Monday, January 15, 2018

This is Something A-ccoking!

We are using that IP (Instant Pot) !  Yay!

First up:  Steel Cut Oats!  On a cold day, there is nothing like a bowl of steel cut oatmeal for breakfast. The previous recipe I used from Alton Brown called for overnight in the slow cooker.  The oats were always ready for the breakfast, but OMG in the IP we can have Oatmeal in 3 minutes--not instant oatmeal either--the Steel Cut Oats!!  Delicious!

The IP recipe called for Almond Mlk or non-dairy--you could also use Coconut milk--we don't usually drink almond milk but sometimes, if I have it on hand,  I make hot cocoa -nice and rich and less calories too.  -

Next up:  Butternut Squash Soup!  Cooking the squash in the oven was my go to thing. The IP makes it easy peazy!  Cut up the squash into small pieces--add to IP, add liquid--I use chichen broth to get started.  This time, I had mango on hand and added it to the IP--First, I sauted onions in the IP--soo cool that you can do it all in the one pot!  Set machine to 8 minutes--I don't have an immersion blender so I transfer it to my regular blender, add some heavy cream (left over from pie days), salt, pepper, agave nectar for sweetness, little ginger and gram marsla,  blend!  Yummy good!  Drop a dollop of sour cream on top--

I love split pea soup--here we add onion, carrots, smoked sausage
instead of ham, little salt and cook 9 minutes--
and we have the most awesome split pea soup!  
Yummy!  and I didn't even need to put it through a blender
to puree the peas.
I know all I've made so far is soft stuff--I'm working my
nerve up to cooking meat!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Ready, Set, Start....

I'm beginning three new KALs (Knit Alongs) this month--will I continue or finish?
That's another thing, can't finish anything, if you don't begin!

I found some Malabrigo yarn in my stash--this KAL
suggests at least four colors and 4 colors of Malabrigo is
exactly what I have!  This is designed by
Heather Anderson on Ravelry.  So far, it has been
a "Joyful" knitting experience--learning to use
German way to short row knitting

As usual, one of my favorite designers,
Elizabeth Ravenwood, has another great
lace pattern--Shetland Lace--years ago when
I took a Shetland lace knitting workshop with
Margaret Stove, I wasn't convinced I would like
to knit lace--now, give me the right needles and yarn,
and I'm off!  You can find this Shetland Lace
pattern on Ravelry as well

One of the groups I enjoy on Ravelry (just don't 
know what I'd do without Ravelry!) is Fingerless Gloves--
We are knitting a mysterious FLG pattern designed by
Sabine Kastner--happily named "Winding Stairway"
Mitts--I decided to knit two at a time and in order
to keep it straight in my mind, I'm using dark gray
for the left hand and light gray for right hand.
Some beads are involved too-
maybe, I'll switch colors in the next clue.

So, I've begun..........
let''s hope I finish!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

New Year With Ex-Pats

The Expatchers gathered on a cloudy January Tuesday to share our holiday joys.
We also have our quilting to show off as well.
I was stitching the binding down on my friendship Texas quilt--
which prompted Judy to bring out her finished quilt.
She used red as her blending fabric.  Each of the
members exchanged 5" squares of Texas theme fabric last year--

Judy had a very colorful bluebonnet fabric for her backing

Sandy had quilted Linda's friendship and had it
for us to see--her blending fabric looked like
leather or suede--perfect setting

Here is mine.  I used batik bluebonnet fabric and
binding it with red--didn't have enough of the bluebonnet

I used just a plain 90" wide backing--

Sandy had also finished quilting Linda's 'kit' quilt
the fabric colors are smashing--and the border really
pulls it all together.

Here is the quilting on the border.
These days when we have finished quilts to
show are the best!

We moved to Judy's long arm to see her latest creation--
this is a charity quilt for her church's silent auction.
She had a panel of a Christmas tree and set it
in this window pane display.  Once quilted, she
will add sparkles throughout--

Really liked her border--but the gold quilting pattern
is lost on this busy pattern.

Annette has begun work on her birthday fat quarter exchange quilt
She ask for neutrals which will be used in this Churn Dash
pattern from Fons and Porter book of 2002--small blocks---
Annette colors for sure!
Next on Judy's list is another "Yellow Brick Road" quilt--
super charity quilt.
Love these days when we can share and chat--we miss
those who were unable to attend though.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Instant! Oh, Almost........................

I received an Instant Pot for Christmas!  Yes, I requested one and now I'm on another adventure...............  learning how to work with this new thing! 

If you are not aware--this is programable pressure cooker--
no, not like the old ones we used that you worried about
This marvel cooks in less time, uses less energy and
creates one pot meals!

I was so excited to try it out--read all the brochures,
watched YouTube videos and looked up recipes.

First off, it is recommended you boil water. to see if the
machine is working correctly--well,
I didn't just want to boil water--I went to the next test--
cook eggs--hardboil those eggs!!
it WORKED--quickly!  Nice easy peeling eggs too!

Next, I made a quiche with leftovers--
No heating the oven--just pour everything into the
Insta-Pot, set and forget!
AHHHH, a nice crustless veggie quiche!  

Beat eggs with little milk, add salt, pepper, veggies (I had 
aspargus, bell peppers, onion.  You can also add meat),
cheese and pour into  bowl, place in pot, turn on for 20 minutes
(time may vary), let natural release for 10 minutes--
open and eat that quiche!!

I'm on a roll--I'll post more recipes as I make
headway into this new adventure.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Roc Day or St. Distaff's Day

Distaff Day
Feast day
 Roc Day is celebrated by spinners and weavers as well as other fiber enthusiasts all over the worl.  It is a gathering of friends with common interestes in fibers...a celebration of the New Year, specifically for their art, and a way of paying homage to the past.
Happy treadling!

Distaff Day, also called Roc Day, is 7 January, the day after the feast of the Epiphany. It is also known as Saint Distaff's Day, one of the many unofficial holidays in Catholic nations. Wikipedia
Date7 January

"Partly work and partly play
You must on St. Distaffs Day:
From the plough soon free your team;
Then cane home and fother them: 
If the maids a-spinning go, 
Burn the flax and fire the tow. 
Bring in pails of water then, 
Let the maids bewash the men. 
Give St. Distaff' all the right:
Then bid Christmas sport good night,
And next morrow every one 
To his own vocation."

Friday, January 5, 2018

January's Color...............................RED

January’s designated colour is red. So the red teddy pattern will be first. This teddy is celebrating fresh starts and the courage to try new things. He is stepping out with the intention of improving something or discovering something. He has a butterfly on his tummy to remind him to never fear new beginnings or be ashamed to change his path for the better.
Here he is, hoping you might have someone in your life who needs a beary colourful teddy quilt. 🙂
Beary Colourful BOM logoHow it will work  The bear appliqué patterns will be free for you to download here from Clever Chameleon until the challenge is over.

Color has a huge impact on our emotions, our perceptions, and our spiritual and physical well being.
Red, the color of blood and fire, is associated with meanings of love, passion, desire, heat, longing, lust, sexuality, sensitivity, romance, joy, strength, leadership, courage, vigor, willpower, rage, anger, danger, malice, wrath, stress, action, vibrance, radiance, and determination.
Red is assertive, daring, determined, energetic, powerful, enthusiastic, impulsive, exciting, and aggressive. Red represents physical energy, lust, passion, and desire. It symbolizes action, confidence, and courage. The color red is linked to the most primitive physical, emotional, and financial needs of survival and self-preservation.
The color red is an intense color that is packed with emotion ranging from passionate, intense love to anger and violence — representing both cupid and the devil. It is a hot, strong, stimulating color that represents excitement and energy. Studies show that the color red can create physical effects such as elevated blood pressure, enhanced libido, increased respiratory rates, enhanced metabolism, increased enthusiasm, higher levels of energy, and increased confidence.
The color red is a highly visible color that is able to focus attention quickly and get people to make quick decisions, which is one of the reasons fire trucks and fire engines are usually painted red. Flashing red lights mean danger or emergency, while stop signs and stop lights use the color red to alert drivers about the dangers of the intersection.
Red represents power and courage. The color red is the basis of the traditional red power tie or red suit in business, and the red carpet for celebrities and VIPs. Red’s association with courage and bravery makes it a color that is used often in national flags, on shields, and in achievement patches.

Too much red causes loss of temper, agitation, anger, and overbearing, demanding, and oppressive behaviors. Too little red causes lethargic, cautious, whiny, and manipulative feelings. To get out of control emotions under control add green, the opposite of red. To get rid of exhaustion, add more red.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Got Winter Blues?

Baby, it's cold outside!  We are getting cabin fever--staying inside,
looking out the window--man, you could get the blues!

Here are some ways you can beat those winter blues:

How about sewing along last Wednesday of each month on 
"Three's Company"

Nine blocks, with three blocks inside each block--
sounds intriguing for sure!
check this out at Patchwork Posse

Bright, happy blocks invite you to come and play in an exciting, topsy turvy setting! Come join Fat Quarter Shop beginning January 2018 to July 2018 for the Clementine Quilt Along benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Our exclusive charity quilt along pattern measures 70.5″ x 90.5″. There is $5 donation to St. Judes each time you download one of the patterns. 

Sarah's Star Quilt Along begins January 15th --no photo available at this time.

I haven't finished my Grandma's Kitchen yet and here
I'm planning two more of Pat Sloan's quilt alongs.
One is Let's Go Camping  (block a month) and the other is
"In The Summer Time" block a week!  

And this one would be a great leader/ender project throughout
the year!  This comes from Christa Quilts
How about a Tea Party?  What fun!
This is beginning in January from Debby Kratovil Quilts