Monday, August 31, 2009

Back in the Saddle again!

I have to say, Em really got her in nice shape this summer (these photos are last spring). I know she just took photos last week- she's submitting Axe as a candidate for the Secretariat movie. I hope she'll share!
As for me, I made myself stay on for 30 minutes, about half of it posting trot, alternating with walking. Tomorrow, I'll be "time to make the donuts" guy. But I SHALL persevere!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Finished This...

                       Snapperland Barn Yard

Snapperland "Barn Yard" on 26 ct. unknown evenweave w/ recommended WDW threads

And started that:

PS XMAS eve1

Prairie Schooler "Christmas Eve" on 32 ct. Jobelan "Lambswool" w/ DMC threads

Friday, August 28, 2009

Looked What Popped Out of the Weeds...


Garden Grew! I decide to adjust the scrolls up so I wouldn't have to swap out my 30+ colors per page twice by not finishing each page as I go from left to right.

Here's a close up of what I got done today:

GG25 macro

The bottoms of these 2 lower flowers are in the bottom half of the chart.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


38% humidity, 73 degrees. Can you say "happy girl"?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes...

In honor of the daughter unit moving her shit stuff back to Boston: one Ford Escape load (THANK YOU Joanne!!!!!!) and one Corolla load- yes- 2 trips in and out of Boston in one day! 100 miles of driving! Hot weather! No food until 4:00 at Ikea:


( I got the Swedish Meatballs)

here's today's recipe:

Macaroni & Cheese

  • 1-2 cups dry pasta
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated or shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 6-8 Ritz crackers or 1/3 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • Pam baking spray

Fill dry baking dish halfway with dry pasta to measure, set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 deg.

Set large pot of water to boil, and add dry pasta. Cook according to package directions (about 10-13 minutes) just until done, but not mushy.

While pasta cooks make cheese sauce:

Melt 3 TBSP butter in medium saucepan and add 3 TBSP flour. Stir with whisk over medium heat about 3 minutes, until flour is cooked and slightly turning golden and smells “nutty”.

Whisk in 1-1/2 cups milk until smooth. Continue whisking until sauce bubbles and starts to thicken. Simmer, whisking often, about 3-5 minutes more, until sauce is smooth & thick. Stir in salt & both types of pepper.

Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Whisk until smooth. Set aside until pasta is cooked.

Drain pasta thoroughly, and turn into large mixing bowl or back into cooking pot.

Spray baking dish with Pam spray.

Add cheese sauce to pasta- enough to taste to seem very cheesy & gooey. You may not need all the sauce. (Refrigerate any leftovers.)

Pour pasta & sauce into prepared baking dish. Sometimes I'll layer in a slice of American cheese, torn into strips. Top with crushed cracker or panko crumbs. Take 1 TBSP butter; break into bits and dot top of crumbs.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15-18 minutes or crumbs are browned & pasta is bubbly.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

That's a lot of Food!

I was looking back trying to find when I baked a Lemon Meringue pie. I found it in 2007. I think I comment about food at least every other post!
Any way, Anna at Cookie Madness is experimenting with Lemon Meringue pie recipes. Check it out! (You may have to scroll back several posts) ((Don't even LOOK at those peanut butter streusel brownies!!!))

No End in Site...

I won't go into the insanity that reigns my life at the moment between heat, humidity, ill BF, itchy dog, PMS, bad horsey feet, and the utter destruction of any perception of cleanliness in my house due to the move back to college. However, a small spot of calm was revealed on the interwebs this morning at Stitch Bitch's blog. Take a look at this one!

Now I have to retreat to my rubber room.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wicked Wednesday Wrecipes

And now, a little bit of sinfulness, from Food & Wine, via Cookie Madness:

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 4 TBSP butter
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 365 degrees (between 350 and 375 degrees)

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with papers.

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter with the vegetable oil and water over low heat, just until the butter melts. Do not boil!

In a large bowl, sift flour with sugar, cocoa, baking soda & salt. Add the melted butter mixture and beat with mixer at low speed until smooth. Add egg and beat until incorporated, then add buttermilk and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping bottom & sides of bowl.

Pour the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling them three fourths full. (I actually got 14 cupcakes).

Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes

Look how crowned these are! That's because of the slightly higher baking temperature.

Bake the cupcakes for 25 minutes, until springy and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Crème Frosting

  • 6 TBSP butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 TBSP milk, ½ + ½, or heavy cream
  • 5 Oreos, crushed in food processor, for topping

In a medium bowl, cream softened butter until smooth with mixer.


Add confectioners sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat at low speed just until combined, then increase speed to medium and beat until smooth. Add milk or cream and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. This makes just enough for the 14 cupcakes.

Spread (or pipe) frosting on cooled cupcakes, top with crushed Oreos and serve.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Big, Fat, Frowny Face...


Hi y'all, as the effervescent Paula Dean likes to say.

Spent the weekend barn sitting, and while it wasn't too taxing labor-wise, the heat just made it downright unbearable. If I wasn't worried about how Chickie was doing at my house, I was worried how the poor horses were handling it. Chicken has finished up her course of antibiotics, and is now down to just 1/2 a cortisone tablet a day. I think it's the cortisone that's making her pee like crazy; it's been "accident"-city for going on 2 weeks now. I've resorted to just leaving a mat of newspaper for her to go on (and luckily, she knows what it's for) because she just can't hold it. Either that, or her favorite online celebrity, Stewey Spinster, is communicating in code to her thru his posts, advocating indoor potty time as a distraction for me so she can take over my blog while I'm occupied cleaning up.

Anyway, no stitching occurred, even though I brought Garden Grew with me, as well as Barnyard Snapper. It was just too HOT!

And as happens at a barn, no matter how hard I try to stay clean, I always felt like I had a film of dirt on me. You horse people out there know what happens when you walk thru the barn in your non-barn clothes: your horse snorts all over your pants leg, and then wipes its nose on the back of your arm.

Based on weather forecasts for the upcoming week, the only stitching will be happening in the air conditioned office, or at S&B Thursday night.

I can't wait for winter.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stitching and Bitching and Eating

Today was Deb's birthday and I made these:

choco ccs

On the left are chocolate cupcakes filled with raspberry creme & frosted with chocolate frosting; on the right are the same chocolate cupcakes frosted with vanilla buttercream and crushed oreos.

A close-up:

raspberry cream8

Perhaps this could be next week's recipe(s)?

Then I got a new chart and some fabric:

Prairie Schooler Xmas Eve

in the foreground is a cut of 32 ct Jobelan "Lambswool" for the PS, and hidden below it is a cut of 40 ct Linen "Mourning Dove". It's a beautiful, delicate shade of pale gray/blue.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

So how about some homemade biscuits? Almost as easy as those pop & fresh ones, and they don't have that weird flavor a day later.

Buttermilk Biscuits

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 stick (8 TBSP) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¾ cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment, or grease with shortening.

In bowl of food processor, pulse all dry ingredients 3-4 times until combined.

Add butter, and pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs, maybe 10 times.

Add buttermilk, and pulse just until it starts to come together into a ball. There may still be some dry patches.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and no longer wet. You can add more flour, a tablespoon at a time as necessary.

Take dough into a ball, and hit it with a rolling pin, turning and folding the dough in half every few whacks. Do this for a couple of minutes. You should see vague layers starting to form.

Roll out dough ¼ inch thick, then fold in half.

Using a biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits from folded dough, and place on prepared baking sheet close together, so they rise up, not out.

blurry biscuits

(These have been baking about 5 minutes.)

Bake 18 to 20 minutes at 425 degrees.


(I broke an edge to be sure they were cooked thru. Then I ate it. Then I burnt my tongue. Then I waved my hands in the air saying "Outh! Outh! Hoth! Hoth"! ("Ouch! Ouch! Hot! Hot!" in burnt tongue voice)

NOTE: you can probably add an additional 1 or 2 teaspoons sugar, and add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to the buttermilk to make biscuits for shortcake. Or brush tops of biscuits with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar, then bake . OOOH! or cinnamon sugar? MMMM...

Make 8-10 biscuits.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Grand Theft...

of awesome photos:

they went back to Deluxbury Beach at the crack o' dawn:


1 wanna play



airs above

winning the race

flying 2


foggy beach clearing

sunny beach

foggy beach

I'm jealous, aren't you?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sleigh Ride....

is finished!

Snapperland Sleigh Ride

Snapperland "Sleigh Ride"

on scrap of 26 ct pale tan evenweave with recommended Weeks threads

And I started this one:


Snapperland "Barn Yard" on same unknown evenweave with recommended threads.

Did I mention the 2 amigos are back together living in sin (Isn't that a sampler?) Adam came back after the job in Maine didn't turn out as promised, $$-wise. Plus the lady was turning into a wing-nut. He's back working for Em's boss again (another certifiable fruit loop)- the devil you know, yada yada yada.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Calgon Take ME Away!


sad chickie

Is this too cute or what!!??

Someone's having her annual heat rash itch (or something) and is totally miserable with herself. I made a vet app't tomorrow; unfortunately, I think it'll involve one of those satellite dishes around her head. :^(

Someone took her horse swimming in the ocean this week.

jennianne emily

the sea

diving in

Her friend trailered them to Duxbury Beach the other night. Evidently, horses can be on the beach after 6 PM.

beach 2

big wave

beach fun

Fun times

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

This one is in my top ten favorites list- even top five. Emily suggested adding pineapple chunks to the mix, and that was a very good tweak.

Chicken Kebabs

Serves 4-6:

  • 1/2 cup low salt soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or canola or olive)
  • 4 TBSP ketchup
  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1-1/2 to 2 lbs. boneless chicken breast, cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 green pepper, cut into 1” chunks
  • ½ large sweet or Vidalia onion, slice root to tip, then into 1” wide pieces, separated into leaves


Set to soak 8-10, 8” wooden skewers.


In 2 cup measuring cup, whisk first 6 ingredients until combined well.


Measure out 1/3 cup and set aside in refrigerator. You will be using this for basting while grilling.

chixkebab3 chixkebab4

Place chicken and vegetables in gallon Ziploc bag, whisk remaining marinade once more and add to chicken & vegetables.

Smoosh around until everything is coated, place bag into bowl or dish (in case bag leaks!!), and refrigerate for not more than an hour; any longer & I find it tastes too salty.


(This is called "product placement" ) ;^)

When ready to grill, preheat gas grill.

Thread meat and vegetables onto skewers in alternating fashion, usually 4-5 pieces of meat per stick; discard marinade that has been in contact with raw meat.


Place skewers on hot grill, and lower heat to medium. Turn every couple of minutes, basting each side once more with reserved marinade.


Total cooking time should be about 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure all basted sides have been cooked before removing from grill (in other words, don’t baste and then immediately remove from grill. Expose all “raw” marinade to heat). You can cut into a test piece to check for done-ness.


Serve with rice or in a pita.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Back from the bayou...

or, well, what seems like the bayou (still).


Did I ever mention that I hate humidity???!!! Supposedly it's going to break at the end of the week and I SO can't wait.

Here's all the stitching I've done in the past week:

sleigh ride 3

As you can see, I'm just about done; I'm trying to decide if I should go back to the BBDamn stockings or dig out the other Snapper project I found when I dug this one out. It's "Barnyard" or some such nonsense; it has a horse, anyway, so it kinda matches.

Em had major horse drama last week; it's been enough elapsed time that my heart doesn't pound when I think about it.

She took Axe swimming and somehow got dismounted. When she tried to get back on, she slipped off her wet back and Axe got away from her, and went all the way back to the barn- about 3 miles, along trails AND roads, having to take several turns. Em was able to phone ahead to my barn owner's husband, who drove up the street about a half mile, heard her clopping down the road, with a nice lady following along behind in a car for protection; she evaded Jim, and proceeded to the barn door all by herself. Em had to carry her saddle all the way back with her heart in her mouth praying nothing horrendous had happened.

Other than being sore for a day, and aggravating her puffy ankles & chipping hooves, she was none worse for the wear- thank goodness for guardian angels in cars.