New Year's Dessert Guaranteed to Please

This recipe was given to me by one of my quilting friends. It has become a favorite around here for every occasion.

I make it every year when we go to our friend's New Year's Day Open House.

Chocolate Cloud

1 Box Chocolate Brownie Mix
1 Box Chocolate Mousse Dessert
2 containers of Cool Whip (thawed)
2 -3 Heath Bars (crushed up)

Make brownies according to instructions on box. Cool completely and into squares. Make chocolate mousse according to instructions on box.

In a tall trifle-style glass bowl, make a layer of brownies on the bottom, then layer with about 1/3 of the chocolate mousse, sprinkle on some of the crushed Heath Bars. Layer about 1/3 of the cool whip. Again sprinkle with some crushed Heath Bars. Repeat layers until the bowl is full up to the top. Top with the remaining Heath Bar crumbles.

You should get the first spoonful because it is guaranteed not to last long.

Building Houses from Scraps

I am getting ready to start building houses.

I am joining in on Jeaneke's Building Houses From Scraps" challenge. The goal is to make 365 3-inch little houses, one a day. Kind of like me taking just one piece of chocolate. I just can't stop at one. Really, I can't.

You can also join in on the fun. It's free.
There are no rules or obligations. Just a fun little way to use up tiny scraps. It officially starts on January 1, 2012.

Here are a few of my blocks

You will get four houses per each page. I decided to to a trial run to see what my finished blocks would look like. I am going to make them a bit more scrappy and not use the same fabrics for each house. I think I'll try to do a page a day.

Getting ready was easy. A wonderful quilter in an on-line group that I am in sent me a big bag of scraps last year. I had no idea what I was going to do with them. After seeing this challenge, it was like playing a game of BINGO! I instantly won. I knew exactly how I was going to spend my earnings. I am going to use all the scraps jammed into this plastic tote to make this sweet house quilt. Except for maybe a few fussy cut squares for my windows.

I am going to paper piece mine. Jantine from the blog Urban Style is going to paper piece her houses too. She's made in EQ7 a PP version of the little house block pattern. She is sharing it for free, isn't that nice of her? So if you want to paper piece your house blocks too, send an email to Jantine to ask her for the PDF of the PP-Building Houses from Scraps-block. It may take a day or two, but she will get back you.

2012 is going to be my year of challenges. I've joined the Stashbuster UFO challenge, Just Takes 2, challenge myself to make a few quilts from several quilting calendars that I have collected over the years, continue to make my baby quilts for babies who are born while their daddies are deployed, and last but by least, TRY TO KEEP MY SEWING ROOM ORGANIZED.

Festival of Lights

Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights, starts tonight. It lasts seven days and eight nights.

It is beautiful tradition to gather with friends and family. Each bringing their own menorah and lighting their candles all at the same time.

Gather around the table, we'll give you a treat. Shiny tops to play with and pancakes to eat.

Sewing My Way to Orca Bay

Wow, I need some quilting therapy.
Orca Bay is just the right prescription for me.

See, oldest daughter and husband moved to England last week courtesy of the United States Air Force for four years. I am happy for them but sad at the same time. See, I am also gonna be a grandma in April, and, well distance and I don't get along. I learned how to Skype yesterday. I check my weather app for their new location oh maybe 6 times a day. Wow, its wet and cold across the pond.

I know for a lot of us quilting is like therapy. It helps us put our thoughts, ideas, and feelings together, sometimes gets our heads on straight and well cures a lot.

I didn't get a chance to start "Clue #1 on Day One" with everyone for the official start of Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay mystery. But let me tell you, I got my machine rolling now.
Here is a peek at my progress. I am all caught up and waiting for Clue #5.

A small little shout out to Bonnie. "Thank You" this is just what I needed right now. I am grateful for all the wonderful inspiration you give me and your generosity.

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Happy Thanksgiving

I hope ya'll have a very Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

I also wanted to share with you a new fresh twist for a cranberry salad recipe. It's so light and refreshing. I found it at Weight Watchers.

Fresh Pear-Cranberry Chutney

Weight Watchers Recipe

Course: sauces

Servings: 6

Preparation Time: 10 min


2 large pear(s), firm, ripe, Anjou or Bosc, unpeeled, cored, diced

1/4 cup(s) cilantro, fresh, chopped

3 Tbsp dried cranberries, chopped

2 Tbsp red onion(s), chopped

1 Tbsp canned jalapeno peppers, or fresh, seeded, finely chopped

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp table salt, or to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; toss to mix and coat.
  • Let stand 10 minutes for flavors to blend. Serve, or cover and refrigerate up to 1 day. Yields about 1/2 cup per serving.
Double or Quadruple if needed.

Daisy Mae

Holy Moly [moh-lee] noun Slang
(used as an exclamation to express surprise or astonishment)

Origin: moly coined as rhyming twin to holy, on the model of
holy cow, holy smoke, etc.


To our veterans and all who serve. Thanks

11th of November is also Remembrance Day in Australia, Canada and the UK. On this day, these countries choose to take a moment silence and to wear a red poppy close to their heart's in support of those who fought and sacrificed everything.

A Little About Green Tomatillos

Usually I make standard salsa with red tomatoes but this week I thought I'd try something a bit different. Use the tomatillos that were in my produce box.

Tomatillos are small fruits (used as a vegetable) enclosed in a husk. The fruit resembles a small unripe tomato and is usually green or yellow. The yellow color indicates ripeness, but they can be used when they are still green. Green tomatillos are firmer and easier the slice. The husk that holds the fruit is like paper and is light brown. The flesh is slightly acidic with a hint of lemon. Tomatillos belong to the same family as tomatoes.

Salsa Verde
15 -20 tomatillos, husks removed, quartered
5 cloves of garlic
1 medium white or yellow onion, skin removed, coarsely chopped
1 bunch of cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
2 jalapeno, seeds removed
1 Tbsp lime juice

Add onions, jalapeno peppers and tomatillos into a food processor and pulse 4 -5 times. Add remaining ingredients and purse again until desired consistency. ( I like mine very coarse).
Salsa Verde can be served immediately, but is better when it sits in the refrigerator overnight to let the flavors meld.

Here is a quilt that I made called Salsa Snowballs
It's perfect for this time of year!

Pre-cuts coming soon!

Found on the Side of the Road

rural - suburbia ~ That's where I live ~

For anyone that grew up in rural North Carolina one of the greatest things about mid-summer to early fall has to be the wild blackberries. The Triangle and NC suburbs are not quite in the mountains, and not quite off of them either so they are the prime growing area for blackberry bushes. You can find them just about anywhere from the local park to the side of the road or even the parking lot at your local grocery
I’ve been watching a patch just along the road as you leave my subdivision. Watching & waiting patiently as the berries went from green to red and now finally to black.

Last week early in the morning before the heat, I headed out to pick a batch. I was really worried that I’d fall into the ditch, scratch up my legs by the thorns or even yet see a snake and FREAK. My neighbors probably saw me and thought I was crazy. I could have just gone to the grocery store and paid top dollar for a pint, gone to the farmer’s market and picked up a nice assortment. Naw! That would have been too easy.

{my local farmer's market}