Author Archive | Holly

Fruit Dessert Recipes

I must be dreaming about my fruit trees that I am going to plant.  I’m always in the mood for fruit lately.  Luckily for me, my husband made a fruit dessert the other night that was fabulous.  It was a Blueberry Peach Crisp.  I haven’t done a lot with blueberries before, but I really enjoyed them with the bottled peaches from my tree last year.  Brian found the recipe on

Blueberry Peach Crisp
from Fine Cooking issue #93

  • 2 oz. unsalted butter, softened (plus more for pan)

  • 3 oz. all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

  • 3 cups (~1 lb.) blueberries, washed, drained, and room temperature

  • 3 medium peaches (~1 lb.), halved, pitted, and sliced 1/2 inch thick

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 tbsps cornstarch

  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Butter a 9-inch square pan (I used my 8-inch pan). For the topping, mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp of salt in a bowl. Work butter into the mixture with fingers until clumpy. Stir in the pecans. In a large bowl, toss the blueberries, peaches, granulated sugar, cornstarch, 1/8 tsp salt, and nutmeg together. Pour the fruit into the pan and level out. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the fruit. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the center is bubbling and the topping has browned. Serve warm.

Another one that I really enjoyed a while ago and need to make again is a Crock Pot Apple Crisp.  I have to thank my friend Tara R. for sharing it with me.    It was super easy!

Butterscotch Apple Crisp

  • 6 cups sliced peeled tart apples (about 5 large)

  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

  • 1 package (3-1/2 ounces) cook-and-serve butterscotch pudding mix

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • Vanilla ice cream, optional

Place apples in a 3-qt. slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, oats, pudding mix and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the apples. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 5-1/2 hours or until apples are tender. Serve with ice cream if desired. (source: Taste of Home)


Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Idea

Here is a great Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Idea!
Finding a gift for my Mother-in-law is kind of tricky.  We’ve already given her all the usual gifts of flowers, books, gift card, etc…  So, I’m always on the lookout for something to give her.  Luckily, she loves homemade gifts.  As soon as I saw this post on Helping Little Hands about Faux Embroidery, I knew that was what I needed to make for Mother’s Day this year.

I purchased the pattern from Twin Stitchers.  She is having a deal this month that if you spend over $10.00, you will get 50% off your entire order!  So my “Our Family Tree” E-pattern was only $6.50!!  Such a deal!    Once I started coloring, I just couldn’t stop.  It was so fast, easy, and fun!

While I colored, my daughter watched.  She thought it looked so fun, she kept asking if she could color some.  I was particular about my gift, so I told her we could make another one for her to color.  We decided it would be fun to make one of her school class to give to her teacher.  So, we did our best to fit the whole class on to the tree.  I just love how it turned out.

Kaylee is so excited to color it for her teacher.  Unfortunately, she has a lot of homework to get done first.  I’m hoping this will be some good motivation to get her to move a little quicker.

A few notes:
– These are 14 X 18 inch frames.  The brown one was $20 from Target and the black one was $10 (50% off) from Hobby Lobby.
–  On the Class Tree, I made the tree slightly bigger on the right hand side so that we could fit more kids on it.
– The link to Helping Little Hands is a tutorial with a lot of helpful information.  She suggests what kind of pen and crayons to use and tips to make it easier.

Linked up with:
The Thrifty Home
Someday Crafts
Lil’ Luna
Polka Dots on Parade


Simple Valance Curtain Ideas

Next to quilts and table runners, I love making curtains!  I wish I had pictures of all the curtains I’ve made over the years, it would be so funny to look back.  Here are just a few simple ideas for cute valances.

1 – Denim (Raggy) – I love how simple this valance is – no hemming involved!  Made from my denim stash and hung on a regular (cheap) rod.  In my old house, these hung in the laundry room, but now they are in my boy’s room.  They go perfect with their denim quilts I made them.

2 – Denim (with belts) – These are the new curtains in my mom’s family room.  They have a rustic feel to their room and these simple denim valances are perfect.  My dad even made the belts to hold them up.  Impressive.  This valance is a simple hem on all four sides, with a rod pocket on the top.  Nothing fancy, but so fun.

3 – Towels or placemats – This valance gets the prize for the ultimate easiest valance ever!  I found these towels that matched my colors in my kitchen perfect.  I seriously just hung them over the top of a regular cheap rod and I was done.  No sewing involved!  I used 3 towels.

4 – Simple Pleats on regular rod – I made this quick valance for the guest room at my mom’s house.  It has 3 simple pleats in it to add some body.  After I hemmed the 3 edges and pinned the pleats in place, I attached the rod pocket.  Done!  Simple, but so cute to add a little green in her grey room.  So fun.

5 – Hanging from hooks – This is the valance that I have been dreaming up for my new house family room.  I wanted to do something different than I have done before.  So, I had Brian install 5 knobs above my window for me.  Then I took my big long rectangle of fabric and hemmed the edges.  Then, I made a little pleat and added a loop of ribbon across the top to hang it from.  I’m loving the pattern with the hooks, but I’m not loving the fabric.  I think it’s a little too busy for me.  We’ll see if it sticks.

6 – Old curtains on board – I found some old curtains to show you.  You can tell by all the wrinkles that they have been in storage for a while now.  These curtains were one of my first sewing projects.  I made them at my sewing lessons.  They used to hang in Kaylee’s room when she was 3-4 years old.  I even made a quilt for her bed that matched.  (I was very ambitious back then!)  The cool part about these curtains are they are mounted on a board with tacks – no rod pocket.  Then, we mounted the board above the window using some L brackets.   It worked perfectly and I have used that method of hanging curtains several times since then.

A few tips for making a valance:

– When measuring for fabric, remember to include 2 inches on each side for your returns.  (The part of the rod that curves back to meet the wall.)  Also add in at least 1 more inch for your hems or seams.

– Use scrap fabric to practice on.  If you are unsure – try it out on some cheaper muslin to see if it’s what you are looking for.  It gets expensive to replace the fabric that you cut wrong.

– I don’t know of a rule for how long valances are supposed to be, but mine usually end up being 12 to 16 inches tall.

– Sometimes I hang my valances several inches higher than the window.  This way it blocks less light and makes your windows look taller.

Valances are so easy to make, you don’t even need a pattern.  I’ve never used a pattern to make any of my curtains.  You can do it!  Give it a try.  I would love to see what you make.

Linked up with:
Polka Dots on Parade
Someday Crafts
Lil’ Luna
The Thrifty Home
Young Nester
Sisters Stuff