Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Last Supper (of 2009, that is!)

Here we are at our favorite restaurant, Verde's Parilla having our last meal of 2009. If you have not tried Verde's, we cannot recommend it highly enough, it is fabulous!
A note about photography, one should not choose a camera based on it's "cute" factor. I will try to get better photos in 2010!
I hope everyone has a safe and fun New Year's Eve!

Christmas with the In-laws

Here are some pics from our gathering at my sister in law's house. The top one is me and 3 of my SILs in the aprons that I made. The next one is my husband's brother shaking up the Cosmopolitans. And of course, finally, the great Southern tradition of photographing the food!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all! I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe holiday. Glory to God in the Highest and on earth, peace, goodwill to men.

Christmas Memories

This is yet another one of the spots in the house that I deck out for Christmas. The china cabinet came from my grandparents, who purchased it shortly after they married. The silver tray on the top also belonged to that grandmother. The china inside came from my parents, it was a wedding gift from my uncle who was in the Navy in Vietnam at the time. He came through Hong Kong on his way home to the wedding and he purchased the entire set at the Sango factory. He hand-carried it all the way home to South Austin where he gave it to my folks. My mom passed it to me when I got the cabinet.

Bar-B-Que Jars

Here it is, the famous BarBQue Jar! I got this idea from a friend who found it in a magazine. They are a favorite of my husband and I made some for he and his coworkers to enjoy on Christmas, as there is no place open for them to grab a quick bite. It is very easy to make these and they travel so well, all you need is a plastic fork and a big napkin!

Here's what you need:

At least 4-1 pint wide mouth jars, you can also use disposable plastic containers, but the jars look really neat! I got these at HEB for less than $5.

1 large can of your favorite beans, I use Bush's Grillin' Beans.

1 container of cole slaw, I get mine in the HEB deli, you can certainly make your own.

1 jar of your favorite pickles, I use Claussen Stackers, cut up.

1 jar of your favorite BBQ sauce, I use Corky's (from Memphis, of course!).

Cooked brisket, I use HEB brand, cut up. You can also use cooked sausage, turkey or chicken. The amount depends on your appetite and your jar size.

In each clean jar, place a layer of the beans, meat, a drizzle of sauce, coleslaw, and top with pickles. Tightly screw on the lid and refrigerate until ready to eat.

If you want to continue the theme, you can make Banana Pudding and put it in the small jelly jars for dessert!

As you enjoy the holiday with your loved ones, please remember the men and women who are working to protect our local communites, our highways and our country.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Frilly Scarf

This is the scarf that I have been working on since February (the one I bought the supplies for at Debbie Macomber's shop). It is made out of ribbon instead of regular yarn. You make a hole in the ribbon with your needle and knit that, instead of wraping it around the needle. The distance between the holes determines the fullness of the ruffles. What can't be seen in the picture is the silver thread that runs along the edge of the ruffle. I am really happy with it and have already started another one.

Mish Mash, At Last

This is my latest project, all ready to be quilted. In an effort to be less "matchy matchy", a friend and I bought these fabrics at a shop in Corpus. The pattern is called "Mish Mash" and is a great way to use fat quarters. It takes 14 FQs and a little over a yard for the seperating strips. The photo on the top is the back and binding, I heart striped binding!!!

Yard Art, Spicewood Style

Well, here it is, as promised! This is our front yard and, yes, that is the jolly old elf getting a ticket. There are few things in life that speak to you and say, "Buy me", this was one for me! What you can't see is the husband's patrol car in the driveway and the neighborhood radar trailer at the street. We thought we had a chance in the decorating contest, but we experienced some "technical difficulties" with some of our lights. Oh well, there's always next year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Aunt's Cranberry Salad

This recipe came from my aunt, sometime after this picture was taken! That's her and my dad a few years back. Anyway, this is a must have for me at Christmas.

Cranberry Salad

Chop 1/2 of a bag of fresh cranberries and sprinkle with sugar. Allow to sit while you proceed with the recipe.

Dissolve 2-3oz or 1-6oz package of Black Cherry Jello (if you can find it, cherry will do in a pinch) in 2 cups of boiling water. Let this stand in the fridge until it is the consistency of egg whites. At this time, add the chopped cranberries, 1 large can crushed pineapple and the juice, 1-2 chopped apples, depending on the size and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Stir this well and pour into a 9 x 13 casserole and refrigerate until set.

For the topping, combine 1-8 oz package softened cream cheese, 1 small container vanilla yogurt, 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. I use a hand mixer for this to get all the lumps out. Spread over the Jello mixture and, if desired, sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Valentine is 2!

Yes, it is hard to believe it has been 2 years since our sweet girl was born. We had had a dog before, but she was a protector, not a lover. Val is a total lovebug and she has brought so much laughter and fun to our house. She is definitely the best gift ever! Russ summed it up very well when he recently said, "She makes everything better!".

2 Cute Organizational Ideas

Here are two cute things that I saw in Sandra Lee's magazine, Semi-Homemade. The jar came from Pier One and has a chalkboard panel on the front, it even came with 2 pieces of chalk. The second pic is my version of one of her ideas from a summer issue. She put all her kitchen sink "stuff" on a glass cake pedestal. I loved it because I love cake pedestals, but don't always have a use for one. The tall glass bottle in the back with the purple liquid in it is dish soap. Years ago, I saw Martha Stewart do this, so of course I had to as well! If you haven't checked out Sandra Lee's magazine, I really recommend it. A subscription is reasonable and her ideas are doable for normal people.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I received this video in an email and loved it! This is my favorite Sting song, so I was really fascinated by this.

Back to Blogging

Hello again, dear followers! I am sure you thought that I had disappeared for good, but no, I am still here! My sweet husband was home sick from work all last week. Yes, the infamous workaholic was felled by the flu. I looked back and realized that the last time he was off work sick that long was 2000 when he suffered a fall on the job and was not allowed to work for 10 days. Some would think that with a sick spouse sleeping all day I could get a lot accomplished. Some would be incorrect!!

We are all decorated for the holidays, inside and out. I only have 8 trees inside this year, with the other 3 in Johnson City. We do have a new outdoor display this year, check back next week to see those pics.

My current projects include 5 customer quilts in the longarm queue, 1 customer t-shirt quilt, 2 quilts made out of bandanas for my cousins and as many Christmas table runners as I can make for Johnson City! I also hope to make a new apron pattern that Theresa gave me this week. It is a nursing apron for new moms. It is pretty cool, like a pinafore with boning in the top to allow the mom to make eye contact with the baby, while maintaining modesty. I'll take a pic when I get it done. I also finished knitting a scarf that I started in February. I got the yarn in Port Orchard, Washington at Debbie Macomber's yarn shop called "A Good Yarn". If you aren't familiar with Debbie, she is a wonderful author of many books and an avid knitter.

The Spicewood Strippers had their annual holiday get together yesterday and it was a lot of fun. We roadtripped to New Braunfels to the Quilt Haus and then had lunch at the Grist Mill in Gruene. We stopped off in Blanco at Blanco Settlement, since the other ladies had not been there. I picked up a carton of the Aspen Mulling Cider Spices in the Orange Cinnamon flavor. For her Thanksgiving meal, Theresa made a pitcher of regular iced tea and put a whole carton of the Orange Cinnamon Cider Spices in it and it was FABULOUS! It is by no means lo-cal, but for a special gathering, it will be a hit.