Monday, July 30, 2012

Caramelized Onion Mac & Cheese

Tonight I reduced the Under the Sea tablescape down to four placesttings for my Friend Vickie’s birthday dinner.


I started the meal with Caprese Salad. Whenever we have a potluck she asks me to bring it, so I knew it would make her happy.


I love this time of the year as the tomatoes are so good. I am lucky enough to have friends with abundant gardens who share.


For the main dish we had Chicken Piccata, steamed zucchini and a kind of macaroni and cheese.


I was playing in the kitchen last night after work and decided to use cheese as the GG wasn’t going to be home for dinner.

Cooked pasta shells were used for the base as I love how they hold any cheese or sauce that is put with them.  I grated three kinds of cheese: Londoner  White Cheddar Cheese, Garlic Jack and Sharp Cheddar. It was probably about 1 1/2  to 2 cups. this was mixed with 2 tbsp. of Dijon mustard, 2 beaten eggs, 1/3 cup Fage Greek plain yogurt. A 2 quart covered casserole was sprayed with Pam and all the ingredients were mixed together. Lastly, I sprinkled  crumbled Salem Blue cheese on top.

It was baked at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. It was pretty good, but lacked a little something. Onions!  Caramelized. So I sliced a large yellow onion and sautéed it with a 1/2 cube of butter and 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Mixed it in with the remaining shells & cheese from last night, topped with more Blue Cheese and warmed in the oven at 225 for a 1/2 hour. It was a hit at dinner.

We were having such a good time I forgot to get a shot of  the ice cream, halved pears and chocolate sauce we had for dessert. The dishes are done, so it’s time to call it a night.

Stitch at you soon,

Linking to StoneGable - On the Menu Monday

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Craggy Chocolate Cake

So earlier today as I was reading through blogs that I follow I came across a recipe for Craggy Chocolate Cake. I am embarrassed to say that I cannot remember whose blog I copied the recipe from. 

** 7/31/12 -- I found the blog that had the recipe and lovely tablescape. It was Lines from Linderhof and you can view her post here.

The cake was made for the dessert at a meal to be enjoyed before going to a poetry reading. The table was beautifully set for a group of friends. If anyone has any idea  who the blog belongs to, I would really appreciate it.

The recipe is by Laura Calder and listed elsewhere on the net. But I would never had known of it unless I was blog hopping. So thank you to the blogger who gave me the recipe.

I stopped in the middle of reading her post to take out the butter and eggs so they would be room temp for baking.

The cake is fabulous. Think of a combination of cake, brownie and soufflé. Rich, but not too sweet. Wonderful when still warm with a glass of milk. I am not usually a chocolate fiend, but this called for bittersweet chocolate so it called my name. It reminded me of the Comatose Brownies that I make. I will have to post that recipe.


Yes there is a piece cut out of it. I didn’t even think about blogging about it as I waited for it to come out of the oven. So the picture is not pretty, but I highly recommend the cake.
The recipe per the blog:

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
7 ounces butter, softened
4 eggs, separated
1 c. sugar
Heat the oven to 375.   Line an 8 inch springform with parchment and grease and flour pan.
Melt the chocolate gently over a water bath, and then beat in the butter a piece at a time until smooth.   In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with 1/2 c. sugar until tick, pale and ribbony.   In yet another bowl, beat the whites to soft peaks.    Scatter over the remaining 1/2 c. sugar and beat to a stiff meringue.
Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture.    Stir in a spoonful of beaten egg whites, then pour the chocolate mixture over the egg whites and gently fold together with a spatula.   Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Run a knife around the outside edge, then let sit until cool. It will sink down and top with crack, appealingly. Serve with a drift of slightly sweeter whipped cream, flavored with vanilla, rum or orange flower water (I used Grand Marnier).

Don’t be shocked if you also stop reading to go to the fridge and take out some ingredients.

Stitch at you soon,

Under the Sea

“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.” – Dave Barry

Our niece Jennifer has been staying with us for the past week and helped me to put together this weeks table. She is an incredible artist so she looks at things with a different eye.



The entire table started with this fabric we had at Bolts in the Bathtub. From the moment that Norbert our Timeless Treasures rep showed it to us my thoughts went to napkins on a tablescape. And this was long before I started blogging about them.


From there came the hues for this table. The napkins sit in bowls ready for clam chowder.


This piece of licorice allsorts is perfect for giving the seahorse on my platter a little depth.  I found the platter in the clearance section of Home Goods and snapped it up.


A glass blown pumpkin looks like a sea creature on its side.




A little candy for nibbles between courses.





The quilt on the chest is from a Terry Atkinson Designs pattern.


If your tablecloth is too long, use napkin rings to shorten up the ends. These were going to be used on the table, but were needed here.


“My soul is full of longing for the secrets of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Thanks for joining me at the table.

Stitch at you soon,

Underwater cast :
Dinner Plates:
Longaberger, current Wish List
Salad Plates: Primagera, TJ Maxx last Spring
Bowls and Egg cups for candy: 
Longaberger, retired
Wine Glasses: Pier 1
Yellow Water Goblets: Mervyns (how I miss that store)
Cordials: Royal Caribbean cruise
Candlesticks: Sansibel, Marshall’s were also used
Platter: 222 Fifth, Home Goods
Flatware: Style Happy, Home Goods

Linking to:
Cuisine Kathleen - Let's Dish
Susan @
Between Naps on the Porch - Tablescape Thursday

Monday, July 23, 2012

BU - 7 Series Machines

It has taken me a while to get to this post as I was back in the store and busy with catching up. I wanted to share all the great info on the new 7 Series machines. My class on the new 780E was done on the computer. This gives me a great new emulator to play with until the actual machines arrive at Bolts in the Bathtub in September.

There are 3 machines in the 7 Series and with its launch BERNINA presents a world’s first, the BERNINA 9 hook (B 9Hook). The series has 10 inches from needle to harp, BERNINA Dual Feed, BSR capability, and an easily navigated color touch screen that is centrally located. The are quiet when sewing, and they have the most awesome bobbin ever!  With precision stitches up to 9mm in width and with speeds up to 1,000 stitches per minute.



The B 9 Hook is a combination of the CB and rotary hook systems in an incredible new housing.
The bobbin case is like nothing you have seen before. Doesn’t it look like it’s from some type of spacecraft. A helmet in a Sci-Fi movie?


The bobbin housing out of the machine.


The bobbin holds up to 80% more than standard bobbins.


Although it is a 9mm  stitch width, the bobbin case  and its housing com out like a CB hook system.


There is even a place on the side of the machine with a magnet to place the bobbin housing while cleaning the hook area. It is there to hold your stylus. No more losing the piece somewhere on your sewing table. Let’s be honest, we all temporarily misplace items in the sewing room design studio. 


Click on the following link to see the 7 Series Brochures .

Additional features on the 7 Series include a presser foot that automatically lowers and lifts.  It will even cut the thread for you at the end of your seam or color change. All machines in the 7 Series are also equipped with a semi-automatic needle threader, one-step buttonhole sewing program, slide speed control and a built-in Sewing Consultant that is ready to assist you at anytime. Additionally, the 7 Series provides an exclusive level of stitch control. Whether altering stitch length, stitch width or needle positions, or even creating combinations, the 7 Series will remember the stitch details for you.

You can extend the stitch screen to see more available stitches at a glance.


The B 710 is the ideal machine for the sewing enthusiast who enjoys the creative process and traditional techniques with a contemporary touch. The B 710 combines innovative ideas with lots of space, providing more room for all your sewing projects.  It features 680 sewing stitch patterns, including 200 decorative stitches, and comes standard with five presser feet. Also, with the addition of the right accessories, the B 710 will take the user from crafting to home decorating to quilting with ease.

The B 750 QE is specially accessorized for the quilting enthusiast. The B 750 QE includes a total of 837 sewing stitch patterns, and is equipped with over 30 quilt stitches, eight presser feet and 70 embroidery designs.  It also comes standard with the BSR, making it the perfect fit for the quilter who is looking for a machine with the best quilting features available. The extensive range of available accessories, including an optional embroidery module, offers the B 750 QE owner the option of expanding their creative options to other sewing specialties such as heirloom, home decorating, crafting and garment sewing. The B 750 QE is also compatible with the new DesignWorks Software and companion accessories.


Shot of the 780E Simulator screen showing the partially compatible Jumbo Hoop.


The BERNINA 780 E offers top quality embroidery, sewing and quilting functionality in an elegantly designed machine that leaves extra room for imagination.  The B 780 E comes standard with the BSR and an assortment of nine presser feet.  It includes a total of 1,306 sewing stitch patterns and is also capable of 360-degree, multi-directional sewing.  Additionally, over 130 high quality embroidery designs are built into the B 780 E along with elegant fonts for personalizing your projects.  You can even quickly upload your own embroidery designs onto the machine using the convenient USB port.  The B 780 E is compatible with the BERNINA Embroidery Software V6, and the new DesignWorks Software and companion accessories.

Definitely as the BERNINA logo states:


Stitch at you soon, Dawna

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Golf Resort Table

For this weeks table I am joining Kathleen at Let’s Dish for her destination themed table. I was thinking of Paris or Hawaii as I am in the coastal mode this summer. But then I realized that  there would actually be people here to eat at my table this week. My sister-in-law, her husband and the triplets are all golfers as well as my GG. So off to a golf resort it was.


I started with a club from the front hallway, borrowed boxes of new balls and the Longaberger golf basket from GG office, picked up a few trophies from the bookshelf, and weirdly then looked for dishes.





Every plate had a hole in one. The shamrock shaped plates made me think of the green of  Scotland. A small reference to the birthplace of the game. St  Andrews has been the Home of Golf for 600 years. As a destination it would be lovely. GG could golf and I could enjoy all the green of the country.



The pattern on the dinner plates could be a Scottish  lace design. I used these plates last for my Gift From the Sea  tablescape.


The constantly used chargers.


Since we live in the desert, these wineglasses from  Leaping Lizard  winery seemed appropriate.


The napkins Kaufman fabrics golf print is from years ago. I used it originally for the GG’s golf quilt.


The golf quilt lives on the family room sofa


Thanks for stopping by the course.

Stitch at you soon, Dawna

Design Elements:
Tablecloth – Home Goods, Ralph Lauren
Chargers – Pier 1
Dinner Plates – Target, Spring 2012
Salad Plates – Marshalls, Decoradea Made in Turkey
Flatware – Longaberger, current Wish List
Golf Basket – Longaberger, retired
Glasses – Home Goods
Golf Accessories – Golf Guy

Linking to:
Cuisine Kathleen’s – Destination Let's Dish
Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch -
Tablescape Thursday

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tropical Breezes

The tropical breezes give the air a sultry feeling as you sit down to my dinner table this week. I set the table last Friday morning as I was leaving town for the week. But as I am in Washington DC the temps are reminiscent of a visit to the tropics. Hot with lots of moisture. I am as my niece Briana calls me currently Aunt Fluffy. Those of you who have some natural curl understand this I am sure.


I pulled everything from around the house except the salad and dinner plates. You can never tell when you will find inspiration for a new tablescape. I happened down the seasonal aisle at Walgreen’s last Thursday evening and saw the melamine palm tree plates. They were a steal – marked 2 for $3.00. But it got better, when I checked out they were on sale for $1.34 a piece. So $16.08 for the lot.


Note to self: always remember to check for memory card in camera before taking pictures. I though I had some nice blue hour shots from earlier in the evening, but no SD card, no pictures. Good thing I checked before packing the camera.


May the sound of the ocean and the breeze through the palm trees take you to a restful spot.










I love these chargers so much I am wondering how another set would look painted in a dark tone.
. IMG_1436

Thanks for joining me  at my table.


Salad & Dinner Plates – Walgreen’s
White square plates – Sweet Olive Designs, Fancy Scroll  Collection – Home Goods – Early Spring 2012, Charger – Pier 1
Glassware  – Home Goods
Flatware – Longaberger
Box, candlesticks and everything else was rounded up around the house.

Stitch at you soon, Dawna

I‘m joining:
Kathleen for Let's Dish
Susan for Tablescape Thursday