Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy Valentine Week

We used to make a big deal of Valentine's Day....not in a romantic way at all....but as an excuse to buy treats for the girls.  We decorated a little tree with hearts (wonder what happened to those?) and the Valentine Monster visited with fun things.  Some day I want to revive the Valentine Monster in the form of a softie...why didn't I think of that a few weeks ago?

I have been working on a Valentine project as a way to practice embroidery.  And I have been using this project as a way to stay awake while watching television in the evening.  It is another Wendi Gratz pattern.

You could do a lot with these.  The pattern shows them as a mobile.  You could make them into sachets or brooches too.  For now these will just reside in the Valentine bowl with a couple of knitted, felted hearts that a made a few years ago and a couple of Wild Olive hearts that I made with my mentee, Meosha, 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Elephants and Bears

Actually the title should be Elephant (singular) and Bears.  Hopefully there will be more elephants and there  will definitely be more bears.  We have been accumulating old t-shirts for years.  Both of my girls have quilts made from their t-shirts.  Cara made her own...with a little help from me...and I made Jo's several years later.  I have also made scarves, reusable grocery bags, and aprons from t-shirts.  But one can only gift so many aprons, one only needs so many grocery bags, and I don't think the scarves were much of a hit.  I decided it was time to get a little more creative.

This elephant is made from the same pattern that I used for a red fleece elephant last spring.  The pattern is by Wendi Gratz of Shiny Happy World.  Fleece is definitely easier to sew than t-shirt fabric.  The t-shirt fabric curls and puckers and crawls.  I use a lot of pins.  He is pretty soft and cuddly...sort of marsh mallowy.

The bears are also from one of Wendi's patterns.  The pattern is what I would call baby-size but you could easily enlarge it.  But this size is great for showcasing interesting bear bellys.  I have already found and cut out more bellys for more bears.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cheddar and Jalapeno Muffins

What is it about January that makes one want to eat mass quantities of cheese?  This couldn't be good for ones digestive system.  But we have found ourselves doing just that.  There was the Vermont Cheddar Cheese Soup a couple of weeks ago.  I love that soup.  And then, the same weekend, there was Ham and Linguine Casserole (made with the leftover Thanksgiving/Christmas ham...yes, it has been in the freezer...taking up way too much space).  Last weekend I noticed that I had all these little nubs of leftover cheese....and two containers of leftover rice (how did that happen?) and leftover quinoa.  Time for rice cakes...oh my.  Just dump the rice/quinoa, grated cheese, chopped onions (or whatever you have) and an egg (or more depending on how much needs to be bound together).  Make little cakes and fry them up in some canola oil.  So good!!!

And today, while watching the Super Bowl, we will indulge in a treat I have only seen eaten in South Hill, VA....Ritz crackers, sharp cheddar, and sweet onions.  I swear it is just delicious.

All this cheese has made me think of Cheddar and Jalapeno Muffins that I made in August to take to a weekend-long family wedding event in Asheville, NC.  There were lots of people staying in three houses and elsewhere.  I took muffins to help feed the masses.  They were so good and cheesy.

So I need an excuse to make these again.  I always need an excuse for baking.  I can't just have this stuff around the house.  We are going to Brooklyn at the end of the month....on the train...seven of us.  A six-hour train trip means food and drink and lots of fun.  And these muffins will be perfect with a long tall bloody mary :).