Good morning, my friends. The snow was mostly gone when the sun set yesterday evening. Then, another five inches or so accumulated overnight. There's no denying it makes a pretty landscape.
The birds are appreciative of our keeping the feeders filled. This Northern Flicker was enjoying the suet cake.
After writing yesterday's post, I finished off the stitching in my hoop.
Now I've moved my hoop to encompass most of the last of it. I'll have to make up the next slow-stitching piece today or risk running out of stitching. With snow on the ground, that could be nothing short of catastrophic.
Next up, I wanted to try a different recipe for chocolate mousse. You might recall that my last effort was less than satisfactory, and I wanted to try again. When all was said and done, I had it ladled into two ramekins. From there it went into the refrigerator to set up for our dessert last night.
There was one housekeeping chore, and then I headed into the sewing room to finish off the tenth tiny house. Smitty helped by using his pointer tail to select the purrfect fabric for my little house.
Recall that I was sewing together the sections as I was able to. I like doing it that way better than waiting until the end. When sections H, I, and J were complete, I sewed them to the top section.
The kitties don't like paper-piecing any more than I do, and so Smitty was suddenly overwhelmed with fatigue and decided to spend the rest of his sewing day at his office in HR (He Rests).
Sadie took over from there.
Oh joy. More papurr-piecing. I'm thrilled. You're going to owe me your share of treats after this, Smitty.
With her help, I finished the final sections and sewed the whole thing together.
I've been pulling leftover strips of binding to make the borders. Here's the finished Tiny House #10.
Here's my tiny 10-house neighborhood.
The only other sewing I did was to add the borders to the bunny quilt. I'm thinking of calling this quilt "Mr. MacGregor's Garden."
I'll use that same border fabric for the quilt back. Today I'm hoping to get it sandwiched for quilting, and then to at least get a start on the quilting. For this kind of a quilt made up of lots of little squares, I like a straight line grid, and so it shouldn't take long to finish the quilting and get it to binding stage. I'll hold onto it for our April camping trip and hand sew the binding then. Oh yes, and you probably forgot all about the Dream Big quilt. It's still waiting for it's turn at hand-sewing the binding.
Okay, but what about that chocolate mousse, you ask? We added a healthy dollop of whipped cream to it for dessert last night, and this was a winner. It was tasty without being too sweet, and it had a nice light texture.
So, I promised you I'd share the recipe when I'd perfected it. Well, this is a different recipe, adapted from America's Test Kitchens to make it a mousse "for two." One for me. One for you. None for tomorrow.
Dark Chocolate Mousse for Two
adapted from America's Test Kitchens
4 ounces bittersweet (60% cacao) chocolate chips
1 tablespoons cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed)
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2-1/2 tablespoons water
1/2 tablespoon brandy
1 large egg, separated
1 /2 tablespoon sugar, divided
pinch table salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream (9 tablespoons)
1. Melt chocolate chips, cocoa powder, espresso powder, water, and brandy in medium heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from heat.
2. Whisk egg yolk, 3/4 teaspoons sugar, and salt in medium bowl until mixture lightens in color and thickens slightly, about 30 seconds. Pour melted chocolate into egg mixture and whisk until combined. Let cool until just warmer than room temperature, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. In clean bowl, beat egg whites at medium-low speed until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add remaining 3/4 teaspoons sugar, increase mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Whisk last few strokes by hand, making sure to scrape any unbeaten whites from bottom of bowl. Using whisk, stir about one-quarter of beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it; gently fold in remaining egg whites with rubber spatula until a few white streaks remain.
4. In now-empty bowl, whip heavy cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, about 15 seconds more. Using rubber spatula, fold whipped cream into mousse until no white streaks remain. Spoon into 2 one-cup ramekins or goblets. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set and firm, at least 2 hours. (The mousse may be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
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Oh yes, and I almost forgot. These two visited one of our shrub areas yesterday. They're no more than ten feet from our patio door. Sorry about the reflection, but look on the left and right sides of the image.
Two coyotes, hunting for squirrels. Holy crap! Well. The kitties aren't going out without us for a while. It makes me sad to have to keep them confined, but these guys would just as soon have a cat as a squirrel any day. With so much snow lately, I can imagine they're having trouble finding food. Mike is keeping a rifle ready. When they come so close to the house like this, they're too close for comfort, and they aren't particularly afraid of us. We're going to have to take drastic measures, or they'll have to move along. A few summers ago we had them coming around too often and too close, and that was when we built the catio for the kitties. I'm hoping these two won't hang around for long. If they do...well, let's just hope they move along.
Okay, so I've already told you my goals for the day. I need to make up my next embroidery project, and I'm hoping to at least get started quilting Mr. MacGregor's Garden. We need to make a quick trip into town too, but we'll wait until the snow melts off some. Also, it's my day to walk. Clearly, it's going to be a treadmill day.