I had all my shopping pretty much done and wrapping under control, but still was falling behind some with a few handmade gifts I wanted to do. Not homeschooling this week has been a great break and has allowed me to indulge myself in some cooking, baking, embroidery, cross-stitching and sewing.
This little doll quilt was made from scraps and fat quarters I had in my stash. I thought this little scottie dog would be cute for Kierra's new doll she'll get for Christmas.
Caressa will get a new "baby", too, and seeing as she loves kitties, I thought she would like to keep her new doll warm with this one. I googled in for free patterns of cat and scottie dog and found these. This was a two evening project for each. They were a fun little project and I think my little ones will like them.
We've had a stomach virus visiting our house the last couple days so once I came home from Mass yesterday morning we didn't go out again. (Gee, it sounds like we go even if we're sick, which isn't the case; one was sick and stayed home, and the next one got sick over the course of the day) Anyway, seeing that I wasn't going anywhere too soon, I thought I'd make these two cute little bags for my girlies to carry around their little itty-baby dolls they'll get. I tend to go overboard a bit on the doll buying every year, much to my husband's teasing. I just can't help myself. Ah, well... as you can see I used the same scrap fabric found in the little quilts. I found the sweet embroidery pattern by seeing another blog and just free-handed the pattern. I thought it would be O.K. seeing I'm not selling the bags, just making them for my own kiddoes to enjoy.
Here is one of my favorite gifts I came up with this year for my brother: a man's chocolate basket! I filled it with Munson's chocolates, Starbucks Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix and a few nippers; Khalua, Chocolate Liquor and Irish Whiskey. I almost want to keep it for myself!
Lots of cookie baking going on, too. These were my contribution this year. I made twelve dozen. Out of the eleven dozen I came home with plus my dozen I now have one dozen left. My kids nearly went through the entire tray of cookies. Little piggies! This is a really bad picture. The cookies really are quite beautiful and festive. I'm just a terrible photographer... I'm in the process of baking more cookies so I'll be back with more pictures and recipes.
Along with cookie baking, we made pierogi on Sunday! This is a tradition we do each year and I corral in anyone that's willing to help. They are a lot of work, but oh, so worth it! Here is our family recipe. I make 3 double recipes:
1 beaten egg
2-1/4 cups sifted flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk - hot
2 TBS butter
Melt butter and milk together - cool 'til warm. Add rest of ingredients and mix with hands to make a nice dough.
Potato and Cheese
Boil four peeled potatoes, mash. Add butter and 1-1/2 lbs of Farmer's Cheese. Mix.
Brown salt pork til crispy. Toss salt pork and to the grease brown chopped onion. Rinse saurkraut (I usually use one large can and one small bag of saurkraut). Place in bowl and mix kraut with grease. I know, not the healthiest thing here but hey, it's only once a year!
How to Make pierogi...
Roll out dough nice and thin; a little thinner than a ravioli. Take a glass and cut circles. Dip your finger in some water and trace around the edge of the dough to help it stick. Fill with a small spoonful of filling and fold dough over itself and stick together. Use the backside of a fork to press down the edge. Once all the pierogi are made, place in boiling water for 10 minutes. This step needs to be done in batches and takes awhile. We do it on a propane cooker in the garage. One year we broke a glass 9x13 by cooking them on the stove. Another year we burned out our microwave from the steam from the top of the stove going up to where the microwave is (over the stove). So... we learned our lesson and do it out in the garage!
Once all the pierogi are made (and yes, you'll have some "blow-outs" as we call them, where the edges come apart and the filling leaks) it's time to freeze them or put in the 'fridge.
When it's time to actually eat them, we like to brown them in a bit of butter.
We ended up making over 12 dozen. I stopped counting after that. It's always an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon!