Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tiny Quilts

Over on Craftster, we're doing a craft-a-long for charity. Since I'm not really the scrappy quilt type, I've been trying to find a scrappy project I would like to use up my scraps and all the fabric bits and pieces that Katrina gave me from her mom's sewing room. I started cutting them with an Irish chain in mind, but decided to turn them into small quilts for the craft-a-long. The quilts will be donated to parents who have lost their children who were born prematurely or still born. The sizes requested range from 10x10 inches to regular crib size. I like doing them for a few reasons.

  1. They're small, so they come together quickly.
  2. Because they are fast, I have handwork to do upstairs with LBK instead of being downstairs.
  3. They use the scraps I have.
  4. I have a lot of pink scraps.
  5. I already make charity quilts for Project Linus and Shriners, so it continues something I already like to do.
  6. It reminds me that no matter how frustrated I am at my situation, it could be worse.
  7. People who have shared their own personal story on Craftster appreciate so much the things that people have made for them and found comfort in them.
Here are the first ones.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tommy's Towels

For Ella's first birthday, I made her a set of towels with her name and some flowers on them. For Tommy's (belated) first birthday, I made a set with a rocket ship using the pattern from Don't Look Now. The bath towel has the rocket, a planet and some stars. The blue hand towel has his name and a star. The yellow wash cloth has the blue from the rocket's body appliqued as a stripe. For the wash cloth, I just stitched on the stripe. For the other two towels, I used fusible web, then machine blanket stitched over the shapes using nylon thread on top and white in the bobbin. For the letters, I printed out a font I liked and used the light table to trace them onto the fusible web. All the fabric was from my stash.

Post Valentine's Day Lunch

Leftovers from last night were on the menu for lunch today. I also had some roasted butternut squash in the fridge from earlier in the week that was intended for this soup from Food & Wine.  I finished the soup to go with our meager leftovers - two wings, a leg, the tiniest thigh ever, a few shallots and one parsnip. The soup is so simple, just roast the squash, whirl it in the food processor with water, creme fraiche, a bit of cinnamon. Top with banana, maple syrup, toasted pecans. It was really good. The soup tastes of squash, pure and intense. No chicken or veg stock invited to the party. The creme fraiche added texture and a bit of richness, but not too much. The banana-maple-pecan garnish was really interesting, the sweetness playing off the squash, but not overwhelming. The soup also warmed the banana, which also changed it's flavor somewhat.

Valentine's Day Dinner

Earlier in the week, when I was stressed out and not even thinking about cooking on Saturday for Valentine's Day, LBK asked me if he could cook me dinner on Saturday. I was both touched and surprised, and said yes quickly on condition that I could make the dessert. Since he had Friday off, he planned to shop Friday and cook on Saturday.

"How about duck?" he asked.
Hmm. I don't know if I like duck, I thought. "Sure. Duck it is."

Later Friday, after much trekking around town and swearing, with no duck to be found, the plan changed to chicken. And it. was. delicious. dreamy. delightful.

We started with spinach salad with walnuts, dried cranberries, and feta with a honey balsamic vinaigrette.

Then Roasted Chicken with shallots and parsnips.

I made bread dough earlier in the week using the 5 minute artisan bread recipe that's running around the Internet. I baked some off earlier in the day and made a second loaf for dinner. It's pretty damn good, but my shaping needs some work.

It was a meal worthy of our highest compliment - restaurant quality. A dish we would gladly pay top dollar for and order again and again. A dish that is greater than the sum of its parts.

I'm sad to say my pots de creme did not set up. I whipped up some individual sized yogurt pies toppped with strawberries. It's kind of a no-bake cheesecake kind of thing. I usually make it in the summer. It's good, but you really need chocolate on Valentine's Day.

A man, an eggplant, parmesan

Due to work commitments, LBK has been eating alone most of this week. I was ever so slightly berated for having the camera in my possession when he made a blogworthy dinner that, sigh, he just couldn't take a pic of since the camera was no where to be found. After a few days of this, missing grilled chicken with green beans and tomato and a pizza with red peppers, pepperoni and onion, I remembered to leave the camera for him. Just in time for this delicious looking eggplant parmesan with roasted red peppers.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What a co-inky-dink

I haven't really felt like I've been cooking much lately. Too much work stress. Like the FRIDAY FROM HELL. So hellish it gets ALL caps, not just initial letters. So hellish it is lasting until at leeeeast Thursday, probably longer. Friday's dinner was two Pomegranate Martinis back to back washed down with a grilled cheese sandwich. Note all I had to eat all day was a cup of oatmeal at about 9 a.m. Those martinis hit me like a 2x4 which was just what I needed.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday, Monday

I'm trying to keep busy today. I have too many competing things I want to do: quilt, sew, clean, cook. Not to mention actual work and some errands. I'd love to get a pedicure, but Milo needs one more.

Everyone has offered to come over today if I need anything, which is so generous and kind of them. I can't decide yes or no. I'm waiting until after the call to decide, then will email everyone. I'm thinking of hosting cocktail hour, with everyone out the door by 6 so LBK and I can spend time together.

Right now I'm working on laundry time. Throw a load in, sew on Tommy's towels. Change load, go up and wash dishes, get out ingredients for cake, make pizza dough. Check blogroll. Ask Sue her towel naming preference.

Think, don't think, think, don't think. Wait, wait, wait.

Here's a peek at Tommy's towels. More later...