Friday, November 28, 2008

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

This image was taken from Kitchenography--Life in My Kitchen

Maybe I'm tired because I had some of THIS for breakfast. Do you think? It says it can be used as a coffee cake or dessert - so that's how I justified having it for breakfast. It was great. :)

Anyways, I got this recipe from my sister, Cassie, who found it on the blog: Kitchenography--Life in My Kitchen. Click here for the recipe. I made it yesterday for Thanksgiving and I loved it! I thought it would still be great for Christmas, so I'm passing it along. Oh, BTW, Cassie and I served it with homemade whipped cream. Yumm!

The author of Kitchenography--Life in My Kitchen said, "This cake comes from the LA Times Food Section via 'The Best American Recipes 2001-2002', a wonderfully curated collection of recipes series that I find are among my most used cookbooks. The Los Angeles Times does a yearly list of the food section staff's favorite recipes of the year, and this one was a unanimous winner."

A little Christmas project

I am tired.

Oh, so tired.

What about you?

I am still recovering from the last couple of days...I haven't been this tired in a long time. I think it started because I had the grand idea of having a slumber party with our kids on our landing floor Wednesday night. I convinced Ryan that it would be o.k. because we would just pull the futon mattress down off of the futon and he could sleep on that. The kids were SO excited. About half an hour before their normal bed time, they started saying, "Can we go to bed now?" So I didn't have to even ask them to go get their p.j.'s on or anything. They got all ready by themselves, got the sleeping bags out and they even got out trays (the kind for "breakfast in bed") set with dry oats and Pringles - yum:) So we all get in bed at 9 p.m.. I'm down for about 2 seconds in my sleeping bag and realize - this is not gonna work. Knowing I can't back out of this now (I mean, it was my idea and all) I get in my bag, gearing up for a long night. It only took me a minute though to come up with a NEW plan. After every one is asleep, I will quietly depart for my bedroom. No one will know. Plus, (I justify) I am getting up to go running in the morning and I don't want the cell phone alarm clock to wake everyone up:) Can you believe that? I am so bad. Well I guess I fell asleep for a little bit, but then about an hour later I woke up because somebody was snoring. I made the quick depart for my bed and then watched a couple of hours of T.V. I finally turned lights out at 12 and then tossed and turned for a few hours. Then R.J. came in needing some medicine for a stuffy nose around 3 or 4 a.m. (can you guess who was snoring now?:)) All night I had been thinking about quilting! I was thinking about quilt designs, if I had a booth at a quilt expo, what would it look like? Just totally random stuff. Don't you hate when you can't sleep because you're thinking about things that are so dumb or you just don't care about at the time? So finally at about 5 a.m., I decided to get up and google some stuff about quilting. I went running at 6:45 on Thanksgiving morning, came home and got busy cooking and then the festivities took off early that afternoon. So, needless to say - I am tired. I have been working on getting my Christmas decorations up today. I just took a break though and am completely lagging now.
I got side tracked with this little project. I have had this set of Jingle bells for a long time and I've always hated the bow & ribbon it was hanging from, so today, I decided to "beautify" it. I thought I'd share the pics just in case anyone is up for a festive little project. It was easy. All you need is lots of different colors of ribbon and a set of jingle bells. If I could, I would get a rusty set of jingle bells, but this is what I had.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It finally came!!!

I have been so anxious for my prize to come from the Fabricmatcher contest and it finally came today! It was a long fourteen days but I made it! I have had the biggest quilting itch lately and I have been holding off so that I could just finish up a few before I started something new. But, now I don't have to feel guilty about having fun with what came in the mail today. I was just in pure heaven after it arrived! So, I had to share some pics of the goodies.


Here's what it looked like when I opened up the box:

I got a nice hand-written card from the Moda Family.


8 patterns.



I'm thinking I want to make this one...



and this one.


And last but not least, the fabric. It was more than I expected. I thought maybe one bundle, but I couldn't believe they gave me two! There was a sticker on the plastic wrapping around one of the bundles that said $60.00. So, they were very generous. I'm so thankful. I never buy bundles of fabric. Just a little here and a little there. This is just hours of fun, at a time that I can really use it. Christmas came early. I told Ryan that I'm good now and that he doesn't need to get me anything.




M took this picture of me. What's with my expression? Kind of scary!:)


My kids heard me yelling with excitement and jumping up and down as I was opening it. So THEY started whooping and hollering too when they saw that there was Bubble wrap inside the box. They kept yelling, "I have been waiting for this bubble wrap!" It was kind of funny!

So, I am highly recommending that if you're interested in quilting, that you go over here to design/enter one of your own creations for Moda's November contest. The theme is Christmas. It's really easy. You just use their patterns and their Christmas fabrics and design a little something. Even if you're not a quilter, you might want to start! Or, if you aren't into quilting then you could even give the prize to a friend (like someone with the name Amber.) Whatever. It's just a fun little toy.

Dutch Babies


My family calls this recipe "Dutch Babies" but I think they're the same as German pancakes. But, I have been on a kick for these lately, probably because of the lemon sauce! I love the fluffyness, yet they have a little bit of crisp to them. They would be good with buttermilk syrup too, but I love the lemon sauce since it's the only time I get to have it. Let me know if you try it and what you think of the lemon sauce. Wait a minute...I am noticing a trend here...all of my recipes are the fatty dessert type dishes. O.K. I'll admit it, I have a total sweet tooth. So let's just assume that all of my recipes on this blog will be the non nutritious kind. Anyways here's the recipe:
DUTCH BABIES:
1/3 cup butter
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour

Put butter in a 9" x 13" pan and set into a 425 degree oven. Then mix batter quickly while butter melts. Put eggs into a blender and whirl on high speed for 1 minute. With motor still running, gradually pour in milk. Slowly add flour. Whirl for another 30 seconds. Remove pan from oven and pour batter into hot melted butter. ** I have heard - the key to getting the dutch babies to fluff up around the sides and not be a flat version of it is to pour the batter into the butter and do not stir or move the batter around. I just open my oven door, pull out the rack that the pan is on and pour my batter in. Then I push the rack back in and quickly shut the door. Do not mix the batter into the butter. ** Bake until fluffy and well browned (20 - 25 minutes.) Dutch babies should be thin on the bottom of pan and bake up high around the sides.

For the lemon glaze:
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. lemon juice, or to taste
2-3 cups powdered sugar (approximately)

You just want it to be lemony and a little thick like a glaze. I just keep adding lemon juice and powdered sugar until I get the right consistency. So good!
O.K. I've been putting this off, because I don't know if I can think of 6 random things about myself, but I'll try. My cousin Tina tagged me with this. So here goes:

1. I met Ron Howard (now - director/ then - Richie Cunningham from Happy Days) when I was a little girl.
2. I've danced at a Seattle SuperSonic's halftime show.
3. I have spent one night at a home for abandoned children.
4. I visited my Grandparents who lived in Hawaii for a whole month when I was 11 years old.
5. I am scuba certified and dove to 100 feet in Grand Cayman.
6. I HATE the smell of tuna, therefore, I have never tasted tuna. Yuck!

I'm tagging Sarah Rader, Keri Evans, Misty Ross, Meghan Simmons, Shelby West, and Janel Christofferson. The rules are: 1. Link this post to the person who tagged you: Amber 2. Post the rules on your blog 3. List 6 random things about yourself. 4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post. 5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Peppermint Fancy

ItalicFinished Size: 61 1/2" x 61 1/2"
Peppermint Fancy
Pattern taken from: Blended Quilts from In The Beginning
Each block has a different quilt design on it. The back and binding are done in a brown, tan & red strip on bias.

The Johnson's est. 1998

Sorry, just ignore me if you don't care about quilting, but I've got a few more comin'!




This was a really fun one to make too. It's another pattern from Sandy Bonsib's Folk Art Quilts book. The block name is "Courthouse steps."

I've got it hanging up high in my entry way. Hanging it took a lot of effort on my dad and Ryan's part. First, I made a sleeve going across the top of the back. Then we put a dowel into it to keep it hanging straight. I threaded some ribbon through both sides and middle of the top-edge binding and later tied those onto the hooks. Meanwhile, my dad or Ryan (I can't remember which one - it was a group effort) got one of those huge ladders and hung the hooks, the quilt, and some bows that I had tied. Me, my mom, my dad and Ryan were all in there, working together, giving our opinions on how high, which wall, figuring out all the logistics of it all, etc. It was quite the project.

Floral Linen Hearts


Quilt Size 61 1/2" x 79 1/2"

I think this pattern is from Country Threads.

I've got this one hanging in my hallway downstairs. It was pretty easy to make. Just strips, squares and a few appliqued hearts. I finished it back in '03. O.K. I don't know if I want to give this next information out, but I will. Janet Nelson from the Quilt Coop in Idaho quilted this for me. She is the best machine quilter I know, but I haven't used her for a while now because she has about a 4 month waiting list (last time I checked.) She is amazing. She does beautiful freehand quilting and I love her. She doesn't know me from didly squat (well we did meet up once when she was in Utah to visit her daughter and she so kindly brought my quilt back to me when she was finished) but anyways, I highly reccomend her.

Ugly Quilt


I call this my "Ugly Quilt" because while I was making it, I kept thinking "this is kind of ugly!" I was a little embarrassed about the color choices I used, but I guess when it was finally complete it kind of grew on me and now I think it's not so bad. It was really a fun quilt to make though. Every block is the same construction, but the colors are different in each one. No two blocks are the same. If you look close, you would be surprised at the color combinations, but I guess that's what adds to the whimsy/scrappyness (did I just make up that word? How would you spell that if it was a real word?) of it. I used muted colors, threw in a few pastels, but even the darks are kind of muted. This fits a twin size bed. It was quilted in a swirl pattern by the ladies at The Quilting Cottage in American Fork, UT.


This was a spur of the moment project. Sandy Bonsib was coming to speak at the Utah Valley Quilt Guild (about 250 - 300 members, I think. I haven't been going for the last 6 months or so.) So I decided to do it so I could take it to share in the "show and tell" portion of the meeting. As always I thought, I can just use scraps, but then ended up buying a bunch of fabrics to fill in for colors that I was short on. I hurried to get it done in time, but then realized that I was going to be out of town that month that Sandy Bonsib was going to be there. So it was finished about a month later. It took a couple of months to assemble the top. It was finally complete in March or April of this year.


The pattern for this quilt can be found in Sandy Bonsib's Folk Art Quilts book. She calls her quilt, Color Me Bright. Hers was made to be a baby size quilt. The block name is "friendship block" or "album patch."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Counting my many blessings...

So I've been wanting to make a list of all the things I am thankful for. I don't know how hard or easy this will be, but here goes!

1. I've got a GREAT husband. I was just thinking today - our marriage started out great and keeps getting better!

2. I've got two healthy, smart and energetic kids who are pretty darn amazing. I'm thankful for a sweet, tender-hearted, brilliant little boy who is growing up to be (thankfully) just like his dad. He loves learning, highlighting scriptures and Family Home Evening. I'm also thankful for a spunky, beautiful little girl who keeps me laughing and on my toes! She's our little song-bird, a total girly girl and can't get enough "crafting."

3. I'm thankful to be a mom in general. I remember back before I had Blake, and it took me a few years to get pregnant. I wondered if I could even have kids. I yearned for that experience of childbirth. I'm so thankful that my prayers were answered and in time I was blessed with two AWESOME kids!

4. I'm thankful for two parents who taught me much. They taught me to put 100% into everything I do. They taught me about Jesus Christ. They taught me to serve and to love. They are great examples of working hard and never giving up.

5. I'm thankful for 4 siblings with whom I have great, loving, close relationships with.

6. I'm thankful I have hands to serve with and quilt with:)

7. I'm thankful for my spunky grandma and loving grandpa who I've come to know well in my adult years. They are wonderful examples of loving unconditionally, working hard, not complaining, staying healthy, serving always - the list could go on.

8. I'm thankful for a husband who takes me as I am. Never makes me feel bad about my faults. He helps me grow spiritually and he's the best darn dad there ever could be. He's completely selfless and I love him.

9. I'm thankful to have a nice home, in a nice neighborhood with friendly neighbors (everyone knows everyone). The mountains are in my front yard. It's a wonderful place to live.

10. I'm thankful to be an American. Thankful to have freedom to choose, freedom to express oneself. Thankful for the conveniences we have.

11. I'm thankful for the service men and women who help to protect our country.

12. Although I didn't vote for Obama, I am thankful that we have made great strides in our country and have elected the first Black President. I think that is a good thing.

13. I am grateful to be a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I'm thankful to have a living prophet to guide me in my life. I'm thankful for the freedom of religion I enjoy and for those who helped fight for that freedom.

14. I'm thankful for a Father in heaven who I know listens to my prayers and answers them in his own time and way.

15. I'm thankful for scriptures that help me to learn of my Savior and teach me the things I should do. I'm thankful for the peace I receive through prayer, reading scriptures and attending church. I'm thankful that I can make mistakes and that I can also be forgiven.

16. On the lighter side, I'm thankful for a refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer (to do several loads of laundry with per week), indoor plumbing, electricity, a garage, heater and a/c and cars.

17. I'm thankful to live in a place where I get to enjoy each season to it's fullest. Winter is definately Winter here - snow piled up to the mailbox's . Fall is full of crisp, cool days with reds, oranges and yellows all around. Spring is wonderful and Summer is so dang hot, it's pool time all season long.

18. I'm thankful for wonderful friends and examples in my life. I'm thankful to have found that once-in-a-lifetime kind of friend. She's practically a sister. You know that person? The one you have so much in common with, tell everything to, do everything together, would do anything for. It's a priceless gift to have found that kind of friend and it doesn't happen very often. I'm thankful that I know what that is and have felt that kind of friendship. It does something to your heart to have a friend like that. You know who you are:)

19. I'm thankful for digital cameras and scrapbooking.

20. Homemade bread, cookies, chocolate, rice krispie treats, etc., etc.

21. Fabric stores and my sewing machine (which is hands down the best material gift I've ever been given.)

22. I'm thankful for airplains and sometimes road trips.

23. I'm thankful for birth control and sometimes not.

24. I'm thankful for the good and the bad. Thankful to beable to make choices.

25. Thankful that I didn't stay at Ricks College and came to Provo and met Ryan.

It's all good and I'm thankful to have been pondering this topic for the last few days! So... What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Free quilt giveaway

A fun giveaway is happening on Camille Roskelley's "Simplify" blog. Just click here to leave a comment on her blog and you could be entered into the contest. If you win she will either let you choose one of her Thimble Blossom patterns and she will make a quilt for you, or, you can get the kit and make it yourself! Fun! You should check it out!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Utah - The best snow on earth!

I think that's what they say anyways. Well, I am not a skier, but I couldn't believe it when last week I woke up to this beautiful blanket of fresh white snow. It snowed almost all day. I have grown to love the snow since I moved from the wet Northwest to the dry state of Utah about 11 years ago. It is so festive and gets me in the mood for the holidays. Now, it wouldn't be Christmas without it!

Here are Blake and Maya before heading off to school that morning. Hey, didn't school get cancelled back in the day when we had this much snow? Oh, those "Snow Days" were some good times though...

Later that night - sledding! Well, it wasn't suppose to happen at night, but by the time I had a free minute to fulfill the promise I made to them to go, it was 5:30 p.m. Hence the moon. My kids were loving it. They were going down backwards and flying off jumps. I even tried to go off a jump too - but that wasn't a good experience. I was the biggest baby of us all. Complaining to myself about the cold and secretly wanting to go home. I was tempted to just wait for them in the car, but didn't want to miss out on the family time. Luckily the hill was just down the street from us, so making the quick outing was not too big of an ordeal. Then when we went back to the house, we finished off the night with a little hot cocoa and (for some reason) the kids pulled out twister and tried to play it with just themselves. Fun times!


I hope this gets you in the mood for Christmas. It's just around the corner you know!

Rumaki

I got this appetizer recipe from my friend Lisa Marriott. Carol: you asked for it, you got it! So here it is:

Rumaki
1 pkg. bacon
2 - 3 cans whole water chestnuts (cut large chestnuts in half)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 c. red chili sauce

Cut each strip of bacon into thirds. Wrap each water chestnut with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Mix together brown sugar, mayo & chili sauce; pour over bacon. Bake in a 9x13 pan at 350 for 30 minutes. Then drain most of the sauce off and bake for another 30 minutes. Yum!

Moda Fabric Matcher Contest

OK. I found out about this fun contest on my link to the awesome website for Fig Tree Quilts. It was a quilt design contest on moda.fabricmatcher.com. They do a new contest every month. Joanna Figeroa (who is the designer/owner of Fig Tree Quilts) was one of the judges for the October Contest. The rules were to use any of Moda's patterns along with any Fig Tree fabrics to design a quilt. So, I designed four. Moda said they were going to announce the winner during the first week of November. So I checked their website every day last week, wondering if I won. Assuming I didn't. But hoping I did. And - I did! One of the quilts I designed - won! I can't believe it!!! Sorry, but I just found out about 20 minutes ago, so I'm still really excited. You can go to moda.fabricmatcher.com/ShowTell/WINAQUILTKIT to check out all of the entries. If you're curious about my other designs then you can go to the public stash and click on adctd2qultng@gmail.com to see my other 3, then click on "my projects." I couldn't believe it when I saw my quilt on their website, but sure enough, I got an email from someone at Moda who said:
Joanna with Fig Tree has selected you to be our Grand Prize winner."My hands down #1 favorite: adctd2qulting2 [the pink circles].... I want to make this one!" - Joanna Figeroa

Needless to say, I am so excited. I get a bundle of fat quarters and a pack of patterns all designed by Fig Tree Quilts. Yay! Free quilting supplies! I never win anything. I can't believe it! Oh yeah, a new contest has started for November with a Christmas theme. The quilt design program is really fun to play around with, but can be a little addicting. You should try it!

T'was the Night Before Chirstmas Wall-hanging

I finished this wall-hanging right after Christmas 2007. I was so excited when it was finally all done. It took me about a year or two to get the embroidery work done prior to assembling the whole thing together, working just a little here and a little there. I believe my mother-in-law got the embroidery pattern from Mormon Handicraft (in SLC). I just had to borrow it and make something out of it for myself! No pattern for the borders, but I love those fabrics. Someone from the Quilting Cottage in American Fork, UT. quilted it for me. I can't wait for another month so I can finally hang it in my entryway.

Love this!

video

Texas Tech University Basketball game, Feb 9th. National Anthem sung by 5 young ladies, between the ages of 6 and 8. Wow - I had to post it. They're older now. The name of their group is called the Cactus Cuties. These girls are awesome.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Scarecrow Wallhanging

This was probably my most fun quilt to make. My mother-in-law took a class from a local quilt shop and this was the pattern. So I borrowed the pattern from her when she was all done and did the quilt on my own. It was such a blast. Every block was different, so I tried a bunch of blocks that I had never made before and playing with a new set of colors each time was great fun too. I loved doing the checkerboard border, the paper-pieced leaves, and the appliqued scarecrow and pumpkins, as well as all of the embroidery on them. American Quilting in Orem, Utah designed this quilt and did the machine quilting when I finished piecing the top. They used a swirl pattern that kind of reminds me of wind. I am finally enjoying this quilt as it came out from my quilt cabinet in my entryway (last month) and is now hanging up above my entry table. This was so much fun! I would do another one if I could!

Question for ya -

I've been wanting to find out some of your ideas for fun (free) activities that you do with your kids at home or around the neighborhood. Activities that are kind of silly, special treats that you do with your kids. For example, once in a while, me and my kids will have a "hot tub." We all get our bathing suits on and get the water in the bathtub pretty hot (like a hot tub) and just enjoy. Secretely, I mostly do this because I like the water "hot" and so we pretend that we're in a hot tub. My kids love to get their swimsuits on and like having mom in there with them. It's kind of a special treat. One other fun thing we did last night, was to go up on our landing at around 7:30 at night. We turned off all the lights in the house, got some pillows, blankets, stuffed animals (and the kids wanted us each to have our own glass of water for some reason:)) and a flashlight. We made a little bed on the floor and read books in the dark with a flashlight. It was fun and the kids loved it. So, do you have any more ideas? Please share! I feel like a good mom when I do these kinds of things with my kids so the more ideas the better!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Anniversary Quilt


I feel kind of embarrassed about posting this, but I am trying to make a history of all of my quilts. Soon all of these pictures will be in a category of their own and you wont have to look at them unless you're interested. So bare with me until I get new posts up and these get covered up. Also, I am no photographer so excuse the poor quality photos.
This was a quilt I made in honor of Ryan's and my 9th wedding anniversary. Nine hearts for nine years. The 9" heart block pattern is from Teri Christopherson's Heart Wreath Quilt. I used her block pattern and then added my own borders. It was a spontaneous decision to use the red floral fabric that I did. I ended up using it because I had enough leftover from the border on my Peppermint Fancy Quilt. Ryan was out of town one night and I wanted to start a new project. Thus the red floral heart blocks. Normally I would have done those scrappy, but I just did the backgrounds scrappy instead. The back is pieced using 5 & 1/2" squares of cream & tan scraps. The label information was embroidered right onto one of the squares on the back. This was a really fun quilt to make and got me thinking that small quilts are the way to go! Faster and cheaper!

Buttermilk Syrup

I had a birthday brunch at my house this morning with a bunch of neighbors and some of them were asking for this recipe, so here it is! This is a favorite in my family. Once you try it you won't ever go back to maple.

BUTTERMILK SYRUP

Bring to a boil:
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cube butter
2 cups sugar

Remove from heat and add 2 tsp. vanilla. Just before serving add 1/2 tsp. baking soda.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies


This is one of my new favorite cookie recipes. If you love chocolate and Andes mints - then you will love these! I didn't have a picture and in order to get my own that would mean that I would need to make them again and I am trying to be good!!! So - I found a picture of them on Becky Higgins' Blog. I hope that's o.k. that I stole her picture?!?

ANDES CHOCOLATE MINT COOKIES

3/4 cup butter
1 & 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. water
(1) 12 oz. bag chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 & 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 & 1/4 tsp. soda

Melt together butter, brown sugar and water in a medium size sauce pan. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Let stand 10 minutes to cool. Add remaining ingredients. Chill dough at least 1 hour. Roll into balls and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 9 minutes. Remove from oven and place 1/2 Andes mint on top of each cookie. Put back in oven for about 10 seconds. Swirl Andes mint on top of cookie with the back of a spoon. Yum!

Gingersnaps with Pumpkin Butter Sauce

My sister wanted this recipe, so I thought I would post it for anyone else who is interested. I got this recipe from friends, Keri & Misty. I love these cookies (and I don't usually like store bought gingersnaps,) but these are soft and wonderful and the pumpkin butter sauce is to die for. It doesn't actually even have butter in the sauce (it's cream cheese.) So if you decide to try it - enjoy! Sorry I don't have a picture.

GINGERSNAPS WITH PUMPKIN BUTTER SAUCE

Cream:
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses

Add:
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 & 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves

Refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll into walnut size balls and roll in sugar to coat. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes. Do not over cook.

Pumpkin Butter Sauce:
(1) 15 oz. can pumpkin pie filling
2 cups powdered sugar
(1) 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sugar

Blend all ingredients together.

Serve sauce in a bowl, next to the plate of cookies. To eat, spread on one side of cookie and enjoy.

Tammy's Brag Book

Today I got the pictures of my sister (Tammy's) brag book. I had so much fun making and personalizing it for her. It took me a long time to actually get the three done after I initially purchased the chipboard books, but once I got going I had a blast making them.