Friday, January 23, 2015

Needlework: Hat and Scarf

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This hat pattern, Eagle Bay Hat, works up quickly and you can add stitches to make a larger hat and use two strands of yarn if you don't use the thick yarn suggested in the pattern.
The scarf is simply K2 P2 throughout until you reach the desired length.  The scarf is made with a single strand of yarn.
For Valentine's Day you could crochet one of these Hearts to pin to your hat!

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Recipe: Martha's Chewy Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies

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 I made these cookies but omitted the fresh ginger and used a small ice cream scoop so yield was 36 cookies.  Also lessened the cooking time to about 12 mins. and substituted  Nestle's Chocolate Chunks for the semisweet chocolate.  

Martha Stewart's Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling

Directions

  1. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter with brown sugar until combined. Add fresh ginger and mix until combined. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Slowly add to butter mixture, mixing until well combined.
  3. Add baking soda mixture and molasses; mix to combine. Stir in chocolate; Transfer to refrigerator. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Using a 2-inch ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto baking sheet, 2 1/2 inches apart. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll dough balls in granulated sugar and return to baking sheets. Transfer to oven and bake until surfaces crack slightly, about 18 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.                                                                                        
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Recipe: Red & Green Christmas Sugar Cookies

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I found this sugar cookies recipe on a greeting card my mother in law sent our youngest daughter when she was very young.  For approximately the past 30 years it has been my go to 
recipe and it never disappoints!  
I tint half the dough red and the other half green before rolling out.  
They can be made in advance and frozen.  
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Needlework: Crocheted Santa Ornament/Toy

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santa

Another cute ornament for your Christmas tree is this adorable Santa.  He could double as a toy as well.  
MERRY, MERRY!

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Recipe: Gingerbread Men

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It has become a family tradition  
each year that I bake gingerbread men and women to use as place cards on the table Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day. These can be baked ahead and frozen without decoration and are quite tasty.
 I use Betty Crocker tubes of red and green frosting to pipe names and minimal decorations on each gingerbread person: collars and ties for the men and holly for the women.
Ingredients:
(printable recipe)
2/3 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco which now comes in bars)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup boiling water
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups flour

Directions:
Cream the vegetable shortening and sugar until smooth.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients while continuing to mix. Batter gets very thick so a stand mixer works best.

Knead mixture on a board until it forms a ball.

Roll dough out, dusting the surface with flour to prevent sticking. You can  roll between two pieces of extra wide plastic wrap, flipping it over during the process and dusting lightly with flour.  I invested in a silicone pastry mat from the Williams Sonoma Outlet Store and it works beautifully.

Cut with cookie cutters and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 7-10 minutes at 375'.

To hang on tree, make a hole in head of gingerbread man before baking. Re-roll leftover dough to cut more cookies.

Recipe can be doubled and cookies freeze well.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Needlework: Crocheted Bottle Hats & Scarfs


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These adorable crocheted hats and scarfs for your holiday gifts of wine 
work up quickly and are a festive addition to any bottle. 
Plus they would be a fine addition to the wardrobe of  a small doll 
after the bottle is opened.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Recipe: Vanilla and Chocolate Spritz Cookies

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Here are this year's Vanilla and Chocolate Spritz Cookies. These are among various cookies I make  every year for holiday events.  These cookies are always tasty and they freeze well so can be made in advance.   
Click here for more recipes and here for a few pages of  past holiday entries. Enjoy!

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Needlework: Knitted Holiday Hats

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These hats are cute for the holidays with or without the pompon.
Just alternate any two colors of yarn to knit these in one night.  
be found on the Lion Brand website.
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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Recipe: Enjoy Some Turkey Soup

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Thanksgiving means turkey 
and turkey means leftovers.  I have trouble just tossing out the turkey carcass which is ideal for making turkey soup sooooo, soup it is !  This can also be frozen to enjoy at a later date. 
TURKEY SOUP
Making Stock
1. Remove all the usable turkey meat from the turkey carcass to save for adding to the soup later.
2. Break up the leftover bones of the carcass a bit, so they don't take up as much room in the pot. Put the leftover bones and skin into a large stock pot and cover with cold water by an inch. Add any drippings that weren't used to make gravy, and any giblets (except liver) that haven't been used already.  Add a yellow onion that has been quartered, some chopped carrots, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, celery tops, Bell's seasoning to taste and some peppercorns.
3. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to a bare simmer or just below a simmer. ( If you would like to have a clear stock, do not bring the stock to a boil, but keep the stock below a simmer, as the more you simmer, the more cloudy the stock will be.) Skim off any foam that may float to the surface of the stock.
4. Add salt and pepper, about 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper depending on how large your turkey is. You can always add salt to the soup later.
5. Cook for at least 4 hours, uncovered or partially uncovered (so the stock reduces), occasionally skimming off any foam that comes to the surface. 
6. Remove the bones and veggies and strain the stock, ideally through a very fine mesh strainer.
7. If making stock for future use in soup you may want to reduce the stock by cooking it longer, uncovered, at a bare simmer or just below a simmer, to make it more concentrated and easier to store.  You can also refrigerate the stock at this point and the fat will rise to the surface and can be removed before making the soup.

Making the Turkey Soup
With your stock already made, add chopped carrots, onions, and celery in equal parts. Add some parsley, a couple cloves of garlic. Add seasoning - poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram and/or a bouillon cube. Cook at a bare simmer until the vegetables are cooked through.  You can add rice, pasta or noodles . Take some of the remaining turkey meat you reserved earlier, shred it into bite sized pieces and add to the soup.
  
For another version of a turkey soup recipe click here.
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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Holidays: HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE !


Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!
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