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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Murphy's Farm Update

Cherry Tomatoes

Every year I plant cherry tomatoes.
I buy the plants at our local Master
Gardener's plant sale because they
always have the best selection of
unusual varieties.

This year they had a very unusual tomato,
they are tiny!  Some are the size of peas but
most look like red currants.  I wasn't sure if
they would taste good or if they were just a
novelty.  I was happy to discover the flavor is
superb.  I have been sampling them when I
talk to my sister over the garden fence but
tonight I used them in a salad.  Check back
tomorrow for the recipe.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries

Conversation today at the cherry display
in the grocery store:

Man #1:  Do you think these cherries have been washed enough for me to eat them while I'm traveling in my car?

Me: No.

Man #1:  Oh, you think there will be dirt and pesticide residue on them?

Me:  Well that, and think of all the hands that have picked through this bin.

Man #1:  So you think I shouldn't get them?

Me:  No, I'd get them but I'd take them to the bathroom and wash them in the bag a few times.

Man #1:  Great idea!  I never thought of that!

Man #2:  At home, I always wash my fruits and veggies in the sink with some vinegar.

Me:  I just read about that on Pinterest.

So, what I read on Pinterest is to fill a clean sink
with cool water and 1 cup of vinegar and let produce
soak for 15 minutes.  The bottom of the sink will be
dirty but your produce will be clean.  Rinse
produce, pat dry and store as usual.
I'm going to give this a try.

This is our favorite way to serve cherries.
Place in a bowl with cold water and ice.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Woven Bacon

Or... Weird Stuff I've Found on Pinterest...

We love BLTs.
They are not on the menu all that often since
they are white bread, mayo and well, bacon.
But... when the tomatoes are fresh from the
garden it is time for BLTs. 

One day on Pinterest I noticed a pin
for woven bacon.  This person felt they
did not get a bite of bacon every time by
using strips so they wove it and then
cooked it.  I didn't think my bacon to
tomato/lettuce ratio was a problem but
I tried it anyway.  I used 3 strips of bacon,
cut in half and woven in a simple over/under.

While the bacon cooked, I toasted the bread,
added romaine lettuce and sliced tomatoes
and yes, mayo.  It looks like a lot of mayo
but it is just spread very thinly, also add some
salt & pepper.

Cook bacon as you desire, you can see I
like bacon very crispy.  Then drain it on
paper towels.

Add to the sandwich, it fits quite nicely.

I have to admit, I never knew what I was
missing before, there was bacon in every
bite and it made the sandwich better.

A Pinterest score!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The One Stop Shop Hop

Aka ~ A Quilter's Dream

First of all, let me explain what a Shop Hop is, for
the non-quilters out there.  A Shop Hop is when a group
 of quilt shops get together and host an event where quilters
will drive from one shop to another (very often all over
 the state) and well, shop...


Then someone came up with the brilliant idea
to have all the shops come to a central location
and set up booths and the quilters only have to
drive to one location.  I went with a group of
friends yesterday and we arrived to find a full
parking lot and buses arriving with shoppers.
It was packed!

And there is a display of my American Homestead
patterns in The Quilt Shoppe's booth.

If you're in the area of Kokomo, Indiana ~ check it
out, it continues through today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Me Time ~ 7-24-12

Here is someone's latest antique find.

A Christmas quilt just back from the quilter.

We are prepping my feltwork pattern displays
for the big Shop-Hop in Kokomo this weekend.

The patterns will be available at
The Quilt Shoppe's booth on Friday
and Saturday if you are attending
the big event.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Elle's Kitchen: Five Oh

Recently, a friend on facebook posted that
she was enjoying pineapple screwdrivers at
a beach house in Denmark. That made me
think about the last time I had a screwdriver.
I bet it has been over 30 years, I was at a
wedding and someone asked what I wanted
from the bar, so I said, "a screwdriver"
because I didn't know what else to say.
At first it tasted good but after awhile all
that orange juice just didn't agree with me.
But when I thought about making a screwdriver
with pineapple juice ~ that sounded much
more appealing. I had to go buy the vodka
since generally the hardest thing we have around
here is root beer. To make it, add some vodka
to a glass of pineapple juice and add ice.
Delicious and refreshing!
We named it Five Oh! in a nod to our pineapple
growing state Hawaii.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Madison County 4-H Fair

It is Fair Time all over the USA.
Our kids were in 4-H so we have
spent alot of time at the Fair
throughout the years.

A local church has a food tent that
is very popular.  This is the line for
Ham Loaf.  Ham loaf is only available
on Thursday and there were a ton of
people waiting.  Since we weren't having
that, we could go to the head of the line.

What is Ham Loaf?

This is the only day of the year when
we eat Hoosier food.  People are always
shocked when I say I never had chicken &
noodles or beef manhattan before I moved
here.  And I lived in Manhattan!  This is
food unique to the Midwest.  And yes, that
pile of homemade noodles is sitting atop a
mountain of mashed potatoes.
I generally fall into a stupor after eating
this meal, but I go back every year...

To walk off all that food we usually
head over to the 4-H building to
look at well, more food.

I think we'd better stick with the
veggies for about a week...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chock-A-Block Wednesday

Redbud 2012 Block of the Month ~ July

Album Block

This is the July Block of the Month for the
Redbud Quilt Guild.  Each month I will show
how I made my block.  I was not able to attend
this month's meeting and did not see the demo
on how to make this.  So I just made the flying
geese units the old fashioned way because that
seemed so much easier.

Fabric Requirements:

Fabric A:  Cream or gold
4 - 3 1/2" squares
4 - 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangles

Fabric B:  Red
8 - 3 1/2" squares - Mark a
diagonal line on back.

Fabric C:  Blue
2 - 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangles

Fabric D:  Star fabric
1 - 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle

Make Flying Geese Units:

Place Fabric B 3 1/2" square on the left
side of a Fabric A rectangle.  Sew a thread
width below the drawn line, press seam to
the corner.  Trim back 2 layers of fabric to
1/4".  Repeat process on the right side as
shown.  Square to 3 1/2" x 6 1/2".
Make 4.

Make Center Unit:

Layout Fabric C and D rectangles as shown
and sew together. Press seams to the outside.
Square to 6 1/2".

Assemble Block:

Layout units as shown and sew together in
3 rows.  Press seams in rows 1 and 3 to the
outside and seams in row 2 to the inside.

Sew rows together and press final seams
open to reduce bulk.  Square to 12 1/2".

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Me Time ~ July 17, 2012

At Me Time today we enjoyed our own
version of Antiques Roadshow ~ for quilters.

I LOVE this!

Machine needles.

Darning thread, love the kitty.

Old needle books.

Someone worked on a Penny Rug.

Some knitting.

Finishing a binding.

Attaching a border.

Oh ~ and cupcakes!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Elle's Kitchen: Wrap Sandwiches

Around my house, days can get so jammed that
lunch becomes another chore to add to the "to do" list.

But then I started making these wrap sandwiches
that are easy to make, they are healthy and they
are not too heavy.  I don't like to eat too much at
lunch or I start to feel like it's time for a siesta
by 2pm.  This gives me just enough.

Take a tortilla, for this sandwich I used Trader
Joe's Guacamole Hummus as a spread (yum!).
Then I added strips of provolone, sliced tomatoes,
fresh cilantro and the zesty cucumbers from
yesterday's post.  I put the hummus all over the tort
but the rest of the ingredients are only down the
center and off to one side as shown.  Begin
rolling the wrap from the right hand side, then
slice in half and serve. 

You can get as creative as you like with these wraps.
Add different cheeses, salsas, fresh herbs, lettuce,
grated carrot is nice ~ whatever you have on hand.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Elle's Kitchen: Zesty Cucumbers

This is a zippy way to use cucumbers all
year but especially in the summer when
the garden is giving you plenty of them.

Even though we are in a heat wave and
drought we finally got our first cucumber
fresh from the garden today.

Slice the cucumber very thin ~ I use a mandoline.

In a container with a tight fitting lid, combine:

2 tbls. cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 teas. salt
1/2 teas. crushed red pepper

Stir to combine.  Add cucumbers, shake and chill.

I use this as a side dish, I place sliced grilled
chicken over the top, I've even eaten them as a
snack ~ spicy & healthy.  Check back tomorrow
for another recipe that uses these cucs.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Every evening, Mr. Wonderful & I
try to take a bike ride through our
little town.  This was the sunset from
last night ~ spectacular!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Foodie Shopping Spree

We spent last weekend in Saugatuck,
Michigan and in this small village there
were many shops made for foodies!

I have never seen a place like this before,
you could sample olive oils and balsamic
vinegars ~ sort of like visiting a winery.

The spice shop had a great selection
of spices and teas.

I love to watch people make fudge,

and I like to eat it!

I was happy to see Saugatuck had an
American Spoon store ~ I love their
products.  Check out their story and
their products at:

Strangely, we didn't have any great food
all weekend.  Is it because it is a seasonal
resort and chefs can't make it on a 4 month
season?  Maybe all the great food is being
made at home in the cottages and cabins
lining the lakes...