Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bruschetta Appetizer

I am a foodie-  always have been, always will be.  I thought I would share with you a simple recipe that I've assembled and have enjoyed several times.  It's a quick appetizer that is super easy to prepare.  It's for bruschetta.  If you've ever had the bruschetta at Mellow Mushroom, this tastes a lot like it. First, you will need a loaf of bread.  I like to get a baguette.  I cut it in 1/4 inch slices and put the slices on a baking sheet.  I warm the slices in a 350 oven.  Three minutes each side.

While the bread is warming (not toasting), I mix up the ingredients for the topping.  I use about a dozen grape tomatoes (use whatever you have though).  I quarter the tomatoes and use a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a table spoon of balsamic vinegar, a dash of garlic salt, a dash of dried oregano and a pinch of sugar.  I then chop about 6 basil leaves.  Stir it all together and let it set for a couple of minutes.

When the bread is ready, place bread slices on serving plate
and top the bread with a spoonful of the tomato mixture. 
Try not to use too much of the liquid.
 Top with crumbled feta cheese.

Then, drizzle the tops with balsamic glaze. 
 It is a reduced mixture that is dark and sticky--kinda like syrup. 
Look for it in the vinegar section of the grocery store.


1 baguette
12 grape tomatoes
6 basil leaves
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 dash garlic salt
1 dash dried oregano
1 pinch of sugar
crumbled feta cheese
balsamic glaze

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Pillow Reveal and Summer Yard

In my last post, I showed you my pillow cover project.  Here is the pillow cover I made to be used outside on my new patio.  I will make a few more covers, but this is the first one I finished.

Remember that I mentioned a Pottery Barn pillow cover?
  Here's that cover along with the bird cover that I just finished.

You can see how my pillow cover overlaps in the back in this picture.

You can see the details of the piping in this picture.

Here are a few pictures in the back yard. 
I've really enjoyed having some extra caladiums this year.

Squirrels are good.

My side yard with crepe myrtles,  I believe these are Tuscarora. 

It's so hot, I'm just proud to have anything "blooming" in this heat....

I made this little "RELAX" sign yesterday out of a piece of board I found last year.
  A great color and a few chippy spots!

I love the way this all looks together with  my outdoor fireplace. 
 It makes it look like summer.

Relax and enjoy your weekend with family and friends.

P.S.  This will be my next project.  My husband FOUND this wrought iron piece on a trash pile a couple of months ago!!!  It weighs a ton and is over 4 feet tall.  Now, that's a good husband!!!!

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Pillow Talk

Like so many of you, I'm trying
to beat the heat with an indoor project. 

 Here's my little table on my patio. Don't you just love the melted candles?

I bought some fabric while I was on vacation and decided this week would be a great time to start working on making a few pillows for my patio...to use when it gets cooler (in October). 

For some reason, I was really drawn to this fabric.  I decided I could use it to make some pillow covers to be used on our new patio. 

I have a friend who is a quilter and she liked the fabric, too.  I told her my plan was to cut out the birds I particularly liked....she called that "Fussy Cutting."  I picked out my first bird and got started.  I decided the largest pillow cover size I could make with the bird without getting other birds was going to be 12 x 12.  I made my special fancy pattern that is shown below.

I measured and pinned the pattern over the bird and started cutting.

I cut a complimentary fabric for the back of the pillow (purchased at Hobby Lobby).  This piece needs to be longer on the sides so it will overlap when you're putting the pillow cover together in the back. It will overlap in the back like the covers you get for pillow inserts at Pottery Barn.

This color just happens to perfectly match a pillow cover that I bought at PB on the same trip.  I was thinking ahead.  ;)

Now here's the next step.  I made a trim/piping/cording with another fabric and the rope-like cotton cording that you see in the trim area at fabric stores.

I ironed this fabric first (Hobby Lobby).  Then I folded it over to cover the cord.

I pinned it and then I cut the strip long-ways.

This is how it looks before  you start to sew it together.

I used the zipper foot and just snuggled it up
 close to the cording and that makes the piping.  Do not trim the edges.  Set aside.

Now this fabric is the back of my pillow cover.  You need to clean finish the two opposite sides.  I turned it under and ironed it  and then folded it under one more time and then top stitched it.

The next step is to fold the fabric in half with the two finished edges meeting. 
 Iron it and then cut it on the fold line.

Later, you will pin the two finished edges so that they overlap in the back in the middle and the two unfinished sides are pinned to the edges of the front side (with bird) --right sides together and with the piping in between the front and the back pieces.

I clipped the piping  at the corners so that it would  be easier to  work with as you pin the piping to the front of the cover.  You will want to use a lot of pins and take it slow.  Stitch these two pieces together (the piping and the front).

I then checked to see how the piping looked after sewing it to the front.  Next, I pinned the right sides together and sewed the back to the front.  Remember, you will have the overlap in the middle of the back--pin the edges together and then you will form the overlap in the middle.  You will be sewing through four layers of fabric for most of the pillow (front, two of piping and one of back cover) and five layers where it overlaps in the back.   Clip corners on the front and back fabric and then trim edges.  Reverse and iron the cover.  Now for the insert.

I love a down insert, but I couldn't find a 12 x 12 one here in town....so I had a pillow that I didn't need anymore and I decided to use the feathers from that pillow to make a insert.  It really wasn't too messy and I still have enough feathers for another insert. 

My pillow cover reveal will be on my next post.  In the mean time, have you ever watched the movie, PILLOW TALK ? It's a great comedy with Doris Day and Rock Hudson.

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