Friday, February 25, 2011

Oh no a Grey Hare!

     I recently watched a program on tv where they talked about a movement by women on embracing their grey hair.  A badge of honor for growing older and hopefully wiser. Why is it men are thought of as more distinguished and women well, old. I was ok with going grey for the most part, until hubby and the grandkids started  to comment on the amount of grey hair I now had.  So, on a recent trip to Walmart I traveled to the hair dye aisle and picked a color I used to use a few years back.  What I found was, they more grey the brighter the color , in this case red.  Hubby says not red but shocking pink!
It is brighter and the grey is gone.  Six weeks til it grows out ......
So with these new developements I came up with a grey hare hat, no more coloring the grey , just hide it from now on.

The model is my Granddaughter, Chrissy.  If you have to have a color fiasco now is a good time, it is red,

All this red made me think maybe I should reat myself, so Chrissy and I made a batch of red Velvet cake Balls  fun to make and delicious to eat. We are going to try the green ones for St. Patricks Day

St. Patricks Day is coming up and I am Irish. Besides I leave the house maybe once a week...who will see me !
These are my two little helpers. JJ the biggest has a new tshirt that says Leprachauns made me do it .... and I am sure that is the case!

They were nice enough to pose so I could list these hats on Etsy, then back to what boys do best, playing with some time out for warm cookies from the oven and hopefully a nap. We could all use one today.
Be sure to visit our facebook page and comment for a chance to win the St. Patricks Day hat!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Things are Crazy in Wisconsin

  That is how it seems as I sit at the computer this morning.  The Governors got his hands full in Madison, teachers, state workers and unions are up in arms. The weather is more May like than February and I have a terrible case of spring fever.  Now, most of these things I can do nothing about. The governmental issue we all have opinions on, will that matter. I do hope so but one can just wait and see what happens at this point.   The weather, I am totally enjoying but am sure in a day or two will make a drastic change. With all this said the only thing I can do is take care of this spring fever. So I am not sure if you feed a cold and starve a fever soo  I am going to feed this Spring Fever.
  What I craved most this morning was a doughnut. Not one of those over glazed fried things from the local grocery or Kwik Trip but a nice cinnamon and swugar baked cake doughnut. So, off I went in the search for a recipe and came up with this one.
I found it on
Baked Doughnuts

Makes 6 regular sized or 12 mini doughnuts

1 cup (4 ounces) Round Table Unbleached Pastry Flour or 7/8 cup (4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons dried buttermilk powder (or use 2 tablespoons buttermilk or yogurt in place of the 2 tablespoons water)
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water

Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, oil and water (or buttermilk or yogurt) until foamy.
Pour the liquid ingredients all at once into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
Butter or grease the doughnut pan; non-stick pan spray works well here. Note: even though the pan is non-stick, since the doughnuts are low-fat they may stick unless you grease the pan first. Fill each doughnut form half full. (I used a pastry bag and piped one circle of batter into each cup.)

Bake the doughnuts in a preheated 375°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes. (My mini doughnuts baked for about 7 minutes.) When done, they'll spring back when touched lightly, and will be quite brown on the top. (Mine were barely browned on top.)

Remove the doughnuts from the oven, remove them from the pan, and allow them to cool on rack. Glaze with icing, or coat with cinnamon-sugar (1/2 cup sugar + 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon) or any non-melting sugar.

Printable recipe can be found on this page: Baked Doughnuts: King Arthur Flour

So with the doughnuts in the oven I am off to finish some editing on the Etsy shop and get some hat orders packaged for morning mail.
 I will put on another pot of coffee and open up a few windows to enjoy todays weather.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thinking of Cherry Pie

   Being home full time now has its up and downs.  As much as I love being able to work in my pajamas and sipping coffee while working here on the computer I do miss a few things from being downtown. Now I don't want to mislead anyone when I say downtown. I live just outside of Montello, Wisconsin so, downtown consists of a few main streets and a handful of shops, a few taverns, beauty shops and gas stations. We do have a pharmacy and a grocery store.

View Larger Map
One of my favorite shops in town I have mentioned before is the Teapot Quilt Cottage and after looking over the February class schedule noticed that on Saturday February 20th they are having Cherry Pie Day.  Seeing that I just had to ask what was going on.  In the past we have had chocolate tastings, a pumpkin pie bakeoff, christmas cookie and others all in the Cottage. People would enter their tasty dishes for a chance to win a gift cerftificate or small prize, bu the real winners were those who stopped in and tasted, then voted on their favorites. So much fun.  This time Jean is giving out Cherry Pie slices on this day. What a nice treat when you stop in and see alll the great things she has. From quilting supplies and yarn to produce in season and plants. You could make an afternoon of it, just in her shop. 
     Jean and I also started the Easter Bunny Parade in town, over the past few years it has grown into quite a fun tradition for the families in town and those visiting Grandmas on that weekend. Since we started the New Montello Group, about four years ago,  we have worked very hard to get visitors to stop in their journey through Montello and see what there is to offer.
   As of late it seems some things have changed and maybe not for the better.   Promoting a small town is an ongoing project, as each small town is working to attract visitors to keep it alive and growing.  Montello has so many great natural resources and such nice people it just needs to say " HEY, look at me" and get some good attention. Just about one hour north of Madison and about four hours from Chicago it is a great place to visit with the family or maybe a girls weekend.  All that said back to cherry pie
  Since reading about the cherry lices, I went to one of my favorite websitres to look for a recipe to try .
Over the past few weeks I have made about a dozen recipes from this site and all were raved about.
Cherry Cake Pudding

■1 cup Sugar
■2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
■1 whole Egg
■1 cup All-purpose Flour
■1 teaspoon Baking Powder
■⅛ teaspoons Salt
■½ cups Whole Milk
■1 can (15 Ounces) Cherries In Syrup (NOT Cherry Pie Filling) Drained, Juice Reserved
■½ cups Pecans, Finely Chopped
■1 cup Juice From Cherries (add Water To Make 1 Cup If Necessary)
■1 cup Sugar
■1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
■1 Tablespoon Butter
■½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
■Unsweetened Freshly Whipped Cream

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously butter a square 9 x 9-inch baking dish.
Cream sugar and butter. Add egg and mix well. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt then add to mixing bowl alternatively with milk. Add cherries and chopped nuts and mix gently. Pour batter into buttered pan and smooth out the surface. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown on the surface and no longer jiggly.
While cake is baking, make the sauce by combining cherry juice, sugar, and flour in a small saucepan. Boil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until thick. Turn off heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter and vanilla extract.
Drizzle 1/3 of the sauce on the cake as soon as you remove it from the oven. Spread to distribute over the surface and wait ten minutes before serving so the sauce will seep into the top of the cake a bit.

Spoon out pieces of warm, sticky cake and top with unsweetened whipped cream

I can't wait for hubby to get back from the store so I can get this in the oven.

by the way Walmart carries The Pioneer Woman new cookbook, a must have!  I ordered mine online from Walmart as our store was out of them.

All of this cooking has cut into my "hooking " time. I am trying to get a good amount of bunny and spring hats done. I have some of them destined for Josephines in Watertown and the others for Grammas Gifts the Etsy shop. I also just signed on for a show on April 8th in Fitchburg so I will need to get busy.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Quiet Cup of Coffee

  It is a bright sunny morning here in Wisconsin.  With the two little guys back at their moms for a few days, I have a minute or two to myslef this morning. With a house of teenagers there is not a chance one of them will be up at this time on their own.
     Yesterday was busy, we took Mom to her new Doctors visit, I made a stop at the Walmart in Berlin for buttons and yarn then I came home and did those everyday chores that just always need to be redone. With no kids home I set off to work on site photos and finish a few hats.
  Off ,to the computer I went, quiet time to crop photos and list some new items......maybe!  We have three dogs, a rescued bordie collie Trixie, a Bichon, Mandy and Liz got a lab puppy Daisy for Christmas. Well, it is like having a house of sugared up two year olds when they get started. There is running and barking, chasing and even some ottoman jumping before they finally tire out the puppy and I can hear myself think again. Was it too quiet here?  Is that even possible, to have too much quiet?

  I am working on some duck and chick hats along with diaper covers for the tiny ones. Today I can sew buttons on  because my littlest helper , Carsen is not here trying to taste each button. He does make a lovely model and is the perfect size 3-4, but it is much easier when I get some alone time. I have a couple of the ducks already done and Liz was nice enough to model the teen duck hat for me. She added her own touch with some sunglasses.
I did get some work done but so enjoyed the silence while all three dogs napped.  With teens off and busy, hubby out I had a chance to warm up some leftover chicken and dumplings from Pioneer Women Cooks site, amazing even as a leftover and so easy to make. This is a must try recipe.  There were even a few of the dinner rolls from her site so I treated myself to one of those.  JJ and I had alot of fun making the rolls the other day. He is my cooking buddy and we are really enjoying trying recipes from this site.  So far we have made amazing and easy white bread, cinnamon rolls that were to die for, chicken and dumplings, drip beef and a pasta.   All very easy and delicious.  Of course while I am typing this I am thinking what can I find there to try for this weekend!   Cinnamon rolls will get made tonight so I can pop them in the oven in the morning, with a few pans to keep in the freezer for another day. This is a must see site if you like to cook or bake. Now that I have made myself hungry I had better get to work on getting the house up and running, maybe some oatmeal to get us started then on tho my etsy pages and a busy Saturday, Keep warm and have a great day whereever you are!

Monday, February 7, 2011


Hibernation, need not be just for bears.  With all the recent snow and cold, I feel the need to curl up and just stay put.  This is not something new for me.  I find myself in this spot every winter.  Maybe not enough light, I am not sure, but one thing I do know is it makes me want to stay in and cook.  For this my family is very grateful. Recently after finding the Pioneer Womans blog I have baked bread, cinnamon rolls and now yesterday made what she calls drip beef. Being from Chicago and now in the middle of Wisconsin this recipe was the closest thing we have had to a good Italian Beef sandwich since moving. Easy and delicious. The diresctions were easy to follow and the end reseult got rave reviews.  So, today I am off to try her chicken and dumplings , now if this doesnt say warm and comfy, what does. We also have my two favorite little guys back and both are sick. Chicken and dumplings is just as good as chicken soup, I would think. Just the idea has had me wanting to hurry into the kitchen and get started. I will also mix up a batch of the white bread. The house will smell wonderful and be warm and just perfect for the bear in me and the guys. So let those flakes fly outdoors today, I am stocked up and ready to cook and bake. During nap time, ( theirs not mine ) I will finish a few new orders that came in over the weekend from the Etsy shop . I have a box ready for the trip to Josephines in Watertown, hopefully tommorrow. As I type this I am beginning to feel a little less like crawling back into bed and hiding until spring. Is it the second cup of coffee or.......the thought of chicken and dumplings? I will have to let you know how it comes out, if only we had smell on theseblogs