Thursday, October 20, 2011

Boy, oh Boy .. A 10 minute Quilt block?

I saw a tutorial on a 10 minute quilt block, that I knew I was destined to try. And true to it's word, the block took me 10 minutes... once I took 20 minutes trying to figure out one section of the block, with only 3 seams.. Yep, as the tutorial shows, it was just 3 seams.. and when all said , and done, it took me LESS than 10 minutes once I figured out what I needed to do..
Will it be a quilt pattern I will do often? Probably not, though I know I will do more baby donation quilts using it, since it is easy, and fast.. But it was kind of boring , which for someone like me who needs challenges in my quilting projects, it won't be done often.. But it was fun learning.. Heres a little boys quilt top, using the pattern called, "10 Minute Block "..

Chicken at it's finest..

Chicken Marsala

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in half horizontally into two thin cutlets
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup Marsala wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons or more freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Combine salt, pepper, paprika and flour on a plate and place near the cook top.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Dredge several chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, shaking off excess and then add them to the pan, being careful not to crowd the pan. Saute until browned, turning after one or two minutes. Remove chicken to a plate when done and continue with remaining cutlets, until all have been cooked.

Sprinkle the lemon juice over the chicken and keep warm in a 200 degree oven.

Add remaining 3 tablespoons of butter to the pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms are golden brown. Add the Marsala and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the wine is reduced by half. Stir in the chopped parsley and return the chicken to the pan, turning once to coat. Transfer to a serving platter and top with the mushrooms and sauce and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chocolate Cake to die for..

Not being able to sit still today, for some reason unknown to me, I ended up in the kitchen.. where Chocolate , usually not in my diet because I am not a fan of sweets OR chocolate usally, I ended up making from scratch, this German Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Coconut Pecan Icing.. I dont know who will eat it, because .. I am not a fan of sweets.. Give me a chunk of hot sour dough bread fresh out of my oven with softned margarine ( notice I said margarine, and not real butter? I am on a diet, hehe ) and I am automatically put into food coma of delishiousness.
Anyway, here is the recipe for the sinfully delish, German Chocolate Cake.. I am part German, so it is my nature to create German delicasies.. NOT...

German Chocolate Cake with Coconut and Pecan Frosting

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of butter (softened)
1 cup of sour cream
4 large eggs
4 ounces of sweet baking chocolate (melted)
1/2 cup of milk
3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the topping

3/4 cup of evaporated milk
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup coconut (flaked)
1 cup pecans (chopped)


To make the cake

First take a large bowl and combine the flour, sugar, salt, butter, baking soda, sour cream, milk, chocolate and vanilla in it.
Then beat the ingredients with a mixer until blended.
Now increase the mixer to high and beat for about 2 minutes longer.
Once that is done, use a spoon to put the batter into the 8-inch prepared pans.
Bake this in an oven that has been preheated to 350° for about 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Leave the cake out to become cold.

To make the topping

Take a saucepan with evaporated milk, brown sugar, and butter and place it over a medium flame.
When it comes to a boil, remove it from the heat.
Then put in the pecans and coconut.
Now set this mixture aside to cool at room temperature.

Once the cake is cool, place one layer on a cake platter and spoon half of the coconut mixture onto the layer. Use the remaining topping to top the remaining cake layer.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Shadow in Serenity

Terri Blackstock's book, Shadow in Serenity . captured my interest when I was approached to give an honest review of her re-written fiction novel. Having been one of her loyal readers for many years now, I jumped at the chance to read another book,not even on book shelves.
I went into reading with no bias as to her writing, or her previous books - I wanted to know the Terri Blackstock before I knew her as a christian fiction writer - so it was a stepping out to see how her early days of writing compared to today.. After getting into the first few chapters, I realize there is not really much difference in her style, but there was it seemed like in the story line, and how it captured certain aspects of living for some people ..

Carny Sullivan, was a young mother, who has been on the conning end of cheating people, as was her family. She knew the streets well, and could spot a" fake "a mile ( or 200 ) away . Thus, when Logan Bristow, came calling in Serenity, Texas , and bumping into Carny, ex con artist, and beloved member of the town, something was bound to happen to expose this man as the con he was.. if she had anything to do about it.
The book centers around Bristow trying to dupe the trusting members of the tiny town into falling for his flamboyant charm, as he was trying to woo them into doing what he wanted at the expense of their bank accounts.
Carny didn't buy it, and never would - she was to much in the know about how he, and others like her family , operated, and she wanted to expose him for what he truly was, a con artist.

This is a story that Ms Blackstock wrote that captured love, and hardship.. It will draw the reader from the place of falling innocently for this con, but also to the place of Grace, as Carny takes you on a journey through love and how God can turn even the most conning life totally around.

Just like the question I asked myself when reading the book, I wondered how Carny would make Logan be seen as he truly was, and in the end, still be seen as a man willing to change, or be changed.. Shadow in Serenity was a very decent read, and one I would share with others who like clean Christian fiction, with a " moral to the story".. I didn't take long to read it once I got into the mindset of the characters, and I found myself interjecting even my own life at times into the person of Logan - because can't we all be con artists before God at times? though He knows when we do that?
I read this book without any problems, and knowing it was my honest review that is needed, I gladly give a 4 thumbs up in Terri Blackstock's penning it.