Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cookie Swap Block?

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book

The above quote is for those of you who are tired of hearing about my "happy" rain.  I try to always bring my own sunshine.  You certainly can't trust others to.  Sometimes others bring dark clouds and thunderous expressions.  Or sometimes they look at you like you are in a fog or drifting in the wind.  No matter, I'll bring my own sunshine to start this Thursday.
 
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Photo Of The Day
 
Mexican Bush Sage in my backyard

Mexican Bush Sage is a late summer and fall blooming tender perennial from Mexico, as its name implies. The sturdy silver-gray foliage plants can easily reach three feet or more in height crowned by spectacular, velvety spikes of violet-purple and white. There's also a form with solid purple spikes. In addition to their landscape appeal, the stately spikes can also be used as dramatic cut flowers.  This drought tolerant Mexican native prefers sunny, well-drained sites and will survive with no supplemental irrigation is most parts of the state.  The Mexican sage is a wonderful food source for hummingbirds. When the blossoms appear, the tiny birds can cover the plant, seeking the flowers' nectar. Butterflies also congregate around the flower spears.

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I am joining a new swap group.  This one is for hexagon flowers!!!  So for all of you who love making these precious little flowers you should join too!!!  It's called The Inchy Flower Swap and is being hosted by Jane over at Want It, Need It, Quilt It.  Once a month you will be paired with a different partner.  You get to select the colors you would like to have made for you.  This is only open to 30 participants, so add your name today.

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Yesterday I broke my promise to myself.  What promise was that, you ask?  I had promised not to start the Designer Mystery Block of the Month blocks from the Fat Quarter Shop until after I had completed the counted cross stitch Christmas Stocking I am working on for my SIL.  I broke down.....they were calling my name......just one.....OK!

First I made 6 of these little blocks


After a few more additions to the 6 blocks above, I combined them into three of these


Then I made one of these


This is the left side block


This is the right side block


And here is the middle block.  Combine them all together.....................


and voila!!  Here is the completed block!

I'm so glad that I broke my vow.  I love the colors.  Makes me look forward to all of the rest of the blocks.  It looks like there is enough fabric left over to make a second block.  Wouldn't it be neat if I could make another one when I'm all finished to give as a Christmas gift next year?  Now I need to add the Finishing Kit and the Backing Set to my Christmas Wish List (hint, hint my dear)

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How about some sweet stuff for this wonderful autumn time of year.  I made some cookies last weekend that the DH says is the 'crack addiction' of cookies.  I must admit - they are very good - very sweet - but oh so yummy!

MAPLE FROSTED PUMPKIN COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

For Pumpkin Cookies:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin pie mix
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Maple Frosting:

1/2 cup better (no substitutes)
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar


Ingredients

DIRECTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar.  Add pumpkin pie mix, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy.  Mix in dry ingredients.  Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

Cookie dough slightly flattened and ready for the oven

3.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven.  Cool cookies, then frost.


Fresh out of the oven and cooling before frosting

4.  For frosting, combine the butter, brown sugar and milk in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil for 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat; stir in maple flavoring and vanilla.  Cool slightly; beat in enough confectioners' sugar to achieve spreading consistence. Frost while warm.


Boiling frosting mixture


Ready to eat - I'm surprised there any left on the plate for the picture - lol!

PERSONAL NOTES

1.  These are soooooooooo good.  If you like maple bars, these are even better!!

2.  This is the first time I have made a cooked frosting.  I was always afraid to give this a try.  No problem!!  Very easy to make.

3.  Warning!! Highly addictive!  Enjoy!!!

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FINAL THOUGHT

This is more of what I did after I thought.  I recently had pre-ordered the AccuQuilt Baby GO!  I thought, what a great price, better order one before they are all gone and I have to wait.  So I pre-ordered the Baby GO! and pre-ordered a value die to go with it.  Since I live in California, there was also state tax added to the order bringing my total to around $183.00.  After reading a couple of blogs with people asking what was included I decided to make sure the the cutting mat was included with the cutter.  Well, the cutting mat is NOT included!!!  So add another $10 to the total.  Now I'm at $193.00.  For another $9 I can order the full size GO! that includes the cutting mat and a die through Amazon.  Or, get it on Ebay for even less than that ($178 - $190 shipping included)!  So, this morning I called AccuQuilt and canceled my pre-order.  Now I will start watching Ebay for the 'deal of a life time'.  I think AccuQuilt should include in their wording that the cutting mat is not included.  Wouldn't you be rather upset to receive your new Baby GO! and not be able to get going on it right away because you didn't have a cutting mat? Okay, I feel much better for having gotten that off my chest and out of my brain - lol!

So for Thursday I leave you with this quote:

If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.
~Mary Engelbreit

8 comments:

Needled Mom said...

I love that great block, Linda. Glad that you broke down.

You are right about the mat. I can't believe that it would not be included.

Lisa said...

The Cookies look so yummy!

Cheryl said...

Swaps can be a little addicting! But what a great way to mix up your hexies a little. Love the wrapped presents and the fabric. Very fresh for Xmas. Seems like both of us were disappointed in recent purchases. Good luck finding the best price!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Wow that is amazing, I did not know that about the Baby GO! Kind of doesn't make sense, huh??

Seams to Sew and Quilt said...

The cookies look delicious, I may have to try that recipe... thanks for sharing...

Megan Harmeyer said...

YUUUUUMMMMM!!! I'll definitely have to make those (and then take them to the office so I don't eat them all by myself).

joe tulips said...

I am so glad you broke down and broke the promise....those blocks are adorable!! Looks like it will be fun!!!

Pokey said...

I must try these cookies!!

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