Saturday, August 23, 2014

Luxury Yacht at our Door

Doug and I went for a little run Friday morning and when we returned home, this is the breathtaking view that greeted us.  When a ship like this is parked a stones throw away from the front of your house, it's only natural to go straight to google.
This luxury yacht was delivered to owner by Audrey Milnichenk in 2008.  The name of this interesting vessel is A, which stands for the owners name and Alexsandra, his wife. The A is was designed by Philippe Starck and built by Blohm and Voss.  The purchase price was rumored to be 300 million dollars.  It is a speedy vessel, with a maximum speed of 23 knots and cruising speed of 19 knots.  It also uses lots of fuel.  The fuel tank holds 200,000 gallons.  It uses about 27 gallons of fuel per hour. 
The submarine shaped ship is 390 feet long. There are about 24,000 square feet of interior living space.  The master suite is 2,500 square feet.  The windows have 1.7" thick bomb proof glass and there are over 40 CCTV cameras and motion sensors.
You will find a helipad and a swimming pool on the bow.
The stern has 2 swimming pools, one with a glass bottom, a window to the disco below.  This large opening below the aft deck and pool is for the motor boats and watercraft that transport people here and there.

find a bio of  Audrey Milnichenk CLICK HERE
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Strip Your Stash Quilt

Last week in a moment of boredom, I went to Craftsy , to see if there was a quilting class that might interest me.  I ended up on the 'Sale' page and found the perfect class, Strip Your Stash with Nancy Smith.  I have so many scraps, and many I've already cut into 2-1/2" strips.  I generally do the 1600' technique to make sheets of fabric to use as backing for wall hangings or backgrounds for appliqué quilts.  I've also made aprons out of pretty batik strip sheets.  Nancy Smith's class offered a different technique for making sheets of fabric from strips.

I thought it would be fun and it was.  Nancy is very thorough in her explanation of the techniques she teaches.  She also explained one interesting strategy for picking out fabrics for strips.

Her strip technique uses 2-1/2" strips, and it also uses 3-1/2" and 1-1/2" strips.  I had some fat 8th's left over from a quilt I made a couple of years ago.  Rather than use Nancy's strategy for picking out strip fabric, I decided to try to match these focal fabrics.  I found these fabrics at Kapaia Stitchery in Lihue on the island of Kauai about 5 years ago.  If you ever go to Lihue, you must stop in this shop.  There are lots and lots of fun Hawaiian fabrics.
I rummaged through my scrap fabrics and found some fabrics to use with the Hawaiian prints.
 I ended up with this long sheet of fabric.  It's pretty lopsided isn't it.  I think next time I will use my walking foot for the entire process.
 I cut the sheet into strips and auditioned them on background fabrics.  I liked this tan color the best.
I sewed the strips to the background strips. 
And put a border around it.  
 Again, I will use my walking foot next time.  I think this top is a little dull yet but I bet with quilting, this could be a nice looking quilt.  Nancy Smith gives great directions for 4 different quilts made from these strips.  This is not one of them.  The class was really fun and I recommend it for anyone who has scraps to burn....and what quilter doesn't.

Linking To:
Fabric Tuesday Linky Tuesday WIP Wednesday Let's Bee Social I Quilt Needle and Thread Thursday  Can I Get A Whoop Whoop No Rules Weekend Blog Party Fabric Frenzy Friday #28 Sew Darn Crafty Scraptastic Tuesday 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Crab Quiche

A friend dropped off a half a King crab and I resisted the temptation to simply crack it and eat it then and there.  I decided to find a good recipe for my luscious gift.  I remembered reading a delicious looking recipe for Cajun Crawfish Quiche on Lamberts Lately Blog.  I dug it up from my Pinterest 'Dinner' board and began collecting the ingredients.  It turned out that I had most of the ingredients.  I always keep a couple cans of Rotel handy...don't you.  I love the stuff.  The only thing I had to purchase was the pie crust.  I should have made one....I generally don't like pie crust from the store but I just didn't want to take the time to make my own crust.  I bought a Marie Callendars double pie crust pack.  I will never make another crust!  Now I keep a package of these in my freezer at all times.

This is the best recipe for seafood!  If you have leftover salmon this is a quick and easy second day meal.  I bet you could add leftover halibut too.  That will be my next try.  The beauty of this recipe is that it takes about 5 minutes to put together.   It's that easy!  And it is delicious to boot.

Crab Quiche
1 frozen pie crust
1 clove garlic, minced
A cup or two of Alaska's fine seafood, crab, salmon, halibut.....cooked
8 oz cheddar cheese-your choice, sharp or regular
4 eggs
1 can Rotel, drained
2 Tbs hot sauce.  

You can also add chopped onion, corn, peppers, spinach....the list of veggies is limitless.

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Cook the frozen pie crust in the oven for 5 minutes.  In a medium pan, sauté the garlic and any veggies you plan to add to your pie.  

In a large bowl, mix the garlic/veggie mixture with the crab, cheese, eggs, Rotel and hot sauce.  Pour into the pie crust.

Bake the pie for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the center of the pie is firm.  Serve immediately.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Petersburg's City Gardens

If you walk around Petersburg in the Summer, you will see colorful lush gardens in our City parks and along the sidewalks.  The person responsible for these lovely wonders is Jesse O'Connor.  Jesse has been landscaping and nourishing city gardens for years and his work is appreciated by all who walk down the streets of our town.  

If you've lived in Petersburg very long, you know that things looked very different before Jesse built the cities gardens.  We forget the barren landscape of 15 years ago when the Harbor parking lot was just a parking lot.  

I think this was one of Jesse's first gardens.  Look at how the trees have grown.  The colorful annuals accessorize the the lush green and crimson trees during the summer months.

 Eric Larson's black bear hides behind the flowering shrubs.
 This garden is an example of Jesse's masterful attention to detail.  This garden flowers throughout the summer and the majority of the plants in this garden are bulbs and perennials.  Bulbs and perennials are lovely when they are flowering but the life of each bloom is relatively short.  The blooms in this garden begin with tulips and daffodils in the Spring and as these flowers wane, the peonies begin their luscious blooms, bordered by Snow-In-Summer.  This picture was taken after the peony bloom, during mid July.  The terracing of the Ligularia, Hostas and Astilbe makes a lovely backdrop for this restful seating area at the bottom of the hill.

If you garden in Petersburg, you know how difficult it is to get flowers to grow in the dark wet Summer months.  Jesse's gardens are always colorful, lush and healthy.  When you see Jesse, you might want to thank him for almost single handedly, bringing so much beauty to Petersburg.  

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Quilting: It's A Process

This week I worked on two quilts.  I was hoping to get the Quilt for Eric finished so I could show and tell, however, the quilting part took a little longer than I expected.  It is completely quilted and ready for the binding.  I used my walking foot and straight stitches for this quilt.  There was a lot of stopping and starting, which is time consuming.  I like the stitch my walking foot makes.  I am not confident with free motion.  I guess that means I need more practice...right.

 A couple of years ago I attended a mystery class.  I picked out In The Beginning fabrics by Jason Yenter, which I loved but it turned out that they didn't necessarily work for the mystery.  After I pieced the top, I quickly put it together with a backing and started quilting, using a quick and dirty spiral.  I wanted to just get it done.  I quilted about a quarter of the piece and then put it in my UFO pile.  You know how it is when you spend time on something and you still don't like it.  It just gets tedious and it's easy to move on to something else.  Well, this week, I took that quilt out of the UFO pile and took the quilting out.  I like the fabrics in this quilt.  It's so muddy, you really don't see any pattern at all.  I think with a little quilting, the pattern may emerge.  I am going to attempt making something of this quilt.  I'll keep you posted.

Linking To:
Craftastic Monday Link Anything Goes Monday #73 Sew Cute Tuesday Linky Tuesday Fabric Tuesday WIP Wednesday Let's Bee Social #33 I Quilt Needle and Thread Thursday Link A Finish Friday Can I Get A Whoop Whoop Fabric Frenzy Friday #27 TGIFF Weekend Link Party

Monday, August 11, 2014

Nut Cake with Salmonberry Fromage

This recipe comes from the Norwegian National Recipes Cookbook, page 14.  The recipe is titled Nut Cake with Cloudberry Fromage (Nottekake Med Multebaerfromasj).  There is a lovely picture on page 15, of the cookbook, which inspired me to adapt this recipe using Alaska salmonberries.

For the Nut Cake:
2 cups ground almonds (The book calls for hazelnuts)
3/4 cup sugar
5 egg whites

Pureed Salmonberries:
2 cups salmonberries
2/3 cups sugar

2 cups whipping cream
2 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatine
2 Tbs. water
5 egg yolks
2 Tbs water
Pureed salmonberries

Preheat oven to 350F.  Using an electric mixer, whip egg whites and sugar until stiff.  Gently fold in ground almonds.  Bake in a 9" springform pan for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.

While the cake is baking, puree the salmonberries and sugar in a blender or food processor.  Strain to remove the seeds.  Whip 2 cups of whipping cream and fold in the pureed salmonberry sugar mixture.  Set aside. (I took a little out of the bowl to reserve for topping the cake when serving)

Whisk the egg yolks and 2 Tbs. water.  Dissolve the Knox gelatin in 2 Tbs. boiling water.  Add a small bit of egg mixture to the gelatin mixture and stir to cool the gelatin mixture before adding all to the egg mixture.  This will prevent the hot gelatin mixture from cooking the egg mixture.  Whisk together until the mixture thickens.  Mix with the creamy cloudberry mixture.  Pour over the almond cake in the springform pan.  Place in the refrigerator to cool for about 2 hours.  Remove from the pan, cut and serve.  

I am inspired to use this nut cake recipe again as a foundation for something.  It is absolutely dreamy.  The Salmonberry Fromage on top is tasty too.

Note:  I get a little nervous about using raw eggs in my cooking because I don't want to share the gift of Salmonella with friends and family.  I wanted to try this recipe though so I did a little egg research.  I decided to make and eat this recipe using the raw eggs and it was fine, however you have to make the decision about what to do yourself.  You do have the option of using pasteurized eggs too.  I am not familiar with this product but these eggs can be safely eaten raw.

This is from the Incredible Egg.Org site:
Are Salmonella bacteria most likely to be found in the egg’s white or yolk?
Bacteria, if they are present at all, are most likely to be in the white and will be unable to grow, mostly due to lack of nutrients. As the egg ages, however, the white thins and the yolk membrane weakens. This makes it possible for bacteria to reach the nutrient-dense yolk where they can grow over time if the egg is kept at warm temperatures. But, in a clean, uncracked, fresh shell egg, internal contamination occurs only rarely.

Doesn’t the eggshell protect an egg from bacteria?

Yes and no. The egg has many natural, built-in barriers to help prevent bacteria from entering and growing. These protect the egg on its way from the hen to your home. But, although it does help, the porous shell itself is not a foolproof bacterial barrier. For additional safety, government regulations require that eggs be carefully washed with special detergent and sanitized.
Other protective barriers include the shell and yolk membranes and layers of the white which fight bacteria in several ways. The structure of the shell membranes helps prevent the passage of bacteria. The shell membranes also contain lysozyme, a substance that helps prevent bacterial infection. The yolk membrane separates the nutrient-rich yolk from the white.
In addition to containing antibacterial compounds such as lysozyme, layers of the white discourage bacterial growth because they are alkaline, bind nutrients bacteria need and/or don’t provide nutrients in a form that bacteria can use. The thick white discourages the movement of bacteria. The last layer of white is composed of thick ropey strands which have little of the water that bacteria need but a high concentration of the white’s protective materials. This layer holds the yolk centered in the egg where it receives the maximum protection from all the other layers.
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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Low Tide

It's always fun to wander around on the beach at low tide.  During big minus tides, sea creatures we rarely see are waving, squirming and crawling around, wondering where their watery home went. These are some of the specimens I found in natures schoolhouse.
Mollusks and Crustaceans


Echinoderms and Cnidarians

What can you identify?