About the Blog

Some people create to enjoy the finished product. I get my greatest satisfaction from the process of creating. This blog is my attempt to share that process with others.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Diamonds In Squares

The Project:

A detailed design by my favorite cross-stitch pattern designer, Teresa Wentzler. I like that the pattern features a few specialty stitches and beads, and I LOVE the juxtaposition of geometric shapes and a floral motif. Not sure what I'll do with the finished product. A throw pillow, maybe?

My Progress So Far:






















Other Comments:

In addition to this pattern, I also bought myself the Teresa Wentzler patterns for miniature Spring, Autumn, and Winter samplers. They feature cut-outs, numerous specialty stitches and beading, and all kinds of neat, new techniques I'm dying to try. But I have to finish this project first before I can work on those. I'd already bought the embroidery floss for Diamonds in Squares, so it had to come first. Of course, I also have to finish that wedding sampler. And a couple of knitting projects. And law school. And the MPRE. And the bar exam. In short, my calendar is full and my craft bins runneth over.

Recipe: "Old-Fashioned Penicillin"

Description: I have a cold. I found this recipe in a Lake Charles Junior League cookbook, one of the many cookbooks in my mom's stash, and copied it down mainly because of the recipe name and description. It was called "Old-Fashioned Penicillin" and the instructions said that it could be served to treat sore throats, coughs, colds, and other similar complaints. This "medicine" is really just a clear, homemade chicken broth-type soup that can be sipped out of a coffee or soup cup. The recipe suggested making some to freeze, thawing it as needed when you or another person gets sick. I thought that was a great idea and decided I'd need to do that just in case I ever got this year's cold. Of course, I never got around to that during the first week I was back this semester. At the beginning of week 2, I woke up unable to speak. Time for some old-fashioned, homemade "medicine" in addition to my OTC remedies. I made the soup this evening and sipped it from my coffee cup. Worked wonders on my sore throat. So, enough chatter. Here's the recipe.

Servings: 8-10

Ingredients:
  • 1 (4-5 lb.) young hen
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 whole onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 4 tops of celery ribs
  • white pepper, to taste
Directions:
  1. Wash hen thoroughly and trim off excess fat. Cut into halves or quarters and place in salted water in a deep heavy pot or kettle.
  2. Cover; bring to a boil on high heat. Uncover and reduce to low heat.
  3. Add onion, bay leaf, carrots, and celery tops. Simmer until hen is tender (about 3 hours). Season to taste. Skim when necessary. Add extra water if needed.
  4. When done, remove hen and save meat for use in another recipe. Discard all vegetables. Strain soup until clear.
  5. When cooled, refrigerate for a few hours until fat has formed on top surface. Skim fat.
  6. Freeze soup in containers until ready to use.
My Rating: 4/5 - soothed my sore throat without the hassle of having to chew noodles or chicken! I rated it a 4, though, because it takes so long to make!

Notes: You won't really want to make this soup when you're already sick. Trust me. Make it ahead of time. When you're sick, you can settle down with a box of Kleenex and a cup of soup, congratulating yourself for being prepared.

The Soup

















Another Old-Fashioned Remedy: bright, cheerful flowers, preferably brought to you by someone special (as mine were)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Recipe: Shredded Pork Sandwiches

Description: Not too spicy, not too sweet, and not too complicated. The recipe serves 10, but don't worry - the man in your life will ask for seconds.

Servings: 10

Ingredients:
  • 4 lbs boneless pork loin roast
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) beef broth
  • 1/3 c. plus 1/2 c. Worcestershire sauce, divided
  • 3 tbs. plus 1 tbs. Louisiana hot sauce, divided
  • 1 c. ketchup
  • 1 c. molasses
  • 1/2 c. prepared yellow mustard
  • 10 kaiser rolls, split (or hamburger buns)

Directions:
  1. Cut roast in half; place in a 5-qt. slow-cooker.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the broth, 1/3 c. Worcestershire sauce, and 3 tbs. pepper sauce. Pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours until pork is tender.
  3. Remove pork; shred with 2 forks. Drain and discard cooking liquid. Return shredded pork to slow-cooker.
  4. For sauce, combine the ketchup, molasses, mustard, and the remaining Worcestershire sauce and pepper sauce. Stir together with a whisk until smooth. Pour over pork.
  5. Cover and cook on high for 30 min until heated through. Serve on rolls or hamburger buns.

My Rating: 5/5 - I loved the way this tasted (and LOVED hearing my cooking compared to The Hickory Stick, haha!)

Notes: Can make sauce ahead of time and store in refrigerator to pour over pork after it's been shredded. I served these sandwiches with Zapp's "Voodoo Gumbo" potato chips, which was a great combination.