Monday, January 15, 2018

Christmas 2017

This Christmas break was bittersweet; we lost my sweet Grandmother. We still decorated and baked cookies. We still had gifts and family time. I think the kids still found magic in the season. For me, the wind was taken from my sails. I did not take a lot of pictures, I didn't decorate every room, I didn't entertain friends this year, and I didn't edit the few pictures I did take. I gave myself the season off; No Christmas cards. No beautiful bows on packages. No sewn gifts. 
I did make her pistachio bread for the teachers and neighbors; that felt like a tribute. 
I miss her daily and know she would have loved Christmas time with the kids. 
...but we did still pick out a tree

and decorate it with family-collected ornaments

and watch Christmas movies while decorating

we still made things festive

we still used a lot of the decorations she gifted us with.
Gigi, we miss you like crazy. 
Merry Christmas in Heaven.

not the glow from a fireplace or even the tree lights...how 21st century does this picture feel?
(In his defense, he was studying for a test not playing a computer game).

Friday, January 12, 2018

Snow!

Raleigh usually gets a dusting or two of snow every year but this is usually after the holidays. Rarely do we get a white Christmas no matter how many times I put it on my wish list. This year, we got the next best thing; snow before Christmas. Imagine: bundling up in cozy outer wear, stopping by Starbucks for a hot cider, and braving the mall with big flakes falling down. It really was that magical. 
It snowed on and off the whole weekend but didn't stick to the roads or shut down the city. It was glorious. 
"snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes"
It started while we were at school on Friday afternoon; I put a roaring fire on the SmartBoard, passed out candy canes, and opened the mini-blinds for my students. It was an awesome weekend of snow!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Instant Pot Gruyere Parmesan Risotto

Have you jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon, yet? It is a modern day pressure cooker and everyone on Instagram and Pintrest is all about recipes that use this fancy, modern-day pressure cooker. My parents gifted me with one last year for my birthday. Until recently, all I have used mine for was quick shredded chicken for casseroles and soups. My resolution this year was to blog more frequently and to try a new recipe each week. So far, so good.

A friend gave me a recipe for risotto that uses the risotto function on her machine, but mine does not have that function. I read a bit online and lumped several recipes into one to make this AMAZING side dish (totally could be a main for me).

ingredients:
2 cups Arborrio rice
4 c chicken stock
splash of good white wine
4-6 oz. of Gruyere cheese, shredded
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese (not from a green capped vessel, please)
1/4 c heavy cream (or more)
black pepper
pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp. olive oil

1. using the saute function,  add olive oil. When hot, saute rice until a few grains get toasty brown. 
2. Add splash of wine and swish the rice around the pot until the wine is absorbed.
3. Add broth, close lid. Using the manual function, set high pressure and cook 5-6 minutes.
4. Release steam.
5. Remove lid.
6. Stir and add cheeses, cream, a seasonings. 

I am sorry that I did not get a picture. I practically dived into the pot once I smelled this rice. It is creamy, decadent, rich, and so good with a glass of white wine. I cannot wait to try variations on this recipe...it is THAT good. I've never made risotto because of the constant babysitting you must do and not being able to multi-task while making it...this is a game-changer!
xoxo
KD

Friday, November 10, 2017

Mini Charm Chocolate Squares Quilt


This is by far the easiest quilt ever! The pattern is free and you can make it up in about a day! I made this one for a friend and co-worker who is expecting her first baby. There are several sizes that you can make. I opted to make the smaller size but once I did, felt it was a tad small for a baby quilt, so I added a border. From start to finish, I had it done over the course of a weekend. 

Do you know about charm squares? They are pre-cut squares of fabric using all of the fabrics from a given line. They take cutting out of the equation which really cuts down the prep time for make a quilt front!
I chose charms of Elizabeth Hartman's line, "Reef". 
Find them here.


I straight line quilted this in both directions, giving this quilt a square effect which mirrors the design on this front. It was a fun one to make and it certainly will not be the last time I use this pattern!

Friday, September 15, 2017

National Jelly Roll Day

It's National Jelly Roll Day...those wonderful, pre-cut strips that make getting to the "making" part of the quilt SO MUCH EASIER!
I made the jelly roll tree skirt and am at the stage where I have to decide to make it into a skirt for the Christmas tree or an actual quilt...I LOVE it. I could really see adding a border and using it as a throw. This was a fantastic pattern!
Head over to the Jolly Jabber to see what everyone is making!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Bella Skill Builder: Block of the Month


Are YOU following along with the Bella Skill Builder Block of the Month club? Can you believe that it is already August? Hard to imagine that summer is really close to being over!
This month's block was a much easier one for me and by easy, I mean "more familiar" in technique. 
Here is a video to help you along:

Thursday, July 27, 2017

FreeSpirit Fabric: English Garden

Oh good gravy! Would you look at the upcoming collection at FreeSpirit Fabric? It's called English Garden and I am itching to get my hands on it. I am slowly trying to become a person who has a green thumb (succulents and a house plant or two...baby steps, y'all). I am also learning to quilt via foundation paper piecing and think the tall tales book blocks that are all over Instagram right now would really show this collection off! It is coming out in September and I think that because it is so hard to choose from this line that one should really get some of each print, don't you think?!

I love turquoise so this might be my fave...
I carried hydrangeas when I got married and these remind me of the shape (I am not THAT much of a novice to know that these are not hydrangeas, but the flower shapes is similar)

then again, I really LOVE these berries
I love yellow, so this might be my fave...


How perfect is the color combination here?!

What might YOU make with this collection?
Stay tuned to see what I have up my sleeve!