Friday, July 31, 2009

Another use for zucchini

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
I heard that the previous recipes were well received and that another one would be welcomed. This recipe is not low-cal, but makes a most delicious chocolate cake.

I made two cakes and and will wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap and store in the freezer. The pieces can be thawed and warmed in the microwave and topped with a little ice cream!!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
1/2 C shortening
1 3/4 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 C oil
1/2 C sour cream or buttermilk
2 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 Tbs cocoa
2 C shredded zucchini

Pour into greased 9 x 13" pan. Sprinkle 1/2 C to 1 C each chopped walnuts and chocolate chips over cake.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Zucchini Day

One of nature's most prolific plants is in full production. A half dozen bush zucchini in the garden deliver several dozen green squash with more to come.

Looking for what to do with all the zucchini leads to the cookbook with the cookie recipe....

Baking commences as the ingredients for the cookies are assembled. The zucchini has already been shredded in the food processor, and the Kitchen Aide mixer makes short work of the blending phase.

Four batches of wonderful zucchini-oatmeal cookies were produced. The cookies are cooled before heading to the freezer. Of course, a few are taste-tested along the way.

Another favorite (and the recipe uses up 6 cups of zucchini) is a quiche flavored with grated swiss cheese --Yum! We'll eat this at lunch and/or dinner.

For those of you who have more zucchini than you know what to do with, the recipes are below:

Zucchini cookies
1/2 cup light margerine
1 C sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 C rolled oats
1 C grated zucchini
1 C chopped nuts
1/2 C raisins or craisins

Preheat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray. Beat margarine, sugar, egg and vanilla together. Whisk flour and spices together, and beat into the margarine-sugar mixture. Fold in the oats, zucchini, nuts and raisins. Drop by teaspoons onto cookie sheets. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.


No-crust Zucchini Quiche
2 medium zucchini, shredded (6 cups)
8 oz shredded swiss cheese (2 cups)
4 eggs
1 C Bisquick
1/4 C oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400. Grease 10" pie pan. In large bowl, mix all ingredients with fork. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes til golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chores inside and out

Our very large fenced pasture requires a lot of regular maintenance. Bill is trimming the electrified wire fence line from encroaching bushes and trees.

The material is collected in the bucket of the old tractor. The refuse is then transported to the burn pile on the "back forty." We'll dispose of collection in the late fall.

Since we have more red raspberries than we can eat, we are freezing them individually. They will then be stored in the freezer to be consumed a few at a time as appetites and receipes require.

Other raspberries (a combination of red and purple) are pureed in the food processor and then strained to make juice. This will go into the freezer and then will be transformed into jelly as need and time permit.

We enjoy our property very much. Keeping things under control is a full-time and demanding chore!

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Studio visitors

Pat Pauly is finishing this terrific quilt that will be a present for one of her daughter's teachers.

Pat showed us some of the hand-dyed and shibori-dyed fabrics she created recently, which Linda and Priscilla were admiring.

Priscilla was wearing one of the new tops she made, featuring some beautiful molas.

Linda is working on a new quilt, incorporating molitas as focal points.

Bev showed us the piece she worked on in a recent class with Jane Sassaman. The shapes were inspired by some old tractor wheels.

Nancy Hicks has completed this crib quilt for the new baby her niece is expecting. She also made a new skirt and a tiny quilt for the bassinet that has been used by many of her family members.
Priscilla worked on some pre-class preparations for her upcoming Quilting By the Lake class with Marilyn Belforte. She's making a template for her project, which I think she said was inspired by a picture of a Syrian King.
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer Gardens -4

The astilbe plant, featuring pale lavendar-pink flowers, make a good choice for a semi-shady spot. They add a touch of color for the area off the back deck, which features the fish pond and waterfall.

A wet month of June helped produce a crop of plump, sweet red raspberries (along with a smattering of yellow ones). We will enjoy them right up until frost!

Our deck plantings are doing well. However, the purple basil at either end of the flower box were irresistable to some visting critter. We thought they would be safe so close to the house. We were wrong!

The rest of our herbs are doing okay up against the house on the back deck. They would prefer hot sunny weather, but such days have been limited this summer. Maybe August will be more to their liking.
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer Gardens -3

The old reliable trumpet vine bursts forth its red flowers. We trim this back every year, and it springs back each time. Like the water lillies in the next picture, it is more than 20 years old.

The water lillies begin to show. This is a hardy plant that survives a frozen pond in winter (with several inches of ice) in a dormant state. In the spring we do pull the pots, clean and fertilize, and return them to the bottom of the pond.

The wood timber wall in the perennial garden frames an eros boulder, a spreading spruce, bayberry, perennial grass, ferns, and the flowing nicottina plant.. The pasture drifts off to the right and now is used by many deer.

The wet month of June has produced another late harvest of rhubarb. More pies and salads will follow... Yum, yum!

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Summer Gardens -2

Another of our Japanese-inspired gardens grows each year. The blue-rug juniper crawls along the lower levels and surrounds the stone islands. The upper level is shaded by an English walnut tree (out of the picture to the right). A very good walnut crop this year means a happy harvest for the squirrels, who stand ready to move in!

The perennial garden shows color. Bee balm, yarrow, lambs ears and dark red poppies, along with various ferns, add color and texture.

Our central stone feature on its brick base adds a nice anchor to the ordered rows of our most formal garden.

Two different baby's breath varieties are near full flower. They dry wonderfully and add much to any floral design. We always find a place for them.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer Gardens -1

A little weeding job on the purple raspberry patch turned into a 1/2 day chore as we pulled weeds and topped next year's growth. The developing berries are now open to the sun and look good. We had fertilized heavily last fall, and the plants enjoyed good growth -- and the weeds prospered too!

The perennial grasses reach four to six feet in height, and the wet June has added to their growth. It was windy today, and the moving grass looked like ocean waves. We like this garden at any time of the year.

The vegetable garden has done well. From right to left -- peppers, onions, spinach, winter and summer squash, and corn are coming along. We do constant battle with weather and the always-present critters above ground, below ground, and flying around -- glad we don't do this to make a living!!

New rows of beans come up as an extension to rows of earlier planting. We use hoops and netting to keep them safe (we hope!). Tomato plants at the right have been hit with blight, like tomatoes all throughout our area. We've sprayed with a fungicide and hope for the best.
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Thursday, July 9, 2009


We have had deer frequenting the horse pasture. The fawns usually were with their mothers, and at first strayed only a few feet from mama's presence.

But, as you can see, things are beginning to change.

The little guys have grown brave and adventuresome and appear now by themselves.

They come right up to the studio door. (Maybe they like quilts!)

While the adults stay behind the fence, the little guys have no fear and are not deterred by human obstacles. They are literally within five feet of the studio door.

Inspector Suki admires the wandering spirit of her new friends, but is not sure of their intentions -- and their size looks imposing from her 7-pound frame point of view! What's a poor cat to do?

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More traveling Jet Trails

The first Jet Trails created in 2007 has been selected for SAQA's "Fibrations" show by juror, Katie Pasquini-Masopust. It will be part of the exhibit of 48 fiber pieces that will travel throughout the country during the coming year.

September: Yellowstone Quilt Fest, Cody, WY

Nov-Jan: Rocky Mtn Quilt Museum, Golden, CO

February: Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, Hampton, VA

March: Quilt Fest of New Jersey, Somerset, NJ

June: Natl Quilt Assoc Convention, Columbus, OH


Jet Trails
(24 x 27)
Fused hand-dyed fabrics
Machine Quilted

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Houston Bound

Exciting news was waiting in my mailbox today....

Two of my Jet Trails quilts were selected to be exhibited at the 2009 International Quilt Festival in Houston in the annual IQA fall Judged Show, "Quilts: A World of Beauty."

Jet Trails #5
88w X 58h
machine pieced and machine quilted

Jet Trails #6
46w X 64h
machine pieced and machine quilted
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