Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Little Bakin'

Gentle Friends, I couldn't think of anything I really wanted to bake so I started to flip through a cookbook and was inspired to whip up some ...........

..... Madelaine's.  It's one of my favorite "cookies" ever - I used Julia Child's recipe from....

.......  and since I was still in the mood to bake I whipped up some........

....shortbread.......  Rico's been asking and asking for some, and since I was already in the kitchen I thought "why not?"..........and.....while baking I was watching a super flicker.... "Call Me Madam"  and here's a clip of a great duet from the film with Ethel Merman and Donald O'Connor.......  enjoy...


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

Take care,

Monday, March 30, 2015

Stitchin' Update and "Stick Day"

Gentle Friends......  I got a little stitching in this weekend between the napping and lazing about the house.......  here's where "May" stands.....

.... and an overall shot.......

In celebration of "Something on a Stick Day - 2015" Saturday evening we had corndogs.......

....  and you can't have corndogs without fries and jalapeno poppers!!!!  Happy Stick Day!!!!

There you go sports fans - short and sweet for a Monday morning.  It's a short week for me as I have both Good Friday and Easter Monday off - taking some vacation time - no plans but a good long nap does sound delicious!!!!!!

Take care,

Friday, March 27, 2015

Looking West at Sunset

Gentle Friends, I thought I would end the week on something really lovely........

... Wednesday evening the sunset over Twin Peaks was spectacular....  I took this shot from our balcony.....

Have a super weekend!!!
Take care,

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thrifty Thursday

Gentle Friends...before our glorious Tea, we did some quick reconnaissance at the local Thrift and Consignment shops (no Estate sales) and I found a couple of fun things....

... a couple of DVD's, "The Loved One" a comedy about the Business of death, and "Gladiator."  I also found a nice smallish seasonal cookbook from a Rotary Club out here by the Bay - and I found a cute little Patriotic Kitty..... 

.... from Jim Shore, although I'm not really a kitty kat person, I liked the sentiment.....  not sure if I'll keep him or not......  

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

Take care,

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Taking Tea at Lovejoy's Tea Room (Lots of Snaps)

Gentle Friends... after running around Saturday morning, Rico and I were off to have a cuppa at our local tea Shop,  Lovejoy's Tea Room.

A couple of years ago I got a Gift Certificate from some friends of ours and had never used it.  The main reason for taking so long to use it is that this is a "reservations only" type place - and not because they are snooty in any way, it's just that they are very popular and the place is on the small side so there are only so many seating's a day they can handle.

With the new year I was determined that now was the time to go...... so a couple of months ago I set up our reservation, you have to call it in and have a couple of options for when you want to come.  I got my first choice - woo hoo!!!

Now, this place is in our neighborhood, only a few blocks away, but down two pretty big hills so we decided to drive and gave ourselves plenty of time to find parking.  Mid afternoon Saturday Parking in Noe Valley is almost non-existent - however luck was with us and instantly we found parking, which never happens - and that gave us an extra 30 or so  minutes to kill before our 1:15 reservation with a pot of tea!!!

Across the street from the tea Room is their little Lovejoy's Attic so we went in there and here are some snaps............

.... the front of the store sort of sets the mood for the inside

.... there is a ton of tea related paraphernalia and stuff just everywhere.....

....... more cute stuff...

... even some mini tea sets.....

... and tons and tons of cups and saucers covering just about every flat surface.....

... in a back room are these tea cake/sandwich stands and.....

....bags of their loose tea .......

At about 1:10 we walked across the street and let them know we were there and were instantly whisked away to our table for two......

.... I think one of the more charming aspects of this pace is their lack of pretense, especially in using all mismatched stuff - in fact from the furniture and decorations to the cutlery on the tables nothing matches ........

....  our table set for two - there is a little table between us and a table for four that is there to set the tea pots on.....

.....  to our right was this table ready for six tea enthusiasts..... eventually a group of six young ladies came in celebrating a birthday, in fact the table to our left was also a birthday celebration - it is that kind of place a sort of special outing place for a special occasion.....

.....  here's the menu, we both had a "Queens Tea" - 
my two sandwiches were the ham and English mustard, and pear and Stilton, 
Rico had the chicken salad and the ham and cheddar cheese special of the day......

... the tea we chose was the Black Vanilla with lavender, I really enjoy and prefer black flavoured teas and Rico was game - and it turned out to be quite a tasty pot o'tea!!!

....  from my seat this was my view of more things to see and peruse...

.... our pot of tea came quickly and then this tower of goodies came just minutes behind the tea.... they are known for the scones they make and let me tell you, they were certainly delicious!!!!.

....  I added two sausage rolls and they came with a brown BBQ sauce that was quite nice.....

...... toward the end of finishing off the sandwiches, salad , and cole slaw out came these delicious warm from the griddle crumpets..... I almost couldn't eat mine, I said almost.....  but I did and it was delicious!!  There were a couple of sandwiches and some of the slaw left over and when it was time for use to choose our petit fours I asked if we could just wrap up what was left and take it and the cakes home - the waitress wrapped everything up and it was a great treat a couple of hours later!!  (forgot to take a snap of the cakes - but I got a lemon one and Rico got a Key Lime one)

All in all it was a super special afternoon, everything was top notch and just perfect - no rushing - no hassle - and simply delicious.  I think if I had any kind of a criticism it would have to be my own thing, that if you are going to serve a tea cup then the finger hole should be big enough to put your finger through.  My cup although a great size had the decorative finger hole that was more for show than for go (go look at the picture, that hole was the size of a very small dime if it was that big) - but now I'm quibbling - it is a great place and we'll certainly be back. 

 I would highly recommend this place, but be forewarned that you should absolutely make reservations to be assured of getting a table.  Especially on the weekend as they are always packed, we did see a couple try to get a table when we were being sat, they eventually came back and were sat as we were leaving so they had a good two hour wait to get in.

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

Take care,

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

An Exchange Arrives....

Gentle Friends, last night I picked up the mail and in amongst the bills, ads and other crapola, was a package from Canada.... I knew it was something good from my partner Rosa.....

... we both took part in the "Year of the Sheep" Exchange over at HOE - she stitched and finished for me a little hanging pillow with a sheep and shepherdess.... with sweet little buttons that really add a nice touch.  Thanks so much Rosa!!!

A quick morning post sports fans!!

Tale care,

A Little Bakin'

Gentle Friends...I made at the request of the "Hag Claw" a Pineapple Upside Down Cake - for a coworkers Birthday - it's a totally easy recipe - and I've made it quite a few time before......

.....  but just in case you've missed it and want to make one on your own....it starts off with a yellow cake mix......  melt 1/4 cup of butter in a 9 x 13 pan in a preheating 325 degree oven until melted but not browned.  Sprinkle a cup of dark brown sugar over melted butter.  Drain a 20 oz can of sliced pineapple, reserving the juice, arrange the slices in a single layer on top of the brown sugar - then place cherries in holes.  Prepare the cake mix according to the package substituting the reserved pineapple juice for the water.  Pour over the pineapple slices - bake in preheated oven for about 40 - 45 minutes or until a cake taster comes out clean.  Take out of the oven let cool about 15 minutes - then flip onto a tray or serving board and let the pan stay on top for another 5 minutes before removing.  Allow to cool for another 30 or so minutes - cut an serve.  I found that cooking this cake in a 325 and not a 350 oven for a few extra minutes makes a big difference to the finished cake.

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

Take care,

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Stitchin' Update

Gentle Friends, I thought I would get back into the swing of things this week and start off with some stitching.....  I finished up the North Pole Post office......

.....  and how the whole piece looks at the moment.....


When I finished up the "Post Office" I pulled out my  Prim Animals Sampler...
and got to stitching on May.....

.....and as the whole piece looks at the moment....

......May is going to have a Sheep.......

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

Take care,

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thrifty Thursday

Gentle Friends... not much to find out doing the thrifty thing this past weekend - I did find......

... a small "Butter print" Pyrex mixing bowl.  It's a pattern I like and pick up when I can find a nice piece.....  I also found another matryoska - this time it is of much more recent Russians and seems to be very political... I can identify the 1st and 2nd pieces, Boris Yeltsin, then Mikail Gorbachev....  but the next five guys and why do they all have "blood" on their hands and what is the Russian written on each of them??????  Far too many questions for my limited knowledge, but pretty interesting!!

... this is a snap of the front......

.... and the backs.......the two large one have nothing on the back......

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

Take care,

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Little Bakin'

Gentle Friends, Sunday afternoon I made this Strawberry Pound Cake.....

.... and try as I might I can not find the web spot that I got the recipe from - I am usually pretty good about noting where I get things and try to link back to an original source, but no such luck this time - I even tried searching using the picture that accompanied the recipe - and although I found the photo - I found the picture connected to quite a few other "strawberry" cakes - there where at least three completely different recipes using the exact same picture - and although I followed the recipe pretty closely even the cake I turned out doesn't quite look like picture that accompanied the recipe..... so me-thinks that photo was a stock shot of some sort.....  Here's the recipe I used - and if you recognize it or know the source do let me know and I'll edit the post......  here goes.....

"Strawberry Pound Cake"

2 Packages (10 oz each) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries
   (I used flash frozen whole berries that were unsweetened - 
    to control how sweet I knew this cake would be)
1 C Butter - room temp
2 C White Sugar
4 Eggs - room temp
3 C AP Flour 
1 teas Baking Soda
1/2 teas Baking Powder
1/2 teas salt
2/3 C Buttermilk
1/2 C Chopped Pecans optional (I left them out)
1/4 teas Strawberry Extract*

Strawberry (Sauce) Glaze
 1 1/2 C Icing Sugar
1/2 C Sliced Fresh Strawberries
1/2 teas Vanilla Extract
1/4 teas Strawberry Extract*
1/2 C Butter

Thaw and drain strawberries, reserving 1/2 C of the juice.  Chop the strawberries; set juice and berries aside.  In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs to butter/sugar, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Combine the dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and mix well.  At this point stir in pecans, chopped strawberries and extract*.

Pour into greased and floured 10 inch tube pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/4 hour or until tooth pick inserted near the center comes out clean.  (Mine cooked at about an hour).  Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.

In a small saucepan, combine the butter and reserved strawberry juice.  Add the sliced strawberries.  Bring to boil; cook and stir for 1 minute.  Remove from heat; stir in extracts and icing sugar. 
 Pour over warm cake.

*  I couldn't find "strawberry extract" so I ended up making a trip to a super shop for baking stuff called "Sugar and Spice" - and the owner suggested I used strawberry flavouring oil .....

instead of extract.  it's more concentrated and works better, so I went with the oil for flavouring instead of extract - it worked a dream ( 10 drops in the cake and 5 in the glaze)

The picture accompanying the recipe shows a pink glazed cake - now, the sauce I made was basically a jam and not really a glaze - it was great on the cake and the cake was super moist with a burst of strawberry flavour that just screamed Welcome Spring!! 
 It's a cake I would recommend and I will make again.

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

Take care,

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Little Stitchin'

Gentle Friends, I got a little more stitchin' done......  here's a snap....

... working on the 3rd of 12 houses in Santa's Village, "North Pole Post Office" - slowly but surely coming along..... and here's a snap of how the entire piece looks......


Short and sweet today sports fans, thanks for stopping by!!  Do stop again soon.....

Take care,

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Puppy Post for Friday

Gentle Friends.....I thought that Wahumpi would be a fun snap for the end of the week...... I know he's thinking  "no pictures please, I want to be alone!!".......

....  he's on one of his blankets and as always has pulled it up right next to the baseboard heat we have in out townhouse - both he and Lolly will snuggle blanket lying next to the heater all evening....  even with the sunny 65+ degree days, once the sun goes down behind Twin Peaks, the temps fall quickly and we usually turn the heat on a bit.

That's about it for the week sports fans - thanks again for stopping by, do stop again!!  
Have a super weekend!!!

Take care,

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thrifty Thursday

Gentle Friends, over the weekend, which were two lovely sunny days here by the Bay, there were 3 Estate sales to visit - and my regular Thrift/Consignment stores.....  can we say "in Hog Heaven!!"  Although two of the sales were a bust the third and last one we got to was gigantic.  There was a ton of stuff and a ton of folks shopping.  I found some fun things......

.....  there were 100's of books to see and sift through with bookshelves everywhere....  The book about the Atoche is really nice as it is signed by the Head Conservator and the head archaeologist, both talking about all the support given to the search - I am guessing that the person who's stuff we were all pawing through was an investor. I was really excited to find the great matryoshka of the Czars and Czarina of Russia.....  I saw it on Saturday but it was far to expensive so I left it knowing that Sunday was 1/2 price day..... I went back on Sunday and I thought someone had already bought it, but after searching around I found it in a back pantry and totally snapped it up!

.......here are the 7 dolls unstacked/nested.....  Peter the Great, Emperor from 1721 - 1725, Catherine II The Great, Empress from 1762 - 1796, Paul I, Emperor from 1796 - 1801, Alexander II, Emperor from 1801-1825, Nicholas I, Emperor from 1825 -1855, Alexander III, Emperor from 1855 - 1881 and Nicholas II, Emperor from 1881 - 1917...... when I was paying at the check out card table the woman running the register asked about my ""Shakespeare" Russian Thing".......  I saw it as a teaching opportunity so I quickly explained who each person was and after a few minutes of what I thought was really interesting information I could see her eyes glazing over...... I do love Russian Imperial history!!  I guess Peter the Great could be mistaken from the Bard of Avon......... but then again maybe not.  I do love matroyshkas and especially when they are on the unusual side.

There you go sports fans, more fun stuff  - or as I've heard around my house lately... "more stuff to dust".....  thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Little Stichin' on the "Village" and an Exchange Arrives

Gentle Friends.....I've not really felt like stitching lately - so not much progress on "the Village"...   here's were I'm at with the North Pole Post Office......


I heard form Jayne,  my partner that the HOE Year of the Sheep Exchange piece I made has arrived in the UK.... here's a snap......

.... I chose a March and Sheep theme, from Prairie Schooler Book #23, "Prairie Year II" I used DSD Pecan Sandy 28ct linen, and the called for DMC Floss - finished as a Pyn Keepe.

I wanted to mention that the Star of the Month over on TCM (the best TV channel IMHO) is one of my Favorite actresses.... Ann Southern......

Every Wednesday they will be highlighting her film career, with tonight's line up of her wonderfully funny Maisie Films... - she played Maisie 10 times on film....You can click HERE to go to her TCM Biography.

That's about it for today sports fans.....  thanks for stopping by d stop again!!

Take care,

Friday, March 6, 2015

Thrifty Thursday..... on a Friday

Gentle Friends..... a pretty sparse week this week Posting  - not too much to Post about I guess - on the stitching front I am working on "Santa's Village" and frogging as much as I stitch - I just can not get happy with a couple of the floss colours I chose.... so I will just stitch and frog until I am happy!!!!  I've not posted a Thrifty Thursday in a while so I gathered up all the stuff I've bought lately and here 'tis.......

... the main pile o'stuff......  a great book on Midway and finding the Yorktown, sitting on the book is a super 19th century brass candlestick - and you know how I love me a good ole candlestick, plus it was only $2 - so how could I pass it up!!  That's a Belleek Christmas Ornament on the vase, and a copy of RR Recipes, it's a super cookbook and replaces my old one that was just falling apart - and a the little box of Gifts of the Magi - here's a description..... "Gold, frankincense, and myrrh were the precious offerings brought by the magi, But who were these men and why did they choose such gifts? This new book—illustrated in color with masterpieces from the Medieval and Renaissance collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art—tells the story of the magi and the history and lore of their gifts. In addition, samples of the gifts are included: 24-kt. gold in a glass bottle, and frankincense and myrrh."   and a lovely little Depression Era dish with a sterling overlay......  

..........back to the vase which I found in this condition....

....got out the silver polish et voila...

.......a really lovely silver piece... and the dish came with the silver overlay pretty tarnished.....

... and once again some polishing and it shined up nicely......

.......I always find some DVD's I don't have to add to my ever growing collections......

.... as you can see I had some help with the picture taking......  

That wraps up this weeks Thrifty Finds.....  there are 3 Estate sales this weekend and I am really up for finding some treasure!!! 
 Thanks for stopping by do stop again - and have a super weekend!!

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...