Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Aviary Pattern!

This is my newest pattern using the
Aviary fabric by Moda! "Sisters by
Chance . . . Friends by Choice."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Aviary Table Runner: "Spring Blossoms"!

It's here! The finished Table Runner using Aviary Fabric. Click on the Pattern Selection Button on the right side of this sight to get more details! (This photo shows one end view.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

French Apple Tart

This French Apple Tart was sooo easy (if you have a food processor especially) and delicious! It would be great as a fall treat, but I wanted to try it out . . . NOW! If followed exactly you will get a nice flaky crust. I got the recipe from the Food Network. It's by the "Barefoot Contessa", Ina Garten. But I made a few changes, so I am giving you my version below. It is a very rustic dessert, reminicent of true French food. We added a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on top, and it was gone within minutes!
French Apple Tart
For the pastry:
2 C. Flour
1/2 t. Salt
1 T. Sugar
12 T. Butter, very cold and diced into small pieces
1/2 C. Ice Water
For the apple filling:
4 Granny Smith Apples (Mine were large and I only needed 3)
1/4 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Brown Sugar
4 T. Butter diced small
For the glaze:
1/2 C. Apricot Jam
2 T. Apple Juice or Water
For the pastry place the flour, salt, and sugar into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the diced butter and pulse 10-12 times, until the butter is in small pea-like pieces and the mixture is crumbly. While the motor is running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Do NOT overmix. Dump onto a floured board and knead qickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour. (I left mine overnight. Took it out of the fridge and let it rest for a few minutes, and it was fine.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with a couple of layer of parchment paper. If you don't have any--spray the pan well, but you will have spill over and a burnt sticky mess. It will clean up after soaking.
Roll the dough slightly larger than 10x14". Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges to the exact size. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you get the apples ready.
Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and melon baller. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4" thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the dough and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. Sprinkle with both sugars and cinnamon overall. Dot with butter.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry bubbles up in an area, cut a slit into it. The top with look carmelized and a little burnt. Don't worry--it will taste delicious. The juices will tend to burn the pan a bit.
Heat the apricot jam and apple juice until it begins to bubble. Place in a sieve (strainer) and press through--leaving out the big chunks of apricot. Brush onto your finished tart. Using a spatula, loosen the tart from the pan or move to a serving tray. If left to cool it will stick to the original pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with Vanilla Ice Cream!! 6 Servings

Friday, March 13, 2009

"Aviary" by Moda

"Aviary" is a new fabric by Moda that will be coming out soon. I have designed a spring table runner using the fabric with embroidery around the borders. Either end has a poem with a flower vine down both long sides. The pattern will be released soon!


I have been wanting to design a memory board for a long time, and finally: HERE IT IS!! This was really fun and can be customized for whatever look you want. I have another one for a baby's room coming soon!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls!! To die for!

Last week I was bringing dinner to two families I know that have had some hardship and loss in their family. I decided to bring "Breakfast for Dinner"! Well, the Cinnamon Rolls I made were a big hit. These are really close to the famous Cinnamon Rolls (Buns!) that you find in the malls and airports. I don't make them quite as huge, but they are absolutely delicious! Follow the recipe as written. One time (Christmas morning-sadly) I forgot to prepare the pudding mix and just threw it in dry by glancing at the ingredients--not the best rolls. But I hope you enjoy them as much as everyone here does!

Cinnamon Rolls

1/2 C. Warm Water

2 pkgs. dry Yeast (or 2 T.)

2 T. Sugar

Small pkg. Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix

1/2 C. melted Butter

2 Eggs

1 t. Salt

6 C. Flour

Filling: 1 C. softened butter, 2 C. Brown Sugar, 4 t. Cinnamon

In a large bowl for your mixer combine Water, Yeast, and Sugar. Mix and set aside to activate. Approximately 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl, prepare Pudding Mix according to the pkg. directions. Add Butter, beaten Eggs, and Salt. Mix well. Slowly add to yeast mixutre. Blend together.

Gradually add flour and knead. I use a mixer with a "knead" setting and it makes it really easy.

Cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down and let rise again!

Divide dough in half and roll one half out on a floured surfact to 17x21". 17" across in front of you and 21" high going out away from you. Spread with 1/2 C. softened butter (you many not need all of it). Mix Brown Sugar and Cinnamon and sprinkle have over the buttered top. Roll up, away from you, tightly. Using a ruler and knife, make a notch every 2". Then cut rolls with thread, dental floss, or a knife and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet 2" apart. With your hand, press down lightly on each roll. Repeat with other half of dough.

Cover rolls with sprayed plastic and let rise until double.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or just until lightly brown. Don't overbake.

While warm frost with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Makes about 18 large rolls

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. Cream Cheese

1/2 C. Butter

1 t. Vanilla

1 t. Almond Flavoring

3 C. Confectioner's (powdered) Sugar

1 T. Milk (more or less to desired thickness)

Beat all ingredients together. Make sure to frost Cinnamon Rolls while still warm, but not piping hot. It's nice to have the frosting melt into the Cinnamon Roll a bit. I have found that less frosting is "more" so go lightly. You won't use all the frosting either way. Let me know if you like these.