Saturday, March 26, 2011

Small projects and a camera issue and the best baked apples ever!

I was able to get a few smaller projects done this week....Unfortunately, the Nikon has decided to not take pictures this week, so I'm stuck with the crappy camera on my droid (worst camera ever!!) So bear with me for the blurry, smudgy pictures - it's the best I can do right now)

I put together a quick, easy sewing machine cover - used Habitat by Benartex. I just need to get to the store for some velcro for the side tabs and it will be finished. I wanted something simple to cover it instead of the hard white case it came with.

I also put together a quick nook cover to use instead of my hard leather case. I go back and forth with reading it in the case and out of the case, so this works well for the out of the case one of my favorite fabrics - Lantern Bloom by Laura Gunn...

And last by not least....Baked Apples from America's Test Kitchen....holy cow are these great!! I used grapefruit zest because that's all I had on hand....served up with some Turkey Hill Ginger Snap ice cream....perfection! I used our 12" cast iron skillet and it worked great. Just need to dice the apple a bit smaller next time.


  • 7large (about 6 ounces each) Granny Smith apples
  • 6tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/4cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3cup dried cranberries , coarsely chopped
  • 1/3cup coarsely chopped pecans , toasted
  • 3tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1teaspoon finely grated zest from 1 orange
  • 1/2teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  Pinch table salt
  • 1/3cup maple syrup
  • 1/3cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider
  • 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Peel, core, and cut 1 apple into 1/4-inch dice. Combine 5 tablespoons of butter, brown sugar, cranberries, pecans, oats, orange zest, cinnamon, diced apple, and salt in large bowl; set aside.
  • 2. Shave thin slice off bottom (blossom end) of remaining 6 apples to allow them to sit flat. Cut top 1/2 inch off stem end of apples and reserve. Peel apples and use melon baller or small measuring spoon to remove 1½-inch diameter core, being careful not to cut through bottom of apple.
  • 3. Melt remaining tablespoon butter in 12-inch nonstick ovensafe skillet over medium heat. Once foaming subsides, add apples, stem-side down, and cook until cut surface is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip apples, reduce heat to low, and spoon filling inside, mounding excess filling over cavities; top with reserved apple caps. Add maple syrup and 1/3 cup cider to skillet. Transfer skillet to oven, and bake until skewer inserted into apples meets little resistance, 35 to 40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with maple syrup mixture in skillet.
  • 4. Transfer apples to serving platter. Stir up to 2 tablespoons remaining cider into sauce in skillet to adjust consistency. Pour sauce over apples and serve.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring has sprung!

We finally had a nice break in the weather and I was able to spend some time outside in the yard with the boys. Sutton found every stick possible and tried to get Cooper to play keep away - which he did - for about 2 minutes! Coop is the original lazy dog and really doesn't want to be bothered. All he wanted was to lay down in the sun, but Sutton wasn't going to let that happen at all....So Cooper played for those brief minutes and then moped and followed me around the yard.....

I'm enjoying my last few days of vacation before going back to work on Wednesday. I need to cut my Kona into FQs for the Kona Your World 2 swap and get those sent out and then start working on one of the many WIPs that I have started....

 Sutton - stopped just long enough from playing keep away with Cooper for me to get this pic!
 Daffodils peeking through the pine needles

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Batik swap done!

After much procrastination, being busy, and fighting cold germs, I finally finished my batik swap blocks!!! Yea, Me :)  I went with a simple, classic pattern - Card Trick. I'm happy with how these turned out overall...Made 24 of them plus siggy squares to go with them (only 16 fit on my "design wall"). I had an unfortunate coffee incident on one, but had a small piece of graduated batik fabric, so was able to make one in purples....

Pay no attention to that huge crease! Not sure how I missed it before! Sorry!

I'm back!!

I know it's been a long time since I posted, but life away from the sewing machine takes precedence most of the time....a quick run down of the past month:  (Blogger is being mean to me today, so the pictures won't go where they should and I don't feel like messing with HTML code right now!)

 One of my brother's teammates (left) from the Baltimore Fencing Club
Lightning fast wheelchair was amazing! I made sure I got to see their matches everyday we were there!
  •  nasty head cold that took me out for over a week
  • Sewing day with my ECMO girls....helped them make tote bags from sweaters a la Create and Delegate's tutorial while I chopped up my fabrics for the batiks swap...
  • Work  - we've been really busy lately -  good for my paycheck, bad for my sleep habits!
  • New bed - we really went for it and bought a Sleep Number bed! Got delivered a few days ago - so far no back or shoulder pain! Yippee!!!
  • Continual yard clean up as the snow melted...long lost piles popped up every day or so as the snow disappeared! Finally all cleaned up yesterday! No more snow in the yard! Woot!
  • 4 days at a fencing tournament at Cobo. My brother has been fencing for over 10 years and he came out to coach and cheer on his peeps. He also spent a few days after visiting with us and left yesterday.
  • A trip to The Henry Ford Museum with Fencing Bro....the entire automobile exhibit is getting an overhaul and was closed...but lots of other cool things to see.
  • Drain snake out....ick
  • Catching up on visiting with friends 
  • Reading more books
  • Playing with the boys...the "little one" is now as tall as his dad.