Thursday, November 29, 2012

Spritz Cookie Recipe

Here they are...



the first Christmas cookies of the season at our house!

Recipe for Spritz Cookies

1 cup butter (room temperature)
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

Mix butter and powdered sugar.  Add egg yolks and vanilla.  Mix in flour and salt.
Use a cookie press to shape cookie dough on a lined baking sheet. (I use a Silpat liner.)
Bake at 400 degrees for 6 minutes.
Frost with a powdered sugar and milk glaze.
Add sprinkles.
Let the Christmas baking begin!!!

Happy baking, Friends!
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Picasa Collages

I think I've mentioned a time or two ten, how much I love the Picasa collage feature.  I was browsing through my file and picked a few favorites to share with you.















 
 











I absolutely love taking pictures and the collages are just the icing on the cake for me.

Happy collage making!
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Little Thanksgiving Show and Tell

I'm late to the Thanksgiving party, I know.  Let's just say I'm fashionably late.  We spent Thanksgiving at my sister in law's house at lunchtime and headed over to my sister's for dinner.  We all live in the same neighborhood, so travel time is only about 2 minutes.  (That's something to be thankful for, for sure!)  Whenever people ask what we're doing on Thanksgiving, I always hear how lucky I am that I'm not hosting.  Yes, I love relaxing on Thanksgiving and not feeling the pressure to clean my house.  Oh, but wait until Christmas... the pressure is on.  I host one family in the morning and the other in the evening.  If I had a bigger house, I'd have everyone all at once!

 Here are a few photos from our Thanksgiving day.


(note to self - TRIPOD next time)

The turkey was so moist and yummy!


I can't live without gingerbread cookies in the fall.


My nephew can't live without Grandma's sweet potato puffs.  I think he ate every last one. 


Homemade rolls hit the spot. 

Green bean casserole will always be a staple at our meals.  We don't do the typical recipe.  This one is cheesy and gooey, with a crunchy cornflake topping.


Oh, the desserts!  Too many to choose!

I have to confess, I had seconds of Grandma's cheesecake.  

If you didn't care for pumpkin pie, cheesecake, or cookies, there were more options.


Oh, my gosh, if I never see another dessert it will be too soon!  My mom made 4 pies for the next party.
 
 


Happy (belated) Thanksgiving, everyone!
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Sewing Camp Pajama Pants

Over the summer, my daughter and niece learned to sew.  We called it Sewing Camp.  I had them go through all of my sewing books and pick out a few projects they wanted to work on.  We made pillows and a stuffed animal.







Over the long weekend, they completed a more complex project.



They made their own jammies! Oh my gosh, I can't even begin to tell you how pleased they were with themselves!  (And, I have to say, that I was very impressed too!)


Not to be outdone by his sister and cousin, my son made our dinner!

I told my Facebook friends that I'm going to sit back and let my kids raise themselves now.  They can make their own clothes AND their own food.  They're set for life!

Happy sewing!  (and cooking)
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turkey Pot Pie Recipe


It's almost time for turkey leftovers!  I made a chicken pot pie a few weeks ago, and one of my readers asked for the recipe.  It's the perfect recipe to use up those turkey left overs.


I call this a semi-homemade recipe because:
1. Sandra Lee is my idol and she's the semi-homemade Queen.
2. 30% store bought ingredients and 70% fresh ingredients. (Well, you could do it this way, but this time the percentages were reversed. Most of it is store bought.)

 

The recipe starts with Cream of Chicken soup. I made a double recipe, which is why I have two cans.

I make the filling first:
1 can of soup
Sprinkle in a little all purpose seasoning.
Add a touch of salt.
Open up a bag of mixed vegetable and heat 'em up.
Chop up some chicken. (Or you could use Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.)
If you like a thin pot pie filling, add a little chicken broth.

That's it for the filling. You'll notice that I don't have exact measurements. I usually just throw in whatever I have on hand. It always turns out. I have to say, it's REALLY good when you use turkey or chicken leftovers and fresh steamed veggies.  But, the "open the package" recipe is pretty good too.

 

 
I love homemade pie crust. I use the recipe that comes on the Crisco can. If you are not a fan of making pie crust, the store bought pie crust works well too. I've tried that, but don't really like the texture. Make enough pie dough for the crust and top. Like I said, I made two pies. One was for dinner and one was for the freezer.


                                


Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell and then cover with the top crust.
I like to use a pie shield when I make chicken pot pie. It bakes for 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Without the pie shield,the edges get overly brown.
 


If you don't have a pie shield, use some tin foil to cover the egdes.
 


And all I have to say is... yum.
 

 

 


Happy cooking and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hot Chocolate



It's a hot chocolate with whip cream and sprinkles kind of day.


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Monday, November 19, 2012

My Must Have Sewing Tools

Now that the rainy season is here, I've been spending more time at my sewing machine.  When I sew, it's not like I spend half of a day at my sewing machine.  I sew in little spurts, like when the dishes are done and the kids are finishing a movie. I'll hide out in the sewing room for 45 minutes and enjoy a little quiet time.  Quilts and home decor are my favorite things to sew. 

There are several tools in my sewing room that I couldn't live without.

#1 on my list is my self healing cutting mat.  I bought my first mat about 15 years ago and just replaced it this year.  Most of the time, you'll see these cutting mats in a bright green.  When I spotted this red one, it was love at first sight. I found it at my favorite quilt shop in Country Village (in Bothell).



Also essential, are a rotary cutter and a few different rulers.
(By the way, if you try to use these rulers to measure how much snow/ice you have in your backyard, they might break.  I'm not saying that I know that for sure, just a hunch.)  But, I will say that a new ruler is on my Christmas list.



The Gingher 8inch dressmaker's shears are fabulous!  They are super-sharp and truly the best fabric scissors I have ever owned.  DO NOT let your kids cut paper with these!  They are for fabric only, and really too sharp for kids anyway.


Oh, the fabric!  You can just never have enough fabric!  Choose what you love.  I find that if I choose colors that I would wear, I'm usually really happy with the result.  I've just discovered Jelly Rolls and I think I'm in love.  There are so many fabrics, rolled together, all from the same line.  You just can't go wrong with this!  I was thrilled when I found pattern books that go right along with Jelly Rolls.



Finally, you'll need a place to set up your machine.  This is our den/sewing room.  When my hubby works from home, we push aside all of the sewing supplies, and it becomes his office.  When he packs up his laptop, my sewing space is back.  We purchased this table from IKEA when we moved into our house.  The chair was a garage sale find, painted and recovered.  The lighting is terrible in this space, so the floor lamp is very helpful.  My Mother-In-Law bought it for me a few years ago.  It's from JoAnne Fabric, and made for sewing and crafting. 



My machine is an entry level embroidery/sewing machine.  I love that it has an embroidery option.  It's not fancy enough to hook up to a computer and download images, but it has a lot of built in images.  As for the sewing features, it sews a straight line, and that's really all I need.  It has some decorative stitches, but honestly, I don't use them much. 


There you have it, Friends!  Those are my must have sewing tools.

Happy sewing!

 

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