Friday, August 27, 2010

Sweet Revenge ~ Foodie Friday & Food For Thought

I'm linking to two different parties today because
I have both really good recipes to share as well as a fun book to talk about.

Review of the book
Sweet Revenge
by Diane Mott Davidson
brainchild of the very talented Jain.
This is where our camera, cooking & books collide!

This is one in the series of Diane Mott Davidson's
14 culinary mystery novels in which the protagonist is a caterer named Goldy (short for Gertrude) Schultz from Aspen Meadow, a small town in Colorado.

This woman gets into more mishaps &
adventures yet remarkably survives each encounter & keeps on cooking!

In this one book alone she has 
a knife (hidden in a snowball)
thrown at her through a window

crashes her friend's Lexus while chasing
the self-confessed murderer of her ex-husband 

falls down an embankment into a creek,
as she tries to get a glimpse of another murder victim 
(while wearing that same friend's mink coat!!!)
was almost pushed over a cliff at a ski resort
& was stomped on & verbally threatened & 
knocked unconscious. 

In between all this, she manages to cater 
a breakfast meeting
a church luncheon
another luncheon for the garden club
a special dinner party for her wealthy & eccentric clients

has freshly baked cookies available to hand out
every time you turn around!

I think she's a twin & was separated at birth

from Yvonne at StoneGable.

They both have so much creative energy!

Throughout all this, she trying to find out
who killed Drew Wellington, in the library

with what weapon?
Sounds like the mystery game, CLUE, doesn't it?

Drew was a local antique map dealer who was
using the library as his office.
(map available here)

Do you suppose it was the date-rape

drugs they found in his flask

that killed him?

Or was it the cyanide they discovered had been slipped into his coffee?

Perhaps it was a different method of murder all together?
I thought I had it all figured out but was totally wrong!
You won't find out until the very end of the book.

Ms. Davidson is a prolific writer who supplies a long list of mouth-watering
gourmet recipes inside each book.
I had fun deciding which ones to make for

Food for Thought

Goldy served a pasta dish with butter & Parmesan cheese at one event.
I took it a step beyond &

made the Orzo Milanese recipe
from Dishesdone's blog,

There's always thyme to cook

I had it for lunch in the Gazebo this week!
puréed my slow-roasted tomatoes then
followed her recipe as posted here

except I cooked the orzo in the tomato pureé.

Goldy's recipe for Chicken Divine is also just that...DIVINE!

I changed it a wee bit to include broccoli & some curry,
as that is the way 2 of my oldest & dearest friends

taught me how to make it years ago.
Thanks Barb & Janet!!

Their recipe follows:
(if you want Goldy's recipe, you have to get the book)
Chicken Divan or "Divine!"

4 chicken breasts -- boneless, cooked
2 packages broccoli -- thawed
1 can cream of celery soup (or cream of chicken)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
2 cups cheddar cheese -- shredded
1/2 cup bread crumbs -- buttered
Place broccoli pieces in the bottom of a buttered 9X13 casserole.
Place cooked chicken (boiled with celery & onion) on top of broccoli.
Cover with a mixture of soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice & curry powder.
Top with cheese, then with bread crumbs.
Bake at 325º for 45 minutes.

Other parts of the meal included

Fresh Ohio grown Sweet Corn

& salad with home grown tomatoes started with our own seeds.
Oh & don’t forget the DESSERTS!
The books character, Goldy, made gingerbread houses for one of her events.
So did I… years ago!

Thank you Jain, for encouraging us to

*play with our food & cook the books*

Thanks also to Michael Lee for her

Foodie Friday

I appreciate everyone who visits the Gazebo House, too.
I’m honored that you’ve stopped by & hope you found something of interest.
Try the pasta & the'll 'em!


p.s. Thanks for the book, Sis!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quiet Interlude

I Joshua Bell's violin version of this song!

My father sang many a solo of Ave Maria at

our church of The Immaculate Conception.

He had the most beautiful tenor voice!

He sang the Ave Maria at my

daughter's wedding while she placed a

bouquet of flowers at the base of

the Blessed Virgin Mary statue.

This song never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

I sure wish we had digital recordings

of that moment in the church.

Their wedding was 2 days before Christmas.

Dad's birthday was the 9th of August.

He's been gone for 6 years now

but I still miss my Dad &

think of him every time I hear this song!

Just feeling a little melancholy this morning.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wash Away Thread Applique

This post is for Donna at Brynwood Needleworks,

who does absolutely bloody gorgeous needlework!

Check out her gallery albums when you have an hour

to spend on enjoying some wonderful eye candy.

I wanted to explain how I used

wash-away thread to get a smooth,

turned under edge for applique on

this little clutch that I made.

The first thing you do is trace your scallops or applique shape onto your fabric.

I was making two sides for this little purse so

I have two pieces of black fabric here but

if you only needed one applique design,

you could trace it onto a used dryer sheet,

which you would then place on the RIGHT side of your fabric

& stitch directly on the traced line

then you would discard the dryer sheet after

turning & dissolving the wash-away thread.

Be careful not to lick your wash-away thread

as you put it through your sewing machine's needle...

Yucky & it will dissolve!

Some people use it in their bobbin instead of on top.

Regular thread is used opposite the wash-away.

Sew along your traced line of the design.

Here I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance

because I had already cut my scallops

per instructions in the magazine article,

but if you were using the dryer sheet on the

RIGHT side of your applique fabric,

you would sew directly ON the traced outline.

Turn your pieces right side out.

To do this in the case of the dryer sheet method,

you would cut a small hole in it &

turn your applique right side out & smooth all the edges first,

clipping curves where necessary.

I turned my two black fabric pieces right side out & used a blunt

tip to poke out the points & get the edges smooth.
Press well with a hot, DRY iron!!

Do not use steam until you are happy with your shape

of the applique edges.

After that, you can saturate with starch & steam the heck out of it

to dissolve the wash-away thread!

Don't scooch your don't want to distort those nicely

pressed seams.

Here you can see how I just pulled apart the two pieces after

dissolving the wash-away thread with steam,

leaving nicely turned under edges.

It will just pop open because you no long have any bobbin thread.

Each piece of the black was then topstitched onto the pale pink fabric

by machine,
in this case,

but you could do it by hand if you were working on

a special applique quilt block.

Here are the two completed sides of the purse, with the black sewn in place.

I didn't get great points, as this was my first time trying this method,

but it didn't really matter, since I was going to do hand embroidery on top of them anyway.

If you'd like to try making this little purse,

it is in issue #58 of Inspirations magazine.

They did not use the wash-away thread method

but the embroidery design & purse instructions are in there.

Issue #58 is still available from Country Bumpkin Magazine HERE.

I hope this helped someone understand the wash-away method of applique.

Be sure to remove your bobbin of wash-away thread

& store it, as well as the entire spool

in a plastic bag to keep it dry.

Excess humidity will make it sticky.

I'm back to cooking tomatoes again today.

I'd rather be sewing!!!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sharing Summer Flowers

Americana White Splash Geranium

Glow Fluor Rose Petunia

My only surviving pansy.
I'm amazed that it lasted this long!

Telstar Dianthus

Unfortunately, I've lost the name of this beautiful yellow rose.

It has pink tinged edges & very long stems.

The Japanese beetles devoured several leaves so
it hasn't been as prolific as other years.

I've looked online & it seems similar to "Gold Medal"

I cut one rose & brought it inside.

The setting sun coming in through the dining room

window made the petals almost glow!

This older photo is of the trellis I bought back in May,

with the intention of getting Morning Glory seeds to grow up & over.

We always had Morning Glory flowers outside

my Mom's kitchen door every year.

You have to soak the seeds overnight

(I remember doing this with my Grandfather!)

to soften their hard shells so they will germinate.

Boy-O-Boy, did mine germinate!!

Look at this HUGE plant with its reaching tentacles, searching

for things to wrap themselves around.

However, NOT ONE single Morning Glory blossom.

I have been fertilizing the Knock-Out rose bush that is in front of the trellis

with Bayer Advanced Rose & Flower Care.

Obviously it doesn't not help Morning Glory blooms.

Any suggestions???

I think it looks like "Cousin IT" from the Adams family TV show.

Kinda scary, huh?

Any help from my horticulturist followers would be greatly appreciate.

I'm still very busy, cooking down tomatoes

from yesterday's post.

I hope you're having a glorious Sunday &

I thank you for visiting The Gazebo House.

I'm joining

Mosaic Monday at Mary's

Dear Little Red House