Saturday, August 30, 2008
Combine in large bowl:
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. baking cocoa
Mix in 1 c. shortening with mixer or pastry blender till mixture resembles crumbs.
You can either put the whole mix in a large container or pre-measure into 2 c. portions. You'll have a small amt. leftover that I just divvy up amongst the containers. To label you can do it individually or just label Brownie Mix & have the Mix recipe in your recipe file.
To make Brownies:
Combine 2 c. mix with 2 eggs & 1 tsp. vanilla.Bake in a greased 8 x 8 pan at 350* for 20-25 minutes. Cool. Eat with friends!
The variations can be many-try adding peanut butter or raspberry or chocolate chips or any other that strikes your fancy.Make them with some instant coffee powder for a mocha brownie. Change the extract to mint or orange or almond.Add any kind of nut.Try with some cinnamon added. Frost with chocolate fudge or cream cheese frosting or none at all. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.Or make them straight.
Any way you make them they're good!! I've used this recipe for years-it's a keeper!!
This girl's got it in the bag!!! Isn't this cute?!! We worked on this together Thursday.Summer got a nap in while Em held Ariana & entertained me with playing all kinds of music. I worked on finishing the lining & handle.
Again, I need someone to show me how to rotate the photo's!! This is the other side,featuring a different pocket style.
A fun lining!
Cute Emily is modeling the bag & holding up the cute buttons she'll sew on, while also holding the really cute,cute baby!!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
And After.Yesterday was spent at Brenda's.She lives in a log home her husband built & we are, surprise,surprise organizing & updating it. I'm having a blast!! Hee,hee, you know how when you tackle a project you go through "it gets worse before it gets better"??!! Well, they let me leave at any point in the process-like when Dan & Summer call me home for dinner!! Really,Brenda, my mind can just spin with all the possibilities!! One little thing we did that had big impact was to change what's on the soffits.
Mom & Dad went back home yesterday,another great visit! Wish we all lived closer!
Beautiful Mom & baby-Ariana is wearing her very trendy brown & pink body suit ( a.k.a. "onesie's"in Babyland !) & her coordinating pink "yoga pants". Okay,they ARE just little knit baby pants, but she DOES stretch & pose alot while wearing them!!
She's got big, beautiful eyes,like her Mama's & an even bigger "soothie" !! Dr.'s appt for today-we'll find out how much she's grown!!
What's in the box???? Any guesses? It's a box of Sewer's Sanity!! Remember the 5-1o yr. quilt I'm working on, the nearly eternal Thimbleberries quilt?? Well,when you take that long to get something done,if you don't plan how to organize it,you can just about plan to lose your place,your pieces or your peace of mind... Thus sanity in a box!!! Everything in one place makes it easy. So, One box=One project= One sane woman
How to do it: First you need a box.I know mine is really,really cute but it would work with plain or ugly boxes as well or those see -through plastic zippered bags that sheets & towels come in (that I still use, also). My box has a window,so theroretically,I can glance inside & know just what's there.Labels would do the same job.See-through bags,welll....they ARE called "See-Through"because you uh,um,SEE through them-get it?!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Ariana & Grandpa-I think her "nap hair" looks naturally better don't you?!!!
I just finished the top for this Christmas Wall hanging/table topper-isn't it so colorful & cheery? This was one of the things I purchased on my quilt shop hop. The other blocks belong to another project I've been working on for years,from a Thimbleberries Club I was in. I, obviously, didn't finish it the year I was in the club....so, to make myself feel better, I tell myself it is a 5 year quilt project...Now, I'm thinking of up-ing it to 10 years!! I like to work on it,just not all the time!! I have sewing projects the same way some people read alot of books all at the same time. Right now, I have at least 5-6 things I'm working on simultaneously!! I'll post, soon, about some finished things & some works-in-progress!!
It was Summer's 27th birthday on Saturday & guess who's pictures I've got? That's right, a few here & there of the life I pretend to still have since baby's arrival,but mostly of this little package of adorable!!!
(Poor Ariana,I've got her standing on her head & have no idea how to turn her around!)
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Dan says "catching your breath was something you did after running....now, you need to catch it just going upstairs" !!!! Which reminds me of....have you taken your keyless entry for your car & pointed & clicked it at your house door?? How about stepping out of the shower,drying off & realizing you never soaped up??! Spritzing your hair with eyeglass cleaner??!! C'mon. Fess up.I can't be the only one!!!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Just a quick thought about making cakes,inspired by my blog friend at Freda's Hive.Sometimes people buy a cake mix because "it's quicker"....well,my friends, I'm going to show you that homemade can be made fast!!!
It's the simplest thing in the world-make your own mixes with pre-measured dry ingredients! Label with the page # the recipe can be found on, to add the liquid ingredients; bake temp. & time.Voila'!!There you have it-Fast & Good!!!Dan's fave pick-
2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Mix dry ingredients & store in airtight ziplock bag or container.And LABEL it !!!
When you're ready to make the cake,add this:
1/2 c. shortening (Can be 1/2 butter)
1 c. milk
Mix on low speed for 30 seconds,then,beat on high speed for 3 minutes.Pour into greased,floured pans.
Bake at 350* . 40-45 min.'s for 9 x 13 pan. 30 -35 min.'s for layers.Cool. I use a toothpick to check if they're done.Frost. Celebrate!!
There's another thing I notice about my baking,I have some sort of sense that smells when things are done!! I still rely on my timer because I can get easily distracted but my nose has become pretty accurate through the years!!!
"LESS IS MORE" The LESS"stuff" you have to push out of the way,clean,move,sort,store, the MORE space & time you have to enjoy life.It's true!! Shoving things aside,searching in cupboards,drawers &closets takes time.The old adage of a place for everything & everything in it's place(Thank-you,Mrs. Beeton!) is still excellent advice!
Let's take a look at organizing your baking center- Are all the things you need & use in one area? Or is the flour half way across the kitchen,the 3 opened bottles of vanilla in different places, spatula on the counter & beaters in a drawer?? When task related items are stored together it makes your work efficient & pleasurable. No hunt &search.No stale ingredients, because you know what you have with a glance.Maintenance becomes super easy.
Take a look at what you have-how many mixing bowls do you actually use at one time? 1? 2-3? Then why store & move out of your way 5 ? Know what you use & use what you have.Put your most frequently used items in the most convenient places.
I've been blessed with a "Home Comfort" baking cabinet that was my Great Grandmother's,then, my Grandmother's,who gave it to me, when Dan was building our house next door,& my Mom refinished it for me. It is one of the most treasured things I've been given! Most all of my baking things are stored in that one area,from ingredients to utensils, to baking dishes-it's all there. I do have space elsewhere designated to replacement ingredients.You know,like when sugar is on sale & you buy 2-3 because it's a great price,you have room to store it & you'll use it up before it can go bad. When you buy new,put it behind what's already in the cupboard & you'll never face the lurking bag of 3 yrs.old stuff that was opened & then,displaced to the back of a dark cupboard & now is only fit to be tossed out.
Being organized saves time,money & nerves!! It's a peaceful way of doing & living!! So, go through those cupboards-get rid of or pass on the things you don't use that are still usable .Toss out the things you don't & would never use,the broken mixer,the utensil that still"works"if you hold it a certain way.... You're wasting valuable space for something you never use,so toss it!! Don't pass on items that are no longer useful to someone else.Deep breath
IT IS OKAY TO THROW THINGS OUT.
Enjoy your day!! & I hope you'll make a little more space in your life with these organizing tips!!!
Monday, August 18, 2008
She also enjoyed another buggy ride to the neighbors!!
5o CANDLES???!!! I don't think so!!!!! How 'bout 1 BIG one instead?! I got those candy crunchy things you put on cakes-not bad.What I remember from childhood is a paper backed combination of glue & stale sugar that was really hard to eat...they've either improved things tremendously or my memory is really bad!!!