Friday, October 31, 2008

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe (Eggless)

Marie's Gingerbread Cookies

Cream together:
1/2 c. unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 c. plus 1 T. raw sugar (I use Maui Sugar in the Raw)
[substitute packed brown sugar if no other available]
1/2 c. unsulphured molasses
1 1/2 T. yoghurt (lowfat or full-fat)
Then add:
1/4 c. cold water

Mix in separate bowl:
3 c. unbleached white flour
1 teas. gr. cinnamon
1 teas. gr. ginger
1/4 teas. gr. cloves
1 teas. baking soda
a little less than 1/2 teas. salt

Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and blend thoroughly. Divide the dough into two balls and flatten slightly. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until stiff.

To bake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease cookie sheets (if not using non-stick pans).

Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface, using flour on top of dough to keep rolling pin from sticking. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters, and dust off flour before placing onto baking pan.

Bake at least 5 minutes, then check after that every 2 minutes. I can't give you an exact time, as it depends upon your choice of pan and the thickness of your cookie. I made mine about 1/4" thick. As soon as the top springs back, they are done. When cooked properly, these are so moist. If overbaked, they will be dry but good for dunking in milk. Try not to overbake because the bottoms will start to scorch.

My granddaughter loves these for an after school snack.

Halloween Freebie

I stitched this Tanya Anderson (The Sampler Girl) freebie on black Aida. It's finished as a (stuffed pillow) hanging sign. I think I overstuffed it a little, but I was in a rush to get it finished.

The reverse is stitched with DMC Glow-in-the-Dark floss. This is the side that faces outwards (as it hangs in our window). I modeled the "B" after Tanya's alphabet and the ghost is my own creation.

I know people don't like Aida. I don't either. It's very stiff to stitch upon. However, it's the only black fabric that I had.

I wrote to the Michaels craft store corporation and told them that stitching on linen has been preferred by cross stitchers for some years. I asked them to stock our local Michaels with some basic colors of linen, i.e. pink, pale blue, mint green. They said they would consult with their buyers. The last time I went shopping there not even white linen was in stock.

Halloween Is Here

Although I haven't blogged in some time, I was stitching on several projects. Above is the freebie "Quaker Boo," by Tanya Anderson (The Sampler Girl). I left out some of her motifs and added some of my own: the witch's hat, the bat, and the crescent moon. I wanted the sampler to have more Halloween motifs instead of her geometric designs. I stitched this on 28-ct. white Monaco fabric. I used the cotton Monaco because I'm saving my small stash of linen for stitching my own smalls and for exchanges with other stitchers.

I want to finish it as a hanging but don't have the money right now to get the pumpkin-shaped metal bell pull that I saw advertised on a cross stitch supplies website. I really like the way the colors pop on the white background, and I found the Monaco easy to stitch upon.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Scrumptious Eggless Carrot Cake Recipe

I made this yesterday. My granddaughter liked it so much that she has requested it to be the cake for her next birthday. This is my own recipe.

Marie's Carrot Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease & flour two 9" round cake pans.

Mix together by hand:

4 T. yoghurt(make one of them a heaping tablespoon)
1 c. vegetable oil (I recommend sunflower, but safflower is OK if nothing else; never canola)
1 teaspoon gr. cinnamon
1 3/4 c. sugar (I use boxed "Sugar-in-the-Raw" Maui raw sugar)
4 c. grated carrots (nearly all of a 1-lb. bag)
Optional: 2/3 c. chopped walnuts

Mix in a separate bowl:

2 c. white all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a little less than 1/2 teaspoon salt

* * * * * *
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly by hand. Spoon into the two pans and bake. Check after 15-16 minutes, then lower heat to 325 degrees and bake 5-7 minutes more or until done (when the top springs back when touched). I used Wilton aluminum pans and they cooked quickly, so watch them after 15 minutes.

This cake is great plain, or you can frost with a cream cheese icing (recipe available on the Web). It's such a pretty orange that you could shape and decorate it to look like a jack-o-lantern.

Halloween Exchange from Jayne N.

Yesterday I received my HOE Halloween exchange that was mailed from England (only took a week). The fabric will be put to good use when I create Halloween and autumn-themed decorations for our living room. Yes, I needed embroidery scissors!! Jayne N. must be a little psychic. I love humbugs and this one is very cute. The other sides sport a witch and a jack-o-lantern.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

HOE Halloween Exchange

I stayed up very late last night finishing my HOE Halloween Exchange and I was so tired this morning that I FORGOT to take a picture of the finished item before packing it up. Dear exchange partner, please take a good picture of the stitched item itself so that I can have a copy of it.