Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Whoopie Pie Recipe - Pumpkin w/ Cream Cheese Filling

So it's been a long time since I've posted- here is another whoopie pie recipe (no pictures again, sorry).

Ingredients (Makes approx. 2 dozen)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I use saigon cinnamon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease or line four baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Drop by scant tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets (Remember you need an even number).
3. Bake for 10 to 18 minutes (usually 13-15 min. for me) or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

1. Cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar and cinnamon until light and fluffy.

2. Spread a tablespoon (or so) of filling onto flat side of one cookie; top with flat side of second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Store in covered container in refrigerator (because of the cream cheese).
Note: Modified from a recipe put out by Libby's Pumpkin.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Beaded Animal Contest - August 2013 Edition

3D beaded animals are a lot of fun to make - and now I have a better camera to document the process so I'm going to make another tutorial!

I have it narrowed down to these three:

- Owl
- Porcupine
- Manta Ray

Please let me know your vote either by commenting below or emailing me at jetreese (at) gmail (dot) com.
Anyone who votes by the end of August (8/31 11:59 PST) will have a chance to win the little guy, and I will ship it to you (if it can be mailed from the US Post Office- international is okay too, but I'm cheap so the wait will be longer...)


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Home Sweet Home(ish)

So I've managed to disappear again- this time because I'm closing on a house south of Seattle next week:

My future home

There will be lots of projects coming along with it (many of which will be added here), but I'm very excited to have a home again.

Also, I will be doing another South African beaded animal poll (and giveaway) here in the next week or so to celebrate.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Herbed Soda Bread

Sorry, no pictures for this one - but I promise it's very tasty!

Makes 1 approx. dinner-plate sized loaf


-         3 1/2 cups flour
-         1 Tbsp sugar
-         1 tsp salt
-         1 tsp baking soda
-         2 tsp dried herbs (I used Italian blend)
-         4 Tbsp butter (room temperature)
-         1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Time Commitment:

 ~1 hour (including baking time)

How to Make it Happen:

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and herbs.

2. Work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Using my fingers actually works the best for me, but a fork works as well.

3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add buttermilk and gently mix by folding the flour over the buttermilk until it’s just combined. It should not be runny or dry, so adjust flour/buttermilk ratio as needed.

4. Shape dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times to shape it into a round loaf, but don’t over-knead or the bread will be tough. Because there’s no yeast in soda bread, kneading doesn’t help it.

5. Place loaf onto a lightly greased baking sheet and cut approx. 1 inch deep cuts to form a cross on top of the loaf. This helps the bread bake evenly, so don’t leave out the cuts.

6. Bake for 15 minutes at 450 deg F, then lower heat to 400 deg F and bake for another 25 minutes. To check for doneness, turn loaf over and tap the bottom to make sure it sounds hollow.

7. Let bread cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then dig in and enjoy! Quick breads are best eaten soon after baking, so it’s best to make right before serving, but the day of is also okay.

Note: Adapted from this recipe Caraway Soda Bread 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

How to Make a Cylindrical Pillow


-         Approx. half yard fabric (I used fuzzy cow print- it hides imperfections wonderfully)
-         Needle & thread
-         Scissors
-         Circle template (I used a plate)
-         Stuffing

Time Commitment:

 ~ 1 hour

How to Make it Happen:

1) Choose a plate to use as a template- this will be slightly larger than the end of the pillow (because of seam allowances). Trace around the plate to create two circle pieces and cut them out. Cut a rectangular piece of fabric that is approx. 1-2” shorter than the circumference of the plate and as long as you want your pillow to be (mine is a 7” diameter circle and about 14” long).

Step 1- Pattern Time

2) Sew a seam along the long edge of the rectangular piece, leaving about a half inch seam allowance.

Step 2 - Make a tube

3) If using furry fabric: Turn cylinder right side out and tease fluff out of the seam using a needle or pin. Be careful not to tear your stitches or you’ll have to sew another seam!

Step 3 - Fluff seam
4) With cylinder turned wrong side out, sew one circle to the end of the cylinder tube (leaving a half inch seam allowance). Because the circle is slightly bigger than the cylinder, it will bulge out when the pillow is stuffed.

Sew the second circle to the other side of the tube, leaving an approx. 2 inch opening to stuff the pillow.

Step 4 - Sew ends on (don't forget to leave a hole for stuffing)
5) If using furry fabric: Turn cylinder right side out and tease fluff out of the seam using a needle or pin. Be careful not to tear your stitches or you’ll have to sew another seam!

Step 5 - More fluffing

6) Stuff the pillow firmly, then hand sew the rest of the pillow closed. Your pillow's done!

Step 6 - Stuff & sew closed!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

To Boston With Love - My flags

So I'm starting a new job tomorrow, which means that the tutorial for this week (already delayed) will be delayed again...

But I wanted to share part of why my schedule has gone completely out the window- a modern quilt guild in Vancouver (guild project page) decided to make quilt flags in honor of Boston after the recent Marathon bombing. I found out about this project way late, but wanted to be a part of it (I went to college in Boston & used to volunteer for the Marathon). Here's my contribution:

My flags hanging in the MFA- still shot from To Boston with Love Flickr group

My flags:

Flag 1

Flag 2
Flag 3
These were sewn completely by hand, so they took quite a while to do. Anyhow, just wanted to show part of why I've been very very late in postings. Check out the exhibit if you're in the Boston area, or look on the MFA website- thanks to the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild for putting this together!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Peanut & Caramel Chocolate Brownies

*Sorry, no picture of these, you’ll have to use your imagination (or better yet, just make them)

Makes one 8x8 pan.


-         1/2 cup melted butter (yes, make sure to melt it- the microwave works fine)
-         1 cup packed dark brown sugar (light brown is also fine)
-         2 eggs
-         1 tsp vanilla extract
-         1/2 cup flour
-         1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (special dark if you can find it)
-         1/4 tsp baking powder
-         1/4 tsp salt
-         1/2 cup chopped peanuts (plus 1/4 cup or so extra for topping)
-         Caramel topping for drizzling over finished brownies

Time Commitment:

 ~1 hour (including mixing and baking time)

How to Make it Happen:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Grease an 8 in x 8 in baking pan.
  2. Mix melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs.
  3. Combine dry ingredients (except peanuts) and mix into wet ingredients until well blended.
  4. Stir in peanuts and transfer to baking pan.
  5. Bake 25-30 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from edges of pan. A toothpick in the center will come out clean.
  6. Transfer to cooling rack and drizzle caramel topping over the brownies while they are still warm. Sprinkle caramel with extra chopped peanuts.
  7. Let cool and enjoy! These will stay good covered in the refrigerator for a few days.

Note:  These were modified from the Mmm-mmm Better Brownies recipe found on