Sunday, December 14, 2008

holiday cookies

hi there! i've been busy trying to get our house in order for holiday guests and stoking our new wood stove - which was finished just in time for our first winter snow! the kids had a ball playing in the cold yesterday, and came inside for mugs of hot cocoa with marshmallows. add in a teething baby and i've had no time for any crafty fun.

i did, however, finish my swap package for sew liberated's holiday traditions exchange! i want to share it with all of you too. the rules are to include a handmade ornament, a favorite holiday recipe, and a tradition "tutorial" plus any extras you'd like. we haven't established any family traditions so far, the kids are so young and we've been in transition for the last couple of years. but one tradition i have kept for several years is attending my friend's cookie exchange.

cinnamon crackles are my go-to recipe. i first tried them in a taste of home cookbook probably 7 years ago. so, here's a "tute" on making them.

cinnamon crackles

bake: 10-15 minutes
oven: 350*
makes: about 6 dozen

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar

1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract

2 1/2 c. flour
1 Tb. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. grated orange peel
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 c. sugar for rolling cookies - i use vanilla scented sugar

in a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening, and sugars. add egg & extracts; mix well.















at this point, i had made biscuits in the preheated oven, spread with pumpkin butter and placed on a santa tray for the littles to sample. this helped curb the begging to help. and gave me something to snack on while waiting for hot cookies!

combine the next eight ingredients; gradually add to the creamed mixture.














shape into 1 inch balls; roll in sugar. place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. i like to use parchment to make it easy to clean up.





























bake at 350* for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. cool on racks.















for my partner, i made a cookie apron, which i sent along with a felt gingerbread ornament, this tutorial, and some vanilla scented sugar and fresh baked crackles. i'm hoping she will enjoy them as much as i do, and maybe make them part of her own holiday tradition.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

150 comments!

WOW. that's all i can say. thank you all for coming by to visit me. and for all the nice comments about the scarf. the winning number was 129, allison, congrats!

for anyone who would like to try making your own, here's the details. i used two red heart yarns, mistelle (in mint) and symphony(in magenta) and size 11 needles. the stitch couldn't be simpler. cast on 12, or 15 if you'd like it wider. then k1, yo, k2tog. repeat. that's it. over and over and over until it's the length you want. and then bind off in knit. weave in ends. yay! a new, soft and squishy scarf! i've also made this in wool, which looks more rustic. here's another example. and the yarns i used - well, they came from my gigantic stash, and i know for a fact the symphony has been discontinued. but i think you could substitute about anything you want.

i had so much fun yesterday checking out all the giveaways. there were some fantastic prizes out there! thanks to sewmamasew for setting it up and for just being cool.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

finally!

here it is! the fabulous giveaway prize!

a handknit scarf, made by me, it's super snuggly and soft. it's a combo of two soft acrylic yarns, which means that it can be washed (that's a bonus for us moms, who can't wear anything for five minutes without a little wiping something on it)

in my three minute "photo shoot" this morning, i attempted to get a great shot of me wearing the scarf. so my camera was perched upon the step stool, which sat on top of the high chair. and i got two pictures before the kids found me.

hope you can tell what it looks like, hope you like the colors (pale blue and raspberry), hope you'll come back tomorrow and leave me a comment for a chance to win!

still waiting...

my me-time yesterday never did happen. wood stove woes, troy spent the entire day trying to get the stovepipe in place and still isn't finished. then he went to get water (we are so rural we have to haul our own water!) and he had a blow out and ruined a tire. so i didn't get anywhere with my sewing. i did a lot of knitting though! and this morning before we leave for preschool i am hoping to get photos taken. we'll see...

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