Tuesday, March 20, 2018


I missed February's meeting for Blankets of Hope, the quilting group that meets at my church, Platte Woods United Methodist Church. It is a small group of us, only five, and we work hard but have fun, too, being creative and producing  lap quilts to give to people who need a little hope. 

I did work hard to finish a quilt top before leaving in February so Friend Fran could take it to the meeting. They found some material for the backing, layered it with batting and Fran took it home to machine "quilt" it. Fran missed our meeting this month, but she brought the finished quilt to me to take to the meeting (and add to our finished "stash").

As it turned out Friend Sandy and I were the only two at the meeting this month. We ended up doing some spring cleaning (refolding and restuffing sheets and yardage that we use for backing back in a cabinets and reevaluating squares we have cut). I ended up bringing two loads of fabric home to wash. I also brought two stacks of cut squares along with a piece that we felt would go with it to see what design I could come up with for a quilt top.  

We traditionally have worked with 6-1/2 - inch cut squares. The last few years since the group has gotten so small, we have gotten adventurous and creative with the fabric. We still have quite a bit of the 6-1/2 inch squares left though because of this. We also have cut squares donated to us. (Almost all of our material is donated to us. We sometimes will buy a piece of fabric to complement pieces we are using in a quilt. We also buy the batting now because we are picky about the batting we use.) Up until now, we take the time and cut down any larger squares we have if we are using them with these smaller squares that were donated to us. This time I decided to try something different.

I decided to keep the cut squares the 6-1/2 - inch and 5 - inch that I had and just cut a piece 2 x 5 - inches and sewed it to the 5 - inch square to make it fit with the 6 -1/2 - inch square to make a block 11 x 6-1/2 inches.

I pressed 6-1/2 inch seam toward the blue print and that meant that these seams "nested" when I sewed the strips/rows together.

I alternated the blocks to create the pattern.

I spent 3 or 4 hours Sunday afternoon and then maybe 3 hours yesterday morning making the top and am very pleased with it. The quilt top is about 42 x 48 inches. I don't have the backing or binding picked out. Unless I have something at home that I can use, I will probably take it back next month and we will chose something then. I will come back and update this post to show the finished quilt when I get it finished.

Monday, March 19, 2018


I can't wait to share this recipe with you. It has to be one of my most favorite recipes I have found. Mrs. Ivan J. Byler in the Big Valley Amish Cook-Book called it Salisbury Steak. I would have called it Barbecued Salisbury Steak to better describe the taste. We enjoyed two meals of them and I froze the fifth "steak". I will make it for myself some time when my husband wants salmon. 

It is always exciting to find a new way to serve ground beef, especially one so delicious. It is also fast and easy. I think I have a cookbook called 365 Ways with Ground Beef (or Hamburger, I forget). it is one of my early ones and I haven't looked at it in years. There was a time when being able to feed a family using a pound of ground beef/hamburger with some variety was important. Now that it is just my husband and myself, I am interested in using a pound of ground beef/hamburger to feed us for three or four meals. 

This "Barbecued" Salisbury Steak is definitely a keeper.


2       cups corn flakes
1       egg
1       cup barbecue sauce, divided
1       teaspoon salt
1/8    teaspoon pepper
1       lb. ground beef

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. I sprayed a pan with nonstick cooking spray for easier cleanup.

Measure cornflakes and crush to 1 cup.

Add egg (I beat the egg first), 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce, salt, and pepper to the crushed cornflakes in a mixing bowl.
Then add the ground beef to the crushed cornflakes mixture. (I mixed the ingredients together using my hand.)

Form into patties. (I made 5 patties.)

Place patties in pan
and cover with the remaining 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce.

Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes. (I did cook mine for 25 minutes.)


I formed 5 patties, but only cooked 2. I took the other 3 patties and put them in 3 Tupperware hamburger "molds" and put them in the refrigerator. I also stored the barbecue sauce I didn't use in the refrigerator. Several days later, I took two of them and baked them for our dinner. All I had to do was cover them with the leftover barbecue sauce and bake them for 25 minutes. Fabulous! I decided to freeze the other one left.

Friday, March 16, 2018


Two hundred and  eighteen miles from St. John's, Antigua is Castries, Saint Lucia.

 We were docked their by 8:00 AM for our fourth island in four days. It had helped taking the four hour taxi guided tour in Antigua the day before. Friend Carol had been our trusted "tour guide" for the whole cruise, so I was completely surprised when she told me she was leaving Saint Lucia up to me. I usually am the "tour guide" when we travel and I must admit, I was enjoying passing the baton to someone else. 

What I discovered was there wasn't much to see (or I should say - I wanted to see) on the island. Since we had enjoyed the taxi tour the day before, I suggested we look for a taxi tour when we got off the ship. Our friend April was tagging along with us that day and she was agreeable also. It doesn't take long when you disembark from the ship to find a taxi tour. You are bombarded by, usually men, who are offering taxi tours. We found one who would give us a 2 - hr tour for $30/person and paid the "company". (On Antigua, we didn't pay until we got back.)

Once again we had another fabulous driver/guide.
Peter was older and had lost his wife to kidney failure five years ago. 

Because it was Sunday, businesses were closed. We drove by this church with its doors open...

I took this picture of this tree but I have forgotten its significance...

Saint Lucia (pronounced Lu-sha by Spanish and Lu-c-a by English) is really different from Antigua. It is so much "greener" because of all the rainfall it gets. The island is more mountainous due to volcanoes and the roads are narrow and wind up and down the mountains. I took a number of pictures as we climbed the mountains.

Saint Lucia is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state, represented by a governor-general. This is the entrance to his home. "Beef", our driver on Antigua, told us that Prince Charles had been to Antigua recently to check on damage from the hurricane. Peter said he had not been to Saint Lucia because they didn't have any damage from the hurricane.

Morne Fortune...

A cashew tree...

A banana tree that they called a banana tree... (Antigua called them fig trees)

Crowded beach... (It was Sunday so I guess everyone was at the beach.)

Peter took us to the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, the only college on the island, which is located in vacated buildings (Old British Army Barracks, etc) on Morne Fortune, but I didn't take any pictures there. Quite impressive though.

We had to be back on the ship by 3:30 as we were leaving at 4 and taking a cruise - by the Pitons - twin volcanic peaks that are the symbols of Saint Lucia.

As we were leaving port, it was fun watching the rain showers move across the island...

The Pitons in the distance...

A double rainbow on one end. The main rainbow looks like it lands on the sailboat...

As the ship moved so did the rainbow...

We actually show the complete rainbow...both ends. I took a video of it with my phone but can't show it here. 

I didn't take as many picture on Saint Lucia but it was very interesting traveling the "back" roads and seeing the countryside. We were also a little tired after visiting four islands in four days. I think we were all looking forward to a day-at-sea on our way to Willemstad, Curacao.

One more picture before I close...

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Milwaukee artist Celine Farrell gives friends these flavorful cookies for Christmas. I certainly wouldn't save these delicious cookies for just Christmas. I love Chocolate and oatmeal together in cookies. The orange was an additional treat. Make sure you qatch for the surprised look when someone takes the first bite. They were sold, too, at the 1982 Morning Glory Crafts Fair at the Charles Allis Art Museum. I found the recipe in my 1983 Recipe Book Milwaukee Sentinel Food Fair and Cooking School, Milwaukee Sentinel


2/3       cup brown sugar, packed
1/2       cup butter (at room temperature)
1          egg
1/2       teaspoon vanilla
2          tablespoons orange juice
2          tablespoons grated orange rind (I used dried grated orange rind)
1          cup whole-wheat flour
1/2       teaspoon baking powder
1/2       teaspoon baking soda
1/2       teaspoon salt
1-1/4    cups quick oats, uncooked
1          package (6 ounces or 1 cup) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together the sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, orange juice, and rind until smooth.
Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl.

Add all at once to the creamed mixture and beat until smooth.
(Don't forget to scrape the sides of the bowl.)

Add oats and chocolate chips
and mix.

Drop by spoonfuls 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. (I use a cookie scoop that holds 1 tablespoon of water.)

Bake about 10 minutes.

Cool a bit on cookie sheet before removing to wire rack.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


It seems like I have been making mainly cookies since we got back from our cruise. It's true my cookie jar gets really lonely when it is empty. I like to have cookies because often I just need a little something sweet. My husband also is a fan of cookies. I often hear the metal lid on the cookie jar hitting the glass jar as he opens and closes it.

I made these cookies to take to Friend Fran's house when she hosted our Mexican Train group. I made two different ones but I will share the Old Fashioned Lemon Drop Cookies in another post. Friends Carol, Sue, and Janice who were sitting at my table especially liked these. Janice took one bite and said, "This recipe will be on your blog, won't they?" Carol wondered if you could use other flavored preserves or jams. She quickly said she loved the orange marmalade but just wondered. 

I found the recipes in my Kitchen-Klatter Cookbook. It is definitely a keeper.


2/3         cup sugar
1/3         cup butter, at room temperature
1            egg
5            tablespoons orange marmalade
1/4         teaspoon orange flavoring
1/2         teaspoon lemon flavoring
1-1/2      cups flour
2            teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease two cookies sheets. (I used two non-stick cookie sheets.)

Blend sugar and butter until light and creamy.
(I let the mixer beat while I prepared the rest of the ingredients.) Don't forget to scrape the sides of the bowl.

Beat in the egg, marmalade, and flavorings.

Sift the flour and resift with baking powder.

Stir the sifted ingredients into the creamed mixture.
(Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.)

Drop the batter from a teaspoon well apart on cookie sheet. (I used my cookie scoop that holds 1 tablespoon of water. Cookie do spread so place 2 inches apart.)

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

I left cookies on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before removing them to finish cooling on wire rack. 

Made almost 2-1/2 dozen cookies.