Sunday, December 22, 2013

Samosas Making Time

It is that time of year when we break out the favourites. Samosas are not typically a Christmas traditional dish in my Swedish-English-Canadian background, but I can still leave the door open to try new things. These spicy potato filled treats I think I could make any time of year. So why save them for Christmas...well because I can.

From the 2011 Atco Blue Flame Kitchen, Holiday Collection.

Phyllo Vegetable Samosas

3 cups cubed peeled russet potatoes
Cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender.

Meanwhile heat 1/4 c oil in a medium fry pan over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add 1Tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp of cumin (my favourite spice in the whole world), 1/8 tsp of red pepper flakes, (and I also add 1/2 tsp of fennel seeds); cook, stirring for 2 minutes. At this point I start using the timer on my microwave so that my timings are accurate. It is very easy for me to get about you? Please ignore the fact that I doubled the recipe in these pictures.

Add 1 cup of finally chopped onion and saute until lightly browned, about 10 minutes...set the timer. Then add 1 1/2 finely chopped ginger and 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic; cook, stirring for 1 minute. I think I can handle one minute so don't set the timer.

Add the drained cooked potatoes to the onion mixture. Cook, stirring frequently and mashing the potatoes slightly, until the potatoes are lightly browned, about 8 minutes (set timer). Stir in 1/2 of green peas (I don't bother to thaw them first if frozen), 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro and juice of 1/2 lemon. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Triangle making time
Brush top of one phyllo sheet with some melted butter. Lay a second phyllo sheet on top and brush with some melted butter. Cut layered phyllo lenghtwise into 4 equal strips. For each strip place about a tablespoon of the potato mixture on. Fold bottom right-hand corner to phyllo diagonally over filling so the bottom edge meets the left-hand edge and forms a triangle. Continue folding triangle diagonally and upward until the end of the phyllo strip is reached. Brush tops with some more melted butter (you get to see why these are so good now don't you).

May be prepared to this point and frozen to enjoy later. If freezing, layer triangles with wax paper in air tight container for up to one month (HAH!).

Bake for 17-20 minutes in 400* oven until golden brown. If frozen, do not thaw before baking; bake for 17-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately with chutney or a beer.

By cutting my strips in 4 strips, I get 36 samosas some one package of phyllo dough sheets. These are so amazing...enjoy!

Friday, November 29, 2013

My Celtic Summer Solstice

I was so fortunate to co-host a tour of southern Ireland in June 2013 with my good friend Kim Caskey. Together with another group from BC led by our friend Gloria Rieben we toured all the must-sees on a first time trip to Ireland. We were together on a Kerry Coach with our driver Tony (with a y) seeing the sights and hearing the stories.

Like Bonnie Hunter's tour we too visited the Cliff's of Moher. I give credit to Bonnie as I am once again participating in her Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt and have this one of our own photos taken at the Cliffs of Moher as my constant inspiration. 

You too can visit here, as we are returning June 2014 to Ireland once again, Quilt Tours of Ireland. We will be mixing it up just a bit and including 6 Quilt Shops and Wool Shop and Sheep Farm and ... and. Quilt Tour 2014 promises to be!

Back to the Celtic Solstice; I will be cutting and sewing tonight! Here is a sample range of the fabric I will using.

Love and hugs

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Eat, Drink & Be Scary

Halloween just isn't for kids anymore. Adults have the best choices available to decorate and have fun with. I made this Eat Drink & Be Scary book last night and thanks to Urban Scrapbooker and Nicole for the fabulous materials and inspiration.

This is for decorating my desk top at work for now...and will still need a few more pictures: a mushroom, apple with one bite, an insect...
 Love and hugs

Friday, October 18, 2013

Just enough Black

I am conflicted. I do want to participate in the Rainbow scrap challenge over at SoScrappy, but my choice of rainbow scrap participation block is the Sprouts. All fun in the sun colours that you would find in any garden.

So my little bit of black used to encircle the spidey-webs in this Quiltville pattern shared by Bonnie Hunter, is my contribution to "Black is for October". The scrappiness of these spidey-webs more that makes up for the lack of adherance to the rainbow challenge rules.

This project goes a long way to cleaning off the table and clearing out the bins and baskets at my elbow...I say this outloud because somehow that will make it true!

Check out what other scrappiness is going on over at

love and hugs

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Those Baby Blues

I am loving this soft blue colour this month and have created a couple of sprouts to get me started. I seem to have alot of those vintage light blue and florals or from the "Remember the Calico" period of my quilty life.

I found enough (it takes 12) yellow 2" squares to make one more yellow sprout. I expect that this is will be how it goes in this challenge, as the more that I rout around looking for the next colour, I will find more of a former. Not necessarily a bad thing.

All this while working on my Plenty of Fish MQ, picking that name up from a popular on-line dating service. In keeping with the spirit of the fun I have named mine "50 Shades of Grey" and I am on Step 7, while others have theirs finished I know. This mystery is hosted on FB by the girls at the Prairie Quilt Mercantile.

Check out this amazing patty pan squash I 'found' in the garden this week. To prepare I steamed it for 10 minutes in large pan (resting on a custard cup) in a hot water bath.  After I removed the seeds I then scooped out the flesh with a melon baller to within a 1/2 of the skin (which is totally edible). These I chopped roughly and added to a mix of sauted bacon, onions and garlic. I piled that mixture back into the shell and before I put the lid on, I finished it off with about a 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan. The two halves back together and roasted for 20 mins. mmmmm. Love this time of year. I am also happy to report that is was great as leftovers in my lunch on Tuesday.

I think the other one will be cut in half, seeded, sliced about 1/2 thick, dredged in egg then dipped in seasoned panko crumbs and either fried or over roasted. I will keep you posted on t he variety of ways it will take to comsume all of these beauties. Anyone with another great recipe is to please chime in.

I did a Sketchy Challenge page, hosted by The Canadian Scrapbooker, of my granddaughter's new LadyBug Boots. It is a fun little exercise to do with the pictures I have already and an hour of time to really showcase the little people that I love so much.

While I had the materials out, I also did a page of my granddaughter and her Auntie Cyndi on their epic "Madi's Awesome Mountain Adventure" that they took to Jasper in June 2013.

To see what other blue loveliness is going on over at SoScrappy, check in here.
with love and hugs


Monday, September 2, 2013

That's it for Red

Out goes August (and red with it) and now onto September...what will the colour be?

I have added to the red sprouts - which I just love!!

And I found some yellow squares that somehow were missed during what ever that month was.

I have worked on some scrap booking pages for gifts (this is what I give my kids for gifts scrap-book-ready-pages of their own families). In this case I re-purposed a set of photos that I had given to MY mother for Christmas in 1979. These had been set into one of those collection frames in a very inexpensive frame and was looking very shabby. I took the pics and tossed the old frame. These pictures are from a pack horse trip my kids, and along with my sister's family, into Willmore Wilderness Park.

I have done a bit of house cleaning, or at least washed out a few kitchen cupboards and washed the floor with my new handy squirt 'n mop thingy. No one needs to see a picture of my new mop!

I took apart my bird feeders and gave them a thorough cleaning, including removing the "windows" and washing those in the kitchen sink. All set for another season of keeping my little bbb's feed for a long cold Canadian winter. I only feed shelled sunflowers to maximize their time and energy at the feeder, and they go through a bag of seed every 2-3 weeks.

I had the best treat last night. This weekend in Edmonton is the 19th Annual Symphony Under the Sky. Five performances over four days of the most beautiful music in the most beautiful setting in Edmonton. Last night's featured guest artist, with our incredible Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, was Ellis Hall and his tribute to Ray Charles performance. He rocked the joint!

I will be back to the park for the final performance this afternoon....then I will be in a very relaxed and refreshed back to work mode for Tuesday.

For more happy red scrappiness check here.

Love and hugs to all

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Seeing Red

And so, tell me. Where is the time going? Already the 24th of August and I am barely keeping  up. However, I did make a few more red sprouts

and while I still had blue green 2" square I made a few more sprouts to add to that part of my garden.

and we celebrated my oldest son's birthday, here shown with his two of his neices and nephew. As little Madi calls him...Uncle Warry.
This Puffin on Red string blocks I made for our "Little Birdie Told Me" EDQG Endowment challenge. I had pressed it and scorched it and was so dissappointed about getting it into the raffle, however I have washed in the kitchen sink, laid it flat to dry on a drying rack and it has come through almost perfect. I will have to hang this in my office now anytime I want to celebrate the colour red.
Embroidery pattern courtesy of 2008 Canadian Quilters' Assoc St. John's local organizing committee

Last weekend the Alberta Regional Lily Society met at the garden of my good friends Shauna & Terry Willoughby, Lily hybridizers and fancy fowl aficionados. Their chicken, Silkie, was keeping track of me that I did not disturb the koi fish in the pond.

Their lilies are spectacular this year.
To check out other red quilted loveliness, be sure to check out SoScrappy's Rainbow Challenge over here.
love and hugs to all

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Colour Red

This past week has been a busy one. Was travelling on an overnighter to Calgary, had 3 grandchildren for 3 days and then back to work. With a small effort in the studio this week, I was able to add one more red sprout to the growing stack. Have I told you how much I love these sprouts and sooooo look forward to the coming together of my proposed scrappy sprouts garden quilt, with generous thanks to Tracey Jay Quilts. My sprout block are made up of 2" unfinished pieces and will finish at 5" x 11". But it has been a great way to use up some of those colourwash squares. I am also expanding on my definition of neutrals as I move through the "garden".

While on a road trip organized by Sparrow Studioz, we played I Spy on the QEII, based on the 9 patch of design compostition as defined in Colour & Compostition for the Creative Quilter by Katie Pasquini Masopust and Brett Barker. AND I got another 30" round selvedge rug crocheted for my friend Kim Caskey.

The Ricky Timms workshop and entertainment was sponsored by Bernina and Calgary's "My Sewing Room". Ricky educated and entertained us with stories and lessons. One of the things that many of us came away with was to use the term collection vs. stash. So, while we shop hopped our way home; My Sewing Room (Calgary), Traditional Pastimes (Calgary), and The Pieceful Patch (Blackfalds), we were all adding to our collection. So in keeping with this month's colour, I added this fabulous print to my red/white, white/red collection. There is a plan to transform this to an expanded 9 patch design so that I can best use of those fabulous females.

While also on the RED beat, I added the Red Tea Rose Best Press. I love this stuff! and my studio just smells so nice when I even just leave the lid off and use it as a room freshener. (ps: must also clean off my pressing station)

To see what other red loveliness is going on, check out SoScrappy's linky party here.
love and hugs

Monday, August 5, 2013

August Summer Garden

Well I have talked about the garden, but maybe it is time I showed you what I get to enjoy in my own back yard.

The scarlet runner beans are being very aggressive in getting wound around their stakes.

The tomatoes are ripening every day, trying my best to keep up.

And I do love a feed of yellow beans.

And I do love sunflowers, this is the first one to bloom. I planted a variety of colours this year, so it will be fun to see them show their true colours.

A little hand holding the promise of a giant summer spaghetti be served later in the fall with garlic, EVOO and Parmesan...yum.

Nastersiums are always so fresh and cheery.

For this one I wish we had smell-a-vision...pineapple sage.

Colour, fragrance and delicious taste abounds, and some excellent garden helpers. It is the most wonderful time of the year.

Love and hugs

Holiday Monday and Sprouts of all kinds

August Long...ah the images that conjurs up. Lazy mornings, sun drenched garden, raspberries, watermelon, reading, sewing, and most of all cuddles with three of my grandchildren. Brian & Falon's three little ones are here for the weekend and we have done all of the above. They will have to go home later today, but in the meantime we have some more fun to have...spray park in on the agenda today. Last night we went to see Despicable Me 2 (in 3D) it was very very good.

But there have also been time for Grandma to get into my studio chair. While Hanna sorts red 2" squares for me, Ty and Madison are doing their patient best to see past me and watch their show on my computer.

So here is my colour sample of my sprouts collection so far. I have a lot of orange sprouts, and a lot of the sapphire blue. I did not do any green sprouts - I made FWQ blocks in green instead. This is going to make an outstanding quilt put together in the 'modern' format with a sashing treatment of to pick the perfect one.

Take some time to head over to SoScrappy and see what other RED loveliness is going on for the month of August.
Love and hugs to all

Friday, July 26, 2013

Finding Inspiration in Yellow

I recently saw a picture of an Italian lemon stand submitted by Mark Lipinski on Facebook.This photo inspires me on many make a monochramitc lemon/yellow/dusty pale orange quilt. And also inspired to travel to Italy and find a lemon stand of my own.

I have a fondness for yellow myself. My mom always called me her Golden Girl, perhaps because I wear yellow so well, or she held out hope that I would perform well in an Olympic sport (sorry to dissappoint on that front).

There would be a challenge in making a yellow quilt, as some self-appointed quilt police, say that yellow should be used very sparingly in a quilt.  I loved making the yellow slab blocks for our Alberta June Monsoon Relief Quilt. and the yellow sprouts also found in the same post.

The more I mull this over, the more I want to get into my studio and pull out every piece of yellow I have and rev up the Bernina and see where it takes me.

love and hugs

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rainy Days and Mondays

Well I shall not let this Rainy Day Monday get me down. Today it is the birthday of my oldest daughter Cynthia and also her neice and my granddaughter Odessa (who is now 5!!).

What a treasure they both are in my life.

Another thing I treasure is my time in my studio. Alternating slab blocks with my leaders and ender rainbow scrappy sprout.

I have been pleasantly surprised and delighted with the interest in the Quilting in the Lazy Bear Lounge retreat that will take place at Pine Bungalows in Jasper, dates are September 27 -29.

Wishing you all well.
Love and hugs

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Annual Lily Show and a few more sprouts

July is the busiest of months for lily shows. The Martagons and Species lilies are finished (almost) blooming,  and so we were surprised to find such a nice selection at the Alberta Regional Lily Society Annual show this weekend. As Show chair and then Student Judge, I get to see it all from the ground up.  The lilies presented were the best stems and designs put forth by lily lovers from the region. Bob Yaremko from Bruderheim had the best of show with a stunning species L Michiganensii.

I was thrilled that my hastily put together "Bowl" arrangement won first place. It was fun to use the sprigs of chokecherries to create a bit more interest. Big thanks to my friend Leo Krupka for the 11th hour garden raid to gather up more lilies.

Meanwhile back at the Bernina, I did add a few more blue-green sprounts,

As well as two more yellow sprouts.

Head on over to SoScrappy to see what other aqua loveliness is going on.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Of Sprouts and Slabs

I have been creating using blue green scraps and bits to create these beautiful Sprouts. There will be another month to use pale blues. I need more neutral backgrounds to fall in the bin.

I will definitely need to make more yellow ones.

I have been on a mission and building slab blocks (design shared by Cheryl Arkison) that are being used in a "Quilting for Calgary" quilt that my U of A work place bee group (MM's stands for Material Management) have all contributed to.  So this explains where some of my yellow and blue-green scraps have gone.

Speaking of the very generous, Matt and Bradie of Sparrow Studioz, have opened their studio for the next two Sundays (already had 3) to anyone able to help with finishing the dozens and dozens of flimsies that are arriving daily at the Studioz (for quilting & binding). I got my very first try on a LA at Kim Caskey's machine helping with the pile. What a great deal of fun that was and could become quite addicting.  Thanks to Kim for guiding me through the process and advancing the machine at the end of each row. This quilt will be donated to the "Quilting for Calgary" and given to a victim of the horrific Alberta June Monsoons.

Our quilt in now quilted and ready for binding. AND yes, now that I see it hanging there I see I should have moved those two orange blocks so they were adjoining.