Gosh, I know I’ve been so bad at keeping this updated! It seems like I wake up, do the bare minimum to keep my business and life running, and suddenly it’s 1am and bedtime! Every day feels like nothing got done, but I know that isn’t true and vast amounts of unpacking, settling in, organizing, and LIVING are happening.
So, some highlights of the past month (as proof 😉 ):
ONE OF MY JACKETS WAS FEATURED ON TELEVISION!
On a local morning talk show, to be precise! That was tremendously exciting, and I only found out about it the night before! They’d seen my work in one of the galleries I show in here, and decided to grab it!
Also, have been asked to teach several workshops, some open to the public, some not. So if you are local, or visiting the Greater Detroit area and you’re a member of ASG, I will be doing 3D Quilting in March and Velvet Embossing in May for 2 different local chapters. You are welcome to come join.
Tried my hand at decorating for winter for the first time this year. Hopefully, will improve with experience 😉
Strung one of our smallest trees with ornaments (no lights ;( )…
Hung up 2 large lanterns filled with twinkle lights and ornaments… 1 at the end of the drive, 1 on the front porch by the door.
I decorated the wreath myself! (Very proud of my first attempt 😉 ) – this is hung by the garage door we use most.
Put a little reindeer by the porch… he needed a nose, but not red (I hate the story of Rudolph. Moral: People will come to like you when they realize they need you?!), gold seemed to match…
My husband decided this wasn’t enough, so he wrapped ME in lights and planted me on the porch. We are not amused….
AND, I’ve spent the past month baking up a storm!!! Husband waited (3 times!) until the last minute to ask me to make something for the company bake sale fundraiser for Toys for Tots, then there was the company potluck, then he wanted something to bring as a present for colleagues, then he ambushes me with a demand for more (he miscounted), PLUS could I make a special batch for one person who is gluten-free (well, his diet is). Ok, that was actually more like 5 times, wasn’t it?
So I bought a ton of the mini-loaf pans (Bed, Bath, and Beyond has a set of 4 for $10, don’t forget your coupon!) and an average cake recipe divides neatly into 4 minis! Yay math!
I made lots of cranberry cakes, many different versions! (Note, I skipped the nuts in all these recipes because they were for gifts and I didn’t know who had allergies.)
Our favorite ended up being this delicious coffee-cake version from Cookie Monster Cooking – though I skipped the almond extract. (Confession: The first time I made it, I didn’t have a spring-form pan handy, so I poured the batter into a bundt cake pan, carefully putting the streusel topping on the bottom of the pan first. This worked out shockingly well!!! It was QUITE good!)
Topped with the frosted cranberries from Life, Love, and Sugar (which were awesomely good!). We don’t like white chocolate, so I skipped that part of the LLS recipe, and found that without it the cake was ok – very dense and heavy, but we preferred the lighter, more open crumb of the CMC recipe.
For the gluten-free recipe, I found this recipe from Martha Stewart which really did come out quite well!! I used the gluten-free flour blend from Krusteaz that was available at my Kroger grocery.
I found a super handy trick for using mini-loaf pans, that surely will work just as well with almost any pan… Use a strip of parchment paper (does not have to full cover the bottom of the pan, can be less than half the pan in width) to line the pan first, pour your batter on top of this, and then gently pull the tabs of paper up to release the baked cake! I’ve seen recipes that call for lining the pans, but never suggesting just a little strip. It makes all the difference in the world! Those little cakes popped right out, neat as could be. Any batter that had stuck to the paper and burnt on could just be brushed off gently and did not adhere to the cake, and all the little cakes (I made about 50 mini and full size cakes this month, and have a request for another 2 dozen!) came out beautifully!
Here is what it looks like before, waiting to receive the batter… (forgot to take the other pictures (during and after), so just try to imagine how they’d look…)
Happy holidays, everyone!!! Wishing you all a year full of joy, health, happiness, friendship, peace, and love!