Sunday, December 30, 2007

Planning for a New Year

The Christmas decorations have all been put away and the house is neat and clean and ready for a new year. Here are a few things I am planning on doing in 2008. Apart from them I will keep myself open to whatever comes my way and make the best of it.

Personal Goals for 2008:

  • Learn to drive.
  • Write more letters.
  • Keep a journal (on paper).
  • Read at least one book per month.

Crafty Goals for 2008:

  • Finish my Women of the Bible Quilt (top at least).
  • Work on my other sampler quilts: Civil War Diary Quilt, Dear Jane
  • I am going to start a "Finish Something Friday" to – hopefully – get some projects finished.
  • Give hand-made gifts only.
  • Make more and different things for my Etsy-Shop

Housekeeping Goals for 2008:

  • Keep the house neat and clean.
  • Declutter regularly.
  • Bake bread, make yogurt, cream cheese and ginger ale.
  • Learn to pickle and preserve fruits and vegetables.
  • Learn to make cheese.
  • Start a small vegetable and herb garden.
  • Try at least one completely new recipe per month.
  • Cook something ethnic once a month.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

This and That

I made two crochet shawls last week, both were "orders" and I actually got paid for making them. :) One will go to a friend's sister as a birthday present, the other one to a friend's cousin who is battling cancer. I hope they will both enjoy them. I had some yarn left from the dark one and made a hat to go with it. As much fun as it was making them, my hands think I should take a break.

Here is the apron I got from Paula in Rhonda's Apron Swap. Isn't it cute? I love the little dishcloth, it is attached with a big button.

I finally got some pictures taken of my penguin collection and the cats and bears are on the shelf too. I no longer collect these bears but I still collect penguins and cats.

And Miss Kitty has a new hobby which has quickly become a new chore for me - going walkies. Every morning as soon as it gets light she bugs me to take her outside, no matter how cold it is. She is 13 years old and has always been an indoor cat so the only way she gets to go out is on a leash. She is not afraid of anything and I am amazed at how quickly she adapted to walking on the leash. Here are a few pictures from our last outing.

This week I am baking Christmas cookies and I also made this Cranberry-Orange-Loaf which I found on Dawn's By Sun and Candlelight . It is very good and quick and easy to make, my favorite kind of recipe.

I leave you now with a glimpse of our blue December sky and the best wishes for a happy holiday weekend.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Tour of Homes

It's that time of year again, The Christmas Tour of Homes, hosted by BooMama is here and since we are now officially unpacked and the house is ready for Christmas, let's play.

First stop: The Living Room. We are not using the fireplace since it has been deemed unsafe by the home inspector and we don't have the resources right now to have it checked and fixed. To keep the cold, dust and unwanted critters out and Miss Kitty in, Del screwed a board in front of the opening and painted the whole thing white. Also, neither one of us really knows how to build a proper fire and we really like our house. ;)

I kept the blue-white-gold theme from last year for the big tree.

A few details of the decoration on the mantel.

Next stop: The Dining Room

Last stop: The Kitchen

As you can see, Miss Kitty is quite happy with the house too.

Sorry, the rest of the house is not open to the public, but here are some refreshments for you. Thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoyed the tour.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Quick and easy and very good. I used

1 can of black beans
1 can of corn (unsalted)
half a jar of your favorite salsa (I used Harris Teeter's extra chunky, mild)
chili powder
green tabasco sauce to spiff it up a bit

We had it with quesadillas, tortilla chips and last night with cold roast pork.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Another Gift

This scarf was a birthday gift for a friend.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


One of my all-time favorite foods, both to cook and to eat is Pizza. I make a basic pizza dough from

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 package dry yeast (rapid rise when you are pressed for time)
enough warm water to make a soft but not sticky dough

Mix flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl, add water gradually while kneading with electric mixer (using kneading hooks) until a soft dough ball forms. Cover with dish cloth and let rise for 2 - 3 hours. If using rapid rise yeast less time is needed. The longer it rises the thicker and fluffier the crust becomes.
Sometimes I just make a batch of dough, sprinkle it with coarse salt and/or grated parmesan cheese and serve it as bread to a salad.

I like to try different toppings. My basic topping to work from is:

tomato sauce (canned, low sodium preferred)
garlic powder
dried oregano
shredded mozzarella cheese (as much or as little as you like)

additional toppings:

Pepperoni and Green Pepper

Canadian Bacon, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes and Banana Peppers

And one with both (I like to make that one for guests)

For my Roasted Veggies and Feta Pizza

I did not use mozzarella as basis. Just sliced, oven roasted egg plant and zucchini, fresh onion and tomato slices and plenty of feta cheese on top.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Pay It Forward - again

This is the season for giving and the pay it forward thing is so much fun, I just had to do it again.

"I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise!The only thing you have to do in return is 'Pay it Forward' by making the same promise on your blog."