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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

My cock pot pizza has been cooking for the last 2-1/2 hours and it smells WONDERFUL!!! I was outside checking the garden and I could smell it outside!

Here is what the pizza looked like when I took the cover and the towel off.

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The cheese got a little brown and crispy around the edges, but I like it that way!

I took the pot out of the base and let it sit on the counter for about 15 minutes with the lid and towel off.

Taking the pizza out of the crock pot was a little bit of a problem, but I cut it in half then lifted each half out onto a cutting board.

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The pizza looks a little nasty, but is smells wonderful and it tastes great!!! It is a little doughy, so next time (yes, there WILL be a next time) I might make a little less of the Bisquick dough or try making a yeast dough.

This is definitely something I will make again. Now I have to get ready and go to my kick-a** water aerobics class to burn off some (pizza) calories!

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The last few days it has been hot, hot, hot in the Seattle area! Today is day #5 of temperatures over 90 degrees and we are on track to break a few – or many – heat records. Of course, when it is hot, hot, hot outside, I have all the ingredients to make pizza. Not just any pizza, but Alfredo Chicken Spinach Pizza!!

Did I also mention that I DO NOT have air conditioning! As I am writing this post it is 84 degrees in the house, 90 degrees on my back (covered) deck. I am working on my laptop,  sitting under under the ceiling fan in the dining room, with a (column) room fan blowing on me!

The last thing I want to do is turn on the oven to make pizza, but I don’t want the ingredients to go bad. So I did a little bit of an internet search and I am getting creative and cooking the pizza in the crock pot! I couldn’t find “super exact” instructions on how to make the pizza in the crock pot, but I was able to get a general feel for the process. I am using a combination of recipes along with “winging it” and I’ll see how it works out!

Here is what I did.

Crust – the last few times I have made pizza I made the (yeast) pizza dough in my bread machine. I had no clue I could do this, but, an internet search shows that it can be done, and it works! But today, I didn’t really have the time to make a yeast dough so I turned to the Bisquick Pizza Dough Recipe and made the dough with Bisquick. This should give me a more biscuit like, almost deep dish type of crust.  After making the Bisquick Crust, I patted into the bottom of the crock pot which I liberally sprayed with cooking spray (PAM) and drizzled with a little bit of olive oil.

Sauce – A few days ago I made the “worlds easiest and best” (my words) Alfredo Sauce For the recipe Click Here. (Note: If you make this sauce you will look at what you are cooking and swear you have ruined it because it looks curdled and yucky. Don’t worry! Keep on going and when the cheese gets in it, everything comes together. This recipe is Alfredo Sauce heaven!!!)

I spread a liberal amount of the Alfredo Sauce on top of the crust. See the photo below.

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I had some thin sliced onions so I put them on top of the sauce. I had a roasted chicken from Costco and cut up some breast meat and put that on top of the onions. I had some fresh packaged spinach and layered that on the chicken. My basil is going crazy in the garden so I picked some larger leaves, chopped them up and put them on top of the spinach. Then the shredded Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Here is what my crock pot is looking like

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Before I covered it up, I took a clean dish towel and placed it on top of the crock pot. Then I put the lid on. The towel will absorb the moisture from the cooking and reduces the chance of soggy-ness.  See photo below. I also bring the “ends” of the towel up on to the top of the lid.

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I turned the crock pot on to High for about 2-1/2 to 3 hours – which was about an hour ago. The house is starting to smell like basil and it is not getting hotter in the house! Which is a great thing!

I am going to have to wait another 1-1/2 hour before I check the pizza, but I’m thinking this is going to be a success!

By the way – I have made this pizza the same way except that I bake it on a sheet pan in the oven, 425 – 450 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes or until done,  with wonderful results!

I’ll keep you posted with more photos when the pizza is done.

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Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Spring!

Enjoy the day with family and friends. Enjoy the warmth and sunshine of Spring!

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On Saturday, my nephew, Jake is getting married to Lessa. Of course, Auntie Cindy had to make a quilt for the happy couple.

I pieced the top late last Spring. Below is a photo of it un-quilted.  This is a large scrap quilt, about 100 x 100 inches. I took the photo at my daughter’s house and there is a little bit of a breeze. My Grandson Nathan (at the right) and Granddaughter Mackenzie are holding the bottom of the quilt while I am taking the photos.

Click on any photo for a larger view.

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On to the quilting! Here is a photo of the quilt on my machine.

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I quilted curved feathers in the light parts of the block and wavy lines in the darker parts of the block. In the light sections I used Signature 100% cotton thread, Sand Dollar, and in the darker sections I used the same Signature thread in Fawn.

Here is the completed quilt – Enlarge the photo to see all the detail of the quilting. The texture is amazing! The quilt is so large that I couldn’t get it all in the photo.

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I hope you can see some of the detail in this photo. Again, enlarge the photo to see the quilting detail.

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Here is the back of the quilt. The backing fabric is actually a darker burgundy color. The sun (yes, there is sun in Seattle in October!) makes the fabric look lighter. The texture is amazing!

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One more photo of the back. This is the border area so you can see the feather quilting.

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The wedding is on Saturday and today is Wednesday. I have to pack this quilt up and send it to Illinois, like right NOW!! I do my best work on a deadline!

I won’t be able to be at the wedding, but I am sending all my love and  best wishes to the bride and groom!

 

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On October 7, I welcomed a new Granddaughter to the family. Her name is Madelynn and she is a super cutie!!! She was 7 pounds, 5 ounces and 20 inches long and she is doing well.

Here she is shortly after she was born.
Click on any photo for a larger view.

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Isn’t she a cutie!! And here is her big brother, Nathan, after he got off the school bus and before I told him he has a new sister!

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Nathan has been a great big brother and is super excited to have a sister.

Of course, Grandma Cindy has been busy making all sorts of things for Miss Madelynn. First, she had to have a new quilt!

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I made this quilt from my Blocks in a Box pattern and online class. (For details Click Here)

Here is the back of the quilt, before trimming and binding. I LOVE the texture of the quilting.

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After I finished the quilt, I got the itch to knit – baby socks! Here is the first pair that I knitted

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The photo makes the socks look large, but they are only about 2 inches long from the heel to the toe! For the FREE pattern for these way to cute baby socks Click Here. These socks took only about an hour or two to knit for each sock. And, they are addictive! Because ….

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I knit another pair. This yarn was left over from a pair of socks I knit for Nathan a few years ago. (I do plan to get a photo of both kids with their matching socks!) Both of the pairs of socks above were knit with wool sock yarn. And then I was at the yarn shop and saw some pretty pink striped sock yarn, and … I knit another pair!

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This yarn is 100% acrylic sock yarn but it feels and looks like rayon. It is fun to work with and has a real nice “feel” to it.

And it looks great on the baby!

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There is a lot more sock than there is baby, but that won’t last long!

I also knit a couple of hats – here is one that is simple garter stitch. I made a lacy one but I forgot to take a photo. I’ll try to remember to take a photo the next time I visit.

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When I wasn’t knitting baby socks and hats, I was making Burp Cloths! These were way too much fun to make!

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I got some terry cloth and flannel fabric at JoAnn’s,  put them on the quilt machine and quilted them together.  I used my free hand feathers and swirls pattern. (The terry cloth was on the bottom, flannel on the top, no batting.) I quilted about two yards, then cut them into this burp cloth shape. (There are a TON of free burp cloth patterns on the internet.) I bound them like a quilt – because of the curved edges, I made and used bias binding.

I now have about three yards of terry cloth/flannel on the quilting machine and will make them into receiving blankets that, because of the terry cloth,  can be used as bath towels.

I now have to get away from the baby things and get back to work!

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Earlier this Spring I planted sunflowers in my garden.  I LOVE sunflowers – I even designed a quilt with Sunflowers. (To view the quilt Click Here)The sunflowers I planted are the giant/mammoth type  that grow to over 10 feet in height.  This year, the sunflowers flourished and they grew, and they grew, and they grew!

Here is a photo of my Grandson Nathan, 8 years old, standing next to one of the smallest sunflowers!

Click on any photo for a larger view.

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Nathan is 4-1/2 feet tall, so I would estimate the height of this sunflower to be about 6 feet tall.  Below are some photos of how tall the rest of the sunflowers are.

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The top of the arbor measures 7 feet from the ground, so the largest sunflower is about another 5 – 6 feet above the top of the arbor!

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This is a photo of the tallest sunflower. This sunflower had about 6 more buds for flower heads on the stalk. I couldn’t wait to see these buds bloom! Note: The photos above were taken about two weeks ago in late August.

The other day I went outside and I looked at my sunflowers – and they were leaning, A LOT!!

The sunflowers are SO big and SO heavy that they are pushing the arbor over! It didn’t help that we had torrential rain last week, which loosened the soil, and then had some breezy days. The heads of the sunflowers were acting like sails!

The next day I went to the hardware store to find something that I could prop up the arbor or help secure the sunflowers. I got some rope – I was going to tie the arbor to some cinder blocks, and then put some stakes around some of the flower stalks.

Then, as I working on doing this, I heard some funny cracking noises and BAM!! The WHOLE arbor fell over!

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What a disaster! At least I wasn’t standing under the arbor! Most of the stalks of the sunflowers were broken in two or cracked so badly they couldn’t be saved. I had to cut nearly all the sunflowers down to the ground and put them in the compost pile!

Here is what I had left.

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This lone sunflower is the ONLY one I have left. In fact, the root ball of this sunflower was completely out of the ground when the sunflower was laying on its side. I put it back in the ground, put some more dirt around it, added some fertilizer and hay for mulch and watered it a lot.

 

Here is a photo of the bottom of the lone sunflower and the arbor which is laying on its side.

I have the sunflower taken care of, now what about the arbor? I could lift the arbor, but I am not strong enough to lift it and position it in the garden. Yesterday evening my daughter-in-law, Reesia, came over for something else, and I enlisted her help to get the arbor upright and next to the sunflower.

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I would estimate that the sunflower is about 4 feet above the top of the arbor.

Now I have to wait a few days to see if this sunflower will re-root and keep on growing. I miss my other sunflowers and this part of the garden looks naked.

I’ll keep you posted if this sunflower makes it through the next few days!

 

 

 

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My Aunt Esther, after many years of pain, had her knee replaced a few weeks ago. When I was visiting with her – and the rest of my family – earlier this year, I told her that if she got her knee replaced, I would gift her with a quilt.

Before I put her quilt in the mail to her, I took some photos. I LOVE how her quilt turned out! I had pieced the top a few years ago while on vacation. (Don’t laugh, I know of MANY quilters who bring their sewing stuff with on vacation!)

My Aunt loves traditional quilting, and this quilt delivers it!

Click on any photo for a larger view.

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I quilted feathers all over the quilt! In the “open” spaces, I quilted feathered wreaths with a slightly contrasting thread. Then I quilted curved feather “fill in” stitching with a matching thread. Lastly, I quilted Continuous Curves in the 9 Patch – 4 Patch blocks.

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I went wild on the borders! I used the Single Small Cable Template for the inner border and the Triple Cable Template for the outer border. Again, the feathers were quilted with a slightly contrasting thread.

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I can’t wait to hear what my Aunt Esther says about her new quilt and I am wishing her a speedy recovery from her surgery!

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