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Friday, December 30, 2011

Best Ever Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

So yesterday, Nathan turned 8. I can't believe it either! Yes, he and my sister share a birthday, but I wasn't ready to share his yet. :)

So of course I made him a cake. Let me preface this by saying that I have been under the weather since Monday. Big, bad cold. So I put off the cake until yesterday and then I finally dragged myself to the grocery store. (we were literally out of everything -- bread, milk, frosting ingredients, you get the picture.) Thank goodness I bought two cake mixes because the first cake STUCK to the nonstick tractor pan. Of course I was out of that cooking spray that makes your food not stick, so I thought if I wiped a little oil around the nonstick pan, it would be alright. We're not talking a little stuck here, more like the bottom half of the cake came out and the rest is STILL IN THE PAN stuck.

Not wanting to return to the grocery store in my feeble state, I buttered and floured a 9 x 13 pan and made cake mix number two. Let me please say that I don't usually cook from a mix and I don't usually buy store bought frosting, so maybe some of that is at play. Anyway, cake number two stuck too! It came out of the pan in big clumps. Nathan was horrified. I picked up the pieces and stuffed them back into the pan because there was NO WAY I was making a third cake. So I got out the big container of store bought chocolate frosting and it totally did not cover the cake. Maybe half of it. Thank goodness I also bought loads of store bought decorator frosting. The spray can kind was sort of expensive and he wanted a green and yellow tractor, so I bought the spray can of green and the tube of yellow. Thinking that since they were both Betty Crocker that the tips that came with the green can would fit on the yellow tube. Well that would be too simple, wouldn't it? I had some real cake decorator tips that were way huge for the yellow frosting tube and forced the yellow stuff out through one and it backed out the back side as well. So.

If you're still reading, you probably want to see the cake. Well, it's at the bottom of this post if you REALLY want to see it. Please don't judge. In the meantime, here are the best ever peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

1 1/2 cups peanut butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 sticks softened butter

Mix these really well. Add 1/2 cup milk. Mix.  Add: 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 3 1/2 cups flour. Mix. Then add in about 1 1/2 bags of Gheradelli chocolate chips. Bake each batch about 7 or 8 minutes, sometimes it takes a little longer at 375 degrees. I use a little scoop to make each cookie about the same size. It looks kind of like a mini ice cream scoop.

Oh, you're sticking around for the birthday? Well, ok.

 He's so fun.

Drumroll please . . . the cake:


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nook Cover Tutorial

Happy birthday to my little sister Christy! We are both avid readers, but she prefers to read on a nook. I thought a pretty cover was in order.
 Isn't it pretty? I found a nice tutorial from Melissa at the Polka Dot Chair. Her tutorial is for an ipad case. You probably know that is a lot bigger than a nook. So, if you would like to make this for a nook, I cut down all the pieces to 7"x10". For the cover, I cut a 7"x10" piece and then added accessories on top, rather than piecing. (sewed on top of the piece of fabric.) And I didn't have auto foam, so I used a piece of craft foam as a stabilizer. Finally, I did not have a zipper (I know!), so my back is just a flat piece of fabric. A zipper would be nice, but I didn't want to go back to town for one. It's lined with minky fur. If you like this, give Melissa a shout-out and tell her I sent you.
Happy birthday Christy!
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:1-3

linking up at The Girl Creative”Some

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Visions of Sugar Plums

The kids thought it would be awfully fun to have a campout around the Christmas tree. (Thanks to one of you for suggesting it.) Look at funny little Squirt on Anna's head!

Not to be bothered with an uncozy floor, Nathan chose the couch. He's not much for camping out.

If you subscribed to my e-mail newsletter, you would have received a sneak peek of my new pattern today!


Monday, December 26, 2011

Join Me at Stitchin Heaven

Hi everyone! Hope your Christmas was merry and bright! Ours sure was and we even had some snow, left from a week or so ago, but still, it was white.

Anyway, I hope you'll join me at Stitchin Heaven today. Even more, I hope you'll join me on New Year's Eve for Stitchin Heaven's twitter party. It's the second one they've had and everyone says it's a blast! There's fun prizes and lots of fun sewing chat. If you don't have plans, please check it out. I'm no twitter expert, but I'm assured it's easy as can be.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Time's Running Out!

Have you made your Graham Cracker House? Mary Beth did!

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:8-11 NIV


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ho Ho Ho!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Family Tree Now Available!

Just a quick note to let you know that Family Tree is now ready to order from! That means if you are a store, you can buy it at wholesale rates. Hooray! And just so you know, the printed pattern contains full-sized templates. That means no taping, no figuring out which piece goes where. It's all on one sheet!

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. Luke 2:1, 4-5


Monday, December 19, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Songs

Just to get you in the mood for Christmas!

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven        Luke 1:76-78 NIV


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Quilting Gallery Blog Hop Winner

The winner is lucky number 28:
cajamk said...

My favorite winter tradition is going to the Christmas pagaent held by our sister church. It is held at the boys' school church. The pagaent is all called How the Chimes Rang. The costumes are wonderful and when the poor boy with his meager present makes the chimes ring and lights in this old church dim and the choir starts singing. Everytime I go my heart swells. It's hard to explain but I know who is in my heart...I follow and work for him everyday. My life is better with him in it. Christ. Thanks for the chance to enter. Oh btw. Tonight is the play. Yes, I am going.

I couldn't resist adding a few pictures from my children's Christmas program.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

SMS Giveaway Winner!

The winner is:

Kimberly said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I love the Barenaked Ladies version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen! It's so fun and Sarah McLaghlan accompanies them, awesome!

And for your viewing pleasure:

Merry CHRISTmas!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Free Shipping Day!

It's national free shipping day! The last day before Christmas to order and receive your order before Christmas and receive it shipped free. I'm happy to be participating this year. You can buy from my shop or my etsy shop and enter the coupon code FREESHIP. This offer is only valid from now through Friday at midnight CST. You will receive your order by Christmas for anything you buy from my shop except the paper pattern for Family Tree, as it hasn't come in yet. To see a list of all the participating stores, click here.

While you're waiting for your order to arrive, make some Christmas cookies! And to whoever gets the red ones, I'm sorry!

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33 NIV


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New QUILT pattern: Family Tree!

This is so exciting! My new pattern is ready to show, much faster than I anticipated! I am so happy because that means you can use the coupon, BLOGHOP2 and receive 40% off the $10 price! And if you're kind of speedy, you can even make it up in time for Christmas. Merry Christmas from me to you! Think how much Mom or Grandma will love it! Just hop over to my store on my website to purchase it. Even if you don't have time to make it, quilty friends would love it as a gift. The paper patterns will be in stock (hopefully) next week. You can preorder those now and still get the 25% discount with the code BLOGHOP.
 Skill level: Intermediate
Finished size: 36" x 39"
Let’s get back to our roots! Family Tree is a three generation quilt, showcasing each member of the family. It’s written for a middle generation of 2 to 8 children. Utilizing applique, it’s sure to become a family heirloom. A writing chart that you may use for letters is included. Very specific instructions on arranging the leaves and how to remove extra branches is, of course, included.

Here's a look at everything you need:
 A close-up of the quilt:
 This is my actual family tree!

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans[a] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times
Micah 5:2


Monday, December 12, 2011

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

This giveaway is closed. Thanks for participating!
Well, tis the season. For giveaways! If you haven't had enough by entering my giveaway for the Quilting Gallery's birthday, you can enter again for a new prize here.
Make sure to visit SMS for a list of all the giveaways.

Anyway, if you're new here, hi! I'm Melissa Stramel, a pattern designer and hopeful fabric designer. I am with Andover fabric. My patterns are available in many places, you can click the link at the side for more information. If you like what you see here, I hope you'll be back for more. I respond to every comment that is not from a "no reply" blogger.

In honor of this blog hop, I'm having a giant sale. You'll have to use my store through my website. I couldn't get the coupon to work on etsy, sorry! The sale is 25% off all paper patterns and 40% of all e-patterns! Enter code BLOGHOP for 25% off paper patterns. Enter code BLOGHOP2 for 40% off of e-patterns. If you buy a combination of both, you'll have to check out each order separately to use both coupons. Your total should be right though since there are no shipping charges for e-patterns! So check it out. The sale is good through December 17 and all orders placed by December 16 will arrive by Christmas for US orders.

And now for the giveaway!

For this giveaway, you can choose from two options: either a copy of all four of my patterns as e-patterns or a choice of two of my patterns in paper. It's your choice.

And to sweeten the deal, I am also giving away 9 fat-eights plus and extra smaller piece of LouLouthi by Anna Maria Horner.

To enter, simply leave me a comment telling me your favorite Christmas carol. If you don't celebrate Christmas, it can be your favorite winter song. The drawing is open until Friday, December 16 at 5 pm CST. The winner will be randomly drawn with

Don't forget, you can still enter the other giveaway until Saturday, December 17!

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

Jesus loves you! Merry Christmas!
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