Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Butter and Sugar

Tonight we are going to go over to a friend's house for dinner. Usually it is about 8 people and everyone brings something to contribute. I was asked to bring dessert. I couldn't decide what to make until I came across this recipe in Good Housekeeping by Ina Garten called Palmiers or Elephant Ears. The best part was I had everything I needed in the house.

All you need is some Pepperidge Farm puff pastry (thawed), 2 cups, yes 2 cups of sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix the sugar and salt together in a small blowl.

Spread out 1 cup of sugar on the counter and put your pastry on top of the sugar, dump 1/2 cup sugar on top of the pastry and roll out into about a 13 inch square. Fold the sides in about 1/4 of the way then fold those sides in so they meet in the middle then fold those sides together so now it looks like a tube. Cut cross wise about 3/8 inch and space 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 6 minutes until the bottoms are brown. Take out of the oven and flip them over and bake about 2 to 3 more minutes. Ovens vary so the times may also. Just watch them if you aren't sure or they will burn very easily. Repeat with the second sheet of pastry and cool on a rack.

 Seriously can it be any easier? I think next time I may add some cinnamon.
Try these you will like love them! Unless of course you don't like butter or sugar....


Monday, November 29, 2010

Snowman Quilt

I made this quilt about 10 years ago. It is still a favorite even if the colors are a little duller than the ones I am using now. I don't remember who the pattern is by.

This is a runner I made last year and I love the colors! It was very fast and was a quilt as you go, flip and sew type of project.  My table is very long and it is either impossible to find one that fits or is very expensive.

Close ups of the runner.

All the strips were cut of random widths to take advantage of the fabric, like this one! A candy cane binding finishes it off.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Stash

Merry Main Street by Alexander Henry

Holiday Hostess by Michael Miller

Nancy Wolf Design on the selvage

Oh the temptation!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Day

It starts with the all the traditional foods........on Christmas plates mind you!

The kids table

Some cute grandchildren........

Some wonderful smiles.....

Sometimes a little of this can happen.......

This is an act...
Then the real fun begins......we play a mean game of a combination charades/pictionary. Any phrase, word, person or show is fair game. We are very unconventional! Most games last for 3 hours or more....and yes we keep score. This year So So Awesome won. There will be a rematch at Christmas.!





Mary is a teacher "you will not break the rules" is her motto!

The kids clean up...everyone needs a Colin and Jenny in the family. They are the best cleaner uppers! I cooked so I watch them all clean.

But in the end it is all about the family. I must say I got a pretty good one!


Friday, November 26, 2010


Today is our Thanksgiving and I am expecting 15 people for dinner. They will start arriving around 1 and we should eat around 4. There is one thing that has to get done.

We always send a family picture Christmas card. It is getting harder and harder the bigger the family gets. This year it will be just the grandkids. I bought 4 t-shirts and was going to applique (by machine) the word SNOW on them. Well I was running out of time an decided there must be a quicker way. I wanted a quick no mess no fuss way. Light bulb! I cut out the letters in freezer paper and ironed them on!!! They are only going to wear them for as long as it takes to get the picture and I can recycle them from year to year as we have more grandchildren and they grow. Do you think I will be able to spell Merry Christmas at some point?

My little helper girl making the corn pudding. She loves to stir things! Grandchildren  are a wonderful blessing!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Let Them Eat Pie!

No sewing today, maybe tonight. Instead I made an apple pie for tomorrow. Most people are celebrating Thanksgiving with their families, we will be going to our friends' house. Once my children started getting married they were torn between which house to go to or to eat 2 meals and having to drag their little kids from house to house. We decided to have our Thanksgiving as a family on Friday. It is nice because all of them are here together which is what it is all about. It turned out to be a great solution for us! There will be charades after dinner...a family favorite.

I make my pie the way my gramma Aggie did. While I don't have her pie crust recipe, this one turned out pretty good. It is easy in the food processor. I use butter instead of lard (gramma used lard she lived on a farm) and I think the results are just as good.

Put 2 1/2 cups of flour in the processor, add 1 tsp salt and pulse to mix. Add some of the ice cold butter, mine was in the freezer a few at a time and pulse 3 or 4 times. Keep adding until both sticks of butter are pulsed in, do not over pulse.

Add all at once 1/3 of ice water. I put about a half cup of water in a cup with some ice and measure it out into a 1/3 cup. Pulse off and on until it looks like this:
This is important you do not want it to turn into a ball. At this point it should be very easy to stick together when you press it together with your fingers. If not add a tablespoon of water and pulse.

Roll it out in a little flour, I think a granite counter helps out too! Notice mine does not look like a perfect circle. As long as it is about 2 -3 inches larger than your pan it is fine. I am not a neat and orderly cook, you don't have to be either! Just have fun with it!

My recipe for the filling is my gramma's and I don't have a real recipe. I will tell you what I did today. I peeled about 6-7 large granny smith apples and sliced them thin. Add to this about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, about a cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons of flour and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. I also have put a litte nutmeg in too. Mix them all togther and dump it into your pie shell.

Dot the top with about 2 tablespoons of butter and then cover with your top crust. Make a nice thick edge and it will not burn. Make sure to seal in the apples so the juices do not run out the sides (I messed up and mine ran out the sides). Poke some steam holes on top and trim the extra dough along the edges. Put the pie in the refrigerator while you heat the oven to 425. This is important, the pie should go in the oven cold from the fridge. Bake for 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 350, slide a cookie sheet underneath and bake for another 30 to 45 minutes. The juices should be bubbling through the steam vents.

Take those scraps and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and sugar then bake for about 7 minutes. My mom always did this when we were kids. They are kind of like a little pastry.
A pretty good looking pie, maybe not up to Martha's standards,  but I think they will eat it! Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Busy and Forgetful

Here is just a peek at the next block of Beyond the Cherry Tree. I got more done last night than I thought. I think it will go fast, it is just finding the time to do it.

I also made some vanilla ice cream to bring over to a friend's house for Thanksgiving to go along with the apple pie I am making tomorrow.

It is really fast and fun using this machine my mother in law gave me. It tastes good too.

The forgetful part is that I left a bag of groceries in the car for 7 hours yesterday! Luckily nothing perishable but I did not remember it until 10:30 last night......I keep thinking what if it was the turkey!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Friend


Today I went to my friend Cheryl's house to watch her on QNN.TV. She has a book coming out in early 2011 called Quilt Fiesta and she was interviewed by Mark Lipinski of Quilt Out Loud.

 You can listen to a pod cast live that she is doing on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM Eastern Time  click here. It was great fun to see some one you know grow as a quilter and now as an author.

¡Quilt Fiesta!: Surprising Designs from Mexican Tiles

She is having a give away on her blog. To enter go to Cheryl Lynch Quilts  and tell her I sent you!