Thursday, May 31, 2012


Daring Baker's challenge this month is for challah.  The recipe I used was a whole wheat/all-purpose/oatmeal one with three eggs, so it's a beautiful bread.  Doubling the recipe allowed me to make two nice size loaves and freeze two pieces of dough for later.  It's a delicious bread and easy to work with.  

Ruth, from:  came up with this really fun challenge.  Thanks, Ruth!  Go to her site for the recipe--I just can't seem to get recipes to post correctly on here!  I did add more oats than it called for, but loved the whole wheat recipe!

Challahs cooling on rack
Cinnamon Sugar spread on piece for six strand
Since I've done a lot of 3-braid breads before, I chose to try six-strand braiding for the long loaf (got "lost" a bit there in the braiding even though I watched the excellent videos several times.)  For me, watching it upside down was hard to figure out, so if there's a video out there showing the braiding as if I were doing it, it'd surely help this very visual learner.  The 4 braid round loaf was very easy to do for me and think it's a beautiful loaf.  My pictures are from my phone, so not the best, but tried to show you every step along the way.  Really, you should try this!
Parmesan, garlic, Italian spices spread for round challah
Rolling up one side of piece

both sides rolled up on piece
sides pinched together before rolling into strand

strands rolled up ready to be braided
braided and risen challahs...ready for oven

sliced cinnamon sugar six strand challah
Blog-checking lines: May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Sew Sweetness

Okay, I'm REALLY late to be starting this, but want to make at least some of these beautiful blocks. It started months ago, but I'll just have to go at my pace.  I have made one NY Beauty for Sylvia's Bridal Sampler and found it fun to make, but it was in the red/black/white I am using for those blocks.  Anxious to try my hand at more colorful ones.  So...along with all the other things in my basket, at least a few of these will get made and hopefully more.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Garden Steps Quilt Along

For the life of me, I can't figure out how to put a linky button on the side of my blog.  Just figured out how to copy one of them--ok, this is an old, old brain here!!  And I had a head injure 56 years ago--that's my story and I'm sticking to it!  Anyway...this is a cool quilt along and I'm anxious to join it.  Hopefully, eventually the linky will be where it belongs, but for now, this is it!  And have no idea why there are a cazillion links to this post--think must have pushed the wrong button someplace, oh, well.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival--BoylyGirlieCircly Quilt

Original Layout
This quilt, named the BoylyGirlyCircly Quilt is the result of three generations of my family.  My beautiful, talented, smart, almost perfect   grandchildren are my boyly boys and girlie girls.  Six of them are my daughter's children and they helped design and stitch.  I've been wanting to make a circle quilt for over a year.  I'd expected to make a regular sized quilt, but this seemed like the only thing I could reasonably get done in time for the festival--and I love it.  It's about 2 feet by 18 inches.  Thanks to Amy at: for sponsoring.  Her site is full of wonderfulness--tutorials, great things she's working on and challenges.  Well worth visiting.
Final Layout
Gridded print of layout
Spencer, Sabrina, Trey, Sydney arranging circles
Ironed fold lines on background enabled copying design
Circles sewn and starched around templates
Trimming circles

My grandchildren were given various sized cardstock circle templates to trace around, then color in red, blue, yellow, green, purple, or orange.  They cut them out and then took turns putting them down without touching each other on back of a comforter.  Then they took turns tossing their circles just onto the floor...only thing they could do was to turn them over so colors showed.  Chose that design!  There were some slight changes as I sewed pieces on, but it's pretty close and kiddos lit up when they saw the finished top prior to quilting!
Circly with some stitching done

Adam, Trey, Sabrina, DL stitching

Beautiful Sydney under quilt frame
Trey & Sabrina under, Sage, Sydney, Spencer (with momma's help) stitching
Some circles being sewn down on background
Close up of children's stitches
Sabrina concentrating on her stitching--she's legally blind and light-sensitive so wears dark glasses all the time.  My intrepid little girlie girl
Sabrina and Trey stitching
Sydney watching Adam and Trey stitch
Trey and Sabrina pulling thread through to back, Sage, Sydney, DL stitching (Spencer's trying to help underneath!)
Trey, Sagie, Sydney, DL,Spencer , Sabrina 

Wow--am I totally amazed or what?  I was able to capture the button for this wonderfully fun and fantastic quilt festival!

Amy's Creative Side

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Boeuf Bourguignon--A Delicious Experiment

Boeuf Bourguignon was the Daring Cooks challenge for May, and it was actually quite fun.  Something I'd never thought to try as it just seemed too intimidating.  It was a fair amount of work, but the results were enjoyed by all.  It really is a delicious dish.  I suppose what I made is, in fact, a misnomer, as instead of Bourgogne (Burgundy) I used grape juice.  We don't use alcohol, so that was a change.  Not the only one--used sliced bacon, and hubby (who does all my shopping) could not find small onions, so I suggested canned small onions.  Not until they'd cooked in the dish did I read the label--they were pickled--definitely a bizarre taste, so we removed them from everyone's plates!  One of these days, I'll figure out how to make something entirely by the recipe, but it's definitely not in my dna!!!!!!!!!   :)
 Beautiful bacon from Zaycon foods--extra to use for something later.
 Next time I'd not put all the meat in at once--didn't give it a chance to brown up as well as it could have.  Didn't think about it until it was all in there!
 Beautiful mirepoix!  How I love this combo for almost everything. 
 Mirepoix sauteing.  Can almost smell it's deliciousness while typing.
Boeuf Bourguignon, or more correctly, Boeuf Jus de Raisin!

Anyway, it was a dish that was greatly appreciated and one (a few weeks removed from all that work) that I'd consider making again.  Because I just can't seem to figure out how to put a recipe on here without it spacing out--literally, I'll just say to look it up online--Julia Child's is classic, of course.  As you can see, it was served over rice--and quickly disappeared with hubby, me and our daughter's sweet family all here.  May try this when my son and dil are here later in the year--am sure she's tried it in the original form and would like her opinion of it with juice.  

Blog-checking lines: Our May 2012 Daring Cooks’ hostess was Fabi of fabsfood. Fabi challenged us to make Boeuf Bourguignon, a classic French stew originating from the Burgundy region of France.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Magnificent Mother's Day

Mother's Day started Friday with a delivery of these from my son, Adam and his sweet family in NY (with a note attached saying next year we'd be together since they're moving back west after his residency--YAY!):
Later, that evening all sorts of fun and delight broke forth when my daughter, DL, and sweet family drove into the yard.  Lots of hugs, kisses, sweetness and goodness with six of our grandchildren, and their parents here for a couple days.  We had a great time.

  Saturday, Trey and Adam (12 & 10) super helped Randy and I in the garden.  Should clarify by saying mostly I supervised all they did and I did a bit of weeding and replanting of containers they brought up to me to work on.  It looks so nice out there and all grandkiddos love playing in the water--jumping over my darling ladybug sprinkler DH got me years ago, filling cups with water to try soaking each other with, watering with my can or the hose.  Flowers and plants greatly appreciated everyone's efforts!

Sunday girlie girls and boyly boys, their mom and I used embroidery floss to stitch together the little top I'm working on for Blogger's Quilt Festival.  Trey & Sabrina under pulling their threads through; Sagie, Sydney & Spencer (with mom's help) sewing.  It was great working together and love each one of those precious stitches.  Some still needs to be done so will do that myself, but just barely as I love what they've already done!
 Little Spencer watering...that little boy has so much energy and is a joy to watch.  He also has a collection of rocks he started last time they were here that's amassing on our front porch--think he needs a book about rocks for his upcoming birthday?
 DL made this fantastic couched floss cover for a gratitude journal.  She included information from to be thankful for three things each day so at the end of a year you've listed over 1000.  Such a cool idea.  Some of what she printed out with ideas of what and when to be thankful
Trey made this wonderful walking stick for me--love the area he carved out and sanded for me to hang on.  Stick has lichen on it--fantastic.    Batiks DH gave me--aren't they lovely?!
Kiddos each did a mosaic paper picture for their momma, then I glued them together and added glittered words.  Love that saying!
 Adam, Trey, Sabrina and DL sewing.

Sabrina stitching--super concentration on her part for sure!  Randy and Fred made a delicious dinner of ham, new red mashed potatoes, and strawberry spinach salad.  Sagie helped me make chocolate chip, peanut butter chip, pretzel pieces cookies--just yum!  All in all, wonderful day and weekend.  Thanks everyone!