Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Crumb Cake!

When the movers came to estimate the cost of moving all our fabric, we bribed them with crumb cake. We promised them we'd be ready for an early start and we would have breakfast for them. Ingrid noted that my crumb cake was "really good!" with a special emphasis that made the boss's eyes light up. So when moving day arrived, crumb cake was provided, as promised, and the comment of one of the mover's to my husband was, "Forget the fabric, tell her to just sell crumbcake!"
Somehow my crumbcake has developed a reputation, and so I thought I would share the recipe with you, as it is so easy, it's embarassing!

You will need a very large baking pan (17" x 12"). If that is not available, you could probably use a 13" x 9" plus a 9" x 9" or maybe 3 round cake pans. (it stores very well and can be made ahead and even frozen).
Spray with non-stick spray.
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees (maybe 375 if your oven runs cool like mine)

1 box Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Golden Cake Mix
3 eggs
2/3 cup water
1 stick butter
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (or 1 tsp. almond extract for a different flavor)

For Topping:
3 sticks cold butter cut into pats (which is 3/4 pound total)
3 cups of flour (I use Heckers Unbleached Flour)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons cinnamon

I make this entire crumb cake in my Cuisinart food processor with the metal blade. You can also make it with a mixer, but the Cuisinart (or any food processor) makes such quick and easy work of the whole thing, that I recommend it, if possible.

First, prepare the cake batter according to the package directions. The only difference is you are adding 2 teaspoons of vanilla.
If you don't have any cake mix handy, substitute your favorite recipe for yellow cake.
I put the cake mix into the food processor, then the 1 stick (1/4 pound) of butter, cut into pats. I pulse the processor, until the mix has a resemblence of course damp sand. Then I mix the eggs, water and vanilla in my measuring cup, pour into the mixture in the processor and process just until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Place the pan in the middle shelf of your pre-heated oven and set the timer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse out your processor and prepare the crumbs.
Place the flour, cinnamon, and granulated sugar into the processor, along with the 3 sticks (3/4 pound) butter, cut into pats.
Pulse until the mixture starts to hug the sides of the bowl. You don't want to cream this or blend it into a batter - remember it will be crumbs - so you want a dense mixture that is holding together, which you can crumble or cut into crumbs for the cake.
I usually take a knife or fork and sort of "chop up" the crumb mixture in the bowl of the processer, and then when my cake timer goes off, I am ready with the crumbs.
When the oven timer goes off, sprinkle the crumb mixture onto your cake. Cover the entire cake with crumbs right up to the edges of the pan. Return it to the oven for another 15 minutes, setting your timer once again.

When the timer goes off, your cake should be done. Allow it to cool a bit and sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve. If served warm it will melt in your mouth. (of course it does with all that butter - but don't tell anyone - let them enjoy it).
We don't make this every day. It's for special occasions. But it is delicious! Enjoy!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We've Moved!

We’ve moved! Finally! I have to say, it was a rough week. We probably all worked harder than we would have liked, but we are ready to face the web site orders tomorrow morning! Although we planned our move very carefully and thought we had all the details worked out, there was one unforeseen problem. We started having terrible problems with our electricity on the Friday of Labor Day weekend. All of a sudden the lights were dimming and then surge protectors were popping off and sending off alarms. Not good for computers, or for a relaxing weekend at home. Of course we contacted the power company, but since we were the only house with this problem, we were not considered an emergency, and of course, no one came to see us until Sunday. Tuesday morning, after this had been going on all weekend, we finally got an electrician to the house, and found that it was not a problem in the house, but outside with our power. Long story short, the power was not fully restored until Wednesday night and we were moving Thursday. We were packing up bolts of fabric by flashlight!! It was a sight not to be believed. We did have things ready for the movers at 7 a.m. Thursday morning, but we were all exhausted by moving day! Now the fabric is happily arranged on its shelving in a lovely spot in Westchester County. We are still a web only store, not open to the public. (our fabric is very shy) But we are hoping that we can provide even better service from our new location, and I can turn our house back into a home. The web site has now officially changed hands. The new owner, Ingrid Remkus, has known my oldest son since they were three. Now in their 30’s, they remain best of friends, though there are many miles between them. Ingrid was looking for a career change in January of this year and I invited her to come work at the shop while she decided what to do. As it turned out, the change was to take over Quilter’s Paradise. Ingrid feels just like family to me and that means so much when you have worked hard to build a business. You want to hand it to someone who will care for it and nurture it as you have. I know she is going to do a great job. I hope you will welcome Ingrid into your sewing rooms, and into your lives. She is a fantastic young woman with a great personality, wonderful family, lots of friends, and 2 fat cats. Please leave her a post on the blog, or email her through the web site. I know she would love to hear from you! Oh…and what about me? I’ll still be here. I’m going to do some of the blog updates, and hope to turn it into an informational blog, where you can pick up lots of tips and techniques for quilting and exchange ideas, as well as a place where you can see the day to day activities in the shop. I will also contribute to the email newsletters and will be sewing to make samples for patterns and kits that will be presented to you over the web. So I’m not far away. You could call me the technical consultant, creative advisor, or just “The Queen”. Ingrid is now “The Boss”.
Ingrid with Richie, our oldest son:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Today's Specials:

Right now we are in the midst of a moving sale, getting ready for our fabrics to move to a new home. The fabric will be moving in a huge moving van from Water Mill, NY (out on eastern Long Island) where it has been for the last 10 years. It will then travel through New York City to its new home in Westchester County. The new spot has more room and we think the fabrics will be very happy there! (You know how fabrics love to fluff themselves!)

The move is planned for the Thursday after Labor Day. As we prepare for the movers, we will have a slight delay shipping orders, but we are very organized and should be up and running in the new spot within 48-72 hours from pack up. Since the move will occur at the end of the week and the new spot will be set up over the weekend, we think you will hardly notice that we have been busy with something other than shipping! We should be all set to begin shipping as usual on Monday morning.

Lots of you have offered to help with moving day. Here's what you can do for us. Help yourselves to books, patterns and fabrics at great prices so we have less to pack up. Here's a list of Today's Specials at the QP Cafe:

Fabric Special:
We'd like to take fewer bolts on our move. Yes, we did have the movers here to assess the job ahead, and we were able to show them *all* the fabrics, books, patterns, kits and miscellaneous items that we sell. And yes, we did wave goodbye to them, close the door and no smelling salts or oxygen were needed. However, we know things will go more smoothly (and they will be delighted) if they have to take a bit less on the big truck.
SO, if you finish the bolt, we will give you 25% off. Most of our bolts are in the inventory control system, and when you click on the image of the fabric, you will see a notation that says "Quantity on Hand". If you are willing to take that quantity (or close to it when we actually measure the bolt out), we will take 25% off the cost of that fabric. It does not matter if the fabric is already on sale, if it has 25 yards or 1 yard left. You just have to take the Quantity on Hand.

Book Special:
We have set up a special category of BOGO books. That's BUY ONE/GET ONE FREE! Any book marked BOGO is included in this offereing. If you put 2 BOGO books in your shopping cart, we will charge you for one and the second book of equal or lesser value is FREE. If you shop so that you have even numbers of books, then we will be sending half of your books at no charge.

Pattern Special
We also have a BOGO pattern section. Buy one pattern marked BOGO and get another pattern of equal or lesser value for free. You may mix and match BOGO books and BOGO patterns. Depending upon the prices of your selections, in most instances, when you mix and match, you pay for the books and get the patterns for free.

Because our web site is not programmed to differentiate a BOGO book or pattern from a regularly priced item that is not included in the offering, and because it is not able to tell if you are finishing the bolt or just buying one yard off a 15 yard bolt, our price reductions will not appear on your order confirmation. But when we get our hands on your order, we will take care of all that before we put your charge through and we will send a copy of your revised invoice in the mail with your order. The revised pricing is also what appears on your credit card. No worries!

We hope you enjoy the cafe specials. We will be blogging again after the move for sure, possibly before. Meanwhile, if you have any questions you may post them here or email us.

Have a wonderful and safe Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Welcome to the QP Cafe!

Welcome to the Quilter's Paradise Cafe! We call it the QP Cafe, for short, and it is a place where you can stop in and meet up with your quilting friends, share ideas, learn about quilting and just enjoy the time dreaming about quilts.
Bring in your favorite beverage...it could be a quilt-latte, or maybe a sweet-quilt-tea, or maybe a quilt-tini (our personal favorite!). Bring any sweet treat you like....a jelly roll, a honey bun, a layer cake, anything from the quilt-bakery. All calorie free!