Monday, April 9, 2018

No Bake Cherry Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Your guests will ooo and ahhh when you serve them this dessert. And trust me, it will disappear fast!

It makes up quickly and needs no baking. The cream cheese filling is the only thing you mix up, as the crust and topping come straight from the store.

1 graham cracker pie crust
1 can of fruit pie filling; cherry, blueberry or apple
8 oz. cream cheese, softened if not mixing with Cruisinart style processor
1 c. powdered sugar (unsifted)
2 c. whipped topping; i.e. Cool Whip
1/2 t. vanilla extract

Beat or blend together the cream cheese and the powdered sugar. Then fold in the whipped topping and vanilla. Pour into the pie crust. Then top with the fruit pie filling. Refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

Options: Try drizzling liquid chocolate over the top or chocolate curls. Try using an Oreo cookie crust instead of the graham cracker crust. Try using fresh strawberries and strawberry glaze instead of the fruit pie filling.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Bulky HDC Afghan - FREE Crochet Pattern

A FREE Pattern, Designed and Written by Patty Kubitzki
Yarn: Caron One Pound, 2 strands held together, about 3 pounds
Hook: size P (11.50 mm)
Stitch pattern: HDC (half double crochet) worked in back loop only
Size: 70" (92") long x 45" wide

Top Off White afghan is 1 strand of White and 1 strand of Off White
White afghan is 2 White strands held together
Black afghan is 1 strand of Black and 1 strand of Dark Gray Mix

Row 1: Ch 110 (145) sts loosely. HDC in 3rd ch from hook and ea. ch to end.
Row 2 – 50: Ch 2, turn. HDC in ea. st working in back loop only to end.
Fasten off and weave in ends.
No border, edging or blocking is needed.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

US Omnibus Spending Bill - What's In It?

There's a lot of discussion and concerns right now about the Omnibus Spending Bill signed by President Donald Trump on March 23, 2018.

The best way to know what is in this 2,232 bill is to look through the document yourself to find what is written there. I have no intention to read the bill in its entirety but use the keyboard shortcut 'Ctrl F' to do word searches on topics of interest.

Having a concern about air quality and pollution, I did a search on the word 'air' but that yielded too many wrong results. So adding a space in front and behind the word 'air',
i.e. ' air ' narrowed down my search more accurately, finding page 802 that gave me the information I was seeking.

Another search I did was on the word 'internet'. This brought up a couple items of interest: On pages 611 & 612 it discusses how the funds can't be used by the Federal Government to collect data or to pay a third party to do the same (my translation, in short); also beginning on page 1,534 there is a section regarding funds to be appropriated to support Global Internet Freedom.

I encourage you to do your own keyword searches to better understand the Bill and how it relates to your topics of interest.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Annie's Mukluk Crochet Booties Pattern Post Project Notes

The following are my pictures and notes using the purchased pattern from Annie's called 'Mukluk Crochet Booties'.
Here is my finished version of the main pattern:

These are made with 2 strands of Caron Pound in the Lace color. Since I used a different yarn then the pattern suggested, I ended up changing the hook size (actually several times within the pattern) and made a size Small which fit my foot, a size 10 shoe size.

Then I decided to make 2 shorter versions of the slipper, basically without the leg section and decorative finishes. These are also using double stranded yarn.

I decided to try one more change and make a thinner sock that came up a little ways on my ankle, but wasn't binding. So these use 1 strand of the Caron Pound yarn. Again I worked the size Small directions with hook changes in different sections of the pattern and on the leg section I shortened the number of rounds and worked a few rounds of mock ribbing by alternating FPDC and DC sts.
I really enjoyed working with this pattern and found is so easy to modify. So you see I made a lot of pairs. They work up fast and I highly recommend giving this pattern a try. It's well worth the price.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Potatoes O'Brien Au Gratin Recipe

This is my homemade version of a popular dish that typically uses the store bought Potatoes O'Brien, which is often hard to find in the stores close to big holidays. With this recipe you can make it all from scratch and it's so easy and less expensive.

So here is the recipe with all my helpful notes.

2 and 1/2 medium size Russet Potatoes, scrubbed and grated using the larger grater holes. Then rinse with cold water and drain. Yes, leave the peels on!
1/4 c. EACH of chopped Sweet Onion, and 3 kinds of Peppers (orange, red, yellow and/or green)So 1 c. total.
1/2 contents of 10.5 oz. size Cream of Chicken Soup (Save the rest to make this again!)
1/2 contents of small (8 oz.) Sour Cream
1 c. shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided into 2/3 c. in dish + 1/3 c. on top per recipe
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 8" x 8" baking dish.
In medium bowl, mix sour cream and soup. Add 2/3 c. of the cheese and mix well.
Add potatoes, onion and peppers. Mix well.
Pour in greased dish, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.
Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining 1/3 c. cheese over the top. Bake uncovered another 30 minutes.

Serves 6. Leftovers freeze well, if needed.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Wellness Tea Ice Cream Topping

This recipe uses the apples and some of the liquid from my Wellness Tea recipe.
In a saucepan on the stove, stir together:
1 T. Cornstarch
1/4 c. Sugar

Slowly stir in 3/4 c. Wellness Tea liquid.
Cook over medium heat until boiling, stirring frequently. Boil 5 minutes.
Add chopped apples or other fruit saved from the Wellness Tea and add 1/2 T. butter. Stir a minute until butter is melted and apples are heated. Serve warm over ice cream. Top with whipped cream and nutmeg, if desired.

Wellness Tea, Simmering Potpouri, Air Purifier

In my quest to incorporate healthier foods and drinks in my life I came up with this wellness tea or drink.
I centered it around foods and spices that fight inflammation. The combination of spices with the apples is very delicious and I have enjoyed it hot, cold or added to green tea, orange juice or other fruit juice. Save the apples after cooking and combine it with some of the tea for my Wellness Tea Ice Cream Topping.

In a saucepan on the stove, combine:

3 c. Water
1 t. Ground Ginger
2 Cinnamon Sticks
3 Whole Cloves
1 T. Honey
1 T. Lemon Juice
1 - 2 Apples, unpeeled, chopped, without the core

Simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes or more if desired.
Let cool for another 30 minutes. Then remove the cinnamon sticks (they can be used several times), the cloves and the apples (save the apples to use in my Wellness Tea Ice Cream Topping).
Strain the tea through a fine strainer and into a Mason or other glass jar. Store in the refrigerator.

Instead of using apples, try substituting orange or lemon slices, chopped mango or cherries.

Juicing for Wellness

My favorite juicing recipe.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Caramel Popcorn Recipe

When the temperature drops and colder weather sets in this caramel popcorn recipe always comes to my mind. This recipe originally showed up in my phone bill probably back in the 70's and I have treasured it ever since.

I give it an 'Excellent' rating because it not only tastes great but is easy to make with common ingredients that I typically have on hand. The hardest part about making this is waiting for the hour cooking time and then allowing it to fully cool. But it's that hour in the oven and stirring it every 15 minutes that finalizes the hardening of the caramel syrup and gives the popcorn an even coating of deliciousness.

I cut the portions of the original recipe in half, so double it back up if you prefer that.
Start off with 3 quarts of popped popcorn, which is 1/2 c. of popcorn kernels. I prefer to use an air-popper but making it other ways is fine too. I pour the popcorn in my large lasagne pan, ungreased.
Next cook the syrup on the stove over medium heat. See recipe details below.

When the cook time is done this is what it will look like - sweet, crunchy goodness!

Caramel Popcorn
1/2 c. popcorn kernels, or 3 qts. popped popcorn
1 stick (1/2 c.) butter - I use salted butter
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pour popped popcorn in a large shallow baking pan.

In a large saucepan, melt butter, then stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Then boil WITHOUT stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda and vanilla.

Gradually pour over popped popcorn and mix well. Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Break apart and store in tightly covered container.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Winter Slipper Boots - FREE Crochet Pattern

Original free pattern Lucky Wanderer by DROPS Design. LINK Please visit their website for main pattern details of DROPS Extra 0-888. Below I detail the specifics of how I used the pattern.

This is a GREAT pattern! It works up fast and you will be wearing your beautiful warm slippers lickity cut! Here is a picture of the 1st pair I made.
I used Caron Pound for the yarn, Medium Grey Mix for the Cuff, Sole, Pom-Pom and Ties, and added Soft Grey Mix, holding the 2 strands together for the main body part of the slipper. I did use the L size hook, except as noted.

Because I was using different yarn then what the pattern called for, I did some adjusting to the pattern's largest size. However, after completing the boot, I realized it was way too large so I had to recalculate, tear out and start over.

Here are my changes and post project comments:
CUFF:Start with a tail long enough to seam the cuff, about 20". Work per pattern instructions for 27 rows.
SLIPPER: Using the 2 strands held together work 33 sc sts along one edge of cuff. Work per pattern instructions but make decreases at beginning, end and middle on rows 6, 8, and 10. I worked 12 total rows for the Slipper part.
SOLE / Bottom part of Slipper for Grey pair: I worked 6 rows per pattern instructions, then on last row (7) I made decreases at the beginning, end and also 1 decrease in the middle.
ASSEMBLY:Work as per pattern instructions.
POM-POM TIES: Using size I hook, ch 175. Pull the middle of the tie through a couple stitches about 1" above the Bottom part. Tie the pom-poms on each each and trim the excess yarn.

The single layer on the sole seemed to need beefing up. I wanted more warmth, cushion and durability. So I dug through my pattern notes and decided to make a separate sole to whip onto the bottom. This seemed to be very effective. But on my 2nd pair I will fine tune the process and make it a little better.

So here are my detailed instructions on how to make the sole for a size large (size 10-10.5 shoe size). I made the 2 Layer Sole - Option 2 with a size G hook:

1 Layer Sole: working from the center out. Rnd 1: ch 27. hdc in 3rd ch, hdc in same st, hdc in next 3 ch, sc in next 8, 5 hdc, dc in next 7 ch, work 5 dc in the end ch. Now work opposite side of ch – 7 dc, 5 hdc, 8 sc, 3 hdc, 2 hdc on beg. st of rnd. Join with sl st.

Rnd 2: ch 2, hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next 2 sts, 3 hdc, 7 sc, 5 hdc, 7 dc, 2 dc in next 5 sts, 7 dc, 5 hdc, 7 sc, 3 hdc, 2 hdc in next 2 sts, hdc in last st. Join.

Rnd 3: ch 2, hdc, 2 hdc in next 4 sts, 12 hdc, 12 dc, 2 dc in next 9 sts, 12 dc, 12 hdc, 2 hdc in next 3 sts. Join. Fasten off with a 3 1/2 yd. yarn tail.

2 Layer Sole – Option 1:
Make 2 separate layers following the directions for the 1 Layer Sole.

2 Layer Sole – Option 2:
Make 1 layer (outer sole) working only Rnds 1 & 2 of the 1 Layer Sole directions, fasten off. Make a 2nd layer(inner sole), but after working Rnd 2, match up the outer sole on top of the inner sole. Pull the last remaining loop of the inner sole through the outer sole. Continue with Rnd 3 working through the loops of both inner and outer soles.

3 Layer Sole: Make a 2 Layer Sole-Option 2 then make and a 1 Layer Sole. Connect them together when attaching to the top. The 2 Layer Sole will be between the Top part and the 1 Layer Sole bottom. Only leave a long yarn tail on the 1 Layer Sole.

To attach the sole to the boot, I first stuffed the bottom of the boot with plastic bags. Then I positioned the sole on the bottom, pinned it, hand basted it with large stitches, then hand whipped around the edges of the sole.
Next I was on to make my 2nd pair (one isn't enough with this pattern, trust me!) using Caron Pound Lace (beige color) for the Cuff, Sole / Bottom Part, Pom-Poms and Ties; then changing to White and Off White for the Slipper main body.

I followed the changes I detailed above until I got to the Sole / Bottom part of the slipper. On this version I worked only 4 rows with Lace color, then fastened off. Then I worked the 3 Layer Sole detailed above. The stitches on the boot were nearly twice the size of the stitches on the sole. In counting there were 48 stitches on the boot and 82 stitches on the sole. That meant I would be working almost every other stitch on the sole, matched to every stitch on the boot.

I positioned the sole(s) on the boot and tied a marker yarn at the center toe to be sure that location lined up properly. Here is the detailed instructions for attaching the piece:

Attaching sole to top:
Take your time on this step and be sure you are catching in all layers with each stitch made! Your sts should be snug but not so tight as to hide the middle layer.
Working from outside of slipper and using size G hook
Match top to sole with sole facing you.
The yarn tail should be close to the center back of the heel.
Pull yarn tail through to the slipper top side.
(Insert hook from sole through top, YO and pull through; move to next st), rep.(), making sl sts around the complete edge of the sole. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Tags: #dropsdesign #crochet #freecrochetpattern #crochetslippers

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