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51  All the Nuts! Nut Butter in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MareMare on: April 01, 2014 09:57:53 AM

Did you know you can make your own nut butter? It's stupid easy! All you need is:

Salt (optional)
Oil (optional, neutral flavored like vegetable, canola, etc)
Food Processor (or probably high speed blender? Can't you make anything in those?)

Step 1: Get some Nuts!

I'm using Mixed Nuts and Pecans from TJ's, raw almonds and some raw cashews (not pictured). I mistakenly bought low salt mixed nuts, but that's ok, we can fix that. Also, I picked out the Brazil Nuts. I don't care how much Selenium those have, I don't dig 'em. You can use multiple nuts like I did or pick your favorite nut. But if you make Brazil Nut butter you don't have to share with me.

Step 2: Throw them in your food processor! See, nasty Brazil nuts on side.

Step 3: Spin it 'round like a record baby, round right round round!

Process on low until it starts to come together. Add a few pinches of salt. Mmm Salt.

Step 4: Keep processing! You can do it!

You can add a few drippy drops of oil if it seems really dry, but it should start getting butter-y around 5 minutes or so. Taste and add more salt if you like.

Step 5: Put in container with a tight fitting lid. Try not to eat all of it at once. Mmm Nut Butter. Store in fridge if you want. Or don't, I'm not your boss.

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52  Re: 14 Quilt Projects in 2014 Quilt Along! in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: March 16, 2014 11:40:57 AM
Not doing as much quilting as I would like, more administrative stuff for my quilt guild. Totally dumb I know, but being president is way more work than I thought. Spent the last couple days cutting 44 yards of fabric into FQs for our current Metallic challenge.

We're doing a Medallion Along this year instead of a Block of the Month program, I'll have to share my medallion in progress when I get a chance to take a pic! Each month we introduce a new border. If anyone is interested in playing along it lives here:

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53  Re: 14 Quilt Projects in 2014 Quilt Along! in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: March 05, 2014 12:17:44 PM
Love all the pics, Immaculata! I love the subtlety of the jean blocks!

I finished a quilt top for my charity group the other day and need to quilt it and send it in ASAP. I also have my last one from that group that is completed (just needs to be washed) and then I can save a bit of money by sending two at a time. In case you're not familiar with do.Good stitches, there's a circle of 10 Modern Quilters, usually 6 are "quilters" and 4 are "stitchers." The quilters have two months a year where they pick a pattern and a color scheme and everyone sends them two blocks, then they are responsible for getting them stitched up into a top and finishing the quilt and delivering to the charity that their group has chosen.

Scrap Boxes quilt top

Here's the one I just finished (and to be honest, we put it on the frame at our Happy Hour before our meeting, and so lots of people in the guild quilted it!) and then my sweet friend did the binding for me.

Greek Cross pattern in navy, salmon, jade green, and white. The lighting is super horrible where we have our meetings, it's much brighter in person!
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54  Re: 14 Quilt Projects in 2014 Quilt Along! in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: February 28, 2014 01:46:10 PM
Hmm yeah that is weird if the other feet aren't doing that! How do your stitches look otherwise? Are they too big or too small? If so maybe it's all a problem with speed control. I always try to go too fast and get big stitches until I remember to slow down...then 3 minutes later I'm too fast again! Cheesy

I posted a couple of finishes I've been sitting on for almost two months, finally gifted them this week!

Grandma quilt

Auntie quilt
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55  A Grandma Baby Quilt in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: February 28, 2014 01:41:49 PM
I made a "new Grandma" quilt for my best friend's mom, who just became a grandma. I also made one for my best friend since she is a new aunt!

I just did some simple modern cross blocks and used an Essex Linen for the background. I really wanted the blocks offset and at first was going to add in some half sized blocks (rectangles) in between these to make it an offset rectangular quilt, but I couldn't decide. I went to Instagram with my two designs and this one was overwhelmingly the winner. I love the partial pink blocks!

I did a fun free motion quilting pattern that a friend of mine came up with that is like beads on a string. You sew straight for a few inches and then go around in a circle about 3 times and then continue a few more inches. Each row is slightly offset from the row before as to where the beads go. Not sure if you can see it at all though, my camera broke and I can't get any decent pics from my stupid phone.

I used one of my favorite Patty Young prints on the back. Luckily, a few days after I used this up I found some more in the pink colorway on clearance Smiley Yay! Some yellow polka dots for binding and I was good to go.

I gifted this quilt and another one to my best friend this week. Here they are all wrapped up in ribbon, ready to give!

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56  An Auntie Baby Quilt in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: February 28, 2014 01:34:27 PM
I decided to make a quilt for my best friend, who just became an auntie! This is a baby quilt she can keep at her house.

This pattern is a Dutch Pinwheel and I played around with the sizing before I started so I could make big 20 inch blocks. Since I used 4 prints in each block and needed 4 HSTs of each, starting out with the 4 at a time Half Square Triangle method was perfect! In this method you do the math for your finished block to find your starting square size' (If anyone wants the formula I can look it up, it's in a book in my room somewhere). Take your two different fabrics in the starting square size, put them right sides together and stitch around all four sides. Cut on the diagonals and you have 4 HSTs that you can then trim down to the exact size needed.

When I was finishing the quilt up I happened to find this argyle fabric in the clearance room that worked perfectly for the backing!

And I've been loving black and white stripes for binding lately, such a fun contrast to the bright colors I like to use!

I gifted this quilt to my friend and another one to her mother this week, here they are all wrapped up in ribbon, ready to go!

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57  Re: 14 Quilt Projects in 2014 Quilt Along! in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: January 31, 2014 09:48:25 AM
Here's the Wonky Star tute we tend to use.


We actually started with 5 inch squares of fabric sorted by color. My Programs Coordinator and I cut a lot of fabric before our charity sew day. That yielded a block closer to 14 inches, and then we could trim it down nicely to 12.5 inches. And not sure if you can tell, but we used a combo of white, cream, and white on white prints for the background colors, which lent some more visual interest.

It was really fun! Now I need to find a good Fat Eighth friendly pattern for our next Charity sew, we have a ton of the Riley Blake MQG challenge fabrics left over, but they are cut into FEs.

Here's a couple more I made for a different charity project. The gal in charge of this quilt had us each pick a color. I woke up late on Pacific time and there was only a couple colors left lol! I normally wouldn't choose red.

And here's the start of the layout from the gal who's putting it together
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58  Re: 14 Quilt Projects in 2014 Quilt Along! in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: January 30, 2014 07:02:32 PM
Welcome, StrawberryGirl!

I had a pretty fun day with some of my guild friends working on charity projects. We got two quilt tops pieced plus made 25 wonky star blocks for a charity quilt. And went out for nummy lunch Cheesy

I also got 2 blocks done for one of my do.Good Stitches charity quilts and my friend finished her last two, so I am ready to piece that top!

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59  Lasagna French Bread and Mustard Green Beans with Walnuts in Vegetarian / Vegan by MareMare on: January 29, 2014 08:56:23 PM
With the tomatoes made ahead of time and refrigerated, this easy meal comes together in just the time it takes to saute green beans!

I made some of batgirl's Oven Roasted Tomatoes a few days ago and am so in love! I've seriously been eating this stuff with a spoon. Which is kinda nuts, since in general I'm not a fan of cooked tomatoes. I'll eat them raw all day long, but hate chunks of cooked tomatoes in soup and pasta sauce. But these tomatoes are nom! For the tomatoes I used overripe grape tomatoes, smashed garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, fresh chopped Italian parsley, and dried oregano.

For the Lasagna French Bread:

Oven roasted tomatoes, re-heated if made ahead of time (see link above)
French bread, sliced and toasted or broiled
Ricotta cheese (mix with garlic and/or parmesan if you're fancy)
Parmesan or Mozzarella, shredded, (optional)

Toast or broil bread, top each slice with a couple Tablespoons of Ricotta and a generous helping of roasted tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add some shredded cheese, if desired.

For the Mustard Green Beans with Walnuts:

Lately I've been pretty obsessed with Jennifer Prince's book Eat Like a Farmgirl: 3 Ingredient Plant Based Meals. This is my take on an idea from the book.

Fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
Olive oil
salt and pepper
garlic powder
walnuts (about 2 T per 2 cups of beans, or whatever looks like a nice amount)
Grainy mustard, I like Plochman's (about 1 T per 2 cups of green beans)

Saute your green beans over medium high heat in a little olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add your walnuts and cook until tender-crisp, or to your liking. If you get impatient you can throw in a few tablespoons of water, place a lid on the pan and let steam for a few minutes. When they are done, stir in the grainy mustard.

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60  Spinach and Grapefruit Salad in Vegetarian / Vegan by MareMare on: January 23, 2014 07:10:09 PM
I just re-read Eat Like a FarmGirl: 3 Ingredient Plant Based Recipes and ended up making this salad twice today. It's a great book that focuses on simple pairings, and pairing veggies with veggies and veggies with fruit. Simple is delicious!

For this salad I made a bed of fresh raw spinach, topped with some grapefruit wedges I had cut out of the membranes, and then a little handful of sliced almonds.

For an easy dressing I squeezed the grapefruit (after cutting out the wedges) into a jar, added 1 tablespoon of oil, 1 teaspoon of maple syrup (my grapefruit was super sweet, you might need more if your grapefruit is tart), salt and pepper and shook it up.

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