Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jack Dempsey Blocks

A couple of years of stitching on camping trips or on the way to the camping trip and I'm finally done with this one....well except for the binding.  It's one of the biggest quilts I've quilted on the long arm in a long time. The blocks were originally bright white.  Not my style!!  So I dipped them in coffee and sprinkled them with cinnamon and ironed the cinnamon into the wet blocks to get that "just pulled out of a Grandma's trunk" look.  First time I ever intentionally wanted to stain a quilt :)

The circle quilt on the wall is getting a bit old to look at......I refer to that one was the Lucy Ricardo Go Bloots quilt.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Miriam's Red Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip

(Previously known as Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip :))

1 8 oz. package cream cheese softened
1/2 cup Ranch salad dressing
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
2 9.75 oz. cans of Swanson Premium Chunk chicken breast in water (drained)
Assorted crackers or fresh veggies.

I made a couple of changes to the recipe after making the double batch.  NOTE:  I used an electric mixer to do everything.  Made putting together the double batch for the New Year's Eve party a lot easier.
Mix the cream cheese on high with the electric mixer.  If it's not perfectly smooth at this point, it doesn't matter.  Add the salad dressing,  Franks' Pepper Sauce and mozzarella cheese.  Mix with the mixer some more until it's an even consistancy.

Dump the drained chicken into a big bowl.  With the dirty mixer (no need to wash the mixer, it's all going to end up in the same bowl anyway.), shred the chicken  until it's an even consistancy and fairly small pieces of chicken. (Why didn't I think of this the first time I made it?)  Transfer the cheese and sauce mix into the big bowl and blend on high. You'll need to put the mixer on high because it's going to have a not so easy time mixing this thick mixture up.  But it sure beats stirring by hand.

Spritz an oven proof bowl with vegetable spray.  Pour the mixture into the bowl and stuff bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbly.  Stir before serving with crackers or fresh veggies.

I've used fat free ranch dressing and tastes great.  I didn't have enough Frank's Pepper Sauce when I doubled it, so I used regular pepper sauce.  Still wonderful.

Tangy Beef Brisket

Great for company or special occasions.  I originally found this recipe in "Taste of Home" magazine. 

1 large onion
1/2 cup butter or margarine
28 oz. of ketchup
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 T. chili powder
1/ 1/2 t.  hot pepper sauce
1 t. prepared horse radish
1 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 boneless beef brisket approx. 6 lbs.

 Hint:  Make the sauce the day ahead of your big party.

Saute onions in butter.
Add remaining 9 ingredients. Bring to a boil. 
Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for approx. 30 to 40 minutes. 
Place brisket in a roasting pan. Add 3 cups of the sauce.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for approxl. 4 hours basting occasionally.
Skim fat. Remove Brisket. Slice and return to a servng dish. 
Top with remaining sauce (heated) or serve remaining sauce on the side.

"Church Supper Potatoes"

I always double or triple this recipe.

3 lbs. russet potatoes (approx. 9 medium)
2 garlic cloves peeled (I use minced garlic from a jar).
2 packages of 3 oz. cream cheese softened
2 T. butter or margarine
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
1 t. garlic salt
1 t. onion salt
1 package 10 oz. frozen spinached chopped, thawed and dried

Boil potatoes until tender.
Drain.  Add a teaspoon or two of the minced garlic.
Mash with cream cheese and butter. Whip until somewhat fluffy. 
Add sour cream and only one cup of the cheddar cheese, garlic salt, onion salt and spinach. 
Stir until mixed.  Spread into a greased 2 quart baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. 
Top with remaining cheese and bake approx. 5 minutes longer until cheese is melted.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ginger Bread Castle

This was at our local bakery. They are donating it to the hospital.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Making the Jack Dempsey blocks look old

In a previous post, I took pictures of some Jack Dempsey embroidered floral blocks. Over the years I had made 32 of them. I am setting them on point. The problem is the blocks are bright and nothing in my house is bright white. So the other night I tossed all the blocks into the washing machine with hot water and started adding instant coffee. The instant coffee didn't make the blocks look old enough. So then I added cinnamon.  I started ironing the wet blocks and pretty much got the look I wanted.  The quilt top will be finished soon and pictures posted.  Here's what some of the "aged" blocks look like now. After the quilt is quilted, I may need to squirt it down with some more coffee and cinnamon :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Advice from a 1949 Singer Sewing Manual

Advice from a Singer Sewing Manual from 1949:

Prepare yourself mentally for sewing. Think about what you are going to do. . . never approach sewing with a sigh or lackadaisically. Good results are difficult when indifference predominates. Never try to sew with a sink full of dirty dishes or beds unmade. When there are urgent housekeeping chores, do these first so your mind is free to enjoy your sewing. . .When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible. Put on a clean dress. Keep a little bag full of French chalk near your sewing machine to dust your fingers at intervals. Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on . . .[If] you are constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband will come home and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing as you should. .

If this were true today, I'd never have time to thread a needle. 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mae West Quote

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.

-- Rebecca West, 1913

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Patrotic Christmas Decorations

Bought in the mid 1980s at the now defunct "El Toro Marine Corps Air Station". Something that just screams "Merry Christmas You Devil Dogs" :)

Made for Dec. 2001 Christmas Uncle Sam Santa. Made mostly out of felted wool.

Hand Appliqued Hand quilted.

Christmas Deadline

I could maybe get this one done....I have 21 days to do it :)

With 19 days left till Christmas, I've gotten this far in two days :) My version uses up several blue and silver snowflake prints.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Festive Cranberry-Pineapple Salad

                               Got this recipe from my friend Wendy in MI

1 can 20 oz. crushed pineapple, undrained
2 pkg. (of the 4 serving size) or 1 pkg. of the 8 serving size of Jell-o brand raspberry jello
1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce (16 oz.)
1 medium apple chopped
                              2/3 cup chopped walnuts
                             1 bag of frozen raspberries (thawed)

Drain pineapple reserving the liquid in a 1 qt. liquid measuring cup.
Remove 1 T. of the pineapple and reserve for the garnish.
Add enough cold water to the pineapple juice to measure 3 cups.
Pour into a large sauce pan.
Bring to  boil.
Remove from the heat.
Add carton(s) of Jell-o.
Stir for at least 2 minutes until the powder is completely dissolved. 
Add cranberry sauce and stir until the mixture thickens.
Pour into a large bowl.
Chill for at least 1 1/2 hours or until slightly thickened.
Stir in remaining pineapple, apple, bag of frozen raspberries and walnuts.
Stir gently.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.  Top with reserved pineapple. Turns out appearing a lot like the picture below.  

Oh Christmas Tree

Monday, November 30, 2009

Off White Christmas Stocking Finished

Modified Thimbleberries Bits and Pieces Stocking Pattern
Machine Pieced.
Laces and trims stitched by machine.
Beads done by hand.
Bias cut binding.

Back side of the stocking.