Friday, March 29, 2013

Coconut Macaroons

The current issue of REAL SIMPLE magazine
has an incredibly easy macaroon recipe.
Just in case you missed it, here it is.

Coconut Macaroons

Five ingredients are all you need.

Heat your oven to 325 and
line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together 3 large egg whites,
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
1/4 t. kosher salt
until glossy and the sugar is almost dissolved.
Fold in
1 14-oz. pkg. sweetened, shredded coconut
(about 5 cups)

Using a small ice cream scoop,
I'm using a new one I got for Christmas...

...drop the batter in mounds
(about 2T. each) 1-inch apart on
the prepared baking sheet.
Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through,
until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
Let cool completely.

The macaroons will keep for up to
5 days at room temperature
in an airtight container.
Makes 16 cookies.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sweater Pillows!

You've seen them in Pottery Barn, Ballard and all
your other favorite decor shops.

Knitted pillows are very much the decor statement.
They can be time consuming to make if
you're going to knit them.
They can be pricey if you're going to buy them.
I've solved these problems by using
upcycled, repurposed sweaters!

Start with a sweater, no longer being worn, in good shape.
I like cotton sweaters,
because I want my pillows to be washable.

This sweater has cables on the front and back,
so I'll be able to make two pillow covers from it.

First, measure your sweater and decide the size
pillow cover you can cut from it.
Keep in mind the standard pillow form sizes,
so finding a form to fit your cover is not a problem.

Next, hold your breath, and start cutting.

Knitted fabric is very forgiving,
so if your square is not perfect,
due to the original sweater's shape,
don't be too concerned, it will work.
This will be one pillow front.

Because my sweater is a cardigan,
I am going to incorporate the
buttons and ribbing into this pillow cover.

Once the knitted pieces are cut,
you will need a coordinating fabric to sew
them onto for stabilizing,
and two pieces for the backing.
I am using a poly blend pique for these pillows.

For each pillow, cut one square the same size
as your cut knitted piece,
and two more pieces for the backing.
The two backing pieces should measure
the same length x 2/3 the length
of your square knitted piece.

Sew a hem along the long side of each of your
two back pieces.

Pin the knitted square to the fabric square...

...and machine stitch around all four sides.
I use a 3/8-inch seam allowance.

Next pin one backing piece,
hem side up,
to to the knitted piece.

Overlapping the first pinned piece,
pin the second backing piece onto the square.

Machine stitch around all four sides.
I use a 1/2-inch seam allowance here.
It's also a good idea to reinforce the stitching
at each of the four places where the backing
is overlapping.

Here is my completely stitched pillow cover.
Because the cut knitted edge is a bit messy...'s also a good idea to serge all the way around.

This will give your pillow cover a nice clean finish
on the inside.

All that's left to do now,
is turn your covers right side out
and insert your pillow forms.
By the way,
I prefer feather forms.
They are softer and easier to get into the cover.
However, I've used foam forms too,
and although they are harder to get into the cover,
they will work fine.

This week I am linking to
Metamorphosis Monday at
Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cheesecake Brownies

What's better than cheesecake?
What's better than a brownie?
The two together...just saying.

Yesterday my knitting group was here.
We have been meeting weekly for several years.
We meet most Wednesdays and alternate
going to each other's homes.
The hostess usually provides
coffee, tea and a little snack.
Yesterday I made

Cheesecake Brownies

Start by making your favorite brownie recipe.

Reserve about 1/2 cup of the batter,
and spread the rest in an 8-inch square baking pan.

In another bowl, beat 8-oz. cream cheese until smooth.
Add 1/4c. + 2T sugar
and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add 1 egg and 1t. vanilla, beating well.

Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie layer in pan
and smooth mixture until it reaches all the edges.

Combine 1T milk with the reserved brownie batter.
Stir well.

Drop spoonfuls on top of the cheesecake layer.

Drag the tip of a knife
through the brownie and the cheesecake layers
to create swirls.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or just until the center is set.
Let cool.
Cut into squares,
Makes 1 dozen Cheesecake Brownies.

What is better than a Cheesecake Brownie?
Eating them with your knitting buddies...
on the first day of Spring!

Happy Spring everyone!

Please join me for
Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My "Eureka" Moment!

I have a nice collection of ceramic, blue and white balls.
Other than decorative, I'm not sure what their purpose is.
I've heard them called "carpet" balls, but not sure why.
(If anyone knows anything about them, I'd love to hear.)
At any rate, other than gracing a wooden bowl,
I've been unsure where to use them.

Until now!
I have been collecting animal candlesticks for many years.
However, I rarely burn candles.
They belong together!

This little guy sits on my kitchen window sill.

These are two of my favorites.

The balls work great on "regular" candlesticks too.

I did decide however, in homage to the season,
the bunnies were better suited to colored eggs!

Have you had an "eureka" moment lately?

Join me at the
Open House Party at "No Minimalist Here"
Anything Blue Friday at The Dedicated House

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Spring Lambing at Buttermilk Cottage

Look what was created today!
Sweet little knitted sheep ornaments,
just in time for Easter,
favors for baby showers,
cottage chic decor,
or a perfect Mother's Day gift!

They come in a set of two
and I made them from an
up cycled, cotton sweater
which was embellished with
embroidered flowers.

How sweet is that?
You can find them in my Etsy shop.
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