Saturday, February 25, 2012

Words To Live By

These wonderful words of wisdom were recently shared with a group that I love to spend time with. Beautiful and fun and funny women who just happen to be great quilters too.

(Also a winnie-ism, in case you didn't know it!!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Marking the Seasons

It's been 10 years.
10 years since we first drove up this winding little road.
This winding little road that goes up and up and up.

10 years since our first trip past the almond trees in bloom.
I mark the years we have lived here by those pink blossoms.

They haven't always looked so sparse. So neglected.
But the years have crept up on them. And so has the Spanish moss.
That is the way with time. It marches on. And things change.

Like our home.
When we first saw it, the hillside house with the red door, it looked like this:

Grandma Carol took this picture for us, and I am so grateful that she did.
We can look back because someone else looked forward and knew that we would want to.

This is a foggy morning shot of our house recently.

It's green now, not grey.
The oaks have grown and plants have been added.
And girls have grown up and moved away.
But the door is still red. And it still opens up to the place we call home.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Do you Fondue??

Valentine's Day is the perfect day to Fondue.
(So is the Saturday after Valentine's Day, if you were sick on the actual day!)

It's pretty. It's yummy. It's easy to prepare together.

And best of all.... it is just the 2 of you.

NEVER eat out on Valentine's Day.
(Unless, of course, you like to share your lover's evening with hoards of other people!!)
Oh no, never eat out on Valentine's Day.

Stay home and make cheese fondue.

Put your guy in charge of the meat fondue.
(Raw meat alert!!)

And the chocolate fondue... well make that together.
I forgot to take a picture of the chocolate, so just the dippers are here,
but they still look mighty yummy.

We like to use 3 different pots so we don't have to clean anything in between courses. And, each pot is a little different.
The green pot is for cheese. It is a light weight metal and has a stand that will accommodate the sterno container.

The bigger black pot is for the meat fondue. It is a heavy pot that sits on an electric burner. This is important because sterno just doesn't produce enough heat to keep the oil good and hot.

And the little black pot is for chocolate. It requires nothing more than a tea light to keep the chocolate all warm and yummy.

And how about a recipe or two?!

Classic Cheese Fondue is easy to make. The trick is to use a combo of Gruyère and Emmentaler cheeses. Click here for the recipe. (This recipe makes enough for about 6 people.)

Chocolate Fondue is equally easy. Try this super simple recipe. (Also serves about 4-6 people.)

The sauces, I think, are the trickiest thing to make. And they take awhile (which is precisely why I put my guy in charge of them!!) His solution was to use 1) ready made tartar sauce, 2) ready made BBQ sauce, 3) ready made sweet and sour sauce, and 4) his own homemade honey mustard. I would give you that recipe too, but it is his "secret recipe". So secret, in fact, that I don't even know what it is!

And, of course, you will need a tempura recipe for the meat and veggies. (We dipped some the the veggies into the cheese fondue and saved some for the tempura). Click here for a tempura recipe.

I guess that is just about everything I know about fondue!!
Except for this one little tid-bit: DON"T eat the fondue off your skewer, especially if you are enjoying it in a group!!! It's the fondue equivalent of double dipping. Use your little plate and fork.

Here's to fondue.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ride the Bus

I don't spend too much time on the bus..... but this is a cute video promo.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hot Toddy

I have been feeling a little puny the last few days. A lot puny, actually.

Last night I was telling my guy that I am pretty sure that I either have 1) a brian aneurysm, 2) cancer of the brain, or 3) an advanced-undiagnosed case of diabetes.
He said he was pretty sure that there is some minor little cold bug going around.

The sympathy level around here is so pathetic.

I made myself a nice little hot toddy and went to bed early. I slept all night long, which was a huge improvement over the night before.

I thought I would share my recipe for the best-ever Hot Toddy, just in case you are feeling puny too. A little sympathy from me to you.

Rana's Hot Toddy
~1 mug of decaf or herbal tea, good and hot (I like Red Rose decaf, black)
~1T honey
~the juice of 1/4 of a lemon
~1T brandy
Mix it all together and sip.

The honey will soothe a sore throat. The lemon and the steam are good for a stuffy head. And the brandy will help ease you right off into la-la land. All night long.

Here's to feeling better soon!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Block 6: The Cake Stand

Hello BOM Quilters!!

Please don't be too hard on me for getting to this at the last minute.
It has been a very busy day here. Crazy busy!!
But it is STILL Monday here in California (just barely). ((Wink)).

As promised, it is time to start putting all of your pieces together.

First, you are going to sew your 6 large string blocks together.

Then you are gonna add a little cake stand. A place to show off your pumpkin.

Do you like it??

Tips for Block 6.
~Be sure to turn off all scaling options when you print because this pattern has a template.
~If you have a problem area in your string blocks, think about positioning it in the center (so it will be covered by the pumpkin).
~Be sure to cut away the background that is underneath the cake stand. It will quilt up much more nicely if all of those seams are not accentuated.

I think that is it.
Happy stitching.

Get the pattern here.