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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!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Cafè au Lait T - Shirt

This top has been very popular and the pattern is written for sizes small to 3x. It's worked into 2 pieces and seamed at the sides and shoulders, and finished off with  a single crochet edging on the hem, sleeve and neck edge.

Cafe au Lait T-Shirt in Colorful Crochet Lace by Mary Jane Hall
I used a # 2 fingering yarn, Knit Picks Comfy Fingering. I love Knit Picks yarns because they have great prices and a wide variety of colors. This particular cotton yarn is very soft. 

See the top in other colors below by Coleen, whom I met on Ravelry. I love the colors she chose! Please, by all means post your pictures on Ravelry and link to me as the designer. I love seeing what you all have done. Sometimes I like yours better than my original!

Café Au Lait T-Shirt by Mary Jane Hall
Great Job  Colleen! Love the color and it looks great on you!

Love this color too Colleen!

There are some corrections to the pattern here on this blog and also here at the Interweave Press website.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Food Intolerance Symptoms

 I've written about my wheat and dairy food intolerance before, but just in case anyone is wondering if they have a food intolerance, I found a great article on the symptoms. It's amazing how many problems we had with our health is related to food we eat! I know, because I have experienced it and when I go off foods I'm intolerant of, I feel much better! 


This is a great article! By the way, many main stream doctors aren't taught these things. I've had to find out on my own for 40 years why I've experienced certain things! Let me know if you have any questions. In 1998 I finally went to a homeopathic Dr who have me a food intolerance test. They do it through your blood. The allergy tests you may have had before where they prick your skin, is not for food intolerances. That test is for allergies to dust, animals, etc, which is different. Please read this article! You'll be surprised!


Symptoms of Food Intolerances

https://www.rachaelroehmholdt.com/how-do-you-know-if-you-have-a-food-intolerance/

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Favorite Broccoli Casserole


This is the broccoli casserole my family always requests that I make for Thanksgiving or Christmas. A friend, Mary Osborne, gave me the recipe in the 80's and I've been fixing it for years. This recipe serves 6-8 people, but you can double it for a larger group. 

Broccoli Casserole 
Preheat oven to 350º 
Serves 6-8

2 -10 oz boxes frozen broccoli or 1 bunch fresh broccoli, steamed 

2 sticks butter 

1 lb Velveeta cheese, cubed or grated

2 rolls Ritz or Town House crackers, crushed. You'll be putting half the cracker crumbs on the bottom of the casserole, as well as on top. I always use Town House, because they're tastier.

 Thaw broccoli at room temperature or in the microwave and squeeze out the water.  Melt 1 stick butter in soup pot on low heat. Add either cubed or grated Velveeta cheese.  If you grate it, you'll need to keep it in the fridge till time to grate it, otherwise, the cheese is mushy and not easy to grade when it sits out at room temperature. This is why sometimes I just cut it up in small cubes. After you add the cheese you'll need to keep it on very low heat and keep stirring, because if you don't, the cheese will burn on the bottom. (even if the heat is on low). 

After cheese is melted add thawed broccoli that has had the water squeezed out. Or fresh steamed broccoli if you're using that.  Stir to coat the broccoli with the cheese mixture. Remove from heat. Melt the other stick of butter and add to the crushed crackers. Stir to coat crackers. Spread half the crumbs on the bottom of a 13"x9" oven safe dish that is been sprayed with cooking oil. Pour all the broccoli/cheese mixture on top of the cracker crumbs and spread it all over. Then spread the other half of the cracker crumbs on top of the broccoli. 

Bake for 15 minutes at 350º. This is easy to cook too long, especially if you're using a glass pan. But you want to make sure it's heated all the way through. there have been times I didn't let the frozen broccoli thaw out enough and it was still cold when I mixed it with the cheese. 

You can thaw the broccoli in the microwave for a couple of minutes, but you just dont want to cook it, because to me, there's nothing worse than overcooked broccoli! On the other hand, if you're using fresh broccoli, you don't want to mix it in the cheese raw, or it won't be done after baking in the oven. That's why I steam it first. When in the oven you're basically just heating it and toasting/browning the crackers.

The original recipe called for frozen broccoli and it's just as good as the fresh in this casserole as long as it doesn't get cooked in the microwave when you thaw it. Using frozen broccoli is quicker, but i make it with fresh broccoli a lot. The original recipe also said to put the butter and cheese into the broccoli (in the pot) to melt it, but that way overcooks the broccoli, so that's why I changed the recipe to melt the butter and cheese first. 

I hope you enjoy this! Let me know if you have any questions.


 

Saturday, July 11, 2020

German Chocolate Microwave Cake

If you need a quick dessert and don't have a clue what to fix, then this is the dessert for you! I don't normally fix desserts unless I have someone over for dinner. You'll be surprised at how quick and easy this is. It only takes a couple of minutes to stir everything into the microwave container, then you cook it in the microwave for only 10 minutes! That's it!

German Chocolate Microwave 
Dump Cake

I learned how to make this microwaved dump cake when I was Supervisor for Gifts by House of Lloyd, which also included Christmas Around the World and Cookin', similar to Pampered Chef. It was pretty cool that I could offer all 3 parties to my hostesses. If a hostess choose to have a Cookin' party, I would always make something for her friends to eat while demonstrating the kitchen items we offered. We had a cookbook full of quick and delicious recipes and I would let the hostess choose whether she wanted me to make a main dish, such as a pizza, a Taco Ring, Chicken Broccoli Braid or one of our delicious decedent desserts. This cake was one of them they'd often choose.

At the time I was doing that (in the 1990's), we made this cake in our microwave Rice Cooker, but I no longer have that and was trying to find a bowl or other container to cook it in. Then I realized I have a microwave pop corn popper and it was perfect for making this cake. I hope you enjoy it!

German Chocolate Dump Cake

Ingredients:

1 box Super Moist German Chocolate Cake Mix

1 cup water

1 cup sour cream

3 eggs

1 can Coconut Pecan Frosting

1 cartoon Cook Whip or ice cream

Put dry cake mix, water, sour cream and eggs in rice cooker or any microwaveable glass or plastic bowl. (I used my microwave pop corn popper). Mix well with spoon or whisk. Put Coconut Pecan Frosting on top of uncooked cake.  Microwave without lid for 10-15 minutes. Check with toothpick for doneness.
Note: it cooked only in 10 minutes in my microwave, which is 1200 watts, I believe. Cake will keep cooking after you taker it out  so do NOT overcook. Let stand for 15 minutes. Invert on plate and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Note:
I checked the cake after 8 minutes just to see how it was doing, but it was still gooey on top.
As you can see by my pictures, I did not invert it into a plate. The icing goes to the bottom of the bowl while cooking, so when you invert it, the icing will be on top!


Another Tip: if you'd like to make the German Chocolate coconut frosting from scratch, (which is better of course) go here to find that recipe by Pampered Chef. Picture above, showing the icing on top,  belongs to the person at this link.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Bohemian Style Purse

Bohemian Style Purse
Free Pattern by
Mary Jane Hall


This Bohemian Style Shoulderbag (see pattern below) is another one of the patterns I created for Hobby Lobby a few years ago. These  were given as a free pattern to customers, hoping they would purchase the Hobby Lobby yarn I used to create the design. Really, you could use just about any yarn to make this purse, but keep in mind,  if you are a beginner, using a smaller weight yarn than this bulky yarn I used would make a smaller purse. Or if you want a larger bag than this, you could use extra bulky yarn or even work the pattern with 2 strands of yarn together.

This is a super easy beginner pattern, and the tassels make it fun! Actually it reminds me of the purses from the 70's. Or if you want to make it look more like a colorful "Hippie Bag", it would be cool to crochet each row (or round) in a different vibrant color!

I probably would not have chosen a fuzzy yarn for this, but I had to come up with designs using  yarns Hobby Lobby headquarters sent me. Most of the yarn they sent was furry or fuzzy. I figured they wanted to showcase yarns that weren't selling as well.

I did 7 designs for their tear sheets and at one time Hobby Lobby had all the free patterns online, but they no longer have those posted. So that's why I am adding the free pattern here. The bag is worked in the round, having less seams to sew. Hopefully you will
be able to print this pattern. 

This pattern is copyrighted, so please do not sell the pattern. You are welcome to sell your projects made from this pattern.



Saturday, March 28, 2020

Difference Between Crochet and Knitting

I have been wanting to do a post on this, but I found this article that is pretty good. I am not positive and am still researching, but I believe there are more crocheters now than there are knitters. I know how to knit, but I like crocheting so much better than knitting. It's just more fun and faster to me! I'm sure everyone is different though. I learned to crochet before I learned to knit when I was 18. One thing about it was I noticed it's much easier to find your stitch in crochet than knitting if you drop a stitch. And I like that! I love the look of knitting  but also love the look of crochet lace. It's so much fun and addicting!

While I'm still researching, in the meantime you might want to read this article at The Spruce Crafts. If you have anything to add you think might be helpful please let me know.

The Spruce Crafts:
https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/differences-between-knitting-and-crochet-4077447

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Flower Motif Scarf and Hat - Free Pattern

Flower Motif  Scarf and Hat 
Free Pattern by 
Mary Jane Hall

This scarf and Hat set is one of the patterns I created for Hobby Lobby a few years ago after they contacted me about doing designs to appear on their "tear sheets" in all 900 of their stores.  This was such an honor! These  were given as a free pattern to customers, hoping they would purchase the Hobby Lobby yarn I used to create the design.

I was kind of limited as to my creativity, because they would pick out the yarn and send it to me, saying to use those yarns to design something. Most of the yarn they sent was furry or fuzzy. I figured they wanted to showcase yarns that weren't selling as well.

I did 7 designs for their tear sheets and at one time Hobby Lobby had all the free patterns online, but they no longer have those posted. So that's why I am adding the free pattern here.  It is basically 6-petal flowers, connected together to form a scarf or hat with an edging in a different color. Hopefully you will
be able to print it out. As soon as I can, I will try to post a better picture. I want to say thank you to Alyssa Denen for modeling this for me. 

This pattern is copyrighted, so please do not sell the pattern, but you are welcome to sell your projects made from this pattern.