February 24, 2016

Log Cabin Blanket

I love to knit and am an avid knitter.  I especially like to knit blankets.

I had pinned this blanket some time ago, and knew that I had a stockpile of wool yarn and could knit a blanket basically "for free".  

 Due to my "spending hangover" from the holidays, I declared   January and February "frugal January" and "frugal February".

I am especially proud of myself that I am able to entertain myself making these log cabin blocks with left-over wool yarn that I had "stashed" away.  I had so much that I filled a large Home Goods shopping bag full of wool yarn.  

Some of these yarns were used for other projects, and some of them had never been used at all.

This pattern is easy to memorize.  It is also fun to see all the colors come together.

I plan on doing a black border.

I actually have enough yarn to do another log cabin blanket and totally plan on doing just that.

Thanks for stopping by.


February 14, 2016

All Restaurants Aren't Created Equally

I have a lot of pictures to share in this post.  These pictures are all taken in Seaside, Florida, located in the Panhandle of Florida between Destin and Panama City.  (These pictures are taken close to sunset and with my i-Phone; so, they aren't as good as using my DSLR, but I left it at home.)  One less thing to pack.

This is the hub of Seaside.   It is shaped like a horseshoe and is lined with shops and restaurants.

Seaside is truly beautiful, as well as its neighbor, Watercolors.  It is quaint, and you can read all about it on Wikipedia.

The movie, The Truman Show "put it on the map", so to speak, as most of the movie was filmed here.

The houses are all pastels and have to be of particular architectural designs.    

It is really beautiful and worth seeing.

The American flag flies high above the shopping area of Seaside.  Shops and restaurants and local artists abound in this area.  

Finding a parking place can be a tiny bit of a challenge.  But it was a beautiful evening for a walk.

The homes are built down alleyways just like this.

This is an old fashioned diner that is right across the street from the main shopping area, which is on the same side as the beach.

And here are a few more shops along the way.

Live music was provided in front of this store.

Now to the main event.  We drove over to Seaside from Destin to eat supper.  The restaurant was recommended to us.  Shrimp and Grits is their signature dish.  One of my favorites, and something I never, ever make at home.

Pretty presentation.  Barbecued shrimp on a bed of stone-ground grits with gouda cheese, spinach, apple-smoked bacon, and a hay stack of sweet potatoes, with toasted french bread.

Cudjoe had the Prime Rib with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans.  Also, a very nice presentation.  

The service was excellent.  We were seated right away.  I had a glass of Malbec, which was very good, and the food came very quickly.  No messing around.

But . . . we were both disappointed.  

The restaurant business is a tough business, and we always try to stay gracious.  What can you do?  

You can admire the kite flying high above your heads on the beach on your walk back to the car.


February 8, 2016

Let the Good Times "Bark and Roll"

Cudjoe and I along with Molly and Gracie went to the 13th Annual Mardi Gras Dog Parade at the Village of Baytowne Wharf yesterday.  It is a hoot!  So much fun.  Lots of people line the streets arriving early to get a front row seat along the parade route.  

This was our second year attending, and so we knew to get there earlier so we could get up closer to the action.

We stood in front of the grand stand.  The Master of Ceremonies was very entertaining.  And the judges are awaiting the parade entrants.

A lot of talk about the Superbowl.  I seriously had to ask my husband, after we had been invited to a Superbowl Party -- who's playing?  

Here's a picture of the entrance of the Village.  I was sorely disappointed because the Lilly Pulitzer store was closed.  I overheard someone say it was closed for remodeling.  Last year, they had a sidewalk sale, and truth be told, I arrived early not only to get a "good seat" but to do a little shopping at Lilly Pulitzer, as I needed a gift for someone.  So, there was a twinge of disappointment.

But I soon forgot all about it once the area started to fill up with all the friendly folks and their four-legged family members.

So much fun!!

Here are a few pictures of some of the doggies that were looking very festive for the occasion:

This handsome and friendly fellow is a Shar-Pei/German Shepherd mix.

And this is a pair of bow-tied Rottweilers.

And this is Prince.  He is a Labraodoodle.  He is also a therapy dog.  I really like these dogs, and I would love to have one, but Cudjoe says they are too big for the house.  He was very well behaved and would respond to hand commands.  His coat was as soft as silk.

This guy led the way -- on stilts.  What a feat.  And he is so fun and festive.

And following the "parade leader" was a band playing "When the Saints Go Marching In".   The bands are always by very favorite part of a parade!

And here we are.  Molly and Gracie decked out in their hand-knit sweaters made by yours truly.

I hope you have a super day!!

February 2, 2016

For my Valentine!

How about these heart shaped cookies?  So pretty and so delicious, too!

I made these sugar cookies using my old stand-by sugar cookie recipe that I have had for so long, I cannot remember when or where I got it.

 I have all the recipes that I have gathered for these past many years in a ring binder.  I recently ordered a new one from Amazon because my old one had been used so much that it had literally fallen apart.

I was getting my hair colored and cut right before Christmas at Bella Donna, and they were having their Christmas party that day. One of the stylists mentioned she had made "crack dip" and how good it was and so easy to make.

Now before the days of the internet  - "gasp",  you would have to jot the recipe down on a scrap piece of paper.  But I just "googled it" when I got home, and there it was.

BTW, I made it for my son's birthday party, and it was delicious, but like I always say, anything with cheese and bacon, well, it's hard to beat.

If you feel so inclined, make these bad boys for your Valentine.  I adapted my own recipe because I didn't have enough all-purpose flour or any lemon extract.  I used self-rising flour, one tsp. of baking powder, no salt and vanilla extract instead of the lemon extract.  I let my cookie dough stand in the refrigerator for one hour.  They turned out perfectly.

Sugar Cookies

2/3 cup of butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
3-3/4 cups of flour
2 tsp. baking powder
 pinch of salt
1 tsp. lemon  extract

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Whip butter with a mixer.  Add sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
 Add eggs, one at a time until well incorporated.  

Add flour mixture together in three separate batches until just incorporated.

Let stand in refrigerator for one hour or overnight.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 20 minutes.

For the Frosting:

1 box powdered sugar (or four cups)
pinch of salt
1 stick butter (room temperature)
milk to desired consistency

Tint the frosting pink and frost each cookie.  I used a Wilton decorating tip to make borders on the cookies and sprinkled on pearl nonpareils.

Serve to your Valentine!!