Saturday, June 27, 2015

Smocked Dress

 This past week my sister and her husband welcomed a sweet baby girl into their family! In honor of her arrival I made my niece a little smocked dress.
It had been quite a while since I smocked anything, and I thoroughly enjoyed working with this soft lavender calico! The delicate print and color made me think of English lavender, which is perfect for this little lady. Her middle name is Bronte. : )
Once the fabric is pleated it is quite relaxing to sit back and work on the smocking. I love how such simple stitching can give a dress a beautifully detailed look.
For the back of the dress I used tiny white heart buttons. They have been in my button box for a while and I thought they were the perfect finishing touch.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Baking with Rhubarb

Over the years I had never really eaten much rhubarb. I had vague memories of my mom once baking a rhubarb crisp, but with a couple picky eaters in the house it wasn't a big hit. However this spring, while at a church dinner, Adam and I purchased a strawberry rhubarb pie. It was delicious, and definitely sparked an interest for rhubarb in us both.

While purchasing plants for our garden last month we found some rhubarb plants; hopefully next year we will have some home grown of our own. : ) This year we purchased some rhubarb and tried two recipes I found on Pinterest.

The first was a rhubarb pie with crumb top. We both agreed that it was one of the tastiest pies we had ever eaten.

Rhubarb Pie:
6cups diced, unpeeled rhubarb
2cups sugar (I used one cup white and one cup brown)
6tablespoons all-purpose flour
1tablespoon chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/4cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/4cup sugar
1/2cup all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. To prepare filling, combine rhubarb with sugar and flour. Spoon into piecrust. Dot with butter.
  3. To prepare the topping, mix butter, sugar and flour with a pastry blender or your hands until crumbly. Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture.
  4. Bake 1 hour or until filling is bubbling and topping is browned.

The following week I decided to give another recipe a try, this time rhubarb bars. The were lovely! The perfect addition to afternoon tea.
Rhubarb Bars:  (recipe found here)

For the crust
  • 1 and ½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup cold butter, cubed
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
For the filling
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 cups rhubarb, diced
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and powdered sugar. Using a pastry blender cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Pat the crumbs into a well greased 9 x 13 in baking pan. Bake the crust at 350 F for 10-12 min or until lightly browned.
  3. While the crust is in the oven, mix together eggs, sugar, flour and salt.
  4. Gently stir in the diced rhubarb. Pour the rhubarb mixture over the hot crust. Return bars to the hot oven. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F and bake for 30-35 min or until the filling is set.
  5. Cool and cut into bars.
We also planted strawberries this spring, so I am hoping that the plants might produce this year. It is such a blessing,and treat, to enjoy the fresh produce season by season!