Archive for the ‘Interntional Quilt Festival’ Category

Stem Cell Transplant

October 25, 2016

It’s the day before I move into the Hilton Americas for the International Quilt Market and Quilt Festival. It is also my birthday.

Sunday my husband and I went to James Avery after Sunday school, church, and lunch. I had chosen the wide Crosslet Ring for my birthday gift from him. While he was paying for it and giving instructions for the engraving, I went to Chico’s next door. fullsizerender-007-001

Really, I was looking for one item at our local Chico’s that I hadn’t found at the Chico’s near our office. One thing led to another, with a helpful, knowledgeable manager, and I came out with four new outfits to wear to the Fall Quilt Shows. Happy Birthday to me.img_3256-002

The Hilton and the George R. Brown Convention Center will be my home for twelve nights and thirteen days. However, each Monday, Wednesday and Friday my husband will pick me up at 6:30 am to go to MD Anderson Hospital for blood reviews, PA and oncologist visits and platelets and blood transfusions. I was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) in 2007, but did not need treatment until March of 2015.

Those of you who have seen me running the Education Department for Quilt Market and Quilt Festival for the last 40 years, have no fear. I will be there sporadically. I feel fine and have energy as long as I have a current platelets and/or blood transfusion.

The shows are in good hands with Jill Benge as Manager, Barbara Cline as her assistant, Marcia Barker, who takes on all our special projects and new developments, and Shannon McGaw who works part-time for Education and a great help to me.fullsizerender-005

Part of our show team will arrive for Market and the remainder will come during Festival. We couldn’t do the shows without them.fullsizerender-007

Man or woman cannot live on transfusions of someone else’s blood products indefinitely. For a while one of the chemo trial treatments worked for me. But, after seven months of no transfusions we came to a dead end. My oncologist tried other treatments, but my bone marrow just won’t function properly.

So the only thing that is left is to have a Stem Cell Transplant. When my oncologist is satisfied I am healthy enough to go through the high dose chemo process, to eliminate my existing bone marrow cells, I will be admitted to the hospital for three to four weeks. After the conditioning phase is complete, the collected stem cells will be infused in my body. My blood counts will be monitored daily and any side effects will be managed. It will be a tough time. Initially I said I wouldn’t put myself through this voluntarily, but when that’s all that’s left, I had to change my mind.

Once I have engrafted, meaning that my white blood cells have recovered, and I am eating and drinking well, I will be discharged from the hospital. For 100 days I have to have a caregiver 24 hours a day. I will be monitored at the hospital generally every day for follow-up initially and that will adjust to every other day depending on my health and needs. I’ve been told to plan on a year to get back to how I was physically before the transplant. Needless to say, I am fearful. I am sad.

I won’t be able to be in public for quite some time because of infection possibility. I will have no immune system initially. The family gatherings I treasure so much will have to wait for a while.

During this process I won’t be able to be around grandchildren who are under 14 years of age. That breaks my heart. We have a 16 month old grandson and another baby on the way.

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I will be strong and follow the rules so I can recover and have good times again with family, friends and TRAVEL. My faith, family, and friends will be of utmost importance through this process. God will be my constant companion. I won’t be alone.

Will you say a little prayer for me? God bless you and love, Judy

 

Sleepless in Sienna Plantation

July 16, 2016

 

 

It’s early Saturday morning and I cannot sleep. It’s still dark outside in Sienna Plantation. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday this week we were out the door by 7 AM on our way to MD Anderson for blood work, review, and transfusion or appointment with my oncologist. On Thursday, I was on my way to La Grange, Texas for a Quilts, Inc. Executive Committee meeting. Today was my day to sleep in. I love to sleep late, but not today. There’s too much on my mind.

Was it the excitement of yesterday’s blood work revealing  my  platelets count went up since Wednesday’s results? Or was it the fear of needing a stem cell transplant if my numbers don’t elevate to at least 20,000 over the next few weeks?

Yesterday’s results were reason to cheer and hug with my two favorite Physician’s Assistants. However, just last week we were nervous and worried about dipping to 3,000 platelets until it got to 1,000. Starting back up, instead of dropping lower, was reason to cheer. I was on a high when we got home even after a stop at the Quilts, Inc. office for a few hours of work.

Over the last few months I haven’t felt like concentrating on anything in my studio other than an order from the Texas Quilt Museum for collage cards and design packets. When I got home yesterday late afternoon, I went into my studio and decided it was time I spend some time creating or catching-up on adding merchandise to my etsy shop. Or maybe I start with straightening my design wall clutter and work table mess.

Design wall

Design Wall in my Studio

My whole studio is a far cry from the order it was in for the photo shoot of my work space for the publication, Where Women Create. My studio is featured in the Nov/Dec/Jan2015 issue. What a fun day with my kind friend, Jo Packham, the editor of the magazine.

So last night I had the energy and desire to add to my etsy shop two little frocks I made early this year. When our children were here for Easter, our granddaughter, Madison Murrah modeled the frocks while another, Lindsey Huebner photographed them. The garments have been hanging in my studio since then. It was good to get those posted last night. The pattern I used is Simplicity 1080. The frock on the left is made from a vintage cutwork tablecloth. The frock on the right features a 1930’s embroidered hostess apron I imagine was worn by the hostess for a bridge party. Both pieces are in excellent condition.

I have collected vintage linens, laces, patchwork, and trims since I started having an interest in sewing and embellishing when I was in my twenties. I have boxes and closets full of everything you would ever need for a lifetime of stitching and creating. Madison would take all those things in a heartbeat, if she weren’t just 19 and going to college.

Where did all this begin? How did a young woman with a degree in Elementary Education, who just wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and wife to an executive husband have a life-time career as a teacher, author and show planner?

It all started when our youngest son, who is now 41, was an infant in arms. His brother was 6 and his sister 2 1/2. I was sewing fabric squares together to make quilts when I had a few minutes to myself. There were no books to follow, but occasionally an article in Women’s Day or Woman’s Circle on quilting.

One lucky day I learned of an antique shop teaching quilting classes at night. What joy I found that one night out each week that I could be with other quilters and learn how to make a quilt. In a little over a year, my first full-sized quilt was hanging at Great Expectations Quilt Show, and my quilt was featured on the advertising postcard. There was no turning back.

Quilting and creating became my passion. I started teaching classes in a Continuing Education program at our church while Todd was in second grade, Holly was in pre-school, and Troy was in the Mother’s Day Out program at our church. I was actually using my degree. As a thirty-three year old young woman, I loved teaching women many years older than I how to create something beautiful. They were of a generation where women did not work outside the home. For many it was the first time they were so proud of their accomplishments. It became a mission for me.

Quickly the word was out and I started teaching at a couple of small shops. I sewed well into many nights once I had the children to bed. I couldn’t get enough of it. Oh, to have just a little of that energy today.

sewing

My Sewing Corner in the 1970’s

It wasn’t long after that that I had a meeting with the owner of Great Expectations, Karey Bresenhan. She had added fabrics to her antique shop and wanted me to make some samples for her. That led to teaching classes for her on how to make tote bags, bibs on pinafores, notebook covers, etc. from the quilt blocks I had learned while taking classes from her mother, Jewel Patterson. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t taken that first meeting with Karey. I have worked for her for 40 years now.

My career took off. Wait a minute…I didn’t plan to have a career. Remember I am raising three little children. I’m a mom. Somehow I was propelled and soon teaching at Quilt Fair ’78, designing a garment for the first Fairfield/Concord Fashion Show which later became the Bernina Fashion Show,

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Patchwork and Lace Jacket for the Fairfield/Concord Fashion Show

designing and creating large fabric pieces for a debutante ball, being published in magazines, becoming VP of the Greater Houston Quilt Guild, part of a two-woman fashion show,

Holly

Holly Modeling for Fashion Show

creating special decorative items for antique shops from vintage quilts and linens, designing and making rodeo vests for a trendy dress shop, etc.

Then in 1982, my husband moved us to Victoria, Texas, so he could run an independent bank there. Did my career or my association with Karey Bresenhan end there? Guess again. She did not want to see me go, but that didn’t mean she let go. Shortly after we moved, I came back to Houston to a wonderful surprise going-away party Karey had in her shop. I was presented with a quilt full of hearts and signatures from my students at Great Expectations Quilts. I continued to go back to Karey’s shop to teach a full load of classes.

What’s next? It wasn’t long after I arrived in Victoria, Texas that I started teaching quilting and related decorative classes at the Open Door Creativity Center.

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Open Door Creativity Center

Quilting caught on quickly. The classes were popular and it wasn’t long after that that Susan Manning and I formed the Quilt Guild of Greater Victoria under the umbrella of the Nave Museum. I was their first President and remained active in the Guild for 20 years. I also became very active in the Victoria community. Soon one of the Guild members opened a quilt shop where we gathered for classes. I taught there and in a shop in Edna, Texas on a regular basis for many years.

During that time teaching picked up in other towns, more of my designs were published in books and magazines including Virginia Avery’s book Quilts to Wear. In 1983, I took charge of the Education program for Quilt Festival and Quilt Market and became first President of South/Southwest Quilt Association which is IQA today.IMG_2977

Later in the 80’s we started taking Quilt Market to other cities in the summer. Not long after that, we took Quilt Market to European countries along with Quilt Expo. That made for lots of over seas travel for 20 years, but what a delight to see all those European countries and to meet so many wonderful people. Life was busy and children were growing older.

In the early 90’s I was approached by the Editor in Chief, Barbara Weiland, of That Patchwork Place to write a book on the garments I was creating. I had started a series on collage patchwork jackets about that time. After much hesitation, I did write the first book, Jacket Jazz. A series of 6 more books and a pattern line followed over the next 10 years. The first two books put me on the teaching circuit map. I began teaching all over the country for many years. That was gratifying, but hard, exhausting work. I also designed a line of fabric with a Jacket Jazz flair during this time.

Judy Murrah published books

“Jacket Jazz” series

Kids continued to grow, went off to college, graduated, married, had babies. I quit teaching in 2006. We moved back to Houston in 2007. Since then my life has been filled with being with my husband, VP of Education and Administration for Quilts, Inc., mother and Grammy, and active in our church.

Now my focus is on getting well so I can enjoy these golden years, play in my studio, be with our family and travel with my husband. I want to be able to manage MDS. I know the only cure is a stem cell transplant, if it’s successful. Please keep praying for more platelets. Your prayers sustain me, and I am so thankful for you, my friends. God bless you all. Judy

golf

Our Family

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 24 Baked Turkey the Easy Way

February 27, 2016

For so many years of my married life we had Thanksgiving Dinner at my mom’s home and Christmas dinner at Tommy’s mom and dad’s home. So I rarely baked a turkey until our kids were grown and married.

Many friends told me, over the years, that it’s not hard to bake a turkey. I tried it a couple of times, in different ways, but it seemed like a lot of trouble to me. My assistant for more than 20 years at Quilts, Inc., Kim DeCoste, told me of an extremely, fail-proof easy way to bake a turkey.

runway

Kim Cheering Me On at a Silly Quilt Festival Luncheon

Now, I have no problem baking a turkey for Christmas Dinner. Troy has always been our turkey carver and Todd our mashed potato maker. I love having family in the kitchen with me. Makes me so happy.

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Troy Carving Turkey

You need

Turkey Roaster with lid

roaster

Turkey Roaster Inherited from My Mother-in Law

Extra Wide Reynolds Wrap

Thawed turkey                    I choose a 23-25 lb. Butterball Turkey

Instructions

Line roaster with Reynolds Wrap long enough to wrap around the turkey and seal it. Use two sheets of wrap. Lay one down the length of the pan and the other on top of first wrap laid down the width of the pan.

Empty insides of turkey and wash inside. Pat dry with paper towel. Put pepper all over the turkey skin.

Place turkey in Reynolds Wrap lined pan. Pull all four sides of Reynolds Wrap around turkey two at a time. Wrap tightly. The turkey should not be exposed anywhere. You won’t open and peak at any time so the juices and steam stay inside.

Follow cooking time on packaging that came with turkey. We use a meat thermometer in the end to make sure the turkey is cooked. Troy has patience and won’t take the turkey out until it’s time. Instructions for this will be with the turkey.

The last 30 minutes of baking, peal back foil to brown skin.

This makes a nice moist turkey. I’ve been happy with it every time.

Next week will be the last of the Saturday recipes I will post for you from my family recipe book. After that, I will post a new “Play Date” tutorial for making something with a vintage glove for Mother’s Day. It makes me think of my mother.

Mom in her apartment

Mom a Few Years Before She Died in 2001

May you have happy memories today of people who have passed through your life and made a difference in who you are. Love and hugs, Judy

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 21 Grammy’s Sugar Cookies

January 26, 2016

Hello Friends,

I know it isn’t Saturday, and I know I am two weeks behind in my blog posts to you. I’ve thought of you, though. My every free moment at home has been at our kitchen table going through many interesting teaching proposals for our 2016 International Fall Quilt Festival.

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Teacher Selection Files for Scheduling

I’m happy to report I completed the class and curriculum selection at midnight Sunday. The four crates went with me to the office yesterday. Our Education staff is busy now getting everything in order to send out teaching contracts. Those of you who eagerly await the class catalog will be happy to know you will have well over 100 qualified teachers with over 400 special events, classes, lectures, and luncheons from which to make your selections. I’m excited now with the line-up, and it’s still 9 months away. That’s like waiting for a baby to be born once you know it’s going to happen.

office

On the Way to the Office

February is soon approaching. What better recipe to offer you this week than my tried and true sugar cookies. I make these sugar cookies at least every Valentine’s Day and Christmas season. Last fall, I added another occasion and that was our whole family tail gate party before the first Texas A & M football game. Todd’s family thought Grammy should make “Gig ’em” Aggie cookies for this momentous get-together. Of course I did.

madison

Madison Murrah Freshman at A & M

This recipe is my most requested recipe from friends. I got the recipe with some Tupperware cookie cutters when Tommy was a Lieutenant in the Army. We were stationed in Joliet, Illinois, at the Army Ammunition Plant during the Viet Nam War. Lucky us, he stayed at APSA for his whole tour of duty.

You’ll find this same recipe in one of my early posts. I thought about referring you to it, but decided to be consistent with the page numbers for those of you who are keeping count.

Grammy’s Sugar Cookies

cookies ready for tea

Please come for tea.

Ingredients and Instructions

Cream together:    

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

Blend in:

2 whole eggs

Sift together and add to mixture:

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

4 cups flour

Add to mixture:

1 tablespoon vanilla

After mixing, do not refrigerate. Divide into 3-4 balls. Roll one ball at a time. Use left-over dough from each rolling all together for last ball and roll.

Dough part

Turn Dough on Floured Cloth

Roll out dough 1/8″ thick on floured pastry cloth using a floured sock on rolling-pin. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Some fans will request baking cookies until they are barely browned. Others want theirs crispy, and some others like them slightly burned. Go figure? Cool on waxed paper.

bake and cool on waxed paper

Crispy or Barely Browned

With teacher selection complete, I have earned some time in my studio. It’s all set for making collage greeting cards and design packets for a Texas Quilt Museum order. Oh, be still my heart.

studio

My Studio with Work in Progress

Love you all, Judy

 

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 15 Meringue

November 14, 2015

The party’s over, but my studio is still suffering from the projects before and after Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival. I’m embarrassed to say that I just move things over or onto the floor or another table to make room to create.

studio

Messy Studio

The shows were full of color, classes, shopping, events, and friends. Whenever I could, I spent time in classes taught by Julie Craig from Wichita, Kansas, where she has a dreamy Attic Heirlooms Needlework Shop. She never stops coming up with new ideas using patchwork, trinkets, trims, buttons, and lace. I love all her classes. I had the opportunity to take her big “Crazy Tomato Pincushion” class. Students love Julie’s classes. Everything you need is provided in a kit. Often the machine sewing is done for you before class, so you can start creating immediately.

tomato

Crazy Tomato Pincushion

Maria Shell, from Alaska, taught for International Quilt Festival for the first time this fall. I enjoyed spending Saturday in her “Blogging for Beginners” class. She taught us a few tricks for streamlining our blogs or starting one. I enjoyed the interaction with group discussion and one-on-one consultation with Maria.

catalog

Class Catalog

My thoughts now are focusing on the holiday season. I put some new Christmas items in my etsy shop today including Christmas stockings. I hope you will take a look.

stockings

Stockings made from a Vintage Quilt

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Red and Green Patchwork Stockings

It’s time to get out my boxes of Christmas fabrics, trims, and ephemeral to create more. My sister wants me to make stockings out of this crazy quilt vest. Should be fun to do.

vest

Crazy Quilt Vest

What will you be creating for the Christmas holidays? Will it be a special recipe or a new project?

For Thanksgiving and Christmas, I always make two or three pies. Everyone has their favorite. At least one of them will be topped with meringue using my mother’s recipe.

MeringueIMG_2065

People told my mom she should make pies to sell because she was a superb pie maker. It took me many tries before I could make a good. tall meringue. 

Ingredients

3 egg whites

¼ tsp. cream of tartar

½ cup sugar

Instructions

Separate egg whites from yolks. Let set out at room temperature while you make pie. Beat egg whites on high speed with heavy mixer and blade. Add cream of tartar once you have started mixing. When egg whites are just starting to get thick, slowly add sugar as whites are beating.

Continue beating until soft peaks form. Stop beater when you think meringue is ready, and lift with spatula. If peaks remain for a couple of seconds, then it is ready. It’s hard to over beat, but very easy to under beat the egg whites.IMG_2051

Spread on pie filling all the way out to crust with spatula. Lift meringue with spatula to form peaks.

Place on middle rack in pre-heated oven set to 350 degrees. Check after 10 minutes that it is lightly brown all over. If not, bake up to 15 minutes total.

Try making meringue for your cream pie. Your family will be so impressed with the magic you create for their Christmas dinner.

Christmas Table

Christmas Table set for 14

I have an idea. I think it would be fun to share your favorite holiday recipe or Christmas project with our friends on my blog. What do you think?

I’ve created two stacks of 24 fat quarters of Christmas fabric. I made them from a variety of some of my collectible Christmas fabrics. Some I couldn’t part with because I didn’t have enough to share. There were many that I had plenty of yardage and could share with you.

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Stack of 24 Fat Quarters

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Ready for a Creation

Send me your favorite holiday recipe or Christmas project. I will have a small committee to choose one of each as our favorites. The winners will receive one of the fat quarter bundles. If it’s OK with you, I will post the winners on my blog with reference to you. I’ll let you know the results on December 1, 2015.

Soon my husband and I will be going to Long Beach to see our younger son and his family. We haven’t seen our new grandson for two months. I know he has changed and grown so much. Can’t wait to kiss those fat cheeks and get all that sugar in his neck.

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Thompson Murrah

We will go to Disneyland while we’re there. I can’t wait. I was 14 years old the first time I went to Disneyland. I loved it then and still do. The photo below is me in the hat holding my nephew Jimmy D. My sister, Joanie, is holding his brother, Timmy. They are now in their 50’s. My mom is in the center. Family get-togethers are the best.

disneyland

First Visit to Disneyland

Make plans for some family or friend time. What could be more special? Blessings and hugs to you all, Judy

 

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 14 Mandarine Berry Salad

November 1, 2015

Today is my last day at International Quilt Market and Quilt Festival. There have been lots of events, people to see, classes to attend and places to go.

Market

Market Education Staff on Show Floor

I missed posting Page 14 of your recipe book last Saturday. I was busy at Market all day and then we went to a lovely dinner honoring Mark Dunn and his 40 year anniversary with Moda, a very popular fabric company.

Mark

Mark Dunn of Moda

We were honored to sit at one of the head tables for dinner and during Mark’s appreciation presentation.

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Karey Bresenhan, Teresa Duggan, Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, and me

It was our pleasure to congratulate Mark Dunn on a company loved by all quilters. The philosophy of Howard Marcus Dunn, the founder and owner of United Notions and Moda Fabrics is “Find your passion and enjoy what you do.”

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Congratulations to Mark

Being able to be with family and friends and share a meal is a passion of mine. It takes a little planning and it’s rare when we can get all 14 of our family together.

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Murrah Family Reunion

Page 14 recipe came from another pot luck Christmas party at our house in Victoria, Texas. Jill Friedel brought it and I immediately got the recipe. I use it often to take to pot luck dinners. It’s easy to double so it can be served to a larger group. However, keep in mind, it is not a quick recipe.

Mandarin Berry Salad

Ingredients

6 cups torn mixed salad greens

1 cup fresh strawberries hulled and quartered

½ cup diced green onions

½ cup canned rice noodles

¼ cup chopped pecans

1 eleven oz. can mandarin orange sections, drained

 Dressing

¼ cup flaked coconut

2 tsp. honey

2 tsp. salad oil

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

½ tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

Topping

2 oz. semi-soft goat cheese, crumbled

Instructions

In a food processor bowl or blender container combine ½ cup of the oranges, coconut, honey, oil, vinegar, ginger, salt and pepper. Cover; process or blend until combined.

In a large bowl combine greens, strawberries, onions, noodles, remaining oranges, cheese, and pecans. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Serves 4-6 people. Enjoy!

It's time to create at home

Collage Greeting Card

It’s time to go home and create in my studio again. Hope you have a great day. Love and blessings to you all, Judy

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 13 Lemon Meringue Pie

October 20, 2015

Yes, I realize it is Tuesday instead of Saturday. Once again, on Saturday I was in College Station at the Texas A & M game with my husband and Todd’s family. It was great being with them, but our game against Alabama wasn’t so great.

Before I wrote my blog this week I wanted to have my Strings Block Swap Quilt complete. Seven of us who work in the Education Department at Fall Quilt Festival exchanged string-pieced quilt blocks. Our quilts will hang in the Education office, 340AB, at the George R. Brown Convention Center during Fall Quilt Festival.  Barbara Black, who takes care of registering our teachers at the shows, coordinated our swap. We received all our instructions and deadlines from her. You can find great instructions for this, if you go to her blog. Thank you, Barbara.

I received 36 blocks of red and white strips from six participants. In return I sent six blocks to each of the ladies following their requests for certain colors. I decided I wanted red and white blocks, after seeing the monumental Ruby Jubilee quilt exhibit at last fall’s show. As my blocks came in, I was also receiving many pints of blood and platelets because of my MDS.  The blocks took on a new meaning I hadn’t anticipated as I auditioned them on my design wall. Hence the name for my quilt is “Transfusions.”

transfusions

Transfusions 46″ X 46″

The border is made from some sentiments from cards, emails, letters, and Facebook comments I’ve received over the last several months. I cut and pasted them to sheets of paper and then photo copied the results on fabric. Creating those sections was not unlike doing one of my many scrapbook/memory pages.

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Top Left Corner

I machine quilted the small piece. Many years ago, I thought I wanted to learn how to perfect quilting by machine so it was as wonderful as a hand quilted quilt. That went by the wayside after a few years of trying and realizing the tediousness of pulling threads though and quilting without feed dogs. Hopefully, the magnificent machine quilting teachers we have on staff will forgive me for not spending the time to do it right.

Tomorrow I will move into the Hilton as my home away from home for 13 days. For many years I have stayed in the Four Seasons near the George R. Brown Convention Center. I have loved that hotel and have come to know the management and my junior suite. I will miss it. Hopefully, my room at the Hilton will be just as satisfying. I need to be near the Convention Center so I can easily go back to my room to rest, when necessary. The Hilton connects to the GRB. So I won’t be cooking for two weeks, but I know many of you will.

When we married in 1966, every bride received “Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book” as a wedding gift.

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Betty Crocker Cook Book

Just about anything I wanted to know was in that cookbook, but I used “Dinners for Two” most often. I still use both cook books.

dinners

Dinners for Two

Suzanne, my sister, and I discovered in the Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cookbook a better recipe for Lemon Pie than she had used for decades. So starting in 2012, we both started using the recipe.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Make baked pie shell

For 9″ Pie

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 cups water

3 egg yolks, slightly beaten (Save the whites for the meringue.)

3 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. grated lemon rind

1/4 cup lemon juice

Use a whisk to stir.

Mix sugar and cornstarch in saucepan. gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil 1 minute. Slowly stir in egg yolks beating all the time. Boil 1 minute longer, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat. Continue stirring until smooth. Blend in butter, lemon juice and rind. Pour into baked pie shell. Cover with Meringue. Bake. Serve as soon as cool. Do not refrigerate.

I still have a garment to finish, packing to do, laundry, and bills to pay before I leave the house tomorrow morning so I’d best get on with it. Just wanted to say good-bye and Happy Autumn. I know a lot of you are experiencing even cold weather and gorgeous fall foliage now. We are just happy to have our temperatures drop into the 70’s and 80’s. In our household we say, “It’s a California kinda day.” Enjoy your late October wherever you are. You know where I’ll be. Hope to see you, too. Hugs, Judy

autumn

Happy Autumn

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 12 Lasagna

October 9, 2015

This week I’m a day early with your weekly recipe. Today we are going to College Station for a Letterman’s get-together of the guys who played on the first team Gene Stallings coached at Texas A & M. Needless to say there will be many embellished stories going around the next couple of days. It will be fun.

Yesterday I spent the day making another garment to wear at Fall Market and Quilt Festival. Fabric manufacturers and pattern companies, who exhibit with us, are happy to give us their new fabric line and pattern line for us to make and wear.

My latest garment is made from Vintage Modern fabric designed by Amy Barickman for RJR Fabrics. The pattern is Over the Top Tunic from Indygo Junction by Amy Barickman. Our Education staff will also be wearing a garment of their choice made in this same fabric line and color way. It will be easy to identify us on the days we wear them. Look for us on the third floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center. That’s where all the classes are held for 10 days. Come visit me in room 340AB. I would love to see you.

tunic

Over the Top Tunic Front

tunic

Over the Top Tunic Back

I have been sewing and creating since I was a little girl. Every where we have lived I have found friends who also love to create with their hands.

The recipe this week came from Emily Waldron, (from her grandmother) my best friend while Tommy was going to graduate school in 1969-71 in Boston. We each had a young son and did not work outside the home. We got together once a week, alternating our homes while our husbands were in school. We each had only one car so the husbands would come to the house where we were for dinner, and then we’d go home after dinner. It was always a fun day making crafts and dinner together while our sons napped and played with each other.

Best Ever Lasagna

Makes two 9″ X 13″ casseroles

Instructions

Brown 

2 lbs. ground meat

4 crushed garlic cloves

Add

12 oz. can tomato paste

28 oz. can tomatoes diced with juice

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

2 tablespoons Oregano

Cover and simmer 30 minutes until slightly thickened.

Cook

1 lb. Lasagna noodles. Drain.

Mix 

3 eggs

dash salt and pepper

¼ cup dried parsley

30 oz. Ricotta cheese

Fill casseroles with alternate layers of 

Meat sauce

Noodles

Egg and Ricotta cheese mixture

Cheeses (2 pkgs. Grated Mozzarella and 2 pkgs. Parmesan)

Start with a thin layer of meat sauce. End with sauce and cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Remove foil last 20 minutes of baking.

This is a great recipe to make for a group of 12. Serve with a green salad and chocolate dessert.

It’s my birthday this month, and I plan to celebrate every opportunity I get. My chemo treatments are working, and I’m thrilled to have another birthday.

birthday

Happy Birthday to Me

Lots of love, hugs and kisses until next week, Judy

 

 

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 11 King Ranch Chicken Casserole

October 3, 2015

For most of my adult life, I crammed as much as possible into every day and often well into most nights. I was on deadline day after day. For many years I drew income from four different sources: teaching quilting/wearables, writing books, crafting to sell, and running the Education Department for Quilts, Inc. When this page showed-up in my Mary Engelbreit calendar one day last month, I thought, that’s me!  It’s so true.

Me

That’s Me!

I don’t even like to go to the grocery store any more. My husband is the shopper in our home now. The family has always joked that he gets antsy staying home all day. He has to be out and about. So he is happy to run all our errands. I love it!

I started feeling a little guilty.  I needed to plan and cook a few meals each week. Several friends recommended Hello Fresh, a company that delivers ingredients to your front door once a week to make three healthy dinners. We received our first box this week. Last night Tommy, my husband, chopped while I sautéed our first dinner. We fixed a Thai noodle dish called Shrimp Pad See Ew with broccoli, mushrooms, and peanuts. I left out the Thai chili pepper, but included the garlic, basil, shallot, and ginger. It was good, and there was enough to serve a third person. Tommy asked if the meal was healthy enough to off-set the Chicken Fried Steak he’d had for lunch earlier at Tip-Top in San Antonio. Ha-ha.

shrimp

Shrimp Pad See Ew

But this is not Page 11 for your recipe book. It’s King Ranch Chicken Casserole. My cousin, Mary Jane Fawver Nyberg, sent me this recipe she received from my mom. I didn’t have Mom’s recipe, but used one from another friend. After I received this one, I combined the two recipes.

Growing up, Mary Jane lived in Austin, Minnesota, where my mom and dad grew-up. Mary Jane, my mom’s sister’s daughter, is my age.  Every summer my parents would pile us all into our car and drive to Minnesota for Daddy’s two weeks of vacation. They both had many brothers and sisters to visit, who were still in the area. Mary lived on a dairy farm. What a special experience it was for me to stay with her those two weeks. We were little kids playing outside, and then we were teenagers interested in boys. We corresponded throughout the year, and she also visited us in San Antonio. I still get to see her occasionally at Fall Quilt Festival. Yes, she’s a quilter, too. The pictures below are of us swimming at Mary Jane’s friend’s house. I’m the one without a cap. Mary Jane is to my left. Such fun.

summer

Summertime in Austin, Minnesota

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

4 lbs. chicken white meat with skin

12 corn tortillas

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can Rotel tomatoes

1 cup chicken broth

2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

3 garlic cloves chopped

1 tsp. chili powder

1 small can diced tomatoes

1 onion cut into 4 pieces

3 stalks celery cut into 3 pieces each

Instructions

Low boil chicken with skin on and garlic, onion and celery added to water. Cook until chicken starts to fall away from bone. Remove chicken to cool. Strain onion and celery from broth. Puree in blender with 1/3 cup chicken broth. Refrigerate until ready to use. Strain 1 cup chicken broth and reserve in refrigerator. Discard chicken skin. When chicken is cool to touch debone chicken and cut into chunks.

One hour before serving, combine the following in medium saucepan: pureed mixture, soups, Rotel tomatoes, and chicken broth to make a sauce. Heat to a slow boil.

In a large rectangular casserole 13 X 9 X 2 pan/dish, alternate layers of heated sauce, torn tortillas, chicken, and cheese. End with cheese. Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. It should be bubbling before removing from oven. Serve with green salad, tortilla chips and salsa.

We are off to another A & M football game in College Station. We’ll tailgate and sit with our son Todd, and his wife, Julie, and see our granddaughter, Madison. Family…what could be better or make me more happy? Nothing. Love you all, Judy

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 10 Jello Fruit Salad

September 26, 2015

When Troy, Michelle, and Thompson were here for a visit recently, we went through old photographs of my family. It was interesting to see history repeat itself. My daddy was six feet tall. That was tall for a man born in 1912. My mom wasn’t quite five feet tall.

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad in Love

Troy, our younger son, is 6’3″ tall. Michelle, his wife, is not quite five feet tall.

Troy

Troy & Michelle in Love

I love family photographs and family traditions. For many years everyone in the family came to Mom’s house for Thanksgiving Day. It was not unusual for her to welcome thirty-six people in her home. My husband’s parents joined us the years they did not go to College Station for the A & M vs. Texas game.

Mom’s Red Jello Fruit Salad was always on the menu for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Our children grew to expect it for holiday dinners. When Mom moved from her home to independent living, we no longer celebrated in her home. It was time for me to make these holiday dinners for our family.

It’s rare now that we have Thanksgiving dinner in our home, as none of our family is here. Everyone does come together for a few days before Christmas for our Christmas dinner. Red Jello Fruit Salad is on the menu. One or more of our grandchildren is usually on hand to help me make it. Julie, Lindsey, and Tommy are the biggest fans of Red Jello Fruit Salad. They always have more than one helping.

Red Jello Fruit Salad

Ingredients

Following ingredients can be doubled easily to serve more than 8 people.

1  six oz. pkg. of strawberry Jello

1 can 15 oz. fruit cocktail (drained)

1 yellow banana (firm)

Cool Whip for topping

jello

Jello Ingredients

Instructions

Use the following speed method for making jello in a mixing bowl that is heat-resistant.

Dissolve gelatin mix in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Add 3 cups of ice cubes. Stir into jello until slightly thickened. Remove any  ice pieces that didn’t melt.

Fold-in drained fruit cocktail and sliced bananas. Pour into a pretty bowl.

Put  in refrigerator to congeal completely. When ready to serve, top with Whipped Cream. Mom made the real thing. My family is just as happy with Cool Whip added to their own helping.

jello

Jello Fruit Salad

I made jello fruit salad for our dinner last night. Tommy grilled steaks and fixed everything else. He takes good care of me. I am so thankful to have him. He brought this heart home as a surprise for me recently. I hung it in my studio and look at it every day.

brave

Brave Girl

Tomorrow will be a month since my last blood transfusion. In the last 6 months this is the longest I’ve gone without a transfusion. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that when I’m at MD Anderson for my weekly appointment on Tuesday, the news will continue to be good. When I saw my oncologist, Dr. Garcia-Manero, this month he said the chemo is working on my MDS. I see him again on October 12. I should start the sixth round of chemo that day.

The good news is I won’t be on chemo when I move downtown for Quilt Market and Quilt Festival on October 23. Will you be there? I would love to see you. I usually can be found on the third floor of the George Brown Convention Center. That’s where the classes, lectures, luncheons, and special events take place. Come by for a hug and a chat. Until we meet again, blessings to you and your family, Judy

 


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