It seems like it has been a while since I could share with you what I am working on in the sewing room. But, alas, everything I am currently doing is a secret. And it is multiple projects, LOL!! First, I am making progress on Pachanga, but I can’t show you that yet. Second, there is a super secret project that is in the works. Then, I finished a special tutorial project for Hands2Help, but that will be on Sarah’s blog in May. I’ll be starting on another project this week that will be for Fat Quarter Shop’s Jolly Jabber blog in June, but naturally I cannot share that yet either. The one thing I can show you is the completed project of my embroidered wall hanging. The pattern and instructions will be on the MadamSew blog soon. I had two articles published at MadamSew in March. I write for them on a freelance basis from time to time and I am one of their affiliates. See my recent articles on Planning Borders, and on Thrifty Quilting, and check out their great deals in their store while you are there, like this deal on rotary cutter blades and see their Best Sellers too.
This week I got a new cookbook from Milk Street called Tuesday Nights Mediterranean due to be released next week. Part of the fun of being on their blogger list for publicity is I get freebies from time to time, and advance copies of cookbooks. This one has so much I wanted to try right off the bat, I had a dozen little orange stickies on pages with just the first look through!
I had some pork chops, and decided to try something out of my normal flavor choices with an Italian Sweet and Sour Pork. Looking at the ingredient list, I had everything needed in the pantry. The chops are pan seared, then kept warm while a quick sauce is made with shallots (or onion), vinegar, honey and butter.
The book is divided into chapters of fast, faster and fastest, with this recipe stating a time of 40 minutes from start to table. And it actually took less time than that. It lived up to its name of sweet and sour, with the honey providing the sweet, and the vinegar providing the sharper sour. The only thing I didn’t have was fresh parsley, my plants are too little yet to snip from them. So I used a bit of dried parsley for color. If you like the sharper sour taste of pickled foods, you’d probably like these. For us, next time I’ll substitute bourbon for the vinegar to get a deep smoky flavor a bit less sour. The next recipe I plan to try a shrimp and spinach risotto dish that looked scrumptious.
Earlier in the week, I got a couple of cards stamped to send for Easter. On one, I stamped the hummingbird and used color pencils to add more color to the image. On the other, a bit of recycled florals are stamped with a spring sentiment.
In the garden, I deadheaded the hydrangea, and it is leafing out nicely. I am hoping for some really nice blooms this year. I put more lime on it as well, trying to push the color toward lavendar and pink.
The redbud is beginning to bud, it should be beautiful in another week or so.
Once again this year, it appears the peach tree is blooming and promises some clingstone fruit. Now, once again, we will see if I get the peaches or the bear does. He wins most years.
This big boy has been visiting regularly, with an ear splitting gobble trying to get the attention of the ladies.
But I think he is out of luck, as this little flock of females already has one male with it. I hope I get to see the little ones this year. They have come by several days for bits of whole grain bread.
On the bird feeder, a new visitor came. This is a cowbird. I don’t remember ever seeing one before. They are called brood parasites, as they do not make nests of their own. Instead they lay eggs in other birds nests and leave the young for someone else to care for. They often take the place of the host birds eggs, pushing the others out of the nest to make room. Plus the young ones hatch quicker and grow faster, pushing the songbird’s eggs or hatchlings out of the nest. I just hope it doesn’t stay around as we have so many pretty songbirds, and I don’t want those to suffer.
I had a lovely day out earlier this week, meeting some friends for a meal outside at Champa in Hendersonville which rescued a awful start. I’d been able to have my hair cut that morning, and for only the second time in my life, I got a horrible cut. The back looked like I had hacked it off myself and the sides were not the same length. It was so bad that another stylist in the salon had to do her best to even it up, and of course in the process cut it way too short for the style. Ugh!!! Oh well, it will grow, but that takes time. In the meantime, I may wear hats more often. Only the fact that I was seeing friends and having sushi kept the day from being a total loss. My little pod of vaccinated friends made me smile, and we all got a much needed hug with a two hour lunch and chat. Downtown, the planters were full of tulips and pansies, so pretty and for a time I forgot about my hair.
Large brick planters are in each block in the downtown area, all full of tulips in pink, purple and white. Yellow pansies provide more color.
Oliver continues to stop by for tidbits, sometimes showing up on the windowsill to get our attention. I really wish he’d stay off the veranda, but it is difficult to resist that cute face when he sits up, folds his paws, and looks so hopeful. I know, I am such a soft touch.
We have a really fun outing planned for Saturday, then ham on Sunday.
What are you doing this week? Any fun plans for the weekend?
Fat Quarter Shop’s monthly specials new for April include 20% Off Laundry Basket solids the Basic of the Month, plus 30% Off Mettler Threads the Notion of the Month, plus specials on the Book of the Month and Precuts of the Week. The Daily Flash Sale has something new at clearance pricing every day.
There is a 25% off sale at Impression Obsession for stamps and dies in their April curated category Graduation.