Friday, January 31, 2014

Ribbon and Cake! All Things Valentines Link Up!


#1Whole Wheat Valentine's Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees - Makes 12-15 little cakes
This is our favorite white whole wheat cake recipe. It really turns out well. Try some cute cupcakes with it!
1/3 c. shortening
1 large egg
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 1/2 c. freshly ground soft white wheat flour
1 3/4 - 2 c. milk
 In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking powder, sea salt and flour. Set aside.

1. Combine the first 4 ingredients in and whisk or beat until light and fluffy.
2. Add the dry ingredients and the 1 3/4 c. of milk. Beat in, but don't over beat. Your batter needs to be just like a boxed mix in consistency. Whole wheat soaks up liquid quicker than white flour, so let you batter sit for 10 minutes then check the consistency. If it's too thick, add a another 1/4 c. of milk, beat and let sit for a few more minutes. Too little milk, and you'll have little holes in the top of your cake.
3. Spray your special pan and add batter until 2/3 full.
4. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until they spring back. Oh boy. These were good.
Our White Frosting:
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
4 Tbsp. milk
Add pink food coloring if desired. I used candy instead. I piped some icing around and on the tops. The cake is pretty sweet and doesn't need a lot of frosting.


#2 Silk Ribbon Heart Embroidery
Decorate or give as a gift!

This project is fairly simple. I know it looks detailed but ribbon is very forgiving!
You'll need:
4mm silk ribbon - Buy at Joyous Home OR hand-dyed from Priti Ribbons
Chenille 22 needle
#8 Pearle cotton- Pink and Red
Transfer pencil, tracing paper
Something to embellish - I used a dish towel. You can do embroidery on blank cards also. 

I have put the template for you to download HERE. Personal use only - please do not share, have your friends come by to download! Thank you!

I used chain stitches for each flower, petal stitches and colonial knots. To start, knot the end of the thread, and come down about 3" from where you'll start, leaving the knot on top. This is later cut and the thread is weaved through the back threads. This prevents little knots all over the back.

1. Print out the template. Use tracing paper, and trace with an iron-on transfer pencil. Iron to your cloth - not sure if you can do this onto a card. (Maybe transfer it with graphite paper.)
Just press down flat with the iron and lift. Do not move the iron or it will smear. Press, 20 seconds, lift. Make sure to get the whole pattern. Sometimes I tape mine in place, but don't touch the iron to the tape.

2. Outline in the between the flowers with a straight stitch using the pearl cotton. Come up through the back, take a stitch back down. Easy.

3. Knot the needle - It doesn't matter what stitch you start with. I started with the chain. Secure a knot on the end of your needle. Put the thread through the needle, and go back in at the end, pull the knot closed.

3a. Chain Stitch - Come up through the back, take a stitch, but don't pull through yet. Wrap the ribbon flat around the tip, and then pull through. Come down at the top to secure. Make these in circles of 5 or 6 for each flower, alternating colors.

4. Petals - Come up, lay the ribbon flat, about 1/8"-1/4" take a stitch down on top. Pull gently so a little curl forms at the end. Pretty and very easy!

5. Colonial Knots - Come up, holding the thread in a slight curve, put the needle under the thread. Wrap once and still holding the thread, put the needle down close to where you came up, pull taut, and go down. Be careful not to pull through too quick. If this knots, you'll need to pick it out, and it's not fun.

 I added petals all in between, and around some of the colonial knots. This didn't take long. Ribbon embroidery is fast, and not hard at all. I hope you enjoy trying!

Thank you for joining us!

Introducing Your All Things Valentines Link Up Hosts

The Contributor Team from                     Theresa from
Button 300                   

  Linda from                                    Marissa from
button                  Rays of Grace and Joy

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Free Book Friday Winner Announcement | Homemaking Blog Hop Wednesday!

We have a winner!!
 Carla L.! Congratulations, Carla! 

Thank you all for participating in Free Book Friday. The next Free Book Friday will be on February 14th.
Homemaking Blog Hop Wednesday

The Featured Hopper!

Each week, we are going to be picking our favorite link or links of the previous week's link-up and featuring them as the Featured Hopper!! Share your best blog posts with us and you might get featured!! :)

This Week's Featured Hoppers

Tshanina at Thrifty T's Treasures! She posted a quick crock pot soup recipe... how perfect for all this cold weather blowing through for everyone! Thank you for sharing with us, Tshanina!

Creamy Crockpot Chicken Potato Soup 

Thank you for sharing, ladies!
Participate in the Blog Hop!

Have fun sharing in this week's blog hop, and have a blessed week, Ladies! 
~ Jessica ~   

One thing we love to do in our work is encourage ladies in making their homes... we are so pleased to host this Homemaking Blog Hop each week! Please join us, and share your links!

Topics can include... crafting, homemaking, encouragement, recipes, homeschooling, sewing, quilting, organizing, anything that has to do with making our homes! 

At the bottom, use the link tool to share your link, title and pick your image, it's so simple! And yes, you can share multiple links. =) 

Grab our Blog Hop button to add to your blog if you have time - not required! Any Tweet, add to Pinterest or share on FB is always appreciated!
Simple posting guidelines are here!

Cinnamon Roll Twist

Something quick and easy you can try the next time you make cinnamon rolls. This is fun to make, and you can serve it like a coffee cake. I failed to get finished photos of this, but you get the idea. :) Drizzle with Cream Cheese Icing and serve warm!

Cinnamon Roll Twist

Use your favorite whole grain sweet dough recipe (sweet breads are featured in the new Winter issue of Seasons at Home). Roll out a rectangle of dough, 20" x 10" and about 3/8" thick.

Spread with 1/4 cup melted butter, and sprinkle generously with ground cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll up cinnamon roll-style.

Use kitchen scissors to cut the roll down the middle. 

Let the ropes fall open a bit, and take pieces of them and begin wrapping in a circle. Continue until all of the pieces are used up. You can make this large or small, however you like! Add a little more if you would like a coffee cake for a crowd. Don't make it too large, or it won't bake properly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes. Drizzle with this cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Icing
In a small bowl, combine: 
3 tbsp. butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. half & half
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Whisk together until very smooth. Add a little more half & half if you would like a thinner icing. 
~ Makes about 2 cups ~
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