Another successful recipe from Bonne Femme – Chicken a la Diable. DH would have liked it a bit more spicy – I think the devil in the diable was overpromised by me. When I poured in the wine for this recipe, it set off the smoke alarm – so there was some devil there. This called for a tablespoon of tomato paste, but at DH’s encouragement I used a lot more, so we got a lot more sauce. Sometimes cooked tomato sauces don’t taste very good to me, but this one was excellent, of course.
I am getting good at this saute and deglaze thing. Having a good sized pan helps, definitely. And this weekend, I can’t wait to cook stuff with my brand new shiny stove. Up next is braised beef and normandy pork chops. Woot.
I know this food blogging is horrible – not sure where I am going with it. I have been such a wretched cook in the past that I am so proud of myself – but still there isn’t any point. I am going to think about it. Maybe better pictures, sharing my meal plans, favorite ingredients? I don’t know… I’ll think about it. In the meantime, here is another horrible picture of some good food I cooked. Maybe that is my hook? Bad pictures of good food I cooked. Without further comment. Gosh, I’m pretty sure you would miss this scintillating commentary though?
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
– Winston Churchill
When we have the kids for the weekend, I have to abandon my meat-based cooking because my SD is a vegetarian. Which is good for me and good for us. Last weekend I made a bacon and gruyere pasta from the Bonne Femme cookbook. This weekend I made the same pasta, but had to replace the bacon with fakin’ bacon. And add some olive oil because there is a bit more than a small difference between the amount of fat in thick-cut bacon and tempeh with smoke flavoring.
But yum – I really do love the taste of fakin’ bacon – and should use it as a substitute more often, even when the kids are with us.
And here is a really horrible picture of the pasta with the fakin’ bacon. So sorry.
I have a new sewing machine. And it is absolutely sublime. Truly. The most notable thing is the “pull”. I had no idea what a difference that made in my stitch length consistency. Really, truly, I don’t suck. I just had a small, not-so-powerful sewing machine. What a relief.
I have just scratched the surface of playing with free-motion quilting. I honestly thought that I just would never be able to do anything other than straight-line quilting with jilty stitches. But now there is hope. I practiced a lot this weekend – and I am amazed at how much better I got in a fairly short amount of time. My stitches are looking even and the back of the quilt sandwich isn’t completely humiliating.
I have not seen the benefit of improving my piecing accuracy yet. Still working on that perfect scant 1/4 inch. But that is the easy stuff, it’ll get there.
The walking foot is horrible. Loud and tetchy. Despite that, my stitch quality still was better than before. But a bit dissapointing. And then I machine-finished the binding on a BIG quilt I made and discovered that I really don’t need a walking foot because of the awesome pull of the machine. My stitches on the binding were blisfully straight with my (thin) batting and four layers of fabric. My mom has an awesome Singer, and she said that she typically doesn’t need to use the walking foot when she quilts on her machine. I was completely puzzled. Sometimes I became so desperate with my machine I thought of using the walking foot when just piecing.
I am back at work and away from my machine today, which makes me a bit sad. But it will be there when I get home. And I am relieved to know that my seeming forever-stuck-in-beginner status of finishing my quilts had as much to do with my machine as it did with me. My little machine is safely stored close by so that I can pull it out for zig zag stitching… and… uh… I’m sure I’ll think of something else.
For a complete and charming review of the sewing machine I bought, see here. It convinced me.
This is the end of the road of the aqua-red-pink-blue baby quilt finishes. This is my last bit of random blocks in this color scheme to use up.
I LOVED making the radiant splendor block from this tutorial. Even though I was a very novice sewer at the time, it was pretty easy to tackle.
I did a wonky spiral square quilting in the center of the quilt (fast becoming one of my favorite ways to quilt), with some straight line border squares on the, well, borders. I love, love, love that red floral print.
I did a scrappy red and aqua binding, using up some of a red fabric I am not to fond of, but it looks good as binding. I backed the quilt with some larger cuts of some Joann nursery-type fabric that I had. LOVE using up this fabric. I don’t see as many baby quilts in my future, so it is nice to use some of this fabric up.
I have a new sewing machine arriving on Saturday. I am very excited and very nervous. I have very much outgrown my tiny machine. But I am a little worried about a new machine slowing down my progress – setting it up, learning it, etc. My finishes may slow for a bit, and that will be ok, really.
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It, Friday.
“Don’t care about being a winner
Or being smooth with women
Or going out on Fridays
Being the life of parties
No, no more, no
There will always be someone worse than you
Sister don’t let it get to your head
‘Cause you won’t be on top of the world so long
In constant competition
This ain’t about no one in particular
But I could list a few
I’m removing myself from the queue”
– the belle brigade