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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Quick supper - Smoked Salmon Fettuccine on: August 03, 2017 08:16:39 AM

This is a quick pasta meal I made up recently that turned out well, especially as it has been very humid, and hot lately.  You can cook the pasta anyway you want, but this is the way I have been doing it for awhile, to reduce energy and decrease heating up the house when it is this hot and sticky.   Also, it uses thickened yogurt, versus say cream or a more complex roux-based sauce, for a simple and cheap ingredient.  It got the thumbs up from Jim.  If you can eat gluten - feel free to use regular pasta!

Smoked Salmon Fettuccine
serves about 4-6


1 package (340 gm) gluten-free fettuccine (I used Catelli or Barilla here)
1 recipe yogurt cheese (about 2 cups, made from 1x750 mg bucket of yogurt)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried dill
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 package smoked salmon (about 1/2-2/3rds of a lb), roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups peas, thawed if frozen
(alternately, some trimmed, sliced, and blanched fresh asparagus)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 - 4 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
(optional - 1 tbsp dijon mustard).

Anyways, the yogurt cheese made a nice creamy sauce.  Also, this was a quick weeknight meal and in light of the recent heat and humidity, actually was bad to make with the induction cook top and the method of cooking I have been using for pasta for awhile.

I boiled water and salted.  Added the fettuccine.  When it came to a boil again, stir pasta lightly, turn off the heat, and cover the pot for about 8-10 minutes.  Once or twice, stir gently again, and cover the pot, to keep the pasta from sticking too much.  When pasta is al dente, add the peas to the hot water and drain.  Maybe save a bit of the pasta water to thin the sauce in case it is needed.

Combine the yogurt cheese, dijon, parmesan, dill, capers, lemon juice/zest, salmon, and mix gently and thoroughly into pot of pasta.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add a splash of water and stir gently if sauce too thick.  Serve right away.

A bit more on my blog if you are interested.
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / An ode to coffee... on: August 03, 2017 07:57:05 AM

Jim wanted a sign like this for awhile after I showed him a fun stamp I found that was similar, that I used as inspiration for a bag I made a friend.  A bit of background is that I tend to be an early bird and up several hours before him, so by the time he gets up and comes down, I am well-caffeinated and often have a list of chores for him (... Jim, could you....).  Often well before his first cup of coffee.  He wanted this sign so he can point to it as a reminder to at least let him get that first cup of coffee.

He recently did a stair renovation and these were cut-off pieces from the risers, that he was going to discard or use as kindling, so I grabbed them up to craft with and used one for this sign.  I basically burned on the dark lettering, and burned the outline and used pencil crayon and a solvent for the colour - I wanted the wood grain to show through.  I should have just painted it as the acrylic finish made the colour run a bit and I had to try to clean that up a bit.  Also, it is oak veneered plywood, so I was afraid to sand the surface too much, and the edges were rough, so that did get sanded and painted.  But I felt it was not too bad for a piece of scrap that was going to be tossed out.

He's not a big fan of poetry (outside of the man from Nantucket...), but this is a poem he can get behind... and our kitchen decor has taken on a definite snarky theme, with some of the other pieces we have in there!

A bit more about it on my blog if anyone is interested.
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Don't #$%^ with Grey's night! on: July 24, 2017 06:54:15 AM

This is a purely for me project I just finished.  The basis of it is that I *LOVE* Grey's Anatomy - am totally addicted.  Thursday is sacrosanct because of it.  Do not plan anything, no dinner out, shopping, whatever is to be planned on Gray's Night, short of an emergency... dinner has to be had early, the garbage put out beforehand, etc, etc, because when the first sound of Meredith Grey starting the opening monologue, or the first notes of the theme song sound, there is NOTHING that must interrupt my enjoyment of the show, until it is over... and even then, thanks to different time zones, and satellite, I may rewatch it on another channel, and don't screw with that!

Over the years, that has been whittled down to this one phrase, which often will start being said around mid-September, to May, and periodically during reruns in between, starting about Monday, if Jim starts to say, "Maybe we can..... on Thursday....".

No.... don't do it....

I had been threatening to make a sign for a couple of years now, to save myself the effort of having to verbalize it, and I finally did it this past week.  Stash-busting some cotton floss, on simple white cotton, backed onto a fiber covered canvas board.

Showed it to Jim and he just laughed - btw - don't feel to sorry for him - Wednesday night is his night for his shows - and I am not supposed to f*** with that night.... he would get a sign, but I refuse to embroider "Don't fuck with Ice Road Truckers night" - it's not as pithy.

If anyone is interested, there is more on my blog - including a link to a free typography/poster-making site that I used to work out the layout for this.
4  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / A Snowball's Chance.... on: July 23, 2017 02:32:52 PM
This is another ornament diorama I made for Thimbles71 for the Christmas in July swap.  She had listed ornaments and snowmen in her questionnaire and I knew I wanted to make this.  I had a bunch of ornaments in my stash and some cute snowmen glass beads I bought to make a bunch of these for my annual ornament at some point, so I decided to make one for now.

I took a small non-breakable ornament, and cut one part away.  I supported the structure (it's kind of flimsy and flexible when part is cut away) with a couple of layers of decoupaged paper, then painted it.

I took some miniature trees and mounted it inside the ornament, adding the snowman in front.  I added snow texture medium to the outside, and a finer version of it inside, and a bit of glass glitter to the inside.

I really like how it turned out, and it is a bit of a kick in the ass for me to get started, as I have all the materials, and this type of project takes so many stages, I really should start early!

A lot more pics an info on my blog if anyone is interested.
5  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Sweet Friend.... on: July 14, 2017 02:47:52 AM
These are some note cards I made for the Bird, Bee, and Butterfly swap - I have this adorable bee stamp, and an idea to layer honeycomb elements - stenciled layers, and die cut layers.  These ended up being mini note cards, about 3x5 I think.

One set was made with two layers of blue, and the other with yellow and black card stock.

Lots of different elements were used, including stamping, some water colour, and inking with new Distress Oxide inks - I am loving how they look, especially layered over darker card stock.

I ended up making two sets of 12 cards, with matching envelopes - 2 sets of 6 each for my partner and myself!

More about both sets on my blog - the yellow set here, and a bit about the blue set here.
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / A Day at the Beach... on: July 14, 2017 02:36:05 AM
I made this for the Bird, Bee, and Butterfly swap for my partner.  Undersea_sun said that sandpipers were one of the birds she loves, so I found this sandpiper image and freehand stitched it with black thread on white cotton.  I was aiming for that sketched drawing look.  

I also cannot say how much I love Morgan hoops
- they hold the fabric so drum-tight that stitching is a dream.

I wanted to make a beachy image, so coloured the fabric, after stitching, with Gelatos and water colour crayons, using wet brushes to blend the colours.  I really wiffle-waffled, as I really like how it looked as the basic black on white, but my original plan was to add colour, so I just went for it.

I then stretched and mounted the piece on an 8x10" piece of canvas board, with a layer of felt under the fabric, and stitched it in place, and covered the back with card stock with the swap info on it.

A lot more pics and stuff on my blog if anyone is interested....
7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Mother's Day / Cards for the Moms... on: June 25, 2017 05:58:19 AM
I made these for the moms for Mother's Day... did not get around to making the roses like I wanted - I wanted to make jumbo roses for them.  BTW, they still both have the roses I made for them a few years ago - though MIL keeps moving them onto and of the dining room table and the cats like to play with them, so hers are getting a bit sad looking.

So this year, they got cards and a little gift, plus flowers.

I wanted light and bright, so I went with white cards, with a textured base.  I added a stamped and inked panel, and embossed flowers and sentiment over top.

More about it on my blog if anyone is interested, including more pics.

If anyone is interested in how to make the embossed die cuts, I did a bit of a tutorial here.
8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Father's Day / Cards for the Dads... on: June 25, 2017 05:50:33 AM
I always have a harder time figuring out a masculine card, so Father's Day takes some brain twisting...

I made this for this year, and both Dad's seemed to like them.  Dad in law commented on the different layers and texture.  I layered different patterns of paper, using a ruler patterned washi tape over the seam, and made a textured panel with aluminum tape that was embossed, then to take away the silver shine, I distressed it with some bronze acrylic ink.

More about it on my blog is anyone is interested, including more pics
9  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Vintage cold crab dip... on: June 25, 2017 05:44:02 AM
I love this stuff - love love love love love it.  MIL makes it every year and it is a sacrifice for her as there is not a knife she has not met that does not cut her - actually, any kitchen utensil that has not cut/burnt/grated/injured her in some way.  So chopping veggies is quite the sacrifice for her.  For that matter, I just do it for her when I go over, because I hate thinking of all of the bits of her we have probably digested over the years.  Regardless, she makes a great cold crab dip and I finally asked for the recipe this year... and will share it here.

We love the stuff- to the point where she no longer jsut makes one to serve at Christmas or at potlucks, but makes about 6 or so containers to send home too. 

One problem is that one of the ingredients is not gluten-free.  While that makes me gleeful as I don't have to share with Jim, that also means I will be figuring out to replace it for the future.  He's a bit whiny about not being to have it...

Crab Dip
(makes about about 5 cups - as far as I am concerned - 1 serving...)

1x 8 oz package of cream cheese
1x10 oz condensed tomato soup
1 cup Miracle Whip
7 oz frozen crab meat or more to taste, defrosted, and pulled apart finely
1 1/2 pkgs unflavoured gelatin
1 cup or 1 can of water (not sure, as MIL only put "1 water" - but 1 can seemed to give the constency we needed)
finely diced pepper, celery, onion

Melt the cream cheese in a pot on low heat, stir in soup to mix well.  Add gelatin to the water and let bloom, then combine with soup mixture.  Let cool 10 minutes or so.  Combine the Miracle Whip, crab, and veggies to mixture, mix well, and let set in fridge overnight.  Hide away from husband in corner of craft room and eat entire tub of same with all his gluten free crackers while laughing maniacally, spewing cracker crumbs everywhere... uh, I mean serve next day with crackers...

More here, with more pics if desired.   At some point I will add the GF modification.
10  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Fluttering wings... on: June 25, 2017 05:31:38 AM
I realized I have not been posting a lot of my own projects - primarily food... but I have been making!

I made a set of these for the latest Notecard swap.  I left them without sentiment so they can be used for any purpose.  I also love how inked papers look against black, so I made a the base from black card stock.  I used  cold pressed water colour paper for the die cuts, inking them with colour before cutting.  I water stenciled some light floral shapes in the blue center panels, and they came out very light, but I like the variance in tones in the background.

I added a vellum and black paper butterfly.  I die cut and shaped the flowers and leaves, glued them around the wreath and added little pearl centers.  I added a bit of Wink of Stella in clear for a bit of subtle sparkle.

I made about 8 in total, half of them top fold, and half side fold.  I added a liner of lighter paper in the center of each card so a sentiment or note can be added, inside.

More here if anyone interested to see some more pics of details.
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