Monday, November 6, 2017

Bread Makin'

Cloudy, rainy, fall day - perfect for a bread makin' day. We had a busy weekend so I was very thankful to have this Monday off work to do whatever.  Haven't made bread in a while, so this morning that was the first thing on my to-do list.

I use the recipe from Allrecipes.com for Simple Whole Wheat Bread.  I've made bread for about 30 years and this is our favorite recipe. I love that it makes three loaves and freezes very well. Great for little gifts too.  It is a heavy, very filling bread, sweetened with honey. Sometimes I'll make six loaves at a time, if I have a few gifts to give, or I want to have plenty for the holidays or special times.
Yes, it does make a mess in the kitchen, but the house smells so yummy when it bakes.
And yes, it takes several hours to make.  Still, it is worth it.  Try it and let me know what you think.



Now, off to do some cleaning, a little decluttering, and maybe I'll make it upstairs to do some sewing. Love my semi-retiree Mondays.

Happy Monday!
Rachel

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Ginger Tea

I get a little bored with coffee every morning.   I am not one of those who just love their coffee. I drink it to wake up usually.  Tried something new today.  Ginger tea.
Very easy to make.  Pour boiling water over a 2" piece of ginger root that has been cut into small pieces.  Add a couple slices of lemon and let steep for 10-15 minutes.  Some people add honey or sugar to sweeten it, I didn't need to. Ginger tea is supposed to be good for you for all kinds of reasons - aid in digestion, reduce pain and inflammation, boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, help with nausea.  I was just looking for something different to drink for breakfast. It was pretty yummy with this.....
Sara Lee Artesano bread, almond butter, and apple butter.  Remember that apple butter I made a few weeks ago? Ummmm.....delicious.  Everyone raves about this bread.  It is good, that is if you don't have any homemade bread on hand.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dyeing Jeans

Ever dyed anything?  This was the third time I have dyed these jeans.  They are my all time favorites.  Loft skinny curvy. With little side zippers on the legs.  I wore and washed them so much, the color had really faded.  Dyed them.  Worked pretty good but the color seemed to fade out pretty fast.  I don't think I let them sit long enough in the dye.  Dyed them again and made the mistake of not constantly stirring for 20-30 minutes and some places didn't take while others were dark.  Just too weird looking.

So, I decided to try one more time.  Dyeing clothes in a bucket isn't for the faint of heart.  This time, I stood for 30 minutes stirring, then it took another 30 minutes of rinsing. I kept telling myself, one hour of my time would be worth it to have my favorite jeans back and wearable.

 I think it worked better this time than the previous two.  Nice and dark. even though still wet in this picture. I know other people dye on the stove or in the washer.  I was way too afraid to try the washer, and my laundry sink is more suited with very hot tap water than the stove top for me.

In other hobby news, I ran my longest training run yesterday.  In two weeks I'll do the first of two fall half marathons.
Sometimes I get discouraged that I am not any faster and I seem to be getting slower each year. I do some heavy self-talk....

- you are out there trying
- it's good for your heart
- it's good for your mood/stress
- it helps keep your weight down
- you are doing something not many your age can do
- be thankful you are able to run no matter the pace
- remember the fabulous endorphins!

Thanks for stopping by!
Rachel





Monday, October 9, 2017

Apple Butter

Ever made apple butter?  It's been years since I experimented and made some.  Probably after tasting the Apple Barn's apple butter in Pigeon Forge.  It is so very yummy.   I attempted on Friday night, cooking the apples on low in the crock pot all night.  I used a recipe found online.  It was pretty good but not nearly as good as the Apple Barn's.



So, I just had to try again. I had wanted to can it, but I didn't have the lids so I froze the first batch.  On the next recipe I remembered that the Apple Barn's didn't have much taste of the other spices (nutmeg, cloves, allspice, etc) but seemed to just have a wonderful taste of cinnamon and apples. This time I increased the cinnamon and used only a pinch of cloves, then added 1 T of vanilla, which I'd seen in another recipe.  I also cooked it down more.  First batch I had seven half pints, this one, only five, :(  It is much better than the first and more like the Apple Barn's recipe.


I wish now, that I had kept adding apples as they cooked down to make a bigger batch.  Now I know I have a good recipe, and can always make more. I think it would make a great gift along with a loaf of homemade bread.

My recipe:
~ 12 apples of various kinds
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Peel, core, and chop apples. Mix with sugars and cook on low 8-10 hours or overnight.  Then remove the lid,  add cinnamon, salt, cloves, vanilla.  Puree with an immersion blender.  Let cook without lid until it gets thick and will stay on a spoon, a little thicker than applesauce.  Can be frozen or canned in a water bath canner.

The apples and cinnamon cooking in your home gives off a wonderful fall aroma.

Rachel



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fall is in the air!

Fall is in the air, and on the tables!
I pulled out the remaining nice looking hexagons from my Corona quilt and made another table runner.
Nice, pretty fall colors, right?
Problem is, I already have a beautiful fall table runner. My dilemma is what to do with it.  Gift it or donate it to charity/auction?  

I wanted to gift it to a friend, but I'm not sure she would like it.  I'm very particular about my home decor and I always worry when gifting someone with decor.  I see a quilt as different since it can be used purely for the function/warmth even if the recipient isn't fond of the colors or pattern.  A quilted table runner is a bit different, don't you think?  

I do think it would be great for halloween and Thanksgiving holidays.

UPDATE:  I did give it to my friend, and she loved it.  Or at least she said she did and acted like it.

Fall

Don't you just love fall?

I made the little topper years ago using a discharging method of spraying a mixture of Clorox and water on black fabric, over some real leaves.  Then removed the leaves and copied them to make some appliqué leaves. They were laid out a little to the side so it looks like they are floating.  This little topper has always been a favorite of mine.

In case you aren't a regular reader of my website (www.rachelmhayes.com) here is a pic of a little baby quilt I made recently.
I used three of Elizabeth Hartman's patterns.  The little creatures aren't very difficult to make and it works pretty well as a quick baby quilt.

And just because it's fall......
My current favorite quilt, "Corona."  On our bed.

Thanks for stopping by!

Rachel


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Small Project

I had lots of scrap hexagons left from my last big project.  


This little quilt will probably go to work with me to hang in my office.

I'm really concerned about the impending victims of Hurricane Irma. Please pray for all the folks in it's path.  We have family in Gainesville, that are going to wait it out.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

More of Ireland

Just a few more pictures to share.....

I love these.  It shows just how quickly they can move!



I loved these actions shots.  That girl was so happy to be there and it shows on her face!  These were taken at a place called White Rocks, about 20 minutes away from the Giants Causeway in Ireland.



 These were taken at Kilfane Glen and Waterfall. It was a property owned by a wealthy family in the 1700s and has stayed the same since then.  They really enjoyed roaming around the property.  I told them it looked like an enchanted forest and my DIL said Emma was looking for fairies!
The closed out their week with a visit to see the Book of Kells at the Library of Trinity College Dublin. This was a thrill for both my son and his wife.
I'm living vicariously through their travels!

Friday, August 25, 2017

My Scottish Grands are in Ireland

My son has a conference next week in Dublin, so their little family made a nice trip out of it and they all went to Ireland.  I'm so thankful they send me pictures.  Enjoy.
 This girl....my heart aches sometimes being so far away.  :(
 Cliffs of Moher

I remember the beautiful stone fences when the hubby and I visited Ireland a few years ago.
 Of course my girl is running. Love her energy!

 My girl isn't always happy.....lol
 but her moods can change on a dime!

With her energy, there is always a photo op, but little Haddon isn't quite walking on his own really well yet, so with Momma taking the photos and carrying him....he didn't get in many.  That will change once he is walking!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Solar Eclipse Totality in East Tennessee

It's been a while since I've posted...oops.  I should do better.  The eclipse was such a once in a lifetime event, it is worthy of a post.  We had a little viewing party at our lot.





 I made a viewer even though we had the glasses.  The geek in me, I guess.
And it worked.  Clearer in person.

 These were some great pics my local dentist made.
 It was so strange.  The sky got very dark, the crickets were chirping, and there was a 360 degree sunset.
 Totality was so awesome!  Like a black hole in the sky.  It was truly amazing.
After the inspiring display of the solar eclipse, a name came to me for my latest quilt.

CORONA

Isn't it perfect?  The husband didn't like it, but that is because he didn't research the eclipse to know that was what we saw at the point of totality.  I had a friend who said it reminded her of beer.  LOL...oh well, I liked it so it sticks. I'm thinking of putting this one in some shows.  I never think my work is good enough, but this one -- I think the visual impact will outweigh my less than perfect sewing.