I store all kinds of things about cooking, quilting and some surprises in my cupboard. Check it out.

Honey Oatmeal Bread


This recipe came from a favorite source in the 1980s – The Blue Ribbon Gazette, a newsletter with recipes from blue ribbon winners from all over the country.  I won a blue ribbon with this bread at the large Harvest Home Festival (Cincinnati) in 1989.

This is a hearty bread that stays soft for several days and is wonderful toasted or used for a grilled sandwich.


  • Servings: Three 7-1/2 inch loaves or two 9-inch loaves
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1-½ cups milk
1 cup oats, quick
1 Tblsp. salt
2 Tblsp. canola oil
One 13 oz. can evaporated milk, undiluted
¼ cup honey
2 Tblsp. fast acting yeast*
2 cups whole wheat flour
3-4 cups all-purpose flour

**I use Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast. I buy it in bulk (454 g) and the package says that it is made in Canada. I understand it is packaged under the name “Instant Dry” for distribution through stores like Sam’s, “Rapid Rise” in the U.S. and “Quick Rise” in Canada. The “Instant Dry”, “Rapid Rise” or “Quick Rise” yeast is especially formulated to be used mixed with the dry ingredients and can withstand the hot liquid.

Grease three 7-½ inch or two 9-inch loaf pans

Place 1-½ cups of milk in a pan, bring to a boil.  Add oats and salt and cook for 2 minutes.  Add oil, evaporated milk, honey and salt.  Cool to 130 degrees F. (cooling will take 10-15 minutes).

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place yeast and 2 cups whole wheat flour.  Beat to blend flour and yeast.  Add 130 degree F milk/honey mixture and beat with paddle beater for 3 minutes on medium speed.

Remove paddle beater and insert dough hook.  Continue to beat for 6-1/2 minutes, adding all-purpose flour a little at a time.   You may not have to use all of the flour – the dough should be smooth and elastic after 6-1/2 minutes. Although a little sticky because of the honey.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, turn dough over once and cover with a napkin or tea towel.  Let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place that is free of drafts (I put mine on top of my microwave which sets under a cabinet).

After 45 minutes, punch down dough (press your knuckles into the dough to deflate it). Remove dough to a lightly floured board and divide into three portions for 7-½ inch loaves or into two portions for 9 inch loaves.  Roll each portion into a loaf, pinch seams to seal and place seam-side-down in a greased 7-½ inch or 9-inch loaf pan.  Cover and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to  350 degrees F.

Bake 7-½ inch loaves for approximately 30-35 minutes and the 9 inch loaves for about 50-60 minutes or until bread is golden brown and has a hollow sound when tapped (200 degrees on a bread thermometer*).

Cover with a piece of foil if top is browning too fast.  Remove bread from pans immediately, cover with a napkin or a tea towel and let cool on a wire rack.

Yield:  Three 7-½ inch loaves or two 9 inch loaves



Stars and Pinwheels QAL – Block 6 – Pinwheel 7

Susan-B6 (2)

This is block 6 in Susan’s stars and pinwheels quilt-along, called Pinwheel 7.  Colors are distorted in the picture – fabrics are white and dark green polka dot.


I’m using the blocks in this series to make a different project each month rather than saving them for a big quilt.  This month, I decided to replace a 30-year-old mixer cover for my 30-year-old Kitchen Aid mixer.

My daughter had brought the cover back from a trip to Ireland and it’s still in good shape, but it’s time for a different look for that part of the kitchen counter.

Susan-B6 (3)

I used the old cover as a three-part pattern (center and two sides).  I reduced the block size to 7 inches finished and used four of them plus two end pieces to make the center of the cover.

Susan-B6 (6)

I found two Dutch embroidered panels in my stack of hand-embroidery and used one for each side.Susan-B6 (4)

Susan-B6 (5)

All I needed was a lining and some binding around the bottom to complete a new, very different cover for the old Kitchen Aid.

Susan-B6 (1)


Cozy Afternoon Block-of-the-Month – A Hassock Cover


Jacquelynne Steves recently offered a series of free blocks-of-the-month called Cozy Afternoon.


The block patterns began in May and ended in October with suggestions on setting and borders.  I intended from the first day to make a cover for a large storage hassock I keep in my sewing room.  There would be one panel for the top and four for the sides, adding corner triangles and sashing.

I thought the blocks were very pretty  …..

Beach-B1 (1)

Beach-B2 (1)

Cozy3 (1)

blk4 (2)


Unfortunately, the end product was not what I wanted.  The cover doesn’t fit as well as I hoped and I’m not sure about the triangle fabric I used.  It has the beach and shoreline look I wanted but doesn’t set off the blocks very well.



I’ll keep the cover for now, but the piece would be easy to take apart and I’ll be looking for ideas to use these nice panels in a better way.

Balsamic Chicken and Mac Salad

Balsamic-Mac (5)

I took a “classic” macaroni salad recipe and made a few changes to turn it into a chicken and macaroni salad, suitable for a meal.  The white balsamic vinegar gives this dish a different flavor from the usual versions – I like it a lot.

Balsamic-Mac (3)


2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tblsp. white balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. yellow mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. dried minced onions
1 Tblsp. chopped pimiento
1 cup shredded cooked chicken

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the macaroni and cook until tender, 8-9 minutes.  Rinse under cold water and drain.  Dry the pasta as much as possible, blotting with a paper towel.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, garlic, celery seed, black pepper, minced onions and pimiento.   Stir in the drained macaroni.  Add the chicken breast.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, preferably overnight.

Balsamic-Mac (6)


Pie Carrier – A Tutorial

Dutch pie carr (1)

Whenever I’m invited to a pot luck dinner or picnic, I like to take a two-crust fruit pie.  This kind of pie holds up well en route, can stand the heat and is something that a lot of people don’t make for themselves.

I like to use a carrier to protect it and have designed a pie carrier that works well.  For special people, I leave the carrier with them as a hostess gift.  It would also work well to carry other food items that will fit in an 11×11 inch container.

This is how I made my latest version, using a vintage embroidery pattern for the top of the lid and 3 orphan blocks for the lid lining, carrier and carrier lining.  A few scraps for the side panels and tie handles along with some stiff interfacing completed the supply list:

Front and back:  Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 11-½ inches (includes ¼ inch seam) fabric
Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 11-1/2 inches lining
Cut 2 pieces 10×10 inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz

Sides:  Cut four 3 x 11-½ inch pieces of fabric for carrier
Cut four 3 x 11-½ inch pieces for lining
`    Cut four 2-½ x 10 inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz

Tie:  Cut two pieces 3-3/4 x 16 inches of fabric
Cut two pieces 3-3/4 x 16 inches of contrasting or lining fabric

Cut one piece 11-1/2 x 11-1/2 inches fabric
Cut one piece 11-½ x 11-½ inches lining
Cut one piece 10 x 10 inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz

Lid flaps:
Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 2-¾ inches of fabric
Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 2-3/4 inches of lining
Cut 2 pieces 10-1/2 x 1-¾ inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz

Binding:  Cut one piece 1-½ inches x 44 inches

Velcro:  Cut two sets of ¾ inch Velcro 10-½ inches long.

Attach stiffener to lining pieces by centering on the wrong side of each piece and stitching a cross to secure.  Do this for the top, bottom, four sides, lid and two flaps

Dutch PieCarr (1)
Sew fabric ties right sides together with lining/contrasting fabric, using ¼ inch seams.  Sew two sides and across top of each set (pointing or rounding top if desired).  Trim, turn, press and top stitch each side ¼ inch from edges.

Your pieces should be:
Bottom, 4 sides, lid, 2 flaps, two sewn ties
Bottom, 4 sides, lid, 2 flaps – all with stiffener sewn in place.

Dutch PieCarr (2)

Sew four pieces of fabric sides, right sides together,  to four edges of fabric bottom, leaving ½ inch at beginning and ending of seam.

Dutch PieCarr (3)
Fold corners of sides together and sew from raw edge to ½ inch from end

Dutch PieCarr (4)

Dutch PieCarr (5)

Sew four pieces of lining sides, right sides together, to four edges of lining bottom, leaving ½ inch at beginning and ending of seam.

Pin corners together and sew from raw edge to ½ inch from end.

Fold corners of sides together and sew from raw edge to ½ inch from end.

Pin wrong side of lining in carrier, wrong sides together, matching corners and raw edges.  Baste 1/8 inch from edge.

Pin tie handles to the outside of the carrier at the center of two sides of the carrier.

Dutch PieCarr (7)

Join ends of binding with ½ inch seam and pin to top edge of outside of carrier, right sides together.  Baste 1/8 inch from edge.

Dutch PieCarr (8)

Dutch PieCarr (9)
Stitch with ¼ inch seam around edge.  Turn under ¼ inch and hand stitch binding to inside of carrier.

Sew the fabric flaps to the fabric lid on two opposite sides (flaps should be on sides that do not have flaps).

Sew the lining flaps to the lid lining on two opposite sides (flaps should be on sides that do not have flaps).

Place fabric lid and lining lid right sides together and join with a 1/2 inch seam, leaving a 3 inch opening on one side for turning.  Trim, turn, press and top stitch the lid.

On the two sides that don’t have ties, measure down ½ inch from the top edge of the lining flap on the lid and draw a line.  Center the matching Velcro piece with the top edge of the Velcro covering the line and stitch in place.

Dutch PieCarr (10)
Measure down one inch from the top binding edge of the carrier and draw a line.  Center the matching Velcro piece with the top edge of the Velcro covering the line and stitch in place.

Dutch PieCarr (11)
Place an aluminum 9 inch pie pan in the bottom of the carrier and place the baked pie on top of the aluminum pan.  Place lid on top of carrier and fasten with Velcro strips.  Tie the two tie strips together to form a handle.

Dutch PieCarr (12)

Carry by handle, but keep one hand under the pie for security.

Fresh Apple Pie

                   Fresh Apple Pie

“Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy    Boy?”

Orange and Walnut Biscotti


I like this biscotti better than any I have had in a bakery or coffee shop.  They are not too sweet, have a light orange flavor and a lot of crunchy walnuts, and are very easy to make.

Everything is mixed by hand in one bowl – no mixer – and takes just a little handling to form.  The dough is divided and plopped in big globs on a parchment-lined cookie sheet to make two piles.  Then, with water-dampened hands, the dough is formed into two rustic-looking logs.


The slow baking takes a little time – 25 minutes @ 300 degrees F and then 30 minutes @ 275 degrees to make the crispy slices.


I enjoy these very much just as a quick snack  (they travel well) or dunked in tea or coffee.

Orange and Walnut Biscotti

¼ cup light olive oil
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. orange extract
1 tsp. grated orange peel
2 eggs
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1-¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, sugar, orange extract, orange peel and 2 eggs.  Whisk in salt and baking powder, then with a spoon, stir in the flour and chopped walnuts until blended.

Spoon half of the batter onto one side of the prepared baking sheet, making a rough cylinder.  Spoon the remaining half of batter onto the other side of the baking sheet, making a rough cylinder.  With water-moistened hands, form each cylinder into a a log about 12 inches long x 2 inches wide, allowing a space between the two logs.

Bake @ 300 degrees F for 25 minutes until dough is just cooked through and lightly browned.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  REDUCE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 275 DEGREES F.

Remove each loaf to a cutting board and with a serrated knife, cut diagonally into ¾ inch wide slices.  Place the slices on their sides on a rack that has been placed on the baking sheet.  Leave a little space between slices.  Bake @ 275 degrees F for 15 minutes, turn slices to the other side and bake for another 15 minutes.  Biscotti should feel dry and be golden brown.  Remove rack from pan and allow to cool completely.

Makes about 16 biscotti. 


Cozy Afternoon – Free BOM – Block 5


Jacquelynne Steves has offered another series of free blocks-of-the-month called Cozy Afternoon.


There were five blocks in the series, each with a pattern to embroider or applique for the center.  I have a large hassock with a lid which I’m going to cover, using five blocks – one for the top of the lid and four for the sides.

My version of Block 5 is shown in the top picture.  This will be one of the sides of the hassock cover, using a vintage embroidery pattern for the center.

011I made all of my blocks with a beach or nautical theme.

Jacquelynne has completed the series with suggestions for setting and borders, but since I will not be making a wall hanging, I will work out how I want to place these blocks using one top panel and four side panels to make the hassock cover.  More on that in a week or two.

Jacquelynne always offers interesting blocks that are simple and easy to make but very pretty.  I’ve enjoyed this quilt-along.


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