I Must Be Crazy

I don’t know about you, but occasionally I take ‘flight’ off the beaten path and decide I need to expand my horizons by learning new things. This week I was thinking back on those crafts I’d observed at Log Cabin Days, one of which was tatting. Tatting is the art of Lace Making, using very fine thread and an lozenge-shaped object called a shuttle. My grandmother was a very talented lady who knew how to knit, crochet AND tat; our linen closet was filled with pillow cases, bed sheets and towels all edged in beautiful, delicate lace made by hand. I’m not sure exactly ‘why’, but after thinking about what I’d seen, I decided to check out good old YouTube and see if there might be some beginner tatting lessons – sure enough, there are tons! There’s shuttle tatting AND (something I never heard of before): needle tatting. Since tatting is almost a ‘lost art’, supplies are rather hard to come by. I posted an email to the ladies in my knit/crochet group, asking them if they possessed tatting shuttles, and could I borrow them – one of my ladies brought her whole ‘kit’ and said: “Have at it!” She hadn’t tatted since she was about 9, having learned from her aunts. Today was my ‘Adventure in Learning to Tat’! I got out the thread, shuttle and began watching (over & over AND OVER) Lesson 1 – let’s just say, it was VERY FRUSTRATING! Yes, I’m aware, learning anything new makes you feel awkward and uncoordinated, BUT my hands just weren’t cooperating – I was very frustrated. That got me to thinking: I wonder what the NEEDLE tatting is like? Cruised on over to the needle tatting videos and was surprised that I actually was catching on! This requires using a ‘needle’ which looks like a sewing needle for a giant – they’re about the size of a knitting needle with a hole in the end just like a regular needle. Normally I wouldn’t possess anything like that, but I went upstairs and brought down my Mother-in-Law’s old sewing box and found a rather large (not as big as the ‘real thing’) sewing needle and some sewing ‘#8 sewing cord – I figured it was worth a try, anyway (instead of trying to locate this type of supplies in a store here). After watching the needle tatting video over & over, etc. I found I was actually able to ‘catch on’ to what she was doing! Amazing! Now, mind you – tatting is making VERY TINY stitches – after about 3 minutes of work you have about 10 stitches put on a needle, then you pull the thread and it closes up to make a ‘ring’ – a VERY SMALL ring. These ‘rings’ are made and joined, ad infinitum (Latin for ‘to infinity’) to make ‘things/objects’ like bookmarks, doilies, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc. IF I ever get good enough, I’d like to attempt to make a pair of earrings – just to say I did it! We’ll see . . . so far it’s a project ‘in my mind’ only. I’ll attempt to post, below, several pictures of the finished items I’m talking about.

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That’s my ‘crazy sceme’ for today – we’ll see where it leads.

I DID finish the lace shawl for my friend; since I thought of using the tiny clear beads about HALF-WAY through the project, I ended up hand-sewing the beads on after finishing the shawl. I’m happy the way it turned out; took it to knit/crochet night last night to hear the other ladies comments – they really liked it, especially the way the self-striping yarn worked up.

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The colors didn’t come through in the photos – it goes from dark purple, to lighter purple to a medium green to white, then back to the purples

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This is a close up of the middle, (hopefully) showing the tiny crystal beads sewn onto the middle seam

======================

Honey-Peanut Butter Cookies


1/2 C. shortening
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1 C. honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix shortening, peanut butter &
honey in bowl. Add eggs; mix well.
Combine flour, sugar, baking soda,
baking powder & salt; add slowly
to peanut butter mixture; mix well.
Roll into 1 – 1 1/2 inch balls, place
on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten
with a fork dipped in flour. Bake
8-10 minutes. Makes 5 dozen.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
——————————-

Peanut-crusted Chicken Breasts


1 T. olive oil
3/4 C. unsalted peanuts
3 slices white bread, torn into small pieces
coarse salt & ground pepper
2 large eggs
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
6-8 oz, ea)
1 1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed
1 t. butter
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

Preheat oven 475 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum
foil; lightly oil it & set aside. In a food
processor, pulse peanuts & bread until
coarsely ground. Transfer to a wide rimmed
medium bowl; whisk in oil, 1 1/2 tsp. salt,
& 1/4 tsp. pepper. In a large bowl, beat eggs;
season generously with salt & pepper. Add
chicken & turn to coat. One piece at a time,
dredge in peanut breading, gently pressing
onto chicken; transfer to prepared baking
sheet. Bake until lightly browned & just
cooked through, about 15 minutes. While
chicken is baking, cook asparagus in a large
saucepan of boiling salted water until tender,
3-4 minutes, depending on thickness. Drain
& transfer to a bowl along with butter &
lemon zest; season with salt & pepper &
toss to combine. Serve chicken with
asparagus. Serves 4

(recipe: Martha Stewart Living)
——————————————

Salmon Fettuccine with Dill

1 (14.75 oz) can salmon, drained & flaked,
bones & skin removed
1 (16 oz) pkg. fettuccinne pasta noodles
2 T. olive oil
1/2 C. flour
3 C. milk
2 T. sherry (or water)
2 T. chopped green onions
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. dill weed
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 t. grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
set aside. Pour olive oil in saucepan over medium
heat. Combine flour & milk; mix well, pour into
saucepan. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally
until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Add sherry,
salmon, green onions, mustard, dill, pepper & garlic
salt. Cook 2-3 minutes until heated through. Divide
pasta & spoon salmon mixture over pasta. Garnish
with parsley & Parmesan. Serves 4

(recipe: Bumble Bee Co.)
—————————————-

Macaroni Salad

8 oz. dry macaroni, uncooked (2 C)
2/3 C. frozen green peas
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1 T. spicy brown mustard (Dijon)
1/3 C. chopped celery
1/3 C. diced Cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Cook macaroni accordg to pkg. directions,
omitting salt. Add peas the last 2 minutes
of cook time or until thawed. Drain & rinse
under cold water until cold. Stir together
mayonnaise & mustard in large bowl. Add
celery, cheese, salt & pepper. Add cooled
pasta & peas  to mixture, stir gently to
combine. Serves 6 (about 2/3 C. each)

(recipe: readyseteat!)
————————————

Pimiento Cheese Spread
Trisha Yearwood

2 (7 oz, ea) jars sliced pimientos, drained
3 (10 oz, ea) bricks sharp Cheddar cheese, finely
shredded
1 C. mayonnaise

Place drained pimientos in blender or food processor;
puree until almost smooth. In very large bowl, using
elec. mixer, combine cheese & pimiento, beating until
almost smooth. Beat in mayonnaise. Spread may be
stored, covered, in refrigerator for up to a week. Remove
spread from fridge & allow to reach room temp. before
serving. Makes 32 servings.

(recipe: BH & G magazine, July, 2013)
————————————-

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Grilled Corn with Spicy Lime Mayo

4 ears corn on the cob, husks & silks
removed
1/4 C. mayonnaise
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 green onion, chopped
4 tsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne

Heat grill to medium heat. Grill corn
15 minutes or until tender, turning
occasionally; cool completely. Cut
kernels from cob. Mix remaining
ingredients in medium bowl then
stir in corn. Serves 6 (1/2 C. ea)

To Remove Kernels:
Place a soup bowl upside-down inside
a larger bowl. Stand ear of corn on
bottom of bowl, run a sharp knife in
downward motion, turning cob as
necessary to remove kernels from
all sides of each cob

(recipe: Kraft Foods)
————————————–

Cranberry Cashew Chicken
(crockpot or oven)

2 1/2 – 3 lbs chicken breast (if using  crock-pot,
you can use frozen breasts/tenders)

1 C. Catalina Salad Dressing (or Russian)

1 (14 oz) can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix

1/2 C. Cashews (unsalted, roasted)

Rice (Brown, White) cooked according to package

 

Crock-Pot

Lightly spray crock-pot with non-stick cooking spray.
Place chicken in a single layer. Mix all of the ingredients,
EXCEPT the cashews. Pour mixture over chicken
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours for frozen chicken.
Fresh chicken breasts take around 4 hours.
Each crock-pot is different, be sure chicken is cooked.

Serve over rice and top with cashews.
=========

Oven

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Mix Catalina dressing,
cranberry sauce, Lipton soup mix. Lightly
spray a 9×13
baking dish. Place a small amount of the cranberry
mixture on the bottom of the baking dish. Next, place
(thawed) chicken breast in single layer on top of sauce.
Pour remainder of
  mixture over chicken.
Bake uncovered for 60-70 minutes or until temperature
(thickest part of breast) reaches 165 degrees f.
Remove, serve over rice, top with cashews

NOTE:

*This recipe is even better if you marinade the chicken in the cranberry mixture for several hours or overnight before baking.

(recipe: http://www.sweetlittlebluebird.com)
———————————————-

Peach-Almond Upside Down Cake

 

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp (plus more

for the pan)

1 1/2 C. sugar

4 medium peaches or nectarines, pitted & cut

into 6 wedges each

1 1/2 C. flour

1/2 C. whole almonds

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract

3/4 C. milk

vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

 Lightly butter a 9-inch round cake pan.

Melt 1 T. butter in a medium skillet over

medium heat. Add 3/4 C. sugar & 1 T. water;

cook, stirring occasionally, until smooth &

deep golden brown, 8-11 minutes. Pour mixture

into prepared pan & tilt to coat the bottom. Arrange

the peach wedges snugly in bottom of pan in a

single layer, cutting to fit, if necessary.

Combine flour, almonds, baking powder & salt in

a food processor; pulse until almonds are finely

ground. Beat remaining 7 T. butter & 3/4 C. sugar

in large bowl with elec. mixer on medium-high

until light & fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one

at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in

vanilla & almond extracts. Beat in flour mixture in

3 batches, alternating with milk & beginning & ending

with flour mixture; beat in each addition until just

incorporated. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan &

bake until golden & a toothpick inserted into center

comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer to rack

too cool – 30 minutes. Invert onto a plate & let cool

completely. Serve with ice cream. Makes 1 9-inch cake.

 

(recipe: Food Network)

=============================

Weather-wise it’s been rather wet around here; last night during Knit/Crochet Night we had a pretty good rain storm followed by a really nice rainbow. Later on that evening we had a HUGE downpour – almost like the one a week or so ago that caused so much flooding. It was really a POUNDING rain – I had to check our basement several times to make sure it wasn’t pouring in UNDER the window bottom like it did a few weeks ago. Glad that’s done – it’s nice & sunny right now, temps 77 – am hoping to take the shawl outside to photograph it a bit later in the day, then will post here.

Oh – son/first car/accident – called the court and the lady said: “$150 and 2 points. I said we’d like to speak with the judge, she said: “Why?” (me) “So we can see if the judge will take off the points – this is a brand new driver.” She then told me judges DON’T take off points, so I asked what else we could do. She said we could speak to the prosecutor about it, so I said: “Let’s do that.” They’re sending us a postcard in the next 3 weeks with a date & time; sure hoping this helps, even a little. Youngest son is very upset that, even though (technically) he caused the accident by ‘obstructing traffic’, he DIDN’T hit the other guy, the guy hit him! For him to lose his first car AND then have to pay $150 PLUS 2 points, let’s just say he’s VERY upset. We were fortunate to be able to get $200 from the scrap dealer for his car BUT then to have to pay $150 of that back to the court – not a good thing.

Going to close here, get dressed then see about photographing the shawl.

Enjoy your day!!!

Hugs;

Pammie

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oh, Pammie, the tatted earrings are so
    beautiful! Makes me want to make a pair, too. And can I tatt? Not a stitch! Oh we’ll, maybe I’ll learn some day. Right now, too busy quilting, crocheting, card making, cooking & just
    trying to keep the Dust Bunnies from taking over. LOL. But someday…

    • Thank you very much, M’am! (Now, that’s not saying I ever WILL be able to create the earrings I posted the photo for, BUT . . . no harm dreaming, eh?) Just remember-there’s always YouTube for any kind of lessons – it’s amazing what you can find to learn on YouTube!


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