Wednesday, January 27

Easy Baby Burp Cloths

Homemade Burp Cloths
We had a new granddaughter born in December! Her name is Lilly and she is the daughter of my youngest child, Daniel. 
Late last summer we came up with our own design for their Pregnancy Announcements which we think turned out great and very unique.

Daniel, Jennica and Lilly live with us while they save to build a house so I'm getting my sewing machine back to work!
When my kids were little I used to sew Halloween Costumes for them, along with pinafores, outfits, Christmas dresses, doll clothes and various other things. 
 Sadly, I haven't sewn much for my grandchildren, the newest ones live in Texas and I only see them a couple times a year. It's difficult to sew little outfits without trying them on for sizing as I make them. And being so far away it's hard to keep up on what they're into at the moment.

Friday, January 22

Grandma Elder's Carrot Cake

This is a moist and delicious carrot cake that's not too sweet and gets raves each time I make it.
I usually make it as a sheet cake but it is so much prettier as a layer cake!

My mother-in-law Coy Lynch handed down her mother's Carrot Cake recipe to me many years ago. Her mother was AnnaBelle (Sharer) Elder from Alexis, Illinois. 
 I never got to meet Annabelle but the cousins all talk fondly of visits to her house. Annabelle and husband John H. had 5 children, one of which is the famous and highly successful high school coach John K. Elder. 

It has nothing to do with the recipe but here's a little horn tooting for my husband’s side of the family: John K. Elder has been inducted into both the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Hall of Fame. In 2008 John received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Organization of Coaches Association Directors and in 2003 the Gerald Ford All-American Coach Award from the All-American Football Foundation.
Pretty cool!

Saturday, January 16

Holland, Michigan and the Tulip Festival

Looking for a great weekend trip this spring? I have just the place: Holland Michigan. And if you time it just right you could be there for The Holland Tulip Festival held in May.
Holland is a beautiful little town loaded with wooden shoes, statues, quaint shops, lots of Dutch heritage and countless tulips and other spring flowers.

Holland was settled in 1847 by Dutch Calvinist separatists, under the leadership of Dr. Albertus van Raalte. Their desire for religious freedom led them to unite and settle as a group along with dire economic conditions in the Netherlands compelling them to emigrate.

Holland is known as the "City of Churches."There are 170 churches in the greater Holland area, many of which are with the Reformed Church in America and Christian Reformed Church in North America denominations. A Holland church youth group leader started the trend of the "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelets in the 1990's.

Saturday, January 9

Make Your Own Hamburger Buns

There is something very comforting about the smell of freshly baked bread.

This past Christmas I received a few new cookbooks and one of them has a recipe for Hawaiian Grilled Cheeseburgers. We have been grilling pineapple and putting them on cheeseburgers occasionally, but that recipe took the sandwich to new heights.

To keep on the level of awesomeness of the cheeseburger recipe, I decided to try my hand at making homemade buns.
And let me tell you I was amazed and overjoyed at how easy they were and how well they turned out! It doesn't take much to make me happy, but a good recipe always does.

Here are a few things to consider before starting:

Sunday, January 3

Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Who doesn't love a good grilled cheese sandwich? On cold winter days grilled cheese sandwiches and hot soup is a staple at our house.
But in the middle of winter I am constantly craving (and dreaming about) the fresh garden vegetables that were huge a part of our meals in warmer months. I do can most of our garden produce but it's just not the same.

I came up with this sandwich to add a little more nutrients and vitamins to a traditional grilled cheese sandwich but it's also just darn delicious!
Caprese is typically a salad of fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil.
For an over the top grilled cheese sandwich I always, always start with a really good bread. It and the quality of the cheese makes the sandwich, in my opinion. I got that tip when I was very young from my sister Julie. She could make the best sandwiches in the world and the bread was always a key factor. Thanks Julie.