Monthly Archives: October 2011

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Peach and Blueberry Crisp

It’s tiiii-iiiime! It’s fall quilt market time and I’m almost ready to go. Kellie is already in Houston — I spoke with her this morning and it was so fun to hear that Australian accent again — I can’t wait to get there. I’m really sad that Jan won’t be joining us this fall — but she has a fabulous excuse. She and her family are in London for a few months! Lucky Ducks! That means Kellie will be bringing us a new Australian partner, so it’s all very exciting. There will be a full report when I get back. ;-D

I’m leaving tomorrow, and as usual, I won’t blog while I’m at market. Instead, it’s been awhile since we’ve played recipe roulette, so I’ll leave you with one of my favorite recipes. I got this recipe several years ago from a friend in my old book group and it’s delicious. Since it’s fall, you could just as easily substitute apples for the peaches. And don’t worry about the sugar and butter — it has blueberries and pecans (superfoods) so they cancel each other out (ha!).

Peach and Blueberry Crisp

Peach and Blueberry Crisp

Topping:
3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
1 c. old fashioned oats
3/4 c. chopped toasted pecans
Fruit:
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 1/2 lbs. peaches, peeled and cut into wedges
1 1-pint basket blueberries or 2 1/2 cups frozen, thawed

Peach and Blueberry Crisp

For Topping:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Mix sugar and flour in medium bowl. Add butter and rub with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in oats and pecans. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead — cover and refrigerate.)
For Fruit:
Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add peaches and blueberries and toss to coat. Transfer fruit to prepared dish. Sprinkle topping over the top of the fruit. Bake until topping browns and filling bubbles, about 45 minutes. Cool. Serve with ice cream.

Enjoy! Be good while I’m gone, and I’ll see you on the other side!

XOXO,
Anna

Edited to add:  Ohmygosh!  I totally forgot to mention — if you’re going to be anywhere near Lehi, Utah on November 18th and 19th, you should check out Pamela’s Cool Quilt Retreat!  She’ll hook you up with food and all the necessities — you can spend all your time SEWING!  You Utah girls get ALL the fun!!!

A Kitchen Peek

Boy– it’s that time of the year — busy, busy around here with yard work, so not much time to post.  And that covert operation put me behind in the leaf gathering job.   THANKS for all your wonderful comments about my little job.  Several of you asked whether TheManoftheHouse was pleased — I think he must’ve been as he brought me these beautiful roses the next time he went shopping.  Happily, I don’t have to build a retaining wall every time to get pretty flowers!

Roses

I’ve also had several questions over the last few months about whether we ever finished the kitchen re-do.  The backsplash tile was FINALLY finished yesterday.  There are still a few little things to do (new drawer pulls, under/over cupboard lights, paint touch-ups) but if we wait until those jobs are done, we’ll probably never be officially done!  So, here are a few before and after shots.

The stove wall.  Before with microwave over the stove.  Our kitchen was never vented to the outside and that was one big change that I really wanted.  Luckily, there’s a linen closet on the second floor, just above the stove area, so they ran the venting through the kitchen ceiling, the back of the linen closest, the attic and then the roof.  As daunting as it sounds, that was probably the smoothest, easiest job of them all.  Here’s the before.

Kitchen

And the after.  The tile guy was a case.  I told him I wanted those little four patch tiles put in a random pattern.  He told me he didn’t do random very well and I chuckled.  I was off doing something else, and when I came back in the room, the little four patches on the left were all lined up in a row.  So, I made him move them and I showed him where I wanted the ones on the right.  When I checked again, he’d laid the ones on the right out in the same pattern as the left — which doesn’t make them very random.  {Sigh.}

Kitchen

Here’s a shot of the old sink and ugly green tile.  The old sink was porcelain (I think?) and was chipped in a few spots.

Kitchen

So, we went with stainless for the new sink.  And that’s one of those spiffy touch on/touch off water faucets.  I LOVE it.  When I have messy chicken or meatloaf or something on my hands, it’s so nice just to tap that faucet with my elbow and have it come on.  And look!  No. Tile.  I can roll out a pie crust or cookies on the countertops – what a treat!

Kitchen

Here’s a shot of the inside of the sink.  The left side is big enough to set a (dirty!) 12″ skillet with handle flat on the bottom of the sink.  The jury is still out on those grate things on the bottom of the sink — I think they’re more of a nuisance than anything else.

Kitchen

Here’s the only shot I could find of the old tile floor.

Kitchen

We replaced it with wood, which is sort of hard to see with the window glare, but I LOVE it!

Kitchen

One of my very favorite things is the bookcase we had added to the end of the cabinets.  My cookbooks used to be in the family room and now my favorites can live in the kitchen.

Kitchen

When I was planning the kitchen, NoBlog Ina sent me some pictures of her gorgeous new kitchen.  In the process we discovered that we had the same oak windsor chairs.  I mentioned to Ina that I would be painting mine black and she asked to see a picture — so this one’s for NoBlog Ina.  I love the chairs painted black, although, they show a LOT more dust.

Kitchen

So.  Overall, I’m pretty happy with the new kitchen, although it’s a lot of brown.  I think I need to spend less time on Pinterest, drooling over the beautiful white kitchens.  I just couldn’t see throwing out our perfectly good cabinets, so we worked with what we had.  At any rate, the Patisserie Dome seems to be MUCH happier.

Kitchen

Even if she has to sit empty ’cause there’s no time to bake this week!

Kitchen

Thanks for sticking it out to the end!

XOXO,
Anna

Covert Operations

Or…alternate post title:

My Top 5 Tips for How to Build a Retaining Wall in Your Backyard in Secret

1. Be sure that your husband/significant other is working very long hours/seven days a week at the office for a week or two. And in the event he should come home during daylight hours, keep the window blinds closed at all times.

Retaining Wall

Trust me ladies…you do not want to hear him yelling from the other end of the house “Luuuucy!  You’ve got some ‘splainin to do!”  Can you see the difference?   Closed blinds are mandatory.

Retaining Wall

2.  When your husband/significant other leaves for work at the crack of dawn, complain about all the work that you have to get done that day. That way he’ll know you’re too busy to be up to anything.  Be careful though…be sure the work you complain about isn’t tangible, i.e., don’t complain about having to mow the lawn ’cause you’ll have to explain why it isn’t mowed when he gets home.  Try something like organizing all the pictures on your hard drive or taking your mother furniture shopping.
(Hey, check out my cute project manager!)

Retaining Wall

3.  Be sure and hide all the receipts for construction supplies so they can’t be accidentally discovered. Hide them someplace he won’t look for the duration of the project.  Try the cleaning supplies cabinet.

Retaining Wall

4.  Clean up after yourself after each day’s work. Make sure all the shovels/rakes are in their usual place in the garage.  Be careful not to track any dirt/gravel into the house.  And be sure that the truck you use to haul supplies isn’t sitting in the driveway when your hubby/so arrives home from work.

Retaining Wall

5.  Be prepared with a response in the event you get caught before your project is completed. You know… in case you suddenly hear “What the (*&$ is going on here?”, it’s best not to be caught speechless.  Practice one or more of the following choices:

“Retaining Wall????  WHAT retaining wall????”

“Holy Cow!!!!  Someone’s putting a retaining wall in our backyard!!!!”

“OhMyGosh!  The Retaining Wall Fairy has paid us a visit.  Who knew there even was a Retaining Wall Fairy???”

Retaining Wall

And one last little thought…just for fun, you might want to keep track of the number of times that you almost got caught. (My count was 5, but happily, the project was completed (well, with a few minor touchups needed next week)  two hours before discovery — yipee!!!)

XOXO,
Anna

*Disclaimer: Should you choose to attempt covert operations such as those described above, The Thimbleanna Blog assumes no responsibility in the event of injury to your body or your untimely demise. In addition, if you have small children, do not, I repeat DO NOT, attempt covert operations. Small children will rat you out every time!

**Apparently, thirty years of watching man-preferred mindless tv can come in handy!

Undercover

I’m deep undercover. Working on a VERY secret project. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with sewing or baking or anything fun. (Well, ok, it might be a little fun, but you won’t think so — it’s not very exciting at all.) I’ll be back in a few days to tell you a little more.

Top Secret

In the meantime, I’m sure you’ll be sitting around wondering what to do with yourselves. (Ha!)
Try some of these “Find Your Style” links for a bit of fun:

HGTV Style Finder
What’s your color personality?
Ethan Allen Find Your Style
BH&G Style Finder
Find your decorating personality from Real Simple

That should keep you busy for a little while.

Cover Me.  I’m going In.

XOXO,
Anna

Oooh, and in case you’re going through Matthew Bomer withdrawal now that White Collar is off season, the good people at CBS have provided us with some suitable eye candy in the form of a Person of Interest.

R.I.P. Steve Jobs

By now, you’ve probably heard the very sad news of Steve Jobs’ death. What an amazing man who has touched most of our lives.

I don’t currently own any apple products (there is hope) but I’ll never forget our first home computer. The very humble Apple II.

Apple II

We lived in Germany when the Apple II first came out and when I came home to visit family, my orders were to “Bring back that new little Apple computer.” It was all so very exciting. Would this new home computer thing just be a passing fancy? Were we throwing our money away? Oh, the fun we had writing little programs in Basic. I was so desperate for home-useful programs that I wrote a program to tell me what part of the house I needed to clean every day. Boy, oh boy, those were the days!

A few years ago I watched this video from Steve Jobs’ Stanford 2005 Commencement Address. Definitely worth the time to watch.

And tonight, I found this on YouTube .

R.I.P. Steve Jobs. You’ve left an indelible mark on our world — Thank You for leaving it a far better place than you found it.

XOXO,
Anna