Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's been awhile

I had a great three weeks in New Zealand visiting family and I arrived back in Australia last weekend but it seems I never left apart from trying to get back into some sort of routine.
Indulge me while I drag out some Nana brag photos.

Here are the three youngest grandkiddos, I don't think the twelve year old would appreciate a photo on my blog. The girls are wearing the dresses I made for them and they fit perfectly. Sophie on the left is six and wants to grow her hair like Rapunzel on Tangled. Ella is our polly pocket rocket, she wants her hair long but it just won't grow! She helped me make bread and is very good at shaping balls of dough so she's the little baker. Noah is two now and is just mad about anything to do with the movie cars.
Being the youngest of four kids means Noah watches everything and then copies so when I was taking a photo of the stick insect, he raced to find the toy camera and copied my close up style, lol.
The weather was fabulous, not too hot and not cool except for at night so we did get to go to the beach which is not far away and dig for pipis. I suppose the taste would be like clams and we even got a few cockles.
When you dig for pipis that are not far into the ocean and when the tide is going in, you have to  twist  your toes to feel them under the sand, it's quite a sight and good exercise.
We soaked them overnight in sea water for them to spit out the sand and my DD made some delicious pipi fritters for dinner the next evening. It took me right back to my childhood with every summer at the beach doing the same thing.
My older sister and I had a couple of nice lunches out together and both of us chose a beef and pear salad with blue cheese dressing for lunch on one of those days. It was so delicious that I had to try and make it at home. It turned out to be really delicious but I could have added a few cherry tomatoes and it would have been perfect. I served it with my sourdough which I've missed so much while away.
It has salad greens, red onion, avocado, red capiscum, avocado, pear and roasted pine nuts along with the beef.
The dressing was so delicious that I just have to share. After it's been in the fridge, it goes thicker and would make a rock star dip.

Blue cheese dressing

  • 75g Costello blue cheese, chopped

  • 125g (1/2 cup) creme fraiche

  • 1 green shallot, end trimmed, thinly sliced

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 1 tbs white wine vinegar

  • 1 tbs light olive oil

  • 1 tbs good-quality whole-egg mayonnaise

  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper


  • To make the blue cheese dressing, place the blue cheese, creme fraiche, green shallot, garlic, vinegar, oil, mayonnaise and mustard in the bowl of a food processor and process until mixture is almost smooth. You can also use a mixing wand.Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl or jug. Serve at room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until required. It will keep for several days.

    So what about the sewing? Well there wasn't too much of that but I did prep all my leaves for another panel on the Trailing Vines quilt before I left and I only have a few more leaves to sew on.
    I don't think anybody is in a rush for the next panel to download so when I've drawn it up, I'll let you know here on the blog.
    I did stuff another trapunto block for the Coxscomb quilt, each block takes me about four or five evenings to do so it's not a quick job.
    You get the idea of what it will look like from the back view without the yellow pen I used. I was too lazy to iron it so it might look a bit rough. The only thing I didn't get to work on was the snowball quilt from my last post but better to have too much than not enough sewing to do.
    I tried to keep up on my blog reading while I was away even if I didn't have time to leave comments.
    I'm looking forward to catching up. I do have a couple of Coxcomb and Currant blocks to email to some of you so that requested it so if you don't recieve them within a day or two, could you flick me another request please.
    Until next time, Janet

    44 comments:

    victoria quilts said...

    I'm glad your back. I checked every day!

    Jessica said...

    Sounds like you had a great time!
    Loving the look of your trapunto!

    Shirley said...

    Welcome back home Janet. Sounds like you had a good time and you did manage a bit of sewing.

    Annemart said...

    Hi Janet, your grand kids are adorable and you kept up quilting! Great! I hoped New Zealand brought a lot of rest...

    Dorothy said...

    I,m half way along my second vine so don,t stop. Glad you had a lovely holiday.

    Kathie said...

    welcome home !!!! glad to have you back! LOVE the trapunto block, wow :)
    oh my have they grown, I can't believe how big Noah is!
    glad you had a good trip

    Kathie

    Trines hobby said...

    Nydelige bilder fra sol og varme, her har vi snø og kulde! Jeg lengter til sommeren! Nydelig trapunto blokk.
    Trine i Norge

    Julia said...

    Lovely to see your home safe and posting again..the little ones look like so much fun to be with...preious memories made there.
    Love your trapunto..
    Julia ♥

    Sujata Shah said...

    Welcome back! I was just thinking of you yesterday!
    Those grand kids of yours look adorable and trapunto is exquisite!

    Stephanie said...

    Very sweet little ones. Always fun to visit but there's no place like home. The salad looks excellent. Thank you for sharing the dressing recipe. Sounds like your batteries are recharged.

    Linda said...

    It looks like you had a lovely time with family. And I like to see pictures of your grandies, especially since I do the same thing to my blog readers! Interesting about those pipis, which I have never heard of. As for your salad, it looks very similar to a favorite of mine (sans beef). Appreciate having the blue cheese dressing recipe too. It's nice you could get some sewing done, and more is always better than less. Do pop by my blog if you're up for a blog book gift certificate giveaway. Enjoy settling in at home again.

    Glenn Dragone said...

    Sounds like you had lots of fun! Your grandchildren are very cute. The trapunto is looking wonderful

    Dixie said...

    Glad you enjoyed your trip and got to see your family! The blue cheese dressing looks wonderful - must try it soon. I've been making a salad with oranges, avocados, red onion, cilantro, red bell pepper, lime juice, and olive oil, lately. Its so good!

    Taryn said...

    It has been awhile but it looks like you had a wonderful time with your family. Spending time on the beach and eating fresh seafood sounds divine. I am impressed you got so much sewing done. Those coxcomb blocks are shaping up beautifully.

    Thimbleanna said...

    Yay, I'm glad you're back! The grandkids are adorable -- I'll bet you had a wonderful time. And I'll bet they had a great time with Grandma there to spoil them LOL. I love your quote too -- "better to have too much than not enough sewing to do" -- Indeed!

    taylorsoutback said...

    great to hear about all your doings with the dear grands. their bright smiles against the blue sky are perfect!
    The beef salad is my kind of dish!
    thank you for sharing that.

    Janet said...

    I LOVE your new banner picture! I'm glad you had a good visit - your grandkids look like cutie pies.
    Your vine panel is wonderful - you're right about there not being a rush for the next vine panel :0) You preped all the leaves for an entire panel - wow!
    Love to see your trapunto too!

    Lori said...

    Welcome home!! The grandkids are adorable. Love the photo of your gs taking a picture!!
    Lovely projects as well, Janet.

    Monica said...

    Welcome back Janet! How nice it must've been to spend so much time with your family.

    Sharon said...

    I just noticed yesterday that you've been absent for a whle and here you are today! Sounds like it was a great trip and I'd say you got a lot accomplished while visiting. Love your new header photo!

    Barb said...

    Hello!
    what beautiful children!
    Thanks for the recipe, I love BC dressing - yum.
    The vines look beautiful and the stuff work is stunning!

    Linda said...

    Janet, What precious grandchildren you have! Glad to hear you had a wonderful time with your family :)

    Your trapunto is just stunning. One of these days I want to try that.

    Dolores said...

    I have missed your posts. Glad you had a wonderful time. Your work is always stunning and I do appreciate you sharing with all of us.

    Donna K from N.TX aka Quilting Bear Gal said...

    Welcome home. Cute kiddos. Lovely quilt projects. All is good.

    Rachaeldaisy said...

    Welcome home! It's sounds like you had a wonderful holiday!!! Thanks for sharing the blue cheese dressing, I'll have to try it, yum! Your trumpunto blocks are amazing.

    Cardygirl said...

    Looks like a perfect holiday...glad you are back!

    Linda C said...

    Welcome home!! Your trailing vines
    are looking great.

    Cheri said...

    Welcome home! Cute Grandies! Sounds like you had a good time. Your new blog header picture is wonderful. What a lot of work goes in each block of the coxcomb quilt, it will be just gorgeous.

    Raewyn said...

    Glad you had a great time in NZ; precious time catching up with your family. Your Trailing Vines, and the Trapunto are both so beautiful and detailed :-)

    Nedra said...

    Welcome home Janet! It looks like you had a fabulous time, especially being with those cute grandbabies!

    Lori said...

    bet you got lots of hugging done. are you in grandchild withdrawal??

    Oops-Lah said...

    Good to know you had a lovely few weeks in NZ. Your grandchildren are adorable, especially in their new dresses. And you even managed to squeeze in a bit of sewing.

    Archie the wonder dog said...

    You have adorable grandkids!

    Louise said...

    Hi Janet,
    Your grandchildren are adorable!
    So glad you had a nice vacation.
    May I join in to make the Coxcomb and Currant blocks? They are beautiful. Thanks, Louise

    Notjustnat said...

    Welcome back Janet. I was thinking of you only the other day. Glad you had a lovely time with G-kids. Love photos of them, thanks for sharing them. I love the NZ pipis, you lucky thing - hugs Nat

    Lina said...

    Beautiful Grand kids!!!

    Ann Champion said...

    THe GKs are darling..and growing so fast! I'll bet it seems quiet without them?
    It sounds like you had a wonderful holiday?
    Your trapunto is gorgeous..and I'm glad you had time to work on the vines. I love that quilt.

    Kristen said...

    The vines are coming along so well! I am glad it was was a wonderful few weeks of family time.

    Miriam said...

    Great to see you back, Janet! Love your new header photo. It will be a while before I am ready for the next panel of the vine quilt.
    Very cute Grandchildren! :)
    Sounds like you had the perfect holiday!

    Pinkadot Quilts said...

    Your grandchildren are adorable. Your blocks are looking good !!

    Beth Paulson said...

    I would love to have the coxcomb and currants block pattern and the taponto pattern too when you have time...thanks, Beth

    Carla said...

    Beautiful quilting!

    Las manos de hope said...

    Eres una maestra con estos bodados, felicidades.

    Carrie P. said...

    Your grandkids are so cute.
    Wow! the trapunto is so cool.