Easy Coffee Cozy

My friend saw a picture on Pinterest depicting a Halloween nightmare skull themed coffee cozy.   I made the comment that it would be easy to do.  Everyone at our crochet club rolled their eyes. ” It is easy for you” was the general consensus.  So I am going to take you step by step through making this wrap.

I started with the face because it is a basic circle pattern consisting of 6 rows.  I started with a center of 10 sc proceeding outward with increases in every stitch, then every other stitch for the second row, after 2 stitches for the third row continuing the stitches by 1 between the increases for each row.  Beginning with the face helps me determine the width of the cozy band.DSCF1852



The first order for the band was to crochet enough chains to go around the cup.  In this case – using a size G hook and worsted weight yarn – it took 35.  I joined to form a ring and then using the simple* Ch 1, sc in each stitch across, ending in join with first sc with a slip stitch* formula, I made 3 rows of the base color (black).  Then I changed to white for one row and alternated between the black and white yarn for 7 rows (4 white rows total). Finish with 3 more black rows.

From here use your creative side to make the decoration on the circle.  It could be a mask, a pumpkin carving, a ghost – whatever you decide.  I am cutting the features for this cozy out of felt and gluing them on with added stitching for the mouth.  Finally, stitch the circle to the band for the finished project!


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I have seen many of the crocheted flower buttons, so for the fall season I decided to do something a little different. halloween buttonNow how is that for button art?  Let me know what you have been crocheting with buttons!

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Fried Green Tomatoes



Summer just wouldn’t be summer if you didn’t have at least one batch of fried green tomatoes!  Usually I would make them with corn meal crack crackersbut I found something this year that took this summer delight to a whole new level:  Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread crackers!  Good doesn’t even begin to describe it.



To make this heavenly dish prepare the tomatoes by slicing them about 1/8th to ¼ inch thick.  Spread them on a plate and shake a little salt on them. tomatoe sslices


While those are “sweating”, make the crumbscrackers into  fine crumbs by putting them in a resealable plastic storage bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.  You could use a food processor for this step also.


rolled in crumbs Dredge the tomato slices in the crumbs coating both sides and then carefully lower them into a frying pan of hot oil.




Cook until browned and carefully flip to finish the other side.  Remove from pan and drain.  Serve while hot with your favorite sauce.  Oh so good!!!fried in oil golden brown

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Breakfast toast



So often I find I need quick finger foods for a breakfast gathering.  Nothing too heavy or light.  This recipe is my go to favorite should the need arise.  Quick, Easy, and tasty too!


1 pound sausage
8 oz. cream cheese
Bacon strips
French bread slices
Sausage & cheesePreheat oven to 425 F.  Spray 10 X 15 cookie sheet with non-stick spray.  Brown the sausage in a skillet.  Remove from heat and add the cream cheese.  I use a fork for this step.  Next, spread about 2 Tablespoon of the sausage/cheese mixture on each French bread slice.  mixture on french breadThen wrap the slices with bacon, tucking the ends under the bread as you place it on the cookie sheet. Repeat for all slices. some wrapped in bacon  You can skip the bacon on a few if you wish; my kids like it both ways. Place them in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until bacon is to your liking (thickness of bacon and desired crispness may take longer or less time.  Just keep an eye on it).  Enjoy!


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Tatted Icicles

We will be having so much fun Monday during tatting class.  The project for the day will be a Christmas ornament – an icicle.  

The one I made for demonstration has a silver thread running through it but I think we will work first with the yarn and special needle to get the basics down.

It is formed with a ring with picots and then the Josephine Knot which is one half of the tatting double stitch knot.

I am looking forward to the students learning this great technique and to start following patterns.

If you would like to learn to needle tat, I do give private lessons and am available for workshops.  Leave a comment and I will get back with you. Continue reading

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Tatting has begun!

This is not your ordinary knot.  It is special:  you make lace with this knot.  Last week I began an introductory class to needle tatting.  We had so much fun and learned a lot.

The first step was learning the knot (double stitch) and how to slide it along the thread.  Then we proceeded to closing the ring.  They did so well.

The next step was conquering the picot – that little loop you see below protruding from the ring.

Once this was mastered we attempted joining  the two.  This will probably take a few more lessons but they are up to it.   Homework for the week until Monday’s class was to practice the ring, picot and joining.   I can’t wait to see how well they did!


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And They Call It Tater Salad!

I love potatoes anyway you can fix them.  It is no wonder that I love this recipe for potato salad because it combines some of my favorite ingredients into a dish relished by my family and friends.  And it is easy to make;  you can vary the amounts of any of the ingredients according to taste.

  • 6 large russet potatoes, peeled & diced into ½ inch cubes
  • 4 hardboiled eggs, diced
  • 1 Cup chopped onions
  • ¼ Cup Pickle relish
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Paprika

Place potatoes in a pan.  Add 2 Tbsp. vinegar and water to cover. (I use the vinegar from my jar of pickled jalapeno slices to give it a very subtle kick.) Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes.  Test the doneness of the potatoes by removing one cube from the pan and piercing it with a fork.  The outside should be firm but the inside tender.  If not, cook a little longer.  These potatoes will not just fall apart.  They will hold their shape.

While the potatoes are cooking combine the remaining ingredients (except the paprika) in the bottom of a large steel mixing bowl stirring well.

When the potatoes are done, drain water completely and cool in the strainer for about 2 minutes.  Then while still hot add to the mixture in the bowl and stir. Sprinkle the top with paprika and cool for at least 3 hours in the fridge.


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Minion Invasion

Having grand nephews & nieces are the next best thing to grand-kids.  I don’t get called on often to babysit and my sister, Nanny, wouldn’t let me anyway.  So when Nan took them to see Despicable Me 2 it was no big surprise that I would be taking up my needle to make a few minions.

First came “Stewart”.  Yes, they all have names I was informed and the one eyed one was what my nephew would like… until I was regaled with stories of the fierce “evil” minions.  Their teeth turned horrible and they changed color to purple.  Now there was a very special custom order!  And on the side I went ahead and made I think “Dave”, or it could be Jorge or Tim – I really don’t know.  All I am certain of is this one has 2 eyes.

When my friends saw these the invasion began.  I am working my fingers as fast as I can and will have them out as soon as possible.  Promise.

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Cinna”mmmmmm”on Rolls!

I made these yummy rolls to keep us warm on this cold weekend.  It was so easy because I used my bread machine to make the dough.  But you don’t need a bread machine; they can be made with a regular mixer with a paddle attachment and a dough hook.  You can also knead the dough by hand.


1 Cup water

2 Tbsp. butter, softened

1 egg

3 1/3 Cups flour

¼ Cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

3 tsp. active dry yeast



1/3 Cup sugar

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp. butter softened

Step 1:  If using bread machine place all dough ingredients in bread pan in the order listed.  Place on “dough only” setting and press start.  When done proceed to step 2.

For electric mixer place all dough ingredients in bowl and mix with paddle attachment until small ball of dough forms.  Switch to the dough hook and continue to knead for 5 minutes or you can knead by hand on a floured surface.  Place dough in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.  Punch down & proceed with recipe.

Step 2:  Grease 9x9x2 inch square pan.  Mix 1/3 Cup sugar and the cinnamon.

Step 3:  Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and using your hands or a rolling pin form it into an 18 X 9 inch rectangle.  Spread with 2 tablespoons of butter; sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon mixture.  Roll up tightly, beginning at 9 inch side.  Pinch edge of dough into a roll to seal.  Cut roll into 1 inch slices.  Place in pan.  Cover; let rise in a warm place 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until double.

Heat oven to 375  F.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown .  Remove from pan; drizzle glaze over warm rolls.


Mix 1 Cup powdered sugar with  ½ tsp. vanilla and 1 – 2 Tbsp. milk until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.


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Lo-Cal Key Lime Pie…or not!

I took this great recipe (and wonderful tasting dessert) and decided to try a variation for upcoming Valentines.  Strawberry jell-o and strawberry yogurt were substituted for the lime ingredients and it was a hit. I have decided you can probably use any jell-o/yogurt flavor you prefer as a substitution.

Key Lime Pie –low Cal

  • 1 box sugar-free lime jello
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • Two 6 oz. containers  low fat key lime yogurt
  • One 8 oz. container Cool Whip Free

Dissolve jello in the hot water and set aside to cool.  Mix together yogurt and Cool Whip and stir in cooled jello.  Pour into a reduced fat graham cracker crust.  Chill.

Makes 8 servings.  Each serving equals approximately 20 carbs or 1 ½ carb exchange servings.

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