Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sticky Buns

I have never made sticky buns.  I've made variations of cinnamon rolls and orange rolls but never sticky buns.  I'm not sure why really because I love them.  A week or so ago one of my daughters passed me a recipe for sticky buns as a great big hint.  She informed me that when she and her sister wore braces a number of years ago, that I had promised to make them sticky buns when the braces were removed.  Obviously a promise not kept.  So I promptly got busy making the buns.  They were very easy to make, and after finishing off the first batch, have left all of us wanting some more.  I'm not so sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday's Book Choice

Today we are in the midst of quite the little snow storm.  What started out as a bit of a drizzly gray morning, has turned into gusty winds blowing snow horizontally, and piling up inch by inch.  The kind of day that for me is the best kind of day to just stay inside where it is warm and cozy, sewing, cooking, and looking through some of my books.  One such book that I enjoy looking through is Country Living The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen: Live Well, Laugh Often, Cook Much by Serena Thompson and Teri Edwards. 

I first became acquainted with The Farm Chicks from my sister, Kass.  She told me about their blog and thought I would enjoy it.  She was right about that.  And soon after I started visiting their blog, they came out with this book.   I purchased a copy, and a good friend of mine and I headed over to Spokane one afternoon to a book signing and to meet The Farm Chicks themselves. 

Since that day I have gone through this book many times.  If you haven't seen the book before, it is a combination of a history of The Farm Chicks, a cookbook, and also a craft book.  I think at present our very favorite recipe in the book is the Big & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies recipe.  In fact if you turn to that page of the book, you will undoubtedly find crumbs and splatters like all favorite cookbook pages develop over time.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I've Found Pinterest

I realize that most likely many of you are already either on or have heard about Pinterest.  It is only a recent discovery for me, and I must say that I am enjoying it very much.  At first I wasn't really sure what it was, but after I was finally able to join, I was pleasantly surprised.  The reason I say "after I was finally able to join" is because you can't just join.  You have to be "invited".  I had requested an invitation directly from Pinterest several times all without any response.  Finally I requested an invitation from one of my good friends, and then I was easily hooked up.

For me I liken it to clipping pictures and articles from magazines; however, instead of keeping files of clipped images from magazines at home that I tuck away in a file and most likely will never look at again, it is like being able to "clip" pages from different blogs and various parts of the internet, and keep them right at my disposal.  All of the images are automatically linked directly back to their sources, so right at your fingertips you have all of the recipes you have "pinned" or directions to craft projects that interested you.  Really anything that you can possibly think of you can find, organize, and keep track of on Pinterest.

If you are interested in joining in on all of the fun, I have placed a button on my sidebar that should take you directly to the website.  If for some reason you have a difficult time in getting an "invitation", just e-mail me and I can send you one.

In the meantime, here is a sample of a very cheerful picture that I "pinned" this morning.  Kind of a fun way to start the day.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday's Book Choice

If you like to quilt, then this week's book is an amazing resource.  I don't personally own it, but have checked it out at the library over and over again.  It isn't an inexpensive book by any means, thus the reason I just use the library's copy.  But that is what makes utilizing a library so very nice.

The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns: 4050 Pieced Blocks for Quilters, by Jinny Beyer is 488 pages long, but a wealth of information.  She breaks qulting down into basic steps beginning with a primer on pieced blocks, followed by square blocks, hexagon blocks, continuous pattern blocks, etc.  Each block is broken down into square grids so you can see how they are designed and put together.  Seeing the basic grid is also helpful in creating your own color sequence, as many times the grid is lost in the amazing patterns that a quilt can take on after being pieced together.  With this book, a quilter would never tire of looking at the same familiar patterns because there literally are 4,050 different quilt blocks included.  I don't know about you, but that will keep me entertained for quite some time.

The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns: 4050 Pieced Blocks for Quilters

Monday, February 13, 2012

Love and Cake Pops

I really don't think it is necessary for me to point out how nice it is to take some time from the day, stop by Starbucks with loved ones, and enjoy a special treat.  It's one of those little things that mean so much.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Saturday's Book Choice (on Sunday yet again)

The title, Desserts to Die for, by Marcel Desaulniers says it all.  This cookbook is filled with so many wonderful and amazing recipes.  I'm not sure how many times I have read through it, but each time I do I am inspired to get out in the kitchen and bring his words to life.  Not to say that each time I am inspired to do so, it actually gets done, but I am inspired nonetheless.  I have made a few things out of this book, and each time it isn't a disappointment.  He gives very clear and detailed instructions on how to accomplish these amazing desserts, and even though they can be a long time in the making, the end result never disappoints.  The author even breaks down the recipes into possible steps that can be made a day or two ahead of the date that the dessert is needed just in case you want to spread the process over a few days.  The recommended ingredients are easily found, and unless you just really don't like to spend time in the kitchen creating incredible desserts, then I suggest you at least check for this book at your local library and give it a try.  If nothing else, simply reading through the pages and looking at the amazing pictures will be satisfying in itself.

Desserts to Die for

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A New Favorite Tea

The clock says it is 2:40 p.m., but it might as well just read T-E-A for me.  You see I have become quite accustomed to fixing myself a hot cup of tea around this time of day.  I'm not certain if this is close to the official "tea time" (my friends from England can educate me on that), but it is certainly my tea time.  Typically I just grab any tea that I might have; however, recently I have discovered a new tea that I only save for times when I know that I can sit down and drink every drop.  It really is that good (well, at least in my opinion).  I even go so far as to contemplate what just might happen in the minutes to come; because if there is any chance I might not be able to finish my cup, then I just prepare any of my regular teas.  Pouring this tea down the drain after it gets cold just seems wrong somehow.  As far as I know I can't even find it locally, but purchase it in a nearby city. 

This is the only flavor I have tried so far, but it has won my heart.  Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go finish my tea.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Saturday's Book Choice (on Sunday)

I couldn't let this week go by without recommending the sequel to last week's book, The Fisherman's Lady.  The sequel is entitled The Marquis' Secret (Macdonald / Phillips).  And if you are going to read the first, you must read the second, because it is filled with unsuspecting plot twists and turns.  Both books are about a simple Scottish fisherman named Malcolm and a young girl that he knows he can never love.  But the way MacDonald develops the story is very clever, and not the type of book that once you read the first chapter, you can pretty much guess how it all comes out in the end.  In fact all of MacDonald's books are written so well that the story line keeps your interest clear up until the end.

And now, I am back off to the kitchen to finish cooking food for the Super Bowl Game later this afternoon.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Making Hamburger Buns at Home

I've mentioned numerous times how much of a fan I am of King Arthur Flour.  I enjoy looking around their online store  since they happen to be clear across the country from me, and I also frequent their blog.  I believe it was last spring when they posted a recipe for hamburger buns that caught my eye.  I tried them, and it was a big hit at our house.  And now I can hardly bring myself to buy hamburger buns in the store any longer.  If you have a bread machine, it makes these buns so simple to make.  You just need to start them early enough in the day so that they will be ready for dinner.  Here is the link to the recipe, and I promise you will love them.