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Monday, August 29, 2016

CLEARANCE SALE - UP TO 40% OFF SELECTED PATTERNS


THESE PATTERNS AND MANY MORE ARE ON SALE NOW AT ETSY!

Don't miss out on a great sale!



Midnight Feast Wall Hanging


Dashing


Bless this House


Winter Skate


Market Day Sue


Prairie Sweethearts


Flowerbasket Sue


Valentine Banner

CHECK IT OUT!

Friday, August 19, 2016

GAD ZUKES! THEY'VE RETURNED! And, a New Mystery Quilt Block!

Every year, they return, as we, barricaded in our kitchens, link arms together in an effort to surround and control them....the dreaded zucchinis!

Actually, we love them. It's just that....there are so many of them. And we try so hard to help them to be useful to Mankind.

Here's one of my favorite ways of helping the zucchini to be useful to Mankind:

Italian Zucchini Pancakes



I call these "Italian" because they have Parmesan and Oregano in them. This is an old  recipe given to me by my mother who must have collected it sometime in the 1960's.


It takes some time to bake them, about 2 minutes per side and it's important to let your griddle come all the way back up to temp before beginning a new batch (High heat setting).


My daughter eats these with butter and syrup, sometimes. Lately, she's been putting a new avocado/cilantro salad dressing on them.


My favorite topping is sour cream. Serve these with a salad for a light summer meal. I always make a big batch and freeze them for later. Frozen, 3 minutes in the microwave will make them hot and ready to eat. Yum.



Italian Zucchini Pancakes

(I had 6 medium zucchinis, which made about 6 cups of grated zucchini. Consequently, I made six times the recipe amount given here.)

Beat well:

2 Eggs
2 T. Mayonnaise

Mix together in a large mixing bowl:

1 c. Zucchini, grated and drained*
2 T. Onion, chopped fine
1/4 c. Parmesan Cheese, grated**
1/4 c. All-Purpose Flour
1/4 t. Oregano Leaves, crushed
1 t. Smoky Paprika (optional)
1 clove Garlic, crushed (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Bake on a hot griddle (400 degrees F.) 2 to 2 1/2 minutes per side. (You can spray the griddle with non-stick spray but a well-seasoned, coated griddle will work fine without being greased.) Keep warm until all are baked, then serve with your choice of toppings: sour cream, or salad dressing or, Heaven forbid, butter and syrup. Can be frozen up to three months. Keeps 3 days in the refrigerator.

*I put the grated zucchini in a colander lined with 3 layers of paper towels and covered with the same on top. I pressed firmly all over the top until the towels were wet. There's no liquid in this recipe except the eggs, so salting and draining is really not necessary.

**Believe it or not, Kraft Parmesan in the green container works best for this recipe because it's very dry. Fresh Parmesan is too wet.

Now, for the new Mystery Quilt Block: The Whirlwind or Twin Sister


Instructions for making this with a quick and easy trick are included in my Craftsy pattern.



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Katrina - All Grown Up!


What is this clicky, blinky thing, anyway? Oh, the camera!


Make-up!!!!!


Okay, I'm ready. But, oh, are you going to read to me?


Come on. You know you wanna read to me!


That was a good story.....I think I dozed off for a minute.


What else are we doing today? Yup, the table. I'm lying on the table. So what?


It's a great place for a quick bath.....


or a......ribbon.....


.......play with the ribbon.


Okay, this is getting boring.....


...no comment.....end of interview.


Bye. (Does this blog make my thighs look fat?)

And later that same day.....


Is it time for another photo-shoot? I'm ready. How's this? Does this floor make my thighs look fat?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Naan - For Hot Summer Days

When you just want a little bread with your salad....

.....we made naan this week, partly due to the heat of summer and partly because my oven door handle fell off and we're waiting for a new one to arrive. Yes, the truth will out. So, no oven, hot days = Naan.


Also, I was contemplating summer in India, anyway, and imagining what 100 degrees in the shade is like with 80% humidity. I was doing this so that I could better apprciate our 100 degrees in the shade with 11% humidity. It's an exercise in counting one's blessings.

But seriously, when it's that hot, no matter what the humidity, what do you do if you want a little piece of bread with your salad (Salad being about the only thing one can imagine eating on a day that hot....other than sending one's husband out to pick up a bag of burgers that someone else sweat over.)?

Enter: Naan!


An ancient bread, "naan", today originates from South Asia with influence from the Middle-East. The most familiar and readily available varieties of naan in Western countries are the South Asian varieties. In Iran, from which the word ultimately originated,[8] nān (نان) does not carry any special significance, as it is merely the generic word for any kind of bread, as well as in other West Asian nations or ethnic groups in the region, such as amongst KurdsTurksAzerbaijanis (from bothAzerbaijan and Iran), etc (See Wikipedia)

I read that and asked myself, "Why Naan?"

The answer was this: When you have only an open fire and a grill, or a fire of some sort, the only way to bake bread, anciently, was to do it on a rack or a rock or in a skillet of some sort. Today, many people the world over have ovens or access to ovens. But the production of a loaf of bread, in early times, and today in some parts of the world, is not a common thing due to the lack of ovens.


So, I'm thinking, what did the pioneers, coming across America in early days have for bread? No ovens, right? If they had an iron skillet and a lid, they had sourdough bisquits. If they had a pan but no lid, they had sourdough pancakes. No pan? NAAN, of a sort....any sort. To make the most basic form of bread, all you need is flour and water. A little oil helps, too.


Naan became known in the west in the early 1800's although forms of it have been known in written record since early Biblical times (see Genesis 31:54). One beautiful story about bread comes from the story of the great prophet, Elijah, and the widow of Zarephath.

Anyway, I made Naan, not exactly the ancient way, but close. Okay, not close. I used my bread machine and pasta maker. There! Are you happy now? The truth will out. I found this recipe online at food.com by Aarti Sequeira. I made some changes so the bread machine could cope with it. Even so, it makes a very moist dough. Consequently, when you roll it out, you need a lot of flour.



You'll remember in an earlier post, I used the pasta maker to roll out my tortilla dough. It works great, aside from the shape. But, hey, tortillas are round because that's what two hands produce: a round product. When you use a pasta maker, you get a...um....rectangle.


Okay. Rectangle. Circle. If you read the wikipedia article you saw "shovel-shaped" bread (say that 10 times really fast).


As I rolled them out, I put them, with plenty of flour on them, between pieces of waxed paper in a rectangular refrigerator container with a tight-fitting lid. This morning, I took five out and baked them on the griddle. My recipe made about 24 naan.



After they cooled, I slipped them into a plastic bag to keep them soft for the rest of the day. One of the advantages of naan is in that you can bake off however many you need at a time. That way, your bread is always fresh. 

Part of the summer baking problem is, not only that it's too hot to even think of firing up the oven, but also that the bread molds quite fast if stored on the counter; or becomes mealy, if stored in the fridge. We almost always wind up finishing the loaf by making toast. Fresh bread for sandwiches, in a house where bread is homemade, is best on the first day of the bake. After that, it's not quite so good. 

But naan is fresh every day.




It's a very good bread.


So, last night, we had naan with a great salad I found on Marie Ranier's blog, "The English Kitchen".
It's called 'Bistro Potato Salad' and it's really a wonderful combination of tastes for a hot summer's day. You can get a lovely printable recipe on her site.


Recipe for Naan, the American Way.....

Place in the bread machine bowl, or the bowl of an electric or stand mixer:

1 1/2 c. tepid Water
2 t. active Dry Yeast
4 t. Sugar
5 c. All-Purpose Flour
2 t. Salt
1/4 t. Baking Powder
6 T. plain Yogurt
4 T. Oil or Butter
1/4 c. Sesame Seeds (optional, or, any favorite small seed)

Process as for Pizza Dough in the bread machine. Using an electric mixer, blend altogether on low, scraping the bowl well. Then, set the mixer on low and mix for 10 minutes to bring up the gluten. Pour into a greased bowl, sprinkle and rub the top of the dough with a little oil, and cover to rise double in size.

When risen, turn out onto a leveled pile of about two cups of flour, so that the dough touches only flour, not the board (it's very sticky). Divide in two, then divide each of the two in sixths. Form the pieces, into balls, keeping lots of flour on your hands. Roll the balls in more flour and set aside.

Cut each piece in two and form into an oval. With flour on the rollers and flour on your hand, under the rollers, put the piece of dough through on the thickest setting of your pasta machine. Mine was set on "3". Let the naan fill your hand from wrist to fingertips. Dust the naan with more flour and place between pieces of plastic in an airtight container to keep refrigerated until used. Or, bake immediately. Continue until all the dough is rolled and stored and/or baked.

To bake, heat a skillet or griddle to medium high (I would advise against using a non-stick surface skillet because of the high heat) until almost smoking. Bake the naan on each side, 1 minute. Remove to a plate until all are done. Store in a ziploc bag at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to a week. They can also be frozen for future use.

Makes about 24 Naan about 4" wide and 8" long.

Alternatively, you can roll them out in a circle or in the traditional tear-drop shape with a rolling pin. For thick naan, pat them out to about 1/4" thick in your hands. To make thicker naan flat, poke it all over with a fork before baking.

Have a cool, cool summer!

AND LOOK! THE FIFTH BLOCK IN THE MYSTERY QUILT IS OUT NOW. SEE THE SIDE PANEL TO THE RIGHT.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Odessa Quilt Club Mystery Block #4 Is Here!

We're getting up there now, aren't me? One third of the way through the Mystery Quilt. Here she is, friends:  FLYING GEESE



CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLYING GEESE


Each block in the Mystery Quilt is 12" square, finished. With each new block, the build offers a class (on the third Monday of each month in Odessa, WA) teaching a quilting trick or skill associated with the block that month.

This month we offered a trick, which you can find when you download the block over at Craftsy. Go ahead! It's FREE!

The Mystery Quilt you sew can be entered in our annual quilt show, each April. We'd love to see what you come out with. We accept quilts from everywhere.



Friday, May 13, 2016

Mystery Quilt Block #3 - Shoo Fly with a Lesson on HSTs

Block #3 – Shoo Fly – Quilt Assembly Tricks – The Half-Square Triangle (HST)

What is a HST?
Half square triangle units are possibly the most commonly used patchwork component. Sometimes abbreviated as HST or called a triangle square, the units are squares that are composed of two triangles. Each triangle occupies half of the square's space, leading to the name half square triangle unit.

Why Learn this Technique?
You can sew two triangles together to create a HST unit, but it's easier, and often more accurate to quick piece them, since it eliminates the need to handle the stretchy bias edges of individual triangles.

Is this Lunch or Quilting?
One way to piece HSTs is the easy sandwich method, where two squares of fabric are sewn together along the diagonal and then cut apart to create two identical HSTs.

The sandwich method is a perfect technique to use when you're making a scrap quilt or need a few HST units in specific color combos -- it helps you make great use of fabric scraps or small yardages. However, I use it even when I'm making lots and lots of identical units.

Cut the Squares and Mark the Diagonals
1.Use the square size called for in your pattern. If you are drafting your own pattern, cut squares that are 7/8" larger than the finished size of the units (unless you want to make them oversize and then cut back for complete accuracy, see page 5).


2.Use a pencil or permanent marker to draw a diagonal line (from one corner to the opposite corner) on the reverse side of the lightest square.


3.If you do not have a quarter-inch presser foot, draw two more lines, each one 1/4" from the original diagonal line (extra lines not shown)

 

4.Pair the marked square with the same size darker square, edges matched and right sides together.

5.Sew two seams, each one 1/4" from the marked center line (measure and draw seam lines before sewing if you do not have a quarter-inch presser foot to guide you).
 
6.Use scissors or rotary cutting equipment to cut through both layers of the square on the marked center diagonal.


Press the Half Square Triangle Units

1.Place the cut units on your ironing board, the darkest fabric up. Press a medium iron directly onto the units to set the seams.

2.Open up one unit and carefully move the iron into the diagonal that separates the dark half from the light half. Let the weight and heat of the iron press the unit, because ironing with vigorous back and forth movements will stretch it out of shape. Repeat to press the second unit.

3.Trim the "dog ears" from the ends of seam allowances. Measure the units. If they are too small, make sure they were pressed adequately. If squares are still slightly small, try sewing the next squares together with seams that are slightly less than 1/4" from the marked center line.

4.Now you have two identical half square triangle units that should measure 1/2" wider and taller than its finished size. The straight grain of each triangle lies along the outer edges of the square.

5.Once you know your seams are accurate, speed up assembly time by chain piecing the squares.






Saturday, April 9, 2016

Spring has Sprung!

It's time for a 

"Coming-Out Party!"

Meet the newest pattern critters from Prairie Cottage Corner.

 These little guys will be participating in a wall hanging pattern due out in a few months.


*************************************


Meanwhile, Joan, over at Moose Stash Quilting is working on:


"Seasons of the Heart".

*******************************

AND then, COMING SOON:  

"Prairie Meadow Duet"

  


Yes, I know. I haven't been blogging much but my fingers have been busy, busy busy.


Along with all the stitching and drawing, a lovely little stray cat has been visiting. 

I'm trying to give him away to a good family. 


Isn't he a beauty? He needs love! In fact, he needs it (or is it kneads it?) so much, I couldn't get him far enough away from me to get a good photo.

   

 

But here is what he might look like in summer coat. Won't he be loverly?


Well that's the news from the high prairie. 

The weather is beauteous! It's hard to stay inside.

Love to all. Happy springing!