Wednesday, 30 October 2013

"Two Fat-Quarters" for all you seamstresses in our midst

My friend, Sis (who also happens to be the cool mom of one of my best friends), popped over today for tea and a few sewing tips.  She is an awesome seamstress and has been sewing and quilting for many years.  I am always amazed at the detail she puts into all her work.

The main reason for today's visit was to drop off a little present for my daughter, Rana, who also happens to be a fabulous quilter and sewer.  Sis had a little packet of fabric known as "Two Fat Quarters".  For those of you who are not familiar---a fat quarter is a piece of fabric that measures 22 inches square.  In this case, we are talking about two pieces of fabric.  It's the way it is presented that is so cute.  I took photos of Sis as she was explaining the process, so I can, in turn, explain it to Rana.  I think this will be pretty straightforward though......have a look-------

First, find the center of your fabric by folding it in half, then press in a seam to use as your center mark. 

 Next, fold one side of the fabric to the center mark...

Then fold back the other side of the fabric to the center....
Iron to keep it flat and neat....

 Keep folding over and ironing for crispness
 Fold until about 2 1/2 inches wide.....
 Now, pick up the other fat quarter and fold the two materials,
 accordion-style until you get to the ends.....

Then, tuck the ends into each other neatly

 Tie a ribbon or string on the "two fat quarters", to make a great little gift.......

Just makes you all want to run out and start sewing, doesn't it??!!??
                                                               Cheers :o)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Trick or Treat-- Caramel Apples

Well, it's that time of year again........Halloween!!!!!

I loved Halloween as a kid and when our daughter was young, it was so much fun to make special treats for all her friends and classmates that would come knocking.  These past few years, we don't see many little ghosts and goblins, but I still love to make one of my favorite treats....caramel apples.  Most of them get gobbled up by our adult friends these days.

Wash a bunch of small apples, dry them well and insert a popsicle/craft sticks into each one.  Unwrap caramels and put into a microwave-safe bowl. 

Melt the caramels in a microwave-safe bowl, then dip each apple in the melted caramels and then roll in  the broken bar mixture or crushed peanuts.  Place the apples on parchment paper until set..........

After they are set well,you can wrap each apple in plastic wrap and tie with ribbon or string to use as special treats.
There are tons of online tutorials, if you get the urge to make some.  I tried a small batch this morning and dipped them in crushed Crispy Crunch bars.  These are so delicious, try some for yourself!!


Sunday, 13 October 2013

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!!

Lots of friendship, food and fun all around this weekend to be thankful for.  Friends came over on Saturday and we just sat around the fireplace and had a few glasses of wine......

 Sharon made the most delicious brie and we baked it at our house when they arrived..........yummmy!!
She wrapped the brie and some pecans in a puff pastry, then drizzled it with Kahlua.  It was the best I've had........and we've tried many different brie recipes!
We also tried a new shooter recipe.  This one simply consisted of Butterscotch Ripple, Bailey's and a topping of whipped cream.

Then on Sunday, eleven of us were at Dave & Sharon's house for the Thanksgiving feast...........
Aren't these little centerpieces so nice.  You could change up the contents of the up-turned wineglass for any occasion.....

Dave and Matthew did a very impressive job carving the turkey....................................
 Ray, Sharon's dad, brought fresh potatoes and carrot from his own garden...
 Sharon's mom, Sis whipped the peas pudding to perfection.....
And of course, the crowning glory to any meal at Dave & Sharon's -------one of Sharon's fabulous desserts.  This one was a frozen cheesecake topped with slivered roasted almonds and toasted coconut, drizzled with caramel------need I say more??

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  I hope you had the good fortune to spend it with great friends like we did.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Chocolate Cream Cheese Muffins

I've been really lax about my blog lately---been too busy.  The fall weather has been extraordinary.  I've done loads of gardening, had weekend visitors and I'm now enjoying pet-sitting.  Rana and Mark were out on the weekend for some cod-fishing, so Bailey stayed out to go back to the city with me on Thursday.  Here's a snap of Bailey---we've been taking lots of nice long walks and she also takes lots of nice long naps!!  Ha ha.

 Today is rainy and dull, so it's perfect for baking..............................


 These muffins are awesome--here's the recipe........

Chocolate-Cream Cheese Muffins

8oz             cream cheese
1                 egg
1/3 cup       sugar
1 cup          chocolate chips
Beat first three ingredients together, then add chocolate chips and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together:
2 cups         flour                              1 cup          sugar
¼ cup         cocoa                              1 tsp           baking soda
½ tsp           salt                                1 cup          water
1/3 cup       oil                                  1tsp            vinegar
1 tsp           vanilla
Grease muffin tins and fill 1/3 up with muffin mixture, add tablespoons of cream cheese mixture, then fill with remaining muffin mix.  Bake muffins at 350* F for 20-25 minutes.