Saturday, March 25, 2017

Lemon Loaf

   3 large eggs
   1 cup granulated sugar
   1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream or Greek yogurt
   1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
   2 tablespoons lemon zest
   1 to 2 tablespoons lemon extract, to taste  
   (not teaspoons and not lemon oil and not lemon juice)
   1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
   2 teaspoons baking powder
   1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Lemon Glaze
   1 cup confectioners' sugar
   3 tablespoons lemon juice, or as necessary for consistency


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan, set aside
  • To a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar, sour cream and whisk vigorously until smooth and combined
  • Drizzle in the oil while whisking to combine
  • Add the lemon zest, lemon extract and whisk to combine.  I used 2 tablespoons of lemon extract because no actual lemon juice is used in the loaf and I found 2 tablespoons lemon extract necessary for full bodied lemon flavor, but add to to taste.  Don't use lemon oil and lemon extract interchangeably because they are not, oil is much more potent and intense.  Do not use lemon juice in place of lemon extract because it is not strong enough and the acidity can alter the overall results.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and stir until just combined, do not over mix.  Some lumps will be present and that is okay, do not try to stir until smooth.
  • Turn the batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.  Bake for about 50 to 52 minutes, or until top is domed, set, and toothpick inserted in the center crack comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter.  In the last 10 minutes of baking, tent pan with foil (loosely drape a sheet of foil over pan) to prevent excessive browning on the top and sides of bread before center cooks through
  • Allow loaf to cool in pan on top of a wire rack for at least 30 minutes (I cooled four hours). before turning out onto rack to cool completely before glazing.
  • For the lemon glaze:  to a small bowl, add the confectioner's sugar and slowly drizzle in the lemon juice while whisking until smooth and combined.  You may need to play with the sugar and lemon juice amounts a bit as necessary for desired consistency and flavor.
Evenly drizzle glaze over bread before slice and serving.  Extra glaze can be spread on the cut surface of the bread like you would spread butter on toast and it soaks right in making the bread even moister and more lemony.  Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freeze for up to 6 months.  I do not recommend storing loaf in the fridge because it will dry out.

(recipe from Averie Cooks)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Market 2017

Stacy Nash
Animal Crackers
Blackberry Velvet
Dames of the Needle Linen

For me the Nashville Needlework Market is Christmas, Birthday and Anniversary all rolled into one big happy weekend.  The conversation goes like this:  
AppleJack:  What would you like for Christmas? 
 Me:  I would like goodies from the needlework market.  
AppleJack:  Does this also apply to your birthday and anniversary?  
Me:  I will make it easy for you.

Those designers they were at their creative best!  So many wonderful designs, fabrics, trims, etc.  How do they do it?  Each year they just get better and better.  It is no secret I am a huge fan of Stacy Nash designs.  When Stacy released the animal crackers,  I immediately added them to my market shopping list.  Being a cat lover, Theodore and Clementine were singing to my cat loving, needle loving heart.  Stacy has more animal crackers in the works:  rabbits, pigs, cows, sheep.  

Louisa Coulimore
Sophia Knighte

Red Samplers!  This was Nicola's (Hands Across the Sea) first needlework market and selfishly I hope this will not be her last.  Have you seen these samplers? and charts?  WOW!  Nicola does extensive research on the sampler maker which she shares on the inside covers of her charts.  Nicola calls herself a stitcher and each chart/graph is designed with the stitcher in mind:  very detailed, special photographs and instructions for special stitches, the legend listed multiple times throughout the chart (no flipping pages searching for the legend).  These samplers/designs are so enjoyable, I put them in a basket beside my stitching chair just so I could read and enjoy them--they are a great resource and reference tool.  If you have not seen these designs--treat yourself to one.  Sophia Knighte is my other red sampler--I did not want Louisa to be lonely and I found the perfect silk fiber for them:  school house red.

Kathy Barrick
Swan Garden
Fiona & Edward

Kathy Barrick is another one of my favorite designers.  When Kathy updated her blog with her market designs, my shopping list grew.  

Blackbird Designs
My Dear Hearts

The Blackbird girls, Barb and Alma never disappoint.  This heart is from their newly released book, My Dear Hearts.  I found this fabric and fiber in my stash and I think it will make a suitable substitute.

Chessie and Me
La D Da

Two more of my favor designers (I have many favorite designers, have you noticed? )  Chessie's houses sing to my primitive heart and Lori's Lovely Letters can be stitched as special gifts.

No market would be complete without linen, trims and ribbon.  They will add a special touch to those finishes.

 Stitch dots from LittleHouse

My apologies for the poor photograph.  These are a new to me gadget and I am very excited about them.  AppleJack and Callie Mae are hoping these beautiful magnets will keep the needles on the linen and out of the chair and out of their hiney.  Ouch!

Before I have to speak the words,  "My name is Betty and I have a problem," I will stop.  It was a great market.  To the designers and shop owners THANK YOU!  Thank you for the hours you spend charting designs, stuffing envelops, packing boxes, standing on your feet, and traveling. Thank you for your tolerance with shopping lists and requests, for packing orders, drives to the post office and driving/flying many miles.  Your hard work is very appreciated!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Saturday in March

Last Saturday, March 4 it looked like this.

Fast forward seven days, March 11 and it looks like this

Yesterday, I was smelling the heavenly scent of the Hyacinth.

Today, I'm watching my hosta wearing her snow blanket.

Daylight savings time begins tomorrow.  This bunny is looking forward to longer daylight hours, me too.  Spring begins in eight days, Mother Nature needed to let everyone know she carries a big stick in the gardening world.

 Finished up the first of the Blackbird stockings while watching Foyle's War on Netflex.

Making slow progress on the border for Emma Lerch--one lonely pink flower with many more to be stitched.

Am auditioning recipes for the Gathering, which is March 25.  To date Lemon Loaf is the front runner with Lemon Cookies a close second.  Miss Callie Mae says "Meow" for the kind birthday wishes, she is still stalking the postman for market arrivals.  Hope each of you is enjoying a peaceful productive Saturday in March.

Monday, March 6, 2017

and then she was 10

How did that happen?  Our Miss Callie Mae is ten.  It seems like yesterday when she came to live with us.  She was living at Happy Tails and she chose us!  On the ride home, she never cried, she came into the house, took a stroll, and declared it was an acceptable place for her to live.  Neither of us has ever looked back.  Each day she wakes up happy and has brought joy into our lives each and every day.

She knows what she likes and what she does not like.  She likes an ice cube in her water dish.

Some say she is persistent and determined, others say she is stubborn.

She has learned the world's problems are easier solved after a good nap.

She is fastidious and insists on having her hair brushed every day.  (AppleJack is her stylist).

She keeps a watchful eye for the postman because she knows the postman delivers goodies from the recent Nashville Needlework Market which makes her adopted Mother very happy.

Happy Birthday Miss Callie Mae--your family loves you very much!

Have you seen Stacy Nash's Animal Crackers cats Theodore and Clementine?  You bet your boots they are in my shopping cart.  Watch out Mr Postman, Miss Callie Mae is watching.