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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

These Hands....

These hands ain't the hands of a gentleman 
These hands are calloused and old 
These hands raised a family and these hands raised a home, Now these hands raised to praise the Lord. 

These hands won the heart of my loved one 
And with hers they were never never alone 
If these hands do their task then what more can one ask, For these fingers have worked to the bone. 

Now I'm tired and I'm old and I ain't got much gold 
Maybe things ain't been all that I planned 
But God above hear my plea when it's time to judge me 
Take a look at these hard working hands. 

Yes, I'm tired and I'm old and I ain't got much gold 
Maybe things ain't been all that I planned 
But God above hear my plea when it's time to judge me 
Take a look at these hard working hands. 

Jimmy Dean

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Quilt for Mrs. Salgy

This is the quilt I chose to make for Mrs. Salgy  it is from the Moda bake shop.  You can see the recipe here:
http://www.modabakeshop.com/2009/03/pinwheel-baby-quilt.html#more.  The picture above is from their site.  I will add a picture of the quilt I made soon.
I've added one more row of pinwheels to make it longer and have chose a pink, brown and green pallet for the color scheme.  She loves red most of all but also loves pink and purple so I think she will love this.  On the back panel I've places 15 hearts for all her helpers to sign.  I also decided to have it professionally quilted by Betty at http://www.shadywoodquilts.com/.  I had her do another quilt for me and she did a fantastic job.  I think this will make it more special.  I've already dropped it off with Betty so in the next few days it will be done and I will post a picture for you to see.  I was a bit concerned I would not get it finished in time for her to see it but I think I've made it!

This quilt is made of cloth and thread
To place upon your little bed.
It's not an heirloom-just to keep,
But to lay upon as you count sheep.
Or perhaps the floor's the perfect place
For a doll and teddy picnic space.
This quilt can be anything you can dream-
From superman's cape to the robe of a queen.
Pretend it's a raft adrift at sea,
Or just cuddle up when you watch TV.
So use it up and wear it out-
I promise I won't yell or pout.
Just tell me when its days are through,
And I'll make another, just for you.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Strawberry Mouse Cake




So I wanted to make the perfect cake for a dear friend. She loves strawberry cakes so I thought it's a perfect time to experiment....actually it's always a perfect time for me to experiment!
So I liked the idea of a Tres Leche cake because it is so scrumptious and moist and I love my Chocolate Mouse Cake with chocolate Ganache frosting, and I absolutely love that fluffy white frosting! So here is the recipe for what I came up with!

The Cake Ingredients

2 cups white sugar
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored
gelatin
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs (room temperature)
2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour (sift the flour before measuring.)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry puree made from
frozen sweetened strawberries
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup whipping cream


To make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
In a small bowl beat the egg whites only till soft peaks form and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Blend in vanilla and strawberry puree. Now fold in the egg whites from earlier.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in their pans over a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, before tapping out to cool completely.
Cut each cake into two pieces so you will now have 4 cakes. In a small bowl mix the sweetened condensed cream and the whipping cream together. Pour this mixture evenly over the 4 cakes and let sit till absorbed. set aside and make the mouse

For the Mouse:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 tblsp cold water
1/2 cup strawberry puree (freshly made)
1 cup sugar
3 cups heavy whipping cream
(microwave the strawberry puree till very hot)

In a small bowl, soften gelatin in 3 cold tablespoons water. Let stand for 2 minutes. Add the softened gelatin to the very hot strawberry puree and let disolve. set aside.
In a small bowl, combine sugar and cooled strawberry puree and stir to mix well.
In a medium bowl, beat cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add the strawberry mixture, beat until stiff peeks form. Cover and chill for 4 hours

Once your mouse is set put a generous portion of mouse onto of each of 3 cakes by placing one cake down on your cake plate and placing mouse on top spread it evenly on the cake then place another cake on top of the mouse and put mouse on top of this cake, do this one more time with the third cake making sure to spread the mouse evenly between each layer, do not put mouse on the top cake. Now place the cake in the freezer for about thirty minutes. You can move on to making the frosting now.

Frosting Ingredients

1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon strawberry extract


In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.
In a medium mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes. Frost the cake of your choice.
After the cake has been in the freezer for 30 minutes you can now frost it. Place cake in refrigerator till ready to serve or it will fall fall fall!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Heath Bar Cookies Recipe


Heath Bar Cookies Recipe

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped Heath Bar pieces (Eight 1.4 ounce bars)
1/2 cup chopped walnut

DIRECTIONS:
1 Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine Heath Bar pieces and chopped walnuts. Set aside.
2 Beat together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, and vanilla.
3 Alternatively mix in the Heath Bar mixture and the flour mixture, a third at a time, until well blended. Chill cookie dough for at least 30 minutes (better an hour).
4 Preheat oven to 350°F. On cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat, spoon out the cookie dough in small 1-inch diameter balls (size of a large marble). Place dough balls 3 inches away from each other on the cookie sheets. (Make sure there is plenty of room between the cookie balls, and that the cookie balls aren't too big. These cookies spread!)
 5 Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 6 dozen cookies.
I added 1 Hershey's candy bar grated to the flour and I used pistachios, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and Hazel nuts.  I also mixed all the nuts in the flour and crated candy bar instead of adding alternatively.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Creamy Chicken/Mushroom Penne Pasta by Janet Fox

I must say I am the worlds worst about writing down recipes I come up with.  There are so many great recipes that have been magically created in my kitchen and I always say "I need to write this one down" and I never do...well I'm going to write one down now.  It was so creamy and delicious, I'll make it again and take a picture soon!

Ingredients needed:

Chicken breast or tenders cut into 2 inch chunks
1 cup Mascarpone Cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
Penne Pasta cooked al dente
1/2 cup button mushrooms sliced
1/2 cup cream mushrooms sliced
1/2 cup Shiitake mushrooms sliced
3 shallots finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic chopped
1/4 cup prosciutto chopped in small little cubes
1/2 cup of a nice white wine, one that you would drink
1 cup of a good chicken broth
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Vegetable Oil
Butter

Directions
Get a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil and add about 2 tblsp salt.  Turn off heat for now you will turn it back on a little later.

In a 10 to 12 inch fry pan add 2 tblsp olive oil and 1 tblsp butter.  Saute shallots and garlic till soft but not browned. Place in a small bowl and set aside.
Add more olive oil and another tblsp butter to the same pan and add sliced mushrooms and prosciutto, cook till lightly browned.
While the mushrooms and prosciutto are browning get out a pan you would use to fry chicken in like a cast iron skillet and add about 1 cup of vegetable oil to it and set on high heat.
Meanwhile take the flour and put it in a plastic bag and put the cut up chicken in the bag with the flour a little at a time and shake the bag to coat the chicken.  Remove the pieces of coated chicken from the bag shaking off excess flour and place in the pan you have just prepared.  (Keep stirring your mushrooms and prosciutto, don't let them burn.)Make sure the oil is hot and not to overload the pan with too much chicken.  Cook a few pieces of chicken at a time and drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper while still fresh out of oil.  Once all the chicken is cooked set aside.
Now your mushrooms and prosciutto will be nice and browned,  add the shallots and garlic you sautéed earlier back to the pan with the mushrooms and prosciutto, and add the wine.  You will hear the wine sizzle this is good because the pan should be hot.  after about 2 minutes add the chicken broth.  Cook till reduced by half.
While you are reducing the sauce turn the burner on under the pan you prepared earlier for the penne pasta and get it boiling again.  Once the salted water is boiling add the penne pasta to the water and cook till al dente.
When the pasta has about 1 more minute to cook add the mascarpone cheese to the mushroom mixture pan and stir till all melted.  Salt and pepper the mushroom mixture to taste.
Drain the pasta and place in with the mushrooms and toss, you can add more chicken broth or pasta water to the pan if it needs it.  Add as much pasta as you want based on how creamy you want your dish.  Now add the chicken that you set aside and toss it around to coat well, and lastly add the parmesan cheese and toss some more....

Serve with some nice garlic bread (but not too much garlic) and the rest of the white wine you used in the dish....
Enjoy!