Thursday, August 25, 2016

What I'm Working On

On Tuesday. I ran off with these two gals for the day. Lord have mercy! These two are a hoot! So good for the soul, but tough on the bladder. LOL


We headed to our favorite quilt shop that is 75 miles from the ranch. It's 50 miles farther for my two partners in crime and we seem to only be able to make the trip once a year.

I meant to take some pictures in the shop, but we ate dinner at our favorite establishment. It's decorated like an antique/junk store and the food is wonderful:


and as soon as we blew into the quilt shop, we were so caught up in our adventure that I completely forgot to take any more pictures. Needless to say, we poked our noses into every nook and cranny, plotted and schemed about future projects, and pulled and contemplated each bolt of possibility.

My little punch card had been filled so I had earned $20.00 towards my purchase. My total bill came to $7.49. Pretty good, considering I could have spent a whole lot more! I just picked up 1/4 yard cuts of some fabrics that I thought would fit into my love of scrappy quilts.


I haven't found time to stitch since since I've been home from my trip to Texas, until today. I was inspired to pull out my Indian Summer quilt project and concentrate on getting the top together:


I'm using the Jewel Box pattern, but I altered it just a tad in order to keep the focus on my inspiration fabric:


All the square in a square blocks are finished:


And I'm piecing the little 4 patches and assembling the alternate blocks:


Our 4-H quilting group, The Quilt Squad, is meeting in town on Saturday to work on this pattern:


But I may be stitching along virtually, because I don't think I can make myself go back into town. :) Hope I don't receive a demerit!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Stuffed Poblanos

I cook a lot and I have collected a lot of recipes through the years, but there are times I feel as if I cook the same thing and from time to time and I end up in a cooking rut. We love our favorites and the kids are always calling and texting me asking for recipes, but sometimes I get a hankering for something different and DH is a good guinea pig. That makes it fun to try new things and mix those in with our favorites.

A while back, I had pinned a recipe for Ground Beef Stuffed Green Bell Peppers with Cheese and since I have an overabundance of ground beef, I thought I'd give it a whirl. When I started looking at the ingredients, I realized that I had a recipe for a similar filling called Texas Hash  (mine used Rotel instead of canned tomatoes) that we've used in tortillas for 20 years.

And then I thought I ought to change out the green peppers and add poblanos into the mix to add that New Mexico flair that we are crazy about. I don't have many addictions, but fresh New Mexico green chile is definitely one of them. These Poblanos are big...about 8" long. Poblanos are a mild chile.


So, I was off and running and before long we had a new favorite! YUM!


Stuffed Poblanos

6 large Poblano peppers
1# lean ground beef
1/2 diced onion
1 small chopped green pepper
black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 can Rotel
1/2 C rice
1/2 C water
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce (also known as rooster juice in this house)
1 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese

*Brown your ground beef and onion and green pepper. Drain if necessary. We have our ground beef processed pretty lean so there is seldom a need to drain. Season with pepper and chili powder. Add Rotel, rice, water, and Rooster juice. Cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Mix in cheese.

Boil the whole poblanos in water for about 5 minutes. Drain and slice open each poblano and stuff with filling. Cover and bake for 30-40 minutes. Sprinkle additional cheese on top and serve. I'll be making this again!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hand Stitched Stars Progress

Before I went down to help my mom as she recovered from hip replacement surgery,  I cut strips:


and prepped some a lot of diamonds and hexies for my EPP projects:


I am still smitten with these little diamonds


 and feel a little sense of accomplishment with the completion of each star:


The bright stars will have diamonds chaining them together using Kona Snow:


While the reproduction stars are being stitched to hexies using Kona Natural:


The lighting in my mom's living room is not conducive to hand stitching so I bought this Beam and Read. I've heard it's what all the "in-the-know" quilters are wearing these days, and although I've never been one to follow trends, I'm smart enough to know a good thing when I see it and this little gadget is mighty handy!


I don't know how big these projects will be and there is no deadline. These are long-term projects to be pulled out when life calls for a little hand stitching


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Safari Quilt

I've been at my Mom's for 12 days and arrived back home Monday evening. She had hip replacement surgery and I drove down to be with her. She's doing well and in good hands. The neighbors are all very close and have become family  through the years. I didn't cook one meal while I was there. Her huge 20 cubic foot freezer went out so I shopped for one and had it delivered. It was packed and I had planned on eating from it, but Mom's friends had other plans. Her doorbell rang every day and friends delivered delicious home cooked meals complete with dessert and who in their right mind would turn down lemon meringue pie and blackberry cobbler?

I imagine that DH is ready for a home cooked meal now, but I told him I may have forgotten how to cook. Grin.

I always take a quilt to bind when I head that way and this one was next in line:


When Missouri Star introduced the Sashed Hexi Quilt tutorial, I knew I had to make it in animal prints. The local Safari Club has an auction during it's annual banquet in February. Each year they sponsor a couple of hunts for wounded veterans and I wanted to contribute in some way. So this quilt will either be auctioned off to raise money for one of their hunts or given to a veteran. I'm hoping it will be auctioned off and then donated back to the veteran. :)


I don't ordinarily watch much television, but the Olympics are the exception so I stitched on this binding while watching in the evenings with my mom


I chose a brown minky backing and although probably not the ideal quilt to be working on in the south in August, I think it's the perfect choice for this quilt and Jackie quilted a pantograph design called Labyrinth that has a tribal feel to it:



It's 53 x 67...a good back of the couch size:


And many thanks to my champion quilt holder!


It's hard to believe that we left Zimbabwe exactly 1 year ago. Looking at this quilt, I think I need to make another one...for us!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Waiting on a Man

A few years back, Brad Paisley had a hit with a song called "Waiting on a Woman". A sweet song, but around here, I seem to wait on a particular man a lot. I'm definitely not complaining. He's worth waiting for. He sure doesn't like to do the waiting though. :) And  if waiting means I'm helping, then I'm his gal.

Last Wednesday morning he needed to gather Devil's Tank pasture and he had 4 others meet us at the highway on the east side of the ranch at 5 a.m.


 One particular friend was back to help after recuperating from a nasty horse wreck. It's good to have him back. It was a gorgeous morning although the only light in the sky was moonlight:


I dropped them off and waited for DH to call, signaling me to meet them at the pens, 7 miles away. I came prepared. Once it was light enough to insure I wouldn't meet up with any slithering serpents, I enjoyed a little walk. Then I worked on my paper pieced stars a little while listening to an audio book. I am currently listening to "The Kitchen House" and really enjoying it.


It was such a pretty morning and I enjoyed the company and sweet song of this little fella as the sun rose:


Sure wish this was our high for the day:


Alas, it was not to be although 100 is considerably more pleasant than the 110 we've been recording. DH called me when they got to the pens and I headed that way. When I arrived, DH was sorting off a pair that belonged to the neighbors:



And they funneled them, along with a few more head, into a small pen before loading the pair into Hector's trailer:

Lots of time goes into raising cattle that are gentle and easy to work. 


It's always good to catch up with the neighbors:


They came up short a few pair and when DH and I drove out, he spotted a few of them so he climbed back on his horse and I drove back to the pens to set the gates and wait for him:


And an hour later, they sauntered by


The cool of the morning had dissipated by then and a long, well-deserved drink was in order


after logging in a lot of miles:


And a job well done


I think I'll pick these two up and take them home. The 4-legged one deserves to be hosed down. Don't know if the 2-legged one would have gone for that, but I'm betting he'd settle for a home cooked meal that includes cherry pie!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Cheesecake

Our girl came home for a day between nutrition conferences and feedlot boot-camps and it happened to fall on her birthday. She requested cheesecake for her birthday so that sent me on the hunt for the best cheesecake ever. I've made a few in the past, but none of them were spectacular and I will admit to having caved and having made the boxed cheesecake mix in the past as well as the one that calls for sweetened condensed milk.

However, this cheescake had to be especially amazing since it was for an especially amazing child. :)

I took my chances and browsed through Pinterest and fell upon this recipe:

Best New York Cheesecake 

Anyone can claimed their recipe is 'The Best', but these ingredients really did sound like they had the potential to make it so, so I said a little prayer and held my breath.

It looked good.


It smelled wonderful.


 It tasted amazing!


The only thing I did differently, was that I baked it in a 10" spring-form pan. Our girl had just been to The Cheesecake Factory in Salt Lake City the previous week and she claimed this cheesecake to be better than theirs. Yes, she is my child, but if you knew her, you would know that she is as honest as her Daddy. I've never known him to lie and she would never say that just to appease her Mama.

DH is not a huge cheesecake fan and even he loved it so he is now!  Six thumbs up from the taste testers at this house!


Now I've got to add another leg to that morning walk, but I'll gladly do so because another slice of cheesecake is calling my name!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Answered Prayers

If you've been reading here for any length of time, you know that I talk about rain...or the lack thereof...A LOT. Ranching in the desert is a challenge although farming and ranching is always a challenge no matter where you are since we're all so dependent on the weather. Yesterday morning DH and I both woke up at 2 a.m. when it began to rain. There was a 20% chance of precipitation, but we didn't really expect any. Often we've had 90% chances and not a drop fell. Needless to say, neither one of us went back to sleep. DH got up to watch the radar and I opened windows and lay there praising God. At 4, he couldn't wait for daylight and pulled on his mud boots, rain slicker, and tromped out the the pens with his flashlight. When he came in, I looked at him questioningly and he grinned, asking me if I wanted to know how much was in the rain gauge. When  I said 'yes', he handed me his rain slicker. Funny man. I didn't get a picture until the sun rose, but we're pretty tickled:


Most of ya'll are probably chuckling, but 1.5" makes a huge difference out here. We're thankful for every drop and praying for more because you should see how excited we get when the dirt tanks are full! :)
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