Saturday, December 31, 2011

Say Cheese!!

The cheese ball in the front is the one "My Boys" love the best! Each Christmas I make the Party Cheese Ball and it gets scarfed down in a hurry.  

As you can see I have "Big Boys!  It takes a lot of food to feed this crew and they each have an appreciation for good food! 

I look like a midget alongside of them, thus the very reason I have become quite feisty, even though quiet in nature! How many times I have heard, "Don't mess with mama because if mama isn't happy, nobody is going to happy!" Or if my wife isn't happy life is not worth living!" 

But I do love making my family happy! And what better way than to feed them with recipes they enjoy! Try these cheese balls!



Party Cheese Ball

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
1 cup (I used 10 ozs.) New York Extra White Sharp Cheddar cheese 
1/4 cup minced onion
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon parsley flakes

I throw it all in a bowl and blend it with a mixer. Recipe calls for rolling it in parsley flakes. Yuk! have you ever bitten into a parsley flake not mixed up with something?! So I add just enough to decorate, sprinkle with paprika and chill for at least 8 hours.

Want a cheese ball that is stepped up a notch? Emeril always steps up his dishes a notch. Cayenne pepper and garlic steps this cheese ball up several notches. The recipe calls for 3 dashes of Tabasco sauce, but I didn't have any on hand. That would certainly step it up 3 times over!

Festive Cheese Ball

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
1 cup Yellow Sharp Cheddar cheese
1 - 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon minced garlic in olive oil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cups toasted pecans, finely chopped and divided
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 Tablespoon parsley flakes

Again as above throw it all in a bowl but with only about half of the toasted pecans. Mix well together with a mixer. Form into a ball and roll it in the remaining toasted, finely chopped pecans. I added a little sprinkle of parsley flakes and paprika on top. Refrigerate for 8 hours.

More on a Reflective Note

New Years Eve and New Years Day seems to be the time for many and for myself to think about the past year and getting ready for the beginning new year! I began my day by reading in a devotional from Billy Graham's "Wisdom For Each Day." It was titled, "Looking Back," referencing Philippians 3:13-14, which reads: 

"But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward 
what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which 
God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

The basis of the message gently leads you to determine was it a year with regret, relief? Or was it a joy of happiness and joy, success and achievement? The answer was, "No matter what your answer is, I hope you will pause and prayerfully ask yourself two important questions. First how do you think God looks on this past year in your life? Did it bring you any closer to Him? Did it expose any weaknesses, or find you wandering from His way? Was He disappointed in your responses to its challenges?"

Trust God! That was my lesson for the past year! And I learned to do it! When several events took place (life-changing events) I was overwhelmed, but God helped me to get centered again. It takes quiet time praying and reading the scriptures to overcome. There is not anything that happens that God is not aware of. He knows our every thought, pain, tear, rejoicing, thankfulness and everything! I am so thankful for the merciful, loving, stand like a rock God, Father in Heaven that I have. And I am very thankful for the supportive husband, sons and dear friends that I have too! You are loved!

Now on a Fun Note

I am so thankful for my two wins during the Quilters Gallery Blog Hop. I won two fabulous give away items and I am having fun! One was a subscription to "The Quilt Show" the other a quilting book, "The Big Book of Patchwork". I have watched several shows where Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims have interviewed some wonderful, gifted, and inspiring women. And my new wonderful book has some great looking quilts that I hope to find time to make. A big step of faith would be that I will finish all my existing quilts in progress waiting to be finished and more! Anyways this book has one quilt that I absolutely love since it tends to be on the Modern side. So pretty!


My New Year is going to be focused on all things to be grateful for - Thanksgiving all year long, continue to Trust God and find time daily to read His Word so that I can be opened to wherever or whatever He leads me toward in the upcoming year.

I received a beautiful journal book as a gift from the gal who leads the women's group at my church. She gave it for the purpose of writing down my thoughts of thanksgiving each day. I'm beginning early! Also today, I am grateful for all the squirrels that are visiting my patio who are entertaining Miss Cassie!

Wishing all a Happy New Year's Eve. Be safe and blessings to all!




Friday, December 30, 2011

Finishes!

Today I received a comment about all my finishes! I love finishes! - when a project is finally completed! What is floating in my mind is all the unfinished projects surrounding me! Can anyone relate? Every opportunity that has been made available I having been working towards a finish - the Heart Block Swap Quilt. I should have this top finished but I had to take time out to help my DH paint! The paint project is outside and can only be done when the temperature is above 35 degrees. We have been scrambling to get it done before the real winter weather sets in. Usually in NC it begins in January and the weatherman is showing that it is indeed coming next week. 

Okay so I am enjoying my time working along side my DH and seeing an almost finished project! It doesn't matter what the project is I love seeing it finished. But it isn't finished yet! 

This morning I walked into my quilting studio/office to work toward a finish and two things went through my head. One, I can't work in here! The messy chaos had reached mountainous and disastrous proportions. How can I even think or create in this place? Two, once again I realize that my place is too small but I'm not willing to move it into another larger room. DH groans and says, "I think I know what that means." "No not yet," I told him. So this morning I reorganized to cut the clutter and arrange for easier movement to the ironing board and the design wall. 


I believe this arrangement will allow me the mobility that I need. 

Did you notice on the design board the heart blocks and sashing are sewn together? Now I'm deciding on how many borders and what colors they will be. Definitely something purple and green to balance out all the pink! It looks prettier on the bed than on the design wall. It will be a "great make me feel better quilt" when under it!


I realized as I was putting the quilt top together that I received these lovely heart blocks in a swap in late 2010! This will make quilt top #6 that will need to be quilted. Guess what I am dreaming for? Look!


I am off to finish some bookkeeping that I do for a non-profit organization. I love working at home! Once that is done I can begin thinking about planning and cutting borders and getting closer to one more finish!



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Tree Is Up and Decorated - A No Sew Day!




It has been an all day affair - cleaning and Christmas decorating! The day started by jumping out of bed into the shower at 7:00 a.m. to do a little Christmas shopping and grocery shopping for Christmas Eve Dinner that I am having and hor dourves for Christmas day at Ty's house. It is now 9:00 p.m. and this is the first that I have been able to sit down. Did I say I was tired?

It has been an overcast and rainy day. Quite dreary! The white lights and pretty decorations on my Christmas tree gives me a pickup. I think I will go get my Max Lucado Christmas book and enjoy reading it while sitting in front of the Christmas tree.
 
 










 Yesterday I watched The Quilt Show, a six month membership through the Quilters Gallery Blog Hop Party that I was so fortunate to win. Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson interviewed Eleanor Burns in her home, an elegant log home in a small and old town in California, and her "Quilt in a Day" Studio. Eleanor uses her home that is decorated with but what else - quilts and lots of them as a place to hold quilting retreats.

She is an amazing and inspiring woman as she shares how and why she got into quilting. Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson asked her what the best part about her life of quilting was. The best is helping women, many women who begin quilting after having surgery, suffering a loss or some life event that impact her in a big way. Quilting can be a means to healing as they begin their adventure into fabric, cutting, piecing and designing.
 
As I watched the show I sewed the finishing seams for the Whirlwind blocks and the sashing pieces. Only the top row of sashing is sewn. It sure looks like a lot of pink! I was trying to minimize the different backgrounds and colors in the swap heart blocks. I think I did with all the pink Whirlwinds that dominate the hearts. I hope adding the rest of the sashing pulls the quilt together.


Happy Quilting and Wishing all a Merry Christmas,








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