Feb 18, 2016

TBT - Japanese Garden

Carolyn over at Stitching One Day At A Time recently returned to blogging and stitching. (Welcome back, Carolyn!)  She's been doing a Throw Back Stitching Thursday which I've thoroughly enjoyed.  I thought I'd do a TBT, too.

I started Japanese Garden way back at the end of 2005.  I had just gotten back into stitching after being away for years (long story).  In 2005, I had never stitched on anything other than aida.  Chatelaines are very ambitious projects for the seasoned stitcher, yet I jumped right in and started Japanese Garden.  It has resulted in many firsts for me:

•  First project using evenweave and stitching over-two
•  First project using hand-dyed and silk threads
•  First project doing specialty stitches
•  First project using beads and crystals (although, technically I haven't put them on yet)

Fearless, wasn't I? 

It's still a WIP and each year I have high hopes of finishing it.  Since I can't show a finished project, I thought I'd share progress photos from throughout the years.

1/8/2006 - After 51½ hours of stitching
8/10/2008 - After 116 hours
I've been a lax in keep good records of how much time I've spent stitching on JG.  My last post-it note said 130+ hours back in early 2011, but that was a couple years ago.  I'm estimating I have over 300 by now.

P.S.  I've figured out why I haven't taken it off the scroll frame. I have to dismantle the entire lap stand in order to get the rods off. Just sayin...


Stuffed Portobella Mushrooms

I love trying new recipes.  Easy and taste good... that's my motto.  The stuffed portobella mushrooms were so good, I've made them twice in a week and a half!

Veggie Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

3 tbsp. olive oil
2 loose c. baby spinach, chopped
3 cloves chopped garlic (3/8 tsp. minced)
1/2 med. onion (approx. 1/3 c.)
1/2 sweet red pepper (approx.. 1/3 c.)
3/4 c. part skim ricotta
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg
4 large basil leaves, chopped  (1/2 tsp. dried)
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
4 large portobella mushroom caps
1/2 c. marinara sauce
1/2 c. part skim shredded mozzarella
Salt and Pepper
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  For easier clean up, cover sheet with aluminum foil and spray the foil.  Gently remove the stems, scoop out the gills.  Brush the tops of mushrooms with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  The oil will soak into the mushrooms pretty fast.

Over medium heat, saute  onion, garlic and red pepper in oil and season with salt. Cook until soft, 5-6 minutes. Add the spinach and saute until wilted, about 1-4 minutes, stirring as it cooks.

In medium bowl, add the ricotta, parmesan cheese and egg.  Mix well. Add the cooked vegetables, basil, and oregano.  Mix together until well combined. Using a regular tablespoon, stuff the mushrooms with ricotta mixture.  Top each mushroom with 2 tbsp. marinara and 2 tbsp. mozzarella.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.  Broil on high during last 1 1/2 minutes of baking.

  I’ve used regular spinach unchopped and it works fine.  I imagine you could use frozen spinach (well drained) also.
  Look for large caps with high walls with no cracks on the sides so your filling doesn't come out as it bakes.
  I saved (froze) the gills and stem to put in other recipes such as soup, casserole, or stuffing.
  Any sweet peppers will work (red, orange, yellow, etc).
  Chop the pepper and onion pretty small – about the size of a pencil eraser.
  I’ve substituted parmesan cheese with mozzarella (on accident!) and it is just as tasty.
  It’s okay to mound the veggie/cheese mixture into the mushrooms.  I’ve not had it “boil” over as bakes.
  The marinara and mozzarella toppings are approximations.  If using smaller mushrooms, use less; larger use more.

• Servings: 4. • Size: 1 mushroom cap • Calories: 236 • Fat: 13g • Carb: 13g • Fiber: 2.5g • Protein: 20g • Sugar: 4g • Sodium: 522mg  • Cholest: 83mg

Adapted from www.skinnytaste.com

Feb 10, 2016

VMS Giveaway

Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler is hosting another giveaway. Click on over to check it out!


Feb 8, 2016

I Promised...

Last time, I promised I'd show photos of Japanese Garden.  I've made good progress on the lower right corner.

I received Part 2 of Palko's Words 2016 SAL, so I've been working on it, too.  You can see participant progress photos HERE.

Feb 1, 2016

Good Things Come In Three's

Last year, I did the Monthly SAL designed by Palko, a Hungarian stitcher.  For the 2016 SAL, she compiled a sampler called Words.  Here's my floss toss:

If the fabric and colors look familiar, they should.  I used the same fabric and all the colors except the red for Purple Garden back in 2011.  I also used the fabric for Petal Pincushion in 2014.  I'm thinking about swapping the red for a dark mauve.  I'll decide once I get more into the design.  Without further adieu, here's Part 1:

I added the border, which came from Fleurs et Papillons that I did in 2012.
A couple weeks ago, I stitched up my first two finishes of 2016.  I was finally able to finish them into flatfolds.  So adorable! First up...

Design: Life's A Stitch
Designer: Joan Elliott
Book: A Woman's World in Cross Stitch
Fabric: 28ct Pale Yellow Opalescent Linen
Threads: DMC  
Next up...

Designer: Michelle Mouratides @ Little Rabbit Stitching
Fabric: Silkweaver "Shimmering Romance"
28ct Opalescent Cashel Linen
Fibers: DMC
Embellishments: Snowflake buttons
If anyone wants to attempt a flatfold finish, I have a tutorial on my left sidebar.  No sewing is required (and I'm available for questions!).

Oh shoot!  Since I got my lamp fixed, I stitched on JG.  I forgot to take a photo.  Stay tuned for next time. :)