Thursday, December 25, 2014

cookies continued

I've been baking a lot in preparation for Christmas and pondering the role of cookies in our Christmas traditions and have come up with a parable of my own.

When we bake cookies we take the best ingredients we have to offer and put them together with much care and love and time to give to others, to bring others joy. On a much grander scale Christ was given to the world as the best God had, to bring joy and gladness and redemption to the world. 

I can see the Hallmark card of beautiful cookies and the thought inside...I'm not photographer and I'm exhausted from baking all these cookies. I wish I could give a plate to each of you and say Merry Christmas! This is it, all I'm baking this year;
  1. Andes mint Chocolate cookies-done and delicious
  2. Russian tea cakes-done and great!
  3. Linzer with hazelnuts and raspberry jam-done but too crumbly and a lot of work!
  4. Stained glass cookies-made by Andrew and almost all eaten by Andrew
  5. Date pinwheels-one roll baked and as delicious as they were last year when Lynn made them.
  6. Cheery ribbons-so good and a bit different
  7. Peppermint Candy Canes-half baked but did not turn out as pretty as the book.
  8. Fruitcake layered cookies-done and great!
  9. Gingery Maple thins-done and wonderful but a little different
  10. Cornmeal-Orange Cookies-baked 4 of them, very good, I'll bake the rest ...later
  11. Toasted Coconut Butter Cookies-done, very good
  12. Thousand layer chocolate chip-done, delicious, recipe here.
  13. Cinnamon not star cookies mentioned in the link below, which are gluten free.
  14. Chocolate egg white cookies-(gluten free) done and as delicious as they were here.
Now I get to go and share these with some of the important people in my life; 6 of my 8 grandchildren!
Here is Andrew with his own stained glass cookie. Do you see the characteristic pose of a Bittern head there?

*edited We are leaving in the morning and instead of sleeping I'm baking more cookies...I know, I know but I had a doll jacket to gather stuff for to finish in the car..and the gluten free brownie mix was calling me from long can it take to make brownies from a mix?   then since the mixer is already dirty I might as well make the gluten free chocolate chip cookies...and while they are baking I could make sugar plums which are also gluten free...So that is 15, 16, and 17.

And I finished the little kimono jacket for the doll.

of course I was up until 1:30A.M.

Friday, December 19, 2014


I'm cooking my way through this new cookie cookbook:
I have in the refrigerator cooking;
  • Chocolate mint Cookies
  • Date-Filled roll ups
  • Toasted Coconut Butter Cookies
I've baked the:
  • Gingery Maple thins
I've the ingredients for:
  • Pistachio-Cherry-Chocolate Cookies
  • Peppermint Candy Canes
  • Linzer sandwich Cookies
  • Pecan Toffee Shortbread Stars
  • Peppermint Sugar cookies
  • Jubilee Jumbles-the brandy
  • Oatmeal lace cookies
  • Chocolate spice cookies
  • Hungarian Christmas Cookies
  • Old world butter horns
  • Italian Sesame Seed Cookies
  • Pine-nut crusted almond macaroons
  • Russian Tea Cakes
I could go record is 24 different kinds of cookies in 1990
It is fun. I get up and start a batch and finish a batch, sort of
Today's cookies didn't need a cooling period so they are done. The Toasted Coconut Butter Cookies needed cooling so they were mixed up yesterday and are in the oven now....
 Ginger Maple thins- chewy and great with a bit of a kick from the ginger.
 The coconut cookies are out of the oven and cooled
Then drizzled. Excellent even though I added an extra egg yolk...since I packed the coconut I probably had too do you measure coconut anyway?

Now I've started 2 more. One is becoming a royal pain...simmer to reduce raspberry jelly then cool it, roast and skin hazelnuts and then cool them; then you can start mixing up the cookies!

Which kind of cookies do you bake?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Snowflakes are falling.....

It's been awhile but I have been very busy. We had a progressive dinner where my house was one of the stops...Doing what I used to do in a month to decorate for Christmas got done in 10 days. I realized that I have traveled or been recovering from surgery and hadn't decorated for about 5 years.Meanwhile I got old! But this is one of the projects I did:
I found on Pinterest some Popsicle stick snowflakes and had to make some. I also taught a few people how to do it at church. (It was not a popular class...but I loved it). I came home and made more.
Using a protractor mark 60 degree angles on a paper and line the sticks up with this angle. The link above gives some basic instructions but 'divide the circle into 6 equal parts' is not one of them. The protractor does this for you.
I think it turned out great! People walk in my house and say WOW!
I did it with hot glue and a few with Elmer's glue. Admittedly the kitchen table was NOT used for meals for a week but I didn't have anyplace else to work.
I begged some paint sticks from Lowes and from Home Depot. I also purchased Popsicle sticks, coffee stirrers and a variety of different shapes like wooden nickles from Hobby Lobby. I dug out the toothpicks that we had purchased for Jeffrey's bridge building in High school. I also used a lot of clothespins and sewing clips when I used Elmers glue. That was a slow process but did not take a lot of time just glue, clamp and work on the Christmas tree....glue, clamp and work on dinner. One of my hot glue ones fell apart so I decided to wet glue them, then I went back to hot glue....I think the one that fell apart was one that glue wasn't very hot when put together.

 After gluing I spray painted them white...then wait for the paint to dry.

 (The first one I hung to paint...a mistake, it wasted a lot of paint and I only needed one side painted.)
Then I added 2 sizes of glitter; WalMart's super-size iridescent and ultra fine. I like the ones with less of the large glitter better than the ones with a ton of it. (I figure it will fall off and then they will all have less.)
Here's my wall! I left it large so if you click on it it will fill your screen. It is supposed to look kind of like the door was opened and a flurry of snow swept in....

A friend came over and took pictures of each one. Her plan is to make these with her grandkids and then hang them in the living room from their vaulted ceiling. That will be FABULOUS!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Craft night finished

If I remember right we crafted 30 photo boards and 22 sets of blocks and 5 potholders, dozens of frames, and many bracelets. I'm still dealing with leftover know? it's time to put the stuff away but I caught a bad cold right afterwards....and I don't wanna.
Guess what I didn't bring?  A camera, I was able to snap a couple pictures with my dying phone but there were pretty bad. No-one wanted to stop crafting long enough to take pictures. It was fun, it was crazy and I'm glad I get to wait another year to do it again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

12 Craft night

I have gathered 12 crafts and 8 teachers to do a fabulous Friday night Craft night at my church; y'all are welcome to come. It is November 14th at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Friendswood, TX. 505 Deseret Dr. 5:30 -11:00 Pot luck soup and bread.
Please call me if you want to come, we need payment before hand so we can buy the supplies.
832 217 4038

1. Board of Photos; found here in blogland. Our Sample. Easy; once all the materials are gathered.

2. Set of blocks that say Happy Thanksgiving on one side and Merry Christmas on the other. I figure that the price will be $6.00.
3. I spy toy. Mayra is guiding in making this great toy. Her baby loves the one she made. You can bring trinkets to add to the ones Mayra brings. Cost; $4.00 I've found directions and samples on the web here and here. 
 4. Temple bracelet Elizabeth Stillion is teaching us to make a bracelet with a clip for wearing in the temple. $6.00
 5. Joy wall decoration Tiffany Theobold is helping us make this. $5.00
6. Cookie mix in a Jar will be led by Kileen Smith; what a great teacher or neighbor gift. $4.00
7. Ornament Paula Agidious will lead us in making a paper crafted ornament...or 2 that can feature a photo of your choice; ancestor or descendent. She is keeping the cost low but even paper costs money. $1.00

 8. Potholders. I will bring my never ending bucket of scraps and will teach you a simple quilting technique. I had my children and my cub scouts make these, so I'm sure you can too. Most of my relatives have received several of these over the years. $3 will buy one package of double fold bias tape that will make 3. You can give me money and tell me what color you want or buy your own. If you have worn out towels bring them, that is what is in the inside. Here is a tutorial I wrote to describe my process.

9.Giant Snowflakes Made out of popsicle sticks; I think they look great. You can see some here and here. So far the cost has varied from 1.05 for the small one to 1.70 for the largest. I am looking for cheaper Popsicle sticks-sure to find them.  Wow, I found cheaper Popsicle sticks...brought the price down! 3 for $1.00. So knock yourself out making these. We will not be buying spray paint and painting these at the church. You can leave them 'au natural' or paint them at home.
10. Bell Garland Old style bells on a jute cord. If you want fabric on it you need to bring your own. $3.50
11. Days until Christmas blocks Easy, Simple $2.00 
12. Stars..are still in the works.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Craft Night

Our congregation's women met last month for a craft night. I had prepared 2 crafts for them to do and we brought yummy pumpkin dishes to share. First the crafts;
So easy since I have Pinterest to find something we could do without spending a lot of money. I saw this on Pinterest. And this is what we did;

Most of the candy canes (plastic ones) were covered in batting and then the most popular bow was the jute. The little rusted star was a garland I found at Hobby Lobby.
The other craft we did was simply to decoupage a clipboard, or paint it with chalkboard paint. Both were popular.

We also had a potluck pumpkin snacks. We has 2 different pumpkin dips, pumpkin cheesecakes, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Yummy.
I repeated the craft night a week later at home during the day.

Now I'm .planning another evening of crafts for November! It was fun and I"m looking forward to another night of crafting.

potholder tutorial

I was tweeking an old tutorial I'd written, in 2008!, and it disappeared. So I'm writing it again. :)

I like to think that I have perfected the making of potholders over the years. I have given many away and am now needing to replace the one's that have worn out.
This is the finished one.

Here is what lies beneath that pristine exterior. It was designed specifically to use up the double wide bias tape that is around the outside. I can tell it is one of my early potholders because the inside is of an old baby blanket I bought at a thrift store in 1976. It is still in good shape so I'll just cover it again.
Now I when I get a towel that is worn out I make blanks to go inside more potholders. I cut them 8.25" square cause I like big potholders.I have a stack of these ready to go.
If I need to I'll butt them together and zigzag them so make the size I want. I use 2 layers of towel in each pot holder.
First I look at my supply of double wide bias tape and decide what color the binding will be. I decided to use the blue. You can tell this has been around for awhile, it is no longer 95 cents. I think it is $2.49 now. Most would choose a color to go with their kitchen....or make a holiday one.

Step one would be to draw a line diagonally across the terry cloth. I didn't draw one because there is a seam I can follow.
Step two, choose the fabrics, I used scraps and laid them out where I will be using them. Do NOT use light colored fabrics....they get dirty too fast and look ugly soon.
Step three, sew the pieced triangle using a stitch and flip method. I start in the center;

then lay a strip on one side of the center. Pin it,
then lay a strip on the other side of the center. Pin and stitch.
 Press the strips open.
Continue sewing strips until the triangle is filled.
Notice that all the strips end well beyond the diagonal line and the outside edge.
I cut a triangle larger than I needed and pined it across where the diagonal line is. Do not stretch this when you pin it.
Then sew. Flip the large triangle over and press the seam.
Before pressing and trimming.
Lay the back onto the back of your potholder. Pin then
baste around the outside edge. I used a walking foot here.
Then trim it to 8"
Add the binding (sorry no tutorial here.) I usually do not put a loop for hanging, cause I've never used it but some may find it usefull.
and you are finished.

Here is a red one that is not quite finished but you can see the large triangle is made up of little strips.
My daughter in law took lessons and made several; you can see them here.

I have Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas potholders. I keep them with the holiday decorations and pull them out seasonally.