Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Baby Love

This past weekend I was in Peoria for my sister's baby shower.  I am so excited about my new niece/nephew (I'm crossing my fingers for a girl!) and can't wait to buy it stuff and teach it funny things to say.
As my gift to little Baby B., I made him/her a quilt this winter.  The nursery is a gorgeous dusty turquoise color, with accents of orange, green, and brown.  It is totally Better Homes & Gardens. 
This quilt was so much fun and actually really quick to put together.  I sent it out to Karie to quilt, and then did my first ever machine binding (I normally do them by hand.)  Although I prefer the look of hand stitching the binding, the time saved really makes up for it so I will probably machine bind future quilts as well.

Here is the quilt.  This pattern is called "Tumbling Triangles" and is from the All People Quilt website.  You can find it here.

On a side note, I am always excited when I find another fun and interesting blog to read.  My recommendation for the week is The Taste Bud Diaries.  This fun little food blog is not only creative, informative and fun, but best of all is written by a friend of mine who just happens to be a 9th grader.  Her recipe for Orange Poppyseed Muffins looks delightful.  I may have to try them out this week...

The Taste Bud Diaries

Friday, March 11, 2011

Beach Bum

In the place where I come from, Nebraska, people don't really go on winter getaways.  Maybe some do, but because we didn't have spring break growing up, it seems to me that a winter trip is truly the ultimate luxury.   In Minnesota, it's pretty common to take a break from the howling winds, dismal gray skies, and the 27 inches of snow and retreat to somewhere exotic...Mexico, Florida, the Caribbean.  In our case, my husband and I have taken a little jaunt down to Ft. Myers Beach, Florida.  I while I am not a person who adores hot weather and the sun, I must admit, I'm loving our few days down here.
The weather has been perfect--low 80's, lots of sun and a nice cool breeze to keep you from noticing that you've been out waaaay to long.  We've walked on the beach and ridden bikes, had amazing food, and spent time enjoying family.
We're staying at grandma's condo (my husband's grandma, that is.  As he says, "You've married up.")  It is about 15 steps from the water, and super comfortable.  We've been sharing the space with my mother-in-law, and enjoying the very laid back days.

Here are some of the highlights:

We were welcomed with fresh shrimp cocktail and a beautiful sunset.
And went to a Twins' Spring Training Game (I love that they are in the "Grapefruit League")
A Leige Waffle (yes, it's there, under the whipped cream)

And a tart, tree ripened grapefruit for breakfast.

It was a great getaway, and I'll miss the sun.  But as always, it feels good to be home.  I'm not sure I could ever live where the weather is so warm all the time.  I would miss the winter.  And the humidity make my hair do weird things.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Taste of Summer

We are getting to that part of winter where it is really hard to wait for the thaw. We've been teased by a couple of nice days and then been plunged back into despair by late season blizzards and deceptively cold sunshine.  And, well, that's just life in Minnesota, really. 

On Monday, I was definitely longing for fresh breezes, green grass, and a taste of summer.  I decided that the perfect antidote would be peach cobbler.  With ice cream.  Mmmmm.  So, I used my recipe for "The Best Peach Cobbler Ever" and served it as our treat for girls group on Monday night.  It was greatly appreciated by all. 

Here's the recipe  (serves 8-10):
4 cups sliced peaches (I used frozen this time, but fresh are amazing!)
2 cups sugar; divided
1/2 cup water
8 tbs. butter (one stick)
1 1/2 cups  self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot, combine peaches, 1 cup of sugar, and the water.  Stir to combine and then bring it to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

In a 9x13" pan, cut butter into pieces and then stick it into the oven for a couple of minutes to melt the butter.

In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup sugar, self-rising flour, milk, and vanilla.  Stir until combined, then pour into the 9x13" pan with the melted butter.  Next, carefully spoon peaches on top of the batter.  Then, gently pour on all the syrup from the peaches. (It will look soupy---that's okay!  The batter bakes up over the top of all the syrup and peaches.)  Sprinkle the top with cinnamon.

Bake for 30-45 minutes until nice a golden.

Serve with ice cream. (It's best that way).  You can also make this recipe with blueberries or mixed berries.  I think the recipe was from the Food Network Recipe by Paula Deen.  Paula Deen's Peach Cobbler.  I did add the vanilla, and have made it with other fruits though.