Homemade Applesauce

Dear Sis,

Earlier this week I got a good laugh when I opened the fridge and went fishing for the jar of applesauce.  Sadly, it had a hardy batch of green fuzz developing on its surface.  As you wished in your mad lib at my bridal shower, I am enjoying a “lifetime of fuzzy applesauce.”

I really can’t stand letting food spoil! …and applesauce is the worst.  I never finish the jar before it begins to take on new life!!!  I’ve decided this is a problem with a solution.  SMALLER Container:) Almost every recipe calls for 1 c.  Even the strange recipes, that only call for a 1/2 c won’t be an issue, because I can consume the other 1/2 c without making myself sick.  This morning I put my vision is motion.

Applesauce

Applesauce

I used Gala apples, which are on the small side, so I needed a dozen apples.  Larger apples will provide the same yield with only 6-8 apples.

Apples

Wash ‘em.

peel

Peel ‘em.

wedge

Wedge and Core ‘em.

chop

Cut ‘em.

Add 1 c water and boil ‘em for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a canning pot of water to a boil remembering that water should cover jars tops by at least 1 inch.  Wash and heat 4-6 (1/2 pint) canning jars, lids, and bands.

Crush them with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached.  If you really like puree, put the blender or food processor to use.  Ladle applesauce into prepared jars remembering to leave 1/4 inch headspace in the jar.  Sponge off jar openings for a clean seal.  Place lids and apply bands finger tight.  Place filled jars in canning pot and process for 15 minutes.  Stand 12 hours.  Check seals, label, and store in a cool dark location.  Makes 4 – 1/2 pint jars.

sauce II

Sorry sis, but I think my “fuzzy applesauce” days are over!

love,

b

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Crochet Chevron Throw Pillow

Dear Sis,

The first pillow is complete! I’ve been crocheting up-a-storm lately.  I even daydream about starting a new afghan.  I guess it has been so long that I remember the pleasure more than the pain! Back on track… I have to finish what I’ve started before I can start a new project:)

Chevron PIllow

Crochet Chevron Throw Pillow

Dimensions

Sham without form: 16 x 14 inches

Sham with form inside: 14 x 12 inches

yarn

Sham Materials

Approx. 250 yards medium-weight yarn; color A

Approx. 250 yards medium-weight yarn; color B

US H crochet hook

Directions

Starting with color A, ch 78.

Row 1 (Right Side): 2 sc in 2nd ch from hook, (sc in next 8 ch, skip 2 ch, sc in next 8 ch, 3 sc in next ch), repeat steps in parenthesis until final 9 ch, sc in next 8 ch, 2 sc in last ch, turn – 77 sc.

Row 2: ch 1, 2 sc in 1st sc, (sc in next 8 sc, skip 2 sc, sc in next 8 sc, 3 sc in next sc), repeat steps in parenthesis until final 9 sc, sc in next 8 sc, 2 sc in last sc, turn.

Row 3-4: Repeat Row 2.

Row 5-8: Change to color B, repeat Row 2.

work

I’m on Row 21 of the matching pillow and excited to finish:)

Continue until you have worked 96 rows.  Fold panel with right sides together, attach foundation row and row 96 with slip stitches, slip stitch down the side, fasten off, turn right-side out.

Form Materials

2 (18 x 16 inch) pieces of broadcloth

fiber fill

Directions

Place both 18 x 16 inch pieces of fabric together, with right-sides facing.  Sew around with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving a 6 inch opening in the center of one 16 inch side.  Clip corners and turn right-side out.  Stuff with fill until desired loft is achieved.  Pin opening closed with raw edges turned into form.  Stitch closed.

Filling Sham

Place completed form into sham.  Slip stitch open side closed.

The crochet section of this pattern is borrowed form: Chevron Pillow Pair | Red Heart  This red heart pattern was helpful, but it was for a 12 x 16 inch pillow.

One down… and one to go!

Love,

b

Pillow Talk – where the pillow project was conceived.

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Monogram Ruffle Throw Pillow

Dear Sis,

After completing the first Chevron Pillow, I was eager to start another, and with Josh out-of-town for the evening, there was nothing to stop me from digging-in.  My pillow was inspired by: DIY Ruffled Monogram Pillow » Casa de Lewis.  After reading the post through, during the planning phase, I was excited to try WonderUnder.  Double-sided fusible interfacing… brilliant.  Saves so much time on appliqué!  My life is changed and I can’t wait to do an appliqué quilt!!!

Ruffle Monogram Pillow

Monogram Ruffle Throw Pillow

Dimensions

Sham without form: 10 x 18 inches

Sham with form inside: 8 x 16 inches

Sham Materials

11 x 19 inch piece fabric

11 x 11 1/2 inch piece fabric

11 x 10 1/2 inch piece fabric

3 inch strip (my fabric was 44 inches wide)

Appliqué Materials

approx. 7 x 5 inch piece accent fabric

approx. 7 x 5 inch piece WonderUnder – double-sided fusible interfacing

paper monogram letter template approx. 6 x 4 inches

Directions

opening seams

Stitch a 1/2 inch rolled-hem on one 11” side of each small sham panel.

Ruffle:  Place two rows of stitching, 1/4 inch apart, in the center of the 3 inch strip.  Remember to leave long tails and neglect backstitching.

Gather ruffle as tightly as desired.  I like a dense ruffle, so I used all by 8 inches of the strip.

Lay ruffle across 11 x 19 inch panel, pin in desired location, and attach to panel with a row of stitching.  Trim excess ruffle/fabric strip to make a neat end flush with the panel edge.

Trace

Appliqué: Flip letter template upside-down on paper side of WonderUnder.  Trace.

fuse

Fuse WonderUnder to accent fabric.

cut

Cut out along traced markings.

fuse II

Position on ruffle panel and fuse in place.

seams

With right-sides facing, lay smallest panel over 11 x 19 inch panel.  Lay other small panel over the other side of the 11 x 19 inch panel.  Pin and stitch around using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Clip corners.  Turn right-side out.

sham front

Finished Sham from the front…

Sham back

… and back.

Form Materials

2 (12 x 20 inch) pieces of broadcloth

fiber fill

Directions

Place both 12 x 20 inch pieces of fabric together, with right-sides facing.  Sew around with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving a 6 inch opening in the center of one 12 inch side.  Clip corners and turn right-side out.  Stuff with fill until desired loft is achieved.  Pin opening closed with raw edges turned into form.  Stitch closed.

The look

Here is the whole look so far.  The pattern for the Crochet Chevron Throw Pillow is an older post.

Love,

b

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Gallery Wall – Final Elements

Dear Sis,

I completed the last few elements for the Gallery Wall.

These cross stitched letters complete our monogram.

B

J

The mystery elements D & H are complete!

Flower Basket

Row of Flowers

The frames I’ve had my eye on are buy-one-get-one-free this week.

This chart has been helpful for choose dimension for my work and finding frames.

Stay tuned for the big reveal:)

love,

b

 

Gallery Wall Plan

Gallery Wall Progress

Gallery Wall Doilies 1 and 2

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Banana Pancakes

Dear Sis,

Overripe bananas never go to waste.  Sometimes it is quite a struggle to choose between so many yummy Banana pastries!

This is the banana pancake recipe we were using long before the paleo baking craze struck.  I thought, for old times sake, you might like having the recipe:)

banana pancakes

Banana Pancakes
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 2 bananas, pureed
  2. 1 c milk
  3. 2 T oil
  4. 1 T sugar
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1/4 t salt
  7. 2 t baking powder
  8. 1 c unbleached flour
Instructions
  1. Beat together bananas, milk, oil, sugar, and egg.
  2. Combine dry ingredients. Stir into liquid mixture.
  3. Panfry in ghee.
Tag Sis, You're It! http://www.tagsisyoureit.com/
love,

b

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Yummy Sweet Corn

Dear Sis,

I know you like this recipe as much as I do.  It is one we prepared for the bridal tea.  This time I ventured to make homemade creamed corn instead of using the canned stuff:)

Chicken Sweet Corn Soup

Chicken Sweet Corn Soup
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 6 c chicken stock
  2. 3 chicken breasts
  3. 2 cans creamed corn or 4 c homemade
  4. 1 c frozen corn
  5. 2 eggs, beaten
  6. 1 t sesame oil
Instructions
  1. Simmer chicken breast in chicken stock until cooked through. Shred cooked chicken. Add creamed and frozen corn. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  2. Scramble eggs in oil. Add to soup.
Adapted from My Lemony Kitchen
Adapted from My Lemony Kitchen
Tag Sis, You're It! http://www.tagsisyoureit.com/

Creamed Corn

Creamed Corn
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 c butter or ghee
  2. 2 T graham flour
  3. 1 c milk or half n half
  4. 6 c frozen corn
  5. 1 T sugar
  6. 1/2 t salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes.
  2. Gradually stir in milk. Add corn, sugar, and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent sticking.
Adapted from The Domestic Diva
Adapted from The Domestic Diva
Tag Sis, You're It! http://www.tagsisyoureit.com/
This homemade creamed corn worked very nicely in the soup.  Josh is still squeamish of the egg bits.  More for me!  He can eat the leftover shepherds pie which he likes much better than I do:)

This creamed corn would also be a great side dish!

love,

b

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Pillow Talk

Dear Sis,

With the Gallery Wall nearing completion, I need a pillow plan.  Josh has tried to talk me out of making throw pillows.  He insists they will jeopardize our marital happiness.  In his mind the scenario plays out like this…

After supper, Josh picks a movie that Brandy will love.  It is a comedy, not animated this time, because the last two Brandy-friendly movie successes were animated.  Josh is planning to enjoy the movie too, so there is action, loud machines moving at freakish speeds, and things exploding (the more expensive the things… the better.)  The handsome misunderstood principle-guided criminal will overcome the morally void sarcastic villain.  The comedic relief and impossibility of the excessive violence and anarchy, make the film altogether improbable and funny enough that Brandy will like it too.

As Brandy puts the last of the dinner dishes into the dishwasher, Josh tosses all the throw pillows on the floor.  Josh and Brandy curl up under an afghan and watch said movie.  They laugh and snuggle, and overall, the film is a success that ends promptly at bed time.  Brandy and Josh, tiered from a long day, and anticipating an early morning, get ready for bed… without righting the throw pillows.

In the morning, Brandy scurries through her morning routine…  make the bed, empty the dish washer, helping Josh pack for work, making sure Josh didn’t forget anything for work, asking Josh again if he has everything he needs for work.  Oh no, where did the time go?  Brandy never got to straighten the mess of pillows, and it’s time to leave for the airport.  Josh notices, with anxiety, what he perceives, as vexation, on Brandy’s face, as she glances back at the strewn pillows and crumpled afghan, one last time, before heading out the door.

As Brandy kisses Josh goodbye at the airport, the strewn pillows sit heavily in his mind.  He does his pre-flight inspection twice, because his unease is distracting.  He suspects that Brandy is bitter, as she anticipates picking up the strewn pillows, upon arriving home.  Josh is sure there will be repercussions.  He just does know when or where they will emerge, but as he begins to imagine them, a coldness forms in his heart.  THROW PILLOWS…. NOOOOOOOO!!!!

. . . . . .

Needless to say, I imagine things altogether differently.  As with other home decor projects, I suspect I will feel a sense of accomplishment upon their completion, which will make me happy.  The throw pillows will add to the overall home-sweet-home vibe and visual harmony that also, makes me happy.  Straightening up each day, allows me to step back and appreciate that I am creative, have the time and resources to explore that creativity, and they good sense to keep it tidy, which makes me happy.  With all the morning chores complete, and a smile on my face, I think about what special treat I want to make for Josh, so he will be happy too.

When I imparted this few to Josh, he smiled and said, “You’re pretty.  …and silly.  Girls are silly.  Make some pillows.”

The Pillow Plan

Visual balance is important to me.  This chart is a perfect guide to throw pillow visual balance tricks.

pillow layout

Greek Key

Greek Key

Crochet Chevron

Crochet Chrevron

Pinch Pleating

Avondale-Manor-Ella-Pinch-Pleat-Reversible-7-piece-Comforter-Set-e45b13b6-e14c-41b8-84d4-074b0b368c5d_600

Ruffled Monogram

DIY Ruffle Monogram Pillow Tutorial 4 web

Next order of business.  I want the theme and colors of the throw pillows to be harmonious with the Gallery Wall I spent the last month creating.  With these things in mind, I hit pinterest for inspiring d.i.y. ideas.

Can’t wait to get started:)

love,

b

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