Sunday, May 30, 2010


Itsy bitsy spider:

CS Quaker Halloween11A

and an overview:

CS Quaker Halloween11

Garden Growing more:


and more:


Almost done with Page 10! That’s halfway done!

Glorious day at the barn:

 glorious day greta



Sara carrying a rock


Huey the bird.


He has an amazing  vocabulary. Jodi’s husband works from home sometimes; he has to shut his office door because Huey imitates the fax machine beep and causes the phone to disconnect while he’s on a call. In addition to repeating their conversations verbatim, he imitates the beeps of the microwave, the answering machine, the UPS back-up beep, and the smoke detector. (which he performed the very first night I slept over.) He also recites phone conversations taped on the answering machine, all kinds of whistles. I sit and stitch and just listen to him all day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

I need to come up with another “w” synonym for “wonderful”, to throw you all off!

Here we go: I started with Cook’s Illustrated “Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies”, and added bran and substituted store-brand Splenda for the white sugar. They came out really nice, i think. They are a more cake-y cookie- not chewy so much as soft. The bran is there, but no worse than oatmeal in the background. I used 2 whole eggs - the original called for an egg and a yolk, but I hate wasting or trying to save the white. I figured the bran would “soak” up the additional moisture. The real brown sugar seemed to diminish the weird Splenda after-taste. I’ll definitely make these again.

Adams Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2-1/8 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup wheat bran
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 12 TBSP butter (1-1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup Splenda sugar substitute
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, bran, salt and baking soda together in medium bowl & set aside.
  2. Mix butter and sugars together until thoroughly blended. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.
  4. Line baking sheets with parchment; drop heaping teaspoon of dough, about 1-1/2” apart (I got 12 per commercial sheet).
  5. Bake one sheet at a time 4-1/2 minutes, then rotate pan 180 degrees, and continue baking an additional 4-5 minutes. Edges should be pale golden brown, and tops should just be set, with only a tiny shine of moisture.
  6. Cool on sheet for 5 minutes, and then remove to rack to cool completely.
  7. Store in airtight container.

healthy choc chip cookies

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I’ll be LOST….

My favorite TV show is ending tonight. On one hand, i can’t wait to see what happens, on the other, I don’t want it to be over. I guess it’s kind of like Christmas for kids.

So I stitched today:

CS Quaker Halloween10

I love the orange! The moon was supposed to be the inky-green color (same as the tree) but i changed it to orange because I’m adding other highlights in orange as I go.

The little black square with 2 orange spots is supposed to be a spider body & his eyes.

This chart makes me very happy to stitch! I’m this close to yanking Gingerbread Cottage out of my bag to put this one in, and putting Gingerbread Cottage with those dratted Blackbird stockings!

Well, I have to take Chickie for a walk before I settle in for an uninterrupted 4-1/2 hours of TV!


If you scroll down the page, in the right sidebar is a categorized list of my recipes, for your convenience.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No cooking…;^(

I’ve been thinking about hummus a lot lately, though. I found a couple of good recipes on Taste spotting, including this one. I could have sworn i found one in which the garlic clove was gently heated with the olive oil, then the oil & garlic are drizzled into the processor, but now I’m having trouble finding it. Maybe i saved it at work.

I made BBQ’d spare ribs in the crock pot today. They just have to be quick grilled & brushed with more sauce. Recipe: Cut your slab o’ ribs into sections that will fit in your crock pot (that hopefully you’ve lined with a Reynolds Slow Cooker Liner). As you layer each slab in the pot, pour some BBQ sauce over. You’ll use about the whole bottle, you can reserve some for the grilling step. Cook on low for 8 hours. The meat should be melting off the bone, which, while tasty, does cause some problems for the grilling step, because the meat will tend to stick to the grill. If you have a grill basket, that might work better. So to finish, fit your ribs in a grill basket-ety thing, brush with additional sauce, and let the sauce caramelize a bit- on the heat for maybe 10 minutes? turning over once.

Axe lost a hefty chunk of hoof somehow:

front right2

I packed the void with some gauze and duct taped it; of course it rained last night & today, so it’s nice and muddy in her pen, so that won’t last long. I have a call into Ernie the Farrier God. I’m thinking he can maybe infill the gap with epoxy until it grows out, just so that the hoof innards are protected from the elements, and she doesn’t go unevenly. The shiny stuff is a protectant that should be applied at least once a week. It smells like super glue. Em hasn’t been diligent about applying it regularly, as well as the Hoof Flex.

Sometimes you just have to take care of things yourself! We actually have work-work at work, so no stitching. It’s been over 3 weeks since I last worked on Gingerbread Cottage. I don;t really miss that as much as Quake Halloween.

Off to do a sink-load of dishes. (Even though I'm not cooking much!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pomp & Circumstance

Em graduated today from BU- yay! It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Boston- just brilliant, sparkling sunshine.

 IMG_0187 IMG_0188 IMG_0190IMG_0196 IMG_0192IMG_0195 IMG_0194  IMG_0207 IMG_0200 IMG_0201 IMG_0204 IMG_0205 IMG_0206

I thought I was taking some video, but unfortunately, one must hold the shutter button down during the entire time- I pressed it and released it, because the little camera symbol was alit, but I only seemed to have recorded while the button was pressed. Darn the luck.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


No internet at all today at work. The Boss actually accepted an upgrade offer from a telemarketer for our phone/internet/FIOS. The caller identified himself as being from Verizon, but as it turns out, he was from a third party market. He assured my boss his static IP address (we run our own exchange server)(don’t ask me what that is- I just hear it referred to so often) would remain unchanged. Yeeeaaahhhh…riiiight. At 2:00 when he realized we had no connectivity, including email, he went ballistic, and basically pleaded with Verizon to re-set us back to what we had. Except that we had to have a new IP address, which then involved another phone call to his now defunct ISP, through whom all our mail is routed. If it all works tomorrow, it’ll be a blooming miracle!

So no Face book, no Drudge report, no blog-surfing, no email, no nuthing! But as it turns out, we’ve started 2 new big projects- a whole new building and a re-do of a previous job that hasn’t started yet. (not our fault- the doctors egos got in the way).

But anyway- here is progress on Quaker Halloween:

CS Quaker Halloween9

I love this stitch! I really want to swap it for the Gingerbread Cottage (which hasn’t been touched in 3 weeks!) for my “at-work “ project.

I had to make Em a tassel for her graduation Sunday, although the one she bought finally came in the mail today. Being crafty finally came in handy! I think I may have even impressed her with my mad tassel-skillz!


Here it is attached to her hat. Good enough for being in a crowd of several thousand graduates at BU. I don’t think she’ll stand out for having a home-made tassel!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

Still not cooking too much, well…, nothing new & interesting. I was making a quick supper favorite of mine tonight and realized I may not have shared it before; I may have mentioned it, but not given step-by-step instructions. (*SNORK!!!* This “recipe” falls in the same category of difficulty as Marshmallow Treats!)

Mary’s Favorite Supper Sandwich

onion pepper1

Get out your countertop grill (or large sauté pan). Preheat to high while you prep your ingredients. If you’re considering buying one of these, for god’s sake get the one that has the removable/interchangeable grill surface! These fixed ones are a bitch and a half to clean!

onion pepper2

Get a green pepper and an onion- Vidalia or plain old yellow.

onion pepper3

Get a piece of pita, and one slice of American cheese. I was going to use 2 slices, but one is really more than sufficient. Mind you, I’m making just a sandwich for me because Em doesn’t eat green or onions, and Adam doesn’t agree with green peppers; you can probably get 2 sandwiches, possibly three if your pepper & onion are extra large. Just allot one pita and one slice o’ cheese per serving.

onion pepper4

Slice the green peppers into matchsticks, and half the onion, peel, and slice into thin half-moons. (Go to Pioneer Woman for more in-depth slicing instructions).

onion pepper5

Put veggies into a large mixing bowl, coat with about 2 TBSP olive oil, and salt & pepper to taste- maybe a 1/2 teaspoon each? Toss to coat all the veggies, breaking up the onions into individual slivers/rings/strands.

onion pepper6

Put on your pre-heated grill.

onion pepper7

Close cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir the veggies around a bit, re-cover and cook an additional 5 minutes. You want the onions to start to turn brown and translucent, and get the peppers wilted. The Foreman is great because it kind of steams the veggies too. My grill has been getting a little flaky- I think one side isn’t getting to the same temp as the other. It’s close to 10 years old; believe you me- I’m replacing it with a removable plate one next!

onion pepper8

Meanwhile, take your pita and arrange your piece of cheese as shown. If your pitas are a bit dry, soften for about 10 seconds in the microwave, then put your cheese on.

onion pepper9

When veggies are done, top cheese with a healthy portion. The hot peppers & onions will help melt the cheese.

onion pepper10

Fold the pita in half to keep the heat in.

onion pepper11

Chow down! Look how cheesy it is!

Any leftover vegetables can be used in an omelet or re-heated in a sauté pan for another sandwich.

Now I have to scrub the frikkin' grill.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


CS Quaker Halloween8A

Black kitty with green eyes.

And a wider view:


Relaxing stitching night thanks to my peeps!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

I’m trying to de-stress my life, which is part of the reason I haven’t been blogging much lately. Not that blogging is stressful, just that I’m too stressed to blog, if that makes sense. I haven’t been doing anything creative cooking-wise lately either, until Cookie Madness had a yellow cake marathon last month, in which she compared 6 different yellow cakes. Start with this post, which is the last of the series, and scroll back (can you do that?- OH! I think you can click the tag “recipe comparisons” at the bottom, and that should bring up the other posts) to read the in-depth recipes/reviews. Which led to a craving for yellow cake on my part. I chose Anna’s winner, the Shirley Corriher cake, because I have one of her cookbooks, and I know she knows her stuff.

Yummy Yellow Cake

Adapted from Shirley Corriher’s Bake wise

  • 1-3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1-3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1-1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water, heated one minute in microwave
  • 4 TBSP butter, cut into 1 TBSP pieces
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2- 9” round pans with flour added baking spray and line bottoms with rounds of parchment, or use 8” round pans for a higher cake.
  2. Mix flour and baking powder in a bowl & set aside.
  3. Add sugar to large mixing bowl. Heat the water and add to the sugar and beat a few seconds to dissolve the sugar, then add the butter, vanilla and salt. yellow cake1
  4. Add the oil and mix on medium speed to blend. By hand, alternate flour and buttermilk, starting & ending with flour. Then add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly. yellow cake2
  5. Pour batter into prepared pans. Drop pans onto counter a few times to get out any bubbles. Bake for about 25 minutes, but start checking with a toothpick at 18 minutes. yellow cake3
  6. Cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.yellow cake4

I obviously didn’t drop my pans enough. I thought this came out really well- very moist. It was a bit too sweet for my taste when it was freshly baked, but it tempered a bit the next day and after. It stayed very moist & fresh tasting (the buttermilk?) for several days on the counter. Next time I may decrease the sugar a few tablespoons or increase the vanilla and/or salt. I also didn’t frost it-too lazy and stressed! It was perfect lunch bag cake, though!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

Where we last left off with “Garden Grew”:


After this weekend, I’ve finished page 8, and started page 9:


A close-up of my work:


I finished this freebie too:

Ink Circles Pinwheel Flowers

“Pinwheel Flowers” by Ink Circles

32 ct. Jobelan “Ivory” w/ Thread Gatherer’s Silken Colors “Men-on-a-Pause