Family time is the best time, and it’s only better when delicious food and snacks are added! The Doans love family get togethers and there’s nothing more special than dusting off those old family recipe cards and sharing a taste of generations past. If you’re looking for some holiday inspiration this year, try out one our own family recipes and start your own traditions today!
Perfect for the fall season, Pumpkin Rolls are a delicious treat that can be served anytime between Halloween and Thanksgiving (really any time of the year is fine, they’re just that good).
Beat 3 eggs for 5 minutes. Gradually add 1 cup sugar. Stir in ⅔ cup pumpkin and 1 tsp lemon juice.
¾ C Flour
2 Tsp Cinnamon
½ Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Ginger
½ Tsp Salt
Fold into pumpkin mixture. Spread into a greased and floured jelly roll pan. Top with 1 cup chopped walnuts and bake at 375 for 15 minutes only. Turn out onto a towel and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Roll together and cool. Then unroll spread with 1 cup powdered sugar and 6 oz of cream cheese, 4 tsp of butter or margarine, 1 tsp vanilla. Beat together and spread over the roll. Roll and chill.
Caramel Popcorn Balls
Just because Halloween is over doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this INCREDIBLY simple treat! If you’ve never had a popcorn ball before you absolutely have to try this recipe, they’re just so good!
1 Package Brown Sugar
1 Cup White Karo Syrup
1 Stick of Butter
1 Can Evaporated Milk
3 Gallons of Popped Corn
Combine brown sugar and syrup and cook stirring constantly until boiling. Add butter and stir until melted. Add evaporated milk and bring to a boil again over medium heat, cooking until it forms a softball (between 235 and 245 degrees Fahrenheit). Pour over popcorn to form balls and let cool.
Chocolate Pecan Pie
How do you make a pecan pie even better? Add a little chocolate of course! This fall classic with just a little twist is perfect for any family gathering you’ve got coming this year – or just make it for yourself, we won’t judge!
½ Cup Sugar
1 Cup light corn syrup
½ to ¼ cup butter – marg ok
4 eggs – beaten
1 tsp vanilla
⅛ tsp salt
1 cup broken pecans
8-9” pie shell unbaked
Combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a pan – cook on low heat until butter melts. Remove from heat, pour VERY slowly into beaten eggs. Add vanilla, salt, and nuts. Add chocolate chips into the bottom of the pie shell. Pour mixture into pie shell, bake at 350 for 50 mins. Pecan Pie Recipe but sprinkle some chocolate chips on the crust before adding the rest of the filling.
Here’s one you may have never heard of! Pepparkakor is a traditional Swedish cookie that’s very similar to a gingerbread cookie and is a traditional favorite of the Doans. You won’t believe how delicious these thin, crispy cookies are!
¾ Cup Shortening
1 Cup Sugar
1 tbsp Molasses
1 Egg Beaten
2 Cups Flour
2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp each of Cloves, Cinnamon, and Ginger
Cream sugar and shortening together, add egg and molasses, blend well. Add the spices to the flour and sift, then add it to the creamed mixture. Let cool for 1 hour in the refrigerator covered with saran wrap. Then roll into balls the size of walnuts, put onto a cookie sheet, then with glass covered with saran wrap, roll each ball in sugar then flatten with the glass. Put nuts or raisins on them in the middle and bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Who doesn’t love a little pumpkin? This super simple recipe is so easy, you might just have everything you need in your pantry today!
Every year for Halloween, we have big, themed parties. We love any reason to get together, but Halloween is one of our favorites! As many of you know, and for those of you who didn’t know, Jenny started her sewing journey as a costume sewist for the theater. She’s always been a whiz at whipping up costumes! Besides being passionate about dressing up, she loves a reason to decorate the house and always goes all out during the holidays!
Leading up to Halloween, we pick a family theme (last year was Harry Potter and this year is Disney) and then often search Pinterest to find wacky and spooky food inspiration to bring to our party. We keep it easy, but fun!
Besides bowls of candy, here are a few Doan family Halloween snacks that have shown up in recent years.
Past Halloween snack spreads:
One year, Sarah was inspired to shape some meatloaf into . . . you guessed it, a foot. To make this, take your family favorite meatloaf recipe and get to cooking! All you need to do is shape up your meatloaf into a foot shape, add an onion ankle bone and some onion toe nails, and you’ve got yourself a spooky but tasty treat!
Mummy and Monster Cookies:
For these easy treats, just take some white melting chocolate, melt it, and for the Nutter Butter Mummies, drape and drizzle it over the cookies. For the Oreo Monsters, add some green food coloring and dip the cookies into it! Add some eyeball sprinkles before the chocolate sets and you’re good to go!
Happy Halloween! Do you have any family Halloween traditions? What are some of your favorite Halloween candies or treats?
The Doan family loves getting together and throwing a party! Especially in the summertime, we gather at one of our houses to be together outside and eat good food.
Sometimes we swim, sometimes we camp, sometimes we bring out the dirt bikes and ride around playing dirt bike soccer, but no matter what we do, we always have good food and good company!
Accompanying our hamburgers and hotdogs and varieties of chips, here are a few of our favorite family barbeque side dishes!
A family barbeque classic — we love our potato salad!
6 medium potatoes (2 pounds)
1 Tablespoon minced dried onion
1⁄3 cup dill pickle relish
2 Tablespoons dill pickle juice
1 1⁄4 cups mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons mustard
1 teaspoon garlic salt (to taste)
4 hardboiled eggs – cooked, peeled and grated.
Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water until tender.
Drain well, and let cool.
Cube potatoes into a large bowl.
Add onion, relish and grated eggs to bowl.
Combine mayo, mustard, garlic salt, and pickle juice.
Add mayo mixture to bowl.
Mix well to coat potatoes and combine all ingredients.
Cover and chill thoroughly. Enjoy!
The perfect barbeque side to compliment your spread!
1 lb hamburger
1/2 onion, chopped
5-6 cans of beans, drained (red, black, and pinto) mix em’ up!
1 green pepper, chopped
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cans chopped tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
Brown the hamburger and cook the onions, then mix it all together in a crock-pot and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours!
Jenny’s favorite is the strawberry pie. We never have a summer party without it!
1 9″ frozen pie crust, baked
1 cup of sugar
1 1/2 cups of water
1/4 cup of cornstarch
1 lb of sliced strawberries
1 (3oz) package of strawberry jello
Bake pie crust according to package directions, remove and then let cool.
While the crust is in the oven, add sugar and water to a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk the cornstarch in slowly and make sure there are no leftover lumps. Stir continuously for about 4-5 minutes until the mixture is thickened and turns a little clear.
Remove from heat and whisk in the strawberry jello mix until completely dissolved. Let this mixture cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, toss in the strawberries and make sure they are evenly distributed. Pour into pie crust.
Place in the refrigerator to set for about 2-3 hours and then serve! (Add whipped cream if desired!)
Do you have some fun family and friend traditions? What are some of your favorite barbeque side dishes?
Behind every quilt is a story, and we want to hear yours! BLOCK Magazine is always looking to publish original stories from quilters like you. We believe that everyone has an important story to tell and that sharing our stories brings us closer together. As we listen, learn, and grow, greater inspiration enters our lives and our capacity to care expands. No matter how simple you believe your story to be, it’s worth sharing.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when submitting your story:
– We prefer stories under 500 words in Microsoft Word or Google Documents format. – There is a limit of 2 photos per article. – Stories should relate back to sewing and quilting. – When sharing personal details, do keep in mind that your story could be published. – We won’t publish your name without your permission, and we reserve the right to edit your story. -If your story is chosen to appear in an issue of BLOCK, we’ll be sure to send you a complimentary copy!
Here are some examples of quilting stories and comments that have touched our hearts and made us smile:
“Back in February 2019, there was a horrific snow and ice storm that hit our little corner of the world, and I was snowed in at Hamilton (I live about a 45-minute drive away from Quilt Town, USA.) At this same time, a group of gals were attending a retreat in town, and being that quilters are some of the best people around, they took me in as part of their retreat (and even added me to their Facebook group!). Some taught me how to use a machine and cheered me on as I stitched together a charm square pillow. They shared their meals with me, and completely welcomed a stray right into their little family. I still keep in touch with some of the wonderful friends I met at that retreat!” -Mary B.
“I think I was born to quilt. I remember as a little girl walking through the dime store and wishing I had money for packets of fabric squares. My dad was a JC Penney manager. Managers received packets of 8” x 10” pieces of paper with small pieces of fabric glued on them. That is how they ordered fabric for the stores. Dad often would bring his “book work” home with him and order while watching football on Sundays. Once ordered, he would throw the papers away. I would take them, tear off these tiny bits of fabric, and try to hand sew them together. My favorite department in the store was pieced goods. My favorite people were Bernadine, a farm wife who worked in that department, and Dad, who always had a dime for a skein of embroidery floss. I was a teenager before I earned enough money to buy fabric, but I remember going down to the basement and being happy the fabric came in three different color ways. Then my grandpa gave me his mother’s quilting frame. In my 20’s I would save my lunch money and buy fabric. Dad’s store closed in 1989. When I first saw the story of Missouri Star Quilt Company, I saw that JC Penney sign in the store and cried. And then I had to show that article to Dad! Your store will always hold a place in my heart, how fitting you opened it in an old JC Penney store. I love your story! Dad is 89 now, and in a nursing home, but the pieced goods was both our favorite department. I’m in my 60s now, and I still tuck away a little money until I can buy fabric. And my favorite thing, still to this day, is taking bits of fabric and sewing them together.” -Erin D.
UFOs By Lisa B.
“I suspect that, second only to stash size, the number of unfinished projects a quilter has is the greatest cause of shame and guilt. We’ve spent a good bit of money on whatever we have sitting there half sewn together, and probably considerable time as well. So it seems a waste, doesn’t it, to allow the effort it would take to finish it keep us from doing just that. Half-finished objects are simply of no use.
“Like most quilters I know, I had multiple unquilted tops and multiple projects that were in various stages of completion. I had begun working full-time and didn’t have the time and energy to devote to it like I once had. One week, I received the terrible news that someone very close to me was experiencing severe medical issues. The week I found out, I remembered a top I very much liked that would be perfect for this person and I was able to quilt it and gift it by the end of the weekend! I had fretted over that beautiful top sitting in a drawer for two years, but I was so very thankful to have it that week. Had I quilted it any earlier, I would have surely given it to someone else, and then had nothing when I wanted it most.
“After that top, I started noticing that my sewing machine was not being as dependable as it once was. Since I still had very little time to devote to the hobby, I didn’t replace it and found myself sewing less and less. Then, I saw my dream machine for an incredible price. I decided it was the perfect time to replace my machine, and jumped on the offer before it was gone. Now, you may have noticed that I have twice already mentioned that I don’t have much time to devote to the hobby, so what better to work on than my own unfinished objects! It’s patterns and fabrics that I picked out, and half the work is already done! I am thoroughly enjoying making the most of the time I do have to finish quilts and table runners and pillows—whatever I started and abandoned years ago.
“Obviously, it makes no sense to keep cranking out half-projects and letting them pile up, but within reason, I would try not to let it weigh me down too much. There very well might be a time in the future when you’re very glad to have them.”
“I heard of Project Linus after Hurricane Harvey in 2017, when Missouri Star sent thousands of blankets to Texas. I researched the organization but discovered there was no chapter to serve NW Missouri. So, I called the nationwide headquarters, applied for a chapter and began making blankets for kids. Blankets are security, a sense of comfort when life is hard. We attach a poem to each blanket we give, that reads, ‘Linus has a blanket that’s all his very own. It comforts and sustains him when he’s feeling quite alone. He knows that others love him for ’twas made with special care, and because it means so much to him, it’s carried everywhere. You too can have a blanket that’s created just for you to comfort and support you when you’re feeling rather blue. It’s yours to keep forever, so you may always know that others out there love you and to you, our blessings go.’”—Barbara O.
Rainbow Quilts By Mary G.
“I had only been quilting, if you want to call it that, for less than a year when I found out I was pregnant at the end of 2016. I was all geared up to make a baby quilt for my new arrival and turned to Missouri Star on Youtube to teach me how to make one properly. Sadly though, I lost my baby girl 18 weeks into my pregnancy. The little blanket I had started for her, I finished quickly and had with me to wrap her in at delivery. I cherish that I was able to give her at least one present from Mom.
“In the months that followed, I found out I was pregnant again. I decided this time to make a rainbow-colored quilt for my soon-to-be rainbow baby. I watched many Missouri Star tutorials before getting started because I wanted to get it right! Plenty of time and money was spent getting beautiful fabrics in every color of the rainbow. After I had made it through the first trimester of this pregnancy, it was time to get started on the rainbow quilt. I only made it through the beginning stages of my rainbow quilt, however, before I found out that my rainbow baby didn’t make it. I lost another baby girl at 18 weeks again, all in the same year.
“Although my grief was intense, I decided to finish the quilt and gift it to my sister who was also pregnant at the time, with her own rainbow baby. This quilt became my therapy. It meant so much to me to be able to finish it and hand it over to her as a gift from my babies to hers. It took me a long time to finish the quilt, but I did and I was able to gift it to her just before she gave birth to her son. It was a really special moment for both of us and she now keeps the quilt hanging in her home.
“At the beginning of 2019, I found out I was finally pregnant again. I was determined to keep my mind occupied during this anxiety-filled pregnancy with some quilting therapy. After sewing up a few receiving blankets, I figured I’d give making another rainbow-colored quilt a shot. I really, really wanted to wrap my newborn baby in one. While searching for some more baby quilt ideas, I came across a Missouri Star tutorial on how to make a rag quilt. I thought it was so cute and simple enough; I could do it without feeling anxious about the results. Happily, I gave birth to my double-rainbow baby boy on September 11, 2019. I couldn’t believe I was finally able to wrap my baby in that rainbow-colored blanket and bring him home.
“I know to some people, they just see blankets, but to me, quilts are so much more. There are prayers and hopes and unspoken dreams all sewn into those fabrics and given to others as an expression of warmth and love. Rainbow baby quilts have become a passion for me. I understand deeply what they represent and I am always humbled to give one.”
My hope is by the time I’ve written this letter to you and BLOCK arrives at your home, that life will have returned to normal. My hope is the sun will be shining outside your window… you’ll be free to gather with friends and family… you’ll feel comfortable greeting neighbors and walking the dog again, and a trip to the beach might be just around the corner. It’s hard to imagine after weeks of being separated from loved ones and anxiously watching the television, but I have great hope that we’ll make it through…many of us have been spending extended periods of time at home. I am trying my best to view this as an opportunity instead of an inconvenience.
I recently read a quote by one of my favorite people, Fred Rogers, that made me pause. He said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” It has shifted my mindset and caused me to be proactive. Each day I ask myself, What small thing can I do to help?…
Quilters never cease to amaze me. You make a difference with every stitch and it’s never been more apparent to me than at this very moment. You’re sewing masks by the thousands, you’re making surgical caps for hospital workers, you’re helping friends and neighbors, and you’re a positive influence in your community. Thank you sincerely for everything you do. I feel privileged to be a part of this remarkable global community of quilters. We really can change the world one stitch at a time.
Like Jenny (and Mr. Rogers), I believe many of us makers feel grateful to be part of a community that creates – not only quilts, but comfort, inspiration, and kindness. (After all, we are the piece-makers ✌️)
Fun fact: Back in 1889, the women of Caldwell County (now home of Missouri Star) came together to create a “census” quilt. For an entire year, wives, mothers, and children throughout the county helped one another to hand-stitch the names of over 1,000 residents to create a gorgeous hand-sewn quilt that celebrated their entire community.
130 years later, the antique quilt remains a representation of the connections made among a community of quilter’s helping one another to create a beautiful, inclusive piece of art. It hangs inside our Caldwell Country Historical Society, seven miles from Missouri Star Quilt Co.
Much like those whose names were stitched onto that quilt from long ago, when you subscribe to BLOCK Magazine, you subscribe to become a part of a community of makers whose stories become stitched into our hearts! BLOCK Magazine’s upcoming summer issue contains our own stories and the stories of our readers, together building a community of creatives inspired by one another.