Week’s Photos

2/21/10 – 2/27/10

So so so tired from Nashville. We got back Monday night (we drove). And I got right up Tuesday morning and went to work.

Sylvia brought these fantastic things to me from Germany. You literally cannot just eat one. OMG they were so good.

Mozarts

And I had to share these fabulous tags that my friend Laurie made. She sent these in her Christmas cards to her friends, but unfortunately mine got returned to her. She delivered them to me personally the last time I saw her. They are just wonderful. Laurie is such a talent.

Blackbird Tags 2

I thought I’d share my necklace that we finished in Nashville. It is a stitched piece that is in a glass pendant frame. Love the red.

Quaker Pendant

Sylvia also presented me with this owl. I named him Claus.

Claus

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A Week in Photos

2/14/10 – 2/20/10

Photos from Valentine’s Day can be seen here.

On Thursday I headed off for Nashville to attend the Needlework Market with a friend. She asked me to come and help her with her booth.

This license plate in the parking lot gave me a giggle. I knew we were in the right place.

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And a woman named Gigi from France, who has an amazing and lovely blog, had this piece displayed. All cross-stitch. It was hanging from one of the walkways overlooking the center area of the hotel.

Gigis Banner

One vendor had antique samplers for sale. So lovely.

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And in our room one night we worked on finishing some pieces we had stitched into necklaces.

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That’s Sylvia’s pretty piece.

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Cooking for My Valentine

Blueberry Muffins

Cooking is not my thing. Baking yes, cooking not so much. But since I can’t live on cupcakes (well, I probably could), my baking takes a backseat to Eric’s excellent cooking. I do have my moments, like our annual Eggnog & Dessert Party. But, for the most part there is only one cook in our kitchen. So, for Valentine’s Day I wanted to do something special for him that showed him how much I love him. I decided I would cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for him. For breakfast, I made him blueberry muffins. He loves blueberry muffins and it’s been awhile since I’ve made them for him, so it seemed like the perfect choice. They were delicious, and he had breakfast for a couple more days as well.

For lunch, I wanted to venture out to something I’ve never made before. I needed it to be relatively quick and easy because he is usually starving for lunch when he gets home from the grocery store. I found a recipe on Mrs. in Training’s blog for Buffalo Chicken Calzones that looked like a winner. I altered the recipe just a bit. Instead of using regular chicken breasts and hot sauce, I got “Blazing Buffalo Chicken” from the deli counter and had them cut it into really thick slices, which I cubed. It had a ton of flavor and was really easy.

Buffalo Chicken Calzones

I could only manage to eat half of my calzone (these things were huge!), so I reheated half of it at work for lunch the next day. Still yummy! Eric brought home a couple of bottles of Grape Crush for lunch. How much do I love Grape Crush???? Mmmm!

And finally, for dinner I had been contemplating lasagna, but Eric is not a huge fan of lasagna. I decided I would Soprano it up and make Baked Ziti. I’ve never had Baked Ziti, but it sounded good.

Baked Penne

I modified this recipe quite a bit. Instead of ziti, I actually used whole wheat penne. I only used one jar of sauce (Classico Fire-Roasted Tomato and Garlic). The recipe called for sour cream, which I thought was weird. So, I used a 15oz container of Ricotta and I mixed in frozen (thawed) spinach. I liked the color and flavor that added, so I was really glad I went with that instead of the sour cream. It turned out really tasty.

Baked Penne

And it’s been very tasty as leftovers too! But, of course, we couldn’t have Carb-Fest 2010, without a little dessert, now could we? I went back and forth on what to make and eventually decided that rather than make something “valentiney” with pink frosting and such, I’d just make something that tasted good. So, I whipped up a lemon cake with lemon frosting.

Lemon Cake

My cake decorating skills leave something to be desired, but who cares once you cut it?

Eric brought out a bottle of champagne for our indulgence as well.

Champagne

It was a wonderful Valentine’s Day. I was really happy how all the food turned out and I think my efforts showed Eric how special he is to me. But OMG I was so full. I think I’ll leave the cooking to Eric for awhile and let my apron have a rest.

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Week in Photos

2/7/10 – 2/13/10

We had snow again. It started during the night.

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And continued on throughout the day.

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When I woke up the next morning, the world was still blanketed in snow. Such a rare occurence in Texas.

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The branches on our trees were so heavy with snow they formed this little enclave. I felt like I was in Narnia. Where’s Mr. Tumnus?

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And Eric and I went out to take photos of the snow later in the day. We walked around the park behind our house.

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It was so hushed and quiet. It’s one of the things I love about winter.

And Eric made me a snowball.

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Kids in Texas do not have sleds. So these were making due with pool floats, inner tubes, a laundry basket and even the cardboard box from a 24 count of beer.

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Such a beautiful day. And it was even better because of the walk with my husband.

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A Week in Photos

1/31/10 – 2/6/10

Guild night on Tuesday. Kim’s secret stitcher gave her some fun Mardi Gras stuff in her bag.

Mardi Gras

And Kim gave me a scarf she made for me. Isn’t it fantastic??? I’m so in love with it. And she made it skinny like I like too.

Scarf from Kim

I spent Saturday afternoon making sand bags for Eric to use at the studio out of old jeans.

Making Sand Bags

And we had so much fun at the Crystal Palace event, we decided to go to the Dallas Burlesque Festival held at the Texas Theater. So much fun. I loved this performance to Lady Gaga’s “Teeth”. Seriously love that song.

Show Me Your Teeth

And who doesn’t love a good fan routine?

Peacock

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Clean Cup, Move Down

Cranberry Rose Tea

In December, a small group of friends got together for a tea party. The party was to honor one of our dear friends who was moving to Germany. We booked High Tea at a local tea room. I have never been to High Tea, but having a love of the art of Tea as well as those wonderful Victorian and Edwardian eras, I loved every minute of it. If I had been dressed better, I would have felt like I was in the midst of an Ivory-Merchant film.

We chose several different teas to sample, the pot in the photo above held some Cranberry Rose tea. Delicious, and appropriate for the season. I tended to stick with the Earl Gray, personally. With milk and sugar, as is appropriate.

Earl Gray

The mis-matched china was so fun too. I loved all the different tea pots.

Pot of Earl Gray

Our hosts at the tea room spared nothing to make sure we were well taken care of and prepared with every possibility for our tea.

Lemons

And, then they brought out the first course. Little sandwiches on a pedestal. With the crusts cut off no less. Be still my heart. As well as I remember, there was wild rice and chicken salad, cucumber (naturally), turkey breast with cream cheese, and one other that escapes me.

Tea Sandwiches

All on delicious bread, no less.

Sandwiches

Next we indulged in scones and sweet breads. These were complete with Devonshire cream and fresh strawberry reserves (alas, I am allergic so no preserves for me). I believe we were treated to lemon poppy seed bread, cranberry walnut bread, cranberry scones and cinnamon scones. These were all melt in your mout delicious. And the Devonshire cream added just the perfect touch to the scones.

Scones and Sweet Breads

And then onto the pastry course. A little key lime tart, with strawberry on top (mine was removed quickly thereafter), a little almond (I think ) pastry covered in powdered sugar, and a decadent little chocolate cake in the shape of a rose dusted with powdered sugar. So good.

Pastries

We ended our tea by sharing memories of our friend, bestowing some going-away gifts on her, and many many photos of all of us together. It was such a lovely afternoon, and one I will remember fondly. I hope there are many more High Teas in my future too.

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