Turtle Cheesecake

9 Nov
It isn’t Pumpkin Pie.  But, oh how it plays on your Holiday Table! 

CRUST:
4 c. graham cracker crumbs
12 tbsp. melted butter
Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter; press mixture onto bottom and sides of buttered 10 inch springform pan (2 inches deep). Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
FILLING:
1 (14 oz.) bag light (vanilla) caramels
1 (5 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 c. chopped pecans, toasted (see note)
4 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. semi sweet chocolate morsels, melted

In heavy 1 1/2 quart saucepan, melt caramels with evaporated milk over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. (If desired, dip a few pecan halves into caramel mixture and set aside to use later as garnish.) Pour caramel mixture over cooled crust; top with chopped toasted pecans.Combine cream cheese and sugar, mixing on medium speed with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Blend in melted chocolate. Pour mixture over pecans and caramel in crust, starting at outer edge.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 1 hour and 20 to 25 minutes, or until edges begin to crack. Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan and loosen cheesecake with spatula.

CHOCOLATE TOPPING:
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate morsels
3 tbsp. evaporated milk (see note)
Whipped cream (optional for garnish)
Pecan halves dipped in caramel (optional for garnish)

Melt chocolate morsels (in top of double boiler or on medium power in microwave oven). Add evaporated milk (or 2 percent milk and butter; see note). Stir until mixture is smooth.Spread chocolate topping over chilled cheesecake. Garnish with dollops of whipped cream and pecan halves dipped in caramel, if desired. Keep refrigerated.

Makes 1 (6 pound) cheesecake

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Handmade Nation DVD

22 Sep

Not a reseller but an advocate….

Handmade Nation

The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design

A Documentary By Faythe Levine

Handmade Nation documents the new wave of art, craft and design that is capturing the attention of the nation. It is the feature film debut of director, author, artist and curator Faythe Levine. Levine traveled to 15 cities and covered more than 19,000 miles to interview artists, crafters, makers, curators and community members.

Today’s craft world has emerged as a synthesis of historical technique, punk culture, and the DIY ethos, also influenced by traditional handiwork, modern aesthetics, politics, feminism and art.

Director Faythe Levine captured the tightly knit community that exists through websites, blogs, and online stores that connect to the greater public through independent boutiques, galleries and craft fairs.

Interviews were conducted on-location in artist studios, homes, boutiques, offices and craft fairs, giving the public an exclusive and rarely seen look into the lives of these creative individuals.

For more on this movie and screening opportunities,  Handmade Nation

to see my handmade work, and that of thousands artisans go here

Pottery Barn “Handmade” Quilts

20 Sep

Someone recently forwarded the Pottery Barn Quilts, An American Tradition video to me.   A quilt historian, posed in front of a quaint window box,  is discussing the importance of quilting as an art form,  how quilts are passed down through generations, and that Pottery Barn is continuing this tradition with their artisan handcrafted quilts…. what?

Pottery Barn quilts are mass produced by Spartan, a factory in Panipat, Haryana, India, a fact missing from the product information shared in the Pottery Barn video.  As a matter of fact the video painstakingly shows only hands running a needle through fabric.  No meet your artists, no factory shots, no mass of material, no “you are here” distinction at all. But what you do see are historic stills and newsreels of Artists and Art, exactly what Pottery Barn quilts are not.

Here is the ant moving the rubber tree message…

detail of Crazy Road quiltPlease, if you are in the market for a quilt consider supporting true artisans. Why buy mass produced when you can buy 1 of 1?  And in the event you don’t see exactly what you want while you search through thousands of quilts on independent sites or platforms like Esty or Artfire, every artist I know does custom work and many without a surcharge.  Most, like me, warranty their work.  Buying directly from the artist is just as easy as picking up a catalog, but with so many more benefits.  (see 101 Reasons to Buy Handmade)

Quilts are a tradition of beauty, comfort and warmth.  Not an imported, mass produced commodity.

Drop in here to see some of my work, continue through the site to experience real handmade.

Better than Sex Cake

4 Aug

There have been many Better than Sex cake recipes fly across the internet. And many coinciding  narratives to the “Better than” mystique…  Paula Deen says that if this cake is better than sex while you’re in your 20’s, you’ve got issues; but when you’re pushing 60 –  this cake can give sex a run.  And in another tidbit, a coworker didn’t care much for the  name – so at work functions this cake became known as ” Better than Waterskiing Cake.”

So, in honor of Mr. Richard Diehl “liking” Good Food… I bring you Better than Water-skiing Cake.  (Do you like Good Food, too? Find us at www.facebook.com/likegoodfood.)

Ingredients

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare
  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box French vanilla pudding, plus ingredients to prepare
  • Cool Whip
  • 1 cup flaked coconut

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare yellow cake mix as directed using a greased 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. While cake is baking, combine the pineapple and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Remove cake from oven and using a fork, pierce holes into cake. Pour pineapple mixture over hot cake and set aside.

Prepare pudding according to package directions, add coconut. Spread pudding mixture over cake and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.  Cover top of cake with whipped cream.

Ice Cream Lemonade Pie

30 Jul
I like pie.  And during the summer,  I am a junkie for lemonade.  This pie melds my 2 favorites,  lemonade and ice cream into my dessert passion -pie.   Trust me – this one is a keeper.
Ingredients
1 pt. vanilla ice creamIcecream lemonade pie
1 (8 oz.) pkg. of whipped topping
1 (8 oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 graham cracker pie crust
Directions
Mix topping, ice cream and lemonade.  Fill pie crust and freeze for at least 1 hour before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Newspaper Upcycled into Wallpaper

30 Jul

“Newsworthy” is this upcycled newspaper wallcovering  – made from 100 percent recycled newsprint from Weiztner Limited:

Weiztner Newspaper Wallpaper

“Using an age-old technology of upcycling old newspapers, 100% real newsprint strips are handwoven on a loom and then paperbacked to make Newsworthy suitable for the wall. A wonderful, tactile alternative to an expected grasscloth.”

Newspaper to wallpaper

My upcycling techniques are not as industrial intensive as those practiced by Weiztner.  See my textile projects here, several examples of how I transform reclaimed materials into daily use products.

Profile of a Quilter

29 Jul

The Grand Junction Sentinel has a profile of quilter Charlotte Warr Andersen of Salt Lake City. It features some interesting background about this award winning quilter and her accomplishments over the decades. Andersen has a particular focus on quilts featuring portraits of individuals, a technique she’s been perfecting for nearly 30 years.

Reading about people who found success in your craft, whether it’s quilting or anything else, is always inspiring. It helps stoke the creative fires on slower days. Looking at their work can serve as source of ideas.

My work can be seen at Etsy store, maybe you can find some inspiration there.