies and stories,  she borrows from me and I borrow from her.  This time while we were all sitting around she said, I brought a present for you.  I was dumbfounded, she said "its an old blanket that I have no real use for".  I was thinking fast, what to do with an old blanket......  then out from the plastic bag she brought it in came a gorgeous hand woven overshot coverlet.  My jaw hit the ground.  She unfolded this wonderful thing looking for the hand written tag her great Aunt attached, in 1969, giving the provenance and names attached to its earliest history.  I couldn't believe it - the tag dated it to before 1850 and probably to Virginia as the family moved west to Tennessee then and it came west with them.  Here are a couple of snaps......

I spread it out on my Great-Grandmothers bed to show how it looks - and it looks super de duper!!  and here's a closeup....

....  I didn't leave it on the bed but folded it up and put it away.  Th coverlet is made up of three woven strips sew together length wise - that are about 30" wide by 102" long.  There is next to no damage, except a little fraying here and there on the edges and one of the corners, other than that it is in super condition.  

Now, here's the question....  is there a repository of these coverlets or a place one can get more info and try and date it??  Anyone out there know anything about these or how to care and display such a treasure???  it has virtually no odor, its a little musty from living in a trunk but that's about all there is going on with it, I think if it was to hang outside in the fresh air that would dissipate quickly.

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again!!  Have a great weekend!

Take care,

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Broadway Legend Elaine Stritch Passes

Gentle Friends one of Broadways real troopers has passed.....

Elaine Stritch - February 2, 1925 - July 17, 2014

Her one woman, Emmy Award Winning show "Elaine Stritch - At Liberty" - 2002 - is so worth a look, stories and songs from her enormous 70 year career - all done wearing black stockings and a white silk shirt with only a chair for a prop, you'll be mesmerized for the entire 140 minutes.  
A light goes out on the great white way......missing you already.

Dad's Pepper Jelly

Gentle Friends, finally got computer issues under control and can Post once again.  I finally got the Pepper Jelly were I want it and so feel quite confident about the recipe - not that its hard to make, but I wanted to be sure....

Here are the jars of jelly I made - I'll probably got back and make some mare, can one ever have enough jelly to snack on or gift away when we winter rolls around and fresh peppers are out of season??

.. this actually represents two batches, I wouldn't try to double the jell making as that often doesn't work.  Here's the recipe I followed - it's a modified recipe of my dads and there are lots on the Internet that all are about the same.....

Pepper Jelly

6 C White Sugar
12/13 good sized Jalapenos
4 Green Bell Peppers, 1 Red Bell Pepper
2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
2  4oz Packs Liquid Pectin 
10 to 12 drops Green Food Colour

Remove all the seeds and membranes from the peppers and finely chop.  Into a saucepan that will hold everything - pout the sugar, vinegar and all the peppers.  You can adjust the peppers to your taste, I like it on the hot side so I use more peppers but you can cut them back to 8 or 9 for a less intense jelly.  Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil - let boil a good 10 minutes, stirring to keep it under control and not bubbling over.  Take off the heat and add the pectin - stir in and return to heat and bring back to a boil - for at least a minute.  Take off the heat and test to see if it is as thick as you like - I do this buy having a spoon in ice cold water handy  and dipping this cold spoon into the jelly and seeing where it is for thickness.  If it's where you want it - take it off the heat and stir in the colour - this is just to get it green since the real jelly is a sort of amberish colour and not very pretty - it doesn't change the way it tastes.  Now put into your prepared jars and process them in a water bath for about 10 minutes or so et voila homemade pepper jelly that doesn't cost $6 for a tiny jar!  Properly processed this jelly will keep for 7 or so months in a cool dark place.

This was the first time out for me making Pepper jelly and it was way easier than the peach or cherry jams I've made in the past - and the memories flood over me as I stand over the hot stove stirring the jelly of my dad and his annual Jelly making season.  I think I told you before he made dozens and dozens of jars of this jelly every year and it was his "thing" to give at Christmas, as were Mississippi Mud Cakes my mom made a gave away every year. 

For dinner the other day we had some biscuits and I popped a jar of jelly.....

... it was pretty terrific if I do say so myself!!

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

Take care,

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Little Stitchin' on SMS and a Colonial Gatherings Finish

Gentle Friends, I got some snaps with the old camera of some recent stitching.  
First up lets take a look at SMS....

..... this is were it was last night.......  and I got back the second stitching piece in the Colonial Gatherings Club.  They were designed by Tanya of Scarlet House, here are the finished pieces from Faye.....

....  a great little pyn pillow and matching fob. I attached a pair of my favorite scissors to the new fob.  Faye once again did what I know I would have botched up - 

That's about it for today sports fans, short and sweet.  My new camera is coming today - or at least the tracking says it will arrive today - I can't wait!!  Thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Monday, July 14, 2014

Vive la France! La FĂȘte Nationale

Gentle Friends, today we should celebrate with France, what is commonly called in the US "Bastille Day."  It celebrates the storming of the Bastille in 1789, the beginning of the end for the French Monarchy. Illustrated here in a vintage print......


France's national anthem Le Marseillaise, was written in 1792 and adopted as the national anthem in 1795 is one of the more moving national anthems around..... one of the versions that made a real impression on me was sung by one of the great sopranos of our time, Jessye Norman, in 1989 at the 200th Anniversary Celebrations of the French Revolution.  

 She was wrapped in a flowing gown'cape/cloak of the Tricolour  - here's a You Tube of the event at the Place de la Concorde......

...... and here's another super version of the anthem from the movies.....


As a side note my camera broke last Thursday and I am trying to use an older one I had, but with little luck.  I ordered a new camera last Thursday evening and it should arrive tomorrow, so my snaps may suck for a while until I get the hang of not only and old camera but a new camera.

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

Take care,

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thrifty Thursday

Gentle Friends, last Saturday was an alright day for our usual thrifting....I thought it would be a bust, but then towards the end I found a few things.... here's a snap......

from l to r I found a great old sterling bowl made by Dominick and Haff c. 1929, a set of 4 sterling shakers from M. Fred Hirsch and Co c. 1935, two books and Vol 3 DVD set of Aqua Teen.  The silver pieces were completely tarnished when I bought them and after I got home I polished them up.... here are a couple of snaps to illustrate.....

....  mostly gone, the tarnish was pretty bad on the bowl, and the black spots were a bear to get off......

... the shakers were pretty bad ,and there was even salt left in a couple of them (never a good thing to find in silver) which caused quite a bit of black and green tarnish, there were still not really polished to full luster when I took this snap, but you get the idea.

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

Take care,

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Gifts of Stitching or What Stitching do You Gift-a-Way???

Gentle Friends, usually I talk about SF on Wednesdays, but not much is happening in my little old life here by the Bay that would be of interest - however, yesterday I was reading over on the 123 Board about a subject I thought was very interesting.  I read that Board daily, I might not comment often, but I read through most of the Posts every day.  There was a post about a stitching gift that wound up in a Church Bazaar and how upset the stitcher was.  That brought lots of reply's with examples of stitching gifts finding their way to thrift shops and garage sales.  

It also got me to thinking that I really never gift away my stitching unless someone specifically asks -  either for something specific I've finished or that I am working on.  

On the weekends I am always out Thrifting as you know and going to Estate Sales, and the mountains of stitching I see at the Salvation Army stores and Goodwill's and various thrift shops is just crazy.  I usually take a look at the pieces and think of the hours of work put into them, and at the same time think how sad it is for it to end up in a pile with framed prints or empty frames for a couple of dollars.  It's especially sad to see names and dates on things, marriages, anniversaries, birthdays, christenings, birth announcements and other things.   

 After my mom passed and we broke up her house last year one of the things I made sure to do was to gather up the framed stitched pieces I had given her to make sure I got them back and they did not go into the Estate Sale. One of the nicer things that happened during all that hubbub was one of the women friends of my mom's that had helped her out so much stopped by while my sister and I were there.   We were standing around talking and reminiscing I mentioned that I wanted her have something from my Mom's house as a sort of remembrance.... she immediately walked over and picked up one of my stitched samplers I had given my mom - she didn't know I had made it - after she found out that I had stitched it she was really happy about that, and I was thrilled to let her have the piece.  

Here's one of the pieces I made for my mom that came back to me.......

... I took this picture in my mom's house, you can tell by the dark paneling behind the piece that was in the family room .....  I remember what a pleasure this was to stitch and it's nice to see it in my house and know that I made it for my mom and that she enjoyed it - I was a travelling piece and I was stitching on it on one of my trips home and she and totally asked for it, it became a Christmas present.

I know that when I'm gone that the stitching I've done will probably end up on a pile somewhere, but for now I enjoy seeing the things on the walls - and can only hope that what I've made will end up in good hands..... just something to think about.

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

Take care,

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Little Stitchin' on SMS

Gentle Friends, I thought I would show the progress I've made over the last couple of weeks on my SMS....... here's a snap......

........  on the fifth vine I am changing up the green leaves, where some of them are incomplete on the original sampler, I'm completing them and I'll adjust the placement of the do-dads between it and the sixth vine to accommodate the fuller leaves.

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

Take care,

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Colonial Gathering Stitchin' Finish

Gentle Friends, over the weekend I completed what I set out to complete, the most recent Colonial Gathering piece called "Cotton Bird."  There is a small mistake that in the finished photograph is one way and on the chart another, I catch it until after I had ironed the piece, as it was kind of a glaring blob of green...... is the white cotton blossom in the upper vine, it is charted as a solid green diamond shape, and does stand out a bit.  I went back and frogged it out and re-stitched it in with the white and it does look much better.  It will be winging it's way to Faye for finishing in the next day or two.

That's about it for today sports fans, I hope everyone had a super 4th, and a great weekend!!!  More stitching tomorrow......
Take care,

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thrifty Thursday.....

Gentle friends, today is really my Friday, as we are off for the Holiday tomorrow - my plan is to finish up the Colonial Gathering piece this weekend.  I think I know the reason it is taking so long for me to get it done, lots of "white" stitching - but I may be using that as an excuse - how about just a slacker stitcher!!  Here's a snap of the bits I picked up last weekend.....

..... from l-r, a book about Edward VI, Henry VIII's son by Jane Seymour, a great, reticulated sterling footed cake plate, and some DVD's, the complete "The Vicar of Dibley" series,  "Titan A.E.," - 2000, "The Year Without Santa Claus" 1974 and "The Shores of Tripoli" 1942.  This weekend there are a couple of Estate Sales so it should be some fun pickins'.

I really enjoy the James Bond franchise films and so with that in mind........I wanted to leave you with a super video of Dame Shirley Bassey singing one of her signature songs......


That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by, do stop again, and I'll be back next week!!

Take care,

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Little Christmas

Gentle Friends, with Christmas a mere 175 days away......  it's that a kick in the rubber parts!! was fun to find a sort of Holiday treat out shopping.  We found it last Sunday on our usual trek to Trader Joe's after Mass, on a big display were these.....

... not only does it have a fun Christmas type name, but warmed up they are really tasty!!! Here's a snap of it out of the heavy waxed paper bag......

These Kringle pastries are made in Racine Wisconsin - you can click HERE to go the web site - after I hacked this one up into manageable pieces - I froze most of them but did pour a cup of coffee and enjoyed a nice little break mid after noon.......

.....and before I left the house this morning I got a piece from the freezer, heated it up when I got to work and am now enjoying it as I write this post.

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

Take care,

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Little Stashin'

Gentle Friends, after I posted last night about Jury Duty, I thought, now what will be an interesting Post in the morning......  I've not posted about any new acquisitions to the Stash Heap, we all know has far surpassed the point of SABLE, I was certainly in desperate need of more stash!!!  (can you read the sarcasm there)

  I've really been trying to stitch from stash all year and not bought anything new in a long time..... and since there's not been anything new that lit a fire in the old wallet I've been pretty safe.  But, I do keep a short Wish List of things I would buy if given half a chance.  That Half Chance got the better of me recently and I bought three "new to the heap" things.....

... three charts from BBD, I really like their horizontal pieces and these two have been kicking around on the list for quite a while.  They are on the small side and almost the same size, I was thinking a double sided pillow would be the way to go with them...... and Agnes is just a great chart, so how could I pass.  I got them from Anita's Little Stitches, a new to me shop that was lighting fast in shipping them out AND slipped a little prezzie in the package.... those 28 Bohn needles, now that was super sweet!!!  I bought this great stuff with a super GC I received at Christmas from a stitching Pal,  and thought it was high time I used it for some fun stuff!  So I took the card added some of my own "funnions" et voila, new stash for the heap!!   - and - you know the Smokie, he has to see what's going on in his territory!!

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

Take care,

A Damp Weekend

 Gentle Friends, still stitching away on Sarah, and here's a snaperoo... ... I like all the little bits of "wonky" that are pa...