Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Saw this: and here:
Decided it was needed at my house. I copied the pattern and what directions I could find without having to buy the magazine or wherever all the info was. Some thoughts if I made this again are: carefully cut out the white part that everything will be fused to (imagine how I know this!!??); cut pieces that meet where candies meet longer than called for, then cut off as needed--makes it a lot easier than trying to cover gaps (again, how do I know this??!!); make sure you know which side of the paper covering your fusible is the correct side!!; pre-wash all fabrics and use a color catcher sheet when doing that and when washing finished project; you can make this one candy or a lot more if want, but if trying it again, I'd consider making each candy separately and use bias around the edges, then tack together; if wanting to do different reds as shown, think that through when cutting out--originally it was going to be all the more solid red but I wanted variety and didn't think it through, so it's a bit interesting; read the directions thoroughly!! I put the batting under the white background and added other material to quilt it as you're zigzagging each piece--the look is ok for me, but it does do that bunching up that is fun in quilts when you take the finished quilt out of the dryer; found it worked best to quilt the whole center candy first, then outer ones and liked the look best when I started at one outer edge of a swirl, sewed through center and onto the opposite swirl of the same color, then turned it around and sewed through on the other side of both swirls. Sorry there are no in progress pictures and that this all makes sense. Think it would be nice without batting, too.

Looked online for candles that might go with it--wow, some peppermint looking/smelling candles can be super expensive! Found some nice things at Pier One--peppermint cream I think is the line and I got votives and some tealights that will be cute sitting in centers of each candy. Not hard to do if you pay attention--not my strong suit, obviously! And they weren't hard, really and went pretty fast. Now, to just get my coffee table cleared off!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Whole Grain Bread and Rolls--Try It...You'll Love It!

hot baked rolls and loaf with butter on topThis is one of the best bread recipes I've ever used. My dough is a variation of Chef Brad's 10 grain bread here: My recipe started with 1 cup of multi grain cracked cereal, 1 cup of rolled oats and about 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds. Next was oil and sugar instead of xagave nectar. Could use honey, molasses, maple syrup, turbinado, or brown sugar. Someone I knew used to use ground up apples or applesauce in bread instead of oil or butter--do not know if it's equal amounts. Didn't have dough enhancer, but think that's mainly to help bread not be as dense--like it dense, personally. For flours I used a mixture of coarsely ground whole wheat flour, whole wheat flour and white flour. Forgot salt, but seldom use amount listed anyway. Used 2 T. yeast and it rose very quickly. Next time I'd probably just go with his suggestion to not worry about risings. At least for loavesbreaking off handful for a roll
Sorry for lousy picture but it shows how to grab a piece of dough then pinch off a handful.
handful of dough for a roll
Handful of dough almost ready to put on oiled sheet pan. I just roll them around in my hand for a bit to get a pretty smooth ball. You can work the dough around to the bottom to smooth it out if you wish--that's what I do with the loaves. Doesn't matter too much what the bottom looks like as it'll rise and smooth out, but you can work at making it smoother and sort of tuck everything in.
dough ready to shape into loaf
Bottom of large piece almost ready to shape into a loaf--needs a bit more smoothing
top side of dough before shaping
Smooth top, ready to shape into a loaf as wish. Could just leave round, put in a pan, or shape into oblong shape as shown below.
slashes on shaped loaf
Shaped loaf with slashes. The resulting loaf was spread out and flat since it rose a bit longer. He suggested just shaping and put into a pan, then right into the oven. I decided to let it rise. Happy with rolls, less happy with loaf, but it all tastes delicious. Made this last week and sprinkled dried oregano, thyme and parmesan on top--super wonderful in sandwiches, toasted or the toasted cheese sandwiches we did with thin slices of apple and a variety of cheeses--cheddar, havarti and on some blue cheese.
buttering hot roll top
Buttering tops. Find it easiest to use butter in the wrapper and uses less than if melt it and spread on tops. Try this recipe--even if all you've got available is rolled oats, it will be delicious!! My favorite flour is King Arthur : Ours came from Wenatchee Safeway. Bob's Red Mill 8 Grain Cereal came from Wenatchee Health Food Store, as did raw sunflower seeds and other flours not used in this batch. My friend swears by Fred Meyers for all sorts of grains, so would like to look there. Other things you could put in the bread would be granola--maybe crush it some or put in Cuisinart or blender a bit. Also, could add a bran cereal.

I have happy, happy memories of my maternal grandmother making the highest bread and rolls--swear they were 6 inches high!! She had a huge pan that fit a cazillion rolls or three large loaves. My 80+ year old auntie still makes about 8 loaves of bread a week, most of which she gives away. One of the first times my hubby came to visit me in my college apartment I was making bread--he was impressed!! :) And, the house sure smells good when you're baking it. So...again, try it!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Beautiful Bows How-To

sabra three bows
About 20 years ago, a friend in Germany, taught me to make beautiful bows from any ribbon. My favorites are those wired ones Costco sells, but really any ribbon will work. If using 2" ribbon, you need a piece about 80 inches long for eight nice loops plus two pieces about a foot long for extra tails. I just made 45 ribbons for a grandniece's reception and just let it roll out across the room so could cut it as they were made. My friend always used pipe cleaners, but never can seem to keep them on hand, so use that craft wire on a small paddle...not sure what gauge it is, but it works well...want one that's not going to break easily when you twist it. Here's a place with a video. Hers are a bit different, but basically shows you how to do it. I always twist each time I bring the ribbon back to my fingers and the two extra pieces are twisted before getting wired in. It's essential to twist if you're using ribbon that's printed on one side, or shiny only on one side. I also "fuss" a bit with each loop--twist and turn it a bit as it's getting fluffed so the bow is really full. For 2 inch ribbon each loop is about five inches, and there are usually four loops on either side. When I made them for my son's wedding, we used three inch ribbons, so made longer loops and more so they would be almost a ball shape. Also, use longer wire than she suggests--probably 8 inches for smaller bows and 10 or 12 for bigger so you can easily wire them to something else. I fold the wire into a hair pin shape then slip it over the bow in my hand and twist it a few times. You can curl up the wire if they're going to just sit on a table or in a bowl, but you have the wire if needed.sabra bow start of loop
Start of bow
sabra bow first loop
First loop
sabra bow several loops formed
Several loops made
sabra bow tailsabra bow ready to wire
Ready to wire
sabra bow wired not fluffed
Wired--you can barely see the wire there on my index finger. Asked someone to put my wire paddle away and they did--right where I said to, but old brainies can't remember where that is so don't know the gauge!!
sabra bow wired and fluffed