Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

Sorry, I don't have any pictures of the process, I was too busy trying to assemble and get it to the hungry people. There was much gobbling afterwards that I forgot to take some then.

This was inspired by finding an opened package of prosciutto in my freezer that was starting to burn.  Not wanting it to go to waste, I came up with this:

Simmer 2 chicken breasts in water with garlic (you can add carrots, but someone was complaining about all the carrots showing up, so I didn't use any or celery and onions) until cooked through then shred chicken. Reserve chicken broth for future recipes (see below about chicken broth).

Using a cast iron skillet to brown the prosciutto on medium low. Cook until browned. Remove from pan and reserve juices and bits in pan.

Make a medium bechamel sauce (white sauce in some cookbooks - thin, medium, heavy) in the iron skillet. Melt the butter, stir with a wire whisk to loosen up any bits of the prosciutto on the bottom of the pan. Stir in flour and lightly brown, stir in warmed milk. Stir until any lumps are gone. (If you've warmed your milk you shouldn't get lumps. I had forgotten that not warming the milk is what caused the flour and butter to seize up and cause lumps in gravies. So pop it into the microwave for a minute or two to take the cold off before using.)

I added in a couple tablespoons (okay, good sized squirts) of Dijon mustard to the sauce and turned off heat after stirring into sauce.

In a 9x11 or equivalent sized pan, spray with non-stick spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees. I spread half a bag of frozen shredded potatoes. Then spread out the shredded chicken and then crumbled the prosciutto on top and poured the dijon bechamel sauce on top of all. I think I'll mix the shredded potatoes and chicken in the sauce next time and then top with the meat.

I then used five slices of sliced Swiss Cheese (the pre-sliced sandwich type) and then added the panko breading on top. I had melted a couple of tablespoons of butter and mixed in with the breading along with salt and pepper so that it would brown while baking. (If you don't have any panko on hand, use plain bread crumbs. No plain bread crumbs? Makes some from a couple slices of bread. No bread? Stop and come back when you have some!)

I baked it for 30-40 minutes until the bottom was bubbling and the topping was golden brown.

Brandon thought the prosciutto was a bit salty and that ham slices would be better. I'd probably cheat and buy sliced sandwich ham or get sliced ham from the deli. If you have leftover ham from a meal that would also work. I also don't see why cooked bacon wouldn't work if that was your preference.

Overall this came out pretty well for something that I pulled together without a lot of thought. Some may not find the bechamel or shredded chicken parts easy. So you could use your favorite "Cream of ____" soup to get your sauce. I've found that shredding the chicken really makes the chicken go further than serving up cut up bite-sized breasts. I can make one or two breasts seem like there's more meat than the equivalent in breasts cut up. Try it sometime. Shred one breast and cut up another and do the comparison yourself.

I also like cooking the breasts in the water with added garlic/onions/carrots (I'd use celery but the boys don't like the flavor) and I can have the broth to be used either in the recipe I'm using or cooled and poured in jars and stored in the refrigerator. I don't have an issue with the jars going bad because we're eating chicken at least once or twice a week. The broth works in beef stew as well as cooking my rice.

I can't eat green/red (fill in the other colors here) peppers. I've learned to dislike their flavor because they repeat on me. So I don't get the O'brien Hashbrowns. I do like the shredded potatoes, but imagine you could use the little square cut ones just as well or shredd your own potatoes. I was being lazy and going with the pre-shredded.

Try out the recipe and let me know what you think!  I'll try to make another batch of it soon and get photos posted. Share your photos and any changes you made!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Honor Feast 2012

I didn't take a picture of it, but I presented a personal gift of a gorgeous brown mink collar to Queen Astrid. I also learned that she had been gifted by Baroness Svava the basket of largess I had presented in court at Boar's Head Hunt. Wow!

Saturday, October 27th my son William, turned 23 years old! I'm very proud of him!  Sorry, no pics of him to share. Instead, I have pics of where we were instead of with him celebrating. He was off having lunch with his grandfather, aunt and uncle and a cousin as well as playing laser tag and hanging out with his friends, so not neglected!

Our household was off at the Barony of Three Mountains Honor Feast. This year it was Khalja that was being honored. She has a middle eastern persona, as you can also tell by her name, so that was the theme of the event. We have been to the space before for Grand Thing at the St. Helen's Fairgrounds. Its a bit different when you're throwing down rugs, pillows and sheep skins, also cooler in October!

We arrived just before morning opening court, which was a good thing. As we were laying out our rugs, Baroness Jill asked to borrow our blue and white rug (Barony colors) "just for court", how can you say no when a Baroness is making a request? ;-) So our rug was part of court all day long. lol

Thankfully, we had enough rugs and floor coverings to allow everyone to have a place to sit. I had thought to put in a request to Ignatius on Wednesday to solve our tabling issue. He pulled together a couple pieces of wood and some milk crates as bases, since it wasn't early enough of a request to build more official tables that he does have planned. Amelia brought some of her middle eastern stuff and provided table coverings and other decorations to get us in the theme. The sheep skins were also a nice added touch and cushion while sitting on the rugs and pillows.
Socializing with Gwenlianna about her embroidery

After Millicent and the de Merrick's arrival. A lull in eating and some crafting going on

Looking out into the hall from behind Court
Ignatius and I were part of the Arts and Science competitors judges. He was with Her Ladyship Apollina for her wood chair and I was there for Baroness Dafne's yarn. It was very interesting to be part of this process! I learned a lot and may actually enter a competition next year.

Each of them doing their presentation to the judges of that round. There were three rounds during the day. Mine was the last round.
Apparently they did this last year, the food is served buffet style throughout the day. It started at 11am and finished after court. I think we left before the official dessert round. Lots of great food was served. I actually got some baklava that didn't have walnuts, but pistachios! If you went home hungry, it really was your own fault. Even my picky eater found food that he could eat.

I knit a little red poppy while we were there because I knew Carina would be there, she's Canadian and its one of the things they do to show support for Remembrance day, our Veteran's day:
I also started on un-binding off a square that I made for the Barn Raising Quilt because it measured as done and then it wasn't big enough. Didn't find that out for sure until I had blocked and it wasn't wanting to block to size. Thankfully, I was on a color that I had more of, so adding in a few more rows won't be an issue. Getting it unbound without dropping stitches (US 0), the challenge.

Ladies Millicent and Larissa (yes, she still needs an SCA name) received personal appreciation from Baroness Jill and I think also from Baron Alfric. I know Joseph and Merrie de Merrick received appreciation from Baron Alfric. Larissa had young Cameron take a shine to her. We've been watching this little guy grow the last few years since we met him as a baby:
At one point he asked "where did my new friend go?" after she had been called up to court. :-)
I have a lot more pictures of people receiving awards but I'll just share the Honoree's:
Baroness Khalja receiving her scroll 
There were two scrolls, one with artwork and the other was one that we all had the opportunity to sign. I asked Ignatius to do mine as he knows calligraphy and I wanted it to look nice.
Baroness Khalja's Honor Feast Scroll. Isn't the artwork stunning?
Our next SCA events won't be until the month of December, a whole month off from eventing! ;-) Instead we'll be having sewing party weekends while we work on feast garb for Yule (two Three Mountains and Dragon's Mist - could do three if we get wild and crazy) and then in the new year 12th Night. I'm also trying to organize a few largess making parties so that we have stuff for the Barony to present at 12th Night and Ursulmas. The barony apparently received another recognition for our generosity last weekend from Queen Astrid. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Shire of Mountain's Edge's St. Crispins event 2012

We went to the neighboring shire, Mountain's Edge's Saint Crispin feast. A number of their members regularly attend our events so we thought we should help support theirs in return. Also helps that it is a free event, just have to bring something for the potluck dinner! We were in the vegetable category. So I tried out a new vegetable dish for events - green beans with roasted garlic and crumbled bacon. A good portion of it was gone when I went to get the dish.
Ignatius put in a request for this dress. My forearms must have grown, because the sleeves were really tight this time. Might have also been the chemise.

Site token for the event - pretty!

I had put in a request for the vest. Think he likes his hat too!

After setting up our table area, we helped Tamar make boffers for the shire. Boffers are padded sword type devices that adults or children can use to practice with. Ignatius was putting the pvc pipe inside the foam tube and I was putting the end cap on at the bottom of each one. I wandered away after I had all of them end capped since I didn't want to play with the duct tape.
Octavian with his boffers getting the kids playing. At one point he was defending himself from both of them. 
Once Tamar and Ignatius finished the regular boffers they let their creativity loose and Tamar created a hammar and Ignatius a mace:
Tamar and her hammer

Ignatius and his mace. Tamar is worried about the edge and noses, but it  is foam under the duct tape.
 I stopped and checked out what was going on at a table to find that it was the kids to play games, paint and to paint some appreciation awards for helping out at the event:
I didn't take a picture of a man intently cutting out his leather for a pair of bracers, I didn't want the camera flash to distract him while he was using his exacto knife.

So I wandered over to the table that Duncan was at. He enjoys bookbinding and had samples of ones that he has done while he was folding pages for a book he's binding for a friend:
The two on the left have wood covers but have leather to protect their bound edge, the open one is also with a wood cover. The open one on the red paper cover is a was tablet with writing stylus. The wax is beeswax.
I chatted with Duncan's wife Jasmine for a bit along with Octavian. Had a discussion on local ice type wines with  MeadhbhaI brought my Barn Raising blocks to work on and did put a few rows on the alpaca block I was working. I came home and finished it.

Their shire also does Acorn War, so there was a jar of acorns to guess how many were in there. I guessed 433, but Octavian was closer to the 504 with 501 as his guess.

Dinner was nice and after clearing up and helping put away some chairs, we headed off to home. A nice afternoon.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Revisiting the handspun squares

If I had little samples or leftovers of handspun yarn, I put them in a bag that I have the pattern for the Barn Raising Quilt along with the US 0 needles waiting to go. I've also found that if I can't knit anything else, these always seem to work. They're terrible straightforward in design, so difficult for them not to work I guess.

I had a square that I had started and then put away. Nothing wrong with the color, just wasn't knitting at all. Well along with the spinning, I thought it might be something to work on. I took it with me to the beach and did get more of it accomplished. I finished it the other day and then rushed the soaking and blocking as I was worried it might be our last sunny day for awhile.
Its a little bit of merino that was in Cindy's SOAR 2009 bag that she gave me last year I think. I had tried doing that black bean natural dye on it and wasn't happy about the way the color came out. So over dyed it with some Kool-aid and Wilton cake dyes.

I had been thinking about the squares that I had done and how I was having a hard time thinking how to put them all together in a finished project. Then I remembered that I could do something simple and since the pattern was based off of a quilt idea, why not do a nine patch?

Again, since it was still kind of sunny, though the clouds were moving in, I pulled out all the finished blocks and tried to come up with some nine patch sets. The final quilt may not come out as they are below, but it gives me a working point as well as a stopping point - 81 blocks. A 3x3 set of them. I currently am working on block 32. The leftover browns from my Sheep Heid hat. I still have some leftover of the above block, I may combine it with the yarn leftover from block 30 and stripe it. The solids are nice, but I like the stripey ones.
All laid out and shadows and cloud coverage making it difficult
Upper left nine patch

Center needing at least one, if not two more neutral blocks (I think the orangey one will go down ). Working on one and think I'll have enough to do another block  to complete the square.

Upper right, I'm not happy with the dark row with this set and I have at least one if not two more blocks with lighter colors, so this set will probably change

Kind of the orangey blocks. That one above will come down here for sure.
I have some leftovers and sample in greens. Not enough to make up a nine patch, but enough to jumble things around again. Its a nice portable mindless project, so while I have some bits left to play with, might be doing more blocks.

Ryan's wife, Whitney is pregnant and due in February. I've found a baby blanket I'd like to do for them. The pattern is on Knit Picks, and the yarn actually works out to be less expensive than going for something from JoAnn's. So I'll order it all and you might see another blanket. I'm going to try out their new acrylic yarn. Yes, I could do a superwash wool, but with babies its sometimes easier to just go with the acrylic, because as some point, superwash will felt.

I'm also thinking ahead and have the pattern and half the yarn for a hostess gift for Kristen for Thanksgiving. Need to get started on that!  I'm going to do the BFF cowl in Oregon State Beaver colors - black and orange. I have plenty of black Wool-Ease, just need to pick up a skein of orange.

Here's hoping that the cowl works, my knitting mojo has taken a HUGE hit this year.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

October 2012 spinning

My Rivendell socks are languishing. I think I am at mid heel flap on the first sock. Not sure why they are there. I think even with the change I tried of using larger needles at the cast on, they are still a little snug at the calf point they reach. I do need to finish the heel flap, turn it and then check to see how they hit on my leg. I may have to frog again, put it in time out and try with the larger needles longer. Sigh.

So after a few days of not working on anything, I went back to what was, spinning. I am trying to get spun up some superwash merino that I've had in my stash for over three years. I had Sara dye it up, I had hoped that she could come close to the BMFA red from the sock summit colorways. Can't find it on their web site, but Sara wasn't able to get it. It was two eight ounce bundles of superwash merino from Woodland Woolworks and a really great price. One bundle came out red-purple and the other red-blue.

I originally thought I would use it in my spinning for socks class and while I use a tiny bit there, when I came back to it, I decided to just spin each four ounce up on their own bobbin and ply them together.
Singles on the bobbins
I pulled out the bulky head for my Lendrum and used it to ply up the two bobbins. If they were that full as singles, no way was I going to get all eight ounces on to one of those bobbins!
All plied up!
Since the two four ounce bundles weren't similar in their dye jobs, there was no way to try to match them up  and I really didn't want to chain ply that much. So a barber pole skein with some matching up of colors.
Off the bobbin and in a skein

755 yards of light fingering weight superwash yarn

Close-up. Brandon thought it looked like a wine color, so that's its name. ;-)
I still have the blue-red to spin up and was given some Qiviut to spin for Carina. The blue-red first and then the fun stuff. ;-)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Crafty Gifts

We were invited to a birthday party the beginning of the month for a couple of friends that happen to have the same birthday. We of course being of limited funds, made their gifts.

Ryan/Jose at Grand Thing this year wore his Cardinal robe and I thought it just needed a paternoster to complete the look. Ryan isn't religious in any way and didn't really want a cross even though it would be appropriate for the garb.
Jose in Cardinal robe
I knew that skulls would work as the decade marker, so I headed over to my most likely source for finding some locally - Planet Bead. They had some in a wide variety of colors - pink, blue, green, turquoise, and red - perfect! I had hoped for a tassel as the terminal end (where the cruxifix would be on a rosary) as that was period, but couldn't find one already made in the right color. So went with this cool red/black/white bead. Their wooden beads were a bit more expensive than I could afford, so I went to JoAnn's and found a couple strands of beads that had three different colors. I had some linen thread that I had gotten to make my own paternoster, so threaded up a needle and proceeded to hand knot each bead on.
Jose's paternoster

Close up of the terminal bead and one of the little red skulls. Isn't he cool?
Alaina/Lonny/Osaa/Helena - I haven't spent as much time with. She's shy and has a tendency to disappear when we're all hanging out at her house. One of pretty dresses that she wears is a gorgeous blue. So I thought some pretty pearl hair pins to put her hair up with might be nice. I had some leftover blue pearl beads from doing my belt and recently had picked up some big bobby bins. These are three inches long!  I had also gotten some silver wire just for this idea, so had fun coming up with a design. I wanted to do six, but only had enough beads to do four, so made two as single beads. The combination should be flexible enough to allow her to put her hair up and use as many pins as she desires.

Brandon made Ryan a nice box that he can store personal items in, you can see the beads peaking out from inside. It has Jose's device carved into the lid, so everyone will know its his box.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Boar's Head Hunt and Feast 2012

Once again this event was the same weekend as Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. :-( So I didn't get to attend it. Yes, I could have tried to get over on Sunday, but I had other chores that needed to get done. A lot of my friends weren't going to be there on Saturday, so I didn't feel as bad about missing this year as last year. Honestly, my yarn and fiber stash really don't need any additions, and I didn't have any money saved up.

I had hoped to have my Cranach dress done to wear to this event. Definitely need to have it done for the December events!

My household is on a budget and Brandon and I looked over the proposed feast menu and decided that there was too much that one or the other of us wouldn't eat that it didn't make sense to spend $10 per person on the served feast. The other ladies couldn't afford the $10 per person so went with my feast proposal.

The theme was a German feast, so I thought it would be nice to do a Sauerbraten. I was doing well with that idea up until the added numbers of people eating with us climbed to nine adults and three children. Oh my! I can't eat pork, but others can. Thus I found two three pound bottom round roasts and a couple of pork shoulders (what I usually get to make pulled pork sandwiches). In case you didn't know, sauerbraten needs three days of advance prep time before cooking. You marinate the meat in wine, vinegars and spices for three days. Turning a couple of times each day.  (This takes up refrigerator room!!)

With the number of people serving, I couldn't afford the $9 a bag for the spaetzle noodles at Fred Meyers. I found these Mrs Weiss egg noodles at New Seasons that I thought would be a good substitute (they were!) Honestly, have never cared for the oily feel of spaetzle noodles. Maybe the Rheinlander and Gustav's are doing something wrong?  I also had salad greens with bacon crumbs and dressing, a couple loaves of bread and some roasted root veggies (carrots, turnips, gold beets, onions, garlic tossed in olive oil seasoned with sea salt and thyme) for the dinner. Dessert was a Pumpkin Stout Gingerbread recipe I had found - yummy!

For those that were going to be there all day, I had also picked up some crackers, antipasti meats, cheeses, olives, dried figs, almonds and cashews, Fuji apples and some bottled ice teas. I charged $7 per person that were eating all day and $5 for dinner. I did end up with floating the cost of some of the meal. I figured I was going to bringing any leftovers home, so I was still benefiting from the excess. People did take home their own leftovers of the sauerbraten and noodles and Dawn-Marie took a chunk of the the gingerbread too.

I had late requests to join our feast (night before is a little short notice!), but had to turn them down because I was worried about having enough food. I should have let them join us! Of course not knowing until halfway through the day that one adult and child weren't coming didn't help.

Golda's Kitchen on Scouter's Mountain, people arriving and setting up

Bardic Champion prize. Brandon made this! He carved the seat back, it has a  Boar's Head and is a nice folding period chair. Lady Helena was VERY happy to receive this as the Bardic Champion. 

My dear husband likes his boob shots, so why the silly grin and the blushing chest. This is the basket of largess I  gave to the Barony. Contains six skeins of handspun yarns, two handknitted shawls, three knitted period pouches/bags, four felted bowls that are great for holding little things like sewing supplies or beads, and some handmade soaps at the bottom.

Our feast area. You can see some of the lunch items out. I think I was still busy labeling the largess items at the other table.

Queen Astrid lives just south of us, so she was able to attend and looked lovely! This is Osanna receiving her Award of Arms, finally. It was originally presented at July Coronation.

Lady Lissette, Lady Aemelia and I receiving a Baronial recognition for largess - Ring Giver. We had to wait a week to confirm the name of the recognition we were all muzzy brained up their listening to the Baron explain it. I had torq'd my knee so wasn't kneeling.

Another lovely picture of Queen Astrid giving Lady Iuliana and Lord Jose their  Goutte de Sange and Jambe de Lion respectively. (Last year, flip the awards and that's what they received together.)

Queen Astrid was moving during this but I loved the picture of Lady Eulalia receiving her  Arts and Science Championship mantle and scroll. Love  Baroness Svava's pose!
October brings St. Crispins with the Shire of Mountains Edge, another A&S Championship and Ithra with the Barony of Glymm Mere (their feast was awesome last year!) There's at least an embroidery class and either one or two cooking classes in my plans. I'm tempted to do the St. Brigit's Cap, but think that one of the two cooking classes offered at that time might be more useful. Which would you pick? Then there's Honor Feast with the Barony of Three Mountains, Queen Astrid is slated to attend again too, so should be an action packed court!

November will be a quiet eventing month, with nothing more than attending the weekly Revels planned. This will allow for us to prepared for the busy month of December with three Yule type events to attend. We didn't attend the Barony of Stromgard's Gledilig Jol last year, but could see us attending this year.  Queen Astrid has picked Three Mountains Yule to attend out of the three, so we'll get to see her again there. I need to come up with a largess item to make six of for our Yule Feast. Little competition the Baroness came up with. The winner gets to take one of each that are submitted and the rest goes to the Barony to further gift. I haven't decided what to do!  Suggestions?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What happened to September?

Let's see, what did I do?  I didn't really do much spinning. We didn't meet at the grange until the last Wednesday of the month and I started four ounces of some superwash merino that has been in my stash for over three years. I was kind of on a roll so came home and spun some more. Then finished up that four ounces the next day. I have eight ounces of it, so still more to spin. Its stuff that was dyed for me trying to get something close to a BMFA colorway. The attempt was unsuccessful but I like the colors anyway. Reds and purples and almost a black. There's another eight ounces of the superwash merino with blues and reds, so hope to get them all done in October.

I had attempted, also the last couple weeks of September to knit a pair of Eleanor de Toldeo stockings (scroll down to the Toledo Complete pdf). They are knit on US 00 needles. Maybe not the best size to get your knitting mojo back on. ;-) I had gotten to the point in the cuff where it said attention was needed, so set them aside to do the above spinning while watching the premiers of shows on TV. Then went back and followed the double yo suggestion. I must not have done it correctly because I wasn't happy with the dropped yo stitch, so tried to frog back a few rows. Tiny little stitches, tiny little needles. Yea, right, ended up frogging all twenty some odd rows. So I tried to rewind the ball to start over and that's when my knitmare continued, it became a tangled mess that needs more than two hands to get it undone. I need to pull Brandon in to help me, he really is good about these kinds of things and has way more patience than I do!

Since I couldn't knit on those and I wasn't in the mood to spin, I pulled out a skein of blue and my pattern book for the Rivendell socks. I'm at row 50 and still unsure if I may have to frog it and do a work around. I'm worried that they are hitting right at the point where my calf widens and may be annoying to wear:
I think that the ten rows I have to do before starting the heel will fit, but I'm not sure how happy I am about the pull at the calf. Since they are using the pattern suggested US1s, I could switch to US 2 and knit the first 10 rows with those and then switch back to the 1s and finish. (Writing this I just typed my way to convincing myself I'm frogging and doing the plan. Looking at the top of the picture can you tell the pattern details? Can you see the way the wraps are supposed to look?  No, because they've been distorted by the pull. So while it would work, it wouldn't do the pattern justice.)  :-( The bad knitting mojo continues! At least I have a workable plan.

I spent the first part of the month doing a lot of thinking and research into my next dress. I have the pattern from Reconstructing History. This one. I have some yellow and was given some red satin. So the plan is to follow the low-necked version with the yellow the dominate color and the red for the guards. I even have the wild idea that I can do the dress such that I can make a second set of sleeves and then just change out the guards on the skirt and have a 'new' dress for 12th Night. (The color theme for that event is yellow/gold and black.) Since I don't have the money to buy fabric for two dresses and I really would like to have one for the upcoming feasts before that event, I need a dress that can change.

I even had the wild idea of trying to dye the red satin black, but had two people say no. This means I'll be doing some math to figure out how much I'll need to do the black in either a satin, brocade, or velvet. The velvet was $28 a yard for reference at JoAnn's. I'm going to need a sale or a 50% off coupon and money at the right time to swing velvet.

So while all that thinking and researching was going on. I did manage to get some baby steps done. I cut out the pattern pieces that I'll be using from the packet. Now, before you have heart failure that I cut the pieces out. I wisely cut them to the largest size, not to my own particular size. This means that I can let Andrea borrow them too. She had spent time sketching out a design based off a line drawing on a pattern from another company of the same dress without knowing it. Funny thing is she had looked at my pattern for awhile and read some of the instructions. It just didn't include this as an example of the dress:
Yea, we're going to need a lot of ostrich feathers too! This one is similar to what mine will look like, but I don't have the brocades/velvets. I have the gores cut out for my skirt along with the red guards. I just need to lay them out and start pinning. That's going to happen this weekend. I needed to make my own version of the bodice piece because I'm not sculpted like it was intended (go fuller to narrower rather than straighter). Thankfully we have a light box so I was able to take some white butcher type paper and create my own. I even, gasp!, did a semi-mock-up of it. It works so I'll use those pieces to make the bodice out of the real material.

I did get some stretch velvet with a gold design on it. I thought it would make a nice brestfleck piece (that funny piece that goes across the boobs at the top of the v of the bodice). I even got the wild idea to add beads to it. Some yellow/gold, red and I tried some pearl round beads have gone on to it. After having Jaime look at it, she was going to teach me how to do some couching with gold embroidery thread, I've taken the pearl beads off. They weren't real pearls and they were too large for the design. Sara had some pearlized white beads that will do the trick, and I'll be picking those up this weekend to use.

This weekend is going to be a sewing/largess work day at the Grange on Saturday. I'm going to pick the hive minds about doing a corded corset for the dress. I'm going to need more support than the interface lining will give that is part of how RH does the dress. Its actually suggested too. Couple days research to find a pattern that I can use and hopefully cut out for the weekend.

I leave you with Apple Nachos. Thinly slice and core enough apples for the number of people you are serving. I had three Fiji apples and three people, worked for me. Swirl around a plate in one layer. Create marshmallow creme (either heat some from the jar or melt marshmallows with butter - beware not to overheat!). Drizzle on the waiting apple slices. You can either melt some chips or sprinkle them on top, your choice, this is flexible! I opted to melt some butterscotch chips with a tablespoon of half and half in the microwave. Repeat with some semi-sweet chips. Drizzle on top of the marshmallow creme layer each of your two melted chips options, then sprinkle with milk chocolate chips. Present to family and serve. The recipe I found suggested melting caramels in evaporated milk. I didn't have any on hand, but found the butterscotch chips. For the little I was going to use of the evaporated milk, opted to use half and half. You could also skip the marshmallow cream and sprinkle mini marshmallows in their place. This is what mine looked like:
My marshmallow creme went just a smidge longer and got that weird rubbery consistency, so not sure if I'll just cut up the marshmallows next time or have things better organized. The boys really enjoyed this and really it was relatively simple to throw together with what I had on hand.