Friday Favorites: My Quilt Teacher

IMG_7639_ffWelcome to Friday Favorites.  This week’s focus is my very first quilt teacher.

Are you up for a short quiz?  If the answer’s yes then lets proceed.  Thinking about your current craft, hobby, passion or occupation answer the following questions:

1.  What was the spark that kindled the flame?

2.  Was it a person, place or thing?

3.  Does that catalyst still influence your direction?

4.  If it was a person have you ever shared their impact?

If you’re like me, then your passion was influenced by a person.  Back in 1992 I signed up for my very first quilting class.  The instructor was Ruth Dietzman.  Ruth was a very kind and patient person.  Two project choices were offered for our selection.  The class project I chose was the Strip Bow Quilt found in “Template Free Quiltmaking” by Trudy Hughes.  According to Trudy’s website the book is no longer in print.  I however still have my copy along with my class enrollment form and a letter from Ruth Dietzman.  See the pictures below.

My quilt hangs on a wall in my sewing room.

The planting of that seedling in 1992 brought forth years and years of quilting enjoyment.  Thank you Ruth Dietzman for your time, patience and inspiration.  The rest is history.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Friday Favorites.  Come on back next Friday for another installment.

Friday Favorites: Chicken Parisienne

IMG_7639_ffWelcome to Friday Favorites!

Chicken Parisienne is one of our all-time favorite comfort dishes.  The recipe was added to my library back in the early 1990’s.  It is one of many I have received from my mother.  She’s not the author however.

Here’s what I know about it’s history.

  • It was published in a spiral bound cookbook similar to those used by church groups.  I know this because my copy of the recipe was not written on a typical recipe card.  I’m often too lazy to do that.  The recipe was photocopied and because anything that is placed on the photocopier along with the document will also become a permanent part of the image.  So how do I know it was spiral bound . . . you’ve guess it . . . my photocopied recipe includes the image of spiral binding.
  • The recipe was found in the “Meats & Main Dishes” section of the cookbook according to the wording in the top right corner.
  • Along the right side of the page one can see images of tabs marking additional sections in the cookbook.  There are tabs labeled
  • Breads, Rolls and Pastries
  • Cakes, Cookies & Desserts
  • Beverages, Microwave & Misc
  • Vegetables
  • The recipe was printed on page 51.
  • The author of the recipe is Connie Fenske.  I have no idea who Ms. Fenske is nor does my mother.
  • The other important information one would like to know about a recipe’s origin such as the name of the book, when and where it was published shall remain a mystery.  Unless of course one of my readers is privy to the information.  I welcome any details you might be able to shed light on.

Internet Search

I’ve searched the internet hoping to find more information about this recipe but have been unsuccessful.  So I offer this recipe to my readers as one that most certainly must be tried and will undoubtedly be added to your stack of favorite comfort foods.  Without further ado I now present to you Connie Fenske’s recipe for Chicken Parisienne.

Chicken Parisienne

By Connie Fenske


10 pieces skinless, boneless chicken breasts (5 whole), split

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of celery soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/2 c. sherry wine

1/2 c. milk

1/4 c. melted butter

1 1/2 c. wild rice (can use 1/2 wild and 1/2 white)

3 oz. Parmesan cheese

1 pkg. slivered almonds

Combine soups, wine, milk and butter.  Stir.  Set aside.  Place rice (uncooked) in a well-greased 9 x 12-inch pan.  Spread 1/2 liquid mixture over rice.  Lay breasts on top and pour remaining liquid on top of breasts.  Cover with grated Parmesan cheese and slivered almonds.  Bake at 275 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.  Do not cover.  Do not disturb while baking.  Serve with tossed salad and rolls.

So What Do You Think?

Now that you’ve read the recipe, of one thing I am certain, you’ve come to the conclusion that this definitely does not fall into the lo-cal category.  On this little detail I will concur.  However, since when do comfort foods fall into the lo-cal arena anyway?

I’ve Done A Little Tweaking

As with all cooks and their favorite recipes, I have my own adaptations I have made.  You have the option to first try the recipe, as it was originally intended, and then on your second attempt implement my adjustments.  Or, if you are inclined, skip the original directions and follow mine instead.  Which ever route you choose I have no doubt you will be well-pleased.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Rice  Definitely mix the wild rice with another option.  Long-grain, short-grain, white or brown rice are all suitable candidates.  If you are not a fan of wild rice then feel free to omit it.  Just make sure what ever combination you choose adds up to 1 1/2 cups of rice.
  • Soup  There are already three cans of soup listed in the ingredients.  This may sound like a large quantity of soup, but trust me, every ounce of liquid will be absorbed by the rice.  I’ve often toyed with the idea of either increasing the amount of milk or adding a fourth can of soup.  I tend to like my hot-dishes a little creamier than this one often is.  I’ve also thought of soaking my rice overnight hoping that would result in a creamier texture.
  • Mixing  Although the recipe does not tell you to mix the liquids and rice together, I do.  I think the rice cooks up much nicer when they have been combined together before layering in the pan.  I follow the directions for stirring together the liquids then add in the rice.  I pour 1/2 of my liquid and rice mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Then I put in the chicken and pour the left-over rice mixture on top.

With all of the adaptations I have made one might wonder why we are so fond of this dish.  We are unique individuals with different taste buds.  These minor changes just happen to make our experience much more to our liking.  I’m sure when you try the recipe you will do a bit of tweaking as well.

I hope that you will at least try the original version.  When you do I expect you will send me a message telling me all about your experience.  I am confident you will fall in love with this Chicken Parisienne recipe just like we have.  Enjoy!  Bon Appetite!

Friday Favorites: Daisy Cafe and Cupcakery

IMG_7639_ffWelcome to Friday Favorites!

Greetings on this very chilly day!  I hope this finds you with far warmer weather than we are currently experiencing. In spite of the frigid temperature I have a really yummy favorite to share with you so . . . let’s get to today’s Friday Favorites!

My hubby and I have several restaurants that fall into our favorite’s category.  Very near the top of our list is the Daisy Care & Cupcakery in Madison, Wisconsin.


The Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery opened on May 18, 2009.  Since their launch they have sold 291,472 absolutely yummy, made in-house, from scratch, cupcakes.  The flavors and themes of their cupcakes change on a regular basis.  Of course anything with chocolate in it or on it would be my preference.

Daisy Cafe and Cupcakery offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Their award-winning wait staff helps make this restaurant rise to the top of our list.  The breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are filled with made from scratch, luscious ingredients.  Included in the selections are vegetarian as well as gluten-free items.  To accompany your meal they also offer fair-trade, organic coffee from a locally owned vendor.

If you are ever in the Madison, Wisconsin area you simply must include Daisy Cafe and Cupcakery on your places to visit.