This is the 10th (yes, 10th) year I have been included in the annual Ornament Issue - WOW, how time flies! If you would like to see all 10 of my contributions, you can visit the "Publications" tab on my website (my ornaments from the Christmas Ornament Preview Issues are shown there, as well). This magazine has gone through a lot of changes over the years (just like my design style), yet still continues to be a yearly fan favorite. I remember getting my first designer invitation back in 2006 to be in the magazine - I was "giddy" - it was an honor to get that invitation each year to be included. This year, they sent invitations to "submit a design idea" - and for me (to be honest) that took away quite a bit of the prestige and excitement that came along with being included in the magazine (especially when this is an "unpaid" assignment and designers do not receive compensation for being included)...this may be why you aren't seeing some of your favorite designers in the 2016 issue. With the needlework industry constantly changing, who knows what the future holds - but I have been proud to be a part of this special publication for the past 10 years!
Blue Ribbon Stuffed Mushrooms
1 Pound of mushrooms (washed and stems removed)
3 tablespoons margarine (softened, not melted)
1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper (I like to use a red pepper)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup Feta cheese (crumbled)
2 strips of cooked bacon (crumbled) (real bacon bits make it easier!)
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs (I like to use moistened Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned stuffing mix)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper (fresh ground is best!)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Mix all ingredients except mushroom caps in a bowl - blending ingredients well. If your mixture seems a little dry, add some chicken broth or stock (or water) to the mixture to moisten. Fill mushroom caps with mixture. Place stuffed mushrooms in a lightly greased baking dish, then bake for 15-20 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
Stuffing mixture can be made and refrigerated a day early for stuffing the mushrooms the day of your event. ...and of course, the measurements don't have to be exact, this is just a guideline for ingredients - I usually just "eyeball" the measurements. I always make these during the holidays and they are a HUGE hit.