I designed this free cross stitch pattern to celebrate the warm and wonderful days of the season.Though I’m not a quilter, I have an aunt who is, and I have a deep appreciation for this painstaking craft.
This pattern is a great one for beginner stitchers. Because the entire design is just a diamond, repeated in various colors, it’s very easy to understand.
How can this pattern be utilized?
The most obvious answer (to me, at least) is as a throw pillow. But don’t limit yourself to that.
You can also use the pattern to create an entire matched set for your kitchen.
- – pocket trim for a fancy apron
- – center design for a small, square coaster
- – kitchen curtain edging
- – center design for a decorative potholder
- – center design for a decorative kitchen towel
In addition, why just limit the use of the Summer Quilt pattern to cross stitch. It would also work out well with needlepoint, mosaic tile, or even paper piecing for the front of a greeting card. Because the pattern is made from geometric pieces, the possibilities are endless!
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source: Manuel Alarcon
Lately, because of stomach surgery, my diet consists primary of protein shakes, vitamins and instant mashed potatoes. I’ve eaten them plain, with chicken broth, with garlic and oil, and every other healthy way you can think of. That being the case, I’ve now become something of an expert on instant mashed potato recipes (at least in my own eyes!)
So, here are the instructions for my favorite Instant Mashed Potato Hack:
1. Follow the recipe as normal but substitute quality vegetable broth for the water.
2. Instead of butter, add 1/2 – 3/4 tablespoon of low fat plain yogurt per serving.
3. Mix in a little milk if needed.
4. Add salt and reheat in the microwave. Serve immediately.
These potatoes are so healthy and good it’s hard to believe they are instant. The yogurt gives them a little tang and the vegetable broth adds a more substantial flavor than plain water. Try it!
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source: Steven Labinski
About 4-5 times a year my husband and I go spend the Sabbath with his family in Nevei Yaakov, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. I always take a small homemade dish or two with me. My usual choice is a couple of types of pasta salads or some vegetables and dip.
This time, however, I decided to do something different.
I’ve always believed I’m not much of a baker. But recently, with the encouragement of my niece, I’ve decided to give baking another try. Amazingly, it turns out I’m not too bad, if I stick with easy recipes.
With that in mind, here is my recipes for Delicious Oatmeal Walnut Cookies. The recipe is based on Dad’s Cookies on Allrecipes.com. The original cookie was coconut, but I like the taste of walnuts much better.
Ingredients Set 1
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 cups quick oatmeal
3/4 cup walnuts, finely ground
Ingredients Set 2
1 cup walnut oil
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 F or 175 C.
In a large bowl, combine the first set of ingredients (dry). Make a well in the center and add the second set of ingredients (wet). Stir with fork, and then with hands, to mix well.
Lightly oil baking sheet.
Roll dough into walnut size pieces, flatten slightly, and place on the cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or till very slightly browned. Do not over bake.
Allow cookies to cool for one minute before removing from the sheet.
The cookies are sticky, so if stacking, places slices of parchment, plastic wrap or foil between them.
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The Complete Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczyn, is my personal finance bible. So, when Amy advised switching to frugal hobbies, she got me thinking. Is crafting a frugal hobby?
The answer is a loud and resounding…maybe.
Here’s why –
– An everyday sweater, made from yard sale wool, is thrifty. A cashmere sweater, that was never finished, is not.
– Homemade orange peel candies are thrifty. Homemade chocolate truffles are not.
– Quilts made from fabric found in your scrap bag are thrifty. Quilts made from fabric bought at an upscale specialty store are not.
– Scrapbooking with acid-free paper and a lot of imagination, is thrifty. Scrapbooking with acid-free paper and store-bought embellishment kits is not.
– Creating mosaics from chipped Salvation Army dishes is thrifty. Creating mosaics from glass tiles purchased at the craft store is not.
Here are a couple of tips to ensure that your next craft project is thrifty…
Use free materials whenever possible. Outgrown clothing, discarded linens, or donations from friends can be made into wonderful finished projects.
Never buy full price. If you must pay for craft materials, try hard to save money. Check out your local thrift shop and yard sales. Shop ebay and Craig’s list. Comparison shop at online craft shops.
Make sure your crafts have a purpose. Before you start a new project decide what you will do with the finished product. Will it be a holiday gift? A knick knack for your living room? Will it actually be used?
Don’t take on more than you can chew. Unfinished projects are a waste of money. Be sure, before starting a new needlepoint, outfit or craft kit, that you actually have the time and skill to complete it.
In general, like most of life, crafting is what you make it. You can make the kind of decisions that make crafting an expensive and frustrating activity. Or, you can make choices that make crafting economical and enjoyable. You decide.
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No-Boil Pasta For Dummies originally started out with the name Bombproof Baked Macaroni Casserole. The recipe came from a handy cookbook called The Clueless Vegetarian by Evelyn Raab.
Why the change in name?
I’ve been making this recipe for years, and each time I throw it together, I change it more and more to suit my own taste. At first, I started skipping the chopped onion and breadcrumb topping. Then I added my favorite Italian seasonings and Parmesan cheese. And finally, I increased the noodles from 1 1/2 cups to 2 1/2 cups (along with more water). By now, my version of the recipe only vaguely resembles the original.
So to be fair to Evelyn, I’ve changed the name to No-Boil Pasta For Dummies.
2 1/2 cups elbow pasta, scant
1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil
1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups water
Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Do not preheat oven.
Lightly coat a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray. Add all ingredients but Parmesan cheese, and stir well to combine.
Cover and cook in 425 degree oven for 50 minutes. Check for doneness and cook another 10 minutes if needed.
Garnish individual servings with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
Note: This recipe makes a lot of juicy and delicious tomato broth. Be sure to serve with bread or a roll to sop up the extras.
Get your own copy of The Clueless Vegetarian: A Cookbook for the Aspiring Vegetarian at Amazon.
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source: Joshua Bousel
This is the matzoh ball recipe we make every Friday night. The balls come out nice and hard, just the way we like them! This recipe is usually accompanied by vegan chicken soup, and tiny egg noodles that are cooked separately and added moments before eating. We also add soup nuts sometimes.
After the soup is served, we continue to cook it overnight on a plata (but a crock pot or blech may work just as well). We then serve it again the next day for lunch. By that time, it has developed a deep, rich flavor and color. More water may need to be added before serving the second time.
By the way, this recipe is based very loosely on one found in a cookbook called Healthy Jewish Cooking by Steven Raichlen. However, we have made so many changes throughout the years, that it barely resembles the original. Still, I do like to give credit whenever possible.
2 cups matzoh meal
3 eggs (or 1 egg and 4 whites)
2 tbsp olive oil
7 ounces seltzer
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Combine all ingredients but seltzer and stir well.
Add seltzer and stir again.
Refrigerate for an hour if time allows. If short on time, refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Shape into balls.
Add balls to boiling soup and cook for 30 minutes.
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Several years ago, wrote a post called 3 Quick And Easy Hamburger Toppings. Since then, I’ve learned 2 more ways to dress a burger and I’m going to share them today.
Hamburger Topping #4: The Grill Burger
Slice the onion into thin rings and throw onto a hot grill for about 5-10 minutes. Add a frozen veggie burger and cook till hamburger is done.
Spread a roll with toppings of choice. I prefer ketchup and mustard.
Top with burgers and grilled onions and serve immediately.
Note: The onion slices will not be cooked evenly, and that’s fine. It adds to the flavor.
Hamburger Topping #5: The Deli Burger
Spread rye bread generously with Thousand Island Dressing.
Top with a thick layer of coleslaw. Place pickles to the side of the burger and serve.
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