Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Aug 2013 Mint Brownies, Chocolate Meatballs, Mint Lemonade

Thank you Diane for hosting this month. We had a great time. We first had a show and tell, then we had a "hot tip" sharing time.
Here are the quilts:

 Cindy made this chevron quilt for her son's girlfriend.
 Cindy also made this quilt and will be giving it away as a humanitarian quilt.
 Lenette put all her "Pizza Square" blocks together and made this beautiful quilt.
 Sherry used a group of our own donation squares to make this quilt top for humanitarian give away.
 Rachel made this wool wall hanging and had the frame custom made for it.
 Rachel made this cute owl quilt for her granddaughter's bed.
 Close up
 Out of the same owl fabric line, Rachel made this smaller quilt for her granddaughter to carry around as a snuggle quilt.
 Close up
 Corrie finished her King sized quilt for her bedroom. She still wants to make shams for it also.
 Close up
 Jeanie found these fun coloring books for any age and they may even prove to be a fun color exercise for her future quilts.
 Nancy made this snap purse to be used as a mending kit for her daughter.
 Nancy decided to try dressmaking. This darling little dress turned out beautifully. It's a Katie Cupcake pattern. She also made some swing skirts from seersucker material but has already sent them off in the mail.
 There's even shirring on the back next to Nancy's first attempt at making button holes.
 Diane is making a paper pieced quilt. These are some of her first squares. The colors or lack thereof is termed as "Low Volume".
 Diane also made this flannel quilt from a kit for her sister. She decided flannel was not the most forgiving fabric to work with.

1. Diane told us that Wagner Farms is a great place to get produce. Located on Chinden between Linder and Ten Mile.
2. She also told us that at Craft Warehouse every Wednesday evening from 6pm to 10pm they give 40% off on any one item.
3. Robyn's tip was how best to freeze corn. First you cut it off the cob, then blanch for 3 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water, then freeze in ziplock bags.
4. Cindy told us she was able to buy a Featherweight on Ebay for a great price and is very excited to have it.
5. Lenette said she loves to grill corn by leaving it in the husk, soaking it in water, then placing it on the grill.
6. Lenette also made this cooling scarf (below) for her son to use while mowing the lawn in the heat. It's made from an old sheet and uses frozen Otter Pops inside.
7. Lenette gave us a tip on cleaning our large garbage cans. She puts hers upside down over a sprinkler in the yard. The pressure from the water cleans them right out.
 8. Maurene recommends a sewing machine repairman who actually comes right to your home. Call her for the info. It is $59.00.
 9. Corrie made these brown paperbag place settings for her upcoming quilt retreat. The bottom part of the bag that is cut off will be used to hold potato chips. So clever!
 10. Corrie sews the bags using normal thread in the bobbin but uses a pearl cotton thread size 16 for the top thread. 
 11.Corrie made this New York City peek-a-boo bag for her 18 year old daughter.
12. Jeanie told us about a fun place for a family reunion. She took her family to Paris, Idaho this summer and rented a wonderful place with 7 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms. It is only $22 per person per night. They had a fun time playing at Bear Lake.
13. Jeanie gets a good deal on Elberta peaches from a man in Emmett who will deliver them to your home. His name is Max Williams (375-8801). They are $20 for half bushel.
14. Jeanie also told us that when you relocate heavy furniture from one spot to another,  to get rid of the indentations left behind in the carpet, fill them with water and leave for a bit.  Come back later and fluff out the carpet.
15. To clean gas stove grates, use oven cleaner or Jeanie says place the grates in a garbage bag with a cup of ammonia and let sit for a while. 
16. Nancy told us how she learned how to ruffle fabric. She said instead of sewing two lines of basting stitches, just lay one piece of heavy thread on the fabric, zigzag over that thread, pull the thread and the fabric will ruffle.
17. Nancy also showed us how she did the shirring on the little dress she made. She bought elastic thread from Hobby Lobby and hand wound that onto a bobbin, being careful not to stretch. Using regular thread up top, just sew straight lines a half inch apart on the right side of the fabric. Tie off the elastic threads on the back. Then use an iron with steam on top and it will automatically shirr. Very clever!
18. Kathi's youngest daughters learned how to paint on fabric over the summer. After drawing a simple picture with pencil onto white fabric, they then used Elmer's blue gel glue and outlined the picture with the glue. Then they painted. After the paint dried, they washed it all out in a sink including removing the glue. The white outlines are what are left after the glue comes off. Her girls used acrylic paint, but for quilting we could use fabric paint.

19. Kathi also showed a wall hanging she made years ago using the painting method. She made a snowflake/Hawaiian design for the center onto freezer paper and ironed it onto the background. After outlining it with pencil, she then painted the inside (white). She then hand quilted around the edges making it look like it was appliqued.

Mint Lemonade
The ultimate summer quencher, lemonade is refreshing as it is, but can be wonderfully lightened with sparkling water and fresh mint. 
To make simple syrup, in a measuring cup, stir together 1/4 cup superfine sugar in 1/4 cup hot water until dissolved. Let cool. This recipe makes 3 fl. oz. syrup and can be doubled or tripled as needed.


  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish 
  • 8 fl. oz. simple syrup (see note above) 
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice 
  • 6 cups cold water 
  • Ice, as needed 
  • 2 cups sparkling water 
  • Lemon wheels for garnish 


In a punch bowl, combine the mint leaves and simple syrup. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, gently muddle the mint leaves, being careful not to tear them. Stir in the lemon juice and cold water. Add ice and the sparkling water. Garnish with lemon wheels and mint leaves. Makes 12 drinks. 
Note: I did not use sparkling water.
Lemon Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Lemon Frosting
for the Lemon Cookies:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup crisco
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon milk
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

for the frosting:
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 lb. powdered sugar
pinch of salt
fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, crisco, and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla, egg, and lemon zest; mix. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to mixer and combine. Add milk and lemon juice, and stir until completely incorporated. Roll dough into Tablespoon-sized balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are just beginning to turn golden on the edges. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth and well mixed. Add vanilla. Add powdered sugar and salt. Stir. Mix in fresh lemon juice until the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.
Notes:  I reduced the salt to 1/2 teas. Also, I didn't not use the frosting. We like them without, BUT they are wonderful with! :)
 Chocolate Meatballs

one small tub Cool Whip
one large Hershey Chocolate Bar
chopped almonds, or chopped coconut, or crushed graham crackers

Bring cool whip to room temperature. Melt chocolate bar and have luke warm.
Mix the two together by hand. With chopped nuts on large plate, drop desired size of ball onto the nuts and form ball with nuts covering. Keep in freezer. Enjoy!
 Chocolate Mint Brownies - Hollie Smith
1 c butter, melted
1/2 c. baking cocoa
2 c sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c flour

Mint Frosting:
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 T. milk
2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp peppermint extract
5 drops green food coloring

Ganache Topping:
1/2 c butter
1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Note: increasing amounts to 1 1/2 times the
original amounts will yield a baker's half sheet (large cookie sheet) of
brownies. For the brownies, whisk melted butter & cocoa. Then add sugar,
beaten eggs, vanilla & salt. Mix well then add sifted flour. Stir in by
hand. Do not overmix. Pour into a 9x13 pan, sprayed with cooking
spray,(cookie sheet if 1 1/2 recipe). Bake 25-28 minutes. Cool for a few
minutes and then place in the freezer for 20 minutes. While brownies are in
the freezer, make the first layer of topping. Mix the mint frosting
ingredients thoroughly. Evenly frost brownies and put back in the freezer
for 20 minutes. Make the chocolate ganache top layer. Melt the butter and
chocolate and whisk together. (I melt them together in a pyrex measuring
bowl in the microwave for one minute. Be careful not to overheat!) Drizzle
warm chocolate over brownies and spread smooth with a spatula. Put back in
the freezer for another 20 minutes. Tip: Make a day ahead and store
covered in the fridge. It makes the flavors melt together and just taste

Next month our Quilt Group meeting will be held at Nancy Christensen's home.
See you then.


Corrie said...

You guys are so fast, wow! Great tips! I'm trying the garbage can sprinkler one this week. Diane, your minty brownies were super yummy. Thanks!

Di~ said...

You are WELCOME! :)