Category Archives: Cooking

Hello!

Hello from soggy northern Illinois!  How are you?  I hope your week is moving along nicely.  I am keeping busy with a few different projects.

Over the weekend I finished my cozy and snuggly Bobble Cowl.  The pattern is by Joji Locatelli and can be purchased on Ravelry.  It uses one skein on sock yarn.  I used Knit Picks Preciosa which I hand dyed.

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I added three extra pattern repeats to get my cowl as long as possible.  That tiny ball of yarn is all that’s remaining.  I used a scale to make it easier to predict how many more repeats I could add—I added three.  Still, I was wondering if I’d have enough to finish the last one.

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Previously, I’ve shown you the shoeboxes (2016 and 2017) I put together for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child program.  Last year, I stumbled upon this video of Eva whom I haven’t been able to forget.  She is 100 (now 101) and sews dresses for the little girls who receive her shoeboxes.  I think she is amazing!  Eva has inspired me to make some dresses of my own for my shoeboxes for 2018.

I found some patterns and measurements on Pinterest and set to work on Saturday to make my first dress.  It took awhile—I hadn’t sewn any human clothing since my daughter was quite small, but everything slowly came back to me.  I used to make practically all my own clothes, so I guess it’s like riding a bike.

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This dress was made with lots of love for the little girl who will wear it.  I hope she likes it and can find lots of little treasures to put in the pocket.

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This morning I made a pattern so that the future dresses I make can be cut out without measuring each one; that was quite time consuming.

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My Little Darlings, Lucy and Alice couldn’t let me write a blog post without saying hello.  They’re hanging out in the studio and having a fun day playing together.  Alice is waiting for me to finish her ensemble so she can put on her shoes and be ready for a proper photo shoot.

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This morning, I made some time for puppy cuddles and making granola.

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Right now I have a load of laundry in the washing machine and I’m going to slip out between the rain clouds for a walk.  I think I can do it; for now it’s 51° (11°)—springtime temps!

Enjoy your day, my friends! ❤

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Wet Outside, Cozy and Warm Inside

Since Sunday, here in northern Illinois, we are “enjoying” a different weather experience.  After a week of glorious sunshine and temps, it’s been quite cool and wet.  However, there is a silver lining.  It’s the perfect kind of weather to start up a fire in the fireplace, make some homemade soup, and craft with wool.

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On Sunday I made a pot of vegetable soup.  I used what I had on hand:  white beans, yellow split peas, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, zucchini, onions, garlic, and thyme.  It all went into my soup pot with vegetable bouillon, water, and some salt.  One and a half hours later we had yummy soup which will last us for a few days.

I topped my bowl of soup with plain whole milk Greek yogurt, my favorite “sour cream”, and parmesan cheese.  In case you’re wondering, it was very good. 🙂

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I started building my snow people yesterday evening.  I stuck with it, and ended up with a dozen of them!  I can’t wait to bring them all to life.

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My favorite place to work on days (or nights) like this is right in front of the fireplace.  The little table that my Mom had in her house is the perfect height for working.  I will also put my June Taylor Cushioned Quilter’s Square ‘n Blocker board on it when I am embroidering or hand sewing; it’s rigid and creates its own table top.

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Wherever you are, rain or shine, warm or cool, I hope your day has a silver lining too. ❤

By the way, does anyone know the name of the tall plant with variegated leaves in the photo below?  Thanks.

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Snowball Cookies

One of the first things I did Thursday morning was bake a batch of snowball cookies to include in my boxes of gifts that were traveling to faraway places (other states).  These are probably one of the two kinds of cookies that I make almost every year.  I grew up with these cookies, my mom made them at Christmas.  I have no idea where the recipe came from originally.

I thought that I would share this recipe with you.  I’ve added my own little additions and notes which I’ll include in the recipe too.

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Since typing this recipe (you can tell how old this recipe is… who types anymore?),  I have had to cut it in half.  My Kitchenaid mixer (it’s the basic, or smallest model) doesn’t handle the full recipe, so if you have a larger mixer you can double my recipe that I’m giving you, so it would then be the size that my mom always made in her Sunbeam mixer from the very early 60s.  When the flour is added, the dough is very dry (like Play-Doh) and then you still need to mix in the chocolate chips, so that is why you need a “roomy” bowl.

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Oops, an extra egg jumped in my photo; you only need one.

Snowball Cookies

2-1/8 cups sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 egg

1 cup chocolate chips

powdered sugar (for rolling the baked cookies in)

Instructions

-Sift together the flour and salt in a separate bowl, set aside.

-Blend butter and sugar until creamy, add vanilla and egg, mix well again.

-Add in flour mixture and mix just until incorporated, then add chocolate chips and mix again, don’t over mix after adding in flour and chocolate.

I use a 1-1/4″ scoop to measure out each cookie, then shape it with my hands.  I put the shaped cookies in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes, this keeps them from spreading too much in the oven.  Bake at 300º for 25 minutes.  After baking, let them cool for a bit (10-20 minutes).  While still warm, roll in powdered sugar.  This makes them look all snowy.  Make sure that they are COMPLETELY cool before packing them away (the powdered sugar needs to dry or will remain sticky).

I have also made these with a 1-5/8″ scoop and baked at 350º for 17-20 minutes, but I like the smaller cookies.  (I’m not sure why I lowered the temperature for the smaller cookies.  I have the Mrs. Field’s Cookie book and she uses 300º, so I am guessing that is why I did that.  All that really matters is that it works fine at 300º, feel free to do your own experimentation.)

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This is what the cookies look like before rolling around in the powdered sugar.  The cookies are much happier afterwards.  Ha ha.snowball cookies 388

Don’t forget to “test” a cookie afterwards.  You need to make sure that they are indeed delicious before gifting them to others or serving to your guests.  Mine were!snowball cookies 395

Hope you enjoy this week of anticipation before Christmas and that it is relaxing and memorable for you.  Thank you for reading!  Bye for now!