What's on My Food?

Find out what's on your food at: whatsonmyfood.org

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Building of My Quilt Studio

Hi Boys and Girls!

Progressing right along...the weather has not hit 100 degrees today! What a shock...I better get a sweater!

They guys are working on the porch today. It looks really nice. It is only 4 feet wide so just enough room for a rocking chair or two!

I am glad they are screwing down the boards instead on nailing them. I also like the way they inspect each board. The porch should be nice and straight.

The porch could have been elimated. That is four feet which could have been a nice little bathroom and maybe a kitchenette. But this house NEEDED a porch!

The noise did not keep our hummer away.

The metal roof is supposed to go on this weekend. Then I will start my "rain dance!"
I will have a nice suprise waiting for me when I arrive home from my quilt retreat! It will really look like a quilt house!

Until next time...call that new neighbor that moved in or better yet, take some homemade bread.  You may have a new friend for life!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Building of My Quilt Studio

Hi Boys and Girls!

The guys are really moving along. The pier and beams were framed. It took longer than expected. In fact, the crew had to cut their day short. The crew rejected 25 pieces of lumber and the supply company had to bring more out. Each piece of wood was inspected and if it was not straight, it was not used. So, the guys ran out of wood before too long. The next shipment was rejected also. This happened 3 times...I think these guys are proud of their work. They want to do it right.

In the meantime, a moisture barrier was put down. Then pieces of pressed plywood (you will see from the pictures…I am probably using the wrong term…were laid down. A different crew came in and laid insulation on top of that. Today, the framing crew came back and laid the plywood sub-floor. The supply company delivered more lumber and the framing really took off.

The first floor is starting to look like a little house. The door has a window on each side.

The back, under the loft, has 3 windows. Oops…no window on the south side. So, Angel, the crew boss, put a window frame on that side. Double oops…the loft has a stained glass window. Angel looks at the drawing and it is not there.  No problem. Roberto gets the window and Angel measures it and makes room for it in the loft.

This window will be in the loft. I love it!

Trusses go up to support the loft. One huge beam is put to the top by these 4 guys…I mean huge. I know they are young and strong but wow! The weight these guys can lift is mind boggling!

Meanwhile, the temp keeps going up. I supplement their intake of water with more ice, watermelon, apples and cokes. These guys need sugar. It is so cute to see them climbing a ladder eating a hunk of watermelon!

I bet these guys work until dark. Right now they are framing the roof. We will have a tin roof. I will pray for rain once the roof gets put on.

Any suggestions as to skirting around the house? I have seen metal that looks like rock. Roberto wants real rock but that means more $$. What do you think? A lot of the older homes in New Braunfels built on pier and beam has metal skirting but it is really old. If we used metal it would be new and very shiny. Wood? Nope. Attract ants…so, another decision.

Until next time…stay cool and give your pet some quality time…preferably inside the house.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beading on Fabric or Quilts Cont...

Hi Boys and Girls!

Have you tried beading yet? Did you enjoy my post about beading on my quilt? That should get you interested in beading. This should too: Nomadic Notions! They have a Groupon coupon available on Friday. You pay $10 for the coupon but get to make a $20 pair of earrings. That sounds fantastic to me. And the coupon is good until November so you will have many choices of class dates.
Nomadic Notions has the most beautiful beads in the world! www.nomadicnotions.com

Last time, I promised to post a picture of my quilt. I am calling this Duke...My Lion King. I love looking at this for it really does look like my Duke. It will be at the San Antonio Quilt Guild show in September at the Live Oak Civic Center. You can get more information from the guild's web site.   http://www.sanantonioquilt.org/

So here is Duke. Until next time laugh until it hurts...

The Building of My Quilt Studio

Hi Boys and Girls!

Well, progess is being made, although I did not think it would happen!

The wood was delivered this morning at 7 am. It has taken over our driveway and one garage door.
I guess we will be down to one car for a while.

Look at our dry grass....

Cedar beams for inside and cedar for the front porch.

OK, guys! Let's get started.

Until next time...stay cool and visit a friend!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Encanto Mexican Grill in Schertz, Texas

Hi Boys and Girls!

How is your Sunday going? Are you staying cool? I know a place that is really cool.

Encanto Mexican Grill (www.encantogrill.com) has passed my 2-visit test. I always give restaurants a second chance…well, almost always. Some first visits are too traumatic to visit again. But not Encanto. It was super yummy my first visit so I decided to give it another try. And, by now you know the grueling paces I put restaurants through before I will endorse them.

Today is Roberto’s birthday AND we have a Groupon coupon http://www.groupon.com/san-antonio/ so what other excuse is there? Our visit started off with a margarita.  Kathy, our excellent server, came to take our drink order.  I asked if the bartender would make a margarita with fresh limes. She went to ask. Sure enough, the bartender, Matt was happy to do so. Along comes this beautiful, HUGE margarita made with top shelf tequila.  My first sip told me there was some sort of sweetener in it. Kathy asked Matt. Yes, he put agave juice and possibly triple sec. It was good but I must not have been clear in my request. I like tequila and fresh lime…a little salt…and that’s it. So, what does Matt do? He makes a fresh margarita using top shelf tequila and fresh limes. He brings it to the table himself. This is the best margarita I have had in a long time! Well, next to mine at home, anyway…
It was a little tart for Roberto so he stuck with his usual Merlot. It did not stop him from tasting mine!

Next came the appetizer. Kathy made guacamole at the table. It is a pretty presentation.
Although, excellent, something was flat. It could have been the avocados. Maybe this time of year they are not so flavorful. Maybe not enough jalapeños. Maybe it was the orange juice. Personally, I would have added more lime juice and more cilantro. Restaurants have to please the general public and predominantly, most people do not like really hot guacamole. So, I added some of the green condiment that came with the chips. It must have been sour cream and jalapeños. It was so good. That added a nice kick to the guacamole.

Main course came next. Roberto ordered a chicken stuffed poblano pepper http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poblano along with rice and charro beans. In Spanish, charro almost means "burnt beans." I think the term charro came from the fact that Mexican cowboys (http://my.execpc.com/~ehannan/Caballeros.html cooked outside over an open fire pit. Charro beans are soup-like rather than fried.
Roberto's stuffed poblano. Notice the clean-looking plate and the nice drizzle of sour cream.

I ordered fish tacos. As you can see, the presentation of these dishes is outstanding. Even if they were not delicious, the presentation is a feast for your eyes.
Notice the thick piece of grilled fish and avacado. Fresh thinly-sliced cabbage is exactly what I like with a fish taco. Lettuce would wilt and not add much flavor. The Mexican cheese was a nice suprise.

The charro beans had a nice smoky flavor. I just had to ask the cook how he made these beans. So I did. Julio Sanchez is the sous chef and when I spotted him taking a break, I asked how he made the beans. First the hickory smoked bacon is grilled. Bacon is chopped and added to fresh beans along with tomatoes, chiles, cilantro and onions. I am sure some spices are added. Believe me: YOU WILL LOVE THESE BEANS!
Sous Chef Julio Sanchez
What is a sous chef, you ask? Find out here. http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/sous_chef.htm
As you can see, the kitchen runs as smoothly as the caliber of the sous chef.

The poblano chile was very large and fresh. It was not deep fried. It was stuffed with chopped chicken swimming in a rich jalapenño/tomato/onion sauce. It was not hot…just warm to the back of the tongue. The chile was topped with additional sauce. A very pleasant suprise is finding the chile not smothered in American cheese. The rice looked to be cooked in the traditional Mexican way like I learned as a young bride from Elena's Secrets of Mexican Cooking. http://www.amazon.com/Elenas-Secrets-Mexican-Cooking-Zelayeta/dp/B001G5514S/ref=tmm_other_img_popover?ie=UTF8&qid=1313364399&sr=1-1 As you will see from the prices, this book is highly collectible.

The fish tacos were made with grilled mahi mahi steaks. They were thick and a bit crispy. The corn tortillas were thick so the juices did not fall through. Fresh cabbage and avocado topped the fish taco. I asked for the cheese on the side for I thought it would be a melted queso. No, it was fresh Mexican cheese. So good! Three tacos come with the meal, along with charro beans. I could only eat two tacos. They were good-sized tacos and very flavorful.

The real treat was the special dessert brought to Roberto because it was his birthday. Kathy brought him Tres Leches cake! Tres Leches means "three milks" or really three creams.

The personnel did not sing Los Mañanitas (Happy Birthday). Listen to the song here. http://www.songsforteaching.com/spanish/lasmananitas.htm

Back to the cake! This cake was outstanding. Along with Tres Leches at Paloma Blanca www.palomablanca.net in San Antonio, this cake is number one. It is made in-house by Julio. The cake was moist, springy and not too sweet. It was topped with a caramel sauce. Check out this recipe I found on the web. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/tres-leche-cake-recipe/index.html

You can now see that only a chef with the highest degree of perfectionism will make this dessert each day. If nothing else, visit Encanto Grill for Tres Leches!

This restaurant met all my expectations. I make nopalitos. I make homemade fish tacos. I only use high end tequila and fresh limes for margaritas…You know I expect a lot from a restaurant. Kathy is a new hire and will do well there. She gave very personal service and made sure all our needs were met. Julio and Matt went out of their way to make our meal memorable. Encanto Grill is a keeper in my book. I strongly suggest you give it a try.

Tell me what you think. What did you order? What did you think of the price? Look at our bill!
All that food we had! And we had a Groupon coupon! So, you can see besides excellent food, you get a real bargain at Encanto Mexican Grill. There's more! Kathy gave us 2 for 1 tickets for breakfast...good until the end of August. I can't wait to try their Huevos Rancheros!
Until next time, demand perfection in the foods you eat. Oh, and sing Las mañanitas on someone's birthday!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Building of My Quilt Studio

Hi Boys and Girls!

We bought the flooring today for the quilt studio.
It is not dark and not light. It is called Butternut.
I took a panel from my sewing table and laid it on each color choice before making my decision.

Have you ever considered buying building supplies from Habitat Restore? The flooring is new. This brand is made in Switzerland.

They also carry the underlayment. That is the cushion between the floor and the foundation. A moisture barrier will be laid down first and then the underlayment and then the floor.
This is all for today. We will be choosing our paint colors, fan, lights, etc., etc., in the upcoming weeks.

Until next time...drip water your trees. Put the hose at the outermost canopy of your trees and let drip for a couple of hours or overnight. If anything is worth saving in your yard, it is your trees. 

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Try This Fun Technique!

Hi Boys and Girls!

Do you like Indigo Junction? http://www.indygojunction.com/Well, who doesn't?
Look at the very cool video about how to apply grommets to bags, totes, purses, etc. And then you can enter to win some prizes from Dritz! We can never have too many gadgets and stuff! http://www.dritz.com/


Good Luck!

Until next time...pay it forward today.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Beading on Fabric or Quilts

Hi Boys and Girls!

You are surviving this heat? I am sure you have noticed very little blogging about my garden. There are several reasons for that. 1) Heat; 2) Heat; 3) Hot Weather. Yes, this year the only garden I have is on the portico...our long porch. http://www.123teachme.com/spanish_word_for/porch It is covered and runs the length of the house. I have herbs and other semi-green plants that get watered but are struggling.

Today, I want to talk about beading on fabric. I quilt but have yet to embellish my quilts with beads. So, today I tried it. I have used crystals before and I really like the little "bling" they add to a quilt. The beads I chose are shiney and are called seed beads. I got them at Nomadic Notions in Austin. www.nomadicnotions.com Even if you do not bead, YOU MUST VISIT THIS STORE. It will blow you away. I have been collecting beads for years but today is my beading debut...

Start with a wonderful book. I took a mini-workshop from the author, Larkin Jean Van Horn , and she is very good. This book is well-written book with good instructions. You can find this at http://www.amazon.com/Beading-Fabric-Larkin-Jean-Horn/dp/1596680040/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1312771465&sr=1-1
It runs about $15. Or go to Van Horn's web site. http://www.larkinart.com/ Talk about eye candy!

I could not find how to make a perfect knot, so I had to use my better judgement on that. I made one knot and then 1/2" space, I made another knot. When this is pulled through the fabric, both knots will be hidden and if one knot comes loose, you have one more! This was a little difficult for me because the fabric is batik and very tightly woven. http://www.connectingthreads.com/cffabric/collection_list.cfm?ID=117&media=PPCBatik&gclid=CNulmZLbvqoCFRBS7Aod9ELn7g&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=PPCBatik&utm_content=Batik%20Paradise&utm_source=search.incredimail.com
A note about quilts...if your quilt is already quilted you want to bury your knots in the "sandwich." That is between the top and the batting. If your quilt has not been quilted yet and there is no backing , put your needle up from the back.

Here are the few supplies I used. Beads, needle, beading thread, wax, and scissors. Run your thread through the wax (purchased at craft store or Nomadic Notions) so the thread does not curl.
The beads are earth toned and will be applied to fern fabric.

Look at these easy instructions.
It may be difficult to see the beading. That is sort of my point. I did not want the viewer's eye to go directly to the ferns. I wanted a more subtle look. The same goes for the "bling" I added in the quilting. I just wanted a little shine in the quilting that would catch the viewer's eye. I stitched a few of these designs through the quilting stitch at several or maybe about 7 places throughout the quilt.
I used Sulky metallic thread. http://www.sulky.com/index_us.php
This is the background of the quilt. I also added a couple of crystals...Oh, I guess you want to see the quilt...OK.
Next posting, I should have my quilt finished!

So, until next time, try something you have been afraid to do. Yes, even beading. You will suprise yourself. I did!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Building of My Quilt Studio

Hi Boys and Girls!

The saga continues! Now, I know progress will be made...This was delivered this morning....

Then later on, Riley Startz of S&S Concrete of New Braunfels arrived. Riley and Alfonso put the lines out and staked where the piers would go. We are having a pier and beam foundation and not a solid slab.

They were very meticulous in their measurements and I feel confident that the floor will be even and secure.

Riley Startz making sure the lines are plumed before digging the holes for the piers. A Bobcat was used to dig the holes. Lots of rock here.
However, the Quilt Haus is where we had a large garden, so the soil is really good. After Alfonso dug down 12" the nice soil turned to large rocks. Each hole was 18" by 18."
Riley and Alfonso

This is a lot easier than hand mixing cement.
Getting ready to fill one hole.

Alfonso filling the hole that will be a pier. There are 12 to be filled.

Alfonso putting the form into the cement along with the rebar. Piers will set several days.
The framing is next.
Here is a YouTube video showing the technique. Although it is for a porch addition, it gives you a general idea how the process works. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1VHbR7W0_M

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Building of My Quilt Studio

Hi Boys and Girls!

Rome was not built in a day...Patience little grasshopper...Where there is a will there is a way...OK, I will stop. Seriously, this plan to build a quilt studio started in December. Yes, when the weather was cool and the economy was doing OK. After going through 2 contractors (one we really hated to see go), I really think the project is a go.
The framer, Mark, our contractor and Roberto discuss if that tree has to go. Thankfully, it can stay.
Next the pier and beam team will get to work.
So, until next time...

Dream big!