Friday, December 14, 2012

And so it begins!

Starting a new quilt today! It will be a queen size version of this quilt, but kicked up a notch. 
Here's a hint of inspiration as to how I'm going to kick up the design. Like it?

In other news, it's beautiful hiking weather for a trip to the state park. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Deconstructed Cup of Hot Cocoa in Pie Form!

Recipe is not perfected yet, so if you try it, let me know how it went!

Dark Chocolate Pie with Homemade Marshmallow and Whipped Cream



For Crust:

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder

For Chocolate filling:

  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate (65% cacao or better), chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

For Marshmallows:

·         Three 1/4-oz. envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin

·         2 cups granulated sugar

·         1 cup light corn syrup

·         1/4 tsp. kosher salt

·         1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

·         1 cup plus 2 Tbs. powdered sugar; more as needed

For Whipped Cream:

·         1 pint heavy whipping cream

·         4 T. powdered sugar


Make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Mix melted butter, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Add flour and cocoa, and mix until well blended. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of prepared dish; crimp edges decoratively. Bake crust until golden brown and cooked through, about 18 minutes. Cool crust completely on rack. Maintain oven temperature.

Make the chocolate filling:
Bring 2 cups milk to simmer in heavy medium saucepan; remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla, and remaining 1/4 cup milk to blend in medium bowl; whisk in cocoa powder and cornstarch until smooth. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and butter; whisk until melted and smooth. Pour filling into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate until filling is cold and set, about 4 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)

Make the marshmallows:
Pour 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Attach the bowl to the mixer and fit it with the whisk attachment.

Clip a candy thermometer to a 3-quart saucepan; don’t let the tip of the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan. In the saucepan, boil the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water over medium heat without stirring until it reaches 234°F to 235°F, about 10 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin in a slow, thin stream.

Add the vanilla, carefully increase the speed to high, and beat until the mixture has thickened and cooled, about 5 minutes (the bottom of the bowl should be just warm to the touch). Line a 8X8-inch square brownie pan with foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides. Sift 1 Tbs. of the confectioners’ sugar into the bottom of the pan, then pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan and sift another 1 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar on top. Let sit at room temperature until set, at least 2 hours.

Use the foil overhang to lift the marshmallow from the pan. Using a knife that has been dipped in cold water, cut along the edge of the marshmallow to release it from the foil. Transfer to a cutting board and remove the foil. Put the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Cut the marshmallow into 9 large cubes (you will need to continue to dip the knife in cold water as you cut the marshmallows). The marshmallows will be very sticky—dip the cut edges in the confectioners’ sugar to make them easier to handle. As you work, toss each cube in the sugar to coat, then shake over the sink to remove the excess and set aside.

Make the Whipped Cream:

To whip cream, start by pouring the cold heavy whipping cream into a large bowl, then beat it with an electric mixer until it reaches soft peaks. This will take about 5 minutes. Cold cream whips up better than less cold cream, and a larger bowl makes the whole process go faster. Towards the end of the whipping time, sift in the confectioners’ sugar to make lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Assemble each serving separately:

Put a piece of pie on the plate, add a marshmallow on top and a cannelle of whipped cream on the side. Last, brulee the marshmallow with a kitchen torch to crunchy brown goodness (see photo).

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cherry Sherbet Baby Quilt

 Hello Quilters,
Hope you're all having a great extended weekend! Today I have to show a cherry red version of the lime sherbet quilt I made for my friend Cari. This one is a commission for a very special baby. Click each photo to enlarge.
You can see the grey elephants, hedgehogs and kawaii animals with balloons, all imports from Japan. There's also a Joel Dewberry bird and Heather Ross fish (times two) and weiner dog.
You can see the back here, flannel, like the red on the front. Satin binding with one corner left open for little fingers.
These are my two favorite blocks. Heather Ross from the mermaid line and Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail eating blackberries. I tried a smaller needle to see if indeed I got smaller stitches and I did! Enlarge and check out my tiny quilting stitches. Well, tiny for me, anyway!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Three New One Year Old Dresses

I have been busy making a king sized Dr. Seuss quilt for my younger stepson but I found time to make these three little dresses for the same baby I made this modern circle quilt for, Lily.

Click here for the free dress pattern online and here to see a few of my previous versions of the dress.

Lily is the miracle baby of my good friend Sarah, a two-time breast cancer survivor. You can read their amazing story here!

Fruits and veg:

Changed the top on this one to tie like bunny ears. I like it! The bottom, blue one is super soft corduroy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Texas Quilt Block Contest!

Hi All,

I work for the Texas Department of Agriculture now and they have a great contest I wanted to alert you to. Click here to read about it. You make one block with materials they send you to reflect how agriculture is your culture. If you win, your block will get sewn into a quilt that is exhibited at the State Fair of Texas! I'm going to enter, thought you might want to also.