About this Blog: Bread making recipes, knit and crochet projects, wood working, gardening, digital imaging, travel, cruise ships, Labrador Retrievers, and more....

About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen, the baby of our family.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dinner Party Preparations

Good morning,

Do you do much of your food preparation for big dinners ahead of time.  Today's images are a few snapshots of preparations the day before dinners at our home.  Above is a pork tenderloin cut in serving sizes and ready to to be seasoned...
...with some olive oil and seasoning...
...then just before putting in the oven, covered with bread crumbs and baked to perfection. 
 Another day I whipped up a double batch...
 ...of liver pate...
 ...and processed it to creamy goodness in the food processor.
 This is a double batch of my home made cranberry sauce that will be yummy with pork, ham, or turkey.
And, of course, another daily batch of fresh bread.  :) 

The house smells so wonderful.  We just love eating at home.

For those interested, some of my recipes are here:

Cranberry Sauce

Liver Pate

Bread

Enjoy all of those holiday meals!  I love seeing all the recipes you are all publishing.  Wow, such good food!

All the best,
 Lois

Friday, November 29, 2013

Onion Soup and Fresh Bread on a Very Cold Night

Good morning,

Ah, soup and fresh bread.  That's one of our favorite dinners when just the two of us are home on a cold winter's evening. 

I made onion soup a couple of nights ago and just put it together as I went along.  Above is about two cups of chopped onion, both red and yellow, in one stick of butter.  I let it get very brown, added a tablespoon of brown sugar to help it brown even more and kept stirring to keep it from burning.  As soon as it got pretty brown and there was a layer of brown in the pan, I added a cup of wine to de-glaze the pan.  Any wine will do, but I used a light sweet wine.  It had been a part of a bottle left over when we had opened it for guests.  I had sealed what was left in a plastic container and refrigerated it until needed for cooking.  I was drinking a half glass of the dry white wine that I wouldn't want to have to use for cooking.  ;)

I digress....

After all of that browning and de-glazing I placed it all in a large pot and added two large cans of chicken broth.
I cut up more onions.  In fact, many more than these in the image above.  I used both red and yellow onions again and filled that bowl with them.

I added the fresh onions to the large pot, added a very little sea salt, and my secret ingredient, one table spoon of orange marmalade.  OK, it's not a secret anymore.

I had another sip of the dry white wine while I brought the mixture to a boil.
As soon as it came to a boil, I turned it down to simmer for about an hour. 
Although I had enough soup to prepare at least six huge servings, I prepared only two since only two of us were home.  I cut hunks of home made bread and put them in bowls then covered them with chunks of mozzarella cheese.  That's the kind of cheese I happened to have available when this onion soup idea hit me so that's what I used.  It was a great choice.
I scooped soup into the bowls...
...and placed more cheese on the top.

I baked it in the oven at 350 F for ten minutes...
 ...while I sliced a loaf of my home made bread and put it on the table.

That is a cheese bread closest to the Cheesy Whole Wheat Bread recipe I published earlier.  I didn't happen to have whole wheat flour so used all bread flour.  I generally just go to the kitchen and make bread from what I have available.  I need a trip to the grocery to stock up on ingredients. 

I had a sip of dry white wine while adding a few items to the grocery list.

If you're interested in bread recipes, I have quite a few of them that I have published during the last few years.  Click here.

I digress once again...
 The soup was delicious and, when served with fresh bread and a glass of cold milk, it was the perfect combination on a cold night. 

I had no idea what I would make for dinner that  morning when I got up.  This sure beat a trip to the store to get more ingredients when it was only 10 degrees F outside!

All the best,
Lois

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! And, Happy Birthday Alex and Kate!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Here in the USA we are celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends.  We  hope you are enjoying the day of thanks with those you love as we are doing the same here in Cincinnati.  We are expecting 19 people for dinner tonight so I'm on my way to go into action in the kitchen.

Today's images were taken a few days ago at our son's home  Two of our grandchildren have November birthdays and this is the celebration.  Above Alex is opening birthday presents and celebrating birthday number nine.
Kate is our next celebrant and is now officially a teenager. 
It was a lovely evening of celebration in a month when we feel celebrations are continuous all month long.
Cake and ice cream of course!  Have I mentioned that chocolate is a food group?

Grandpa and I loved seeing the kids open their presents a few days ago.  Tonight they'll all be here at our home helping to bring the guest total to 19.  Four of them will stay here for the rest of the weekend while their Mom and Dad try to find their sanity alone for a couple of days.  ;)

Have a wonderful weekend!

All the best,
Lois

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dog Show Travel Home

Good morning,

Our daughter, Catherine, and her friend, Erica, were at a dog show in Zanesville, Ohio, last weekend. 

Erica owns a motor home purchased just to be able to take the dogs to the shows.  Catherine took this picture with her cell phone and sent it to me.  This is the set up they have for (left to right) Tressel, Tilly, Erik, and Penny so they have their own space.  Those canine athletes (and their trainers) sure do travel in style!

Thanks for the picture, Catherine. 

Enjoy,
Lois

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Camera Phone Roses Image

Good morning,

I took the image above with my Blackberry Z10 telephone.  I'm thrilled with the cameras on the phones now.  Although I generally have at least my "baby" camera, a Canon Powershot SX260HS in my purse or pocket when I go out, I don't always have it with me around the house.  I DO have my phone in my pocket most of the time.

The flowers were a "just because" gift from My Honey.  ;)

Enjoy,
Lois

Monday, November 25, 2013

Quilt Barn - Northern Kentucky

Good morning,

Here's a quilt barn in the rolling hills of Northern Kentucky just across the Ohio River from our home in Cincinnati.

I love these barns!  They display the quilt patterns of the resident quilter.  What a beautiful way to decorate. 

Enjoy,
Lois

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Will You Play With Me?

Good morning, I'm Erik, and I'm posting today on Mom's blog. 

Mom was very busy at her computer when I brought her my tire toy.
Will you roll it for me, Mom?
I can be very patient and wait until you are finished with that blog post...
...well, for a couple of minutes, anyway.
How about if I give you my REALLY sad eyes?  Will that work?

It worked!

Right after that Mom put down her camera and got on the floor with me to roll my tire so I could retrieve it.  I gave her really big kisses all over her face and she laughed.  We had a really good time!

Happy waggy tail,
Erik

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Needlework Update - November, 2013

Good morning,

This has been a very, very busy month for needlework.  Each month I publish this Needlework Update with the items I have finished since last month's Needlework Update.

Above is a crocheted Baby Girl Baby Blanket and Matching Doll and below is a Little Professor Elbow Patches Sweater in child size 4.

Between larger projects I like to have some smaller projects going.  They are a good break from the larger/longer projects.  These colorful little starfish went to five little darlings by way of their grandfather who delivered them to Canada and Denmark.
This is something new that is so very fun to wear!  I have named it a Volcano Scarf for obvious reasons.  It is super soft and warm yarn.  This cowl scarf can be warn bunched around your neck, pulled down around your shoulders, or pulled up around your ears or up as a hood if it gets really cold outside.  It's so very versatile and doesn't get in the way when you drive.
 Of course, another turtle crawled off of my crochet hook...
  ...and brought a few of his friends.  I really like making these and they are so much fun to have for quick little surprise gifts for children of all ages. The sole purpose of these turtles is to bring smiles.  They also work very well to guard your computer and wipe off your computer screen.  ;)
When we got home from the high seas at the end of October, I went to work on a special order for two Eastern Orthodox Nun costumes to fit a Barbie doll.  This includes the long black dress, a fitted-to-the-head veil that covers the head and extends to the elbows, and an appropriately constructed/shaped hat with long veil in back.
 Those three pieces are comparable to making two detailed outfits for Barbie.  I was also able to find appropriate crosses to complete the costumes.  I am quite happy with the results.  The two Eastern Orthodox Nun costumes have been delivered to the family who ordered them in the Chicago area.
I have also added an updated Roman Catholic nun costume and have listed Sister Barbara you see above in the shop.

There is a demand for modest clothing for fashion (Barbie) dolls.   I had several other outfits already made before this month that I photographed and added to the shop:
 For "Formal Night" I copied the style of one of my own dresses with jacket.
 Black Forest Costume
 Southern Charm
 Holiday Party
 1890's Traveling Costume
 Garden Party
 Blue Princess
 Warm Summer Evening Lace Dress (includes panties)
 These last two are poncho and hat sets...
...that every Barbie needs in her wardrobe.  ;)

Most of these outfits are still available in the shop in the Fashion Dolls section.  They vary in price from $3 to $40 as listed.  Some are outfit only, some come with doll.  I can change listings to add a doll if you wish and have some shoes that can be added, also.   
 Also added to the shop were baby blankets with turtles.
Three out of four of these sets have been sold since they were listed.  There is one set with blue edging still available in the shop at this writing.
Above are two special order cowls that have been completed this month, too.  I just love these and made one for myself, too.
 Another special order this month is to design and create two vests for a very nice lady.  Above is the beginning of the first one in design stage as I worked a test swatch to check size before computing the stitches for the project.  You'll see the finished vest in next month's Needlework Update.

Most of the items you see above are available in our on line shop EvensensProductions.com where we have truly unique items for you and for gift giving.  Come over and take a look if you would like to give a gift that you will not find in the big stores.

I hope you enjoy seeing what comes from my crochet hooks and knitting needles as much as I enjoy seeing what you are making as I visit so many of my friend's blogs here in cyberspace.  There are so many talented people out there making beautiful items.  What have you made for the holidays this year?   Please tell us all about your projects in the comments section below.

And, now we return to our regularly scheduled blogging.  ;)

All the very best,
Lois


PS - I publish the progress of various projects on the Evensens Productions Facebook page.  I hope you'll come over and "like" the page.  The more "likes" the page gets, the higher it is in the search engines.  We sincerely appreciate any and all exposure the shop gets that will help to support our little business.

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