Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Fabric, New Design

I was working on NY Beauty.  I finished the complete circle and then I was distracted. 

If my friend was here she would yell, "Squirrel".  Like in the movie "Up"- the dog is walking along minding his own business and all of a sudden he would see a squirrel and it would completely distract him.  This has become the joke at retreat.  Because so many of us are attracted to shiny things.  We all say we have ADD because fabric or new patterns can be so dang distracting to us.

Back to my story, some time ago my friend and I were at a local quilting store and found some yummy fabric on sale.  We decided to get it- we both loved it.  We bought three different ones.  We agreed on the way home that we would find a pattern, didnt have to be the same, and make something with those fabrics. 

I have been looking and looking for a pattern and alas I found it.  Nothing ground breaking mind you.  A simple, tried and true pattern.  One that has been on my hit list since I started quilting. 

I realized though that I needed some variety.  (Any excuse, dont yah know.) So I headed back to that same store because they were having a  sale and bought about six half yards and 2 full yards of fabric to go along with what I had.

You might have thought I was crazy.  And I really thought I was going crazy because they don't seem to match.  Matter of fact when I pulled the samples of what I had out of my pocket I made sure no one saw because they might think I was crazy for my color combination.  And yes, I was a bit skeptical myself... Well, very skeptical.

I cut in... Yikes, what was I thinking...

Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

NY Beauty Beginnings

Here is something I have been obsessed with.  NY Beauty.  Not sure where I am going with it... So many options.

I am looking forward to having some time to complete some unfinished projects.  Some cooler weather when I won't mind turning on my iron. Or to be underneath a quilt, quilting it.  I have a bit of a back up in the tops waiting to be quilted department. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18: Peaches

Oh, peaches!  Delicious, juicy peaches.  So many ways to enjoy them.

Did you know peaches came from China? 
"Although its botanical name Prunus persica refers to Persia (present Iran) from where it came to Europe, genetic studies suggest peaches originated in China, where they have been cultivated since the early days of Chinese culture, circa 2000 BC. Peaches were mentioned in Chinese writings as far back as the 10th century BC and were a favoured fruit of kings and emperors. As of late, the history of cultivation of peaches in China has been extensively reviewed citing numerous original manuscripts dating back to 1100 BC.Wikipedia

Peach flower, fruit, seed and leaves as illustrated by Otto Wilhelm Thomé (1885).

Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 17th: Quilt Show

I could post for all my missed days... but I am not going to.  Life just gets busy sometimes.  Or it could be that I forget sometimes.

I went yesterday to a small quilt show.  Actually its a decent size quilt show.

 Isnt this the cutest- a pieced bathing suit!

A gathering of color for an art quilt- sample for a class.

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11: Scrap Quilting

These are a few, ah hem, of my scraps...  I might have just a bit more.  Yes, I am scrap crazy.  I was scrap crazy when scrap crazy wasn't cool.  I have always loved a scrap quilt, especially paired with white.  It really is what quilting is about for me.  It makes me think of older quilts.  Scraps of shirts, feed sacks, whatever.

There are a number of scrap quilts I have made and a number of them I want to make.  Here is the ones I have made.


Here is one in progress:

Here is the one I think I will make next:
Lake View Quilters Guild
Or in this color way.
Source:  Spring Water Designs

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 10: Mint

I collected some mint from my garden.  I really should have had this done a few weeks ago.  I like to dry it for tea for the winter months.  I love mint tea.

Mint tea has great health benefits... Its an old time remedy for upset stomach. "Though there have been few human clinical trials on the health benefits or risks of peppermint tea, there is some evidence that peppermint-based products (and potentially, the tea) have healing effects because of the peppermint oil or menthol that it contains, and that treatment using orally ingested peppermint oil will relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.[2] The oil of peppermint has also been shown to be an effective antispasmodic during colonoscopy and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. "  Wikipedia.

If you are tempted to plant mint, be careful.  Its a weed.  Its crazy voracious.  It sends runners just beneath the soil.  It will spread very quickly.  Where you want it and not where you want it.  In other words everywhere.  If you dig into the soil and put up barricades it will stay where you want it.  Get a large planter, cut off the base, sink it into the soil, at least five inches and have it above the soil as well, about two or three inches.  This will it keep it in place.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

August 9: Antiquing

I am not a big fan of antiquing.  Some aspects of it I like...  It kind of depresses me.  Especially looking at older clothes.  If I look in a history book of styles from the past it does not bother me.  For some reason in an antique shop it does.  Dolls too.  I have no idea why.

My brother and sister in law are big into antiques.  When they come to visit I like to go with them.  Last year I was on a quest for milk bottles.  I bought several and I really like them.

This year it was antique cook books.  I freaking love them.  They have a ton more recipes in them than most modern day cook books.  And because I am "from scratch" type cook - its perfect.

The above is my collection.  Okay, I know two of those are not antiques but they were at the antique shops and I love them.

The one called, "Womans Home Companion Cook Book is full of great recipes.  The Round The World Cookbook is totally bookmarked by me with all kinds of recipes to try.

Friday, August 8, 2014

August 8: It

This is one of the antics of my child.  She came down this morning with her shirt on backwards, walking backwards with her glasses on the back of her head.  She looks like "It" from The Adams Family.  The girl cracks me up.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

August 7: Bananas

Time for banana bread.  I think I should skip buying bananas in the summer.  They do not get eaten as fast and they turn brown really quick.  I like to buy them though because they make smoothies super wonderful.

I froze half of them for smoothies and made banana bread with the rest.  Loved this banana bread. 


1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups overripe bananas, mashed
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease two small loaf pans.

Beat together the sugar, egg and vanilla until combined. Add the butter and beat until smooth and the butter is fully incorporated. Beat in the buttermilk and bananas.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet until all the flour is incorporated. 

For the crumb topping combine the powdered sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and melted butter. Using your hands, crumble the mixture over the batter in the pan. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 6: The Rochester Zoo

A lesson learned from nature:  If a fence gets in your way, by all means grow right through it.
I was looking forward to hanging with my friend but not looking forward to the zoo so much.  The kids are getting a little old for it in a lot of ways.  They still like animals and such but it has lost its magical quality.  Except for my one daughter, who still kind had some of that magical thing going on but was embarrassed because the older kids did not.  But back to my original point, I decided since I have been there ten million times (yes, really that many) eh hem, that I would try to find something unique to me.  And boom that tree.  I never looked up until that moment and thought it was pretty cool.
They were feeding the seals, I really enjoyed watching them snack on their fishy meals.
 The totem pole was kind of cool.
As always, the monkeys are entertaining.  This one was picking his own bugs.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 5th The Ups and Downs of Gardening

These hydrangea's look dried.  They look painted.  They look white washed.  They look kind of sad.  They have lost their vitality. They are pretty but in a nostalgic kind of way.
This hydrangea looks like a beautiful firework on a warm Fourth of July night.

So beautiful my bush had one bloom last year.  This year tons of hydrangea blooms!
Then here is a tomato.  Clearly some critter has found my garden.  Dang it!  I have to figure out what it is so I can plan my attack, if not for this year, then next.

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4 Preparing A Shot

On my blog Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness you will find great shots, not so great shots and some down right crappy shots.  I don't really care about perfection of photography on my food blog.  I care about sharing recipes.  I care about sharing my enthusiasm for good, whole food, canning and whatever tricks I have learned along the way.

When there is food that I can spend my time on, setting up a shot, I like to do just that.  I like to pick colors, pick plates, pick angles, pick composition.  I play around with all that.  Must admit that I have a collection of mismatched plates that I like to use for shooting.  When I see something cool at a garage sale I buy it.  Just a side note, I recently found a dish made in Italy for 25 cents.  "How do you do Mr. Plate, you certainly are handsome."  It was quickly added to my collection.

There are a lot of great blogs out there that will tell you how to set up shots and all that information is free on the Internet.  Isn't that majorly marvelous? I think so.  You can make your own lightbox.  Very cool.  Especially useful in the winter when natural lighting is at a premium.  Of course if you want to pay money, you can take classes from people who have mastered their game.  Also pretty fabulous but unfortunately I don't have that kind of money for that or really that kind of desire for that.  I prefer to spend my money on quilting and my kids.  Maybe not in that order. 

Blueberry Sauce
So what is this post about?  Me setting up a shot and sharing it with you in pictures.  Period.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August 3rd Blueberry Processing

You can't really see it too well but the bowl goes down into a cone at the bottom.

Found this fantastic thing at a garage sale for one dollar.  I thought it would come in handy for when I can tomatoes.  I currently use a strainer type thing.  This is way bigger and I like that you can set it over pots quite easily.  I love the wooden mallet to crush it into the sides.  I saw when I was looking for my regular strainer that I use for canning tomatoes.  Thought it would be ideal for straining the blueberries.  I put it to work and it worked like a charm.

I will post the recipe for the syrup soon on my blog.