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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Is it October already? Just glanced at my calendar.....

...and some of my regular visitors have not given up! Thanks for your loyalty.

I've been busy since my last post: trying to re-arrange, re-organize, etc. - all that little stuff you feel you have to do when fall comes.
I've started projects for Christmas gifts; never underestimate the value of a good hand-knit dishcloth when wracking your brain for gift ideas. Here's the tried and true pattern:

Knitted dishcloth
Uses any kind of worsted-weight cotton yarn
Size 7/8 needles

Ist row: cast on 3 sts.
2nd row: k2, yo, k1
3rd row and subsequent inc rows: k2, yo, knit to end of row
Follow this pattern until dishcloth is the width you want. I usually knit until there are 38 sts on my needle, then I start the dec rows:
Ist dec row: k1, k2tog, yo, k2tog, knit to end of row.
Continue until you have 4 sts. left, then bind off. Sew in loose ends, then knit about five more for a great gift.

Thanks again for sticking with me over here at 52 Pairs!
There cheerful dsihcloths are made with a yellow and white variegated yarn. Peaches 'n Cream, I think.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Handling the Garden Bully

It was obviously a good year for cucumbers. The temperatures have been mild, there's been a lot of rainy days and sunny days in the right combination. Anyway, the cukes have run amok. I have already made my first batch of pickles, and I have a sneaking suspicion there will be more in my future. This recipe is great. It says it takes a long time, but if you've ever struggled with the schedule demands of multi-day pickles, this is a goldmine of reclaimed time and energy. It's by Donna over at Allrecipes, but it's pretty basic so I hope I don't step on toes by posting:

Donna's Million Dollar Pickles

10 cukes, sliced
4 cups sliced onions
1/3 cup pickling spice
4 cups water
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp celery seeds
6 cups sugar
2 qts. distilled white vinegar

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl (I mean large) and let sit for 6-8 hours or overnight. I covered mine loosely with waxed paper and left it in the fridge over night.
When the mix has sat long enough, drain off the water and in a big pot, combine the cucumber and onion mixture with 6 cups of sugar, turmeric and celery seed. Mix well, then add vinegar. Make sure there's enough vinegar to cover everything.
Pack in hot sterilized jars. Makes about 6 pints.
Let me know if you try this recipe! Thanks for reading and enjoy your week!


The cukes have attempted garden-wide domination.




Brought under control by a really good pickle recipe.
 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I Love Boston! And another craft to talk about.....

I actually do, but this is more of a ploy to call up one of my most faithful visitors, someone from Boston. So, if you're there, Boston - many thanks. You're the ongoing inspiration for my blog!
Today I'd like to introduce you to my new crafting addiction, making paper beads. So far I've only made the beads - I have yet to create something from them. Luckily for me, my mother is here to direct the process. She may have lost a lot of her fine motor skills with age, but her uncanny eye hasn't changed a bit.
A bonus in making your own paper beads is that well, "regular" beads from craft sources are expensive! I made all of these beads with left-over paper I had from my scrapbooking stash. It was paper I really didn't care for much, but as beads, the patterns are gorgeous! I also had the glue and paper glaze on hand as well, and if needed at a later date, all the colors of acrylic paint I could ask for. I'll bet that you do, too!
Here are some links I've found useful in getting started:
https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=ssl#q=paper+bead+making+tutorial (general Google search)
http://www.paperbeadcrafts.com/howto/
http://paperbeads.org/
https://www.youtube.com/user/jennibellie (I love her tutorials!)

Happy beadmaking - it's addictive, so my advice is to clear your schedule!

Some beads I've made:
I never thought much about this patterned paper until I saw the beads that it made!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Muffin Shaming

If I can shame my dog, I can certainly shame a muffin. Especially these muffins:


 
I made them for a lady lunch I was giving for my mom and my SIL, Lisa. I'm usually a scratch cook, but in the interest of saving time, I brought out the box from the pantry and decided to give them a try.
Gee - I can't decide!

Luckily, I had all the ingredients I needed to make a replacement batch from scratch. Look at the muffins. Which one for you?
 If I were Martha White, I'd be embarrassed. But in lieu of shaming her and all of her ilk, I am going to include my can't-miss recipe for corn muffins. This makes 1 dozen medium sized muffins.
 
Preheat oven to 424.
Mix dry ingredients together:
1/3 c corn meal
2/3 c flour
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
 
Mix wet ingredients:
1 egg
3/4 c milk
2 tbs oil or bacon fat
 
Gently fold dry ingredients into wet. Mix only enough to bind ingredients - batter should be slightly lumpy. Don't beat it to death.
Preheat geased muffin pan for 3 mins in the oven. Fill pans 3/4 full, bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Back from my Hiatus - no photos but will a Bloody Mary recipe work for you?

This is my signature eye-opener. I call it the "Rosie Mary". Get it?

For each drink:
3 oz vodka
1 5 oz can tomato juice
4 tsp lime juice
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 good shake Tabasco
a dot of Kitchen Bouquet
salt & pepper
There you go. Hope you enjoy. Of course, all ingredients can be adjusted to your own taste.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, Boston! I can see you've been a faithful visitor and I appreciate it. Sorry I didn't have anything to offer you!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Getting Organized

After I had forgotten more than one date with friends and family I decided it was time to be a grown-up and get an organizer. We used to put calendars up on the fridge with magnets, but our house is too fancy now (har-dee-har-har). Actually, the new appliances are stainless steel and magnets won't stick. Roger has always hated the  calendars so I'm sure there were ulterior motives somewhere.
Enter Pinterest.
I discovered the ARC system from Staples. (Sponsor me anytime.) It comes with this great hole-puncher for a measly $38 dollars. I tried not to get it, but ultimately knew I would never be happy until I got the damn hole-puncher. My advice? Get the hole-puncher.
The system comes in two sizes  - regular letter sized and a smaller version. I want to say six by nine? The puncher works for both sizes.
Because I hated the pages that came with my ARC notebook, I did a little research and found Pink Polka Dot Posie. Jennifer, the owner of the shop, does these great printables for customizing you own personal planner pages. She also designs other printables, including invitations. Check her out!
With a personal planner - you win a victory over stress. No more forgotten lunch dates, at least!
Thanks for reading.


Friday, March 14, 2014

My Husband Said That These Were the Best Cookies He's Ever Had


I got the basic recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook - the New Edition. It's the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe that's on page 177.

2/3 c brown sugar packed
2/3 c white sugar
1/2 c butter
1/2 cup shortening (okay - I'll admit here that I used lard.)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp orange extract
2 tbs orange zest
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3 c quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats (I used large flake - DON'T USE INSTANT!!)
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c dried cranberries
1 c chopped pecans & coconut

I found that the dough hook on my Kitchen-Aid mixer (hey - sponsor me anytime!) works great for mixing this stiff dough. I used the regular paddle first to cream the cold butter I had.
Combine all dry ingredients except sugars, & set aside. Mix up remainder of ingredients then add the dry ingredients  at the end. Mix until blended then drop by rounded tablespoons 2 in apart on an ungreased cookies sheet. Bake for 11 minutes at 375.
The cookies turn out crispy-chewy and so satisfying!
Good luck with this recipe - let me know if you try it.
Thanks for reading!
 
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