I love this Quilting Magazine/Book

If you are anything like me, you have purchased tons of quilting magazines and books.  For me, I will pick up a magazine just to look at how others coordinate colors and just to get ideas.  As a norm they cost form $5.99 to $9.99, which can get quite expensive.  I have a graveyard of quilt magazines.  Recently, I found Block Magazine.  It is quarterly and costs $5.99 each issue.  The thing is, it is as beautiful, or more so, that many quilt books I have purchased for 20-40$.  Block Magazine is published by The Missouri Start Quilt Company.  It has no ads.  Imagine that.  There are at least 10 projects with very complete instructions.  Many use Fabric packs, but we all know that is just a suggestion you can really do anything you want.  Honestly, I have not seen a more beautiful magazine for such a small price.  No, they did not ask me to write this.  I wanted to, just in case fellow quilters/sewers did not know about this magazine.  This one is money well spent.  I am working on collecting past issues also.  As my daughter say “Just sayin”.

Happy Quilting

Happy Sewing

 

Quilting, Quilting, Quilting

So, I struggle with the process of quilting. This quilt is no exception. I attempted to freehand hearts. When I look at the quilting, I can see how it improved somewhat about half way through, but it is still no where near where I would like t to be. I do like the colors in the quilt and I will give it a young lady for her sixteenth birthday. I need to get another one ready to practice on……

Happy Sewing
Happy Quilting

Yes, one of my dogs photo bombed my picture.

The Cooking Widow brings you Twice baked Potatoes….Yum.

I get bored making the same old stuff sometimes, so I decided to try my hand at twice baked potatoes. I was presently surprised to find out they were way better than the store bought and were super easy to make. Here is what you need:

3 Potatoes – I prefer the larger baking potatoes, but you can see form my photo, that is not what I used (just had plain old odd sized potatoes)

1 package Idahoan Baby Reds mashed potatoes (or whatever flavor you prefer) – I know sometimes people want it be all homemade potatoes, but I have tried it both ways and this is the best. Try it.

¼ c Butter (1/2 stick)

Garlic to taste – I usually use the chopped (in a jar because I always have it). I use about 1 Tablespoon.

1C. Cheddar cheese (or whatever you like)

Sprinkle of Paprika

Poke your potatoes with something sharp and microwave for about 8-9 minutes. You want them done but not smushy.

Place in the fridge until they are cool enough to handle.

Make your Potatoes as directed, but shorten the amount of water needed by ¼ cup and add the garlic to the water (I sometimes use milk instead of water for richer potatoes).

Once they are complete, stir in about ¾ c cheddar cheese and set aside.

Take your potatoes and slice them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the inside and put it in with the prepared mashed potatoes. I use a grapefruit spoon to scoop them out, since it is a spoon and serrated. Makes it very easy if you have one.

Arrange the potato shells in a baking dish.

Put the butter in the potatoes and get out your mixer. Once the potatoes are all mashed to a consistency you like, gently scoop the mixture back into the potato shells.

Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and then paprika.

When you are ready to bake these, place in a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes. I sometimes make them a day before or the morning of and leave them in the fridge until I am ready.

Happy Cooking.
Happy Eating.

Quilting Small pieces seems easier

I found that quilting this piece was easier than others. I think it is because it is small and it made doing things other than meandering easier. While I feel slightly better about my quilting, I am pretty sure as soon as I go to bigger piece I will have the same issues.

I also like Halloween. I have another embroidered Halloween piece that I need to turn into something. I can’t just sit in front of the TV. My hands must always be occupied. So, I wind up embroidering something that I can put in my quilts.

I know, practice, practice, practice the quilting.

I want to get to a point where I can do the quilting with ease……

Happy Sewing.
Happy Quilting.

The Baking Widow brings you the “No Crack” Cheesecake

I love to make cheesecake but hate when it cracks. I have perfected making the no crack cheesecake. I made one today. I don’t need to cover up the crack with cherries or nuts and it tastes super yummy. I will tell you how to make a no crack cheesecake and share my recipe with you.

Cheesecake usually cracks because it is overbaked. So , to keep it from overbaking, the first ten minutes of baking are at 500 degree F and then we bake at 200 degreed F until the internal temp of the cheesecake reaches 150 degree F. This takes about 1.5 hours.. Once the cheesecake is removed from the oven, we let it cool for about ten minutes and then run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen. That way if it sinks any it won’t be held up by the sides and crack.

Graham Cracker Crust
1 Cup graham cracker crumbs
2 T Sugar
6 T. melted butter (save one for the inside of the pan)
Mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and about 5 T of melted butter. Press in spring form pan (I used a 9” pan). Bake at 325-degree F for about 13 minutes until the edges brown a little. Place on rack to cool.

Filling
2 ½ lbs cream chees (5 8oz. packages)
1 ½ C sugar
1/3 c Sour Cream
1T Vanilla Extract
2 Large Egg Yolks
6 Large Whole Eggs
Increase oven to 500 degrees F. Beat cream cheese on low for about 1 minute, med speed, scrape down bowl. Slowly mix in sugar and incorporated for about 1 minute. Scrape down bowl. Add salt, sour cream and Vanilla until incorporated, about 1 minutes. Add two eggs yolk, mix for one minute on med speed. Then add two eggs at a time mixing on medium speed for about one minute, scraping in between each addition.

Brush side of spring form pan with remaining butter. Bake for 10 minutes at 500degree F, then reduce temp to 200 degree F until internal temp reaches 150 degree F. This will take about 1.5 hours. Do not open the oven until you check the temperature for the first time.

When done, cool on rack for about ten minutes. Take a knife around the inside edge of the pan and then continue to cool until it can be placed in the refrigerator. Release from spring form when totally cool. Run the knife around the edge again before releasing from pan.

Top with whatever you like or nothing at all.

Happy Baking
Happy Eating.

Practice the quilting, practice the quilting

As i have mentioned in the past, I fear the quilting… Everyone tells me that it is all about practice, so that is what I am doing. I just get frustrated because I want to do all the beautiful stuff I see and I can’t. Jeez I hope I will get there. I don’t really like this piece much, but I really made it to hang on the front door. I have pieced one other that I am finishing and will show it soon after I get the dreaded quilting done. I like it a lot more because it has a few of my embroidered pieces in it. Someday I will get it right.

Happy Sewing. Happy Quilting.

The Black Widow strikes again.

This is a bit off topic from my usual crafting, cooking, family….. I will apologize in advance.

I have jokingly (sort of) referred to myself as the black widow since my second husband died. Yep, hadn’t even reached my 50th birthday and managed to off two husbands. Waiting for my own show in the ID channel.

Anyways, today, a high school friend pinged me to let me know our friend Jeff had died. Yes, he was our friend, but he was a whole lot more to me back then. I was in love with him at one point in my life. I think he was in love with me too, but….I didn’t look like I should be his girlfriend, so after about 5 years of on and off we went our separate ways. We both went off to careers and married other people. Normal stuff. I ran into him years later at a K-mart and he told me that his mother had told him “I was the one.” I always liked her.

At this point in my life, I am starting to think that I should contact everyone I have ever been with and give them fair warning. Go get the “you have been with the Black Widow” physical.

Thankfully, the list is not that long.

RIP Jeff, I hope your family finds peace.

WTF.

Best steak rub/Burger seasoning

I spend a lot of my time watching cooking shows. There are tons of seasoning mixes that you can buy at the store, but most are not cheap. I have found that I can make a steak/burger seasoning at home that adds awesome flavor, but doesn’t take away the flavor of the meet.

As with all my recipe’s, I will give approximations of what I use, but it can be adjusted for whatever your preference is. There is one odd ingredient, but I don’t suggest leaving out.

¼ cup powdered beef bullion (Wylers and Knorr makes this. Brand doesn’t really matter. It is really the salt component)
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Garlic Power
½ teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon of finely ground coffee (I know, sounds weird)
¼ teaspoon of cayenne
1 Tablespoon black pepper

Mix together and put in shaker. I put on both sides of meat while I am cooking. Try it. Makes even burgers taste better.

Happy Cooking.

Yes, I got my dog a Birthday Cake

So, it was my Moka’s birthday and being the crazy dog lady, I got her a cake. I also got special treats for the other dogs so everyone could share in the celebration. She is a crazy puppy that feels compelled to sit in my lap in a any chair (including lawn chairs). I think she thinks she is like our little dogs and figures if they can sit on my lap so can she.

Hug your pet.

The Frugal Widow Tip #2 Aldi’s Stores…

There are quite a few Aldi’s store around these days. If you haven’t visited one, you should. I first became familiar with Aldi’s in Germany. It was the grocery store I went to with my mother when we were in Germany. It is not quite the same as in the US, but they have some really awesome savings and great German products if you’re into that. I am, but I also love saving money.

Here in the US, Aldo’s is known as a discount store. But if you are thinking that it is cheap, it’s just not true. It may be less expensive, but nearly all of it is really good. Besides, milk comes from cows. Eggs come from chickens. Not much that can change with that. Why pay more?

Last week, I bought eggs for $.89 and a gallon of milk for $1.79. It costs way more in the regular Kroger, Super Walmart etc…

Besides regular staples you will find a wide array of other items. It is not all Aldi’s brand, but some is. If you like Sauerkraut, theirs is really good. Reminds me of what Mom used to make. Also, at the holidays, they have all kinds of German candy and cookies (and some regular USA varieties also).

Yesterday we had some German Frankfurters from Aldi’s. Sooo Good. So if you are looking to save money or year round Oktoberfest items, you should check out Aldi’s. It is worth the trip. Remember to bring your own bags.

https://www.aldi.us/en/?pk_campaign=brandedsem

Happy Shopping.