Thursday, January 15, 2009
It’s snowing and blowing…and blowing and snowing. Lately, this is ALL it seems to do here in Idaho as I’ve been longing for spring and missing my beautiful flower gardens.
Of course, I’ve mostly been experiencing the snowing and blowing from the comfort of my nice warm house, because while I would have normally been knee-deep in all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, unexpected vertigo issues have kept me close to home. It seems that when you’re temporarily a dizzy broad, operating a moving vehicle is somewhat frowned upon. In my opinion, this is being overly nit-picky, but there you have it.
Anyway, the really great thing about being under “house arrest” is that it leaves you with all sorts of time on your hands for designing, quilting, and cooking; basically, all my favorite things done to my heart’s content in a totally guilt-free environment. I love being dizzy!
In the area of design, I’ve been wrapping up my Simple Comforts book for its May release, and I’ve also been putting the finishing touches on my new Molly’s Meadow fabric collection for HG, which is scheduled to arrive in quilt shops this April. Inspired by (you guessed it!) my favorite theme of nature and flowers, this line is named for my youngest daughter. These prints have lots of rich color and texture, and I’ve used the scrap basket approach that I love so much in designing them.
Best of all, when they’re used as a collection, these prints completely take the guesswork out of choosing fabrics for your own scrap quilts! Honestly, I feel a little bit like a kid at Christmas while I’m waiting for these to arrive, because I think the quilt for this line is just so dang cute.
Oh, and remember all of the sewing time I mentioned? I returned to my roots and treated myself to some hand-sewing time over the holidays because hey, I sure wasn’t going anywhere, and I whipped out this new quilt project – all the while sipping coconut mochas and wearing my favorite warm woolies. How sinfully decadent is that? Pieced and hand appliquéd from both cotton and wool, it will be available through my workshops when I begin this year’s travel schedule. And I may be visiting your local quilt guild or even your favorite quilt shop soon – if you check my schedule at http://www.kimdiehl.com/, you might find that we’ll be crossing paths in the very near future!
Last, but DEFINITELY not least, cooking! I made the yummiest soup the other day while the snow was flying… yet again. The aromas wafting from the kitchen while I worked in my sewing room made the whole house smell delicious. And, I was able to sew while I “cooked” – bonus! This recipe was so easy and tasty that I thought some of you might enjoy giving it a whirl, so here it is:
KIM’S CROCKPOT CHOWDER
6 slices of peppered bacon, cut into 1/2” pieces
1 medium onion, diced
4 cans (6.5-ounces) of minced clams, including juice
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into a large dice
1 stalk of celery, thinly sliced
1 can (15-ounces) of whole kernel corn, drained
3 cups of chicken broth
3 teaspoons of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
3 cups of fat-free half and half
4 rounded tablespoons of cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley
Sauté bacon and onion in a skillet until golden brown; drain fat. Add to a large Crockpot with all remaining ingredients except half and half, cornstarch, and parsley; stir together. Cover and cook on the high setting until potatoes are tender, about three hours. Whisk together cornstarch and half and half; pour into Crockpot mixture, stirring gently to mix well. Add parsley. Cover and continue cooking on high heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through and thickened, about 30 to 45 minutes. Serve with toasted English muffins or a loaf of crusty bread. Enjoy!
For more information about Kim check out her website at http://www.kimdiehl.com/