Butterick 6457- A blouse with peek-a-boo sleeves

I finally got around to sewing this pattern. I initially bought this pattern for the cold shoulder sleeves, which I was never really interested in but interested enough to buy the pattern. Luckily, there are 2 other views which don’t involve the cold shoulder sleeve, but rather, peek-a-boo sleeves. The sleeves have slits on the side to show a little bit of arm.

I chose view C. It was very easy to sew and the sleeves were actually a little fun to sew.

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I like the end result. I like it so much that I have worn this top many times already. It’s very comfortable because it’s a loose fitting top. I like the peek-a-boo sleeves. They don’t show too much arm, but it gives the blouse a little bit of an edgy look.

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I made a sash with the leftover fabric and I tie it around my waist. I like the way it looks because it emphasizes the waist.

I’m planning to make another blouse but without the peek-a-boo sleeves.

Happy Sewing!

 

 

 

 

Alien finger cookies

 

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I made these cookies for a Halloween party. I suppose it would have been more appropriate to share in October but hey, you can enjoy alien finger cookies anytime of the year. Why not. I’ve used this recipe many times before in many different ways. Sounds poetic, but it’s true. For example, I’ve made them as bloody finger cookies- Creepy Halloween Finger Cookies. Use your imagination to fit the occasion because these cookies are delicious and very easy to make. Here’s the recipe:

2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
5 tablespoons of granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 and 2/3 cups all purpose flour
peanuts
green food dye

Heat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Separate 1 egg. Set aside the white. In a small bowl, whisk together the yolk of the first egg with the second egg and vanilla. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add the egg mixture. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and about 6 drops of green food dye. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

When dough is chilled and ready, roll each piece back and forth to form finger shapes about 3 to 4 inches long.

When all fingers are formed, brush lightly with egg white.

Place and push peanuts into the dough to attach the “nails”.

Bake until lightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Happy baking!

 

McCalls 7052 peplum blouse

I love this blouse. At first I was worried that I would not like the finished product. I like peplums but that doesn’t mean that they like me. However, this blouse turned out pretty good and also turned out to be one of my favorite makes. I mostly like this blouse because of the fabric.  It’s a light blue cotton fabric with little cherries on them. I bought it in 2016.  I was saving it to make a summer sundress. It’s a Gretchen Hirsch fabric so it has that vintage vibe. I’m glad that I opted to make this blouse rather than a sundress because I think the mixture of the peplum pattern and the vintage vibe fabric work well together.

I made view D. There is an option to make view D with lace and lining. There are also 3 other views with double or asymmetrical  peplum options and sleeveless or short sleeve options. I’m not too interested in the double or asymmetrical peplum options but I am interested in making this as a short sleeve or sleeveless option. I might also try the lace and lining option, especially since I have not yet sewn a top with a lining yet. It would be  good learning experience.

I have worn this blouse twice already. Warning: do not wear this blouse in windy weather unless you enjoy showing off your midsection in Marilyn Monroe fashion. Walking around with your arms straight down while holding onto the bottom of your blouse looks awkward. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Happy Sewing!

2nd time baking contest winner with these Pumpkin Coconut Cupcakes!

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winner, winner… pumpkin dinner

This recipe is seriously worth sharing again. I can’t believe that these pumpkin coconut cupcakes won a baking contest… again! I won a baking contest using this exact same recipe 4 years ago. Award Winning Pumpkin Coconut Cupcakes

Ok, ok… it wasn’t a serious baking contest but it was serious enough because they were baking contests at my work. And those get serious. Especially when there are prizes (and egos) involved.

I found this recipe a few years ago. It’s a Paula Deen recipe. There is no butter involved in the pumpkin batter. However, there is a lot of oil, which I think is the magic moistness factor.

I made these as pumpkin bars many times without the frosting on top and they are still a hit! They are seriously The most delicious pumpkin bars EVER! (Click that link for the link to the Paula Deen recipe).

So back to me winning the baking contest… I made these as cupcakes and I think that the winning combination is the combo of pumpkin, cream cheese and toasted coconut. Yes, I said toasted coconut. You might not think that this mixture goes well together, but it does! I received many compliments on this recipe and the judges said that the addition of the toasted coconut on top was a “nice little surprise at the end”. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it must mean something good.

So even though these cupcakes are based on Paula Deen’s recipe for pumpkin bars,  which on it’s own is delicious,  I did add a few tweaks of my own. I believe these little tweaks made all the difference. I added a teaspoon of vanilla to the pumpkin batter and I added toasted coconut on top. Those were my two little tweaks.

Here’s the link to the recipe again Pumpkin Bars by Paula Deen. Don’t forget to tweak the recipe by adding a teaspoon of vanilla to the batter, making the cream cheese frosting as directed and adding toasted coconut on top. Or follow this recipe: Award Winning Pumpkin Coconut Cupcakes

If you win a baking contest too, then… You’re welcome.

Happy Baking!

 

 

 

 

The most delicious pumpkin bars EVER!

These are the most delicious pumpkin bars that I have ever made and tasted. This recipe belongs to Paula Deen. I’ve made it many times. They are always a hit. I’ve made them as pumpkin bars, which is the original Paula Deen recipe and I’ve also made them as cupcakes. Click here to view the original recipe by Paula Deen.

I used this recipe to enter a Halloween cupcake contest last year and I won!

Pumpkin coconut cupcakes halloween

For Paula Deen’s pumpkin bars, you will need the following ingredients:
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy.

2. Stir together the flour (don’t forget to sift the flour, very important!), baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.

4. Fill the batter in a  9.5 x 13.5 x 2 inch pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let it completely cool before frosting.

Today, I am grateful for Octobers, pumpkins, and love.

pumpkin love instagram 2012

Goodbye October, Hello November!

Award Winning Pumpkin Coconut Cupcakes

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This recipe belongs to Paula Deen. I’ve made it many times as pumpkin bars. I adapted it just a bit for pumpkin cupcakes. You can find the original recipe here.

For the pumpkin cupcakes, you will need the following ingredients:

4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line up your cupcake pan with cupcake liners. This batch made 30 cupcakes.

1. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla and pumpkin until light and fluffy.

2. Stir together the flour (don’t forget to sift the flour, very important!), baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.

4. Fill cupcake liners about halfway. Bake for 20 minutes. Let completely cool before frosting.

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Ingredients for the icing:
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin cupcakes.

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Ingredients for the topping:

7 oz. of sweetened shredded coconut.

To make the topping, lightly toast the coconut: Spread coconut in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently in between.

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Top the cupcakes with toasted coconut and enjoy!

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I entered these cupcakes in a Halloween cupcake contest and it won first prize! That’s why I call them Award Winning Pumpkin Coconut Cupcakes.

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Feeling coco-nutty…

 

Creepy Halloween Finger Cookies

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Making creepy halloween finger cookies is fun and easy! I made these cookies a few years back for a halloween party and they were perfect for the occasion. Last time, I added green food coloring to the cookie dough, didn’t dye the “nails” (almonds) and then baked. This time around, I didn’t add green food coloring to the cookie dough, but I dyed the almond slivers in red food color. I like this version much better. It’s just so much creepier!

Here are the ingredients you will need:

about 3 to 4 tablespoons red food coloring
about 48 slivered almonds
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
5 tablespoons of granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 and 2/3 cups all purpose flour

Heat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place food coloring in a small shallow bowl. Place almond slivers into the bowl and toss until color is evenly distributed. Set aside.

Separate 1 egg. Set aside the white. In a small bowl, whisk together the yolk of the first egg with the second egg and vanilla. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add the egg mixture. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, and mix on low speed until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

When dough is chilled and ready, roll each piece back and forth to form finger shapes about 3 to 4 inches long.

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Pinch the dough in two places to form knuckles. Score each knuckle lightly with a butter knife. To make the fingers more creepy, make them crooked and uneven. Perfection is not necessary here! The more imperfect the better! Make the fingers extra skinny because they will puff out when baking.

When all fingers are formed, brush lightly with egg white.

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Place and push colored red almond nails into the dough to attach.

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Transfer fingers to prepared baking sheets.

Bake until lightly browned, for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely. Enjoy!

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