Friday, December 30, 2011

Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti

This pasta dish from America's Test Kitchen was quick, easy, and tasted wonderful! You should definitely try it. It doesn't look like much in the picture, but it was fantastic. We followed the directions to get the nice creamy sauce that's intended, so make sure to get the right ingredients. Oh, we did use our regular H.T. Traders (Harris Teeter) brand whole wheat pasta since it is safe for egg allergies, and that didn't affect the recipe from what we could tell. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Vegetable Barley Soup

We had Vegetable Barley Soup this week. This looks like the type of recipe I'd love and others in my house would tolerate. For some reason it is nearly the opposite. This is my second time making it, and I get remarks that it's flavorful and done well, but when I sit down to eat it, I'm dreading it. I can't even say what I don't like other than that maybe it isn't exciting? I even tried using chicken broth this time instead of just water, but I'm still not interested in it. I do wish as I were putting all the ingredients in the slow cooker that it would have more colors. It's a lot of white and beige with the particular veggies that go into it. So sadly I can't say this is great but I also can't say why. It does have decent flavor and the veggies are tender yet with a little crunch. If you end up trying it, let me know what you think.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sausage and Tomato Baked Pasta

I'm surprised I've never posted this baked pasta recipe considering how many times we've made it. It's a great meal for when it's time to go shopping and you're just left with pantry items (we almost always use dried basil for this reason). Also, it's great for adding in extra leftover veggies (chopped mushrooms, shredded carrots, etc.). Finally, this meal can easily be frozen, which I do after assembling and before baking. Normally I'll double the recipe and freeze half for another night when we have less time.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cornbread and Jim's Famous Chili

Last night we had a recipe that's been in the family for years. We made a chili recipe that was originally found on the back of a Premium Saltine Crackers box. I made it in the morning and stuck it in the slow cooker on low all day, but that isn't necessary. I served the chili with an egg free and delicious cornbread (I used regular skim milk instead of soy milk). Thanks to a friend for finding the cornbread recipe, trying it out, and passing it along to me.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Another dinner from this week was Chicken Tortilla Soup. I used leftover rotisserie chicken this time though I have made it the way the directions say. Also, I used my frozen homemade chicken broth, frozen corn, and cooked fresh beans. At the end, we each added tortilla chips as we ate since we like them to be crunchy. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cheesy Shells and Greens

Last night's dinner was Cheesy Shells and Greens which was enjoyed by the whole family. It's a pretty quick meal other than taking stems off the spinach, but overall it's simple and well received. I've made it before but this time added in chopped leftover chicken since I had it. Also, I left out the mustard because of allergies. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sausage, Spinach, and Feta Hand Pies

I love this recipe for Sausage and Feta Hand Pies. We haven't made it in a awhile, and today's cooking extravaganza explained why. It took me a long time to do this by myself, and I mean a long time, really. Also, I made double (which meant double the chopping) and froze one set for when we don't have time to cook and want a good meal. As I kept on cooking, the little boy came to help, played with play dough, had lunch, played trains, read books, and then probably repeated each at least once. Here's what the bookshelf looked like when I finally finished.

My modifications on the recipe:

  • The pie crust was made with white whole wheat flour. I'm still waiting for someone to burst our bubble from finding this type of flour. We enjoy the flavor more than standard whole wheat but are supposedly getting the same nutrition. Anyone know something we don't?
  • A bunch of spinach was added to the filling just before adding the tomatoes to get even more good stuff into the pies.
  • The assembled pies were brushed with olive oil instead of egg for allergy reasons. The fennel seeds were left off for the same reason.

This isn't the healthiest recipe considering the quantity of butter in the pie crust and the Italian sausage, but the whole wheat and spinach additions at least try to get it a little bit back on track.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Slow Cooker Lasagna

I've been battling with my slow cooker lately. It doesn't really like to cook...slowly... In one instance, I tried making a soup and put in a pork shoulder and black beans to cook on low for 8 hours. When I checked the meat after 3 hours, it was already tough. There has been repeated disappointment, and I keep hearing from so many people how much they love their slow cookers. I want to know this love. It is so much easier to prep dinner in the morning and set it out to cook when the little boy is still happy and chipper, instead of waiting until evening and hoping he'll be in a good enough mood to either help me or play on his own.

I kept thinking that I just didn't know how to work the slow cooker (and maybe that is part of the problem). But my mom loaned me hers for a short time, and it's amazing how many great meals I've gotten out of it already. Not a single failure yet, and I even cooked a pasta dish, which I previously thought would be impossible. Day 1 of testing out the slow cooker, I threw together this Lasagna and added chopped mushrooms and carrots to give it some more veggies. I also used a homemade marinara sauce I had in the freezer, and it was delicious.

I wish I had taken a picture of it, but here's a picture of toddler cooking when you turn your back for a moment (do not fear, the stove is not on).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sun Ray Toy

I celebrated a friend's soon-to-be daughter on Saturday and had been struggling on what to make her for her shower gift. I was looking for another fun item to add to what I already had, including some decorated burp clothes. I'm glad I kept waiting for inspiration, since on the Wednesday before, I saw a blog post on Made by Joel for a baby sun ray toy and was ready to dig through my fabric to make it. I couldn't help but make another for our next baby. Here's the silly little toy that I hope our babies will enjoy exploring and chewing on very soon.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Birthday Bag

As we were waiting for the hurricane to hit in August, I sat down at the sewing machine and made two bags from one of my grandmother's old table clothes. The first was a birthday present for my mom, and the second was for me. Most of my sewing projects end up leaving the house, but I am happy I took the time before losing power to make a second bag. I've been using it for everything and love that it reminds me of my mom and grandmother each time. The pattern came from Amanda Soule's "Handmade Home." So far every idea or pattern that I've gotten from that book has brought joy to me or a family member.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In Flight Entertainment

In August our family took a flight to Florida. Since the little boy is on the go all the time, I knew I should plan ahead with some in flight entertainment, toddler style, for the multiple hour flight. I've had a couple friends ask me for tips on keeping little ones entertained, so here are my ideas, but I'm sure there are plenty more things I haven't thought of.

Before flying, I try to let him walk around the terminal as much as possible to get some energy out. Also, depending on how you feel, you could board later on in the process to minimize sitting time. There's plenty to look at with all the planes, people, and luggage carts outside the window, so in-airport entertainment is easy.

When you get on the plane, make sure everything you need is within arm's reach. Keep your entertainment, food, and diapers under the seat in front of you so you can grab them easily. (Of course, make sure diapers are clean and dry to help keep a happy kid.) First off, I try to find entertaining things around us before pulling from my bag of tricks. There's a lot to look at just watching passengers board the plane and flight attendants get ready for departure. I've also found that the magazines they leave in your seat have quite a few dogs, airplanes, and other interesting things to search for throughout their pages. But a lot of our early entertainment is just talking about what's happening around us or out the window and answering the many questions that the little boy has about the unfamiliar environment.

I try to take advantage of walking the aisle when given the chance, since you aren't able to do that all the time. Also, a good game of peek-a-boo with an extra jacket or the magazine from your seat is great for getting a happy kid and wasting some time. As for the things I pack, here are some of the things I took along this time around.

  • I printed off some of these coloring pages from Made by Joel and some of these coloring pages from based on what I thought would be most entertaining. I stapled them together into a book and punched a hole in the upper left corner. Then I used yarn to tie on a red, a yellow, and a blue crayon to prevent little hands from tossing them all over the plane when he lost interest.
  • Since balls are a favorite toy, I made a pair of these yo-yo balls since they'd be better for keeping under control. I kept building up this pile of scrap fabric when working on projects and finally found a use for it when I made the yo-yo balls. It was a great stuffing for filling them up.
  • These fabric nesting dolls caught my attention as something that could be entertaining in flight. I made the largest one a rocket ship since that's been a recent interest. The little boy found additional uses for this toy such as placing the rocket ship on the arm rest of the seat and making it blast off with sound effects.
  • I made several sewing cards. I quickly sketched out items of interest and then had the little boy color them so he could participate. There was a rocket, Curious George, and an apple tree. After he finished coloring, I glued the picture onto cardboard. I trimmed it and punched holes around the edges. Then I tied yarn to one hole (with the other end secured with tape so it wouldn't fray) so it would be ready for sewing around the card. You could also use an old shoelace.
  • I made a little older version of these fleece play squares. I cut various shapes and sizes from different colored fleece and a larger white piece to be used as a canvas.
  • Last but not least, there's the food entertainment. I try to have a variety of easy to eat snacks ready to go - raisins, other dried fruit, fruit chips, crackers, chopped veggies, a banana, cheese cubes. Sometimes I use juice as a treat since we don't drink it normally. You can also ask for a cup and straw on the plane if you didn't bring your own.

My goal was to keep everything small and light weight. Even though I had several toys to grab when needed, they all fit into a small bag or could have been stuffed into the diaper bag. These toys have also become ones that I grab as I'm running out the door for a car trip or weekend away when I want quick toys to take with me.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cooking Fun

We have a new piece of furniture in our kitchen. Luckily there's enough room to move around it, but I was a little nervous at first to commit to adding such a big thing to an area of the house that gets a lot of use and traffic. The little boy received a Learning Tower for his birthday, and he was excited about it from the moment he laid his eyes on it. Now he likes to hang out in his tower as I cook, helping sometimes, or just snacking or hiding next to me. He can see so well, participate safely, and generally seems to love it so far. Even washing hands has become a lot easier! Here he is enjoying his new tower.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Train Bean Bag Toss

The little boy had a small birthday party last weekend, and it was a train theme since he either wants to play baseball or play trains nearly every waking moment. I've been meaning to make him a bean bag game for some time since he enjoyed it at a Halloween party last year. We had a rainy day the week before the party, so we set out to work. Here's the toddler friendly train game (no scoring involved!). We even saw the little guys working together, as one would stand in the back and hand the bean bags back through the holes as they were tossed in.

I sketched the train onto the back of an old car seat box using Crews' "Freight Train" as a reference. Then the little boy helped me fill it in with construction paper. After tracing the edges and cutting a couple holes, it was ready to go. To complete the fun, I made several bean bags (some scrap fabric and dried beans for the inside) with stripes like a train engineer's hat.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wedding Placemats

I finally finished a much belated wedding gift for my friends in Boston (and that's an understatement - they've been married nearly a year and a half). Here are their recently delivered wedding placemats. Though I've been working on them since about the time my friends got married, this project should probably have taken only a couple weeks to complete, maybe a month, for the embroidery and assembly of all four. Nonetheless, better late than never! The delay just gave me more time to think about my friends as I designed and stitched them together.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Another Baby, Another Bunny

My cousin's baby girl was born earlier this month which called for a new bunny. Here's take two of a project I posted about earlier in the summer. I'm happy that my supply of worn in jeans continues so that these friends are soft and ready for snuggling. Also, I had help from some little hands this time around which made it more special.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Children's Apron

My little boy turns two next week, which calls for a special gift. He's been a big help in the kitchen lately, so I know he'll get excited to have his own apron. Usually I wait until after giving a gift to post it, but since he's not yet reading blogs, I decided it would be safe to share pictures of the apron fresh from the sewing table. After searching the internet, I found a children's apron pattern at Sew Liberated that comes with high reviews. Hopefully everyone else's trial and error will result in a great apron the first time around.

This apron only took a little over an evening to complete. I was excited to pull out some fabric I bought years ago for...something...and now I have a something to use it for. I'm looking forward to watching the little boy throw the apron over his head and set out to work next week (maybe in time to help make the cake for his party), but for now it's still pretty cute hanging on its own.

Here's a picture of the little boy's current cooking attire. He's standing proudly by a tester cake we made to see if I knew how to use the train pan before the main event. The picture was snapped just before his little hands reached up and grabbed the smoke stack to see if it tasted any good. Luckily he approved and now likes to request "happy birthday cake" at various times throughout the day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Italian Pasta and Bean Soup

I'm not sure what happened, but I've been picking winners lately. The recipes we've been trying have been really good. Maybe we were just extra hungry the past month. Even John's been telling me they're some of the best things I've made. Some are impromptu, some are from a recipe. Last night we had Italian Pasta and Bean Soup. It was delicious. Too bad the little boy wasn't as up for it. The only change I'd make to how we did the recipe this time is to use homemade chicken broth, but this time I did cook the beans fresh rather than use them from a can. Also, I chopped the spinach before throwing it in the soup to make it a little more appealing for the baby (didn't work, I guess), and I used a no egg pasta which limits my selection more than most people (threw it in cooked at the end so it wouldn't get soggy).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Homemade Popcorn

I've been meaning to try this for awhile. Tonight I was in the mood for a slightly salty snack, but I was trying to keep it on the healthy side. I grabbed a brown lunch bag, put 1/4 C of popcorn kernels in it, folded it up, and put it in the microwave. Less than 2 minutes later, I had a nice warm bag of fresh popcorn (listen for the pops to be a couple seconds apart just like with the commercial bags). The best part is, you can add whatever toppings you like - plain, salty, sweet, spicy. Spray the popcorn lightly with cooking spray or a mist of cooking oil, then sprinkle with your favorite herbs, salt, sugar, whatever you like. Tonight I had a little bit of salt and cinnamon. I look forward to sharing this trick with the little boy.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

These Oreo Cheesecake Cookies from Brown Eyed Baker are delicious! They melt in your mouth, and the original recipe is egg-free. A delicious recipe is even better when I don't have to make modifications on my own. I did double the recipe since it says it makes 1 dozen, only to end up with 3 dozen cookies, so I'd say the recipe makes about 18 cookies. The little boy enjoyed pretending to roll the dough in the cookie crumbs but mostly just ate the crumbs. We had fun making them and had a huge mess at the end. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Still excited about gdiapers after 20 months!

Today I ordered a case of gdiapers biodegradable refills. I looked back at my last order, and it was December 27th! When I switched over to gcloth on a trial basis, I never thought we'd last 6 months on one case of the disposable gdiapers (and they aren't even all used yet). The disposables are saved for when we don't time laundry well and run out of cloth (or are being lazy), when we're on the road, or sometimes for the heavy wetting times of day. What's amazing about gdiapers is the ease of switching between cloth and disposable all in one system. I can't say how much we've loved gdiapers the last year, and they even have wonderful customer service. Extra bonus!

For cost comparison, we used to go through a case a month. That's $175 (cheapest I can find, usually would cost about $260) in savings, minus our initial investment of about $60 for gcloth (that was on the low side since I used credits from all the other diapers I bought and got some for free). Of course I'm not factoring in extra water usage, but none of these diapers go to the landfill, so that's additional savings. And even more, we rarely deal with diaper rash issues. Happy baby means happy me.

Some things that have made cloth diapering easier include a couple wet bags to keep in the diaper bag and bathroom and our homemade diaper sprayer. I am thankful for a cloth diapering friend who pointed out both these tips. I'm sure there are other great ideas out there. We're still learning but love how well cloth diapering has gone so far.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

First Harvest

The little boy reminded me a couple days ago when it was time to water the garden. When we went in the backyard, we found these. Yum! Looking forward to more soon.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bunny Friend

I loved this little guy from the moment he crawled out of his shell. I had to wrap him up quickly so that neither the little boy nor I would decide to keep him. He was even given a place of honor amongst the toys after a hug and a kiss. I used this pattern and especially enjoyed using a recycled pair of jeans so my bunny friend would be soft and ready for a baby's arms as soon as he was complete.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Growing Beans

We've been experimenting in the garden again this year. The little boy helped plant beans and other things and likes to look and see how they're doing. The beans and flower mix seem to be doing the best of all. Water is not a cause for lack of growth since we've had more than enough of that. I still wish a little more sun would peak through in the backyard plot. We'll see how the herbs and other seeds we've planted in pots along the driveway turn out. That may be where we have our garden from now on.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chai Tea

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting Regina and Sudheer for dinner. Our church partners with them in their ministry in India. After dinner, they offered to make the group chai tea, and of course we accepted! Here's the recipe for a group of eight (one serving each).

Regina and Sudheer's Chai Tea

4 mugs of water
4 mugs of milk (whole milk preferred)
8 tea bags (caffeinated tea preferred)
8+ TBSP sugar
about 3/4 TBSP finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp of cinnamon


  1. Add milk, water, tea bags, sugar, ginger, and cinnamon to pot.
  2. Bring to a rolling boil, and boil for several minutes.
  3. Taste, and add additional sugar if desired.
  4. When you like how it tastes, turn the heat off. Remove the tea bags, and strain the liquid to remove the ginger solids.
  5. Pour, serve, and enjoy!

Yield: about 8 servings

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chicken Fajitas

Last week we enjoyed these chicken fajitas, and especially loved the homemade guacamole. I've had a hard time getting a good avocado in the past, but this time it was perfectly ripe. I do laugh when I read the directions and it says preparation time takes 20 minutes. I suppose I could buy pre-cut onion, peppers, tomatoes, chicken, and crushed garlic, but I try to make dinner inexpensively. So, it took me a bit longer to get the ingredients list prepped, and then perhaps it was 20 minutes to cook but definitely not 20 minutes total. This recipe got top ratings from my critics, so it will be returning to our menu.

Chicken Fajitas modified from "Allegry-free Cookbook"

3 TBSP olive oil
1 red onion, halved and sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 large red bell peppers, cut into strips
2 large green peppers, cut into strips
4 tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 large ripe avocado
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 TBSP chopped fresh chives
salt and freshly ground black pepper
few drops Tabasco (optional)
8 tortillas


  1. To make the guacamole, scoop the flesh of the avocado into a small bowl and mash with the chives. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Add a few drops of Tabasco, if desired.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, and tomatoes, and stir-fry until nearly tender, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the spices and herbs and season to taste.
  3. Meanwhile, warm the tortillas on a covered plate over a pan of simmering water or wrapped in a damp towel and warmed briefly in the microwave.
  4. To serve, divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas, top each with a spoonful of guacamole, and roll up. You can also add a spoonful of sour cream or plain yogurt, grated cheddar cheese, or shredded lettuce, if desired.

Yield: about 4 servings

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I'm working on a gift for a special baby boy born last Saturday. I'll post pictures after he receives it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Latest Pizza Recipe

We like to test out new pizza crust recipes, but I realized I haven't shared our latest go-to recipe. We've been using this one for over a year. It's the recipe we reach for when we just want to get it done right the first time and know we'll like the result. Also, I'll generally do two batches, leaving one to rise for dinner. I'll put the second batch into sealed containers after I divide it up and place it directly into the freezer. Then when I can't take time to make dough (though it doesn't feel like it takes very long now), I just have to remember to take it out of the freezer the morning of the day I want to use it.

Pizza Crust Recipe

1 3/4 C warm water (100-110 F)
1 1/2 TBSP honey
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
22 1/2 oz. bread flour
2 tsp salt


  1. Mix honey into water, then add yeast, and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
  2. Mix bread flour and salt in bowl of mixer.
  3. Add yeast mixture to the flour and knead with the dough hook. Dough should pull away from sides of the bowl and still stick to the bottom slightly. If the dough is too sticky, add a small amount of flour.
  4. Check the dough periodically, and do a windowpane test. When the dough stretches without breaking, stop kneading.
  5. Divide dough into three equal portions, and gently work them into a ball. Spray three bowls with cooking spray, and add dough.
  6. Cover each dough ball with a thin layer of cooking spray, then cover the bowl with a towel. Allow dough to rest in a warm place at least until double in size (about 45 minutes to an hour), but feel free to leave it on the counter all day.
  7. Preheat oven to 550 F or as high as your oven will allow.
  8. Gently work dough into a 14-15" circle.
  9. Cover pizza with desired toppings, and brush crust with olive oil. Bake on stone until crust is golden brown (about 7 minutes).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Play Ball!

Last weekend we picked up a couple items to make the little boy a new bat. He was given this great bat for his birthday, but he's still a bit too small to swing it well. We've been intending to find or make a lighter and smaller version for him for some time and finally did it.

We picked up a wooden dowel and some pipe insulation for a couple dollars. After tightly wrapping one layer of insulation around the dowel and securing it with duct tape, we put a second layer on the upper portion of the bat to leave a handle on the lower end and then wrapped the whole thing in duct tape. Even when we were just picking up the materials, the little boy was yelling, “Bat! Bat! Bat!” I'm not sure how he knew, but luckily our concerns that he wouldn't want to use the new, lighter bat were relieved. Now he's happily and comfortably playing ball...ALL DAY LONG!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rainbow of Peppers

We've enjoyed all colors of peppers the last couple weeks, either eating them raw as a snack before meals, on our pizza, or in other dishes (delicious fajitas recipe coming up soon). The little boy also enjoys requesting the peppers by color, usually asking for the orange or yellow ones but eating all that are on his plate. If only there were blue and purple peppers available, too. Just after I took this picture, he said a very happy, "Yum."

He got so excited about decorating the pizza that he placed his final pepper strips on it after it came out of the oven. Peppers must be a good pizza topping both cooked or raw.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Operation Rainy Day Entertainment

In the middle of the winter when we kept getting snowstorms, I decided to brighten up the view in our kitchen with some kid crafts. We used some finger painted projects to make a mobile, and since the little boy likes to count, I used his paintings to make a counting wall with red and white circles. I had intended to add to the wall with more colors and shapes, but then things started to warm up, and we were outside most of the time. Last week we had a rainy day that required a full day of indoor entertainment. We started with some finger painting, then origami, before several long reads, and a long nap. Now the mobile has a mama made and a baby made butterfly joining the previously hanging ladybug and fish, and the counting wall has more colors and even a little frog hopping around. Looks like we'll need new windows to count beyond nine.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Egg Free Baking: Orange Cupcakes

I wish I had a group of people to consult about egg free recipes. I always put so much trust in published recipes and get disappointed when they fail me. This recipe was half failure and half success. The original recipe calls for putting the batter in a 12 cup bundt pan. I was wanting to serve a small dessert to four people, so I followed all the directions except I put the batter in 4 mini bundt pans plus (luckily) five mini muffin pans. Based on my experience with "normal" recipes, this shouldn't have made a difference.

The mini bundt cakes never set. I cooked them for the suggested time and longer and longer until I gave up. The tops browned nicely, but the insides were a gooey mess. Thankfully, the five mini muffins came out beautifully, so I had the needed dessert.

The icing was my addition since the original recipe calls for putting an orange glaze over the cake, but I wanted them to be more festive with icing.

Mouthwatering Orange Cake modified from "Bakin' Without Eggs"

1/2 C butter or margarine, room temperature
1 C sugar
1/2 C no-fat sour cream or yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 TBSP grated orange peel
1/4 C orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 C vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter mini muffin pans and dust with flour. Tap out excess flour.
  2. In a large bowl, combine butter or margarine and sugar. Cream with a hand held mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes, until fluffy.
  3. With mixer at same speed, beat sour cream or yogurt, vanilla, flour, baking powder, baking soda, orange peel, orange juice concentrate, and oil. Mix for another 3 minutes, until smooth.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean and tops are golden. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.

Yield: about 20 servings

Icing Recipe

Combine 4 oz. cream cheese (softened), 2 TBSP butter, 1 tsp orange juice, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 2 C powdered sugar in a bowl. Mix all ingredients together with a hand mixer until smooth, adding a little bit of extra orange juice until reaching the desired consistency.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Seven Last Words of Christ

On Good Friday my church performed The Seven Last Words of Christ by Théodore Dubois. It was a joy to perform with so many great musicians, including soloists Susan Hagler, Bill Johnson, and Jose Sacin. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. (It starts around the fourteen minute mark, so scroll ahead.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pieced Potholders

Here's a set of potholders I made for my friend's bridal shower. I received several wonderful boxes of fabric scraps from my husband's grandmother a couple years ago and always love to find a good use for them. First you see all the pieces of one of the potholders laid out (pattern, backing piece, two inside pieces from towels, and the three front pieces).

Here are the two smaller potholders complete on the top, the larger one to the left pinned with the front pieces and inside towel layers sewn together, and the larger one to the right with a basting stitch ready to attach the bias tape.

Finally, here are the fronts and backs of all four completed potholders.