Thursday, October 30, 2008


The last piece of the pie I made with my sister. And the ice cream? Well a girl needs her dairy! The Halloween table runner I will be sewing tomorrow for myself (finally!) is in the background. It's going to be a great day. Hope yours is great too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Back to our regularly scheduled program...

My sister's visit was a delight. There wasn't much we did that was extraordinary, but it was just so unbelievably good to have her around. Here she is with her new hubby in front of the American Museum of Natural History.

Doesn't she have the greatest smile? Pretty much jealous of it! Colgate, do you need a model?

My favorite part of the visit was when I got done with my early morning Spanish class Monday and realized that I would be meeting her at the farmer's market shortly. My sister as part of a "normal" day? Totally awesome!

Next best thing...discovering that my brother-in-law (who I haven't spent much time with prior to this weekend) makes me laugh. Laughing is big time important to hermanacita, so that is good. She told me last summer that silly gets her through an awful lot so she would require the ability and willingness to be silly in any potential life partner. Think she found him.

Yep, it's true. Family matters. (Brought to you by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Remember those commercials?)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Having a Stay-cation this weekend.

Just a little note to say I'm going off the air for a few days because MY SISTER IS COMING TO TOWN!!!! Shouting I know, but I am just that excited. I hope to spend every extra moment hugging and chatting and baking and and movie watching and game playing and city walking...or just nothing at all as long as she is the one I am doing it with! Plus, we finally get to really hang out with and get to know her new hubby. Oh, I am so excited!

Have you all have a lovely weekend too!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Finished Object: Trick or Treat! Hide and Seek!

Here's the tablerunner that Melissa selected for her giveaway prize and it is finished and in the mail heading north, along with a few small goodies. Hope she likes it! :)

Hmmmm....seeing it posted is a good way to step back and really look at it. Can see that it is more weighted in blacks on the left. Guess that's what a design wall is for and what happens when you are just free-wheeling it! Oh well, I like it anyway! Hooray for my first giveaway.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Conversation with the hubby....

Me: (Thinking of a colleague who is always dressed fashionably and has beautifully done hair and make-up). Hon, is it ok that I'm so low-maintenance?

Hubby: (raised eye-brows, long look, no response.)

Me: Uh.....maybe I need to clarify.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Soup Swap: Mom's Stew & Kathy's French Bread

This is my contribution to Jessica's Soup Swap. If you want more yummy soup recipes, just click on the icon above.

This stew is so yummy! It definitely gives me growing up comfort memories! As I made it again for the Soup Swap, I was reminded of the uniqueness of the flavor too. It's not a typical stew taste. The paprika and worcestershire and clove....just right!

I also decided to make French bread from a recipe given to me at my bridal shower back home with family and the women from my neighborhood. These women were constants in my growing up years. Claudia (who happened to live next door to my aunt) gave me this recipe, but clearly labeled it as "Kathy's" who lived across the street from her. Talk about neighborhood sharing! I love thinking of the women I grew up around when I make this bread. Without further ado....

Mom's Stew

2 Tbsp shortening or butter
1 lb stew meat
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
dash of ground cloves
4 potatoes cubed
2-4 carrots
1 16 oz. can corn, drained (I used corn from 3 ears of corn, cut of the cob raw)
(I also added 2 small parsnips, but didn't notice them for good or bad.)
6 Tbsp flour

Brown the meat in the shortening/butter, turning often.

(Oh my goodness, looking at this now I think I may have added twice the butter. No wonder it tasted extra rich!) Add 2 quarts of water (I used beef broth for part of this because I had it in the fridge) and all of the seasoning/spices including onion and garlic. Once the soup is boiling, add the carrots and potatoes.

Cook until soft. Add the corn. Combine the flour in cold water, mixing thoroughly until there are no lumps. Add to stew and heat 'til bubbly (and if you add extra butter like me you have a yummy layer of "flavor" swirling on top!)

Kathy's French Bread
(This is the half version I make for only one loaf.)

1/4 cup warm water
1 Tbsp dry yeast
1 cup HOT water
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp salt (I probably do a little less than this)
1/6 cup of oil (eye-balled in my 1/3 cup measuring cup)
3 cups flour (I used 100% whole wheat.)

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup water. In another bowl combine hoe water, sugar, salt, oil and 1/2 flour. Stir. Add yeast and stire. Add rest of flour. I usually cover the bowl and place it on my stove top or some other warm place. Stir down dough every 10 minutes five times. Roll out on large cutting board.

Roll up jelly-roll fashion , tucking the ends under. Sprinkle baking pan with cornmeal or grease. (Looking at my pan, see I clearly forgot that one, but it didn't stick this time. Go figure!) Slash the top.

Let raise double (30 - 60 minutes). Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes. Serve warm with butter, of course!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Giveaway!!! -- WINNER CHOSEN!!!

***UPDATE: Well the random integer generator selected comment number 51 out of 57 (one was a duplicate entry adding an e-mail). See:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-10-16 02:50:20 UTC

which is......

Melissa from Frog Stitch! Congratulations!!! She says she makes pear crisp or pear jam from her sister's pears. YUM!!! Maybe I need to hop up to Canada to get some of that!!! So it looks like one of these runners is headed north. Hooray!!!

Thank you all for playing! It was fun to peek at your blogs and make this to send off to someone else's home. Once I hear from Melissa which one she likes, I'll put the other one in my new etsy shop. So check back if you are dying for a trick-or-treating table runner! Night all!
End of update.****

Yep, decided to jump into the fray with the "Fall into Fall" Quilter's giveaway! My giveaway prize is still in progress (due to a cold over the week-end, yuck!), but let's start the entries shall we?

You are entering for a Halloween table runner of your choice! All are welcome to join in the, friends, neighbors, blog-buddies, new visitors. All you need to do is leave a comment below (and a way to contact you if you don't have a blog) before October 15th at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time telling me your favorite thing to make in the fall. It could be a craft, a favorite dish or anything else. (Yes, piles of leaves count!)

One lucky winner will get to choose between the above pictured table-runners: either the bright Halloween colors or the neutrals. The other will go in my etsy shop on Thursday. Isn't this Halloween fabric fun??? The giveaway package will also include a few fun Halloween/fall surprises, so sign up boys and girls. Let's get started!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Busy weekend and a teaser...

The next few days are going to be pretty busy around here...I have several rehearsals today and guests over for dinner tomorrow, so I may not get around to blogging. But, I am thinking about jumping on the bandwagon with the Fall into Fall giveaway and adding a little giveaway love of my own, so check back soon. If you click on this little guy below, he will take you to the list of other giveaway participants and links to their giveaways of fun handmade and quilting stuff.

Have a fabulous long weekend!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Feeling it...

After a little prodding by Amy, seeing Park City Girl's thankful lists and hearing a conference talk or two this past weekend, I have been trying to recognize my blessings more consciously. But today, without any effort, I am just feeling exceptionally blessed by the women in my life. I often overlook how many wonderful women I am lucky to know, love and be supported by, because of busyness, personal challenges, distance or just the grumbles. But today, I somehow feel blessed by all of you that have touched my life, be you a long time friend (like the A's), or a family member (like my aunts who actually read my blog!), or an inspiring dancer friend, or someone I've worked with or planned camp with, or a new friend I've discovered here, or someone who shares my desire to be a mother (regardless of whether or not our children have shown up yet!) or anyother way that you've come into my life, I'm grateful for you.

Here's to cards and postcards in the mail, e-mails from former New Yorkers, tacos with a camp compadres, friendly posts, projects together, shared recipes, getting a grandma lesson, weekend talks with mom, dancing together, having a sister who loves to be silly, doing swaps and all of the other ways we connect. Thank you! You've made my day today.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Five things I am grateful for today

1. The heat came on this morning! In NYC, there are heat laws that govern when the heat gets turned on. It finally got chilly enough for them to start up the boiler. The radiator just started hissing and I can smell that distinct radiator smell. Ooooooh, looking forward to the apartment being warm when I get home tonight! Now it's fall!

2. The scent of this candle.

3. Dancing with long-time friends and making new friends through dance.

4. Warm favorite herbal tea (anything with licorice root) & Grandma's heart quilt.

5. Some time to sew with this fun Halloween fabric. I'm not usually into novelty fabric, but this was too cute to pass up. May have been the little kitty and ballerina costumes...

What are you grateful for today?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dad's Cornbread

Isn't my cook-book beat???

Growing up it was my dad who was passionate about cooking. Don't get me wrong, my mom can cook, but my dad obsesses about it...pies, chili verde, pizza, sour dough bread, salmon with mango salsa, cornish game hens, dutch oven eclairs....

It was with him that I took a dutch oven cooking class the year I was twelve. When he gave me this recipe over the phone years ago, he of course included the dutch oven details, which are at the end of the recipe. I love this recipe, probably because it is sweet enough to be more of a corn "cake". I've never served it without someone else loving it too. May it accompany a yummy soup or stew in your house this fall or chili verde on a mountain river next summer!

Dad's Cornbread

1/2 cup melted butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (or lemon juice/vinegar soured milk)

Add and mix:
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
(I use whole wheat flour. Do you think that balances out the sugar and butter???)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Grease bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. Pour batter into dish. Bake at 350 F for 30+ minute, until edges are browned. You can double the recipe and bake in a 13x9 baking dish.

Serve with butter and honey, of course!

(Dutch oven details: for a single batch use a 10" dutch oven. Bake with 9 briquets on top and 6 briquets under the d.o. Bake for approx. 30 minutes, rotating both the d.o. and the lid periodically.)

p.s. If you are looking for yummy soup recipes, check out the soup swap at Turkeycookies. Where do you think her blog name came from??? I'm so curious....

Friday, October 3, 2008

Thought for Friday....

"Our greatest gift is the ability to love and have compassion."
a thought from my cousin Alisha when talking about family and challenges

This is a picture of me with my sister, one of the people I love most in all of the world and who has shown me great love and compassion. Who do you love?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Choices & Changes....

UPDATE: Seriously considered deleting this post today as circumstances have changed and I am in a new process of decision-making. However, I'll just leave this addendum to say, life is a process and this, as well as any other post is only a snap-shot of my life and my thoughts in any given moment. All are seriously subject to change. Quoting my sister's favorite sign-off, tongue firmly in cheek..."My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right." :)

I am a dancer. Have I mentioned that before? Today on my mind is a friend's project that I would LOVE to be a part of. This project will use dancers from different faiths and spiritual practices to explore the theme of spiritual foundations through movement and text. She wants to use a collaborative process and perform it for different congregations as well as regular dance venues. Oh, it's right up my ally and I really love working with her. However, I keep having this sense that adding one more thing to the mix this fall will be too much and spread me too thin.

But I majored in "spread too thin"! Can't I put all that training to good work??? I am not exactly used to choosing NOT to do something, especially something I want to do. How do I do this? Help!!! How do I choose to let go of something I would really, REALLY like to do and trust that my inner sense will guide me? Trust that God has many wonderful opportunities ahead of me, as a dancer, yes, but also in other areas of my life? Let go of it enough in my heart that I can bless her in her endeavors with my whole heart as she moves forward without me?

Aaaaaaaaaarrgh! That's how I feel about it! Yes, that is offset by moments of peaceful calm, but that anxious, urgent howl kicks in too and makes me want to rethink the whole thing. Is this normal??? Do you ever go crazy making decisions too?

Well, enough....even with the voices of "aaaaaaaaaaargh" and "it's going to be just fine" battling it out, I am going to get on with my day. Hope I get the most important things done and hope you do too!

Upward and of the steepest trails I've ever hiked, and yet I survived that one!
Hmmmmm.....Petersburg, Alaska

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Be back soon...

Raspberry jam is made! Will be back to blogging soon..... :) Thanks Amawalk Farm!

(Note: They are supposed to be posting a totally kick-butt Raspberry Crumble recipe soon! I'll let you know if I make it!)