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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Elle's Kitchen: Pineapple Upside Down Cake Cocktail

Or Why There Is No Pie Today...
My brother flew into town today to wrap up
a month of traveling the world.  So, that
meant I was at the airport, a stop off for a
 Thai feast and a quick run through Trader
Joe's to pick up staples and treats.
So, there was no time to make pie.  BUT,  my
sister helped out and made a pineapple upside
down cake for our family reunion.
And she made Pineapple Upside Down Cake Cocktails!
a shot glass full of Cake flavored Vodka
Pineapple Juice
In a tall glass filled with ice, mix vodka
and pineapple juice, add a bit of grenadine
to the top and throw in a cherry.
And if you get to have it with the real
cake that inspires the drink, consider
yourself lucky.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Elle's Kitchen: Zucchini Bread

Yesterday Mr. Wonderful stopped at the local farm
stand to pick up a couple zucchinis to use in our
Vegetable Lasagna last night.  He picked out two of
the smallest ones but they still were big.
One zucchini yielded 5 cups of grated zucchini
and since we only need 2 cups for this recipe,
the remaining zucchini was bagged and frozen
for future breads.
3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 1/2 teas. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts
3 cups flour
1 teas. salt
1/2 teas. baking powder
3 teas. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350º  F.
Beat eggs, add oil, sugar, zucchini and
vanilla.  Set aside.
Combine dry ingredients.
Add dry ingredients to egg mix and blend.
Stir in the nuts.
Divide mixture between 2 greased loaf
pans.  I sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon
on top.  Bake for 1 hour.
Cool on rack for 15 minutes.  Remove loaves
from pans and cool completely.

Honoring Women's Rights ~ Week 48

Fair Play

We are quilting along with Barbara Brackman's
Block of the Week, Grandmother's Choice.

This is how I made my block, it may differ
from the original.

Fabric Requirements:

Fabric A: Blue
2 - 4 1/2'' squares
Fabric B: Red
2 - 4 1/2'' squares
Fabric C & D:
scraps large enough for circle units
Wonder Under

Update:  Das Quiltmonster from Germany just
asked what is Wonder Under.  It is a paper backed
fusible web product.  Thanks Regina!

On the paper side of the Wonder Under
draw a 6'' square and then draw lines to
divide it in quarters.

Using a compass, draw a 6'' square,
then mark 1'' in from drawn circle
and draw another circle.

Layout 4 1/2'' squares as shown and sew
together in 2 rows.

Sew rows together and press final seam
open to reduce bulk.

Cut circle shapes as shown, leaving
some excess paper along curved parts.
Following manufacturer's directions,
adhere to the wrong side of Fabric C & D
scraps.  Cut out as shown above.

Adhere to 4-patch unit.

Finish edges as desired.  I used a
hand embroidered blanket stitch.
Square to 8 1/2''.

Check out everyone's work on Dustin's Flickr site:

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Elle's Kitchen: The Summer of Pie²

Peach Crumble Pie
It is a beautiful summer day here in
the American Midwest.  A gorgeous
blue sky, temps in the 70's and pie
in our future.
Everytime I leave or enter my little
village, I pass the farm stand and this
week they have had peaches ~ I knew
they would have to be the pie this week!
The easiest way to remove the skin
from peaches is to submerge a few
in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds.
Then plunge them into a bowl of ice water.
The skins will peel right off ~ no waste!
1 unbaked 9'' deep dish pie shell
5 cups peeled and sliced ripe peaches
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tabl. cornstarch
1 tabl. lemon juice
grated zest of 1 lemon
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 teas. cinnamon
1/4 teas. salt
6 tabl. cold butter, cut in 1/4 '' pieces
Preheat oven to 375º F.
Place peaches in a large bowl, add sugar,
corn starch, lemon juice and lemon zest.
Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour,
brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt.

Scatter the butter over this mixture and
use a pastry blender to combine.  You can
finish crumbling it with your hands if
necessary, you want it to be crumbly.
Place peaches in the pie shell and
press down to make it even.
Sprinkle crumb mixture over the top
and gently press to cover the peaches.

Bake on the center rack for 50 - 55
minutes until the top is golden brown
and the filling is bubbling.  If the top
starts to get too brown you can place a
piece of foil over it.  Cool on a wire rack.
We are having a pie party tonight and I'm
thinking this will be perfect a la mode.

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's Nice To Be Remembered...

Back in May I was in Amsterdam.  This
was the view from my apartment.
Of course, I had to visit the textile market
while I was there.
That is where I bought these beautiful
fabrics. I only bought a few meters of fabric
since it was my first stop and I didn't know
what else I would find.  As it turns out that
was the only fabric I bought that day.  I
didn't have enough to make a large quilt. 
My brother was visiting Amsterdam today and
since it's Monday there is a textile market, so
I gave him swatches and a description and told
him to buy me some more fabric.
This is the funny part ~ he was telling the man
that this was for his sister who is a quilt designer
 from America who had bought some in May and
 the guy said he remembered me! 
Now I'll have to figure out what I
will do with this fabric.  As I looked
back at photos from my trip today, I
found a few photos of quilt inspiration.
Wouldn't this be a great quilt?
This one too,  love the colors!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Honoring Women's Rights ~ Week 47

Heroine's Choice
And A Feltwork Tutorial
We are following along with Barbara Brackman's
Block of the Week, Grandmother's Choice.
I like to use felt for applique.  I design
feltwork patterns ~
and thought this would be a good chance to try
a design that was 8 1/2''.
So here is a little free feltwork tutorial
for this week!
I start by determining the size I would
like the piece to be and marking that
measure along the fold of a folded piece
of construction paper.  I then sketch the
design and cut it out and when you open
the folded paper...
... you have your designs.  I used a circle
template for the 1 1/4'' circle and for the
flower shape, this pattern was just slightly
larger than a piece from my
Serendipity pattern so I made it larger.
It is a good idea to lay it all out prior
to cutting your pieces to be sure it all
fits well.
Here are my pattern pieces, just enlarge
the white area until it measures 8 1/2''
across.  At this point I transfer the designs
to poster board and cut them out since this
makes tracing more stable but if you are
only making one, you could trace the
construction paper shapes if you are careful.
Trace onto the dull side of freezer paper.
( If I have scraps left over from bigger
projects I save them and use them for
small pieces like this project.)
Press the shapes onto good quality felt.
I use a 20% wool/80% rayon felt from
National Nonwovens that is excellent
quality and the colors are fabulous.
This is nothing like the 5/$1 craft felt.
Cut out the pieces and pin to your 8 1/2''
background piece. 
I whip stitched all the pieces in place using
a matching embroidery floss.  I then added
some additional stitching to the center using
very simple embroidery stitches such as, the
French Knot and the Lazy Daisy stitch.
I'll be hanging this piece somewhere in
my house.  I hope you will give felt applique
a chance, it is fast, easy & fun.
Checkout everyone's work on Dustin's Flickr site:
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Trail Time

The heat is on!  We have had a very
hot week here in the American Midwest.
We have been trying to get on the trail
early in the day to beat the heat but
since it is Saturday we lingered a bit
longer in bed today and didn't get on
the trail until 8:30 am ~ a big mistake!
It was too hot!
I wonder who lives there?
I was complaining yesterday because I was
so hot I didn't want to carry my camera and
of course we saw Great Blue Herons and the
largest turtle I have every seen in our river...
So, today I brought the camera and no herons
or turtles, but lots of canoes and kayaks on the
In Summer our woods can look like
a jungle.
I guess we made it home just in time,
a big thunder storm is rolling through.
I hope the canoes and kayaks get off
the river...