Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Part 6 How to Pin Properly...How to quilt from the very beginning

Done is better than perfect.

There are a couple more things you need to know so you can make a quilt with real precision.  The above saying is a quote on the wall at the quilt shop where my quilt guild meets. This is a really good motto to live by.  Done is always better than perfect....but, perfect is pretty nice too.  I love it when my seams match up perfectly.  I love it when I get perfect points.  I love it when my lines are straight and neat...but, I am not going to drive myself crazy to achieve all of these.  I will try my hardest and to my best ability, but if something's off just a bit...ehh.  I'll live and be happy when I have a finished piece.  Pinning is a big part of getting your quilts as perfect as possible.  If you pin correctly, you will reap the rewards.

I will confess that for a long time I never pinned anything. It didn't bother me when seams didn't match up.  But now I am older, wiser and am not in such a hurry to have a finished piece, so I pin.

This post is going to show you how to pin your pieces correctly before sewing.

Proper Pinning

I pin everywhere two seams line up.  In the above picture you can see I have made two strips of half square triangles.   I have pinned on each of the vertical seams (the seams that separate the squares).  Place your pieces front sides together, line up the seams on the front piece and back piece so they are matched up, then pin.

What about if there aren't many seams, but a long stretch of fabric.  How do you pin that evenly?

If you'll notice in the above picture, it doesn't matter how accurately you cut, you can be off as little as 1/16" and you're still off.  Quite often pieces become a touch shorter or longer depending on how accurately you've sewn the seams or how accurately you've cut your fabric.  This is where pinning comes in.  You can get your piece to be even by pinning and easing the fabric.

So, the strip above is a bit longer than the piecework.  Let's pin.

1.  Line up the left sides, right sides together.  Pin.  Line up the right sides.  Pin.

2.  As you can see in the middle, the fabric is sagging a bit, this is because the strip is a bit longer than the bottom piece.  You want to pin it evenly across the entire row so you don't have spots that are too loose and spots that are too tight after you've sewn.  You want even give across the entire row.

3.  So, grab on the left and right sides and just tug ever so gently and evenly.

4. The top and bottom pieces of fabric should just match up perfectly along the top.  Pin right in the middle. If there's a large discrepancy between the fabric sizes, they might not meet up perfectly along the top, but you will at least have them lined up pretty well so you can just slide the larger piece up and then pin it.  You want this to be as even as possible.

5.  Depending how large the piece of fabric you are working with is, you will have to repeat the pinning process again and again.  I typically put a pin every 4 inches or so.  So, for the above piece, I would hold onto the far left pin and the middle pin, tug lightly and then pin between those two.  Switch sides.  Hold onto the middle and the far right pin, tug and pin in the middle of those two. Keep tugging and pinning in the middle of pins until all your pins are approximately 4 inches apart.

If you have one piece of fabric that is significantly larger than the other, it is wise to pin more.  Every 1" or so.  By doing this you can slightly stretch the shorter piece of fabric to match up to the larger piece when you are sewing. It's called easing.

So, that is how to pin.  Just remember what is most important is that your fabric is pinned evenly.  You don't want the left side of your piece to be really tight while the right side is loose. As long as you do this, your seams will match up nicely and things will be straight and even.

Other posts in the series:
Part 1: The Basics
Part 2: Measuring and What Kind of Fabric to Buy
Part 3: How to pick your fabric
Part 4: How to cut your fabric without cutting off a finger
Part 5: Let's start cutting fabric to measure
Part 7: Let's Press
Part 8: Leaders and Enders

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Perfect Fabric for my action packed daughter

My Oldest is high energy and all imagination.  She loves playing like she's a creature, typically a different one every day.  Yesterday she was a dolphin.  She's been a porcupine, narwhal, mountain goat.  She also loves to be Princess Leia, an astronaut and ninja. 

Okay.  Put this kid next her daddy while watching Pirates of the Caribbean...and you got it, now she wants to be a pirate and she told me she wants to marry a pirate...ummmmm...righty then.  I can just see her now, at 25, fulfilling all her dreams. We've continued to encourage her to do whatever she wants, that as a girl she can do anything and is just as good...okay, better than the boys.  She's at University to become an astrophysicist/Veterinarian while taking night classes to master tae kwon do...but, the opportunity to marry a pirate has just never materialized.  What's a girl to do?    Maybe she'll out grow the whole...want to marry a pirate thing...but keep going towards the astrophysicist thing.

Luckily I found this fabric.  If she can't marry a pirate, at least she gets to have a pirate quilt on her bed.  Girl pirates.  Much cooler than boy pirates.  This is Out To Sea by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller.  I am in love with this fabric.  I want a quilt made from it for myself.

She loves maps and globes!  There's narwhals!!!  Mermaids!!  And ships!!

I am so excited to turn this into something amazing for her...and from the picture at the top, I think she's pretty excited herself!

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Add a completion to my long, long, WIP to do list

amigurumi black hair girl

I have to confess to having a very large WIP to-do list.  I am a crafter, and therefore I am fickle.  I want to do what I want when I want.  This means, to my husband's dismay, that I try never to get anything done.  I'm always starting something new.

If you remember from my post on The Junk in my Trunk a few weeks ago, I dragged an unfinished amigurumi out from behind my sewing machine.  My Youngest found it and insisted that, as her sister had a home-made dolly made by me, that she wanted one for herself.  Stat.  I aim to please.  Besides, I was really close to being done.  This cute little gal only needed a leg a face sewn on and her shoes completed.  Not too difficult.  It's kind of amazing how much kinder this gal looks now that she has a sweet smile sewn on...before she looked kind of...evil.  I also had to add a serious amount of PINK to it.  MY Youngest only loves pink.  This doll was actually meant for another child and didn't get finished in My Youngest has claimed it as her own.  Fair's fair.

You know you're doing some serious crochet when you've got 3 place markers so you can keep track of what you're doing.  Turned out cute though, didn't they?   I'd like to say this is the first time I've actually made the bottom of the shoes correctly.  I am so proud...only took me about 10 times!  Yay!

I did learn something by making the hair on this doll, if you choose to use black yarn, it will look like the doll is going gray.  You have to drag your needle through the fluff inside...and some fluff will come out and look like gray hairs.  Oh well.  My dad went prematurely gray, maybe my kids should just embrace the inevitable?

Here's the crocheted crew hanging out.  My Oldest's bunny rabbit.  My Youngest's....humanoid and a unicorn.  What, that doesn't look like a unicorn to you?  Me either.  I actually think I created a new creature when I made it and called it a...lizacorn  It's a new and unique breed of mythical creature.  There's a post on it.  It's insightful.

My favorite amigurumi though...has to be...

The Mini Lord of the Dance.  Sigh.  Yes, this may well be my greatest creation.  Love making fun little critters...including adding nipples to some of them.

Thanks for reading!

Shared here:
feathers flights


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Part 5. Let's get cutting! How to quilt from the very beginning

It's time!!!  This post is going to be about actual cutting the fabric for very own table runner.  But, before we get started I want you to refresh your memory by glancing back through the previous posts in this series...especially How to cut your fabric so you don't lose a finger Ummm...yeah.  Seriously.  Go look at it.  Please.  You think you know how to cut your fabric...maybe you do.  Just humor me.

Okay, now that you've refreshed yourself on the rules, let's get busy!

There are two quilt.  I use a little bit of both methods.

1.  Cut out ALL of your fabric first and then sew it all together.  This way is good if you're in a hurry and want to get your project done ASAP.  If I am using one fabric over and over and over again, I will cut a bunch of that particular fabric and have it ready to go.  For example, in our table runner, I will cut out plenty of my main fabric as well as the white strips....they get used a lot!

2.  Cut as you go.  I like to be in the moment when I sew and sometimes that means changing fabric mid-project.  I like to feel how things are progressing and be able to fiddle with things if I want.  And I don't want to feel like I've wasted fabric. I hate to cut fabric and not use it.  So, I will use the cut as you go method for all the miscellaneous blocks in the table runner.  This doesn't mean cutting out chunks from your length of fabric and only cutting one square at a time, that would be silly and would end up wasting fabric.  What I do is I cut my 5" strip along the entire width of the fabric and then chop that into the 5" x 5" pieces.  So, really I have a few squares of each of my fabrics ready to go...but I haven't cut it all out.

Let's get cutting! 

Take your white fabric and cut a strip 5" across the width of the fabric.  Now take that long strip of 5" fabric, turn it horizontally and cut it into 1" strips.  Now you'll have several 5" x 1" strips of white fabric.  Set these aside.

Do the same thing with your 5" x 5" squares.  Make sure to cut a bunch of your main fabric and then a selection of all your others.  This way you can play with your fabric arrangement until your find something you love.  My arrangement is in a checkerboard pattern.  Row 1: Main Fabric, Misc Fabric. Main Fabric.  Row 2: Misc. Fabric.  Main Fabric.  Misc. Fabric...repeat.

The last thing we're going to do in this post is prep your blocks for sewing.  I want you to look at the above picture, this is a few steps from here, but you are going to sew the white strips to the right side of each 5" x 5" block only.  The exception to this is your first block which is going to have a white strip on the left and right sides.  You don't need to sew a white strip to both sides of each block because you are sewing the blocks together so there will be a white strip between them.

It's easy to prep.  Take your 5" x 5" square and take a white strip and put them together, right sides together and pin top and bottom.  The phrase "right sides together" is going to be something you hear an awful lot of...

..and this is why.  The "right side" is the pretty part of the fabric that you want to look at.  By putting right side to right side, this means the seam or the line where two pieces of fabric are held together with stitches is on the back side of your fabric...the part you don't want to see because it's ugly.  You wouldn't want this to be on the front of your quilt.

how to quilt

Plan out a few rows and lay out your prepped pieces, like this...ready to sew!! 

* Remember, my table runner has 3 squares per row, so this means I need 4: 1" x 5" white strips of fabric for every row and 3: 5" x 5" squares.  If your table runner is a different size, you must plan accordingly.  The first square in the row has a white strip on the left and right sides, all others just have one white strip, on the right side. 

*Remember, put your fabric right sides together.  It doesn't make a difference which side you use with a solid as both sides are the right side, but pay attention to your patterned pieces, otherwise the seam ripper will be making an appearance. 

* Remember, you will make a mistake and sew on the wrong side of the fabric a few times.  This is okay. Just grab your seam ripper and you can make it all better.

* Remember, you will cut your fabric to the wrong size at some point.  Don't let it get you down, just remember to measure twice and cut once!

Can't wait for next time!!!

Other posts in the series:
Part 1: The Basics
Part 2: Measuring and What Kind of Fabric to Buy
Part 3: How to Pick your Fabric
Part 4: The rules of cutting...aka no bleeding
Part 6: How to Pin Properly
Part 7: Let's Press
Part 8: Leaders and Enders

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Time for Pi


Know what that is? It's pi. Know what day it is...3-14...otherwise known as pi day. So, obviously there's nothing else to do but...make pie. Here in the US we are kind of devoid of any delicious and fresh produce to make pie at this time of year, so I'm going to show you my pie that dreams are made of...Double Chocolate Pudding Pie. Oh baby!  And if you want to make this for St. Patrick's Day this weekend, just put some green dye in the whipped cream.  Perfect St. Paddy's dessert.  This post is long, but that's because there are a few steps to making this pie.  None of them are difficult, but be prepared for a read....but do it because it's worth it.  Trust me.

double chocolate pudding pie

I come from a legacy of fine pie makers...well, one anyway. My Grandma Evelyn is known for making pies and I have the fondest memories of eating pie all year long at my Grandma's house. Whether it was fresh raspberry pie in the summer or Homemade Apple Sauce Pie in the winter, it was ALWAYS pie. And I have failed for so long when it comes to making pie crust. And I was desperate to make a good crust! I have almost achieved that.

My crusts still aren't beautiful, but they are tasty! So, I am almost there! Use This Tutorial when making your crust, especially if you live in the dessert.  If you have zero humidity in the air, it makes it very difficult to get an amazing crust.  This will change your life.

The first step to making Heaven in a pie, is to make your crust and blind bake it.

Here are the instructions for blind baking pie crust.

Blind Baking Pie Crust
Heat oven to 425.
Place your pie crust in the pie plate, I use and love the Pyrex pie plates. Crimp the edges if you're fancy.
Place parchment paper over the crust and fill it with pie weights, or be like me and use uncooked beans. This will keep your crust flat and smooth during baking. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the edges are lightly browned.
Reduce oven temp. to 375.
Remove the parchment and beans from crust and place back in oven until golden brown all over. This took me approximately 10 minutes.

The picture above is my crust with drippy, hot ganache poured in...this pie has layers and layers of goodness.  Once you've baked your crust and let it cool, it's time for the ganache.

Ganache Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living Enough to coat 2 pies
5.5 oz coarsely chopped dark chocolate (use the good stuff...and don't make the same mistake I did and coarsely chop the chocolate too coarse. It needs to be fine enough to melt fairly quickly)
2/3 C. Heavy Cream
Pinch of Salt

Have your chocolate chopped and ready and waiting in a nearby bowl with the salt in it.
Bring your cream JUST to a boil.
Pour the hot cream over the waiting chocolate. Let it sit without touching it for 10 minutes. If you decide to stir early, it can cause your ganache to go grainy.
Whisk the cream and chocolate until smooth and shiny. This will emulsify the cream and chocolate and complete your ganache.

Pour the ganache into the cooled pie crust and twist the pie plate around and around until the ganache has evenly coated the pie along the bottom and up the sides. Swirl until the chocolate has begun to settle a bit and won't all pool in the bottom once you stop the swirling.

Chocolate coated pie after spending a night in the fridge.   The nice thing about this pie is that you can make it partially ahead of time.  Blind bake your crust and pour in the ganache the night before and you'll be ahead of the game!

Now for the pudding part...

Remember the 7 P's when it comes to this pie. It is very important. Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. It is very necessary to have your chocolate chopped and ready to go. Have your vanilla sitting there waiting for you and have the necessary tools that you are going to need. Today instead of using all Caullebaut Dark Chocolate, I used 1/4 Callebaut milk chocolate to make it a little more kid friendly. My Youngest not only licked her spoon clean, but when she saw Daddy and his taste of pudding, decided she would trade him her spoon (already licked)  for his. He feels he got the short end of the stick on that deal.

I mostly used Smitten Kitchen's Best Chocolate Pudding recipe. But as she does, I mixed it up a little bit. So here is my recipe and step by step instructions.  My mother tried making this pudding and she followed Smitten Kitchen's instructions to the letter and her pie ended up watery, as the pudding never set up. Here's the thing about making home-made pudding or custard. It takes a LONG time!!! So be ready. She used a double boiler as the recipe calls for. Don't use a double boiler. Just use a heavy-bottom pan and be prepared to stir, non-stop, for the entire time!

Make sure you have the appropriate tools. You need a rubber scraper and a whisk. And have the chopped chocolate and vanilla sitting close by as when you're ready to use them you need them handy!

Homemade Chocolate Pudding
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Serves 6 in pudding form and fills 1 pie shell if you're making if you're making 2 pies, double this

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 cups whole milk ( this is important. Do not skimp and use 1% instead)
6 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped. (Use the good stuff. I like Callebaut
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Put the cornstarch, sugar and salt in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Stir to combine. Add the milk slowly, whisking all the while to prevent lumps. Turn your heat to medium. 3/4 of the time I use the rubber scraper and 1/4 of the time I whisk. I make sure to scrape all over the bottom of the pan as well as along the sides and make sure you get the crease where the sides meet the bottom of the pan with your rubber scraper.

The thing is, you don't want your pudding to scorch! This will happen if the pudding sits for too long without having been stirred and will ruin your pudding. Once the pudding heats up a bit, but WAAAYY before it boils, turn your heat to low/medium low. I am too impatient to continuously cook it on low. It really would take forever. But because I am cooking it faster, I have to be extra vigilant that it doesn't scorch. So I will use the rubber scraper for about 3 minutes or so and then for 1 minute I will whisk whisk whisk. I do this for the entire time.

You are looking for the pudding to thicken into a nice thick consistency that will coat the back of your spoon. This is a tricky thing to figure out. Here it is not thick enough. The pudding was beginning to seep back over the line I made. You want it to hold the shape you make in the pudding. You will actually be able to feel when the pudding begins to thicken. As you stir, it will feel different. At this point BE EXTRA CAREFUL!!! and make sure you scrape everywhere all the time!  Pay extra attention to the sides and the spot between the sides and the bottom!!

Here's the pudding at the point I felt it was ready. I hope you can see the difference, it was thick, held it's shape and really did not seep back into the line I made.

2. Add the chocolate! Dump the chocolate in and whisk until combined.

3. Remove the pudding from the stove and add the vanilla. Whisk like crazy again. Once you put the vanilla in, the pudding will look like it's going to separate for a minute, but after you've stirred it in, it will be perfect and thick and delicious!

Like this!!! See how thick it is. It completely coats that rubber scraper and isn't going anywhere!!!

Again, I am the impatient sort, so to help my pudding cool faster, I put it in the fridge. I make sure to whisk it every couple of minutes as it cools. I do not want it to form a skin on the top. GROSS! The reason I want to cool it, is, I don't want it to melt the ganache that's already on the crust.

Once mostly cool, pour into your pie.

Smooth out the tops.

Then put in the fridge to cool...


Make extra sure that you press plastic wrap directly on the top of the pudding. This will prevent a nasty skin from forming and keep your pudding smooth and creamy.

3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

I wanted to show you the bottom of my pan so you can know what it should look like. As you can see there is nothing that has cooked onto the bottom of the pan. It is clean of any scorched pudding. This is due to diligent scraping and whisking. After having everything prepped and ready to go, this is the most important step.

Once the pudding is fully cooled, whip up a batch of vanilla whipped cream and top the pie with an excessive amount of the good stuff.

Prepare to be in heaven.

Make this pie....and when it comes to be gooseberry season make: Fresh Gooseberry Pie
Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Homemade Vinaigrette...for 1

If your kids are anything like mine, they probably like one kind of salad dressing...ranch.  Now, ranch is a dip for veggies, but if you ask me, it's not good for salads.  I prefer blue cheese dressing or vinaigrette.
I prefer to make my own vinaigrette because I can play with the proportions and cater to whatever whim I'm feeling like at the moment.  So, I am going to give you the proportions you need to whip up your very own vinaigrette for one...and then you are going to take it from there and make vinaigrette your own!
Classic proportions of vinaigrette are: 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar...or acid, really. 
I like a tangier vinaigrette and usually go: 2 parts oil to 1 part acid.
You can use your favorite vinegar or citrus for the acid.  I really like lemon juice and red wine vinegar.
Some classic ingredients in vinaigrettes are: Dijon mustard, garlic, shallots, fresh herbs, and a dash of something sweet like honey or sugar to balance the flavors.
So, here's the vinaigrette recipe I made for my dinner tonight of chicken salad with vinaigrette...and it was pretty  much awesome.
Vinaigrette for 1
Oil.  I used extra virgin olive oil...about 2 Tbl I would say
Red Wine Vinegar...just a touch under 1 Tbl.  It's hard to say, I wasn't measuring, just pouring.
Very small dollop of Dijon mustard
A couple dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
A small dollop of Sriracha hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Place all of the ingredients in a small mason jar and shake, shake, shake to emulsify...which basically just means to bring the oil and vinegar together, into harmony long enough for you to eat.  Taste.  If you think it needs something...add it.  This is your dressing.
Pour over your salad and enjoy!
Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tongue in Cheek Tuesday...Junk in our Trunks...

This is the first time I'm joining up for Tongue in Cheek Tuesday...but, it might be because their "challenge"fits me perfectly. 

Right then...Where do I put my junk?  Now, if you ask my beleagured husband, where I put my junk...he might bemoan, "Where does she NOT put her junk."

Now, that's just not nice, because one person's junk is another person's...I'm going to work on that SOMDAY...and...You actually expect me to only work on only ONE THING AT A TIME....and, because he knows I never only work on one thing at a seriously want me to...PUT THE OTHER THING(S) AWAY?!?!??!? and not leave them all over every available surface?!?!?!  No, seriously?

Now, I'm not going to talk about my junk drawers, because my junk drawers are so perfectly organized and categorized by kingdom, class, genus and species...that you would agree with ME that they are actually not junk drawers but lovely little havens for my....hundreds of pens that no longer write...because I'm going to get refills for them, my magazine rip outs of how to decorate the perfect sun porch (when I do not actually possess a sun porch...or have any hope ever having one), my expired credit cards that I have shredded HALF the card and am waiting for the perfect time to shred the other half so that some fiend cannot steal my precious card info...the pins that I have picked up off the floor....before anybody had a chance to step on them and imbed them in their foot...oh yes, my junk drawers are just fine, thank you very much...

The area I may have a problem with is...

My sewing look, I am sure I can justify the presence of every thing here...let's just try...shall we?

1.  Well..okay, this one's easy.  I was hosting fabric tryouts just yesterday for the new quilt I am making for My Oldest....aha...and it was much more convenient to just stack them there instead of putting them back.

2.  My pattern that I sketched for My Oldest's new quilt, and another one I was thinking about.  Yes...those are actually patterns.  Very necessary.

3.  A book...that I glanced through to see if there were better instructions on how to make mitred corners...which I am thinking of using for My Oldest's quilt. 

Well, obviously I am off to a good start.  I clearly needed all of these in a heap behind my sewing machine as I was just using them yesterday.  Let's carry on, shall we...

1.  Okay, well this is a piece of the Shoo Fly tutorial I made...a month ago and haven't touched well as pieces of my Beginners Table Runner that I also haven't needed in...let's just say...a while...but I might work on it...someday, so obviously need it handy.

2.  Oh yes, see, this is very important.  Random Measurements from...SOMETHING.  I might figure out what it's for.  Best to leave it there.

3.  Okay, well my rotary cutter is in this one.  Obviously a the rosettes I made for my Inspiration Cafe tut on Rosettes and I only worked on these a few weeks ago...several  hexi patterns...that I cut from 1.5" to 1" and then proceded to lose...and have now found them...yay!  Of course I am no longer planning on using them at the moment...Random spools of thread...fabric scraps, my leatherman tool (which my husband stole from me to use for fishing and I have since stolen back and proceded to place it in the very useful spot of...behind the sewing machine to never be used again)...and a cd of images of my child....I do not have anything that I could actually view these on, in my sewing room...but still a good place to store them...I'm sure.

4. The leatherman again...obviously I think I might need to use it.  A card my own child made for me...(it's important to store these treasured momentos where you can easily access them whenever said child is having a massive meltdown and you need to remember a time when they loved you).  Sparkly bedazzle my sewing machine...maybe?  Random buttons.  A hexi that I was experimenting with and decided was of course I chose to keep it, instead of throw it away...oh, oh oh, and my pins.  VERY Important in sewing.

As you can see, a pile behind my sewing machine is probably where you, yourself would store these I right, or am I right?

1.  A mostly sewn amigurumi and its yarn...that I had absolutely no plan to work on and actually finish...but now My Youngest has found it and insisted I finish it for her...Lucky me...another project to add to my it was already a project waiting to be glad I had it right there...waiting...

2.  More patterns....not currently being worked all.

3.  And even more fabric...again there is no current plan in the works with said is simply sitting there...collecting dust...I mean, giving me visual inspiration...

Well, it's clear that I have shown that all the above needed  to be where it was...and there was no real reason for me to...

...actually do tidying and make a nice, clean work space...Shhhhhhh...don't tell The Mister.  He might start expecting this sort of thing in the kitchen where I have the stash of thread, and my daughters' projects....or down by the TV, where I have the half-sewn projects stashed in every conceivable drawer and cupboard...or in our bedroom where I have the half-learned knitting project that I have since forgotten how to knit and is in his side-table drawer....

You should check out the other ladies who are participating in tongue in cheek tuesday, I've got some good buddies who are co-hosting and they make me laugh every day!

Thanks for reading!!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

peanut butter chocolate frosting

This is my go-to frosting because I always have the necessary ingredients on hand. They're pantry items: chocolate, peanut butter and butter. That's it. Thanks Mary from Sweet Little Bluebird who thinks putting this frosting on her Wacky Cake is the perfect frosting and, ummmm, let me say that I agree completely. This frosting is great for cake, and cookies, and to eat by the spoonful while I'm writing. 

P.S. I'm currently trying my hand at writing romance novels. Check out my page up above to see what's what. Or click here and you'll get right to it. But, enough of that craziness, let's get to the frosting.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting Ingredients
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbl. Creamy Peanut Butter
1.5 Tbl. softened butter

If you have a double boiler, you can use it. Or be like me and get a pot of simmering water going, then put a large enough glass bowl that it won't touch the water, on top.

Finely chop your chocolate if you're using a large block of chocolate or a bar. You can also use nice-quality semi-sweet chocolate chips, like Guittard.  If you're using the block, chop carefully. 

Place your chocolate, peanut butter, and butter in the bowl resting on top of the simmering pot. 

Let it all meld together. 

Stir until nice and smooth. 

Once everything's completely melted you need to decide how you're going to use the frosting. 

If you're going to spread it on a cake, pour the frosting over while warm and still liquid. Spread it evenly with your offset spatula. It will cool and set up nice and smooth. Bonus points: the cake can even be warm at this point!! It won't hurt the frosting and you can get on with all the other things on your list.

For cookies, let the frosting cool and use it in a piping bag (let's be honest you can do this with the cake, too,if you want to be fancy). To get it to cool faster I put it in the fridge, but pay attention! As soon as it has thickened to frosting consistency, get it in your piping bag and get to work FAST! it will get too thick to pipe in minutes.

This frosting is for whenever your sweet tooth needs a fix of rich, chocolaty, peanut-buttery goodness. There's a bit of time involved if you are going to chill it, but trust me, put a little effort in and you will be rewarded. This frosting is flat out, amazing! And it's so nice to always have the ingredients on hand. 
Making the frosting with semi-sweet chocolate chips this time. Don't worry, everything will melt together just fine. 
This crazy cake just came out of the oven. The frosting and cake are still hot. 

This is how it turned out once everything cooled. So pretty. 

This recipe is the perfect amount for a cake this size made in an 8 x 8 pan.  If you are going to double the cake recipe, double the frosting recipe as well.

See what else I've used this versatile frosting for:

As piped frosting on vanilla shortbread cookies.  Think Valentine's Day!
And covering a chocolate sheet cake. The perfectly frosted cake for a crowd. I microwaved the frosting this time for ease! Please note, if you use the microwave, run it on half-power about 1 minute at a time. You do not want to burn your chocolate. This is a great fast way to melt, but burning is possible with this method where it's not possible with the double boiler.

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