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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Just Tweeting Around

I'm working on this again finally.  I'll get it finished later this week and post a picture with the boarders on an the top complete....I loved this design from Connecting Threads.  This is no longer available I'm sorry to say...but the pattern might still be.





Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Spinning Stars Quilt

This is my first attempt at the Karen Stone Spinning Stars patterns. I took her class back in March and have finally finished my first one.  My son has requested one of these and has already picked out the colors.











Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kaleidoscope Stars Quilt Finished


Workshop quilt finished
Class by:  Cynthia LeBlanc Regone
Kaleidoscope Stars

I hate using templates to make a quilt..I prefer the strip pieced techniques that some of the new quilts use.  I'm glad this one is done.  I didn't do a good job picking colors out so I'm not as pleased as I would be if someone else had picked out my colors for me.  For some reason I just don't have that inner eye to see what colors will look good together.  Well here it is, with the boarders on I'm more pleased with the combination but it is still lacking the expert eye.












Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lemon Meringue Pie

Crust:
1 Cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup + 1 tblsp salted real butter
3 tblsp ice cold water

Place the flour and butter in a food processor and pulse till looks like peas.  Add the water and continue pulsing till dough comes together a bit.  Pour into a plastic baggy and shape into a ball and flatten the ball.  Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Roll out dough into a circle 2 inches larger than your pie pan.  Place in pie pan and crimp edges as desired.  Prick the bottom and sides of the pie dough and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.  Place in your preheated oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, watching so that it doesn't burn.

Lemon Filling
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tblsp all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups water
4 egg yolks lightly beaten
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tblsp grated lemon peel
1 tbslp butter

Meringue
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

1. prepare and bake flaky pastry; cool completely before filling.
2. Make lemon filling:  In medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, flour, sugar and salt, mixing well.  Gradually add 2 cups water, stirring until smooth.
3. Over medium hear, bring to boiling, stirring occasionally;  boil for 1 minute.
4. Remove from heat.  Quickly stir some of the hot mixture into the egg yolks.  Return to hot mixture;  stirring quickly to blend and not to scramble the eggs.
5. Return to heat; cook over low heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Remove from heat.  Stir in lemon juice, lemon peel and butter.  Pour into cooled pie shell.

Make the Meringue
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
7. In medium bowl, with portable electric mixer at medium speed, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until frothy.
8. Gradually beat in sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition.  Then beat at high speed until stiff peaks form when beaters are slowly raised.
9. Spread meringue over lemon filling, carefully sealing to the edge of the crust and swirl the top decoratively.
10. Bake 7-9 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.  Let pie cool completely on wire rack 2 1/2 - 3 hours.  Serves 8
Refrigerate left overs









Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tragedy in Colorado Springs

I've been making weaving tools for at least 12 years now, I loose track of time these days. I have met so many wonderful weavers throughout the years, I get close to many of them and their stories. I even have a couple pen pals because of my love for this wonderful art form.

One of the ladies (Nance) that recently purchased a raddle from me and had come to know was part of the Colorado Springs fire disaster. She lost everything, even the cars that sit outside. She lost all her pictures, her entire life. She'd go to the rubble that was left behind looking for little pieces of her life that that fire may have spared. Billy Graham and some of his congregation came to give support and hope. The group went about looking for pieces of peoples lives they could find. They found one tiny piece of woven fabric that belonged to Nance, she was thrilled.

Needless to say she lost her loom, the thing that she went to daily for joy, she lost the raddle that I had made for her. Then a few days ago she tells me that someone was so kind and gave her another loom. She was so thrilled to say the least. I made a new raddle for her to replace the one she bought and the right size for her new loom. She doesn't know I've done this and I hope she loves it. I put on the raddle the words "With God all things are possible".

Let's all say a prayer for those people who have lost everything.

Here is the special hand painted raddle:




My New Janome 7700 QCP

This is my new Quilting machine. If you remember, I just purchased the Sapphire Viking Machine. Well after having to load it up and take it back into the shop for several different issues yesterday was the last straw. I exchanged it for this beauty. I am hoping that this one will make me a happy camper. I've heard nothing but good things so we'll see.
I miss the pressure foot auto lifting when your done sewing but the knee lift is very nice. It also came with an acrylic table extender and that is fantastic! It is more pricey I certainly hope it's worth it.

Here is my boy:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Graham Cracker Brownies

Adapted from Lilyshop

Ingredients

For the Graham Cracker Mix
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Brownie Mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Frosting
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For the Chocolate Coating
1 cup chopped (about 12 ounces) milk chocolate or Hershey's chocolate bars
1 1/2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil


Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line (1) 12 slot muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.

2. Prepare the graham cracker crust as follows: Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well blended. Press mixture into cupcake liners. About a 1/2" of pressed crumbs per cupcake liner.

3. Next prepare the brownie batter as follows: In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt and gradually stir into the egg mixture until well blended.

4. Pour brownie batter on top of graham cracker crust. Batter should be fill slightly over 3/4 of the cupcake liner. Bake graham cracker brownies for about 25-30 minutes. They should still be slightly gooey for best results. The middle will collapse as they cool.

5. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool then remove from cupcake sheet and place all of them on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator until completely chilled.

6. Prepare the frosting as follows: In a large heatproof bowl, combine sugar, 1/4 cup water, egg whites, and cream of tartar. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat on high speed until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and almond extracts, and beat for 2 minutes more until frosting completely thickens. This frosting taste a bit like marshmallow cream...

7. Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain pastry tip. Pipe a generous-sized spiral of frosting on top of each cupcake. Then return all cupcakes to the refrigerator while preparing the chocolate coating.

8. Prepare the chocolate: Combine chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Transfer to a small but deep bowl, and let cool about 15 minutes.

9. Now it's time to dip the cupcakes! Hold each cupcake by the wrapper and dip cupcake in the chocolate to completely coat the frosting. Allow any excess to drip off and transfer to a baking sheet again and refrigerate until set. About 2 hours. Enjoy!