Today is my day to talk about a quilting life on my fellow C&T author and friend Sherri McConnell’s A Quilting Life Blog Tour! I have long admired Sherri’s blog by the same name. In fact, she was one of the first people I met at my first Market in Salt Lake City and she is every bit as sweet as she comes across on her blog!
A Quilting Life is chock-full of projects with Sherri’s clean, beautiful aesthetic. I ordered a copy when it first came out from Sherri’s shop and I want to make so many of the projects in it! (And you know, Sherri, it isn’t fair to tempt us in that way!!!!)
I love this quilt called Water Lily in Kate Spain fabrics! I particularly love Sherri’s color placement.
So… even though I am working on some magazine projects, I had to try a project in A Quilting Life. I decided to sew up the Mod Runner in Holiday Bouquet. It is such a fun pattern! My photo really doesn’t do it justice but it has been raining here for the past few days and I’m indoor-photo-challenged so I had to make do. I hope you can see how cute Sherri’s design is. I really had fun fussy-cutting the motifs. It was simple to piece – I did it while making dinner.
Since Sherri asked us all to talk about how we have a quilting life while driving kids, doing laundry, working, cleaning house, etc. I decided to talk about how I got this runner pieced and dinner made in about two and a half hours.
One of our kids has a pretty severe dietary limitation so eating out is pretty much not an option for us, even when I’m on a deadline, so I have some simple-go-to recipes that I use. This one is really simple, but you do have to be home to watch it (which is just perfect because then you can sew at the same time!)
Eggplant, Garlic, and Cherry Tomato Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella
Good quality olive oil
3 large eggplants or 6-8 small ones (I like the small ones better – they are less bitter and you don’t have to salt them)
4 heads of garlic (yes, you read that right – we LOVE garlic and in this recipe it is carmelized until it is sweet, but you can use less if you want)
1 bundle of asparagus
1 package of cherry tomatoes
1 lb. of fresh mozzerella (the little balls save time)
1 lb. pasta – we like spirals or “bow ties” but any shape will work (and if you have anyone that is gluten-free use gluten-free pasta)
basil, oregano, salt, and pepper
About two hours before the meal, peel and slice eggplant into 1/4” -3/8” wedges. Arrange the eggplant slices in a colander and salt each layer – leave them for an hour.
Now this is the important part… while the eggplant sits cut all the pieces for your Mod Runner! Piece a block or two!
Go back to the kitchen and use dampened paper towels to wipe off the salt off the eggplant. This helps get rid of bitterness.
Cut off the tail end of each head of garlic. (This will make it simple to squeeze out the garlic once it is roasted.)
Arrange eggplant and garlic in a large casserole dish coated with olive oil. Brush the top with more olive oil. Sprinkle with basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Put in the oven and roast for about 45-50 minutes, basting with more olive oil every ten minutes or so – don’t let it get dry.
Go back to your sewing area for about half and hour and piece the remaining Mod Runner blocks, running back to baste the eggplant intermittently.
Come back to the kitchen and put the pasta water on. Steam the asparagus, either over the pasta water or in a rice cooker (I LOVE the rice cooker for cooking vegetables perfectly every time!)
Cook and drain the pasta.
Take out the eggplant and garlic. Squeeze out the cloves and mash them up with a little more olive oil.
Toss pasta, cherry tomatoes, mozzerella, eggplant, asparagus, and garlic/olive oil mixture.
Serve with a bit of parmesan and after dinner go finish your runner!
Sherri’s grandmother inspired her to quilt by making a beautiful quilt for Sherri’s son’s bed.
Sherri is a true fan of the double-Irish chain block.
Sherri has been blogging for five years!
Don’t forget that you can enter any of the giveaways on any of the blogs until June 14th after which winners will be announced!