Look what I made on Saturday:
Look what else I made:
In case you’re a little slow on the uptake, these are one and the same thing. Yes, I made a quillow. It was rainy, dreary day and all I wanted to do was stay inside and sew. So, I whipped out a packet of sample squares from Deb Strain’s Saltbox Harvest line by Moda (as I’ve mentioned before, free fabric is another one of the many perks of working at a quilting magazine) and…I sewed. All day long. It was exactly what I needed.
I actually had no idea what a quillow was until Friday morning when I stumbled upon the term in an evening course catalogue that I was flipping through. I signed up for the upholstery class instead, since a quillow sounded like something I could figure out on my own; it is, quite simply, a quilt that folds up into a pillow. Furthermore, when unfolded, the pillow pocket can function as a foot warmer. Brilliant. I kept this super simple–straightforward patchwork, a pillowcase binding technique, and ties instead of quilting stitches, because my main goal was to figure out how to make this marvelous hybrid fabric creation.
But that’s not all, folks. I also squeezed in some hand stitching, and completed four of my Kandinsky quilt squares:
And began two more:
I warned you: Saturday was a very anti-social, but sewcial, kind of day.
Actually, my little hibernation began the night before. Kyle, who is working for Charlie Baker’s gubernatorial campaign, had a work-related even to attend to, but I just wanted in a going out mood. Instead, I came home and got all decked out in my Friday night best:
I made myself one of my favorite dinners, one that has gone through much trial and error but which I finally have down: sweet potato gnocchi with creamy tomato sauce.
I realize they look like dog kibble but, trust me, they’re delicious. It took me some time to find the perfect potato-to-flour (whole wheat, naturally) ratio and to become truly adept at rolling and cutting the individual gnocchi, but I now have a system that works quite well and doesn’t take absurd amounts of time. I’ll get the recipe up here some day soon.
I also couldn’t resist trying out another soufflé. This time, I went with chocolate.
It was exquisite, if I do say so myself. Moist, warm, fluffy… It even rivaled my beloved warm chocolate truffle cake from EVOO! This is good news for my bank account but for my waistline? Not so much.
Thank goodness I enjoy working out, and started off my Saturday with a run in the rain. This is surprisingly pleasant and kind of invigorating—and definitely better than the treadmill—but it does call for a nice warm recovery breakfast. So, inspired by last weekend’s brunch, I made my own homemade granola:
The best thing about making your own granola, aside from getting to choose exactly what goes in it (in my case: oats, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, raisins, and dates), but eating it fresh out of the oven and still warm. Heavenly.
By mid-morning, I was sufficiently warmed up so decided to take my first stab at homemade ice cream in my cuisinart ice cream maker. My flavor of choice: chocolate banana. As I’ve said, I’ll eat ice cream in any weather, but I don’t normally have it at 11 in the morning. Well, I decided to treat myself to a pre-lunch mini cone since homemade ice cream calls for some rule breaking:
But this is where my successes in the kitchen ended. Remember that teff flour that had been fermenting in preparation for injera? Epic fail. I’m not sure why—though I suspect it may have been that our apartment has been unusually cold these days and may have killed the yeast—but my Ethiopian bread-making attempt quite simply did not work. It fell apart, tasted sour, and looked more like concrete than bread. Let’s just say I was rather disappointed. I’ll give it another go at some point, but at the time I wasn’t in the mood to troubleshoot so Z and I came up with a quick plan b and went to Sagra where I had…more gnocchi (this one in a lovely duck ragu).
Z also gave me a batch of her delicious mini chocolate chip banana muffins. Naturally, this paired quite perfectly with the chocolate banana ice cream.
Clearly, my Saturday night quickly recovered. Hey, you can’t win them all—and the failed bread was probably a sign that I needed to get out of the apartment at this point anyway.
Speaking of not winning them all, my Sunday morning yoga class was randomly brutal. I’m not a yogic master by any means, but I’ve been going to Baptiste for a while now and have many classes where I’m happily shooting up into crow or headstand (even the occasional handstand), effortlessly flowing through my sun salutations, feeling strong and balanced—this was not one of those classes. It was quite possibly the longest 90 minutes of my life. Even tree pose felt like an enormous amount of effort. Thankfully, yoga is usually a lot more pleasant, but I have to admit it’s good to have the occasional, humbling class. I slept and ate well the night before, I hydrated, and I did everything ‘right.’ But there’s only so much you can control: your body is going to tell you what it is and is not up for, and you really need to listen to it.
Nothing that a nice big omelet at the Cheesecake Factory, where I went with my Welton for brunch, couldn’t fix:
Is it just me, or is this post dragging on? I’ll end it here, and leave you with one last colorful picture that will hopefully brighten up your Monday: