Easy Circle Inserts for your Quilts – Travel to Peru with Travel Zoo – Make 5-Star Ceviche!


Lake Titicaca – elevation 12,500 feet!

Jodi textile

On a floating island in Lake Titicaca with an Uros Indian child

If you love to travel as much as I do, but have a budget – check out Travel Zoo.   This on-line travel service works with over 2,000 companies world wide to list their best travel offers.  The Travelzoo Top 20® is their definitive list of the week’s best and most affordable travel deals. Every week their team will e-mail you the Top 20 deals and they are truly amazing. Sign up & get your weekly deal offer;  they do all your research for you & the deals are all-inclusive.  Air fare, local transportation, tours, tour guides all included in one price.  Ask me how I know?

I’ve been on two incredible journeys through Travel Zoo … Machu Picchu in Peru for 5 days and a Costa Rican tour for 7 days.  Each trip was perfectly organized;safe and courteous travel by bus, plane and train, decent accomodations, interesting tours and knowlegeable, friendly tour guides at very reasonable rates – much less than you could put together yourself.  What more could you want?  How about time to look for local fabrics?

kurt and kidz


My husband at Machu Picchu – elevation 14,000 feet

OK – so much for fun and games … let’s talk quilting!  I have never been able to get a perfectly round circle inset or appliqued on my quilts.  Granted, I’m not very good at applique – another thing I want to learn when I retire.  But I found this neat and easy way to insert circles that are actually round into a square block using freezer paper and glue.  Looks pretty easy so I’m going to practice.  If I can do it, anyone can.  So give it a try and let me know what you think!


This ceviche recipe got a 5-star rating from The Food Network, so if you’re tired of Sushi, try ceviche!

Tilapia Ceviche

  • 2 pounds tilapia fillets, finely diced* see Cook’s Note
  • 1 cup lime juice (about 8 large limes)
  • 1/2 cup seeded chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup clam-tomato juice (recommended: Clamato), optional
  • 1 tablespoon bottled hot sauce (recommended: Huichol), optional
  • 1 serrano chile, optional
  • Grilled Tostadas, recipe follows, or 6 purchased tostadas
  • Mayonnaise, for spreading
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Put the tilapia in a medium bowl. Pour the lime juice over the fish & mix gently to combine. Cover with plastic wrap & chill until the fish is white throughout, about 15 – 20 minutes.

Remove from the refrigerator & drain off the lime juice, gently squeezing the fish with your hands. Discard the lime juice. Add the tomato, cucumber, onion & cilantro. Season with sale & pepper to taste.  Add the clam-tomato juice and the hot sauce & chile if using.


The fish is easiest to dice when it is partially frozen; this also makes for a much cleaner presentation. Use a very sharp knife.


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