Wednesday, October 27, 2010

From The Kitchen: Ginger Cookies

Recently, my days have consisted of lots of cooking and baking. Chicken pot pie, white bean soup, applesauce, and cookies! I was in the mood for quintessential fall sweets and so I made the Barefoot Contessa's ginger cookies.

Ahh... there is nothing like the scent of allspice, cloves, cinnamon and ginger.

The batter is surprisingly thick. Don't worry though, it's supposed to be that way.

Beautiful Australian crystallized ginger.

The cookies before they went in the oven...

and after they came out. They were delicious! Slightly crunchy on the outside, but soft and warm on the inside! Pug loved them.

Monday, October 25, 2010

When In Doubt, Knit

I've had the nicest past week relearning to knit.  Since I'm still sans sewing machine, knitting is about the best alternative to quilting!  The teal swatch on the right was my practice attempt to try out some different stitches.

Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick is a great book for learning how to knit.  It has clear, simple instructions and pictures and some cute (though kid-centered) projects.

I fell in love with some gorgeous Malabrigo yarn (Aquarella) at a knitting store in Cannon Beach.  It's soft and chunky and so nice to touch!

Pug is a good knitting companion.

I bought one skein of the yarn so it made a shortish scarf, but still long enough to fit around the neck.  It'd be cute held in place with a pretty pin.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Out And About

"Did you say trip?  As in leave the house?  You want me to get off the chair?"

So Pug stayed home and I went by myself on a little day trip to Aurora and Butteville.

Along the way I passed Swan Island Dahlias,

Molalla River Park,

and Aurora Mills Archictectural Salvage, which I just had to go in!

They had pretty planters,

and pretty doors, and all sorts of old house odds and ends.

The town of Aurora is almost entirely made up of antique stores. 

My favorite find of the day (besides discovering Champoeg State Park-- gorgeous!) was the very charming Butteville General Store.  I peeked inside and will absolutely have to go back for lunch or dinner and some old timey live music!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Harvest Bounty

These tomatoes came from our garden!  For a while it seemed like they'd never turn red...

We grew the corn too.  It was delicious.  My husband's a good gardener.

These pastries didn't come from our garden, sadly.  But I know where to find them!La Petite Provence on NE Alberta.

The marionberry pastry was delish.

My favorite (and a good one for fall): apple beignet.

Chai + beignet= couldn't get any better.

Picture of Pug coming in next blog post.  He's sleeping behind me as I type this, full from a piece of boeuf bourguignon.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Crafts

With my sewing machine in the shop, it's time to turn to other crafts. Stained glass seems interesting. I visited a stained glass store last week (and before that week, I had no idea such a store existed) and with the help of one of my beloved elementary school teachers who works with stained glass, I'm making my first stained glass project (a pear).

I was amazed at the color choices and the way the glass is set up.

Other crafts I want to try: felting and embroidery.  I fell in love with these books by Kata Golda and Alicia Paulson and am eager to try some projects from them!

And last but not least, I'm going to start knitting again! I'm most excited about this because I was knitting for a bit when we lived in New York. I loved it and have no idea why I stopped. I've spent the last couple of days relearning the stitches and getting the hang of it again and hopefully will make something (a hat? scarf?) soon. And Pug's been playing with the yarn...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Visiting The Coast

We were on the coast the last few days...

Pug loves the ocean and so do I.

You never know what you'll find.

The grocery store in Manzanita has the loveliest red benches.

Manzanita's also home to this red birdhouse.

Over in Cannon Beach, a stop at Bruce's Candy Kitchen yielded a caramel apple and...

this delicious caramel and chocolate covered rice krispy bar on a stick.

It was a perfect couple of days.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Crazy Nine Patch Lattice Quilt Part II

I've made a lot of progress on the crazy quilt I'm working on.  Today was the last  class over at Modern Domestic and I'm a little sad it's over... It was nice going over there every Thursday morning and quilting (armed with chai, because it was a little early to be quilting). Elizabeth is a great teacher! Anyhoo, this is the batting and quilt top laid out on my office floor. Elizabeth recommended this method for putting the quilt sandwich together.

Before I did any of this, I vacuumed up a lot of someone's fur.  How does it get everywhere? 

Once the batting and quilt top are smoothed out, you roll it up.

This is how it looks all rolled up.  I must have cookies on the brain because it really reminds me of a Pepperidge Farm Pirouette wafer.

The next step is fun!  Taping down the quilt backing with painters tape to the floor. Make sure to tape the right side down.

The rolled up bit gets unrolled on top of the quilt back.  Once it's in place, baste all layers together with curved safety pins. 
Et voilĂ !

Learning to machine quilt has been interesting and somewhat challenging.  Here's a picture of the bubble quilting pattern I'm using on every other square.  This is a good pattern to learn on since it's quite forgiving.  For the other squares, I did a more squiggly sort of quilt pattern. 

Here are a couple of the finished squares!  90% is quilted right now.  Unfortunately, my sewing machine was having some issues and had to go in for service.  I won't have it for another two weeks!  I guess I'll finally have time for projects that have been neglected for months, like my baskets...