Sunday, December 23, 2018

Down to the Wire

Hello Everyone,
Is this table runner going to be finished in time for Christmas?  The answer is a resounding NO. I'm loving the fussy cut plaid squares in this block.  This is more of a table runner for Winter so I can leave it out on the table for a longer period of time.

I tried, but I just didn't have enough time to machine quilt it.  I may make it longer too by adding two more trees and one more block.  I will have this done in time for my next quilt show in February.  I always try to offer new patterns and kits at shows.  I'm always planning ahead......and I always plan more than is physically possible to finish.

The block is from my Country Sunshine pattern.  The tree is from my Homemade Holiday pattern.  That way I'm not always reinventing the wheel.

Well folks, we are down to the wire now.  Everything is wrapped, most of the cards are done, and I braved the grocery store yesterday at o'dark hundred.  I made some cookies and a coffee cake.  Our Christmas is a community affair, so I don't have to do everything.  We always provide what I call the roast "beast" for Christmas dinner.  On Christmas Eve I usually fix crab cakes.  That is one tradition that I'm not doing this year.  Have you seen the price of crab?  Here on the West Coast, the stormy seas have cut down on the availability of fresh crab. 
I'll be making Stuffed Manicotti instead.
This recipe is delicious!  The only issue is that you use every bowl, and pan in your kitchen when you make it.  You also cannot be lactose intolerant as there is a ton of cheese.  You can also turn this into a vegetarian casserole and leave out the Italian sausage.  My little market makes their own Italian sausage with wine.....yum!  I will make this today and serve it tomorrow.  I would much rather spend my Christmas Eve playing cards with the kids than cooking.
Shiitake Mushroom, Italian Sausage, and Spinach Manicotti
12 manicotti or cannelloni shells
1 lb. mild Italian sausage
1/4 cup butter, divided
4-1/2 cups sliced fresh Shiitake mushrooms (8 oz.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (10 oz.) package fresh spinach, coarse stems removed
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Gouda cheese
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1-1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Cook shells according to package directions; drain

Sauté Italian sausage, drain, and set aside

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet; add mushrooms and garlic, and sauté until mushroom liquid is absorbed.  Transfer mushroom mixture to a large bowl, along with the sausage.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in skillet.  Add spinach; cover and cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until spinach wilts.  Add spinach to mushroom mixture.  Stir in ricotta cheese and next 4 ingredients.  Spoon spinach mixture evenly into shells.  Place stuffed shells in a greased 13" x 9" baking dish.

Melt 1/3 cup butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth.  Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly.  Gradually whisk in half-and-half; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly.  Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Add Gouda cheese, stirring until cheese melts.  Pour over stuffed shells.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small fry pan, add Panko.  Stir frequently until browned.  Remove from heat and put in a bowl.  Stir in Mexican four-cheese blend; sprinkle over shells.

Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly.  Yield: 6 servings

Note:  If desired, cover and chill manicotti at least 8 hours before baking.  Remove from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.  Bake as directed.
Enjoy your day everyone. 


  1. This recipe is definitely a keeper! I have no problem with the "issue". Since I am the cook at our house, the hubs is the dishwasher...and he never complains! :)

  2. Merry Christmas Lynn(and Gail too, since I know you read these comments! :-) ) I hope all is well with you and your family and that you have a wonderful time with family!!! Hugs, H

  3. I know for a fact that these taste delicious when Lynn makes them, and I’ve even made them myself successfully

  4. That runner is amazing! Dinner doesn't look too shabby either 😉