My Kitchen, Quilting & My Hook And I

My Kitchen, Quilting & My Hook And I

Friday, December 30, 2011

Our Date...

... Last night we went on a date... Although it was paid for by our son...:-) He gave us a gift card for Mitchel's Fish Market & a Gift Card for AMC Theater.

Mitchel's Fish Market is WONDERFUL! I Highly recomend it... Their Lobster Bisque is The Best!!! Yes, I'm searching the internet for a recipe for Lobster Bisque now..;-)

The movie we saw was " War Horse"... Very Good. It's in the 1800's... and starts in Ireland and goes through WWI. Just make sure you have a few Kleenexes with you.

Then after the movie... we walked out on the Levee and found a Cold Stone Ice Cream... Well, you can't pass that up! It was good also.

BTW, this all took place at Newport On The Levee.

If Michael looks at my Blog... ( I have no idea if he does.) Thank You!!! We had a Great Time..:-)

We're still working on the closet. I'll be putting up more pictures later. Hubby is now putting up the railing that holds the doors.

~ Susan

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Food That Brings You Good Luck..;-)

...Did you ever think you coiuls EAT for Good Luck? You can on New Years Eve! For your Party or Get Togather try one of these....

Pork Chops with Cranberry-Pear Chutney ( Good Luck Food)

Pork Chops

1/3 C. kosher salt & 1/3 C. sugar

3 slices peeled ginger & 1 dried bay leaf

1/2 tsp. whole cloves & 1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns

1 tsp. whole allspice berries & 2 C. pear juice

4 (4-oz.) thick-cut, bone-in pork chops

Cranberry-Pear Chutney

1 tsp. canola oil

1 T. finely chopped shallot & 1 tsp. grated ginger

1 T. lemon juice

2 Bartlett pears, cored & cut into 1/2-" chunks

1/2 C. dried cranberries & 3/4 C. light brown sugar

1/4 tsp. ground ginger & 1/2 C. white wine vinegar

1 tsp. butter & 1 tsp. olive oil

For the pork chops, combine salt, sugar, ginger, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, allspice, pear juice & 2 cups water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, til salt & sugar dissolve to make a brine. Remove from heat, pour into a wide, deep dish & chill til cool. Submerge pork chops in brine, cover & refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove pork chops from brine, rinse under cool water & pat dry. Discard brine & set chops aside.

For the chutney, heat oil over low heat in a med. pot. Add shallots & grated ginger & cook til fragrant & lightly translucent, 30 seconds to 1 Min. Add lemon juice, pears, cranberries, brown sugar, ground ginger & vinegar. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook over Med. heat til pears are tender & chutney is thick, 20 to 25 Min., watching carefully to ensure chutney does not scorch. Set aside.

To cook pork chops, heat a heavy skillet over high heat. Add butter & oil & swirl to coat pan. When hot, add chops & brown each side, 1 to 2 Min. Cover skillet, reduce heat to low & continue cooking til pork is just cooked through, 5 to 7 Min. Transfer plates & serve with chutney.

Or try some sweeter.. It's like Pineapple Upside Cake only with a different fruit...

Orange Up-Side Down Cake
1 T.butter, softened
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
3 navel oranges
1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour & 3/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. cornmeal
& 1 1/2 tsp. bakingpowder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk & 1/4 C. olive oil
1 large egg
& 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees .

In bottomof 10 "" cast iron or heavy skillet with ovenproof handle, spread butter. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar.

From oranges, grate 1 tsp. peel; set aside.

Cut peel & pith from oranges; discard. Slice oranges crosswise into 1/2""-thick slices; arrange in single layer over sugar in skillet (if necessary, cut 1 or 2 slices into pieces to fit into spaces).

In large bowl, with wire whisk, combine flour, granulated sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, & salt.

In small bowl, whisk milk, oil, egg, vanilla, & orange peel til blended. With mixer on low speed, add milk mixture to flour mixture & beat til blended. Increase speed to Med. & beat 1 Min. Spoon batter over oranges & spread evenly.

Bake 35 to 40 Min, or til toothpick comes out clean. Cool in skillet 10 Min. Run knife around side of cake to loosen from skillet. Place platter on top of skillet; carefully invert cake onto platter. Let cool 30 minutes.

I'm going to try an Asian one...

Soba Noodles with Shrimp, Snow Peas, and Carrots
Good Luck Food...:-)

1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
2 tsp. peeled grated fresh ginger
2 T. low-sodium soy sauce
1 T. distilled white vinegar
1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper sauce
1 pkg. (8 oz.) soba noodles, (100% buckwheat)
1/2 bag(s) (10 oz.) shredded carrots, (about 1 1/2 C.)
1 lb. large shrimp, shelled & deveined
4 oz. snow peas, strings removed
1/2 C. (packed) fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus additional sprigs for garnish.

The first 6 ingredients get blended togather.

Have fun bringing in the New Year!!! And be Safe..:-)

~ Susan & Paul

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mom & Dad & Sissy

This was taken by me on Christmas Eve... Mom cooking... Dad cleaning... and Sissy is doing the most Strenuous job of all... WATCHING and HOPING for food to be dropped..;-)

~ Susan

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve Party

Merry Christmas Everyone !!!

Paul & Sissy in my Dad's chair relaxing...:-)

The first is of my Mom & Dad hiding out in the computer room while the rest of us were in the Party / Family room.

Then Michael & Kristin with Sissy in Mom & Dad's Living Room..:-)

~ Susan

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shopping AFTER Christmas...:-)

Do you look for SPECIALS AFTER CHRISTMAS? You know, when stuff is marked WAYYY DOWNNN .... I do... Here is an e-mail I got from MSN...

If you can't afford to buy EVERYTHING right now for Christmas... Just wait for the After - Christmas Sales!!! I know I wait for the sales.

ALSO... Look for all of the FREE SHIPPING deals if you shop on - line.

It's not even Christmas YET... but I wanted to put this up on my blog to share now.

" 9 things to buy after Christmas "

Holiday cards and 2012 calendars -- after Jan. 1 -- are obvious choices. But there are some post-holidays bargains you may not expect.

But what are the less obvious bargains you can find if you wait until after Dec. 25 -- or, in some cases, Jan. 1 -- to head to the store?

Clothing. Hopefully everyone has realized that clothes are the most returned holiday gift, so grab your gift cards and head out. Regarding Dec. 26, Dealnews says (but don't expect just one day of deals):

Last year, exclusive in-store deals were largely available from apparel merchants, like American Eagle, Aeropostale, New York & Company, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Banana Republic factory stores, Express, Old Navy and Gap, the latter of which offered a staggering extra 50% off sale items in store until noon. We expect to see such discounts in-store this year, too ….

Any item with a holiday theme. This covers a lot of terrain -- blankets, candles, dinnerware, bath sets, etc. "Many seasonal dishes and glasses aren't available only in red or green. You can find neutral and jewel tones, too," Sara Noel wrote at Often it's just the box that has a holiday touch, and the contents can be used all year. "If it's got a holiday-looking package, then expect it to be marked down significantly after Dec. 25," says The Bargainist.

Video games. Again, from Dealnews, which closely tracks this stuff:

We saw a high number of Editors' Choice discounts on popular video game titles after the holidays last year, with several notable games reaching their rock bottom prices of the year.
TVs and other electronics. Deal websites note that retailers have to make room for new product after the annual
Consumer Electronics Show (Jan. 10-13), where new models are rolled out. However, don't expect TV prices to match the screaming deals of Black Friday, CNNMoney says. And this advice won't work for early adopters.

Jewelry. This makes sense, if you think about it. Says Mark Di Vincenzo at the CashCrate Blog:
Regardless of how Christmas sales went, January usually is a good time to buy jewelry. It's one of the six non-gift giving months -- the others are March, April, July, August and September -- when you're more likely to see real sales on jewelry, as opposed to the "sales" in anticipation of Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, high school and college graduations, June weddings, and Christmas.

Linens. January is the month for white sales. CNNMoney reminds us that Philadelphia department store pioneer John Wanamaker invented the white sale back in 1878 -- before sheets came in blue flannel decorated with snowboarding penquins and snowmen on sleds.

Fitness Products. Crystal at says sellers of workout equipment drop their prices in January in anticipation of all those who made a resolution to lose weight in the new year. Wait even longer, she says, and you can pick up even better deals on Craigslist or at yard sales. They'll be gently used, we suspect.

Baby Gear. Baby Cheapskate notes that several retailers had major sales on all kinds of items for infants in January last year. You can expect the same in 2012.

Winter Coats. Several websites that track clothing prices said you can expect significant discounts in January. Buy for kids with next year in mind.

If you know of other things... please add it onto the list! We would all like to know... Well, "I" know "I" would like to know!!!

~ Susan

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cocoa Bourban Balls

I Make These every year!!!

Cocoa Bourbon Balls - ( About 3 Doz.)

1 C. finely crushed vanilla wafers (about 30 wafers)
1 C. 10 - X (powdered) sugar
1 C. walnuts or pecans, finely chopped ( I use Walnuts, better flavor)
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T. light corn syrup¼ C. bourbon, rum, or brandy ( I use Bourban)


½ C. granulated sugar

In a Med. mixing bowl, combine crushed vanilla wafers, confectioner’s sugar, nuts, cocoa, corn syrup, & bourbon rum or brandy; mix well with wooden spoon.With slightly wet hands, Shape dough into small balls, about 1” in diameter.

Tip: An ice cream scoop is ideal for making uniform-sized cookies.

.Topping: Roll the balls in granulated sugar til completely coated.
Store in an airtight container.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

After you look at this... tell me what I made this afternoon..:-)


Puff Pastry

If your like me... You use Puff Pastry mainly in the Fall & Winter.  I always got mine from the store to use. Then I found this. * The store bought type is for when I'm in a hurry.* I guess I need to make some and freeze it.

Homemade Puff Pastry

Did you know that you could make your own puff pastry? Did you know it's not that hard? Did you know that it only has five ingredients? Well, it's all true. I learned how to make puff pastry last winter when I took an awesome cooking class. I was amazed at how easy it was to make. If you make your own pie crust, you would find it extremely easy.

There are a couple of things you should know before you get started. First of all, make sure that all of your ingredients are REALLY cold. You need to put the flour and butter in the freezer for an hour and the water needs to be ice cold. The other thing is don't overwork the dough and don't use too much water.

Puff Pastry
1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cake flour

1 1/2 stick of unsalted butter

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup ice water

Mix the flours together with the salt and freeze for 1 hour. Cut the butter up into 1/2 cubes and freeze for 1 hour.

Put cold flour and butter into a large mixing bowl.

With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until you have 1/4 in pieces of butter.

Add enough cold water to the flour mixture until the mixture almost holds together (I needed to use a little more water than that, probably 2 tbsp more).

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and press together to form a rectangle. There should be large chunks of butter showing.

Roll the dough into a rectangle that is about 5x7 inches.

Fold the narrow end inward to meet in the center and then fold the dough again so that there are four layers.

Turn dough 1/4 turn and repeat the process.

Repeat the process two more times for a total of four turns. After the last turn, fold the dough accordion style.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 45 minutes. Then use as you normally would use puff pastry.

I got this from another blog... I hope she doesn't mind that I borrowed it.
Thank You Lisa !!!

~ Enjoy!!!

~ Susan

Monday, December 19, 2011

Organic Food???


It sure is looking cloudy & gray as I look out of the dining room window... It's suppose to rain.

Does anyone herfe buy Organic Food? if so, watch this...

~ Susan

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hanging Drywall Today...

Here are the latest pictures of the closet... Today was all Hanging Drywall..

Then up went the sides...

Then here he is pounding the last nail into the drywall...

Then comes mudding...

~ Susan

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hubby's Birthday Today!!!

...So I fixed steak, baked potatoes, corn, and dessert. I made a birthday cake he hasn't had for a long time. I use to make it for Michael on his birthdays... But I noticed that Hubby loved them also.

We'll be hanging up drywall this weekend. I have a list of stuff to get. Home Depot here I came.

I have made a small afghan / lapghan that hangs on the back of Paul's Blue Lazy Boy Chair... But I can't find the picture I took of it. I'll have to get that on here some other time.

It's starting to get cool again... Well, COOLER...

Good Night for now..:-)

~ Susan

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's A Closet !!!

A Twelve Foot Long Closet... I can't wait til it's done..:-)

Take a look at what is done so far...

I'll take a picture of it in a few days. We need a weekend to get the drywall up. Then we'll have to pick out what shelving designs we want...:-)

~ Susan

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just had to share these !!!

I found these on a food blog I watch... I think it was Mommy's Kitchen.

Old Fashion Peanut Butter Balls
1-1/2 C. of creamy peanut butter
•1 C. (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened
•1 (1Lb.) box of powdered sugar, sifted
•1 (12 oz.) package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
•2 T. plus 2 tsp. of vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
Cream together, by hand, the peanut butter & the butter.
Mix in the powdered sugar a little at a time til well mixed.
Use a small scoop or pinch off dough to form balls, rolling them into about 1-inch size. Place onto wax paper or parchment covered baking trays & store in the refrigerator to firm up for about an hour.

Melt the chocolate & the shortening in the top of a double boiler. Work in batches, leaving remaining balls in the refrigerator, & quickly, dropping peanut butter balls, one at a time, into the chocolate &toss with a fork. Lift out, let excess chocolate drain off, transfer to wax paper to set. Dough will make several dozen, depending on what size you roll them.

~ Susan

Can You Tell Me.. Part 2

Here is another clue... ( I did have a LITTLE picture here, but I found a bigger one.)

Have Fun..:-)

~ Susan

Monday, December 12, 2011

Can You Tell Me... " part one "

... What Paul Is Doing Here???

I'll keep adding more pictures..:-)

~ Susan

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The First

Our first fire of the year...:-) But no snow YET.


~ Susan

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Last Night...


We were at Music Hall last night and saw Carrie Underwood. Here is a shot of her I took from the gallery.

The first tihng I noticed about her were legs... Talk about toned muscle... She must work out a lot. Or at least walk a lot. And I wasn't the only one to notice. A lot ladies were saying, " I wish I had those legs"..:-)

I'm now working on an afghan using " The Stasholics Stitch"...:-) Just using up yarn I have no idea why I even bought it..LOL

~ Susan

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Back To Blogland


I thought I had better drop into blog land for a minute... we're on vacation... so I also decided to take vacation from blogging for it. But I can't quite give it up entirely... even for 2 weeks. I have been crocheting, reading baking, etc...

Right now hubby is in the family room TRYING to stay awake to watch a John Wayne movie... I can hear the movie running & him snoring... He's had a hard day of hunting...:-)

Tomorrow we'll be watching the Bengals game.

~ Susan