It's been a busy couple of days. Yesterday, I had just a few easy chores to do, but then I spent most of the day sewing...either by machine or by hand. The machine sewing was spent finishing off the top-stitching and machine embroidery for New Mexico Kitchen.
Relaxing and Sewing
It wasn't finished yet though. Next, I needed to do some hand embroidery. I added some vegetables to the stew, divots in the potato skin, holes for the salt shaker, and a name for the bottle of chile powder. I was going by the pattern spelling, but I think "chile" should actually be spelled "chili." Now I'm going to have to look at my own bottle of spices...so thanks...a LOT! It isn't finished yet. I still need to add the fringe to the table cloth across the bottom, which is a royal painus in the anus. I'm not sure I would ever have started this if I'd realized how much I'd hate that part. I do kind of like the look though...so there's that.
So what do you suppose they were killing? It's one of those little caps that covers the prongs on an appliance plug to protect it during shipping. They make the best cat toys ever.
Once it was done in and dead, Sadie had to decide what to kill next. Would it be the pen cap? Or would it be the stuffed "tootsie roll" catnip toy behind her.
So have you ever asked yourself who really killed Colonel Mustard? I'm saying it was Sadie, in the Mewseum, with her Laser Lights.
The most exciting thing to happen yesterday, aside from murder and mahem, of course, was the arrival of my latest shopping binge at Crabapple Hill Studios. I've been watching Meg Hawkey stitch up this little binder cover on social media. Ordinarily, this sort of thing wouldn't appeal to me, but watching her stitch had me sold before it even appeared on the website. This is the Snowy Wonderland Stitch Binder. It fits one of the smallish binders widely available in office supply stores.
If you click on this link, you can see that it also includes patterns and instructions for a snowflake pincushion, needlecase, scissor fob, and two types of pocket pages. It was too stinking cute for me to resist. I hope I live long enough to stitch it. If not, I'll leave it to one of you in my will.
Okay, so I promised I'd tell you about the wild rice stuffing I made for our Cornish hens on Thanksgiving. The stuffing mix is actually from a completely different recipe for Roasted Delicata Squash with Wild Rice-Cherry Stuffing.
The recipe appeared in our local newspaper some years ago. It's not available online, and so I'll give it to you here. It's supposed to be made with a leek. I couldn't get leeks the day we went grocery shopping, and so I substituted a shallot for that. I didn't miss the leek. Also, it's supposed to be made with dried tart cherries, also unavailable when we went grocery shopping. I substituted dried cranberries infused in cherry juice. I did kind of miss the dried tart cherries, but the dried cranberries were good too.
If you're unfamiliar with delicata squash, it looks like this.
It's a relative newcomer to the squash scene, although they've been around for several years. The flesh is very tender, and it can be peeled. The little green bits in the ridges will be left behind, but it's good to eat. This recipe for Delicata Squash with Caramlized Shallots & Sherry is another great way to prepare it.
I love wild rice, and so when Mike asked for stuffing in our Cornish hens, I thought of this wild rice stuffing immediately. If you make the whole recipe, it makes a ton. I used only a little bit in our Cornish hens, but I picked up a delicata squash while we were shopping to make another meal. It's very filling, and one squash will easily feed two for dinner. Here's the recipe:
Roasted Delicata Squash with Wild Rice-Cherry Stuffing
2 cups wild rice
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
4 delicata squashes (2 to 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium leek, thinly sliced, white and light green parts only (2 cups)
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely minced
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried tart cherries
1 cup vegetable stock
4 ounces crusty whole-wheat bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (3 cups)
1 cup warm water or vegetable stock
Rinse the wild rice and place it in a medium mixing bowl. Cover with lukewarm water and let rice soak for 1 hour. Drain. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Add the rice, cover and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until rice is just tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
While the rice cooks, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Halve the squashes lengthwise and scrape out seeds and stringy bits with a teaspoon. Brush the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them cut side down in a lightly oiled baking dish, and bake for 30 minutes or until they are barely tender. While the squash bake, heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat, add the leek and celery and cook until the leek is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add sage, rosemary, salt and dried cherries, and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add stock and bring to simmer; remove from heat.
Drain the wild rice and place it in a mixing bowl. Add the contents of the saute pan and the bread cubes, and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the baked squash with the stuffing and place back in the baking dish. Add 1 cup of warm water or stock to the bottom of the baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake until squash are tender and the stuffing hot, about 20 minutes. Uncover baking dish and bake until stuffing is crisp, about 10 minutes more. Serve hot.
If you have leftover stuffing, it can be frozen, so make as much as you like and freeze any leftovers for another meal down the road.
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Okay, so we've been in the Oregon gloom for the past week or so. This morning is looking bright and sunny. We're expecting a pretty nice week ahead.
I'm planning to take tomorrow off from blogging. Mike has a routine medical procedure scheduled, but it's the kind of procedure that requires a designated driver, and so I'll be going with him for that. Later this week, I have my own medical appointment. Since I'm going into town anyway, I'm planning to drop off some gifts of Cranberry Apple Mustard with Erik and Mae and Sue, and then Sue and I will go for a walk. We haven't walked together in a long time.
As for today, I'll finish off the New Mexico Kitchen block, and then I'll move along to the next WIP on my list...the City Bank quilt. Here's where I left off last time:
When I worked on this last time, I decided to add in more lavender and purple. I'm running out of appropriate greens and blues...which was kind of the point. I still have plenty of greens and blues, but I'm only using solids and tone-on-tones. Also, I'm close to finishing up the Calendula Patterdrip's Cottage stitchery, and so I need to get going making up the next block for Pieces of the Past.
There's lots on today's agenda. How are you keeping busy on this Sunday?