Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

October 30, 2012

Cooking N Crafting

Note: This post was prepared on approx 10/14, but was scheduled to publish after the predicted storm

Spinach & Feta Cheese Quiche

Preheat oven to 375*

Bag of fresh spinach
Onion, chopped
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups whole milk
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 lb feta cheese
Salt & Pepper
Pie shell

Saute' the spinach and onions in butter till spinach is wilted.

Mix the eggs and milk together.  Add the lemon juice and mix.  Stir in the spinach & onions, feta cheese, salt and pepper and mix well.

Pour into pie shell and bake for an hour or till knife comes out of the center clean.

Glitter:  A way of life.  Just tried this new technique from The Ornament Girl of swirling around Pledge floor cleaner inside the ornament then pouring the glitter in.  I also used a straw that I cut into a little scoop shape so that I could get the glitter at the top.  I also added some red crystals to the top silver part and around the center.

Then I did one in blue glitter

And purple.

Did a little bit more leaf stamping.  Better results this time.

I thought I was pretty much done for the day, cooking-wise, till my friend Averie posted a link for Baked Cheddar Broccoli Rice Cups, at Fountain Avenue Kitchen.  I'd just cooked up some fresh broccoli and was surprised to find I had the rest of the ingredients in the house!  Just had to try them!

Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease a muffin tin.  This recipe will fill 8 of the 12 cups.

1 cup quick cooking rice
1 cup chicken broth/stock (can also use vegetable broth or just plain water)
Cooked broccoli crowns (or a 10 oz. package of frozen, thawed & then drained)
1 cup cheddar cheese, divided in half
1/4 cup ranch dressing
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper.

Prep the rice according to the directions, substituting broth for water.  Place cooked rice in a bowl to cool off.  Add remaining ingredients but using only 1/2 cup of the cheese.  Stir until combined.  Scoop into the muffin tin cups and then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Bake 25 minutes until tops brown a little and edges get crispy.  

October 28, 2012

October Draws to a Close

The weather this month was just amazing.

Sneaking photos in my fave antique shop.

More pretty sunsets...very fleeting now that the days are getting shorter.  This one made me think of "Pink Moon" by Nick Drake.

October was a rough month, overall.  As much as I loved the weather and great foliage, I couldn't wait for it to end.  I knew for awhile that it was going to be a challenge but it's been 10x worse than I was expecting and to say I'm burned out and stressed out is an understatement.  Finally got a resume up on a couple of job websites but so far the 'offers' have been garbage; chew-you-up-and-spit-you-out companies heavy on sales, like Aflac.  No thank you, I'm not aggressively pushing selling insurance.

Oh this is a hoot.  There I am at a little after 7 pm, watching TV, playing on line as per usual, on October 16 when all of a sudden my entire house shook like crazy.  I was like, Are you KIDDING ME?  I move east figuring at least I can leave that whole pesky earthquake thing behind and this is the second time since I've been back that I've felt one here.  Bad enough that I was already thinking about the fact that the following day was October 17th, the 23rd anniversary of Loma Prieta in California.  It was a 4.0, with the epicenter in southcentral Maine, kinda near where I went to college at St. Joe's. It was surprising how fast the PTSD kicked in.  My heart pounded and adrenaline surged for quite awhile afterwards.  I didn't hear about any major damage and the jokes started flying fairly quickly.

But there were a few bright spots, of course.  Weekends with my sweetie, which are all too short.  Also had lunch with The Girls (Liz who was in town from VT, Marsha & Nancy) at Bobby Byrne's in Sandwich one foggy Saturday afternoon.  We spied the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile over by Stop & Shop.  These three pics are photos I took on my cell phone and then emailed to myself because I have a very unsophisticated phone.  They came out pretty good, considering.  

Hard to believe it was 2 years ago that I last went to Victoria (October 21 & 22, 2010).  And I didn't even know yet that it would be my last trip there, possibly forever.  Been getting homesick for the PNW the past few weeks.  Fall is the best up there and I do miss the pink sunrises and sunsets against Mt. Rainier.  I wish now I'd stayed an extra night in Victoria and done the float plane trip and gone over to Esquimalt Lagoon and the Fisgard Lighthouse.  Totally blew it, I did. 

More fall pics in E. Sandwich.

Locust trees

Another fine day, Marsha & I took a drive up to see Susan in North Eastham, with a quick detour at Veteran's Beach in Hyannis on the way up.

Susan lives across from the road to Nauset Light Beach, on the Atlantic side, which is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore.   Here's a map to give you an idea of where we were.

Nauset Light Beach

It's a great walking beach as the sand is a little easier to walk on.

It's not at all as rocky as the Bay side beaches are and it's not very good for glass either.  Still, I'd love to take my metal detector there because there were hundreds of shipwrecks offshore before the Canal was built in the early 1900s.  Every now and then, this area experiences a strange phenomena where whales, especially pilot whales, will beach themselves.  One year in the 80s, over 30 of them beached themselves up and down this stretch of beach.  It was really sad.  

The waves pushed the sand up into this bank.

It reminds me of a tinier version of the mesas, buttes and towers like out in Utah & Wyoming, and the cliffside homes of the ancient Anasazi in New Mexico.

Top of the dunes.

Nauset Light

We went out to dinner with my squeeze's bff and her hubby at a cool restaurant in Plymouth called Rio's Steakhouse.  It's a Brazilian-style restaurant, which is a cuisine that's taken off around here.  There's a buffet with salad, deviled eggs, veggies, fruits, beans, white rice, vegetable rice, etc.  You can easily fill up on the buffet but if you do that you will be too full to eat the variety of meats that are brought to your table on a rotisserie spit, hot from the fire.  Oh. My. God.  It was incredible!!  The bacon wrapped chicken was easily my favourite.  I also really liked the pineapple that had a coconutty/burnt sugar type 'crust' on the outside.  It was soooo good.

In other news, just found an awesome blog called Pinstrosity.  It's pretty amusing and kinda good to know that I'm not the only one having trouble with some of the Pinterest ideas.  I will have to send them some of my Pinterest fails and see if they will be featured.  ;-D  Like the 'tie dyed' roses.  Or when I set the toaster oven on fire trying to melt beads.

As I write this, there is a  pretty large storm system moving north.  The media has everyone whipped into a frenzy about it, calling it 'Frankenstorm' because it was supposed to mess with Halloween, but it looks like it will hit my area on Monday, 10/29.  I hope we don't lose power or cable, and if we do, not for long.  My love will be on the road, so I worry.  I'll be home alone with the doggies, and I have plenty I can do during the daylight that doesn't require electricity if we lose it.  It just sucks at night to have no power and try to read by candle- or flashlight.  Then there's the loss of frozen food factor too which also sucks.  Hopefully it won't hit us as hard as they think.  But there is a cold front to the west and if it collides with the tropical Hurricane Sandy, we are screwed.  It could be worse than the tropical storm/hurricane we had in August, 2011, and we were w/o power & cable for 36 or so hours, which kinda sucked.  This storm, however, appears ready to turn inland way farther south than me, in the mid-Atlantic around NJ or DC.  That means rain and wind here but not the brunt of it.  Still, it is going to be a big one and I hate having to be alone here w/o Russell.  I wish he could be home with me.  :*(

If you don't see me around the blogosphere after Monday, assume I am without power and/or internet.  

October 26, 2012

Natural Crafties

I kinda helped myself to a couple of leaves from that super bright tree that I posted pics of a few days ago and made a Canadian flag with one of them.  It should be noted that I first attempted to preserve the leaves using a glycerin & water technique with poor results, so I went with the old standby:  Clear contact paper.  Used double stick tape to adhere it to the cardstock.

Acorn caps and beads.  Drilled a hole thru the cap and used some glue to keep them in place, then put the head pin through and added a seed bead on the bottom to make the point of the acorn bead.  Last, I painted the caps with clear nail polish.

It is surprisingly hard to find beads to fit the caps...or hard to find caps to fit my beads, whichever.

Here's another attempt at leaf stamping with paints.  

And here are some gorgeous maple leaves I sealed in clear contact paper.

This one tree had several leaves with a red spot on them.

October 24, 2012

Christmas Shelf

I found this cool shelf at the thrift shop the day I went looking for the silk ties, and at $2.50, I had to have it.  I loved the little door in front. 

I knew what I wanted to do with it, but the heart shaped hanger would not go at all and I reluctantly removed it.  

I wanted to make my own distressed piece and read up on the technique.  First I did a base coat of dark red.  After the paint dried I rubbed a wax candle on all the edges.  Then 2 coats of off white.    

When the paint was dry I rubbed the edges with steel wool and it worked perfectly to remove the white paint where the wax was, allowing the dark red underneath to show through.  

Next came the 'Great Gate Debate'.  Couldn't decide if I wanted to use it or not.  So as usual, I put it up to a vote on Facebook.  With the gate?

Or without it?  Most everyone voted for 'without'

My friend Shelly came up with the brilliant idea of putting the gate behind the figures and once I mocked it up, I was amazed at how good it looked!  Talk about thinking outside the box!  That suggestion really enabled me to go a totally different way with my original vision of this cubby, and it came out way better.  Thank you Shelly!!!!!  :-D

Once I attached the gate in back, I started working on all the cubbies.  Added hooks to the top one.  Then I went to town with the background papers and the other little figures.  I had such a good time making the scenes!!  A lot of the items I used are childhood ornaments.

In the first cubby we have an adorable teddy that I bought in the mid 80s.  I added the candy cane to his paw.  I glued all the crystals and the star to the tree.  Each side is wallpapered with striped paper and I added a patterned gold button for a wall hanging.  The back uses glittery cardstock.  Isn't the wee penguin cute?  

I first painted this cubby with tiny silver microbeads mixed into Mod Podge to create a silvery textured look. All of the elements in this one are new....the balls, greens, presents and train were purchased specifically for this opening.

Here's another one I did with Christmas coloured microbeads/glitter in Mod Podge.  The wood sled ornament was given to me by my parents in about 1970, and I added the glittery present button in front.  The back paper has a candy pattern on it.

My dad gave me this deer family in my stocking in about 1973 or 74.  The side walls are done in dark green paper with a subtle pine tree design, and the back is dark blue paper.  Then I stuck silver snowflakes on them.  There are also 5 mini bottle brush trees in the back, and fiberfill snow.

Here's the cubby with the gate in the back.  I LOVE the way this ended up looking.  Both of the glass figures were also stocking stuffers in the 70s.  I used fiberfill for the snow and put 2 holly sprigs on either side of the walls, and also added the poinsettia in front of the tree.

Behind the gate I did ripped green paper for rolling hills in the background and dark blue paper on which I stuck silver stars.  I also added the elf and 2 trees so that it looks like they are behind the gate.

Decoupaged these vintage Victorian designs on the top and both sides.

I always get kind of sad whenever I finish a project.  This was a lot of fun to make and I would love to do another one!