Where does the time go?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

SueH made a travel-size pillowcase. The small pillows can be purchased at most stores that carry other sizes of bedding pillows.

Country Cooking Recipe

Hot Chocolate Pie
4 envelopes of hot chocolate or 3/4 cup chocolate drink mix
1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup cornstarch 3 egg yolks (save whites)
2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons butter vanilla (1-2 tsps)
1 baked pie shell (8-9-inch or even a little larger if you want)
3 egg whites for meringue (Use a standard meringue recipe.)

Mix well with slotted spoon or whisk: dry hot chocolate mix, sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks & milk....cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly to avoid scorching the milk.....cook to a light boil & let it thicken up nicely.....remove from heat. Stir in butter & vanilla. Let this cool...it is a great time to get your crust & meringue ready. Put the cooked filling into the baked pie shell.....cover with merinque....return to oven to brown.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Use All of the Crayons in the Box

Retirement....each Monday, a day of beginnings...a fresh start...a week of possibilities before me...I start out by taking stock of what has to be done, needs to be done, & what I actually want to do. The time clock is down, the pressure is off & the chances to change the world have dwindled down to things I can do in my pajamas. Let's face it, "Everyday is Saturday, & I am loving it!"

With coffee in hand, I begin each day by writing the great American novel, painting a Rembrandt, sewing an heirloom....then I move on to taking a break, Days of Our Lives, a leisurely bath, Fox News, reading, computing or whatever else floats my boat! Visions of sugarplums are shattered at mid-afternoon by a thin dh showing signs of hunger, so I throw in a Marie Callendar pot pie, ditch the boxes & play for another hour. Believe me when I say, "A successful retirement hinges on stocking the freezer with the best frozen foods on the market!"

Late afternoon consists of one hour of pickin' & puttin' ....this is a finely-tuned housekeeeping method a wise friend taught me. It consists of power-walking through the house, grabbing stray things on the way by & dropping them off in a better place as I go....cramming a washer-load in, cleaning the floor here & there, dusting a swipe, & finishing off with the most important of all.....making sure there is a snack ready for evening TV.

Of course, I have colored a very simplistic view of what being retired is like at my house, but it's not far off. I have just chosen to use all of the crayons in my box instead of the practical black one. You see, it's all about choices!

More SGF Pillowcases



Saturday, January 26, 2008

Another Country Cooking Recipe

I love Saturday mornings! Coffee tastes better, pjs are comfier, & it's Rough & Ready on the western channel. I sit around & stitch watching cowboy movies all day. The Spaghetti Westerns are not my personal favorites, but there seem to be plenty of them. Let's face it, "I'll watch anything on a horse, but if it's Robert Duvall that's a plus!"
The best Saturdays at my house are one-pot-meal-days.......here is a recipe that I cook in the winter...try it just once, & you will love it too.
Tex Mex Soup
1/2 lb. ground beef 1 pkg ranch dressing mix, dry 1 pkg taco seasoning mix, dry 2 cups water 3 cans tomatoes, undrained 1 can hominy, undrained 1 can pinto beans, undrained 1 can navy beans, undrained 1 can kidney beans, undrained
Brown ground meat. Add both dry mix pkgs & stir in the water. Dump in all 7 cans! Simmer 20-30 mins. Serve with a pan of cornbread.

The soup is on , & it's time for me to grab the FQs & get to it!

SGF Takes the Challenge





Friday, January 25, 2008

#1 Pillowcase

Sue from NY is the 1st to take the pillowcase challenge. She used a pattern from: http://www.mormonchic.com/crafty/pillowcases.asp
Her goal is to use up what she has on hand & this was made from leftover flannel. I say, "It is very pretty for leftovers!" Thank you, Sue...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Grocery Bag

Free Grocery Bag Pattern

Time Management & Totes

You read the title right, "Time Management & Totes." Both of these topics came up on the SGF List independently this week. In my mind, the 2 go hand-in-hand...in order to make the best use of my time, I first have to be organized....in order to be organized, totes are a must! If I could just get one more made, I'd be ready to write an article for Family Circle on "Having It All Together."
I have sewn totes for everything, I have more cut out, & the pattern drawer won't close because of the new bag patterns. Some of my many bags are empty, & some are full, but it is all part of my master plan to be the perfect manager of time. Grocery bags for green-shopping, sewing bags for projects, shoulder totes for gathering, seasonal totes, painting class totes, book bags, shoe bags, handbags, pool totes, one for snacks, overnight bags &, of course, totes for odds & ends are among my personal favorites. These all work great for saving on packing time, but finding something that may be (or may not be) in one of them.... now, that is a different story.....I know money is in one, but for the life of me, I can't find it.
Yes, in theory, I am always ready at a moment's notice to grab & go with everything already packed, but it's hard carrying 16 totes full out the door (in one trip) to pile in the back seat! I have learned to do this quickly while my dh is making sure that the dog has plenty of food. He just doesn't appreciate good time management using the tote system.
Okay, after writing this, I realize that I totally have a "Tote Management Problem," so here is my new plan....I will empty all the totes and sew the mother of all totes to hold the empty ones. Thank you for reading this.....it has been most theraputic.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Christmas Countdown Has Started!

Yes, I know.....I am a Christmas fanatic.....I love every aspect of December starting with the day after Thanksgiving.....decorations, food, parties, family & friends, church activities, frosty weather, gift-giving, food baskets, cards, music, Christmas movies & all the other trimmings! Yet, I am a realist & understand the literal hours & hours of work it takes to orchestrate a magical holiday season for my family. My vision is always to be ready by Thanksgiving. I want to have the work done so that I can focus on the truly important things, enjoy the baking, & not be so tired that I cannot enjoy it all.

A rich Country Christmas cannot be merely bought....it must be made & gleaned....January is the time to start the preparations.....now is the time to sew...make those quilts, stitch up those pjs, rick rack those aprons, & freshen those stockings. My sweet dh visits flea markets, attends auctions, & restores the treasures that he finds. I take advantage of bargains & clearances......the list of possibilities just goes on & on for the 11 months ahead.......my mother used to say, "Everytime you buy a bill of groceries, pick up one special food item to put back for the holidays...a can of sweetened condensed milk or a jar of olives." I smile when I think of my mother's frugal ways, & I am grateful when I remember the warm celebrations under Mama's tree & around her table......memories like that are worth more than all the gold in the world.

Join me in sewing gifts throughout the year to be given or donated with the kind of love that warms your heart & makes you glow. Join me in making more & buying less. Join me in making those precious holiday memories for those around you...the ones that will never be forgotten!

Sewing Challenge

January, February, & March are great months to make personal, comfort pillowcases....there are lots of free pattern suggestions & pics on the Internet if you do a search. I made this one for my dil out of novelty sewing fabric, & it is her favorite one to keep on her pillow. I like to match prints to personalities, & I like a contrasting cuff & a narrow border separating the cuff from the body for ladies. Children & men are so easy....novelty print & that is all....lol!
Pillowcase Sizes:
Travel Pillow 12 x 16 inches
Standard 21 x 27 inches
Queen 21 x 31 inches
King 21 x 37 inches
Here is the challenge:
Make a pillowcase & send a picture to me at jdahmen@ckt.net . I will post it on the blog with your first name.


I am so thankful to live in a warm home on this cold, windy SW MO day with snow coming in as I write.....I have to keep remembering to do a little cleaning along with my insane desire to spend all of my time creating & being on the computer! A friend on the SGF list reminded me that just 1 hour of cleaning the open spaces a day can make a huge difference in my homemaking. Thanks, Friend.....Jana


The SGF list sent memorial heart blocks to me after my son's death in June 2007. I used some of the blocks to make this wonderful quilt which I presented to his wife on Christmas Eve...this has all been so theraputic to me.....thank you again, SGF Friends. Jana

Country Cooking Recipe

Soft Lemonade Cookies

1 C. butter, softened 1 C. sugar 2 eggs 3 C. all purpose flour 1 tsp. baking soda

1 can (16 oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed Additional sugar

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with 1/3 C. of lemonade concentrate, beating well after each addition.2. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes. Remove to wire racks. Brush warm cookies with remaining lemonade concentrate that you held back; sprinkle with sugar. Cool.


It is easy to find good, clean golf club bags at flea markets & garage sales for $6.00 or less. Most of them are black, but I found this colorful lady's bag & think it is a real treasure! I stocked it with wrapping paper rolls, tape, gift tags, bags, ribbons, scissors, tissue paper, etc. I gave this one to my daugher & she loves it......very handy, compact, & unique.....makes a wonderful gift. (Click on image for larger view.)


Here is a great way to give a cute shower gift......buy a muffin tin with 6 cups....fold 6 new washcloths, dish cloths, dust cloths, etc. into strips and roll tightly. Tie a thin ribbon around each roll. Insert these into the cups...using white glue, attach a red bead or button to the top of each roll....be creative and add a wooden spoon, recipe book, homemaking-type magazine, $$$, candles or whatever. Pkg in cellophane......everyone will ooh & ahhh over this clever gift. (Click on picture to view larger image.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Machine Embroidery

Good Sunday Morning....it is cold here in SW MO! Look at these 2 I Spy baby blankets that I finished yesterday for a shower at church tonight.....twins.....so I made bug jars for the boy and cupcakes for the girl. All is done with machine embroidery applique'. The jar designs have been collected for free over the Internet here & there and some have been purchased. Do an Internet search on jar embroidery designs, and you will come up with some. The cupcake designs were purchased from Bunnycup Embroidery http://www.bunnycup.com/ . Jana

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Country Cooking Recipe

Cocoa Bundt Cake

1-2/3 c. flour 1-1/2 c. sugar 1/2 c. cocoa 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda 1-1/2 c. buttermilk 2 eggs 1/2 c. shortening 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. Vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 12 cup bundt pan. In large mixer bowl blend flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Beat on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Pour into prepared bundt pan. Bake 50-55 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely.

Chocolate Glaze In small saucepan bring 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 cup water to rolling boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup chocolate chips until smooth. Cool slightly and drizzle.

Welcome to My Blog!

Welcome from SW Missouri........how exciting it is to have visitors......this blog is a work in progress! Do you have any crafts, projects, patterns, poems, stories or observations to make with country kitchen &/or food themes as the focus? Rolling pins, old dishes, fruit jars, and comfort foods are my creative triggers for the moment. I would love to hear your ideas and comments. Jana


Crafts. sewing, quilting, machine embroidery, soapmaking, cooking, homemaking, watercolor & commentaries on life....Jana in Missouri invites you to sit down with a cup of coffee!

This is the SGF companion blog, but membership is not necessary to enjoy. Application may be made at sewgoodfriends@yahoogroups.com , but please keep in mind that the SGF List flows smoothly. Bickering & swimming upstream salmon-style are not tolerated & may result in an unsub ... Jana (List Mom)


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