Thursday, December 15, 2011


Martingale Publishing had the most wonderful Black Friday sale where every book on their website was on sale for 50% off.  Guess what I picked up at the post office today?


At least once a month they offer 40% or more off selected publications.  If you’d like to receive their newsletter, you can find the link to their website HERE.  I’ve made several great buys, many of which included free shipping.


Just recently I signed up for Jeanneke’s challenge called,  “Building houses from scraps”.   Well, I love scrappy and I also love house blocks so this to me sounded like a marriage made in heaven. 

The challenge includes making one 3” finished  house block a day…or any sized block for that matter…starting on the 1st of January 2012.  The goal is to have enough blocks made by the end of the year for a quilt.  If you’d like to read more about it or to be able to print off the free PDF pattern, please go HERE.

It was suggested that the easiest way to make the blocks was to paper piece them…something I’ve never done before.  So last night I watched a couple of You Tube tutorials featuring paper piecing and a few of them suggested using the “Add-A-Quarter” ruler.  

Today I purchased mine.   It looks easy enough but I’ll know exactly how easy after attempting my first one.


A year ago this month we arrived in Nova Scotia.  This past year presented us with many challenges but we both agree that the move was a positive one.

Can you believe that there are a few boxes that still need to be unpacked?  This past week, I managed to unpack 4 more boxes with Frankie’s assistance.

Look closely at the photo below and you’ll see a pair of blue eyes peering back at you.  That box still continues to provide entertainment for both Frankie and us too just watching his antics.


If you dislike brussel sprouts,  then you’re probably in the majority…until now.  My friend Ter’e  (no blog) sent me another winning recipe which I’d like toshare with you.  Done this way, you’ll be converted…really!

I purchased 2 pints (those little square boxes) of fresh brussel sprouts at the farmer’s market last Saturday.


To prepare them for this recipe, cut off the end and slice them in half lengthwise.  The yukky outer leaves will fall off by themselves.


Peel about four cloves of garlic…


and slice very thinly.


Place the prepared brussel sprouts into a baking dish that is large enough to allow them to be in a single layer.


Spread the sliced garlic over the brussel sprouts…


and add freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Of course freshly ground pepper and sea salt are better.  Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the top and bake in a 375F oven for about 20 minutes, stirring once, until golden-y.


When done, add more parmesan cheese and olive oil.  Toss to coat and serve.


This is without a doubt the most yummy tasting brussel sprouts dish you’ll ever experience.   The taste of the roasted garlic is heavenly and I think that you just might change your mind about those little cabbages forever.  *wink*


On Monday of this week, I had my second PET scan. It was a very long and exhausting day and it’s taken until today to start to feel a little more like myself again. Next Monday, I meet with the chief oncologist in Halifax to discuss the results.



sunny said...

Prayers for good test results! I know it's been a long road trying to figure out what's going on, and I hope you get some answers soon. I'll be trying those brussels sprouts.

katherine said...

Hi if you haven't learned how to paper piece sewing through the paper I suggest you go to the twiddletails site and try her method - she has done instructions for all the Dear Jane blocks - in her right hand side bar is a tutorial for freezer paper foundation piecing - you don't sew through the paper - so you don't have to rip it off - and you can reuse the freezer paper over and over - very handy when you are making 350+ identical blocks - wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas from Calgary! (my name is on one of your quilts)

Sandi said...

I'm on the team that loves brussel sprouts and your way seems to be an interesting switch.

I'll have to buy some and try it out myself.

Hope you get some promising news next week, was thinking of you this week remembering you were having tests.

The house block challenge sounds intersting.

May you have a very Merry Christmas this year in your freshly decorated home.

Doniene said...

What a prize those books are!!! Frankie is a cutie!!! I love brussel sprouts!!!! Keeping you in my prayers.

Blessed Christmas to you and all your family!!

Darlene said...

I've had you on my mind for days as I remembered you were having your PET scan. Praying for great results.

I LOVE brussel sprouts. I'm going to try your recipe soon. sounds very YUMMY.

Diane said...

well I think I'm gonna try this recipe, I don't think I've ever had brussel sprouts--I like cabbage tho.
roasted garlic is soo good.
Keeping you in prayer.

Angie said...

That picture of your furbaby in that box under the paper is ADORABLE! :) I'm sending quilted prayers that your PET scan results are good.

Kathleen said...

I love brussel sprouts...I am going to try this recipe...praying you get good test results...Have a Merry Christmas....

Needled Mom said...

I'll be praying for good results at your meeting with the oncologist. The waiting must be dreadful.

I love paper piecing. I think you will too once you give it a try. Yes, the ruler is fabulous!!! The house blocks sound adorable.

I'm not sure you can change my mind about the brussel sprouts, but it was a good try!! ;)

Jackie's Stitches said...

I keep thinking that I should give brussel sprouts another try. This recipe looks good!

Thinking of you...

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Healthy happy thoughts and hugs sent your way Kaaren!

Merilyn said...

I'm a brussel sprout lover, and I love them any which way, but this receipe sounds just delish!!!! Thankyou for sharing it!

I have read about Jeanneke's little house blocks too, last night I drew it up on EQ and yes Foundation Paper Piecing is the way I'd put them together.

I have both the Add-a-Quarter and the Add-an-Eighth rulers, just a suggestion for such a small block you may find the Add-an-Eighth ruler will result in less bulk overall. However if you are new to FPP'ing practice to get a feel for the ruler with a larger block, you may find that the Add-an-Eighth might suit you better for the tiny blocks. I do a lot of FPP'ing and have belonged to Carol Doak's online yahoo group for several years. She has some great beginners' books out and a DVD which teaches her technique. That could be helpful too, she also has her own Foundation Paper, which is very easy to tear and can be used in a printer without any problems. Here are a couple of links:
She also has a Newsletter where you can find her Store.
Sorry to bombard you with so much info. but knowing this is no use if I can't share so others may benefit!!!
My prayers continue for your good health Kaaren, I hope you get favourable news!! Take care and enjoy FPP'ing!!!!!

Betsy said...

Prayers will continue to come your way. The little houses will help the time to pass quickly. LOVE brussel sprouts and can't wait to try this new recipe. A very Blessed and Merry Christmas to you.

Marsha B said...

Hugs and prayers for good test results, we are thinking of you, always! You got a great bargain on your books, I'm hoping there are some fun ones under my tree this year, too. I signed up for the Building Houses from Scraps, too. I don't know if I will be able to make all 366 but it looks like fun and her little doll quilt is adorable. I'll be happy to make the doll quilt! The brussel sprouts sound yummy. I like them, except when I get some bitter ones. This recipe should solve that problem! Have a wonderful Christmas!

WoolenSails said...

Always great to get books on sale, I need to do a shopping trip, haven't done that in ages;) I like brussel sprouts, have to be in the mood for them, but I can't eat cheese. I was looking for something new, so will have to check online for recipes I can eat, nice treat for my husband too. I will be praying that your results come back with positive results.


Janet O. said...

Some great books there at 50% off! You know where to shop.
I'm also a perforated paper piecer (as suggested by Katherine). I prefer it to ripping off papers and throwing them away.
Praying for you--here's to great results!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Karen for the house quilt link. I love the look of this. I definately have lots of scraps. I think this would have to be a very long, long term quilt project but it certainly would and will be fun making them up.
Have a great Merry Christmas.

Lesley said...

Kaaren, thanks for sharing so much info. I love the house block a day idea...they are so cute! And what a great way to use up those itty bitty scraps! I just finished a wall hanging with foundation`s nice to be able to use it with small projects.
Be well...thinking of you!

Marge said...

I roast my brussels sprouts with garlic and olive oil, but hadn't thought of adding the cheese. Sounds good to me, and I'll be trying it!

And I see another Schnibbles book in your stack. I have the first one, but need to find the second. Good buys!

And blessings to you as you await the test results.

Allie said...

Wow great books! Good buy, Kaaren! Love the house blocks, but I'll never do paper-piecing again, lol. I do like the idea though! I'd love to do one with all different kinds of houses, to represent different areas I'd like to live in.

Too funny, why do cats love boxes so much! Frankie is such a doll. Your recipe actually sounds good - I may have to try it!

I'm praying for you for Monday, I hope to hear a good report, sweetie! Get some rest!

Sue said...

sounds delicious and I have copied it down. I have a wonderful cauliflower recipe if you are interested. Will think good thoughts for you.. I posted pics on the KV blog today if you are interested


Gayle said...

Your brussel sprouts sound yummy!

If you find a paper pieced pattern for the house block, will you be sure to share it with us? That would be MUCH easier than piecing it using templates! What a fun project!

Cattinka said...

I really hope your doctor can give you good news on Monday.
And about the houses, I am signed up also!

Heather said...

My husband love brussel sprouts, especially roasted. I'll have to try that recipe soon. Good luck with the test results.

Sunnybec said...

Brussel Sprouts are not my favourite veggie! I have sometimes done them with lardons and chestnuts and they are okay... will have to give your recipe a try. Linda x

Shari said...

The add-a-quarter is great for trimming the extra fabric after you add a piece - you will find it very useful! And that brussel sprouts recipe does sound delish... I love brussel sprouts but didn't know until last year how they grew! I thought it was like cabbages, but it's actually budding off a stalk! Too funny (Google image it).

Hope your test results are good. Will be thinking and prayer for you.

ann said...

I will pray for the best possible results for you. Its been awhile since I have visited you.Take care

Shelley said...

I am praying the PET shows good, wonderful things Karen. David and I go to Saint John on Monday too for his second checkup and a hearing test. I know he has some hearing loss from all the radiation this summer because he can be in the next room and not hear me talk to him. But that's minor, right! Let us know how yo make out :)

Abby and Stephanie said...

Happy Paper Piecing! Not my favorite thing to do but the results are very precise. As for the sprouts...perhaps I'll give them a try your way. I fall into the "yuck" category.

Wishing you good results and resolve at your appointment.

Bertie said...

Sending you warm thoughts for Monday:))
Your books look wonderful!
Fantastic that you are BHFScraps too, I signed up as well, quite a task and will be looking at yours a lot!! I will have to hunt for that ruler now!
Thank you for the Sprouts recipe, love them!

Linda said...

Hope all goes well for you on Monday. It has been a long road for you to travel.

JudyCinNC said...

We love Brusel Sprouts and this recipe looks like a winner. I will be looking for some fresh ones at the market.

The waiting is the hard part - hopefully answers will come when you see the doctor. Take care dear heart and have a wonderful Christams holiday with family and friends. Judy C

Susan Torrens said...

I picked up some more books at the same sale... DH hates to see the UPS driver stop at our house.
I've been using the "add a quarter" ruler for paper piecing for a long time - I think you'll love it!
Thanks for the recipe - we eat brussels all the time!
Hope things go well for you health-wise.

Ter'e said...

LOL! You addded a little more olive oil and a little more cheese? That's a few more calories, girlfriend. This is a healthy dish! TeeHee. So glad you and Sam have enjoyed this recipe - I make it every week now. There must be some "vampires lurking".

Re: the PET know how I feel about that. You are always at the top of my prayer list. I think there is a reason you made your move and you are meant to be near Halifax.

We are all your angels behind you. xoxoxoxoxox

Anonymous said...

I'm praying for GOOD test results.
I bet I would love those brussel sprouts it is my family that would turn up their noses! I swear I have the most finicky bunch.
Also...I do some paper piecing and love the gadget you bought. You will love it!! I also use a little piece of cardstock then lay the gadget on top of that.

Anonymous said...

One more thing...I really took advantage of that book order at Martingale and sent several for gifts.

Me and My Stitches said...

Your brussel sprouts look yummy! I might just have to try those. Good luck at your appointment. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

barcord said...

So good to hear all your news. You were in my prayers on Monday, and I pray for good test results next week. I only learned to paper piece a couple of years ago. Havent done much, but the results are good. Like the recipe, maybe try that. Blessings B

Willeke said...

I love Brussels sprouts, the recipe sounds yummie and I will try it very soon. Thanks very much for the Martingale tip, I signed in immediately.
I pray your test results will be good...

Rhonda said...

The brussels sprouts recipe sounds delicious! I'm going to have to try that one. I pray your appointment will go well.

Siobhán said...

I'm praying for good test results! I love that picture of Frankie peeping out of the box. Too cute!

I will have to try that recipe for brussel sprouts. We usually do them in the oven with just garlic powder, olive oil, salt & pepper. I like the idea of more garlic--looooove garlic!

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you for a good report.

Anneke said...

the brussel sprouts recipe looks delicious! we eat them regularly so this is definitely worth a try.

good luck waiting these days, and we pray for good results.

lynneUSA said...

I bought the same ruler 3 weeks ago and it's great.

I hope your results bring you some good news, have a great holiday

Sheila said...

You will have no problem doing PP, it is like painting by number. I have joined the challenge of houses as well, sounds like fun. Best of luck with your results,prayers are with you.hugs Sheila

Sandi said...

You are in my prayers for good news on Monday. I love the cat in the box. LOL

Sandy said...

Those brussel sprouts sound yummy that way...will definitely try it. Prayers your way for some positive news on Monday and at least a plan to start the ball rolling!

JLL24 said...

You're ahead of me and boxes. Moved twice in 8months, AND barely touched any of the boxes. We are, hopefully, moving for the last time at the end of May. I REALLY HATE BOXES!

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. And I always look forward to reading it.

Prayers are being said continously for your health, happiness, and your boxes. Please take care.

Anonymous said...

Hugs and prayers for your good health Kaaren!

I love brussels sprouts and will definitely try out your recipe! Thanks for sharing!

Have a very merry and blessed Christmas!

Meredith said...

Thank you for the idea i never thought to add that type of cheese. Enjoy your books and the house project

Carrie P. said...

Praying for great results.
I love brussel sprouts. Looks like a yummy recipe.
I have signed up for the little house quilt. I thought I might hand piece them but I think I am going to do the paper piecing instead.

Beverley said...

Good luck for Monday. I love your blog. Happy Christmas.

quiltmom anna said...

I love brussel sprouts and that looks particularly yummy. Thanks for sharing.
I hope that your news is good when you go to Halifax.
Sending you warm thoughts and good wishes from Western Canada,

Janet said...

The brussell sprouts are an aquired taste, I'm sure of it. I'd be willing to try the recipe though, it sounds yummy and maybe I outgrew my distate of them. I hope you have fun with the houses, they sound like fun.
I'm thinking of you and hope the tests come back with good results.

Sue-Anne said...

Hi Kaaren, Good luck with the paper piecing and I will be interested to see how you use that little rule. I purchased one earlier on in the year and haven't used mine yet.

I will be thinking of you and wishing you good luck for your test results.

Candace said...

Good luck on the PET scan results, Kaaren! Looks like you got some great goodies and probably what seemed like more after unpacking some more boxes! The sprouts recipe sounds so good that I'm putting it on my Christmas dinner menu!

Debbie Lou said...

I signed up for the house block quilt a long also. Sounds like a challenge. Hope I can keep up! I'm kind of new to paper piecing, too, so we'll forge ahead together. I will have to try the brussel sprout recipe. I haven't made them for years.

Prayers for good news in the health department. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

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