Saturday, October 20, 2012

Join Me Elsewhere
Since my time and thoughts are now much more involved with home-schooling than crafting, I've started a new blog called Cook, Teach, Grow.  I'll be posting recipes there instead of here, as well as children's book recommendations, the occasional curriculum review, children's craft ideas, etc.  I'm not deleting this blog, since a few years down the line I might have more time for my shop and this blog again.  But for now, if you want to keep reading my thoughts (and recipes), please join me there.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Perfect Peaches & Cream Pie

I got this recipe from a recent edition of Taste of Home and decided to make it for our Labor Day celebration.  We'd planned to picnic in our backyard, but it rained the night before and the ground was too soggy for comfort, so we ate inside instead.  I made the crust and filling the night before, and added the peaches and topping that morning.  My husband says it's the tastiest pie I've ever made!  I made a couple adjustments to the recipe that I'm planning to keep, so here's my version:

Perfect Peaches & Cream Pie


1 1/4 cup honey graham cracker crumbs (regular would be okay too)
1/4 cup sugar
6 Tbsp butter -- melted

4 oz cream cheese -- softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup frozen whipped topping -- thawed

1 pkg (3 oz) peach gelatin
1 pkg (3 oz) cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
1 1/4 cups water
2 cups sliced peeled fresh peaches (about 2) or canned sliced peaches


In a bowl, mix cracker crumbs and sugar.  Stir in the butter.  Press onto bottom and sides of an ungreased 9" pie plate.  Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes or until slightly brown.  Cool completely.

In a small bowl, blend cream cheese and confectioners' sugar.  Add whipped topping and mix.  Spread over crust with a rubber/silicon spatula.  Refrigerate until set.

In a small saucepan, combine gelatin and pudding mixes.  Stir in water and bring just to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.

Arrange peach slices over filling.  To get it to look like a flower the way I did, start at the edge, putting the slices down fat-side toward the edge.  Do a whole ring that way, then do a ring inside that, and a ring inside that, until you've filled the whole pie with a layer of peach slices.  Spoon gelatin mixture over the peaches.  Refrigerate for 4 hours or until chilled and set.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Patchwork Skirts! And a Tutorial!

I'm nearly done with the 9 (!) patchwork skirts I'm making for my daughters and nieces.  Whew!  Here's how my first one turned out:

And I've posted the tutorial on how to make these as a page here on my blog.  You can see it at the top of the blog, right under my header.  Or follow this link.

These skirts are lots of fun to make, and they're such a great way to use up extra fabric scraps.  They go with almost any top if you use a variety of colors like I did, or you could pick one color scheme (All greens?  Red, white, and blue?  Rainbow?) and go with that.

Gotta go!  Hope you're enjoying your summer as much as we are.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Violet's Snickers Surprises

I made these today at the request of one of my hubby's former co-workers, who is coming over for supper tomorrow.  I'd made these for one of their office potlucks back when they worked together, and she loved them so much, she asked if I would make them for her now.

I call them "Violet's" because I got this recipe from a friend, and that was her name.  We served on jury duty together years ago, and she brought these as a treat for all of us one day.  Violet, another juror, and I became good friends -- after jury duty ended, we would get together for supper every few months.  She died two years ago, and whenever I make these, I think of her.

Violet's Snickers Surprises


2 sticks of butter -- softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar -- packed down
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 pkg (13 oz) mini Snickers candy bars


Combine the butter, peanut butter, and sugars using a mixer on med. low until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla, mixing a bit between teach.  Combine thoroughly.  Mix in flour, salt, and baking soda.  Cover and chill dough for 2-3 hours.

Unwrap 48 mini Snickers.

Remove dough from fridge.  Divide into 2-Tbsp pieces and flatten.  Place a mini Snickers in center of each piece of dough.  Form dough into a ball around each mini candy bar.  Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 300 for 12-15 minutes.  Let cookies cool on cookie rack.  Makes 48 cookies.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Patchwork Skirt -- A Quick Peek

I'm nearly finished with my daughter's patchwork skirt!  Taking me forever, as my sewing machine is up in my bedroom, on the same floor as their rooms, so my best times to work on it (ie, when they're asleep) are kind of a no-go.  But I'm really close to finishing it, and then I'll be writing up a tutorial so you can make your own if you think they're nifty.  

Meanwhile, here are a couple of photos from the whole process.

Pile of scraps turned into skirt blocks

Three long strips of blocks sewn together

Putting it all together

Sunday, July 1, 2012

And Somehow, It's July

How is it July already?  Goodness gracious me, this summer is flying by.  Probably because I've been crazybusy.  The kids have been playing with squirt guns a lot in this hot weather, which leads to sopping wet and muddy clothing, which leads to extra laundry.  There are days when the only thing I accomplish besides getting meals on and off the table is laundry.

But I've been working on several projects too, as usual.  I finally decided that I could wait no longer to get my sewing machine out, so instead of finishing actually cleaning up my entire crafting nook, I just cleaned off the table.  Here's how it looks:

As soon as I got it set up, I sewed a ring sling for my sis-in-law -- I'd promised to do that almost three months ago, sigh.  Anyway, that pile of fabric at the very right of the photo is for my latest project:  patchwork skirts.  Another sis-in-law found one online she thought would be super cute for her daughter, and she shared the photo with me.  I said, "That is super cute -- I could do that!"  Except, being me, I've decided to just do it myself without buying a pattern, so we'll see how it turns out.  I'm about half done cutting squares, then there's just pinning and sewing and ironing and more pinning and more sewing and inserting elastic... let's hope I finish them by the end of the summer!  Our daughters are about the same age, and there are two more girl cousins that age too, so if I get really ambitious, I might make matching skirts for all four of them.  If they turn out well, I'll try to put up a tutorial here on how to make them.

I'm also working on a second dress for my pixie doll, but that's been derailed by me remembering I need to crochet a baby blanket for yet another sis-in-law, so I'm concentrating on that for right now and letting my other crochet patterns slide, as the baby is due next month.

What's everyone else up to?  Taking it easy?  That sounds like a good plan to me!

Friday, June 15, 2012

You Know You Want This

The This Cosy Life blog is giving away a copy of Naturally Fun Parties with Kids by Anni Daulter and Heather Fontenot.  Go here for a review of the book and to enter the giveaway.

(Photo snurched from This Cosy Life.  Copyright 2012 by Julie Hunter.)