Thursday, December 22, 2011

Greetings, Goodies, Gifts and Wishes from your QOVF Volunteer Staff

Here are two tips:

When making QOV pillow cases, where the accent, body and cuff seam come together can be difficult to feed under the pressure foot of some machines.  Simply bang the heck of this area with your trusty hammer (doesn't every gal have one of these in her sewing box?), then sew as usual.  You will find your machine zips right over this one difficult area with a smooth, even stitch.

And since many in the Quilts of Valor community are also knitters:  If you have a small project that requires blocking, simply place the item in a salad spinner, immerse into warm water until object is saturated, remove from water, place in sink and spin until damp.  Block as you normally would.  This eliminates the possibility of stretching the object while damping and removes most of the water to speed the blocking time. 

Happy Holidays to all,
Lenny Truitt
QOVF Bookkeeper

My tradition goes back 32 years.  My oldest son arrived 6 weeks early,
12-5-79 instead of 1-17-80, and then ended up with jaundice and a loss of 2 pounds overnight. I was sent home without him, so my family took me out to purchase our tree and ornaments. My son came home 3 days later and today is a police officer in a small city outside Dallas, Texas.  So every year I dig out the tree and ornaments on December 4th and have everything up and in place by December 5th.

Beth Riebschlager
New Mexico Coordinator

If it's not too late, here's mine:

Snicker-doodles: A Santa Favorite

Every year my children and I spend Christmas Eve making up a couple batches of Snicker-doodles. Santa gets a plate full left in the living room by the tree before the children head to bed. Last year, the kids, now teenagers, forgot to put a plate of cookies out for Santa before bed. When they awoke Christmas morning, there was a note in each of their stockings that said: "No milk & cookies, no gifts. Better luck next year." They ended up having a scavenger hunt to search for their presents. The moral of the story: don't forget Santa's cookies! And keep in mind that he especially likes snicker-doodles.

1/2 cup butter (softened/room temp)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/3 cup sifted flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 T sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon (for topping)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream together the butter and sugar. Then beat in the egg. Sift and stir in the dry ingredients. Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet about 2-3 inches apart. Shake the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top of each ball of cookie dough.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Enjoy a few warm, right out of the oven. Then leave a plate for Santa!
Katy Vickers
Kansas Coordinator

Hi there,

I'd like to share a favorite recipe for the QOVF Staff Christmas sharing of 'gifts'.  This is something that my family requests at every opportunity.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
1 1/2 cup finely crushed Oreos (about 18 cookies)
1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 teaspoon flour

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.   Combine crumbs and margarine; pat firmly on bottom of 9-inch springform pan.  In large mixer bowl, beat cheese until fluffy.  Add Eagle Brand milk; beat until smooth.  Add 3 eggs and vanilla, mix well.  In small bowl toss together 1/2 cup chips with flour to coat; stir into cheese mixture.  Pour into prepared pan.  Sprinkle remaining chips evenly over top.  Bake 1 hour or until cake springs back when lightly touched.  Cool to room temperature.  Chill.  Remove sides of pan and cut to serve.  Refrigerate leftovers

With deepest gratitude for those who serve,
Judie Yates
Longarm/Topper Coordinator
Quilts of Valor Foundation

I have a couple of recipes to share for the holidays.  
 Cheese Potatoes
 2.5 lb of potatoes peeled and sliced thin
1 c. half and half
1 can Campbell's cheddar cheese soup
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese 

Whisk together soup, half and half and Parmesan cheese.
Mix well with potato slices and pour into a greased casserole dish.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees until potatoes are tender.  
The second is a cookie recipe that is always requested by my son and his friends.  Warning:  It has a lot of ingredients and makes a ton of large cookies.  

Cowboy Cookies:

2 sticks margarine
2 sticks butter
2 c. sugar
2 c. brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 T. vanilla
4 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
4 c. Quaker oats
3-4 c. corn flakes crushed
8 oz. chopped dates
1 c. golden raisins
1 c. dark raisins
1 bag chocolate chips 
1 bag white chocolate chips

Cream margarine and butter together.  Add sugars.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Mix flour, baking powder and baking soda together.  Add to mixture.  
Stir in oats, corn flakes, dates, raisins, and chips.  The mixture will be stiff.
Roll into large balls,  I use a large cookie scoop.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Flatten the balls slightly.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 14 minutes.  Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.
This makes several dozen cookies.  

Here's hoping that everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Blessings to all.

Reg 9 Coordinator (DE, MD, PA)

Dear Friends,

This is the most awesome fudge recipe ever, not a quick one, but definitely worth the effort!!!  Enjoy
 Fannie May Fudge
 4 cups sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 teas. vanilla
25 large marshmallows (cut up)
1 cup butter
13 oz. milk chocolate (cut-up)
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (cut-up)
12 oz. unsweetened chocolate (cut-up)
1 cup nuts (optional)

* Mix together milk, sugar, vanilla and butter.  Boil this mixture for 2 minutes.  Turn off heat.  Add cut up marshmallows and stir until melted.  Add chocolate one kind at a time and stir each one til melted before adding the next kind.  Stir rapidly until all are melted.  Add nuts if you desire.
* Put in lg greased sheet pan (12: X 16")
* Wait til fudge is set before cutting in small 1" pieces

This recipe makes a huge batch of fudge

Merry Christmas to all!
 Jackie Dudek
Arizona Coordinator

Every year I sit down and watch the Santa Clause trilogy with Tim Allen.  I have a close friend with whom I used to watch the movies, but she now lives a couple states away with her husband and kids.  I like to watch those movies snuggled up on the couch and I think of her and the fun we had together.

Joheather Grant
Michigan Coordinator

Funny story

I was fortunate to be in Germany to award quilts of valor to several wounded men who were in the care of my son Eric, who is a nurse practitioner for the Air Force. He cautioned me not to say anything about their wounds or home. He also warned me that although some of them looked normal they had traumatic head injuries that affected their behavior and if they said something inappropriate not to take it personally. I appreciated the advice and had a quilt in my hand to award to the first person I saw. He was walking down a hallway in the facility. Eric called his name and said, "Hey Sarge, I want you to meet my mother, she has something for you." So when he got to me and said, "Hi",  I started my mentally rehearsed spiel about the group that made this quilt for him and how we appreciated his service. As I was talking, he backed up, put his hands on his hips, and I cut my spiel short. When I stopped talking, he said jovially,"Lady, I just came from where it was 145 degrees in the shade, what do I need a quilt for?"
Good question, I was thinking, in astonishment, with my gaping, silent, mouth. My face must have reflected my astonishment because in the awkwardness  of the moment, he declared loudly for all to hear, "But pretty soon it will be winter and I will sure need one then, he took the quilt from my hands and hugged me while he thanked me and I recovered.

The next fella was sitting at a table with crutches nearby. He was alone and looking blankly into space.
I walked up to him, started my little spiel and handed him a quilt. "For me? he said. I said "Yes, just for you to keep." "I never had a quilt. he said. 'Well you do now and you can take this one home to keep," I said with sympathy. "HOME! he blurted out with pain, I don't have a home  and I am NOT going back to where I came from. I could have dropped through the floor, I had said the word I wasn't suppose to say, home. Trying to soothe him, I said, Well, you can come to Arkansas and live with us. It's nice there, there are a lot of trees and lots of lakes to fish in.  "oh my, I thought, what am I saying?" "I might." he said. He was opening the quilt to look at it and by now it was opened and he started to comment on how beautiful it was. He stood and wrapped it around him and leaned forward to hug me as he thanked me and told me to thank the ladies that made it. His tirade had passed as quickly as it came.
I left him then, thinking, I do have a guest room if he ever shows up on my doorstep. He never did.
Best Wishes, Sharon Bailey Region 7

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