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

Italian Cheese Breadsticks

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I started making these breadsticks in 1992, adapted from a recipe in my favorite bread cookbook, Clayton’s Book of Breads.  Be sure to use a good sharp, full-flavored cheese.

Italian Cheese Breadsticks

  • Servings: One to two dozen, depending on size
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2 Tblsp. Fast acting yeast
2 tsp salt
2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1-1/2 cups water, heated to 130 degrees F
¼ cup canola oil
1-1/2 cups good flavored cheese, grated

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place yeast, salt, sugar and 2 cups of flour.

Heat water to 130 degrees F, add cheese and stir to melt, reheat mixture to 130 degrees F.

Pour water/cheese mixture into bowl with flour mixture, add oil.  Beat on medium speed with a paddle beater for 3 minutes.  Remove the paddle beater and insert a dough hook.  Continue to beat at medium speed, adding flour gradually for 6-½ minutes.  You may not need all of the flour.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Punch down dough and using ¼ cup of dough, form into a cigar-shaped roll 5 inches long.  Place on a greased baking pan 3 inches apart.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake breadsticks for approximately 12 minutes until they are golden brown.  Remove to a rack to cool.

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Knitting – Baby’s Ribbed Vest Top and Cap – Free Pattern

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My favorite designer is an English lady who offers pages of free patterns, mostly for babies and small children.  She also has some items for teenagers and adults along with a few patterns that are for sale.  She can be found on ravelry.com under the name Marianna Mel.  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#query=marianna%20mel

This little vest is called Baby’s Ribbed Vest Top.  For a 9-months size the pattern calls for DK yarn (baby yarn/sport weight) and #6 needles.  I wanted to make a larger size and used #7 needles with #4 worsted yarn to make a size to fit a 3 to 4-year-old child.

It’s very sturdy and warm, good for the cold North Dakota climate where the Pine Ridge Lakota/Sioux children live.  Information on this charity is also on ravelry.com under the tab “groups”.

While I was knitting the sweater, I thought it should have some yellow elephant buttons, maybe because of the grey yarn.  Now, what are the chances that I could go to JoAnn’s and find reasonably-priced yellow elephant buttons?  But I did and I think they are perfect for this little vest which would be nice for either a boy or girl.

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I also made a matching hat, using Marianna Mel’s Ribster Baby Hat pattern except I used some stockinette stitching along with the ribbing.

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There were enough yellow elephants to put one on top of the hat, too.
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I enjoyed making this set.  All of Marianna’s patterns I’ve used so far have been suitable for an advanced beginner with very happy results.

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Salted Caramel Cookies

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At Christmas time, I found  Hershey’s Sea Salt Caramel Chips which were new to me and put them aside while I was baking my standard Christmas favorites.  My daughter and I were going to attend an Appalachian “Ringin’ in the New Year” event and something was needed for potluck dinner.  There never seem to be enough cookies for children at these dinners, so I thought I would try out the new chips.

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There was a recipe on the package which may be very good but it was for a chocolate cookie and I wanted a vanilla cookie that would be easy to pick up, not crumbly and that would not spread out too much.  I adapted the recipe to meet these requirements and thought the cookies were delicious.  My younger daughter is not given to lavish praise and when she rated them “fabulous”, I figured I had a winner.  They went very fast at the dinner.

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Salted Caramel Chip Cookies

  • Servings: Approx. 40 cookies
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½ cup (one stick) butter or margarine, softened
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-2/3 cups (10 oz. pkg.) Sea Salt Caramel Baking Chips (Hershey)

In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter/margarine, brown sugar and granulated sugar.  Beat in the vanilla, soda, salt and egg.

Gradually add and mix in the flour and chips.

Drop by tablespoon onto parchment covered baking sheets and flatten cookies very slightly.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 9 minutes until cookie is set.  Do not overbake.

Cool slightly, remove to wire rack to cool.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies. 

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Knitting – Turban Twist Hat – Free Pattern

goldturban-sbMy younger daughter looks so much better in hats than I do

I follow a Facebook page called Addicted to Knitting which features knitted items that people have made, a lot of question/answer sessions and a very nice group for reading about what others are doing all over the world.  I saw one picture of a turban hat that a lady had made of deep purple yarn with a large purple gemstone in the center and was inspired to look up the free pattern by Bernat on Yarnspirations.comhttp://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/turban-twist-hat.html

I didn’t have any purple yarn on hand but did have some Lion Brand Heartland yarn in the Yellowstone color which was nice and soft and worked well in this project, using #8 needles

It’s basically a long narrow scarf in an easy Seeded Rib pattern …

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…which is folded and sewn in place to form the turban.  The scarf was easy to make.

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Although the pattern comes with a diagram on how to fold and sew the turban, it was confusing to me and I’m showing how I got it together.  First mark the center of the scarf and then fold into this shape.

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Fold the two ends back to meet in the center and pin in place.

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Starting in the center and using a yarn needle with some scrap yarn of a different color, loosely baste each end in place, leaving 4 inch tails to make it easier to remove the waste yarn.

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Using another piece of waste yarn, stitch the center section where the two ends meet.  Baste as far as where the two pieces cross.

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At this point, put the hat on yourself or some volunteer and pin to close any gaps on top of the hat, basting them in place with waste yarn.

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Baste and try on the hat as many times as necessary to be sure it is the way you want it.  Then, using matching yarn, stitch the turban together, pulling out the waste yarn as you go.

I sewed a big vintage button on the front of my turban.

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1/9/17

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Knitting – Isabella Baby Top-Vest

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For the past year that I’ve been knitting, I’ve taken advantage of all of the wonderful free patterns available online.  This is one of the few patterns I’ve purchased, simply because I thought it was so cute and looked like something I might be able to do.  The pattern for this pretty piece was purchased from an English designer, Maybe Baby, in September, 2016, through PayPal at the exchange rate in effect at the time for $2.72.  It was an easy instant download and the pattern is very well written.  http://www.maybebabydesigns.co.uk/charityvestpattern.htm

I used Bernat Softee yarn with #7 needles and thought the jacket would fit a baby around 3 months old.

I enjoy knitting baby items the most but feel that the charity where my work goes has more need in the toddler and pre-school sizes.  My first project for 2017 was a remake of the jacket using Red Heart #4 worsted in the color, Corn Meal.  I went to the garter stitch after 7 rows of pattern on each side just to change the appearance a little bit.  I think this top would fit a chubby one-year-old.

Since I don’t crochet well, I omitted the crocheted edging in each case.

I used circular needles – Magic Loop (circular needles with long cables) – and am giving a brief outline of how I did the piece using these needles to do the portion  where the left front begins and across the neck.  I’m not sure this is the way the designer did it, but it worked for me.

After completing the right front, leave the stitches on the cable of the Magic Loop, cut the yarn (leave a 6-inch tail), and just slide the piece down the cable, letting it “hang out” while you complete the left front.

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After the left front is completed, do not break yarn and follow directions in pattern to start the back, casting on 12 stitches across to form the center of the neck and knitting across the stitches from the right front that are hanging from the cable.

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These are the only two places in the pattern that I found a little confusing.

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I think it’s a very cute jacket that could be used with various designs and stitch patterns.

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A Christmas Walking Cane

On Friday, I remember a single moment from the past week.

walking-cane-5“Hand me down my walking cane”

The most unusual Christmas gift I received this year was from my older daughter who thought that since my 84-year-old bones can’t handle much walking any more, I would enjoy a cane that commemorated all of the walking I’ve done in the past in some beautiful, wonderful places – most of them with her at my side.  She found just what she wanted at an antique store in Lebanon, Ohio – a vintage cane with metal tags commemorating hikes the owner had made.  It so happened they were tags from German places which we had visited over 25 years ago.  She bought a few more tags on eBay and I have a good start on a cane that reflects some of our trips:  Berchtesgaden, Herrenchiemsee, Schloss Neuschwanstein, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Indiana, Monticello, Gettysburg, Antietam, and Gateway Arch – St. Louis.

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I love the worn and well-used look of the cane right on down to the tip.

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I know more tags will be added – we haven’t even touched on Ireland and Switzerland yet, not to mention numerous places in the U.S.  I might need another cane.

The walking cane will have a treasured place by the fireplace where I can see it every day and think of all of the memorable walking I’ve done in my life.

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Happy Holidays to All

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My youngest grandson has been coming to my house to bake Christmas cookies since he was three years old.  He loves the holiday traditions and even though he received his acceptance from Wright State (Dayton, Ohio) this week, he’s happy to cut out and decorate sugar cookies once more.  He says it’s one of his favorite memories and that makes it one of my favorite memories.

Happy memories to everyone during this holiday season, whatever your celebration might be.

 

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