Thursday, September 22, 2016

"Blizzard Buddies"

My copy of the Just CrossStitch 2016 Special Christmas Ornament Issue arrived today, and I am pleased to share my contribution to the magazine with you. My ornament is titled "Blizzard Buddies" and can be found on page 65...and this year, I included my recipe for my Blue Ribbon Stuffed Mushrooms (which I will also share later in this pre-holiday post). My 2016 ornament features red birds, pine trees, and snowflakes and complements my woodland ornaments from the past several years (along with ornament from the 2016 Christmas Ornament Preview Issue) - and as usual, combines cross stitch over both one and two linen threads. I stitched the model on 40-count Mocha linen from Weeks Dye Works (same as previous ornaments in this series) and used Weeks Dye Works cotton floss (DMC conversions are provided). I opted for a flat-finish with two-tone twisted cord to match my previous holiday ornaments. *Please note - the image on page 67 is definitely not true to color - it is extremely light/over exposed - this ornament DOES match the colors of my previous ornaments in the series...don't let the overly lightened image fool you - you can see all the details in the ornament...and the snowflakes show up beautifully!

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!, as promised - my recipe for stuffed mushrooms. We all have a "go to" recipe...the one that everyone wants you to bring when you have a holiday or family gathering...the one that everyone asks for the "go to" recipe is for stuffed mushrooms. I started out years ago with a basic recipe and have continued to make changes...years later, I have finally tweaked my own recipe to (what I think is) perfection. So, here is my original recipe (which I call "Blue Ribbon Stuffed Mushrooms" - the magazine edited my recipe name/title)...from my kitchen to yours...enjoy!

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.


  1. You have designed another winning ornament, Belinda. Now, I need to get busy and stitch up the ones missing from my collection. Thanks for sharing your BRD mushroom recipe. They look fabulous.

  2. Another great design. Sorry to hear JCS changed things this year. Explains why some of my other favorites weren't featured this year.

  3. what a beautiful set of woodland ornaments Belinda! I have a few in my collection but now I want to make sure and do them all - they're great! I especially like this years - it is probably my favorite ornament in the whole issue. Hope you have a great weekend ! Mel PS the mushrooms look yummy too