Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stitching Along Inchies Finished

Guess what?
I finished my Stitching-Along Project!
Even found a frame at AC Moore and it was on clearance!
I didn't try to rush through. It was just so enjoyable and moved along so quickly.
I am tempted to make another one bright and whimsical for say...
a little girl?!?
Here are inchies 23 through 28 of 35.
representing our home
"J" for John
Year of completion
simple diagonal
Tree
heart with lazy daisies and French knots
***
Beginning of project here.
Catching up squares here.
Squares 9-13 here.
Squares 14-22 here.
Flickr Group Pool

Shadow Shot Sunday ~ Church Tower

This tower is attached to the church we were married in.
We took a couple of our grandchildren by to show them where
Mom-Mom & Pop-Pop were married.

~*~
After posting, a fellow shadow shot blogger reminded me of this fitting hymn:

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Martin Luther

  1. A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
    Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
    For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
    His craft and pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
    On earth is not his equal.
  2. Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
    Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
    Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
    Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
    And He must win the battle.
  3. And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
    We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us;
    The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
    His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
    One little word shall fell him.
  4. That word above all earthly pow’rs, no thanks to them, abideth;
    The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth;
    Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
    The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
    His kingdom is forever.
~*~
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Proverbs 18:10
Joining Hey Harriet for Shadow Shot Sunday

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Show and Tell and Friday Photo Flashback

I have seen some pretty charm bracelets displayed for Show & Tell Friday and it made me think of my own bracelet.
A pair of scissors ~ Early Childhood Education in college
(didn't finish)
A few charms from zoo's we have visited
Special occasions ~ graduation, engagement, wedding
High school ring, college pendant
crutch
Canadian Maple leaf and disk from a visit
Great Blue Whale from the Smithsonian Institute in DC
Ohio charm ~ where we moved when first married and where our first child was born
NJ charm ~ I ♥ (southern) NJ
and this special pendant:
Cuties I have always held close to my heart ~ my first niece and nephew.
I was 14 when Chrissy was born and 15 when Tommy was born.
Now all grown up with precious children of their own!
Chrissy and her sweet family now!
Tom and his dear wife and little girl now!
Another baby girl was added to the family in December.
Tommy meeting his first child for the first time after arriving home
from his second tour in Iraq
Joining Alicia @More Than Words for Friday Photo Flashback.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ciabatta Bread and Caesar Club Sandwich

This Ina Garten recipe for Caesar Club Sandwich called for a purchased ciabatta bread. I thought it would be fun to make my own. I searched for a bread machine recipe and found one that produced a nice loaf with a "crisp crust and coarse crumb" and is nice and chewy.

It doesn't begin with a sponge but still a very enjoyable bread and one that I will definitely make again!
The dough is sticky and the recipe recommends resisting the temptation to add additional flour.
I found the dough to be exceptionally light and fun to work with.
The lighter bread is just how it came out of the oven. The darker one was brushed with butter which gives the loaf a richer and slightly softer crust.
Ciabatta Bread
allrecipes.com

PRINT RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Directions

  1. Place ingredients into the pan of the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle, and Start.
  2. Dough will be quite sticky and wet once cycle is completed, resist the temptation to add more flour. Place dough on a lightly floured board, cover with a large bowl, and let rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Lightly flour or use parchment lined baking sheets. Divide into 2 pieces, and form each into a 3x14 inch oval. Place loaves on prepared sheets, dimple surface, and lightly flour. Cover, and let rise in a draft free place for approximately 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  5. Dimple dough for a second time, and then place loaves in the oven, positioned on the middle rack. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. During baking, spritz loaves with water every 5 to 10 minutes for a crispier crust.
~*~
Next... on to Barefoot Contessa's Caesar Club Sandwich.
I made changes to the recipe using ingredients I had on hand.
The recipe calls for roasting chicken breasts rubbed with olive oil, salt and pepper.
I baked mine with the skin removed and with barbecue sauce.
The Caesar dressing called for anchovy paste and I seriously tried to add it.
In the end I passed deciding to pass on flavor rather than risk a "fishy" taste.
I also substituted fresh cilantro for the fresh flat-leaf parsley as I have it growing on my window sill.
I substituted bacon for the pancetta,
baby spinach and romaine lettuce for the baby arugula,
feta cheese for the Parmesan and
fresh tomatoes for the sun-dried.

I know it sounds like I really changed up this recipe but I don't think the final outcome is all that different from the original recipe posted below.

Caesar Club Sandwich
2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home
Ingredients
  • 2 split (1 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup good mayonnaise
  • 1 large ciabatta bread
  • 2 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
  • 12 sun-dried tomatoes, in oil
  • 2 to 3 ounces Parmesan, shaved

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan skin side up. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until cooked through. Cool slightly, discard the skin and bones, and slice the meat thickly. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place the pancetta on another sheet pan in a single layer. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until crisp. Set aside to drain on paper towels.

Place the garlic and parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until minced. Add the anchovy paste, mustard, lemon juice, and mayonnaise and process again to make a smooth dressing. (Refrigerate the Caesar dressing if not using it immediately.)

Slice the ciabatta in half horizontally and separate the top from the bottom. Toast the bread in the oven, cut side up, for 5 to 7 minutes; cool slightly. Spread the cut sides of each piece with the Caesar dressing. Place half the arugula on the bottom piece of bread and then layer in order: the sun-dried tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, crispy pancetta, and sliced chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and finish with another layer of arugula. Place the top slice of ciabatta on top and cut in thirds crosswise. Serve at room temperature.

Sepia Scenes #76 ~ Do You See It Too?

I have already admitted that I see things that others don't.
You know... shapes in the clouds... schnauzers in trees...

Waiting in the car for my husband to come out of work, I saw this.
What does it look like to YOU?
uh, huh... some kind of utility box.
But what else do you see?


Do you see four legs?
A body... a head...
an ear sticking out from the side of the head...
(Hint: the head is on the right side)
distinctive spotted markings...
looking real close now (hard to see in sepia)...

do you see an udder?
how about a little bell hanging from its neck?
You don't see a COW???
Oh, please say you can see it!

I know, I know... it is missing a tail
maybe if it had a tail you might see it too.

Well, I know you can see it is a sepia shot!
Joining Mary T for Sepia Scenes!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday

Pretty flowers on every table.
That's what greeted us Tuesday morning at Chick-fil-A.
With a coupon for free chicken minis, John and I had breakfast together.
Then, I dropped him off at work and headed to the grocery store.
What a nice way to start the day!
On the way home I pulled into a car dealership to take a picture of
their enormous American flag filling the cloudy sky.
It just stirs my heart every time I pass by.

Stop by Susan's @A Southern Daydreamer for more Outdoor Wednesday

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dulce de Leche Duos ~ TWD

A soft, chewy cookie with delicious caramel filling!
Dulce de leche begins with a can of sweetened condensed milk and is cooked until it becomes a thick, caramel-like spread. Dorie says dulce de leche is readily available in stores but I made my own. There are several cooking methods and I ended up combining two of them.

I was tempted to cook the unopened can in boiling water but I was frightened to chance it. I have a friend from church who did this for years. She is from Argentina and this was the way she and her family always did it. But, one day the can exploded and she suffered a serious eye injury.
Here are cooking methods from Eagle Brand

OVEN METHOD: Pour 1 can EAGLE BRAND® into 9-inch pie plate. Cover with aluminum foil; place in larger shallow pan. Fill larger pan with hot water. Bake at 425ºF for 1 hour or until thick and caramel-colored. Beat until smooth.

STOVETOP METHOD: Pour 1 can EAGLE BRAND® into top of double boiler; place over boiling water. Over low heat, simmer 1 to 1/2 hours or until thick and caramel-colored, stirring occasionally. Beat until smooth.

MICROWAVE METHOD: Pour 1 can EAGLE BRAND® into 2-quart glass measuring cup. Cook on MEDIUM (50% power) 4 minutes, stirring briskly every 2 minutes until smooth. Cook on MEDIUM_LOW (30% power) 20 to 25 minutes or until very thick and caramel-colored, stirring briskly every 4 minutes during the first 16 minutes and every 2 minutes during the last 4 to 10 minutes.

And then I found a SLOW COOKER METHOD:
Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Find an oven-safe dish to insert into your stoneware. You can use individual ramekins or a casserole dish. Carefully pour water all around the dish, until the water reaches three-quarters of the way up the sides of the dish. Open the cans of sweetened condensed milk and pour into the inserted dish(es). Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
I started out by baking the milk in the oven but after an hour it was not as thick as I wanted. A little more time and I think it would have been perfect. I had bread that had to go into the oven so I transferred the partially thickened milk to a double broiler and finished it there.
yum... doesn't that look good!
Playing Around ~ I had just a bit of chocolate glaze left over from another recipe, so I spread some on the flat side of a few cookies before sandwiching them together.
Lovely!
Dulce de Leche Duos
by Dorie Greenspan from Baking From My Home to Yours

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups store-bought dulce de leche, plus more for filling
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft. Add the 3/4 cup of dulce de leche and both sugars and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Don't be concerned if the mixture looks a little curdled- it will smooth out when the flour mixture goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter.
Spoon the dough onto the baking sheets, using a heaping teaspoon of dough for each cookie and leaving 2 inches between them.
Bake the cookies 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front the back at the midway point. The cookies should be honey brown with a light sugar crust, but they will still be soft, so remove the sheets from the oven but don't touch the cookies for another minute or two. Then, using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure you cool the baking sheets before spooning the dough onto them.
When the cookies are completely cool, spread the flat bottoms of half the cookies with a small amount of dulce de leche, and sandwich with the flat sides of the remaining cookies.
Makes about 30 sandwich cookies


linking to Foodie Friday @Designs by Gollum

I'm Stitching Along ~ More Inchies








Squares 14-22
Beginning of project here.
Catching up squares here.
Squares 9-13 here.
Flickr Group Pool

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mosaic Monday ~ Chicks

I wanted to get down to my daughter, Erin's home to see the baby chicks when she first got them and they were soft yellow puff balls. They are a little older now but still kind of cute.

Not so easy getting pictures of these gangly, in between chick-and-chicken, future egg layers. They are living in a large rubbermaid container under lights until they are a bit older and ready to move outside and into their new chicken coop.

Visit Mary @Little Red House for more Mosaic Monday!

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