On the Edge

This giveaway is now closed.

In more ways than one I'm living on the edge this week. I've had what one of you called a reset (love that term!) and have crashed head first into this week. Somewhere in between early mornings, late nights, preschool duties, deadlines, lessons, and single parenting I managed to test out Pat Sloan's new Cutting Edge Rulers.

On what else, but some grey fabric? Yes, I say grey. At least consciously that's what I say and spell, but a look through my archives may reveal lapses in that intent.

I won't lie, these rulers take a bit of getting used to when you start. There is the noise as the rotary cutter blade moves along the carbon sharpening idea. Then there is the different markings. I'm so used to my yellow that the red and black lines were off-putting. But after a few dozen cuts it all made sense.

My only real complaints are that the labelling on the 6.5" by 24.5" ruler wasn't set up the way I normally use. That is, low to high out from one corner. But that might just be me. Oh, and the frosting for non-slip is awesome, but perhaps not well suited when you are cutting nothing but grey fabric!

Way to go Pat for bringing something new, but not too gadgety to the market. Want to win some? Stay tuned for the details.

Pat didn't want a straight review of the rulers. No, not her! She never does anything by the rules anyway! So I'm happily sharing one of my first quilts, and a recipe. This week, it is all about Maple. And I don't mean my dog. (Yes, that is her name.)

This is actually my second quilt. (I have no photos of the first, a single Irish Chain made 12 years ago for my first nephew.) I made this quilt for my Mom. She was living in Texas at the time, so I wanted to give her something to remind her of Canada. And it currently sits in a box in my house, waiting a hanging sleeve. (Sorry Mom.)

I'll admit, I do cringe a little in looking at it. But it is still important to look back at where we came from and remind ourselves of the potential for where we can still go.

What I find interesting in looking at this was my move into a more scrappy look. That is, choosing to use multiple greens instead a single one. I guess I started that early in my career.

And on that theme of Maple, I thought I would share this recipe with you. After all, I'm also a food writer, I should be able to give you a recipe!

(Smilosaurus enjoying her beans last year)

Maple Baked Beans.

You would be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t cracked open a can of beans to eat along side a hot dog or roasted potatoes – at home or at the campfire. Walk away from the canned goods, making your own baked beans at home is really easy. Put all the ingredients in the oven to bake then hit the ice rink or toboggan hill. When you come home smell will beg you to tear into a loaf of crusty bread and curl up with a bowl of beans. There is nothing fancy to it. If you want to keep this vegetarian leave out the bacon and fry the onions in a touch of oil.

Makes approximately 4-5 cups

2 cups dried white or kidney beans* OR 2 19 ounce cans white or kidney beans, drained

6 slices bacon

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small can of tomatoes paste

2 cups water, stock, or bean cooking liquid

¾ cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons Dijon or yellow mustard

*When using dried beans

1. Soak the beans overnight in water with a handful of salt.

2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

3. Drain and rinse the beans well. Cover with fresh water by at least two inches. Add half an onion, peels on, and a couple of unpeeled cloves of garlic. On high heat bring to a boil in an oven proof pot or dutch oven.

4. Once the water is boiling, cover and place in oven to cook. Bake for 1.5-2 hours until beans are tender to the bite. Drain, reserving remaining cooking liquid.

For baked beans:

1. Preheat oven to 325° F.

2. Chop the bacon. Fry in a dutch oven or oven-proof dish, with a touch of oil to get it started. When the bacon is cooked but not crispy, add the onions. Cook until the onions are tender and transparent.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Bake, covered for an hour. Season with salt and pepper.

I mentioned the giveaway, right? Well, the kind folks at Sullivan's are offering an entire set of the Cutting Edge rulers for one lucky reader of the Blog Hop. You need to leave a comment at every spot on the hop. Here's the list, make sure you visit them all!

Pat Sloan

Kelly Jackson

Amy Ellis

Jackie Kunkel

Julie Herman

Amanda Jean Nyberg

Monica Solorio-Snow

Amy Lobsiger

Pam Vieira-McGinnis

Carrie Nelson

Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson

Michelle Foster

And Pat Sloan again!

And for one lucky reader here, I'm offering something totally not quilt related. But Pat asked us to share a recipe, so I thought a cookbook would be a good addition to the giveaway. I was thrilled to contribute to this cookbook - Blog Aid: Recipes for Haiti - along with a tremendous group of bloggers/writers/chefs. It was a fundraiser for the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders in response to the earthquake in Haiti. Learn more about the project. And all commenters here are eligible to win their own copy!

This giveaway is now closed.