Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Recipe Party!

Karen from the Sew Many Ways blog is hosting a Holiday Recipe Party!  How fun.  I love cooking almost as much as I love quilting (well, maybe it's the eating I love).  I am in the process of developing a family cookbook encompassing all of our families favorites and this recipe will be one at the top!

The recipe doesn't just taste great, it also has a story which is why it's special to us.  It's a dish my husband remembers eating as a child in Scotland.  It was a very close family friend's recipe.

My husband's family moved to the States from the U.K. when he was 11.  My father-in-law, after a long career here, moved back to his homeland of Scotland after he retired in 1989.  We loved to visit as much as we could (sadly, he passed away three years ago).  He moved to about-the-middle-of-nowhere in Aberdeenshire, Strathdon (northeast of Scotland).  Back in 1997, the local hall, the Lonach Hall, put out a "cookery book" to raise funds for its refurbishment.  I fondly recall attending many a raucous Ceilidh at the Hall and was thrilled when my father-in-law sent us a few copies of the Lonach Cookery Book...

Since he gave us only three copies - and you can't get anymore - you must be really special for us to bestow one upon you - so far we've given one to our son - THE (current, anyway) William Wallace (LOLOL!).  And we're still hanging on to the remaining copy for now.  

Besides the book being from an area we love, the illustrations are all done by family friend George Hardie, a wonderful artist who lives in the area.  As my husband was paging through the book he happened upon the recipe from his childhood!  He remembered friends Vi and Sandy (I think almost all men in Scotland are called Sandy regardless of their first names - as was my father-in-law - LOL)  He was so excited and we made the dish straight-away and it was fantastic and now it's one of our family's favorites.  We've updated it a bit (using Panko crumbs instead of breads crumbs, using thin pork cutlets, and using lots more cream than called for because the sauce is so so good), but I'll give you the recipe as written ....

Pan Fried Pork Fillet with Mushroom Sauce
from The Lonach Cookery Book contributed by Sandy & Vi Ponting

1-1/2 lb pork tenderloin fillet
3 slices bread made into crumbs (we use Panko)
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 beaten egg
oil for frying

For the Sauce:
6 oz button mushrooms (I use Baby Bellas)
1 red onion, chopped
2 oz unsalted butter
1/4 pt double cream (I use a cup or more - and that's heavy or whipping cream for us in the US!)

Trim thin skin, membranes and fat from the fillets.  Cut the meat cross-wise into 2 inch slices.  Turn the slices out onto the cut end and beat out flat between two sheets of greaseproof paper (or just buy the really thin pork cutlets!).  Mix chopped parsley with the breadcrumbs (or Panko).  Dip pork slices in beaten egg then in the crumb mixture.  Set aside while you make the sauce.

Melt butter and a little oil in a frying pan.  Gently fry onion until soft but not brown.  Add mushrooms and fry for a few more minutes.  Season with salt and paper.  Stir in cream and keep warm.

Fry the pork fillet in butter and oil for a few minutes each side until cooked and brown. Allow 2 pieces per serving.  Spoon sauce over. (I actually do it the opposite, I fry the pork fillet and keep them in a warm oven and then made the sauce).

I serve with buttered noodles (to pour all that great sauce over) and green beans with garlic.  Yummy!!

Enjoy!  There are many other great recipes at the Party, so hop on over to Sew Many Ways to whet your appetite!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

 clip art courtesy of http://hubpages.com

Happy Turkey Day everyone!  We'll be off soon (well, as soon as my husband gets up from his (second) nap!!  He was up at 4:30am this morning.  At the supermarket to get breakfast fixings by 5:30am and back to his first nap by 7am - LOLOL!!

Anyway, we're over the river (literally) and through the woods to grandmother's house (my mom's) for Thanksgiving dinner.  We're sad that our son, DIL and grandson won't be able to join us though, grandson Rick's been up sick all night, so they're doing a small dinner for 3 at home.  We will miss them. 

Since I didn't have to cook, I got a bit of quilting in this morning.  This weekend will be spent decorating - and hopefully some more quilting!  I got most of my Christmas shopping done yesterday, believe it or not!  Did a Target run and did the rest of it online!  I've only got two more stores to hit (not THIS weekend) and I'm done.  Excellent!

I wish you all a peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving.  I'll leave you with this bit of Fall-ish quilty goodness...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I couldn't resist...

Have you seen the December issue of Quilter's World? 

This is not a magazine I usually buy, but since one of my very favorite blogger/designers Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring designs for the magazine (among others), I may just have to subscribe.  Particularly since when I picked up this issue because Wendy's Peppermint Parcels (made with the too cute Hip Holidays fabrics from Henry Glass which I've had since the summer in anticipation of making this quilt that Wendy gave us sneak peeks of on her blog) pattern was in there, I found two other patterns in there that I must make.  In fact, one I couldn't resist doing immediately!

This table runner is made of pretty large tumbler  blocks.  Of course, if you have an Accuquilt Go! Cutter, you can certainly use that, but I cut out the template from freezer paper and glued it onto heavy cardboard and used my rotary cutter to cut the pieces out.  Super easy - I finished this (including making the template) in just a couple of hours!  This will be a Christmas gift for my Mom.  I know I will make more of these!  It was just too much fun.

The third pattern in the magazine I want to make is a paper pieced Christmas pineapple runner.  This issue is a winner for sure!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A few recent acquisitions...

Thought I'd show some new fabric that has recently made it into my stash....

First up, I was a winner in the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side blog!!  I had my choice of either 10 FQs of Designer Cottons or 10 half yards of Kona cottons from Sew Fresh Fabrics.  Now, that's a prize!  I chose the 10 half yards of Kona.  It was perfect timing because I've been mulling around making a series of Modern Amish wallhangings and this is perfect!  I chose left to right:  Crocus, Lupin, Peridot, Jade Green, Brown, Mulberry, Caribbean, Cerise, Tomato and Surf....

I've been waiting for this collection since September!  It is the gorgeous Lily & Will by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill designs.  Oh my, it is so beautiful.  I would love to get it in each of the colors ways, but unfortunately, the budget won't allow that.  But, I have a very special baby boy quilt to make and as soon as I saw this collection, I knew this is what I wanted to use.  It took so long to come in though that I missed making the quilt for the shower, but the baby isn't due to arrive until January, so I should be okay. 

I'm making Anne's Nighty Night Will with it - cute and elegant at the same time, I think...

I had to jump on the Pure bandwagon.  I just couldn't hold out any longer...these three charm packs and the yardage - the argyle - I love that! - for the outer border and the brown w/blue swirls for the inner border...
I think these will make a lovely Cindy Lou Who Schnibble.  And then I will have gotten my Pure fix - LOL!

I think I see a theme here - I'm just loving the blue & brown these days.  o:)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

25 Years Ago Today...

It was a cold, rainy November day...the dog was hiding out under the bed from all the activity and couldn't be found, one mother-in-law fell in the church parking lot and the other one got locked in the car...but the bride didn't get wet!

Today is our 25th wedding anniversary. I don't know where the time has gone, it really does seem like only a few years ago. Time flies when you're having fun (and kids, and dogs, etc.)!

For our honeymoon, we went to one of those Pocono honeymoon resorts. Hokey, I know, but we had a blast...

Here's a quilt I made for my husband about 7 anniversary's ago...he loves militaria and when I saw these embroidery airplane patterns, I knew I had to make them into a quilt for him. I worked on them over many months and managed to keep it a surprise. I mostly worked on them at my small quilt group meetings...they used to laugh because every meeting, twice a month, for months on end, I pulled on these planes...by the end I was calling them "those d*mned airplanes". But, I'm so glad I perservered, he loves the quilt and it hangs in his office.

Sweetheart, here's to another 25 (at least!)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christmas Quilt Show 2010

Thank you SewCalGal for hosting the Christmas Quilt Show 2010!

The quilt I'd like to feature is my Woodland Santa wall hanging.  This quilt was made between 10-15 years ago and it's been hanging above my piano every holiday season ever since.  All of the ladies in my small quilt group made the same quilt and, of course, they all looked so different.  I don't even remember where the pattern came from.

I featured this quilt when I did my Christmas in July post, but wanted to show it again because it is special to me, being one of my first applique quilts.  Besides, although I've made a number of Christmas quilts, I've mostly given them away.  That will be remedied soon (well, that's relative - I doubt they'll get done for THIS Christmas) because I have about 5 Christmas quilt patterns with fabric all ready to be made.  And they're all for me o:)

I guess this will be going up on the wall in a few weeks - Christmas decorating time will be here before we know it!

You can go to the Christmas Quilt Show 2010 blog post on SewCalGal's blog to see all of the great Christmas quilts!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Christmas List

It's the most wonderful time of the year...but it creeps up on you and before you know it, you're scrambling to get all the great gifts you had in your mind finished!  I swore I would not be working on Christmas Eve to finish Christmas gifts this year.  If I'm sewing on Christmas Eve, I want it to be on something fun for me with no deadlines!! 

So, this year, I planned ahead and I think I'll meet my goal of finishing early.  I also have committed to Sandy's (of the Quilting...For the Rest of Us podcast ) challenge to complete 3 holiday gifts by December 15th.  This will help keep me going when I want to start something new instead of working on what I'm supposed to ('cause I sometimes have trouble with that).

I am thrilled to have these two tops finished...two of my long-time work girlfriends and I always go out and have a Christmas lunch with just the three of us and exchange gifts.  The gifts are always holiday-themed.  I have made them handmade gifts in the past and they'll always loved them, but they weren't actual quilts.  I promised each of them that one day they would get a quilt.  Well, one of our gang of three is retiring next year, so this was the Christmas to make them their quilts.  Early in the year I asked each of them what their favorite colors were.  Chris said lavendar and light green.  Sandy said blue and white.  So, these are what I came up with (they don't read my blog, so I don't think I'm letting the "quilts out of the bag" so to speak).  Their gifts won't be Christmas themed, but I don't think they'll mind...

Sandy's blue and white quilt...

Chris's lavender and green - I stressed over this one, didn't know what pattern to make, bought all kinds of lavender and light greens fabrics, but in the end I was really happy with my final decision.


I used one of the patterns from this book...

This little lap quilt is for my brother's girlfriend, done in Christmas Fabrics.

I love the way this came out.  I used King Tut's Sahara Shadows (it's a goldish toned variegated thread) to quilt it.  I was nervous about how it would look on the dark red fabric, but it looks just great.  This is the third quilt I've quilted with this thread and I've still got enough for probably one more.  (Good thing because that stuff is pricey - ouch!).  It's quilted with the Happy Times pantograph.

I chose this Winter's Grace print by Mark Lipinski for the back.  Love this fabric!

So, that's three.  The Christmas lap quilt only needs the binding, and the other two still need to be quilted and bound.  But, I think I can get that done easily by December 15th.

One other gift I want to make is a wallhanging for my girlfriend using this Frida Kahlo print.  Mary (who also doesn't read my blog - all of these folks I'm talking about here are not quilters) is a wonderful artist and musician and she did an article in a local newsletter about Frida.  When I saw this print in the Keepsake Quilting catalog I knew I had to make something with it for her.  Ideas are still germinating about what do with it though. 

Now, if I get these all finished in time, I can start something Christmas-sy for myself!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kenny's Flea Market Finds

Take a look at these colors....

Ken came home the other weekend with these cones of thread.  He said "I don't know if you can use them, but I felt sorry for the older lady who was selling them."  Apparently, she didn't have much on her yard sale table and he felt he had to by something.  I think they are awesome!  I don't know if I can use them for longarming (but I'm going to try - these cones are huge!), but I can certainly use them for applique if they aren't strong enough for quilting.

I have them sitting out on my sewing room table right now - just yummy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Philly Modern Quilt Guild

I'm very excited to announce that I've joined the Philly Modern Quilt Guild.  The Modern Quilt Guild is a fairly new internet phenomenon that started a few years ago.  There are almost 100 chapters in cities around the world so far and Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts started the Philly guild early this year.  I went to my first meeting last month.  I immediately felt comfortable with the group of women and men at the meeting - I loved the vibe.  Quilters of all age groups and abilities are involved and I love that.  I wouldn't have said that I'm a "modern" quilter before I learned about the Modern Quilt Guild movement, but maybe I am.  I'm proud to be a member of this exciting group.

There was a challenge presented at the October meeting  (I was sorry not to have joined earlier for the Project Pure challenge - love that fabric line and would have loved to have made something with the Pure line).  This challenge involves 4 Kona Cottons in "holiday" colors - ruby, chocolate, snow and holly.

 Not a great photo but you get the idea.  We received a fat quarter of each and can add  a yard of other fabric(s).

I chose this...

I had an idea right away, and am actually almost finished the top.  I'll reveal after our December meeting when the challenges are due.  This has been a fun project - I just hope it translates as well in fabric as it does in my head!

I'm really sorry I'm going to miss the November meeting - a "famous" quilter member is giving a workshop on applique - I'm can't tell you how bummed I am to not be able to attend.  But, that night is my 25th wedding anniversary and I don't think I can miss that!  o:)