Sunday, January 29, 2012


Do you know why this Honda CR-V is smiling {or perhaps laughing}?

Because I brought it home just in time for our trip to visit my sister.

We never buy brand new cars.
Our car of choice is 2 years old with 20,000 miles.
This one fit that requirement perfectly.

What's your preference - new or used?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


A few things in my life lately make me want to
"cocoon myself away from the world outside".
{thank you lemon lane cottage for this phrase}

When people you love are going through a crisis
and you don't know how to help . . .
remember you can always pray.

It is so hard to know that as badly
as you feel, they feel much worse.

Praying for strength and wisdom to cocoon listen, reassure, advise, help . . .

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

pasta and marinated feta

Ribbon Pasta and Marinated Feta
with caramelized onions and roasted cherry tomatoes
{so easy and so, so delicious}
serves 4

2 pints cherry tomatoes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
black pepper
2 red onions, thinly sliced
8 oz package of ribbon pasta
8 oz marinated feta

Pre-heat oven to 375°F
Place cherry tomatoes in a baking dish, drizzle with half the olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until tomatoes are collapsed and beginning to brown.

Warm a heavy skillet over high heat; add remaining olive oil and onions. Sauté for 5 minutes over high heat until beginning to brown, lower heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, add a pinch of salt and cook 5 minutes longer or until caramelized.

Cook pasta according to directions on package.
Add baked cherry tomatoes to the caramelized onions.
Drain pasta and add to onion mixture.

Crumble the feta over pasta and gently toss to combine.
Divide onto 4 plates and top each serving with a piece of feta.

Adapted from this recipe in Martha Stewart Magazine

Friday, January 20, 2012

happy birthday

baby cedar one month ago
{his mother's thoughts}

Monday, January 16, 2012

I come to the sea . . .

A surprise gift arrived just before Christmas
from a fellow blogger whom I now consider a friend.

How fun that I get to have my morning
coffee everyday in this thoughtful gift.

Thank you Christine for your kindness
and for keeping us "connected".
vista woman

Saturday, January 14, 2012

quilt ornament winner

Thanks for your fun comments on my quilt ornament give-away.
I will happily be sending one to . . .

Just a little something from Judy said...
You continually impress me with your sewing skills and generosity.
What a special gift to give!

Here is her lovely blog: Just a little something for you...

The pattern is called a liberated checkerboard block.
If you want to make your own you can find the tutorial here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

nyc meatball shop recipe

Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow {co-owners}

Classic Beef Meatballs

Ricotta cheese makes these meatballs moist and delicious
Makes about 2 dozen golf ball size meatballs

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds 80 percent lean ground beef
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
2 jars 24 oz Ragu Classic Tomato Sauce

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Evenly coat a 9-by 13-inch baking dish with olive oil. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together beef, ricotta, eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, red-pepper flakes, and fennel until fully incorporated. Roll mixture into firmly packed 1 1/2-inch balls.

3. Place meatballs in the prepared baking dish, taking care to line them up snugly so that they are touching one another in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. Bake until meatballs are firm and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball reads 165 degrees {about 25 minutes}.

4. Meanwhile, heat tomato sauce in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

5. Remove meatballs from oven and carefully drain excess grease from pan. Pour heated sauce over meatballs and return to oven; cook for 15 minutes more. Serve.

A popular recipe from

as seen on The Martha Stewart Show, November 2011

Another of their recipes we love:
Mini Spicy Buffalo Chicken Balls

Saturday, January 7, 2012


A lovely surprise arrived while our grandbaby was visiting . . .
three cute homemade bowties and a blue shirt
all the way from a blog friend in Kirkland Washington

We had such fun putting them on Cedar.
{sorry we missed photographing the green one}

Aren't they just too adorable?
Thanks Kimmy!
oh my soul rejoice

Don't forget to leave a comment here
quilt bag ornament
to enter the give-away drawing on Feb 13th

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

quilt ornament give-away

This year my homemade ornament/gift/favor was a quilt bag.
The pattern is called a liberated checkerboard block.

Just leave a comment if you would like a chance to win one of these.
One winner will be selected at random from all eligible comments.
Drawing will be on unlucky Friday the 13th.

the pattern
{vertical and horizontal lines are meant to be random}


back {and lining}


sew one back piece and one lining piece
right sides together
with strap/hanger in the middle
{call this: piece a}

sew one front piece to one lining piece
{call this: piece b}

place piece a on top of piece b right sides facing
sew around leaving a 2" opening at bottom

turn right side out and stitch opening closed

tuck lining into bag


I found a book called Visions of Sugarplums at an antique store
I tore out pages and rolled them up to put in each bag

I also added some greenery, a candle, a candy cane and berries

finished bag

the basket of favors ready to go

I found Liberated Checkerboard Block directions here.
I modified mine to be 3x3.

I do believe I will post this again next November
in case you want to make some for Christmas.
{or . . . you can just get a head start now}