Monday, July 21, 2008

Marinated Pork Tenderloin / Granola

I've had family in town the last week, and we've been playing so I haven't gotten much quilting done. That's OK , because tomorrow I fly into Long Beach, California for the International Quilt Festival that is normally held in Houston. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. I'll take lots of pictures and share them when I get back. From there we are going to Newport Beach where we are renting a beach house for a week. All of my children (except one) plus my brother, and our good friends the Fenlons will be there for an entire week of "beach sitting". I feel spoiled already.
With family in town, I've done some cooking. For Sunday dinner I made this pork tenderloin. I've been taking a wonderful cooking class at a delightful store here in St. George called "Life Essentials" Pat Leavitt made this recipe for us.

1 1/2 C. Yoshida Sauce (can be purchased at Costco)
1 1/2 C. Apple Juice
3 cloves chopped garlic
One medium sliced red onion
3 medium apples, cored and in 1/4ths
Salt and pepper
Pork Tenderloin ( I buy mine at Costco)
Marinate the pork tenderloin overnight by placing in a 9x13 pan and cover with foil. Bake around 1 hour, depending on size of pork loin. Remove the foil the last 15 minutes. This can also be done in the crock pot and it turns out great!
Another recipe that is a family favorite I made this morning. Years ago I got this granola recipe from a friend and I've made it constantly since then. My family and friends request a batch all the time. It's a wonderful gift for Christmas, or a new neighbor moving in. My family requested some for the Beach House. Easy to assemble and it makes a lot, so there's always plenty to give away.
Mix in large bowl:
10 C. old fashioned rolled oats
1 C. wheat germ
1/2 lb. coconut
2 C. raw sunflower seeds
1 C. sesame seeds
3 C. chopped nuts ( I use the almonds and pecans from Costco)
In a large saucepan combine 1 1/2 C. brown sugar, 1 1/2 water, 1 1/2 veg. oil, 1/2 C. honey, 1/2 C. molasses, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. cinnamon, and 3 tsp. vanilla
Warm until sugar is disolved, but not boiling.
Pour over dry mix. Stir until well coated. Spread out on 2 cookie sheets. (I coat mine with a spray of Pam). Cook 45 minutes at 300 degrees. Do not stir. ** You can add dried fruit if you want. Let cool and place in zip lock bags or storage container.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl

Add the sauce ingredients in a large pan on the stove

One of the things I like about this recipe is there are very few steps. You don't even need to stir the granola during the cooking process. When I take it out of the oven, I let the granola cool on the cookie sheets, then place in large Ziplock bags.
I found this wonderful blog spot the other day and wanted to share it with you. If you are looking for ways to cook using your food storage, this site has it all. The recipes look delicious and they even have tutorial videos. I'm impressed. You can find them at

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hiking The Narrows

We live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Our town is less than an hours drive from Zion National Park. There are some amazing hikes in Zion, but my favorite hike of all hikes has always been "The Narrows".
For a day activity we went with a group of family and friends to hike the lower part of the Narrows. It's not too strenuous and a permit is not required. The main thing to worry about it the weather. If there is any kind of storm, even with in 50 miles, there is a danger of flash floods. We picked the perfect day to hike. The sky was blue, the temperature pleasant, and the forecast for floods was low.

When we first got to Zion we parked at Lodge, and were required to take the shuttle to the bottom of the canyon where we started our hike. There is a paved trail for about a mile before we reached the trail head leading into the water. Because we had summer storms move through a few days before we found the water quite muddy. It made it difficult to see the rocks as we went up stream. On person said "This is like hiking in Braille! A requirement is a good hiking stick and shoes that support the ankles.

The views through the slot canyons are spectacular. Some cliffs are a sheer 2000 feet up. Pictures just don't do justice to the experience.

We saw beautiful waterfalls along the way.

Ricci and I tried to stay as dry as possible. She succeeded better than I did. I biffed it over one tall rock and have some wonderful bruises that are turning lovely colors today.

This is one of our all time favorite hikes. We even got my 16 year old son to go with us "old people". His dad could keep up with him, but not the rest of us.

My brother lives in California. When I called him a few weeks back to invite him along, he immediately said "Count me in!" This is an experience he has wanted to have for years. He had seen pictures of the Narrows and said it was on his "to do" list. As we were hiking I said "Is it what you expected?". He said it was. He even anticipated it would be a little more difficult. We took 2 1/2 hours in the water to get up to Orderville Canyon (the stopping point before a permit is required) and 1 1/2 hours to get back down. The water level varied from knee deep to high thigh in places. Lots of crossing the creek back and forth.

Part way up we stopped for the lunch we brought in our back packs. My husband always likes to bring strange things to eat along the trail. (Yes, it's from his side of the gene pool my kids get
the same ideas). Today's treat was Herring Fillets. Must be his Norweigen ancestry!
Coming back down you hike with the flow of the stream. My husband and son liked to jump in the deepest parts and ride the river down like a water slide.
At first my brother just watched my husband and son in the deep parts. After a while he said "Hold my things, I'm going in too!" He figured he may never do this again, and didn't want to by pass an opportunity. Those silly boys!
Coming back we were tired, and our muscles felt the 5 hours we had trudged over bolders, through swift currents and down trails. We were also very grateful for the experience of seeing this amazing canyon. Nothing else like it anywhere in the world.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger

Oprah featured this Turkey Burger on her show a few months ago. It's from Donald Trump's club in Palm Beach called "Mar-a-Lago".
My brother flew in this afternoon from California, and I wanted to serve a nice summer dinner. The turkey burger with a pasta salad and fresh fruit was a hit.

Mar-a-Largo Turkey Burger
1/4 C. scallions
1/2 C. celery, finely chopped
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
18 C. Canola oil
4 lbs ground turkey breast
2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. chipolte Tabasco sauce
1 lemon, juice and grated zest
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/4 C. Major Grey's Chutney, pureed
Saute the scallions, celery and apples in the Canola oil until tender. Let cool
Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add sauteed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into eight 8 oz. burgers. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper. Place on preheated, lightly oiled grill. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Serve with a side of Chutney and your favorite toasted bread, pita or hamburger roll.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stash & Dash Bags

I consider Audrey Hepburn one of the most beautiful women in the world. When asked to share her beauty tips she expressed these thoughts:
"For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People even more than things have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.
Ricci and I got together to work on this new pattern designed by Amy Butler called "Stash and Dash Bags". When I saw them on Kim's site last week I knew I had to make them.
I don't think I've put a zipper in for many years. All that quilting with not a zipper in sight! It was good to go back and review a few sewing skills.
I think the finished product turned out well. I even used Kim's idea to put rick rack on the zipper to use as a pull.
Ricci made hers out of some fabric she had left over from a quilt. For a zipper pull she used a very cute metal bird house. So many possibilities! We're excited to make a few more of these. The pattern comes in three sizes: A Toiletry bag (Large), a Make up bag (Medium) and a Coin Purse (small),

Monday, July 14, 2008

Adorn Yourself Accordingly

Ricci showed me this card today, and it made me laugh. The caption reads: "Know first who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly." (Epictetus C.55-C.135)

We could go pretty deep into thought with "Know first who you are". A very empowering statement, and important question each of us needs to ask ourselves.
The picture of "adorn yourself" took me back a few years when daughter #3 was a little girl. She loved to play dress up and would come out in the most outlandish outfits. (Someday I should make a book of pictures taken of her in her" get-up's"). Back then I would be doing something very every day like washing dishes and would turn around to find her standing behind me in the most comical combinations of clothing. I would literally fall to the floor in spasms of laughter.

Today I went to Ricci's house to have her help me put together my Summer Stash quilt "sandwich". Sam (that Sam again!) built her a counter top at just the perfect height, and just the perfect length to pin quilt tops together. Of course, Ricci gave him the dimentions...but still! It has a lip on the edge of the counter to hold these cool clamps.
The counter top is also used as a space where she puts her cutting mats to cut out her quilts. Because of the nice height her back doesn't get as tired.

I think Sam got these clamps at a Building Supply type of store like Home Depot. They release easily by touching the black lever inside the handle. To close the vise, pull the two handles together firmly. They keep the layers of the quilt very taut.

Once the backing, batting and top are together, we placed pins every few inches. Ricci machine quilts a lot and suggested not leaving any space bigger than your hand.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Christmas in July

My daughter and son-in-law who live in Phoenix called yesterday and said "Guess what! We're in St. George!" What a wonderful surprize! They had been on a houseboat in Lake Powell with my SIL's family, and the party got moved to the Dayton Condo here in St. George. I was a happy grandma to be able to kiss on my grandsons. We will be meeting up in two weeks at a beach house in Newport, but I didn't expect to see them before then. It felt like Christmas to be with them, and I got to open my present 2 weeks early! Christmas in July!

The first thing Isaak wanted to do was go in "papa's pool". They didn't have his suit, so we let him go in clothes and all. That's what dryers are for any way aren't they?

Noah is now 6 months old. This week his new trick is that he has learned to roll over and over and a little barrel across the floor. He's such a happy little guy. He makes me think so much of his mother at this age.
Kisses from big brother

Picked this up at the store for Noah the other, just kidding!......I think the desert heat
must be getting to me!
For some reason I see cactus' wherever I go. In fact I'm beginning to feel like a cactus! Do I look a little green around the edges to you? I warned my husband when he wanted to move here that I don't do well in the heat. A person's personality could come off a little "prickly" this time of year.
My 16 year old son got in last night from a 4 day trip hiking the Havasupai Trail with our church. Quite a strenuous 10 mile hike that descends 3,000 feet to the town of Supai at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. This little town is the capital of the the Havasupai Indian Reservation. Once they managed to make it through the dust and heat, they were able to jump in the beautiful blue-green Havasu creek surrounded by spectacular waterfalls. Hiking back out was another challenge. Blisters and all, Paul made it. Two others opted to take the helicopter at $85 a person.
The Summer Stash Challenge quilt is done. I think I'm even going to machine quilt it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hurray For New Quilters!

Hurray for New Quilters! I love it when someone comes to me and says they want to learn how to quilt. I love to show people how addicting this art really is! They usually act a little shy, and wonder if they would be imposing by having me teach them some basics. "Are you kidding?" I reply "It's like asking me to share eating chocolate!"
I work with Niclole in the Young Women's organization of our church. She's a young mother with a baby and 3 year old. Perfect time to learn how fun it is to make things for your children. The creative process can be so fulfilling.

We met at a local quilt shop and Nicole picked some fabric in primary colors with trucks. Perfect for her cute little boy Truman.

I started her off on a very easy pattern. For her first quilt I think she's doing a great job! She's learning to use a sewing machine and to make exact 1/4 inch seams.
We got the first 5 rows done. Next lesson will be to put it all together and add borders. I remember when I started learning all the quilt jargon. What is a border? Today Nicole learned what it means to "Chain Piece".
Yesterday my husband and I drove to Las Vegas, which is 2 hours South from St. George. We wanted to go furniture shopping, and Vegas is known for some of the best stores. While we were there we passed by one of my favorite quilting stores "Quiltique" in Henderson, Nevada. My husband was nice enough to let me go in, even though it wasn't on our "to do" list. A few days ago on Kim's blog I noticed she made these darling bags out of an Amy Butler pattern. I knew I had to make them, too! Fortunately Quiltique had the pattern. I think they will be great presents for my daughters and girlfriends.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints -- Las Vegas Temple
We spent the evening at the Las Vegas Temple of our church. This temple is so beautiful inside. It always brings me so much peace and comfort to be able to attend the temple and to spend time praying.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ricci's Sewing Room

I am such a lucky person. I have a dear friend Ricci and we try to get together at each other's house about once a week to work on quilts. I say I am lucky, not only because Ricci is such a wonderful person, but because I get to sew in her amazing quilt room. Designed by Ricci and her husband Sam, this room has everything a quilter would ever desire. Sam is an Engineer by profession, and it shows in the precision and details of the room. He did most of the work himself, a labor of love for his sweet wife.

Behind the cupboard doors are baskets filled with Ricci's "Stash". Every piece is color coordinated and folded to matching size. I like to open the doors just to look. It's like having a fabric store right in front of you.

I keep asking Ricci "Do you think Sam would notice if I moved in?" Every time I go to her house I feel so comfortable that I don't want to leave. She has every tool and gadget a quilter could use. She's also very generous with sharing her time and talents with others.

This is how Ricci displays her pincushions and other quilt memrobilia. It's a piece of furniture from her childhood home that she repainted.

Superior Threads Headquarters is located not far from our homes. They offer fabulous seminars and instructions. A great place to pick up any kind of thread imaginable. Ricci has drawers and drawers of many different kinds of threads and does most of her own machine quilting.

Wonderful organization with each drawer marked, making things easy to find at a glance.

When I first entered Ricci's sewing room she showed me this nifty little door. Doesn't impress too much from the outside. But when you see what is inside, a big case of coveting consumes a quilter immediately. When ever I take my friends over to Ricci's house for the first time, they all leave talking non stop about what is behind this door.

Ricci's husband Sam built her a "dumb waiter" that starts below in their garage and ends up right in her quilt room. Do you follow what I am saying? A direct lead from the trunk of the car to her sewing room!! No sliding all those quilt bags past her husband with an innocent look of "What bags?' on her face. No sneaking around so he doesn't see how much fabric is entering the house. Even Ricci has to laugh and say "What was he thinking?!"
When I point out to my husband "Look at how much Sam loves Ricci. Look at what he made for her." (as in don't you want to build me one of these too?) , my husband gives me a deadpan look and announces "Don't even go there. I don't want to hear one more time how wonderful Sam is!" Fortunately he and Sam get along famously, and he really thinks what Sam has done is pretty cool.

Today, I got all 16 blocks put together for the Summer Stash Challenge quilt. Ricci and I looked at it, and agreed it needs another row on the end to make it a generous Twin size. That will be tomorrow's goal.