January 15, 2015

Dinner @ Grandma’s

When Lesa announced that Pork & Rice were determined as January’s Improv Challenge ingredients, my mind (& taste buds) immediately flashed back to favorite meals at Grandpa & Grandma Hull’s house. Didn’t matter who or what time someone showed up to their home, everyone was welcomed to the dinner table. Usually dinner was accompanied by Grandma’s fabulous sponge bread.

Anyhow, my most memorable meal there was a dish she fixed quite often: Pork chops baked on a bed of rice and sauerkraut.EJ-challengerecipe

I decided to use my every day brown rice blended with a touch of some Lundberg Black Japonica™  rice.EJ-porkrice challenge (2)The sauerkraut was made from the lacto-fermented cabbage I started a couple weeks ago.EJ-lactoGrandma usually baked her meal in a 9x13 casserole… that size would not be appropriate for the appetites seated around my table.

After the rice was cooked on the stove, I browned an onion to blend in with the rice, kraut & some roasted red pepper.EJ-porkrice challenge (3)The chops were seared in my cast iron skillet, then placed atop the rice mixture.

With the oven heated to 350°, I popped the pan in for about 45 minutes to finish.EJ-porkrice challenge (5)

(My grandma usually used white rice & canned sauerkraut which would crisp up so nicely while roasting -- a few of us had been known to tussle over the nicely browned bits of tastiness…)EJ-porkrice challenge (6)What a lovely Sunday dinner!EJ-porkrice challenge (1)

Click the links below to see what my friends did with their rice & pork:



January 14, 2015

House of Cards…

Although this home houses extreme Red-Bird fans, that’s not what this post is about. (Just know we are very disappointed to be living in the city hosting the Super Bowl & not have our team show up…)

But I did want to share a few paper projects I’ve done the past few months:

ElisabethJean cards (1)A dear man turned 90 today.ElisabethJean cards (2)That’s a whole lotta-lotta candles!ElisabethJean cards (3)

And December 17th a sweet woman celebrated her 90th birthday.ElisabethJean cards (4)(This is a beautiful card cover from Bird’s Cards.)ElisabethJean cards (5)

Here are December 2014’s biscotti tags.ElisabethJean cards (6)

Nothing better than birthday bunting!ElisabethJean cards (7)

Needless to say, I put my heart into the cards I make. But it’s the sympathy cards that require heart, soul & many tears during creation.ElisabethJean cards (1)

ElisabethJean cards (10)ElisabethJean cards (8)ElisabethJean cards (9)

I even tried my hand at making seeded paper. ElisabethJean cards (11)Next time I’ll make the paper thinner so I can cut it. ElisabethJean cards (12)(No kitchen shears or box cutters were injured in the shaping of these letters -- but almost!)

I’d have to say on of my favorites was this Scrabble card:ElisabethJean cards (13)(Sorry I’ve had to blur some letters to protect the innocent.) Winking smile

I’ve some more cards in the works for Valentine’s Day, so keep watching this web space…

January 13, 2015

“Here’s your sign,” FARMBOY

My daddy was born & raised just about 300 miles due south of the geographic center of the 48 states. And although he “left the farm” to attend college, get married, raise a family, make a career in ministry -- I don’t think he ever really left the farm. The phrase “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy” was coined just for him! Our “vacation” for all my growing up years was spent back on the farm -- slopping pigs, throwing grain for chickens & tinkering with tractors.

Unfortunately his beloved farm was sold after my grandparents passed away. He does retain a sliver of land near the old digs; but he’s pretty much a prisoner of our city, these days. (Unless he has opportunity to get out camping or hunting…)

So I crafted a little sign for his yard:ejFARMBOY (10)

If you’re wondering how I made it, here’s a quick look…

First, I designed & cut the lettering with my Silhouette Portrait. I then printed out a full-size rendition of the sign so I could trace the letter placement on my painted board (you know I suck struggle can’t make a straight line to save my life…)ejFARMBOY (1)Here, the contact-paper letters are applied in position. (The “n” of URBAN was the last letter I situated in place -- note orientation…)ejFARMBOY (2)Painted another coat of yellow to minimize seapage. (still unaware of “n” rotation)ejFARMBOY (3)Here come da’ John-Deere-ish green. (again, clueless on the “n” situation)ejFARMBOY (4)After the green is dry, I removed the contact paper. (NOW it is glaringly obvious that “n” has misbehaved!)ejFARMBOY (5)Anyhow, I love the roughness of the board.ejFARMBOY (6)

The sign gets slightly distressed…ejFARMBOY (8)I applied a découpaging medium with just a touch of brown paint mixed in.ejFARMBOY (9)