Monday, June 30, 2014

Crab Soup

A friend dropped by with a bag full of cooked dungeness crab just before dinner time.  I LOVE dungeness crab and I knew just the recipe for this yummy crustacean.  

The first thing to do is crack the crab and dig out the tender, salty meat.
The next order of business, is to chop the onion, peppers and smash the garlic.  I put them in a pot with a little heated olive oil.
I stir them a bit as they cook over medium heat.  Isn't it a pretty sight, and oh the smell, delicious!
Next I add the remaining ingredients, including fresh basil and oregano.
I let the soup cook a little while before adding the crab.
Topped with this flavorful, creamy sauce, this soup is to-die-for.  This recipe is a keeper.  It is delicious and it takes just minutes to prepare.

Crab Soup

1 onion
1 green pepper-I used several from the bag of small colored peppers
1 or 2 garlic cloves, mashed
2-15 oz cans of tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
3 chicken bullion cubes
2 cups water

For the sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbs wine vinegar
garlic powder
chili or other hot spice

Crack your crab and set aside.  In a stock pot, sauté your onion, peppers and garlic until the onions are translucent.  Add the canned tomatoes, the white wine, the chicken bullion cubes, the oregano and basil and the 2 cups of water.  Cook for 15 minutes.  Add the crab and cook until the crab is warmed up.  While the soup is cooking, mix the mayo, sour cream wine vinegar and spices together in a bowl for the topping.

When the crab is warmed through, you can ladle a full bowl and top with the sauce.  You will absolutely LOVE this soup.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Finished UFO: A Quilt for Sophie's Sister

Two weeks ago, I did a little post about my lost and found UFO's.  I gave myself until the end of June, a sort of random deadline, to finish these UFO's. This is my first completely finished UFO.  A super special friend is coming to visit me next week before she flies South to be with her daughter when she has her second child.  This quilt is for her new granddaughter.  

I absolutely LOVE to make quilt tops.  I don't love quilting however.  I always think I am going to try a fun quilt pattern but end up stippling.  I stipple because it's quick and forgiving.  I use a BSR on my Bernina 430 to do free motion quilting.  While quilting this piece, I struggled with skipped stitches.  After cursing my BSR and changing my needle to a new needle and changing the bobbin thread, I did a Google search to help me solve the problem.  After reading lots of advice in many different posts, I went back to my to machine test some theories.  I changed my quilting needle to an 90/14.  The larger needle doesn't move away from the bobbin hook.  I also changed my bobbin thread to a lighter weight thread.  It was like magic.  I had changed my needle and thread in an attempt to stop the skipping but I had not changed to the right needle and thread.  If you have trouble with skipping stitches, this might work for you too.

 I actually completed both of the quilts.  I sell quilt tops HERE.  I love to make tops but really don't love to quilt.  If you love to quilt, or need a quilt and have a favorite long-arm quilter, this might be just the thing for you. Both quilts have lovely '30's reproduction fabrics and two different white on white fabrics.  There is a white on white rose print and a white on white swirl print.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Rhubarb Custard Bars

Here is another real easy rhubarb dessert recipe from Marlene and Jeanette.  
This recipe starts in your electric mixer.  
Mix the crust ingredients so they look like this and reserve a half cup for the topping.
Press the crumbly goodness into the bottom of an 8" X 8" pan.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until it's golden brown.
While the crust is baking, whip the custard ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
When the crust comes out of the oven, sprinkle the rhubarb on top.

Add the custard mixture.
Sprinkle the reserved crumbly topping.
Bake for about 45 minutes.
Enjoy alone or with your favorite topping and a cup of coffee.
Rhubarb Custard Bars
Preheat oven to 350
Crust and Topping
1 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup butter

Mix together until crumbly.  Reserve 1/2 cup for topping.  Press the remaining crumbs on the bottom and sides of an 8" or 9" baking pan. Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup half and half
2 cups diced rhubarb

Beat eggs for 1 minute on high speed.  Add sugar, flour, salt and half and half and mix well.  Sprinkle rhubarb over the baked crust.  Pour the custard mixture over the rhubarb.  Sprinkle with the reserved topping.  Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014


There are over 1000 species of rhododendron.  They are a showy plants that bloom in the Spring.  I have seen many lovely colors of Rhododendron in the early Spring in the Northwest United States.  In Southeast Alaska, we see these lovely flowers in the month of June.  Some flower in early June, and some mid-June, so June is the Rhody month here in Petersburg.  

This is my grandma's Rhody.  It has been growing in front of this house since the '40's.  For decades this was the species you would find in Petersburg.  It has dark green leaves and pinky-purple flowers. You will find these plants alongside many homes in Petersburg.
My mom's yard is overflowing with this species of rhododendron.

Several years ago, a wonderful nursery opened in Petersburg.  The owner, Denise, brought lots of new species into town.  The new plants added variety to the standard pinky-purple show in the Spring.

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