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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Knook & Tell Contest – Final Reminder!


We’re down to the final hours for you to cast your vote(s) in our Leisure Arts Knook & Tell Contest! Voting ends today, July 31, at 11.00 PM Central Time.
Click HERE to take a last look at the entries in the Leisure Arts Knook & Tell Contest, vote, and let your voice be heard! You can vote up to three times a day.
As a special thank you, Leisure Arts is offering a special perk—a LeisureArts.com coupon code good for 50% off on all of the digital products on our site from now through August 9th! Pretty cool, huh? But you must vote to get your code! (Tell your friends!)
Stayed tuned ’cause we’ll be announcing our Knook & Tell Contest winner soon! In the meantime, check out our Knook tools, pattern books, and downloads, so you can get creative knitting with a crochet hook!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cream Cheese Rules on National Cheesecake Day!


{Happy National Cheesecake Day Everybody! Our Leisure Arts Food Editor, Celia Harkey, is guest blogging today, and she’s sharing a recipe for Cheesecake Bites from our Celebrating Party Foods cookbook!}

On National Cheesecake Day, I can't think of any food that has so many flavors, shapes, crusts, toppings, consistencies, and "styles" as cheesecake!  This international dessert has so many varieties that I know there HAS to be a cheesecake for everyone (thank heavens!). We usually think of cream cheese as the main ingredient, but some are made with ricotta cheese, sour cream, or even buttermilk for a special cheesecake style.

Then, there are the anything-you-can-think-of cheesecake flavors. My first thought is my beloved peanut butter mixed with that creamy, velvety-texture cream cheese filling with melted chocolate swirled in, plus those bite-size peanut butter cups, and plenty of real vanilla -- and that's just one filling! What about the raspberry swirls, my second most favorite key lime, turtle with caramel and pecans, fudge swirls, chunks of cookies, or gooey pieces of candy bars stirred into that melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese? In addition, the crust is an extremely important component to this dessert, not only does it cradle that delicious cream cheese filling, but it can take on a life of its own. Graham crackers, shortbread cookies, chocolate cookies, butter, toasted nuts of all kinds, and even bite-size brownies can make the ultimate cheesecake crust. Are you thinking what I am thinking – just one bite right now?

But did I say anything about simple dessert? Guess I forgot to mention avoiding the crack in the top of the cheesecake, while baking it in a water bath in a spring form pan wrapped in foil, and that you better have a big party or you're gonna eat more than you need while you were thinking about celebrating Cheesecake Day! Well, let's you and I get down to business with an easy-to-make, bite-size, flavor-packed, recipe for Cheesecake Bites from our Celebrating Party Foods cookbook to enjoy on this special day. As a matter of fact, having this bite-size dessert to share on the day after National Cheesecake Day would be another celebration in itself. Enjoy!

CHEESECAKE BITES
INGREDIENTS:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

PREPARATION:
Combine flour, pecans, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in melted butter until blended. Reserve 1/3 cup of mixture; press remainder into bottom of a greased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake in a 350° oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

While crust is baking, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth. Beat in egg, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Pour over baked crust; sprinkle with reserved pecan mixture. Return to oven and bake at 350° for 25 minutes longer. Cool slightly; cut into 11/2-inch squares. Cool completely. Store in refrigerator.

Yield: about 2 dozen bites

Order your printed copy of Celebrating Party Foods today, so you can get ready for all your future parties or simply download the Celebrating Party Foods eBook and get the party started asap! 

Have a fabulous National Cheesecake Day!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Halloween — Stick or Treat with Duct Tape!


Is it too hot to think about Halloween yet? I’m certainly dreaming of Autumn, so think cool thoughts along with me and start your Halloween planning early this year! All you need is a few rolls of duct tape and some way cool inspiration from our new craft pattern book by Patti Wallenfang—Stick or TreatTM, featuring Duck® brand duct tape!
Stick or TreatTM
This Halloween, use the powerful magic of Duck® brand duct tape to mutate into a horrifying swamp creature! Or follow our simple instructions to become a hair-raising zombie nurse or any of 11 fun or fiendish characters in our Stick or TreatTM duct tape craft pattern book. Costumes include Be a Giant Roll of Duct Tape, Skeleton Bride, Hippie, Pirate, Punker, Duck, Swamp Monster, Zombie Nurse, Princess, Witch, and Ghoulish Greeter. Duck Tape® casts its awesome spell on pumpkins, too. And you can conjure your own cool accessories like treat bags and candy buckets. Want the eeriest house in the neighborhood? Put a gruesome guy or a giant spider in your front yard. Every Duck Tape® idea in this creepy collection is SO. EASY. IT'S. SCARY! (Duck Tape® is a registered trademark of ShurTech Brands, LLC, Avon, OH.)
Now grab a friend so you won’t be scared, and let’s check out all of the goodies you’ll find in Stick or TreatTM:
Duct Tape Halloween Costumes!
Zombie Nurse Halloween Costume
Skeleton Bride Halloween Costume
Roll of Duct Tape Halloween Costume
Hippie Halloween Costume
Pirate Halloween Costume
Punker Halloween Costume
Duck Halloween Costume
Swamp Monster Halloween Costume
Ghoulish Greeter Halloween Costume
Princess Halloween Costume
Witch Halloween Costume

Scary Shoes
Duct Tape Halloween Pumpkins!
Witch Pumpkin
Eyeball Pumpkin
Rollin’ Pumpkin
Diva Pumpkin
De-bone-aire Pumpkin
Mummy Pumpkin
Duct Tape Halloween Trick or Treat Bags & Buckets!
Skull & Cross-Bow-nes Trick or Treat Bag
Striped Trick or Treat Bag
Kitty Kat Trick or Treat Bag
Frankie Treat Bucket
Princess Treat Bucket
Duct Tape Halloween Decorations!
Giant Spider
Gruesome Guy
Meet The Designer: Patti Wallenfang!
Specializing in crafts that anyone can make, Patti Wallenfang of Little Rock, Arkansas, has always loved to make things with her hands. Her duct tape designs also appear in Just Duct Tape It! and Go Crazy with Duct Tape. During her 20 years at Leisure Arts, she has designed more than 5,000 craft projects.
Get your copy of Stick or TreatTM today, so you can be ready for the arrival of the ghouls tomorrow! 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Quilt Blocks Go Wild!


Got a yen to follow this directive and take a walk on the wild side—of quilt blocks? The bright colors plus the fun and funky designs in Quilt Blocks Go Wild were enough to make me (a non-quilter) take a second and much longer look at this way cool new quilt block pattern book!
Quilt Blocks Go Wild!
Take a tame, familiar quilt block and unleash it to create a fresh, modern look. Eleanor Levie and five quilters famous for innovation put their spins on well-loved classics. Gorgeous photos make you gaga for wonky hearts, skewed nine-patches, a crazy-quilted star, split Log Cabins, a basket gone bonkers, and more. Guided by easy how-tos and more than 120 step-by-step photos, even beginning quilters can make super-cool pillows, quilts, wall hangings, and bags. There are also plenty of hands-on extras: tips and tricks for color, composition, and design, plus workbook (er, rather playbook) sections that offer lots of jumping-off points to tweak tradition and create your own original blocks. In short, you’ll be wild for these bold takes on old favorites!
You’re gonna love these classic quilt block projects made with quilt blocks that are twisted and tweaked, sliced and skewed:



Nine Patch Goes to Pot 

a pair of potholders by Eleanor Levie


Basket Goes Bonkers 
a pocketed wall hanging by Eleanor Levie

Log Cabin Split Level 
a table runner by Pam Dinndorf

Hearts Askew
 a wall hanging by Elizabeth Rosenberg

Heart of Bold 
a tote by Elizabeth Rosenberg

Rail Fence Derailed
 2 pillows by Tonya Ricucci

Squares Out of Square
 a lap quilt by Karla Alexander

Drunkards Off The Path
 2 pillows by Malka Dubrawsky

A Star Partly Crazy
 a bag by Eleanor Levie



Eleanor Levie!
Meet the Designers!
Eleanor Levie thinks of herself as a crazy quilt—warm and a wee bit wacky. Author, editor, and book producer, she loves putting unexpected touches into her quiltmaking and inspiring quilters to go wild! Other quilt block designers featured in this book are Elizabeth Rosenberg, Tonya Ricucci, Malka Dubrawsky, Pamela Goecke Dinndorf, and Karla Alexander.
If you’re ready to take Granny’s quilt block and kiss tradition goodbye, get ready, get set, go wild, and order your very own copy of Quilt Blocks Go Wild! Now!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Knook Voting, Duct Tape & More—July 25 Leisure Arts Newsletter!

Just in case you missed it, here’s all the news that went out in our July 25 Issue of the Leisure Arts Newsletter: Knook Voting, Duct Tape Free Shipping, Christmas in July & our new High-Definition Instructional Videos!


GOOD THINGS MUST END...ON JULY 31!
Last Chance! Lots of good things are wrapping up at Leisure Arts on July 31! Don’t miss out on the fun or the deals!
You’re running out of time to place your vote(s) in our Leisure Arts Knook & Tell Contest! Voting ends on July 31 at 11.00 PM Central Time. Click HERE to take a look at the entries in the Leisure Arts Knook & Tell Contest, vote, and let your voice be heard! You can vote up to three times a day through July 31. As a special thank you for voting in the Leisure Arts Knook & Tell Design Contest, we’re offering a special perk—a LeisureArts.com coupon code good for 50% off on all of the digital products on our site from now through August 9th! Pretty cool, huh? But you have to vote to get your code! (Tell your friends!)
You can learn to knit with a Knook this summer with our Knook Bundle promotion! Receive *free shipping with your $50 purchase of select Knook soft cover pattern books and tool kits with coupon code: KNOOKPROMO! *Credits shipping costs up to $8! Ends July 31!
• Purchase both Go Crazy with Duct Tape and Just Duct Tape It! using coupon code DUCTTAPE thru 7/31, and you will receive up to an $8 credit on shipping expenses incurred on your order.
• Purchase Go Crazy with Duct Tape using coupon code GCWDTFS thru 7/31, and you will receive up to a $3.99 credit on shipping expenses incurred on your order.
• Purchase Just Duct Tape It! using coupon code JDTIFS thru 7/31, and you will receive up to a $3.99 credit on shipping expenses incurred on your order.
We've been celebrating Christmas in July with an Ornament Extravaganza featuring select pattern books at 30% off the original price. Select your favorites from the listed products before the celebration is over on July 31!
AND ON TO NEW STUFF! Wanna learn something new?
Leisure Arts has been your go-to for how-tos for over 40 years, and now we’re bringing you everything you need to know with new and improved high-definition instructional videos—Free high-definition instructional videos!
Our high definition videos precisely illustrate the crystal clear instructions you need. Discover:

• Knitting: How to Cast On (3 styles!)

• Crochet Tips, Techniques, and all the Stitches!

• The Knook Instructional Videos, so you can learn to knit with a crochet hook!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Family Foods for Summer Feasting Part 2



{Welcome Back! Our Leisure Arts Food Editor, Celia, is here again  today, and she’s sharing Part 2 of her fav recipes for summer food for the family from our Leisure Arts’ Family Living Classic Cookbook series! They’re on sale!!!}


Truffle Dessert
Rice-Vegetable Ring
Corn Curry
Have you ever cooked, and I really mean cooked, using your microwave? I'm not talking about warming up leftovers or heating a cup of water for tea. The poor microwave must be the most under-utilized appliance in the kitchen. Believe me, I have a fix for that – Microwave Cooking has so much to teach you, and many recipes are made in just one dish! This new Family Living cookbook has a collection of helpful information including: Basics of Microwave Cooking, Microwave Tips, Interesting Uses of a Microwave, and Utensils Used in the Microwave. A one dish recipe I am going to try is "Rice-Vegetable Ring." Seasoned rice that frames a combination of spinach and baby corn in a creamy cheese sauce topped with fresh tomato. Using one dish makes clean up so simple!  Another one dish recipe that jumps off the page at me is "Corn Curry." This is a yummy side made with curry-yogurt sauce blended with almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, ground cardamom, and coconut flakes. My mouth is getting excited right now! You microwave doubters are going to love this: Finish with a "Truffle Dessert" (walnut cake soaked in coffee syrup and layered with a chocolate whipped cream and covered with chocolate ganache). A great big YUM!

Apple & Carrot Fingers
Hidden Veggie Pizza
Nutty Popcorn
Are you looking for after-school snacks for your kids?  Here are some recipes to keep you and your kids happy about what they eat. The new Family Living Classics cookbook Snacks for Children – Vegetarian offers tasty variety with some secret ingredients. A perfect example is "Hidden Veggie Pizza" – a recipe that includes grated zucchini and cauliflower, chopped bell pepper, corn, and mozzarella cheese in addition to tomatoes and seasoning. Snacks like this could turn into a meal for the whole family! "Nutty Popcorn" combines popcorn and mixed nuts coated with maple syrup and spices – perfect to carry on a family trip or to the park. Another quick treat for kids is "Apple & Carrot Fingers" using an apple spread and a carrot spread sandwiched on thin slices of bread for little ones to hold. Don’t be surprised when grown-ups are just as crazy about these snacks as the children!

Apple Oat Cake
Fresh Fruit Tarts
Mango Yogurt Cheesecake
Now we get to my favorites – cookies and cakes! No matter when you have one of these sweet treats, there is something for everyone in your family. The new Family Living Classics cookbook Cakes & Cookies has chapters on Tea Time Cakes, Party Cakes & Pastries, Tarts & Pies, and Cookies. The “Apple Oat Cake” has a combination of healthy oats and apples and uses egg whites and a small portion of butter. This is one of many cakes and cookies, perfect to serve warm for breakfast, with a cup of tea in the afternoon, or after school with a glass of milk. Other delish desserts include “Mango Yogurt Cheesecake” and “Fresh Fruit Tarts.” Turn the oven on, because you will definitely want to bake the “Dark Chocolate Cookies” with the crunchy and sweet additions of walnuts and raisins. I can smell that warm chocolate goodness right now! 

Don't forget! All 6 cookbooks are on sale! Get Summer Sizzlin’ Savings on our Cookbook Bundle including 6 Family Living Classics—Sizzlers Cookbook, Microwave Cooking, Cakes and Cookies, Sandwiches and Wraps – Vegetarian, Snacks for Children- Vegetarian and Chicken Snacks and Soups—Salads, Too. Regularly priced $1.00 each, get them all now for the low price of $3.99 for all 6! This is a limited time offer, so act now!




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