Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Foolin' Around

 This tasty treat is inspired by a recipe I found over at 
When I realized I didn't have enough almond flour or eggs
on hand, I decided I'd fool around with the recipe 
and wound up with this scrumptious loaf.

Here's the recipe the way I made it:

Chai Banana Bread

1-1/2 cups almond flour
1-1/2 cups quinoa flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. Kosher or sea salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cardamom
3 ripe bananas
2 whole eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Oven to 325 degrees F. 

In a bowl, whisk the flours, soda, salt and spices (through cardamom.)
In a larger bowl, mash the bananas and whisk in
the eggs, syrup, oil and extract.
Add the dry to the wet, stirring until well mixed.
Pour into a greased loaf pan.
Bake 50- 55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and dry.
Let cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan.
Cool completely before cutting.

Slather on natural peanut butter, homemade jam
or cream cheese and you're in business!
Look what's growing in the woods! 
A Jack-in-the-Pulpit.
I recognize it only because of the hours upon hours 
spent in my youth pouring over the incredible, 
iconic paintings of Georgia O-Keefe.
I'd say that was time well spent. ;)

The time I spend walking through the woods, 
working in the garden, and smelling lilacs 
and hyacinths is fueling my imagination.
While it's too early for pictures, I can say that designs 
are flowing, and adorable stitched keepsakes are in progress.
 There's plenty of wool felt, dyed wools, light weight cottons, 
linen, beautiful threads - the stuff of my life, sigh!

I'd love to hear what you're working on 
that makes you happy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Newt Discovery

Yes indeed, Spring has sprung.
And so, too, have creatures great and small in our back yard.
I will spare you the gruesome story of exactly how I came
to discover this Newt, but perhaps it's enough to say
the words Stanley, baby rabbit and shovel. 
Maybe that was too much.
Well, as I uncovered this guy, contrary to what I expected,
he didn't move a muscle. 
And when I returned with my camera, he remained steady 
for his debut. Good Newt.
We'll see how long he sticks around.
 Sorry, but I just can't get enough of our flowering cherry 
and crab apple trees. Wildly inspiring, wouldn't you say?
 While I've been busy in the Studio and at the computer
working on new designs, (hooray!) and (more to follow!)
I've managed to squeeze in a few minutes 
here and there to piece together 
the Lost and Found quilt top. 

Thanks to all who offered opinions about the sashing. 
I think it all came together pretty well, don't you?
Next come layering, quilting, and my personal favorite, binding. 

Stay tuned for the final update on this unique quilt,
as well as the exciting work happening in the Studio. :)

Wishing you all a safe and fun-filled Memorial weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Let's Have a Picnic!

We've been enjoying an early warm streak here in 
upstate NY, which has inspired me to (finally) finish 
this cheerful "S" Block quilt. 
It's just begging for a picnic, don't you think? 
Today, I'm sharing my recipe for a special springtime treat,
perfect for the picnic basket or the dinner table, 
Wild Ramps Pesto. 
Below, I share ways to incorporate it into your next meal
The recipe makes enough to freeze or share (above). 
Be forewarned, this savory pesto is powerful - 
a little goes a long way!

If you're unfamiliar with ramps, they're
wild-growing and of the lily family. You'll find them 
in the woods throughout the Northeast and 
as far south and west as VA and OH.
Their potent flavor is a cross between leeks and garlic,
and their foraging season is about six weeks.
If you forage for the first time, please review some videos 
on YouTube so that you're confident in what you're looking for.
So, if you're lucky enough to get your hands on some ramps, 
here's my little recipe. Adjust to suit your taste.

Ramps Pesto

1 cup walnut pieces
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
4 modest bunches of ramps*, cleaned and rough chopped
Pinch of sea salt or Kosher salt

Place these 4 ingredients in the food processor and 
give them a few whirrs.

Then, with the machine steadily running, slowly drizzle in 
about 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
until the mixture is as thin or thick as you like.
Fill approximately 3 pint sized mason jars.

* This recipe considers about 13-14 ramps to be a modest bunch.
It can be frozen and will keep in the fridge for a few months.

Now, think pasta with sauteed mushrooms, onions and peas 
finished with a swirl of this savory pesto, 
or add a small dollop on your cheesy veggie omelet.
Try a generous spoonful stirred into a pot of buttery mashed potatoes.
Work a few spoonfuls into your biscuit dough....sigh.
Schmeer a bit onto a cracker. Top with your favorite cheese. Repeat.

If you make Wild Ramps Pesto, I'd love to hear how you use it! 

I'm smitten with this super fun "S" Block quilt!
The mere thought of being wrapped in all that color 
makes me happy. 
No picnic? Just add puffy clouds and a good book.

Many of the fabrics are from 
Lizzy House's Castle Peeps collection by Andover.
Thankfully, my towering scrap pile afforded me plenty of additional 
fabrics to ensure that no two alike touch each other.  

The "S" Block is a great beginner block.
It's a decent scrap buster if you have plenty of wider strips on hand.
For quilting, I stitched in the ditch of every block, stitching giant S's,
 and then in the ditch between the blue and the green borders.
I tossed it in the washer and dryer, and ta-da, 
there's that lovely crumpled-worn-and-loved look I'm so fond of!

Now, I'm off to pull together fabrics for my next two Project Linus quilts:


Thanks to everyone who voted on Facebook and here on the blog!
(quilt patterns by

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hyacinths for Mom

Happy Mother's Day,  Mom!

A quick update on my Lost and Found quilt:
The quilt top is now sewn together (above).
Layering, quilting and binding are next, 
but before I get too far with all of that, 
I'd better figure out a label! Using some of the
scraps will keep it fun and happy.

I love how the entire piece is progressing, 
and while it's a bit stronger in feel than I anticipated, 
it's undoubtedly handsome and sharp.
An unexpected and welcome surprise.
When it's done, I'll show you the final quilt. :)

The studio is a busy place these days -
design work, quilting and hand work.
Life is good. 
Thanks for stopping by!