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Welcome Friends! Please be patient while I add more info. I have SO much to share with you. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Ear Muffs Free Crochet Pattern

These Ear Muffs match my Fluffy Flowers Scarf Pattern Here.

Crochet Ear Muffs
Free Pattern
by Mary Jane Hall

My Fluffy Flowers Scarf was originally published in my booklet, Crochet In Style, then again in the Crochet A Day Calender. When I sent it to the calender to be published I also sent them the patten for these Ear Muffs to match. I used the same yarn and same flower motif. I also used 2 strands of yarn for both the scarf and ear muffs, since it's much easier to see your stitches when you are working with a regular yarn along with an eyelash type of yarn. Of courae you could use a regular yarn for these 2 patterns, but your gauge would have to match my gauge, especially for the ear muffs. It wouldn't matter as much with the scarf.

To make the ear muffs, you'll have to get an old pair of ear muffs and take off the original fabric. You may already have a pair or you may be able to find a pair at a thrift store.
Please enjoy this pattern! You'll find it at this link by PDF.

Crochet Scarf and Ear Muffs to match - free pattern by Mary Jane Hall

You cannot copy and paste my pattern to your blog, but you can put a link to the pattern here.

Fluffy Flowers Scarf - Free Pattern

Fluffy Flowers Scarf
Free Crochet Pattern by
Mary Jane Hall
This design of mine was originally published in one of my Leisure Arts/Kooler Designs booklets in 2005  (Crochet In Style) and again in the 2011 Crochet A Day calender. I am now offering it here on my blog as a free pattern. (See PDF link below)

Fluffy Flowers Scarf and Ear Muffs to match
free crochet pattern by
Mary Jane Hall

My Ear Muff crochet pattern that matches this scarf is here. I hope you enjoy the patterns!

Crochet Ear Muffs
Free Crochet by
Mary Jane Hall
You can access the scarf pattern as a PDF document here. Ear Muff pattern is accessed through another post here.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Crochet Retreat - Chicago, Illinois

I am way behind in posting about this retreat I was privileged to be a part of in October of 2013. 
They asked me to be the key note speaker/designer for this event, and it was a huge honor for me. 
(See Photos Below)
Since I am an author also of crochet books, I was asked to talk about my signature method of making fitted and flattering crochet garments without having to use increases or decreases. I call this my Graduated Stitch Method and it has been popular and accepted worldwide. In fact the book I introduced this method in, Crochet That Fits, was  voted "Best Crochet Pattern Book of 2008". I believe that was due to the fact my method is so fun and easy for crocheters who have only made afghans, scarves, wash cloths and potholders. I've received 100's of letters from people thanking me and excited about making garments for the first time ever. Some have even been crocheting for over 40 years. This book has been published in other languages too. If you haven't heard of my method, please look into it. You will thank me. I enjoy making crochet easier for people, especially beginners. 

The lodge lit up at night
Another nice lodge at
the same location
Deck at the lodge
Walking back to the lodge
After eating lunch or dinner
 in the dining hall
One of the Hiking Trails

One of the attendees showing off the American Doll dress she made learning my Graduated Stitch Method that I introduced in Crochet That Fits
(See book at right)
This doll dress is made exactly like my adult size "Little
 Black Dress" shown on the front cover of my book
Crochet That Fits
Another attendee showing
the Barbie sized dress she made with my
Graduated Stitch Method
of making fitted garments with NO
increases or decreases

This is the dining hall where we are breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday on the 3 days we were at the retreat. Wonderful food!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Pumpkin Dump Cake - Easy and Delicious!

This easy cake recipe is scrumptious! It's especially great as an addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, but will be a delicious dessert any time of year, thanks to canned pumpkin! I think one thing that makes it so special for this southern gal is the pecans! Top the cake off with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to make it even more special. I hope you enjoy this.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

1-15 oz can pumpkin pie filling
2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice OR 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. cloves
1-12 oz can (1 1/2 c.) evaporated milk
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
½ - ¾ cup chopped pecans

Make pumpkin pie filling according to directions on the can of pumpkin. Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle package of yellow cake mix (dry) on top of pumpkin mix, spreading lightly to cover all the pumpkin. Melt butter and pour evenly over dry cake mix. Sprinkle pecans on top. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serve plain or topped with whipped cream.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Classic Chicken Divine

  1. Classic Chicken Divine
    This is a classic recipe popular in the 1950's and 1960's. My mom fixed it regularly when I was growing up. Recently I posted about it on Facebook and some of my friends asked for the recipe. Many of the recipes on Pinterest do not call for curry powder and some call for mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken soup. I'm sure it's great that way too, but in my opinion, this is the best recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. 20 oz frozen broccoli or a  lg fresh bunch of broccoli
  4. 2-3 cups Chicken breasts, slightly cooked & cubed (it will cook more in the oven, so no need to cook it more than 10 minutes)
  5. 2 cans Campbell's cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  6. ½-1 cup Hellman's Mayonnaise (I use 1 cup)
  7. 1½ tsps fresh lemon juice (to taste)
  8. ½ tsp curry powder (or more to taste)
  9. 1 cup shredded original Velveeta cheese ( can use sharp cheddar cheese but I like Velveeta better)
  10. 1-2 cups bread crumbs
  11. 3 tbsp butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°. Thaw frozen broccoli, but don't cook it. If you are using fresh broccoli steam it just till tender, but not too long because it will cook more in the oven; drain. Arrange in greased shallow casserole pan. I use my glass 9"x13" pan. Layer cut up chicken on top of
Broccoli. Combine lemon juice, soup, mayonnaise, curry powder and cheese. Spread evenly over chicken. Mix bread crumbs and melted butter and sprinkle over top. Bake for 30 minutes or til brown on top. I like to serve this on top of rice. Serve immediately.

Creamy Broccoli Soup - My Favorite

This broccoli Soup recipe is quick, easy and delicious! It takes only a total of about 30 minutes to make from start to finish. A little old lady gave me this recipe in the 80's and I've never found another one that compares to it. The secret of the creaminess is the cream of mushroom soup, Half and Half (or real cream) and Velveeta cheese. Most other recipes call for cheddar and theythe good, but this is my absolute favorite broccoli soup recipe.

Creamy Broccoli Soup 
Gluten Free
Creamy Broccoli Soup

48 oz can chicken broth or 4 - 15oz cans (sometimes I add Chicken Bullion to water if I don't have enough chicken broth)
2 - 10 oz bags/boxes frozen broccoli or 1 whole head fresh broccoli (cut up in bite size pieces)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 stick butter (8 Tbs)
2 cups Half and Half (or heavy cream)
16oz Original Velveeta (that's half of the big 2 lb box)

If you're using fresh broccoli, steam it till it's tender (but not too done)
In the meantime put chicken broth, butter and mushroom soup in a large pan. Stir with a wisk to smooth it.
Cut Velveeta in cubes or grate it with a grater and add to the chicken broth mixture. It's hard to grate it though because the Velveeta is so soft. That's why I cut it up. Heat on low till cheese is melted, stirring as it's melting. Keep stirring so it won't burn on the bottom.
After cheese has melted, add broccoli to the soup. Last, add the cream or Half and Half and heat through for just a few minutes. This should all only take 30 minutes or less.
It's delicious!
No flour so it's gluten free! The soup is thick enough on it's on.

NOTE: I think there's nothing worse than cooking broccoli (or other vegetables) too long. You want the broccoli to still have that bright green color. My mom was a great cook and I loved her cooking but I have realized over the years that she way overcooked things liked broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans and some other veggies. Actually I hated Brussels sprouts growing up, but I love them, now that I learned to bake them or saute them in butter (not tons of water). I've used the frozen broccoli before and it's just as good, but if I have time I like to buy it fresh. (Cut it up and steam it). Of course, when I use the frozen broccoli I don't cook it. I just thaw it out, drain and add it to the soup.

Creamy Broccoli Soup 
Gluten Free