Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


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Let’s Make Christmas Cookies!

Christmas Cookies by Squirrel Picnic Roundup

I love baking Christmas cookies, but I think I love crocheting them even more. With my Christmas cookie patterns you can crochet a whole platter of cookies! Put some out for Santa or hang them on your Christmas tree. Use them as present toppers to add a memorable touch to your gifts. Or make a batch for the kids to play with. I hope you enjoy all of these fun Christmas cookie recipes… er, patterns.

View the complete directory of Christmas cookie patterns… Continue reading


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Help me decide and you could win!

Should crochet cookies have smiley faces?

Cast your vote now by commenting Yes or No,
and on Friday I’ll choose one lucky winner at random to receive a crochet cookie!


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Seven Quart Crock-Pot Green Chile

green-chile1Imagine coming home after a long day of work, perhaps even commuting through the snow, to the aroma of green chile simmering in your Crock-Pot. Just one bowl is enough to warm you up and put a smile on your face. I originally created this recipe for my husband when we were first marriedit’s one of his favorite meals. Since then it has won first place at a chile cook-off and been my favorite meal to make for family. It’s perfect for so many occasions, from a weeknight dinner to a potluck. I know your family will enjoy it as much as mine has.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. vegetable oil
salt and pepper
5 lbs. pork shoulder, trimmed from the bone and cut into hand-size pieces
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 lb. tomatillos, husked and diced
2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes with juice
2 lbs. Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, and diced
4-6 jalapenos, roasted, peeled, and diced
3 tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted in a dry pan over low heat, shaking the pan frequently, until aromatic
2 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. Mexican oregano
1 tbsp. red chili powder
¼ tsp. cayenne
¼ c. flour

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Season pork with salt and pepper and brown in skillet.
  3. To the Crock-Pot, add garlic, onions, tomatillos, tomatoes, and peppers. Stir in spices.
  4. Remove pork from skillet and arrange in Crock-Pot.
  5. Sprinkle flour into pan and stir to create a roux. Tuck spoonfuls of roux in amongst the pork.
  6. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 to 7 hours.
  7. Shred pork with a fork and let simmer for 30 minutes more.


Inspiration for the Weekend

Check out this awesome knitted fast food by Bonnie Burton, co-owner of Colorful Stitches in Lenox, Massachusetts. On her Colorful Stitches blog, Bonnie also features knitted sculptures of other favorite foods, including pizza, lobster, spaghetti and meatballs, and a giant chocolate cake. Yum!Burger


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Springerles: Celebrate the Holidays with This Traditional German Cookie

The springerle is an anise-flavored, eggshell-white cookie that is said to have originated from German-speaking parts of Europe. Typically baked for the holidays, this cookie is best known for its beautiful embossed designs.

I have many fond memories of Christmasses spent with family, the adults relishing the springerles my mother had baked while the kids nibbled at less exotic treats. We kids all considered the springerle to be a stuffy, grownup cookie. “An acquired taste,” my mother would say. I remember how at these holiday gatherings the adult conversation would always turn to a debate over the best way to eat the springerles. Some would claim that they are best when they’re less than a week old and still soft. Others would swear that you should never eat them until at least two weeks had passed, until they are rock hard and require dipping in tea or soaking in rum in order to eat them without breaking a tooth. I didn’t care for them as a child, but the first time I tried one as an adult, I was hooked. Anyone who loves the flavor of licorice will love this cookie too. Continue reading