Saturday, August 23, 2014

Have You Tried Delicata Squash?




Every so often, Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer shows up in our mailbox. It's a newspaper style booklet hilariously reviewing the products of the season, what new just came in, etc. It is so fun to read that I pretty much read it cover to cover regardless of whether I would really eat/drink that particular item. It's that funny! Those guys have really fun jobs!

One of the items this time was about Delicata squash, so I added it to the cart along with my grass fed ground beef, bison pattys, romaine lettuce, cucumbers and such. Hadn't tried Delicata, so I got three -- one to cook tonight and a couple to experiment with later in a different recipe.


The writeup said that the skin was thin and edible. Unlike butternut and acorn squashes where you need a hacksaw to cut them in half. I halved this one lengthwise with my large chef's knife and then cut each half into 1/4" slices. We quilters know our 1/4", don't we?


After I sliced them all up, I added some olive oil and a few grinds of Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning, a blend of salt, pepper, garlic and spices that seems to make its way into a lot of the dishes in my kitchen. Tossed it all together and dumped it onto a large cookie sheet, separating the slices and spreading them out a little bit.

Then the squash baked at 450 degrees for about 18 minutes; I tossed it about halfway through to redistribute the olive oil.


Aidelle's Chicken and Apple Sausages from Costco were on the second cookie sheet. The squash was already in the oven when I opened the package of sausages, so they probably baked for about 12 minutes and I turned the contents of both sheets at the same time.


The squash came out yummy and golden brown, with a milder taste than either acorn or butternut and, yes, the skin is edible. I will definitely make this again! And Dan was just poking around in the leftovers and informed me that it tastes good cold; that means I can keep cooked delicata on hand for my post-workout carbs. Wonder how long the season is for these -- does anybody know?

I found a recipe for delicata squash soup on one of my favorite paleo food blogs, A Girl Worth Saving -- Paleo cooking from the heart with Kelly Bejelly. This is one of the blogs that I get on the Bloglovin feed, which is the most efficient way to follow all of the blogs that you want to, including this one, without having your inbox clogged up! I get one e-mail a day, with the latest posts from all of the blogs I follow -- love this!

Non-teaching weekends are made for cooking -- tomorrow I'll make the soup!

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Location:Palmdale CA

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Addendum to Kids Learning to Sew




Sammie was doing such a good job at the machine -- she easily learned how to select stitches and how to use various features of the machine. She LOVED the automatic scissors when she was appliqueing the trees to the table runner.

I complimented her on how well she was doing and she said, "This is easy, Nana -- you just have to tell the machine who's the boss!"

She's a natural, don't you think?

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Location:Palmdale CA

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Back to Business Teaching Project




This was the project Jewell Hulitt and I taught at the Brother International dealer convention last week in Nashville. Jewell taught applique using the circular attachment and decorative stitches on the new mid-priced 3500 model. Once the two circles were appliqued on the denim, I taught the quilting portion of the class. The above picture is my sample, but I want to show you some of the ways dealers changed it up:














Are these cool or what? I didn't have handouts of what I did, so I promised I would step it out on a blog this week, so that's what I'll do next!

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Location:Nashville TN

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Kids Learning to Sew -- a Xmas Table Runner




Sammie and Lauren stayed over last night and they made some really good progress on their first sewing machine project!


I got out a roll of Steam a Seam and they cut out and fused the six trees onto the background. Using scraps and my Brother 6200, they both practiced applique with a small zigzag stitch. Lauren stitched a few scraps and then announced that she was going to do her three trees with a needle and thread instead of the machine. Sammie kept at it, practicing until she felt that she was ready to go to the table runner.

End result: Lauren hand stitched one tree, the top one above. Sammie machine appliqued the remaining five trees last night before shower and bed. Let's keep in mind that Sammie is the more patient of the two as well as the older by 18 months.




This morning, we marked a diagonal grid in the center area of the quilt and I taught Sammie how to do the straight stitching using the MuVit foot (the walking foot for this machine model). And she got all of that done in a couple of hours this morning! Lauren really didn't like machine stitching all that much, but Sammie took to it like the proverbial duck to water.

Promised them that next visit we'll do the free motion quilting on and around the trees! I think that Lauren might like that better -- it's faster!

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Location:Palmdale CA

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Gave the Girls Their Quilts!

Dan and I invited the girls and their mom to dinner Thursday night and it was a perfect opportunity to give them the quilts I have been working on:








I arranged them on "their" bed in our guest room and put a fun road sign on each quilt to eliminate any possible confusion about which was whose (not that they would ever argue about that or anything.....) I'm always looking for ornaments and things with their names on them and found the signs at the Tech Museum in San Jose last weekend.





They were pretty excited about getting the new quilts!






Sammie's cuddled up with a book in hers and we have a Lauren Burrito on the floor in the family room.










So later we're all eating ice cream -- well, Sammie was eating ice cream, looks like Lauren face planted in hers!

I was going to tell them why I decided to make them the quilts, but when I asked them "Do you know why I made these quilts for you?" Lauren answered "Because you love us!" I guess that says it all!

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Location:Palmdale CA

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Annual Mikey Mini Vacation

On a mini vacation with BFF Mikey; we went to the Gilroy Garlic Festival yesterday. Saw lots of crafty things, booths with various garlic goods, games for the kiddies -- it was HOT, as in 104 degrees HOT! We gave up on that about noon:30, grabbed some lunch and strolled in a (comparatively) cooler outlet mall and did a little shopping.

Today we're tooling around downtown San Jose to see what's around the Hilton.


This is the Adobe building right across the street -- that patch of color is where the doors are....


Wouldn't this be a fun thing to see first thing on a work day? Fun doors, windows and awnings (aka rain or sun shelters)!

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Location:San Jose CA

Monday, July 21, 2014

We'll Probably Never See This Again!




I needed some pictures of my sewing setup and table placement for Craftsy, so I had to clean everything off to take the pictures. You don't even want to know what the rest of the room looks like! The above is how I set it up when I want to do large quilts --- need a lot of empty space so those quilts bank up against the walls as I sew them.


Looks like this when I get a big quilt coming through....


For smaller quilts, I condense the space so that the quilt doesn't lay out flat; I still want it "bunching up" against my barriers, the pretty boxes and the hard cover to my sewing machine.


This is what that setup looks like in use with a lap size quilt.

So now everything is all neat and pretty -- any bets on how long it will stay that way?

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Location:Palmdale CA