Friday, January 31, 2014

Tuesday night with the girls

How we love getting together on Tuesday night. So many things to catch up on. This particular evening a surprise visit from Donna (in red) was very exciting to us.
We loved having her come by.Wish she could make it every Tuesday. The Holidays without her beloved George were hard but, her family brought her to Florida to spend a few carefree days. Now she is back with us and we are bound and determined to get her to knit her first pair of socks.

There are always magazines to check out and Betty (to the right of Donna) dropped her knitting to write one down from the latest MARYJANE FARMS magazine.She is writing on a journal that she made for each and every one of us.Pages to write wish knits and recipes and to-do list A calendar to mark Fiber Fest Fairs. A page containing our birthdays, e mail and phone# so we can always be in touch........she is so sweet.

Deb was working hard on a new pair of socks.Seems she treated herself to a "Book of Socks" for Christmas and after thumbing through the book......

She  was sure that she was only going to be able to understand one of the patterns.

So she quickly got started on that pair and I'm pretty sure that she'll find another and another that she can handle............That's what I call my "baby steps" theory..................Said the Hobbit

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Still looking in the pantry

Well it's still January so I'm poking around looking for new ways to be frugal and the pantry is my favorite place to make it happen.We will not talk about the yarn and fabric,tucked away in bins. January will be dedicated to "THE PANTRY"
I have a cookie recipe that calls for brittle and strange as it may seem, I can't always find SKOR brittle bars at my grocers.While lamenting my tale of woe to my daughter Sarah, she decided to find a recipe for me and within a very short time I received THIS recipe. I have no problem attempting most recipes but, candy??? This is out of my comfort zone.

The ingredients were simple enough
  2 sticks of butter
1 cup of sugar
5 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon vanilla
nuts                               I think the secret here is to make this in an iron skillet. She simple says to melt the butter sugar and water till the bubbles start coming up caramel color. So I did ......stirring constantly. Once it started to bubble I watched closely, trying to get just the right color of golden caramel. This took about 10 minutes. I wasn't sure that the chips were going to melt as she said, so, I put a little sample on parchment paper to see if it was for real.......touch of the doubting Thomas,

All looked fine so I proceeded to put my toffee on the parchment ........sprinkle with chopped pecans.I used about a cup. Seemed a bit heavy,,,,,,more like nut frosting than nut sprinkling.Then a
quick covering  with the chocolate chips, gently swirling in order to melt my chocolate in an even layer.

Of course this created a lovely tasting sampler on my spoon that I nibbled at while waiting for my masterpiece to harden. But, you know how it is......a watched pot never boils. It took about 1 hour to firm completely .......fortunately I have a marble slab that helped in the chilling process.

It was pretty easy to break into bit size pieces and I have to admit, this is a winner.

I think I'll be doing this again,but,for now I kind of like just looking at it on the shelf........said the hobbit.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Bittyful Friday


Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Last October my knitting group had it's first "ANNUAL HARVEST FESTIVAL"  Those who wanted to participate made homemade treats and brought their latest canning to exchange with others. Of course there was more food to nibble on than we could possible have consumed

 A table full of our work was set out for all to see and gush over. You had to bring one to taste and I think 8 to exchange .............such fun.
We had jams jellies homemade cracker jacks cookies beets herb vinegars granola and so much more. You also brought the recipe for all to have.Which brings me to the simple part. ALL THOSE CHRISTMAS CARDS THAT YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH......

I made a pattern of the top of my canning jar using a thin plastic cover.The plastic actually allowed me to see what I wanted to cut.

Then I just cut out the circles..............

And now I'll have lovely toppers to place on my canning jar for our next annual festival

Not to mention just the perfect look for Christmas gifting.....pretty pleased with this. Just the right amount of crafting for January......said the Hobbit

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The girls are back!!!

 After a long holiday hiatus,my crafty friends manage to get together for our weekly knitting get together.We were 10 brave souls who weathered some pretty cold weather to talk about family gatherings and new projects that we hope to do.

Looks like the holidays didn't stop them from knocking those needles.........

DEB 4th on the right tackled her first felting project and made this great courier style bag. He advice to newbie felter...............she had to run it through the washer 3 times to get the proper felting texture. So if you plan on doing a similar project ............don't panic if it doesn't come out the first time.

GISELE ,at the very end of the table brought in a gorgeous cotton knit sweater that she had made for her grand daughter.

A simple basket weave pattern highlighted the soft pastel colors that made up the yarn.Nice work Gisele.

CINDY S. 2nd on the left was busy making birthday gifts.......This little lobster to be is going to make a little girl very happy.

If that doesn't do the trick about these bunny slippers. I need to get this pattern from her. I know a few little girls who would be hopping all over their home with a pair of these.An added feature that she came up with was to put indoor/outdoor sealant on the undersole  to keep the slippers skid proof.You can find this in most hardware stores. I found this one at my local dollar store for $1.75 per tube. We all know how they run around and safety first with the little ones is a priority. Have to brag here. She was recently published at Knit Pick yarns when she created THIS PATTERN Kudos to you Cyndi........we are most proud.
                                                 Pretty clever right? ......said the hobbit

Friday, January 17, 2014

It's Bittyful Friday!!!!!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Day dreaming

Our weather in New England has been pretty nasty for the past 10 days.Nothing like the mid-west but, enough to keep us in the kitchen by a warm oven or bundled up on the couch with our knitting. 

It doen't take much to give me cabin fever and my husband and I took a little drive on the back roads of our neighborhood to see how everyone else was managing.
About 15 miles from our home we saw these horses out for the afternoon just enjoying the day.I think this one was happy to see someone drop by.

I guess we interrupted lunch and this fellow had no intention of being social. He never did raise so much as an eyebrow to see who was watching him.Someday I plan on taking a few lessons and and enjoy the thrill of being up on one of these mighty steeds. Maybe this will be the year?

Looks like my grand daughter is dreaming the same thing. I can hear her now saying "Jayne ......when you grow up ,I'm going to ride you into the wind"
                           Can't wait to see that..................said the hobbit

Monday, January 13, 2014

WHAT'S IN THE PANTRY , can save you money

My hubby and I are playing a money saving game,that will give us more than we need for our Christmas shopping. He's not much of a saver but, got real excited about THIS post. Of course.....he's a guy and immediately thought we should make this a competition.So, not having a real income but, having a functioning household budget I have to be a little more creative with my savings.My first thought was to check the pantry and the freezer and see what I can come up with that would keep my from spending my grocery money and having a little extra to tuck away in the fund.This is only week 2 but, he has managed to put away $2 more than I.............Hmmmmmm patience little grasshopper.

My son attended a Christmas party and rescued the turkey carcass. His host was too tired to properly clean and rescue any remaining meat. My son knew I could handle this project and told his host to pop it in a plastic bag and I would be happy to dispose of it for him. My children are well trained to put enormous guilt on their friends when it comes to wasting food,and then offering them my help.After boiling down the carcass for broth I had 4 containers of turkey meat. Also in the freezer was a small bag of homemade cheese tortellini . Can you feel a plan coming together yet?

In the fridge I found carrot onion and celery which I sauteed in a little bacon fat.Once the veggies where tender I put in the turkey chunks and the broth..........took it to a simmer and let it blend for 1/2 hour.

Checked the fridge for a little color and found baby spinach that I added along with the tortellini and thyme for added flavor.

when all was simmered to perfection :-) I had enough for 4 servings.  

Topped with homemade croutons and my husband was most impressed.No,I missed the photo with the croutons you can stop looking for them.Of course, you can do this with any leftovers. I've even simmered a beef bone,added ramen noodles and pea pods with a little onion and bok choy  .Do you make leftover soup? What's your favorite?Well, I have no intention of losing this contest so hubby better not look in the mirror he just might see ........ the hobbit.

Friday, January 10, 2014

It's Bittyful Friday

LOOKING AT THINGS IN A NEW LIGHT IS SOMETIMES MOST INTERESTING!I've been on the computer when Hobbit wasn't looking and found THIS I think I'm in love.........swoon said I

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

quiet cooking

Now that the holidays are over brain is starting to function at a more normal level. Time to do the little things that make our household slow and mellow.

Something we like to have on hand in the pantry are homemade croutons. I KNOW doesn't sound very exciting but,  SO better than store bought and easy peezy to make. These 2 little breads were just the right size to make a batch.I just slice and dice them .Although most recipes will tell you to remove the seems like such a waste and my family has yet to complain.

In a large bowl I mix Extra Virgin Olive oil about 1/2 cup 2 teaspoons of a favorite herb. This time it was an Italian mix, a little kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Toss the breadcrumbs in this till somewhat covered trying to get all the oil worked in.After it looks like the bowl has no dressing left....

I place the breadcrumbs on a parchment covered cookie sheet and sprinkle with a handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I'm sure you could  use cheddar or some other hard cheese of your choice.

Now preheat your oven to 395 degrees and bake for about 15 min . Toss them up a bit and back in the oven for about 10 min.If your bread is very dry to begin with you might need to watch the last few minutes a little closer to avoid getting too dark.

When cooled you will have a tasty crouton great for soup or salad or just to nibble on.They keep forever in a storage bag on the pantry shelf.An added benefit is your house will smell like you have been making some really intense cooking but, ..............we all know this will only take a few minutes from start to finish. Now get back to the couch and do a little  reading...........or take a nap.............said the hobbit

Monday, January 6, 2014

Time to think on the new year............


of course, not all of these plans may come to fruition but, it's nice to plan anyway.Often at the top of my list is how to be more frugal and of course be ready for CHRISTMAS SPENDING. Seems strange to mention this in January but,truly now is the time to work out a plan. Recently I have found a blog that focuses on making the best of what you have.This site is filled with everyday hints and helpful suggestions to find ways to live within your means.Not very fancy but definitely helpful.So if you want to check it out just click on  here.SOMEPLACE NEW What has gotten me excited this week is a little game of saving money for the end of the year.It's really simple ........There are 52 weeks in the year. On week 1 tuck away a dollar for the holidays week 2 .........2 dollars etc etc. He suggest that you mix it up a little. If you have $15 that you can squirrel away before week 15 than go ahead and do so saving the single digits for when you have a tighter week.So...........I have marked my calender ,numbering each Saturday 1,2,3,etc as payday and plan on initialing it as I go along.Wish me luck .....If I pull it off I will have approximately $1400 in my Holiday Fund.Now doesn't that sound like a winner?..........said the Hobbit

Friday, January 3, 2014

My special Day Bittyful Friday


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Best Part of Christmas and a Happy New Year!

First let me wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR! This is when we think on what we want to accomplish for 2014 however, what greater joy was there in 2013 than to see these little ones gathered to celebrate Christmas at there Uncle Thom's home.Gift's were placed under the tree for sharing.

SANTA was a big hit when he granted Aaron his biggest wish."Please Santa, come to my home and sing me Happy Birthday" how can you say no to that!


COTTRELL AND AARON OPENED THEIR PRESENTS WITH SUCH CAREIt was a pillow for TV watching but she thought it was a pony........doesn't every little girl want one?