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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Wash or Dish Cloths for a gift

I am going to be starting a new crochet project next week, so decided to make some wash/dish cloths for my sister Karen for her birthday in April.  We don't always share birthday gifts, but sometimes we do, and I think these are nice cloths.  The pattern is bumpy on one side and smooth on the other, good for showering or dishes I think.  I finished the pink one today and will make 3 altogether to bundle up and tie with a ribbon to send her.  The next one will be yellow and not sure what the 3rd will be of the colors in the picture.  I actually like the deep brown for some reason, although I like all the colors.  They are kind of fun to make; I can watch a movie or TV and not have to concentrate that much.  I think she will like them too with the pretty colors.

I got her bundle done, I am calling it the Neapolitan collection..I think it turned out pretty.

A Big Fluffy Afghan

I saw a posting on one of my blogs of this afghan that a lady (Purple Poncho) made for her daughter.  I fell in love with the cushiness of it and went out and bought the yarn the next day and got started on it.  Even though I didn't work on it for the month of February it was still one of the fastest afghan's I have ever made.  I thought about leaving it all cream and putting fringe on two of the ends, but after thinking about it and people telling me the fringe gets all funky and tangled when you wash it, I decided to put a border on it instead.  I found one of the colors for this brand with gray, beige and cream and went for it.  In life it looks more muted and lighter gray than this picture.  Anyway it was lots of fun to make and is super soft and comfy..love it!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ina Gartin's Ice Box Cake for a birthday for a coworker

It was my turn (January) to bring a dessert or treat to work for a coworker's birthday Monday.  She requested something chocolate, and to be honest I don't mind chocolate, but it's not my favorite..too rich sometimes for me.  I am a fruity dessert girl.  Soooo, after wracking my brain for a while I found this recipe for an icebox mocha chocolate dessert from Ina Gartin's site.  fluffy, pillowy mousse layered with chocolate chip cookies..what more could you want?  I make chocolate curls from Ree Drummonds site and it was a big hit.  You can find both recipes online.  I only changed the cookies to a Walmart brand because her brand wasn't readily available.  This recipe would be so easy to change up to any flavor and use different cookies, like the thin chocolate wafery ones, or shortbread cookies etc.  It is super simple to assemble..in fact I think easier than making a real cake!  It was a show stopper and big hit!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Shellie's Christmas Quilt is a success!

After months of pondering on getting started on a quilt for my daughter, Shellie's, king sized bed she requested last spring and picked out the pattern for, I finally got started a few months back and finished it for Christmas!  She sent me a picture of it today, although the colors are a little off, so I will post the fabric picture also.  I think it looks great and so does she!  Major undertaking making one this large, but it's worth it in the end.  It was a Thimbleberries pattern that I enlarged. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Granola recipe from Laurie

I am on a healthy roll tonight..my director at work, Laurie, treated us all to a breakfast yesterday at work. She had lots of treats for us and one of them was this granola to put on yogurt that she made. I got the recipe from her and just had to make a batch tonight because it was so good! This was my dessert tonight after my bran muffin supper..vanilla yogurt with some of the yummy granola..

GRANOLA:

3-1/2 cups old fashioned or steel ground oats
3 cups of a variety of nuts, for sure add some sunflower seeds, and then she used cashews, pecans, and you can add walnuts, sliced almonds etc.  I don't think peanuts would be good though, but that's my opinion.  

1/2 cup honey
6 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons?  vanilla (the recipe is written kind of weird, so it might be Tablespoons, but I used teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:
Melt butter and mix with cinnamon, vanilla and salt.

Mix oats, nuts and raisins if you desire (I think they would get kind of burnt, but?)  I didn't use them)

Mix all together.

spread over a cookie sheet pan with sides and bake 75 minutes at 250 degrees.


Bran Muffins

My mother-in-law used to make bran muffins a lot..Joe loved them and so did she.  I don't remember if she ever put raisins in them..thinking not when Joe was around because I don't think my kids ever liked raisins much, at least whole ones.  I remember she would grind them up to distribute them more in cookies and things, so she may have done that.  Joe reminded me of them the other month..I am slow at responding some times..and I finally bought a box of Bran Flakes today and made a batch.  Yummy actually.  I put some butter and a drizzle of honey on mine, but jam would be good too. 

Here is the recipe I followed because there wasn't one of the box I bought-it was generic.  I original Bran Flakes used to have it on the box, but I found it online..

BRAN MUFFINS:

1-1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
14/ tsp salt
1 egg
1-1/2 cups skim milk (I used whole milk because that's what I had)
2 Tablespoons oil
3 cups Bran flakes
1/3 cups raisins or craisins if desired

DIRECTIONS:
1) Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.  Beat egg in a small bowl; stir in milk and oil.  Add to flour mixture; sir just until moistened.  (batter will be lumpy).  Stir in cereal and raisins.  spoon batter into muffin pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  fill each cup 2/3 full, making 12 muffins. 

2) Bake at 400 degrees for 2025 minutes or until lightly browned.  serve warm.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Soup in a Bag for Gifts for Coworkers

I was thinking of what to give as gifts to my coworkers this year and since we always have tons of candy and sweets at the office, I decided to go with something different.  I did a search for soup kits and found this one for Friendship Soup online that definitely had the right name linked to it.  There were several positive reviews and some tips that I liked, so I went for it.  I did a test run a week ago or so, and did a few of my own changes.  I tasted the broth, but the actual soup I sent to my daughter's house for them to all have to dinner and give their opinion's on.  It was a thumb's up, so went about gathering all the ingredients to make the 15 packets and am adding a can of Rotel cilantro and lime tomatoes and a box of Jiffy cornbread mix so they have a complete meal in the busy season coming up if they choose.  I designed a combination greetings card and instruction sheet on how to assemble it for in the bag too.  It's kind of a southwestern flavored soup and here is how I made it..for the packets I layered in each one (I put the clear cone bags in tall glasses with the top folded down a little to keep it open)

3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp powdered beef base
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup dried black beans
1/3 cup pearl barley
1/3 cup dried kidney (red) beans
1/3 cup great northern beans

Layer all of the above in a cone bag or 2 cup jar.

To turn mix into a pot of soup:  In a large crockpot add:
either: 1 lb hamburger or ground turkey browned with salt and pepper, or a ring of smoked sausage cut up in bite size pieces (I used turkey smoked sausage), spicy chicken sausage-a lot of reviews said this was really good, or leftover roast beef etc.

THINGS YOU NEED TO ADD: a can of Rotel cilantro and lime tomatoes, 4 cups water, a quart (4 cups) of beef stock, 1/4 cup catsup, a small onion diced, 1 stalk celery diced, and 1 carrot, cleaned and diced. 

Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.  Mine was cooked on low and actually took about 9 hours for the beans to soften correctly so allow enough time..I baked the Jiffy cornbread so it was still warm when it was eaten. 

You can cook this on the stove also..they said it would take about 9 cups of water for about 2-1/2 hours.

You can add more water if it looks too thick, a little at a time.