Family Stitch & Bitch

Once a month, members of my mom’s side of the family (plus a few guests) get together to quilt, eat and chat. Yesterday we had a small group, just Mom, Aunt Pat, Aunt Karen, and me. We always have a pastry of some sort, usually purchased, but I desperately wanted to bake so I made a Danish Puff. This is possibly the easiest “impressive” food I know. I have no photos, partly because I just don’t seem to be able to photograph food very well, and partly because it was halfway gone within 30 minutes of it coming out of the oven. I can share the recipe, however:

Danish Puff

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut butter into flour until crumbly, then sprinkle with water and toss with a fork until it forms a dough. Split in half and roll out into rounded ovals on a large cookie sheet. No need to grease the sheet – this doesn’t stick. You might want to flour your rolling pin well, though. Use your fingers to crimp up the edges just a bit.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Combine butter and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the almond extract and flour. Stir over low heat for about a minute, making sure the flour is fully incorporated, until it forms a ball. Remove from heat and beat in eggs until smooth and glossy. Spread evenly over the crust, sealing it against the edges. Bake for 60 minutes, until puffed and golden. Let cool slightly before adding the icing. The puffs will sink in the middle and become slightly custardy.

1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons of butter, very soft
1-2 tablespoons warm water

Mix until smooth, then spread over the puffs.

We used to have this every Christmas morning when I was a kid. I LOVE this stuff. It’s incredibly good, especially considering that it basically has just five ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, almond extract and powdered sugar. I don’t count water as an ingredient, really. The problem with this stuff is that it makes a fair amount, and it’s too yummy for words, and it isn’t healthy AT ALL. I have no willpower when it comes to Danish Puff, and I ate more than my share yesterday. Bad Sandi refuses to apologize.

Then there was the sewing…

I planned to work on my string quilt, maybe finish it up even though the challenge is over. Would you believe I didn’t sew a single stitch? I helped the aunts make my Anxiety block, and I got caught up in EQ6, coloring and designing and showing them all sorts of possibilities. I took photos while they worked on the Anxiety blocks and I put together a tutorial. It’s just one block, but I think it’s an interesting one. Here’s my aunt Karen’s block:


Gorgeous, isn’t it? My aunt Pat’s is also beautiful, but neglectful me forgot to take a photo of her finished block. Grrr. I put the instructions together in a PDF for you, if you’re interested: Anxiety block tutorial

It looks complicated, but my mom and aunt Pat both had no trouble with it, and they both tend to stick with relatively straightforward patterns. The key is to cut everything very carefully. As long as your cuts are accurate, the block goes together very easily. Please let me know if you make the block – I’d like to see how it turns out.


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