Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Beatrix Potter Sampler is coming along!

April, being my birthday month, was a very busy one, but I did manage to get some stitching done on my Beatrix Potter Sampler.
I just love how these Quaker medallions turn out with the hand-dyed silks!
I decided to keep the reproduction true to its original initials instead of changing them...
This sampler is very soothing to stitch...and I'm still having fun picking the thread color as I go!
Thank you for looking!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My New Bread Maker

Suddenly was in the mood to have a bread machine again, so after some research and price checking, we decided upon the Cuisinart Convection bread maker...and it's terrific!

We're hoping that by making our own bread that we'll be saving some money, but for certain, we'll have fun baking the most delicious breads!

What you see here is my favorite one so far...the Cinnamon Swirl bread! Recipe came with the machine and actually, the booklet has more recipes for us to try!

The last time around that we went crazy baking bread was when we used Welbilt machines...I remember the first one looked like R2D2 from Star Wars, and the second one was a massive rectangular white one. But then the no-carb craze reared its ugly head, so the poor machine was relegated to making pizza dough for the kids...then I broke the screw that covered the hole in the baking pan and I was at a loss how to fix it so that the dough didn't come oozing off to the garage grave yard it went.

So now we have this new one to make memories with...and I just love love love the aroma in the kitchen...and the warm bread...then we scarve it down again. Time to make another one! And the cycle repeats!!

I will need to perfect my Wheat bread recipe...I remember figuring it out the last time, so I will again...can't be too dense and I remember adding gluton to help make it a bit more fluffy. So thought I'd go out and buy some gluton...what an adventure that turned out to be!! The craze NOW is No Gluton products so the regular grocery chains don't carry the gluton off to the health food store. We have one close by called Lassen and they had the gluton along with some interesting flours like rye and barley...and lacithin...and organic oats...yea, we'll make some interesting loaves!

My son Peter suddenly remembered today that long ago I had made some chocolate banana need to see if I can find that recipe back. I was able to find my old bread machine cookbooks back and
thumbing through and visiting old "friends" and noticing my own notes to many of the recipes.

So, yes, even in this bad economy, you can find some fun somewhere...we'll see if it's more economical or not. In the meantime, let me see if I can find that Squaw bread recipe...

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Woohoo! The Birthday celebration continues!!! My friend Sima took me to lunch to Cafe Firenze and surprised me with a visit from Chef Fabio Viviani who competed in the show Top Chef. It was so much fun meeting him in person, although I believe I've met him before he was famous when he served us lunch years back when he opened his restaurant!

I only started to watch Top Chef because I had heard our local Moorpark chef was in the competition. Very nice guy, and his restaurant serves fantastic food with the best service!

I'm not sure when I let Fabio have his arm back, but he was very charming and made this 53 year old's day!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

I Love My Birthday...

I'm sorry, but I do. I love it better than Christmas. It means I survived another year and I'm starting a new one. Kind of the clean slate thing. But I also love the attention I get and the cake and the presents. I love getting best wishes from friends near and far, and it's a great excuse to do what I want, so did a bit of stitching. Mostly, birthdays make me feel like a little kid and it makes me laugh when "Happy Birthday" is sung and everyone uses a different name for me in the "blank." This time it was "Jackie," "Mom," "Mrs. Boller," and "Peter's Mom, " and when all were said at the same time, it was a jumble!! But I heard them family and Peter's friends. I laughed so loud.

I also got spoiled today with candles, gift certificate for Elegant Stitch, Red Velvet Cake, chocolate, and a much needed HP Officejet printer. On Sunday, we celebrate some more at my parents with a combo Easter/Birthday dinner. So it continues on...

I must admit, however, that 53 is just a number...
an amazing number to me since I don't feel that old, at least most of the time. But I do love my birthdays even if it means I'm older...I just love birthday cake too much!! And presents...and attention. I'm sorry, but I do.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Darning Sampler...

I shared with my mom a wonderful website of Dutch Samplers . If you go to the gallery choice along the side, you can see a wonderful slide show of Dutch samplers. So my mom shared with me her "antique" Dutch darning sampler. I just love it and had forgotten about it, but now I can show it here.