Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

I picked up this mirror out of Mom and Dad's house, we still haven't removed everything after two years. It's just been a lot harder than I thought. The miniquilt I made in 2007. The pumpkin was painted by my 8 year old son at his fall party, which I am happy to say I attended on Friday. It was a blast! He has a really good room mom, decorating pumpkins was her idea.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Fall

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

recipe for coq au vin

This was so yummy I had to share. The literal translation of "coq au vin" is "rooster with wine." It was considered peasant food, I guess the wine was used to tenderize a tough old bird and make it edible. My only departures from this recipe: I used chicken breast tenderloins, and I did not flambe. My luck I would have caught the house on fire. The bouquet garni is made by tying together a large parsley sprig, 3 sprigs fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf in a small cheesecloth bag.

The recipe comes from The New Revised and Updated McCall's Cookbook, published 1984, it was a gift to me that I treasure and refer to often.

Coq au Vin

2 (2 to 2 1/2 lb size) fryers, quartered
1/2 lb bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
15 small white onions
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup cognac or brandy
4 shallots coarsely chopped
1/2 lb small whole fresh mushrooms, washed
and sliced half inch thick
1 clove garlic, crushed
Bouquet garni
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups dry red wine
1 cup dry white wine

4 slices white bread
14 cup butter
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
3tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. Wash chicken under cold water, drain, dry on paper towels. In 8 quart Dutche oven, over medum heat saute bacon until crisp, lift out with slotted spoon and drain.

2. In bacon fat, saute onions over medium heat, 5 minutes stirring occasionally lift out, and st aside.

3. Add 2 TB butter or margarine to drippings, heat. Add chicken, brown one third at a time turning with tongs until golden all over about 1/2 hour in all removed chicken as it browns.

4. Return chicken to Dutch oven. In small saucepan, heat cognac. When vapor rises ignite and pour over chicken. Remove chicken.

5. In Dutch oven, add shallots, mushrooms, garlic, bouquet garni, salt, pepper, sugar, and nutmeg, mix well, simmer 5 minutes.

6. Stir in the red and white wines. Return chicken to Dutch oven, bring to boiling, reduce heat, and simmer covered 1/2 hour. Add onions cook 25 minutes longer until chicken and onions are tender. Remove bouquet garni.

7. Make croutes by toasting round pieces of buttered bread in skillet until brown on both sides.

8. In small bowl, mix softened butter with flour, stir into Dutch oven with chicken. Bring to boiling stirring until thickened.

9. Turn out into serving dish. Sprinkle with bacon and chopped parsley, garnish with croutes.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Another weekend gone and it's Monday again

Did post this picture already? can't remember:)
It's Monday again. Saturday started off with a soccer game, our turn to bring snacks, then back home to work on my cooking project. I was tired of all the eating out of fast food we ate while on vacation, so I decided to make coq au vin. No particular reason. I've never done it and wanted to try. One day last week while flipping through one of my cookbooks I found out that you start coq au vin by cooking chicken in bacon fat. Every Saturday after our bacon with pancakes made from scratch, I've been cooking chicken in the leftover bacon fat so we'd have chicken for sandwiches or whatever I wanted to make for the rest of the week. I don't like saving fat, but I can't bear to throw it out, it is such a good seasoning. So I was all ready to make coq au vin every week and didn't know it. My mother in law helped by providing cheesecloth for the bouquet garni. She also helped harvest herbs from the backyard, I don't know my parsley from my rosemary but she does. I'm so lucky to have her! It turned out great and the house smelled wonderful. My sis and her family came over and helped us eat it. Yesterday was spent recuperating from all that hard work, napping with the baby, making brownies with my nephew, then following the kids around while they played outside in the beautiful weather. Oh yeah, and a little sewing, and watched Breakfast at Tiffany's with my husband, perfect weekend.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Civil War quilt

This quilt was amazing. It has been passed down through so many generations, and carefully preserved and presented in a glass case along with its unique history. This one was actually buried during the civil war, retrieved after the war ended and kept in the same family ever since.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Quilt show pictures

I spent a lovely weekend with my family in Mt Ida Arkansas. On Saturday we attended the Quiltz Quartz and Craftz festival. The quilts were just lovely, here are a few pics, I will add more as I have time to download. The first one is made to look like a water color, the second one is a pink dresden plate I want to copy for my little girl. After voting for my favorite, we had lunch at the Lion's Club building (nothing like a fair hamburger), then there was a children's dig for crystals. I found some really cool slinky bracelets for my kids and their cousins.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Quilters Academy homework

The next lesson for me is drafting. I love playing with this, the graph paper and the colors. It was fun to start that way, as the book said, with colored pencils and graph paper, but faster to change colors on the computer, so as soon as I had the basic rules down i moved back to my computer and a spreadsheet program. I wanted to convert the interlocking circles quilt to Halloween colors, and it was difficult for me at first because I only chose 3 colors, black, orange and purple. No matter what I did it didn't look right. Then I went back to Harriet's pattern, matching color for color and discovered she had 4 colors in the circles, not 3, so after that it was easy. I already have the fabric I want to use, after I finish the bindngs on my pink and brown quilts I will get started on this one, with the intent to finish by Halloween.