Monday, January 31, 2011

Pinwheel Blocks Wheee!

Pinwheel Blocks 1

Last week, Jocelyn commanded that I start working on my Pinwheel Sampler Quilt again. Since she inspired me to start it over a year ago, I decided that it was only right that I listen to her directive. And since I found my sewing mojo during my Crafterday with Rachel, I spent a lot of my Sunday sewing.

Pinwheel Blocks 3

I am happy to say that I am halfway through the Pinwheels. It has been nice to see that my sewing skills have improved over the past year. I compared a block I made about a year ago with one I made today and there is a vast improvement! There is hope for me yet.

Pinwheel Blocks 2

I have the fabric cut for 6.5 more blocks and have run into a bit of an issue. I've run out of cream fabric! The one fabric I've been using to tie the quilt together. Normally this wouldn't be an issue but I joined the Stashpact in a solid attempt to use up my craft supplies instead of just adding to them.

Pinwheel Blocks 4

I think breaking the pact in this instance will be ok though. I'm only buying fabric to ensure that I finish a project I've started. Not buying the fabric would mean an unfinished project which is not really in the spirit of the pact. I am however going to buy my fabric online. If I head into a fabric store full of pretty, pretty fabric, I'm sure to fall down and buy something I don't need.

Pinwheel Blocks 5

Once I have more cream fabric, I'll be able to finish sewing up more blocks. Since I'm halfway done, I'm going to try to have this quilt finished by the end of March. It would make a wonderful Spring quilt!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Saturday morning, after a week of sickness, I awoke with a bounce in my step and a desire to cook. A few weeks ago on Twitter, someone spoke about delightful Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. This triggered a memory of some Lemon Ricotta Pancakes that I enjoyed in Portland back in December at Jam on Hawthorne. I knew that today was a day in which to enjoy such a delight.

Blueberry Compote

These pancakes take some time to prepare but that first bite makes it all worthwhile. They are a light and yet flavor punched pancake. Add blueberry compote and you have a serious treat on your hands. Add a bit of bacon and eggs to this meal for a breakfast that will carry you throughout the morning.

Blueberries


Friday, January 28, 2011

Just Breathe

Scott and I go to Portland, a lot. He has family down there and we like to visit them. The drive though can get boring. I mean, there is Olympia, an All-American City and we have our joke about Sleater-Kinney road and the all-girl punk rock band named after the road. We have our regular pit-stops (the Starbucks outside of Kelso has nice bathrooms).

On our last few trips, I decided to spice things up by taking photos with my iPhone. Then I decided to make a movie. This is that movie. I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blog Updates

I upgraded to the new blogger (which I think has been out for a few years now) and unfortunately lost your old delightful comments. Let's not worry about the loss and instead know that I love your comments and hope to see more of them in the future.

Now fingers crossed that I got everything back to the way it was before. Please ignore anything that looks wonky. Hopefully I'll get everything settled shortly.

Dining Room Re-deux

Along with finishing up the laundry room, I've also recently finished re-doing our dining room. It's been suggested that before photos make these decor posts much more fun, so without further adieu, here are the "before" photos from the real estate brochure.

North Ballard House 4 (2)

North Ballard House 5 (2)

Of course when we moved in, the furniture was gone and we were left with bare green walls, a cool chandelier and these great wood floors. Our inspector told us that the wood floor was probably original as it is top nailed oak flooring which was common in 1948 when the house was built.

Dining Room 1

The first thing I did was paint one of the walls a dark purple (Martha Stewart Chianti) and painted the other walls a sightly different shade of green (Martha Stewart Oolong Tea). I had to repaint all the walls as there were dings and holes from the previous owners. Also a nice fresh coat of paint always helps a room feel great.

Dining Room 3

The next step was to order furniture! I found this great table and buffet at Dania. It's a mango wood table and the chairs are extremely comfortable. We were a bit shocked as to how expensive chairs are. The six chairs were more expensive than the table. We're thrilled with our selection though.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday Web Links

Naughty Kitta Koo
Unrelated, Silly Photo

One of my favorite things about Not Martha is Meg's posts where she links to her favorite things from around the web. I've decided to stop hoarding all of these great links and start sharing them with you, my favorite people.

Without further adieu, here are some of my favorite links from around the web this week.

Crispy Spice Brined Pecans from Food52

Slow Cooker Vietnamese Chicken Pho Ga Noodle Soup from Steamy Kitchen

Fake Blueberries Abound in Food Products

Simply Perfect Chicken Enchiladas

Freezer Management

Julia and Ideas in Food

Silver

House Guest Welcome/Survival Kit

Yoshimi Looped Scarf

Bread by Capt. Mouffette

My Craftastic Board from Pinterest


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Favs

Flickr Favs

Current Flickr Favs...Photo Love!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Estoy Enfermo!

Read All About It

I had a wonderful vacation last week and this week when I returned to work, I was stuck down with a cold! I'm sick!

Athenian

I'll get better but I'm not pleased about this sick business! I guess it just means I'll have more time with the kittah-koo. She's sure to like that.

Kittah


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Shiny, Scrappy, Quilty

Star Blocks

I spent last week working hard to get my One Shiny Bee quilt blocks finished up.

Scrappy Block

And I'm quite happy with them! I'm now ready for some red and white quilt work that I hear is coming in February!

Scrappy Blocks


Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soups

Winter calls for soup. Since I love squash, I believe that winter calls for squash soup. Now, my husband would disagree, as he has a deep-seated hatred for squash. I, however, am not interested in letting his hatred for the most wonderful vegetable on this planet sway my beliefs and so I set about making Roasted Pumpkin Soup a few weeks back.

What is your favorite winter soup? Do you have a favorite squash?

Roasted Pumpkins

This soup would be perfect with any roasted squash but since I had two sugar pumpkins hanging out in my kitchen waiting for their day to shine, I stuck with pumpkin for this soup.

Pumpkins for Roasting

I must admit that I hate scraping out pumpkins. I hate the slimy feeling and how hard raw pumpkins are to cut. But I made it through and I'm glad I did because this soup was simply delicious and was well worth the time investment. You see when you have to roast pumpkins and then make a soup, it takes a bit of time. It's an investment that ends well though so I'd highly recommend taking the time to make this soup. However if you are short on time, you could buy pre-cut squash which roasts up a bit faster.

Pumpkin

I made a bit batch of this soup along with the recommended croutons. I had soup for lunch all week. It was a nice break in the middle of the workday, a nice reminder of home.

Steaming Pumpkin Soup

I highly recommend making this soup along with the croutons. Really, the soup is good but it is divine with the croutons.



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Love Scarf

Love Scarf Matya

Back in December, I asked my best friend what she wanted for Christmas while also telling her that she couldn't ask for world peace or a donation to some organization. I also told her that I would be happy to make a donation in her name BUT I was also going to give her an actual present, one that would hopefully make her happy.

Love Scarf

My best friend though is quite sassy and asked for world peace and love. She said she wanted love and that was that. I told her that I love her to which she replied that she appreciated my love but wanted romantic love.

Love Scarf Ends

Now that is a gift I know I can't provide so I thought and thought. Then I decided well if I couldn't snap my fingers and give her romantic love, I could knit her something and while knitting it, knit all the love I could into it.

Love Scarf Lace

Scott accompanied me to the yarn store where we found a yarn that reminded us of my best friend. Scott made the final selection based on how soft the yarn was. I bought three skeins and hurried home to figure out what I was going to knit. I searched Ravelry high and low until I found a wonderful pattern, the Strangling Vine Lace Scarf.

Love Scarf Folded

I knit and knit away on the Love Scarf for her. I knit until all the love I had was knit into the scarf. I've not given her the scarf yet as she's off traveling in India but I'm very excited to give her this present. I do hope that she feels all of the love that has been knit into it for her.

Love Scarf for Motty

Ravlery Details: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/ReeBeckiSupergrl/strangling-vine-lace-scarf


Monday, January 17, 2011

Washing Room, All Cleaned Up

Laundry Room

After almost a month of sanding, painting, washing and assembling, my Laundry Room is near completion. I started this project by making new drapes for the window above the washer and dryer.

Laundry Room Washer and Dryer

Then I tackled the walls. I filled in gaps, sanded down bumps and smoothed over areas. I took down the old shelving unit and put up a new one. (Though I do need to add one more support beam to the shelving unit. I painted everything white, everything.

Laundry Room Shelves

Now the only thing left is to do something about the horribly ugly and stained floor. Overall though I'm quite proud of the work I've done in this room. It's much brighter, lighter and overall quite awesome looking.

Laundry Room Love


Sunday, January 09, 2011

Weekend Breakfast

Dutch Baby Breakfast (1 of 1)

Weekend breakfasts are meant to be leisurely. They are the time when you can sit down with your loved ones and talk until your coffee runs cold. After my food experience this previous week, I decided that Saturday morning's breakfast called for something delicious, something not quite nutritious but something that would add a bit of pep to my soul.

I found a blog entry for that claimed to be the best Dutch Baby Pancake recipe ever on Food52.com

Dutch Baby Powered Sugar

I decided to try it out. The story behind the pancake was delightful and the recipe was dead simple. You mix a batter of flour, milk, eggs, and nutmeg and then pour it into a hot skillet filled with butter before baking the dish in the oven.

Dutch Baby Butter (1 of 1)

Your simple efforts are rewarded when you open the oven door to a poufy, toasted concoction of delight. Sprinkle some powered sugar and lemon juice on the Dutch Baby and your loved ones are sure to cheer. I added homemade preserves on the side before presenting breakfast to Scott.

Dutch Baby Sugar (1 of 1)

He couldn't stop talking about how good it was and then started asking me about the dish. I always know when I have a show stopping recipe in the house because Scott, who has no culinary inclinations, will start asking me about how the dish was made. I suspect this dish will be enjoyed in our house often.

Here's the entire recipe in case the link doesn't work:

1966: David Eyre’s Pancake
Serves 2 to 4

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Pinch of nutmeg
4 tablespoons (one half stick) of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Juice of half a lemon

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the flour, milk, eggs, and nutmeg in a bowl. Beat lightly. Leave the batter a little lumpy.

2. Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet with a heatproof handle. When it is very hot, pour in the batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pancake is golden brown.

3. Sprinkle with the sugar and return briefly to the oven. Sprinkle with lemon juice, and serve with jelly, jam, or marmalade.

Footnote: April 10, 1966: “Pancake Nonpareil” by Craig Claiborne. Recipe adapted from David Eyre.
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