Saturday, November 28, 2009

Free Snowman Coasters


I had a lovely Thanksgiving! I was a little worried because my turkey burned a little and was done way too early. It was still very moist and delicious. An electric roaster seems to be the best way to cook a turkey. It steams the turkey and keeps it moist. I turned the temperature down to 200 degrees and that helped to hold it for a couple of hours until the rest of the dinner was ready and our company arrived!


The best thing I made this year were mashed sweet potatoes. It was so easy. I washed 4 large sweet potatoes, pricked them with a fork, and baked them on a foil line cookie sheet for 2 hours. I let them cool for about 15 minutes, sliced them open, and scooped out the pulp. I mashed them with butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. They were awesome!


I was too tired to hit the stores on Black Friday and didn't have enough patience to face the crowds. There were plenty of bargains to be found online at Amazon.com and JC Penny. I spent the morning resting up and helped put up the Christmas lights in the fternooon. They are beautiful! I'm decorating the rest of the house today and then will get back to crafting!


I am making some really cute snowman coasters. They are very easy to make and can be used for package decorations. Here is the pattern:


Snowman Coaster


Materials:
small amount of black and white acrylic yarn
Orange felt
G hook
F hook
White and orange thread
Needle and scissors

Head:


( Use g hook and white yarn)
Round 1: Chain 4; 11 dc in 4th ch from hook (first 3 chs skipped count as first dc); join with a sl st to 4th ch of beg ch 4. (12 dc. )
Round 2: Chain 3 (counts as first dc), dc in joining; * (2 dc) in next dc; rep from * around; join with a sl st to first dc: (24 dc.)
Round 3: Chain 3 (counts as first dc), dc in joining, dc in next dc; *(2dc in next dc, dc in next dc; rep from * around; join with a sl st to first dc. (36 dc.) Break off yarn and weave in ends.


Hat


(Use g hook and black yarn)
Row 1: Chain 14. Hdc in 3rd chain from hook and across.
Row 2: Slip stitch in first 3 Hdc. Chain 2 and hdc in same stitch and across leaving last two Hdc from row 1 unworked. Chain 2. Turn.
Row 3: Hdc across. Chain 2. Turn.
Row 4: Hdc across. Break off yarn and weave in ends. Sew to top of head using white thread.


Eyes:


(Use f hook and black yarn – make two.)
Chain 2. Make 6 sc in 1st chain. Break off yarn and weave in ends or pull to back, tie in a knot, and cut off ends. Arrange eyes on snowman’s head and sew with white thread.


Mouth:


(Use g hook and black yarn)
Chain 14. Arrange on snowman’s head and pull ends through to the back and weave in. Sew with white thread.


Nose:


Cut a long triangle from the orange felt, arrange on snowman’s head, and sew with orange thread.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have been so cranky this week. I can’t sleep more than 4-5 hours a night. I am irritable. I am having hot flashes. I am in a panic about preparing Thanksgiving Dinner. I was worried I wouldn’t get the turkey done on time. I was worried I wouldn’t have time to clean up the house. I was worried I would forget to buy something crucial to the meal like sweet potatoes or rolls. I am a nervous wreck.


I was complaining about all this to my husband last night (Thanksgiving Eve) and he had a different view. He said that one of his friends had just lost his 3 year old son to brain cancer. “What do you think their Thanksgiving is going to be like, two days after losing their child?” he asked me. That really made me stop and think. How sad! That poor family!


Needless to say, I got up this morning, after 4 hours of sleep and started our turkey. This time when I started to panic because the turkey was still a little frozen, I cut it short. I told my husband I was going to be pleasant and optimistic today. The turkey will have plenty of time to cook or we will eat it a little later!


I am so blessed. I have a healthy, happy family to spend the holidays with. I have a warm and comfortable home. I have plenty of good food to eat. No more complaining!


The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have – Woody Allen.


May God Bless You All! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkey Decorations


I have a large collection of turkeys in my house and I have been making a lot of turkeys this week. I have crocheted turkeys for potholders, coasters, fridgies, bibs, and appliques. I use the same basic pattern and just tweak it a little. The pattern came from Bev's Country Cottage (http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/turkey.html). I've sewn turkey baby bibs. I have made a couple of stuffed turkeys. I really like turkeys.


I think the stuffed turkeys are adorable. You can see a picture of the one I have sitting on my mantle in the upper right corner of this post. They are so simple and so inexpensive to make. You can make one in a couple of hours from felt, buttons, floss, and stuffing. You can download the pattern and instructions for free at (http://www.sewing.org/html/grand_gobbler.html). I have several for sale in my store and one is decorating my fireplace mantle.


Crochet Pattern Central.com has a lot of cute Thanksgiving patterns to crochet.
This month's Family Fun magazine has a lot of Thanksgiving crafts for kids or adults to make. They have some really cute things like Pilgrim napkin rings with your picture for the face, turkey luminarias, a turkey pinata, and all kinds of turkeys to craft. There are directions and patterns on line at (http://familyfun.go.com/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-craft-decorations/). Most kids like to contribute to family celebrations and this is a good way to do so.
Check out my Thanksgiving Crafts for sale at ( http://familyfun.go.com/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-craft-decorations/) for some cute and inexpensive decorations!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Amish Starter Chocolate Muffins




Amish Starter Bread Chocolate Muffins



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 heaping tbsp. cocoa
1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
1 cup applesauce
½ cup milk
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips



Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chocolate pudding and cocoa. Make a well in the center of this mixture. Add Amish friendship bread starter, applesauce, milk, eggs and vanilla extract; mix well. Fill muffins cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top of muffin.
3. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool.



(Can also be baked in two greased muffin pans for 60 minutes for delicious, moist bread.)




I found this recipe this morning from Allrecipes.com as I was loooking for a recipe for pumpkin bread using the Amish starter. I still haven't found a pumpkin bread recipe but I will probably experiment with it next week. I have also learned that you can freeze the starter bread mix if you can't find any friends who want it.




Here is the recipe for the Amish Friendship Bread that I posted last month:




Amish Friendship BreadStarter:


Ingredients


1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeasy


1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)


3 cups all-purpose flour, divided


3 cups white sugar, divided


3 cups milk




In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes. In a 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Leave loosely covered at room temperature.


Days 1-4: Stir.


Day5: Add 1 cup each: flour, sugar, milk.


Day 6: Stir.


Day 7-8 Do nothing.


Day 9: Stir.


Day 10: Add 1 cup each: flour, sugar, milk. Stir and separate into 4 cups and give 3 away.


The remaining cup can be used to make the bread recipe below or it can be refrigerated, frozen, or used to start the cycle again.




Ingredients:


2/3 cup oil


2 cups flour


1 cup sugar


3 eggs


2 tsp cinnamon


½ tsp. baking soda


¼ tsp satl


1 ½ tsp. baking powder




Grease and sugar (as if flouring) two bread pans. Pour batter evenly into pans. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Do not over bake. Add fruit or nuts if desired.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Jamaica Vacation


Jamaica was lovely! We had a wonderful time. The beach was beautiful and the weather warm and sunny every day. It wasn’t as hot as it usually is. The food was delicious and the entertainment was awesome! It is hard to have a bad time in Jamaica

.
I have to say it. Our resort wasn’t as nice as it usually is. We stayed at the RiU in Ocho Rios. It was our third visit. We were not able to get an upgrade and our room wasn’t as comfortable as the junior suite that we usually have. The bed was hard as a rock! What is the deal with these tiny flat pillows that hotels are using? I wish I could bring my pillows. There is just not enough room in my suitcase!


We had a lot of disappointments in the resort this trip. A good part of the resort was closed for remodeling which is probably why we couldn’t get an upgrade. The smell of paint and caulking was ever present and noxious. Our favorite Steak House restaurant closed after our second day of vacation. The air conditioning was broken in the Sports Bar. We encountered a few rude bartenders and front desk attendants. We both got sick a couple of days – not sure if it was the food or the drinks as we were careful about drinking and using bottled water.


Our flight home left at 9:30 PM on the last day so we requested a late checkout and were grudging given an extra hour. While we were getting ready to leave we had one rude phone call from the front desk telling us to get out of the room even though we still had 30 minutes left. Fifteen minutes later, a security guard knocked on the door wanting us to vacate the room. It was this last incident which has caused our decision to never return to the RiU at Ocho Rios and to seriously think about trying a different resort next year. We are planning to take our whole family next year so the RiU will be losing out!


We really enjoyed the Halloween Party at the RiU. There was a beach party followed with a costume party in the disco. There were some awesome costumes!


The night before we left for Jamaica, we went to a Bruce Springsteen concert in St. Louis. He was unbelievable! He rocked for 3 hours. We had such a good time! Bruce really interacts with his fans during his concerts!


We had a great time but are so happy to be home and back in our own big, soft, and comfy, bed!!!!