January 16th, 2013
I was happy to get one of these super scrap bundles from the workroom at City of Craft in December. I got a nice bundle of greens to use in my farmer's wife quilt. I'm hoping that a new injection of pretty fabrics will help me kick start that project again.....
January 7th, 2013
I have been diligently translating my flickr albums into photo books for several years, and really love not just having the books on a shelf to flip through but also the process of going through the photos from the past year as I put them into the book. A good way to reflect on the previous year and all the nice memories you might not have thought about for some time. I'll be starting on that process soon (also, btw a good activity while curled up under a blanket in January with your laptop and an old movie or some trashy tv), but for now I've been looking at my archives and thinking about the past year. I am not fully invested in 2013 yet I guess, and still processing 2012. Presented here, in fourteen photos. January: We hibernated. February: We had a great weekend in Montreal with friends. Much delicious cheese and pastries were consumed. March: Enjoyed a sudden warm spell on spring break when my sister's family came to visit and celebrated by going to the beach. April: Took our new bikes out for many adventures. May: Two great, but very different, trips - one to foggy Newfoundland and one to Paris! June: An amazing trip to New York, during a heat wave (that was the not so amazing part). July: Spent two weeks travelling and visiting family in beautiful places - Northern Wisconsin and southern British Columbia. August: Discovered a great new camping spot in Prince Edward County, with a beautiful beach. September: Snuck in one last camping trip at Bon Echo. October: Big family gathering for Thanskgiving, and a new tradition - brining the turkey! November: Enjoyed the sunny fall weather while it lasted. December: Our quiet Christmas feast.
December 31st, 2012
Here is a collection of some of my favorite projects from the past year - there were less to choose from this year than in previous. Less time spent with my sewing machine I think, as more other bits of life took up my free time. But it was as nice as always to go through the archives and see what I did manage to get done - and there are a few projects still on the go that I am hoping to wrap up soon. For now, though, here is the best of 2012. And all the best to everyone for a happy new year! woodland quilt :: Compost Cookies :: log cabin blocks new travel organizer :: Shaved Fennel Salad :: Paris bag farmer's wife quilt in progress :: Duvet cover :: Rosemary Shortbread blue hurricane hat :: Tabouli Chickpea Salad :: blue quilt
December 25th, 2012
We've had a very quiet Christmas - partly by design, and partly because we've been laid up with a stomach bug of some sort. So no Christmas feast for us, or perhaps just a delayed one, but lots of time for snuggling under quilts and watching Christmas movies. We didn't have a topper for our tree, so I used this tutorial from Pretty & Cozy to make a paper star. First time I've used a glue gun in a long time! It was fun, and made just the right addition to our tree. Hope everyone has had a festive and fun Christmas!
December 22nd, 2012
This is another one that we used to make every year when I was young - I think it came out of some magazine holiday recipe special but I can't remember which one. Its a nice chocolate cookie with an extra depth of flavour from the coffee. Plus they look so fun with all that drizzle, which is really quite easy to do. Cappuccino All-Stars 1 cup butter 1 cup sugar 6 Tbsp cocoa powder 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1 large egg 2 tsp instant coffee powder 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp water 2 cups flour Icing drizzle: 1 cup icing sugar 1 1/2 Tbsp hot milk 3/4 Tbsp softened butter 3/4 tsp light corn syrup 1/4 tsp vanilla 1/4 tsp vegetable oil pinch salt 2 tsp instant coffee powder mixed in 2 Tbsp water Beat butter, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl until blended. Beat in egg. Stir coffee powder, vanilla, and water into a cup to dissolve coffee. Beat into butter mixture. On low speed, beat in flour until just blended. Divide dough in half, wrap and chill until firm. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough on a well floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. Cut out stars and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. To make the icing drizzle, stir hot milk into icing sugar. Stir in butter until blended, then remaining ingredients. Stir coffee and water into the icing. Once cookies are cool, place wire rack over parchment or wax paper to make clean up easy. Pour some of the icing into a plastic bag with one corner cut off. Drizzle over the cookies in a zig zag pattern. Be sure to let the drizzle harden before packing into a storage container.
December 21st, 2012
This is a recipe we made every year when I was young. Originally, they are called Pecan Crescents, because you shape them into, um, crescents, and I think they are known by many names as a common eastern European cookie. However, shaping them into crescents is an extra step I decided was too fussy, and also often causes them to break in storage. The ball form worked perfectly well and didn't seem to impact the taste experience. Done this way, they are pretty simple and make a nice, nutty cookie for your collection. Pecan Dreams 1 cup butter 6 heaping tablespoons powdered sugar 2 cups flour 2 tsp water 2 cups pecans in coarse pieces 2 tsp vanilla powdered sugar to coat Use your food processor to blend your pecans into coarse pieces (or a knife if you are a glutton for punishment). Set aside. Cream together butter and sugar. Work in the rest of the ingredients until the dough sticks together. Shape into 1 inch balls and place onto parchment covered baking sheets. These don't expand much, so you can put them fairly close together. Bake at 250 F for 30 minutes or until light brown on the bottom. Cool on racks, then roll in powdered sugar.
December 16th, 2012
This is the first of my holiday baking - and maybe the best new cookie recipe I've tried in ages. The savoriness of the rosemary goes so well with a bit of sweetness and the lemon zest. A perfect compliment to any holiday cookie plate. Or really any cookie-related occasion, really. The recipe made about 24 cookies. These are going pretty quickly and I wish it made more. I know sometimes doubling a recipe doesn't work out so well, but I might give it a try next time, just so that I have enough to take to holiday parties and to eat myself without the intensive rationing that is required now. Rosemary Shortbread Adapted from Gourmet December 2002 at Epicurious 2 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened 2 tablespoons mild honey 1/2 cup confectioners sugar zest of one lemon Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and rosemary in a bowl and set aside. Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light coloured and whipped. Add the honey and confectioners sugar at low speed, then add the lemon zest and flour mixture and mix until dough resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Gather dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured surface. It will be somewhat crumbly. Knead dough until it just comes together, about 8 times. Halve dough and form each half into round log. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm to make it easier to slice. The dough will keep in the fridge for several days, or in the freezer if you want to bake it later. Take the dough from the fridge and slice into roughly quarter inch thick rounds. Place onto parchment covered baking sheets. Bake shortbread in middle of oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Slide shortbread on parchment to a rack to cool.
December 11th, 2012
I made it through November! I'm enjoying the project, although some days as I'm heading to bed I realize I've forgotten to take a photo and have to think of something quick. It's nice to look back at the whole month and I can imagine that will be even more true for the whole year. I had to do up this calendar a bit manually though, I'm a bit bummed that the project365 app isn't available for android yet. Maybe soon.
December 9th, 2012
A little late again, but better than never, some new songs to get you through the holiday season. Good for when you just can't handle listening to another christmas carol and need to change it up. All legal, free mp3 downloads, links in the right hand column. Also, coming soon, my adventures with christmas baking! SONGS: OHIA – farewell transmission CASS MCCOMBS – the same thing AMOR DE DIAS – jeans waving ALLO DARLING – northern lights TEEN MOM – I wanna go out BEACH FOSSILS - careless CALIFONE – pastry sharp YELLOW OSTRICH – whale THEE OH SEES – floods new light LADYHAWK – you read my mind WYE OAK – spiral
December 4th, 2012