Friday, November 26, 2010

Free Shipping!

Just an FYI...from Black Friday thru Cyber Monday - free shipping at avocado! Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

More projects...

Not like I need any more projects, but Chelsea has been after me for a bit to try this one out. Coiled fabric bowls. Makes sense, as it uses up a bunch of fabric scraps that we have lying around. And we're all about the recycling (not to mention, I just can't throw away any fabric scraps...just in case, you know). So we picked up some cotton clothesline rope, cut up some of the fabric strips that were too large and started sewing. The most time consuming part is wrapping the fabric strips around the clothesline. Probably would be easier if you used longer strips but as we wanted to recycle our scraps we made do with what we had. And it really doesn't look bad - kind of cute in fact. I think some people will be getting these for Christmas this year. : )

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Brussels Sprouts?

So...just the very thought of 'brussels sprouts' kind of gives me the heebie jeebies - memories of having to try them in my childhood and the nasty taste involved. And here we were, with a bag of them from the farm with our last CSA pickup of the season. I do hate to waste anything and as I've gotten older I'm more willing to give stuff a try. As luck would have it, Chelsea got her latest issue of Cooking Light magazine in the mail and lo and behold - there was a recipe for brussels sprouts. Being that it included bacon, we figured it was worth a try - bacon makes everything good, right? And it WAS good - I actually had seconds. My mom would be so proud. : ) If you'd like to try it out - here's a link to the recipe: Brussels Sprouts Gratin Enjoy!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

and...Pumpkin Roll!

Keeping up with family recipes here - I'm posting this for my niece Andrea who wants to make her mom's pumpkin roll recipe. It's pretty yummy too. I can't decide whether I like this to go with Thanksgiving dinner more than pumpkin pie or not. Why not have both? :D

Pumpkin Roll

3/4 Cup sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 Cup sugar
2/3 Cup canned solid pack pumpkin
1 Cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 15x10x1 jelly roll pan. Line with wax paper. Grease and flour the wax paper. (0r be lazy and just use parchment paper and spray like I do)

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice onto a piece of wax paper. Beat eggs and sugar in large bowl until thick and fluffy; beat in pumpkin. Stir in sifted dry ingredients all at once. Pour into prepared pan - spread evenly with rubber spatula. Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until center springs back when touched lightly with fingertip. Loosen cake around edges with a knife. Invert onto clean damp towel dusted with sugar - peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake and towel. Place seam down on wire rack. Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Filling

Beat together 1 Cup 10x sugar, 1 80z package of cream cheese (softened), 6 Tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth.

Unroll cake, spread with cream cheese filling. Re-roll cake. Refrigerate.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Zucchini Bread!

As the weather is cooling off, baking seems like a good idea. And since there's still zucchini available locally I like to bake zucchini bread. Not to mention, grating up zucchini and freezing it for the winter baking. I've gone through a pile of recipes - none seemed quite right. I remembered a darker, richer tasting bread but none quite measured up. And then, after cleaning out some of Mom's old stuff in the kitchen I found it - my sister Theresa's zucchini bread recipe. THIS is the one! So I thought I'd share it so everyone can enjoy it : )
Zucchini Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees - Grate up enough zucchini to make 2 cups. Drain off excess water. In a large bowl beat:
3 eggs
1 Cup vegetable oil
1 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup unsulphured molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat until thick and foamy. Combine in a separate bowl:
2 Cups all purpose flour
1/2 Cup whole wheat flour (or use all reg. flour)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Add to egg mixture and stir just until blended. Gently stir in zucchini, 1 Cup raisins and 1 Cup chopped walnuts. Divide batter into 2 greased and floured 5"X9" loaf pans. *I used the 3 small pans above, plus 1 reg. loaf pan*

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (less for small loaf pans, approx. 35mins.) Cool in pans 10 minutes then remove to racks to cool completely.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1 Million Pillowcase Challenge

So...I came across this 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge page online last week...and thought, hey...what a good idea! I've got a ton of fabric here - I can use some of it and do something nice for someone else. (for info, click on the link above) There are all kinds of charities that collect pillowcases for donating to hospitals, shelters, etc. I found a local charity - ConKerr - that collects pillowcases for sick children. As soon as I get my collection done, I shall be mailing my pillowcases off to them. They do have a lot of participating stores and such that will collect them - you can check to see what's in your area. And the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge website is a wealth of information - patterns, videos and ideas. I like the 'burrito' method of sewing the pillowcases - easy peasy! And finishing them with a french seam leaves no raw edges and should enable them to hold up through lots of use and washing. I started out thinking I'd make a few pillowcases...then found more material that I thought was cute and cut out a couple more...and then I went to the fabric store and hey! really cute flannel was on sale so I had to buy a few more pillowcases worth. It's sort of addicting : ) So...if you can do basic sewing, that's all it takes...think about making some pillowcases to donate to a worthy cause!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

In the yard...

I will be the first to admit, I have a brown thumb. I bring plants in, they look at me...and they die. So whenever I have something growing that lasts more than a month, I'm thrilled. My fig tree is above and beyond the usual for me because I've had it for a couple years now. Let me give you some background first. My grandmother had a fig tree growing outside her back door. Not something you see a lot of in Central PA. The story, as far as I was told, was that she brought this cutting of a fig tree with her when she came over from Italy as a young woman - in the early 1900's. That may or may not be totally accurate, but that fig tree was there as long as anyone remembers (and must have had more than one location). My grandmother is long gone, but my aunt still owns the property where the fig tree is still going strong. Another aunt took some cuttings and started trees for some family members. I managed to keep this thing alive in a pot in the living room for a year, and last spring I planted it out in the yard. Wonder of didn't die. It even managed to survive over the winter and this year it is growing fantastic! And the best part of all - there are tiny figs on it!!! I don't know if anyone, anywhere has ever gotten so excited at seeing tiny figs begin to sprout. I can't wait for them to grow and ripen - there probably won't be a lot on it's first year of producing figs but we shall savor every one of them (and probably fight over them too).

Monday, April 5, 2010

Long time no blog...

Ok...I do officially suck at blogging. Trying to keep up with stuff, sewing, working on a gets crazy. So I'm trying to get back to it though. For your amusement today - my Easter dessert that I made. Wanted to try something new and different. A type of tiramisu, but with fruit flavors instead of coffee. Of course, the ingredients weren't going to be cheap. And it was a bit time consuming. Really, I CAN bake and cook fairly decent - but something just didn't come out quite right with this.It doesn't taste quite as bad as it looks - but it isn't great either. There were muttered comments in the kitchen saying that it looked like vomit...I sort of had to agree with them. Next Easter, I think I'm sticking to good old carrot cake - I make an awesome carrot cake, if I do say so myself : )