Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Autumn Decorating

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(Hurricane glass from Bombay Store, now closed)


It has really taken me a long time to get

my autumn decorations up around The Gazebo House.

I think I develop SAD once the days start to shorten &

the cloudy, cold, rainy days arrive in Ohio.

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I've struggled to get my fireplace mantle decorated to suit me.

I've moved things around all week & I'm still not happy.

I just don't seem to have the "knack" for this that others have.

I can EASILY do CPR on you, insert an IV, intubate you or even

open your windpipe with a ballpoint pen in an emergency,

pack a wound or change a sterile dressing but

when it comes to this interior design stuff,

I'm often stumped!


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(cloche from T.J. Maxx, tea caddy from Bombay)


However, I CAN copy from the best!

Shelia, owner of the delightful blog,

Notesongs

inspired me to put my bell jar cloche on top of my wooden tea caddy.


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(cake stand from Tues. Morning)


It was also Shelia's idea to add some color to the inside of our crystal domed cake plates.

This little touch of color, peeking through, really balances the other side of the table.


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A few more touches of autumn around the house.

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(Black & white stuffed pumpkins from Target, last year)

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(star shaped candy dishes from Dollar Store, last year)



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(pumpkin & leaf plates from Wal-Mart, last year)


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I got this idea last year, to put these little pumpkins up

on this high window at our front entrance

from Yvonne at StoneGable.

She has some of the BEST ideas!


I got the inspirations to do my black urns this way from

Lynne at Lynnes Gifts from the Heart

when she

featured the tour of Mary Carol's Nell Hill.

What an awesome tour!


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I'm joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for her

Tabletop Tuesday

as well as The Tablescaper for her

Seasonal Sundays


Thank you to ALL these ladies, for showing us so many ways to beautify our homes.

Now I'm off to fuss a bit more with that mantle!

Thanks for visiting The Gazebo House


fondly,
♥♥ Rett ♥♥

Monday, September 26, 2011

How do YOU spell "Chile"?

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I spell it "YUMMO"!

as in this Green Chile Chicken Casserole

(link above is to my HALF version recipe)


Pat, author of the beautiful blog,

Gypsy Heart


posted the recipe for this very flavorful &

BIG dish of

Green Chile Chicken Casserole

at Yvonne's StoneGable

On The Menu Monday


I made it that very same night, since I just

happened to have all the ingredients on hand.

I love it when that happens!


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As you can see, I used a ROUND casserole dish

figuring the tortillas would fit down inside nicely.

I used the "soft taco" sized

6" tortillas & they were perfect.

(10 in a pack by Aztec)

I also cut the recipe in HALF,

(except for the chilies, onion, cumin & garlic!)

as there were only 2 of us for dinner that night.


It was Soooo good, we had it for lunch the

following day, but would have gladly eaten

it for dinner again, if there had been more.

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My only other change to Pat's recipe was to add some

crushed Frito® chips to the top during the

last few minutes of cooking,

just for some extra crunch.


Oh...and in case you're interested,

I found this information on the net about the spelling:

The Oxford English Dictionary refers to the word "chilli" as the primary spelling.

This was the original translation of the Aztec word for the plant.

Dr. Francisco Hernandez studied the flora and fauna of Mexico from 1570 to 1577.

After returning to Spain he produced a number of books identifying the local plants and animals of Spain.

Hernandez translated the native name of a spice called by the locals “chee yee” as “chilli” with two L's.

At some point in time the Spanish speakers in Mexico changed the named to “chile”.

Today, the two common variations of chilli are ‘chile’ and ‘chili’.

The variant ‘chile’ is used mainly in Mexico and ‘chili’ is used extensively in the United States, especially in California and Texas.


I'll share this recipe again with Yvonne at StoneGable for

On The Menu Monday

along with The Tablescaper for her

Seasonal Sundays &

Michael Lee at Designs by Gollum

for Foodie Friday.

My 3 most favorite cooking memes of the entire week!

Thanks Ladies, for hosting each week &

thank YOU for visiting me at The Gazebo House!

fondly,
♥♥
RETT ♥♥



Friday, September 23, 2011

Little Zip-Up Vest for Ms. C!

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Boy-O-Boy, was THIS ever a challenge!

The pattern is The Little Zip-Up Vest from Favorite Things.

There are almost 30 different pieces of fabric & batting

in this one little vest...no lie!

It has Warm & Natural® quilt batting between

all the layers & is fully lined & top-stitched.

I would like to publicly thank my

Smock & Talk friend, Nicole R.

for all her help with this.

It would have been a "wadder" for sure without her

patient guidance & advice.


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It really taxed my brain,

trying to remember which fabric I wanted where!

I also had to modify the pattern a wee bit,

as I could only find 18" separating zippers,

not 16" per their instructions.

I cut off 2" & sewed the zipper up to, but not including the

stand-up collar, cut the ends off &

added crimped stops after sewing bar tacks, too.


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I was SO please with myself that I'd found "Daisy" flower buttons

to go with the "Daisy" floral pattern,

especially since Ms. C. was a "Daisy" Girl Scout.

When I bragged about that to her,

she promptly told me that she had moved up &

was no longer a "Daisy" but a Girl Scout "Brownie" now.

However, she told me she loved the vest "anyway".

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I'm working on making her a matching lined skort...

(skirt with matching, attached shorts beneath)

and with a ruffle (hopefully!)

attached around the hemline.

She loves that kind of girly-girl look because she can

cartwheel to her hearts content & not

show too much!

However, I need to find more matching fabric & will have to call

the quilt shop in FL where I purchased this last Feb.

Wish me luck!

~~insert crossed fingers~~


I'm participating in The Tablescaper's

Seasonal Sundays

since this is a big sewing season for me.

Thanks for visiting The Gazebo House &

taking the time to come see what I've been sewing.

fondly,

♥♥ Rett ♥♥

Monday, September 19, 2011

Basil Infused Oil


I've been infusing oil with herbs for many, many years.
I remember giving a demonstration on how to do it when
I was president of the New Clevelanders group over 22 years ago!
I still have the handouts that I used.

"Mother, you never throw anything away!"
Do you get that from your kids?
You know the tone..."MOtherrr"...emphasis on the first syllable.

"Yes, DD, I have totally stopped getting rid of items, because every single time I do, I turn around & want it again later, then spend hours hunting for it, only to realize I threw it away last week."

Anyway, the infused oil does not have any preservatives in it,
so its very healthy but that also makes it very perishable.
You must refrigerate it & use it up quickly or pitch it & make fresh.

Mari, author of the beautiful blog, Once Upon a Plate,
has wonderful directions on how to make it,
so rather than me retype my handout,
just go to her recipe blog HERE to learn how.

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My sweet Italian neighbor brought over some of her large leaf Italian basil for me to try.
Just look at the difference in the size of those leaves, compared to my puny, little plant!
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Today, I'm going to dry basil leaves in the microwave,
per instructions from Lynn over at Happier Than A Pig In Mud
but over the weekend,
I used my neighbor's BIG leaves to make one lovely batch of infused olive oil.
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Isn't that the most gorgeous color of GREEN?
I have a cardigan sweater that shade & I just love to
wear it over a black silk shell & black pants!

I'm joining Yvonne at StoneGable for
as well as Michael Lee, at Designs by Gollum for
Foodie Friday
Seasonal Sundays
Please be sure to visit them as the best ideas are to be found at
these ladies blogs!
Thank YOU for stopping by The Gazebo House, too.
Another past president of my old New Clevelanders group found me through
this blog & we are planning to get together to share old photos & memories.
(maybe I'll wear my GREEN sweater)
Aren't the connections we make through blogging just amazing?
fondly,
♥♥ Rett ♥♥

EDIT: to answer Donna's question below, regarding uses...
I like to drizzle it over roasted tomatoes, fish (especially good over salmon) chicken or other vegetables, such as roasted eggplant. It looks beautiful squiggled on a white plate...but be thrifty...a little goes a long way.

You can make the following dressing with it:

Balsamic Vinaigrette with Basil Infused Oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp finely chopped shallots
1 cup basil-infused olive oil (I use less, as I rarely make a FULL cup of it)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Whisk together vinegar, garlic and shallots in a small bowl. Whisk in basil oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. It will keep up to four days refrigerated in a tightly sealed container.

Ina Garten uses it over her oven roasted red peppers.
Hope that helps!
Try it...you'll like it!






Thursday, September 15, 2011

★Star Gazer★ Quilted Wallhanging

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Since September is National Sewing Month

I've been trying to complete some of my

UFOs...UnFinished prOjects!


When I lived in FL, I took a class with Pepper Cory at my quilt guild.

She is the GURU of paper piecing stars.

I came home with ONE single block of a dynamic star.

It took me the entire class time to make just this one block!

I considered putting it into a tote but I was afraid it would get ruined,

schlepping it around town.

I thought about a vest but it isn't the type of thing I'd wear.

Finally, after being inspired by my friend Mamacjt's little colorful block borders HERE,

I decided to finish it as a wall hanging.


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I used my chalk pounce to outline feathers for the border.

This was the first time I used this, although I've had it for YEARS!

The little *eraser* is filled with chalk through that circle cap in the top.

You then pounce the eraser over a stencil &

the pattern comes through onto your quilt.

It worked great but my ability to FOLLOW the

chalk lines with my sewing machine was another matter.


I wish I had my machine set DOWN into a table

where I could move the quilt more easily.

I kept bumping into things at the back

thus I kept snagging & stopping.


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On the other hand, I think my stippling is getting MUCH better!

That's the tiny, squiggly lines between the star points below.


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Just like anything else in life, the more you do it, the better you get.

I keep plodding along with my free motion skills,

trying to improve with each project.


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I use snap hair clips to hold my bindings in place while I sew them.

It is a wonderful alternative to getting stuck with pins while you work!

Below is an angled shot, to show the texture.


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The teacher didn't tell us to remove the paper from between the star points

as we went along.

Normally, in paper piecing, you can leave them in

until you're block is completed,

but this one has so many intersections in the middle

that it became impossible to sew them together correctly.

It was too late & we were almost done,

so I have one little area that doesn't fit as perfectly as all the others.

It made me sad,

as it could have been SEW perfect otherwise,

but it was a good lesson to learn &

one I won't soon forget.


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Anyway, its DONE!!!

I've named it ★ STAR GAZER ★

This UFO only took about 9 years to complete!


Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today &

letting me share my sewing projects with you.

I have more coming, so stay tuned.


I'll be joining The Tablescaper for her

Seasonal Sundays party


Monday, September 12, 2011

David Lebovitz’ Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Cathy, author of the terrifically tasty blog,

Wives With Knives


recently made David Lebovitz' cookies from his book,

Ready for Dessert.


I love that name, but don't you think it

should have had a question mark after the title?

How many times do we say

"Ready for dessert?"


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I was asked to babysit my *grandkidlets* twice this past week &

since I always try to bring a treat when I visit,

I decided to try the recipe out on them.

You can find it here

(published with permission)

They laugh when I tell them

"I need some guinea piglet taste testers!!!"



Ms. C. doesn't care for nuts, so I made half the batch without nuts &

then added them to the second half for the boys to devour.

They sure did!

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Good thing I left a couple at home for DH,

otherwise he never would have gotten to taste them!

They are
DELICIOUS...very, very crisp, just the way we like them.

I'm sure it is from all that luscious BUTTER!!!

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The only mistake I made was to

use Ghiradelli® Milk Chocolate Chips.

Sadly, their flavor was not "chocolatey" enough for me.

I should have followed the recipe as written,

but I'm not a fan of bittersweet chocolate so I

thought I'd try the milk chocolate.

Next time, I'll use semi-sweet morsels.

You can be sure, I WILL BE MAKING THESE AGAIN!!


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I'll be joining Yvonne, from StoneGable for

On The Menu Monday

The Tablescaper for

Seasonal Sundays &

and Michael Lee from Designs by Gollum for

Foodie Friday.

Thank you, Ladies, for hosting these wonderful food lovers parties
&
Thank you to Cathy, for telling us about the recipe.

fondly,
♥♥ Rett ♥♥

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

♪♫ A Sundress out of Peachy-Rose Fabric ♫♪





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When I was working on my peach pie photos HERE


I needed a pretty tablecloth that would pick up the same colors

as the pie & the Peach Peel Jelly.

I found the perfect yardage in my sewing room stash & used it for

a backdrop in the photos.


The more I looked at it, the more I thought

it would make a really pretty nightgown for

DGD, Ms. C!

I used the same pattern as the last sundress that

I made for her, as it fit her so perfectly.

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The only thing I did differently was to leave off the

wide hemband & I attached

the straps in the BACK of the dress this time

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then add buttons & buttonholes to fasten

them in the front.

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She ♥♥♥ it & we decided that it was too pretty

to be a nightgown!

She wore it to church the very next day &

I hear that it is currently her favorite that

gets put on as soon as it comes out of the wash.

~~BIG SMILE~~

The buttons are just pinned in place for this photo,

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since I had to wait to measure it on her.

Of course, I forgot to get a modeled picture,

Darn it!
I'll try to capture one next time I visit.

You’ve got to see her twirling in this one!

Since September is National Sewing Month,

I've been on a roll.

I'm working on a quilted, zip up the front vest for her,

as well as this *coffee* quilt.



You can download the free pattern for the quilt HERE.

I'll be linking to The Tablescaper's

Seasonal Sunday party.

Thanks for letting visiting The Gazebo House &

letting me share my sewing projects with you.

fondly,

♥♥ Rett ♥♥

Monday, September 05, 2011

Peaches, Peaches, Peaches!




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Our local peaches have been FABULOUS this year!

Inspired by BJ, author of the darling blog

Sweet Nothings

I decided to make both a peach pie &

some PEACH PEEL JELLY.



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While shopping at Sur La Table

(you can read about it HERE)

I found this little Pie Bird.

I've always wanted one!

Vintage ones can cost a pretty penny.

I think this little guy was only $4.


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Fresh & steaming, right from the oven!


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HOT sticky-gooey sweetness,

just bubbling out of cracks in the crust.


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Doesn't he look like he's yelling...

"Get me out of here... I'm melting!"


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Take special note of the pretty peachy-rose fabric beneath the plate.

You'll be seeing it later this week in a whole new way!

(EDIT: Go HERE to see the dress I made out of it)


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I used Pennsylvania Redhaven peaches for this RECIPE.

They give a pretty pink color to the pie & jelly.

They have a harvest date of August 1st in PA.


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All dressed up & ready as gifts to my sisters!


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Let's have one more bite of that delicious pie,

shall we?


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I'm joining Yvonne at StoneGable for her

On The Menu Monday

as well as Michael Lee at Designs by Gollum for

Foodie Friday

and The Tablescaper for her

Seasonal Sundays.

Thanks to all these ladies for making cooking & sharing so much fun!

fondly,

♥♥ Rett ♥♥


EDIT TO ADD:

Gayle, from the blog, Garden of Daisies

*a collector of pie birds*

showed me last year's November issue of

Country Living Magazine.


Go HERE to see a few of Gayles pie birds!

Thanks Gayle!