All Warm and Cozy

I had worked on a teapot cozy and wasn’t happy with the outcome.  Last week, I picked it back up and finished it.

Tea Cozy

For something that I made up in my head, I guess it didn’t turn out too badly.  It fits my one-cup teapot and does keep the tea hot while it steeps.  I used Peaches & Cream cotton yarn.

Tea Cozy

I do have another idea for a cozy.  If it turns out ok, I will (hopefully) write the pattern down on paper.  I hesitate to write down a pattern.  If I am on a roll, I don’t want to stop to jot down notes.

What usually happens is, “What I see in my head isn’t the same as the outcome”.  Argh!

I had purchased some new blended, signature, teas, Wizard’s Grey and The Evening Star, from Adagio online (sample tins are no longer available).  Both blends were very good, but as for my go-to-tea, I will probably just stick to Earl Grey.

These signature blends are perfect if you wish a treat now and then.  I just don’t want to depend on an online store to keep me stocked in tea.  It’s more convenient to go to the local store if I run out of tea.

Tea Grey Wizard

A cup of Wizard’s Grey, from Adagio, in my pretty little tea-cup.

I also wanted to share the flatbread that I baked.  I love how it folds without cracking.  I found the recipe for this flatbread at Mel’s Cafe Kitchen.

flatbread

To go along with the flatbread, I also made mulligatawny soup.

mulligatawny soup-flatbread

Years ago, after watching “Seinfeld’s” The Soup Nazi episode, I was curious about the recipe and found it online.  It is delicious!  I omit the eggplant and add more of the potato, pistachios and cashews to the pot.

Of course, everything that should be eaten in moderation is what I add more of…of course!

bluebird-siggy

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Tapestry, Tea and Whoopie Pies

Over a week ago, I was working on a crochet tea cozy and added some crochet tapestry to the piece.  Not happy with the outcome of that project, I put it aside. However, last weekend, I had an urge to do a little more crocheting.  I decided to use some of my cotton yarn stash to make dishcloths.

dishcloths

My inspiration, for two of these patterns (the tapestry), came from my little tea cozy and Little woolie’s blog. If you are a crafter, Little Woolie is worth checking out.  She has “a love for crafty things, crochet, knitting and yarny makes in particular”.

The other one (yellow and blue) is something I just made up.  It’s just rows of extended single crochet.

dishcloths

The two, on the end, are ‘Flat Tapestry crochet’. If I could use both hands to crochet, the patterns would be sharper. No matter how hard I try, I just cannot crochet using my left hand or crochet backwards.  I want to learn, but on the other hand…

To see what I mean, take a look at this video “Flat Tapestry Crochet by Carol Ventura“.

A while ago, I made these (see photos below) using the tapestry technique.  They are done in the round. Therefore, the patterns are sharper.

crochet tapestry change purse crochet tapestry

I don’t have to use my left hand for tapestry if done in the rounds.

And, to add a little sweetness to our lives, I baked Whoopie Pies.

whoppie pie

I filled half with marshmallow (Fluff) and vanilla cream, and half with marshmallow and peanut butter-vanilla cream.  A New England tradition, my mother made these for my sister and me when we were kids.

whoppie pies

I purchased some new blended teas from Adagio online.  My purchases were these two sample tins along with a couple of Earl Grey pouch blends.

grey

 star

It is time for my afternoon pick-me-up.  I am off to make a cup tea.  I think I will try the Wizard’s Grey.  I am hoping it is as good as it sounds.

teapot

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Downton Abbey Cooks Online Guide to Afternoon Tea

Liz:

An online guide to afternoon tea. I stumbled upon this wonderful blog (Downton Abbey Cooks ~ Great food has a history) by a woman who is “a cook and historian fascinated by the fine, yet simple food of the post Edwardian period of Downton Abbey”. I love the idea of afternoon tea and I love that she posts about my favorite show-Downton Abbey.

Originally posted on Downton Abbey Cooks:

Award Winning Afternoon Tea at the Manor House, one of 25 grand houses featured in Beyond Downton Abbey

Every week I host Tea Tuesday, a virtual tea party which was inspired by Christine, a follower who lives in France, who was curious about English tea traditions. The British may have failed miserably in other culinary areas, but they excel in the tea ritual. Each Tuesday, I dish on Downton Abbey and share other topical tea issues one might discuss at tea, served up with a tea treat with a history.

The Online Guide will be updated weekly as I add new recipes, so bookmark and return to whenever you are looking for tea history and new recipe ideas.

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The Sweeter Part of Life

I have been working on a couple of crocheted item, but I don’t seem to be in too much of a hurry to finish them.  Lately, I just can’t sit still long enough to crochet. My mind wants to wander to other things rather than the task at hand.

Two weeks ago, to satisfy a craving, I baked a Victoria Sponge Cake.

victoria sponge cake

It does go very well with a cup of hot tea.

There is one problem with this cake.  The problem being that I am the only one here that likes it.  I ended up throwing more than half away.  I could have-believe me-eaten the whole cake all by myself.  Nevertheless, I was good and only had two slices in a two-day period.

I suppose I could make half the recipe and find a smaller pan-I suppose.

victoria sponge cake

This recipe makes one 9-inch cake.  Rather than cut the cake in half horizontally, I chose to cut it in half.  By doing it this way, the cake was too thick and I lost the flavors of the cream and raspberry. I should have just stuck to the way I normally do it.  However, if you would like a thicker cake, double the recipe and divide between two 9-inch cake pans.

victoria cream cakeTo print, click on recipe and save from there to your desktop.

Later that same week, I made Orange Swirl Cinnamon Rolls.

orange cinnamon swirl rolls

Everyone here loves these rolls.  I had no leftovers like there was with the Victoria Sponge Cake.

It has been my experience that not many could resist a hot, yeast roll fresh from the oven?

Thank you for visiting!

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Casa di Pizza

I am finding it a little difficult to find things to post that are positive.  What I will say is, “I can’t keep up with the rising cost of food and other things!”  Going out to eat has been non-existent for us.  We cook or bake everything rather than buy prepared or packaged foods.

A couple of Saturday’s ago we made homemade pizza.  It is a little time-consuming, but it is much cheaper and taste better.

I make the dough-

pizza dough

and I made my quick pizza sauce.

homemade easy pizza sauce

I made six individually sized pizzas.

dough pizza

Each of us added our favorite toppings (the one below is mine) and there you have it!  A delicious pizza costing you less than a delivery pizza or going out for a pizza.

pizza

Buon appetito!

liz siggy

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Afternoon Tea

Between two and three in the afternoon, I find myself totally exhausted.  Between those times, I make myself a cup of hot tea in a pretty little cup with a saucer.  As I take in the aroma of fragrant bergamot and sip the bold flavors, I ponder about the days ago or the days to go. It’s a chance for me to indulge in a few moments of peaceful bliss in a ladylike fashion.

Pinkies out, please!

tea and scone

Very rarely do I eat something while I take tea.  But, the other day,  I made orange cream scones to go along with tea.

orange scones

Delicious!

The flavor of the citrusy, orange bergamot in the tea and the orange (peel) in the scone paired together nicely.  This scone has a touch of sweetness and didn’t need a jam or butter to enhance the flavor.

The other evening I crocheted tiny hearts adding little glass beads to the end tips. I wanted to make a nice long streamer. Again, I got bored with making tiny hearts (as I do with anything that has to do with crocheting lately), and ended up with a tiny, ugly little streamer.

sm heart garland

I nominate this little, heart streamer as “what not to crochet“.

Put the hook down and just walk away!  

liz-teacup

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By Hook Or Cook

I promised myself that before days turn into months, I would make an effort to post now and again.

Therefore, here is an account of the past few day.

The doily (unblocked) is finished.

I was so glad to see an end to this doily.  More than a few times, I wanted to put it aside and forget about it.  I was getting bored and couldn’t find a purpose as to why I was crocheting another one of these.  The pattern is called ‘Swirl’ from the  Leisure Arts Round Doilies leaflet.

red doily

On Saturday, I made french bread,

french bread

cooked my chili con carne,

chili and french bread

and with the leftover almond paste (from the bear claws I made last week), I baked almond biscotti.

biscotti

Moving on…

We haven’t seen the sun in a few of days.  It is so dreary outside.  Which in turn, makes me feel dreary. There are a few things I want to do around the house, but I fear that I will create the ‘snowball effect’.  So, in turn, I do nothing.

What is it that I want to do?

One has to have something to look forward to.

What is that something?  

If everyday is just another day waiting, then one has wasted life.

Waiting for a life is not living life, but merely existing.

Do you merely exist?

It Just Makes Me Happy

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Using Puff Pastry

I guess one could say that I have been in a bake mode lately. Today, I baked ‘easy’ Almond Bear Claws.

Bear Claws Almond

I used Pepperidge Farm Puffed Pastry (I already had on hand), and almond paste mixed with confectioner’s sugar and an egg white.

almond bear claws

I still have some almond paste leftover.

Hmm!  I am thinking Almond Biscotti with the remaining paste. 

Last week, I had 2 large granny smith apples, a pear, and a sheet of puff pastry (again, I had on hand). No one was eating the fruit.  So, I put together an apple filling for turnovers.

pie filling1a

You couldn’t taste the pear, but it added a little sweetness and it provided a little more filling.

apple turnovers

A sprinkling with some sanding sugar before baking and…

apple turnovers

…Tada!

Delicious turnovers.

And, to give credit where credit is due (thank you, Tom).

For supper this evening, Tom (hubby) fried potatoes & kielbasa with green peppers and onions; all sprinkled with crumbled bacon.

keilbas & potatoes

It was delicious!

Not much crocheting going on. I only did 3 more rounds on that doily I have been working on. It should have been done by now.  Maybe tomorrow I will finally finish it once and for all.

Maybe!

folk-angel-siggy

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Keeping Busy

Last night and today I drew flags/banners using some backgrounds I found around the web.  I made a few of them, using different patterns, and adding little push tacks to the ends.  I have no idea how I am going to use them.  But, they were fun to make and design and it keeps me busy.

flag-banner

The patterns on the flag above, and at the end, are from the talented Shery K Designs.  She has some beautiful patterns over at her site.  A big thanks go to those who share their talent, with others.

Instead of making flags/banners, I should have crocheted more on the doily I had started a few days ago. Truth be told, I am having a hard time seeing the stitches. I think it is because of the color. Red isn’t an easy color to pick up with a camera, I imagine it is just as hard on the eyes-or not.

red doily

Because my sister had mentioned that she ate pickled beets the other day,  I had to have some pickled beets.

Me too, me too!

Yesterday, I made a jar and added hard boiled eggs like my father used to do when we were kids. They are good as a snack or for lunch.

As you can see, I like lots of ground black pepper.  

pickled beets and eggs

It hasn’t been a very exciting couple of day.  At least, they haven’t been filled with stress. For that, I am grateful.

flag-banner-smIt Just Makes Me Happy

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A Beachy Mood

As of late, I have been in a “beachy” mood.  Born and raised on the New Hampshire seacoast, I have always had a fondness for a New England style beach cottage.

One of my, far-fetched, dreams would be to live near the beach in a vintage style beach cottage. However, there are other day when I would like to live in a rustic farmhouse, a Tuscan Villa, a Log cabin by a lake…I just can’t seem to make up my mind.

Caught in the winter doldrums, where everything seems bleak and colorless, I surfed online for color and inspiration from beach decor and beach cottages.

I made a color palette by picking out certain colors from each photo.

Whether designing…

beach-cottagebeach-cottage-color-palette

(Decorating with yellow from Better Homes & Garden.)

…or redecorating a room…

beach chairsbeach-chairs-color-palette

(Photo found at (archived photoThe Enchanted Home.)

Who wouldn’t love to sit in these Adirondack chairs and just take in the ocean view?

…crocheting an afghan…

cottage-stylecottage-style-color-palette

(Decorating with yellow from Better Homes & Garden.)

…sewing a quilt…

orange splashorange-splash-color-palette

(Orange Splash from HGTV-Colorful Coastal Designs.)

…or anything you may create, a color palette would be most useful in finding just the right color combinations.

liz siggy

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Mosaic 2014 Crochet

To kick-off the new year, I updated my header/banner by adding a few more graphics that I had drawn, years back, using my old psp7 program.  I am hoping that the difference will inspire me to blog more often.

I put pictures of the crochet items that I had crocheted throughout the year into a mosaic. I noted that I had crocheted many small items throughout the year. However, it is inspiring to see the things that I did accomplish.

Mosaic of 2014 Crochet

1. Valentine Dishcloth or Potholder, 2. Potholders/Dish Cloths, 3. Heart Dish Cloths, 4. Child’s Poncho, 5. Floral Banner, 6. Little Trinket Boxes, 7. Vintage Pot Holder, 8. Dishcloth and Mandelas, 9. Potholder, 10. Small Crochet Owl, 11. Owl, 12. Pincushion, 13. Brooch, 14. Rose Brooch, 15. Crochet Vintage Pot Holders, 16. Tapestry Crochet Change Purse, 17. Tapestry Crochet, 18. Heart Mat, 19. Floral Motif Mat, 20. Floral Motif Mat, 21. Heart, 22. Japanese Floral Mat, 23. Dishclothes, 24. Dish Cloths, 25. Shawlette/Scarf

It had three months since I last picked up a crochet hook.  Today, I started crocheting a doily.  It’s not like I need any more doilies, it is just that I kind of missed crocheting.  My intentions were to finish an afghan that I had started, but I quickly got bored with that and put it back into the crochet ‘dead hole’.

I hope 2015 will be a much better year for all of us.

Thank you for visiting!

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Thoughtful

It has been a month and a half since I have posted.  I don’t know where I read it, but I read that a blogger should write each day whether they want to or not.  I don’t know about everyday, but I do think that it should be more than once every 45 days.

So here goes with what promises to be a most boring account of my day.

mouse

This afternoon, while drinking my cup of tea, I thought about Beatrix Potter.

Go figure!

I then thought about a story she wrote called, “THE TALE OF MRS. TITTLEMOUSE”.

Then I thought-

Like Mrs. Tittlemouse, I used to be a very tidy mouse. Everyday I would go around the house cleaning and tidying. I enjoyed doting on the little touches that made the house our cozy home.

Alone with my thoughts and my hot cup of tea, I started to think that I am no longer as tidy as Mrs. Tittlemouse.

mrs t

She fetched soft soap, and flannel, and a new scrubbing brush from the storeroom. But she was too tired to do any more. First she fell asleep in her chair, and then she went to bed.

“Will it ever be tidy again?” said poor Mrs. Tittlemouse.

Yes, there are days that I gather my cleaning supplies.  However,  I am just too tired to do any more than gather the supplies.

So, I fall asleep in my chair.

But, unlike Mrs. Tittlemouse-
mrs t1

Next morning she got up very early and began a spring cleaning which lasted a fortnight.

She swept, and scrubbed, and dusted; and she rubbed up the furniture with beeswax, and polished her little tin spoons.

I half-heartedly go through the “domestic” motions.

Will it ever be tidy again?”

I am guessing it has to do with my age and with my outlook on life.

Of course, it could just be that I would rather be drinking a cup of tea while letting my mind wander back to happier times.

liz-teacup

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