Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wishful Wednesday Wrecipes

I haven’t done much cooking this week; well, I have, just nothing unusual or new or interesting. The “newest” thing was finding that Bull’s Eye Barbeque sauce is back:

bullseye bbq

They have this new flavor called Texas Style which has a touch of chipotle & mesquite. It’s very good! I threw a pork roast & 3/4 of a bottle in a crock pot the other night and the results were yummy. Tonight I used up almost all the rest on some baked chicken breasts.

Since I’ve spent the last few days on the edge of my seat between my septic & my watery basement (i.e: sump pump), I’m calling a pass and giving you all a new web site link:

It’s a visual recipe index. It shows a photo (all stunning) of each recipe and you click on the photo which takes you to the webpage hosting the written recipe. I DID find that a couple of links didn’t  work, but at last count there are  2245 pages to scroll thru.

I also managed to finish this:

gazette94 Noel freebie

“Noel” from Gazette94 on 32 ct. ivory jobelan with DMC 4210 over dyed floss.

Now I can go on to Quaker Halloween and Gingerbread Cottage without guilt.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It Stopped!!!

The rain has ended! My trepidation at coming home to face god knows what in the basement was alleviated by the sound of my still-working sump pump, and the sight of receding water at the foot of my cellar stairs- which is one of my higher spots. Emily flushed the toilet, and nothing backed up into the toilet, nor caused the standing water around the lid of my septic tank outside to turn brackish, meaning that it’s just surface water collecting in the low spot around the cover. Knock on wood, but I should be good until Friday for the Pooper Scooper vacuum.

Here are my photos:

Quaker Halloween:

CS Quaker Halloween2

This one just pleases me to no end- the flosses, the fabric- I could just work on this and be happy!

Gingerbread Cottage:


Those confetti stitches (3 different colors!) were a huge PITA. More than several had to be loop-started because they were in the middle of no where.

And, unfortunately, it seems I’m only able to work on 2 things at once, because I haven’t picked Noel back up. I MUST get that finished by tomorrow! Maybe if I wake up tonight again…..

Rain, rain go away.....

I DO have some progress on BOTH new projects (woohoo!) but not the energy to take photos (PFFFSTT!) I went with Em Saturday to a used tack sale at a local barn, to sell. We met my aunt there & we shared a table; she does pastel animal portraits (very nice ones). And it was freezing!!!!
Sunday was spent doing all the things I couldn't do Saturday. However, I SHOULDN'T have done the 2 loads of wash. Too late now though. When I left for work this morning I had a 1/4" of water on the basement floor, and my sump pump cycling every 23 seconds. I left instructions for the 2 guacamoles to NOT flush the toilets for liquids, and try to keep a "solids" flush at 1 per person. I thought the weather girl said the buckets of rain would be easing up this afternoon, but no such luck yet.
The neighbors across the street were bailing out their basement (UGH- they have a split level- and it's finished!) at 5:30 this morning, while a strong smell of septic filled the air. (Theirs, I'm afraid.) (Or more to the point- I HOPE it wasn't mine!!) Luckily I have a huge collection of empty, large, horse supplement buckets and ran over with 4 more for them. They were appreciative. I almost didn't as pay back for all the inconvenience they cause me by their day care business (tons of cars blocking my driveway at 7 am and 5 pm) , but I figured it was better to take the high road and be a nice(r) neighbor. I told Em to NOT walk in the street puddles in case it was septic backup they were bailing into the street. (ICK!)
Once the rain actually stops, the water table starts dropping very quickly, thankfully. I scheduled a septic pump Friday as a preventative measure, anyway. Hopefully, I'll make it until then.
It could really stop raining right now, though, and I would be EVER so grateful! I woke up last night around 2:30 am when the rain started coming down hard; I'd almost fall back asleep and then I'd jump awake out of fear that the pump stopped. I ended up watching TV until almost 4, then getting up at 5:30. Not fun.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Because I WANT to..

I decided on my next project. And it will be……

these TWO:

CS Quaker Halloween1

Cherished Stitches “A Quaker Halloween Sampler” on 40 ct. unknown creamy colored linen with my floss substitutions. I’ll probably stitch this with one strand over 2.



Little House Needle works “Gingerbread Cottage” on 32 ct. Irish linen- “Natural” I guess. I bought a set of table linens: 4 woven linen place mats and 4 linen napkins at a yard sale about 15 years ago. This is one of the napkins. I’m using the as-called-for flosses.

And I’m still working on this:

noel freebie4

“Noel Freebie” on 32 ct. Jobelan “Ivory” with DMC 4610 variagated floss.

Here’s some ebay stash I won last week:

9 ebay silks

All Silk “N Colors. The 4 on the right are Limited Edition ‘09 colors. And the seller threw in the random skein of DMC (I guess).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

So Em wanted to try those frozen broccoli-stuffed chicken breasts that you see the ads for every night; you know- the one with his head stuck in the freezer and the wife says he’s in a dinner coma or something? Well, they’re just under $5 for a package of 2 tiny little croquette-looking things. And they apparently weren’t very tasty. Edible, but bland. So I said “Well I could make those! Those would be easy.” And if you watched Julia Child (“Bon appetit!”) in the French Chef as I did when I first was out on my own, you would know just how easy it is to make these!

Broccoli Stuffed Chicken Breasts

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, cooked & chopped
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices provolone cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • salt & pepper
  • oil
  • toothpicks
  1. Break egg into a pie plate, whisk with 2 TBSP water and set aside. Spread panko crumbs on another shallow plate or wax paper and set aside.
  2. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the onion. Saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 4 minutes. Don’t let the garlic brown!
  3. Stir in broccoli and season with salt & pepper. chixbroccoli1 Remove to a bowl. Stir in shredded cheese. chixbroccoli2 Set aside to prepare chicken.
  4. Wipe pan clean and add enough oil to coat bottom by ¼ inch, and continue to heat over medium heat.
  5. Pound each chicken breast to about 3/8” thick. Top with a half slice of provolone each. Put about 3 TBSP scoop of broccoli mixture in center of each breast. Pull edges of chicken over and around filling, pinning with toothpicks as necessary to hold filling in place.
  6. Dip bundle into egg wash, turning to coat all sides, then dredge with panko crumbs, covering completely. Repeat with other chicken breasts. Place each stuffed breast into heated sauté pan. chixbroccoli4 When crust is deep golden brown, carefully turn and brown other side. We are JUST browning the crust- NOT trying to cook it completely!
  7. In the meantime, preheat oven to 375 degrees, and spray a 9” x 9” baking dish with vegetable spray. When chicken is browned on each side, place in baking dish. chixbroccoli5 Bake uncovered for about 18 minutes, or until meat thermometer reads 175 degrees. Serve with rice or noodles.

You’ll just have to imagine the completely finished product- the 2 guacamoles scarfed these babies before I remembered to take one last picture. They said it was excellent. Good to know!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


As everyone’s favorite unwed woman of a certain age, THE Spinster Stitcher , might say. Here in all its unironed glory; behold:

The Great Pumpkin Conspiracy

The Cricket Collection’s “The Great Pumpkin Conspiracyon 28 ct. LSL “Exemplar”with WDW and GAST substitutions for most of the DMC as well as the as-called-for Silk’N Colors silk threads

I’m only 90% sure I’ve got the fabric right- I just went diving thru all the crap in my bedroom looking for the receipt and/or the bag the fabric came in. I found an empty bag marked such near the top of the bin where I usually keep my fabric. (And I’m sure you all can believe how many other charts I found that I forgot I had purchased!!)

Then I moved back to this:

noel freebie3

My Noel freebie. I was fairly certain what I wanted to start next, but based on a couple of the forgotten items I just found, now I’m not sure.

I had to barn sit last night while Jodi & her husband went to visit Jodi’s daughter who just had her first baby.

It was SOOOO pleasant today being able to walk the dog this afternoon with just a t-shirt and jeans and no jacket! I turned Axe out naked! I figured she could use some sunshine on her coat to help soak up some vitamin D!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Belated happy Birthday!

2010 birthday axe 2

Someone's old enough to vote!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wicked Wednesday Wrecipes

I get some of Martha Stewart’s newsletters in my email; this one came a couple of weeks ago and knowing I was due to make the weekly stitching snack last week, I printed it out.

I was a bit skeptical when the “dough” was finished in its bowl: it looked like a bowl of moist crumbs!

But I followed her directions, and pressed it very firmly in the pan (I used a piece of plastic wrap to press thru) and viola! It worked! These were excellent, and not too difficult. The other girls liked them too.

Almond Fruit Bars

  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¾ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup fruit jam (I used low sugar strawberry)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8” square baking dish. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter & sugars on high until light and fluffy; beat in egg yolk. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture. Stir in almonds.almond fruit bar2
  3. In a small bowl whisk jam to loosen it up to spread more easily. Gently press half the dough into bottom of prepared pan.

almond fruit bar1

4. With the back of a spoon, spread jam over dough, leaving a ¼ inch border so jam doesn’t stick to sides of pan. almond fruit bar3

5. Sprinkle remaining dough over top all the way to the edges; press firmly to form top layer. Use a piece of wrap to keep your hands clean.almond fruit bar4

6. Bake until top is golden, 25-30 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Cut into bars with serrated knife.

almond fruit bar6

Monday, March 15, 2010

I’m stitching as fast as I can!


I have those flame-y things around the sun and its crown and  I think there’s a couple of little floating things to the right of the sun- and that’s on this side of the design. I have some bits and vines on the left side to do, plus finish the zig-zags to the left.

Em has one job offer and there’s an excellent chance she can still get into Smartpak, just not in the position she really wants. There are pros and cons to each job. It’ll be a tough decision, but at least she has a choice in this economy!

I have to find something to eat!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Close but no Cigar….


It’s getting there…

Here’s Chicken trying to scratch her back on her toy:

rolling chickie

wheres my toy

“Where’d it go???”

For the cat lovers:


A video for all dog lovers

A video for all dog lovers
Chickie is jealous.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

Trial and error has led me to this combination of ingredients for Chili. Feel free to adjust amounts to your own tastes. This is hot enough for me, and I’m a lightweight; you may want to add an additional jalapeno. It looks like a daunting amount of ingredients, but you’ll probably have most of them in your cupboard already. The Rotel is available in whitebread suburbs of Boston. Use regular diced tomatoes if necessary.

Excellent Chili

  • ½ to ¾ lb hamburger
  • 1-1/2 lb chuck stew meat, cut into ¾” cubes
  • 1 cup flour seasoned with salt & pepper or seasoned salt
  • 1 onion, chopped into tiny dice
  • ½ large green pepper, chopped into tiny dice
  • 2-3 fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP oregano
  • 1-2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 can beer
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed (15 oz)
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes with lime juice & cilantro (10 oz)
  • 1 can beef broth (14 oz)


  1. Brown hamburger in Dutch
  2. oven until no longer pink. Remove from pan & set aside.
  3. Dredge cubed chuck in flour; shake off excess. Saute meat in batches in leftover hamburger fat until no longer pink and browned on all sides, removing to a dish until all meat is cooked. chili2
  4. Add onion, peppers & garlic. Saute until soft. Add spices and tomato paste and cook additional 2-3 minutes. Add ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Add beer, cover and let steam for 3 minutes to loosen browned bits from bottom of pot.
  6. Add reserved meat cubes and hamburger back to pot, then add remaining tomato products and beef broth. Stir to combine, scraping up bits from bottom of pot. chili3
  7. Cover tightly, and bake in 275 deg. oven for 8 hours. (OR for 3-1/2 to 4 hours at 325 degrees) Taste test a piece of stew meat. If it’s soft, it’s done.


Topped with shredded cheese and sour cream! I also like to serve it over rice; Em likes it over couscous.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Some stitching…

noel freebie2

My Noel freebie. I’ve been stitching before I fall asleep in bed. Nothing new to report on Pumpkins. My car has been running OK (knock on wood). I guess it’ll quit when it quits.

We’ve finally gotten some spring weather-yay! It’s my turn to make snacks this week for stitching night. I found a Martha Stewart recipe to try- a fruit bar thing. If I remember to take pictures, I’ll turn it into a WWW.

My mom got a good report from her surgeon- the bone is filling in and she can drive when she feels up to it.

LOST tonight!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Just When you thinks are going OK…..

So I’m driving home Thursday afternoon, all excited because it’s stitching night, going 65 mph (speed limit) on the highway, minding my own business, and my engine dies! No sputtering, no shaking, no lights, no warning! I’m so nonplussed it takes more than a few seconds to realize “Hey! I’ve got no engine! I better get off the highway!” Which I do, without incident. I have steering, brakes, lights, radio,wipers, heat, fan but no engine.

I have it towed to the local garage- only 5 minutes away ( I was SOOOOOOOOO close!)I figure it has to be the fuel filter at minimum, fuel pump at worst. No big deal. It’s a little disappointing that my 2006 Corolla, with less than 72,000 miles had an important component fail, but it’s not the end of the world. I have noticed I can hear the pump cycling down when I shut off my car every night and have always told myself “Well, THAT will be the first thing to go!”  Just a whole bunch of added stress to my life I really didn’t need. I ended up walking to Joanne’s for stitching for the de-stress. It helped a lot and then my stitching peeps made me feel all warm and fuzzy with offers of rides/cars/wine! (you guys are the BEST- you know that, right?? Thanks to you all!)

On the walk over, I called my boss and he let me have the day off Friday. (Yippee! Stitching day!)

On Friday, by noon, I’m biting my nails from nervousness “Why hasn’t he called?? If it’s the fuel pump he needs to call to have me Ok the work and have time to get the part delivered and I REALLY want my car for the weekend” So I decide to torture myself and Google “2006 Corolla engine stops suddenly”. Bad, bad, bad idea. Especially if one is prone to stress. Turns out, while I’ve been sitting all smug on my high horse because my year Toyota is NOT affected by the recent brake issues, my year Toyota DOES have issues with the main computer! Enough documented cases that the NHSTA started an investigation last November, but not enough (yet) to issue a recall, but enough that Toyota apparently extended the warranty on this component from 60, 000 miles/60 months to 80, 0000 miles/84 months, but not enough (yet) to actually tell any of us 2006 owners that we may have a problem!!! Plus, in my reading various hits to my search, I found most complainers were saying that dealers were taking weeks to have the part delivered (backorders for all the faulty computers being replaced), and then having the new computer fail again. Not good, not good, not good!!!!!!So I wait until 1:30 and call my garage, and mention my suspicions of the fuel pump, and of my research into the computer problems.

When He finally called back at 4:15, it was to tell me that yes, it was the computer, and I’d have to have it towed to the dealer about 10 miles away. When I called them, the secretary sounded harried “You’ll have to call in the morning, we close at 6:00, we’re awfully busy, we may not be able to get to it….” So not helpful! I then arrange for a AAA tow for Saturday am, and gear myself up for a huge battle with Giant Corporation which has been inundated recently with thousands of recalled cars, and may not want to deal with something that is not a recalled item, but possibly a warranty item (a very expensive warranty item). And I stress over having to try to negotiate a loaner car, and how much will this cost if they deem it NOT under warranty…..not a good night!

So I meet Mr.. tow truck man, who works for “Murphy Towing” (now that’s a good sign!) at 7:45 am. He’s nice, and he takes the initiative by dropping my car right in front of the showroom, which caused Mr.. harried service expediter to run over “You can’t park there! We need these spots for sales!! Parking is at a premium! Can you move it around back?” I suspect he was sweating over yet another vehicle being dropped off by a tow truck where every customer could see. Then Mr.. Tow truck man waves me off when I try to pay him the per mile charge over and above the first 3 miles free- it would have been about $15, but he said because I was a Murphy, he would call us even! Sweet!! I made sure to mention to Mr.. harried service expediter that my daughter went to school with dealership owner’s daughter and could he promise me they’d get to my car today pretty please?? So I turned my info in, and the service manager seemed OK with it all- not defensive like I expected, and familiar with the problem. He’s the one who even offered that Toyota extended the warranty on the computers. And in less than 3 hours, they were calling my name, and Mr.. Service Manager thought he’d kid me and say “Yes- you need a new engine.” When my eyes rolled back in my head he then said “Just kidding! It WAS the computer. We’ve replaced it- we had one in stock. You’re all set, it was under warranty.”

Another nonplussed moment! 2 in less than 3 days! I was home before 11:00. i must say, although I have lost confidence in Toyotas as a product, and in my car in particular (even though this was the very first problem I’ve had), I must say this local dealership helped earn some of that trust back with how smoothly and quickly they handled my problem.

End  of a very long saga in an effort to totally cleanse myself of any associated lingering stress.

Here’s some stitching progress (I ended up doing my checkbook ALL day- which alleviated some background stress):

Pumpkins: it’s getting there!!!


and I started that Noel freebie:

noel freebie

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wise Wednesday Wrecipe

So I took Mark Bittman’s banana bread recipe from “How to Cook Everything”, and adjusted it some to make it lower sugar and lower carbs for Diabetic Boy. I opted for muffins so that one serving would be self-explanatory to a ravenous man. (One muffin = one serving-DOH!) I ran the nutritional analysis thru my old Master Cook software, and came up with 25.3 g carbs and 3.2 g fiber per muffin. I will scout out more analysis programs online. They tasted pretty good, although a lot of the butter wept thru the papers (which made them lower in fat, perhaps???) The bran was evident in the texture and the flavor, but not in a bad way. They just seemed nuttier. I would make these again.

Adam’s Banana Nut Muffins

(makes 6 muffins- 22 net carbs per muffin)

  • 4 TBSP softened butter
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ cup bran
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup Splenda sugar substitute
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup nuts

adams muffins1

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 6 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream butter, then beat in the bananas and egg and vanilla. adams muffins2
  4. Stir this mixture into dry ingredients, then gently fold in the nuts. Do not over mix.
  5. Divide batter equally between muffin cups, and bake for 20-25 minutes or golden brown. Toothpick tester may show moist crumbs.

adams muffins3

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A NEW Record....

4 posts in a day!!!!!
I corrected the link to the Noel chart in the previous post. My cut/paste action was faulty. So sorry! How about a correction to the correction to the correction......I've been watching too much LOST and its conundrums...

Here's the Correct Chart

Gazette 94 Noel freebie

How to Rescue an Avalanche Victim - wikiHow

How to Rescue an Avalanche Victim - wikiHow

Just in case your hitting those Vancouver slopes now that the Olympicss are over......


I just realized while checking my links in my previous post that the photo of Carol's ornament is NOT the same as the chart. She gave Gazette 94 credit for the design so it must be there somewhere- more browsing time is in order!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cough, cough…

Em’s horse was covered in mud today. it took almost an hour to scrub her clean. I feel all grimy and dirty; my nose is filled with dirt. Good news, though: for some reason she’s not so tickly this spring. All I got was a bare wave of her tail when I curried then brushed under her belly! Usually I’d get a cow kick aimed at my head!

I finished this last night before bed:


So that’s February’s ornament done (but not done done). I think I’m going to do this from Gazette 94, a new to me blog. She has some gorgeous freebies!  Carol S. from Garden of Stitches stitched it recently- scroll down to her Feb.14th post. I got DMC 4210 variegated red. My mom is going to do this one too. (she actually pointed it out to me). I haven’t pulled out a fabric yet. (Put that on the To-Do list)

Em returns from FLA and mom’s house tomorrow. Hilarity will ensue, to be sure!