Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Middle Eastern Chicken Meatballs

My go-to recipe for subtly spiced Middle Eastern chicken meatballs is always on rotation around here. These meatballs are golden brown and flavorful. They're a nice change from the usual sauteed chicken breast. Fresh lemon juice, herbs and a sprinkling of Aleppo pepper are a nice finish. Serve them with my Rustic Tabbouleh Salad  for a healthy and vibrant Middle Eastern meal.

Roasted Fingerlings With Aleppo

Fingerling potatoes are at the farmers' market now. I love to prepare these creamy spuds with sea salt, Aleppo and lemon. This recipe is simple and rustic, with a twist from the Aleppo pepper. Aleppo peppers are crushed chilis with a pleasantly tart flavor. The tangy heat from the Aleppo pepper is perfect with potatoes. Instead of regular lemons, meyer lemons are nice too.  

Roasted Fingerlings With Aleppo Recipe


  • 2 pounds of fingerling potatoes 
  • 2 lemons, zest one lemon and reserve the zest 
  • Olive Oil 
  • Aleppo pepper  to taste
  • Sea salt to taste   

Preheat the oven to 375
On a large baking pan, toss the fingerling potatoes with some olive oil and sea salt. Roast the potatoes for 30 minutes. Take the potatoes out of the oven and toss them with the reserved lemon zest. Put the potatoes back in the oven and cook for another 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Before serving sprinkle the potatoes with Aleppo pepper, sea salt and a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice. 

Bon Appetit & Blessings!

xx ~ Jilly  

Rustic Tabbouleh Salad

I grew up eating my Lebanese grandmother's delicate and lemony tabbouleh. She would finely chop the tomatoes, parsley and cucumbers then dowse the salad with lots of fresh lemon juice. Tabbouleh was a staple on her dinner table, along with delicious Middle Eastern roasted chicken and rice pilaf.  I loved her home cooking. Middle Eastern food is my soul food. We enjoy this healthy cuisine at least three times a week. My husband is Polish but he loves Eastern Mediterranean food.

Saturday, July 8, 2017


Vintage needlepoint, thrifted crystal vases, limoges plates, antique gold tables with pretty-patinas and classic paintings of sewing inspire me. My decorating style marches to a vintage-vibe.

I can't wait to show you the Ballard Designs Claire chandelier I finally ordered. It wasn't the exact color I expected so I lightly painted it with some Renaissance-gold to give it an antique-gold appearance.

A new cross stitch pattern is on the horizon too. I've designed another simple heart. I'm stitching it with Paris-pink silk on crisp white linen. Stay tuned!  xx ~ Jilly

Monday, June 12, 2017

Free Bunny Bloom Cross Stitch Pattern

Hello Friends!

This sweet cross stitch pattern is inspired by vintage embroidery. The design is worked in silk thread or DMC cotton floss. The flowers are stitched in vintage-y colors. Creamy yellow, pistachio green, bunny brown and hot pink show up here. But you can stitch it in your favorite colors or all one color too.

I imagine you might stitch this pattern on the porch with a cold glass of lemonade or on a vacation by the sea. Maybe you'll stitch it on a rainy afternoon, Maybe you're a midnight stitcher who likes to cross stitch while binging Netflix. I hope you enjoy my Bunny Bloom cross stitch pattern!  

Bunny Bloom Instructions:

The pattern is stitched with two strands of silk floss on white linen. Follow my suggestions or stitch it in your favorite colors. It can be stitched in all one color too. I tried to make the resolution as clear as possible for the computer screen.

 Finished Size of The Design Area Is Approximately:  4 x4 inches

If you are new to cross stitching, please see my basic tutorial here.

For This Project You Will Need:

·  Needlepoint Inc Hot-Pink Silk Floss Color in 682 and 683, Glacier Blue Color 615, Creamy Yellow Color 134, Pistachio Green Color 354, Bunny Brown Color 186. You can also DMC Embroidery Floss colors provided in the color key.   
·  32-Count White Linen made by the Zweigart Company. The linen should measure at least three inches larger than the size of the pattern. The extra linen will ensure you can properly frame your finished piece.   
·     Size 26 or 24 tapestry needle
·     Embroidery scissors
·     Embroidery hoop
·   Optional materials: needle threader, Ott Lite and magnifier, pinking shears

Fabric Prep: I like to prepare the fabric by trimming the edges with pinking shears. Use an embroidery hoop to keep the fabric stretched tight. Always remove the hoop when you’re done stitching.   

Color Key: The design is stitched with luminous, Chinese Silk Floss made by the Needlepoint Inc Company. You can also stitch it with your favorite colors of DMC cotton floss or your favorite brand of silk floss. DMC floss is found in most craft stores. Have fun and stitch it in colors that make you happy!   

Needlepoint Inc Silk Color Pistachio Green 354 ( DMC Color 580)

Needlepoint Inc Silk Color Hot Pink 683 (DMC Color 3805) This is a darker pink color.

Needlepoint Inc Silk Color Hot Pink 682 (DMC Color 604) This is a lighter pink color. 

Needlepoint Inc Color Creamy Yellow 134 (DMC Color 3820)

Needlepoint Inc Color Glacier 615 (DMC Color 312)

 Needlepoint Inc Color Bunny Brown 186 (DMC color 839)

The Design Chart: The squares on the design chart correspond to the squares on the fabric. Every square with a symbol requires a cross stitch.

Let’s Start Stitching:

Fold the fabric in half horizontally and vertically and pinch the corners. Where the two creases meet is the center. Start stitching there.  Match the center of the fabric with the center of the design. You can find the center of the design by following the side arrows on the chart.  Thread your needle with two strands of floss. Place your first few stitches on the fabric, leaving about an inch of thread in the back of the fabric (the tail).  Hold the tail against the fabric in the direction you plan to stitch and work the first few stitches over it to secure it. To end a thread, run your thread through the stitches on the back of the fabric then clip off the end.

Happy Stitching! 

xx~ Jilly

                     Bunny Bloom © 2016

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Vintage Needlepoint

Hi Friends!

As promised, here's the vintage-needlepoint-treasure I recently found on etsy. The frame is painted with white chalk paint. I love the cheerful flowers against the shell-pink background. I like to keep clutter at a minimum in my tiny home. But somehow I always find space for sweet and nostalgic vintage needlework. 

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend! I'm off for a walk in the park near the sea. The flowers are in full bloom. The sky is robin's-egg-blue. After the nor'easter we just had, I'm grateful for the warm sunshine. 

Happy Stitching! xx ~ Jilly        

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

French Blue Silk Thread

Just a quick note...  I've added French-blue silk thread to my petite shop. Also, I'm almost finished with my next cross stitch pattern called Bunny Bloom. Hopefully, I'll be releasing my new pattern very soon. Stay Tuned! xx ~ J