December 30, 2010

The Feast

Oh My!!! The time between Christmas and New Years should be called 'The Feast'. This is the only time of the year where basically almost everyone eats non-stop. Chocolate, turkey, chocolate, turkey buns, treats, turkey soup, dessert, ... 

Looking back, 2010 has been a year of change for me. So keeping with the continuity of change, prime rib instead of turkey and strawberry shortcake instead of pumpkin pie. What a treat!

My sister brought this delightfully tasty crunchy salad that she found at instead of orange-pineapple jelly salad.


Combine ingredients:
1 c. chopped cauliflower
1 c. diced celery
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen peas (thaw in fridge overnight)
1/4 c. diced green onion

Salad dressing: *
1 c. Ranch dressing
1/2 c. sour cream

Add as garnish or mix in: **
1/2 lb. crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled
1 c. cashews added


* we only used half
** added just before serving

from Kirkland Signature Whole Strawberry Bag

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
Additional sugar

2 1/2 cups whole frozen strawberries
1 cup whipping cream, whipped and sweetened

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg into large bowl.
Cut in butter to resemble coarse meal.
In bowl blend milk and egg yolks with fork.
Stir into flour mixture to make a soft dough.
Divide dough into 6 portions; form into balls.
Pat balls out on greased baking sheet to 3-inch circles, moistening fingers with egg whites.
Brush cakes with egg whites. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in preheated 450 degree oven 10-12 minutes until golden.
Remove from rack; cool.
Sweeten strawberries to taste.***
Halve the cakes horizontally.
Fill and garnish with strawberries and whipped cream.

*** I put the whole strawberries into a large bowl to thaw. When the strawberries were slightly thawed I sliced them then let them completely thaw in fridge. Because strawberries are already sweet, I did not sweeten them. But, I made a rum sauce to pour over the strawberries.

Layered: top to bottom
Whipped cream
Rum sauce
Top of shortcake
Whipped cream
Rum sauce
Bottom of shortcake

Rum Sauce Serves 6. Created on the fly
1/2 cup butter - Melt on medium heat in sauce pan
1/2 cup sugar - Stir in sugar
1 cup water - Carefully add - there will be spitting and splattering
Milk - Approx 1/4 to 1/2 cup
Butter rum flavoring or Rum - Add to taste
Cornstarch - Approx 1 1/2 Tablespoons - add gradually until thickened


December 23, 2010

Reorganization Continues

The reorganization continues very slowly but surely. Have now gone through two 3 cu. ft. moving boxes filled with WIPs. Work In Progress sounds so much better than UnFinished Objects.

For many years I had no intention of completing the quilts. They were part of my thirst for knowledge on techniques. When I started quilting, for the second time, I became a sponge. Classes here, classes there, and more classes everywhere. There was and still is so much to learn.

Also in the boxes were some of my first block of the month designs. The 2 star quilts are same pattern. One is country, the other is contemporary. If you look close at the quilt on the right side, you can see the odd green piece. I said to Donna, one of my testers, wouldn't it be cool to put lime green in some of the blocks. I was thinking inside the box, a center or corners. She was thinking outside the box, only one piece anywhere in the block. How ingenious!

For the last couple weeks it's been nose down and pedal to the metal. One would think that these quilts had to be done for Christmas. Completing borders, making regular backs, making art backs, getting ready for the longarm quilter.

It was fantastic to use fabrics from the stash. Particularly, the ruler fabric without having to cut it up. A few more meters gone!

And to use 9 of the left blocks, that didn't make it into a previous quilt, for the back of a table topper.

Then, there is this very old round robin row quilt. The quilt began with the bargello. You remember the Bargello? I had a fat quarter color run that worked perfectly.

The next person thought the bargello looked like the northern lights, Aurora Borealis.

Now, take the bargello row apart and put it around the top of the quilt.  Voila, the northern lights!

Add the bottom row. Carol, a geologist, said it was a cross section of the geological formation under my house. At the time, thought it was cool because I had also studied geology. Wasn't going to use this row but when some of the medium brown was cut off, excavated, it worked perfectly!

Notice how the trees have moon glow from the silver lame moon in the previous row.

Inner Border - Only top and both sides. No bottom inner border.
Outside Border - navy with gold stars sewn at an angle to a navy with light blue hi lites.

A perfect work of art!

December 22, 2010

Lunar Eclipse 2010 Winter Solstice

Watching the 2010 winter solstice lunar eclipse was fantastic!!! My sister, the shutterbug, sat up to watch it in another part of the city; I set my alarm clock every 10-15 minutes to look out my window. Unfortunately, the moon clouded over just after total eclipse and I didn't see the red moon. However, the snow was reflecting the red color. Way cool!!! These are her photos and this is a You Tube time lapse of the Lunar Eclipse in Calgary by another person in Calgary.

December 11, 2010

Side Tracked, Again!

It's so easy for me to get side tracked from reorganizing. No, haven't finished the Hallowe'en quilt. Yes, am still reorganizing.

Found this block all cut and ready to piece together. Better finish it before pieces go missing. It's the last of 12 blocks from Traditional Pastimes Freebie 15.

Corner trees are rotated so that they point around the outside of quilt. Row 2 column 1 block is a basket on it's side. Now what to make for alternate blocks? Yeah, play time in EQ.

I skipped some steps in EQ. The block pattern works but the center color isn't quite right for me.

Audition fabrics from the stash.

Voila, another quilt for Victoria Quilts!

December 5, 2010

Whirlwind Day Escape

Yes, just as the title says, I escaped to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada for the day from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Back in the late 70's, I took a 50 minute flight to Nisku, Alberta on a 747 to meet my DH and spend the weekend together. Besides being 5 miles from Edmonton's International Airport, Nisku was then a wide spot in the freeway where people in the oil patch accumulated at the beginning or end of their weeks in the field.

Anyways, there were only 7 passengers on this huge airplane. So when only 4 of us were getting off I asked the flight attendant where the plane was continuing to. Amsterdam! Okay! How do I stay on the plane and continue to Amsterdam?! Ever since then it has been in the back of my mind to jet set to Amsterdam for the day.

Okay, so Ottawa's not Amsterdam, BUT, what indescribable fun it was to fly there, tour for 4 hours and fly home.

- fly to Ottawa;
- 20 minute bus ride to downtown - buses have their own bus only road system;
- picture of my initials on ornament in Fairmont Chateau Laurier
- walk across the Rideau Canal - getting ready for winter Rideau Canal Skateway; (Note to bucket list: skate down the Rideau Canal)
- visit Canada's Parliament Hill
- purchase souvenir key chains for Christmas ornaments
- fly home to Lucky.

Welcome to Ottawa

Initial OrnamentRideau Canal

Canada's Parliament Hill
+5 and raining
Souvenir Key Chain
Christmas Ornaments

Lucky -
"and where have you been?"