A Sweetie-Pie Giveaway!

There’s a saying in the rodeo royalty world that when the winner of Miss Rodeo America is announced, there are only two happy people in the room: the newly crowned queen and her mother. And so it was with the recent Apron Lover’s Giveaway. Catey, the winner of the second edition of apronology magazine, was ecstatic, and I shared in her excitement because I had the pleasure of telling her she’d won. That was fun, but at the same time, I was very aware of the many disappointed entrants. What to do?
I know! Replace bummer-ism with optimism and a new opportunity to win something neat: Hence, this Sweetie-Pie Giveaway! courtesy of my dear friend Susan, notquitejunecleaver herself!
First in a planned series, NQJC bakes a pie is page after page of recipe, encouragement (a decent pie crust does not require a college degree), storytelling…all classic Susan (a true sweetie-pie herself), and photography that is equal and better to what we see in national publications.

One winner will receive a personalized copy of …bakes a pie. Easy entry – just leave a comment on this blog, along with a contact email so you can be notified if you’ve won.

A Sweetie-Pie Giveaway! runs through Friday, February 12th; winner selected Saturday morning by a Random Human.

I prevailed on Susan to provide us an easy-to-bake Valentine sweet that includes cherries and chocolate. Here ’tis: St Valentine’s Tea Bread –

1 egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped well drained maraschino cherries, candied cherries, or canned cherries, drained.
1/2 cup raisins or chopped dates
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I’m all for dark chocolate here!)

In mixing bowl, beat egg with electric mixer until light, about 1 minute. Add sugar, oil, and vanilla. Beat well. Blend in the buttermilk. In another bowl sift together the flour, soda, and salt. Add pecans, cherries, raisins or dates, and chocolate chips; blend well. Add to the first mixture and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9×5-inch loaf pan. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 1 hour, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove to a rack to cool completely.

I’m going to parcel the batter into little loaf pans, for extra to wrap and deliver to a few people I know who could use a little “heart.” Busy day I’ve set for myself. But a sweet tomorrow breakfast!


Tie One On…an apron, of course!

National Tie One On Day Packaging To Go

With National Tie One On Day almost at the doorstep, I wanted to share upclose a few ideas for easy baked goods and even easier packaging.

This photo is from my girlfriend gathering – such a jumble, I labeled things to make it easier viewing. Or tried to, anyway. The text is a little small – what you’re looking at is a spread of old Jell-o molds, cups, plates and jars. And in the back, a fabric covered bake bean can. The baked goods include egg nog cookies, mini pound cakes and little muffins. In the lower right is an egg holder that I filled with candied ginger slices. Emptied, it’s a perfect ring holder.

Table with text (Medium)

Last year, I filled cups with individual slices of quick breads, wrapped those in plastic and delivered on a plate that was wrapped in a tea towel.

This Wednesday, I’m delivering a loaf of Cranberry Almond Bread to someone who’s been more down than up lately. I wanted the presentation to be really standout, so I’m first wrapping the bread in a cheery hand towel and setting that on a soft “bed” of another vintage towel. The tote is a wire basket of some sort – maybe from a freezer. In the space that’s still available, I’m adding a bouquet of flowers, specialty teas and a lavender-scented sleep mask. The note is on plain card stock, prettied up with some stretchy gold cording.

Best lrg loaf_carrier(Medium)

With quick in mind, here’s the recipe for the Cranberry Almond Bread – my changes in( )’s

2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking power

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup milk (I used 1/4 c eggnog, 1/2 c milk)

6 T butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

1 T orange zest

1 t almond extract

1 cup cranberries (chopped or “pulsed” in food processor – stop before it turns to mush)

1 cup sliced almonds (I toasted the almonds, then put the nuts in a baggie and “roller pinned” to break into smaller pieces)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 9×5 loaf pan (or prepare mini muffin/little tart/small loaf pans & fill halfway with batter).

In a large bowl, blend the flour, sugar, baking power and salt.

In another bowl, combine the milk, melted butter, egg, zest and almond extract.

Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until thoroughly moistened. Fold in the cranberries & nuts.

Pour this better into prepared pan(s) and spread evenly.

Bake for 70 minutes (for the large loaf). For the smaller portions, check for doneness at 20 minutes.

Cool 5 minutes or so in the pan, then turn out onto a cookie rack to cool completely.

Of course, make extra for you and yours!


Tie One On…an apron, of course!

· The packaging should be usable by the recipient, or at least recyclable.

** Utilizing what is old to package what is new is especially appropriate as we seek to reduce expenditures but not our giving nature.

· Browse secondhand shops for unique containers and wrappings, like a glass candy dish, silver tray, and china serving bowls. Glass plates are my favorite to snap up and dress up: affix a circle of vintage fabric to the plate’s bottom with decoupage glue.

· A gravy boat can later be used as a vase, a jewelry holder or filled to the brim with M&Ms.

· Line a gelatin mold with a sweet hankie.

· An embroidered Damask dinner napkin will later be a lovely guest hand towel.

· Vintage dish towels have years of good service left.

· Wrap an empty can with fabric and fill with a selection of baked goods.

· Purchase bars of gourmet chocolate, loaves of specialty sweet bread, brownie bites, bakery muffins, mini cinnamon buns and cookies; then package individually as slices and nibbles in a selection of vintage cups. The cups will make good loose change/key/jewelry holders.

· Visit a discount store for apron pocket stuffers, like aromatic hand soaps and votives

· A handwritten sentiment to a purchased card is the defining homemade touch.

**Note card may be downloaded. Compliments of Apron Memories®.

Mighty Oaks From Little Acorns Grow

My every day life is quite basic and without much distraction. So when I am struck with inspiration, the details are very clear and stay so. For instance, I can describe the exact moment when I considered that aprons held the voices and spirit of the women who’d worn them. So, too, can I recall the second of spontaneity that, in a gesture, became Tie One On Day.

Press Release #2


National Tie One On DayTM a Win-Win

Gesture of Kindness a Win-Win for Participant and Receiver

PUEBLO, Colo. – Four years ago, EllynAnne Geisel was rolling dough for “one more pie” for her Thanksgiving feast, “When I suddenly took stock of the amount of food I’d prepared for the next-day’s holiday meal.” For a dozen guests, Geisel recalls, “there was just too much!” Deciding that her company “absolutely did not need another dessert choice,” she spontaneously wrapped a sweet in a handy piece of cloth…an apron. “Then I wrote Thinking of You on a notecard, and still wearing my own apron, walked out the front door.” Within a block, Geisel was presenting the wrapped treat to a very surprised neighbor, “who I’d heard was experiencing a difficult time.”

Turns out, Geisel was in for a surprise herself. “I hadn’t anticipated that acknowledging my neighbor with a baked good would have me feeling positively buoyant.”

It is that win-win for participant and receiver that Geisel is promoting through her National Tie One On DayTM.. Celebrated on November 25, 2009, Tie One On Day is an opportunity for people throughout the country to put the “give” back in Thanksgiving.

According to Geisel, a store-bought item is as easily wrapped as homemade, “and the cloth can be anything from an apron to a napkin.”

Geisel’s lemon quick bread recipe can be made in advance, wrapped and kept fresh in the refrigerator for Tie One On Day delivery.


A Lovely Lemon Bread

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons lemon extract

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking power

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup milk

2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

Lemon Glaze

¼ cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed for zestier flavor)

½ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix the butter with the sugar, lemon extract and eggs.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating flour mixture with the milk, stirring each addition just enough to blend.

Fold in the lemon peel.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Use a spatula around the four sides to loosen the loaf from the pan. Remove loaf from the pan onto a cooling rack. With the wooden pick, poke holes in the loaf top.

Drizzle the lemon glaze over the top (Tip: Place rack over a piece of wax paper for easy clean up)

**Wrap the cooled loaf in foil and store in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving

**Plastic or foil wrap will protect the cloth from the syrupy glaze

EllynAnne Geisel is the author of The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort; Apronisms: Pocket Wisdom for Every Day; and The Kitchen Linens Book: Using, Sharing and Cherishing the Fabrics of Our Daily Lives

Additional information about National Tie One On Day can be found on Geisel’s web site, www.apronmemories.com.

Recognized by Chases Calendar of Events, National Tie One On Day is sponsored by Mom Bloggers Club, American Sewing Guild, The Women’s Museum, McCall’s Pattern Company, Stampington & Company, Aunt Martha’s Colonial Patterns, Inc., Simplicity Pattern Company, National Association of Baby Boomer Women, Creative Machine Embroidery, SewNews, Apron-iCity and The Fabric Shop Network.


Easy Entry for National Tie One On Day’s Goodie Bag Giveaway here! Thank you for sharing National Tie One On Day through chit chat, blogging, tweeting, facebooking…the more who participate, the more who will receive.


Tie One On…an apron, of course!