Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Final Block!

Hooray...I finished my final Kathy Schmitz Sweet Stitches Block of the Month!

Here is the January block.  This snowman is really dressed for the cold!  I think he must live in our neck of the woods.  We've had tons of freezing fog, which when it's happening falls just like snow.  It even accumulates!

I placed all the blocks on my design wall.  Did you notice I even fixed my November block after an attack of "senior dyslexia"?  You can see how it used to look HERE.  I knew I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't make it right.

I was going to make 9-patches as corner stones between the blocks, but once I put them up on the design wall it became apparent that it's already busy enough as it is!  I'll sash the blocks with something neutral instead.  When I get some samples together I just might ask for your opinion.  If anyone has an opinion now, feel free to weigh in!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Morning Meusli

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas surrounded by the people and pets you love!  We sure did here at the Squash House!  We have two traditions.  The first is that Mr. Squash stays up until midnight when Sasha and Gracie May have their once a year talk with him.  They present a list of non-negotiable demands which he promises to uphold!

Our other Christmas tradition is to have baked oatmeal for breakfast.  This year I decided to change up the recipe I got from Cooking Light magazine, Oct 2003 issue.  I've had a bag of Bob's Red Mill Old Country Style Meusli that we've been working on and it occurred to me that I could use it in the recipe with some modifications!  
First place 1 cup of quick cooking oats and 1 cup of Bob's Red Mill Old Country Style Meusli in a medium bowl.
Add 1/3 cup golden raisins, 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed and 1 teaspoon baking powder.  Mix together.
In another bowl mix together 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk, 1/2 cup applesauce (I always keep the little 4 ounce cups of applesauce that come in a 6-pack around), 1 egg lightly beaten, and 2 tablespoons butter, melted.  I mix the first three ingredients together first as the butter is usually pretty warm from the microwave.  Mix in the butter slowly to temper the egg, otherwise you'll wind up with scrambled eggs.
Combine both bowls of ingredients.
Pour into an 8" square baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray and bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.  Since we're at a little over 1,000 feet altitude it took the full 30 minutes to bake.
It's done when the edges are golden brown and it's completely set.  Scoop into bowls and enjoy just as it is or top with fruit and a little milk!
For Christmas dinner we had a wonderful prime rib roast.  In order to bring it to room temperature before cooking, I had to devise a way to keep the curious kitties away from it.  My cake plate worked really well!  There isn't anything they won't go after, especially Sasha!  Usually when I take something out of the oven to cool it has to go directly into the bathroom on a rack with the door shut!
Speaking of the cats - I was having a terrible time crocheting around these two (just use your imagination as to how) until their Auntie Stephanie came up with a wonderful idea!  She suggested making a ball of yarn they can call their own!  What a brilliant idea!  As you can see above, it seemed to entertain them greatly!

Christmas Morning Baked Oatmeal
(adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, Oct 2003)

1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Old Country Style Meusli
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cups golden raisins
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups fat free milk
1/2 cup applesauce
2 Tblsp butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Combine the milk, applesauce butter and egg.  Add milk mixture to oat mixture; stir well.  Pour oat mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and set (check at 20 minutes).  Serve warm.  Makes about 5 servings.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Friends Helping Friends

Recently my friend Stephanie over at Loft Creations and I talked about each of us making a Granny Stripe blanket.  We thought it would be fun to help each other out with pattern choices and crochet questions...friends helping friends!  The best part is no rules or timelines!
Quite a few years ago I bought a whole bunch of yarn to crochet a Babette blanket.  Unfortunately it never came to be.  Two things happened - when I got my yarn in the mail I really didn't like a lot of my color choices - strike one!  Then when I began to crochet I just couldn't get the granny square method for this to come out to my satisfaction - strike two!   Not long after that we retired, the yarn got thrown into a box and we moved across the state - strike three!  I unpacked it and put it in a drawer and forgot about it.

After discussing the blanket with Stephanie I decided rather than buy new yarn, I would just pick out the colors from Babette that I like and begin anew!  Here is my progress so far.  Not nearly where Stephanie is, but I have two cats "issues" which I will explain in a bit.
These are the colors I'm using.  I don't have a plan....I'm just crocheting as I go.  I'll probably change colors randomly.  I really enjoy it when I'm left alone - which is rare!  See the little ball in the right hand corner on the floor?
That ball was brought to me by this little monster cutie, Gracie May.  She dropped it in my lap as I was crocheting and then proceeded to pounce on my work.  It happened over and over again until Mr. Squash came into the room asking about all the ruckus!  I asked him to please turn on the Cat's Meow (yes, we succumbed to the TV advertisement) which (temporarily) distracted her.  I'm not sure how much help Stephanie can be in this department, but she's definitely been a big help so far in finding a great pattern to use!
This past month has been brutally cold around here.  Check out the barometer above on Dec 7th - 2 degrees!  I don't think a day went by where I wasn't wearing at least 3 layers just around the house!
I little while ago I checked and look at the difference - 56 degrees!  I'm almost ready to put on shorts (not) and go join Mr. Squash in the yard!