A new month!

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This means new things at the webshop, I’ll be back with that news on Tuesday!

My sister-in-law came for a visit this weekend. The first time we’ve seen each other in almost 2 years. This is who we lived with for a year in Michigan so it’s really been way too long since we’ve spent time together.

The visit was WAY too short but we had a very nice time. I knitted her a scarf (Zig and Zag Lace Scarf from KnottygalDesigns in Silkpaca from Malabrigo) and we did some shopping with Amber. I brought home some pretty dish cloths and yarn – of course. Lots of family time all weekend really. I hope she enjoyed it as much as I did. One night we made a big batch of Sesame Chicken together, here’s the recipe.

Here’s a sneak peak at March’s Sampler of the Month!

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PS – Tall Sheep Basket Samplers have sold out! (THANK YOU) I still have 1 Love Thy Neighbor design with threads available :0)

Running Low…

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Here’s my progress on this month’s Sampler of the Month offering through my webshop please click the link for design details, thanks. At this moment there are only 2 kits left…

LOTS of Prairie Schoolers went out last week, I’m expecting a new shipment daily as orders continue to come in regularly for these…I do ship these in a cardboard mailer! Also, I’ve added some previous PS designs to the Prairie Schooler page at a really great price!

Back to where we left off for Heart Week…

The last little heart I showed you was for this Sampler Girl design, see her her Etsy shop for details! I baked some Valentine cupcakes and enjoyed this completely frivolous DVD (it has some charming bits but I did like the book better) over the weekend. I’m in the midst of and epic head cold at the moment and I think I’m running low on tissues!

Sniff, Sniff :0/

Be Mine!

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I think the Calendar Girls from Little House Needleworks are so sweet. Here’s my version of February’s little lady. I used the threads listed and stitched this over 2 on Light Mocha Cashel linen. I have enough linen for 4 more projects this size so I’ve listed some semi-kitted designs at the webshop.

As a Valentine week breakfast treat I whipped up some white chocolate, raspberry French toast this morning. It was really yummy! I think it was pretty too. As usual I made way more French toast than we needed so I’ll be zapping it for future meals for the next few days. I’m not sorry there are extra berries and chocolate too :0)

Here’s the whole sampler from yesterday’s heart. It’s got a very romantic theme. It’s by Brenda Keyes and sadly I don’t see it available at her webshop any longer. Do check out her other beauties, several are on my wish list and I have the Providence Sampler well underway.

Here’s another heart from my Sampler Wall, more about that tomorrow.

Wishing you sweet things this week!

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Heart Week

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Getting ready for Valentine’s Day, I thought I would make a week of it!

I made some special cookies (graham crackers, dipped in melted chocolate chips & sprinkled) and almost have enough hearts for a banner! I’ve also noticed how many of samplers on my sitting room sampler wall include a heart – but more of that tomorrow.

Here’s the pattern for knitting these sweet wool hearts

Wishing you a week filled with love!

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sweet & spicey

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Tried a couple new recipes from Pinterest. Acutally I’ve used the cinnamon roll recipe before, but this time I actually made cinnamon rolls with it, just standard without the fancy nuts and chocolate. I love this recipe!!

Also I tried out a Buffalo Cauliflower recipe. Pretty tasty but no one would eat it with me. I used blue cheese dressing for the dip.

Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend!

PS – Do you like my new yellow pot – I made the cinnamon roll dough in it.

PPS – Here are more pins, with comments, of other Pinterest recipes I’ve tried.

Baking Buddies, a review

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I was recently contacted by Rizzi of the New York Baking Company, she asked if I would consider blogging a review of their silicone baking cups which they call Baking Budies. I’ve used them twice now and here are my thoughts.

I loved the bright colors as soon as I opened the package. These are dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe. I baked some banana muffins (recipe on my food page) for breakfast on New Year’s morning. Jerry really dislikes having to peel the paper off of cupcakes and muffins so what a great chance to make use of one of the nice features of these cups. The muffins didn’t fall right out of the cups but they are pretty easy to remove, much easier than paper. I used these in a muffin tin for baking.

My second test was making cupcakes. These were a great size for muffins but I like BIG cupcakes. I wanted to see how these baked up if I didn’t use a muffin tin but just set the cups in a baking pan. Not everyone has a muffin tin and with these you don’t need one. I left the cupcakes in the silicone cups rather than remove them like I did with the muffins for serving. One thing I didn’t expect was how moist these kept the cupcakes over time. Cupcakes in paper liners dry out much faster than the ones stored in the silicone cups, even when stored in a covered container. The cupcakes were a little trickier to get out of the cups than the muffins were, the cake wanted to break apart so you have to remove it carefully. I wonder if this could partly be due to the texture of cakes baked in high altitude.

Washing up was very easy. I didn’t grease or flour the cups either time. There was a little stuck on batter and crumbs but it rinses right off. I would like to try these out as little jello molds next.

While I don’t see these as a complete replacement for paper liners, there are times when the theme of my cupcake decorating will call for something that coordinates better than these would, however these will be very handy to have around. I would love to see them available in a larger size, more like the cupcake liners I usually use but if you make cupcakes for small children or when baking muffins I think the size is just right.

You can find out more about Baking Buddies here.

I hope your week will be sweet!

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Christmas Sweets & Treats

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I hope your Christmas was Merry and that the New Year will bring you Great Things!

We had lots of treats here, the sweet kind and a few new things for my kitchen.

Christmas morning we enjoyed a hot cocoa bar, I made a slight adjustment to a basic crockpot cocoa recipe. You can find one from Country Cottage Needleworks in the 2013 Ornament Just Cross Stitch issue and also on Pinterest. I only used about 1.75 cups of chips (I used mini-chips and saved the other 1/4 cup for sprinkling) and added a bit of sugar and baking cocoa to the mix. I had several other choices for dressing up each cup and of course lots of whipped cream!

I have a new color in my Fiestaware collection – Lapis. Very pretty and already in use. Santa also left a little gadget in my sock for poaching eggs. I’ve tried it out with pretty good results, it will take a bit of practice to perfect but it will be a handy thing to have around.

I still have Flamingo (a dark pink) Fiesta on my kitchen wishlist! I think it will look perfect with my other colors.

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Christmas make & bake (in progress)

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There’s a whole bunch of baking and making going on here today so I will be adding to this post. Jerry is home and using up his left-over vacations days for the rest of 2013 — Hooray! He’s off to do the Christmas shopping – don’t feel bad for him, he relishes the last minute madness and I must admit the stories he brings home are very good.

I started this star garland way back in October. I actually have about 5 knitted in various colors but only have this one in ‘finished’ condition. I’ve put off the garland til next year. Here is the pattern, I used up some fancy scraps of yarn, this one is cashmere.

I did a test bake of some dough for cinnamon rolls and similar yummy things. It turned out very well, for my test batch I baked up a large tea ring. I have another batch resting on my stove, I plan to use this dough for Christmas morning cinnamon rolls.

More later….

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A Christmas treat I first tasted in Michigan (need to remember this doesn’t HAVE to be just for Christmas) – Baked Brie with Mushrooms, Almonds, and tarragon leaves. Here’s how I made this –

slice and saute mushroom in a little butter, when they are nearly done add some sliced almonds, cook til almonds are toasted and shake on lots (lots) of dried tarragon leaves. Unwrap a Brie cheese, I leave on the rind just pull off the paper/foil wrapper. Place it in an oven safe dish and pile the mushroom mixture on top. Bake at 350 til cheese is jiggly on the inside of the rind, 15-20 minutes, don’t over cook it. Remove from oven, slice open the rind and enjoy on crackers or toasted bread. Y U M!
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Christmas make & bake

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We’ve celebrated two birthdays here in the past 3 days so it was a good excuse to make more cupcakes. This is a Duncan Hines Red Velvet Mix with Wilton Buttercream, the decoration inspiration comes from Pinterest.

I have a tea ring in the oven at the moment, trying out a dough recipe for Christmas cinnamon rolls.

I’m also finishing up a pair of red Christmas mittens.

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Happy Christmas to you!

Christmas make & bake

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Another little stitched addition for the tree, which I have just begun to decorate. This one is from the newest JCS ornament issue. Of course there are oodles of ornaments in there that I’d love to see on the tree but I chose this one for what I thought would be a quick project and if I could count properly it would have been. I added some sparkly bits as you can see.

The cookies are a new recipe to me. Brown Sugar Cookies from this WS book. It’s just possible the recipe may be missing a few ingredients but I went ahead anyway. They don’t look like the photo (at all) but they are pretty yummy and extremely rich. You can also find this recipe at the WS website where others express their concern about missing ingredients, some of them are pretty grumpy about it!

We have 2 birthdays to celebrate this week so more baking is planned, not sure if I have time for more making however!

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PS – my ornament was stitched with random red and green threads I found in my left overs box