Monday, January 28, 2013

Quilting and Flat Bread Pizza

While waiting for everyone to arrive on Saturday for the quilt
project day I roasted some butternut squash for
the flat brad pizzas I planned to make for lunch

I had made the flat bread (July blog post)
and bean soup the day before so it was easy going at service time

I topped the pizza with brown butter with rosemary, roasted squash,
toasted walnuts and Yellow Birch Farm goat cheese, yum!

Just put your butter in a skillet to melt and leave until it
 starts to look golden, throw a pinch of dried or fresh rosemary
in at the end and let it sit for a few minutes to release its oils

Then I spooned the butter on each bread, distributed the
roasted squash, walnuts and cheese and baked them in
a 375 degree oven until warm all the way through.

                                 Here's a few of the different projects people were working on;

Michelle finished up a natural tie dye project she had
done with the kids at Kamp Kooky

Debbie started hand quilting on her project from Tonye Belinda's class

Anne learned how to machine quilt on her
sky and sunshine piece

Holly revisited her broken dishes

Even I had a chance to sew!

and worked on putting blocks together for a baby quilt
that we all contributed to.

So much fun, a wonderful day
and I am very grateful to have shared such
creative space with a group of lovely people

Happy Monday

Friday, January 25, 2013

Winter Skin

We are hard in it here, a week of single digits and below zero
at night.

I pulled out this soap I bought at Brambles in Belfast this fall,
Pain D'Alep 35%, it boasts Turkish olive oil and
35% Laurel oil to keep your skin soft in the harshest conditions.
Hey, its working! 

This cocoon of cold has eluded us for two years.
It is sobering to have it here and I'm grateful for it.

Making me pay attention somehow and
reminding me how grateful I am for my inner surroundings.

Have a good weekend.
Stay warm, and cozy.

I'll be sewing tomorrow with 10 others at
Lily's for the Quilt Project Day Workshop


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower ala Bon Appetite!

I roast cauliflower all the time, in fact I think I've probably
given you a recipe for it already

But this idea out of Bon Appetite! sounded scrumptious

Melted parmesan cheese, roasted sweet red onions
a bit of thyme, and then I made a dipping sauce
by stirring basil pesto into my homemade cashew cream

We ate the entire thing, fireside, right off the pan
with salad on the side

A perfect winter midweek meal


1 large head of cauliflower, core removed and sliced 
into 1/2 inch slices
1 red onion, peel and leave root end in tact to hold layers together
cut into small wedges
( I used the last of my red cippolini onions from Carding Brook Farm)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 - 3/4 tsp dried thyme
(recipe called for 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, great if you have it)
Kosher salt
Dash or two of red pepper flakes, more if you like
Grapeseed oil to coat

Spread cauliflower slices and onions onto baking tray
into single layer
Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper
Drizzle with enough grapeseed oil to lightly coat
Toss to combine 

Roast in a preheated 450 degree oven,
tossing veggies occasionally for even browning
until golden, tender and almost perfect
approx. 20 minutes
At this point sprinkle the cheese all over everything
and continue to roast until deep golden brown and cheese is melted
about 5-8 minutes longer


1 cup raw cashews soaked in water to cover for at least 4 hours or overnight
1/4-1/2 cup water
A few good spoonfuls of basil pesto
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Drain and rinse the cashews
puree with fresh water until smooth and creamy
stir in pesto, salt and pepper by hand
adjust to taste

Dip the roasted cauliflower in the cream sauce with abandon and
eat the onions like candy.



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Time Well Spent

It was early June of last year that I hung the beginnings of this
quilt on my design wall as inspiration for a class I was teaching in November.

  The class successfully came and went as I reported
here, but I never had time to actually put the quilt together.

Well, I spent 5 solid days in my sewing room last week and had SO MUCH FUN
finally doing it.  I just literally PLAYED with texture, color and images
and let things happen.  

As time went on I realized that what was inspiring me was a
memory of a bag of old vintage stamps my friend had bought
at an antique store years ago

I used linen, flannel, voile, dresses, shirts, antique cotton, new cotton,
old embroidered napkins, corduroy, eyelet, solids, prints, scraps, favorite pieces
I played with piecing techniques and broke all the rules

I had so much fun that I started a baby quilt with the
starting squares I had left over

I built it around this fun owl fabric that I stole from something else
and willed myself to stay in a very soft neutral pallet

Aww, Isn't it sweet?
My first piece of work for the Blue Hill Fine Craft Fair this summer.

 since I had so much fun with this and I love company
I am planning a Spring Quilting Weekend
April 19th -21st at Lily's House

We'll start with a big pile of scraps that everyone
contributes to, and spend the weekend
 and creating
 a one of a kind quilt,
 built on simple techniques and lots of joyful inspiration.

If this sounds fun to you, and the dates work
let me know.
I'll sort out the details and let you know more soon.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Look at this cool sweater Kathleen knit!

Actually, Kathleen knit the front and back and her BFF Kathy
knit the sleeves on for her, retro fitting them as she went.
Now THAT is a team .

In our world of wants and needs
I think at the top of the list should be a friend
who makes you laugh.

Even better if she/he makes you laugh at yourself.

If you have one,
 call them and say thank you.

Enjoy your Weekend


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Delicious Almond Meal Crust Pizza

I know, I know,
Almond Meal Pizza Crust?

But you know, 
It's grain free, full of protein and most importantly,

I tried it for the first time last night, using
up the almond meal from my almond milk making

I made the crust and baked it first 
and then topped it with 
This summer's Basil Pesto and my roasted Plum Tomatoes,
diced Onion, baby Spinach leaves,
 Fresh ham leftover from the holidays that I found in the freezer and
Yellow Birch Farm's wonderful Goat Cheese

A drizzle of olive oil on top, 20 minutes in the oven
and Yum City!

Check it out:


2 cups almond flour *
2 eggs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1 T olive oil

Mix all together
Put the dough onto your pizza pan, put a piece of wax or parchment paper
on top to prevent it from sticking to everything
and roll it out to a THIN crust
Remove the paper and bake the crust in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes or 
until it is firm and getting cracker like
Take it out of the oven, top it with your favorites and then
bake it an additional 15-20 minutes.


*the almond meal I have left from my milk is
much wetter than regular almond flour so I added 1/3 cup tapioca starch

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

T Shirt Quilt

My Cousin arrived last summer on a visit
from Miami with a bag full of her daughter's favorite T-shirts
from years past and asked me to make them
into a quilt for her 18th birthday

I had so much fun doing this I thought I'd share the outcome

It's like a functional scrap book that hopefully will
ward off the homesick blues in those first weeks of college this fall

Some tips:
I cut out the parts of the T shirts that I wanted to use
and backed them with a lightweight fusible interfacing to prevent them from
stretching when I sewed
and I pieced in scraps of prints and solids along with the
T shirt graphics to soften the effect

I also mixed and matched parts of T shirts throughout
the quilt and sewed small pieces, like fun labels,
right on top, like appliqué.

A lightweight batting and simple quilting brought it all together
and got thumbs up from the birthday girl!

It's definitely the time of year for projects and in case
you live nearby I'm attaching a flyer for a:

Quilt Project Day at Lily's
Saturday, January 26 from 9:30am-3:00pm
$40.00 includes lunch and instruction with
 Kyra Alex and Holley Mead
-Learn how to start a new strip quilt
-Problem-solve and get feedback on an ongoing quilt
-Techniques for finishing a quilt
Or, just a day to sew and have lunch!

Open to beginners and experienced sewers, because we can always learn from each other
Call Holley at 348-2333 or Kyra at 367-5936 for more info or to register.

Ages14 & up. Younger with an adult
Sponsored by Seamark and Lily's House

Enjoy your day today!


Sunday, January 13, 2013


I continue to be thrilled and amazed at
the ability I have to create my own schedule since not running the cafe

I was a giddy school girl as I nestled into
my seat on the bus from Bangor to Boston on Friday morning,
watching the Princess Bride and eating my "road snacks"

My Uncle, who lives outside of Philly, and I were meeting half way
for a 24 hour romp in the city.

Actually ~ my dear Uncle is who got me on this life track
of enjoyment and healthy eating.
Taking me to elegant restaurants as a child and preaching to me about
brown rice and complete proteins in my teens

We got right down to business with a late lunch at Sportello

and then headed over to the Institute of Contemporary Art,
where, unbeknownst to me, the show was of the protests of the 80's
and I'm still processing how much has been absorbed, saturated or even rectified 
 since I was in my teens and early twenties

Dinner reservations at the hot spot Island Creek weren't until 9:30

Leaving me walking back to my room at the Newbury Guest House
well after midnight

Satiated with the city and a wonderful time catching up
I found myself looking forward to my seat on the bus
in the morning, getting me home and on my couch just in time
for the playoffs that afternoon.

I love when things are just enough

Here is a recipe for my favorite thing to throw together
on Sunday morning or late Saturday night, perfect with 
oven roasted sweet potato fries


1/3 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
pinch of red pepper flakes 
3/4 -1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
a few cracks of black pepper
1 T crumbled dried sage or 3 T chopped fresh sage
1/4 tsp dried oregano or 1 tsp chopped fresh
1 lb. ground pork (I use Old Ackley Farm's of course)

Toss everything together, except the pork, to combine

Break the pork up and mix gently but thoroughly with
the spice mixture to evenly incorporate it

Form small patties, about 2 inches in diameter

Heat 1 T of coconut oil in a heavy bottomed skillet

Pan fry sausages until a deep brown on both sides
and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side

Sometimes, when I feel like it I drain most of the
fat from the pan after I've cooked the sausages
and deglaze the pan with red wine until it
reduces to a thick sauce and pour it over the sausage patties

But, usually I just pile them on a plate and eat them right away!


Thursday, January 10, 2013


I would like to start today by expressing
 gratitude for my passions

the way sunlight plays through the day


strength and balance

the heart of home

unexpected inspirations

I could go on and on,

Yesterday I came home from a day working with
the kids and felt so energized
So infused with excitement and happiness
and I felt -full on- the bliss of
spending time on what you are passionate about

Time moves so quickly, I wish to use it up wisely
with choices that infuse hope and happiness in me
 so that I may offer those things back

I know it sounds hokey, but it is such a
simple concept and we seem sometimes
to set our lives up so far away
from our passions,

no wonder darkness can easily set in

I hope for you today, an unexpected pleasure
that infuses you with love and light,
even if just for a moment


Monday, January 7, 2013

The Value of Influence

Quilt by Debby Chappell

I spent all weekend watching football and sewing,
Pure Happiness!

I must admit that while I am in the midst of
developing a mentoring program for the Island and Sedgwick
for ReadyBy21 
I am amazed at how much mentoring goes on within the sport

Older to younger players, coaches, outside influences
hard luck stories, bad decisions, the importance of the team family....

It all reminds me of the 


Someone said yesterday that you can either react to the temperature 
or set the temperature

I think I'd like to set the temperature, maybe a comfortable 70,
you know, a day when everything seems possible...

Here's a link to a blog of a wonderful quilter I have had the pleasure of
spending time with in Michigan at Gwen Marston's retreat.

I'm trying to get her to come teach a class at Lily's this summer

Happy Monday!
Enjoy your day

Kyra Alex Joins Ready by 21 as Director of Mentoring  
After 15 years of working in the community as owner and chef of Lily's Café, Kyra Alex has decided to direct her efforts towards a mentoring program for children, youth, and young adults. Alex is working with Ready by 21 to develop and supervise a comprehensive mentoring program that will empower our young people to live healthy, productive lives.

Over a year of collecting community input, Ready by 21 found that the highest priority need was for mentoring across age levels. A cornerstone of the new program will be one-to-one transition mentoring for all young people from age 17 to 22. There will also be group and individual mentoring for elementary school students, younger adolescents, and parents of young children. The mentoring program kicked off in October with Real World 101, including two all-school assemblies that will continue  monthly through the year. Mentor training will begin early in 2013.  The Ready by 21 Mentoring Program will coordinate with and provide support for the peer mentoring program at the high school run by Amanda Poyant, learning center coordinator.

Ready by 21 is committed to the safety and well being of all children served through this mentoring program. Mentors will be carefully trained and screened and will receive ongoing support and supervision from Alex. The program's child safety practices will be supported by the policies and procedures of our fiscal sponsor, Child and Family Opportunities, Inc (CFO). CFO manages all Head Start services in Hancock and Washington counties.

  Click on the diagram to the left for a description of the Ready by 21 Mentoring program. Mentoring DiagramYou can also follow this link for a recent Island Advantages article

about the mentoring program. 

For more information on Ready by 21 Mentoring, please contact Kyra Alex at, 367-5936 or Ready by 21, P.O. Box 216, Deer Isle, Maine 04627.