Holiday Recipes Blog Blitz — Sand Tarts

Welcome to the Holiday Recipes Blog Blitz hosted by SewCalGal. The recipe I am sharing today has the most fun name because it’s so cold outside and the name reminds me of sunny summer beach days. This is the perfect recipe for the holidays because we bake one pan of these cookies and still have more left to bake on another day. The dough is made into rolls that go in the refrigerator and when it’s time for cookies and milk, we just slice them, add the cinnamon and nut topping and bake them.

Just a little recipe history: I received this recipe from a neighbor over 30 years ago. The recipe was double the one below and written in pounds (my neighbor had previously been stationed in Papua New Guinea). I converted it to cups and halved the recipe. In addition, I added the almond flavoring because we like that flavor in our family, and it allows me to bake them as sugar cookies with no topping or with sprinkles when I’m in a hurry.

SPECIAL NOTE: When you use sprinkles, remember that you can get natural food color sprinkles at food stores like Whole Foods. None of us should be consuming the artificial colors allowed in this country by the USDA. And we should ask for natural food color sprinkles and natural food color at our regular grocery stores too. 

Click the recipe card for a downloadable pdf file that you can save to your computer. I’ll bet you can’t eat just one!

Sand Tarts recipe

 

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This year, I have been trying to organize all my recipes as well as reduce that messy shelf that contains not only cookbooks but lots of loose paper (that didn’t get into the loose recipe binder), and all those little recipe books that come with appliances and have great information about how to use them. My solution has been a pdf scanner that scans quickly and creates searchable text so that I can find things easily. Thus my recipe shelf is slowly, but surely becoming a Dropbox recipe folder.

I love this because I have collected several wonderful community cookbooks over the years. Many of them were created before we had computers (my childhood :)) and the recipes were indexed but still very hard to find. By taking these cookbooks apart and scanning them into an OCR text pdf, I now have a way to search for the blueberry cobbler recipe or I can even search by the name of the contributor–like Aunt Abby’s sugar cookies.

And if you’re looking for recipe software, there are a couple of great ones out there. I use Living Cookbook because the most recent version has a way to share recipes in the cloud. This makes for a great way for families and friends to share recipes. What I love most about Living Cookbook is that I can copy and paste into the Capture menu and it converts the recipe into a written recipe in the software. Master Chef also gets great reviews.

Now go visit the other blogs on the tour–and have fun!

SewCalGal
Stitch This (Martingale)
Leah Day – The Free Motion Quilting  Project
Wendy Sheppard  (Ivory Spring)
BeaQuilter
Marjorie Busby (Blue Feather Quilt Studio)
Jeannette Jones (Inchworm Fabrics)
Barb Gaddy (Bejeweled Quilts)
The Electric Quilt Company (Behind The Mouse – The Electric Quilt Blog)
Hoffman California Fabrics’ Creative Canvas blog

Merry Christmas

 

 
 

It’s Baking Time–with a few Stitches Thrown In

I feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland–late, late, late for a very important date. Quilting seemed to interfere with my plans to have a totally unrushed and calm holiday season. Part of the problem is that I just couldn’t say no when people asked me to help them finish their quilts. However, as of yesterday, the packages are shipped, and I can settle down to things like baking cookies and decorating the tree.

Tomorrow–Monday–we’re going to have a great Blog Tour with lots of recipes. SewCalGal has organized this group of stitching cooks, and I think you’ll find some fun recipes. Here’s a list of all the participants. To celebrate, I did a little stitching to accessorize my daughter who always does a lot of baking.

holiday blog blitz badge

 

SewCalGal

Stitch This (Martingale)

Leah Day – The Free Motion Quilting  Project

Wendy Sheppard  (Ivory Spring)

BeaQuilter

Marjorie Busby (Blue Feather Quilt Studio)

Jeannette Jones (Inchworm Fabrics)

Barb Gaddy (Bejeweled Quilts)

The Electric Quilt Company (Behind The Mouse – The Electric Quilt Blog)

Hoffman California Fabrics’ Creative Canvas blog

 

The recipient of this apron has three boys and is expecting a fourth any day now. She keeps the boys in line and runs a tight ship. She definitely is a Super Mom. And since those boys are into Superheroes, I thought they should know that Mom fits into that category too.

I digitized this embroidery myself using Art and Stitch software. It was a great experience for me as I learned to manipulate the letters using the various handles that allow one to reshape and respace letters in a lot of different ways. This was the first time I felt that I really could create text the way I wanted it.

And if you want to create something like this, but don’t have the inclination to do the digitizing, Embroidery Library has some great designs for all kinds of stitchers with super powers.

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Variegating a Quilt

I am back to the Half Square Triangle quilt. All of the triangles have been stitched. This morning I sorted all the triangles and put them in order with color transitions that seem to work from one print to the next. They could be ordered differently, but this is the order I have them.

The next step is to decide how many pieces are in each variegation. Because the fabrics were chosen randomly, there are not equal numbers of squares in each stack. Thus, I expect to use 4-8 squares of a color in each variegation.

Hopefully this afternoon, I can start putting the squares up on the design wall and will take a pix and show you how it looks. This is a real shot in the dark – we may not like it when it is actually up on the wall.

Here’s the original quilt design – if you need a refresher. The colors in this EQ7 version are random scrappy.

 
 

A little nutrition note about fats and oils in our diet

Last week I spent the week with my younger daughter, her husband and her two beautiful sons. I had a wonderful time. She fed me well–yogurt and salads all week. And her salads are not ordinary salads, she did things like roasting sweet potatoes and added lots of wonderful fruits and nuts to her salads. I have been trying very hard for several months now to make sure that I get the recommended ratios of omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids in my diet; so this was a great boost to me. My efforts have paid off as my last check for cholesterol and lipids showed very high levels of HDL and lower cholesterol levels.  We went shopping and I found high oleic acid Sunflower Oil which gives me a neutral oil to add to the Extra Virgin Olive Oil that I have been using. This is wonderful because the sunflower oil has a neutral flavor as opposed to the EVOO.

I get a newsletter from Vital Choice Seafood that gives lots of wonderful information about research studies related to dietary fat intake. Of course, they’re biased because they’re selling salmon and other seafood; but it is good information for all of us. You may not know that I’m also a registered dietitian and spent my entire career working in the area of clinical research which explains my interest in all of this.

Thus, my take on all of this is that the goal for the total diet (based on the caveman diet) should be omega-6:omega-3 = 3:1. Oils containing omega-6 fatty acids are everywhere, but we have to eat very specific foods to get omega-3 fatty acids in our diet. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the typical American diet is anywhere from 20 to 40:1 because of the use of canola and soybean oils. By reducing omega-6 in the diet and changing it to high oleic acid oils, you can change the ratio of omega-6:omega-3. Omega-6, specifically linoleic acid, is metabolized to arachidonic acid which is responsible for pro-inflammatory responses. When you change to high oleic acid oils you also get the benefits of high levels of antioxidants and other compounds like phytosterols, tyrosols, and choline that are good for vascular and brain health. Although some vegetable oils are high in saturated fat (like coconut oil and butter), the benefits of antioxidants, choline, and other compounds appear to outweigh the negatives of saturated fat.

Now, back to quilting–I’m working on a t-shirt quilt – will post a picture tomorrow.