A Little Detour in Tulsa, OK

If you’ve been reading the Route 66 blog, there is a strong focus on the historical aspects of Route 66. However, the other half of Top Down Rambling (me) has another interest, and that is a passion for needlework. I have been doing some form of hand stitching for about 50 years. I’ve done cross stitch, hardanger, Temari, punch needle, felting, pulled thread, and for the last 20 years, needlepoint. Now, if you’re not into this, that last sentence came out all “Greek”, and that’s OK. The specifics aren’t relevant to this blog. What is relevant is that because of this interest, I talked my DH (dear hubby) into taking a little detour while we were in Tulsa. When we travel long distances, I like to stop in specialty needlework stores to see what that region has to offer in techniques, designs, and accessories. Often, I will find items that aren’t available in our home area.

Well, we drove to the area store and DH patiently waited outside while I perused the store. Based on my erroneous research, I thought they would have needlepoint goods. But alas, that didn’t work out. For non-stitching people, that would be like going into a grocery store when you are looking for a hammer.

But, the trip was still fruitful. Walking around and looking into every corner for something that would appeal to me, I did find a Mill Hill kit design of an old-fashioned gasoline station with two gas pumps in the foreground. Mill Hit kits are a combination of cross-stitch and beading. It would be an easy item to stitch in the car or hotel room.

Since old gas stations are one of the things we look for on this trip, this was a great stitching project to represent our trip. The name on the gas station in the design is “Joe’s Garage”. To personalize the piece a little more, I’ll change the name to “Gay Parita”, the gas station and friendly people we visited in Missouri. When it’s complete, we’ll post the finished product on the blog!

Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken Breast

I tried this recipe to provide a dressed-up version of a simple baked chicken breast. The glaze bakes up sweet but the healthy amount of garlic provides an earthy flavor backdrop.

The recipe is simple; prep the chicken and make the glaze while the oven preheats. You can use the baking time to prep any side dishes (Terragon Creamed Corn maybe?).


2 Large or 4 Medium boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ½ pounds)

Salt and pepper to taste


3 Tsp olive oil

4 Garlic cloves, minced

2 Tsp honey

3 Tsp balsamic (See note below)

4 Tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly oil a casserole dish sized for the chicken servings. (Sizing the dish right will collect the juices and glaze sufficiently to allow the finished meat to be drizzled with glaze for serving.)

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts to taste and arrange in the greased casserole.

Heat the oil in a small sauté pan. Add the garlic and briefly sauté  briefly just until lightly browned. Remove from heat and add the balsamic, honey and brown sugar to the pan, mixing to blend and incorporate.

Pour the glaze over the chicken and place in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes or until done (165F on meat thermometer).

Serve chicken on plate, topped with drizzle of glaze from pan.

Terragon Creamed Corn

I found this recipe in the Milwaukee Journal a couple years ago as an easy accompaniment for seared Scallops. I found it so good, this side is not just for scallops anymore.

This is a relatively quick easy way to dress up frozen corn as a rich side dish that pairs well with almost any meat dish. The subtle licorice-y taste of the fresh tarragon is a delightful offset to the sweetness of the cream and mascarpone.


1 Tbsp butter

1 Medium red bell pepper, diced (approximately ¾ Cup to 1 Cup)

3 Cups frozen sweet corn, thawed

½ Cup heavy whipping cream

¼ Tsp salt

2 Tbsp mascarpone cheese

2 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

Melt the butter in a skillet set over medium high heat. Add the diced bell pepper and sauté 5 minutes until just softened. Add corn and sauté 3 minutes more.

Add the cream and simmer 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cream has reduced by about half. Add salt, mascarpone and tarragon and stir to just melt the mascarpone and incorporate the seasonings.

Remove from heat and serve.

Makes 4 servings


“Hen and Chicks” In The Garden Takes On A Whole New Meaning

Earlier this year, Kat decided to plant “Hen and Chicks” around the firepit on the edge of the garden. They’re a cute little plant and I never gave it much thought.

Then, the other day I took a quick peek out the patio door and I called Kat to let her know that the term “hen and chicks” in reference to her garden had a whole new meaning.

Strutting in the garden was a proud hen turkey with several chicks. The chicks were busy foraging as mama kept an eye out for any threats. As the family moved along through the garden, we counted the chicks (the final count was seven) as they followed their mama.

We went from window to window to watch them as they meandered through our backyard, along our side yard to the front, then across the street as they continued their afternoon jaunt through the subdivision.

The hen and chicks have been back daily for the last few days, generally around nine in the morning and again about three in the afternoon. (It probably helps that I’m keeping corn under the bird feeders). It looks like we’ll be able to watch this young brood grow up as we progress to the fall!