Friday, June 23, 2017

It's Peach Season - Peach Cobbler

Here in Iowa the fresh peaches are just arriving from Georgia and Colorado.  It's time to make some fresh peach goodness.  This recipe for peach crisp is one of my favorites.

Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices. 
Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sewing Tips & Ideas: Storing Sewing Machine Presser Feet

At a recent meeting of our local Cedar Rapids Area American Sewing Guild several members demonstrated the tricks and uses of various pressure feet for the sewing machine.  I have a Husqvarna Viking® - the 140th Anniversary limited edition - The Tribute 140C.  The special offer included many accessories including extra presser feet.  The storage section that fits on the back of the machine platform is not handy, in my opinion.  However, during the demonstration of the pressure feet one of the demonstrators showed how she stored her pressure feet and kept them organized.  While most of them have a "letter" on the foot - that letter is difficult to read.  Other specialty feet do not have any markings, only a small folded paper that shows the foot and give the use in VERY fine print.  So this storage solution seemed to fit the need.

At the Dollar Tree I found these storage containers with lids. Online one has to purchase in bulk but most Dollar Tree Stores in our area have the square containers.

On the tops of each one I marked the letter of the foot, and an indication of the intended use.  My sewing machine guide book provides extended notes about the use of the pressure feet.


The most difficult part was finding a storage spot for the containers once the feet were in them etc. But they fit nicely in the corner of the Fat Quarter drawer in the sewing room.  They will be handy - won't fall over.

The demonstration of pressure feet was excellent - but appreciated this side sewing tip and idea as well.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Beyond Chocolate: bananas and butterscotch

St. Patrick's Day is a day for chocolate and mint - don't ask me why but that seems just right for St. Patrick's Day but when one doesn't like chocolate (can you imagine how boring life could be), I wanted to bake something special so here is today's muffin recipe - Banana and Butterscotch Muffins -- makes 18 muffins.


Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices. 
Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Green Mint Chocolate Cake

Green Mint Chocolate Cake

Green Frog Gifts loves anything green -- and this green mint chocolate cake is a great dessert to serve for any holiday get-together or St. Patrick's Day pot luck.  Simple as pie - well simple as cake.

Prepare cake mix as directed.  Substitute 1/4 cup of Creme de Menthe for 1/4 cup of the required water.   Add the oil and eggs as directed.


Optional: If you like a chocolately chunk component (and I do).  Take 3 Hershey's chocolate bars and chop them up.  Put into the batter and stir.

Bake and cool the cake.

Now for the topping - once the cake has cooled you will want to spread on the hot fudge layer.  Since the fudge is so thick I usually warm it in the microwave before spreading on the cake.
It'll still be warm on the cake so I stick the entire cake with the fudge layer into the freezer while I flavor the whipped topping.









I add a tablespoon or so of Creme deMenthe to the whipped topping and stir.  Add green food coloring if you want a deeper shade of green.










Cut the Andes mints into random chunks.
Spread the green Creme deMenthe flavored whipped topping on the cake over the fudge layer.  Randomly drop the Andes mints onto the top of the cake.




Share at your potluck or holiday meal.


Enjoy every crumb.

Do you have a book package that you'd like to order -- suggest something special just for you...  Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices. 
Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Secret Pockets -- and Aprons, Books, and Connections

A Is for Apron -- ABCs: Aprons, Books, and Connections

Everyone likes a secret and including a secret pocket in a garment is a fun thing to do.  This green apron has a secret pocket -- with a treasure inside.
And another secret as well...  All is revealed in A Is for Apron -- ABCs: Aprons, Books, and Connections
A unique presentation featuring the history of aprons, connections to books, and myriad of ideas for reading, sewing, creating, and building a literacy environment in your community.  A great keynote or luncheon presentation at functions which might include tradesmen, parents, educators, sewing enthusiasts. Sewing guilds.

 
McBookwords has a dozen or more authors that speak with young readers.  If you would like to investigate having this presentation for your organization  --  please contact us at McBookwords. A presentation for  all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books, and arts such as sewing and creativity with fabric.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Aprons for the Smallest Cooks

Aprons - a Touch of Whimsy.
Just finishing adding the buttons to the latest aprons -- Check them out at Greenfroggifts on Etsy.  
Take a look here!













1 each of designs #1 - #2 - #3
Child's aprons approximately 18 in. x 22 in.
#1 - Fish with pocket and ruffle version: Fish motif, gold wave background. Adjustable neck - three buttons purple, green, and yellow. String ties can be tied in front or back. Pocket. Pleated ruffle at the bottom of the apron body.
Apron is double fabric - fish motif on the front, gold with orange wave on the reverse and as accent.
#2 - Gold fish pocket and full pocket of porthole blue fabric. Pocket same as background. Adjustable neck - with buttons. String ties can be tied in front or back.
Apron is double fabric - tumbling fish motif on the front, porthole fish fabric on the reverse and as a pocket with gold accent.
#3 - Porthole Fish in ocean apron with full pocket with fish in ocean motif across the bottom of the apron (tumbling fish motif fabric is also the apron backing).  White trim.




Do you have a book package that you'd like to order -- suggest something special just for you...  Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices. 
Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pecans - a little history, and a couple of recipes

When I published Authors in the Kitchen: Recipes, Stories and More (Libraries Unlimited) I included a recipe shared with me by author and illustrator Bob Barner.  It's the best recipe for pecan pie that I have made.
As part of the book I also researched a little history of the pecan.  Here is that research - and the pecan pie recipe along with a recipe for the best candied pecans.

From page 22 - Authors in the Kitchen
Pecans are the only tree nuts native to North America, and they are particularly plentiful in the Southern states. Pecans were a major source of food for Native Americans as far back as the 1500s. Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew pecan trees in their gardens.  In 1919, the pecan tree was named the state tree of Texas. The production of pecans is a major industry in the southeastern United States.  Eighty percent of thew world's pecans are produced in the United States.  Georgia is the leading pecan-producing state in the country, with nearly 55 million pounds of fresh pecans harvested in the fall of  2003.  Okmulgee, Georgia, holds the world record for the largest pecan pie, pecan cookie, and pecan brownie. Albany, Georgia, is the site of the annual National Pecan Festival.  As many as 600,000 pecan trees are growing in Albany—sometimes called the Pecan Capital of the United States.  Because of modern-day grafting techniques there are now more than a thousand varieties of pecans.

Bob Barner's mom has a pecan tree in her backyard, and Bob says. "Today she bakes [pecan] pies with the nuts from her own tree. Not only is the tree home to numerous squirrels, magpies, and a family of robins, but it also produces delicious pecans."

Bob's mother's pecan pie recipe

And this recipe is adapted from my friend Don Krotz's candied pecan recipe: