Monday, May 14, 2012

Celebrate Spring with "Peppermint Patty" and Lemon-Sugar Bundt Cake!

Mmmmm, I love peppermint and I love lemon too, so we're going to have a little of both today!  I thought it would be fun to show you my new crochet pattern and follow it up with a wonderful recipe I have for Lemon-Sugar Bundt Cake.

Are you as eclectic as I am?  I love to jump from one kind of project to another, so in between the patterns I've been creating for fall and the new summertime candle mat I'm working on, I couldn't see any reason not to get "Peppermint Patty" finished!

"Peppermint Patty" is a super-fun crochet hat pattern I created during a long road trip with my hubby.  It's available through my Etsy shop at, and you can get it in full-color downloadable PDF format or by paper pattern through snail-mail. The pattern includes complete instructions and some extra tips that are good for any crochet project (a teaser page is shown below):

And how about that recipe for Lemon-Sugar Bundt Cake? This cake is incredibly delicious and just right for spring and summer entertaining. It's moist and sweet and tangy and supposedly keeps for several days, although it is always gone at my house before I can find out!


I originally found this delicious recipe at and it's become a favorite. If you want, you can double this recipe to suit the larger volume of a 10-inch bundt pan which you bake at 350F (180C) for 40-45 minutes.  The regular recipe shown below can be baked in an 8-inch round cake tin or a 4"x8" loaf pan for 25-30 minutes. This recipe is also delicious substituting orange or lime for the lemon.  Here we go!

Ingredients for Batter:
2 sticks (250g) butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons lemon zest (about four lemons)
2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1-1/2 cups whole milk
3 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder

Ingredients for Syrup:
3/4 cup of lemon juice
3/4 cup of sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Beat the milk and eggs together in a small bowl. Set aside. Sift the flour and baking powder in a separate small bowl. Set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the butter and sugar on low heat until melted. Whisk in half of the milk/egg mixture until loosely blended. Whisk in half of the flour mixture. Repeat in the same order with the remaining mixtures, finishing with the flour. Gently stir in the lemon zest and then pour the batter into your prepared pan.  Bake as directed above or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire cooler.

Immediately begin preparing the syrup. Bring the lemon juice and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Using a toothpick, poke a few holes around the cake, and then drench the cake with the hot syrup.  Allow the cake to cool in the pan, and then gently remove it. If you keep the hubby away, this cake keeps well for 3-5 days stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

It's back to the worktable for me  With any luck, I'll have a new summer candle mat ready for you to enjoy in a few days. As always, have a great week and Happy Stitchin'!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Introducing "Fall Is In The Air" and a Recipe for "Easy Rhubarb Crisp"!

I hope you like my new release, "Fall Is In The Air", a cute 34" x 34" quilt you can make from wool or wool felt!  I like to think of this as a cheater quilt, because not a single piece is done by sewing machine.The block sections are cut, temporarily attached with washable fabric glue, and then stitched together with a simple embroidery stitch called the blanket stitch.  Because we're cheating, your points and seams will come out perfect!

The pattern is $9.99 and I've included diagrams for each of the 16 blocks, full-size templates for the lettering and leaves, a color photograph and illustrations explaining the simple embroidery stitches used to embellish the quilt.  You can make this quilt from wool or wool felt, and I've even created a kit containing all the wool felt you need to complete the quilt, in case your local fabric store doesn't carry all the colors.  You can see a close-up of the quilt and more information by clicking here.

How About a Recipe for Memorial Day Coming Up?  My husband thinks all I do is stitch, but boy, is he wrong!  In between 4-wheeling, snowmobiling, dangling a worm from a hook and stitchin', I also like to cook now and then.  I really enjoy taking special foods along when we go  crappie fishing over Memorial Day weekend, and with that in mind, I want to share a recipe straight from hubby's heart called . . .


1 cup quick oatmeal     
1 cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) (gotta have nuts!)
Mix together the oatmeal, 1 cup of sugar and pinch of salt.  Add the butter and cut it in until it resembles course crumbs.  Divide the mixture in half.  Press half into a 9" x 13" pan to create the "crust". Set the other half aside for now.

4 to 6 cups rhubarb, chopped
1 to 1-1/2 cups sugar

PUTTING IT TOGETHER Mix the rhubarb and the 1 to 1-1/2 cups sugar.  Spread the mixture evenly over the "crust" you created above.  Sprinkle the remaining crust/topping mixture over the top, adding chopped nuts, if desired.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  I like to serve it warm with vanilla ice cream.  Mmmmm!

I've got to get back to my worktable now.  I'm working on a couple of new projects I want to get released in time for everyone to finish their's for summertime decorating.  Have a great week, and Happy Stitchin'!  xoxo--Melanie

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Are You the April Birthday Club Winner?

April showers have certainly given way to May flowers, at least in my part of the world in the western United States!  Many of you have taken advantage of the American Pie Birthday Club, and if you haven't joined yet, I hope you do!  All Club members who are April and May birthday babies will receive a special email in the next few hours that will contain a code to RECEIVE 25% OFF ANY PATTERNS OR KITS THEY ORDER BETWEEN NOW AND MAY 31, 2012.  If you haven't joined yet, you can either click here or simply email me your name, address and birthday month at and I'll get you entered.  Then when your birthday time comes around, you'll get a code for 25% all patterns and kits during your birthday month!

Now it's time to announce the April Birthday Club winner!  Each month I put all the members' names in for a drawing for a free pattern of their choice from my website.  The April winner is Becky Strosnider of Indiana.  Congratulations Becky!  Please visit my website at and let me know which pattern you choose!

That's it for now!  I'm finishing up the last touches on a new pattern release, "Fall is in the Air", which I'll be posting about very shortly, and there's a new summertime candle mat on my worktable I hope you're gonna love!  In the meantime, Happy Stitchin'!  xoxo--Melanie