Thursday, December 30, 2010

Are Pillowcases Made Of Gold?

I got a beautiful set of flannel sheets for Christmas. So soft, and warm, I love them. The set came with two pillowcases. I need 4 more. I have a lot of pillows on the bed. I went to Kohl's where the sheets were bought to pick up some more pillowcases. I picked up a a package that was marked $56. Are you kidding me? The cheapest I found at that store was for a package of two for $25. Better, but nowhere near what I'm willing to pay.

I had to go to Target so I figured I'd check there. The cheapest that I found was for around $12 or $17, I was in shock so I can't remember. Again, better, but not what I'm willing to pay. I checked Target online, and apparently, I can get a pair for $6.99, but that's not including shipping.

What's going on here? This is just ridiculous. The original set of sheets cost $29.99! All I want are some reasonably priced pillowcases.

Luckily, I'm surrounded by intelligent people (most of the time.) My daughter suggested, "Why don't you make your own, Mom?" Duh. Great idea. I have yards of  fabric sitting in plastic boxes doing next to nothing. What could be simpler than sewing up a few pillowcases? I'll be sure to post what I come up with.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Creative Gift Giving From The Heart (And The Kitchen)

It's very busy around here, as we are getting ready for Christmas. Lots of baking and creating going on. Many years back, we decided to pick names to exchange gifts rather than getting everyone in the family a gift. The family was getting bigger and money was getting tight. It was agreed upon that if you wanted to give something to another family member that wasn't your "pick" then you had to make it. This inspired most everyone to get creative. Now, every Christmas we look forward to seeing what everyone has come up with.

I usually put together gift baskets or bags of things that I have made in the kitchen. Jams, breads and cookies top the list. Sometimes I get creative with what I put the items in. There was one year that I collected several cardboard boxes from the restaurant that I worked at. Then I wrapped the boxes with wrapping paper and put all of my creations in the box. Last year I bought plastic snack bowls and put the goodies in those wrapped up with cellophane. One year I bought plain brown paper bags with handles and adhered fabric to the bags to decorate them with. This year I'll probably use standard gift bags.

Delicious Pumpkin Bread

This year I'll be giving Double Fudge Brownie Mix, Apple Butter, Blueberry Jam, Cherry Jam, Pumpkin Bread,  Oreo Pops, Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies, Double Chocolate Rum Fruitcake Cookies, and Fudge Puddles. I'm going to try making Eggnog Fudge, Cinnamon Fudge, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge for a few special people on my list. It sounds like a lot of stuff to make a mere 4 days before Christmas, but I've already made the jams and the Apple Butter. The jams were done in July, and the Apple Butter was made in September. So, it's not as bad as it seems.

Well, I have a lot of creating ahead of me, so I'd better get back into the kitchen. Good luck with all of your creative gift giving this season!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It Sure Smells Good Around Here! Great Last Minute Gifts

I just made up about 25 bottles of room spray. Scents I have available are:

Apple Jack and Peel  
Banana Nut Bread
Blueberry Cheesecake
Caramel Latte
Christmas Memories
Christmas Wish
Cinnamon Buns
Fresh Laundry
Nana's Kitchen

I'm selling them for $5.50 a bottle. They come in a 4 oz, amber colored, spray mist bottle, with a kraft paper label and a fabric accent tied on the neck of the bottle. You can either buy them at Aunt Lizzie's Whatnot Shop, the only shop that carries them, or through me. I would even be willing to ship. They make great stocking stuffers, teacher appreciation gifts, last minute gifts, or something to give yourself. They smell nice, and look good, too!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The White 1505 For Sale

I'm ready to part with one of my machines. This is a big step for me. As I was cleaning and tuning up the White 1505 I was thinking to myself what a nice machine it is. I even contemplated keeping for myself, but I really can't. I have to make more room and go through the machines that I have.

The White 1505 has a bunch of nice stitch functions, does button holes, and the accessory compartment is detachable, so that you can sew narrow items like cuffs, sleeves, or small bags. It comes with a few extra feet, and various accessories. The body is very clean, and I went over the whole machine and cleaned, oiled and greased where needed. The machine works great, and from what I've read about it, it seems to be well liked by quilters. The same model recently sold on eBay for $139. I have it listed on Craigslist for $60. I'd love to see this sewing machine go to someone who will really use and enjoy it. Contact me if you are interested in the White 1505.
To see more photos, click here.
To see the ad on Craigslist, click here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cranberry Drops - Yummy!

My assignment: make some cookies for the annual Christmas Bazaar at church, where the cookie table is very popular. Don't you get sick of making the same chocolate chip cookie all of the time? Plus, when you go to a bazaar, chances are the table is filled with - what else- chocolate chip cookies. Now, mind you, I LOVE the good 'ol standby, the classic chocolate chip cookie, but every now and then, I like to mix it up and be a little more creative, and in this case, contribute something a little different to the cookie table.

Betty Crocker's Cooky Book

Enter, Betty Crocker's Cooky Book. My husband knows how much I like vintage cookbooks (okay, vintage anything, almost) so I found the Betty Crocker's Cooky Book under the tree for me on Christmas morning last year. The book was originally published in 1963, but I received a copy that was published in 2002. Heaven. I haven't made one cookie from that cookbook, until today. I chose the Cranberry Drops recipe, mostly because I had all of the ingredients on hand, and I thought it was something that would appeal to people. I also thought that the chances of there being another Cranberry Drop cookie on the cookie table at the bazaar were low.

So, the results? Absolutely yummy! The tartness of the cranberries mixed with the sweetness of the dough made for a wonderful combination. This one is going in my list of "keepers". The recipe is below. If you do try it, let me know what you think. The recipe says to bake for 10-15 minutes. I found that my baking time was about 10-11 minutes, and they were perfect. Also, the recipe says the you'll get about 11 dozen, but I only got about 7 dozen.

Cranberry Drops
From: Betty Crocker's Cooky Book

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp. orange juice
1 egg
3 cups Gold Medal Flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. soda
1 cup chopped nuts
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cranberries

Heat oven to 375 degrees (quick mod.). Cream butter and sugars together. Beat in milk, orange juice, and egg. Measure flour by dipping method (p. 5) or by sifting. Stir together flour, baking powder,l salt, and soda. Blend well with sugar mixture. Stir in chopped nuts and cranberries. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls on greased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 15 min. Makes 11 doz. cookies.
Cranberry Drop Cookies fresh out of the oven
Finally, as a side note, I think it's funny that "cookie" is spelled "cooky" in the title of the cookbook. It always makes me think of "kooky."
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