February 24, 2015

Macy's Chevron Blanket

This sweet little blanket is for my niece, Macy.  

 My Mimmie taught me to crochet when I was a young girl.   Oh, how I loved sitting by her on the couch and watching her crochet or lap-quilt one of her creations.  I do wish I would have learned to quilt from her.  She made beautiful afghans and beautiful quilts.  

It has been so many years since I made a blanket like this, I had to refresh my memory.  It is very easy to crochet, works up quickly, and is loads of fun to make.  I especially enjoyed watching the colors come together.  Unfortunately, I don't have my big camera with me and am using a small camera that is easy to carry in my purse.  The colors aren't exactly accurate, but you get the idea.

I double crocheted most rows with some half-double crocheted rows mixed in.   I added these cute little pom-poms for the border across the top and bottom.

I used "I Love this Cotton" yarn from the Hobby Lobby.  This is a soft yarn in nice colors.
However, it does shed and especially on black pants.  I wear a lot of black, so I have to keep a lint roller handy when I'm working with this yarn.  

I hope you enjoy it, sweet Macy!!

February 16, 2015

"Woofstock" Mardi Gras Dog Parade

My hubby and I went to the Mardi Gras Dog Parade yesterday at  the Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.  It was a be-a-utiful, sunny 64-degree day.  The streets were full of people and their four-legged family members, too.  This stilted fellow led the way for the "Woofstock"-themed parade.  He was followed by a jazz band.  So much fun.

Parade entrants decorated their golf carts and pooches in full Mardi Gras regalia.
There were so many people lining the streets that it was difficult to see from our vantage point.  Cudjoe got these pictures with his iPhone . . . because he's tall.  I could only get the backs of people's heads!

This past weekend, February 13 and 14 was the Annual Gumbo Festival at Baytowne Wharf.  On Sunday was the annual Mardi Gras Dog Parade, and Tuesday, the 17th, will be the annual Mardi Gras parade (featuring people, not puppy dogs).  Loads of fun.

How about the awesome scenery?  I love the purple and yellow mix of pansies.

 The Poodle brigade.

This "older gentleman" was very laid back and friendly, true to his Golden Retriever nature.   

And how about this fellow?  Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed Shar Pei.  And . . . he kept his hat on his head.  Pretty amazing if you ask me.

 Here is another shot of him.  He deserves the best-dressed award.

This is Tessa a three-year old rescue miniature dachshund.  She was so, so sweet and well-behaved.

This sweet little Lhasa Apso is 16-years old.  His owner said he figured he didn't need a leash because he wouldn't get that far in front of him!

And here I am with Molly, our little Cavalier King Charles mix.  Gracie must be hidden behind my leg.

 There they both are.  We are patiently waiting for the parade to start.

And here's hubby watching the parade.  The girls were not sure about any of this.  It was their first parade!

 A fun way to spend the day!


February 11, 2015

Hot Dog! A Farmer's Market!

On our way to the grocery store Saturday morning, we happened upon this Farmer's Market.  I literally exclaimed, "Hot Dog"!  I absolutely love, love, love a Farmer's Market.  It was a gloriously beautiful winter day complete with warm sunshine and brilliant blue skies.

The produce was awesome.  Everything your heart desires.   Cudjoe is buying new potatoes, bell peppers, and tomatoes.

How about a little chicken salad or broccoli cheese soup for lunch?

 I bought lasagna with homemade meatballs from Mamma Mia's Homemade Pasta and More.  It was sold frozen.  I baked it in a 350 degree oven for about an hour.  It was very good; lots of cheese, and the meatballs were great.

This vendor had infused Olive Oils.  One I remember is red pepper olive oil.  I'm so going to do this at home.

This is a view from behind the Farmer's Market.  There was a vendor who made and sold cupcakes, and another vendor who sold bread and pastries.  While I was sorely tempted to buy the pastries, I resisted.  They looked yummy.  (Maybe next week!)

This Farmer's Market is located at Sandestin next to Tommy Bahama's Restaurant every Saturday morning and at Rosemary Beach on Sunday's.  So it you miss them on Saturday morning, you can drive over to Rosemary Beach on Sunday.

This young man was providing music to add to the loveliness of the day.  

We also bought crab cakes from Chesapeake on the Gulf Homemade Jumbo Lump Maryland Crab Cakes.  They came ready-to-form into patties in an 8-ounce plastic container.  We fixed them for our supper last night.  It made three patties.  We baked them in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes.   They were delicious.  I've honestly never had  better.  We also boiled the new potatoes, skins on, salt, pepper and butter.   We also sliced some of the "tomatoes that tasted like tomatoes".  Wow!  Better than a restaurant meal!!

 Caprese salad I made with our Farmer's Market tomatoes.  Lovely.


February 7, 2015

36 Restaurant & Bar

My son and daughter-in-law, John Eric and Vanessa Klein, are opening a restaurant at 36 North Main in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.   Cape Girardeau is located on the Mississippi River 115 miles south of St. Louis.  This is a fine dining restaurant complete with white tablecloths, steaks, and a significant wine list.

Standing upstairs in the "Loft at 36",  you will enjoy this magnificent view of the Mississippi River.  These two murals are part of the Mississippi River Tales Mural that are painted on the levee wall.   Their property fronts Main Street and has a courtyard with an entrance to the back.  The back entrance is on Water Street.  There will be seating in the courtyard, weather permitting.
The "Loft at 36" will be an events venue for private parties or meetings.

Back in October, Rodney and I went over and helped John Eric and Vanessa clean up the courtyard.  It was somewhat overgrown and needed some serious "yard work".
 While we were working that day, the American Queen was docked on the river, and a trumpet player was playing jazz music.  It was utterly charming!

John Eric is hard at work here preparing to hang a mirror.  
In its last life, this building was an antique store.  Main Street  has many wonderful antique stores and several other restaurants to choose from.  The downtown area of Cape is very up-and-coming boasting many beautiful, historical buildings.  John Eric and Vanessa purchased the building in August and began their renovation.  They will open for business on Valentine's Day.

Here's my hubby, who is the "supervisor" this particular afternoon.  In the background, you can see the brick wall which was covered in plaster when they started their renovation.  Their original idea was to completely expose the brick wall, but they decided instead to expose part of the brick and to repaint the plaster.  They had new hardwood floors put in, added the sconces, and, wow, it is beautiful!

 John Eric and Vanessa have worked very hard to make their dream come true, and I wish them great success in the years to come.  You can follow their journey on their Facebook Page, 36 Restaurant & Bar, LLC.

 If you are visiting the area or if you live nearby, stop by and spend some time with them.


February 2, 2015

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

My son's birthday is this week, and I recently made dinner for him.  I made these yummy dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting for dessert.

I love chocolate and peanut butter together.   And these cupcakes did not disappoint.  I hope they liked them as much as I did.  They are in the process of opening a restaurant.  Very exciting!!  They have been very busy; so I took dinner to them.  Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy - his favorite, and, of course, these tasty little cupcakes.

Here's how I did it:

I used a Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Cake Mix following the directions on the box with this exception:  I substituted one cup of milk for one cup of water.

I frosted them with this Peanut Butter Frosting:

Makes one recipe
I used one and a half recipes for 18 cupcakes

1 cup peanut butter
5 Tablespoons of butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 to 3 Tablespoons of Half and Half or until desired consistency
1 box of powdered sugar, sifted

Whip peanut butter and butter together, add powdered sugar in a couple of batches so you won't have to clean up a mess.  Mix in vanilla and Half and Half.
I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment.

I used a pastry bag with a large tip and filled each cupcake with frosting and then frosted the  cupcakes with the same bag and tip.

Serve to family and friends!!