Wanted to share the progress that I have made on my Christmas tree skirt. So far I have invested about 40 hours in the English paper piecing project and completed half of the poinsettia band of the skirt.
If I can invest another 80 or 90 hours the skirts should be ready for this holiday season.
This afternoon I finished a holiday pillow featuring a stylized poinsettia. I even used a few Christmas farbics that I haven’t touched since I over did it with the creation of table runners for family members a few years ago.
The 20 inch paper pieced pillow uses a combination of cottons and silks, and was machine pieced and quilted. This is the first of several projects that I hope to complete for the holiday season.
The rains came back today so are plans for yard work were abandoned and I decided to do a bit of cooking for the week.
I started some beefless stew in the crock pot and made a loaf of low sugar fat free banana bread for us, and some peanut butter and pumpkin treats for the dogs.
The dogs loved the treats so much that I thought that I would share the recipe.
- 2 1/2cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup water, or as needed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients except water.
- Add water sparingly until dough is sticky. The amount of water needed will depend on the oil content of the peanut butter.
- Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface and into your favorite shape(s).
- Bake on cookie sheet for about 20 minutes.
- All treats to cool completely before serving or refrigerating.
After a week of rain the sun came out today and the temperatures were in the 60s. What a great day for yard work and a nice light lunch of spiced carrot hummus with sesame crackers and a lady apple or two.
The recipe that I found on the Kitchen blog allowed me to use a number of items harvested and/or canned this year. I roasted off the carrots this morning while waiting for the fog to burn off, used a jar of chickpeas that were canned this past spring, a variety of seasonings, bit of locally produced tahini from the coop and topped it all off with some fresh squeezed lemon juice to create a yummy lunchtime treat.
- 1 pound carrots, chopped into 1 inch chunks
- 3 whole cloves garlic, peals left on
- 4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 435 degrees.
- Toss the chopped carrots and whole garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and pour mixture onto a backing sheet distributing evenly.
- Roast carrots in oven for 18-20minutes or until tender and lightly browned.
- In the bowl of a food processor. combine the roasted carrots, roasted garlic, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, water and all of the spices.
- Drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil while the food processor is running. Add more water a little at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
- Taste as adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Serve with your favorite vegetables and crackers.
The unusually warm weather turned this weekend and we were given a rainy/sleety Saturday and Sunday. Just the type of weather to kick-off our soup and stew season. To welcome in the season I made a pantry soup of butternut squash, parsnip and apples, and a basil focaccia bread for Sunday dinner. We enjoyed the meal so much that I wanted to share the recipes with you.
Butternut Squash, Parsnip and Apple Soup
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 4 large parsnips, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 large butternut squash, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 medium tart apples, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in large dutch oven.
- Saute the chopped onions in the olive oil for 5 minutes or until soft.
- Add crushed garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Stir in cumin and saute until fragrant.
- Add chopped parsnips, butternut squash and apples to the pot and stir all ingredients together.
- Add stock and thyme and cook until vegetables have softened.
- Use an immersion blender to smooth the soup.
- Garnish with a bit of parsley.
Basil Focaccia Bread
- Herb oil
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 5 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups water
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Mix the dried basil, extra virgin olive oil, and sweet paprika in a small bowl and let steep for at least 30minutes.
- Dissolve the sugar in 2 cups of warm water. Add the yeast and stir. Allow to sit until the mixture becomes frothy.
- Stir flour and salt together in a large bowl. Mix in olive oil and yeast mixture. Mix until dough is smooth, elastic and slightly sticky.
- Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
- Remove from bowl and flatten on a floured work surface. Divide into two equal parts.
- Spray two jelly roll pans with oil and place dough in pans.
- Gently work dough out to the edges of the pans and then split 1/2 of the herb oil across the trays of dough.
- With your fingers, indent the dough, keeping the bread approximately 1/2 thick.
- Let the dough leaven for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Pour the remaining herb oil on the loves, dimple lightly and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
I am down to the last two paper pieced blocks for my quilt-as-you go project so I just had to start a new project. It seams that I am not comfortable unless I have 4-5 quilting projects going at the same time. The latest project is an English paper pieced tree skirt.
The skirt will have a dozen poinsettias circling around the midpoint of the skirt and holly leaves at the base, with a beige background in multiple shades of the color. The skirt will be hand pieced (great travel project) and quilted. It was just started this month and I told my family that I would finish it for the Christmas season, fortunately I didn’t say which year :)