Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quilted Kitchen Mat

I found this idea while searching for a quilt pattern to make a new quilt for my bed. It wasn't much work and I really like how it turned out.

The hardest part was lining up the stripes. I figured out that a quilters foot for your sewing machine will pull through the top and the bottom materials at the same time. Whereas a regular foot only pulls the material from the bottom. Just a thought but it made my stripes line up really well.

Now, just to find that quilt pattern I was looking for. . .

Monday, October 25, 2010

Carmel Apples

Carmel Apples are Halloween to me. So I figured this was the perfect time to experiment. I wasn't very adventurous because I have nothing but chocolate in my house apparently, but I did the best I could with what I had. The caramel recipe is really easy and it tastes a like Werther's candies. They are delicious and best served cold! 

White Chocolate & Mini Chocolate Chips. . .

the same but in a different order. . .

My personal favorite, Oreos and White Chocolate. . .

Brent's Halloween apple. 
Semi-Sweet Chocolate & White Chocolate. . .

the same idea, a little more messy. . .

and the prettiest of all, 
White Chocolate and Semi-Sweet Chocolate. . .

Caramel Recipe

1 cup Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Light Corn Syrup
14 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk
dash of Salt

Mix ingredients in order over medium heat. Come to a rolling boil, stirring constantly, to soft ball stage (use a candy thermometer or test in a bowl of cold water – a drop of caramel in the cold water should roll into a soft ball in your fingers). Remove from heat. Dip the apples in the caramel once it has stopped boiling. If you are putting cookies or candy directly onto the caramel do so immediately because the caramel sets very quickly. If you are dipping in chocolate put apples in the fridge for about 30 minutes so the caramel will be cold and won't melt off the apple when it was dipped in the hot chocolate.

Recipe Source:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Creamy Ham & Potato Soup

I rarely make soups but with the weather changing and all of the pumpkin I have been baking with lately I was in the mood for a good soup. This one was so delicious. Its creamy, has the best flavor, and its really easy. I changed the recipe a little because it didn't seem like there were many vegetables in it. It turned out great. This is a must try.

Creamy Ham & Potato Soup

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced Potatoes 
2/3 cup diced Celery
1/3 cup finely chopped Onion
1 cup Carrot, diced 
1 can Corn
1 cup diced cooked Ham (buy a ham steak in the deli section)
3 1/4 Chicken Broth
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper, or to taste
5 Tbsp Butter
5 Tbsp Flour
2 cups Milk

Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, carrot, ham and chicken broth in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk so that lumps don't form and until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings 

Recipe Source:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Flower & Hair Bow Ribbon Holder

I could not figure out what to call this. All I know is it works and I love it. I got out one of Annie's bows on Sunday and it had been smashed flat from being stuffed in the drawer with all of the other flowers and bows and I wasn't able to get it to fluff back up. As silly as it sounds I was disappointed. I spent $7.50 on a bow and now it doesn't look as pretty. So I knew I had seen these before but I had ribbon so I thought I would give it a shot. I did this from what I think I remember seeing so its not perfect but its pretty cute. I hand sewed everything because I like the control more than trying to machine sew it.

I tied 2 separate bows and placed them on top of each other and sewed them together. . .

I layered my ribbon like this. . .

Then sewed the 3 ribbons together and sewed them to the bow. . .

 About every 6 inches down I sewed a little bit so the ribbon would all stay together. . .

Clip the bows through all three layers. . .

Super simple and now all of my bows wont go flat!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies II

These are not cakey like the other cookies I posted the other day. These are like regular soft chocolate chip cookies. They are delicious. I also made a frosting to go with these. The frosting on these has more of a carmely flavor. The cookies are good with it but also very delicious without.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Cream together:
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened

Then add:
1 cup pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Sift together dry ingredients then add to above wet mixture.
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
Add 1 cup milk chocolate chips.
The dough we be very wet still. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 12 minutes depending how large your cookies are. Cook on parchment paper or a silicone mat. Allow to cool then frost.

Brown Sugar Icing

3 T butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. milk
2 c. powdered sugar

In saucepan, heat butter and brown sugar over medium to med-high heat until bubbling and thick. Cool 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup milk. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Recipe Source:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I decided to brave the world of pumpkin treats. I haven't ever made anything with pumpkin in it. Unlike my fear of cooking with fresh apples, I was more confident in taking on the pumpkin. I have tried 2 different pumpkin cookie recipes. I am going to post both of them because they are very different and both good in their own ways. This particular recipe is the one I tried first. They are more cake like and they were very good. I also made frosting to go on them because they were so much like cake I figured I would try them with frosting and it was ok. The frosting itself was good, I just am not too sure about it on the cookies. So if nothing else I have a good cream cheese frosting recipe now.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup Canned Pumpkin
1/2 cup White Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 Egg
2 cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Vanilla
4 drops Red Food Coloring
2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Combine pumpkin, sugars, vegetable oil, vanilla, egg and food coloring. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Add chocolate chips.

Drop by the spoonful onto a lined cookie sheet. Bake at 365 degrees for 12 minutes. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled cookies.

Cookie Source(I changed the recipe a bit):
Frosting Source:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Carmel Apple Cheesecake Bars

I decided to make an apple dessert. It was an adventure I wasn't sure I was up for. I have never baked anything with fresh fruit in it. It may sound crazy but I was really nervous. In the end I had no reason to be because it turned out fantastic. It was like a delicious cream cheesey apple pie.

Carmel Apple Cheesecake Bars
*I didn't like how thick the crust was originally so I halved the recipe 

1 cup Flour
1/4 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, softened

Cheesecake Filling:
3 - 8 oz pkgs Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 Tbsp, divided
3 large Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 cup Caramel Topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.

In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Combine ingredients for Streusel topping and sprinkle evenly over cream cheese mixture. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Refrigerate several hours. Serve cold and enjoy!

Recipe Source:
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