If you are interested in seeing my customer's quilts go to: http://www.miriamsquilts.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 30, 2012

Fushia = Grandma

I saw this picture of a lovely fushia plant on one of the quilting blogs I visit occasionally.  This is hanging outside of her studio.  It makes me think of my maternal grandmother.  She had a large picture window in her living room where there sat a big pot with a tall white trellis coming out of it and in this pot was the largest fushia plant I've ever seen.  I was small, so who knows how tall it actually was, I have memories of it being very tall.  And it always seemed to be in bloom...we must have always visited when it was in it's growing season.  I always think of Grandma when I see one of these.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Has the plant based diet been worth it?

Today my husband had his doctor's appointment.  We were both commenting that if his numbers didn't show an improvement we were going to be really ripped!  It isn't easy to eat the way we've been trying, though it is getting better - we are slowly finding things that we like, and know better how to do this, but it still would be a major kick in the pants if it wasn't making any improvement in measurable health numbers.  I won't pretend to know what the numbers mean....I just haven't taken the time to study it out.  But I do know that numbers going up is bad and going down is good.  Dave's weight is down almost 20 lbs, his blood pressure went down 20 points on the top number and down 10 points on the bottom number.  His diabetes number dropped 1 full point, and his cholesterol dropped 50 points. The doctor said he'd never seen numbers drop that much in 3 months, which is how long it's been since his previous appointment.  We've been following this diet for 2 months.  Jury is in....we'll keep doing this.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

YouTube, what a wonder!

I am currently in love with YouTube.  In the past 24 hours I've googled "How to sew curved seams without pins" and "performances of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody Theme of Paganini" and I had links to YouTube videos where I was able to watch and learn in 4 minutes, free of charge, how to do those tricky curved seams without a single pin - easy peasy.  And played for one of my piano students the Rhapsody piano & orchestra performance so she could hear the emotion that needs to be put into that piece of music (I've got to remember to do this more...what a great tool so they can really HEAR a new piece they aren't familiar with and know what we are shooting toward.)  I've gone to YouTube a handful of times for something, but usually forget about it.  Seriously, it is so cool!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pumpkin Oatmeal

I've run across a couple of interesting ways to fix oatmeal in my recent scouring of whole food ideas.  For people who enjoy pumpkin this is pretty good.  (I don't care for pumpkin pie at all...but pumpkin breads and cookies are to die for.  My husband likes this.) I got this recipe from The Happy Herbivore.

Pumpkin Oatmeal

1/2 c rolled oats
3/4 c water
1/4 c canned pure pumpkin
1/4 to 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
2 T raisins
1 T maple syrup

Cook oats in water with raisins. You can add more water if you like your oatmeal a bit soupy.  Once cooked, mix with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.  Drizzle with maple syrup and serve. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

sugar and salt

They say that when you start cutting back on the sugar and salt that your body and taste buds eventually get used to it and you stop craving it.  I'm beginning to see that, especially with the sugar, salt is being a little tougher.  This morning my Herbivore menu called for brown rice, pineapple, and green onions warmed up together.  (Wasn't sure about the green onion addition, but it wasn't bad.)  When I set out my husband's breakfast I also put out almond milk, cinnamon, and a Splenda pkt.  Wasn't sure he'd go for the rice without some additional stuff in it.  He did use the almond milk and the cinnamon but didn't use the Splenda...which surprised me.  (He recently read some place how the artificial sweeteners weren't good for you...something I've mentioned several times - but now he evidently took to heart.)  When I finally got around to eating my breakfast I was happy to see that I could do without the Splenda as well.  The rice wasn't nearly as sweet as we would have preferred several months ago, and I did notice it, but I was fine with it as it was.  We've gotten to where we sweeten almost everything we want sweet with fruit - it works, and the longer we do it the better it tastes to us.  Salt will take longer, vegetables (or whatever) just don't taste good to me yet without salt.  I'm going to be trying different salt substitutes.  I'll let you know if I find something that works well.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Asparagus Soup

This is a recipe I got from my sister 2 years ago (she didn't remember it at all, and I had to share it back to her!)  This is a GREAT way to use up the bottom ends of Asparagus that you are supposed to cut off because they get a bit tough.  Use the top, tender part for vegetables, and then make this soup with the rest. 

Creamy Asparagus Soup

1/2 an onion, cut up
1 large potato, peeled and cut up
4 cups chicken broth (I used water and chicken bullion)
1 lb asparagus
1 t thyme
1 t lemon juice
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 c powdered milk (in dry form)

Dump everything except the powdered milk into pan and simmer until vegetables are soft.  Add milk, then put everything into a blender and blend until smooth.

When I tried making this with chicken broth and liquid milk it was too runny and tastless.  I love this soup, made this way.