Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ribbon Salad

I've been making this salad for Thanksgiving, and sometimes Christmas, for many years. If I don't make it, I hear about it, LOL! I thought I would share this recipe which I think originally came from Royal Gelatin (I know I have the original booklet squirreled away somewhere), but I couldn't find the recipe on the Royal website. Oh well, it's pretty old! Kinda like me! Anyways, we all love it, so here's the recipe!

Ribbon Salad

6 serving size lime gelatin
6 serving size cherry (or any red) gelatin
4 serving size lemon gelatin
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup pineapple juice (from can of crushed pineapple)
1 one-pound, 4 ounce can crushed pineapple (save juice)
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup heavy cream, whipped; or 2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed

Prepare lime gelatin according to box directions. Pour into 9x13 pan. Refrigerate until set.
Dissolve lemon gelatin in 1 cup boiling water; stir to dissolve.
In glass bowl (or double boiler) melt marshmallows with lemon gelatin.
Remove from heat and add pineapple juice and cream cheese.
Beat until small chunks of cream cheese remain.
Stir in crushed pineapple.
Cool about an hour, then fold in mayonnaise and whipped cream or topping.
Pour over gelled lime gelatin.
Chill until set.
Prepare cherry gelatin according to box directions.
Carefully spoon over cream cheese layer.
Chill until set.
Cut in squares and serve!

Thanksgiving - Puppy "Stamp of Approval"

Well, maybe that should say "Tongue of Approval"! Miss Piggy just couldn't wait for scraps - she had to check the situation out for herself. Her curly tongue says it alll - "YUMM-O! Now give me some!"
A bit earlier, we started the feast with Shrimp Cocktail. This is a tradition and if I skip it, I catch heck. Many years ago, I added a base layer of chopped celery and green onions because that's the way Anthony's Homeport serves theirs and I liked it. Everyone complained: "What's this crap in the Shrimp Cocktail!" But since I'M the one doing the shopping, cooking, baking, serving, and cleaning I decided the crap stays. However, 2 years ago, I forgot to buy enough of the crap, so I left it out. Yup, you guessed it! They all complained "Where's the crap in the Shrimp Cocktail!" And that's exactly what we call it - "the crap in the Shrimp Cocktail." Here we are, enjoying Shrimp Cocktail, complete with crap.
We're all chowing down. I hadn't filled my plate yet, but the rest had all dug in already.
And what would Thanksgiving dinner be without a laptop on the table? After we'd stuffed ourselves, we sat there watching funny (and some naughty) clips on Adam's laptop, and emailing funny (and some naughty) pics to each other on our cell phones...all at the dinner table. Not exactly how things went when my mom was in charge of Thanksgiving, but I guess things do change over time :-) Also note the takehome bowl of Ribbon Salad, another family tradition - Ben and Autumn always get their own bowl to haul away - it's the yummiest stuff!
Diesel mostly just hung out, staying under the radar...and hoping someone would drop something.

Hope your Thanksgiving was a wonderful one!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Another Stocking Stuffer Received!

Here's another Stocking Stuffer from the Two Frog Home Stocking Stuffer Swap. I rececived in the mail! And for those of you who have already shipped, and I'm not posting it here yet, that's because the mailbox is a long way from the house and we have lots of snow right please be patient and I'll get them posted when I can get to the mailbox :-) Here's what I received from Maria M. I lurvs me some hot chocolate! And she made the tag and her daughter did the beading on the bookmark! Thanks so much - this swap is more fun than being tickled by monkeys!

Snow and Compost :-)

We had a wild and wacky winter storm over the last couple of days. Dumped 4-5 inches of snow (at our house) and temperatures have been down in the teens. I retired August 31 and Monday was the first day that I've been SOOOoooo happy I didn't have to go to work! I could just look outside at the snow and know I didn't have to try to drive in it!

It's very beautiful.....
Very, VERY beautiful...

I love the way the sun shines through the trees in this one...

But while I didn't have to drive, I DID need to take out the compost because the "house bucket" was overflowing and I didn't want to have to dump those precious banana peelings, egg shells, and dog hair from the dryer lint trap (LOL! I think my son washed some dog blankies), down the disposal! Now, living here in the Pacific Northwest...I SHOULD have lots of A) warm jackets/coats, and B) boots. But I'm constantly running around in just a light sweater, and most of the time I wear flip-flops. Heck, I don't even OWN any boots! So....I got brave, because the 'post just needed to go out! So out I went, to dump the coffee grounds and carrot might even be able to see an errant sweet potato in the bin that somehow got "lost" and was sprouting long shoots...
Boy, were my toes cold!

Of course, Miss Piggy just thought it was GREAT fun to run around in the snow!
Ok, Mr. Frosty - it's been pretty...but I'm ready for rain or something...I need to get to town and buy my turkey or we gonna have PANCAKES for Thanksgiving!

Maria B. - A Very Generous Swapper

I'm a bit late in posting on this, since it's about a Halloween Swap, but being the disorganzied person I am, I had trouble getting all three blocks that I'm going to show you in the same room, at the same time! Some of you know that I spent 24 days in Kansas in October, visiting my dear friend, Aunt Pitty Pat, and the lovely Pitty Pat. During that time, we not only sewed, shopped, and cooked (OK, I did most of the cooking)...but we also organized various swaps that came in. I even got to "pinch-hit" for one of the block swaps (and I'll try to post pics of those later). I never knew that sorting and distributing all the blocks for a swap was such a time-consuming (and sometimes confusing) process! Phew! APP and I cut, sewed, and appliqued her blocks - I love to "square-up" blocks, so I did a lot of that, in addition to almost all the pressing, while she appliqued her heart away :-)

But, I digress....what THIS post is about is a VERY sweet lady. Maria B. from Canada knew I was visiting APP. And what did she do? When she sent her blocks for the swap, she included...not ONE...not TWO...but THREE blocks just for me! Now, I wasn't in this particular swap because I had far too much to do, getting ready for vacation! So, these beautiful blocks were pure "gravy" for me!

I absolutely LURV this Frankie block! Her colors are soooo modern and pretty together. The picture doesn't begin to do justice...
And this one has such a nice applique on it, and I love the block fabric:
This Wonky Block is terrific - please excuse the fuzzy pic:
Thank you SO  MUCH, Maria! That was extremely thoughtful to include me! I was drooling over all the blocks that kept coming in and wishing I had joined the swap - your precious gifts made me feel like I was part of the swap anyways :-) 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cranberry-Pear Chutney

I first posted this a couple years ago, but I think it bears re-posting. Especially since the house is right now filled with the wonderful smells of this *perfect* cranberry sauce that I just made! I make this every year, and we never tire of it. It makes a generous amount and keeps well in the fridge between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A bit more work than just opening a can, but well worth the effort, and it's sooooo beautiful, too!

Cranberry-Pear Chutney

This ruby-colored chutney can be made up to 3 weeks ahead and stored in airtight jars in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. It also makes a great hostess gift when packed in small, decorative glass jars. Serve with turkey, pork, ham.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

2 3-inch cinnamon sticks

1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries

2 cups peeled, chopped Bosc pear (about 3 medium)

1 cup peeled, chopped Granny Smith apple (about 1 medium)

3/4 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger (I buy this at an Asian store - it's much cheaper)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I've used the bottled kind in a pinch)

Combine first six ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop. Stir in pear, apple, raisins, onion and ginger; cook 20 minutes or until fruit is tender. Remove from heat; stir in juice. Cool to room temperature, and discard cinnamon. Cover and chill.

Yield: 4 ¾ cups (serving size: ¼ cup)

I love the ruby-red color!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Stocking Stuffer Swap - 1st Received

Here are some lovely cards I received from Penny G. for TwoFrogHome's Stocking Stuffer Swap. Aren't they fabulous! I can't imagine her making all these cards and the two folded paper wreaths for all 10 swappers on the list! She must have been a busy bee, indeed! Thanks so much Penny!
I mailed my stuffers out to everyone yesterday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stocking Stuffer Swap

I joined Kathie's Two Frog Home Stocking Stuffer Swap. The idea was for a group of us to help each other with putting together stockings (or baskets) of small items that would bring joy to the receiver.  What a great way to bring variety and imagination to our stockings on Christmas morning! Kathie put together two groups of 11, so we each had to make 10 items and send them to the 10 people on the list (the 11th being ourselves, of course!). Here's what I made! I made Shoop-Shoop Bags, with matching key chains. Here's a shot of the bags, all together...

And some closer shots...personally, I love the fishies! I made two of these...
And two of these, using a batik and some "modern" fabric...
And these little elephants are cute, aren't they?

I added some buttons to this one...

I'm loving these shabby chic ones too!
And... a couple more...

And the matching key chains...

I've already received a package from one of the swappers and I'll post about that tomorrow! What fun!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Great Idea - Make it Now!

Last Christmas, I made a bunch of these to give as gifts. They were quick and easy (although I did spend a bit of time embellishing the tea towels, but you don't need to) and they made such cute gifts for coworkers, friends, and family. I didn't blog about it here last year, so thought I would put these up now so you can get started on some! You can watch the video from the You Can Make This blog here: We Whisk You A Merry Kiss-Mas.

All you need is a kitchen towel, a wire whisk, some Hershey's Kisses in a small cello bag, some ribbon, and a gift tag. Warning: last year, when I went looking for whisks in December, I had a hard time finding them - seems like a lot of people had the same idea! So if you think you might want to make some of these, you might want to start looking now! And all whisks are NOT created equal, either. If you are giving this to a serious cook, consider buying a "better" whisk - sure, you can find whisks for $1.99-$2.99 at your local grocery store, but they aren't worth buying...just a thought...

Along with the video, the link includes a download for the gift tags.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Trailer NOT Trash :-)

Ok...I think I'm fairly safe in posting this because I doubt my son(s) ever check my youngest son's girlfriend needed a new place to live when the house where she was renting a room was foreclosed on. Adam, being the gentleman that he is, found an awesome deal on a 30-foot travel trailer and moved it onto our property, hooking it up to electric, water, and septic. It's a cute trailer and has a real shower that runs hot water for 8 minutes (that's a LOT for a trailer!) and a really big closet in the bedroom! Of course, never having had girls, and being able to sew, I am trying to find all kinds of ways to "help" by making STUFF! Sooo, Adam came down to the house awhile ago with a load of laundry - both "his and hers." He tossed it in the washer and asked if I would please put it in the dryer. Then he left. What"Evil Grin..."

I had been to Bayside Quilting earlier today...and found a whole yard cut of Michael Miller Trailer Travel Vintage Trailers in yellow. I snapped it up, not knowing what I would do with it, but I knew I just HAD to have it! So when he brought laundry down...I immediately thought "Laundry Bag!" I'm still waiting for him to come down and get their laundry...but hers is safely stowed in the new bag I made while their clothes were washing and drying. Double gathering cord, and hanging loop - no extra charge :-) Here it is, empty, hanging on the fridge...
A closeup...aren't the trailers cute???? 
And...filled with her dainty things :-)
I know I'm such a MOM...but I can't wait to see if she loves it :-) And yes...that's a big stack o' freshly-washed fabric to the left...from my shopping extravaganza in Kansas...NOT that that's ALL, mind you! That's just a VERY small portion of the madness that fabricated itself upon me while on vacation!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Random, and Not-So-Random, Fabrics, Dishmats, and Potholders

I've been wanting to make some dishmats for awhile. Rather than using a dishdrainer/tray which takes up space and gets slimy, I use dishtowels to set my freshly-washed dishes on to dry (dishwasher has been broken for years...). I've seen several great ideas around BlogLand, so a couple days ago I decided to just go for it.

My biggest problem is selecting fabric. Not because I can't choose colors/prints. No...I just get this dialogue going in my head every time I think about sewing:  "No, I can't use THAT because if I do, I won't have THAT anymore!"  I can't use THIS because it goes with THAT and I don't want to use THAT right now!"  "THESE are just enough for an apron swap package, so I can't use THESE!" Ugh...I have so much fabric it wouldn't matter if I used THAT, THIS, and THESE because there are plenty more of THEM to take THEIR place, LOL!

So I literally closed my eyes...and grabbed a pile o' fat quarters! I convinced myself I would use whatever I found in a fistful, and that was that! No wavering, no saving, no cringing - just use it, and use it NOW! (I'm not perfect...I DID have to go back to the pile and select one additional larger chunk for binding. Uh..and when I say "the pile" I mean the one particular pile I drew the FQs from...there are piles EVERYwhere - living room, dining room, sewing room, laundry room, bedrooms, hallway, basement, old house 250' up the driveway...).

After cutting THEM into random strips, piecing, and quilting to an old hand towel, this is what I came up with, and I love it!

You can see the towel I used for the backing here:
So, after practicing on one for myself, I forged on to make one for my son's GF. But this time, I used a Jelly Roll. Yep - another problem for me...whacking into those Jelly Rolls, Honey Buns, Layer Cakes, and Bali Pops. For some reason, I don't seem to have a problem using Charm Packs, but the others just give me the shiverin' fits - see above regarding THIS, THAT, and THESE. But I made myself choose one in colors I thought she would like and just Go For It! I used Moda's Origins by Basic Grey. I chopped off varying-length chunks from each strip and pieced them.
I threw in a smidge of white-with-tiny-black-dots also. I used a new, white bar mop towel for backing.

Out of the leftovers, I made two matching potholders. I thought they turned out very pretty, and I somehow survived the trauma of chopping up a Jelly Roll.
I used a yellow dot for the backing.
I added hanging loops for all three, and I think it made a very nice gift! Mebbe now I can cut into some others in my factory-cut stash!