Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Good Friends

Well the weather here is chilly and the upcoming days are supposed to be wet and cold so I was happy to spend the day at home with my good friend Jean who own The Teapot Quilt Cottage and Garden Center. We caught up on small talk and things going on in the town. Had tea and chatted while I helped her set up an Etsy shop. Jean has so many beautiful quuilted items and recycled wool and denim things, I can't wait to watch her fill the shop. I will share the link with you when she gets some items listed.

Of course, I have no idea where she finds the time. Jean and her husband have a farm where they grow the produce sold at the garden center, their stand and local farmers markets. Besides running the Teapot Quilt Cottage 7 days a week. The shop is amazing with treasures in every corner. From cookbooks and jellies, fabric and yarn to rag quilts and wool mittens. Amazing

These photos are from last year, they now have replaced the tent with a white gazebo , but there are loads of pumpkins and fall items as well as a shop full of things to see. If you are passing through Montello droop in and see for yourself.
I added another fun hat to the Etsy shop yesterday......and yes I facebooked it and the model was thrilled! NOT


Pumpkin Cheesecake


1box gingersnaps (about 16 oz.)
1stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1/4cup sugar
1/2cup pecans, chopped fine
1/4 tspcayenne pepper (trust me)
3 pkg(8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature (may use low-fat, but do not use fat free)
1 1/4cups pumpkin puree-- 15oz. can (not pumpkin pie filling)
5 lgeggs
1cup sugar
1/2cup heavy cream
2 tspground cinnamon
1 tspground ginger
1/2 tspground cloves
1/2 tspfreshly grated nutmeg
1 tspallspice
1/2 tspsalt
1/2cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2cup sugar
1/2stick (1/4 cup) butter
1/3cup water
1/4cup heavy cream (can use milk)
1/2 tsppure vanilla extract
1/2 to 3/4 tspsalt (trust me)
crumbled gingersnaps for garnish
toasted pecan halves for garnish

Monday, October 17, 2011

Apple Pie Weather

I should be done by early this afternoon with the hats on todays schedule from my long list of hat orders. The Etsy shop has been very busy over the past month with hats going all over the place. Two hats were even sent to Ireland. That was my first overseas sale but received another order for a fox hat to be sent to Australia last night. Grammas Gifts are going all over this year. A new and exciting adventure!
This is my new little panda, besides the flock of turkeys I have to do I am working on a couple giraffe designs for another customer. This is the fun part.... designing new hats from customer suggestions!  The I must get ready for the next show coming up. I have two shows set on on November 9th at the hospital in Oshkosh and one Thanksgiving weekend in Randolph.  
This is a customers photo with her little one in my frog hat. They just make the hats look so good  Thank you all

  Years ago, now I am making myself sound old. I had a coworker at Michaels Arts and Crafts that made the best Apple Pie. She said , and we thought she was joking that she precooked the apples. Well, I found a recipe where you do just that and this afternoon when the boys come in from playing we are going to give it a try. The house will smell wonderful and what a kick they get out of helping to bake.

A classic dessert or tea time treat has to be a traditional apple pie. This traditional apple pie recipe is quick and easy and ensures a perfect result every time. Use cooking or Bramley apples for the best filling, eating apples don't soften the same way.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Pastry
  • 7 oz/200g all purpose/plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick/ 110g butter, cubed or an equal mix of butter and lard
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water
  • Filling
  • 1 ½ lbs/700g cooking apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup/ 100g sugar
  • 4 - 6 tbsp cold water
  • 1 level tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ stick/25g butter
  • Milk to glaze
  • Place the flour, butter and salt into a large clean bowl.
  • Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, working as quickly as possible to prevent the dough becoming warm.
  • Add the water to the mixture and using a cold knife stir until the dough binds together, add more cold water a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too dry.
  • Wrap the dough in Saran wrap/Clingfilm and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes.
The dough can also be made in a food processor by mixing the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of the processor on a pulse setting. When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add the water, slowly, through the funnel until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap in Saran wrap/ Clingfilm and chill as above.

Heat the oven to 425°F/220°C/gas 7.
  • Meanwhile simmer the apples with the lemon juice and water in a large pan until soft. Add the sugar and cinnamon to the cooked apples. Remove from the heat and add the butter and leave to cool.
  • Roll out half the pastry and line a 7 inch/13cm pie dish. Put the cooled, cooked apple mixture to the pastry case.
  • Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid for the pie. Damp the edges of the pastry in the dish with a little cold water, cover with the lid and press the edges firmly together and crimp the edges to decorate.
  • Brush the top of the pie with milk and bake at the top of a hot oven for 20 - 25 minutes.
  • Serve hot or cold with cream, ice cream or custard sauce.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Huge Thank You

In the past I have explained how I am just awful at tooting my own horn as they say. To boast of brag as my Gram would call it just isn't in me. Yes I have made alot of really cute items but I would leave it at that. Then today I received an email thanking me for a sock monkey set I had made especially for a photo shoot.  Now most of my customers write to say thanks it turned out cute but this email made my day.
Just wanted to tell you how awesome you are !

Momma LOVED the monkey looked ADORABLE in it! *wink*
Thank you so much for always doing such a great job for me! :)

Heather Burchinal
HB Photography 

Yes, the set turned out cute, but I think the photographer had alot to do with it. I went and visited her blog and sight and was amazed at a set of photos with a field of sunflowers. What imagination !
Now I have been using my two little guys at home for models and thought I did really well until I saw these shots. If you need work done and live anywhere near Heather I would highly recommend her. The work is amazing!

these hats and much more can be found at

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fall Themes

As I have told everyone over and over again ....I have an Etsy shop. I also belong to a few wonderful groups on Etsy. One of them is ETSYKIDS. A wonderful collection of shops that specialize in , you've guessed it KIDS.  On their blog you can find great articles about shops, sales going on and a list of the great shops in this group.  As a shop owner who does mainly kids hats this group has been very helpful in guiding me along the way.  For shop owners there are many helpful tips and ideas that can be used and a chance to share with other owners is always a plus.  Fall is the theme right now and what better time to start thinking of gifts for the little ones on your lists. Stop by the blog and then visit the shops. You will be delighted with what you can find.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Feels Like Fall

Well, the heat has kicked on and there are leaves changing colors down the road, so it really does feel like fall. So I went to one of my favorite cooking sites Pioneer Woman Cooks and found this recipe   The whole house smells wonderful and the kitchen got warm and cozy. What a way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Moist Pumpkin Spice Muffins (With Cream Cheese Frosting)

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  • Muffin Ingredients:
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup (heaping) Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Golden Raisins (optional!)
  • _____
  • Topping
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • _____
  • 1/4 cup Softened Butter
  • 4 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 pound Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease 12 muffin tins.
Pour into a greased muffin pan—batter hardly ever fills all twelve unless you keep it down to 1/2 full. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg mixture over the top of each unbaked muffin.Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender until it is fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Add raisins. Fold gently until mixture is just combined.Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. Ice with cream cheese frosting.To make the frosting, mix all ingredients on high until soft and whipped. Spread onto completely cooled muffins, or place into a large pastry bag with a large star tip and go crazy! Store in the fridge, as icing will soften at room temperature. 
      I have spent the day finishing up orders from the Etsy shop and last weekends Volkfest. Volkfest had wonderful weather and it was nice to spend the day chatting with other Etsy shop owners like Marlene Grahn of Country Soaps by Marlene and  Heather Flannery Raabe of HRBea Designs .  An owl, sock monkey, Packer helmet and baby sock monkey are ready to ship.  The hippo is getting his final touches and then some of today's orders can be started. It is so nice to see the orders now and not a week before Halloween or for Thanksgiving the turkeys being ordered the weekend before. I don't mind one or two rush orders but I can only crochet so fast and I do need to sleep.. 

    I have purchased a few new patterns in the last couple days and can't wait to start on them. I have some things I'd like to change on the Etsy shop and a couple photos to add for new items. So much to do before the boys come back on Sunday.

I am also still working on our Family Christmas event and have gotten some responses but have about a dozen out there waiting. If only we could predict the weather. Many of the family are coming from the Chicago area and you never know about snow that time of year. Of course over the past few years they have gotten more snow than we have up here. It has been quite a few years since we have all gotten together. My Gram was the glue that held us all tight and with her gone we seemed to have slipped up a little. Now is as good a time as any to reconnect and touch base.  So, I have decorating ideas I would like to do, the Etsy shop to run and still about a dozen unpacked boxes from our move. As I type this is doesn't sound so bad. I'll get there, but my plan is to do it without getting all frazzled and burnt out like most years. 
By the way the phone company finally fixed the wire problem that squirrels made.  Thank you....the phone now rings!