Missing QuiltCon

So, it seems as if the entire modern quilting community left today (without me) for Austin to attend QuiltCon.  I so wish I could be there, but I can’t leave work during busy season.  I’m going to miss hanging with old friends, meeting new friends, and learning from the top names in the quilting world.  One day, one year, I will get there.

The good news is that I have all 8 points of the Lone Star put together.  After the first panel, the next 7 panels went together almost effortlessly. I made sure not to make the same mistakes twice as I blogged about here.  I did have to rip out a lot of seams due to points not matching, but I basted all seams until I was happy with everything, and then I went over it again with a smaller stitch.  So even ripping all those seams wasn’t too bad.

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And it’s huge.  Of course, I planned it to be this big, but it is still a surprise to see it so large.  Point to point measures 79″-80″.  My design wall is way too small for it but I think you get the idea from the picture.

I also finished filing the shower in the master bath.  I threw my back out doing it, but thankfully it is done.  I still have to grout it — and that by itself will take a full day — but it is closer to being finished and that is worth celebrating.

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And I’m working on a new paper piecing pattern.  Hope to be able to share soon.

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I believe a pair of red shouldered hawks have adopted our yard.  They were hanging around most of the day.  I was able to get a picture of one of them, although he took off flying right when I was about to click the shutter.

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Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Top Posts

I find it interesting to look at the stats to see which posts have been most popular.  Two posts stand at the top with 3 times the views as the third post on the list.

First up is 1 Year Blogiversary.  The top search terms have nothing to do with a blogiversary, so my guess is that all the visits to that post came internally from WordPress.  If I had known it was going to be such a popular post, I would have put some more meat in it.  It was pretty boring as posts go.  Oh well, lost opportunity there.  For my next Blogiversary I’ll be sure to plan something grand!

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Up next is Baked Apple Slices – no added sugar.  This is an excellent recipe and everyone loves it.  Even if you’re not trying to cut down on sugar, the apples themselves have so much sugar you feel like you are eating an apple pie without the crust.  I find it strange that this is the second most visited post though because this isn’t a recipe site.  In fact, I have just three recipes listed.  This one, Choconut Chippers, and Game Day Sausage Dip, which is, ironically, the least visited post ever.   But search terms for the baked apples are coming from all over with things such as:

  • baked apple slices no sugar
  • no sugar baked apple slices
  • stewed apples no sugar
  • baked apple slices without sugar

I sure hope someone has decided to try the recipe and that they loved it!

Baked Apple Slices

And rounding out the top three posts… Lego, Car, Truck Sack Tutorial.  This is a cool sack for kids to carry their toys around.  I first heard about it as a lego sack, but I thought it would work great for cars, especially with road map fabric on the inside, so that is how I made it for my grandson.

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And the top referrer to my blog is Crazy Mom Quilts.  Thank you!   Go check out her blog when you get a chance.  It is full of great quilting projects.

What does all this tell me?  Keep linking up my quilting projects with Crazy Mom Quilts until I can turn this into a full-time blog.  And, I either need to include more no-sugar/low-sugar recipes or I need to create a new no-sugar/low sugar blog.  Hmmm… now, that’s an idea!

Here are some of my favorite posts that I think you might enjoy.

Thanks for reading.  I am truly humbled that you have taken the time to read my posts and follow my blog.  I do appreciate each and every one of you!!

Choconut Chippers and Suzy Homemaker

Suzy Homemaker

So today I turned into Suzy Homemaker for a few hours.  As I’ve mentioned before, I do not cook often.  I used to love to bake, but since I’ve had problems with high blood sugar I do not find it as fun to bake since I should not be eating it.  But, my oldest son is leaving tomorrow and moving to the West Coast.  I am not thrilled about this.  I’m going to miss him terribly.  But, somewhere in the middle of the night last night, I woke up thinking that I needed to make him homemade cookies for the road.  Nothing is better on a long road trip than homemade cookies.  And it will give him a little something to remind him of me.

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I made both Nestle Chocolate Chip Cookies and Choconut Chippers.  I have not made Choconut Chippers in eons.  In fact, it’s been so long that my 12-year old didn’t know what they were.  But this is also what came to mind in the middle of the night, so I knew this is what I had to make.  I do not remember where I got this recipe.  I believe it is in my youngest sister’s handwriting.  I thought you might enjoy it as well so I am sharing it with you.  They are very moist and yummy.  The pudding makes them pudding-like on the inside.  And they are pretty low-fat as far as cookies go.

Choconut Chippers

3/4 c. sugar

3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 c. oil

1 t. vanilla

2 egg whites or 1 whole egg

5 oz. pkg of chocolate fudge pudding and pie filling (6 serving size, NOT instant)

8 oz. carton of sour cream (I use light or fat-free)

2 c. self rising flour

1 ½ c. rolled oats

2 c. chopped pecans

12 oz. pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375F.  Lightly spray cookies sheets.  In large bowl, beat together at low speed, sugar, brown sugar, oil, vanilla, egg, pudding mix, and sour cream until moistened.  Beat 2 minutes more at medium speed.  Lightly spoon flour onto measuring cup and level off.  Add flour and oats and mix at low speed until blended.  By hand, stir in pecans and chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoons,  2” apart onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375F for 6-8 minutes or until set.  Cool 1 minute before removing from cookie sheets.  Makes 5-6 dozen.

On another note… it’s been snowing all day.  The ground is too warm for it to stick, but it is still beautiful coming down.  And the Rosemary is blooming.

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Game Day Sausage Dip

Thought I would share our family favorite dip recipe with you.  This dip is a family favorite.  The kids ask for it, look forward to it, and are sorely disappointed if for some reason we do not make it – which isn’t often.  Honestly, no get together or game day buffet is complete without it.

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It’s not much to look at, but really you have to get past the way it looks and just taste it.  A friend of mine made it about 10-15 years ago and I would not taste it because it looked so disgusting.  It’s not.  It is amazing!   Just one bite and you won’t be able to stop.

Here is the recipe.  It’s simple and easy to remember.

2 pounds sausage

2 blocks (8oz each) cream cheese

2 cans Ro-Tel, drain liquid from 1 can

Crumble and brown sausage.  Drain fat.  Put cooked sausage into crock pot.  Add the cream cheese and Ro-Tel.  Cook on medium for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.  Serve with tortilla chips.  Enjoy!!

I bet you can’t stop at just one bite!

Baked Apple Slices – no added sugar

I probably won’t be posting many recipes as I don’t typically cook much.  I have a wonderful husband who does most of the cooking.  Mostly because I work too much, but also he does the cooking so I can do more important things — like SEW!  But I just had to share this one with you because it is AMAZING!!!!  I’m not sure where it came from.  I just found it on our printer one day.  I wish I could give credit to someone, but I can’t for the time being.  And it is just too wonderful not to share.

I made just half the recipe and it served 6 of us for desert. The little monkeys loved it. They asked for seconds.  I love the fact that it is low in sugar.  Obviously there is natural sugar in fruit, and the fruit juices have natural sugar.  I made sure though that the fruit juices I bought didn’t have any added sugar in the list of ingredients.  Also, I used granny smith apples because I like mine a little tart and like for the apple to hold up some when cooked.

If you decide to make it, let me know what you thought about it.  I thought I was in Heaven.

Baked Apple Slices

Ingredients:

Applies:

5 pounds apples, peeled, cored and each cut into 8 wedges

1T + 1t vanilla

1 cinnamon stick

2 cups apple juice

1 cup orange juice

½ cup cranberry juice

Topping:

¼ cup whole wheat flour

2/3 cup whole oats

1 t ground cinnamon

1 T canola oil

1 T agave nectar

1 cup pecans

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • In large heavy bottomed saucepan, over medium heat, combine vanilla, cinnamon, apple juice, orange juice, and cranberry juice.  Bring to simmer and add apples.
  • Lower heat, cover and let cook until apples are tender but not mushy.  Approx. 10 minutes
  • While apples are cooking combine all the ingredients for the topping in a medium mixing bowl.  With a fork or your fingers, work the topping together to thoroughly combine.  Add pecans and toss gently.
  • Once apples are cooked, transfer to an over ready baking dish with slotted spoon.
  • Return the liquid back to the medium high heat and cook a further 10-12 minutes to reduce the liquid into a thin sauce.  Remove from heat and let sit.  Sauce will thicken as it cools so be careful not to reduce too far.
  • While liquid is reducing, sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples and place in oven on middle rack.
  • Cook apples until topping has crisped and begins to brown, being careful not to burn the pecans.

To serve: place a heaping spoonful of apples in a serving bowl and top with sauce.