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Need a boyfriend? Try knitting.

Need a boyfriend? Try knitting.

My chickens love their winter sweaters.

Dear Anna,
I don’t know how to knit or crochet, but I know your knitting has helped many of your grandchildren find true love. Can you give me some suggestions on what to knit if I want to attract a boy?
Signed: Willing to Knit from Dalton

Dear Willing,
I’m wonderful happy to hear that you want to learn how to knit. You will be amazed at how many boys will flock to your door if they think you can make a scarf. Over the years I have found potholders, scarves, and mittens to be wonderful helps in matchmaking. My scarves have even saved…

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The Quilting Bee—Decorating With Quilts: Try Something Small

The Quilting Bee—Decorating With Quilts: Try Something Small

Good morning, fellow quilt lovers! Today I want to tell you about different ways to display quilts in your home without hanging them on the wall. Last month, I showed you some beautiful quilts, but they were all large and required significant wall space to hang. Remember this quilt?

I love the way it brightens up the room. But what do you do if you want to decorate with quilts, but you don’t have any large, unused walls? No need to fret. The photos below show examples of small quilts displayed in unusual ways. …

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July 18, 2016  |  Quilting Bee  |  2 Comments

Putting chickens in a box and other fun activities…

Putting chickens in a box and other fun activities...

By Alesha Thompson (Jennifer’s sister)

Fall in Wisconsin was in full swing when my husband and I decided it was time to sell the chickens. We keep chickens in the summer because they are fun, easy, and a great source of fresh eggs! But once it gets cold, which it always does in Wisconsin, the chickens become a whole lot of work that neither my husband nor I want to do. So every fall, my husband posts “chickens for sale” on Craig’s List and the chickens go to some other happy farmer for the winter.

This worked all well and good until…

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July 11, 2016  |  Family, Farming&Gardening, Humor  |  13 Comments

Roasted Glazed Vegetables

Roasted Glazed Vegetables

In the world of healthy food, I love vegetables.  I prefer them to fruit 9 times out of 10.  So I love to look for new ways to prepare them.  This is a delicious way to eat root vegetables.  You can combine your favorites, or just stick with one kind.  Turnips, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and onions are all possibilities for this recipe.  I did this particular glaze recipe here at The Slow Roasted Italian.  They use it for pork, which I’ve done, and its excellent.  But today I’m using it to give some life to my veggies, and because…

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July 5, 2016  |  Cooking  |  2 Comments

The Honeybee Sisters are coming! Stay tuned…

The Honeybee Sisters are coming! Stay tuned...

My idea for my new “Honeybee Sisters” series was born on a beautiful September day on an Amish farm in northeastern Wisconsin. Our tour guide took us to a beautiful farmhouse on the outskirts of Bonduel and introduced us to the Amish woman who lived there. She had the most beautiful yard and garden with grape vines and chrysanthemums and pumpkins, and I fell in love with the place.

This farmhouse is the setting for “The Honeybee Sisters” series, starting with “Sweet as Honey,” which comes out June 28. I first considered a family of girls who grew chrysanthemums, but my thoughts…

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The Quilting Bee — Decorating Your Home With Quilts: Large Wall Quilts

The Quilting Bee -- Decorating Your Home With Quilts: Large Wall Quilts

 

It probably won’t surprise any of you to hear that I love to decorate with quilts and so do many of my friends and family members. For the next few months, I’m going to showcase some of these beauties and the way they dress up an ordinary room. Note: All of the quilts below are hanging in real houses, just the way you see them. Nothing has been changed for the photo shoot (if you can call taking pics with my camera a “shoot”).

One of the best places to use a quilt is on a large, blank wall.  Blank walls…

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June 20, 2016  |  Quilting Bee  |  6 Comments

Almost time for peach thinning!

Almost time for peach thinning!

It will soon be time to thin peaches. When the peaches are about the size of a walnut they need to be thinned. Peaches should be removed from the limbs leaving them about three to four inches apart. If the tree was pruned properly then not as many peaches will need to be removed. If the peaches are not thinned then the ones that are left will not grow big. It is better to have a few big peaches rather than a lot of little ones. My father would raise a variety named JH Hale peaches. If properly pruned and…

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June 13, 2016  |  Amish, Farming&Gardening, Uncategorized  |  8 Comments

Party Meatloaf with Smoked Gouda Stuffing

Party Meatloaf with Smoked Gouda Stuffing

I love meatloaf. I love cheese. I love stuffing. I love this dish. I recommend serving it with two of your favorite vegetable sides. It will feed 6-8 hungry adults. Don’t let the unorthodox spice pairings scare you, this meatloaf is loaded with flavor. The Smoked Gouda Stuffing goes on top, and you bake it all together. *(insert angels singing here)* Not your mother’s meatloaf, but she’ll love it too.

Start with your croutons. Toss them in a food processor until they are crumbs. Poor these crumbs in a large mixing bowl.

Move to the vegetables. I went with this pairing (suggested…

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June 6, 2016  |  Cooking  |  2 Comments

The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook: Behind the scenes

The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook: Behind the scenes

When I started writing “The Honeybee Sisters” series, about a trio of Amish sisters who keep bees, I knew I wanted to incorporated honey recipes into my books. When I started collecting recipes for the books, I fell in love with the idea of a cookbook with additional honey recipes, written from the point of view of the Honeybee Sisters.

“The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook” was born. My dear friend Tearsa Daines came up with and made all the recipes, and the talented Alicia Johnson took several hundred photos. Tearsa’s daughters are my models, and Tearsa’s kitchen served as my Amish farmhouse.

Since it…

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May 30, 2016  |  Amish, Author's Corner, Cooking  |  14 Comments

Table Runner Show and Tell

Table Runner Show and Tell

I have an announcement this week before I show you beautiful quilts (and a few flowers). Jennifer and I have decided that The Quilting Bee posts on Jennifer’s blog will become once-a-month events, just like the other topics that Jennifer includes in her blogs. My new posts will be shorter, less detailed, but full of beautiful photos of quilts. For the in-depth quilt instructions that so many of you love, I will be starting a new Quilting Bee blog in a few months. Check back here for more details.

Today, I have many photos of the quilted table runners I have…

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May 23, 2016  |  Quilting Bee  |  15 Comments