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Posts from ‘October, 2009’

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

picture of BakedSugarCookies

I don't often bake cookies any more since it's just the two of us. I actually kind of miss making them. It seemed like when the children were all at home someone always needed cookies for some event or another. Just last week Rob mentioned that he was hungry for these Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies. I got this recipe from my Aunt Nana several years ago and it has become one of our favorites. These are a puffy, soft, cake-like sugar cookie.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

1 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsps. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
4 cups flour (I use bread flour)

Cream margarine and sugars. Add eggs. Stir together dry ingredients and add alternately with the buttermilk.
Chill this dough for several hours or overnight. You can either roll out this dough and cut with cookie cutters or prepare it the lazy way that I do it by scooping it out with a scoop and flattening the balls of dough with your floured fingers. I find that these bake best if you bake them on parchment lined baking sheets. I have small cookie sheets and find I can only put six on a sheet at a time. I get about two dozen cookies from this recipe. Bake at 400 degrees for 9-10 mins. Cool slightly and remove from cookie sheets. Frost with the following icing:

Browned Butter Frosting
6 Tbsps. butter or margarine
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 Tbsps. milk or cream

Heat the butter over medium heat until a delicate brown. (A stainless steel pan works better than a non-stick pan for this so you can see how it is browning) Remove from heat and mix in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and the milk. Spread on cookies while still warm. Let dry completely before storing the cookies. It works best to place waxed paper between the layers. This should be enough for one batch of cookies.

Scooping out the cookie dough:

picture of Scooping Cookies

Patting out the cookies:

picture of Patting Cookies


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Cabbage Soup

Fall has definitely fallen here this past week. The temps have gone down and we have had several rainy days. It has been perfect weather for soup! We actually eat soups year round, but we especially enjoy them in the fall and winter months.

I think soups are one of the ultimate convenience foods. It's nice to fix a big pot of soup and then have those leftovers in the refrigerator for later in the week for another meal or to have as a "soup course" to help round out a rather skimpy meal. Many years ago I read a book where the mother of a large family said that when her children were teenagers the only way they survived all the diverse schedules was because she prepared a big pot of soup each day and the children could eat when they came home from their various activities.

I especially like to make this soup in the fall when we can get such good mountain cabbage. The heads are huge, solid, and crisp. Cabbage, potatoes and onions are all high in vitamin C and the carrots are a good source of vitamin A. I have made this soup when we were in Germany and in China as well. We found that these ingredients were available and fairly inexpensive in those parts of the world too.

picture of Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup

1 large onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 stalks celery (w/leaves) sliced
1 Tbsp. oil
5 cups water
1 1/2 Tbsps. chicken soup base
4-6 carrots, peeled and sliced
3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
4-5 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
1/3 cup spaghetti sauce*
pepper to taste
1/2 pound smoked sausage, sliced

Heat oil in large soup kettle and saute onions and celery until wilted. Add water, soup base, carrots, and potatoes. Heat to boiling and then reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 mins. Add the cabbage and simmer 5-10 mins. longer or until cabbage is wilted down. Add the spaghetti sauce and sausage and season with pepper. If it seems too thick for your taste add more water.

*This soup needs just a touch of tomato in my humble opinion. I like the spaghetti sauce and I often have a partial jar in the fridge. You can also use a small amount of catsup, a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste or canned tomatoes, or a small fresh tomato that has been peeled and chopped.

So, the next cold, blustery day give this one a try.


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Mini Quilt Info

I have had some inquiries about the mini quilt, so I thought I would post a little more information since some people can't get to the original instructions.

My grandson, Drew, loves animals, so I wanted to feature large pictures of animals in his quilt. I purchased a few pieces of fabric that had several different animals on one piece of yardage. I made a frame out of cardboard and placed it over the animal pictures and then marked the cutting lines through the inside of the frame.

picture of Framed Quilt Fabric

The post where I got this idea from used a variety of kid-themed fabrics with smaller prints so they didn't need to fussy cut them. This would be a more economical way to make the quilt, but I really wanted to feature the animals for Drew's quilt, so I was willing to splurge a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚

I found that both Walmart and Hobby Lobby had a lot of animal and children's prints to choose from.

picture of Quilt Prints

I cut out thirty 4 1/2 inch blocks -- 2 of each print and then stitched them together in six rows of 5 across using 1/4 inch seams. I then layered the backing (right side down), the batting, and the quilt top. I pinned these layers together with safety pins. (I cut the batting and the backing larger than the top.) I tied the quilt at the intersections with perle cotton. After it was tied I trimmed the batting even with the quilt top and cut the backing 1" larger than the top. I then turned the backing over toward the top to form a binding and stitched it down by hand.

This shows the tying at the intersections:

picture of Quilt Tying

This shows the backing folded over and used as binding:

picture of Quilt Binding

This is definitely not a family heirloom -- I just hope it will be a fun little gift for my one and only grandson. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a lot of fun to make and I'm hoping to make more in the future. If you have other questions I would be glad to try to answer them. Perhaps when I make another one I can do a tutorial.


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Zucchini Muffins

Most quick bread recipes that utilize zucchini are for sweet breads. This one is a savory muffin that is good as an accompaniment to soups, stews, etc. The recipe comes from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads. It has been one of our favorites for many years.

picture of Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini Muffins
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
2 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsps. salt
2 cups shredded zucchini (could use frozen if well-drained)
1 1/2 tsps. Italian seasoning
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

In a small bowl break and slightly beat the eggs. Add the milk and oil.

In a mixing bowl measure the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir thoroughly. Add the zucchini and the Italian seasoning to the flour mixture and stir gently, then stir in the liquid ingredients. Stir only enough to combine the ingredients. Spoon the batter into muffins tins that have been greased and floured. Fill each cup about half full and then sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of each muffin. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 mins. or until golden brown. This will make 18-24 muffins. These freeze well.

Here are the ingredients ready to be combined:

picture of Zucchini Muffin Ingredients

Here are the muffins ready to pop into the oven:

picture of Zucchini Muffins avec Parmesan


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Sewing projects

I have been having fun with a few sewing projects lately. Unfortunately I can't share some of them with you until after Christmas!

One thing that I can share with you is this little mini I spy quilt for my grandson, Drew. I am going up to visit him in about a week and I wanted to take him a gift. I found the directions for the little quilt here. It was a fun project and I hope to make more of them in the future.

Here is a picture of it:

picture of I Spy Quilt

Drew loves Thomas the Train. Here is a picture of the back of the quilt:

picture of Back of I Spy Quilt


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