Monday, December 19, 2016

Putting 2016 to Bed! Cowboy Campfire Coffee Break Challenge

Wow, I hadn't realized how long it had been since I posted. Won't bore you with the details, but family health issues were just around the corner, at the time of the last post in February. The Lord was good, friends prayed, and there was a best possible outcome. If you raised a prayer, thank you very much. If you wished I'd post again. Thank you very much.

I have been up to my ears in hope, and seeking to escape reality! :) If you are delighted about the change of power in January let's just leave that at I'm not. But life goes on...

One of my personal favorite escape hatches has been fantasizing (based on no sales at all) about success with my Cowboy Campfire Coffee Break pattern created and offered most of 2016. At this point I've given away about 10 patterns, of the 100 I printed(fantasizing - my old friend) So, even though I've had finished ones AND patterns up for sale, without a single sale of either, the best I could comfort myself with was they were undiscovered. So.... here is an opportunity for you. Plus WHO DOESN'T LOVE COWBOYS?

I will give away 10 patterns to the first 10 people to request to join the Challenge, and ship it to you for free. :)

There are some things that are required in return, although how I will enforce these requirements requires an over active conscience on your part. so... try to restrain yourself, if you don't sew or have more good intentions than finished projects. :)
  1. You have until  not quite July 4th to finish your contest entry. As soon as 2 people or hopefully more request a pattern I'll mail them out. After 10 people request a pattern, you can still buy a pattern over at my Etsy shop Cotton Eyed Jo. If you buy a pattern, you can participate in the Challenge, but until all 10 are requested, why not just sign up? and get one for free... Free or paid you will have what you finish!
  2. There will be prizes for all entries that I have an address for, so a request with out an address can't receive a pattern. A conversation through Etsy shop will be the best way to submit the address privately.
  3. For the first part of the Challenge, I urge you to upcycle some old jeans, a favorite shirt, skirt, or whatever. If you have to use all new items you can, but most all of us have something to donate or discard from the closet..... just look.
  4. I've sewn for a lot of my life, so while the pictures, patterns, and directions seem clear to me, they may be insufficient for others. If you have a question, I encourage you to contact me via my Etsy shop conversations.
  5. By June 30th I need to get a digital picture of the Cowboy Coffee Break Set ©Cotton Eyed Jo 2016
  6. Submission of a photograph grants me the right to post it on my blog. (I'll Probably do this 👀 close to when I receive them. To whip up competition)👀
  Around July 4th I'll post the winner, and tell who wins the grand prize, which will include some materials to make more of the sets, and my written permission to list finished sets online in any amount, provided that you credit me as the designer. If you do mass production of the Cowboy Coffee Break Set ©Cotton Eyed Jo 2016 We can discuss how profits will be divided. ;)

So free pattern  for first ten to request it, just for the asking, plenty of time to complete your entry/entries, and a decent chance to win probably a medium flat rate box with plenty of materials to create whatever you want, but helpful in creating additional Cowboy Coffee Break Set ©Cotton Eyed Jo 2016.  Check out my Etsy Shop for inspiration, upcycling of old jeans, etc encouraged, and lets make 2017 the year of the Cowboy! All submissions will be honored, are not secret, and may also receive a recognition prize for participation. Since this may be fewer than 10 or more than 2000 LOL! I'm deliberately being vague here.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Food Allergies and Egg Substitute ~ Aquafaba

Today, Leap Day 2016 is our Granddaughter's 2nd/8th Birthday! Her parents hosted a wonderful birthday party for her over the weekend, and are going to let me fix the Leapday dinner and birthday cake.

Egg sensitivity is not unusual in young children, and in fact her sensitivity to eggs by 2 years of age, was one of the first warning signs that food allergies were one of the important things to consider when making birthday cakes for her or other family members.

She's okay with egg inclusion in recipes now, but is definitely allergic to nuts of all kinds.
However her younger brother, almost 2 is sensitive to eggs. Luckily for me, during the last 8 years I've learned how to adapt some recipes and even found a few that were egg free with regard to cakes. Google recipes for Chocolate Pudding Cake as an example... great as if you are a grandma, probably your pantry will contain most or all of the ingredients. This one is a great reward for snow shovelers too, and takes not all that much time to prepare and bake.

Recently, I heard a reference to AquaFaba spelling may be incorrect, but google can set that straight too.  Meringue? Are you kidding me?

I'm making "you gotta be kidding me cake" for her birthday, normally easy peasy to do, but without the eggs? So I looked into aquafaba a bit via google, and found out (at least in my head, that the drained fluid from 1 can of garbanzo beans = approx 1 egg.

Since 3 eggs were needed, I decided to make a crunchy garbanzo bean snack for all of us to enjoy too.(not necessarily with the cake) I added the crunchy beans to an "Earth Day Salad" Livvie's naming of a green salad with carrots, celery, etc. and also just had some available for taste testing.

When I drained 3 cans of generic garbanzo beans I got about 1 quart of fluid. Having baked numerous birthday cakes in my 69 years, that looked like WAY TOO MUCH liquid! Turned out the straight substitution of aquafaba for eggs, was too much as this particular recipe also has a can of cherry pie filling.... oh, yeah, baby! Tried to link it, but somehow or other when I copied the URL something went missing. The information below was copied directly from that site, so I am including the link above for your further information(great photos and narration!) but also to *footnote or give credit to the person who conducted the actual investigation.

So, to summarize I needed egg substitute for 3 large eggs and egg volume in liquid measure for eggs- "Large: 3 1/2 tablespoons (1.75 liquid ounces)"  so times 3 eggs would be 10.5 tablespoons according to my head math, verified by a calculator. Will try to remember to add a photograph of cake to post.... 

 Results of the baking were good, but the cake was a little too damp. So will try again using only 2/3 of the aquafaba if adding pie filling to the recipe. Seriously, this cake is delicious, and so easy to make.  

The crunchy garbanzo recipe was a hit with all of us except the "baby" He didn't get to try them, as I thought and his mama agreed they might be a choking hazard. 

Will definitely be trying the meringue receipe  from above linkie using aquafaba.... probably for a lemon meringue pie! :)

Friday, January 29, 2016


 Cotton Eyed Jo has been sewing and working on a new pattern for release this weekend.

Just in time for the Houston Rodeo, I'll be listing some items at both my Etsy shop, and our Ebay store .  

Live auction on Ebay began a few minutes ago, and will end on Sunday, February 3, 2016.
This is the only time this particular set will be on Ebay.

If it doesn't sell, I'll move it over to my Etsy shop(linked above). Good luck if you decide to bid on it!

This first pattern will have patterns for the steak/bacon platter and plates as well as the "campfire". I will also be offering pattern kits which will be sold seperately from the basic pattern, but contain  a selection of fabrics to help create that campfire feel. Your littlest buckeroo's will probably just toss around the cups and plates unless someone honkers down with them, and serves up some milk and cookies. ;)

Imaginary play is a great way to increase vocabulary. If you live on a ranch, little ranch hand will start hearing the family stories... like the time the cow escaped... or whatever adventures you want to spin. Shoot you could even use these in a classroom, to introduce a Tall Tales literature unit...

There are variations that you could do with the basic platter and plates to make something special for a young camper, deer hunter, or pirate. In fact, the kits I'll offer will give you a chance to chose from many types of heroic adventurers!

My next pattern, which will include cups, a Coffeepot, and other campfire accessories will require a mother or grandmother's patience and care in construction. They will require some hand-sewing to achieve their special looks... and are quite honestly a bit time intensive. But I've machine washed and air dried my coffee pot! (truly just for imaginative play) It will not hold liquids! But will add fun and more vocabulary opportunities!