Friday, July 23, 2010

Campfire Cookies

Most Creative Cookies

You’re looking at some award winning cookies!  These delicious little bites of cookie, chocolate and marshmallow took the prize for “Most Creative Cookie” at yesterday’s 2nd Annual Cookie Contest at work!  My prize: two movie passes!

I’m very proud of my cookies and their accomplishment, and of course I’ll eat up an chance I get dubbed as “creative.”  Literally, in this case!  Don’t forget to check out the recipe and make some campy cookies for yourself!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Campy Cookies

Jill & Cookies

Tomorrow’s the big 2nd Annual Cookie Contest at work, and I spent the evening baking away!   It was a sunny 90 degrees outside today, and probably about an overheated 89 degrees in my kitchen this evening.  Perfect cookie baking weather!

Campfire Cookies = Yummy Goodess

Based on my favorite summer time treat, here’s my entry for this year’s contest:

Campfire Cookies


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 5 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, divided into squares
  • 30 large marshmallows, halved horizontally


  1. Arrange oven racks: one in the middle and one at the top. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Blend in egg and vanilla. Add combined flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop 1 tablespoonful of dough onto cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper, about 1 inch apart. Press 1 square of chocolate into the top of each cookie.
  4. Bake on middle rack of oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. Remove sheet from oven; pre-heat broiler. Top each cookie with a marshmallow. Place sheet on top rack of oven, and broil until marshmallows are lightly browned, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.
  6. Set oven temperature back to 375 and continue with next sheet of cookies.

Yield: 5 dozen cookies

Broiling Cookies!

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pins on the Prairie

Jill blowing bubbles.

Ah hah!  You’re back, and I bet you didn’t  believe I would also be here with a finished project tonight, did you?  Okay, actually, I was very doubtful myself…but here it is!!

My Prairie Flower Pincushion

One Prairie Flower Pincushion from Moda’s free online sewing patterns. 

The pattern went together very well, as I am always pleasantly surprised when circles and circumferences match.  (As far as I’m concerned, there’s only p-i-e.)  I used two sets of charm squares, and pulled some extra matching squares from my stash to equal enough points for the top and bottom. When I got to the end, I was lucky enough to have my favorite fillings on hand: play sand and polyfill.  It gave a the pincushion a nice weight and fullness, without being too heavy.

Sewing together hexagons. Big hexagon out of little hexagons.
Age old question: How should I quilt this thing? Look, it works!

I’m so excited about getting a project completed and off the to-do list!  That probably means it’s time to head back to the beach!  …or get back to some of those unfinished projects…

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Prairie Points and Hexagons


Prairie Flower Pincushion in Progress

This was a Sunday of firsts!  The first time I used transparent poly thread, the first time I made hexagons and the first time I made prairie points!  Very excited about all three, I’ve been anxiously plowing through my Prairie Flower Pincushion pattern and kit I got on my trip to Olde City Quilts, and by the looks of my stitches, I’ve probably been moving a little too quickly.

Moda's Verna

The kit came with two charm packs of Moda’s Verna, 1” hexagon templates, batting and the printed pattern.   After pawing over a couple of the samples in the shop and enjoying the summery colors of Verna, I decided that maybe I really did need another pincushion.  (And, my 93-year-old Pop has a girlfriend named Verna, so I figured it was more the coincidence!)

At this point in the evening, I’m a little too tired to  finish, but stay tuned…do you think I’ll have a new pincushion tomorrow??

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Little Boxes

Polly & Jill

I have a small obsession with handmade jewelry, specifically the kind you can purchase on Etsy.  In fact, I have been forced into starting a collection of little boxes from all the unique packaging my jewels come shipped in.  It’s so easy to get carried away with the need to buy more earring and necklaces, as I feel tricked into thinking they’re all just little gifts, perfectly boxed up for me.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Eco “Beach” Tote


It’s mid-July, and I hope everyone has made it to the beach, or at  least the pool, once this summer!  I personally can’t wait for my next trip to those sandy shores, and to make my trips to the beach a little more crafty, I put a beach twist on Favorite Thing’s Eco Market Tote!

My Eco Market Tote Pattern

Every year for my birthday, my mother-in-law and I go on a little shopping trip.  This year, we ended up smitten with the fabric selection and wall of bag/purse/tote patterns at Olde City Quilts in Burlington, New Jersey.  Inspired by an upcoming vacation and a sample of the Eco Market Tote in the shop, my mother-in-law and I picked up the pattern and some bright, beachy fabrics to make it out of.  This large tote seemed perfect for a couple big beach towels, and an optional front pocket was a necessity for lotion and a good book.

Eco Beach Tote Front Eco Beach Tote Back
A sneak peak into the front pocket. "Wavy" inner lining.

One evening last month, we had a “girl’s night in” sewing our hearts out and into these awesome bags!  We didn’t initially intend on making matching bags, but we both agreed that the rainbow stripe fabric was screaming, “I want to be a beach tote!”  (Mine’s the one with the blue handles.)

The pattern was simple to follow, and everything went together smoothly.  We used a fusible interfacing on the main bag to make them more sturdy; however, I wish I had done the same for the front pocket.  The magnetic snap that holds it shut is a little too strong between a single piece of fabric.   Luckily, there’s no worries at the beach, and if that bag’s packed and ready to go, there are more important things than worrying about a snap!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Robots can Stand on their Own

I Heart Robots

Hurray for Summer Camp!  Tomorrow, MrBeans starts  two weeks of instructing future engineers at Lego Robotics Camp!  He loves robotics and insisted that I make him a custom embroidered polo for his first day of camp.  It’s a lot of fun when you can customize almost anything!  Today, he picked up a plain black polo shirt at Kohl’s,  ($10 Kohl’s cash=free polo) and I spent about 30 minutes making his new favorite polo!

Funny story: One year, MrBeans got a good friend to help him with camp.  After a long day of young children, Legos, and programming, they indulged in all-you-can-eat wings at a local establishment.  After a couple dozen too many hot wings, the friend’s wife had a difficult time waking him up off the couch and into bed later that evening.  He yelled absurdities (in his sleep) at her: “The robots can stand on their own!”  and “Don’t tell me what to do!”  Moral of the story:  Don’t mix robots and hot wings.

 Custom Monogrammed Pillow Cases

I like custom embroidering “serious” things too.  Before Lauren moves away to Chicago next week, she asked me to monogram pillow cases for her.  She picked out the set of sheets, then just dropped the pillow cases off at my house.  An hour later, they’re beautifully personalized!

MrBeans says I’m very creative; I tell him it’s not me, it’s the robots.