Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
And stretch out and get really comfortable...
And wiggle my way onto the chair and pillow you're using for a foot rest, my legs sticking out the back, just to be near you and feel the warm fire.
While you crochet the day away and watch dumb TV shows. It's a holiday! We're allowed!
And leave you with a little button love. Aren't they pretty? I really love the purple and the aqua.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
My momma has confiscated the project I was working on. She's going to do some sewing on it because I'm an idiot when it comes to sewing and it would look like a 2nd grader did it.
1 1/2 C sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. finely chopped nuts (food processor or coffee grinder works great for this)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place on greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper on the cookie sheet). Cookies do not spread when they cook so you can place them pretty close together. Bake in a 400-degree F oven about 10-12 min. until set but NOT BROWN. You'll really have to watch these so they don't over-cook.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
1. Make Two Pumpkin Pies Done!
2. Make Toffee Done!
3. Make Fudge (Peanut Butter) Done!
4. Brown the hamburger & onions for a dish I'm making in the morning. I think I can boil the noodles too and mix them together. As much as I can do ahead of time, I'm going to. Done!
My candy thermometer broke so I won't be making any chocolate fudge until Christmas. I could do it the old fashioned way with a glass of ice water, but I'm tired now anyway.
We are not having traditional Thanksgiving food this year. We're doing Eye-Talian food.
Other things to do:
1. Work on my crochet project
2. Look at my Candy Necklace blanket and then start another crochet project I have in mind instead of finishing that one. ;)
Shaun is over here helping Barnaby lay some flagstone in the backyard. Shaun is my youngest son (27) that will be leaving for Army bootcamp on January 19th. My other son, Aaron (29), is MIA. He may be working today, but I need to call him and find out where he is. I want my baby boys close around me for the next two months. Sniff-Sniff. I need to go to my doctor and get some Valium or something before I start cracking.
Dammit, how did I get on that subject? STOP IT.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Okay, that's information lest I give it all away.
I've had the back door standing open all day because the weather is so nice. I walked out onto the back porch a little earlier, and to my horror, several pairs of my underwear (That's knickers to you, Sue! Hee-hee.) were strewn about the backyard! The pink thing you're seeing laying there is a pajama top that was also laying in the backyard. I didn't take a picture of the underwear. You're welcome.
Eli had gotten into the laundry room and raided a pile of dirty laundry, and he and Fletcher were having a good ol' time running around playing tug of war with several pairs of my undies and the pajamas. Silly dogs. Thank goodness nobody was with me to see. I was still embarassed even though it was just me and hurriedly ran around picking everything up.
I went to Hobby Lobby to pick up some yarn and a few other things this morning. I had to make sure I had enough to last me through the holiday weekend. I don't want to have to run out and shop on the busiest shopping weekend of the year.
I'm off to make dinner. Talk at ya tomorrow.
Monday, November 23, 2009
But I guess it's not so far fetched for someone else to put BIRDS in a BIRDCAGE, now is it? Okay, then...forget everything I just said up there.
There are lots of interesting things to look at on her blog, by the way. I'll have to spend some time later doing just that. I've seen her commenting on other people's blogs, but I've never followed the link to hers until now.
Barnaby just walked by and said my new blog looks depressing!
"WHAT?!" I screeched.
"Well, look. There's a lone cabin, a lone chair in a corner, and a lone, dead tree!"
"WHAT?!" I screeched again. "But I like it! It didn't even occur to me that it was depressing."
"Well, it is." And then he just walked away. He destroyed all my work in five seconds worth of words and just walked away.
NOW THAT'S DEPRESSING!
I have two other cages up there that are smaller than this one. I'll have to make some baby birdies for those. I have to now!
I'm also working on a super-secret crochet pattern for you guys. I worked on it Saturday and Sunday and finally finished it. I'm making the finished product now, and I also have Bev testing the pattern for me. When it's all done, you're going to want this pattern really badly. And who's going to give it to you? That's right!
Aren't holiday weeks supposed to be slow and easy? Where is MY slow and easy week? Why is everyone getting on my nerves? GAH! Someone needs to spike my Kool-Aid with vodka and calm me down.
I made this Penuche yesterday evening. It turned out great, but I like mine to taste a little "browner." This is usually made with brown sugar, so that's probably the difference I'm tasting.
I used half of the amount of nuts and put them on half of the bottom of the pan this time before pouring the hot candy in. It works better. There were a lot of air bubbles in this that you can see if you look closely. I also used a loaf pan instead of an 8" x 8" pan for this batch. Here's the recipe which I got off of the Internet somewhere. I can't remember where...
Oops! I just realized when i was typing this recipe that I left out the brown sugar yesterday!! No wonder it didn't taste "brown" enough. I can't believe it turned out at all.
1/8 cup butter (1/4 stick, cold)
1 ½ cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
2/3 cup evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed)
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Line a bread loaf pan with foil and butter it.
Heat milk at medium setting until warm; add sugars. Bring to a rolling boil while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add marshmallows and mix thoroughly until the marshmallows are melted completely. Bring back to a full boil and boil for a FULL five minutes. Do not cheat this boil – err on the side of too long rather than not long enough. The mixture will start to turn brown during the boil. If you get brown flakes in the mixture, turn down the heat a little. Be sure to stir constantly. It will burn easily if you don’t.
Remove from heat. Add vanilla, butter, and nuts, but do not stir. Let it just sit for about 2 minutes. Mix thoroughly and pour into prepared loaf pan. Cool completely at room temperature. Remove foil and candy from the pan. Remove the foil from the candy, cut into squares. Store covered at room temperature.
Your candy should be grainy and sugary when completely cool. That’s how it’s supposed to be instead of smooth and creamy like some fudge recipes.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
1. What are you most thankful for? Most? I don't know about most, but I'm thankful for my relatively easy, happy life, including my family, two sons, my hubby, my dogs (You know I had to mention the dogs!).
2. Where are you spending Thanksgiving? We're having dinner at my sister's house who lives about 3 miles away. Coming are my parents, my sister & her husband and kids and their kids, and my boys and husband, and me! My other sister who lives in San Diego won't be here this year. Sniff-sniff.
3. What's your favorite Thanksgiving food? Candied sweet potatoes! But I really like the dressing and gravy too.
4. What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Pumpkin pie
5. Is Thanksgiving religious for you? No
6. Do you eat more on Thanksgiving Day or the day after? On Thanksgiving Day, of course. Dumb question.
7. What time do you eat Thanksgiving dinner? Usually around 1:00
8. What's your favorite Thanksgiving story? This is not really a story, but I remember when I was young and we'd always spend Thanksgiving at my grandparents' house. All the men would go hunting the day before and shoot a turkey and the womenfolk would clean it and cook it. Sometimes you'd find buckshot in the turkey meat. You had to be careful! Ahhh, the good ol' days.
9. Will you shop on Black Friday? NO WAY IN HELL, but I have gone before with my hubby to drink Starbucks and people-watch at the mall.
10. What do you hope for Next Thanksgiving? That my entire family is here and happy and healthy
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I swear I'm not posing Eli in all of my pictures. He shows up in nearly every picture I take somehow. He just loves to jump in front of the camera and get his picture taken.
These are the Grandma Twinkle Stars I made this morning. It only took two hours to make all seven of them with bathroom breaks and getting coffee, etc. You can find the pattern and tutorial HERE, and there's also one for Christmas Trees that are made similarly. I would suggest using the alternate Row 3 instructions. I did, but I still had to steam-iron mine under a towel to keep the corners from curling.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Anyways, where was I? Oh, yeah. VEE-OH-LA!!!....
I've seen several different varieties of these on the innernets. Some are granny squares like this one, some are four granny squares, some are stripes, etc. I'll be trying all of those and maybe more.
I wasn't sure how to attach the cover to the seat, so I just improvised and made four ties out of one piece of blue and one piece of red yarn held together and sewed it through the corners underneath to make it tight, and then I tied a tiny bow. I think it looks great. And you can remove it and wash it pretty easily that way too.
I bought some padding to add between the seat and the cover, but I decided that was overkill and decided not to do it. Maybe I'll try it once and see.
Time to start the weekend! Bye.
"That bruschetta last night was fantastic!"
I guess that says it all...
½ cup Marzetti Ranch Veggie Dip*
1 loaf french bread, sliced diagonally
Salt & Pepper to taste
1-2 cucumbers, peeled & diced
5-6 Roma tomatoes, seeded & diced
¼ cup red or green onion, optional
Placed diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion into a medium bowl. Add salt & pepper and a couple of Tbsp olive oil. Set aside.
Arrange bread slices on a cookie sheet. Brush each slice with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt. Toast bread under your oven broiler until lightly browned. Cool completely.
Spread each slice with ranch veggie dip. Spoon veggie mixture on top of each slice. Sprinkle lightly with dill. Serve immediately.
*I found the Marzetti Ranch Veggie Dip refrigerated in the produce section of my grocery store. I’m sure you could use another brand if you can’t find it.
This next recipe was made on the local morning news show today. I've made other things using the braided ring made with crescent rolls, but never anything with a hot chicken salad inside. It sounds delicious. I'll be making it this weekend so no picture yet.
2 pkgs crescent roll dough
1/2 cup mayo
2 Tbsp honey Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp course black pepper
2 cups cooked chopped chicken (or turkey)
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
3 Tbsp snipped fresh parsley
1/2 cup Craisins 4 oz. grated Mozzarella cheese (use Swiss if using turkey)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 egg white
Combine all ingredients except the crescent rolls and egg white in a bowl and set aside.
Separate crescent roll dough into triangles. With wide ends facing toward the center, arrange 8 triangles in a circle on a round baking stone or a pizza baking sheet. Corners of wide ends should touch. It will look like a flower. Take remaining 8 triangles and match wide end to wide ends with points facing the center of the baking stone or baking sheet.
Scoop mixture onto the wide ends of the dough making a circle. Weave dough, outside piece, inside piece, alternating all the way around to make a wreath. Brush egg white over wreath.
Bake at 350 20-25 minutes or until browned. Serve.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Can anyone tell me how to do it easily? I'd need the background color (the tan) to match exactly or make it transparent. All I have is the Paint Program to work with.
And just in case I get a yes, can somebody do it for me? Did I take it too far?
The new template will take some getting use to, huh? I wanted something completely different than what I had. I tried out several different ones before settling on this. Hope you like it. I don't change my template very often so you'll be looking at it a loooooong time!
Have a good one.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
For keeping my crochet yarn and stuff in while I crochet. PLUS...
And then we had some after supper, and I may have had a tiny piece for breakfast this morning. It's to die for. Can you see where the glaze ran down into the cake. The bites of cake with that glaze in them make my eyeballs roll back in my head.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Here's the latest one. I'm getting much better (and faster) at making them. The wings definitely look much better. I'm still working on perfecting the beak. I'm going to make more, but I'm going to try and make them smaller.
I'm supposed to be resting my shoulder. I guess I'll stop for the day and maybe bake something.
I was interrupted while making this entry and forgot I was doing it. In the meantime, I swept the floors and put together a Kentucky Butter Cake and got it in the oven. This cake is one of my favorites and I've featured it here before. If you make it, definitely make 1 1/2 times the amount of glaze. You'll be glad you did. I also add 1/2 tsp butter flavoring into the cake batter along with the 2 tsp vanilla extract.
Not sure what else I'll accomplish today. We'll probably have leftover roast that I made this past weekend for dinner, so I don't have to cook anything. I'll need someone to tie my hands behind my back to keep me from crocheting. There's a project I'm DYING to finish and show you, but it won't be today. I absolutely have to rest my shoulder. (Teaser: That's the interruption I had earlier. Barnaby was delivering a piece of furniture I had asked him to find for me so that I could finish this project.)
Monday, November 16, 2009
I gave birth to Bratty Bird this morning. He was born with tiny eyeballs, poor thing. We may have to take him to the eye surgeon and see if he can do something. I really love his longer legs though.
Now they are BFFs
Me thinks they may need some girlie friends soon.
The hanging chip display case has poker chips from different casinos in Las Vegas. There may be chips from other places too, but I'm not sure. I guess I could go look, but I don't wanna. You can see me in the reflection taking the picture. I didn't even notice that when I took it. I'm wearing my pajama top, but I don't think you can see enough detail to matter.
These last two pictures are slightly blurry, but again, I'm too lazy to go take better ones. This display case has different sets of chips that he bought, a place for the Dealer Chip and two decks of cards...
And two drawers with chip slots.
I'm nothing if not informative today. And maybe a little boring too.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
We're calling him Dirty Bird. I have no idea why.
It took me four hours to make him. I really hate sewing, but I was determined to make him. I want to make more. I'm sure if I do I'll get quicker at it. At least I hope so. I added my own flair...do you see it? It's the hairy pink tail feathers.
It's time for a glass of milk, Buttermilk Candy, bed, and a few chapters of my book. It's way past my normal time to retire to my happy place. The dogs have been following me around wondering what the deal is. They are such creatures of habit and notice any change in the normal routine around here.
Talk at ya on Monday. I've been promised a cold front by the weatherman...cold enough for a fire in the morning with my coffee and crochet hook! I'm SO looking forward to that. Nightie-night.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Melted 2 cups of sugar, 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of buttermilk, and 1 tsp baking soda. It has just come to a boil and needs to cook until it turns a dark golden brown and reaches softball stage.
It's reached softball stage, I've added the 1 tsp vanilla, and now it has to sit and cool down to 200 degrees. See how shiney it is?
After it cooled to the appropriate temperature, I beat it with the electric mixer until it thickened and lost its gloss. (I didn't get a picture of that step.)
Sorry about how dark the picture turned out, but here it is all ready. There are two layers in the plastic container and another six pieces off to the side. Two thumbs up! YUM!
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup butter (1 stick)
More butter for the pan and foil (see below)
1 Tbsp white corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Line foil in an 8” x 8” pan leaving approximately 5 inches of overhang on each side for lifting fudge out after it cools. Butter the foil and set aside.
Butter sides of a LARGE, heavy saucepan. Use a larger pan than you think you’ll need because when the syrup boils, it will rise A LOT in the pan. Combine first 5 ingredients in pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Attach a candy thermometer to pan, making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan.
Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil. Do not stir while syrup is boiling. Continue to cook until syrup reaches softball stage (approximately 238 degrees). Test by dropping about ½ tsp of syrup in a glass of ice water. Syrup should easily form a ball in the water but flatten when held in your hand.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Leave the candy thermometer in the pan and let the syrup sit until it cools to approximately 200 degrees. Remove thermometer and beat with an electric mixture until mixture thickens and is no longer glossy. (This took mine about 2-3 minutes.) Stir in nuts if using. (I waited and pressed them into the top of half of the fudge after it was in the buttered pan so we could have ½ with nuts and ½ without.)
Pour mixture into the foiled and buttered 8” x 8” pan. Allow to cool completely. Lift fudge from pan using the foil handles. Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.
This recipe said it makes 4 dozen pieces of fudge, but that’s totally ridiculous. I got 25 normal-size pieces and 5 smaller pieces.