Friday, October 28, 2011

Zucchini Pie

I know it's a little late to give you ideas for using a bumper crop of zucchini, but you might want to file this for next season.

Meat Loaf, Zucchini Pie and cherry tomatoes from my garden.

My friend, Sandy A. (Gotta put the initial in there 'cause I have 5 friends named Sandy!!!) was kind enough to feed me dinner one night when I was at her house on my way to a Scout meeting a few years ago.  YUM!  Her Zucchini Pie became a fast favorite in our house.  Thanks, Sandy!

Yes- I took this photo of our dinner about 6 weeks ago, when zucchini and tomatoes were at their best.

 Zucchini Crescent Pie

Line a 10 inch pie pan with 18-ounce can crescent roll dough.  (This is what the recipe calls for, and it's fine, but you could also use a regular pie crust and pre- cook it a little)

Brush dough with about 2 teaspoons of mustard (yellow or brown- your choice).  The recipe calls for 2 tsp but I generally use a little more.  We like mustard.

4 Cups thinly sliced zucchini
1 Cup chopped onion
 Saute in 1/4 - 1/2 cup margarine or butter for 10 minutes.

1/2 cup chopped parsley or 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon oregoano
2 beaten eggs
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded mozzarella or muenster cheese
The already-sauteed zucchini/onion mixture

Pour the filling into the shell and bake in a pre-heated 375 deg f. oven for 18-20 minutes or until center is set.

Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

I also like a slice of this warmed up for breakfast.  or with a side salad for lunch.

This seems like a good place to show you my new veggie garden.  This is where all the zucchini and tomatoes came from!  DH loves a project that involves his little tractor.  The blue lounge chair is where I sat to watch him put in the posts.  (yea- right!)

Last year, I planted a few things and the deer ate all of it!  So this year, we got a few rolls of 8 ft deer fencing.  It's the plastic stuff- they hate it on their noses, and they can jump most anything less than 7 or 8 ft.

The guys built me 5 raised beds, which we filled with nice, rich garden soil. There is quite a bit of space around them inside the fencing for me to plant other things.  I didn't get much planted this summer because the fencing wasn't up until late June, and the lavender is harvested in July.  But I had some nice tomatoes, peppers, onions and a few other things.  Next year will be a different story!  I planted blueberries, rhubarb and grapes last month and I'm planning for the spring!

Our apple tree was a happy camper this year.  LOTS if big apples.  We mostly use them for apple sauce and cider.  And the deer clean up the windfalls.

I'm pretty new at vegetable gardening.  I'm happy to hear any and all tips or recommended web sites!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Road Trip

Yesterday I did a rather long post on internet safety and email privacy.  I expected people to yawn an move on.  Not so!  I got a lot of comments- looks like I hit some nerves!

 I did promise a fun post today.  Yesterday I said that people should post on blogs and FB about vacations AFTER they return (or tell that they are upcoming but not say WHEN they are going).  It's just not safe to post to the world that your house will be empty!

So... following my own advise... here's a post about the trip DH and I took last week.  Our oldest son and his lovely wife moved to Utah last January.  They visited us here in August, but we had not yet been to see them.  We opted to drive the 1600 mile round trip because we enjoy road trips and DH doesn't particularly enjoy airports and such.

I showed the quilt I made for my son yesterday, but I didn't mention that I named the quilt. "Road Trip".

The drive from the Portland area to the Salt Lake area is about 800 miles each way.  I neglected to take many photos of the drive there, but the scenery was beautiful.  I focused on visiting the kids, but never really thought about the fact that we would see the autumn foliage in some rugged mountain areas.  How stunning!  I especially like to see the colors of the deciduous trees contrasted by the deep green evergreen trees.  We have a lot of that in the Northwest.

DH and I grew up in Philadelphia.  While we love living in the Northwest, we do miss those Philly cheesesteaks!  My DIL found this little place is Salt Lake City that serves amazing cheese steak sandwiches!  It's called Moochies (I think I spelled that right).  They even had Tasty Cakes!

This was taken on the deck of a friend's house.  We had our dog.  DS and DDIL have a dog.  The friend has a dog.  Friend's mom was away and her dog was at the friend's house.  I tried to get a photo of the 4 dogs but all I managed to get was dog butts and people feet.

We went to visit the copper mine just outside the city.  WOW!  I never knew how much I didn't know about copper!  It's hard to describe the massiveness of this operation.  This tire gives you an idea of how large the trucks are that carry the material out of the pit to be processed.  (Don't you know every guy who visits has to pose in front of the tire?)

This is the pit they are currently mining.  I felt like I was gazing into the Grand Canyon!

Another shot of the mining operation- slightly to the side of the main pit.  The rock is crushed and travels many miles to be processed.  Then it is returned and taken to the top of the mountain and dumped over the side- creating a "new mountain".  Amazing!

Another restaurant!  We spend one day driving up to Park City.  We started the morning at this cute diner, which was originally a railroad dining car- build onto in many directions to enlarge the restaurant.  I had the most wonderful breakfast! It was an omelet with asparagus, tomatoes, onions, and Munster cheese.  Accompanied by incredible potatoes and biscuits.  

We visited the Olympic Village in Park City.

This is a luge course (I think).  Looks a little different without the snow!

 Cady gets gold, Paul and Wayne take silver and bronze!

Ski jumps sans snow.

View overlooking the valley from the ski jump area.  Is this fall color just the most gorgeous picture?!?  It almost didn't look real.

So where does a ski jumper jump when there isn't any snow?  Into a pool of water, of course! 

You can actually pay to do this- if you're crazy enough.

The next day took us to the Bonneville Salt Flats.  This may look like snow, but it's SALT!

The sign is information about the speedway.  Crazy people drive on this stuff.  My son did it. It's long and flat and straight and people drive fast and grunt about it.   Enough about that.

Here we are at a road stop.  There had been some rain, which evidently sits on top of the salt.

Lots of salt.

 More salt.

I was glad we went because it was amazing to see.  But it was just salt.  And more salt.  And more salt.  And you had to rinse off the tires and your shoes-- salt can do nasty things.  And my lips tasted like salt from the air.  Ick.

In the car--- long drive---- this is not a good picture of DIL Cady (sorry, Cady!)  but I thought it was cute of their dog, Cooper. "Are we there, yet?"

Another restaurant!  This was outside of the Mayan Adventure.  It's like being in an Indiana Jones movie with dark rooms, rock walls, and cliff divers.

I took a lot of photos of the cliff divers, but didn't think you'd be interested in blurry blobs with dark backgrounds.  Some things just don't photograph well.  Fun night, though.

Farewell for now.... we'll be back!  Thanks for a wonderful time, Paul and Cady- love you guys!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Plan...

OK-- new plan.  If you comment and you're a no-reply commenter, and I want to reply, I'll do it in the comments box after the post.  So if you want to be anonymous, just look for your comment and the ones following and see if I replied.

Be Safe on the Internet

I have a couple of topics for this post.  One is regarding the privacy of your email address and the other is regarding telling people about vacations.

No good pictures for this topic, so I'll post some pictures of a quilt I just finished for my son to keep you reading.  I posted this quilt before when I made the top- but I just completed it and gave it to him.

Here's a picture of Paul holding up his quilt.  It's intended to be a throw- for TV watching and such.

This photo shows the backing folded over a block.  Paul has collected license plates since he was little.  I just couldn't resist making a quilt for him with this fabric.  The coordinating fabric used for the block backgrounds is a road map.

A few of the blocks....

 And Jaeger seems to want to pose with every quilt I try to photograph on the floor.  Maybe he just wants to try them out.  :-)

 OK-- that was the fun stuff.  Now the boring stuff with no pictures.... but PULEEZE keep reading....

Let's start with email and no-reply bloggers.  I have several email addresses.  One is very private.  My business email is plastered everywhere I can possibly plaster it.  I also have one for junk.  That's the one that I use for newsletters, when ordering online, for giveaways, etc.  Let's have a little chat about blogging and your email address.  I totally understand if you want to keep your email address off of blog replies.... especially if your email is the same as your work email or if you share it with your spouse or family.  Good grief- it's a scary world out there on the internet!  But you CAN play along on blogs and giveways and such things if you get a second email address.  Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail... and the list goes on and on... all have FREE email.  If you want to purchase online, enter contests, etc, but hold back because you want to maintain your privacy- consider getting an email address for these kinds of things.

Many of the contest entries I get- and just general comments on my posts are so kind and many ask for a reply.  If you are a no-reply blogger (ie, you have stated that you don't want your email to show in your preferences) then I have no way to reply to you!  It breaks my heart not to reply to some of you when I really, really want to respond!  I think that a lot of people select that they don't want their email to show thinking that it will be actually printed.  But what happens is that if I click on your name, I get "no-reply".

I TRY to reply to MOST of the comments made on my blog.  If it's a little one or 2 word comment, or if it's a request to enter a giveaway, I MIGHT not get to replying.  Sometimes I can get 150 comments overnight when I post a giveaway and it just isn't possible for me to send 150 emails right away.  Right now- I am behind.  But in general, if you post a comment I'll eventually reply to you privately in your email.  If you regularly post comments (to me or anyone else) and never ever get any personal replies- you're probably a no-reply blogger.  And chances are, many of you don't realize it.

Here's what you can do to find out.  It's a little different if you are on blogspot or typepad or others.  But you want to look for the words, privacy, or settings, or preferences.  On blogspot, it has a question in the preferences that says, "Show E-Mail Address".  Many people think, "Heck no--- don't show the world my email address!" and they leave that unclicked.  That makes you a no-reply blogger.  That's your choice.  Just know that others won't be able to interact with you.  If you click that you want the address to show, it won't end up on a bill board in Times Square.  It just means that people will be able to reply to you.  If this still bothers you, consider getting a separate email address.  I have good anti-virus software to weed out the really bad guys.  You really do need to invest in the antivirus stuff.  And even though I don't try terribly hard to protect my personal email address, I get very little spam.  Most of it ends up in my address that I use for online stuff like giveaways and online shopping.

If you get an email address for junk- just make sure you check it once in a while because there might be a note in there that you won a blog giveaway!!!  I check my junk email about once a week.

Note- just having a junk mail folder in your regular email box isn't the same thing.

Another note- please, please, please, PLEASE don't mark legitimate advertisements or newsletters as "junk or spam" unless they really are bad guys.  If you do that, the sender is marked as a spammer.  I used to think that the spam box on my email was just a separate folder for junk.  It's not.  Here's how this works:  I have a legitimate business and I send a newsletter to thousands of people about 10 times a year.  People are only on that list if they ASK to be.  (You can sign up for my newsletter on my website).  I pay a newsletter service to manage the list (it's BIG).  I pay for each address it goes to.  They send out my newsletter,  maintain the list, add and delete people as requested, etc.  If you don't want to read my newsletters right away, that's cool.  And if you don't want them any longer you can un-subscribe.  That's fine, too.  But if you mark my newsletter as SPAM, then I get a "black mark" against me with my service.  Too many of them and my service marks me as being "naughty".  It has other implications for me, too.  Well... it's more complicated than that, but you get the idea.  When you ask companies to send you their newsletter, they have to pay their services to send it to you... so don't call them spam.  Just unsubscribe or read them later or create a folder for newsletters in your email and put them there.  Okie dokie?

Second topic.  Or does this make 3 topics?  Vacations.  It just blows me away that people post of facebook and blogs that they are leaving town.  They say when they are leaving and when they are returning.  Why don't they just leave a key under the mat with a red arrow pointing to it?  And sometimes they say that there is a wedding or a funeral and they tell you the time and date.  Why don't they just go onto Craig's List and tell people that everyone who has any business in their house will be at a wedding on Saturday afternoon so some bad guy is free to come in and grab whatever they want that day?  "Hey, Mr. Bad Guy.... I'm going on vacation.  I'll be gone for 2 weeks.  That will give you plenty of time to rent a u-haul and back it up in my driveway and clean me out.  I'll leave the key under the mat for you."

One time, I actually read a blog post where a mom was telling her readers that she is now allowing her adolescent daughter to be home alone after school.  She told everyone that she gave the girl her own door key.  She didn't give her address, but it wouldn't be terribly hard to figure it out because she was pretty open about other things, too.  What was she thinking?!?!?!

OK- I know I'm being tacky here.  I'm really not trying to make fun of you if you've done any of these things (lots of people do).  But honestly- be careful!  Post about your vacation when you return.  And the people who read your tweets and FB updates will enjoy them just as much if you tell them about it after you return.  I really like you guys and I would hate to read on your blog that you were robbed while on vacation.

SO guess what!?!?!?  We JUST got BACK from vacation!  I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. :-)

Thanks for making it to the end of  along and boring post.  Can you tell that I'm passionate about these topics (especially posting about vacations!)?   I promise a fun post tomorrow.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Sunday morning and waffles.... just seen to go together.  I thought I'd share a few waffle tips with you.

Here's a tip from my daughter-in-law, Cady.  She and my son gave us the waffle iron.  It's one of those cool ones that flip over and beep when it's done.  Anyway- she uses regular pancake mix- no special recipe.  (I like Bisquick)  She adds a little vanilla and a shake of cinnamon to the batter.  WOW!  What a difference!  Thanks for the tip, Cady!

 I always make a big batch and freeze what we don't eat.  They fit perfectly in this Tupperware container.  I put little sandwich bags in between to keep them from sticking together.  Just warm them however you warm any frozen waffles. You can just pop them in the toaster to warm them.  I like to put them in the microwave for about 30 seconds and then lay them in a little pan (my omelet pan) until crisp.  Be careful-  flip them over once in a while and just warm them- they burn fast.

By the way- I warm leftover pizza the same way.  A pizza shop owner taught me how to do this.  I put the slice in the microwave just long enough to barely warm it.  Then I put it in a frying pan to crisp up the bottom and warm it a little longer.  The reason I put it in the microwave first is if you put it cold from the fridge in the frying pan, it's burned on the bottom by the time you get it warmed all the way through.

Time for me to go eat a waffle.  I think I'll put some blueberries on it....

Thursday, October 20, 2011

More pics of the Quilt Show

I located more pictures from our recent guild quilt show!  I already showed you my quilts in previous posts.  Here are the other amazing winning quilts.  Congrats to all--- the honors were well deserved.  If only there were a hundred more ribbons to award!  All of the 150 quilts were works of art!

The following pictures were "lifted" from the Westside Quilters' Guild website   If you happen to live in the Portland, Oregon area, we'd love to have you join us!  You can find meeting information and lots of other goodies on the website.  I don't know who took these pics- but whoever you are- thanks!

 Marcia Elliot was awarded second place Peoples' Choice for "Stars".  I love the fabrics in this quilt!  They look like they could have come from my personal stash!

Marcia also took a second ribbon. The Tuality Foundation awarded a ribbon to Marcia Elliot for Vineyard Stroll, her star sampler with grape detail.

 Patty Dobbs took home TWO ribbons!  The first was for her hand applique masterpiece.  Patty recently taught a hand applique class to guild members and I learned a lot.  She is truly an award winning hand applique artist!

 Patty was also awarded a ribbon for "Worms".  Isn't this one fun!?!?

Featured Quilt Artist Terry Grant, shown here, giving a ribbon for Ann Laffin's quilt of Bob the cat.

Jean Lasswell, shown here, gave the President's Award to Jean Noltensmeier for her postage stamp applique quilt, quilted by Shawn Priggel.

Featured Quilt Artist Mary Goodson awarded a ribbon to Jean Lasswell for her West Along the Tualatin Challenge Quilt, That's What I Like About Oregon. Show Chair Clara Mashek is seen here pinning the ribbon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Antique Linen Quilts

A while back, I did a post on an antique linen workshop I attended.  Several of you have asked me how to contact Sue Moore, who designed the patterns we used in this workshop.  Sue does not have a website and I'm not sure what her email address is.  I do have her private phone number, but I am not comfortable with posting that on the internet.  If you want to get in contact with her, please send me a private email and I'll get you connected.  Here is MY email address (we're both Sue's so don't confuse us):

Westside Quilters' Guild 2011 Show

As promised, here is more from our recent guild quilt show.

I didn't get many photos of the submitted quilts.  I'm hoping that there are photos on the guild site so I can get them onto this blog or that I can refer you to look at.  I'll see if I can do that tomorrow (fingers crossed).

In addition to my Double Wedding Ring, I submitted the large Asian wall hanging above.  It was hard to stand back far enough to get a good photo, but you get the idea.

 This is a picture of me standing in our booth.  I had a lot of kits and patterns with me.... and some fun fat quarter assortments.

Unfortunately, we had "technical difficulties" with our sign.  We have a nice "Alderwood Quilts" sign for vending.  Ahhh... things never go exactly as planned, do they!?

Here are a few highlights of what I had at the show:

This beautiful quilt was made by my friend and fellow guild member, Bella Dvir.  Bella is a gifted quilter and she generously allowed me to display her Strips n' Curves quilt.  Sandy Pennington quilted this beauty for her.  I used it as an example of what you can do using the Strips n' Curves books and templates by Louisa Smith.

 I was thrilled that Susan Cranshaw sent me a trunk show of some of her quilts.  These are some of her best selling patterns

 This is one of the most frequently commented upon display I had.  Susan added a 3-dimensional touch to this wall hanging.  Her use of color and expert quilting is simply jaw-dropping!

 Isn't this fun!?!?  Susan combined 2 patterns- the Roadrunner and the Horned Toad, to create this wall hanging.

This is Susan's newest design.  Hummingbirds are a favorite of mine.  There just might be one of these on my sewing table one of these days.  I just got a supply of these patterns and will be adding the Hummingbirds to my website soon.

This is a photo of a few samples I made for the show.  The table runner is designed by Karla Alexander.  I have the pattern as well as the kit on my website.  This was so much fun to make!  The background and border are very simple piecing.  The pumpkins, leaves and crows are fusible appliques.  (If you look closely- the crows have no beaks or feet- I ran out of time!).  

The handbag is called the Veranda Tote.  I also have it available as a pattern or as a kit.  And there are some handy dandy acrylic inserts made to stiffen the base of fabric bags called bag-y-bottoms.  All of this can be found in the handbags category on my website.

This is a wall hanging designed by Sheryl Mycroft of Random Threadz.  It was a snap to make and is really eye-catching.  The center tree piece is done by fusing the 2 trees on with fusible applique paper.  Then you stitch lots of borders around the tree.  The little diamond shapes are also fused on- with the exception of the shapes on the triangular flap, which are sewn in.  I don't know if you can see it in the photo, but the triangle is stitched into that last border seam so it creates a flap.  When I first saw the pattern, I thought it would be a nightmare to do the binding because of the shape... but not to worry- it's easy!.  The final touch is to sew on the lovely black glass beads.  The pattern, the beads, and the kit (which includes fabric, beads and pattern) are all on my website.  You can even purchase the backing or extra fabric by the yard.  Sheryl has a few other tree patterns and I am working on a different sample which will also be on the website soon.  It will be in greens, browns and purples with some very interesting embellishments.  I need to get busy with that sample.... but I think I'll put beaks and feet on the crows on the pumpkin table runner first!

It was a great show!  The next one will be in 2 years.  It takes the organizers a year to recover and another year to plan the next show!  Kidding aside- I want to do a shout-out to Clara Mashek and her crew of dedicated and VERY hard working guild members who made this show possible.  If I start naming them, I know I'll forget someone.  So many people pitched in to help and about a dozen women worked very, very hard in recent months to make it all happen- all with Clara's leadership.  I'll see if I can get photos of all of the winning quilts to show you in another post.

OK... now where did I put the beaks for the crows......