Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tasteful Tuesday: Super Easy Sandwich Cookies

This idea came from Danelle over at Let's Dish. Her recipe was for red velvet sandwich cookies with cream cheese icing. However, since I needed a kid friendly dessert for tonight, I altered her recipe for chocolate sandwiches instead.

1 box of chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 C. oil
2 Tablespoons of flour

Preheat over to 350. Mix all ingredients together and drop by tablespoonful on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set. Let cool. Add a heaping tablespoon of your favorite icing to one cookie and top with another.

Total time: 1 hour (from mixing to finished product)

I found that when dealing with the icing, twisting the top cookie as I created the sandwich helped the icing spread onto the cookie evenly and with neat edges. I'm usually a very messy ice-er. I also used a Pampered Chef cookie dropper and it made just the right sized cookies and dropped the perfect amount of icing on the cookies.

To make it a little more exciting for kids, I rolled some of the cookies in different sprinkles.

Aren't they cute? Hope the kiddos enjoy these!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bed & Breakfast Review

How many of us need a break from the humdrum, everyday on-goings of life? *Raises hand*

How many of us want a man making us an edible gourmet breakfast? *Raises hand*

And how many of you ladies want to be surrounded by fabric shops and quilt inspiration? I should see all hands up now.

Well, I know the perfect place to go. And no, I'm not affiliated or being paid to write this. I just love this place so much I have to share it with everyone so more people can go and enjoy some time away. And I'm hoping hubs will read this and get the hint.

Out in Lancaster County, PA, there is a little B&B off of Route 30, The After Eight Inn. I'll admit, when we first visited back in 2008, I was a little disappointed by how it looked from the street. Route 30 just isn't the prettiest view. But, when we parked and went around to the entrance and saw the farmland, the garden, and the little gazebo all lit up, I felt much better.

Each room has a private bathroom and plenty of space to sprawl out and relax. A few rooms have their own private porches where you can go out and watch the sunset with some complementary tea and sweets. Most, if not all, of the furniture in After Eight is an antique. There are two family/living rooms where you can access the internet, find a board game, make a puzzle, and learn about the Amish. My favorite is the year-round Christmas tree decorated for all seasons. Here we are in front of the St. Patrick's Day tree just before leaving for the dinner theater.

Robert, the host/owner, is absolutely wonderful. His breakfasts are outstanding. You might gain a few pounds, but it's so worth it. From the fresh fruit to the homemade scones to the egg casseroles and French toast.... I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Robert knows the ins and outs of Lancaster County. Tell him what you like and he'll point you in the direction of numerous different sites, attractions, shops, and eateries. He hasn't steered us wrong yet. Plus, he has coupons for most everything. Make sure you take one of his maps with you though as it's easy to get lost on the country roads. Not speaking from experience or anything...

Did you know that there is a drive-thru homemade ice cream shop that even the Buggies go through? How cool is that?!

If you're lucky, Robert will even provide entertainment during breakfast with his jokes. Just ask.

In the evening, a fresh tray of cookies or sweets is put out, but you better grab some fast because they'll be gone quickly!

For us quilters out there, during the Lancaster Quilt Show, Robert runs a special on his rooms and the cottage. For those who are military, be sure to ask him about a military discount. Many shops and restaurants out there give military discounts too.

There is one drawback--having to leave. Mark and I feel so at home and welcomed that we actually get upset that we have to go. I have even offered to work for Robert as long as I could live in one of the rooms and have breakfast.

Colorful farm equipment at a Mud Sale. Quite an experience if you ever get to go to one.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Making Progress

Remember how I mentioned working on a Dolly Mama cross-stitch a few weeks ago? Well, I have finally made enough progress for it to start looking like something other than a bunch of squares.
Aren't her shoes just the cutest? Once all the stitching is finished, I'm going to go back and add beads and some sparkly filament/thread. Should make a great addition to my quilt/study room.

Coming Up: My first tutorial!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Past Creations

The last two weeks have been hectic with interviews for graduate programs so I haven't had much time to work on any projects. I do want to start on my McKenna Ryan kit that hubs got me for Christmas... two years ago. Can we say slacker?? It just loooooove all the pretty colors.

So, to tide you over while I get the courage to start cutting my batiks for the applique kit (first time too!), I give you pictures of my favorite projects!

This was made from two Bali Pops. I got the idea from a picture on a blog and designed my own pattern. This picture doesn't do the quilt any justice do to poor lighting, but there are some black pinwheels in there as well as a few on the outer border. I love my browns!

The Man Quilt. Hubs is a geography fanatic so when I saw the tan fabric with ships and maps on it, I couldn't resist buying the accompaniments. And what better pattern than Storm at Sea for a nautical map quilt?