Wednesday, 29 June 2011

So tasty!

I know it looks kind of mushy, it wouldn't have if the sauce had been thinned out a bit, but the taste was just heaven. Regular readers of this blog might have picked up that my friend Leisha and I sometimes does some experimental cooking. We have made food ranging from home made marshmallows to black bean and cola soup. On Saturday we did a version of the Indian dish Palak Paneer, and when I told Rose about it she got curious, so I promised to show some pictures and share the recipe we used.

Paneer (fresh cheese):
1 liter full fat milk
juice from 1 lemon

Bring the milk to the boil, add the lemon juice and the milk will split. Once the milk has started to form little clumps, strain the mixture in a cloth

....and hang to drip dry - I left it for approximately 45 min and then gave the bundle a squeeze:

Flatten the cheese mixture a bit and place it in the fridge with some weight on top to squeeze out as much of the leftover moisture as possible. The recipe I found said this would take about 2 hours. It did turn out ok, but was a bit crumbly at the edges and soggy in the center, so I think the next time we do it we'll make the paneer the day before and leave it chilled overnight. And we'll make twice as much ;-)

oil for frying
1 onion - finely chopped
Ginger (1.5" dice finely grated), red chili (1 large chopped finely) and garlic (2 cloves crushed) to taste
1 tbs coriander seeds - crushed
1.5 tsp cumin - ground
3 tomatoes - diced
Spinach - we used 1/2 packet of frozen spinach (if using fresh - chop the leaves a bit)
2 dl yogurt
salt to taste

Cut the paneer into 1" cubes and fry golden in oil, remove from the pan. Fry the onion on low heat till translucent and shiny. Add the spices and let them heat through before adding tomatoes - once the tomatoes goes soft add the spinach, and once it comes to the boil add the yogurt. Let it cook for a couple of minutes, season to taste. The spinach we used had very little water, so we could probably have added some to thin the sauce a bit, but we just added the fried paneer to the mixture and plated it up with some warm naan bread and mango chutney.

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

PS! The recipe we started out from also had a tbs of tomato paste - we discovered after we had plated the dish that we had forgotten to put it in, but we didn't miss it as far as the taste went.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Too much tv time?

Remember I went to Sue Daley's trunk show? One of the items in the shop display was her cute little "Threads and Things" bucket. Laila and Nemo has been making their versions of it, and I've itched to make one myself. Yesterday we had a lovely summer day, and I spent some time in the sun on the fire escape preparing the hexagons and scallops. Well, itchy fingers couldn't rest, so when Anton and I got back from our afternoon walk in the park I sat down in front of the TV and started stitching. By bedtime I had the pockets done and attached to the background, the hexagon flowers stitched and ready to be appliqued down. Some more TV "watching" tonight and this is what it looks like:

Me pleased *lol* There's supposed to be a little hexie pincushion attached to it that I still haven't gotten around to - one of these days ;-)

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Sunday walk in the park

Hugs and stitches from Anton

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

It is finally finished!

It's kind of hard to believe, but I have FINISHED this quilt that originally was two quilts. It has been a long journey getting it to where it is today.

I started piecing the Dear Jane on Sept. 23rd 2007. My goal was to make the full DJ quilt, and have it all pieced and appliqued by hand. For a while I was very eager stitching the blocks, but soon I found other projects more interesting. I did sew some blocks from time to time, but there really wasn't much progress. Most of the time it was stuck in a project bag. By the time I realized this was going to end up as a UFO I had stitched 63 blocks using 868 pieces.

When the LQS presented "Svennebrevet" as their BOM a couple of years ago I was absolutely certain I was never going to make it. The two main reasons was on the one hand that I wasn't very inspired by the first shop sample, and on the second hand that most of quilting Norway does their BOMs and I like to do my own things. But I had a hard time resisting, and when the patchwork school started in "Familien" and my Mum dumped the patterns for the first blocks in my lap it was a sign to start. I'm not going to go into all the hassle with cutting measurements and block size here (click the label below if interested), but with a few modifications I stitched 21 blocks that more or less resembles the blocks in the original quilt.

I did a lot of playing around with both sets of blocks, but I really loved the layout of the original Svennebrevet, and with a little advice from Rose after sending her pictures of layout suggestions, I ended up sewing alternating wide and narrow rows. During a fun sewing day with Yvonne I got the scrappy border sewn on, utilizing a lot of my leftover fabrics and the few spare blocks. The quilting would probably have been finished sooner if Bernie hadn't gotten ill, but I'm thrilled to have it done now :-D

So my long list of work-in-very-slow-progress has with this been reduced with two projects. And I have a goal of reducing the list even more in the weeks to come - a couple of the smaller projects will be top priority, Lucinda's Gift quilt-along will start on July 1st and end with a finished quilt, and then hopefully I can make some progress on the quilts I have ready basted and/or has started to quilt....

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Binding the "Svennebrevet/DJ" sampler

Woohoo! I finished quilting it on Sunday! And last night the binding was added. The plan for tonight is pulling out an audio book and get the binding hand stitched down to the back. Then hopefully the quilt will be ready for the washing machine tomorrow for that fresh and crinkly goodness. And another thing: I glue basted this quilt, and even though the glue is supposed to be odorless, I still feel there is a smell - hope it will wash out!

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Something yummy for a rainy Sunday

It has more or less become a standing request for hot and sour chicken soup when dinner for friends is being served at 'Casa de Quiltoholic'. It is an incredibly tasty and very quick (20-30 minutes depending on how fast you chop) and simple dish to make, so I thought perhaps I'd share the recipe in case someone else would like to give it a try:

4 servings:
2 large chicken breasts
1-2 bell peppers (I like red and/or yellow)
1 packet of baby sweet corn
1 bunch of spring onion
1 chili pepper (I also like to add some dried chili flakes for some extra heat)
1 can coconut milk + a splash of water to rinse the can
Juice from 1-2 lime (depending on size and how much juice they give)
1/2 liter of chicken stock
egg noodles (after how hungry everyone are)
Salt and pepper if needed (depends on how seasoned your stock is)

Cube the chicken to bite size and brown it quickly in a pan, cut the peppers and the sweet corn and give them the same treatment. Mix chicken stock, most of the lime juice, and the coconut milk in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, add the the chicken, peppers, chili, sweet corn and noodles. While it cooks (3-4 min), chop the spring onions, and add them when the noodles are about 1 minute from finished (you'll probably need to add some extra water - it can reduce quite a lot, especially if you add a lot of noodles). Season to taste with salt, pepper, dried chili flakes and the rest of the lime juice.

Pour into large serving bowls and ENJOY!! You can vary the veggies to season and taste, and swapping the chicken for fish works great as well :o)
Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Scraps, scraps and more scraps

My scrap box was getting really full and completely chaotic again, so I decided to try to tidy it up a bit by cutting 1.5" squares and strips from a pile of light scraps, a pile of dark bits and pieces, and whatever I could find of reds/burgundy/dark orange

A lot of cuts later I had a manageable number of strips and squares, a lot of bits in the garbage, and a scrap box that is a whole bit tidier. A lot of more cuts, and you can find this on my large square ruler 

All ready to be sewn into some lovely scrappy chimneys and cornerstone blocks. Unless I have counted wrong here and there (which is a fair chance *lol*) it should be all the pieces for the quilt "Lucinda's Gift" from this fabulous book

We are doing this as a quilt-along on the SBS-and-other-Elm-Creek-Quilts yahoo group. If you have got the book and want to join in, the quilt-along starts on July 1st - and the first week is cutting the pieces so I'm a tad ahead of schedule.

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

What I did last night

Yesterday morning I got a text from Nemo asking if I wanted to spend the evening with her and her Mum, and if so I had to bring a bottle cap. I scratched my head over the cryptic message, but never one to pass up on an evening with quilting friends obediently brought my bottle cap and found my way down the road :o) So what were the girls up to with the bottle caps - these cutie-cutie pincushions:

Can you guess which one is mine? *lol* Thanks for a fun evening, girls!

And months too late, Nemo finally got her birthday pressie, so now I can show it 


Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Monday, 13 June 2011

A few more pics from Frederikshavn

Just thought I'd share some of the things we noticed on our walk through Frederikshavn on a quiet Sunday morning. Enjoy the show! (...or skip to the next blog on your blogroll and come back for a quilty post in a day or two *lol*)

(This girl actually sells nuts and bolts (among other things))

...a shame there wasn't water in this pool, it must be great with the water feature!

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Whitsun trip to Denmark

What to do over the Whitsun weekend? Go on a trip to Denmark with a good friend! There and back again in 23 hours ;-)

(yes, I have cut my hair short again - and happy with the decision!) We left rainy Oslo early Saturday evening

and spent a good part of the evening at the boat's SPA - I could live in there, no problem!!!


Afterwards we went for a yummy meal - I had the guinea fowl and Leisha had the brown trout - it was sooo delicious!

The evening was finished in the shop - stacking up on snacks and figuring out what we were going to buy on our way home. After a restless night due to unfamiliar beds and lots of noise from party-people and the engine we woke to a lovely morning in Frederikshavn, the sun was out but there was a slight chill in the air. But of course we had to go exploring.

Being Sunday morning, and Whitsun weekend, there wasn't much life around, so we missed some of the city's atmosphere, but we walked around for a good hour and a half enjoying the architecture, and we actually managed to spend a little money *lol*

We had a good run getting back to the boat in time, but we made it

Once we had watched Denmark disappear in the horizon, had a quick breakfast, we actually had a looooong nap *lol* Getting up we did our last shopping, and while watching the coast of Norway appear along the boat side

we had a quick pasta meal - it tasted better than it looked

and figured out how to play "Pillars of the Earth: Builder's Duel" - I enjoyed it, but for now I prefer the board game - might be more fun once we get into the rules a bit more

Hope everyone has enjoyed their Whitsun weekend!
Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida