Saturday, October 5, 2013

 I have been faithfully working on 'Mary Tillinghast,' but I am itching to start something new. This is partly because I received the Fall SANQ, and partly because to get more of the one-over-one done now instead of saving it for last.

Last night at church we had the Blessing of the Animals for St. Francis' Day. Three sweet pups turned up to be blessed. Nutmeg and Buttercup are holding on to Hektor.

 Here are a couple of random shots . There is not much to say except they are precious snapshots of my everyday life.


Monday, September 23, 2013

 Here is a quick update on 'Mary Tillinghast.' I managed to get in quite a bit of stitching this weekend while listening to an audio book of The Fellowship of the Rings. I have read the series many times over the years, but it really makes a difference to hear it read aloud. The sounds of the words are really beautiful. I have to wait until Oct. 14 to get a new Audible credit, so I am going to listen to an audiobook of The Silmarillion I already have.

Louisiana Man won the wall debate, and suggested we add something under the sampler instead of lowering it. I suppose is will do for now.

I will be making roasted cauliflower dip again today - I have gotten a little obsessed with it. Cauliflower sounds like a crazy thing to crave, but there is almost as much dairy as veggie in this fabulous recipe!


Thursday, September 19, 2013


 Good Morning, all! I thought I would ease back into blogging with some evidence that I have actually been stitching this summer!

My mom had a few pieces framed for me, and I hung one on an existing hanger in our front room. I told Louisiana Man it needed to be hung a bit lower. Louisiana Man hates making nail holes in the wall - or rather, he hates me making nail holes in the wall. He tends to mutter something about it "compromising the structural integrity of the house." o.O

 I have great plans every year to stitch Prairie Schooler designs every month. I finished two March designs I have been working on and off for a year or two.

I also finished the 'Dutch Alphabet' design by Sheepish Designs that I searched high and low for. It's long. Long and skinny. It will definitely break up a grouping of upright rectangle frames!

Yesterday, I was out of sorts. I really think it is just the beginning of this season's seasonal allergies. I self-medicated by starting a new sampler: 'Mary Tillinghast' by Sheepish Antiques (Sheepish Designs).
The peach colors in this sampler looked a bit washed out to my eye, so I bumped the colors up: instead of 950 (dark) and 543 (light), I used 407/3773 (dark) and 950 (light). I am happy with the change so far. Today I will be searching for new yellows. The yellow flowers seem so bright and happy; 3045 and 3046 are not going to cut it.

I shopped Tanya the Sampler Girl's fabulous stash sale, and acquired this gem: Prairie Schooler 12 Days of Christmas! I was so excited to find the non-Santa version. I'm not a big Santa person - I know, that is heresy in the cross stitch world. I might as well come clean and say I am not a snowman person either - do I have any readers left? Santas and snowmen have a bit of the clown-scare-factor to my taste. Don't hate me! lol I have this brilliant plan wherein I stitch two complete sets of the 12 Days - one with blond people and one with brunettes. Then I can lovingly present the appropriate set to my daughters. I may be on a 10-year plan here!

Homeschool is all systems go here - can't you tell? ;)


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

That Dessert

My late grandmother used to make a dessert she called Chocolate Torte. It goes by many names: Chocolate Sin, Chocolate Delight, but they all have in common a pecan shortbread crust, a cream cheese-C%l Whip layer, and a layer of chocolate pudding. I loved it!

Louisiana Man hates pecans, and Buttercup is SEVERELY allergic (and my parents live in a pecan grove - yikes!), so I haven't made that dessert in years!

There is another popular C%l Whip-pudding dessert that is layered with graham crackers. I decided to combine the two, and I want to share it with you. I have made 4 in the past....4 weeks? maybe 3 weeks?...ahem. We like it. We really like it. We refer to it, casually, as That Dessert.

And did I mention I doubled the layers? ;)

Brace yourselves!

1 box chocolate graham crackers
2 boxes 1/3 reduced cream cheese (it makes me feel a tiny bit better to uses reduced)
1 8 oz tub C%l Whip (by all means whip the cream yourself if you are inclined)
1 cup powdered sugar (this is a double layer remember!)
chocolate pudding made with 4 cups of milk (use your recipe or boxed, or mine)

Here is the chocolate pudding recipe we use. It is not the worst for you, nor is it meant to be diet-friendly. You have been warned.

This is doubled. I make it single for just pudding, or make it single with 1 3/4 c milk instead of 2 and pour it in a graham cracker pie crust.

1 1/2 c sugar
2/3 c cocoa powder
4 Tbs cornstarch
4 Tbs All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
 4 c milk (I use 2% because my girls will not drink skim)
4 egg yolks (I cook the whites in the microwave, and feed them to the dog and cats)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 single serve of instant coffee (I used Folgers classic decaf)

Combine all pudding ingredients EXCEPT vanilla and instant coffee. Heat over medium heat. ***Medium! It will burn, and the whole thing will taste like burned milk, and you will spend the afternoon scraping burned pudding off the bottom of the pot - ask me how I know.***

 So it will take awhile, and you will be stirring with a whisk until you think your arm will fall off. You will begin to think you are no longer capable of stirring when you realize - lo and behold! - the pudding is thickening!! I do not let it boil - that is the quickest way to pudding burned on the bottom of the pot.

Stir in vanilla and instant coffee (add another packet if you want a stronger coffee flavor), and let it cool.

Then  combine the C%l Whip and powdered sugar and cream cheese.

Lay the graham crackers in a layer on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Spread 1/2 C%l Whip-cream cheese mixture over crackers. It will not be easy. I drop spoonfuls all over then gently spread them out with an offset knife.

Layer 1/2 the COOLED pudding.

Another layer of Graham Crackers, C%l Whip-cream cheese, pudding and you are finished! Let chill. The graham crackers will soften and be very cake-y.

*I have an extra layer of C%l Whip because someone bought a 16-oz tub. I used the whole thing, and it was way too much! Really!

I hope you enjoy it, and please share any variations or tweaks!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Will I ever....

Will I ever blog again? Yes
Will I ever cross stitch again? Yes
Will I ever do that give-away? Yes
Will I finish this year of homeschool? Yes

But right now, there are roses...



 'Clementina Carbonieri'

'Fisherman's Friend'