August 26, 2015

Recipe: Apple Pie a la mode Moonshine


APPLE PIE A' LA MODE MOONSHINE RECIPE

Made for Christmas gifts two years ago, there was a lot of moaning when I didn't make it last Christmas.  Lesson learned!  It will be a regular now.

I made up this label and printed it on sticky labels to put on the mason jars. It was given with these cute little mason jar shot glasses (one per person).  For gift wrapping, put the jar of moonshine and shot glasses in a plain brown paper bag, twist the top of the bag, and tie with a piece of twine.

Do a search for "mason jar shot glasses".  I see that now you can get them with lids, not an option that I could find when I made this Christmas-before-last.

This is not as strong as real moonshine, but it does pack a kick!


RECIPE (best made at least 2 weeks ahead)

Makes:    6 quarts (or 12 pints)

Purchase the number of quart or pint mason jars you need.

Ingredients
½ gal (8 cups) spiced apple cider (*see note)
½ gal (8 cups) apple juice
6 cinnamon sticks
1 whole clove
1 teaspoon ground allspice
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
3 cups 190 proof grain alcohol (like Everclear)
2 cups whipped cream vodka
3 apples (doesn’t matter what kind – just not Red Delicious)

*Note: I used “Apple Pie Cider” from Walmart but any cider that says “spiced” is fine.  It may be seasonal, so if you can’t find it, see recipe below.

Instructions
In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients except for the alcohol.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat & let cool to room temperature.  Once the mixture is completely cool, add in the alcohol.  Remove cinnamon sticks and divide into the mason jars.  Throw away clove.  Put a chunk of peeled, cored, apple in each mason jar.  Pour moonshine into mason jars.

Shake gently before pouring/drinking.
Store in refrigerator, or in a cool, dark, dry place. (*see note)

~After a couple of weeks your Apple Pie Moonshine will taste even better.  It is delicious ice cold, as well as at room temp or slightly warmed.~

*Note:  As far as long-term storage (being out more than a day or two), some sources say this moonshine should be kept refrigerated because, since it is cut with apple cider/juice, the alcohol content is not high enough to preserve the fruit juice and fruit.  On the flip side, some sources say it doesn’t and that they’ve kept it on their pantry for a year with no problems.  You will need to decide.

SPICED APPLE CIDER

8 cups fresh apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
1 orange, cut into slices (do not peel)

Put everything in a 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until hot, stirring occasionally.  Strain into a pitcher or other container.

May 31, 2015

The Super Easy Ribbed Hat - Any Size!


Cute, stretchy, super easy and versatile, this is the Cold Snap Cap by Crochet Revolution.

My oldest grandson picked the colors for both himself (the red) and his baby brother (in pic).  I think he did a great job!

Free crochet pattern:  Easy Ribbed Beanie HatFree crochet pattern:  Easy Ribbed Beanie HatFree crochet pattern:  Easy Ribbed Beanie Hat

 One picture's worth a thousand words!

(If you want info on the hat and beard dad is wearing, check out: 

Quick Gift: The Beard Face Warmer and Beanie Hat


While browsing various crochet patterns online one day before Christmas 2014, my son-in-law glanced over and spotted some beard face warmers.  He said, "Oh, wow!  That's cool!"

It's a happy time to learn of something that someone really likes.  What-to-gift problem, solved!

The thing was to find one that fit his personality and that met my criteria:   it needed to look "beard-y", but be practical enough to actually be wearable and would fit right.  It also had to be a free pattern because it was a lean year - I was cash poor, but fortunately, yarn-stash rich!

Sifting through all the ones I could find via Ravelry, Pinterest and Google searches brought forth a lot of cute, and even quite elaborate ones, but none were quite "it".

Different ones had a particular element or look that I liked, so I put them together and came up with this.  And, shame on me BIG time, I didn't write it down!  But you can probably scrumble up one of your own with these notes - they're easy to do!
  • Check out some of the free patterns graciously offered by a number of kind folks:
    • If you belong to Ravelry, pattern-search there for "beards", and check the "crochet" box under the "Personalize" heading.  (If you don't belong to Ravelry, for goodness sakes, sign up; it's free, no spam and oh my, so much wonderfulness)!
    • Do a web search for "free beard crochet patterns".
  • This beard does not attach to the hat.  It has a loop on each side that goes up around the ears.  However, one with a button on it, that buttons onto the hat would also work.
  • Using a pattern that is basically the way you like, begin with the stitch counts it offers.
  • If your giftee has a full beard already (like mine did) you can make it cup out more by adding more stitch increases in the rows.  Add more length as necessary to cover under the chin/neck.
  • I used 2 strands of Caron Simply Soft yarn held together, as it is a fairly thin worsted, or you can use a bulky weight yarn for the "fullness" look.
  • Add enough width to the beard to go up into sideburns; the sideburns help cover the yarn chain that goes over the ears to hold the beard on.
  • Use a yarn needle to thread yarn through next-to-bottom row; pull yarn to gather the bottom to “cup” the beard inward and shape to the face.
  • Attach the ear-chain-loop about two rows down from the top of the side-burn, and then close to the bottom of beard; this holds and pulls the beard weight even so it will stay up and not ride down with movement/talking.
  • To get the texture, work totally random throughout beard:
    • (sc in st, dc in next st) repeats, with 
    • (tr in st, hdc in next st) and 
    • (tr in st, sc in next st) and 
    • (tr in st, sl st in next st) mixed in.  
    • When working from the right side, push the bobbles these stitches make to the right side.  When working from the wrong side, the bobbles come out on the right side, so they're okay.
    • When working the mustache, use sl sts to make the "dip" under the nose.

Use any hat pattern you like.  The one I used is a free pattern, the Northern Stripes Beanie.

He was surprised that I made this for him - my daughter says he wore it constantly!

And THAT makes me a happy crocheter!

Cheers!

Free Crochet Granny Square Patterns: December 2014

These pretty squares are December's choices made for the 2014BAMCAL on Ravelry.  Click the pics to get the free pattern link, but first be sure to scroll to the bottom for my notes, which often give trouble spots, tips and helpful info!

For more free granny square patterns, click the "granny squares" label at the bottom of this post (underneath the "Leave a Comment" link).

Free granny square crochet pattern - Beauty in Excellence 12"
Beauty in Excellence (12") - Free Pattern
Free granny square crochet pattern - Irish Ivy Rose 6"
Irish Ivy Rose (6") - Free Pattern
Free Granny Square Crochet Pattern - Universal Star Flower 12"
Universal Star Flower (12") - Free Pattern
Free Granny Square Crochet Pattern - Ursa Major 6"
Ursa Major (6") - Free Pattern

Making one of these squares?  I'd love to see it!
Just put the link in the comments.

Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hey!  Don't be alone! Let's crochet together!

Free Crochet Granny Square Patterns: November 2014


These pretty squares are November's choices made for the 2014BAMCAL on Ravelry.  Click the pics below to get the free pattern link.  When you get there, be sure to scroll to the bottom for my notes, which often give trouble spots, tips and helpful info!

For more free granny square patterns, click the "granny squares" label
 at the bottom of this post (underneath the "Leave a Comment" link).

Free Granny Square Crochet Pattern - Holiday Ornament (12")
Holiday Ornament - Free Pattern
Free Granny Square Crochet Pattern - Lacy Granny (12")
Lacy Granny (12") - Free Pattern
Free Granny Square Crochet Pattern - Lady's Rose 6"
Lady's Rose (6") - Free Pattern
Free Granny Square Crochet Pattern - Flower & Trebles 6"
Flower & Trebles (6") - Free pattern

Making one of these squares?  I'd love to see it!
Just put the link in the comments.

Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hey!  Don't be alone! Let's crochet together!

Free Crochet Granny Square Patterns: October 2014


These pretty squares are October's choices made for the 2014BAMCALon Ravelry.  Click the pics below to get the free pattern link.  When you get there, be sure to scroll to the bottom for my notes, which often give trouble spots, tips and helpful info!

For more free granny square patterns, 
click the granny squares label at the bottom of this post 
(underneath the Leave a Comment link).

Free Granny Square Crochet Pattern - Prince Protea 12"
Prince Protea (12") - Free Pattern
Free Granny Square Crochet Pattern - Pineapple Sun 6"
Pineapple Sun (6") - Free Pattern
Free Granny Square Crochet Pattern - Sea Flower 12"
Sea Flower (12") - Free Pattern

Making one of these squares?  I'd love to see it!
Just put the link in the comments.

Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hey!  Don't be alone! Let's crochet together!

February 26, 2015

Pansy Granny Square: September 2014BAMCAL #2


Crochet Pattern - Pansy Granny Square
Pretty Pansies

This square is one I chose to go with my BAMCAL afghan from a pattern that I already had, which is not free,
   BUT! 
                  BUT!  
                                   BUT! 


Here is an equally lovely, free pattern by a  very talented designer:  Spring Pansy Granny Free Pattern by AnnooCrochet Designs



As for my square above (with the leaves and peach border), click the pic for complete info, including the free leaf pattern link.  When you get there, be sure to scroll to the bottom for my notes, which often give trouble spots, tips and helpful info!

For more free granny square patterns, click granny squares at the bottom of this post
(underneath the Leave a Comment link).

Making one of these squares?  I'd love to see it!
Just put the link in the comments :)

Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hey!  Don't be alone!   Let's crochet together!

Free Crochet Granny Square Patterns: September 2014 #1

These two lovely squares were our September squares.  I always love crocheting pineapples, and the 2nd square is so striking and was really fun to do, too.

Click the pics to go to my page to:
  1. Download the free pattern, which will be in the "About this pattern" box on the right, and
  2. Review my notes which often give trouble spots, tips, and helpful info.
Free granny square crochet pattern - Pineapple Dreams
Pineapple Dreams - Free Pattern
The pattern link will be in the "About this pattern" box on the right,
and my notes at the bottom.

Free granny square crochet pattern - Tributary
Tributary - Free Pattern
The pattern link will be in the "About this pattern" box on the right, 
and my notes at the bottom.

For more free granny square patterns, click granny squares at the bottom of this post
(underneath the Leave a Comment link).


Making one of these squares?  I'd love to see it!
Just put the link in the comments :)

Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Don't be alone! Let's crochet together!


October 21, 2014

Crochet Challenge: Join a crochet group

Week 30 (09-24-14):  Fall is a great time to meet up with hookers.  Join a crochet group, local or online.  Check out the CGOA Chapter list or find a group on Ravelry.

Sadly there are no CGOA chapters anywhere close, but happily, there are lots of groups online!  Ravelry, of course, is the best there is.  Within Ravelry, there are groups for everyone, as long as it's related to knit, crochet, yarn, thread, etc.  It's amazing!

I belong to 15 groups within Ravelry (there are probably hundreds of them - like is said there are groups for EVERYONE) --- some CALs (crochet alongs), designer groups, even an organization group for all that yarn, works-in-progress, patterns, hooks/needles, etc.

And last but not least..... the 52 Week Crochet Challenge group that spurs this post (which I also found on Ravelry)!

You can see the groups I belong to HERE.  They're on the left hand side; just click their icon to find out more about them.

So, don't be alone!  Let's crochet together!

Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet!


Free Crochet Pattern: Paula's Quick Cozy Scoodie


Quick Cozy Scoodie - free crochet pattern
Designed for dear friend, Paula, moving to chilly Pennsylvania, this pattern is for an easy, quick, warm, thick, cozy, scoodie (combined scarf and hood).

There is a nice neck piece to tuck in or out, and long scarves to wrap around and tie or cover the face and keep the nose from turning into a popsicle.

The pattern is for an adult size, but smaller sizes are easy to make by using a smaller hook, fewer strands of yarn, or leaving off rows.  Photos showing measurements and illustrating pattern instructions are provided.

It is made using a large hook and 3 strands of yarn for the hood, and 2 strands of yarn for the scarf. It has the pretty, cushy texture of the easy aligned cobble stitch, and lots of customization possibilities.

Quick Cozy Scoodie - free crochet patternIf another worsted / aran yarn is used instead of Caron Simply Soft, you will probably need to use smaller hooks, or else sub 2 strands of yarn for the hood and 1 strand for the scarf.

Hooks: Size N (10.00 mm) and Size P (11.50 mm)

Stitches used: ch, sl st, sc, hdc, dc, tr

DOWNLOAD PATTERN HERE, or copy and paste this link:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/paulas-quick-cozy-scoodie
(Scroll down to notes and click "free Ravelry download")

I'd love to see a pic of your scoodie!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Until next time!