Here is a list of the craft books I currently own, the books I did own but got rid of, and the books I would like to purchase. I love to see what other people are reading, and I thought you may too.
Craft Books I Own
Landscape Quilts by Nancy Zeiman – This is a beautiful book, but I wish the instructions were a little more clear.
Trip Around the World Quilt (Quilt in a Day Series) by Eleanor Burns – I don’t like the fabric choices but the instructions are super clear.
Quick Watercolor Quilts: The Fuse, Fold, and Stitch Method by Dana Pappas – Pretty designs and excellent instructions.
Scrap Quilts (Leisure Arts #1947) by Beverly Rivers – Beautiful designs and color combinations plus I love the idea of making something beautiful from a throw-away.
Creative Sketches for Scrapbooking by Becky Higgins – Features layouts and shows several ways to use each one.
A Year of Scrapbooking by Debbie Janasak – This is not my favorite scrapbooking book, but it is nice, and has a little bit of everything.
My Creative Companion: The Ultimate Scrapbooking Resource by Becky Higgens – I like this one a lot. Nothing here but tons of ideas for scrapbooking elements…titles, tags, lettering, etc.
Scrapbook Borders, Corners & Titles by Memory Makers – This is my favorite scrapbooking book. It’s full of really nice, creative ideas.
More 3D Origami: Step-By-Step Illustrations by Joie Staff – I actually handled one of these designs in real life and it was amazing…solid and good looking. I’m dying to try a project myself.
Craft Books I Got Rid Of
Quick Sewing Projects from Placemats by Susan Beck – This wasn’t a bad book, but I’ve seen everything in it elsewhere. Nothing new.
Making Handbags: Retro, Chic, Luxurious by Ellen Goldstein-Lynch – There was nothing in this book that I wanted to make, so I got rid of it.
Faux Surfaces in Polymer Clay: 30 Techniques & Projects That Imitate Stones, Metals, Wood & More by Irene Semanchuk Dean – I was crazy to get rid of this book. Big mistake!
Art Stamping Workshop by Gloria Page – I bought this book for the explanation on stamp carving but the projects were a bit disappointment. I gave this book to my mom.
Polymer Clay Extravaganza by Lisa Pavelka – Another book I was dumb to get rid of. One day I’ll get another copy.
Polymer Clay: Creating Functional and Decorative Objects by Jacqueline Gikow – Selling this one was also a very big mistake. Eventually I will rebuy it.
Quilting Makes the Quilt by Lee Cleland – Beautiful book with great instructions but I’m just not that “into” quilting.
Quick Country Quilting: Over 80 Projects Featuring Easy, Timesaving Techniques by Debbie Mumm – This book is okay, just not fabulous.
Nostalgia Patchwork & Quilting by Robby Savonen – This is another book that wasn’t bad, just not great.
Craft Books I Want To Buy
Watercolor Landscape Quilts: Quick No-Fuss Fold & Sew Technique by Cathy Geier – I already have a book on landscape quilting, but this one looks so appealing!
What Crafts Books Do You Own?
I’d love to hear about your favorite craft books. Please leave me a message with the names of the books you’re reading, and why. I’ll publish your responses as an update to this article.
Before I left the US, and decided to pare down my belongings, I owned 300+ cookbooks. Even now, when I’ve spent the last six years simplifying my life, I still have over 100 cookbooks. And yet, I rarely cook from a book.
Like a lot of women, at least 90% of the meals I make come from my own recipes, accumulated over the years. My great aunt had slips of paper stuck in a cookbook and my mother had index cards organized in a file box, but it was all the same idea. We begged recipes from any great cook we came across, and kept them forever.
How I Store Recipes
I first stored my 25 year old accumulation of recipes by taping and stapling them into a spiral notebook. When the pages started to fall apart, I glued them to computer paper, hole punched them, and filed them in a binder. In ten years, when the binder cracks, I’ll just buy a new one. The one thing I’ll never do, is throw the recipes out.
What’s In My Notebook?
The recipes in my notebook come from dozens of sources. Some are from family members and neighbors whose food was so good I wanted to duplicate it. Some of the recipes come from AllRecipes.com, my favorite online cooking source. And, a lot, come from cookbooks.
The Cookbooks I Culled Recipes From
I must have penciled in recipes from at least 50 different cookbooks, but here are the ones that stick out in my mind.
- a biscuit and a pancake recipe from an old Joy of Cooking
- a universal muffin and a grain recipe from Tightwad Gazette
- a herb biscuit recipe from Herbal Treasures
- tons of pasta recipes from The 5 in 10 Pasta Cookbook
- a pizza dough recipe from The Fanny Farmer Baking Book
- a broccoli sauce recipe from an early Mollie Katzen books
- a chili recipe from Quickies (Chatelaine)
If you’ve spent years working on your own cookbook, or if you’ve inherited one from a relative, I’d love to hear about it. Please drop me a line the comment box, and I’ll be happy to post it.
This oven-baked sandwich tastes just like it was grilled in a frying pan. I got the idea for the basic recipe from Allrecipes.com. The original was titled Awesome Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, in case you’d like to look it up.
bread, 4 slices per person
margarine or butter
any kind of sliced or grated cheese (American, cheddar, etc.)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place half the bread slices butter side down on a non-stick cookie pan. Place cheese on each slice of bread. Cover cheese with a second slice of bread, butter side facing out. Bake for six minutes, turn and bake six more minutes or till medium brown.
My husband is a big fan of the Twelve Steps. He lost around 175 pounds and has kept the weight off for about 10 years. He feels that he would never have been able to do it without the “program”.
So, off course when we were driving through Ohio, we HAD to stop off at Dr. Bob’s house. Dr. Bob’s kitchen is where much of the history AA took place. We toured the house, watched a video and bought a couple of things from the gift shop. Right before we left we took this picture of my now slim husband.
I’d love to give you a tutorial for making this page, but there’s really nothing to it. All I did is mount the photo on white cardstock and glue it on scrapbooking paper. Then I printed the title, cut it out and glued that down too. The whole thing took less than 10 minutes.
Image by Ariela R.
I live in the Middle East.
Here, company or holiday meals always start with a wide selection of Mezze. Mezze are tiny dishes, usually simple salads, breads, and spreads, that are laid out family style before the meal begins. Mezze are the western equivalent of appetizers, but served much more frequently.
Why are mezze on my mind?
I’ll be eating at my sister-in-laws table tonight. I can almost predict there will be an enormous selection of mezze available. Her usual dishes are challah, dill dip/spread, fish, eggplant salad, zhug (middle eastern version of pesto), charif (hot sauce), hummus, techina, eggs and onions, pickles and olives, sliced and seasoned onions, and tossed salad. She also will probably add one or two extras like carrot salad or Israeli salad.
Mezze sounds like a tremendous amount of work, but it’s not. It isn’t nearly as much trouble to throw together as it seems. Most of the dishes are available ready made and at very reasonable prices for the small amounts needed. Other dishes, like coleslaw, are very easy to produce. People generally serve a combination of purchased and homemade mezze.
If you’d like to create your own mezze, here are a couple of recipes I posted in the past:
The book is called Handicrafts In The Home and it was written in 1910 by Mabel Tuke Priestman. Handicrafts in the Home gives instructions for 21 different crafts. The book has chapters on piercing sheet metal, repousse work and etching on metal. Some other chapter are Pyrography, pulled rugs and artistic darning.
This is an excellent book and you don’t want to miss taking at least a quick look at it.
source: Daniel Go
When I first got married, I used to make deep fried french fries all the time. But like most people, 30 years ago, when information started to circulate about the dangers of cholesterol, I switched to oven frying instead.
Today though, I woke up with an unexpected urge to make my own.
Since it had been decades since I deep fried anything, the first thing I did was look online to get some tips. I spent over a half hour reading hint articles, watching YouTube videos, and perusing answers to deep frying questions.
By the time I was finished, I knew everything I needed to know in order to produce some truly delicious french fries. Everyone who tasted them said they were much better than anything they had ever tasted in a restaurant.
frozen french fries (do not defrost)
1. Fill a medium pot with 2/3 of the way with olive oil.
2. Place pot over medium to high flame and heat till oil is hot, but not smoking. To test for appropriate temperature, place a single fry in the pot and allow till cook till light brown. If fry is tender in the middle and crispy on the outside, temperature is correct.
3. Place a small amount of frozen fries in the hot oil. I only cooked about 1 1/2 handfuls per batch, in order to avoid substantially lowering the temperature of the oil. You will need to make one batch per person, if using the french fries as a side dish.
4. When light brown, remove the french fries with a slotted spoon and place on a double layer of paper towels. Blot the tops of the french fries to remove excess oil.
5. Sprinkle very lightly with salt and serve with ketchup.
Note: I used much less salt than I do when making oven fries. When making oven fries, most of the salt falls onto the pan, but with deep fat fries, most of the salt sticks.